Ampersand Advocates continues Top Rankings success in 2024 Chambers and Partners UK Bar Guide
Ampersand Advocates has once again received top tier rankings across a number of areas of practice in the latest published guide to the legal profession, Chambers and Partners UK Bar Guide 2024.
Ampersand and its members received 75 listings across 17 areas of practice, ranking as top tier (band 1) in Clinical Negligence and Planning & Environmental Law as a Set, and band 2 in Administrative & Public law, Civil Liberties & Human Rights, Commercial Dispute Resolution, Construction, Personal Injury, Professional Negligence, Real Estate Litigation and Restructuring/Insolvency as a Set. 5 members are noted as “star individuals”. There are additional rankings for Susanne Tanner KC in the Independent Inquiries all circuits section and Aidan O’Neill KC in the European Law London Bar section. There is wide practice for our clerking team and client service too.
Noted as a Band 1 set for Clinical Negligence, “Ampersand Advocates retains its reputation as a market-leading stable for clinical negligence matters. Its advocates continue to provide expert legal advice and representation to both pursuers and defenders in a wide range of disputes, including claims relating to birth and catastrophic brain and spinal injuries. The members are well versed in cases arising from alleged failures in diagnosis and surgical errors, and regularly appear at fatal accident inquiries. The stable also houses considerable expertise obstetric negligence cases.” Our rankings include 2 “Star Individuals”, Maria Maguire KC and David Stephenson KC, with 13 further silks and 5 juniors also ranked – Simon Bowie KC, Jamie Dawson KC, Simon Di Rollo KC, Una Doherty KC, Lisa Henderson KC, Vinit Khurana KC, Archie MacSporran KC, Euan Mackenzie KC, Geoffrey Mitchell KC, Graham Primrose KC, Lauren Sutherland KC, new silks Fiona Drysdale KC and Paul Reid KC, Shane Dundas, Mark Fitzpatrick, James McConnell, Jennifer Nicholson-White and Phil Stuart.
Ampersand’s Band 1 listing in Planning & Environment states “Ampersand Advocates is well regarded for the complex planning and environmental work undertaken by its advocates. Members of the stable regularly act in judicial reviews and challenges to planning permissions, and frequently act on behalf of developers, objectors, public sector bodies and energy companies. Members are regularly engaged in high-profile matters, including those relating to large renewable energy projects. One source notes that “the quality of advice and advocacy is at the highest level”. Rankings include Malcolm Thomson KC as “Star Individual”, and Band 1 ranked Marcus McKay KC, Ailsa Wilson KC and Laura-Anne van der Westhuizen KC.
Band 2 listings include Administrative & Public Law where Ampersand is praised “highly praised practitioners who are skilled at acting in public law cases involving significant constitutional and human rights issues. They frequently appear before the highest courts in the UK and the EU.” The rankings include “Star Individual” Aidan O’Neill KC, along with Ian Forrester KC, Douglas Ross KC, Laura-Anne van der Westhuizen KC, new silk Paul Reid KC, Usman Tariq and Timothy Young.
In Civil Liberties & Human Rights Ampersand is noted as a “highly regarded civil liberties and human rights stable, known for representing both private individuals and public bodies in significant proceedings. Practitioners at Ampersand are regularly instructed by the government and the Equality and Human Rights Commission.” The rankings include Aidan O’Neill KC, Douglas Ross KC and Usman Tariq.
In Commercial Dispute Resolution Chambers state Ampersand is “admired for its skilful work in high-profile commercial disputes. The stable offers a large team comprising highly rated advocates at the senior and junior levels. The advocates are instructed on behalf of corporations and financial institutions and are involved in a variety of related areas of practice including intellectual property and insolvency.” The rankings include Robert Howie KC, Graeme Hawkes KC, Laura-Anne van der Westhuizen KC, new silk Paul Reid KC, Ross Anderson, Eoghainn MacLean, Giles Reid, Usman Tariq, Tim Young and ‘up-and-coming’ Michael Way.
Within Personal Injury “Ampersand Advocates is a highly regarded stable for personal injury matters and houses a number of dedicated senior and junior advocates. Members act for both pursuers and defenders, including several major insurers, in the full range of claims, and offer considerable expertise in the handling of catastrophic injury cases arising from road traffic and workplace accidents. The team is also well regarded for its expertise in complex product liability and occupiers’ liability disputes and matters involving accidents abroad. Recent matters include acting for the defenders in a claim concerning tetraplegia as a result of a mountain biking accident. Interviewees report: “They have a rich talent of advocates available to instruct.”
Rankings include “Star Individuals” Maria Maguire KC and Graham Primrose KC with others ranked Isla Davie KC, Simon Di Rollo KC, Lisa Henderson KC, Euan Mackenzie KC, Douglas Ross KC, Alan Cowan, Chris Marney and Jenny Nicholson-White.
The Set ranking in Professional Negligence declares “Ampersand Advocates is a leading stable for professional liability matters in Scotland. The advocates often advise and act in proceedings on behalf of and against a suite of professionals including solicitors, surveyors, architects and financial advisers.” The rankings include Paul Reid KC and Usman Tariq.
In the Set ranking for Real Estate Litigation, it exclaims “Ampersand Advocates offers a strong bench of well-regarded advocates who are active across a broad range of real estate litigation topics. The set demonstrates strong expertise in areas of overlap between commercial and real estate disputes. Members are instructed at all levels from the Supreme Court down.” Rankings include Robert Howie KC, Laura-Anne van der Westhuizen KC, Ross Anderson, Giles Reid and Tim Young.
The Construction Set ranking states “Ampersand Advocates offers significant experience in advising clients in relation to a range of building and construction works in Scotland. The bench handles a variety of contractual, delays and construction disputes, also involving defects issues. Its advocates have notable expertise in adjudications and enforcement actions, as well as construction-related bond matters. This year’s work highlights include Greater Glasgow Health Board v Multiplex Construction Europe Ltd & Others, a dispute over a multimillion damages claim in connection with the construction of the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, Glasgow. One source says: “My instructions to Ampersand Advocates have spanned a variety of complex issues and each of the advocates instructed have provided a service of the very highest level.” Another one enthuses: “Ampersand Advocates is a strong commercial stable, with good advocates at all levels across all disciplines including construction.” Rankings include Robert Howie KC and Timothy Young.
Within Restructuring/Insolvency “Ampersand Advocates is well regarded for its handling of a wide range of restructuring and insolvency matters. The stable’s advocates are frequently instructed to represent administrators, companies, banks and insolvency office holders in complex claims involving allegations of wrongful trading and breach of fiduciary duty, among other matters. Members have experience of appearing in both domestic and cross-border matters, and are regularly called upon to act for and advise their clients on both contentious and non-contentious insolvency cases.” Rankings include Robert Howie KC, David Sellar KC, Ross Anderson and Usman Tariq.
There are further individual rankings in: Agriculture and Rural Affairs for Laura-Anne van der Westhuizen KC; Company for David Sellar KC and Tim Young; Employment for Aidan O’Neill KC; Information Technology and Intellectual Property for Usman Tariq; Product Liability for Paul Reid KC; and Tax for Ross Anderson.
The Ampersand clerks and client service again receives wide praise across all areas of practice, noting “The clerks and the advocates themselves deliver a very high-quality service” and “the Ampersand clerks provide a highly efficient service” and “all the clerks at Ampersand Advocates have been outstanding in their communication and dealings.” They are described as “very responsive and are very capable in terms of assisting with choice of counsel where help in that regard in” and being “prompt at responding to enquiries and have a good knowledge of the various advocates’ specialities and styles. As well as nothing “”All of the clerks are good. They come back almost instantly, they get everything booked, give alternative counsel if one isn’t available and help with costs.” And that “the clerks are extremely quick at responding and work with you to meet the needs of clients.”
On the recent rankings, Practice Manager, Alan Moffat, said: “This is again wonderful recognition and praise, which is a testament to the collaboration between our advocates, clerking team and those that instruct our counsel. My gratitude to all who offered their perspectives to Chambers – your time and insights are invaluable. These rankings are an affirmation that our collective pursuit of excellence and service is succeeding. We will continue striving to raise the bar even higher.”
The full rankings can be viewed on the Chambers and Partners website here.
Sheana Campbell practices mainly in commercial law.
Prior to calling, Sheana was a litigation solicitor for 13 years. She trained and qualified into a large commercial firm before moving to a boutique firm in 2012, where she subsequently became a director. She obtained extended rights of audience in the civil courts in 2014.
Sheana has significant experience of a broad range of commercial disputes, especially those arising out of insolvency situations. She has been regularly instructed in disputes involving contractual, partnership or company related issues. She also has experience in property disputes.
Sheana’s personal insolvency practice was recommended in the 2022 Legal 500. She has been a member of R3’s Scottish Technical Committee since 2018 and the Lexis Nexis Scottish Restructuring and Insolvency Expert Panel since 2019.
Mary Ellen Stewart
Mary Ellen Stewart called to the Bar in 2021, after training and qualifying with Brodies LLP, and latterly working there as a senior solicitor.
As a solicitor, Mary Ellen had a busy practice dealing with a broad range of commercial disputes. Her practice had a particular focus on commercial contracts, banking and finance, insolvency and professional liability litigation. When in private practice, Mary Ellen appeared in the Sheriff Courts and instructed Counsel in Court of Session cases.
Mary Ellen has a particular interest in professional liability and regulation. She also has an interest in maritime and shipping law, and is the Advocate member of the Law Society of Scotland’s Marine Law Sub-Committee. Mary Ellen is also a part-time tutor of Contract Law and Unjustified Enrichment at Edinburgh University.
Mary Ellen was appointed to the Advocate General’s panel of Nominated Presenting Officers to the Home Office in 2021.
Mary Ellen is fluent and fully literate in Scottish Gaelic and is well placed to undertake work involving consideration of documents in Gaelic.
Emma Busby joined Ampersand as a Deputy Clerk in February 2020. Prior to joining us, Emma worked for the Member of Parliament for Edinburgh South and brings with her experience of working in a fast paced environment and front facing administrative role. Emma’s personable outlook and efficient work ethic makes her a great asset to the clerking team.
Ampersand Advocates Top Rankings success in latest Chambers and Partners UK Bar Guide
Ampersand has again received top tier rankings across a number of areas of practice in the latest published guide to the legal profession, Chambers and Partners UK Bar Guide 2020.
Ampersand received 60 listings across 16 areas of practice, ranking as top tier (band 1) in Clinical Negligence as a Set, and band 2 in Administrative & Public law, Civil Liberties & Human Rights, Commercial Dispute Resolution, Planning & Environment, Personal Injury, Product Liability and Restructuring/Insolvency as a Set. 5 members are noted as “star individuals”.
Noted as a Band 1 set for Clinical Negligence, Ampersand has 18 rankings in this area, including 2 “Star Individuals”. The guide says “Ampersand dominates the Scottish medical negligence market due to its outstanding reputation and impressive offering of advocates. It has a wide selection of juniors and silks at the stable, who act on behalf of both claimants and defenders. Members have far-reaching expertise, covering all areas of clinical negligence, including the most severe birth injuries, fatal surgical errors and cancer cases, as well as widely publicised group actions concerning medical device liability, such as the pelvic mesh litigation. Instructing solicitors point out that the set “has depth and very strong, specialised practitioners.” The clerks also receive high praise “The service is first class. The clerks are extremely approachable, very helpful and nothing is too much trouble for them.” “Alan Moffat is the lead clerk and is a good point of contact. He is helpful and accommodating, so I can go directly to him if I need something urgently.” The “Star Individuals” are Maria Maguire QC and David Stephenson QC.
Band 2 listings include Administrative and Public law where Ampersand is noted as a “Highly regarded stable which possesses several standout advocates acting in important constitutional, commercial and human rights cases. The advocates represent petitioners and respondents in judicial reviews, advise public bodies on the interpretation of regulations and legislation, and act for core participants in public inquiries”. In Civil Liberties & Human Rights the Band 2 listing notes Ampersand as a “A highly regarded stable, Ampersand Advocates has members who represent both claimants and defendants in high-profile civil liberties and human rights cases. Advocates regularly appear at the highest courts in Scotland and the UKSC, as well as the ECtHR and CJEU.”.
In Commercial Dispute Resolution it states “Ampersand Advocates is a highly regarded stable, noted for its involvement in a wide range of complex commercial disputes. The stable houses a number of experienced commercial advocates at both silk and junior levels, and attracts instructions from a diverse client base that includes several financial institutions and large corporates. Its advocates offer expertise in professional negligence, construction and commercial contracts disputes, as well as matters involving intellectual property, planning and insolvency.”
Ampersand’s Commercial expertise is further noted in Restructuring and Insolvency, which includes “Star Individual” David Sellar QC, stating Ampersand “Ampersand Advocates is a strong stable, housing some of the most distinguished restructuring and insolvency advocates in Scotland. It is a go-to stable for companies and their directors, banks and various government departments seeking restructuring advice and representation in major insolvency cases. Members are also regularly instructed by insolvency practitioners to assist with asset recovery matters, and offer significant expertise in international asset-tracing.”
Ampersand’s Personal Injury work is again acknowledged with the guide noting “A highly regarded stable in the personal injury market, Ampersand Advocates retains its reputation as a go-to stable for all manner of injury claims. In addition to offering representation to pursuers in complex and high-value catastrophic and fatal injury claims, the stable’s advocates are also regularly instructed by defenders, and have experience acting on behalf of government agencies and several major insurers. Areas of particular strength for the stable include cases arising from RTAs, accidents at work and accidents abroad, and its advocates are noted for their expert handling of complex employers’ and occupiers’ liability claims. The tenants are also frequently called upon to represent a variety of parties, including local authorities, health boards and bereaved families in fatal accident inquests. Instructing solicitors praise Ampersand as “a very professional stable which provides a high level of service,” adding that “you can tell that everyone there really cares about what they’re doing.”. The clerks get a special note for being “very organised and you can rely on the team to get back to you.” “The clerks are very good at dealing with any queries and are very flexible and very friendly – you never have any difficulties getting in touch with them.” “The clerking team is friendly, reliable, quick at responding and always happy to help.” The “very proactive and easy to deal with” Alan Moffat is the head clerk.” The listing includes Maria Maguire QC and Graham Primrose QC as “Star Individuals”.
In Planning and Environment it states “Ampersand Advocates is distinguished for the substantial planning and environmental expertise of its advocates. It acts for local authorities and all kinds of developers in cases heard at all levels of the court system, including the Supreme Court. The environmental aspects of energy developments are a great source of instructions for Ampersand Advocates. Members of the stable are regularly involved in high-profile matters, including the public inquiry into the refusal of planning permission for the development of the Royal High School in Edinburgh, a challenge to the planning consent for Aberdeen FC’s new stadium and a Supreme Court case dealing with the complexities of European law in relation to a wind farm development.” This includes “Star Individual” Malcolm Thomson QC.
Ampersand is also a Band 2 set in Product Liability stating “A respected presence in the product liability field, with a strong track record of representing pursuers and defenders in a broad array of claims. The stable is able to draw on its impressive capabilities in professional liability and personal injury.”
Ampersand’s full listings can be viewed on the Chambers and Partners website here.
Ampersand Advocates ‘goes above and beyond at all times’ in latest Legal 500 UK Bar listings
Ampersand is delighted to be once again be recommended as a top-tier set by The Legal 500 UK Bar Directory in their latest listings for 2019 published today.
The guide says “‘From a user’s perspective’, Ampersand Advocates ‘goes above and beyond at all times to assist wherever possible’. Like the other Scottish stables, a diverse range of work comes through its doors, however, tort, real estate, and commercial matters are key strengths, and arbitration is a growing area of focus. ‘All the clerks are friendly, accommodating and very professional’, however at the most senior level Alan Moffat ‘will go out of his way to make sure you get the right counsel for the job’, and his deputy Sheena Hume is ‘particularly efficient and easy to deal with’. Vinit Khurana QC and Una Doherty QC took silk in 2018.”
Ampersand has 36 listings across 10 areas of practice in the Legal 500 UK 2019 guide. The Scottish bar section can be viewed here.
Civil liberties, human rights, public inquiries, and public and administrative law (including local government)
Key areas of work at Ampersand Advocates include EU law, judicial review, and procurement matters. Aidan O’Neill QC recently lead on behalf of the petitioners in Wightman v Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, an Court of Justice of the European Union case concerning if it was possible for a member state to revoke its notification of intent to leave the European Union under Article 50.
Aidan O’Neill QC
– Ampersand Advocates ‘ Intellectually impressive and creative in his approach to dealing with issues of public law. ’
Douglas Ross QC
– Ampersand Advocates ‘ Highly intelligent and tenacious, with good common sense ’
Dorothy Bain QC
– Ampersand Advocates ‘ Highly recommended for civil liberties work. ’
Laura-Anne van der Westhuizen
– Ampersand Advocates ‘ A first-class legal mind who deals well with complicated cases. ’
– Ampersand Advocates ‘ Technically excellent in public procurement matters. ’
Ampersand Advocates is home to a strong contingent of commercial litigators, with experience in a wide range of commercial cases. Notable recent highlights include Take-Two Interactive Software Inc and Rockstar Games Inc v Aaron Renicks, in which Usman Tariq acts, as junior to Roddy Dunlop QC for the developers of Grand Theft Auto who are pursuing a claim against the developer of a modification for the game. Giles Reid recently acted for the borrower in a case concerning the oral variation of a loan agreement, as well as interim orders preventing the lender from commencing bankruptcy.
Alan Dewar QC
– Ampersand Advocates ‘ Hugely experienced, completely unflappable and always fights his client’s corner. ’
Robert Howie QC
– Ampersand Advocates ‘ His depth of knowledge in commercial matters is unparalleled. ’
– Ampersand Advocates ‘ Never afraid to take on even the largest of legal challenges. ’
– Ampersand Advocates ‘ A legal encyclopaedia. ’
– Ampersand Advocates ‘ His advice and knowledge is consistently of the highest standard. ’
Company and insolvency
Members of Ampersand Advocates are particularly experienced in insolvency matters, acting for all parties in such cases. Of recent note, Timothy Young recently acted for the liquidators in Rowallan Asset Management Limited v Morris & Co, which involved a claim for gratuitous alienation (a transfer under value to dissipate assets) relating to a large agricultural property holding company.
David Sellar QC
– Ampersand Advocates ‘ His technical knowledge of company and insolvency law makes him a go-to. ’
– Ampersand Advocates ‘ Clients appreciate his confident yet approachable demeanour. ’
Russell Bradley of Ampersand Advocates acts for employers in a wide range of first instance matters, with particular expertise of defending whistle-blowing and unfair dismissal claims.
Russell Bradley – Ampersand Advocates ‘ Extremely tenacious when needed and great with clients. ’
Intellectual property, information technology and media
Usman Tariq at Ampersand Advocates is highly recommended for contentious intellectual property matters, as well as maintaining a substantial presence in the IT sector, particularly in matters concerning gaming and digital applications. Recent instructions include a substantial trade mark infringement and passing off dispute between two manufacturers of electronic cigarettes, where Tariq acted for the pursuers, as well as conducting breach of interdict cases on behalf of large rights-holders such as Sky and the Performing Right Society.
Usman Tariq – Ampersand Advocates ‘ The best all-round IP junior in Scotland. ’
Personal injury and medical negligence
Ampersand Advocates is home to one of the key teams in personal injury and clinical negligence within Scotland, and has ‘real strength in depth’ across all levels of call. Members have significant expertise in all areas of such work, with recent cases including fatal accidents, medical device litigation, catastrophic injury and birth injury. A notable recent case for the set is Gibson v Babcock International, a leading case on the issue of secondary exposure to asbestos, in which Simon Di Rollo QC led for the pursuers.
Lisa Henderson QC
– Ampersand Advocates ‘ Highly numerate, excellent at drafting complex schedules of loss and very personable. ’
Geoffrey Mitchell QC
– Ampersand Advocates ‘ Highly respected by both health boards and claimant solicitors ’
Douglas Ross QC
– Ampersand Advocates ‘ A relatively new silk who already posesses all the qualities of an experienced one. ’
Simon Bowie QC
– Ampersand Advocates ‘ Recommended for significant clinical negligence cases. ’
Una Doherty QC
– Ampersand Advocates ‘ Extremely reliable, quick-witted and efficient. ’
Maria Maguire QC
– Ampersand Advocates ‘ Combines superb advocacy skills and a forensic attention for detail. ’
Simon Di Rollo QC
– Ampersand Advocates ‘ Highly experienced in industrial disease claims. ’
Lauren Sutherland QC
– Ampersand Advocates ‘ Leaves no stone unturned to find a path to a successful outcome. ’
– Ampersand Advocates ‘ Fantastic at dealing with complex medical evidence and technical details. ’
– Ampersand Advocates ‘ Well-prepared, good with clients and has an eye for detail. ’
– Ampersand Advocates ‘ A very safe pair of hands with good commercial sense. ’
– Ampersand Advocates ‘ A strong negotiator who has achieved fantastic results for clients.
Planning, environmental and licensing
Ampersand Advocates is home to planning law specialists Marcus McKay QC and Laura-Anne van der Westhuizen, who are often instructed in complex or high-profile inquiries and appeals. Notable recent highlights include McKay’s representation of The Viking Wind Farm in a consent application under crofting legislation, and Westhuizen’s work on behalf of the Scottish ministers in an appeal lodged by a dairy farm following the refusal of planning permission for a large greenbelt development.
Marcus McKay QC
– Ampersand Advocates ‘ Highly experienced in energy-related planning work. ’
Members of Ampersand Advocates are instructed by both pursuers and defenders in professional negligence cases, across the full range of industry sectors. Recent highlights include Midlothian Council v Bracewell Stirling, where Paul Reid acted as a junior to Alastair Duncan QC on behalf of the defenders, an architectural firm alleged to be liable for negligent ground investigations carried out by another company.
– Ampersand Advocates ‘ One to watch for professional negligence matters. ’
Property, construction and agriculture
Members of Ampersand Advocates are instructed in a wide range of commercial development and property disputes, as well as agricultural issues and nuisance claims. Timothy Young recently advised the defenders on several potential cases concerning property damage caused by incorrectly constituted mortar in the development of a large residential estate.
– Ampersand Advocates ‘ Definitely one to watch for property litigation. ’
– Ampersand Advocates ‘ Exceptionally intelligent with a gift for honing in on the points that matter. ’
Tax, trusts and pensions
Ross Anderson at Ampersand Advocates has significant experience acting for HM Revenue and Customs in both the First-Tier and Upper Tribunals. He also appeared as appearing as a junior to Kieron Beal QC of Blackstone Chambers in London, again on behalf of the Revenue, in the Supreme Court case Frank A Smart & Sons v HMRC, which concerned the deductability of VAT incurred when purchasing entitlements to the Single Farm Payment, a European Union farming subsidy.
– Ampersand Advocates ‘ He has made a sure-footed transition from academia to the Bar. ’