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. Despite having no previous experience of working in the Legal sector, Emma’s personable outlook and efficient work ethic makes her a great asset to the clerking team.
Michael Way’s principle areas of practice are public & administrative law, commercial disputes and civil liberties/human rights.
Michael is listed as a ‘Rising Star’ in the 2021/22 Legal 500 in both Commercial Disputes and Administrative and Public Law.
“A brilliant advocate – insightful, thorough and refreshingly convincing on his feet, he is approachable and easy to work with.” – Legal 500 2021/22 ‘Administrative and Public Law’
After spending several years as a performer in the music industry, Michael trained with one of Scotland’s leading commercial law firms and undertook a six month secondment to the Scottish Government Legal Directorate. Shortly after qualifying as a solicitor Michael began devilling, during which he won the Mike Jones Excellence in Advocacy prize and was the Faculty Scholar 2018/19.
Since calling, Michael has appeared regularly in courts and tribunals throughout Scotland. In particular, he has:
- appeared for Serco defending over 150 interdict actions, including appearances in the Sheriff Appeal Court and instruction during the related Inner House reclaiming motion process;
- been instructed by petitioners in a number of successful Court of Session judicial review actions in immigration and housing matters;
- instructed by child respondents in nobile officium petitions seeking recognition of English High Court deprivation of liberty orders;
- appeared frequently for the Advocate General as a standing ‘junior junior’ in the First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber);
- been instructed in a variety of property, contractual, professional negligence, debt recovery and insolvency disputes, including success after proof in a case involving a challenge to interest to enforce real burdens;
- developed a proficiency in consumer rights issues, including claims under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 and the Consumer Protection From Unfair Trading Regulations 2008;
- assisted in a major offshore dispute in Jersey;
- undertaken criminal appeal work, with successful appearances in the High Court and Sheriff Appeal Court.
Michael has a strong academic background with degrees from Oxford, King’s College London and Edinburgh. Since 2015, Michael has tutored at the University of Edinburgh (Jurisprudence; Critical Legal Thinking) and was previously a guest lecturer in Business Law at Queen Margaret University. He was the research assistant to Lady Poole and Sheriffs McCartney and Drummond on their recent book A Practical Guide to Public Law Litigation in Scotland (2019; W.Green)
Alex’s practice covers commercial law, public law (including judicial review and planning) and reparation. He has appeared in the Court of Session, sheriff court and Scottish Solicitors’ Discipline Tribunal. He has also provided Opinions on a wide range of matters, including contractual disputes, insolvency and property. Insolvency is a particular area of interest.
He tutors Civil Court Practice as part of the Diploma in Professional Legal Practice at Edinburgh University. In May 2020 he was appointed as a reporter for Session Cases.
Before calling to the Bar, Alex trained with a commercial firm in Edinburgh. He completed his LLB at Glasgow University in 2014 and the Diploma in Professional Legal Practice at Edinburgh University in 2015. Before then, he studied German and English Language at Edinburgh University, during which time he spent a year studying in Vienna.
He speaks fluent French and German and is well placed to undertake work involving consideration of documents in those languages.
Kathryn Ferguson joined Ampersand in 2018 and has completed Paralegal qualifications in both Conveyancing and Wills and Executries. Prior to joining the team Kathryn worked for a global law firm supporting the Commercial Real Estate and Litigation teams.
Kathryn brings a can-do approach and is always willing to assist in all aspects of instructing counsel.
Robert Howie QC
Robert Howie QC was admitted as an advocate in 1986. He took silk in 2000. He has been involved in a large number of adjudications as Counsel, legal adviser or adjudicator. He has also acted as the Court’s reporter in several petition cases including Earl of Balfour, Petitioner 2003 SC (HL) 1 and Chisholm, Petitioner 2006 SLT 394. He regularly appears in the Inner and Outer Houses of the Court of Session. He has appeared in the Sheriff Court, the Lands Tribunal and in several Arbitrations. Robert Howie has also led in the House of Lords and the UK Supreme Court.
Robert Howie QC is ranked in the current edition of Chambers and Partners under 4 areas of practice. In Construction Law he is described as “A really great lawyer who is deserving of his great reputation and an opponent to be reckoned with… He is very good at marshalling and dealing with legal arguments.” He is also ranked in Chambers and Partners for Insolvency described as being “very commercially and tactically minded… His advice is always first-class, clear, well thought out and supported by detailed knowledge of case law.” Under Commercial Dispute Resolution “His thoroughness and knowledge are second to none… He is one of the cleverest advocates at the Scottish Bar. He’s near the top of the pile in terms of quality commercial work.” And under Professional Negligence “He has an amazing ability to come up with a left-field argument… He is very bright, very able and an inventive thinker.”
Laura-Anne van der Westhuizen QC
Laura-Anne van der Westhuizen has a civil practice with particular emphasis on commercial law, planning and environmental law and public law. She is listed in the Legal 500 and in Chambers & Partners in various practice areas. Since calling to the bar in 2009 Laura-Anne has been instructed in a variety of general commercial matters including company and insolvency matters, contractual disputes and shipping matters. She has been instructed for developers and local authorities in planning disputes, for interested parties in fatal accident and public inquiries, and in relation to judicial reviews.
Laura-Anne has extensive advocacy experience. Before calling to the Scottish bar she practised as an advocate in South Africa and called to the bar of England and Wales in 2008. She has appeared in the UK Supreme Court, Court of Session, the Sheriff Court and a wide range tribunals and inquiries.
She was a Standing Junior Counsel to the Scottish Government from 2015 to 2021. She is on the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s panel of counsel.
Laura-Anne was the winner of the Legal 500 UK Awards 2020 “Scottish Bar Junior of the Year” title, and was also shortlisted for the award in 2019.