Ampersand Advocates continues Top Rankings success in 2023 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 2023.
Ampersand received 74 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 is wide practice for the clerking team and client service too.
Noted as a Band 1 set for Clinical Negligence, “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. 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 in multiparty actions stemming from the use of medical equipment.” Our rankings include 2 “Star Individuals”, Maria Maguire KC and David Stephenson KC, with 11 further silks and 6 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, Fiona Drysdale, Mark Fitzpatrick, James McConnell, Jennifer Nicholson-White, Paul Reid and Phil Stuart.
Ampersand’s Band 1 listing in Planning & Environment states “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 depth and breadth of expertise at the stable is first class””. 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, Paul Reid, 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, Ross Anderson, Eoghainn MacLean, Giles Reid, Paul Reid, Usman Tariq and Tim Young.
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. Jennifer Nicholson-White acted for the first defender in a claim brought by the pursuer who suffered a significant head injury while at work following a fall. The team is also well regarded for its expertise in complex product liability and occupiers’ liability disputes and matters involving accidents abroad. The stable’s tenants are regularly called upon to appear in fatal accident inquiries, where they have experience of acting for government agencies, health boards and local authorities. Interviewees report: “Ampersand offer counsel with strong expertise across a wide range of practice areas.” Another adds: “They provide consistently excellent and pragmatic advice.””
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 Chris Marney, Paul Reid 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.” 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 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; and Tax for Ross Anderson.
The Ampersand clerks again receive wide praise across all areas of practice, noting “the service is always excellent and has been for years” and described as “one of the best stables to work with”. The clekrs are noted as “a very professional team who also have the commercial reality required.” Further comments include: “The clerking team at Ampersand are always willing to help and are quick to respond to queries. If there is a complex or time-sensitive matter, they will do their utmost to assist in a timely manner… The clerks are wonderful, prompt and very friendly… The clerks know the advocates and their strengths and skill, and are great at managing their diaries… The clerks are responsive and willing to help. They will often go above and beyond the call of duty to find solutions to difficult situations.”
On the recent rankings, Practice Manager, Alan Moffat, said: “This is yet again wonderful recognition and praise for all of the excellent work our advocates and my team does on a continual basis. My thanks goes to everyone who took the time out of their busy schedules to provide Chambers with their views. We work in collaboration with the profession and it is again pleasing to hear those that instruct our members recognise the value our members bring to the legal team. I am very proud of the excellent and hard work my team puts in every day and am pleased to see that appreciated too. We will continue to strive for excellence and the rankings provide insight into our success in achieving that aim.”
The full rankings can be viewed on the Chambers and Partners website here.
Ampersand Advocates ranked as top tier set by Legal 500 in 2023 guide
Ampersand is delighted to once again be recommended as a top-tier set by The Legal 500 UK Bar Directory in their latest listings for the 2023 guide. Listed as tier 1 in Administrative & Public Law, Personal Injury & Medical Negligence and Property, Planning & Construction, and tier 2 in Commercial Disputes, Ampersand has collected 22 Senior Counsel rankings, 21 Junior Counsel rankings, including 2 rising stars, across the Scottish Bar listings.
Administrative and Public Law
Ampersand Advocates is home to a team of ‘excellent public and administrative law counsel‘. In a prominent case highlight, Douglas Ross KC and Paul Reid represented the Scottish Ministers in Fair Play for Women Limited v Registrar General for Scotland & Scottish Ministers, concerning a judicial review challenging the guidance issued to accompany the “sex question” in the 2022 Scottish census; the review was refused and the challenge thrown out. Aidan O’Neill KC (who has dual tenancy with London-based set Matrix Chambers) garners praise for his ‘outstanding knowledge‘, and successfully acted for rewilding charity Trees for Life in a judicial review brought against Scottish Government agency NatureScot, on the grounds that the agency’s policy of issuing licences to cull beavers was unlawful.
‘Very helpful and responsive.’
‘Considerable strength in depth.’
Aidan O’Neill KC – Ampersand Advocates ‘Aidan is beyond talented. He thinks of novel and innovative approaches to arguments, as well as having an extraordinary base of legal and historical knowledge which can be brought to bear.’
Douglas Ross KC – Ampersand Advocates ‘Douglas excels at seeing a clear route to a sound and practical solution through competing arguments. He has the confidence of clients in a tight situation and the total respect of the court; he wears his learning lightly and deploys it persuasively. He is an ideal public law silk.‘
Susanne Tanner KC
Timothy Young – Ampersand Advocates ‘Timothy has a pragmatic approach to cases. He is an extremely safe pair of hands.’
Michael Way – Ampersand Advocates ‘Michael is exceptionally thorough and meticulous, very insightful in his drafting, and exceptional on his feet.‘
Viewed as ‘one of the best stables for commercial disputes counsel‘, Ampersand Advocates‘ team fields expertise in handling insolvency matters, IP-related cases and professional negligence issues, to name a few. Laura-Anne Van Der Westhuizen KC has notable experience in advising on commercial disputes with planning and real estate elements. Graeme Hawkes KC is ‘very responsive‘ and regularly acts in litigation involving commercial contracts. Timothy Young ‘delivers complex legal issues in an easy to understand and pragmatic way‘. Shareholder disputes form a core pillar of Paul Reid‘s practice.
‘Good pool of advocates.’
‘Extremely efficient, friendly and responsive.’
Alan Dewar KC – Ampersand Advocates ‘A silk who is extremely knowledgeable, concise and certainly has the ear of the court.’
Robert Howie KC – Ampersand Advocates ‘Robert is able to identify core issues in highly complex litigation quickly and with razor sharp focus, and provides practical advice on and solutions to those issues. His analytical skills are first-rate.’
Ross Anderson – Ampersand Advocates ‘Ross is a good communicator and a first-rate advocate who is quick on his feet. He provides sound and detailed advice.’
Eoghainn MacLean – Ampersand Advocates ‘He thoroughly considers the issues in a case.’
Usman Tariq – Ampersand Advocates ‘He is assiduous and tremendously user-friendly. Judges like his understated approach in court.’
Mark Boni – Ampersand Advocates ‘Mark is extremely professional in his approach. He has a good manner with clients and provides clear and concise advice on difficult legal issues.’
Paul Reid – Ampersand Advocates ‘Paul understands the pressures solicitors and clients are under and is incredibly easy to work with. He is across every detail, and can be relied upon to explain complex issues in simple language.’
Timothy Young – Ampersand Advocates ‘Timothy is extremely commercial, and takes time to understand the client’s objectives and the wider context of the dispute. He is excellent under pressure and he is extremely robust. His written work is clear and persuasive, and he is equally impressive on his feet.’
Michael Way – Ampersand Advocates ‘Michael is very knowledgeable, and builds a strong rapport with solicitors and clients alike.’
Personal Injury and Medical Negligence
Ampersand Advocates garners particular praise for its ‘unique depth and range of expertise in clinical negligence‘; complex, high-value personal injury work is another core pillar of strength for the team. Maria Maguire KC has solid expertise in advising on cases involving psychiatric injuries and catastrophic injury matters. Lauren Sutherland KC, who is also a member of Byrom Street Chambers in Manchester, is well known for handling cerebral palsy and brain injury cases, and has niche expertise in advising on issues of consent in relation to clinical negligence matters. Among the juniors, Jennifer Nicholson-White is active in both areas, and represents pursuers and defenders in a range of litigation.
‘Very high calibre of advocates.’
‘The stable has a wealth of experience.’
David Stephenson KC – Ampersand Advocates ‘David is a brilliant and skilled orator, who is highly effective on his feet in court. He is a very safe pair of hands in complex, high value clinical negligence cases.’
Euan Mackenzie KC – Ampersand Advocates ‘Euan is an excellent advocate, with a mild demeanour that belies a steely core.’
Geoffrey Mitchell KC – Ampersand Advocates ‘He is a skilled and practical negotiator. A silk with a calm presence in court, unfailingly polite but rigorous in questioning.’
Graham Primrose KC – Ampersand Advocates ‘Graham is simply outstanding in his field. A stalwart negotiator and a quality operator at the top of his game.’
Lisa Henderson KC – Ampersand Advocates ‘Lisa is excellent with clients, and they are well aware of her dedication to the case. She is thorough in her preparation.’
Maria Maguire KC -Ampersand Advocates ‘Maria is a class act. She is top of her game in this field. She is a master at analysing complex cases and providing clear and straightforward advice to clients.’
Simon Bowie KC -Ampersand Advocates ‘Simon is an exceptional silk who is always thorough in his preparation, calm in his approach and extremely personable. He is clever, thoughtful and level headed.’
Lauren Sutherland KC – Ampersand Advocates ‘Lauren is fearless, tenacious and has meticulous attention to detail. She also easily builds rapport with clients and gains their trust. She has an unparalleled knowledge of relevant cases, however obscure.’
Alan Dewar KC – Ampersand Advocates
Douglas Ross KC – Ampersand Advocates ‘He is always well-prepared and goes the extra mile. A very calm and measured advocate with a very understated manner, and always treats others with respect.’
Una Doherty KC – Ampersand Advocates ‘Una is incredibly calm and instils confidence She is determined and dependable, and has the ability to cut straight through the superfluous and immediately identify the issues at the heart of an action.’
Vinit Khurana KC – Ampersand Advocates
James McConnell – Ampersand Advocates ‘A well respected junior. He is organised, extremely thorough and diligent. Excellent with clients and experts.’
Fiona Drysdale – Ampersand Advocates ‘A diligent, perceptive and highly able junior.’
Jennifer Nicholson-White –Ampersand Advocates ‘She offers clear and focussed advice to clients and presents cases well in court. She is very personable, making her extremely easy to work with, yet is prepared to stick to her guns where appropriate and goes above and beyond for all clients.’
Shane Dundas – Ampersand Advocates ‘An outstanding advocate who is great to work with. He is responsive, proactive and excellent in court.’
Property, Planning and Construction
Ampersand Advocates ‘has a wide offering of quality advocates‘ and an excellent reputation for its expertise in planning and construction law matters. Laura-Anne Van Der Westhuizen KC is ‘a very impressive advocate‘ who provides ‘clear, considered and strategic advice‘ across a wide range of planning matters. Marcus McKay KC is viewed as ‘one of the best at the senior Bar in planning and environmental matters‘. Timothy Young is sought after for his solid track record in advising on construction contractual disputes and contentious property work, including crofting and agricultural issues. Nicholas McAndrew is ‘a first class junior, particularly when it comes to construction and engineering disputes‘.
‘Ampersand is very responsive and easy to work with.’
‘Ampersand is a strong stable with a fantastic choice of advocates.’
Robert Howie KC – Ampersand Advocates ‘A superbly analytical and utterly top drawer silk who is excellent in court.’
Marcus McKay KC – Ampersand Advocates ‘Marcus is a very pragmatic silk, and he is extremely easy to work with. He presents cases in a clear and logical manner and is good at seeing the bigger picture.’
Malcolm Thomson KC – Ampersand Advocates ‘He is an exceptional advocate.’
Ailsa Wilson KC – Ampersand Advocates ‘A silk with a very strong planning law practice.’
Eoghainn MacLean – Ampersand Advocates
Timothy Young – Ampersand Advocates ‘He is a fierce advocate who you want on your side in a contentious matter.‘
Nicholas McAndrew – Ampersand Advocates ‘An incredibly able junior with a very calm, measured and methodical way of approaching cases. He is conscientious, and clear and concise in his advocacy.’
Ross Anderson – Ampersand Advocates ‘He is an impressive court performer and provides solid commercial advice.’
Giles Reid – Ampersand Advocates ‘Giles has an exceptional knowledge of Scottish property law. He is diligent, attentive and very user-friendly.’
Aidan O’Neill KC – Ampersand Advocates ‘He is an excellent communicator and exceedingly bright. He is also wonderfully adept under pressure.’
Full listings, including all Scottish rankings can be viewed on the Legal 500 website here.
Scott Clair called to the Bar in 2022 as a Lord Hope Scholar.
He has experience in a wide range of commercial, private and public law litigation. In the course of devilling, Scott was involved in a variety of complex and high-value cases including commercial disputes, clinical and professional negligence claims, regulatory, human rights and constitutional law cases. Scott has a particular interest in the latter and, whilst devilling, worked on a number of high-profile judicial review cases including a legislative competence challenge to an Act of the Scottish Parliament, a challenge to Scotland’s Census 2022 and the first removal of a judicial office holder under the Courts Reform (Scotland) Act 2014.
He has appeared before the Sheriff Courts, the Sheriff Appeal Court, the Court of Session (both Outer House and Inner House), and assisted with the preparation of cases before the UK Supreme Court and the European Court of Human Rights.
Before calling to the Bar, as a solicitor and then associate with a well-known litigation firm in Edinburgh, he gained substantial experience of appearing in court and regularly conducted proofs, debates and complex opposed motions including for interdict. Scott also gained experience in fatal accident inquiries and various forms of alternative dispute resolution, including arbitration, adjudication and mediation.
Scott has particular interests in contract law, clinical and professional negligence, media law, private client litigation and judicial review.
Scott also has an interest in legal education. Since 2021, he has tutored in Commercial Law, Public Law and Individual Rights, and Evidence at the University of Edinburgh.
Louise Cockburn called to the Bar in 2022 having qualified as a solicitor in 2004.
She was a partner in a mid-sized firm in Edinburgh and Head of Planning in Scotland for a global firm before setting up her own practice in 2014.
She specialised in planning and environmental law and regularly appeared at inquiries and hearings, many into large scale renewable energy and infrastructure projects including the proposed redevelopment of the former Royal High School in Edinburgh, the Trump Organisation’s golf course at Menie and the Rosyth international container terminal. She was also the instructing solicitor in a successful legal challenge to a local plan. She is a member of the Scottish Planning, Local Government and Environmental Law Bar Group.
Whilst devilling Louise focused on clinical negligence. She was involved in complex and high value cases for pursuers and for defenders, often health boards.
Ayla Iridag called to the Bar after a career in private practice. As a solicitor Ayla specialised in defender personal injury litigation as well as public and administrative law, health and safety law, regulatory proceedings, firearms licensing, and orders under the Sexual Offences Act 2003. Ayla frequently acted as Edinburgh agent to local authorities and companies across Scotland.
During her devilling Ayla gained additional experience in clinical and professional liability, contractual disputes, fatal accident inquiries, and public inquiries.
Ayla has significant experience of appearing in the Sheriff Appeal Court and in Sheriff Courts across Scotland, including the All Scotland Personal Injury Court. She has conducted numerous proofs, evidential hearings and debates as well as opposed motions and procedural hearings.
Since calling to the Bar, Ayla has added to her practice areas, regularly appearing before the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s Fitness to Practice panels and appearing as Special Counsel at the Scottish Social Services Council. Ayla has also continued to practice in criminal law. She has appeared in the High Court, taken evidence of children by way of commission, and successfully obtained a review of bail conditions.
Ayla was appointed as a Standing Junior to the Office of the Advocate General in December 2022.
Selected cases (as solicitor or instructing agent):
Katharine Muir called to the Bar in 2022 after 6 years as a solicitor in private practice. She has a varied civil practice which includes professional regulation, clinical negligence, product liability, judicial review, defamation, construction litigation and contractual disputes. She appears regularly in the Sheriff Courts and Court of Session and has been instructed in group proceedings.
Katharine has a particular interest in product liability. She has worked on some of the most high-profile product liability cases in Scotland as solicitor and since coming to the Bar. She has also advised manufacturers on product compliance and safety, labelling and advertising.
Katharine tutors on the Commercial Law course at the University of Strathclyde.