Scott Clair

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 assisted with the preparation of cases before the Sheriff Courts, the Sheriff Appeal Court, the Court of Session, 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.

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Ayla Iridag

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.

Ayla has pre-qualification experience in pursuing personal injury claims and in regulation of social service workers. Ayla was also the Student Director of the Dundee Student Law Clinic, where she co-ordinated the caseload and appeared in employment tribunals for clients.

Selected cases (as solicitor or instructing agent):

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Katharine Muir

Katharine Muir called to the Bar in 2022 after 6 years as a solicitor in private practice. As a solicitor Katharine appeared regularly in the Sheriff Courts, where she gained considerable experience of running proofs and conducting contentious hearings.

Katharine’s principal area of practice is in commercial law. She has a particular interest in product liability. As a solicitor and while devilling, she worked on some of the most high-profile product liability cases in Scotland. She has also advised manufacturers on product compliance and safety, labelling and advertising.

Katharine also has experience in regulatory crime, particularly health and safety, anti-bribery and corruption, healthcare regulation and fatal accident inquiries. During her period of devilling, Katharine gained experience in judicial review, defamation, and professional and clinical negligence.

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Ampersand Advocates welcomes Ian Forrester QC back to practice

Ampersand Advocates is delighted to welcome back to practice Ian Forrester QC.

Mr Forrester is a renowned lawyer in European and Competition law and returns to practice following his appointment as the UK nominated Judge to the General Court of the European Union ending due to Brexit. He brings an unrivalled wealth of knowledge and experience for any instructions, and expects to concentrate on advisory and Arbitration work, including appointment as an Arbitrator.

On his return to Practice, Mr Forrester said: “It is fun to return to practice. When in Luxembourg, I discovered that my colleagues were well acquainted with the special status and history of Scots law. They were supportive and generous during the turbulent steps leading to Brexit, a political act which leaves unsettled dozens of important legal questions of great significance for many people in different walks of life. I look forward to re-entering the community of senior practitioners, assisted by my judicial experience.”

Stable Director Euan Mackenzie added: “Ian has had an illustrious career, including having spent five years as a Judge of the European Court of Justice. We are delighted to welcome a lawyer of Ian’s standing back to legal practice and have no doubt that his expertise in all matters relating to European law will be in high demand as the UK forges a new relationship with the EU.

You can view more details of Mr Forrester’s practice here: https://ampersandadvocates.com/people/ian-forrester/

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Ampersand Advocates welcomes Top Rankings success in latest Chambers and Partners UK Bar Guide 2022

Ampersand 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 2022.

Ampersand received 68 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, 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, “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. 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, and several of its advocates have recently been involved in the Scottish Mesh Litigation, a class action in which over 500 claims were brought against the NHS in connection with allegedly defective vaginal mesh. Our rankings include 2 “Star Individuals”, Maria Maguire QC and David Stephenson QC, with 10 further silks and 7 juniors also ranked – Simon Bowie QC, Jamie Dawson QC, Simon Di Rollo QC, Una Doherty QC, Lisa Henderson QC, Vinit Khurana QC, Archie MacSporran QC, Geoffrey Mitchell QC, Graham Primrose QC, Lauren Sutherland QC, Fiona Drysdale, Mark Fitzpatrick, James McConnell, Paul Reid and Phil Stuart.

Ampersand’s new Band 1 listing in Planning & Environment states “Ampersand is a leading stable with a strong offering of advocates in both the junior and senior ranks.” and “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. Rankings include Malcolm Thomson QC as “Star Individual”, Marcus McKay QC, Ailsa Wilson QC and new silk Laura-Anne van der Westhuizen QC.

Band 2 listings include Administrative & Public Law where Ampersand is praised “houses 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 QC, along with Douglas Ross QC, Laura-Anne van der Westhuizen QC, Paul Reid and Usman Tariq.

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 QC, Douglas Ross QC and Usman Tariq.

In Commercial Dispute Resolution Chambers state Ampersand is “well renowned for its consistent involvement in high-profile commercial disputes. The stable offers a large team comprising highly rated advocates at the senior and junior level. 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 QCGraeme Hawkes QC, Laura-Anne van der Westhuizen QC, Ross AndersonGiles 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. 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.” Rankings include “Star Individuals” Maria Maguire QC and Graham Primrose QC with others ranked Isla Davie QC, Simon Di Rollo QC, Lisa Henderson QC, Euan Mackenzie QC, Douglas Ross QC, Alan CowanChris Marney, Jenny Nicholson, Louise Milligan.

A new Set ranking in Professional Negligence declares “Ampersand Advocates is recognised as a leading set 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 another new Set ranking area, 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 QC, Laura-Anne van der Westhuizen QC, Ross Anderson, Giles Reid and Tim 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 QC, Ross Anderson and Usman Tariq.

There are individual rankings in: Agriculture and Rural Affairs for Laura-Anne van der Westhuizen QC; Company for Tim Young; Employment for Aidan O’Neill QC; Immigration for Alan Dewar QC; Information Technology and Intellectual Property for Usman Tariq; Product Liability for Paul Reid; and Tax for Ross Anderson.

The Ampersand clerks receive wide praise across all areas of practice described as “fantastic and always very helpful… approachable and knowledgeable….Very efficient and pleasant.” The client service is also noted as “ahead of the curve in terms of its responsiveness and use of technology” and notes Ampersand “was the first Scottish stable to offer video conferencing.”

On the recent rankings, Practice Manager, Alan Moffat, said: “This is 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 to provide Chambers with their views. We work in collaboration with the profession and it is pleasing to hear those that instruct our members recognise the value our members bring to the legal team. I am also proud of the excellent and hard work my team puts in daily and am pleased to see that appreciated too.”

The full rankings can be viewed on the Chambers and Partners website here.

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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 junior panel of Standing Junior Counsel to the Advocate General for Scotland 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.

 

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