Ampersand Advocates

Administrative & Public Law Department

Scotland (Bar)
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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.

Client service: Practice manager Alan Moffat leads the clerking team, and is said to be "always an absolute pleasure to deal with." The source particularly appreciates that Moffat "always does what he can to help us manage our relationship with the client."

Aidan O'Neill QC
Frequently involved in cases of constitutional significance before the highest courts in the UK and EU. He specialises in challenges against legislation and government policy on the grounds of human rights, environmental and EU law. He is renowned for his willingness to argue difficult cases, predominantly on behalf of petitioners. 
Strengths: "The best in Scotland. His depth and breadth of legal knowledge is unsurpassed, particularly in EU law." "He's a leading light in human rights law." "He is intellectually impressive and creative in his approach to dealing with issues of public law."
Recent work: Acted as lead counsel for the petitioners, led by Andy Wightman MSP, in their successful bid to establish that the UK could unilaterally revoke its intention to leave the EU.

Douglas Ross QC
Extensive experience representing the Scottish Government in complex judicial reviews. He also accepts instructions from petitioners. He has a particular expertise in public law cases involving prison and human rights law. Public international law is another notable focus.
Strengths: "He's a good practitioner with a wide public law practice."
Recent work: Instructed by the Scottish Ministers to defend a petition for declarator and damages for alleged breaches of rights arising out of the Agricultural Holdings Act.

Laura-Anne van der Westhuizen
Impressive junior who operates a broad public law practice drawing on commercial, planning, environmental and human rights expertise. She acts for petitioners and respondents and is also active in prominent public inquiries.
Strengths: "Laura-Anne is a pleasure to work with: very bright, responsive and client-focused. She can get to the crux of a matter very quickly." "She is very good and very easy to deal with: she accepted instructions at a late stage and was extremely calm, well organised and diligent, with a quick turnaround." "She's very good on her feet but what I particularly value is her attention to detail: she is very thorough and doesn't leave a single stone unturned."
Recent work: Brought a judicial review challenge to a planning decision to grant Aberdeen Football Club permission to built a new stadium on greenbelt land.