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Ampersand Advocates

Planning & Environment

4 ranked barristersBand 1Scotland (Bar)UK Bar 2022 View ranking table

Chambers Review

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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 says: "Ampersand is a leading stable with a strong offering of advocates in both the junior and senior ranks."

Client service:

"The team is excellent - you get a response from them almost immediately and they are very efficient and helpful." Alan Moffat is head clerk.

Strengths:

Ailsa Wilson QC
Ailsa Wilson QC is highly regarded for her work across a whole range of planning matters. She is considered to be one of the leading QCs in terms of energy work, and she regularly represents energy providers. She is also highly experienced in handling cases concerning infrastructure projects, appearing on behalf of local authorities and other public bodies.
"She is tactically very astute, very personable and exceptional on her feet."
Recent work: Acted for Community Windpower in appeals to the Inner House under the Town and Country Planning Act regarding land leased for wind farms.

Strengths:

Laura-Anne van der Westhuizen
Laura-Anne van der Westhuizen represents clients in the public and private sectors in planning and environmental law matters. She is particularly knowledgeable about energy-related planning issues, including those involving the Electricity Act 1989. Her capabilities include public inquiries and judicial reviews.
"She has a fine attention to detail and forensic approach to matters." "She provides calm, considered and confident advice." "She is very organised, efficient and knowledgeable."
Recent work: Advised on a petition by a wind farm developer for judicial review of a policy of the Ministry of Defence in connection with safeguarding the Eskdalemuir Seismic Array.

Strengths:

Malcolm Thomson QC
Malcolm Thomson QC is acknowledged as a leading expert across the gamut of planning and environmental law matters. He acts for both developers and objectors, and is especially experienced in tackling cases relating to retail development and renewable energy. He is also knowledgeable about compulsory purchase and local development plans.
"He is fiercely bright but commercially very astute."
Recent work: Acted in a petition by a wind farm developer for a judicial review of a policy of the Ministry of Defence in connection with safeguarding the Eskdalemuir Seismic Array.

Strengths:

Marcus McKay QC
Marcus McKay QC is noted for his deep planning experience and widely praised for his meticulous attention to detail. His particular focus lies in energy and environment work, and he is especially experienced in renewable energy matters. He has experience advocating in inquiries and at all levels of the court system, including the Supreme Court.
"He is excellent to work with, very bright and excellent on his feet and in writing."
Recent work: Acted for Seagreen Alpha Wind Farm in a public inquiry into objections to the compulsory purchase order.

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Ranked Barristers

Chambers Research is conducted by 200 Research Analysts, across 200 jurisdictions and provides nearly 6,000 rankings tables. Annually we collect hundreds of thousands of responses from clients, the majority via in-depth interview. Learn more about our methodology.

Silks (QC)

Scotland (Bar)

Planning & Environment


Ailsa Wilson QC
Band 1
Laura-Anne van der Westhuizen QC
New Silks
Malcolm Thomson QC
Star Individuals
Marcus McKay QC
Band 1