DEPARTMENT PROFILE

Axiom Advocates

Commercial Dispute Resolution

26 ranked barristersBand 1Scotland (Bar)UK Bar 2021 View ranking table
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Ranked Barristers
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Ranked Barristers

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Continues to offer a first-class bench of advocates possessing deep knowledge of commercial and legal issues of importance to various industry sectors. Its client roster includes the Scottish Government, major corporations and financial institutions. Advocates at the stable are instructed across a wide range of areas such as contract disputes, real estate, insolvency and company law, and professional negligence. Recent activity has seen members act in difficult cases such as Bullough v Royal Bank of Scotland, a case considering the circumstances in which litigants may impliedly waive professional privilege.

Client service:

"Axiom have a good roster of advocates, and the clerks are very responsive and helpful." Lesley Flynn is the practice manager.

Strengths:

Alastair Duncan QC
A leading silk in the field of professional negligence, whose abilities are also in high demand for commercial contract disputes. He also handles partnership and IT litigation, as well as disputes affecting sports clients and public law matters. 
"He is an incredibly skilled advocate in his craft and strategy. He is someone you want on your side." "Alastair is a leading silk in commercial disputes. He is analytical, strategic and technical. He is user-friendly and well regarded by clients, and effective and persuasive in court."
Recent work: Acted for a firm of engineers in McManus v Scot Wilson, a professional negligence action arising from the remediation of a brownfield site.

Strengths:

Almira Delibegović-Broome QC
Frequently instructed by Scotland's leading law firms in matters covering the full spectrum of commercial disputes. She has developed an especially strong reputation in relation to high-value insolvency and company proceedings. Complex evidential hearings form a major part of her practice. She is also well versed in public law.
"She is strong on company law matters. She has a great client manner and is very responsive." "She is formidable, very effective and always knows exactly what to do."

Strengths:

Chris Paterson
Best known for his expertise in the professional liability sphere, defending healthcare, legal and construction professionals, among others, in a wealth of high-stakes proceedings. He also has notable experience in contractual disputes and commercial property litigation. He is currently a standing junior counsel to the Scottish Government.
"Chris is a very knowledgeable junior." "He is very thorough and has great attention to detail."
Recent work: Acted for the trustee of an employment benefit trust in Stephen Buchan v Mountwest Trustees. The pursuer alleged that the defender was in breach of trust when it sold shares in the employer company.

Strengths:

David Massaro
Recommended by multiple sources as a strong advocate with a growing practice, he brings significant know-how to contractual, commercial property and insolvency disputes. He is also adept at handling professional negligence and construction cases. He is currently a standing junior to the UK government, and has appeared in several judicial reviews and civil matters.
"He provides very good written work and is good to deal with." "He is great on his feet and is trustworthy."
Recent work: Acted for Carpetright in a case involving the interpretation of a CVA, in relation to the company's lease on a commercial property.

Strengths:

David Thomson QC
An experienced advocate in particularly high demand for insolvency, real estate and company litigation. He comes recommended for especially difficult and complex commercial and contractual claims. He is also experienced in the handling of professional negligence and tax disputes.
"He is very straightforward and very commercial." "He is absolutely first class." "He is robust and excellent on his feet."
Recent work: Acted for the Royal Bank of Scotland in a dispute regarding the application of insolvency set-off following the termination of a trust deed, and associated issues of contractual construction.

Strengths:

David Welsh
Up-and-coming advocate with an impressive client following. He is frequently instructed in a variety of commercial matters, including contractual disputes and professional liability claims.
"He has been quick, efficient and friendly." "He is an extremely talented advocate whose analytical skills are well beyond his years."

Strengths:

Euan Duthie QC
Has significant advocacy and advisory experience in a broad range of commercial litigation, especially in cases concerning complex contractual and shareholder disputes. He is also regularly instructed in relation to insolvency proceedings and professional negligence matters, and is also experienced in the handling of property-related litigation.
"His advice was instrumental in helping to get the client on board with the strategy and allowing them to understand what the outcome would be." "He is forensic, astute and robust."
Recent work: Acted for a third party in a claim by the Peebles Media Group against a former employee who was induced as part of a 'whaling fraud'.

Strengths:

Ewen Campbell
Receives widespread praise from instructing solicitors and clients alike. Already recommended in the media field, he has developed a broad practice encompassing commercial, professional negligence and public procurement disputes. He is experienced appearing before the Commercial Court, the Inner House and the sheriff courts.
"He is willing to muck in and is very much in demand." "He is very able and helpful."
Recent work: Acted for the pursuer in Wayne Gardner-Young v RSA, a £7 million insurance dispute following a fire at a nightclub.

Strengths:

Garry Borland QC
Comes highly recommended for complex, high-value commercial and contractual matters and is regularly cited as a standout advocate for construction and engineering disputes. He is also frequently instructed in insolvency, tax and professional liability proceedings. He has handled disputes arising across a number of industry sectors including financial services, energy and insurance, among others.
"He is very able and considered and meticulous in his approach. He is calm and measured but also very robust." "I greatly value his attention to detail and his strong presence in court." "He is incredibly bright and brilliant on his feet."
Recent work: Acted for the claimant in Scots Roads Partnership Project v Scottish Ministers, a £50 million claim arising from the upgrade of the M8 motorway.

Strengths:

Gavin Walker QC
He has developed an excellent reputation in a number of areas, including construction, real estate, insolvency and professional negligence. He frequently represents surveyors, architects and engineers in complex professional liability disputes.
"Gavin is probably the most tenacious person I have ever met." "I find him very easy to deal with." "He is a robust and articulate advocate."
Recent work: Acted for Dragados in a contractual dispute regarding a harbour construction project at Nigg Bay, Aberdeen.

Strengths:

Gerry Moynihan QC
Maintains a strong reputation in the market for his considerable experience in construction, planning, public law and professional liability matters. He is also well versed in dealing with purely commercial disputes.
"Gerry is first rate." "He is extremely diligent and a stickler for the detail, but is also able to see the bigger picture."

Strengths:

James Mure QC
Acts for clients in major contractual and commercial property disputes. His expertise in these areas is complemented by in-depth knowledge of public law, procurement and planning issues. He is also well versed in environmental and constitutional law. His clients typically include local authorities, public bodies and the government. 
"He is intelligent, engaging and proactive."
Recent work: Acted for Lord Lyon King of Arms in a claim alleging the breach of a compromise agreement regarding recognition of the holding of certain baronies.

Strengths:

John MacGregor QC
Maintains a broad commercial dispute resolution practice, complemented by his strong focus on public law. He is increasingly noted for his representation of financial institutions in disputes concerning financial products. He is also well regarded for his handling of high-value cases involving commercial contracts, shareholder disputes and professional negligence matters.
"He is a financial services expert and is highly responsive." "He is very able on the technical stuff. He is also very contactable and very easy to get along with. He was a voice of reason and a calming influence."
Recent work: Instructed by Clydesdale Bank in a claim for damages by a former customer alleging breaches of duty in relation to the provision of a financial product.

Strengths:

Jonathan Barne QC
Meticulous preparation and a robust style of advocacy see Barne instructed in a broad range of cases including construction and engineering contract disputes and commercial property matters.  His clients typically include major energy companies, financial institutions and the Scottish Government. His broad practice also encompasses professional negligence, insolvency and administrative law.
"Jonathan is clever and hard-working and he is very user-friendly and accessible, which is a lovely combination of skills." "He provides excellent written work and has a great understanding of the case."
Recent work: Acted for SSE in litigation with the contractor Hochtief concerning the collapse of a tunnel at the Glendoe Hydro Scheme.

Strengths:

Jonathan Brown
Active in professional negligence cases, as well as contractual, partnership and shareholder disputes. He also represents clients in insolvency, professional discipline and commercial property matters. He impresses interviewees with the depth of his experience in a variety of complex commercial disputes.
"He combines incisiveness with straightforward talking."

Strengths:

Jonathan Lake QC
Principally represents clients in real estate, IP and contract litigation. He is also praised for his work in construction and professional negligence matters.
"He has a great analytical brain and is a good tactician. He is willing to fight seemingly unpromising positions and make them stick." "He is technical, strategic and intellectual." "He has excellent analytical skills and is responsive and good with clients."

Strengths:

Kenneth McBrearty QC
Has a breadth of expertise spanning a wide variety of commercial disputes, including partnership and IP cases. He is noted for his handling of major real estate and professional negligence matters. He is particularly experienced litigating in the Court of Session and the Supreme Court. He is also regularly instructed in cases concerning administrative and human rights law.
"He is a highly rated commercial and public law senior. He has great analytical skills, is excellent in court and has great manner with clients."
Recent work: Acted for Spex Corporate Holdings in resisting an application to restore its companies to the register of companies for the purposes of pursuing claims in Texas.

Strengths:

Mark Lindsay QC
Able to call upon broad commercial litigation experience, including in several major shareholder and contractual disputes, in addition to offering expertise in professional discipline matters. He also possesses considerable experience in public and administrative law, having been a standing junior to the Home Secretary prior to taking silk. He has appeared before the ECJ, House of Lords and Supreme Court.  
"Mark is very approachable and does not talk down to clients." "He provides clear advice and has a pragmatic approach." "He is intellectually rigorous."
Recent work: Acted for the defender in Bullough v Royal Bank of Scotland, a case considering the circumstances in which litigants may impliedly waive legal professional privilege by making averments about legal advice and by disclosing redacted legal advice.

Strengths:

Neil Davidson of Glen Clova QC
Highlighted for his strong tactical sense and formidable cross-examination abilities. He is well known for acting in large international disputes covering a range of commercial matters. His experience covers litigation in the Court of Session and the ECJ, as well as the representation of clients in mediations and arbitrations.
"He is clever and commercial." "He has huge experience and great tactical nous. He has seen it all in court and is respected by the Bench." "He can see the bigger picture and the commercial reality of the situation."

Strengths:

Paul O'Brien QC
Consistently rated by sources as one of the most intellectually able performers at the Scottish Bar. His key areas of focus include IP and professional negligence. He has also been instructed in complex commercial property and insolvency matters. He has appeared in cases before the Inner House and the UK Supreme Court.
"Paul is very cerebral." "He is a very bright and experienced junior. He has a great analytical brain and is very user-friendly and responsive." "He has a brain the size of a planet. He really gets into the detail of the law and gives the correct answers in a very technical area."
Recent work: Acted for the Bank of Scotland in a professional negligence claim against solicitors, for the failure to report back-to-back mortgage transactions.

Strengths:

Roddy Dunlop QC
Dean of the Faculty of Advocates, and generally held to be the most accomplished advocate in Scotland. He is noted for his breadth of practice, as well as his assertive and persuasive advocacy before the Bench. He enjoys a strong track record in complex commercial and contractual litigation and in major banking disputes. He also receives plaudits for his handling of media and professional discipline matters.
"He is an excellent senior and a truly impressive operator with a quick grasp of the issues. He is very impressive on his feet and is strategically sound." "Roddy is one of the best – impressively persuasive and great with clients." "He is very able and approachable and has a good style which he can adjust based on the client."
Recent work: Acted for the defenders in Ury Estate v BP Exploration Operating, a multimillion-pound claim for compensation.

Strengths:

Roisin Higgins QC
Maintains an impressive reputation as one of the Bar's leading authorities on IP-related issues. She has additional expertise in commercial contract, construction and property disputes. She has experience representing clients before the Court of Session and the sheriff courts and in arbitration proceedings.
"She is a strong lawyer and has effective advocacy skills."

Strengths:

Ross McClelland
A well-regarded junior recommended for a wide spread of commercial disputes, including contractual, commercial property and professional negligence matters. He has experience acting as sole advocate in both the Court of Session and Glasgow Sheriff Court. He is also known for his representation of clients in mediation and arbitration proceedings. 
"His strengths are his preparation, understanding and professionalism. He is amazing." "Ross is easy to work with and has been incredibly diligent in terms of his attention to detail. His writing is very thorough." "He is excellent on his feet."
Recent work: Instructed as counsel to the Edinburgh Tram Inquiry.

Strengths:

Ruth Crawford QC
Highly rated for her work in public law and planning litigation, she is also recommended for handling difficult commercial and contractual disputes. Her clients include several local and national governments, as well as other public bodies. Commentators value her accessible and user-friendly manner. She has appeared in the courts and tribunals at all levels, up to and including the UK Supreme Court.
"She is a very astute individual." "Her written submissions were absolutely exceptional. Her intellect and quality were really almost breathtakingly high." "She is tremendous – just so razor sharp and a delight to work with."
Recent work: Acted in relation to a dispute concerning the use of a flat roof at a commercial property in Edinburgh.

Strengths:

Scott Manson
Possesses a growing reputation for his handling of a wide range of commercial disputes, with particular experience in commercial contracts, professional negligence and construction-related matters. His clients include financial institutions, contractors and professional advisers, among others.
"Scott is talented and very well liked by clients. He is a pleasure to work with." "He is very able technically, and very commercial, approachable and reasonable. He definitely has the ear of the court." "Scott is an extremely hard worker, and he has great strategic and tactical ability."
Recent work: Acted for Ballyvesey Holding in a damages claim concerning an exclusion of liability clause, unfair contract terms and an implied term on title disclosure.

Strengths:

Susan Ower
Highly regarded advocate with substantial experience handling complex and high-profile commercial contract disputes, and highly rated for her insolvency and banking and finance practice. She is currently standing junior counsel to the Scottish Government Legal Directorate.
"A very bright advocate." "Susan is a sharp thinker and an excellent communicator."
Recent work: Acted for the pursuer in two related actions arising out of the failure of the Cairngorm Mountain Railway.

Commercial Dispute Resolution Department

Axiom Advocates

firm
Department location

Advocates Library

Parliament House

Edinburgh

City of Edinburgh

UK

EH1 1RF

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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)

Commercial Dispute Resolution


Alastair Duncan QC
Band 1
Almira Delibegović-Broome QC
Band 3
David Thomson QC
Band 2
Euan Duthie QC
Band 3
Garry Borland QC
Band 1
Gavin Walker QC
Band 2