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Westwater Advocates

Family/Matrimonial

15 ranked barristersBand 1Scotland (Bar)UK Bar 2022 View ranking table
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Ranked Barristers

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Westwater Advocates is widely considered to be the go-to stable for the full spectrum of family law matters. Its members are highly regarded for complex, high-value provisions matters including those with overseas and farming assets. The stable is also very well respected for its work in child care proceedings involving inter-UK care orders and disputes around contact and child arrangements. Members regularly act in leading cases and appear at all levels of court, including the sheriff court, Court of Session and Supreme Court.

Client service:

"During the pandemic they have done a great job, and information is always made available. I find them exceptionally helpful." "The clerks are extremely efficient, helpful and well organised. I often just phone them and they can give me good information for costs etc, even during the pandemic." "The speed, response and smoothness is just impeccable. The clerks are helpful and efficient, as well as pleasant to deal with. The clerking team will always help to find someone even when our preferred counsel is not available." Sheila Westwater is the clerk and Christina Ballantyne, Debbie Dawson and Jane Morrison are the deputy advocates' clerks.

Strengths:

Alison Wild
Alison Wild is an excellent junior with particular strength in highly contentious children matters. She regularly acts for parents, for children and as curator ad litem in international adoption, relocation and contact arrangement cases.
"Her calm and reassuring work and legal expertise really help." "Alison is very approachable, warm and experienced."

Strengths:

Isabella Ennis
Isabella Ennis's work includes financial provision cases, such as those with complex asset structures and children matters. She is particularly well versed in handling adoption, Hague Convention and international relocation cases.
"Her advice is pragmatic and incisive, and she has a sharp eye for detail. She is very capable on her feet and skilled at dealing with the sensitivities of cases." "She is very approachable, helpful and well organised."

Strengths:

Janys Scott QC
Outstanding silk who is recognised for her roles in leading cases. She regularly acts for clients in complex financial provision cases with overseas assets, as well as maintenance variations across different jurisdictions. She is particularly well known for the breadth of her expertise in children matters involving the Hague Convention, deprivations of liberty and children's hearings.
"She is an outstanding advocate. She is very well prepared, works extremely hard and has an encyclopedic knowledge of case law." "She is a fountain of knowledge. I don’t think there is any aspect of children or family law she has not practised, and she has extreme experience in all aspects of family law." "Janys is very calm at breaking through the number of issues and reassuring clients. She is very thorough, always prepared to talk you through things and approachable."
Recent work: Appeared before the Supreme Court in a case concerning a devolution issue pertaining to the compatibility of the Children (Scotland) Act 2011 with Article 8 rights of siblings seeking to be heard in children’s hearings.

Strengths:

Kirsty Malcolm QC
Kirsty Malcolm QC is renowned for her breadth of experience in complex cohabitation cases, particularly those concerning unjust enrichment, as well as financial provision cases involving asset disclosures. She is also well versed in handling maintenance variation issues with cross-border elements.
"She is very knowledgeable, good at managing clients and has an eye on the bottom line. If something has no chance of success Kirsty will say it since she is very straight and approachable." "She is really calm, practical and incredibly sensitive when she needs to be, but also firm when required."
Recent work: Acted in an application by a former cohabitant under common law for unjustified enrichment, where she alone paid for property owned jointly.

Strengths:

Lynda Brabender QC
Lynda Brabender QC is a highly respected silk with expertise across finance and children matters. She offers particular prowess in high net worth financial provision cases involving farming and pension assets as well as complex children cases, including judicial reviews.
"Lynda doesn't hesitate to tell you how things are and fights your corner well." "She is pretty fearless and strikes fear in the hearts of her opponents. Clients feel supported and looked after by her." "Her legal knowledge and client handling is excellent and she has a very no-nonsense, pragmatic and fair approach to litigation."
Recent work: Acted for the Scottish Children’s Reporters Administration in an appeal to the Inner House regarding the children's hearing system.

Strengths:

Rachel Shewan
Rachel Shewan has considerable experience and continues to be recognised for her expertise as an advocate in family law. She regularly deals with child abduction, relocation and contact arrangements, with a focus on Hague Convention and Brussels II cases. She also handles financial provision cases with complex asset structures in the sheriff courts.
"She has an excellent knowledge and significant experience in the area of children law. Rachel is very capable, thorough and approachable." "She is responsive, talks things through and is very effective in negotiations." "She is not only excellent in her legal knowledge but also in her client handling and the court process."
Recent work: Acted for a child who objected to her return to Poland in a huge child abduction case in front of the Lord Ordinary and the Inner House.

Strengths:

Robert Hayhow QC
Robert Hayhow QC is a brilliant advocate with considerable strength across the full spectrum of financial issues during separations. He is particularly well versed in handling complex financial provision cases with various asset structures and multi-jurisdictional proceedings.
"He is excellent in court – a real force to be reckoned with." "Robert is very good at managing clients and great on his feet as well." "His attention to detail is astonishing. I can instruct him 48 hours before and he knows it anyway."

Strengths:

Ruth Innes QC
Ruth Innes QC is widely considered to be one of the leaders for high-value financial provision cases, especially those involving complex asset and income structures. Her varied experience also covers highly complex children work, including cross-border work regarding the Hague Convention and sibling rights under the ECHR.
"She is a world-class family law advocate and can turn her hand to any area of Scottish family law. She is knowledgeable, responsive and an excellent orator." "Ruth is completely unstoppable, and her calm translates to the clients and the court." "She is highly intelligent, grasps the issues very quickly and is an absolute joy to deal with. Ruth appears gentle but has an iron core - she is absolutely brilliant."

Strengths:

Scott McAlpine
Scott McAlpine is a leading advocate for children and financial matters. He is regularly involved in complex children cases including Hague Convention and ECHR rights for children. He is further noted for his expertise in financial provision and maintenance payments cases involving various asset structures.
"He is exceptionally bright and thinks outside the box." "Scott is an excellent junior counsel. He is a very quick thinker on his feet and impressive in litigation. He also solves problems pragmatically and communicates in a client-friendly manner." "He will think through things you haven't thought through yourself. He is also frank with you and can give you a different perspective on matters."
Recent work: Acted in a judicial review of sibling rights in the children's hearing system before the Supreme Court.

Family/Matrimonial

Westwater Advocates

firm
Location

Faculty of Advocates

Parliament House

Parliament Square

Edinburgh

City of Edinburgh

UK

EH1 1RF

View Set Profile

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)

Family: Children


Janys M Scott QC
Star Individuals
Lynda J Brabender QC
Band 1
Ruth Innes QC
Band 1

Family: Matrimonial Finance


Janys M Scott QC
Band 1
Kirsty Malcolm QC
New Silks
Lynda J Brabender QC
Band 1

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