In the new rankings, published today, our leading silks and junior counsel feature in 11 of the 13 categories, demonstrating the strength and depth of talent at Westwater Advocates.
The full results are as follows:
With a reputation as “undoubtedly the pre-eminent stable for family law”, Westwater Advocates is frequently instructed in high-profile divorce matters, childrens law and cross-border residence orders. Other practice areas include employment, crime, public law, planning and property. Leading the “very friendly, efficient and accommodating” clerking team, Sheila Westwater is “very quick to respond to queries” and “if the preferred advocate is not available, she is able to offer suitable alternatives”.
Civil liberties, human rights, public inquiries, and public and administrative law (including local government)
Advocates at Westwater Advocates are active in judicial reviews and matters involving human rights, education and mental health, among other areas.
- Sir Crispin Agnew of Lochnaw Bt QC “Highly experienced in judicial reviews.”
- Lynda J Brabender QC “She has a good bedside manner with clients.”
- Janys M Scott QC “A brilliant advocate.”
The workload for members at Westwater Advocates includes contractual claims and insurance-related matters.
- Nick Ellis QC “He holds the ear of the court.”
- Calum H S MacNeill QC “A very approachable silk.”
- Greg Sanders “Very experienced in commercial matters.”
Gavin Anderson specialises in white-collar crime, including fraud and money laundering issues. However, in 2016, Anderson’s practice saw an increase in prosecution work in cases involving serious violence towards children; one such matter was the high-profile murder of two-year-old Liam Fee by Nyomi Fee and Rachel Trelfa.
- Gavin Anderson “Very approachable and communicates well with clients.”
Westwater Advocates’ recent caseload includes high-profile unfair dismissal and discrimination claims. In 2016, Calum H S MacNeill QC made a successful appeal to the UK Supreme Court on behalf of a fingerprint officer, who was dismissed following an alleged print misidentification; the dismissal was judged to have been unfair.
- Calum H S MacNeill QC “He has great tactical nous.”
- James Peoples QC “Recommended for discrimination cases.”
- Donald Cameron “He has a great client manner.”
- Laurence (known as Greg) Cunningham “Experienced in all areas of discrimination matters.”
- David Hay “Recommended for a panoply of employment matters.”
- Ken McGuire “A very approachable and cogent advocate.”
- Alice Stobart “She relates to clients with ease.”
Family and childcare
With a reputation for being “the leading family stable in Scotland”, Westwater Advocates has “an unrivalled range and depth of advocates who regularly practice family law”. Practitioners have expertise in high-value divorce and cross-border residence order cases, alongside children law matters.
- Lynda J Brabender QC “She has the ear of the court.”
- Janys Scott QC “A silk with encyclopaedic knowledge of family law.”
- Julianna Cartwright “Her practice includes petitions for permanence orders.”
- Robert Hayhow “A dynamic advocate.”
- Maggie Hughes “Recommended for financial provision matters.”
- Ruth Innes “Extremely bright with a phenomenal capacity for hard work.”
- Scott McAlpine “He is extremely quick to grasp complex cases.”
- Kirsty Malcolm “Very personable with an excellent client manner.”
- Rachel Shewan “She combines an incisive intellect with a lovely client manner.”
- John Speir “He has a quick mind and a strong court presence.”
- Alison Wild “She has a great bedside manner with clients.”
Health and safety, and regulatory
Westwater Advocates is noted for health and safety and professional discipline work. Gavin Anderson is well known for acting in health and safety cases involving serious injuries or fatalities, and is also instructed in fatal accident inquiries into deaths in custody/the workplace.
- Gavin Anderson “A very safe pair of hands; he has an excellent manner with clients and is a highly skilled court practitioner.”
Personal injury and medical negligence
Practitioners at Westwater Advocates handle a gamut of high-value and complex cases, including catastrophic injuries, employers’ liability and industrial diseases.
- Andrew MacMillan “Clients respond well to his considered advice and excellent guidance.”
- Laura Wray “A personal injury specialist.”
Planning, environmental and licensing
Members of Westwater Advocates have expertise across a range of planning and environmental matters, including handling planning applications, rural property, crofting, renewable energy, nature conservation and environmental crime matters. Licensing work is another area of instruction.
- Sir Crispin Agnew of Lochnaw Bt QC “Known for appearing at DPEA planning inquiries.”
- Gavin Anderson “He has great attention to detail.”
Westwater Advocates’ members receive instructions in professional negligence cases from solicitors across Scotland; Douglas Fairley QC has acted in cases involving allegations against surveyors and architects.
- Douglas Fairley QC “A tenacious litigator.”
Property, construction and agriculture
Westwater Advocates attracts instructions across the range of property, construction and agricultural matters. In 2016, Sir Crispin Agnew of Lochnaw Bt QC appeared in a Court of Session judicial review claim concerning compensation for tenant farmers under the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR), relating to the removal of secure tenancy rights given by section 72 of the Agricultural Holdings (Scotland) Act 1972.
- Sir Crispin Agnew of Lochnaw Bt QC “A specialist in rural property law.”
- Nick Ellis QC “Experienced in heritable property disputes.”
- Calum H S MacNeill QC “Very accomplished in court.”
- Donald Cameron “Experienced in agricultural and crofting law.”
- Greg Sanders “Experienced in property damage claims.”
- Adrian Stalker “Well known for his expertise in housing law.”
Tax, trusts and pensions
Laurence Cunningham is a key contact at Westwater Advocates for trusts and pensions cases.
- Laurence (known as Greg) Cunningham “Recommended for pensions and trusts litigation.”