Scotland's leading advocates look to the future
26 June 2007
A group of Scotland's top advocates, led by QCs Heriot Currie, Richard Keen, Paul Cullen and David Johnston, have joined forces to launch Axiom Advocates.
Its advent marks a radical change from the traditional Faculty of Advocates "stable" of advocates to a more commercial, service-orientated operation, with an outward- looking approach more focussed on client needs.
Open for business from 23rd April, Axiom will be the first group to offer specialist expertise in clearly defined practice areas, in this case commercial and public law. Founded by a core group of seven advocates, a further 22 have been selected to join Axiom on the basis of merit. Collectively, they have acted in some of the most significant cases, ranging from corporate law and financial services to human rights and other constitutional issues, in Scotland over the last 30 years.
Axiom remains part of the Faculty of Advocates and will maintain strong links with Faculty Services Ltd for operational support. The advocates will continue to work from the Advocates Library, Parliament House and the group will be supported by two Practice Managers and a Deputy Clerk.
The move has already met with the approval of the Faculty itself, major law firms and instructing solicitors, who recognise Axiom as an organisation well able to respond to the needs of a modern market.
Paul Cullen QC commented:
"In forming Axiom Advocates, we are responding to the many representations we have had from solicitors and professionals to become more relevant and more able to serve clients' requirements. Axiom consists of advocates selected on merit and for their expertise in the areas of commercial and public law. We are united by a clear sense of purpose.
"Professionally organised, we will be able to share knowledge, becoming an organisation that attracts and develops talent. We also aim to present ourselves effectively to clients. By disseminating clear and appropriate information we are confident we will enable solicitors to make more informed choices."
Behind the creation of Axiom Advocates lies a desire not only to respond to present client needs, but also to look to the future.
David Johnston QC, commented:
"Changes in faculty rules have allowed advocates to have the flexibility to take responsibility for the way in which their services are delivered. We see this as an opportunity for the Scottish bar to grow stronger by actively building on the huge contribution our profession makes to the legal system as a whole. Above all, the creation of Axiom is about the future."
Philip Rodney, Chairman of leading Scottish law firm, Burness, commented:
"The solicitors' branch of the legal profession has gone through many changes in the last 10 years. There is an increasing focus on benchmarking excellence and specialisation in the premier law firms. At the top level, the skills on offer at the Scottish bar are of the highest calibre - and working together as a team with advocates in these cases, 1 + 1 does equal 3. It has to be recognised in certain instances, however, that it can be difficult to identify members of faculty with the appropriate sector knowledge. There can also be instances where their expertise is insufficient for the case.
"Accordingly, the operation of the traditional stables has become increasingly out of sync with how we operate and the commercial service delivery expected, particularly by global clients.
"I welcome the development of the devolved stables which will allow us more easily to identify specialists and have the assurance that the advocates have the skills and sector experience required. It will facilitate the ability of the two branches of the legal profession to work in partnership in providing a commercially focussed service."
Notes to Editors:
• Axiom Advocates comprises: James McNeill QC, Heriot Currie QC, Richard Keen QC, J. Gordon Reid QC, Paul Cullen QC, Gerry Moynihan QC, Iain Ferguson QC, David Johnston QC, James Wolffe, Ruth Crawford, Sarah Wolffe, Alistair Clark, Jonathan Lake, James Mure, Mark Lindsay, Anna Poole, Sean Smith, Alastair Duncan, Kenny McBrearty, Garry Borland, Roisin Higgins, Gavin Walker, Morag Ross, Jonathan Barne, Almira Delibegović-Broome, Martin Richardson, Paul O'Brien, Christopher Wilson, Euan Duthie
• Christine Ferguson and Lesley Flynn will be Axiom Advocates' Practice Managers.
• Axiom Advocates will be open for business from 23rd April 2007.
23rd April 2007
All enquiries, please call
Elizabeth Lambley, Indigo
Tel: 0131 554 1230, Mob: 07967 374 330
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