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Axiom Advocates ranked band 1 in administrative and public law by Chambers UK Bar Guide 2018

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Axiom Advocates ranked band 1 in administrative and public law by Chambers UK Bar Guide 2018

02 November 2017

THE SET – Administrative and public law (Band 1)

Axiom Advocates is widely regarded as "the leading stable in Scotland for public and administrative law. It is really excellent across the board." Solicitors agree the stable is "really at the top of the game" and describe it as being "very strong." Its public law prowess is wide ranging, with capabilities in commercial, regulatory, human rights and planning law to name but a few areas. Members regularly handle judicial reviews on behalf of Scottish Ministers and numerous local authorities. The stable also offers representation to petitioners and interveners. Recently, a number of members have been involved in the landmark challenge to minimum alcohol pricing, Scotch Whisky Association v Lord Advocate.

Client service: "The clerks are very helpful. They always come back to you straight away and are very efficient." "They are easy to deal with and responsive."


David Johnston QC
Maintains an active public law practice in addition to serving as a Scottish Law Commissioner. He regularly represents the Scottish government and other public bodies in legislative and regulatory challenges. His public law practice is wide ranging and recent mandates include cases concerning freedom of information, professional discipline, nationality and costs litigation.
Strengths: "His advice is of a consistently high standard and his advocacy is extremely effective." "He is incredibly clever."
Recent work: Represented the Professional Standards Authority in an appeal regarding the grounds on which the PSA may seek to review the charges put forward by the regulator.

Mark Lindsay QC
Has extensive experience of acting for petitioners and respondents in high-profile public and administrative law challenges. He also advises public bodies on freedom of information responses and the implications of legislative reform. His areas of expertise include professional discipline, immigration, social housing and data protection.
Strengths: "He is excellent in terms of his analysis of case law." "Excellent knowledge of the subject area." "He is approachable and helpful."
Recent work: Acted for the petitioner in a judicial review challenging the lawfulness of a Statutory Instrument by the Scottish Government which removed the petitioner from the Board of Management of Glasgow Clyde College.

Gerry Moynihan QC
Offers a breadth of administrative and public law expertise, which includes commercial, human rights and regulatory challenges. He represents the Scottish government, local authorities and petitioners in judicial reviews and related civil proceedings before domestic and European courts. He is also experienced at acting in public inquiries.
Strengths: "An astute lawyer who has a calm and measured delivery in court, and an assured manner with clients."
Recent work: Acted for the Lord Advocate in litigation before the Scottish and European governments considering the compatibility of minimum pricing for alcoholic beverages with European law.

Ruth Crawford QC
Often seen in challenging and complex judicial reviews and regulatory appeals. She represents petitioners and respondents in a range of public law disputes, including professional discipline, human rights, procurement and commercial judicial reviews. She is also frequently instructed to advise public bodies on legislative interpretation.
Strengths: "Advice given is measured and backed up with a thorough understanding of the law and a sound grasp of the commercial realities." "She is thoroughly sensible in a rather understated and down-to-earth sort of way." "She is very capable and commercial, and she was readily contactable and always available."
Recent work: Acted for the petitioners in a judicial review relating to the duty hours of a police officer, which considered the employment status of the police officer and the construction and status of Police National Bulletins.

James Mure QC
Predominantly handles public law challenges which turn on the interpretation of EU law. He receives instructions from the Scottish government, local authorities and other clients in the public sector. Recently, he has also been handling public claims involving professional discipline and human rights law.
Strengths: "He presents cases well and understands the issues. He picks up on what's happening on the other side and he knows where to attack the best." "He is a very accomplished advocate."
Recent work: Acted for the Scottish Ministers in defending a judicial review brought by a former board member at a further education college challenging an order removing him and other members from a college board on the basis of mismanagement.

Anna Poole QC
Represents petitioners, respondents and interested parties in judicial reviews, statutory appeals and regulatory challenges. Her broad, substantive expertise includes planning, community care, devolution and other aspects of local authority law. She is also capable of handling public law litigation which involves human rights.
Strengths: "Intellectually, she is hard to beat. She can look across a wide range of public law and think laterally about issues. She is very, very astute about how arguments should play in court cases. Her advocacy is excellent as well." "She is very helpful, accurate and diligent in getting through things. She is also quick at responding to the issues. She leaves no stone unturned."
Recent work: Acted for Glasgow City Council in two conjoined judicial reviews of local authority decisions about care services.

Morag Ross QC
A strong track record of being involved in important judicial reviews challenging legislation and public policy. She acts on behalf of respondents and petitioners in a wide range of matters, including cases concerning regulatory and human rights challenges.
Strengths: "She is knowledgeable, hard working and has a good analytical brain." "She demonstrates excellent advocacy and advice, and strong client relationships." "She's very bright, but commercially aware as well."
Recent work: Represented the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission in an appeal brought by a solicitors' firm considering the interpretation of the Legal Profession and Legal Aid (Scotland) Act 2007 s.21.


John MacGregor
Acts for petitioners, respondents and interveners in a wide range of judicial reviews and regulatory appeals. He is an expert in a number of areas, and especially well regarded for his handling of procurement disputes. Recently, he has been active in public law disputes involving police and local government law.
Strengths: "He is very pragmatic, but also good at explaining fine points of law in a way that clients can understand." "He is incredibly pragmatic and easy to deal with."
Recent work: Acted for Police Scotland resisting an appeal under freedom of information legislation, which involved an application by a convicted murderer for recovery of information held by Police Scotland in relation to the murder investigation.

Daniel Byrne
Draws on his deep expertise in human rights law to represent petitioners and respondents in administrative and public law challenges. He is particularly strong in the context of immigration and asylum appeals. Other recent mandates include cases concerning planning, housing and criminal justice.
Strengths: "Very well prepared and clear in his arguments and submissions." "Dan demonstrates great depth of knowledge in administrative and public law." "He is quick on his feet and very effective."
Recent work: Represented the intervener, Community Law Advice Network, in an appeal considering the compatibility of various provisions of the Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2009, which prevent the appellant from relying on the "reasonable belief" defence, with Articles 6, 8 and 14 ECHR.

Lesley Irvine
Fast becoming a go-to junior in complex judicial reviews. She acts on behalf of petitioners and respondents in a wide array of public law challenges. She is particularly active in matters involving human rights and other recent cases involve EU and election law.
Strengths: "She is very, very bright." "She has a meticulous eye for detail." "She is very good at picking up on connections between the different lines of authority."
Recent work: Acted for a group of constituents bringing a challenge to the election of former Secretary of State for Scotland, Alistair Carmichael, as MP for Orkney and Shetland following statements as to his involvement in leaking a memo about a meeting between Nicola Sturgeon and the French Ambassador.