The Journal's first feature on potential future stars of the Scottish profession shows a variety of entries from a spectrum of legal practices

It is not only senior practitioners in the profession who deserve recognition for their legal expertise and their commitment to clients. Many more recently qualified lawyers are already marking themselves out as future leaders in their field, showing qualities that make them stand out from their peers.

The Journal, in association with Hudson Legal, is pleased to offer this platform where firms can publicly show their recognition of such budding talent. We invited entries for those up to five years qualified who already have achievements under their belt that mark them out as potential future leaders in the profession, whether in their own practice area or in some wider role.

We didn’t know quite where the nominations would come from. So it is pleasing in a way to see a higher proportion of practices from outside the top 10 choosing to submit entries. And at least one solicitor will, we hope, receive a pleasant surprise when they find that their employing firm submitted their name, unknown to them, to show its appreciation of their work – a nice touch.

Solicitors are constantly being reminded of the need to aim for ever-higher standards as competitor pressures, from within and outwith the legal profession, as well as client expectations, rise inexorably. It is pleasing to see so many entries indicating how this message is being taken to heart by those in the first years of their current careers.

Brian Cameron of Hudson commented: “Hudson Legal is delighted to support the rising stars of the future. In such a difficult and competitive market it is critical for young lawyers to proactively consider how they can stand out from the crowd and further their career prospects.”



Hastie Stable

t: 0131 260 5654

f: 0131 225 3642



Office location: Edinburgh

Craig Watson

English barrister and former financial services in-houser, Craig Watson brings some rare expertise to the Scots bar since calling in 2010. His background in insurance, pensions and investment funds, and dual qualification, has helped him establish a busy advisory practice in financial services on top of his general commercial work.

Leigh Lawrie

Leigh is currently the only Scots advocate regularly appearing before the international courts. Leigh was part of the team prosecuting Charles Taylor, the former President of Liberia, in the “Blood Diamonds” trial, and is presently defending two Darfur rebels charged with war crimes at the International Criminal Court.

Murray Stable

t: 0131 260 5697

f: 0131 220 2654



Office locations: Edinburgh

Julius Komorowski

Julius practises primarily in public law. He devilled in 2007-08 as the Lord Reid Scholar. He practises in immigration, prisons, mental health, extradition and employment. His “clear and careful presentation” (Lord Emslie) in LE (Turkey) [2010] CSOH 153 led to the court finding a Home Office policy was unlawful.

Kirsty Malcolm

Called June 2007 and ranked in Legal 500 and Chambers as family law specialist in 2009 and 2010. She has appeared in a number of reported cases, including the Inner House appeal Gow v Grant 2011 Fam LR 50, speaks regularly at seminars and is well published in her field.



Terra Firma Chambers

t: 0131 260 5830

f: 0131 260 5645



Office locations: Edinburgh

Alasdair Burnet, advocate

Since calling in 2006, Alasdair has acted in a wide variety of cases, with a particular focus on planning and administrative law. Described as “an extremely talented junior with a flourishing reputation” (Chambers UK, 2011) and “a focused and determined advocate, with excellent preparation and court skills” (Legal 500, 2010).

Graham Dunlop, advocate

Graham was a solicitor for 12 years in local government and private practice. Since calling to the bar in 2009 he has continued to practise in property, planning, administrative and personal injury law. Graham has been instructed by local authorities and developers in planning developments and compulsory purchase disputes.


James Findlay, advocate

(QC England & Wales)

James called to the Scottish bar in 2008, having been a barrister in England & Wales since 1984 (silk 2008). Described as “first rate” (Legal 500) and a “skilful practitioner” (Chambers UK), James has recommendations in both current editions. He specialises in local government, planning, environment, administrative and licensing law.


Archibald Campbell & Harley

t: 0131 220 3000

f: 0131 220 2288



Office locations: Edinburgh

Luara Bloxham, solicitor, Affordable Housing Department

Qualifying in 2009, Laura has become a key member of the Affordable Housing team. Has advised RSLs on acquisition of mixed tenure developments valued over £60m, and recently played a pivotal role in a landmark transaction with ACH producing the legal framework underpinning an entirely new model for mid-rent housing.

Philip Hall, solicitor, Litigation and Dispute Resolution Department

A valuable addition to the litigation and dispute resolution department, Philip acts in a wide range of contentious insurance claims. He is frequently instructed in high-value recovery actions for established clients, regularly instructs counsel in Court of Session actions and appears personally in a variety of sheriff court matters.

Peter McGladrigan, solicitor, Litigation and Dispute Resolution Department

An associate in our Court department, specialising in commercial litigation, Peter’s particular interests lie in insolvency, debt recovery and property litigation. Regularly litigating in the sheriff courts and working with counsel in Court of Session actions, he is known for his attention to detail, practical approach, and his negotiation skills.

Sara Smith, solicitor, Wealth Management Department

Sara specialises in all aspects of private client work with a particular interest in tax planning and the affairs of the elderly. She has dealt with numerous high-value and complex estates, guardianships and adult with incapacity-related court applications, and recently qualified as a solicitor in England & Wales.

BBM Solicitors

t: 01955 604188

f: 01955 605926



Office locations: Wick, Edinburgh

Jennifer Hamill (Corporate)

Jennifer is a transactional corporate lawyer who practises from BBM’s Wick office. Unusually for the northern Highlands, she deals with a wide range of corporate work, including the purchase and sale of companies. She also deals with contract negotiation and intellectual property advice.

Alasdair Baijal


Alasdair leads BBM’s Court of Session practice and has quickly established himself as the Edinburgh agent of choice for a number of litigators. Alasdair is also developing the reputation of BBM’s established Insolvency Team, acting for insolvency practitioners in the central belt and beyond.


Bonar Mackenzie

t: 0131 225 8371

f: 0131 225 2048



Office locations: Edinburgh

Sarah Lilley

Practising exclusively in family law since qualifying in 2008, Sarah appears in courts across Scotland, conducting more than 50 child welfare hearings each year, proofs (including the reported B v B), and sheriff principal appeals. Has written for the Journal and Bonar Mackenzie’s website. Now generates much business by client/professional referrals.

Nicola Kerr

Nicola has successfully negotiated many favourable financial settlements. Clients commend her for providing coherent and comprehensive advice, and for turning work around quickly while delivering to a very high standard. Her attention to detail is exceptional and she often arrives at innovative solutions to seemingly intractable problems.




t: 0131 473 6000

f: 0131 473 6006



Office locations: Edinburgh, Glasgow

David Syme, senior solicitor

With Burness for five years, David is a key member of the firm’s market leading commercial property team. Among specific clients, he acts for Credential Holdings and has been involved in their most significant transactions over the last year. David is experienced in investment, retail and public sector transactions.

Fiona McAllister, solicitor, Dispute Resolution team

A key player in Burness’ defamation, privacy and reputation management practice, with specific expertise in product liability and general commercial litigation, Fiona played an integral role when Burness successfully represented snooker champion John Higgins following newspaper allegations. Currently in a major litigation involving an international pharmaceutical company. Vice President SYLA.


Harper Macleod LLP

t: 0141 221 8888

f: 0141 226 4198



Office locations: Glasgow, Edinburgh, Inverness

Anne Macdonald, associate

Highly motivated, Anne possesses excellent legal skills, with flair for business development and innovative solutions. Promoted associate, 2010. Business development manager, Connect2Law referral and support network of 150 Scottish firms. Deputy sector head of Energy & Natural Resources Group, with significant responsibility for its development, showcased in the SHREC conference.

Craig McKerracher, associate

One of our most promising young solicitors, Craig has showed good business acumen, achieving promotion in 2010, and Harper Macleod’s 2010 Employee of the Year. Deputy sector head, Family-owned Businesses Group and he tutors at Strathclyde University, providing pro bono legal services to entrepreneurial students and sharing his knowledge internally through training.



HBJ Gateley

t: 0131 228 2400

f: 0131 222 9800



Office locations (Scotland): Edinburgh, Glasgow

Catriona Philip, associate, Edinburgh

Specialising in the energy sector, Catriona recently secured promotion to associate at HBJ Gateley, Edinburgh. Successful transactions include a $124m acquisition and restructuring of a Qatari ship-owning company, a $56m Sharia-compliant Murabaha financing arrangement, and a £64m financing of vessels operating in Brazil and the Caspian Sea.

David Anderson, associate, Edinburgh

Recently promoted to associate, David specialises in corporate transactions with a focus on private equity and venture capital. Recent work includes acting on Portofino Yacht Investments’ acquisition of Sunseeker International (Holdings), and advising Par Equity (both the Par Fund and Par Syndicate) on investments in various technology-focused private companies.



t: 0131 229 1212



Office locations: Edinburgh, Glasgow, East Lothian, Scottish Borders

Niall Hassard, solicitor, Licensing

An up-and-coming licensing specialist, Niall already has a wealth of experience. With a litigation background, he has a niche in licensing appeals. Knowledgeable, approachable and commercially aware, he is responsible for key clients. Recent highlights include licensing a national off-sales chain, and having articles published in the press and journals.

Stephen Farrell, trainee solicitor, Dispute Resolution & Litigation

A litigator with expertise in landlord and tenant law, and a proficient orator, Stephen appears regularly in court. Stephen’s commercial awareness and enthusiastic marketing have resulted in new client wins. Couple this with his ability to build relations with existing clients and Stephen is a leader of the future.



Macdonald Henderson

t: 0141 248 4957

f: 0141 248 8455



Office locations: Glasgow

Louise Hamilton, solicitor

Louise trained with the firm, and now two years qualified, is an established key player in the award-winning corporate team. High-profile transactions this year include work on the disposals of Kelvin Connect to Airwave Solutions and Thistle International Freight to TPC Global, respectively, plus many smaller transactions and projects.



t: 0141 567 8542



Office locations (Scotland): Aberdeen, Glasgow, Edinburgh

Chris McGarvey, senior associate

A senior associate in the Energy & Infrastructure team at McGrigors, Chris has been involved in a number of McGrigors’ most high-profile energy infrastructure projects. His experience includes advising bidders on the round 3 Offshore Wind Programme, and advising a bidder on the UK Carbon Capture and Storage Competition.


Frances Ennis, senior solicitor

With broad experience in commercial litigation and liquor licensing, Frances has appeared in a variety of matters in different sheriff courts and licensing boards across Scotland. Most recently, her team won a major victory for Brightcrew in decision that clarified the scope and application of the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005.


Morton Fraser

t: 0131 247 1000

f: 0131 247 1007



Office locations (Scotland): Edinburgh, Glasgow

Jillian Paton, senior solicitor

Jillian has developed innovative resources for her business clients including, most recently, an acclaimed series of podcasts which provide practical tips and guidance on key areas of employment law. She advises clients on the full range of employment issues and appears frequently before the employment tribunal.

Paul Geoghegan, solicitor

Paul has proven innovative and effective in developing initiatives to support sport and tourism organisations which have been acknowledged by existing and new clients across the country. Paul is a solicitor in the corporate division, having previously worked for a number of years in the litigation department.

Murray Beith Murray

t: 0131 225 1200

f: 0131 225 4412



Office locations: Edinburgh

Sarah Chilton, senior solicitor

A dual qualified senior solicitor, Sarah joined in 2009 and set up the Employment team with a partner. Sarah has made a significant contribution through client development – exceeding fee targets, contributing to strategy and marketing, organising internal/external events and training. Also regularly contributes to the press on topical employment issues.


Pagan Osborne

t: 0131 226 4081

f: 0131 220 1612



Office locations: Edinburgh, Cupar, St Andrews

Gillian Gibbons, associate

Joining Pagan Osborne in 2004, Gillian has worked her way up to associate within the agriculture & estates team. She takes the lead on technically demanding transactions, including farm and rural property sales/purchases, agricultural leases, option agreements and renewables. Gillian won Rising Star of the Year at the 2011 Legal Awards.

Lianne Lodge, associate

Lianne is part of Pagan Osborne’s award-winning private client team in Edinburgh. She tutors at Edinburgh University, is a published author on elderly client matters and heads up Pagan Osborne’s lateryears service, which offers specialist guidance about managing and protecting the family wealth and personal independence of the ageing population.


Ross Harper Solicitors

t: 0141 333 6333

f: 0141 333 6336


Office locations: Glasgow (several), East Kilbride

Nicola-Jane Scott

Nicola-Jane is highly talented and personable. She regularly finds clients commercially acceptable resolutions to disputes without resorting to litigation. Nicola-Jane was recently promoted in recognition of her past input to Ross Harper and the role the partners believe she will play in its future.

Share this article
Add To Favorites