Sir Crispin Agnew QC appeared before the Rural Affairs Climate Change and Environment Committee of the Scottish Parliament today to give evidence about the Crofting (Amendment) (Scotland) Bill. Sir Crispin gave evidence for an hour along with other stakeholders.
This Bill is designed to rectify an error in the Crofting Reform (Scotland) Act 2010, which has given rise to difficulties for owner-occupier crofters attempting to de-croft croft land. The Bill is going through the Scottish Parliament under an expedited procedure.
We were very pleased that so many of our valued agents were able to join us to celebrate the launch of our new website earlier this month.
It was a thoroughly enjoyable evening. Our new stable director Calum MacNeill QC set the scene with a brief history of the Laigh Hall and updated our guests on the recent developments of Westwater Advocates, including the formation of the new Medical Law Group and Commercial Dispute Resolution Group (see individual web pages for further details). The website itself has been very well received and we are very pleased with the fresh new look which Geoff Martyn our designer has created for us.
The evening was documented by our photographer Shannon Tofts and here is a selection of photographs from the evening.
Westwater Advocates has chosen a new Stable Director, Calum MacNeill QC.
On his appointment, Calum gave the following statement: It is an honour to take on the responsibility of heading the management of the stable of which I have been a member for many years. Nick Ellis QC has done a formidable job steering the stable through devolution in 2007 and providing the leadership it has required ever since. As I take over the role, we have a first class set of advocates and the best clerking team any set could wish for. Challenges surround us, not least in changing business structures and impending court reforms, but with our members’ skills and their numerous areas of expertise, we will adapt to changing times and continue to provide the first-rate, independent legal advice and representation for which we have become renowned.
Clerk Sheila Westwater interrupted her holiday to say “I have no doubt that Calum will be an excellent stable director. He is ideally qualified to lead the Stable through the exciting times ahead.”
Westwater Advocates Crispin Agnew QC, Nick Ellis QC, Calum MacNeill QC, Isabella Ennis and Phil Stuart have all been appointed to the Faculty Dispute Resolution Service which was launched today. The Service has been instituted by the Faculty of Advocates to provide high quality mediators, arbitrators, adjudicators and expert determiners as effective alternatives to judicial determination. The Dean has admitted to the service only those whom he considers have the requisite skills and qualifications.
Clerk Sheila Westwater took a break from her holiday to say, “These appointments by the Dean demonstrate the breadth of experience and the expertise which the Westwater stable possesses. Westwater Advocates operate at the highest levels not only in formal litigation but also in the various areas of alternative dispute resolution which, in the prevailing economic circumstances, are being increasingly utilised.”
Further information on the service may be found here: http://fdrs.advocates.org.uk/index.asp
Today the Inner House of the Court of Session decided the case of Phee v Gordon and Niddry Castle Golf Club. Westwater Advocates’ Nick Ellis QC and Bryan Heaney represented the successful pursuer in the Outer House and again, on appeal, in the Inner House:  CSOH 181, 2011 Rep LR 108;  CSIH 18.
Mr Phee lost an eye when a ball hit him when he was playing at Niddry Castle Golf Club. The Lord Ordinary found both the golfer who hit the shot and the club were liable and awarded Mr Phee around £400,000 in damages. Continue reading