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Her contemporaries at the University of Edinburgh include Kenny Mac Askill, now Cabinet Secretary for Justice; Robert Carr, chairman of Anderson Strathern; Magnus Swanson, until last year chief executive of Maclay, Murray and Spens; Supreme Court judge Lord Doherty; former rail regulator Tom Winsor; and John Sturrock, Scotland’s leading mediator.
Patterson looks back nostalgically to her time at university but acknowledges the skills students now learn are much wider than simply understanding the law.
One of these has taken her to northern Europe three times a year for the last five years as chairman of a three-person dispute board; the other two members are engineers.
“This is a common method of avoiding and, if necessary, quickly resolving disputes in major international construction jobs, and in fact has been adopted in Scotland for the new Forth crossing,” she explains.
I have spent many an evening before a hearing with a client’s technical experts understanding the obscurest and most complex technical issues.”Patterson has an unusual CV for a partner in private practice; she became a solicitor advocate in 1992 and a QC in 2010. “I wanted to be involved in advocacy but remain within private practice, so when solicitor advocates came in, I was one of the first.
It is an important part of the service I can offer to clients.”Patterson has been involved in projects involving iconic Scottish landmarks – including the extension of Murrayfield stadium, work on both the Forth road and rail bridges, and the Skye Bridge.
“However, there continue to be great opportunities for those in the profession with drive and initiative, who are able to spot how the market is changing and adapt to meet this.
Roofing material is the outermost layer on the roof of a building, sometimes self-supporting, but generally supported by an underlying structure.
“This has been particularly important with the Scottish construction market shrinking,” she says.
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A building's roofing material provides shelter from the natural elements.
The outer layer of a roof shows great variation dependent upon availability of material, and the nature of the supporting structure.