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Anderson Strathern


Anderson Strathern - Edinburgh
  • 1 Rutland Court
  • Edinburgh
  • City of Edinburgh
  • UK
  • EH3 8EY
  • Chairman Robert Carr
  • Managing Partner Andrew Lothian
  • Number of UK partners 58 
  • Number of UK fee-earners 178 

THE FIRM Widely recognised as a Scottish regional champion law firm,Anderson Strathern provides full service legal and strategic business advice to international businesses, private companies, public bodies, not-for-profit organisations, individuals and families. The firm reported its third consecutive year of growth for financial year 2011/12, recording a 7.7% increase in turnover (to £22.8 million) and a 1.5% increase in net profit. In 2012 Anderson Strathern achieved the prestigious ISO27001 certification, the world’s highest accreditation for information security and protection.

Banking & Finance: Principal areas include real estate finance, acquisition and structural finance, equity and mezzanine finance, joint venture, banking litigation, cross-border transactions and land resources.
Charities: Regulatory, governance, funding, contractual, employment, taxation and property matters.
Commercial Real Estate: All aspects of real estate work including cross-border transaction work supported by specialists in landlord and tenant, banking, construction, planning and environmental law.
Construction & Engineering: Advise domestic and international developers, main contractors, sub-contractors, consultants and individuals for both contentious and non-contentious work.
Corporate: Practice includes IPOs, M&As, corporate restructuring, infrastructure projects, joint ventures, private equity and corporate governance.
Discrimination: Scotland’s leading specialist discrimination law service. Dispute Resolution: Commercial litigation, liability insurance, property, banking, professional regulation, health and safety, public sector litigation and health service law.
Employment: One of the largest expert teams in Scotland, led by two accredited specialists.
IP/IT: Media and entertainment, publishing, data protection, brand management and advertising law.
Land Resources/Agriculture: Advising on issues affecting property, business, leisure/recreation, heritage and conservation, with particular skills in innovative land use, development options and renewables.
Parliamentary & Public Law: Advising on all aspects of Scottish parliamentary and public law.
Planning & Environment: Specialist advice throughout the planning and environment process.
Private Client: Investment, tax and family/matrimonial advice to high net-worth individuals.
Renewable Energy: Principal areas include hydrogen storage, biomass, offshore licences and windfarms.
Residential Property: Highly experienced in the buying and selling of high quality properties and estates.
Sports Law: Advises on all aspects including licensing, funding, sponsorship, discipline and regulation.

CLIENTS: Following a competitive tender process, in May 2013 Anderson Strathern were reappointed as The Crown Estate’s sole legal advisors in Scotland with Robert Carr, the firm’s Chairman, continuing to act as the solicitor for The Crown Estate’s Scotland Portfolio. The firm also retained appointments with the Scottish Information Commissioner, Scottish Public Services Ombudsman, RBS and Lloyds Banking Group. The firm achieved a number of new client wins during 2012, including but not limited to: Aberdeenshire Housing Partnership, Kingdom Housing Association, BioReliance Limited, City of Edinburgh Council, Clydebank College, Cumbernauld College, General Teaching Council for Scotland, Joules, Rox, Support in Mind Scotland, Scottish Government Legal Directorate: Scottish Prison Service, Gamesa Wind UK, Mitsubishi Power Systems Europe, Strathclyde Partnership for Transport and University of St Andrews.

INTERNATIONAL Anderson Strathern is a member of the Association of European Lawyers (AEL). In 2012, the firm strengthened its international reputation, advising an Indian listed global pigment manufacturer in a dispute which went through the High Court in London, against the world’s largest pigment manufacturer regarding alleged infringement and validity of an international patent.

RECRUITMENT Anderson Strathern is the only law firm in Scotland to be accredited with Investors in People Gold status. During 2012 and early 2013, a number of significant appointments were made including Alex Innes and Douglas Gourlay from Semple Fraser, to the banking and finance team and Sarah Baillie to the planning and environment team. Rural specialist Karen McHale joined the land resources team from Lindsays and Associates, Denise Laverty and Aileen Entwistle joined the firm’s leading private client practice.

Areas of Practice

  • Commercial Real Estate 22%
  • Private Client 17%
  • Corporate 10%
  • Land Resources 9%
  • Employment 8%
  • Residential Property 4%
  • Banking & Finance Alex Innes
  • Charities John Kerr
  • Commercial Real Estate Paul Jennings
  • Construction & Engineering Keith Bishop
  • Corporate James Blair
  • Discrimination Jill Bell
  • Dispute Resolution Douglas Keir
  • Employment Alan Masson
  • Health & Safety Robert Fife IP/IT Leigh Davidson
  • Land Resources John Mitchell
  • Parliamentary & Public Law Fiona Killen
  • Planning & Environment Alastair McKie
  • Private Client John Biggar
  • Renewable Energy Bruce Farquhar
  • Residential Property Steven McDonald
  • Sports Law John Kerr


  • George House,
  • 50 George Square,
  • Glasgow,
  • Glasgow City
  • UK
  • G2 1EH
  • Tel (0141) 242 6060
  • Fax (0141) 221 7974
  • DX GW102

Banking Litigation - National Leaders (outside London)

What the team is known for Historically strong Scottish banking disputes team with a stellar track record for complex professional negligence, debt recovery, insolvency and fraud-related mandates. It receives instructions from many of the UK's largest financial institutions in relation to highly significant matters heard in the Sheriff Court and Court of Session. Ranked office in Edinburgh.

Notable practitioners Ruari MacNeill is a key contact.

Administrative & Public Law - Scotland

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- 16 other lawyers

What the team is known for Maintains a strong reputation for advising and representing statutory bodies in connection with a range of legal challenges. Noted for particular expertise in handling the handling of judicial reviews.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Market standing: "They are at their strongest in terms of judicial review coverage." 

What's new? New client and panel wins include the Scottish Prison Service and the Scottish Government Legal Directorate.

Work highlights Advised the Scottish Information Commissioner on the statutory interpretation of data protection and freedom of information law. 

Acted for the Scottish Children's Reporter Administration in connection with an appeal to the Sheriff Principal. The appeal concerned a Sheriff's conclusion that a baby had sustained a fractured skull after being thrown at an item of furniture by its mother.

Notable practitioners  

Robert Carr is head of the firm's public, regulatory and healthcare team. His distinguished clients include the Scottish government, the Scottish Social Services Council and the Scottish Parliament.  

Fiona Killen is head of the firm's parliamentary and public law unit. She specialises in advising on matters of statutory interpretation, and in handling statutory appeals and judicial reviews.

Significant clients Scottish government, Scottish Public Services Ombudsman, Scottish Enterprise, The Crown Estate, Edinburgh Napier University.

Agriculture & Rural Affairs - Scotland

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- 14 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Edinburgh

What the team is known for Particularly active on property transactions, minerals extraction and renewable energy schemes. Deeply experienced in representing rural estates, though it also has experience of representing individuals and private sector companies. Experience in advising on land reform laws and proposals.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Bench strength: "When you need things done quickly, you need multiple professionals in the same team so the ball doesn't get dropped. We find ourselves recommending them."

Work highlights Advised the Buccleuch Group on a number of concerns, including the letting of 15 lots of agricultural land and on a dispute over the nullification of a post-lease agreement. 

Notable practitioners  

John Mitchell offers "ultra long-standing experience in agricultural law," sources say. He manages the group and is a key adviser to the Buccleuch Group.

Adele Nicol is deemed "a good solid practitioner," with key expertise in crofting and rural land use.

Senior practitioner Alasdair Fox is an experienced hand at agriculture matters, with interviewees claiming: "His reputation precedes him."

Banking & Finance - Scotland

Basic facts about the department

- 4 partners
- 11 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Edinburgh

What the team is known for Well known for a strong focus on real estate finance work. Offers banking and finance expertise to a wide range of clients including all major UK high-street lenders.  

What's new? Won two new clients this year in the form of Handelsbanken and Bandstand Square Developments.

Work highlights Acted for The Buccleuch Estates on a £40 million term loan from HSBC to refinance Langholm Estates.

Acted for Bandstand Square Developments in the documentation for a syndicated revolving facility of £25 million.

Notable practitioners  

Dual-qualified in England and Wales and in Scotland, Andrew Morris is head of the property finance team and regularly acts for a number of commercial lenders and property companies.

Significant clients Quercus, RBS, Lloyds TSB, The Co-operative Bank, University of Stirling.

Banking Litigation - Scotland

Basic facts about the department

- 2 partners
- 15 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Edinburgh

What the team is known for Represents clients in a wide variety of banking litigation matters, including complex professional negligence claims, debt recovery work and insolvency. Significant experience handling cases involving elements of fraud. 

Notable practitioners  

"Seasoned litigator" Ruari MacNeill heads the banking litigation team at the firm and gains market recognition for his vast experience and expertise in the banking field.

Solicitor advocate Katrina Lumsdaine is described as "a good safe pair of hands." She specialises in insolvency-related disputes and IP matters.

Senior associate Claire Martin heads the credit recovery team within the banking litigation department. She regularly advises financial institutions and has particular expertise in insolvency.

Charities - Scotland

Basic facts about the department
- 6 partners
- 5 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Edinburgh

What the team is known for Strong third sector practice providing solid advice and representation across a range of tax, fund-raising, trustee, M&A and governance issues, among other things. Highly active in the education sphere, as well as the heritage and conservation sectors.

Work highlights Recently assisted Culture NL in incorporating the company and applying to the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) for charitable status recognition.

Acted for The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland in amending its constitution to address issues raised by the OSCR, and assisted with other changes.

Notable practitioners

John Kerr is a key contact at the firm.

Significant clients National Trust for Scotland, Support in Mind, The Abbotsford Trust, Northern Lighthouse Heritage Trust, Buccleuch Charitable Foundation.

Civil Liberties & Human Rights - Scotland

Basic facts about the department
- 9 partners
- 10 other lawyers

What the team is known for Maintains a strong reputation for handling a variety of human rights matters for public bodies. Demonstrates particular expertise in cases concerning prison law, mental health, employment, child law and data protection.

Notable practitioners  

Chris Dickson is a solicitor advocate. He specialises in the drafting of pleadings and frequently handles appeals for the Scottish Children's Reporter Administration. Clients report that the "clarity of his arguments and the quality of his preparation are always very impressive."

Catriona Watt is a senior associate in the firm's healthcare, regulatory and public law team. She has defended a number of judicial reviews for the Parole Board for Scotland.

Significant clients Parole Board for Scotland, Scottish Information Commissioner, Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland, Scottish Children's Reporter Administration, Scottish Prisons Service.

Clinical Negligence: Mainly Claimant - Scotland

Basic facts about the department
- 2 partners
- 4 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Edinburgh

What the team is known for One of the top Scottish practices for clinical negligence. Praised for its client care service, and noted for its high-level catastrophic case ability. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Market standing: "The firm is first-class. I could not have asked for anyone better to deal with our case."

Bench strength: "The team is up there with the very best. The lawyers are all of a high calibre."

Work highlights Represented the claimant in the publicised Sarah Marshall v Fife Health Board case, a significant dental negligence claim which the firm won at the Court of Session.

Notable practitioners  

Head of department and solicitor advocate Robert Carr is lauded as a "vastly experienced" and "very reasonable" lawyer.  

"Very knowledgeable" senior associate Judy Williamson is noted for "always having the best interests of the client at heart." 

"Very able" star associate Catriona Watt has particular expertise in high-value obstetric claims and receives effusive praise for her efforts. One client notes that "she instils confidence."

Associate to watch Kiera Dargie impresses with her collaborative style of work. One market commentator says that "she is very sensible and works very hard." 

Significant clients Douglas Barr & Company, Martin & Company, Smith and Grant.

Clinical Negligence: Mainly Defendant - Scotland

Basic facts about the department
- 4 partners
- 11 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Edinburgh

What the team is known for Represents a very broad range of medical and dental practitioners. Has forged significantly strong bonds with medical professional bodies and the Scottish Prison Service.  

Work highlights Represented three nurses of the RCN in a complex Fatal Accident Inquiry case.  

Represented a nurse in an NMC Conduct & Competence Committee fitness to practice investigation.

Notable practitioners  

"Extremely able" head of department Robert Carr is a solicitor advocate who is accredited by the Law Society of Scotland for both medical negligence and personal injury law. He has strong relationships with medical organisations, and is "very well regarded" for his skills.

Star associate Catriona Watt receives warm feedback from market commentators. One source stated: "She is incredibly focused and absolutely understands the interests of our organisation. Her representation of members is first-class."  

Significant clients Bupa, Field Fisher Waterhouse, GMC, RCN, Scottish Prison Service.

Construction - Scotland

Basic facts about the department

- 6 partners
- 5 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Edinburgh

What the team is known for The firm is noted for its work on contentious and non-contentious matters relating to the public sector.

What's new? New clients include INEOS Group and Windex Developments.

Work highlights Advised Urban Union on the development of affordable housing as part of a regeneration scheme in Laurieston, Glasgow.

Acted for the University of Stirling on the construction of a 700-bed student accommodation project.

Notable practitioners 

Keith Bishop is the head of the construction department at the practice. He is a key individual in the practice and is leading on significant contentious and non-contentious work. Keith's clients include the Glasgow School of Art.

Significant clients Scotland Gas Networks, Edinburgh Napier University, City Legacy, Clyde Gateway, The Walker Group.

Corporate/M&A - Scotland

Basic facts about the department:
- 10 partners
- 11 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Edinburgh

What the team is known for Provides comprehensive advice on transactions, with expertise in all areas of corporate and commercial work including funding, joint ventures, disposals and acquisitions.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Industry knowledge: "I engaged it because I was looking for advice in an area that is highly complicated and I knew it had a reputation for work in my industry."

Efficiency: "I was really impressed with the speed with which it responded with very thorough answers."

Bench strength: "It is a practice with some very good lawyers who focus on backing their key sectors."

What's new? Atlas Investments, a Belgian venture capital fund, is a notable new client win.

Work highlights Advised INEOS on a number of strategically important procurement and supply contracts in its joint venture with PetroChina.

Advised Tilhill Forestry on the sale of its Arboriculture and Landscaping Divisions to Ground Control.

Notable practitioners 

Simon Brown heads the department and is well regarded for his work in joint ventures, funding, disposals and acquisitions, as well as general contract work. Clients praise his eye for detail: "He is really able to home in on the most important points."

Bruce Farquhar provides expertise in all aspects of corporate deals, including corporate finance and joint ventures. He has been described as "exemplary - not only is he very professional but he is also really enjoyable to work with."

Associate Ashley MacIntyre impresses clients with her efficiency, and is "both very thorough and very timely."

Significant clients Strathclyde Partnership for Transport, Scottish Enterprise, Buccleuch Group, Woking Borough Council.

Education - Scotland

What the team is known for Acts for clients on a wide range of areas pertaining to education. Particularly strong in employment, property, commercial matters, charity law and governance.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Responsiveness: "Very impressed at the quick response times and the detail they provide to give us support and advice."

Client service: "Quite honestly outstanding. No hesitations in recommending them."  

What's new? The firm has been appointed to advise new clients such as John Wheatley College and City of Edinburgh Council.

Work highlights Acted for the University of Stirling in defending multiple claims for protective awards relating to the non-renewal of fixed-term contracts.

Advising on four proposed college mergers in the context of rationalisation of the further education section in Scotland.

Notable practitioners

Alun Thomas is head of the education group.

Significant clients University of Edinburgh, University of St Andrews, Edinburgh College, Motherwell College, St Leonards School. 

Employment - Scotland

Basic facts about the department

- 5 partners
- 12 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Edinburgh, Glasgow

What the team is known for Widely recognised for its expertise in the education sector, although clients also include commercial organisations, charities and senior professionals. Accomplished in handling tribunal claims and litigation, transactions and collective consultations.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Breadth of services: "They are very responsive. They know our organisation very well."

Pragmatic approach: "Very pragmatic. They don't sit on the fence."

Work highlights Carried out advisory work leading up to the merger between three Edinburgh colleges, including senior staff issues and TUPE matters.

Successfully represented the Scottish Ambulance Service against twenty claims relating to unpaid subsistence allowance.

Notable practitioners  

Alan Masson is an accredited employment specialist and also sits as an employment judge. He is highly regarded for his ability and technical expertise.

Alun Thomas  handles all matters in employment law, both contentious and non-contentious. He is accredited by sources for his close working relationships with clients in the higher education sector.

Significant clients The Scottish Government, The Royal College of Nursing, The Scottish Prison Service, The University of the West of Scotland, The University of Stirling.

Energy & Natural Resources - Scotland

Basic facts about the department
- 11 partners
- 15 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Full-service offering in renewable energy and experience of acting for manufacturers, developers, lenders and landowners. Expertise in wind energy in addition to wave and tidal, solar, biomass and hydro projects.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "They have increased our awareness of the marketplace and have facilitated deal activity. We would rate the service as first-class."

Bench strength: "The breadth and experience of the team was a major factor in their appointment. Also, they are very visible in the marketplace."

Work highlights Instructed by e-Gen to advise on the development of a portfolio of more than 150 wind farm sites across the UK.

Represented Emergya Wind Technologies in connection with the sale of wind turbines and negotiating maintenance service agreements, construction contracts and other commercial agreements.

Notable practitioners  

Bruce Farquhar is head of the renewables, energy and clean technology team, and clients affirm that "he is a major player. Bruce has a wide knowledge of deal activity in the sector and is extremely well connected."

Significant clients The Crown Estate, Mitsubishi Power Systems Europe, INEOS, The Coal Authority, Skanska.

Environment - Scotland

Basic facts about the department
- 7 partners
- 3 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Edinburgh

What the team is known for Planning-focused team with expertise in the environment sector. Advises clients on regulatory issues, contaminated land and environmental prosecutions. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "I like them for their knowledge and expertise, but they are also a very approachable firm in the context of client relationships, which is quite important."

Work highlights Counselled INEOS on a series of environmental regulatory issues.

Advised City Legacy on land remediation issues related to the Commonwealth Games Glasgow 2014 athletes' village.  

Notable practitioners 

Planning and environment lawyer Alastair McKie leads the firm's offering in this area. One client enthuses: "He has an amazing grasp of how to tackle issues and then presents them in an articulate and incisive manner."

Significant clients The Scottish government, The National Trust for Scotland, Skanska, Ross Estates Company, The Buccleuch Estate.   

Family/Matrimonial - Scotland

Basic facts about the department

- 8 partners
- 11 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Edinburgh

What the team is known for Offers advice on a variety of family issues from cohabitation and prenuptial agreements to financial provision and child welfare disputes.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "They have a good rapport with clients, and deal with their cases sensitively and efficiently." 

Notable practitioners  

Susan MacLeod specialises in both financial disputes and children matters, including disputed adoption. She is commended for "her manner with clients, which is empathetic and supportive."

Health & Safety - Scotland

Basic facts about the department

- 8 partners
- 10 associates
- Office locations ranked: Edinburgh

What the team is known for Respected for health and safety team. Represents a broad range of private and public sector clients. Expertise in fatal accident inquiries, and also provides compliance advice.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Industry knowledge: "They have extensive experience and in-depth knowledge of safety cases. Their client service is also excellent."

What's new? The firm won a competitive tender as the sole provider of litigation legal advice to the Scottish government and the Office of the Advocate General.

Work highlights Acted for Logan Inglis in an appeal against a sentence following a conviction for the deaths of two employees. 

Advised Craig Services on a fatality associated with a crane collapse in Glasgow.

Notable practitioners 

Chris Dickson is a key partner at the firm.

Significant clients INEOS, HSE, the Scottish government, CIS General Insurance, Zurich Commercial.

Healthcare - Scotland

Basic facts about the department

- 13 partners 
- 24 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Edinburgh 

What the team is known for Stalwart of the Scottish healthcare market. Provides quality advice on clinical negligence, health sector employment issues. Celebrated regulatory work for public provider and university clients.

Work highlights Continued to advise the RCN on regulations and represent nurses at a number of medical fatal accident inquiries.

Represented the vendor in the sale of an Edinburgh-based pharmacy business.

Notable practitioners  

With over 20 years of experience in the healthcare sector and a strong dispute resolution background, Robert Carr leads the practice and advises on the full gamut of medical work. He is especially regarded for his strength in complex personal injuries claims and medical negligence claims.

Catriona Watt advises on clinical negligence and fatal accident inquiries. She is recognised as a leading practitioner and increasingly involved in regulatory work.

Significant clients Quercus Healthcare Property Partnership, GMC, General Dental Council, RCN, BioReliance.

Intellectual Property - Scotland

Basic facts about the department

- 6 partners
- 6 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Sector focus on representing educational bodies and clients from the creative industries. Contentious expertise across trademark, patent and copyright disputes.

Work highlights Continues to act for Sudarshan Chemical Industries in a dispute over alleged infringement and validity of an international patent.

Continues to advise Birlinn on a dispute arising from the production of a children's book. Advice spans copyright, trade mark and defamation law.

Continues to work with Creative Edinburgh on all of its IP contacts.

Notable practitioners 

Leigh Davidson is key contact for the group.

Significant clients Edinburgh Napier University, University of Stirling, University of St Andrews, Veritas Vitae, Scottish Enterprise.  

Litigation - Scotland

Basic facts about the department
- 6 partners
- 10 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Edinburgh

What the team is known for Growing international practice with ability to work across multiple jurisdictions. Home to strong in-house advocacy practice. Ably handles banking disputes.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Responsiveness: "I find the team tremendously responsive. Everything gets dealt with efficiently and quickly. There is a real personal touch."

What's new? New client and panel wins include RBS, Lloyds TSB and the Scottish Prison Service.

Work highlights Acted for the HSE on an Employment Tribunal appeal relating to substandard offshore worker accommodation.

Successfully represented vehicle repair company Logan Inglis in a sentence appeal following a health and safety offence which resulted in two fatalities.

Notable practitioners  

Katrina Lumsdaine is a key contact at the firm.

Significant clients RCN, Edinburgh Napier University, Kwik Fit, Brabners, Scotmid.

Local Government - Scotland

Basic facts about the department
- 17 partners
- 16 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Edinburgh, Glasgow

What the team is known for Local government litigation specialists, handling judicial reviews, governance questions and court actions on behalf of local authority clients North and South of the border. Noted strengths in non-litigious advisory work, with regeneration projects a clear specialism. 

Work highlights Represents City of Edinburgh Council in multiple mandates, handling property and commercial matters on their behalf.

Notable practitioners  

Up-and-comer Audrey Cameron brings her EU law expertise and experience working in local authorities to bear in public sector work, with specific reference to procurement matters.

Significant clients Midlothian Council, Angus Council, Shetland Islands Council, Renfrewshire Council.

Parliamentary & Public Affairs - Scotland

Basic facts about the department
- 9 partners
- 10 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Edinburgh, Glasgow

What the team is known for Specialist parliamentary affairs team, known for drafting legislation, promoting private bills and interpreting statutes on behalf of the Scottish Government and various public bodies and institutions.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Breadth of service: "They have an enormous amount of experience and we feel very safe in their hands. Their client service is second to none."

Problem solving: "They provide a quick, creative response which is oriented towards finding solutions for problems."  

Notable practitioners  

Head of department Fiona Killen is pre-eminent in Scottish parliamentary circles and is regarded as highly adept at all aspects of public affairs work. Sources enthuse: "She is willing to go that extra mile for her clients - it's fair to say I'd rather be instructing her than have her on the other side!"

Significant clients The Scottish Parliament, The Police Complaints Commissioner for Scotland, RCN Scotland.

Personal Injury: Mainly Claimant - Scotland

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- 4 other fee earners
- Office locations ranked: Edinburgh

What the team is known for Specialises in high-value, complex catastrophic injury cases, as well as housing considerable expertise in workplace claims, many of which stem from the firm's long-standing relationship with the RCN.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Industry knowledge: "They have a huge amount of experience – they're very knowledgeable and collaborative."

Notable practitioners  

Robert Carr heads the personal injury team and is lead partner for the RCN. He is qualified as a solicitor advocate and handles a variety of personal injury work, including RTAs, accidents at work, and high-value serious injury claims.  

Personal Injury: Mainly Defendant - Scotland

Basic facts about the department
- 4 partners
- 12 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Edinburgh

What the team is known for Handles a wide variety of cases for defendants, including complex, catastrophic injury claims, as well as a number of cases for the Scottish Prison Service.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "I find them to be very approachable and very friendly; they're conclusive in their evidence and give us a concise opinion and way forward." 

Notable practitioners  

Joint department head Douglas Keir is qualified as a solicitor advocate, and frequently acts on fatal accident claims. One client notes: "I would recommend him for his approachability and level of expertise."

Sarah Phillips handles much of the department's work with the Scottish Prison Service.

Planning - Scotland

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- 3 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Edinburgh 

What the team is known for A go-to firm for advice on high-profile, complex planning matters. Provides a complete suite of planning services, including planning applications and inquiries.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "They provide clear and robust advice on a range of matters, focusing on the client's interests." 

What's new? Burness and Paull & Williamsons merged in December 2012 to create new firm Burness Paull.

Work highlights Represents Ross Estates Company in a planning application and subsequent appeal over the development of a waste-to-energy combined power plant in Invergordon.

Advised Capital Shopping Centres on the initial strategic planning for the £200 million development of Braehead Shopping Centre to include a new sports arena, hotel and retail space.

Notable practitioners  

Alastair McKie is head of the planning law department. Clients say his "knowledge of the planning system has proved to be invaluable."

Sarah Baillie is dual-qualified, as a lawyer and chartered town planner. She offers specialist advice on planning applications for large-scale projects and in the waste and energy sectors.

Significant clients The Buccleuch Estate, Walker Group (Scotland), Transport Scotland, Bank of Scotland, Volksvind UK. 

Private Client - Scotland

Basic facts about the department
- 9 partners
- 12 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Edinburgh, Glasgow

What the team is known for A private client powerhouse advising on the full range of trusts, estates and probate matters. Particular expertise in succession and tax planning, as well as a strong capacity for personal injury trusts work. Clients range from rural landowners to non-domiciled entrepreneurs and trustees.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Industry knowledge: "They have tremendous private client ability. They have great skill and understanding in a very specialised, complex area."

Practical approach: "What praise is too high for someone who saves your sanity? They have applied themselves to the task of pushing towards a satisfactory conclusion with vigour and imagination."

Bench strength: "They are a big, broad team." 

What's new? The firm recruited two associates into the Glasgow team.

Notable practitioners  

Colin Henderson commands respect for the strength and breadth of his private client practice, which covers asset and wealth protection, estate and tax planning, and heritage matters for resident and non-domiciled clients. One source said: "He is delightful to work with – I can't speak more highly of him."

John Biggar specialises in all aspects of trust work, including formation, administration and restructuring, as well as complex tax planning. He is well versed in matters relating to family businesses and is known in the market as "a very safe pair of hands."

Professional Negligence - Scotland

Basic facts about the department
- 10 partners
- 8 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for A group of accredited specialists offering advice on a wide range of areas, with a particular focus on solicitors' negligence. Retains significant panel appointments.

Notable practitioners  

Robert Carr is a key contact.

Significant clients Chelsea Building Society, Edinburgh Colleges, Edinburgh Napier University, ICAS, Law Society of Scotland.

Real Estate - Scotland

Basic facts about the department

- 16 partners
- 35 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Glasgow, Edinburgh

What the team is known for Acts for major players in the healthcare sector. Also handles real estate matters for well-known retailers.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "The service we get from them is excellent, they always respond to calls, their advice has been very good and we enjoy working with them."

Responsiveness: "As we have developed, they have developed; they've been extraordinarily aligned to our development as a business."

Notable practitioners

Paul Jennings heads the commercial real estate practice at Anderson Strathern. Clients praise him as "a good communicator" who "knows the market and how to get a deal done."

Gillian Anderson specialises in property finance work for banks. She is well regarded by peers.

Deborah Lovell heads the property finance team. She acts on a wide range of commercial real estate matters, specialising in transport projects.

Significant clients Walker Group, Quercus Healthcare Partnership, Buccleuch Property, Capital Shopping Centres, Scottish Midland Co-operative Society.

Restructuring/Insolvency - Scotland

Basic facts about the department
- 6 partners
- 13 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Edinburgh 

What the team is known for Offers restructuring and insolvency advice to government agencies, financial institutions and insolvency practitioners. Particular strength in contentious insolvency.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "The team is approachable and has a good manner with clients."

Clarity: "They are well-organised, efficient and clear communicators."

What's new? Reappointed to the recovery panels of RBS and Lloyds Banking Group.

Work highlights Acted for Rangers Football Club on various pieces of litigation prior to the club's administration.

Notable practitioners  

Department head Katrina Lumsdaine is a solicitor advocate who specialises in contentious insolvency, often working on complex matters. Market sources report that she is "good to deal with" and offers well-informed advice.

Significant clients HMRC, The Insolvency Service, The Accountant in Bankruptcy, Ernst & Young, Grant Thornton.

Retail - Scotland

Basic facts about the department

- Office locations ranked: Glasgow

What the team is known for Recognised for its real estate expertise. Client base features well-known retailers, restaurants and shopping centres. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Technical prowess: "The team handles tricky legal processes superbly in terms of looking after our interests and I am impressed with its negotiating ability."

What's new? New client wins include Joules, Tutti Frutti and Rox.

Work highlights Successfully negotiated and completed high-value leases of restaurant premises for Jamie's Italian in iconic buildings in Aberdeen and Edinburgh.

Notable practitioners Paul Jennings is the main point of contact for the retail group.

Significant clients Capital Shopping Centres, Krispy Kreme, Wagamama, Jamie's Italian, Waterstones.

Social Housing - Scotland

Basic facts about the department
- 12 partners
- 7 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Edinburgh

What the team is known for One-stop shop for housing associations handling property development, housing management, planning, procurement and renewable energy matters.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Problem-solving: "Their advice is helpful in proactively de-escalating issues." 

Responsiveness: "All responses are prompt and expeditious."  

What's new? Aberdeenshire Housing Partnership is a significant client win.

Work highlights Represented Margaret Blackwood Housing Association in eviction proceedings of a wheelchair-bound pensioner who was intimidating other tenants.

Acted for Hillcrest Housing Association on eviction proceedings against a tenant suffering from compulsive hoarding.

Notable practitioners  

Social housing management head Shirley Evans impresses clients. Interviewees say: "Her experience and professional manner have ensured that any actions being taken by us are well structured and presented." 

Significant clients Aberdeenshire Housing Partnership, Castlehill Housing Association, Castlerock Housing Association, East Lothian Housing Association, Edinburgh City Council.  

Sport - Scotland

Basic facts about the department
- 4 partners
- 4 associates

What the team is known for Acts for sports governing bodies and clubs, most notably on disciplinary and regulatory matters. It is also noted for its work in rugby cases, with additional expertise in sports such as cricket, gymnastics, tennis and golf.

Work highlights Defended Glen Golf Club against an interdict action and subsequent judicial review petition after it expelled a member.

Notable practitioners  

John Kerr is a member of the firm's corporate team and heads up the sports department. He acts primarily for governing bodies on regulatory issues and recently advised Scottish Gymnastics on its governance and management as well as the provision of grant aid.

Significant clients Cricket Scotland, Tennis Scotland, Scottish Rugby Union, Scottish Gymnastics, Cycling Scotland.

Professional Discipline - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department

- 7 partners
- 12 other qualified lawyers
- Recommended office locations: Edinburgh

What the team is known for Offers expertise in a wide range of professional discipline and regulatory sectors, including healthcare, finance, legal, sport and police.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Market standing: "They prosecute and are the big players in the Scottish market."

What's new? Won panel appointments to the General Teaching Council of Scotland, the Farriers Registration Council and the Scottish Prison Service.

Work highlights Successfully represented five nurses at a fatal accident inquiry following the death of an elderly resident.

Notable practitioners  

Robert Carr is head of the regulatory, public and healthcare teams, and is a leading UK authority in this area. He specialises in the interpretation of legislation underpinning public bodies facing legal challenges.

Catriona Watt focuses her practice on healthcare and acts for a broad range of clients. She is the only Scottish representative on the committee of the Association of Regulatory and Disciplinary Lawyers. Sources say: "She runs things smoothly and is always on top of everything. She gets things done on time and without fuss."

Significant clients Royal College of Nursing, Scottish Social Services Council, GMC, GDC, Scottish Legal Complaints Commission, Sports Resolutions.