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Brodies LLP

Edinburgh

Brodies LLP - Edinburgh
  • 15 Atholl Crescent
  • Edinburgh
  • City of Edinburgh
  • UK
  • EH3 8HA
  • Chairman Christine O’Neill
  • Managing Partner Bill Drummond
  • Number of partners 86
  • Associates 93
  • Other UK fee-earners 173

The Firm Brodies LLP is the Scottish headquartered law firm offering clients the largest specialist legal resource in Scotland. It has won many industry awards and plaudits for its client services, innovation, use of technology, commercial awareness and business acumen. Brodies provides business-focused advice to virtually every sector of the Scottish economy, and its client base includes companies and individuals from Scotland, the UK and across the globe, as well as the Scottish Government and a broad range of public sector organisations. With a talent bank of lawyers that includes some of the UK’s foremost legal experts, Brodies can provide specialist expertise, whatever the legal requirement – from commercial contracts to government regulation. Such expertise is not limited solely to Scottish jurisdictional work. The capability to undertake complex cross-border transactions is strengthened by Brodies’ active membership of European and global legal networks, and its international strategic legal partnership with the Scottish Council for Development and Industry (SCDI). In addition, Brodies remains the only Scottish law firm with an office in Brussels. The firm has continued to expand over the past year, recruiting seven new partners, strengthening its real estate, competition, corporate and commercial, private client, energy and lititgation teams. In 2014, Brodies was named Scotland Law Firm of the Year at the Who’s Who Legal Awards for the third consecutive time and Bill Drummond, managing partner, was named Managing Partner of the Year at the Scottish Legal Awards. In 2013, Brodies was named Regional Law Firm of the Year at the British Legal Awards and Bill Drummond was named the UK Management Partner of the Year at the Legal Business Awards.

Principal Areas of Work
Corporate & Commercial:
The team advises corporates, public bodies and business owners, and has exceptional credentials across a broad range of specialisms – private equity; general M&A; cross-border transactions; regulation and government work; public/private partnerships and projects; funds; intellectual property; IT and outsourcing. There is also a strong corporate tax offering, with particular expertise in VAT and SDLT.
Banking, Restructuring & Insolvency: The team can be distinguished by its strong cross-Scotland coverage, with full capability in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen. It has significant in-house experience with large financial institutions, and deals with complex transactions, new product development, legal risk management and regulatory compliance. It is very active on renewables and other energy financing; funds financing; re-banking; restructuring; asset finance; portfolio sales and purchases; and social housing and care home transactions.
Real Estate: Brodies has the largest, most diversely skilled, and highest-rated department in Scotland, with specialists who operate in every sector of the property market. Expertise includes investment and finance; commercial; residential and mixed-use development; out-of-town and high-street retail; leisure; hotels; licensing; land and rural business; land diversification; urban regeneration and construction; outsourcing projects, and property litigation.
Litigation & Dispute Resolution: The firm has one of the largest teams and strongest capabilities in Scotland. Brodies has ten solicitor advocates, all of whom appear regularly in the Court of Session and Sheriff Courts throughout Scotland. Specialisms include commercial and contractual disputes; health and safety; compliance; insurance; professional negligence; personal injury; risk management; intellectual property and IT disputes, and property litigation. In addition, Brodies has an outstanding public law team (with wide experience of parliamentary, local authority, freedom of information and human rights issues), enhanced by expertise in competition law.
Employment: As one of the largest teams in Scotland, Brodies’ employment department is widely regarded as a market leader, with a reputation for responsive, targeted advice, delivered with superb client focus. With an integrated, specialist employee benefits and pensions function, the department assists HR and in-house legal teams across the UK, offering specialist advice in employment tribunal litigation, mediation and alternative dispute resolution, contract and policy development, as well as guidance on pension issues and employee rewards.
Private Client: The firm’s private client team is highly respected, not only for its core work in estate planning; wills; trusts; tax; divorce; custody; asset protection; charities and executries, in multi-jurisdictional areas, but also for groundbreaking innovations such as developing (Scottish) family limited partnerships and a variety of trust solutions.

    Contacts
  • Banking & Financial Services Bruce Stephen
  • Casualty Elena Fry, Peter Demick
  • Commercial Litigation Joyce Cullen, Robin Macpherson
  • Competition & EU Law Rob Lambert
  • Construction & Engineering Alistair Mclean, Manus Quigg
  • Corporate Shana Stirling, Julian Voge, Will McIntosh
  • Corporate Restructuring & Insolvency Colin McIntosh, Rachel Grant
  • Debt & Asset Recovery David Whyte
  • Dispute Resolution & Litigation David Armstrong, Joyce Cullen, Stephen Goldie, Robin Macpherson
  • Education Brenda Scott, Will McIntosh
  • Employment & Pensions Joan Cradden, Juliet Bayne, Nigel Watson
  • Energy Clare Munro, Neil Collar, Keith Patterson, Peter Kelly
  • Family Law Scott Cochrane
  • Health Keith Patterson
  • Insurance Elena Fry
  • Land & Rural Business Odell Milne
  • Oil & Gas Clare Munro, Greg May
  • Personal Injury David Armstrong, Jonathan Cornwell
  • Planning & Environment Neil Collar, Charles Smith, Kenneth Ross
  • Private Client Alan Barr, Susanne Beveridge
  • Professional Negligence Alan Calvert Alisdair Matheson
  • Projects Keith Patterson Roger Cotton
  • Property Nick Scott Johane Murray
  • Property Litigation Stephen Goldie
  • Public Law & Regulation Jackie McGuire Christine O’Neill
  • Public Sector Services Group Christine O’Neill Jackie McGuire
  • Shipping Duncan MacLean
  • Tax Alan Barr Isobel d’Inverno
  • IP, Technology & Outsourcing Grant Campbell Gill Grassie
  • Transport Karen Hamilton Odell Milne

Branches

  • 15 Atholl Crescent,
  • Edinburgh,
  • City of Edinburgh
  • UK
  • EH3 8HA
  • Tel (0131) 228 3777
  • Fax (0131) 228 3878
  • DX ED10 Edinburgh-1
  • Email : mailbox@brodies.com
  • Website : www.brodies.com
  • 2 Blythswood Square,
  • Glasgow,
  • Glasgow City
  • UK
  • G2 4AD
  • Tel (0141) 248 4672
  • Fax (0141) 221 9270
  • DX GW 11
  • Email : mailbox@brodies.com
  • 31-33 Union Grove,
  • Aberdeen,
  • Aberdeen City
  • UK
  • AB10 6SD
  • Tel (01224) 392 242
  • Fax (01224) 392 244
  • DX AB10
  • Email : mailbox@brodies.com

Real Estate - National Leaders (outside London)

What the team is known for Leaders in the Scottish market, representing high-profile clients on all aspects of real estate, including development, investment and long-term projects. Ranked offices in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Notable practitioners  

Nick Scott is a key contact.

Real Estate Litigation - National Leaders (outside London)

What the team is known for Much-praised Scottish group with the capacity to handle a wide range of disputes throughout the country. Key expertise in dilapidations cases. Clients include Ashtenne, Aberdeen City Council, Henderson Global Investors, Ocean Terminal and Edinburgh Airport. Ranked office in Glasgow.

Notable practitioners  

Stephen Goldie is head of the firm's property litigation department.

Administrative & Public Law - Scotland

Basic facts about the department
- 11 partners
- 20 other lawyers

What the team is known for Provides an outstanding quality of advice and representation across the full span of public law issues. Acts for respondents and petitioners, with particular expertise in legislative matters and the interface of commercial interests and public law.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"Brodies has a multidisciplinary team that is hard to match, and an understanding that is second to none."

Notable practitioners  

The "seriously impressive" Christine O'Neill has an exceptional reputation for her work in public law in Scotland. Clients praise the level of her service, saying that "she is incisive and very good at giving practical advice after judging a client's needs."

Charles Livingstone is an associate with an impressive public law practice, which focuses on legislative issues. Sources praise him for being "very methodical, with a good knowledge of the law and a fantastic attention to detail."

Significant clients Scotch Whisky Association, Shetland Islands Council, Scottish Government, Scottish Futures Trust, Argyll & Bute Council.

Agriculture & Rural Affairs - Scotland

Basic facts about the department
- 4 partners
- 1 consultant
- 13 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Aberdeen, Edinburgh

What the team is known for Highly regarded team advising an impressive rural and agricultural client base. Assists major estates, farmers, rural businesses and organisations with a broad spectrum of mandates. Areas of significant strength include property, agribusiness, renewables and development options.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"I find that the practice has high levels of expertise and always has plenty of lawyers to draw on."

"I've been hugely satisfied; the firm has a great team of people."

What's new? Robert Forman was promoted to the partnership.

Work highlights Advised Havisham Properties on the purchase of a portfolio of properties in the Knockroon development, Ayrshire.

Notable practitioners  

Clive Phillips leads the Aberdeen-based team for land and rural business, advising clients on commercial matters, sale and purchase transactions, and other key issues. In the words of one client: "He's responsive, deals with things when I ask questions and has a good knowledge of agricultural matters."

Alex Buchan advises estates and landowners on matters including land diversification and commercial activities. Clients appreciate his "robust advice, high level of service, responsiveness and pragmatism."

Odell Milne heads the firm's agriculture and estates department. She is noted for her extensive experience in this area, assisting clients principally with rural property matters including land diversification.

Significant clients Dunecht Estates, Atholl Estates, Co-operative Farms, Seafield & Reidhaven Estates, Scottish Woodlands.

Banking & Finance - Scotland

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

What the team is known for Sizeable team with an aptitude for handling demanding transactions within the renewable energy and oil and gas sectors for a host of lenders and offshore oil companies. Frequently called upon by borrowers to provide expertise on venture capital transactions.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They are easy people to deal with, and get transactions done with efficiency and good humour to boot. They set a very good benchmark by which we judge other firms."

"As a client we get access to the entire firm and its expertise. I have never had an issue or area of law on which they could not advise, such is their breadth. They deliver on promises and also maintain fees at the levels quoted."

What's new? Neal Richardson has been promoted to partner. He is an experienced banking and finance practitioner, and is head of the team in Aberdeen.  

New client wins include Standard Chartered Bank, FM Asset Management and Motonovo Finance. 

Work highlights Acted for Drum Property Group regarding the negotiation of a full debt finance package with Barclays, used to fund the development of Prime Four Business Park, Aberdeen's only grade 'A' commercial business park for the oil and gas sector.

Advised FirstRand Bank in connection with the Scottish elements of a highly structured £400 million ABS.

Notable practitioners  

Neal Richardson has proved himself to be an invaluable member of the Aberdeen team, leading on a number of complex financings. Clients find working with him to be "very positive" because of his "personable and pragmatic approach," and are appreciative of his ability to "cut directly to the heart of the matter."

Peter Kelly is particularly well regarded for his expert grasp of asset-based lending transactions and real estate financings, which has earned him a strong reputation in the Glasgow market. He is consistently described by clients as "tenacious, professional and extremely hard-working."

Beloved by clients, Bruce Stephen "heads the team and leads by example." Clients effuse that he is "highly knowledgeable and approachable," and regard him as a "facilitator in getting transactions done."

As head of the energy and infrastructure department, Michael Stoneham is particularly trusted to advise on intricate financings within the oil and gas, renewables and social housing sectors. Recently, he assisted Bank of Scotland with its provision of funds to Ayrshire Housing to facilitate a large social housing initiative. 

Significant clients Clydesdale Bank, RBS, Maven Capital Partners, Natixis, Wells Fargo. 

Banking Litigation - Scotland

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

What the team is known for Remains at the forefront of contractual banking disputes, professional negligence claims and wider banking litigation. Attracts significant instructions from large banking and insolvency groups.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They are the pre-eminent litigation team in Scotland." 

What's new? Iain Rutherford has been promoted to partner.

Work highlights Represented RBS in RBS v Carlyle, a claim for loan repayment in which the debtor asserted that the bank had given a collateral warranty, and that no repayment was owed but instead damages were due to the debtor.

Notable practitioners 

Department head Joyce Cullen is a solicitor advocate and mediator. One source comments that she is "justifiably regarded as one of the top litigators in Scotland" and another notes her "calm and measured presence that goes down well with clients."

Iain Rutherford is a solicitor advocate and has a broad litigation practice focusing on banking and financial services litigation. He is an "extremely well-regarded" practitioner with a "good track record of analysing some of the more complex and difficult cases."

Significant clients ING Direct, The Co-operative Bank, KPMG, North East Scotland Pension Fund, Deloitte.

Charities - Scotland

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

What the team is known for Burgeoning Scottish charities practice that continues to win work from major UK-based and Scottish charitable organisations. Has gained a wealth of expertise, through its advisory work with OSCR, concerning the regulatory aspects of charity law and necessary requirements of obtaining charitable status. Also possesses a solid understanding of trust law.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They're able to adapt to our changing needs. We come up with some quite novel issues and they're always able to help."

What's new? Highly rated charities specialist Alan Eccles joins the team from Maclay Murray & Spens.   

Accumulated an impressive list of UK-wide charitable clients, including Oxfam and Save the Children.

Work highlights Worked in conjunction with the ScottishPower in-house legal team to establish the ScottishPower Foundation. 

Advised World Wildlife Fund UK on the legal and regulatory requirements applicable to its Scottish operations.

Notable practitioners  

Brenda Scott is a primary contact for a number of the firm's largest charitable clients. She advised the umbrella organisation for all Scottish colleges on amendments to the Post-16 Education Bill, a ground-breaking piece of legislation that impacts both the education and charitable sectors.  

New addition Alan Eccles has cultivated extensive experience advising third-sector clients on charity law matters spanning governance, mergers, charity creations and incorporations. He is also noted for his proficient grasp of private client law and parliamentary law, as evidenced by his advisory work for Glasgow City Council whilst at Maclay Murray & Spens.  

Significant clients Turning Point Scotland, Glasgow Caledonian University, Richmond Fellowship, Quarriers, Colleges Scotland and Colleges Development Network.  

Competition Law - Scotland

Basic facts about the department
- 4 partners
- 9 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Deeply experienced in Scottish competition regulation. Works closely with its Brussels office to assist clients with EU competition matters.

Work highlights Advised the Freight Transport Association on the EC's review of the shipping consortia competition block exemption regulation.

Notable practitioners  

Charles Livingstone is a public law litigator who also handles competition, state aid and public procurement. Clients say that "his attention to detail is fantastic. He is very methodical, has a great knowledge of the law and picks up points that others miss." 

Significant clients Scotch Whisky Association, Virgin Money, Lothian Buses, Scottish Qualifications Authority, Lerwick Port Authority.

Construction - Scotland

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

What the team is known for Acts on a broad spectrum of transactional development matters and disputes. Has extensive experience of adjudications and court litigation. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"A very user-friendly, efficient and effective practice. Their quick response and immediate grasp of the matter is highly commendable." 

"They have been very good at developing strategy on the claims."

What's new? Louise Shiels joins the team from Dundas & Wilson.

Work highlights Acted for Ediston Real Estate on a number of developments across the UK, including newbuilds and refurbishment projects.

Advised Stornoway Port Authority on professional appointments and engineering contracts for piling and pier works.  

Notable practitioners  

Alistair McLean leads on non-contentious matters. He is particularly well regarded in the market, with one source commenting: "He brings broad and in-depth experience to the table in deciphering construction documents."

Manus Quigg is highly experienced in contentious construction matters. Clients report that he is "capable of expressing complex legal concepts in basic language," and has the "ability to provide a clear and succinct overview."

Louise Shiels advises a range of public and private clients on contractual matters, as well as disputes. Clients say she is "very determined and tenacious," and "works tirelessly to get the work done."

Legal director Mark Finlay is a specialist in non-contentious matters and has extensive knowledge of transport construction.

Significant clients Shetland Islands Council, McLaughlin & Harvey, Fairhurst, Robertson Construction, The City of Edinburgh Council.

Corporate/M&A - Scotland

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

What the team is known for Represents clients from a range of industries, including food and drink and technology. Advises on high-value M&A, equity investment and joint ventures.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They are exceedingly sharp corporate lawyers who always find solutions to complex international legal problems. They do not compromise on quality and always try to find practical solutions to complex legal problems."

What's new? Neil Burgess joined the team from DLA Piper.

Work highlights The Edinburgh office represented Moorfield Real Estate Fund III in its acquisition of the Quartermile development.

The Aberdeen office assisted Maven Capital Partners with the provision of facilities to Fletcher Shipping to fund the acquisition of a North Sea oil and gas supply vessel.

Notable practitioners  

Gillian Summers advised Clydesdale Bank on the debt finance aspects of the acquisition of Ramco Holdings by Ramco Acquisition. One impressed client said: "She was very thorough with paperwork and made me very comfortable with the legal process."

Neil Burgess specialises in domestic and international corporate transactions, with particular expertise in M&A and private equity.

Clients value William McIntosh, with one saying: "He truly thinks outside the box, is always available and always anticipates issues. He is an ace and greatly impressed me."

Julian Voge is praised for his "vast experience and ability to provide advice that is not just strong but also reasoned and balanced." He advised Moorfield on its acquisition of the Quartermile development. 

Interviewees highlight Shuna Stirling's "exceptional people skills." She advised C&C Group on the acquisition of a 50% shareholding in Wallaces Express.

Alistair Campbell assisted Omega Diagnostics with the placing of new shares in the company, raising £3.76 million. 

Significant clients Scottish Seafood Investments, Moorfield, The Co-operative Group, Endeavour Energy, ADTI.

Education - Scotland

Basic facts about the department
- 16 partners
- 12 other qualified solicitors

What the team is known for Advises colleges, universities and authorities on transactional, commercial and employment matters. Experienced in advising on sector reform and strategic initiatives.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"One of their strengths is that they are very proactive and we get a value-added service."

"Brodies offers a reliable, friendly and extremely knowledgeable service."

Work highlights Acted for Glasgow Caledonian University as sole advisers on employment, procurement, media and construction law.  

Advised Queen Margaret University on employment and commercial law matters, including trade union issues and commercial disputes.

Notable practitioners

Brenda Scott is a key contact.  

Significant clients Colleges Scotland, Scottish Qualification Authority, City of Edinburgh Council, University of Edinburgh, Dollar Academy.

Employee Share Schemes & Incentives - Scotland

Basic facts about the department
- 4 partners 
- 2 other qualified lawyers.

What the team is known for Expertise in the financial services industry and assisting oil and gas companies with share scheme issues. Noted experience in remunerations advice concerning employees at all levels.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"Brodies helped me with understanding the complexities that arise in executive remuneration matters. They educated me on the various things that we could do and helped to shape some proposals at a high level."

"They gave open advice on all the different options, and helped me to make an informed decision on how I wanted to progress. I couldn't fault them."

Work highlights Assisted PHI Partners Global with the implementation of a new incentive plan for existing partners. This included the creation of a new employee benefit trust and adjustments to the existing share capital.

Advised Berendsen on the recent DRR reforms, which involved extensive redrafting of its existing directors' remuneration report. 

Notable practitioners  

Head of department Nigel Watson is well regarded for his remunerations expertise, and recently took the lead advisory role for Berendsen in regards to senior executive remuneration issues. One source stated that "no question is too daft to ask him. He does not make you feel like you are a novice; he is very easy to work with and very personable."

Significant clients Prudential, Rexam, Brammer, Johnston Press, SSE. 

Employment - Scotland

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

What the team is known for Market-leading employment team. Significant base of high-profile corporate clients, especially in the financial services sector. Additionally experienced with food and drink, education and third-sector clients. Widely reputed for employment litigation, alongside an increasing focus on transactional matters.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Definitely my first port of call for employment matters - very pragmatic, commercial and approachable."

Work highlights Provided varied and ongoing TUPE advice to Sykes Global Enterprises, pertaining to staff at the its Scottish operations.

Notable practitioners  

Sources regard "exceptional" lawyer Joan Cradden as a leading figure in the region for top-level matters. According to clients, she is "very good at conveying risks and helping to find a way forward" in challenging employment cases.

Tony Hadden impresses interviewees with his broad employment practice, offering experience of transactional and contentious matters. Lately, this included assisting construction business Morris & Spottiswood with various employment issues, such as a litigation case with health and safety aspects.

Paul McMahon continues to handle a range of employment-related issues, including transactions, industrial relations and immigration matters.

Sources regard senior associate Brian Campbell as an "extremely good" employment lawyer, who is "very experienced" in the field. He provides employment advice to numerous private and public sector clients, including Glasgow Caledonian University.

Significant clients RBS, Prudential, American Express, Virgin Money, Tesco Bank.

Energy & Natural Resources - Scotland

Basic facts about the department
- 22 partners
- 21 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Strength in oil and gas work, renewable energy development and financing work. Advises in areas such as upstream E&P, decommissioning and oilfield services. Acts on transactions, development and construction in the solar, wind, biomass and combined heat and power sectors.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 

"The quality and advice have been exceptional; they have been able to assist in every area and if they don't have someone specific in their department they will bring someone in from other Brodies offices. They always respond in a timely fashion and go over and above."

"The most important thing is that we know the people well and know they are all experts in their field and have great in-house experience."  

Work highlights Advised on the procurement and delivery of the West Whitlawburn Housing Co-operative biomass district heating scheme.

Notable practitioners  

Clare Munro is a "top energy lawyer in Aberdeen," who is particularly noted for her knowledge of upstream and transportation matters. Clients appreciate her in-house experience and say she "is aware of the commercial aspects of what you are trying to do; she comes up with practical solutions."

Charles Smith is an experienced lawyer with a broad practice spanning energy, environment law and PPP work. He is particularly noted for his work on biomass projects and district heating schemes. Sources say he is "very effective and he certainly has a great eye for detail."

Significant clients Banks Renewables, AES Wind Generation, Aberdeen Heat & Power, Maersk Oil, Shelf Drilling.

Environment - Scotland

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

What the team is known for Broad-based expertise, with experience across areas including transactions, regulatory work, waste matters and prosecutions. Acts for an impressive client roster covering areas such as energy, education and transport.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"The way they engage is very good and always proactive. They do what they need to do and they do it very quickly."

Work highlights Successfully represented the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency in an appeal arising from the liquidation of Scottish Coal, relating to a range of environmental issues including the right of Scottish liquidators to disclaim land and environmental licences.

Advised Falkirk Council in relation to an appeal brought by Dart Energy against the refusal of planning permission for a coal bed methane project.

Notable practitioners  

Head of department Charles Smith is described as "very passionate and very knowledgeable," as well as being "one of the leading experts in the waste industry." His practice includes significant experience representing public sector clients in contentious and non-contentious work.

Kenneth Ross is a key partner on the team with notable strength in contaminated land work. Sources comment that "he's an expert - it goes without saying."

Significant clients Lanarkshire Housing Association, West Whitlawburn Housing Co-operative, Scottish Borders Council, Shore Energy, Edinburgh Airport.

Family/Matrimonial - Scotland

Basic facts about the department
- 1 partner
- 7 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Edinburgh

What the team is known for Well-known team with a diverse caseload, ranging from high-value financial settlements and prenuptial agreements to child protection issues. Often handles matters where business assets are at stake. Also offers a full range of dispute resolution services, such as arbitration, mediation, collaborative law and traditional litigation.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They are experienced and capable." 

Notable practitioners  

One source identifies Scott Cochrane as "one of the leading lawyers on financial provision in Scotland." His experience also encompasses divorce cases involving farms and international elements. He is trusted by peers and clients to provide solutions and is praised for "looking at the overall strategy."

Associate Leonie Burke is known for her experience in high-value provision cases and "stands out" for her clear advice and desire to reach solutions. Sources also comment on her "empathy" and "abililty to relate very well to clients."  

Financial Crime - Scotland

What the team is known for Represents corporations and individuals facing criminal and regulatory investigations. Key experience in advising clients from the oil and gas sector.

Notable practitioners  

Paul Marshall defends corporates and individuals in criminal and regulatory investigations. Clients appreciate his ability to explain complex matters in understandable terms.

Franchising - Scotland

Basic facts about the department 
- 3 partners
- 6 other qualified lawyers
- Recommended office location: Edinburgh 

What the team is known for This mainstay of the Scottish market is recommended for its work in the restructuring of franchising networks and in acquisitions and sales. Notable for its work with retail clients, hotels and rail services.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"All the lawyers I have dealt with have been very efficient and responsive to our needs."

"They are very good, they have a lot of resources and they work closely and collaboratively with us. We are very comfortable with them."

Work highlights Acted for Baguette Express, providing the group with franchise-style agreements.

Advised Airtec International on the evaluation of its existing franchising structure and the degree of protection it affords to the brand.

Notable practitioners  

Eric Galbraith demonstrates strength in all kinds of corporate and franchising matters, both in the UK and abroad. He acts for high-profile clients in the food and drink industry, as well as for public sector clients and charitable organisations. "I continue to be impressed by his technical skills, knowledge of our business and responsiveness," said one interviewee.

Julian Voge is an eminent practitioner with extensive expertise in a broad range of franchising and commercial deals, including joint enterprises, shareholder agreements and corporate reconfigurations. He previously worked as a reporter to the Court of Session and was involved in many seminal franchising cases held there. He is strongly recommended by peers for his niche work in rail franchising.

Significant clients Domino's Pizza, Abellio Transport Holdings, Caspian Retail, Marriott, Scotwork.

Health & Safety - Scotland

Basic facts about the department
- 5 partners
- 16 other qualified lawyers
- Recommended office locations: Glasgow

What the team is known for Advises on matters concerning a broad range of sectors, including construction, transport and agriculture, as well as the marine and offshore spaces. Provides training and compliance consultancy in addition to incident-based advice. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They are really good to work with and are very responsive. What we are getting for our money is high quality."

Notable practitioners  

Elena Fry is head of the health and safety department. "She possesses a very calm and measured manner in her engagement with clients," notes one impressed source.

Significant clients ScottishPower, Morris & Spottiswood, National Express Group, City Refrigeration Holdings, Arthur McKay & Co.

Healthcare - Scotland

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

What the team is known for Established presence in the healthcare sector, advising on the full range of matters. Particularly sought after for its considerable expertise in the care home sector. Additional capability in regulatory work.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They are the market-leading team for care home operators." 

Work highlights Advised City of Edinburgh Council on complex issues concerning care home costs such as deprivation of capital. 

Acted for Lorimer Care Homes on the acquisition of a care home operator in Ayrshire.

Notable practitioners  

Keith Patterson leads the healthcare team. He receives praise for his technical ability and infrastructure projects expertise, and often advises healthcare sector clients on projects matters.

Significant clients Life Technologies, Deliverics, Glasgow Caledonian University, Innova Partnerships, Goodmark Medical Europe.

Information Technology - Scotland

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

What the team is known for Noted for its cross-sector instructions at a local and national level, particularly from financial services and utilities providers. Core areas of expertise include mergers and acquisitions, business disputes, and banking and finance.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They were really pragmatic and did a good job working with the business and demystifying some of the cerebral elements for us. The people working with us were at the right level."

"I always find them to be of a high calibre across the board." 

Work highlights Advised Lothian Buses on the roll-out of WiFi across vehicles in Edinburgh, in a project valued at £2 million.

Advised DC Thomson on a contract with Northgate Arinso for the hosting and provision of a payroll and HR system.

Notable practitioners  

Grant Campbell is the head of department at Brodies, and a gifted commercial contracts lawyer with over 20 years of experience in transaction and advisory matters. His areas of specialism include finance, technology, aviation and engineering.

Gill Grassie is called "the top of the range" and a "really excellent" lawyer by sources. She has 20 years of experience in IP and IT dispute resolution.

Significant clients Standard Life, BAE Systems, RBS, Virgin Money, Trustmarque Solutions.

Intellectual Property - Scotland

Basic facts about the department
- 5 partners
- 9 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Houses expertise in both IP disputes and advisory work. Particularly experienced with trade mark infringement and passing-off cases. Also assists clients with the commercialisation of their IP.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They have been very prompt, quick and responsive. They have produced a solid analysis in a short period of time, which is exactly what we are looking for."

"Their legal knowledge was perfect - they really knew the law."

Work highlights Represented Rock Spring Property Investment Managers in a trade mark and passing-off dispute with Rock Spring Ventures.

Assisted Glasgow Caledonian University with the development of a sponsorship agreement with Marks & Spencer.

Notable practitioners  

Sources identify Gill Grassie as "one of the highest-quality IP litigators in Scotland." She recently represented Rockspring Property Investment Managers in a high-value trade mark and passing-off dispute. Clients appreciate her "responsive and attentive" approach, while peers respect her for her long-standing reputation in the market.

Grant Campbell heads the IP team and focuses on non-contentious IP matters. Sources say he has "a real depth of experience" in this area and he is considered to be a "pragmatic and commercial" practitioner.  

Robert Buchan concentrates on IP disputes, often with respect to trade mark and passing-off cases. Sources observe that he has a "strong commitment to client service," and praise his strategic abilities, noting that he "anticipates what might happen two stages later in litigation."

Associate Mark Cruickshank is recognised for his strength in handling IP disputes and brand enforcement matters. He is described as "extremely thorough," with one client admiring his "ability to turn projects with tight deadlines around quickly." 

Significant clients Scottish Qualifications Authority, Glasgow Caledonian University, BAE Systems, Bender Social Networking, Edinburgh University Press.

Licensing - Scotland

Basic facts about the department
- 1 partner
- 5 qualified lawyers
- 1 consultant
- Office location ranked: Edinburgh 

What the team is known for Advises clients on the full range of licensing matters. The team regularly works with multiple operators, including restaurants and liquor retailers, across Scotland.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"If I have a question or need updates they are very helpful and get back to me quickly." 

Work highlights Advised the Scottish Whiskey Association on its judicial review challenge of the Alcohol (Minimum Pricing) Act 2012.

Notable practitioners  

Alex Buchan is a key contact for the firm's licensing group. 

Significant clients Tragus Group, Majestic Wine, Pizza Hut, The Co-operative group, Prezzo Restaurants.  

Litigation - Scotland

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

What the team is known for Sizeable litigation practice regularly instructed on complex matters. Experience encompasses advising on IP, public and financial disputes. Also offers alternative dispute resolution (ADR) capabilities.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Brodies has very good people across a variety of fields. It does some cutting-edge work."

"Our firm of choice in Scotland." 

Work highlights Represented the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency in a dispute arising out of the liquidation of Scottish Coal. 

Acted for RBS on the recovery of a loan from an individual claiming collateral warranty, a case currently under appeal before the Supreme Court. 

Notable practitioners  

Clients laud the capabilities of solicitor advocate Joyce Cullen, describing her as "our number-one choice - she offers complete security from our perspective." She covers a wide range of contentious issues, advising businesses and private clients.

The hugely experienced Robin Macpherson's practice encompasses insolvency, property litigation and professional negligence. Described as a "sensible, level-headed litigator," he advises on disputes before the Sheriff Courts and the Court of Session.

Significant clients Scotch Whisky Association, RSA, Lothian Buses, ScottishPower, Aviva.

Local Government - Scotland

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

What the team is known for Strong relationships with Scottish local authorities and a wide range of expertise in sector-critical areas such as real estate, employment and procurement. The team is recognised for its skill in handling contentious matters including planning disputes.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"Standout public sector work in Scotland; they are involved in some high-quality litigation." 

Work highlights Advised Glasgow City Council on the infrastructure issues relating to the 2014 Commonwealth Games, including contractual work on a district heating scheme.

Acted for City of Edinburgh Council on a number of matters, including the drafting of a contract between the council and Ernst & Young relating to strategic procurement.

Notable practitioners  

Jackie McGuire leads the firm's local government practice. She is praised for her client focus. Sources say: "She takes the time to get under the skin of clients, and to fundamentally understand their issues properly" and "she has a great appreciation for a client's appetite for risk."

Sources consider Roger Cotton a go-to lawyer for procurement work and note his thorough approach. His recent work includes advising Aberdeen City Council on its acquisition of a fleet of hydrogen buses.

Christine O'Neill is praised for being "incisive on what needs to be done and reliable in taking issues forward." She is a solicitor advocate, noted for her litigation work. Sources say: "She is great when trying to assess the prospects of success in litigation." She had a lead role advising the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities on a number of ultra vires and constitutional queries.

Significant clients Perth & Kinross Council, Midlothian Council, Aberdeen City Council, Inverclyde Council, Falkirk Council.

Media & Entertainment - Scotland

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

What the team is known for Burgeoning practice offering a wide spectrum of services to prominent media clients. Demonstrates proficiency advising developers of online games and mobile apps, as well as strength in television and film production work and music licensing.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"The depth of knowledge they have is brilliant. I can trust them."

"What I like about them most is that whatever the practice area, I always find them to be of a high calibre across the board." 

What's new? New clients include Bitwink, and ATP Champions of Tennis promoter and organiser Serve & Volley.

Work highlights Acted for mobile app software development company Bitwink on a range of matters in connection with the business's contract with STV.

Advised Glasgow Caledonian University in securing sponsorship arrangements for its joint venture with Marks & Spencer, design studio M&S Fashion School.

Notable practitioners  

Christine O'Neill is the key contact and head of department.

Significant clients BBC Scotland, Channel 4, DC Thomson, EUP, GCU.

Parliamentary & Public Affairs - Scotland

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

What the team is known for Counts numerous public bodies on its client roster, including local councils and public corporations. Recognised for its expertise in a broad swathe of matters, including legislation, parliamentary advice and public procurement.

Work highlights Provided counsel to a number of entities on the practical implications of an independent Scotland.

Acted for UKIP in a dispute over whether the party's candidate for the Dunfermline by-election should be allowed to retain his position as an elected, non-executive director of the NHS Board in the local area.

Notable practitioners  

Firm chair Christine O'Neill is "incisive and very good," say sources, praising her "extensive knowledge of the law and pragmatic assessment of the legal landscape with regard to the political imperatives." She has played a lead role in counselling the firm's clients on the implications of the independence referendum.

Significant clients Aviva Insurance, Scottish Futures Trust, Lerwick Port Authority, City of Edinburgh Council, Scottish Qualifications Authority.  

Partnership - Scotland

Basic facts about the department
- 6 partners
- 7 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Talented partnership team advising domestic and international clients. Offers significant expertise in investment fund structuring, private wealth management, and joint venture and renewable energy project structuring.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"I'm very happy with the way they handled things. They were very professional. They put forward experts in their field as opposed to general practitioners. You can go to them with a specific query on a technical issue."

"They can handle any type of work we give them." 

Work highlights Advised FIM Services on its second round of fund-raising for FIM Forest Fund 1 LP, raising £20 million.

Counselled LXB Retail Properties Fund LP and other entities in its group on the formation of new special purpose vehicles.

Notable practitioners  

Team head Alistair Campbell is the contact at the firm.

Significant clients Amati Global Partners LLP, GKN, Tristan Capital Partners, Taylor Wessing LLP, Calor Gas.

Pensions - Scotland

Basic facts about the department
- 2 partners (1 Glasgow, 1 Edinburgh)
- 1 other qualified lawyer
- Office locations ranked: Glasgow, Edinburgh

What the team is known for Acts for clients in both public and private sectors. Deep expertise in complex pensions issues, including auto-enrolment and liability management. Particular strength in advising clients with defined benefit schemes.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They have a very commercial approach." 

What's new? New clients include Gates UK Pension Trustee, SAS International and The Richmond Fellowship Scotland.

Work highlights Acted for the Trustees of the John Menzies Pension Fund on the sale of a number of commercial properties which had formed part of an SPV.

Assisted the Trustees of the Howden Group Pension Plan with a Pension Protection Fund Guarantee.

Notable practitioners  

Alison Shackleton acts for private and public sector clients on a range of pensions matters. Clients say: "We value her for her commercial advice." She has significant experience of handling the pensions elements of corporate transactions.

Juliet Bayne advises trustee clients on scheme management including Pension Protection Fund issues as well as windings-up. "She gives you a clear answer; everything is understandable and laid out in plain English," clients comment.

Significant clients Virgin Money, Prudential Assurance Company Limited Trustees, Trustees of the British Polythene Pension Scheme, Intel, Lothian Pension Fund.

Personal Injury: Mainly Claimant - Scotland

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

What the team is known for Highly active in RTA cases and increasingly emerging as an effective proposition on employers' liability and industrial disease cases. Represents clients in a variety of countries.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They appeal to clients in a broad range of industries." 

"Professional, organised and manage their clients well."

What's new? New client wins include After Accident Helpline, Claims Adviser and Direct Line Recoveries.

Notable practitioners  

David Armstrong is widely respected as a market leader and earns recognition for his excellent leadership of the team, with one source adding how he "knows his stuff and has fantastic insights" into the industry. He works on a broad range of matters including RTAs and catastrophic injury cases.

Significant clients Central Compensation Office, Accident Advice Helpline, 1st Central Insurance, The Communication Workers Union, Countryside Claims.

Personal Injury: Mainly Defendant - Scotland

Basic facts about the department
- 5 partners
- 21 other qualified lawyers 

What the team is known for Operates a full service and enjoys a wide reach across the market. Commended by sources for its dedication to partner involvement and consistent quality in processing cases. Notably advises on large complex loss matters.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 
"They offer good value for money."

"They are good negotiators." 

What's new? The team has gained a number of new clients over the past year.

Work highlights Representing Allianz in a disease litigation case worth more than £500,000. The team is appealing the decision to allow the claimant to lodge the case despite several years having elapsed since the limitation period.

Notable practitioners  

Peter Demick is "always slightly ahead of the game" and is valued for his experience in "managing and achieving settlements on catastrophic claims."

Elena Fry is cited by sources as a "driving force" who is "good at looking towards a desired endgame." Her broad practice covers occupational disease and public liability matters.

Significant clients Aviva, Covea, Novae, Acromas, Amlin.

Projects - Scotland

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

What the team is known for Extensive expertise in matters such as transport, health and renewables. Acts for lenders, bidders and the public sector.

What's new? New client wins, including Islington Borough Council, Abellio and Santander.

Work highlights Advised Aberdeen City Council on its hydrogen strategy and the procurement for the redevelopment of the Aberdeen Exhibition & Conference Centre.

Advised West Whitlawburn Housing Co-operative on its biomass district heating project.

Notable practitioners  

Key partner Charles Smith advises across a broad range of PFI/PPP matters, bolstering his practice with significant expertise in environmental and energy work. His experience covers a wide range of infrastructure work, representing both public and private sector clients.

Roger Cotton is a key partner in the department noted for his experience in energy infrastructure matters and his depth of expertise in procurement. He acts for both public and private sector clients.

Keith Patterson heads the team, acting across areas such as renewables, transport and social infrastructure. He is well versed in representing bidders, lenders and public sector clients.

Significant clients The Co-operative Bank, Veolia Water UK, Macquarie Capital Group, City of Edinburgh Council, Glasgow City Council.

Planning - Scotland

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

What the team is known for Widely recognised as a leading force in the Scottish planning market. Boasts an impressive track record in major developments across the energy, infrastructure, residential and retail sectors, with formidable strength in representing clients in public inquiries and appeals.

What's new? New client wins include ABO Wind, Hillhouse Quarry Group, Airvolution Energy and Mactaggart & Mickel Homes.

Work highlights Represented Shore Energy in its appeal against the refusal of planning permission for a waste plant in North Lanarkshire, and a subsequent appeal.

Achieved planning permission for six wind turbines for the University of St Andrews.

Notable practitioners  

Head of department Neil Collar maintains his reputation as a leader in the field. Sources call him "efficient and easy to work with," and note that "he always gets straight to the point."

Karen Hamilton handles complex and high-profile work in areas such as retail and transport. Sources note that "she always turns documents around quickly."

Significant clients Ocean Terminal Shopping Centre, Moorfield Group, F&C REIT, GE Capital, Infinis Energy Services. 

Private Client - Scotland

Basic facts about the department
- 6 partners
- 29 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen

What the team is known for Wide-ranging private client practice with impressive expertise in complex will writing, bespoke estate and tax planning, and complex trust matters. Equally well equipped to advise business clients and historically wealthy families, due to close working relationship with the firm's well-regarded commercial departments.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They are very good at understanding the overlap between business owners' business affairs and personal affairs."

"When things get invariably complicated as they do in private client work, it's the strength and depth of knowledge that distinguishes them."

Notable practitioners  

Mark Stewart leads the Aberdeen private client offering, advising high net worth individuals and businesses on how to protect their positions. His expertise includes complex tax, succession, will and trust planning matters.

Alan Barr acts for wealthy individuals in and around Edinburgh. His greatest strength lies in complex estate planning. Commentators highlight his business acumen, saying: "His technical knowledge is outstanding. He has a panoramic view of the commercial world and the legal side."

Andrew Dalgleish remains involved in the running of the firm's private client practice from his position as a consultant for complex trusts and tax matters. Peers describe him as a "true depository of knowledge."

Professional Negligence - Scotland

Basic facts about the department
- 9 partners
- 32 other qualified lawyers
- Office location ranked: Edinburgh

What the team is known for Market leader in this area, handling a broad range of professional negligence matters. Chiefly recognised for its advisory work on claims involving solicitors and professionals in the construction sector. Frequently entrusted with high-value and sensitive cases in these areas. 

Notable practitioners  

Head of department Alan Calvert brings a wealth of experience to this area and is recognised by peers as a key practitioner. He is frequently retained by solicitors and their insurers to defend technically challenging negligence claims. He also handles significant claims against engineers and other professionals in the construction industry.  

Robin Macpherson is highly regarded by peers for his broad professional negligence practice. One market source commented: "He is someone I would go to if I needed a report on a professional negligence matter. He's a high-quality individual."

The "thorough and pragmatic" Manus Quigg is dual-qualified in England and Scotland and focuses his practice on construction disputes. He is frequently retained by professionals in the construction industry, including engineers and architects.  

Significant clients RSA, Aviva, RBS Group, Zurich, Amlin.

Real Estate - Scotland

Significant clients The Crown Estate, Intu Properties, J Smart and Co, Quercus Healthcare Property Partnership, Buccleuch Property.

Basic facts about the department
- 21 partners
- 55 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen

What the team is known for Go-to firm for major funds on large investment and development transactions. Market leader on commercial redevelopments in Aberdeen.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They went beyond the call of duty; their contribution was invaluable. I have to give them credit for their enthusiasm and hard work."

"They're very detailed and very thorough in their work. They bring a good intellectual capacity to the transactions."

"I have been impressed with their speedy, efficient and professional service."  

Work highlights Advised F&C Reit on the £190 million investment purchase of the St Nicholas and Bon Accord shopping centres in Aberdeen.

Acted on the £46 million acquisition of the Quartermile mixed-use development project in Edinburgh for the Moorfield Group.

Notable practitioners  

Colin MacLaren is a prominent figure in the Aberdeen property market, with a focus on retail and commercial development. Clients appreciate his "very comprehensive knowledge of real estate, be it commercial or residential, or indeed retail."

Nick Scott heads up the firm's property department, acting for a number of international investors, developers and private clients. Sources describe him as "exceptionally commercial-minded, and very adept at dealing with a very technical missive," and highlight his "ability to analyse complicated concepts and deduce key issues."

Richard Whyte is popular with peers, who find him easy to work with because "he sees the big picture." He has significant experience with large development projects and asset management, and is regularly instructed by institutional funds. Clients include Henderson Global Investors and Royal London Asset Management.

The "very capable" Tracey Menzies is frequently instructed by house builders and landowners due to her significant experience with complex option agreements. Her practice includes specialist expertise in commercial and residential land acquisition. 

Johane Murray is a "lovely person to deal with" on all aspects of commercial property, with particular asset management expertise. Sources comment that "she brings a market understanding to the negotiations."

Colin Morrison acts for several of the firm's high-profile clients. His experience includes work for international retailers, commercial investors and developers. 

The highly respected James Roscoe has a vast amount of experience with real estate finance and investment matters. He acts for international and UK-based property companies and funds. 

Significant clients Barratt Homes, Titan Investors, Aberdeen City Council, Delancey, Parabola.

Real Estate Litigation - Scotland

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

What the team is known for Solid team with extensive experience in the full scope of property litigation issues and an impeccable reputation among market commentators.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"The team held our hand through every stage and was very involved, provided very sound advice and was always cautious before taking the next step."

What's new? New clients include Henderson Global Investors, Royal London Asset Management and F & C Reit.

Notable practitioners  

Stephen Goldie is highly regarded among peers and clients alike. Sources praise his communication skills, noting: "He is very good at bringing ideas to the table and is always clear about the actions we should take."

Significant clients Ashtenne/Hansteen Industrial Fund, Cogent Property Partners, Aberdeen City Council, Edinburgh Airport.

Restructuring/Insolvency - Scotland

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

What the team is known for Offers legal advice on a full range of matters including corporate and personal insolvency, contentious and non-contentious transactions, and banking and borrower restructuring work.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They're first-class. Well respected in the trade. They're one of a specialist group of teams."

"They do extremely good jobs under difficult and at times emotional circumstances. They get the best results for all concerned."

Work highlights Represented the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency in the high-profile Scottish Coal liquidation. Particularly involved in an application for directions made by the liquidators concerning numerous issues of insolvency law.

Advised Zolfo Cooper on the £34 million administration of Bramwell Pub Company and Bramwell Pubs & Bars.

Notable practitioners  

Rachel Grant has a particular interest and expertise in directors' duties and disqualification. She has in-depth experience in the field and represents regional, UK-wide and international clients. Clients say she "knows things absolutely back to front and is a good commercial lawyer."

As head of the banking, restructuring and insolvency team, Colin McIntosh specialises in a vast range of restructuring and insolvency matters. His clients include major UK clearing banks and recognised practitioners of the trade. One client reports: "He is extremely knowledgeable and one of the key insolvency and turnaround lawyers in Scotland."

Significant clients RBS, Dunfermline Building Society, KMPG, Ernst & Young, BDO.

Retail - Scotland

Basic facts about the department
-3 partners
-8 other qualified lawyers 

What the team is known for Broad-ranging real estate advice to a client list that includes numerous leading retailers. The firm has complementary expertise in areas such as planning and licensing.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They see problems before they come, move quickly and have a commercial approach." 

"They have a can-do attitude and just get things done."

Work highlights Assisted Hilco with the Scottish aspects of the purchase of HMV from its administrators.

Worked on B&M's Scottish expansion including the acquisition of 11 premises.

Notable practitioners The retail team is headed up by Colin Morrison.

Significant clients Dixons, Sports Direct, B&Q, Zara, Hollister.

Shipping - Scotland

Basic facts about the department
- 8 partners
- 8 other lawyers
- Recommended office location: Edinburgh

What the team is known for Market-leading practice that advises both Scottish and international companies on all aspects of shipping work. The team works from offices in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow, and aids clients with both contentious and non-contentious issues.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They have a lot of experience in this area so they are able to devise sensible strategies when taking claims forward."

Work highlights Advised Maven Capital Partners, in its role as lender to Fletcher Shipping, on allowing the latter to acquire the 'FS Pisces', a north sea oil and gas supply vessel. 

Regularly advises numerous P&I clubs and large companies such as BP and Shell on asbestos claims resulting from employment on shipping vessels.

Notable practitioners  

Clients say department head Duncan MacLean is highly knowledgeable about the shipping industry, alongside being "highly thorough, sensible and easy to work with." He regularly advises clients on all aspects of maritime law.

Andrew Forsyth is "efficient and experienced," and "calm and unflappable" under pressure, say clients. He assists on the team's largest work, including aiding Visemar following the sinking of the 'MFV Homeland'.

Significant clients Awilco Drilling, UK P&I Club, John Lawrie Group, Lerwick Port Authority, Sunderland Marine.

Tax - Scotland

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

What the team is known for Strong in tax planning, compliance and transactional work, and particularly in handling venture capital, AIM and private equity matters. Also noted for its property tax expertise, including complicated Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) issues. Acts on tax aspects of employee share schemes.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Very good at handling property-related work."

"A very strong practice."  

Work highlights Advised the Moorfield Group on the preservation of unutilised tax losses and on tax-efficient structuring for its acquisition of the Quartermile mixed-use development.

Advised F&C Reit on complicated VAT and SDLT issues arising as a result of its £190 million purchase of the St Nicholas and Bon Accord shopping centres in Aberdeen.

Notable practitioners  

Isobel d'Inverno is greatly respected by peers, who say she has a "high profile in the tax world," particularly with respect to property matters. She is experienced at handling SDLT and VAT matters, and recently advised the directors and shareholders of James Barr on the tax implications of its disposal of GVA Grimley.

Peers say Alan Barr is "highly regarded - a big name." He has a broad tax practice, with notable strength in the areas of VAT and SDLT. He recently advised a real estate investment fund on tax aspects of its operations.

Significant clients Transocean Drilling, Resolution Properties, Co-operative Group, BFS Group, Parabola.

Transport - Scotland

Basic facts about the department
- 12 partners
- 5 associates 
- 12 assistants 

What the team is known for Particularly noted for its work advising on the land and planning aspects of rail infrastructure projects.

Work highlights Advised Jacobs UK and Network Rail on the land acquisition aspects of the £300 million Airdrie to Bathgate railway.

Notable practitioners  

Odell Milne is a member of the firm's cross-departmental transport team and also heads the agricultural and estates team. She acts on land acquisition and property matters for rail infrastructure projects.

Significant clients Scottish Borders Council, Transport Scotland, Strathclyde Partnership for Transport, Clackmannanshire Council. 

Transport - Scotland

Basic facts about the department
- 12 partners
- 7 associates
- 12 assistants  

What the team is known for Regularly advises local authorities on large-scale road infrastructure work. Particularly noted for its property expertise and work on compulsory purchase orders.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Very approachable, down to earth and focused on the outcome that we want."

"They express themselves in very clear terms." 

Work highlights Advised Transport Scotland on land and title investigation work relating to the £3 billion A9 Dualling Project.

Advised Perth and Kincross Council on the compulsory purchase order required for a new £3.8 million road link which will provide access to Gleneagles Railway Station.  

Notable practitioners  

Karen Hamilton advises clients in both the public and private sector. She is noted for her expertise in planning issues, and in advising on road consents and inquiries. Her clients include Midlothian Council and various private landowners.

Jackie McGuire is noted for her significant expertise and experience in public law and planning issues. She stands out for her involvement in compulsory purchase work and major infrastructure projects, and for her involvement in contentious road issues.

Significant clients Falkirk Council, Lothian Buses, Scottish Borders Council, National Express Group.  

Data Protection - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 2 partners
- 8 other qualified lawyers
- Recommended office locations: Edinburgh

What the team is known for Advises Scottish and national clients on the full range of information law issues. Has experience in data sharing, international transfers and breaches. Also acts on FOI issues.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"The level of expertise in the firm is good, and the advice is given in plain language that can be easily understood."

"I've been very pleased. They are very responsive and able to give great advice."

Work highlights Advised the Scottish Qualifications Authority on FOIA, Environmental Information Regulations and data protection issues.

Acted for Glasgow Caledonian University on data protection matters.

Notable practitioners  

Head of department Grant Campbell advises on data sharing, subject access requests and regulatory compliance. Clients state: "He is very responsive, provides sound advice and reacts quickly."

Christine O'Neill specialises in data breaches, security incidents and FOIA matters. "We consider Christine's support to be invaluable," enthused one client; "her communication skills are excellent and she can tailor her language to suit the audience."

Martin Sloan is "conscientious and always on the ball," says one client, adding: "He knows his stuff and speaks in plain English, which is helpful." Sloan has particular expertise in data transfers for financial institutions.

Significant clients Midlothian Council, Standard Life, Shetland Islands Council, ScottishPower, City of Edinburgh Council.

Insurance - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 9 partners
- 30 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for One of the strongest insurance teams north of the border, with offices in Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Glasgow. Known for its work in casualty, professional liability and marine and offshore work, among other areas of expertise.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They are a very professional outfit who know their market well and make a great effort to know what we as an insurer are looking for, which they then deliver without fail." 

Notable practitioners

Elena Fry is the department head and key contact.

Significant clients RSA, Aviva, Allianz, Aegis, Covéa.

Outsourcing - UK-wide

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

What the team is known for Market-leading presence north of the border, offering customer and supplier-side coverage to public and private sector clients. Provides industry-specific expertise in a range of sectors, including financial services, energy, aviation and defence.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They were really pragmatic. They did a particularly good job in working with the business, involving people at the right level, and demystifying some of the more cerebral aspects of complex contracts."

Work highlights Acted for DC Thomson on the BPO of its payroll and HR system to Northgate Arinso.

Assisted Aberdeen City Council with the re-engineering of its social care services, which involved outsourcing front line services to Bon Accord Care. 

Notable practitioners  

Martin Sloan has been instrumental in sourcings for numerous big-name clients of late, including RBS, Standard Life and DC Thomson. One client attests: "He has the breadth of knowledge we need."

Significant clients BAE Systems, ScottishPower, Newedge, East Renfrewshire Council, Virgin Money.

Professional Discipline - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 7 partners
- 7 other qualified lawyers
- Recommended office locations: Edinburgh

What the team is known for Focuses on advising regulators and public bodies on disciplinary matters. Experienced in a range of sectors, including legal services, social care and policing.

Work highlights Represented the General Teaching Council for Scotland in a fitness to teach hearing involving a registered teacher.

Acted for the Scottish Police Authority on a misconduct tribunal involving a senior police officer.

Notable practitioners  

Christine O'Neill is a key contact at the firm.

Significant clients Scottish Social Services Council, Lothian and Borders Police, Law Society of Scotland, Professional Standards Authority, Glasgow Caledonian University.

Public Procurement - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- 6 other qualified lawyers
- Recommended office locations: Edinburgh

What the team is known for Noted for its work acting for public bodies including the Scottish Government on procurement strategy and bid challenges. Often retained on matters in the transport sector.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They are excellent and very helpful. I can't believe the amount of work they put in."

Work highlights Advised the Scottish Government on a procurement dispute arising from the award of a contract to operate the Northern Isles ferry service.

Acted for the Kyrgyz Republic on reviewing its draft public procurement law.

Notable practitioners 

Firm chair Christine O'Neill is a solicitor advocate and a Standing Junior to the Scottish Ministers, acting on a number of key litigation matters. Sources describe her as "experienced, helpful and speedy." 

Roger Cotton recently advised Lothian Buses on a project to provide Wi-Fi across Transport for Edinburgh's network. One client describes him as "helpful and reliable," as well as being "willing and able to refine his advice as circumstances and information change, often at short notice." 

Significant clients The Scottish Ministers, City of Edinburgh Council, Stornoway Port Authority, Argyll & Bute Council, Capgemini.

Transport - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 7 Partners
- 6 Associates

What the team is known for Advises insurers and operators, often concerning cargo claims. Highlighted for its presence within Scottish domestic carriage.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"Very prompt, very efficient and pleasant to deal with." 

"Eager to assist and move forward with the case." 

"Responsive and clear with regards to fees." 

Work highlights Advised A&F Grant on its storage and haulage contracts concerning by-products of the whisky industry. 

Notable practitioners  

Duncan MacLean heads the shipping, marine and transport team and is the firm's key point of contact on logistics issues.

Significant clients Lerwick Port Authority, TT Club, British International Freight Association, RSA.