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Turcan Connell


Turcan Connell - Edinburgh
  • Princes Exchange
  • 1 Earl Grey Street
  • Edinburgh
  • City of Edinburgh
  • UK
  • EH3 9EE
  • Joint Senior Partners Robert Turcan, Douglas Connell
  • Managing Partner Ian Clark
  • Number of partners 21
  • Assistant solicitors 69
  • Other fee earners 61

THE FIRM The Turcan Connell Group is one of the UK’s premier private client firms with offices in Edinburgh, Glasgow, London and Guernsey. It commands a unique position in UK professional services by providing clients with an integrated range of legal, tax and wealth management advice. Since its foundation in 1997, Turcan Connell has maintained strong growth and now has seven times its original turnover. This success is due to Turcan Connell’s continued focus on meeting the needs of individuals, families and charities.

Trust & Tax:
With 11 trust and tax partners and 25 other trust and tax lawyers, Turcan Connell’s breadth and depth of experience create clear blue water between it and other firms. The firm has over 12,000 clients and administers 2,500 trusts. It acts for a wide range of clients including families with inherited assets, entrepreneurs, senior executives and owners of family businesses. Turcan Connell Family Office is the group’s flagship wealth management service, which combines trust and tax advice, financial planning and investment management services.
Land & Property: The Land and Property Team is the largest rural property team in Scotland. It has 20 lawyers dealing exclusively in property work. The team’s expertise in Scottish agricultural and property law has resulted in the continuing transfer of major land owning clients from other law firms. Clients include the owners of country estates, historic houses, national institutions and land owning charities. The team handles large estate transactions, development land sales, agricultural law and crafting community transactions. It has particular expertise in renewable energy, rural planning, environmental law and in all aspects of land reform.
Charities: Turcan Connell’s Charity Group is one of the largest in the UK. It advises more than 300 charities, fromnational institutions and heritage charities to grant-giving trusts and private foundations.As well as acting for large charities, the firm helps small charities through Turcan Connell Charity Office, an administration service designed to help grant-making foundations reduce their overhead costs.
Family Law: The team is now widely recognised as the leading Family Law Practice in Scotland for high net worth divorce cases.With partner level expertise in Scottish and English law, it acts in many cross-jurisdictional divorces and specialises in collaborative law and divorces involving business valuations and share schemes.
Employment: The Employment Law Practice provides employment advice and representation to private clients, charities and rural employers.The team has represented many of Scotland’s most senior business figures.
Asset Management: The group’s investment management and financial planning services are provided by Turcan Connell Asset Management Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary company which offers a consolidated wealth management service to private clients. The Investment Team manages around £700 million of clients’ funds and the Financial Planning Team provides wealth structuring, pensions and life assurance advice.

Areas of Practice

  • Tax & Trusts 30%
  • Agriculture & Estates 24%
  • Pensions & Investment 24%
  • Charity 12%
  • Family Law, Employment & Litigation 10%
  • Agriculture & Estates Robert Turcan, Jonathan Robertson, Adam Gillingham
  • Business Law Mike Kane
  • Charities Simon Mackintosh, Gavin McEwan
  • Family Alasdair Loudon
  • Heritage Property Douglas Connell
  • Litigation/Employment David Ogilvy
  • Private Client/Trusts Douglas Connell, Simon Mackintosh, Robin Fulton
  • Tax Ian Clark, Heather Thompson
  • Turcan Connell Asset Management Alex Montgomery


Agriculture & Rural Affairs - Scotland

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

What the team is known for A substantial team of specialists meeting the needs of clients across Scotland on a wide range of concerns. In addition to contentious matters pertaining to rent reviews and disputed tenancies, it has impressive experience on the sale, purchase and management of agricultural land and high-value landed estates. Landowners also benefit from advice on renewable energy developments and refinancings of agricultural businesses. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Market standing: "A good reputation, with strength in depth. My personal experience is that we see them more than others."

Client service: "Professional and well run." "Reliable. Excellent service."

Notable practitioners  

"Tremendously experienced," Jonathan Robertson is "bright and tough - you know that your interests will be looked after." He leads the team and heads its work on renewable energy schemes.

Grierson Dunlop "understands farming," and is "very attentive and well liked by clients." He has acted on the purchase of farming estates and forestry land.

Adam Gillingham is deemed "able, experienced" and "a really nice lawyer to deal with." He advises on all manner of issues relating to rural property, including conservation concerns and development options.

Lewis Kermack is singled out for his contentious expertise. Highlights include representing the landlord in a rent review decision of national significance.

Niall Stringer is identified for his in-depth knowledge of a range of issues relating to agriculture law. Highlights include acting on refinancing arrangements.

Robert Turcan is a widely respected practitioner whose "reputation precedes him."

Significant clients RSPB, John Muir Trust.

Charities - Scotland

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

What the team is known for Strong presence in the third sector at both a local and national level. Comprehensive charities law offering covering contentious probate, governance, heritage and philanthropy, among other things.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Industry knowledge: "Turcan Connell are very professional and very client-focused. They have expert knowledge, particularly of the charitable sector and associated requirements."

Work highlights Acted for the Edinburgh University Students' Association on reviewing its constitution prior to incorporation, and on updating its governance and operations.

Advised the Shetland Charitable Trust on the reform of its constitution.

Notable practitioners  

Practice group leader Simon Mackintosh is renowned as one of Scotland's foremost charity experts. His practice covers tax and estate planning work for both private and third sector clients, as well as all manner of regulatory, M&A, tax and governance issues.

Senior partner Douglas Connell has a highly respected practice encompassing asset protection, heritage property and trusts. He also chairs the firm's dedicated charity investment group.

Significant clients Big Lottery Fund, Lloyds TSB Foundation for Scotland, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, National Trust for Scotland, Maggie’s Centres.

Family/Matrimonial - Scotland

Basic facts about the department

- 2 partners
- 7 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Edinburgh, Glasgow

What the team is known for Houses expertise in all areas of family law, including complex divorce proceedings, prenuptial agreements, cohabitation claims, and children law cases. Frequently deals with cases involving complex international aspects, inherited wealth, trust issues, business valuations and farming.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "Turcan Connell provided me with an excellent service and dealt with all aspects of my separation and divorce in an exemplary manner. They were always available to deal with any matters arising, even at extremely short notice. I was made to feel that I, as their client, was of utmost importance to them."

Pragmatic advice: "They are easy to deal with, straightforward and know what they're doing. This makes resolution easier."

Notable practitioners  

Department head Alasdair Loudon handles complex divorce proceedings and children matters and he is a qualified family law arbitrator. Sources describe him as "first class, focused, composed and very supportive."

Gillian Crandles focuses on complex separations, including cohabitation claims and civil partnership breakdowns, as well as cases with international elements. She is praised by clients for being "very skilled at putting things into a language that I can understand and helping to put things into perspective."

Private Client - Scotland

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

What the team is known for Remains a leader in the Scottish private client field, offering a wide range of services at the highest level, with a specialist focus on family businesses and partnership matters. Well equipped to handle complex issues relating to offshore work, through its Guernsey office and through practitioners with expertise in US succession laws.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Commercial awareness: "They have made it their business to understand the particular needs of their clients and tailor their advice accordingly."

Client service: "Top-notch advice and execution. I could not recommend them more unequivocally as the perfect legal partner."

 Market standing: "A premier league side - head and shoulders above everyone else in the market!"

What's new? The firm opened a Glasgow office in 2012, with a number of partners now spending time in both Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Notable practitioners  

Douglas Connell is widely regarded as the leading light of the Scottish private client world, with a wealth of experience in dealing with tax implications for high net worth clients. He also offers an understanding of matters relating to cultural and heritage property.

Succession and tax planning specialist Robin Fulton continues to impress and is revered as a highly experienced practitioner by the market.

Managing partner Ian Clark maintains an active practice focusing on providing tax and trust advice to resident and non-domiciled clients. "He really stands out," said one interviewee, adding: "I have a lot of admiration for him."

Simon Mackintosh remains a solid name for all aspects of onshore and offshore asset protection work.

Tom Duguid has been rewarded for building an enviable private client practice with promotion to the partnership. He is well versed in cross-border tax and succession laws.