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Pinsent Masons


Pinsent Masons - London
  • 123 St Vincent Street
  • Glasgow
  • Glasgow City
  • UK
  • G2 5EA
  • Senior Partner Richard Foley
  • Managing Partner David Ryan
  • Number of partners  365
  • Qualified lawyers  1200

THE FIRM Pinsent Masons is an international law firm with a long-standing reputation for delivering a high quality service and adding value for clients. The firm’s approach to doing business is structured around developing long-term relationships with its clients, its people and its local and global communities.
With an international resource of over 1,500 lawyers - including 500 lawyers in its headquarters in the City of London - the firm delivers on the ground legal advice from 19 locations, advising clients on their businesses worldwide.
Working with major international and UK corporations, institutions and public bodies, the firm has strong global credentials in four sectors: advanced manufacturing and technology, energy and natural resources, financial resources, and infrastructure.
It also has considerable knowledge and expertise across a wide range of services which cover (for example) corporate, M&A, commercial, competition, litigation and arbitration, banking, restructuring, insurance, regulatory, construction, projects, pensions, property, planning and environmental, procurement, outsourcing, employment, share plans, technology and tax.
Pinsent Masons’ emphasis on listening, understanding and building strong working partnerships has proved essential to the firm’s many successful client relationships, evidenced by the large number of FTSE350 and similar clients for which the firm acts.

INTERNATIONAL OFFICES Aberdeen; Belfast; Birmingham; Edinburgh; Leeds; London; Manchester; Munich; Paris; Istanbul; Dubai; Qatar; Beijing; Hong Kong; Shanghai; Singapore


  • 30 Crown Place,
  • Earl Street,
  • London,
  • Greater London
  • UK
  • EC2A 4ES
  • Tel (020) 7418 7000
  • Fax (020) 7418 7050
  • DX 119516 Finsbury Square
  • Website : www.pinsentmasons.com

Administrative & Public Law - Scotland

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

What the team is known for Focuses on offering advice in relation to infrastructure and procurement projects. Noted for its expertise in handling matters relating to IT and technology.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Technical ability: "They are strong in administrative and public law infrastructure projects."

What's new? New client and panel wins include North Ayrshire Council, The Highland Council and the Department of Health.

Work highlights Advised EDI Group Scotland on its procurement of the regeneration of Edinburgh's Craigmillar district.

Advised North Ayrshire Council in connection with the construction of three new primary schools. The procurement involved simultaneous bundled procurement of a number of construction projects.

Notable practitioners  

Jamie McRorie specialises in offering public law advice in the areas of housing, healthcare and regeneration. His clients include the City of Edinburgh Council and the Department of Health.

Significant clients University of Aberdeen, Falkirk Council, British Waterways, Dumfries & Galloway Council, Inverness College.

Corporate/M&A - Scotland

Basic facts about the department:
- 10 partners
- 3 legal directors
- 22 associates
- Office locations ranked: Glasgow Edinburgh, Aberdeen

What the team is known for Handles big-ticket M&A transactions and other significant corporate deals. Developing sector focuses on energy, infrastructure and life sciences.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "Personable and collegiate - it gets the job done with minimal fuss."

Problem solving: "It both leads and remains open minded to options."

What's new? Secured Bridge Energy, Robert Bosch Ventures and Tetra Technologies as new clients.

Work highlights The Aberdeen team advised new US-based client Tetra Technologies on the acquisition of Optima Solutions Holdings.

Acted for the shareholders of the Garden Centre Group on the sale of the entire issued share capital to Terra Firma Capital Partners.

Notable practitioners  

Central belt group head Barry McCaig is "growing in gravitas," according to market commentators. Clients highlight his "strong attention to detail and focus on delivery." He specialises in corporate finance and recently acted for Garden Centre Group shareholders on selling the entire issued share capital to Terra Firma Capital Partners.

Rosalie Chadwick specialises in M&A and listed company work in the oil and gas sector. Clients recommend her "strong technical knowledge in oil and gas," and her "international experience."

A key partner in the Glasgow team, Derek Stroud advises on a wide range of corporate matters. His clients include Strathclyde Pension Funds, and commentators highlight his "innovation and pragmatism."

Alan Diamond advises both public and private companies on a broad range of corporate matters. Recent deals include acting on the USD100 million cross-border joint venture between Blake Oil & Gas and MND Group. Sources say that "he is clearly an expert in his field."

Kevin Devanny advises on acquisitions and disposals, joint ventures, private equity and corporate reorganisation. His recent experience includes advising BAA on the sale of Edinburgh Airport to Global Infrastructure Partners. Commentators highlight his "diverse skill set."

The "sharp" and "straight talking" Anna Brown is a key partner in the Edinburgh team. She is experienced in capital markets, with a particular specialism in fund-raisings in the life sciences and technology sectors.

Sources describe Jonathan Kirkwood as "dedicated and always available." He specialises in energy and university spin-offs, advising on a comprehensive range of corporate matters.

Significant clients Superior Energy, Strathclyde Pension Fund, Sparrows Offshore, West Coast Capital, Cenkos Securities.

Employee Share Schemes & Incentives - Scotland

Basic facts about the department

- 1 legal director
- 1 other qualified lawyer

What the team is known for Has extensive reach and the ability to draw on a broad team of share plan specialists. In-depth knowledge of the energy arena and experience of implementing bespoke share schemes for clients in this sector.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Efficiency: "I think they've been brilliant. They're really easy to deal with and the speed of delivery has been excellent."

Work highlights Advised Deo Petroleum on the share scheme aspects of its takeover by the Parkmead Group.

Notable practitioners  

Karen Davidson earns acclaim for her technical acuity and personable demeanour. Her strength on share schemes is interwoven with a strong tax practice, for which she is also recommended. She assisted Deo Petroleum in connection with the matter detailed above.

Share scheme specialist Christine Yuill "combines an excellent technical grasp with great commercial acumen," say interviewees. She was also involved in the aforementioned Deo Petroleum matter.

Significant clients Valiant Petroleum, Epistem, Scottish Widows Investment Partnership, Iomart, Skyscanner.

Health & Safety - Scotland

Basic facts about the department

- 2 partners
- 11 associates
- Office locations ranked: Glasgow

What the team is known for Highly active in this practice area. Acts for admirable corporate and construction clients, and has a noted presence in offshore work via an Aberdeen office. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "The client service is very good. It understands our needs and provides the appropriate solutions."

What's new? The legacy McGrigors practice completed a merger with Pinsent Masons in May 2012, giving the new firm great geographical distribution in the UK.

Work highlights Advised Scotpackaging on the appeal of a fire safety prohibition notice.

Advising on a police and HSE investigation into a fatality at the workplace of a high-profile client.

Notable practitioners 

Laura Cameron heads up the regulatory group at the firm and has built a high profile through chairing the Health and Safety Lawyers Association in Scotland. Sources were quick to note her as "a genuine expert in health and safety," as well as "very conscientious, with a fantastic manner with clients and very commercially focused." 

Thomas Stocker is admitted to practice in England and Wales as well as in Scotland. According to one admiring source, "his instructions are always very detailed and they disclose always, to my mind, a good grasp of the subject matter and the tactical sensitivities of the case. He is very able indeed." Stocker had a lead role on the Scotpackaging appeal.

William Park is a key health and safety lawyer in the Aberdeen office. His principal clients include the Maritime and Coastguard Agency. Sources praise his "ability to understand technical aspects and address them in the context of an enquiry."

Significant clients DTZ, Land Engineering, Macdonald Hotels, Maritime and Coastguard Agency.

Litigation - Scotland

Basic facts about the department 
- 6 partners
- 29 associates
- Office locations ranked: Edinburgh 

What the team is known for Strength in depth following the merger with McGrigors. A flourishing Scottish practice supported by a leading national presence. Expertise across an array of commercial areas including contentious insolvency and property litigation.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Problem solving: "The team is very good at identifying issues, coming up with a solution and providing options. They're efficient in the way they operate."

Pragmatism: "A really excellent and knowledgeable team. A pragmatic no-drama approach – this is absolutely key. They're solution-focused."

Responsiveness: "Individuals have great communication and keep us up to date. Their work product is just excellent."

What's new? New client wins include Edinburgh Airports and Scottish Canals.

Work highlights Represented Imperial Tobacco in an appeal to the Supreme Court on a challenge to the new tobacco regulations in Scotland.

Acting on a professional negligence claim on behalf of land developer HJ Banks & Company.

Notable practitioners  

Craig Connal QC has a broad commercial practice spanning a wide range of practice areas. Well respected in the Scottish market, one source describes him as "the best dispute lawyer in Scotland – top of his profession."

"Clever, commercial and sensible," Jim Cormack is an experienced solicitor advocate who regularly appears in court. Clients appreciate his expertise and find him to be "very straightforward and highly knowledgeable."

Laura Cameron receives recognition from peers for her expertise in health and safety. Sources note that she is "extremely knowledgeable" within her specialism.

Jacqueline Harris has capabilities across a range of disputes including product liability, financial services and property litigation. She also had particular experience in public law challenges and judicial review proceedings.

Significant clients News Corporation, The Miller Group, PwC, Forth Ports, William Grant & Sons.

Local Government - Scotland

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

What the team is known for Strong regional offering, providing high-quality local government advice. State aid and major projects work remains the bedrock of the practice. Established record of representing both local authorities and challengers in procurement matters.  

What's new? New client wins include The Highland Council and London Borough of Enfield.

Work highlights Advised The Highland Council on the Pathfinder North Partnership telecoms project, on matters of state aid and contract procurement.

Represented the City of Edinburgh Council in relation to the Craigmillar redevelopment project, offering guidance on state aid, procurement and financing matters.

Notable practitioners

Yvonne Dunn is the key contact.

Significant clients Dumfries & Galloway Council, Aberdeen City Council, North Lanarkshire Council.

Media & Entertainment - Scotland

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

What the team is known for Respected handling of film and television investment and production work. Noted strength in digital media and online gaming matters.

What's new? Creative Scotland is a new client win for the firm.

Work highlights Recently engaged by Creative Scotland to advise on a number of financings for independent film projects.

Advised MG ALBA on a suite of agreements in preparation for the realisation of a Gaelic language television channel, BBC ALBA, a joint venture with the national broadcaster.

Notable practitioners 

Yvonne Dunn has a flourishing film and television practice, which takes in all aspects of finance and production, including rights acquisition, cast, crew and investment agreements.

Significant clients Creative Scotland, Ludometrics, MG ALBA, New Media Partners, The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Pensions - Scotland

Basic facts about the department

- 2 partners
- 4 associates
- Office locations ranked: Edinburgh

What the team is known for Remains a leading light in the Scottish pensions market. Offers experience in all types of pensions issues, from asset-based funding structures to automatic-enrolment to personal pensions. Able to draw on the strength of the firm's substantial national practice.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "They are very communicative and helpful."

Market standing: "They're now part of a national firm. They have the biggest practice."

What's new? Mairi Black recently joined the firm from DWF Biggart Baillie.

Work highlights Advised BAA on the pensions elements of its £807 million sale of Edinburgh Airport. This required close collaboration with the company's deal team, its in-house pensions team and the corporate legal team.

Advised the trustees of Dawson International Retirement Benefits Plan on funding negotiations with the company, proposed negotiations with the PPF and eventually an enforcement of pensions liabilities that led to Dawson International going into administration.

Notable practitioners 

Ian Gordon is described by commentators as "the star of Scottish pensions law," with an ability to cut through complexity and explain issues in an extremely lucid manner. One client enthuses: "He's outstanding - he's probably the best lawyer in Scotland."

Ruth Tobias is a "very strong all-round pensions lawyer" who is able to advise on the full spectrum of pensions matters. One client states: "I absolutely trust her advice. It's accurate, considered and succinct."

Associate Mairi Black has a focus on personal pensions, with particular expertise in SIPPs. Clients appreciate her ability to provide "very clear, measured advice."

Senior associate Jae Fassam is recognised as "very technically able and commercial" and "a rising star in the pensions world." He is especially experienced in issues relating to public sector outsourcing contracts and the pensions aspects of corporate transactions. 

Significant clients HarperCollins, Finlays Pension Fund, Dawson International Retirement Benefits Plan trustees, Whyte & Mackay Pension Scheme, Heineken UK.

Projects - Scotland

Basic facts about the department
- Office locations ranked: Glasgow and Edinburgh

What the team is known for Part of a strong UK-wide group acting on PPP projects nationally. Advises on Hub and NPD projects in Scotland and possesses experience in sectors such as waste, roads and education.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Breadth of services: "They are a very capable team, they are very responsive and they are competitive on fees. They spend a lot of time and energy on client care and client feedback, and they are good at developing long-term relationships with clients on an individual basis."

Client service: "I always know I can pick up the phone and speak to someone in a non-jargon sense."

Market standing: "The combined teams are a very good match and the firm is a force to be reckoned with. They are really up there, if not at the top of the tree."

What's new? Pinsent Masons merged with McGrigors in 2012.

Work highlights Advised five local authorities, under the umbrella of the Clyde Valley Waste Partnership, on a waste PPP procurement.

Advised the Connect Roads consortium on a number of NPD motorway projects. 

Notable practitioners 

Stuart Barr is a knowledgeable PPP solicitor noted for his work on a number of Hub schemes, particularly waste projects. He recently advised a consortium bidding on the Mersey Gateway bridge project. Sources say: "He is very effective, very hands-on, and does a no-nonsense job."

Drysdale Graham is perceived to be an "unflappable" lawyer, who "cuts through things and does a very good job for his clients." He recently led the team that advised the Connect Roads consortium on its bid for a NPD road project contract.

Department head Michael Watson is a finance lawyer with a great deal of experience in the PFI/PPP sector. According to sources: "He is a very experienced lawyer who is at the forefront of developments in the finance market."

Victoria Miller is a legal director in the infrastructure team. In a recent work highlight, she advised Inverness College on a project to deliver a new college campus. Sources say: "She is very good at breaking down what needs to be done into non-technical aspects so that clients can find out what the risks are."

Significant clients BAM PPP, Viridor Waste Management, Co-operative Bank, Hochtief Concessions, BAA. 

Retail - Scotland

Basic facts about the department

- Office locations ranked: Glasgow  

What the team is known for Highly esteemed real estate practice representing a large stable of landlords, with a focus on the retail market. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Commercial awareness: "They've got a good geographical reach, are very commercial and get the job done."

Client service: "They work hard, are personable and effective, perform to our requirements and accommodate our needs."

Work highlights Advised Scimitar PFS 1 on its acquisition of issued share capital of the Motor Fuel Group.

Acted for Forth Ports on its sale of the Ocean Terminal shopping centre in Edinburgh.

Notable practitioners Tom Ferrier heads the retail group and is a main point of contact.

Significant clients Wilkinson, Mamas & Papas, Martin McColl, Office, The Designer Retail Outlet.

Tax - Scotland

Basic facts about the department

- 1 partner
- 1 associate
- Office locations ranked: Glasgow

What the team is known for Advises on the tax aspects of high-value corporate transactions, as well as property deals, VAT, EIS and Venture Capital Trust matters. Represents clients across the UK and on a cross-border basis, and has notable expertise in the oil and gas sector.

Work highlights Assisted BAA with tax aspects of its £807 million disposal of Edinburgh Airport.

Advised Triple Point Investment Management in gaining EIS/VCT approval for a number of companies which the client had recently invested in.  

Notable practitioners 

Karen Davidson is regarded as a first port of call for many clients on corporate tax matters, as well as share incentives. She is described as "prompt and pragmatic" by satisfied clients.

Significant clients Energy Assets, Scottish Widows Investment Partnership, West Coast Capital, British Waterways Board, Trinity Oil & Gas.