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UK Guide
Firm Profile

Burness Paull

Firm Profile


  • Profile
  • Union Plaza
  • 1 Union Wynd
  • Aberdeen
  • Aberdeen City
  • UK
  • AB10 1DQ

Firm profile submitted by Burness Paull

Chairman Philip Rodney
Managing Partner Ian Wattie
Number of Partners 65
Number of other fee earners 249

Corporate Finance Chris Gotts
Commercial Callum Sinclair
Banking & Funds Alan Soppitt
Private Capital Colin McKenzie
Exploration & Production Bruce McLeod
Health, Safety & Environmental Rona Jamieson
Employment Sean Saluja
Dispute Resolution Neil Smith
Property John Strachan
Construction & Projects Fenella Mason
Planning Elaine Farquharson-Black
Pensions Sarah Phillips
Public Sector Stephen Phillips
Renewables Chris Gotts
Tax Ronnie Brown

The firm: Burness Paull is one of Scotland’s leading independent commercial law firms. In the last year it has project managed more than £10bn of deals. The 65 partner, 500 people firm offers a full commercial service in the three main Scottish business cities of Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow.
With a key focus on Corporate Scotland and the energy, property and infrastructure, financial and technology sectors, the firm supports its clients in Scotland, the UK and internationally.

Principal areas of work:
Advising on a record number of deals with an aggregate value of more than £10bn, the firm’s corporate/M&A division is the most active deal team in Scotland. A substantial proportion of these deals have been international, reflecting the increasingly global reach of the firm.

Energy: Combining oil and gas and renewables practice areas with a breadth of knowledge, depth of expertise and scale. The team is led by partners with senior in-house legal and commercial management experience with major operators - a differentiator from the firm’s peers. With lawyers in all the main legal disciplines whose primary focus is oil and gas or renewables, recent work includes the negotiation of the joint venture and infrastructure agreements for a $12bn Egyptian offshore gas development, the acquisition and disposal of UK producing fields and funding for junior E&P clients.

Property & Infrastructure: The property and infrastructure team is one of the largest in Scotland, with specialist expertise in every area that is relevant to the property sector – retail, leisure/hospitality, investment, housebuilding, developer, renewables, public sector and real estate finance. Combined with planning, this team has delivered a number of innovative and first to market projects.

Planning: The planning team is renowned for delivering planning permissions for large-scale projects as well as its expertise in energy (oil and gas and renewables), housebuilding and compulsory purchase.

Banking: As one of the largest in Scotland, the banking team is recognised for its exceptional track record of leading complex transactions and the delivery of practical solutions and advice. It acts for international and domestic financial institutions, private equity houses and corporate borrowers. Many of the team have City or in-house experience and all have exemplary credentials in a range of financings including oil and gas, renewables, acquisition, asset backed and real estate as well as restructurings and securitisations.

Funds: The firm’s 20+ strong team is Scotland’s leading private funds practice. Its client base is made up of City and international law firms and domestic, European and North American fund managers. While the team has built its market-leading reputation on the sponsor side, the last two years have seen the growth and development of a significant investor side practice.

Commercial Dispute Resolution:
One of the most talented teams in Scotland, the commercial dispute resolution team handles high-value, complex cases for top Scottish and international businesses, global conglomerates, government agencies and high-profile individuals. Each of the team’s partners are specialists in their respective fields of intellectual property, property litigation, product liability, insolvency, reputation management, and marine and offshore.

Health & Safety:
The firm’s top-ranking health and safety team provides strategic advice to blue-chip clients across a wide range of industries, with particular expertise in the oil and gas sector.

Employment: The award-winning employment team is the largest dedicated team in Scotland, advising some of the country’s best-known employers throughout the UK and across all industry sectors. The team has represented clients at the Supreme Court in pivotal cases concerning the working time regulations and employment tribunal territorial jurisdiction.

Pensions: With a reputation earned by acting for high profile UK and international clients, the firm’s impressive pensions practice advises on M&A, corporate restructuring, alternative funding arrangements and insolvency. It also advises trustees and local authorities on all aspects of running their pension funds, and insurance companies on the pension products they provide to the market. It is the only pensions team with a full-time presence in Aberdeen.


  • 50 Lothian Road,
  • Festival Square,
  • Edinburgh,
  • City of Edinburgh
  • UK
  • EH3 9WJ
  • Tel (0131) 473 6000
  • Fax (0131) 473 6006
  • DX ED73 Edinburgh
  • Email : [email protected]
  • 120 Bothwell Street,
  • Glasgow,
  • Glasgow City
  • UK
  • G2 7JL
  • Tel (0141) 248 4933
  • Fax (0141) 204 1601
  • Email : [email protected]