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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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United Kingdom > Scotland > Corporate and commercial > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Corporate and commercial: Edinburgh and Glasgow

Index of tables

  1. Corporate and commercial: Edinburgh and Glasgow
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next Generation Partners
  5. Rising stars

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1

Rising stars

  1. 1

The corporate team at Brodies LLP is spread across Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen and advises its stellar client base on domestic and international transactions across a wide range of industry sectors. Already recognised as an established staple in the Scottish corporate space, the Brodies offering recently expanded its senior ranks through the promotion to partner of David Lightbody in Edinburgh. Shuna Stirling leads the team, which also includes Julian Voge and William Mcintosh.

Practice head(s):Shuna Stirling

Other key lawyers:Julian Voge; Neil Burgess; William McIntosh; Derek Stroud; Eric Galbraith; David Lightbody; Liz Bruce


'Brodies is extremely efficient in ensuring that acquisitions are completed in a timely manner.'

'At Brodies, lawyers always go the extra mile for clients.'

'Brodies is not only a law firm but also works with a commercial and flexible approach, providing expert advice. The corporate team provides first-class direct access and expertise in a number of disciplines; it definitely delivers on its tier one status.'

'The individuals at Brodies provide and deliver a first-class level of service and advice, not to mention their speed of response. The confidence and expertise provided is of the calibre expected and required. They understand clients' individual needs and this is what sets them apart from their competitors. Their ability to react and manage expectations, as well as the depth and width of expertise is the reason for the firm's success.'

'Euan Tripp is concise and clear in his correspondence making it easier for foreign investors to understand the legal process undertaken. Additionally, he has a certain level of patience which inspires confidence.'

'Shuna Stirling is a thoroughly experienced lawyer and has fantastic people skills. She explains the process in plain English and is always available if the clients have any questions.'

'David Lightbody has always been quick to advise, and is an indispensable asset in dealing with investor relations and general corporate management.'

Key Clients

Chivas Brothers / Pernod Ricard


INEOS Upstream / INEOS Commercial


Simec Atlantis Energy Ltd

Abellio Group

Kongsberg Gruppen ASA

Subsea 7

Clyde Blowers Capital IM LLP

Azinor Catalyst Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted as lead advisers on the sale of the Episerver group to Insight Venture Partners.
  • Acted for the selling shareholders on the sale of the entire issued share capital of FIM Services to Gresham House.
  • Acted for Danfoss on its majority acquisition of Artemis Intelligent Power Limited from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.
  • Advised Kongsberg Maritime Limited on the sale of its worldwide subsea and harsh environment camera business.
  • Acted for the Brickability Group on the simultaneous acquisition of the entire issued share capital of five separate target entities, including Towelrads and Crest.

The corporate team at Burness Paull LLP has recently handled a number of matters concerning private equity, equity capital and owner-managed businesses. It has a strong mix of domestic and international clients, frequently acting for international corporations and private equity funds entering the Scottish market, as well as acting for domestic clients on cross-border work. Mark Ellis leads the team, which also includes Peter Lawson.

Practice head(s):Mark Ellis

Other key lawyers:Peter Lawson; Robert Burns; Chris Gotts; Grant Stevenson; Walter Clark; Catriona Llanwarne


'The culture of the firm, including that of the corporate and commercial team, is the stand out feature. Not only does the firm demonstrate legal excellence across each of the departments but it does so in an approachable, customer-focused manner. The firm also ensures that additional areas of need are recognised and match those requirements to team members not only by capability and capacity but by personality, helping to create a positive working partnership. In terms of individual deals, the team quickly understands the rationale, execution strategy and guides clients proactively through to completion.'

'Mark Ellis is the key contact and has demonstrated excellence in several transactions. He has become a trusted adviser not only on corporate work but in terms of advising the company on other areas of its growth strategy. Mark has also managed the relationship extremely well when the company requires advice outside the corporate team. The ability to look beyond the myopic view of an individual partner to the overarching requirements of clients, will enable the firm to continue taking market share.'

'Down to earth and easy to deal with. The team is available at all times and works hard to see deals complete.'

Key Clients

Standard Life Aberdeen

James Fisher and Sons

Scottish Power

A-Plan Insurance

Well-Sense Technology Limited

BlueGem Capital Partners

Walker Precision Engineering Group

i3 Energy

Kings Park Capital

Work highlights

  • Advised on the placing of new ordinary shares on AIM to raise £2.57m, together with the conversion of US$2.5m of loan notes into ordinary shares in the capital of the company.
  • Acted as sole legal adviser on the client's acquisitions of Crewe-based financial adviser firm Jones Sheridan Holdings Limited, and London-based financial adviser firm Cumberland Place Financial Management Limited.
  • Acted for family-owned Walker Precision Engineering Group on a further investment by Business Growth Fund.
  • Advised Chinese company Zhuoli Imaging Technology on its first investment into the UK in the form of its acquisition of the assets of Pelikan Hardcopy Scotland.
  • Acted on the high-profile sale of the STV 2 channel to That’s Media Limited.

CMS' practice includes specialist outsourcing and funds specialists, as well as energy and private equity experts, who have been involved in high-profile oil and gas sector M&A and private equity transactions. The group has continued to expand with the addition of new clients to its already stellar roster. It also welcomed new partner Laura McIntosh from Dickson Minto WS in the Edinburgh office. Frank Fowlie leads the team, which also includes Graeme Bruce, David Davidson and Jack Letson.

Practice head(s):Frank Fowlie

Other key lawyers:Graeme Bruce; Wendy Colquhoun; David Davidson; Stuart MacLean; Jack Letson; Kenneth Rose; Laura McIntosh


'The team is proactive, supportive, innovative and responsive. The group acts as a hugely supportive partner with top class legal and negotiation skills. It adds particular value around its understanding of industry expectations and standards in relation to funds and investments.'

'Wendy Colquhoun has an exceptional legal mind and is a determined and tenacious negotiator. Her advice is always pragmatic, practical and very astute.'

'CMS has a very proactive approach, with short response times.'

Key Clients

Aberdeen Standard Investments

Clyde Blowers Capital

The Royal Bank of Scotland


Braid Group

Business Growth Fund

Dunedin LLP

Smart Metering Systems

Baillie Gifford

Scottish Enterprise/HIE


Remy Cointreau

Work highlights

  • Advised on IQVIA's acquisition of ClinTec Luxembourg and its 49 subsidiary entities and branches.
  • Acting for sovereign wealth fund Qatari Diar on the re-organisation of five limited liability partnership-structured joint ventures in the UK private rented sector and the establishment of a REIT as an umbrella holding vehicle under the Get Living brand.
  • Advised Johnson & Johnson on the UK aspects of the divestment of its global LifeScan business to Platinum Equity.
  • Acted on Scottish Water’s first material corporate acquisition, which involved the purchase of a group of companies from the Kelda Group that operate four wastewater treatment works that serve the North East of Scotland.
  • Advised Lonsdale Capital Partners on a number of acquisitions, including Simmons Bars, Cassellie, Elite Electronic Systems, Cross Rental Services and Venues and Events.

Dickson Minto WS recently acted on a variety of private equity and strategic corporate transactions, a number of which were cross-border deals involving North American corporates and investors investing in the UK market. Catherine Christie was recently promoted to the partnership within the now eight-partner-strong team. Colin MacNeill, Bruce Minto and Andrew Todd are other key names.

Other key lawyers:Bruce Minto; Andrew Todd; Colin MacNeill; Ewan Gilchrist; John Pentland; Duncan Christison; Andrew Nicolson; Catherine Christie


'Dickson Minto is excellent for UK M&A.'

'Andrew Todd is exceptional.'

Work highlights

  • Advised Dunedin LLP on its investment in Global Processing Services and Incremental Group.
  • Advised Verisk Analytics on the acquisitions of Moore Stephens Consulting, Validus IVC and Business Insight.
  • Advised Growth Capital Partners and the management shareholders on the sale of Venues Group to Gencom, Inc.
  • Acted for Aggreko plc on its investment in Origami Energy.
  • Acted for Wireless Infrastructure Group on its equity deal with 3i Infrastructure.

Shepherd and Wedderburn's corporate team is spread across Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen and is also able to draw on individuals in its London office. It is particularly well known for its expertise in the energy and natural resources, food and drink and technology sectors. The firm's enviable client roster includes high-profile Scottish and international names. Tom Swan was recently promoted to partner in the Glasgow office and has notable capabilities in the oil and gas and fintech sectors in particular. Practice head Stephen Trombala and George Boyle are other key names.

Practice head(s):Stephen Trombala

Other key lawyers:Andrew Blain; George Frier; Paul Hally; George Boyle; Tom Swan; Joanna Monaghan; John Morrison; Katy Barclay

Key Clients


Cairn Energy

BigBlu Broadband (formerly Satellite Solutions Worldwide Group)

Eider Reserve Power

Chivas Brothers Ltd/Pernod Ricard SA

Nucleus Financial Group plc


William Grant & Sons Ltd

University of Strathclyde



Work highlights

  • Acted for new client Aminex on its conditional class 1 disposal of interests in oil and gas exploration permits, onshore Tanzania, for $40m to Oman-based Zubair Corporation.
  • Acting for the shareholders of Qdos Holdings Ltd on the pre-deal split of the group into two (creating the Qdos Group and the Vantage Group) and the sale of the entire issued share capital of the company to HCC International Insurance Company.
  • Advised Nucleus Financial Group on its IPO on the AIM.
  • Acting as sole legal adviser to Clydesdale Bank on all aspects of its £400m fintech joint venture with Salary Finance.
  • Acted as part of a cross-office team on the simultaneous acquisitions of Sat Internet GmbH and its subsidiaries, and OpenSky SrL.

The corporate department at Addleshaw Goddard has grown significantly following the firm's high-profile merger with HBJ Gateley. It is principally known for leading complex M&A transactions and its growing private equity practice and client base. Practice head David Kirchin is the name to note.

Practice head(s):David Kirchin

Other key lawyers:Anna Brown; Andrew Ley; David Horne; Murray Jack; Andrew Walker; David Anderson; Laura Falls; Claire Colquhoun


'This is a very commercially strong team with an outstanding understanding of the private equity investments marketplace.'

'Addleshaw Goddard's corporate and commercial team provides excellent client-focused advice. Its lawyers are practical, and give sound commercial input alongside a strong grasp of the client's legal position, risks and opportunities.'

'David Anderson is first class and always puts the client's interests at the heart of the advice. He is energetic and a real pleasure to work with.'

'Legal director Laura Falls has a calm, clear client approach and an effective way of setting out alternatives.'

Key Clients

Red Rock Power

Shareholders of QTS Group

Eli Global

Ecosse Subsea

Cairngorm Capital

YFM Private Equity

Rathbone Brothers

Souter Investments

Dawn Homes

Eastern Western Motor Group

Work highlights

  • Advised Red Rock Power on the acquisition of Afton Wind Farm Holdings, a company that had constructed the 50MW Afton Wind Farm in East Ayrshire.
  • Acted for the shareholders of QTS Group on the sale of a high-profile family-owned independent rail contractor to AIM-listed engineering group Renew Holdings.
  • Acted for the shareholders of Ecosse Subsea on its sale to Oceaneering International, a listed US company.
  • Advised Atlanta Bidco on M&A and legal due diligence and banking-related matters concerning the acquisition of Damoco Holdco Limited.

The corporate and commercial group at Dentons is especially strong in the food and drink, financial services, industrial and retail sectors, where it acts for clients including C&C and KKR. Brian Moore's team is led out of Edinburgh and advises Scottish clients operating internationally on cross-border transactions and investments. Donald Smith was recently promoted to the partnership, while the group also has a strong bench at senior associate level, including Owen McLennan in Edinburgh and Kimberley Goh in Glasgow.

Practice head(s):Brian Moore

Other key lawyers:Iain Sutherland; Derek McCombe; David McGrory; Claire Armstrong; Owen McLennan; Donald Smith; Kimberly Goh


'Dentons' truly diverse team works in a highly collaborative manner to deliver a great client experience.'

'Iain Sutherland provides excellent partner-led personable no-nonsense advice.'

'The team provides commercial, dedicated and sensible advice.'

'Response times are excellent and partner availability is second to none.'

'Donald Smith delivers outstanding service and really sets the bar in terms of proactive client support.'

'The strong team is able to pull on UK-wide Dentons expertise where required.'

Key Clients

Scottish Equity Partners

Clyde Blowers Capital


John Menzies

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co Partners LLP (KKR)

Stagecoach Group

Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group

FreeAgent Holdings Limited

The Edrington Group Limited

C&C Group

Castle Water

LEBC Holdings

SIMEC Atlantis

Work highlights

  • Advised Environmental Capital Fund LP (ECF) on the sale of Indigo Pipelines Limited to infrastructure asset manager Arjun Infrastructure Partners.
  • Acted for the Edinburgh Woollen Mill group on its acquisition of the Berwin & Berwin brand from the Berwin Group.
  • Advised C&C on its purchase from Conviviality Brands Limited of the entire issued share capital of Matthew Clark Limited and Bibendum PLB Limited together with their subsidiary businesses including Catalyst, Peppermint, Elastic and Walker & Wodehouse.
  • Acted for the majority shareholders of Glasgow-based IoT (internet of things) company Stream Technologies Limited on its sale to Softbank-backed leading global chip-maker ARM Limited.

Harper Macleod LLP is best known for advising family-owned and owner-managed businesses, as well as early-stage and high-growth companies. The group handles the full range of corporate and M&A activity and also has notable expertise handling cross-border transactions, where it acts for foreign investors and Scottish businesses seeking investment or exit opportunities. Donald Munro heads the practice and Paula Skinner is also noted.

Practice head(s):Donald Munro

Other key lawyers:Paula Skinner; Christopher Kerr; James MacGregor; Stephen Chan; Craig McKerracher; Jo Nisbet


'The team at Harper Macleod is very commercially focused and provides commercially valuable as well as technically competent legal advice.'

'The experience with Harper Macleod is nothing but positive. The team stands out for its speed of response, enthusiasm, friendliness, problem-solving approach and its openness to making connections with its extensive network. It is keen to make a difference and prepared to do pro-bono work to help start-up businesses.'

'James MacGregor and Donald Munro co-ordinate advice from the property, employment and commercial advisory teams, which is not as common as one would hope.'

'Paula Skinner genuinely cares about clients and their business. She creates valuable and long-lasting relationships.'

Key Clients

Optical Express

Tchibo Coffee Service


Sea TransportCorporation

Gael Force Group Limited

Moët Hennessy

Clyde Group

Kent Foods

Epidarex Capital

Work highlights

  • Advised Go Beyond Services Limited ("gobeyond") - a UK subsidiary of the KKR-backed Webhelp group - on the acquisition of OEE Consulting Limited and its subsequent merger with the client.
  • Advised the owner-manager shareholders on the sale of Castle Computer Services Ltd to the Kick ICT Group.
  • Assisted with its £6m further investment from existing investors, including Notion, BGF and Kindred Capital.
  • Advised Gael Force Group Limited on the acquisition of 75% of the entire issued share capital of Fusion Marine Limited.
  • Advised Entrepreneurial Spark Limited on all aspects of the sale of the business and assets to NatWest.

Pinsent Masons LLP has considerable strength in sectors including energy and infrastructure, advanced manufacturing and technology, healthcare and life sciences, retail and consumer, real estate and financial services. It also has a notable private equity and capital markets offering. Barry McCaig heads the team, which also include Rosalie Chadwick, Alan Diamond and Kevin Beattie.

Practice head(s):Barry McCaig

Other key lawyers:Rosalie Chadwick; Alan Diamond; Kenny Devanny; Jonathan Kirkwood; Brian Thumath; Jennifer Malcolm; Kevin Beattie


'The high-quality team provides clear and concise advice, and is not afraid to give an opinion.'

'Barry McCaig is good at seeing the situation from the client's perspective. He provides the legal view but translates it into a commercial view too.'

'Knowledge is backed by strong practical advice that understands that businesses have decisions to make and don't want lawyers who just try and tell you what you can't do.'

'Excellent knowledge of AIM regulations and working with listed companies.'

'Jonathan Kirkwood (legal director) is extremely thorough and very easy to deal with.'

Key Clients


Blue Water Energy LLP

Belltown Power Limited

Cenkos Securities

Petro Matad Limited

Range Resources Limited

Springfield Properties


iomart Group

Energy Assets Limited

Scottish Equity Partners LLP


JZ Capital Partners

Work highlights

  • Acted for Blue Water Energy LLP on its joint venture with Blackstone and the management in the Norwegian-focused exploration and production company, Mime Petroleum.
  • Acting for Cenkos Securities as nominated adviser and broker on the £100m AIM IPO of RA International, a global logistics business.
  • Advising AIM-quoted Petro Matad on two institutional private placings of $34m in the UK and US to fund drilling activities in Mongolia.
  • Advised ASX-listed oil and gas exploration and production company Range Resources on its acquisition of oil and gas interests in Indonesia and acquisition of a drilling services business in Trinidad and related AIM IPO.
  • Advised Scottish housebuilder Springfield Properties on its acquisition of Dawn Homes for up to £20.1m, funded partly out of existing cash and partly out of a £15m share placing.

Anderson Strathern handles the full spectrum of corporate transactional and advisory work for listed companies and international clients. The SME sector is another area of strength and Simon Brown's department has worked with numerous businesses across several generations.

Practice head(s):Simon Brown

Other key lawyers:Colin Young; Bruce Farquhar; Ewan Regan; Nicholas Howie


'Anderson Strathern's wealth of experience and knowledge is invaluable. Clients can always feel safe in the knowledge that the advice they are given is correct.'

'The corporate team at Anderson Strathern is defined by attention to detail, quick responses when required, value for money and terrific knowledge of a wide range of legal requirements.'

'Ewan Regan and Bruce Farquhar are hugely efficient and helpful at all times.'

'Colin Young is invaluable. He is always on hand to offer his advice and ready to look further into any issue no matter how tricky.'

Key Clients


Buccleuch Group


Rangers International Football Club

Crown Estate Scotland

Livos Group

Yay! Property Maintenance

Gala Coral Group

John Martin Group

Yeungs Chinese Foods

Work highlights

  • Advised Altia Solutions on a funding agreement with US Excelerate Technology Inc, IP licence arrangements and finalising a major corporate group restructure.
  • Acted for Livos Group on general corporate matters, restructuring finance arrangements and the proposed sale of the client’s subsidiary company.
  • Acted for John Martin Group Limited on three strategic disposals of its dealerships throughout 2018.
  • Advised the directors of audio-visual company, Mediascape Limited, on their move to employee ownership, which was by way of a majority of the shareholding transferring to an employee ownership trust.
  • Advised Rangers International Football Club on a range of matters including general corporate work including new share issue and AGM advice; commercial contracts; IP and brand protection; and joint venture arrangements and partnerships.

DLA Piper Scotland LLP's team has recently been kept busy handling deals in the technology and energy sectors. The group also has a strong track record advising multinationals, FTSE 100 and Fortune 500 companies on global reorganisations and restructurings. Notable individuals include practice head Simon Rae, who is a key name for M&A, private equity and venture capital deals.

Practice head(s):Simon Rae

Other key lawyers:Andrew Wardrop


'The team provides strong support and has extensive international offices.'

'Simon Rae manages the client relationship and his team very well.'

Key Clients

Business Growth Fund

Energy Ventures

Environmental Energy Fund

Energy Growth Investors

First Reserve

Infrared Capital Partners

Investec Investments UK

Proprium Capital

Secure Trust Bank

Scottish Equity Partners

Royal Bank of Scotland

Vespa Capital


Cimpress (Vistaprint)

Danaher Corporation

Element Group

Fortive Corporation

Heineken UK

Link Mobility

John Menzies

Work highlights

  • Acted for TTT Moneycorp on its acquisition of leading specialist broker, FirstRate FX Limited.
  • Advised Fortive Corporation on its $2.7bn acquisition of Advanced Sterilisation Products, a Johnson & Johnson company.
  • Acted for Link Mobility AS on its acquisition of leading business-to-consumer mobile messaging and mobile service provider, Hay Systems Limited.
  • Assisted Energy Ventures with the equity financing of leading Scotland technology manufacturer, Morphpackers Limited.

The corporate team at DWF is well known in the Scottish market for handling complex M&A transactions and is a popular choice for private equity investors. Also notable is the group's expertise in UK-wide acquisitions and disposals, equity and debt restructurings, joint ventures and general corporate compliance matters. Wayne Lawrence is the practice head and Paul Pignatelli is another key name.

Practice head(s):Wayne Lawrence

Other key lawyers:Paul Pignatelli; Gary MacDonald; Tom Maxwell; Gemma Gallagher; Orla Kerr


'DWF has excellent corporate and commercial teams in Glasgow and Edinburgh.'

'The firm's corporate lawyers are personable, down-to-earth and know and understand the local business worlds of Glasgow and Edinburgh (and across Scotland). They provide their clients with sound, practical and effective advice.'

'DWF has the strengths and capabilities to resource and advise on every eventuality in the most professional and approachable way possible.'

Key Clients


Aliter Capital LLP

Scottish Power

Scottish Golf Limited

Custodian REIT

Element (formerly Exova)

Ambassador Group

Pernod Ricard/ChivasBrothers

Graham's The Family Dairy Group

Intelligent Land Investments Group

Stage Capital

Marine Harvest Scotland

Visit Scotland


Shawbrook Bank Limited

Enertrag AG

Zonal Retail Data Systems

Work highlights

  • Advising Aliter Capital LP (through its Ipsum Group investment platform) on the acquisition of Specialist Power Engineering Contracts Limited.
  • Advised Capita on the £160m disposal of Constructionline, its construction procurement and supply chain services division, to Warburg Pincus.
  • Advised the founder and managing director of Scottish outdoor advertising company, Forrest Media, on the £32m cross-border sale of the business to London-based Ocean Outdoor.
  • Assisted Enertrag AG and DISS Investments Limited with the sale of all rights, title and interests in North Pickenham Windfarm LLP, which included a wind farm located in Norwich.

Lindsays' corporate team stands out for the depth of its experience and partner-led service and is able to advise clients across a range of sectors. David Wood and his group provide tailored advice to family businesses and SMEs, including transaction advice, corporate governance and assistance with shareholder arrangements and joint ventures and a broad range of contractual issues. The arrival of Ian Mitchell in the Glasgow office from Shepherd and Wedderburn significantly strengthened the firm's offering in the investment space. Douglas Roberts is another key name.

Practice head(s):David Wood

Other key lawyers:Peter Tweedie; Douglas Roberts; Alastair Smith;


'The ability to focus on each individual case and deal quickly and efficiently with any issues that might arise is what sets the team apart.'

'The proactive team identifies new ideas in the market and actively markets them to clients.'

'The team is always going above and beyond and clients can truly trust it to get the work done on time, and accurately. The corporate experts at Lindsays give sage advice when difficult choices present themselves and always communicate technical details in easy-to-understand terms, while also having a great understanding of specific industries.'

'David Wood is very professional in his dealings. He is great at not wasting time on minor issues but at the same time doesn't allow them to become large issues.'

'Douglas Roberts is enthusiastic and creates opportunities for partners and clients.'

'Douglas Roberts and Nimarta Cheema are exceptional in their approach. They understand the personal stress created by the nature of deals and what needs to be done for each individual client.'

'Alastair Smith is a real pleasure to work with.'

Key Clients

Par Equity

Palimpsest Book Production Company Limited

60 North Recycling Limited

Bruce Stevenson Limited

DIR Veterinary Services Limited

John Yorkston

Spence and Spence (Scotland) Limited

Edith Butler

Edinburgh Endodontics Limited


University of St Andrews

Leslie Benzies

Work highlights

  • Acted for the sellers on the sale of Blinkbonny Quarry to Breedon Northern Limited.
  • Advised Par Equity on an investment round in Novosound, a company that has developed and patented a groundbreaking technique to mass manufacture printable ultrasound sensors.
  • Advised Palimpsest Book Production Company Limited on a share purchase agreement, revised articles of association, employee trust deed and all necessary ancillary documents concerning the establishment of an employee ownership trust.
  • Advised Bruce Stevenson Limited on the acquisition of A Youngson (Turriff) Limited, based in Aberdeenshire.

MacRoberts LLP acts for a variety of mid-market companies, SMEs and owner-managed businesses, alongside larger clients including domestic PLCs and international buyers. The group is experienced in handling multi-jurisdictional transactions, acting for international investors and UK companies during overseas expansion. Alan Kelly, Michael Kelly, Louise Mahon and David Wylie head the practice.

Practice head(s):Alan Kelly; Michael Kelly; Louise Mahon; David Wylie

Other key lawyers:Neil Kennedy; Gary Baines;


'The group stands out for its straight-talking plain English explanation and ability to get the job done.'

'The team is very aligned with clients. It has a great understanding of clients' requirements and constantly checks back to see if the client is on track with what it is trying to achieve.'

'Michael Kelly is clear, concise, intelligent and always available.'

'Gary Baines (associate) powers through the work and is always available.'

Key Clients


Johnston Press (now JPI Media Limited)

Dow Investments

The Scottish Salmon Company

Spring Grove Clinic (Scotland) Limited

McTear Contracts

Black and Lizars Limited

Marine Procurement Limited

Speech Graphics

Work highlights

  • Acted for German-headquartered Moelle GmbH on a restructure involving its Scottish subsidiary, Moelle Interlok Packaging Limited.
  • Advised Edinburgh-based Speech Graphics on a £2m private equity fundraising.
  • Advised the selling shareholders of Bathing Mobility Advisory Service Limited, an Edinburgh-based bathing mobility specialist, on the disposal of the entire issued share capital to Mobility Group.
  • Acted for the sole shareholder of Unick Holdings Limited on a management buyout of the company.

Morton Fraser acts for SME and family businesses on a wide range of matters, but also has a strong presence in the public sector. The group also has substantial experience acting for investors and regularly supports universities and other higher education institutions in Scotland with developing spin-out businesses. Austin Flynn heads the team, which was recently supplemented by the arrival of Alan Meek from MacRoberts LLP.

Practice head(s):Austin Flynn

Other key lawyers:Adrian Bell; Iain Young; Paul Geoghegan; Melanie Schwindt; Julie Nixon


'Morton Fraser LLP appears to pride itself on providing the most risk-averse advice in Scotland: no "i" left undotted, no "t" uncrossed. This means their products may be more robust, but also more expensive, than average'.

'The practice (asset finance and Corporate) is very well regarded. Morton Fraser is a large but independent Scottish firm with a very hands-on approach which helps to drive matters forward effectively. Very good and in-depth knowledge of the law together with a strong appreciation of the commercial backdrop/reality.'

'Extremely quick and dedicated service. Great academic insight into the legal issues but tailored to deliver the right commercial result. Very solid and dependable service'

'Strong partner leadership. Real interest in getting to understand your business. Advice born of relevant experience'.

'Iain Young is an outstanding partner - unflashy but very sound. He works hard to understand the brief and engages with the other side, without irritating them'.

Key Clients

NES Global Talent

BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions

The Scotch Whisky Association

CBRE Global Investment Partners

Scottish Mines Restoration Trust

Mercia Technologies

Schuh Limited


TerraProtein Equity Partners Limited

Carrick Asset Finance Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised the shareholders of A.B. 2000 Ltd on the sale of the company to UK plant hire group Quatro.
  • Acted for the shareholders of Provista Technology Services Limited, a provider of specialist networking and communications solutions, on the sale of the company to PCM Technology Solutions UK Ltd.
  • Acted for The National Piping Centre on its acquisition of the charitable and commercial activities and assets of The College of Piping.
  • Advised MGB Biopharma Limited on a £2.7m grant from Innovate UK and a £1.3m equity investment from the Archangel Investors Ltd, Barwell, Tri Capital Ltd, the Scottish Investment Bank and Syndicate Room.

Wright, Johnston & Mackenzie LLP's team grew with the addition of three new partners following the firm's recent merger with CCW, which also bolstered the group's client base in the SME space. The team has longstanding relationships with clients including Macfarlane Group and The NWH Group and has also continued to expand its technology capabilities and regularly acts on company and investor-side private equity transactions in the start-up sector for clients such as Equity Gap. Also notable is the promotion to partner of Martin O’Neill. Colin Millar leads the team.

Practice head(s):Colin Millar

Other key lawyers:Ken Long; Angus Macleod; Susan Hoyle; Graham Bell; Martin O'Neill; Stephen Grant


'The team is very responsive and commercially oriented.'

'Wright, Johnston & Mackenzie LLP fields a team of client-focused and results-orientated lawyers.'

'The team is very committed to meeting clients' needs and timescales.'

Key Clients

Crocodile (Dundee) Partnership No.6 LLP

Outreach Limited

Macfarlane Group

Carbon Black (Systems) Limited

Whyte & Mackay Limited

Equity Gap Limited

The NWH Group Ltd

Beam Suntory UK Limited

Golden Charter Limited

Hermitage Holdings Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised longstanding Northern Ireland-based client Lotus Group Bridgeban Investments Limited on its acquisition of a portfolio of 17 properties from Bruce Linton/The James Keiller Group.
  • Acted for Outreach Limited on the sale of the entire issued share capital of Outreach Truck Limited to TH White Limited.
  • Acted for Newmake Limited (trading as The Holyrood Distillery), a company set up to build, operate and run a new malt whisky distillery in Edinburgh, on its £5.9m equity fundraising.

Bellwether Green's practice is best known for its work in the healthcare, education, technology and financial services sectors. New clients include Gerber Landa & Gee and Hjalli Model. Recent work includes advising on the implementation of a tax-driven re-structuring, de-mergers, share option schemes and reductions of share capital. April Bingham heads the practice.

Practice head(s):April Bingham


'The team is approachable and quick to respond to client needs. The corporate experts are very service focused and have the ability to convey technical concepts in ways which clients understand.'

'April Bingham and Stephanie Farrell (senior associate) are helpful, reactive and extremely personable. Nothing is too much of a hassle for them.

Key Clients

Protech Heating Group

DSL Business Finance Ltd

Traveltek Group

Gerber, Landa & Gee

Hjalli Model

DTS International

Timber Frameworks

Poddar Group

Craigalan Controls Limited

Dow Waste

Work highlights

  • Acted for Kids Connecting on its purchase of the entire issued share capital of Big Bird Nursery Ltd, which operates a children’s day care nursery.
  • Advised on the establishment of an SPV for The Airdrie Diamonds consortium and acted on its purchase of 307,020 ordinary shares in the capital of Airdrie Football Club Limited from M&H Logistics Limited.
  • Acted for longstanding client RAM 231 Limited on its purchase, via a special purchase vehicle, of the entire issued share capital of Roin Limited, which operates Jennyswell Nursery and an after-school club.

The corporate group at BTO Solicitors LLP acts for clients in a range of sectors including leisure and licensing, property development and house building and renewable energy. The team, which is led by Jeremy Glen, has substantial experience handling complex disputes between directors, shareholders and partners, as well as complex high-value transactions.

Practice head(s):Jeremy Glen

Other key lawyers:Andrew Sleigh; Alistair Dunn; Patrice Fabien; Gary Booth; Scott Wyper

Key Clients

Mactaggart and Mickel

Crieff Hydro

Hallam Land

Peter Vardy

Barony Universal Products

Johnston Carmichael LLP

Intelligent Capital Holdings Limited

Scottish Football Association

Angus Dundee Distillers

Betsold Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted on the re-organisation of Intelligent Capital Holdings Limited, part of which required the purchase of shares within the group from an existing shareholder which enabled terms to be agreed for the buyout of the principal shareholder by the management.
  • Advised the shareholders of Fusion Marine Limited on the sale of 75% of its company shares to Gael Force Group.
  • Acting for the Scottish FA ion the acquisition of title to Hampden Park from Queen's Park Football Club.

Davidson Chalmers Stewart routinely works with English and international law firms on a range of corporate and commercial matters requiring Scottish expertise. The firm's corporate offering was recently enhanced by the firm's merger with boutique firm Kergan Stewart, which added David Allan, Catherine Feechan, Fiona Piper, Stephen Smith, Elizabeth Kennedy and chairman Alan Stewart to its roster of corporate partners. Craig Stirling, who specialises in private equity and M&A, leads the practice. Stuart Duncan is the other name to note.

Practice head(s):Craig Stirling

Other key lawyers:Stuart Duncan; David Allan; Catherine Feechan; Fiona Piper; Stephen Smith; Elizabeth Kennedy; Alan Stewart

Key Clients

Emerson Electric Corporation

Jabil Circuit Corporation

Murray Capital

Hercules Capital

Muir Homes

Guinness Asset Management

Suez Group


Natural Assets Investments Limited/Natural Retreats

Palm Capital

Work highlights

  • Acted for Ark Hill Wind Farm Limited on the sale of the entire issued share capital of the company to Sedgwick Wind 2 Limited.
  • Advised Livingston Mechanical Services Limited on the sale of the entire issued share capital of the company to competitor Morris & Spottiswood.
  • Assisted Edinburgh Computer Services Limited, a technology support company, with the sale of the entire issued share capital to Commsworld Holdings Limited.

Gillespie Macandrew LLP provides the full spectrum of corporate law advice to public and private sector clients from a variety of sectors. The firm particularly stands out in the renewable energy space, where it assists start-up and emerging companies with negotiating inward investments, joint ventures for renewables projects and other land-based development transactions. Other key areas of expertise include the food and drink and retail industries. Practice head David Christopher Smith is based in Edinburgh and - along with several other team members - is dual-qualified in Scottish and English law.

Practice head(s):David Christopher Smith

Macdonald Henderson's team is led by David Beveridge. The group has a strong track record advising on management buyouts, mergers and acquisitions, private equity, and banking and finance deals domestically and internationally.

Practice head(s):David Beveridge

Other key lawyers:Fraser Morrison; Laura McKnight; Michelle Rae

Key Clients

Donside Safety LLP

John Paton & Son

GMB Portfolio Services Limited

UK Polythene Recycling Limited

Renfrewshire Electronics Limited

WD Factors Limited

Bridge Motor Factors Limited

Law at Work

Kilrevin Holdings Limited

Kained Holdings Group

HR Consultancy

Welch Chemists

Strachan & Others

J P Mackie & Co

Viking Mead

Halo Scotland

Coneworx Limited

Old College Capital LP

University of Strathclyde

Scotia Double Glazing

Cuthbertson & Laird Group

Turnkey Solutions

ACA Print Group


Work highlights

  • Acting for Donside Safety LLP on the sale of the Orka Safety clothing and equipment division of its business to Hazchem Safety.
  • Advised John Paton & Son Limited on the £2.1m acquisition of 75% of the issued share capital in Countrywide Vehicle Liverpool Limited and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Countrywide Vehicle Rentals Limited.
  • Assisted GMB Portfolio Services Limited with the acquisition of 100% of the issued share capital in GM Mortgage Brokers Ltd.

MBM Commercial's corporate team has a strong focus on acting for high-growth technology companies and their investors at all stages of their development. The team was recently bolstered by the arrival of directors Zara Diloo and Tara Walsh from Dentons and CMS respectively, alongside two new associates. Kenny Mumford heads the practice.

Practice head(s):Kenny Mumford

Other key lawyers:Stuart Hendry; Tracey Ginn


'MBM Commercial's team is cool and calm in a crisis.'

'The team provides good, solid advice based on experience gained over years of acting for clients.'

'The group understands the issues and how to get around them effectively.'

Key Clients

Archangel Investments

Seraphim Space


Newable Limited

Dawnfresh Seafoods

Big Data For Humans


Kangaroo Self Storage

Optoscribe Limited

QuikServe Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting for Hutchinson Networks Ltd on a £2.2m funding from Yorkshire Fund Managers.
  • Advised Novosound Ltd on its spin-out from the University of West of Scotland (UWS) as well as a £1.5m funding from Par Equity, Kelvin Capital, SIB and others.
  • Assisting Archangel Investors Ltd with its £3.15m syndicated funding round into Calcivis Ltd alongside SIB and Julz LLC.

Shoosmiths's corporate and commercial team, which is led by Alison Gilson, is known for its advice on mergers and acquisitions. It is also experienced in assisting with private equity investments, fundraising deals and wider corporate and commercial matters.

Practice head(s):Alison Gilson

Other key lawyers:Jen Paton


'The corporate lawyers at Shoosmiths are experienced, collegiate in their thinking, friendly, proactive and practical in their counsel.'

'The team is responsive and commercial and keeps things simple and effective. The drafting is always clear and easy to understand.'

'At Shoosmiths there is a very level and professional approach to getting the transaction done, but with a finely judged sense of when to push and when to move on.'

'Alison Gilson is a very impressive , measured and practical lawyer. She doesn't panic under pressure and has a sharp mind.'

'Alison Gilson and Jen Paton (senior associate) both try to identify potential issues early on in any deal and explain them to the client and the adviser in straightforward terms to see if it is worth progressing or stopping straight away.'

Key Clients

Carewatch Care Services Limited

MV Commercial Limited

M-Squared Lasers Limited

LeapFrog Investments Group Limited

John Smith & Sons Group Limited

August Equity

Progress to Excellence Holdings Limited

Kortext Limited

Bob & Berts Group Limited

Sea-Cargo Aberdeen Limited

Barter & Trade International BTI

Twenty7tec Group Limited

Quorum Network Resources Limited

Webrecruit Holdings Limited

Entrotec Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for John Smith & Son Group Limited on the sale of the Hammicks business to Wildy’s & Sons Limited.
  • Advised the shareholders of MV Trench Support Limited on the sale of the company to GAP Group Limited.

The team at Turcan Connell is best known for advising entrepreneurs and family businesses on exits by way of trade sales, management buyouts or employee buyouts. It has focused on developing its expertise in investment matters, recently acting for Par Equity Limited. Mike Kane heads the team, which was recently bolstered by the arrival of senior associate Callum Murray from Morton Fraser.

Practice head(s):Mike Kane

Other key lawyers:Jack Gardiner


'Turcan Connell stands out for its breadth of skills under one roof and unique knowledge of certain buyout techniques.'

'Mike Kane is fantastic. He is calm in all storms, with a great mind for insights that are really useful and save lots of time and money.'

Key Clients

Grant Asset Management

Par Equity

The Wee Hotel Company

SV Realty Limited

Dayforce Europe (Ceridian)

Lyon and Turnbull Ltd

Smith Anderson Group

Macphie of Glenbervie Ltd

Headon Developments Ltd

Tidewater Inc

Work highlights

  • Acted as lead adviser to the shareholders of Sanquhar Tile Services Limited, a rural manufacturing business, on its disposal to a portfolio company owned by Warren Buffett.
  • Advised Shetland Charitable Trust on its £17.5m disposal of an investment company, Shetland Leasing and Property Developments Limited, to Shetland Islands Council.
  • Advised new client Par Equity LLP as lead investor on a significant fundraising for its portfolio company, co-investing with other institutions.
  • Advised SV Realty Limited, the UK arm of an Indian Family office investment company, on its first property investment in Scotland.

Gilson Gray advises start ups and new businesses on acquiring corporate finance while also acting for multinational manufacturing and engineering companies. The corporate team also has a particular expertise in the medical devices and regulatory space where it handles the legal issues surrounding medical trials and commercial agreement negotiations. Derek Hamill leads the group from Glasgow while Andrew Fleetwood is the main name to note in Edinburgh.

Practice head(s):Derek Hamill

Other key lawyers:Andrew Fleetwood


'At Gilson Gray, people are instantly brought in providing a wealth of knowledge and experience on demand.'

'The corporate lawyers at Gilson Gray always have a clear focus of where the client's business is going and have an in-depth knowledge of how they operate.'

'Derek Hamill's knowledge of international contract law and business is exceptional.'

Key Clients

BrewDog plc

Wilson Imports Limited

Delete Limited

Apex Training & Development Limited

Ay Dee Kay

Mackies of Taypack Limited

Bray Controls (UK) Limited

Hunter Hayes Limited

Watt Brothers


Work highlights

  • Advised Capbal on the acquisition of project rights for around 300MW of large-scale battery projects throughout the UK.
  • Assisted BrewDog plc with the acquisition of Hawkes Brewing Company.

Corporate and commercial: Elsewhere in Scotland

Index of tables

  1. Corporate and commercial: Elsewhere in Scotland
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next Generation Partners
  4. Rising stars

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1

Rising stars

  1. 1
    • Ross Fair - Blackwood Partners LLP
    • Shona Tennant - Brodies LLP

Brodies LLP 's Aberdeen offering has expertise across the full range of corporate matters, advising private and public companies and institutions, high-net worth individuals and the third sector. The corporate team is able to support clients in virtually all sectors of key importance to the Scottish economy, including oil and gas, fishing and maritime, property, education, funds and financial services and technology. Over recent years the firm has strengthened its ranks in Aberdeen with a number of relocation and hires, including Tom Boulton-Jones and Douglas Crawford. Senior associate Shona Tennant specialises in IT and complex commercial contracts.

Practice head(s):Shuna Stirling

Other key lawyers:Douglas Crawford; Gill Summers; Tom Boulton-Jones; Shona Tennant; Gemma Hills


'Brodies focuses on its delivery to the client's requirements through a positive, collaborative approach.'

'The corporate lawyers at Brodies are very willing to help in any way they can. The team works together extremely well and has great knowledge in the subjects they have to deal with.'

'The flexible, tolerant, detail-oriented, business-minded people at Brodies are willing to challenge when it is in the client's best interests.'

Key Clients

INEOS Upstream/INEOS Commercial Services UK

Drum Property Group Ltd

Dana Petroleum

John Lawrie Group

Tulloch Homes Group


Cooke Aquaculture

Caley Group

Maven Capital Partners UK LLP

Shetland Catch Ltd

Ocean Blue Quota Company Limited

Monymusk Land Company Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting for ROVOP Group on the acquisition of certain key strategic assets from M2 Group.
  • Acting for Parklands Limited and its management team on the £5m investment by BGF, split between equity and loan notes.
  • Advising Motorsport Aftermarket Group on the sale of Renthal Limited, the motorcycle and cycle accessories brand.
  • Advising Moorfield Real Estate Fund III on the sale of the company owning the Atlantic Quay I building in Glasgow.

The corporate team at Burness Paull LLP boasts particular expertise in the areas of oil and gas, private equity, capital markets, as well as work for family-owned businesses. As a Scottish independent, the firm acts on significant deals both at home and internationally for both Scottish clients seeking to expand and foreign entities investing in Scotland. Jamie Stark , who is dual qualified in both Scotland and England and Wales, is a hugely experienced corporate finance and M&A practitioner, while director Arran Mackenzie is also well-regarded. Gary Chapman was recently made partner to cater to a upturn in M&A transactions in the oil and gas sector.

Practice head(s):Mark Ellis (Edinburgh)

Other key lawyers:Jamie Stark; Helen Dickson; Alasdair Freeman; Arran Mackenzie


'Burness Paull has a strong corporate team with experience of supporting start-ups through to multinationals.'

'Gary Chapman always makes himself available when needed, often at short notice. He understands his client's business and supports the company in the decision-making process by providing contextually relevant advice whilst also ensuring current agreements are as future proof as possible.'

Key Clients

Standard Life Aberdeen

James Fisher and Sons

Scottish Power

A-Plan Insurance

Well-Sense Technology Limited

BlueGem Capital Partners

Walker Precision Engineering Group

i3 Energy

Kings Park Capital

Work highlights

  • Advising Well-Sense Technology on a seven-figure investment from Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures.
  • Advised the Oil and Gas Technology Centre on its joint venture with The University of Aberdeen to create a new multimillion-pound Decommissioning Centre of Excellence.
  • Advised on the acquisition of EDS HV Group Limited by longstanding client, James Fisher and Sons.
  • Advised EBar Initiatives on its equity funding round, led by Jenson Funding Partners SEIS and EIS Fund, joined by Scottish investors Gabriel Investments and Equity Gap.
  • Advising Incremental Group Holdings on the sale of the entire share capital to an acquisition company set up by Dunedin.

CMS, which has a five-partner team in Aberdeen, recently expanded its junior ranks with the hire of senior associate Joe Little from Blackwood Partners LLP and associate Craig Wilson from Ledingham Chalmers LLP. The firm's outstanding expertise in the infrastructure, energy, oil and gas and technology sectors carries over into Aberdeen, where the team handles a wide spread of corporate transactions, drawing on the wider firm's huge global footprint. Key partners include the 'very commercial' Frank Fowlie, who was appointed Scotland corporate head in 2018, and the 'consistently excellent' Helen Machin, who also has an active practice in the private equity mid-market.

Practice head(s):Frank Fowlie

Other key lawyers:Helen Machin; Norman Wisely


'CMS is a large international law firm that never makes its clients feel like just another fee and consistently provides a high level of legal expertise across all areas.'

'The corporate team at CMS has a wide range of experience, not only within the particular discipline area, but more widely across the whole practice.'

'CMS always commits the right mix of senior and junior staff to transactions to deliver optimal results. The corporate team is excellent at engaging senior resource as required and letting the broader team continue to progress other issues to the benefit of timetable.'

Key Clients


Buckthorn Partners Private Equity

Broadview Energy


Decipher Energy


Elm Trading Limited

Albion Capital


Decom Energy Limited

Fairfield Energy Limited

Business Growth Fund

Work highlights

  • Acted for optical provider Duncan and Todd on a £15m investment from the Scottish office of LDC to accelerate its growth strategy.
  • Advised Gravis Capital on corporate aspects of the acquisition of the full 133MW Solar Portfolio by way of corporate acquisition from Solarplicity.
  • Advised New Century Care in relation to the sale of the 13 care homes owned by NCC.
  • Advised new client Buckthorn, a specialist oilfield services private equity house, on its acquisition of Coretrax.
  • Acted for Alpha Real Capital in connection with a string of acquisitions.

Blackwood Partners LLP is a niche practice, based in Aberdeen, which focuses on corporate, M&A, private equity and banking and finance, predominantly in the oil and gas sector. The corporate offering operates in conjunction with a wide network of international firms, enabling it to handle cross-border transactions. Managing partner Alastair Wyper, who founded the firm in 2010, leads on much of its key work, ably supported by Judith Quinn and associate Ross Fair .

Practice head(s):Alastair Wyper; Judith Quinn

Other key lawyers:Ross Fair


'The team is always responsive to requests and turn round work quickly.'

'The corporate lawyers at Blackwood have significant expertise in their core areas and take a commercial, practical view which is extremely helpful in negotiations.'

'Alastair Wyper is always available, even when out of the office.'

Key Clients

Ardyne Holdings Limited

Ashtead Technology Limited

Bank of Scotland/LBG

Balmoral Group

Bluewater Energy

Buckthorn Partners

Business Growth Fund

Centurion Group

Clydesdale Bank

Consilium Group

Coretrax Technology Limited

DNB Bank

Work highlights

  • Acted for the shareholders of Coretrax Technology in the sale to Buckthorn Partners.
  • Acted for Well-centric Oilfield Services Limited in relation to its acquisition of Simmons Edeco.
  • Advised Lloyds Development Capital on its acquisition of Duncan & Todd.

Pinsent Masons LLP's Aberdeen-based corporate team leads on complex, high-value transactions in Scotland and overseas. The firm has recently continued to focus on its strategy of internationalisation and its specific sector strengths, namely in infrastructure, energy manufacturing, technology, real estate and financial services. Martin Ewan - whose 'ability to quickly cut through any noise and get to the root of an issue is second to none' - is the practice's key lawyer, leading the firm's oilfield technology practice. David McEwing left to join Addleshaw Goddard in early 2019.

Practice head(s):Martin Ewan

Other key lawyers:David Millar; Fiona Kindness


'Martin Ewan's ability to quickly cut through any noise and get to the root of an issue is second to none. In addition to being extremely knowledgeable and commercially aware, Martin has made a particular effort to network both internally in the firm and externally. As a consequence, he is able to signpost the requirement to the correct people quickly and easily and do a personal handover, whilst maintaining overall involvement. To be honest, we'd move if he did and I've recommended him to other clients of mine.'

Key Clients

Ithaca Energy Limited

Isle of Man Government

Bahari Holding Company Limited

Pryme Group Holdings Limited

Three60 Energy Limited

McCaul Haulage Limited

Trifast Overseas Holdings Limited

Swire Oilfield Services Limited

Briggs Equipment UK Limited

Work highlights

  • A cross-departmental team acted for McCaul Haulage Limited on the sale of part of its business and assets to ARR Craib Transport Limited.
  • The firm advised the shareholders of Precision Technology Supplies Limited in their sale of the entire issued share capital of Precision Technology Supplies Limited to Trifast Overseas Holdings Limited,a subsidiary of Trifast.
  • Advised Swire Oilfield Services Limited on the sale and purchase of the entire issued share capital of Gordon Engineering Services Aberdeen Ltd from Philip and Nicola Gordon.
  • Advising Ithaca Energy in relation to the acquisition of the Greater Stella Area oil and gas licences and associated infrastructure interests of Dyas UK Limited and Petrofac Limited.

The corporate team at Stronachs LLP is involved in M&A, private equity and other corporate transactions for clients ranging from SMEs to large corporates including listed companies. The departments tends not to act for institutional clients, which grants it a certain independence when dealing with banks and financial institutions. While Ross Gardner's corporate partners have a strong expertise in the oil and gas sector, the team also has an impressive track record in the fields of transport, logistics and food and drink.

Practice head(s):Ross Gardner

Other key lawyers:Neil Forbes; Ross Linn; Malcolm Donald; David Rennie; Jamie Hunter


'Stronachs has a practical commercial approach to transactions; partner involvement is high and the team interacts well with the other side to deliver solutions to issues rather than focus on problems.'

'Most of the staff are local and therefore have a wide and sound knowledge of the local economy, the personalities and the characters.'

'David Rennie is very experienced and has the ability to put client at ease when tricky situations arise.'

'Associate Callum Armstrong is fully invested in client discussions including needs and wishes without fuss. The accuracy of his documentation is first-class.'

'Malcolm Donald and Ross Gardner stand out from other lawyers. They are both technically solid but strive to understand the commercial aspects of the underlying transaction and both provide practical solutions to problems as they arise.'

'Neil Forbes is approachable, amiable and not at all stuffy. His clearly has excellent wide and general knowledge and experience.'

'Senior associate Eloise Robb is very personable and approachable. She has an excellent knowledge base.'

Key Clients

Global Energy Group

Aurora Petroleum Limited

Dana Petroleum Limited

Azinor Catalyst Limited

Xodus Group Limited

Peterson (UK) Limited

Omega Well Intervention Ltd

Sport Aberdeen

Petrofac Facilities Management Ltd

Korrie Mechanical & Plumbing Ltd

Work highlights

  • Acting for the selling shareholders of ARR Craib Holdings Limited in the disposal of the entire issued share capital of the group of companies comprising transport and logistic services to Gregory Distribution (Holdings) Limited.
  • Advising Dana Petroleum on the Tolmount project, which involves the negotiation of joint venture agreements, transportation agreements through Humber System, transportation and processing arrangements with the Easington terminal and decommissioning security arrangements in respect of field and the Humber System.
  • Acting for the selling shareholders of Empire HR Group Limited on the disposal of the entire issued share capital of the group to Law at Work (Holdings) Limited.
  • Acting for the selling shareholders of Aberdeen Drilling School Limited in the disposal of a 75% shareholding to Falck Safety Services in Denmark.

Aberdein Considine's clients range from private clients and SMEs, through to large corporations and numerous FTSE 100 firms. In the corporate and business advisory space, our team advises businesses all over Scotland from offices in Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Stirling and Glasgow. The team's key areas are M&A - both buy and sell side - equity fundraising as well as general corporate, company law and corporate governance support.

Practice head(s):Ritchie Whyte

Other key lawyers:Jacqueline Law; Anthony Quin


'The team at Aberdein Considine provide a real hands on and personal approach to all projects and deliver to an extemely high standard on a consistent basis.'

'The team takes a balanced approach and gives practical advice to clients aimed at helping to achieve the best possible outcome, focusing on what is in the clien's best interests.'

'Great cross-disciplinary communications. Extremely responsive, attentive and resourceful.'

'The individuals at Aberdein Considine are very approachable and have the ability to adapt to any situation and deal with difficult clients. Their ability to make a commercial decision and give an informed opinion is what makes them stand out from many of their competitors.'

'Ritchie Whyte is one of the best lawyers at handling difficult situations and communicating effectively with clients.'

'Ritchie Whyte has a highly responsive, can-do approach.'

Key Clients

The Trump Organisation

Air Control Entech

Mackie Ramsay Taylor

Baird’s Pharmacy Limited


Investing Women Angels

Dark Matter Rum

Porter’s Gin

Jasmine Group

Venesky-Brown Recruitment Ltd

Indigo Sun

Work highlights

  • Advising the selling shareholders of Spark Ecommerce Group, a call centre and fulfilment business based near Gateshead.
  • Advised One Dental Care on the acquisition of business and assets of Breeze Dental.
  • Advising technology start-up Air Control Entech Limited on time-sensitive equity fundraising.

Blackadders LLP has continued to develop significant expertise and a growing track record in the niche area of employee ownership transactions, while maintaining substantial strength in timeshare and vacation ownership. The corporate team is particularly active in the healthcare, technology, hospitality and leisure and life sciences sectors, where it has proven its capabilities for cross-border work. The team is led out of Dundee by 'truly outstanding' corporate and commercial head Campbell Clark, who acts for private and public companies, high growth companies and investors.

Practice head(s):Campbell Clark

Other key lawyers:Susan McFadyen; Kirk Dailly; Ruth Weir; Sarah Winter


'The corporate team at Blackadders is personable and invests the time and effort to really understand the client's business.'

'Blackadders stands out even amongst the most accessible, knowledgeable, results oriented, and reasonable firms.'

'The team at Blackadders has great breadth and depth throughout the full corporate lifecycle. Clients receive superb attention and turnaround times always exceed expectations.'

'Susan McFadyen's knowledge and experience shines through in the speed she understands what clients are after. she and Ruth Weir are good at putting this in plain English, reflecting risks to facilitate decisions.'

'Campbell Clark is truly outstanding. He embodies the problem-solving approach and positive attitude that clients expect from counsel. Every good team has a capable leader and Campbell's ability to form a team with the skill set required to provide service for specific tasks and finalise any project.'

'Campbell Clark is one of the most diligent and focused corporate lawyers in the UK. His attention to detail and the breadth of his capability never fails to impress. Campbell and his team's ability to understand the intricacies and complexities of their individual clients' businesses is essential to the success of their relationships.'

Key Clients

4J Studios Limited

A Proctor Group Limited

Avian Communications Limited

Norco Group Limited

RCI Europe

Strathmore Foods Limited

Lippert Components Inc.

The Insights Group Limited

Vascular Flow Technologies Limited

Waracle Limited

Work highlights

  • Oversaw the sale of the share capital of Mountlodge Limited to Jelf Insurance Brokers Limited.
  • Advised client on the sale of the entire share capital of LHSL2 Limited, holding company of Rembrand Timber Limited.
  • Start-up Kumulos Ltd appointed the group to advise on the investment by Mercia Fund Managers, Scottish Investment Bank and angel investors.

The corporate team at Harper Macleod LLP is best known for advising family-owned and owner-managed businesses of all sizes, as well as acquirers of such businesses. The firm also offers extensive experience in cross-border corporate transactions, acting for both overseas investors and Scottish businesses seeking investment or exit opportunities. The group recently boosted its ranks through the arrival of Fiona Neilson from Ledingham Chalmers LLP, the promotion to partner of Jill Fryer and the appointment of associate Amy Mackenzie .

Practice head(s):Christopher Kerr

Other key lawyers:Fiona Neilson; Craig McKerracher


'Harper MacLeod has really good people in place to look after the complete process of the transaction to completion. Very professional and at the same time personal.'

'Craig McKerracher is absolutely excellent - professional and a decent guy.'

'The owners of the firm should be very proud of their staff.'

Key Clients

The Firm of Moravian Motors

Gael Force Group Limited

PSG Marine & Logistics Limited

Shetland Islands Council

Boyd Brothers (Haulage) Limited

G & A Barnie Group Limited

The shareholders of Angus Jamieson Consulting Limited

Dron & Dickson Group Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for Johnson Marine Limited in its merger with Norwegian company GripShip to form AquaShip.
  • Advised Independent Vetcare Limited on the Scottish law aspects of its acquisition of the entire issued share capital of Vets Now Limited.
  • Shetland Islands Council instructed the firm to handle the acquisition of the entire issued share capital of Shetland Leasing and Property Developments Limited.
  • Advised Gael Force Group Limited on the acquisition of 75% of the entire issued share capital of Fusion Marine Limited.

Ledingham Chalmers LLP is best known for its work in the oil and gas sector, and routinely advises oil service companies on their international supply and joint venture contracts. In the past few years, the firm's expertise has evolved to envelop work pertaining to decommissioning and energy-related projects such as carbon capture and storage.

Practice head(s):Peter Murray

Other key lawyers:Rod Hutchison; Jody Mitchell; Laura Petrie;


'The firm's corporate lawyers have an excellent understanding of what is a complex and interwoven business development, which gives them the ability to provide straightforward and impactful advice that maintains continuity throughout.'

'Jennifer Cham and Peter Murray are truly outstanding.'

Key Clients

EGroup Services


Total E&P





Albyn Medical

Shareholders of Equalizer International Limited and Equalizer Flange Integrity Systems Limited

Pale Blue Dot Energy

Work highlights

  • Advising the shareholders of Equalizer International and Equalizer Flange Integrity Systems Limited on the disposal of their entire interests in Equalizer International and its subsidiaries.
  • Represented Albyn Medical SL on its acquisition of Premier Endoscopy Limited.

Thorntons Law LLP's particular expertise lies in the healthcare sector, where it has an impressive client roster of dental practices, pharmacies, veterinary practices and GP practices. Michael Royden's corporate team also acts in the high-growth technology sector and acts for universities spinning out companies, as well as angel investment syndicates.

Practice head(s):Michael Royden

Other key lawyers:Alistair Lang; Chris Byrne


'The team is genuinely engaged in a collective effort to provide the best possible levels of service for their clients.'

'Thorntons has managed to develop a culture that encourages all team members to work towards a common goal which as a client is very gratifying and very unusual.'

'I have worked with Chris Byrne for a number of years from when he was an associate through to being a partner and the highest compliment that I can pay him is that throughout his professionalism and demeanour have not changed. I was fully expecting that when he was made partner that our account would be passed primarily to an associate, but that has not been the case - Chris has maintained direct control of the work that is undertaken on our behalf, which has provided significant comfort to the management team.'

Key Clients

D.C. Thomson & Co. Group

Don & Low Limited

Walter Davidson & Sons

Design Dundee Limited (V&A Dundee)

Intelligent Growth Solutions Limited

Cyberhawk Innovations Limited

St Andrews Links Trust

EOS Technology Investment Syndicate

CGLMC Limited (Carnoustie Golf Links)

James Hutton Institute

Galedin Limited

Caledonian Dental Practice Limited

Deans Pharmaceuticals Ltd

Work highlights

  • Acted for St Andrews Brewing Company Holdings Limited in an over-subscribed crowdfunding transaction.
  • Advised Caresourcer Limited in relation to the equity investment of £8.5m by Legal & General Partnership Holdings Limited and Accelerated Digital Ventures.
  • Represented Instastock Limited in relation to a private equity investment of £400,000 into the company.
  • Advised on the sale of a privately owned dental practice to UK dental corporate Portman Healthcare.

Dentons' Aberdeen corporate team is active in the food and drink, financial services, industrial and retail sectors under the leadership of Gordon Hobkirk. The team's junior ranks were recently bolstered by the promotion to senior associate of Nicola Rae, while the oil and gas offering was significantly enhanced by the arrival of counsel Kenny Paton who was previously with Webber Wentzel in South Africa.

Practice head(s):Brian Moore (Edinburgh)

Other key lawyers:Gordon Hobkirk; Nicola Rae

Key Clients

Stork Technical Services (RBG) Limited

Muirden Energy LLP/Duncan Farms

Aberdeen Sports Village

Streamline Shipping Group Limited

The European Marine Energy Group

Decom North Sea

Grieg Seafood Shetland Limited )

The Deeside Water Company Limited

Fearnley Procter Group Limited

Hutcheon Services Limited

The Aberdeen corporate team at Shepherd and Wedderburn is led by John Rutherford and handles the full spectrum of work including acquisitions and disposals of businesses and private companies, advising start-up businesses, representing shareholders and directors in corporate governance issues, private equity investment and pre-insolvency advice.

Practice head(s):John Rutherford

Other key lawyers:Keir Willox

Key Clients

Mr and Mrs W G Robertson

Oliver Auston

Acumen Financial Planning Ltd

Ian Bremner & Shane Watt

WellEng Science & Technology Ltd

Rotojar Ltd

University of Aberdeen

Ian Brander

Wellpro Group Ltd

Rainbow Cars Ltd

Current 2 Current Ltd

Dyce Carriers Ltd

Mead Medical Holdings Ltd

Lecht Ski Company Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advised the founders of Wellpro Group Ltd, a new start-up company renting oilfield tools to the oil and gas industry, on an investment agreement, loan notes, service agreements and new articles of association.
  • Advised the Financial Planning Group Ltd on acquisition of the entire issued share capital of Medical & Dental Financial Planners in Aberdeen.
  • Advised shareholders on the sale of the entire issued share capital of A Youngson Ltd, a general insurance business based in Turriff, Aberdeenshire, to Bruce Stevenson Ltd.

Corporate tax

Index of tables

  1. Corporate tax
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next Generation Partners

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1

Brodies LLP fields corporate tax experts such as Isobel D’Inverno and Glasgow-based Heather Gibson as part of its dedicated group. The practice advises businesses on complex transactions, but also acts for the individuals behind the businesses - both investors and management - on their personal tax affairs. This can range from effective remuneration and investment structures, to exit strategies and protecting wealth and assets for the next generation.

Practice head(s):Alan Barr; Isobel d'Inverno

Other key lawyers:Heather Gibson


'Brodies' corporate experts are proactive and practical, eager to find workable solutions.'

'Brodies is a great commercial, pragmatic and London-quality firm based in Edinburgh.'

'Isobel D'Inverno has a very thorough knowledge of private and corporate law.'

'Heather Gibson is a young lawyer with a great appetite for work.'

'Duncan Cathie is careful and caring.'

'Karen Davidson brings real commerciality to the team as an ex-Big 4 partner.'

Key Clients

Endeavour Acquisition UK Limited/AKKR

Silver Lake

Drum Property Group

Omega Diagnostics Group plc

Drum Development Group

Anadna Properties Limited and Cerberus Capital Management

The Shareholders of FIM Services Limited

FIM Services Limited

Shareholders of Barrhead Travel Group

Dundee Studio

Moorfield Real Estate Fund III (MREF III)


S. Harrison Developments

Work highlights

  • Provided tax advice to Endeavour Acquisition UK on the $1.16bn sale of the Episerver group by US private equity house Accel-KKR to Insight Venture Partners.
  • Assisted Silver Lake with UK tax and stamp duty advice in connection with the recommended cash acquisition of the ZPG group by funds managed by Silver Lake.
  • Advised Drum Property Group on the tax structuring of the Buchanan Wharf development project.
  • Acted for Anadna Properties Ltd in the purchase of Maxim Office Park, Euro Central, Glasgow from Tritax Euro Central EZ Unit Trust.

Dentons' tax team in Scotland has specialist skills across the full gamut of issues, including planning and structuring for corporate deals and reorganisations, real estate tax, cross-border M&A tax issues, financial services tax, and tax planning for high net worth individuals. Practice head Gwen Souter sits in Glasgow is especially renowned for her expertise in international taxation and the structuring of M&A transactions, while Lorna McCaa leads on much of the firm's key work.

Practice head(s):Gwen Souter

Other key lawyers:Lorna McCaa; Alastair MacLeod


'The team at Dentons has deep technical knowledge combined with commercial perspective and an ability to convey complex issues to clients.'

'Lorna McCaa is able to cut through complex technical issues to identify those that really matter to the client.'

'Easy to get on with. Engaging, direct and pragmatic. No sitting on the fence.'

Key Clients

M&G Real Estate

Standard Life Aberdeen plc

Scottish Equity Partners LLP

The PRS REIT plc

J Sainsbury plc

The Edrington Group Limited

John Menzies plc

FreeAgent Holdings Limited

Dalmore Capital Limited

Hurricane Energy plc

Gatehouse Bank

H.M. Government

Work highlights

  • Advised the Prudential Assurance Company Limited on acquiring a 50% share of a heritable and leasehold interest in Edinburgh Fort Retail Park and Kinnaird Retail Park via a joint venture.
  • Advised the PRS REIT on a partial restructuring of its real estate portfolio to raise £200m of new debt facilities.
  • FreeAgent Holdings appointed the firm to oversee its £53m recommended cash takeover by a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Royal Bank of Scotland.
  • Represented Aberdeen Asian Smaller Companies Trust in the conversion of up to £50m convertible unsecured loan stock.

Burness Paull LLP's tax practice regularly works in tandem with the firm's well-regarded real estate team to provide full tax support, ranging from structural advice at the outset of the deal through to post-completion issues. The team works across all asset classes and boasts a strong skill set relating to private equity and management incentives. Practice head Ronnie Brown heads the group from Glasgow and has a strong track record of acting for London businesses and Scottish accountancy firms.

Practice head(s):Ronnie Brown

Other key lawyers:Gary Chapman; John Finnick; Robert Burns


'Burness Paull's team is able to cover any legal queries a client might have and can flex its approach depending on the client.'

'Robert Burns is very practical and works to find solutions for his clients.'

'Ronnie Brown has excellent technical knowledge and is able to explain and apply this to his clients.'

Key Clients

Taylor Wimpey

Cruden Homes

Springfield Properties

Zhouli Imaging

London and Scottish Investments

Maven Capital Partners

Standard Life



Hg Capital

Faroe Petroleum

Work highlights

  • Advising Standard Life Aberdeen on the acquisitions of financial advisory firms Jones Sheridan Holdings Limited and Cumberland Place Financial Management Limited.
  • Advising A-Plan Insurance on the acquisition of Endsleigh Insurance.
  • Advising James Fisher and Sons on the sale of the entire issued share capital of EDS HV Group Limited.
  • Advising LendingCrowd with its £2m equity fundraising.

MacRoberts LLP's practice advises on tax issues relating to property transactions, employee share schemes, entrepreneur’s relief and substantial shareholdings relief. The team has recently increased the number of charities on its client roster, advising on tax relating to mergers and other day-to-day issues such as the VAT status of grant income. Ainsley MacLaren  - 'an absolute go-to expert' - is a solicitor and a chartered tax adviser, advising solely on tax matters, while also sitting on the Law Society of Scotland’s tax sub-committee.

Practice head(s):Ainsley MacLaren


'MacRoberts' tax lawyers are part of a larger team providing everything one would expect from a full-service firm, especially good technical expertise and knowledge.'

'Ainsley MacLaren is an absolute go-to expert for stamp duty, land and buildings transaction tax and stamp duty land tax.'

Key Clients

Idox plc

Dow Investments plc (including Renaissance Care)

Breedon Aggregates plc

Boyd Insurance

Hamilton Capital Partners

BAM Properties Limited

British Waterways Board (trading as Scottish Canals)

People’s Postcode Lottery

Sumdog Limited

Muse Developments

Work highlights

  • Acting for Renaissance Care on the acquisition of the entire issued share capitals of Croftbank House Limited and Rosepark Care Home Ltd from the Balmer Group.
  • Appointed to intervene in Breedon Group's acquisition of the entire issued share capital of Blinkbonny Quarries Limited.
  • Representing the joint venture vendors of Energen Biogas Limited in the drafting of the transactional tax documents required by the purchaser.
  • Advised TCP Atlantic Square Limited on the development, letting and forward funding through L&G of an office development at Atlantic Square, Glasgow.
  • Acted on the reorganisation of the Pacson Group, which included a demerger by way of capital reduction.

Shepherd and Wedderburn has substantial expertise in land and buildings transactions tax issues, and represents both large corporate clients and individual shareholders across the full spectrum of tax matters. Its key strengths include corporate tax transaction advice, specialist tax advice for individual shareholders and real estate tax. The practice is led by chartered tax adviser Stephen Miller, who has spent more than a decade at the firm.

Practice head(s):Stephen Miller; Rodger Cairns

Other key lawyers:Douglas Sinclair

Key Clients

FanDuel Ltd

BigBlu Broadband plc

Miller Developments/Miller Homes

Taylor Wimpey plc

Sainsbury’s plc


British Land plc

Reach plc

BAE Systems

Chivas Brothers Ltd/Pernod Ricard SA

Work highlights

  • Acted for Reach plc on its £48m sale of the Echo Building, a former printworks in Liverpool.
  • Advised Qdos Holdings on the tax aspects of the restructuring and sale of part of the group.
  • The team was appointed as sole adviser to Hermes on the tax aspects of its acquisition of the Skypark Campus at Finnieston, Glasgow.
  • Assisted Nucleus Financial Group with the tax aspects of its IPO on AIM.

DWF's Scottish tax team provides advice on share incentives, as well as issues relating to M&A and private equity transactions across a broad range of sectors and clients, including local companies. The team also handles work regarding reports, tax analysis and input into transactions for warranty and indemnity insurers, and assists with Scottish and UK tax issues in the context of transactions for well-known high street brands, real estate investors and project developers. The main name to note is Caroline Colliston who was recently promoted to partner in the Edinburgh office.

Practice head(s):Caroline Colliston

Key Clients

Capita plc

Marine Harvest Scotland

Custodian Reit plc

Element plc

Visit Scotland

Graham's The Family Dairy Group

Aliter Capital LP

Enertrag AG

Work highlights

  • Advising Ipsum Group Limited, a utilities and infrastructure service provider backed by Aliter Capital, on the acquisition of Specialist Power Engineering Contracts Limited.
  • Advised Capita on the sale of Supplier Assessment Services (Constructionline) which comprised its construction procurement and supply chain services division.
  • Advised on the £32m cross-border sale of Scottish outdoor advertising company Forrest Media to London-based Ocean Outdoor.

Pinsent Masons LLP's corporate tax team distinguishes itself through the wide-ranging corporate transactional and advisory work it handles for its enviable client roster. While maintaining its firmwide strength in the energy, real estate and private equity sectors, the firm has also been involved in significant mandates pertaining to share plans and incentives. Much of the practice's key recent work is made up of tax advice on multimillion-pound transactions, led by Christine Yuill.

Practice head(s):Christine Yuill

Other key lawyers:Margaret Rankin


'The lawyers at Pinsent Masons get on with the job and deal with issues rather than treating them as obstacles.'

'The team manage to distill very complicated subject areas into targeted pragmatic advice.'

'Christine Yuill consistently provides quality pragmatic advice - she is clearly up to date on not just the legislation but market practice, she can respond quickly and concisely to queries - often answering questions you didn't even know you needed to ask.'

Key Clients

Skyscanner Holdings Limited

Taylor Hopkinson/SeaFox Apollo 1 Limited

Nevis Capital LLP

CALA Group

Energy Assets Group Limited

Siccar Point Energy Limited

Total SA

Balfour Beatty

Work highlights

  • Advised on the sale of Linnaeus Group to Mars Petcare’s Veterinary Health Group, a part of Mars Incorporated.
  • Advised tesa SE on its acquisition of the entire issued share capital of FormFormForm Ltd from individual sellers.
  • Advised investment funds managed by Alinda Capital Partners which, along with company management, acquired 100% ownership of Kelling Group Limited from Elysian Capital in a secondary buyout.

EU and competition

Index of tables

  1. EU and competition
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Brodies LLP handles merger control, regulatory compliance and investigations, state aid, public procurement and contentious issues across the full spectrum of EU and national competition law. Being one of the only Scottish firms with a Brussels office, the team has been advising on Brexit queries over the past few years. Practice head Charles Livingstone sits in Glasgow and regularly collaborates with the firm's oil and gas practice to assist major clients with competition matters in the sector. In Edinburgh, experienced litigator and firm chair Christine O’Neill - the pre-eminent public law specialist in Scotland' - maintains close connections with the Scottish Government.

Practice head(s):Charles Livingstone

Other key lawyers:Christine O'Neill; Roger Cotton


'Brodies' EU and competition team always provides detailed, accurate and timely legal advice that is also commercially and pragmatically focused.'

'Charles Livingstone has an excellent knowledge of the subject, gives practical advice efficiently and within required time limits.'

'Christine O'Neill, Charles Livingstone and Roger Cotton know their respective areas of law, have excellent communication skills and are able to tailor their advice to their individual clients.'

'Christine O'Neill stands out in all areas, not just in public law in which she is the pre-eminent specialist among solicitors in Scotland. She also has an excellent practice in EU and commercial matters and substantial knowledge in both areas.'

Key Clients

The Scotch Whisky Association

Lothian Buses Limited


Scottish Water Business Stream

AGS Airports Limited

Aberdeen City Council

Scottish Government

Groupe Grimaud Y


Lerwick Port Authority

Danfoss A/S

Glasgow City Council

City of Edinburgh Council

Wills Bros Civil Engineering Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Abellio on its bid for the East Midlands Rail Franchise.
  • Chairman Christine O’Neill was junior counsel for the Lord Advocate in the defence of the UK Government’s challenge to the UK Withdrawal from the European Union Bill, the first time the UK Government had referred a Scottish Parliament Bill to the Supreme Court.
  • Acted for French life sciences business Groupe Grimaud in obtaining CMA clearance for the disposal of Hubbard Holding, its broiler chicken division, to Aviagen Group Holding.
  • Advised Accel-KKR on the sale of Episerver, helping the client and the target respond to merger control and antitrust diligence questions from various bidders, in relation to a number of jurisdictions.
  • Provided state aid and procurement advice to Lerwick Port Authority on developing the port, including investing in a new fish market and options for investing in UK Continental Shelf decommissioning facilities.

The competition department at Dentons is best known for work on contentious matters including dawn raids, anti-bribery work and modern slavery issues. Michael Dean leads the group from Glasgow and is regularly involved in significant merger control, leniency applications, compliance programmes, vertical supply chain issues and retailing matters. Contentious specialist Catriona Munro has a particularly strong track record in the cartel space, regulatory issues, State aid and private damages claims,  both on the plaintiff and defendant side. Jennifer Marshall left the Edinburgh office to join Highlands and Islands Airport as in-house counsel.

Practice head(s):Michael Dean

Other key lawyers:Catriona Munro; David McGowan; Carolyn Burns; Melanie Martin


'Dentons fields a very capable competition cartel litigation team with loads of experience.'

'The sheer width and depth of the legal knowledge and experience within the competition practice, together with its ability to listen and establish all of the facts, enables it to provide comprehensive, well-reasoned, top-quality legal advice.'

'The competition law team at Dentons has excellent practical experience in its field of law.'

'Catriona Munro has a cool, calm head combined with a sensible, pragmatic approach.'

'Michael Dean is extremely knowledgeable and experienced. He is very supportive and pursues his clients' interests with vigour and passion. He makes himself accessible and is quick to respond to any communication with well-considered advice.'

Key Clients

Standard Life Aberdeen PLC

British Polythene Industries Ltd (RPC Group plc)

Stagecoach Group PLC

Network Rail

C&C Group PLC

Aggreko PLC

UK Government Department for International Development

Nynas Petroleum

Baxters Food Group Limited

John Menzies PLC

Edinburgh Airport Limited

London Luton Airport Limited

Strathclyde Passenger Transport

AO Retail Ltd

Beaconsfield Footwear (Hotter Shoes)

FW Evans Cycles (in Administration)


The Range

JCT 600 Ltd

Sytner Group Ltd

Aprirose (formerly QHotels)

Moorfields (Administrators for Toys 'R' Us – now in liquidation)

Avis Budget Group Inc.

World Fuels Services


Clyde Blowers Capital

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG)

Environmental Capital Fund/Indigo Pipelines Limited

Department of Education

East of England Co-op Ltd

Edinburgh Woollen Mill

Central England Co-op Limited

Spar UK Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising the Environmental Capital Fund on the sale of Indigo Pipelines.
  • Defending Highlands and Islands Enterprise against allegations that the client made illegal grants of state aid to a particular beneficiary.
  • Acted for Kenman Holdings Limited, which submitted a bid for a contract for the operation of Lews Castle, following its exclusion from the procurement.
  • Advised Triple Point in respect of the regulatory aspects of its investments in the UK gas peaking sector.
  • Advising a group of 15 merchants in a claim for damages against MasterCard and Visa, in respect of multi-lateral interchange fees.

At Shepherd and Wedderburn, the EU and competition practice covers all aspects of competition law - transaction and behavioural, procurement and state aid, as well as litigation - and is complemented by specialist public law and commercial litigation experience. Practice head Gordon Downie is particularly experienced in a range of regulated sectors, while Glasgow-based John Grady is a specialist in dealing with energy and utilities regulators.

Practice head(s):Gordon Downie

Other key lawyers:John Grady; Fiona Parker

Key Clients

Scottish Power

Single Electricity Market Committee

Water Industry Commission Scotland

City of Edinburgh Council

ORE Catapult

Capital Document Solutions

Scottish Enterprise

Work highlights

  • Advising the Water Industry Commission for Scotland, the economic regulator of the water and sewerage industry in Scotland, on non-household water and sewerage market review of disconnections and of vacancy charging.
  • Advised the Single Electricity Market Committee on competition and regulation for the entire wholesale Irish electricity market.

With anenviable client roster spanning the financial services, oil and gas, food and drink and public sectors, Burness Paull LLP's competition team advises on M&A transactions, state aid issues and complex commercial agreements. Graeme Palmer , who was recently promoted to the partnership, heads the firm's procurement and state aid sub-group from Glasgow. In Edinburgh, the main name to note is practice head David Goodbrand who specialises in commercial contracts, merger law and compliance and training for clients including Highland Spring, Royal London, ACCA and the Scottish Football Association.

Practice head(s):David Goodbrand; Graeme Palmer

Other key lawyers:Stephen Phillips; Michael Bryceland


'Burness Paull fields a London-quality team right out of Edinburgh.'

'Michael Bryceland has excellent knowledge of the law and practical application, and is very responsive and prompt with his advice.'

Key Clients

Highland Spring

Oil and Gas Technology Centre

Glasgow City Council

Highlands and Islands Enterprise

Scottish Enterprise


Offshore Contractors Association

Standard Life Aberdeen

Viridian Group

Student Loans Company Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising Glasgow City Council on the restructuring of City Building LLP to become a joint venture.
  • Advising on the development of Hampden Park Stadium to accommodate the Euro 2020 football tournament.
  • Advising Highlands and Islands Enterprise on the development of a joint project with Orkney Islands Council to establish a research and incubation centre in Kirkwall, Orkney.
  • Advising the Oil and Gas Technology Centre on a range of procurement and state aid matters in order to support its delivery of funding for technology projects, R&D collaboration with higher education institutions and use of its innovation hub.

In Scotland, CMS' competition and EU law team has strong connections the financial services sector in Edinburgh and Glasgow and the energy space across the country as a whole. The group also acts for household names across the utilities, higher education, telecoms, life sciences sectors, as well as acting for clients in the public sector. The main name to note in Scotland is associate Esther Duncan; the team is led by Graeme Young out of the firm's London office.

Practice head(s):Graeme Young

Other key lawyers:Esther Duncan


'CMS has strength in depth and go out of their way to understand our business. They dovetail with our internal legal team in a most impressive manner and constantly seek ways to work closely with us to maximise the value from the relationship. They enjoy an excellent reputation within the legal profession and with industry, commerce and the public sector.'

'The firm's lawyers are skilled and commercially aware. Graeme Young provides pragmatic advice on procurement and competition issues and has excellent experience.'

Key Clients

Scottish Water



The University of Glasgow

Land Securities


BioAberdeen Limited


Weir Group


Glasgow City Council

Oil & Gas UK

DWF's EU and competition team has continued to grow under the leadership of Glasgow-based Colin Miller, with a strong presence in the food and drink, education, energy and transport sectors. The practice's main client continues to be the Scottish Government, which has turned to thefirm to advise on significant procurement and state aid issues arising from major transport and telecom projects.

Practice head(s):Colin Miller


'Colin Miller provides good pragmatic advice.'

Colin Miller is a very exceptional lawyer. He work is technically strong but what marks him out is his charm, attentiveness, always available mindset and his overall commerciality. I would recommend him strongly to anyone.'

Key Clients

The Scottish Government



Burtons Biscuits

Graham's The Family Dairy


Beam Suntory

Aberdeen City Council

Monsoon Accessorize

Chivas Brothers

Work highlights

  • Advised Scottish Golf on the proposed creation of a cloud-based venue management system.
  • Advised the Scottish Government with all legal and commercial aspects of the R100 Project, which implements the Government's strategy to achieve 100% broadband availability to all premises in Scotland by 2021.
  • Advised Aberdeen City Council, Aberdeenshire Council and Moray Council on the procurement of the £120m joint energy-from-waste development in Aberdeen, working alongside financial advisers PwC, and technical advisers Ramboll.

Harper Macleod LLP advises public and private sector clients on the full range of competition law issues, including public procurement and state aid. The team also regularly handles merger control, anti-competitive agreements and abuse of dominance claims. James McMorrow leads the group from Glasgow, working with practitioners spread across Glasgow and Edinburgh, as well as partner Jill Fryer in Inverness.

Practice head(s):James McMorrow

Other key lawyers:Jill Fryer; Jennifer Jack; Jamie Watt


'Harper Macleod is always prepared to engage its team of specialist advisers and work to tight deadlines.'

'Jill Fryer never fails to provide valuable support to meet external deadlines, often in the face of rigid requirements she is able to come up with solutions and approaches that are acceptable to all parties involved.'

'James McMorrow is always adaptable and supportive from start to finish even when the goal posts move.'

Key Clients

Glasgow City Council

Highland Council

Highlands and Islands Enterprise

North Ayrshire Council

Inveryclyde Council

Moray Council

East Renfrewshire Council

Scape Group

Energy Savings Trust

Forestry Commission Scotland

Work highlights

  • Advised Glasgow City Council on compliance issues associated with the hosting of the European Sports Championships 2018 in Glasgow.
  • Advised Highland Council on procurement issues relating to two wi-fi projects which were progressed as a result of the Inverness City Region Deal.
  • Advising North Ayrshire Council on procurement and state aid issues arising from the proposed re-development of Ardrossan Harbour.

The MacRoberts LLP is best known for its work on compliance and investigation matters. David Flint's team advises on competition law aspects of corporate transactions, including mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures and the acquisition of companies holding publicly-awarded contracts.

Practice head(s):David Flint

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