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  1. Corporate and commercial: Edinburgh and Glasgow
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

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Brodies LLP handles a full spectrum of notable and high-value matters for private and listed companies, high-net-worth individuals, and third sector clients. In 2015, Shuna Stirling and Tom Boulton-Jones acted for Scottish homebuilder Tulloch Homes on its MBO. The team’s excellent investment funds capabilities were bolstered by the arrival of Karen Fountain from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP. William McIntosh, Julian Voge, Andrew Akintewe and Neil Burgess are among the other notable individuals. Derek Stroud joined from Pinsent Masons LLP.

In 2015, Burness Paull LLP’s workload included private equity investments and equity capital markets transactions. Mark Ellis advised KKR, as lead investor, on the $275m Series E equity fundraising by FanDuel. The group also handles oil and gas sector mandates and renewable energy transactions. Other key practitioners include Robert Burns (‘incredibly committed’), Grant Stevenson (‘brilliant all-round adviser’), Jonathan Heaney and Peter Lawson. Chris Gotts is also recommended.

Active not only in the Scottish market, but also the UK and internationally, CMS handles M&A, private equity and equity capital markets transactions. In 2015, David Davidson acted for the non-institutional shareholders of Worldmark International Holdings in the company’s £126m sale to Canada-based CCL Industries. Colin Lawrie’s team also includes Wendy Colquhoun, Michael McAuley and Laurence Ward. Graeme Bruce’s experience includes public company takeovers, secondary share issues and IPOs.

In 2015, Dickson Minto WS handled acquisitions and investments made by US-headquartered clients, including Charles River’s $212m acquisition of Celsis International. Elsewhere, it advised the management shareholders of Wood Mackenzie on the company’s £1.8bn sale to Verisk Analytics, and acted for Dunedin LLP on its £80m secondary buyout of Alpha FMC. The Edinburgh-based team houses seven specialist corporate partners, including Ewan Gilchrist, Colin MacNeill and Bruce Minto.

Pinsent Masons LLP’s team is led by Barry McCaig and includes Alan Diamond, who assisted Skyscanner with its £128m private placement of shares, which was the largest ever by a tech company in the UK. The firm also attracts mandates from sectors such as energy and infrastructure; Rosalie Chadwick and others assisted Total with the £585m sale of its North Sea midstream business to North Sea Midstream Partners. Celtic plc, Ithaca Energy and Aberdeen Asset Management are among its other notable clients.

Shepherd and Wedderburn handles work across various sectors, including energy and natural resources, financial services and real estate. In 2015, Stephen Trombala assisted FanDuel with its $275m Series E equity financing. In another highlight, Daniel Lee acted for the shareholders of PNE Wind UK in the company’s £103m sale to Brookfield. Andrew Blain’s team also includes Paul Hally, Tom Swan and Joanna Monaghan.

Key figures at Anderson Strathern include Simon Brown, who has more than 30 years of experience in corporate work and M&A; and John Kerr, who was lead adviser to the shareholders of MacLean Electrical Group in its sale to DistributionNOW. In 2015, Mark Cowie joined from McClure Naismith LLP and Douglas McLachlan was hired from DWF.

Private equity buyout transactions are a core area of strength at DLA Piper Scotland LLP. In 2015, Simon Rae assisted Energy Ventures with the institutional buyout and growth capital funding of Hannon Westwood. Other notable clients include Lockheed Martin, Skyscanner, First Reserve and Scottish Equity Partners. Alasdair Wood is recommended.

DWF’s workload spans corporate restructurings, M&A, joint ventures and investments across a wide range of sectors. The team, which is led by Wayne Lawrence, advised Capita plc on its £37m acquisition of Electra-Net Holdings in 2015. Other key individuals in the group include Paul Pignatelli, Tom Maxwell and Damien Bechelli.

HBJ Gateley acts for clients such as Souter Investments, Maven Capital Partners and Saltire Taverns. David Kirchin’s team handles a varied workload, which includes M&A, corporate structuring and capital markets. Andrew Ley advised LR Senergy on the sale of 45% of the company to Lloyds Register Group. Anna Brown recently joined from Pinsent Masons LLP and Helena Brown was hired from Burness Paull LLP.

Harper Macleod LLP handles private company M&A, early stage investment transactions, group reorganisations and share buy-backs for clients across Scotland and the UK. Chris Kerr was lead adviser to the shareholders of Contact Advantage on the company’s sale to Reynolds & Reynolds. Scott Kerr joined from McClure Naismith LLP in 2015 and Stephen Chan was hired from Tods Murray. Donald Munro’s team also includes Craig McKerracher, who made partner.

Maclay Murray & Spens LLP’s strengths include M&A, private equity and venture capital fundraisings and investments, and equity capital markets transactions. In 2015, Guy Norfolk and Brian Moore handled Ennismore’s acquisition of Gleneagles Hotels Limited from Diageo. Elsewhere, Iain Sutherland and David McGrory assisted Scottish Equity Partners with its £10m investment into Peppermint Technology. Derek McCombe made partner. Corporate head Michael Hughes is recommended.

MacRoberts LLP’s practice handles Scottish small and mid market M&A, advice to UK businesses expanding overseas, and assistance with inbound investments from overseas-based companies. In 2015, Neil Kennedy acted for the owners of Reid & Robertson on its sale to Carrs Billington Agriculture. Alan Kelly advised the Scottish Government on its acquisition of Glasgow Prestwick Airport.

Morton Fraser advises owner-managed and family businesses on acquisitions, disposals, fundings and restructurings. It also assists entrepreneurs with forming businesses, and has expertise in crowdfunding and establishing investment funds. Austin Flynn’s team includes Adrian Bell, who advised eVestment on its acquisition of TopQ. Joyce White, Iain Meiklejohn and Iain Young are also recommended.

At BTO Solicitors LLP, recently promoted partner Scott Wyper advised Scott Timber on its acquisition of a competitor. Jeremy Glen leads the team, which also includes Alastair Dunn, Andrew Sleigh and Gary Booth.

April Bingham’s team at Bellwether Green has a strong following in sectors such as healthcare, financial services, hotels and leisure, and technology. In addition to M&A and private equity transactions, the group is experienced in corporate structuring and dealing with commercial contracts.

Davidson Chalmers LLP acts for Scottish SMEs and also advises large international clients such as Sony and Jabil Circuit. Stuart Duncan’s team is particularly active in the renewable energy sector, and recently handled the sale of £40m of renewables projects to Zouk Capital for Urban Wind. Craig Stirling is recommended.

Gillespie Macandrew LLP specialises in renewable energy and land-related deals for clients such as SMEs, private equity funds and high-net-worth individuals. Christopher Smith has expertise in the corporate structuring of renewables projects, and in issues concerning family businesses. Derek McCulloch is also recommended.

Alan Stewart’s group at Kergan Stewart LLP has expertise in private company M&A, full list and AIM stock exchange flotations, and reconstructions. Stewart recently advised GT4 Group on its acquisition of TPL Labels. David Allan joined from Brodies LLP.

David Wood leads the team at Lindsays, which focuses on the SME and family business space. It draws work from the Central Belt, and from further afield including Dundee and the Scottish Borders. Wood led the advice to Close Asset Management Holdings on its purchase of Mackay Stewart & Brown. In 2015, Douglas Roberts joined from MBM Commercial. David Lindgren and Alastair Smith are other key names.

Stuart Hendry, Kenny Mumford and Sandy Finlayson are key individuals at MBM Commercial, which acts for high-growth technology companies and their investors. Its workload includes equity investments, debt finance transactions and company exits. In 2015, it advised the selling shareholders of GoodPractice on the company’s sale to Emerald Publishing.

Macdonald Henderson, which has ‘a growing reputation’, advises on MBOs, M&A and private equity. Noted for its 'expertise in all sizes and complexities of transactions', a significant amount of the firm's work has a cross-border component. In 2015, Fraser Morrison joined David Beveridge's team from Wright, Johnston & Mackenzie LLP. Beveridge is 'extremely knowledgeable and professional'.

ShoosmithsAlison Gilson has expertise in areas such as M&A, MBOs, disposals and joint ventures. Also recommended is Stuart Murray, whose workload spans a wide range of sectors, including retail and technology.

In 2015, Wright, Johnston & Mackenzie LLP was bolstered by the arrival of Colin Millar and two other lawyers from McClure Naismith LLP. In a notable mandate, practice head Ken Long led the group’s advice to LSE-listed Macfarlane Group in its £2.75m acquisition of One Packaging.

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