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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 > Crime, fraud and licensing > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Crime: fraud

Index of tables

  1. Crime: fraud
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Crime: fraud clients in Scotland using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


Brodies LLP  is noted for its ‘strong multidisciplinary approach’ to financial criminal cases and ‘capability for dealing with complex, cross-border issues’ for an array of public and corporate clients facing allegations of fraud, bribery and corruption. The group has particular expertise in the oil and gas sector, but also handles a significant workload on behalf of banking and financial service providers. The ‘responsive, focused and trusted’ +Paul Marshall  leads the corporate crime and investigations team, and has a reputation for ‘enlisting the support of key industry stakeholders’. Regulatory lawyer Rod Lambert , has extensive experience in cases concerning cartels and suspected infringements of the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and the UK Bribery Act – in addition to strong international sanctions knowledge. Glasgow’s Ramsay Hall is noted for financial crime compliance and investigations work.

The ‘excellent’ group at CMS advises a mixture of private and public sector clients on internal investigations and recovery proceedings, self-reporting of suspected instances of bribery, and insolvency-related fraud matters. Colin Hutton heads the disputes team and regularly represents large corporates, financial institutions and energy clients. Hutton is currently acting in a number of high-profile claims in the Scottish courts. Graeme MacLeod specialises in fraud-related litigation and is currently leading a team in relation to a major hedge fund fraud. Solicitor Advocate, Gemma Lampert focuses on financial crime in relation to supply chains, with recent instructions arising from the renewable energy and wholesale drinks supply sectors. The group’s impressive client roster includes the major accountancy firms, KPMG, EY, Deloitte and PwC.

KM Law  ‘has grown through the skill of its two partners’, Paul Kavanagh and Neal McShane, who have both ‘built good reputations amongst fellow lawyers in Scotland’. The firm has significant experience in representing individuals accused of serious fraud offences, as well as white collar and regulatory crime. In a significant victory, Kavanagh defended Craig Whyte, who bought Glasgow Rangers FC in 2011, against charges of fraud and financial assistance under the Companies Act in 2014 (the only matter of its kind to proceed to trial) – resulting in an acquittal at trial in 2017.

Pinsent Masons LLP’s corporate crime and investigations practice spans international trade sanctions, export controls and modern slavery, in addition to more traditional white collar criminal defence work – with a particular focus on advice and representations pertaining to bribery laws. The firm handles compliance procedures, as well as major internal and criminal investigations for a range of national and multinational companies (including financial institutions and several Scottish oil and gas industry corporations) dealing with UK and international criminal authorities and regulators. From the Edinburgh office, Tom Stocker  leads the firm’s Scotland-wide team, which includes Modern Slavery Act expert Neil Carslaw  , and Glasgow-based senior associate Stacy Keen , who has expertise in anti-bribery and international sanctions.

Clare Bone leads BTO Solicitors LLP’s Glasgow-based team, which also includes Alasdair Gillies and Vikki Watt. The team is instructed by senior executives of major financial institutions, accountancy and asset management firms, and has wide-ranging experience dealing with the fraud aspects of banking-related cases. The group is currently representing a senior director on the board of a major banking institution in connection with a Crown Office investigation into alleged criminality arising from a Rights Issue. It also acts for the Managing Director of a regional Chartered Accountancy firm in a prosecution for a fraudulent scheme to obtain Scottish Government funding. Other major ongoing cases involve high value embezzlement at a public institution and investigations into suspected cartel activity in the construction industry.

Burness Paull LLP’s practice is led by Rona Jamieson, who has vast experience advising multinational offshore oil and gas clients with operations in Scotland, in relation to various aspects of financial corporate criminal law. The group stands out for its regulatory and compliance work, which includes advising corporates on anti-bribery and anti-corruption procedures as well as international trade sanctions compliance and due-diligence on a number of major cross-border transactions. It also represents individuals and corporates subject to investigation by UK regulatory authorities. Senior associate, Lynne Gray, has ‘a great depth of knowledge and experience’ in relation to financial crime in the oil and gas sector. Ray Gribben left the firm in December 2017.

Dentons  represents corporations and individuals facing allegations of corporate criminal activity – with ‘a strong portfolio of international clients’. The firm is currently representing Fast Aid Medical in a regulatory investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) into alleged fraudulent misrepresentations made in a local authority procurement scheme. It is also defending Scotch Whiskey Auctions against a Court of Session action alleging unfair prejudice and fraud towards a minority shareholder. James McMillan and Michael Dean are noted for having ‘built up a leading reputation in Scotland’ and are particularly recommended for being ‘well-versed in the regulatory culture in both the UK and Scotland’.

Livingstone Brown has an impressive client roster of high profile individuals facing allegations and criminal proceeding of fraud and other serious financial crimes. The team is composed of experienced trial lawyers, Stuart Munro and Gerard Brown, both of whom have handled extensive criminal litigation and parallel civil proceedings, including with cross-border and multi-jurisdictional aspects. Recent highlights included a case arising from the acquisition of a sports team, the defence of an individual charged with mortgage and conveyancing fraud, and allegations of pension fund fraud. The group also advised a major financial institution on an internal investigation into the company’s conduct and possible related civil proceedings in England.

MTM Defence Lawyers has experience defending major fraud cases before Scottish courts. Highlights for the ‘approachable and knowledgeable’ Neil Hay included representing the accused in a high-value mortgage fraud case in an ongoing case involving a substantial investigation and the firm’s forensic accounting capabilities. Murray Aitken represented a former high-street bank employee who was accused of embezzling a large amount of money over a 10 year period, in a case which was subsequently dropped.

Crime: general

Index of tables

  1. Crime: general
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Crime: general clients in Scotland using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


Beltrami & Co Ltd’s group comprises ‘some of the leading criminal defence lawyers in Scotland’. The group is led by Gary McAteer, who is supported by the ‘able’ Murray Macara. The firm is often instructed on an array of serious and high profile criminal cases, with particular experience handling murder and sexual offence trials.

The ‘well-regarded’ team at Capital Defence Lawyers is recognised for its High Court, Appeals Court and Supreme Court representations in a broad range of criminal cases. Highlights for the ‘very able’ John Scott include the defence of Harry Clarke in the high profile Glasgow Bin Lorry case, successfully arguing against an attempt to obtain a private prosecution at the High Court. Scott also successfully represented the Master of a Faroese fishing vessel charged with food safety breaches, resulting in a significantly reduced plea at the Court of Appeals. John Keenan heads the firm’s specialist appeals unit; recognised for possessing ‘a range of skills that make him ideally placed to deal with complex criminal cases’. Colm Dempsey and Cameron Tait are also recommended for instructions at the Edinburgh Sheriff Court.

Glasgow boutique, Livingstone Brown is noted for its ability to ‘quickly put together an excellent team’ to defend the spectrum of criminal cases, including minor breaches of the peace, statutory offences, murders and sexual crimes. The firm has notable expertise in the technological aspects of criminal defence. It is also well placed to handle civil litigation arising from criminal matters. The ‘able and hardworking’ +Stuart Munro has considerable experience in child protection cases, and is a key figure in the practice, alongside +Gerald Brown (whose ‘genial demeanour belies a razor-sharp wit’). The firm has extensive experience in dealing with high-profile clients, recently defending an individual at trial against allegations of perjury, in a case involving media monitoring and representations to the Crown about inappropriate reporting.

The ‘excellent’ team at MTM Defence Lawyers stands out for its ability to offer ‘solid support’ to clients facing a wide variety of criminal charges, with particular expertise in cases involving serious sexual offences and domestic violence. The firm also regularly takes on appeals, often referred by other firms. ‘Outstanding, with a reassuring manner’, Neil Hay leads the practice and has extensive High Court experience; Martin Morrow specialises in high-profile violence and disorder cases and appeals; the ‘compassionate and professional’ Murray Aitken focuses on cases involving young people and people whose first language is not English. Also recommended are Associate Solicitor, Lynn Swan (who regularly deals with road traffic offences) and criminal defence solicitor Hazel McGuinness, who is experienced in jury trial defence that involves assault, drugs and sexual offences.

Adams Whyte  is a boutique criminal defence firm based across Edinburgh, Kirkcaldy and Livingstone with notable experience handling murder, drugs and serious sexual offence cases. Ewen Roy, who often acts as lead and junior counsel, successfully represented an individual charged with attempted murder of his partner, leading to a lesser charge and reduced sentence. Roy and Kevin Dugan represented a client in relation to a large scale covert police operation concerning drugs supply and serious organised crime, resulting in all charges being dropped against the client. Other highlights included a case involving an allegation of ‘shaken baby syndrome’ and a spate matter involving historic rape allegations. Gerry Bann  is another key practitioner.

BTO Solicitors LLP  has built on its substantial health and safety practice and expanded into general criminal representations, underpinned by an experienced team of criminal lawyers. The practice is led by Clare Bone , whose clients include a significant number of high profile professionals and those facing historic abuse allegations. Alasdair Gillies  continues to act for the membership of the Prison Officers Association Scotland, handling criminal cases arising in both on and off duty circumstances. Vikki Watt  is currently acting for two companies suspected of breaching the Corporate Homicide and Corporate Manslaughter Act. Associate David Cairns has a wealth of experience defending clients with charges relating to terrorism, firearms and financial crime; he successfully defended a client in extradition proceedings.

KM Law has an outstanding industry reputation for its criminal defence and prosecution work. The practice is led by co-founding partners, Paul Kavanagh and Neil McShane , whose skill and influence clients attribute to the firm’s growth. McShane successfully defended William Steele, an associate of a Glasgow Rangers footballer accused of extortion and threats of violence, at trial; in a case that ended in an acquittal on all counts. In addition to more traditional criminal defence work, the duo have a niche in defending clients in Offensive Behaviour at Football Act cases. Kavanagh represented the families of three victims of the Glasgow bin lorry tragedy in a fatal accident inquiry into the incident.

Bridge Litigation UK  is most known for handling road traffic offences, but is also equipped to deal with fatal accident inquiries, health and safety offences, extradition proceedings and criminal appeals. JP Mowberry and Liam O’Donnell are the key practitioners.

Experienced criminal solicitor-advocate Ian Bryce leads Central Court Lawyers’ team, which handles a wide range of criminal cases. The team has extensive experience in representing clients at the High Court of the Justiciary. Neil Robertson, who leads on issues at the Sheriff Court, is another key contact.

Dentons handles the gamut of criminal matters for a number of senior corporate executives and sporting professionals. Douglas Blyth  recently acted for Hibernian FC player, Martin Boyle, in connection with a road traffic prosecution. Blyth is handling a separate case involving a professional footballer facing breach of the peace charges. Eleanor Kerr’s highlights included representing the executors of an estate before the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service in connection to the alleged murder of the deceased. Michael Dean is also recommended for his extensive criminal defence experience.

Wilson McLeod defends clients before the Justice of the peace Court, Sheriff Court and the High Court of the Justiciary in cases concerning assault, murder, sexual offences, robbery, housebreaking and computer crime. Stuart Carson is the key contact.


Index of tables

  1. Licensing
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1
    • Niall Hassard - TLT

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Licensing clients in Scotland using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


Miller Samuel Hill Brown Solicitors handles the full range of contentious and non-contentious licensing work for major brewers and late-night operators, as well as major clients in the pub and restaurant sector (including Nando’s Chickenland, Carluccios and Brewdog). The group acted for Scottish Midland Co-operative Society in its contentious application for a provisional premises licence for its brand, Bargain Booze, which was ultimately granted in early 2018. Highlights on the transactional front included advising Mitchells & Butler Retail on the licencing aspects of its disposal of a large proportion of its Scottish estate, and the Co-operative Group in connection with its acquisition and launch of various new stores across Scotland. The team is led by Jack Cummins ; Audrey Junner and Peter Lawson are the other key names.

The ‘knowledgeable and locally well-connected’ team at TLT  has a broad licensing practice that encompasses food and drink, gambling, private hire transport and retail, as well as complex and contentious civic government licensing applications and appeals. Caroline Loudon currently advises Aldi Supermarkets on licensing matters concerning all 78 of its stores in Scotland and is assisting the client with its planned expansion. A recent highlight for Niall Hassard involved a contentious liquor licence for Iceland Foods in connection with its Food Warehouse concept, after several hearings and despite public objections to the plan. Hassard is also advising a major Scottish Business Improvement District on various traffic, parking, public entertainment, market operators and liquor licence applications. Practice head Stephen McGowan is currently representing Martin McColls in its summary application to appeal the decision to refuse grant of an off sale licence for a shop in East Kilbride.

Brunton Miller is a boutique licensing firm, which predominantly handles liquor licensing matters, but also has a wider practice of civil government-related work, including licensing of houses in multiple occupation, street traders and public entertainment licenses. Archie MacIver and Frank Collins are the key practitioners.

BTO Solicitors LLP ’s practice is led by Nicolas McBride, who stands out for ‘always providing excellent service and solid, reliable advice and guidance’. The firm’s clients include a number of major hotel brands, and it undertakes all liquor and houses in multiple occupation (HMO) licensing for Shearings. It also advises a range of pubs, clubs and restaurant, as well as handling contentious licensing applications. A highlight on the transactional side, the team advised Jewel Trustees on licensing transfers related to the sale of two major Scottish hotels. It also advised Gourmet Burger Kitchen on an application for road consent and pavement license for outdoor drinking areas during the Edinburgh Festival, in addition to performing a detailed assessment of the possible implications of a drinks promotion. Jane Steel and Graeme Kelly are also key contacts.

Morton Fraser ’s team stands out for its ‘thorough understanding of niche licensing law, and ability to make it simple’.  The practice is led by the ‘diligent and tenacious’ David Hossack, who has extensive experience appearing before Scottish Licensing Boards and dealing with licensing appeals and applications. The group is instructed by Diageo on a wide variety of licensing matters and continues to assist a major hotel chain with all aspects of its licensing requirements. In addition, the firm advises a number of public bodies on appeals and resisting appeals against license revocations. It advises Security Industry Authority, in relation to resisting sheriff court appeals following the revocation of individual door stewarding licenses and similarly, City of Edinburgh Council, in all appeals against its licensing decisions. Susan Leslie and Ewan McGillivray are also highly experienced team members

Pinsent Masons LLP  leverages its national presences to provide liquor, gambling and civic government licensing advice to companies in Scotland and throughout the UK. The group works closely with the firm’s real estate, restructuring and corporate teams, and its impressive client roster includes a number of major restaurant and hotel chains. The practice is led by Audrey Ferrie, who has an established reputation within licensing law in Scotland. Highlights for Ferrie included advising Rock DCM on licensing matters in relation to its existing premises and a proposed new project in Glasgow; and advising Erindale SC, the owner of a Taco Bell franchise in Scotland, on obtaining a late hours catering license, despite local objections. The group continues to assist YO! Sushi with the licensing aspects of its expansion in Scotland, and is currently advising a major national supermarket chain on the implications and implementation of the new Minimum Unit Pricing legislation.

Anderson Strathern is noted for providing ‘strong support’ and always giving ‘assured advice, quickly’ to its licensing clients. The practice is led by experienced litigator, Jonathan Guy, who possesses ‘excellent knowledge and experience’ and whose focus is complex licensing court and appeal hearings. The group is retained by McDonald’s and advises the company on various licensing matters throughout Scotland, including various alterations related to its late hours licences. It is also instructed by a number of local authorities with respect to the application of taxi licences and appeals. Other clients include the National Trust for Scotland, Edinburgh Napier University and Dishoom. Senior Associate, Dominic Scullion, is also recommended.

Burness Paull LLP primarily advises pubs and hotel chains on the contentious and non-contentious aspects of liquor licenses. It also assists clients with retail licensing, with particular experience handling applications and transactions with respect to whiskey distilleries. The practice is led by Theresa Hunt, who regularly represents clients in hearings before various Scottish Licensing Boards. Highlights included advising the Hard Rock Café on licensing matters concerning its premises in Glasgow, successfully securing an Extended Hours License for NFL Super Bowl events, despite objections from Police Scotland. Elaine Farquharson-Black assisted L&S (Broadwood) with obtaining a Provisional Premises License for a pub and restaurant unit which forms a part of the client’s Glasgow retail-park development.

Harper Macleod LLP ’s offering is led by Andrew Hunter, who works closely with the firm’s litigation partner, Ross Thomson to advise clients on both contentious and non-contentious aspects of licensing work. In a major highlight, Hunter assisted Lidl with obtaining eight new store licences in Scotland and advised the company on the licensing aspects of alcohol-related promotions and offers. The firm acts for fuel distributer, Malthurst Petroleum on various matters, including with respect to the sale of a petrol filling station in Pitlochry. It also assists Aberdeen Taxis with compliance with the City of Aberdeen Council’s new ‘knowledge test’ for new driver applicants and renewals. Stewart MacGregor joined the Lerwick office from Kippen Campbell LLP in January 2018 and has extensive experience in alcohol and civic government licensing issues.

Shepherd and Wedderburn’s team predominantly handles licensing matters arising out of its real estate and construction practice. Its clients include several major players in the retail and leisure sectors, including major store, hotel and restaurant operators. Highlights for Hugh Smith included successfully advising Sainsbury’s on problematic licensing issues in relation to planning and building documentation, which impacted its ability to sell alcohol – in addition to representing the client against an NHS objection to a planned increase in the capacity of a kiosk in one of its Edinburgh stores. On the transactional side, associate Lynn Simpson supported the real estate team in advising the Richmond Park Hotel on the premises license transfer in conjunction with the hotel’s sale. Elaine Brailsford successfully achieved a major variation of a Premises License before the Licensing Board for a restaurant owned by MD Milne, despite the premises being located within a designated overprovision area.

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