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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 > Finance > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

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Banking and finance

Index of tables

  1. Banking and finance
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Banking and finance 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 david.burgess@legal500.com.

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Brodies LLP's banking team has 'good links with the key Scottish institutions' and 'delivers joined-up advice by working with other practices'. Michael Stoneham, who is the head of energy and infrastructure finance, 'balances technical skills, attention to detail, commerciality and team management to deliver excellent results in a short time frame'. Neal Richardson in Aberdeen leads the marine finance team. Chris Dun, who joined from Maclay Murray & Spens LLP in 2017 with four other team members (prior to its merger with Dentons), has strengthened the firm's offering in real estate finance and housing finance. A growth area of the firm's practice has been in funds finance; in a recent highlight, Peter Kelly and associate Jack Moir advised Regional REIT Limited on the amendment and restatement of circa £70m of existing facility agreements with Santander to finance the expansion of the client's commercial property portfolio. Team head Bruce Stephen has more than 20 years of banking and finance experience, with expertise in areas such as asset-based lending and receivables financing, among various others. Alan Knowles, Marion MacInnes, and managing associates Billy Kay and Fiona Cameron, are also recommended.

Burness Paull LLP has a strong track record across the full spectrum of financing transactions, playing a key role in Scottish and multijurisdictional matters. In the funds finance arena, where recently promoted partner Andrew Christie is active, the firm particularly excels in handling borrower-side debt finance where the use of Scottish limited partnerships is involved. Leveraged finance transactions are another sweet spot for the firm; practitioners such as Jonathan Heaney, Gaenor Cassell, John Kennedy and Allan Leal are experienced in this area. Cassell led a team which acted for Thunderbird Bidco Limited in the Scots law aspects of the financing of its acquisition of John Lawrie (Aberdeen) Limited. In a notable real estate finance deal, Heaney and others advised The Royal Bank of Scotland on the £21m financing to a subsidiary of the Chris Stewart Group in relation to the development of properties at West Register Street in Edinburgh. The firm is also highly regarded for its work on structured finance transactions and securitisations, as well as loan portfolio transactions. Elsewhere, senior associate Sophie Coffey (who recently joined from Harper Macleod LLP) has more than 10 years of experience assisting a range of stakeholders with renewable energy financings. Alan Soppitt is the practice head.

CMS 'ranks among the very best in Scotland for banking', according to its clients. Its team is led by Caryn Penley, who has 'a good blend of banking know-how and commercial nous'. The group leads on some of the most high-profile and significant financing transactions in the Scottish market, and is also a major player in UK and international deals. In 2017, Penley acted for Ian Macleod Distillers in a multimillion pound asset-based lending refinancing. Another highlight involved Jenny Allan advising Octopus Investments on the financing aspects of its acquisition of a 149MW portfolio of four UK-based onshore wind projects from renewable energy developer Blue Energy. Gordon Hay also has energy sector experience, both in renewable energy and upstream oil and gas finance. Keith Wilson is the firm's head of aircraft finance, while Darren Craig is the property finance head in Scotland.Stephen Phillips is knowledgeable about corporate lending, derivatives and securitisations.  Other names to note are Dawn Reoch, who is 'completely client-focused and has a can-do attitude', Alan Fulton, Sian Aitken and senior associate Laura King. Tabasam Faqir departed for Hogan Lovells (Middle East) LLP.

Dentons now has a major banking practice in Scotland, following its combination with Maclay Murray & Spens LLP in October 2017. Led by Susan Kelly, the team acts for some of the largest corporate borrowers in Scotland in financing transactions across a wide variety of sectors, with particular strengths in food and drink, financial services and energy. It also generates a significant amount of lender-side work, with the firm having longstanding relationships with clients such as The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), Santander and Clydesdale Bank. As part of a wider global network, the Scotland-based team has a strong capability in cross-border transactions; this is particularly the case in funds finance, an area where recently promoted partner James Wilson and Kelly are leading experts. Outside of funds finance, Stuart Fitzsimmons and Anna Crosby acted as the lead counsel to Norwegian defence and maritime company Kongberg Gruppen ASA in the refinancing of a circa £200m revolving facility involving SEB Bank, Danske Bank, Nordea Bank and JP Morgan. Fitzsimmons and senior associate Johanne Lewin also assisted RBS, Lloyds Bank Plc, Nationwide and Blackrock with providing financing to Wheatley Housing Group. A notable asset-based lending transaction involved Wilson acting for First Milk Limited in the provision of a £76m asset-based lending facility by Wells Fargo in 2017. Ainsley Reid joined Morton Fraser.

Dickson Minto WS houses three specialist partners, who operate at the upper end of the market in relation to banking and finance transactions of the utmost sophistication and complexity; Colin McHale, Allan Fraser and Alasdair Proudfoot are the practitioners to note. The team acts for a wide range of clients, such as investment funds and REITs, banks and corporate borrowers. Its workload is varied, and includes acquisition finance and real estate finance transactions, among other areas. It has a particularly standout reputation in borrower-side mandates, as was illustrated when it acted for Target Healthcare REIT in the provision of finance by First Commercial Bank and HSBC. It also generates work from lenders; a highlight involved advising Bank of Scotland Plc on the provision of debt facilities to Stewart Milne Group.

Pinsent Masons LLP's breadth of expertise makes it a destination firm for banks, private equity houses, opportunity funds and corporate borrowers, among other clients. Its extensive workload spans areas such as leveraged finance, project finance, real estate finance and corporate finance. It also handles bond issuances for issuers and lead managers. In addition, other areas of strength include derivatives, oil and gas reserve-based lending and asset-based lending. Energy finance specialist Gillian Frew was the lead adviser to Faroe Petroleum on the refinancing of its reserve-based and NOK facilities with a lending syndicate including Danske Bank, Commonwealth Bank of Australia and BNP Paribas, among various others. Frew also advised Cairn Energy Plc on entering into a commodity streaming arrangement with FlowStream alongside a reserve-based facility. Also active in the oil and gas financing space are Iain Macaulay and Richard Scott. Outside of oil and gas, Macaulay and associate Kirsty Maclean acted for Wheatley Housing Group in the amendment and restatement of syndicated term and revolving credit facilities with the European Investment Bank, and also in the negotiation of a new revolving credit facility with HSBC. Team head John Maciver is a member of the Law Society's banking law committee and also the High Level Strategy Group at Scottish Financial Enterprise. Michael Watson, Alan Cassels and Stacey Bairner are also recommended.

Shepherd and Wedderburn undertakes high-end, big-ticket banking and finance transactions on a Scotland and UK-wide basis. Rod MacLeod, Hamish Patrick and Andrew Kinnes have an outstanding reputation in the funds finance space, and the latter two individuals are also well-known for their securitisations experience. In addition, the firm assists clients with real estate finance, leveraged finance, asset-based lending and debt capital markets transactions. In 2017, Patrick Bell and senior associate Lucy Hall acted for FairBriar in the £94.7m financing of the development of the 24.5 acre Middlewood Locks mixed-use scheme in Salford, Greater Manchester. Iain Wishart and senior associate Peter Alderdice advised Gatehouse Bank (a wholly Shariah-compliant investment bank) on the Islamic financing aspects of its circa £60m acquisition of Consort House and Bridge View in Aberdeen; this was one of the largest Islamic finance deals in the Scottish market in 2017. Practice head Fiona Buchanan led a team which acted as sole Scottish counsel to Cerberus European Investments as the seller in a £968.5m securitisation of residential mortgage-backed notes issued by Towd Point Mortgage Funding 2017-Auburn 11 Plc. Clare Foster heads up the clean energy and project finance practices. Senior associate Neil Cowan is also recommended.

Addleshaw Goddard, which launched in Scotland by merging with HBJ Gateley in 2017, has an experienced team that demonstrates 'a high level of commerciality when reviewing transactions'. Further, 'it can provide considered advice through a bank or borrower lens, allowing good decisions to be made'; clients include Royal Bank of Scotland, Clydesdale Bank, Santander, HSBC, Robertson Group and Topaz Energy & Marine. It also acts for non-bank funders, such as Route Finance and Shawbrook Bank. The team is led by Alan Shanks, who has vast experience of acquisition finance transactions in the renewable energy, oilfield services and shipping sectors. In 2017, Shanks was the lead adviser to Business Growth Fund on a £56m co-investment with Blue Water Energy into ROVOP; the purpose of the financing was to enable ROVOP to expand its fleet of remotely-operated vehicles. Euan Cluness handles acquisition and leveraged finance transactions, and he also has notable experience of asset-based lending, particularly in the whisky industry. Cluness acted for for PNC Business Credit and the Bank of Scotland in their £80m asset-based lending facility to independent distiller Ian Macleod Distillers. Alex Innes, who is dual-qualified in English and Scottish law, is recommended for his real estate finance expertise. Tom Speirs, Catriona Smith and managing associate Peter Smartt are other key figures.

DLA Piper Scotland LLP has a stand out project finance capability, and it is particularly active in the infrastructure and renewable energy sectors, where it undertakes transactions on a Scotland and wider UK basis. In 2017, Stuart McMillan, legal director +[Michael Urquhart] and senior associate +[Christine White] advised Equitix on the refinancing of multiple solar park acquisitions in the UK; this involved project financings under a hybrid scheme combining institutional and bank debt. David Morton has experience of acquisition and leveraged finance, corporate lending and real estate finance. A recent highlight involved Morton and senior associate William Reid acting for Clydesdale Bank in the provision of financing to Laing Glasgow (Holdings Limited) to enable it to acquire competitor business Laing The Jeweller Limited. Morton and Reid also assisted City & Country Edinburgh Limited with obtaining the financing for the redevelopment of Donaldsons School in Edinburgh into luxury residential accommodation. Ares Management, Barclays Bank, Galliford Try and Svenska Handelsbanken are other notable clients.

DWF's team is highly active in real estate finance, which is an area where the firm has a particularly strong profile UK-wide (most notably in its work for lenders); clients in this space include Unity Trust Bank, Close Property Finance, Lloyds Banking Group and Santander. In 2017, practice head Grant Docherty and senior associate Alan Glen acted for NM Rothschild in the provision of £5.5m financing to a UK property fund for the acquisition of an office park in Midlothian. The firm also acts for borrowers; Glen and Docherty recently advised Ambassador LB Holdings LP on the £60m financing needed for the acquisition of a number of commercial real estate assets, and they also handled a similar mandate for Squarestone Growth LLP. Other practitioners with a specialism in real estate finance are Geoff Stansfield, Robin Watt and Paul Mason. Mason also handles renewable energy finance transactions, which is an area of growth for the firm, particularly in relation to onshore wind and CHP biomass plant projects; a highlight involved assisting the Glennon Brothers group of companies with obtaining financing for the development of a CHP biomass plant. General corporate banking work is another mainstay of the practice for the firm, whose other areas of sector activity include hotels and leisure, education, social housing and healthcare.

Blackwood Partners LLP captures a significant portion of the Aberdeen banking and finance market, thanks to the experience of its team head Scott Swankie, who has been an ever-present in this area for 21 years. The practice has an emphasis on acting for sponsors, particularly in relation to corporate and private equity M&A financings in the oil and gas sector, but also undertakes transactions involving other sectors as well. In addition, Swankie's first-rate reputation sees the firm act for lenders; clients include Clydesdale Bank and Santander. In 2017, Swankie advised TWMA Group and Buckthorn Partners on the financing aspects of Buckthorn's acquisition of TWMA from Lime Rock. In a particularly standout matter, Swankie acted as the lead counsel to Houston-based private equity firm SCF Partners on the financing issues related to the multijurisdictional merger of four SCF-backed investee companies.

Harper Macleod LLP has excellent relationships with clients, which are 'underpinned by great communication, collaboration and a sensible commercial approach'. Tony Cameron heads up the team, which acts for a mix of traditional bank lenders, alternative lenders and corporate borrowers. The group's transactional experience spans a number of areas, such as general corporate banking, acquisition finance, renewable energy and project finance, and housing finance. Cameron is frequently called-upon to handle complex multijurisdictional transactions. Jacqui Fraser heads up the real estate finance practice, which generates work from clients in sectors such as agriculture, healthcare and manufacturing. In addition to acting for traditional lenders and borrowers, John Pringle has made a name for himself advising peer-to-peer and fintech lenders, and worked with other members of the team to assist Assetz SME Capital with its £4.4m financing to four special purpose vehicles for the development of wind turbine sites in Glasgow and Lanarkshire. The team's other work included handling a number of matters for the Bank of Scotland's real estate team, such as the provision of a £4.8m development facility to Broughton Properties Limited and Rapido Restaurants Limited. It also assisted AIB with the provision of a £14.7m loan to Morrison Community Care for the acquisition and development of sites at Milngavie and Duntocher for setting up new nursing homes. Robert Rennie retired as a practising partner in October 2017, but retains a position as a consultant. Euan Mitchell departed the firm to become an in-house counsel at Castle Water.

MacRoberts LLP's key strengths are in general corporate banking, real estate finance and project finance. Its first-rate reputation sees the firm act for clients such as Handelsbanken, Colony Capital and Santander. Its practice in the area of peer to peer lending is also gaining momentum, with the firm winning work from clients such as Thincats, Moneything and Blend Loan Network. In 2017, Roddy Maclennan, Lisa Frost and others advised HSBC on the Scottish law aspects of the £14.9m refinancing of Moolmoor (Waverley) Limited's real estate asset Waverley Mall, located in Edinburgh. In another matter, Maclennan and senior associate Lisa Maguire assisted Bank of America Merrill Lynch with the Scottish law issues associated with the circa £367m senior and £73.5m mezzanine financing to Sunflower Group in relation to its property portfolio in Scotland, and also with a circa £350m securitisation. John Crawford and senior associate Fiona Armour are other key figures in the team, which is led by Norman Martin.

Morton Fraser, 'which always delivers on time and on budget', assists clients with all aspects of mainstream financing transactions and non-performing loan portfolio transactions. Its capabilities in relation to the latter were illustrated recently when Andrew Meakin led the firm's advice to a UK clearing bank on the disposal of the Project Buffalo loan portfolio to a UK challenger bank. Beverley Wood has expertise in asset and invoice finance. John Lunn advises banks and financial institutions on consumer finance/retail products (and related regulations). The real estate finance side of the practice was bolstered in 2017 by the arrivals of Ross Caldwell and senior associate Ainsley Reid from Taylor Wessing LLP and Dentons respectively. Senior associate Paul Kenneth joined Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP. Clydesdale Bank, Barclays, AIB Group (UK) Plc and Close Leasing are among the clients.

Anderson Strathern's team, which is led by Gillian Anderson, works with practitioners active in other disciplines to advise borrowers and lenders on matters such as real estate finance, renewable energy finance, project and infrastructure finance, and charity sector finance. In addition to being knowledgeable about traditional finance transactions, the group has expertise in peer to peer lending and crowdfunding. The firm's longstanding track record in banking and finance has seen it act for a number of clients since its inception in 1992, including The Crown Estate, Buccleuch Group, Clydesdale Bank and The Royal Bank of Scotland. Anderson and senior associate Gregory Stachura were recently part of a cross-practice team, which advised Teague Homes (UK) Limited as the borrower on obtaining a development loan from a Scottish bank for the development and construction of residential and commercial units on a brownfield city centre site in Edinburgh. Another name to note is commercial property head Drew Morris who, like Anderson, has previous experience of working at a major bank.

Ledingham Chalmers LLP's Jody Mitchell is a name to note in the Aberdeen office, which assists lenders with oil and gas sector financing transactions involving borrowers that often have group companies across multiple jurisdictions. The firm's practice is broader than oil and gas sector work, with the marine industry being another driver of mandates. Elsewhere, Fiona Neilson in Inverness has experience of public sector (economic development agency) funding of private sector enterprises, among other areas.

A major pillar of Lindsays' banking work is real estate finance, which includes matters related to property investment and property development. In 2017, practice head Gavin Buchan , Derek Nash , director Dawn Anderson  and solicitor Thomas Horton advised Metro Bank Plc on the £22m financing of a borrower's acquisition of a portfolio of 73 public houses. Buchan's team is also active in the peer to peer finance space, where it acts for borrowers and lenders; a recent highlight involved acting for peer to peer lender Assetz Capital in financing a borrower's acquisition of a portfolio of commercial and residential properties in Scotland. Kenneth Gray  leads a team that specialises in healthcare sector finance. Agri-finance/rural finance, which involves acting for borrowers (such as farmers, renewable energy companies and landed estates) and lenders, is another cornerstone of practice, as is the firm's work in the charities sector.


Insolvency and corporate recovery

Index of tables

  1. Insolvency and corporate recovery
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Hall of Fame

  1. 1

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Insolvency and corporate recovery 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 david.burgess@legal500.com.

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Pinsent Masons LLP is 'a preferred partner' for advice on a wide range of matters among banks and other financial institutions, corporates, directors,  accountants, and real estate and opportunity funds. Department head Claire Massie has more than 20 years of restructuring and insolvency experience, which spans sectors such as financial services, oil and gas, care, travel, leisure and renewable energy, among others. In 2017, Massie's work included acting for BDO LLP in the high-profile insolvency of Ness (Clothing) Limited, and separately, advising First Trust Bank and Deloitte LLP on the administration of Silentpride Limited.  Stacey Bairner and senior associate Jennifer McCormick are particularly knowledgeable about the trading and restructuring of distressed debt. Bairner, in particular, has been instrumental in the growth of the non-performing loan and non-bank lender restructuring practice. The team also has expertise in the acquisition and disposal of distressed businesses, and is also sought-after to advise on cross-border restructurings, among other matters. Ainslie Benzie and Natalie Colaluca are highly regarded senior associates. Michael Thomson departed for Burness Paull LLP.

Shepherd and Wedderburn's 'strength across the partner base exceeds that of many other firms', and its heavyweight team is led by Yvonne Brady, who 'sets the benchmark for the level of support an adviser can provide'. In addition to Brady, the other highly rated partners in the core restructuring and insolvency team are Fiona McKerrell, Gillian Carty and Hamish Patrick. The group provides advice on a comprehensive range of matters, such as loan portfolio acquisitions and disposals, turnarounds and workouts, administrations and liquidations, and contentious insolvency situations. Real estate partner John Gallacher is knowledgeable about the property-related aspects of insolvencies.  Allana Sweeney and Andrew Scott are notable senior associates in the team. In 2017, Brady, Gallacher and Sweeney acted for FRP Advisory LLP in the pre-pack disposal of Pagan Osborne Limited's business to Thorntons Law LLP. A team led by Patrick advised the holders of US private placement bonds on the Scottish schemes of arrangement relating to Premier Oil Plc and Premier Oil UK Limited. Another highlight involved assisting KPMG LLP with the administration of Arran Aromatics (now known as AAL Realisations Limited).

Addleshaw Goddard fields 'an impressive level of resource' in Scotland. Led by Jamie McIntosh, who 'offers wise counsel in difficult and complex situations', the group provides 'authoritative and expert support' on management and bank-led turnarounds and corporate restructurings, distressed real estate, debt portfolio transactions, and various other matters. The firm has built upon its merger with HBJ Gateley in 2017 by hiring associate Craig Falconer to its Aberdeen office, and also by winning work from clients such as HSBC, Sainsburys Bank and Close Brothers. McIntosh and Lynsey Walker represented Clipper Holdings in the high-profile case of Shear v Clipper Holdings; the matter concerned whether or not the client had title to enforce a security, following assignation of the security (as part of a portfolio transfer) from Allied Irish Bank. In another notable matter, Tim Cooper and managing associate Jamie Nellany are acting for Moorfields Advisory Limited as the administrators of three Jersey-registered SPV shopping centre companies. A separate team led by Spiers is advising the same client on the administration of the AWG group of companies. Cerberus, Bibby Financial Services and Carval Investors are among other clients. Addi Spiers is 'well-liked and well-respected by clients, particularly banks and acquirers of debt portfolios'.

Brodies LLP is 'one of the most capable firms in the Scottish insolvency field', and its team has 'broad experience and deep knowledge'. Practice head Rachel Grant 'identifies the relevant issues quickly'. Peter Kelly, managing associate Shirley Li-Ting (who joined from Gilson Gray in 2017, and is dual-qualified in English and Scottish law) and consultant Colin McIntosh are among other notable individuals. The group provides the full spectrum of advice on contentious and non-contentious matters pertaining to corporate restructurings and insolvencies, as well as personal insolvencies. Grant, McIntosh and associate Lucy McCann are acting for the liquidators of RFC 2012 Plc in a high-profile liquidation. In another matter a cross-practice team recently assisted Burntisland Fabrications Limited with negotiating a rescue package with the Scottish government to avoid a formal insolvency. Associate Louise Laing has experience of advising banks and other lenders on security enhancement and enforcement. Associate Amy McVey assists banks and borrowers with financial restructurings, and also advises insolvency practitioners on issues arising from formal insolvency appointments (corporate and personal).

Burness Paull LLP bolstered the restructuring and non-contentious insolvency side of its practice recently by hiring Michael Thomson from Pinsent Masons LLP. Thomson's arrival complements the existing team, which is led by Gary Moffat, and includes Alasdair Freeman. who is knowledegable about both the oil and gas industry (both the upstream and oilfield services sectors), and hotels and leisure arena. Gaenor Cassell has a first-hand knowledge of the London market, having previously worked in private practice there. Moffat's first-rate reputation in insolvency litigation has enabled him to develop a longstanding relationship with the Insolvency Service, for whom he (along with senior associate Steven Chesney) handles investigations into insolvent companies, public interest winding-up work and director disqualifications. In 2017, Moffat and Chesney assisted the client with obtaining a disqualification order against Kenny Moyes, the brother of former Everton manager David Moyes. In addition, Grant Stevenson, Moffat and others acted for Endless LLP in its acquisition from administration the business and assets of Arran Aromatics.

CMS' practice is headed up by Sian Aitken, who sits on the Accountant in Bankruptcy's Corporate Insolvency Working Group (in relation to the new Scottish Insolvency Rules), R3's Scottish Technical Committee and the Turnaround Management Association Scotland Board. Aitken is supported by senior associate Jennifer Antonelli. The dedicated restructuring and insolvency practice is also supported by practitioners active in ancillary areas, such as real estate, litigation and employment. The firm handles the entire ambit of corporate recovery, restructuring and insolvency matters for clients from sectors such as oil and gas, financial services, hotels and leisure, and aviation.  Aitken and Antonelli recently acted for aircraft lessors Air Lease Corporation and ELF Group, who were directly impacted by the administration of Monarch Airlines. In 2017, they were also part of a cross-practice team, which advised Mercer & Hole on the administration of Inside Biometrics, and also the subsequent sale of the business to Gluco Rx. The firm also recently acted for clients such as Nexen, BT and EDF Renewables.

On the domestic front, restructuring and insolvency boutique BBM Solicitors has a particularly strong track record of advising insolvency practitioners on corporate and property disposals, informal restructurings and workouts, and contentious insolvency matters. The firm also provides assistance with formal appointments in relation to administrations, liquidations and sequestrations. In addition to handling Scotland-centred matters across a range of sectors (with a particular strength in the oil and gas supply chain sector), it is also extremely active in cross-border matters; practice head Eric Baijal, who is 'rapidly becoming the go-to insolvency lawyer in Scotland', is well-known for advising foreign lawyers and office-holders on Scottish insolvency law issues. Baijal works with solicitor advocate Sheana Campbell, who is 'commercially and technically sound', and often advises English insolvency practitioners on the differences between English and Scottish insolvency law. Jennifer Simpson heads up the non-contentious restructuring practice. Active clients of the firm include Campbell Dallas, FRP Advisory LLP, French Duncan and RSM. 'The quality of advice and service is at a level one would expect from a much larger firm'.

Harper Macleod LLP has strong relationships with banks and insolvency practitioners; clients include BDO, KPMG, Campbell Dallas, Lloyds Banking Group Business Support Unit and Allied Irish Bank Financial Solutions Group. The firm also generates a significant amount of referral work from other firms based outside Scotland. In addition to advising clients on corporate insolvency issues,James Lloyd leads the personal insolvency side of the practice, where he has particular expertise in contentious matters. Practice head Gordon Hollerin acted for RSM in the administration of specialist sports turf contractor Souters Sports Limited, and was also the lead adviser to KPMG on the administration and sale of Sercon Support Services Limited. On the contentious side, Hollerin and others are representing Steven Shear as the pursuer in a high-profile case against Clipper Holdings, which concerns the effectiveness under Scottish law of block assignations of securities as part of a loan book portfolio sale. Lloyd and Hollerin together have more than 50 years of experience of the Scottish insolvency market. Andrew Hunter and solicitor Amber Le Main are among other key figures.

As a full-service firm, Morton Fraser is well-positioned to handle all types of complex contentious and non-contentious issues arising at every stage of insolvencies (personal and corporate) and restructurings. The practice was significantly strengthened in March 2018, when Alan Meek joined the firm from MacRoberts LLP. Meek has a wealth of experience of high-profile Scottish insolvencies, where he has acted for clients such as insolvency practitioners and banks. The firm also acts for directors, unsecured creditors and businesses, among other stakeholders. Iain Young leads a multidisciplinary team, whose insolvency law knowledge is complemented by its expertise in related areas, such as banking, litigation, commercial property, employment and financial crime. The practice excels in cross-border matters - Young and Nicola Ross are co-leading a cross-practice team, which is advising French Duncan on the liquidation of the BVI-registered company Scotsman (Edinburgh) Company Limited (which has a Jersey-registered parent company), which previously owned the Scotsman Hotel in Edinburgh (but which was sold by the liquidator to the G1 Group); the matter recently involved an attempt by the parent company to undo the liquidation, and then an attempt to obtain injunctive relief to prevent the hotel from being sold. Richard McMeeken and Andrew Meakin are acting for BDO LLP in the administration of Granite City Assets Limited. McMeeken's other recent work included acting for an insolvency practitioner in several HMRC-instigated liquidations.

Anderson Strathern's team is 'quick to respond' and demonstrates 'comprehensive knowledge and understanding of legislation', as well as 'a pragmatic approach' to a wide range of matters. Practice head Katrina Lumsdaine, associate Scott Flannigan and others are assisting Johnston Carmichael with handling the high-profile administration of Scottish cybersecurity firm Payfront Limited. Lumsdaine is also leading the firm's advice to RSM on the administration of Pihl UK Limited. Contentious insolvency matters are a core area of strength for the group; Lumsdaine and Flannigan recently defended an insolvency practitioner against an action brought in the Glasgow Sheriff Court over the client's alleged breach of duty in connection with his performance as Trustee in Sequestration. Associate Seonaid Sandham also undertakes contentious insolvency work.  Elsewhere, Lumsdaine's team assists clients with distressed conveyancing sales. and acquisitions and disposals of distressed businesses. Gillian Anderson assists funders with dealing with distressed assets and borrowers.

Blackadders LLP 'understands the field and gives good quality advice' on insolvency litigation, administrations, sequestrations, liquidations, CVAs and restructurings. Practice head Ryan Mckay, who is a member of the Insolvency Lawyers Association and R3, acts for liquidators, administrators and trustees, as well as company directors.  Stephanie Carr, who is an accredited insolvency specialist, is particularly knowledgeable about personal insolvency law.

BTO Solicitors LLP's outstanding reputation in dispute resolution makes it a particularly strong choice for insolvency litigation, which includes cases involving allegations of misfeasance by company directors, personal liability and disqualification proceedings. Robin Macpherson and James Reekie acted for the liquidator of Denmore Investments in an appeal at the Sheriff Appeal Court, which related to the liquidator seeking to reduce a guarantee granted by the liquidated company on the basis that it constituted a gratuitous alienation under section 242 of the Insolvency Act 1986. On the non-contentious side, Alastair Dunn is experienced in insolvency-related corporate restructurings, while Andrew Sleigh (an accredited specialist in insolvency) has expertise in M&A transactions. Kirsteen Maclean, who acts for insolvency practitioners in personal and corporate insolvencies, holds the Certificate of Proficiency in Insolvency (Scotland) qualification from the Insolvency Practitioners' Association. Grant Hunter is another name to note. Dorothy Hatfield and Dunn jointly head up the practice.

Gilson Gray's team head is solicitor advocate Steven Jansch, who is accredited by the Law Society of Scotland as an insolvency law specialist. Jansch works with members of the debt recovery, real estate and commercial litigation teams to assist clients with commercial litigation arising from insolvency-related events, the realisation of distressed real estate assets, restructurings, administrations and liquidations. Craig Darling has more than 20 years of experience of business restructuring and recoveries.  Murray Stewart and senior associate Keith Anderson are other key individuals in the group. In 2017, a highlight involved defending private clients at the Court of Session against an action by the office of the Accountant in Bankruptcy, which sought to reverse the transfer of a family home to the clients on the grounds of alleged gratuitous alienation. Campbell Dallas, EY, Stirling Park and Wylie & Bissett also instruct the firm.

Ledingham Chalmers LLP has a varied practice, which covers insolvency litigation, administrations and liquidations, and debt recovery, among various other matters. Experienced litigator Tim Thomas leads the team, which has a particular focus on acting for insolvency practitioners covering the North East of Scotland, Inverness and the wider Highlands and Islands region. It also generates mandates from other clients, including creditors, commercial landlord and company directors. Senior associate Rebecca Walker, who is experienced in both personal and corporate insolvency law matters, holds a Certificate of Proficiency in Insolvency Law from the Insolvency Practitioners' Association. In addition, Walker was recently appointed to serve on the committee of R3: The Association of Business Recovery Professionals.

Lindsays has a strong capability in personal and corporate insolvencies, with its team handling all aspects of administrations, liquidations and sequestrations. Partners Douglas Millar, Brent Haywood, Paul Harper and John Bett all have expertise in undertaking contentious insolvency matters at the Sheriff Court and Court of Session. Another notable individual is director Iain Penman, whose experience includes actions involving issues of gratuitious alienation and unfairly preferential transactions, and wrongful sequestrations, among others. The firm also provides assistance with non-contentious matters by providing day to day advice on directors' duties, debt and company restructurings, and trust deeds. It also leverages its dedicated residential property and estate agency departments to assist clients with the disposal of residential properties in insolvency cases. Clients include individual debtors and companies, directors and insolvency practitioners.

MacRoberts LLP's Leon Breakey is recommended for his insolvency litigation experience, which spans both corporate and personal insolvency. In 2017, Breakey acted for the joint liquidators of S&M Livestock Limited in a dispute with a court reporter, which had arisen from the reporter going beyond his remit, which was to report on the reasonableness of the fee sought by the clients. Ian Bowie advises insolvency practitioners (and other clients) on property-related issues arising from insolvencies. Mazars, Begbies Traynor and Campbell Dallas are among the firm's clients. Alan Meek departed for Morton Fraser.

Rod Macphail leads Shoosmiths' insolvency sector recoveries unit, which covers all stages of the debt recovery process, from pre-litigation to post-litigation and enforcement. The firm also counts on the experience of practitioners in other areas to advise on insolvency issues, particularly those in real estate and corporate. Stuart Clubb, Stuart Murray, Andrew Foyle and associate Peter McGladrigan acted for the liquidators in the winding-up of Yolo For Men Limited in 2017. In an ongoing case, Foyle and McGladrigan are representing a retail bank in a circa £100,000 claim brought by a company over money deposited into a bank account, which was allegedly held on trust for the client by a (now insolvent) customer. In addition to acting for insolvency practitioners and lenders, other clients include distressed businesses and individuals.  Real estate partner Janette Speed is another key figure.

TLT's Alan Munro is active in both corporate and personal insolvency, with a particular strength in insolvency litigation. Munro's experience has seen him previously undertake cases concerning gratuitous alienation, misfeasance and unfairly preferential transactions, among other matters. Munro and others are currently acting for a private company (which was formerly part of a global entity) in a section 212 application against two liquidators - a former liquidator and the current liquidator - over their conduct in compromising a creditor claim at a time when they were acting as the joint liquidators of the company. Elsewhere, Munro advises local authorities on creditor petitions for the recovery of council tax and non-domestic rates. Another pillar of the practice is in secured property portfolio sales. Although the firm generates a particularly significant amount of work on matters connected with the construction and licensed trade sectors, it also handles mandates involving healthcare, renewable energy and financial services, among other areas.


Investment funds

Index of tables

  1. Investment funds
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1
    • Douglas Armstrong - Dickson Minto WS

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

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CMS's market-leading practice has built up an impressive roster of clients, which consists of names such as Aberdeen Standard Investments, Lloyds Banking Group and Baillie Gifford.  Its team covers every stage of the funds lifecycle across a wide range of structures, including unit trusts and OEICs, listed funds and private funds, among many others. Karagh Gilliatt and Aidan Campbell have been advising a number of authorised fund managers, including T Bailey Fund Services and Liontrust Fund Partners, on regulatory issues arising from the implementation of MiFID II and have been liaising with the FCA on the establishment of research payment accounts for authorised funds. In addition, Gilliatt and others acted for Baillie Gifford in the establishment of a new fund, Baillie Gifford Long Term Global Growth Investment Fund, and also a subsequent scheme of arrangement. Gilliatt co-heads the practice with Colin Lawrie, who has expertise in private equity funds and Scottish limited partnerships. Wendy Colquhoun and real asset funds expert Tara Walsh (who focuses on the UK and cross-border real estate and infrastructure sectors) are other recommended individuals.

Dickson Minto WS is widely recognised as a market-leader in the investment funds arena, and it has a strong following from funds managed by Scottish and London-based fund managers, such as Aberforth, Artemis, BlackRock and Schroders. It has a particular sweet spot acting for listed investment trusts; it advises 85 of these clients. Douglas Armstrong and Bruce Minto lead the team, which is becoming increasingly active in funds mandates across a wide variety of alternative asset classes, including healthcare, student accommodation, debt and infrastructure, with a recent particular focus on REITs. OEICs and private funds have been other areas of growth. Recent highlights included advising Henderson High Income Trust Plc and Threadneedle UK Select Limited on their merger, and acting for Hg Capital Trust Plc in its £80m limited partnership investment in the Hg Mercury Two Fund. Andrew Todd, Colin MacNeill and Duncan Christison are other active practitioners.

In addition to forming and launching funds, Brodies LLP provides day to day operational and regulatory advice (among other matters) to its UK and international fund manager clients. Senior solicitor Barbara Jamieson, who joined from Martin Currie Investment Management in January 2018, has experience of regulatory projects involving AIFMD, UCITS V and MiFID II, among others. Andrew Akintewe leads the team, which also has a significant investor-side practice, where the work includes assisting clients with negotiating the terms of fund investments and portfolio management. The group's areas of expertise span multiple fund structures, including private equity buyout funds, real estate funds, debt funds and listed funds. Paul McLaughlin is knowledgeable about the uses of LLPs, general partnerships and Scottish limited partnerships. As a full-service firm, its funds team is well-supported by practitioners in areas such as tax and corporate, enabling it to cover all manner of issues. Karen Fountain is leading a cross-practice team, which is acting for midmarket private equity fund manager Promethean Investments LLP in the circa £150m capital raising of its third limited partnership fund, as well as the structure and operations of the management group. In 2017, Fountain and others advised The Scott Trust and Guardian Media Group Plc (GMG) on GMG's launch of a £42m venture capital fund, GMG Ventures. Another recent highlight for the team involved assisting Blackstone with establishing a joint venture with a UK residential property investment company.

Burness Paull LLP's 'strong and experienced team' is 'very knowledgeable and thorough in its advice' to international fund managers, investors and banks on private funds and partnership issues. In addition to generating its own work, the firm's first-rate reputation in the funds market sees it attract mandates from City and international law firms. Practice head Alan Soppitt is experienced in fund structuring, fund finance work and asset-backed funding for pension schemes. Soppitt is also particularly knowledgeable about the use of Scottish limited partnerships in private fund vehicles and other structures. Paula Kennedy is at the forefront of the advice to investors in LP-side matters, which is an area of growth for the firm. Soppitt acted for Scottish Enterprise in the launch of the £100m Scottish European Growth Co-investment Programme with the European Investment Fund. Andrew Christie, who made partner in 2017, was the firm's lead adviser to Ardian Private Equity on the Scottish law structuring and financing aspects of its acquisition of a $2.5bn secondary portfolio of assets owned and managed by Mubadala Capital (which included limited partnership interests in predominantly North American buyout and growth funds and direct investments).


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