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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



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


Brodies LLPparticularly excels in matters that are not straightforward or plain vanilla’. Equally strong in acting for lenders and borrowers, the firm advises on lending transactions involving infrastructure finance, real estate finance, asset and receivables finance, corporate (including acquisition) finance and marine finance. Michael Stoneham and associate Billy Kay handled the financing aspects of the bid by Liberty House Group/SIMEC Energy to acquire Lochaber hydro plant and Smelter Works and the Kinlochleven hydro plant (and associated estate lands) from British Alcan Aluminium. Chris Dun, a notable hire from Maclay Murray & Spens LLP, has bolstered the real estate finance and housing finance practice. Securitisations are another core area of expertise in the team, which is led by the ‘genuinely solution-drivenBruce Stephen. Fund-related financing transactions are a major growth area of the practice; Peter Kelly, Alan Knowles (who is ‘always calm and good-humoured’) and Marion MacInnes are knowledgeable about the practice area. Neal Richardson leads the banking and finance practice in Aberdeen. Associates Pamela Atkinson, Kirsty McBirnie and Fiona Cameron are recommended.

Burness Paull LLP’s ‘strong industry expertise’ and ‘knowledge of the banking environment’ make it a strong choice for financing transactions in sectors such as oil and gas, renewable energy and real estate. Jonathan Heaney, Gaenor Cassell, Aberdeen-based John Kennedy and senior associate Allan Leal have a wealth of experience in leveraged finance. Elsewhere, another area of strength is in advising on borrower-side debt finance connected with Scottish limited partnership fund structures. The group also assists with the Scottish law aspects of securitisations and structured finance, and also handles loan portfolio transactions. In 2016, Cassell, senior solicitor Mark Graham and others acted for Kings Park Capital in the financing aspects of its investment in Just Go! Holidays. Lloyds Banking Group, Barclays Bank, Tuscola Capital and Royal Bank of Scotland are other key clients. Leal relocated to Glasgow to reinforce the West of Scotland banking practice, following Scott Wilson’s retirement. Alan Soppitt leads the team, which recently hired senior associate Sophie Coffey from Harper Macleod LLP.

CMS’ has an outstanding reputation in leading on the most complex transactions for borrowers and lenders. An Aberdeen-based team including Fiona Henderson and Tabasam Faqir worked alongside Dawn Reoch, who is regarded by clients as ‘one of the best banking lawyers in Scotland’, to assist Coherent with the Scottish and English financing aspects of its $942m acquisition of ROFIN-SINAR Technologies and its subsidiaries. In another highlight, Stephen Phillips was the lead adviser to Ethos Energy on the £40m refinancing of its debt with a club of four banks. On the lender side, Caryn Penley and others acted for Barclays Bank in making available a facility to enable Lorimer Care Homes to restructure its debt, and then acquire Gate Healthcare. Santander, Lloyds Bank and Royal Bank of Scotland are other notable clients. Alan Fulton covers a variety of matters, including leveraged and acquisition finance transactions, as well as real estate and asset finance deals. Gordon Hay is knowledgeable about financing of renewable energy or oil and gas matters. Other recommended figures are real estate finance expert Darren Craig and recently promoted partner Jenny Allan.

Although Dickson Minto WS is particularly well known for acting for borrowers – including some of Scotland’s largest companies – and also attracts a strong flow of work from lenders; one recent highlight involved acting for Bank of Scotland in the provision of debt facilities to Stewart Milne Group. Other recent work includes advising Northwood Investors on the debt financing obtained by its NW3 investment vehicle from Wells Fargo. The firm has three specialist banking partners based in Edinburgh: Colin McHale, Allan Fraser and Alasdair Proudfoot.

Maclay Murray & Spens LLP has ‘a good depth of knowledge and talent across a variety of products, including leveraged finance, energy-related finance and real estate finance’. Other areas of strength include financing relating to oil and gas, funds and investment trusts, and general corporate debt. In 2016, Susan Kelly and director James Wilson acted as the lead counsel to The Edrington Group and The 1887 Group in the combined £530m refinancing of their syndicated facilities. In another highlight, the ‘approachable and commercialStuart Fitzsimmons and senior solicitor Anna Crosby acted as the lead UK counsel to Norwegian defence and maritime company Kongsberg Gruppen ASA in its entry into a $290m facility with a lending syndicate to fund its investment into state-owned Finnish defence company Patria Oyj; Fitzsimmons and Crosby ‘take a pragmatic approach in negotiations with other firms’. Reflecting the strength of the practice, the firm was recently reappointed to the panels of Lloyds Banking Group and Barclays Bank. Other clients include Dalmore Capital, Santander UK Plc and the Royal Bank of Canada. Director Ainsley Reid is experienced in corporate refinancing, as well as real estate investment and development finance. Associates Johanne Lewin and Mark Meiklejohn are highly regarded. Chris Dun moved to Brodies LLP.

Pinsent Masons LLP’s team has ‘a brilliant commercial understanding of the overall transaction and what is and isn’t important’, which is reflected by its record acting for a mix of borrowers, lenders, private equity houses and opportunity funds, among other clients. The Scotland-based practice leverages the firm’s pan-UK and international reach, advising on complex finance transactions involving sectors such as infrastructure, oil and gas, and renewables. In addition, it excels in more specialised matters, such as loan purchases and sales, derivatives and asset-based lending. The group also has a strong debt capital markets capability, where it acts for bond issuers and lead managers in bond financings. In 2016, highlights included Gillian Frew and senior associate Graham Young acted for the Bank of Ireland in the refinancing of the N17/N18 Gort to Tuam Irish road PPP scheme. Aberdeen-based Richard Scott advised HSBC on the financing aspects of Buckthorn Partners’ acquisition of Ashtead Technology. John Maciver heads the team, which includes project finance specialist Michael Watson, oil and gas finance expert Iain Macaulay, Alan Cassels and Stacey Bairner.

Shepherd and Wedderburn’s ‘flexible and client-focused’ group ‘really knows its stuff’ in infrastructure finance, property finance, asset finance and receivables finance. The diverse practice also covers debt restructurings, fund finance, debt capital markets financings and loan portfolio transactions, addressing the needs of a broad client base, which includes corporate borrowers, commercial and investment banks, and investment funds. Fiona Buchanan’s team includes Andrew Kinnes and Hamish Patrick, who have a first-rate reputation in securitisations, and Clare Foster and Patrick Bell, who have vast experience of project finance transactions. Bell and Paul Hally led separate teams which acted for Bank of Scotland and HM Treasury respectively in the £86m financing to Countesswells Development Limited (a subsidiary of Stewart Milne Group) of an infrastructure and housing project on the outskirts of Aberdeen. Another highlight for the firm involved acting as Scottish law counsel to HSBC as arranger of Greene King Finance’s £340m issuance of commercial mortgage-backed notes. Consultant Graham Burnside is a renowned Islamic finance expert. Roderick MacLeod, Iain Wishart, Peter Alderdice and Neil Cowan are also recommended.

Addleshaw Goddardalways delivers’ for its clients, which include banks, borrowers and non-bank funders. The team undertakes a broad spectrum of financing deals connected with sectors such as oil and gas, shipping, real estate and renewable energy. In addition to advising on general corporate lending, other areas of expertise include acquisition finance, project finance and asset-based lending. Alan Shanks leads the practice, which includes Euan Cluness and senior solicitor Euan Anderson, both of whom assisted Bank of Scotland with financing Sterling Furniture Group’s acquisition of Forrest Furnishings. Cluness is ‘efficient, knowledgeable and extremely capable’. Alex Innes, who is dual-qualified to practise Scottish and English law, worked with Anderson to advise Route Finance on providing alternative funding to a borrower for the purpose of developing student accommodation. Tom Speirs, Catriona Smith and associate Peter Smartt are other notable practitioners. John Blackwood joined Bermuda-based firm Wakefield Quin.

Noted for its global platform, DLA Piper Scotland LLP advises UK and international banks and corporate borrowers, among other clients, covering a wide remit of matters. Stuart McMillan leads the team, which has strong project finance credentials and robust experience across other areas of lending and borrowing. Legal director Michael Urquhart, who is qualified to practise in Scotland, England and Wales, is particularly experienced in acting for sponsors and funders in the renewable energy sector. McMillan and Urquhart acted for Green Africa Power in the €20m financing of the development of a 20MW photovoltaic solar power plant in Senegal. In another highlight, David Morton and senior associate William Reid assisted Motel One with obtaining development finance from Royal Bank of Scotland for a hotel in Glasgow. Morton, who has ‘been there and seen it all before’, is ‘very calm under pressure’.

DWF has a strong UK profile and expanding international presence with a body of mandates from domestic and offshore banks and borrowers, including fund clients. Corporate and real estate financing transactions are core strengths along with the financing aspects of renewable energy schemes. Work also arises from other industries, including hotels and leisure, healthcare and social housing. Practice head Grant Docherty, who has more than 25 years’ experience acting for borrowers and lenders, advised Santander UK Plc on the circa £11.5m refinancing of a group of nine Guernsey-based special purpose vehicles that have invested in commercial and residential properties throughout England. Docherty also assisted Bladnoch Distillery with negotiating a £2.5m asset finance facility from Lombard North Central. Geoff Stansfield, who leads the real estate finance side of the practice, and senior associate Alan Glen are other key contacts in the team, whose clients include Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds Banking Group and Close Property Finance. Chris McLauchlan joined Eversheds Sutherland.

Harper Macleod LLP’s first-rate reputation is underscored by the volume of banking work which it undertakes for institutions such as Clydesdale Bank, HSBC and Bank of Scotland – indeed, the firm was recently appointed to the Bank of Scotland’s Business Support Unit panel. The practice also has a notable following of borrower clients from a wide range of industries, including housing and renewable energy; there has recently been a particularly significant uptick in maritime, food and drink (particularly whisky), pensions and healthcare. The team, which is led by Tony Cameron and Jacqui Fraser, is ‘professional and forward-thinking in its approach, with a focus on the needs of the client’. Inverness-based Ross Thomson has expertise in real estate finance, as does John Meehan in Glasgow. Edinburgh-based Euan Mitchell is a go-to lawyer for project finance advice.

MacRoberts LLP has core strengths in corporate banking, real estate finance, project finance and loans sales. The practice has experience in multi-jurisdictional matters, as well as Scotland-only transactions. The Scottish government is a key client of the practice and, on the lender side, the team serves all the major UK banks which are active in the Scottish market, including HSBC, Barclays Bank and Santander. Among borrower mandates, in 2016 practice head Norman Martin led the advice to various US institutional investors (as noteholders) on the Scottish aspects of the refinancing of The 1887 Company Limited and, in another matter, assisted The Scottish Salmon Company with negotiating refinancing with Bank of Scotland. Martin, John Crawford, Roddy MacLennan and Fiona Armour combine strong experience and ‘a can-do attitude’.

Morton Fraser acts for all the main UK clearing banks, as well as UK-based asset finance providers, international banks and hedge funds. Beverley Wood and Bruce Wood focus on asset finance and invoice finance, a particular area of strength of the practice. Elsewhere, team head Andrew Meakin and Lauren Hart specialise in various types of debt transactions, including real estate finance, distressed debt portfolio transactions and corporate debt. John Lunn is an expert in retail finance and regulated consumer transactions. Senior associate Paul Kenneth is recommended for advice on property finance matters. Recent highlights for the practice include playing a key role in Allied Irish Bank’s €800m sale of its Project Forge loan portfolio, and acting for Royal Bank of Scotland in refinancing the businesses of Edinburgh-based Gold Brothers. Associate Alice Mahoney joined from an in-house position at BMCE Bank International, bolstering the firm’s asset finance and debt finance offering.

Blackwood Partners LLP has an outstanding reputation in undertaking acquisition finance transactions in the oil and gas services sector. Although the practice is weighted towards sponsor-led transactions, it also generates a significant amount of work from lender clients. Practice head Scott Swankie has substantial experience in general corporate banking, property finance, aviation finance and shipping finance, among other areas. Recent highlights include acting for Scottish Loan Fund in the provision of mezzanine facilities to READ Cased Hole Limited and, in a separate matter, to Highland Network Limited. Swankie also assisted Bank of Scotland, DNB Bank and HSBC Bank in the financing of EnerMech Group.

Ledingham Chalmers LLP’s presence in the North East of Scotland, allied to its extensive knowledge of the maritime and oil and gas services markets, sees it act for some of the most active lenders in secured and unsecured financing or refinancing transactions. In addition, the firm covers a wide range of general banking matters for corporate borrowers. In Inverness, the team is active in assisting economic development agencies, such as Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise, with providing financing to private sector businesses. Jody Mitchell was the lead adviser to Grampian Property Group on the provision of financing by Royal Bank of Scotland for property development. Another highlight involved acting for Solstad Offshore UK on the UK-wide aspects of a group refinancing. Aberdeen-based Mitchell and Inverness-based Fiona Neilson head the practice.

Lindsays has a particularly strong offering in the real estate sector, where it acts for borrowers and lenders in investment and development financing transactions, and portfolio refinances, among other matters. The practice was bolstered in 2016 by the additions of Gavin Buchan and Stuart Rowson from Maclay Murray & Spens LLP and Shepherd and Wedderburn respectively. Buchan heads the practice. Other strengths include finance work related to industries such as renewable energy and agriculture, as well as healthcare, angel investment and technology, and charities. A growing area of activity for the practice is in the peer-to-peer bridging finance space, with one highlight involving acting for Glenisla Developments as the borrower in funding provided by The Route – Finance to facilitate the client’s acquisition of a development site in Alyth, Perthshire. Kenneth Gray and David Lindgren are other notable practitioners.

Insolvency and corporate recovery

Index of tables

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

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


Brodies LLP’s clients value the firm’s ‘strength in depth’ and ‘full range of services’, opining that ‘it can handle any query’. The team manages all contentious and non-contentious aspects of personal and corporate insolvency, as well as corporate restructuring, representing a broad cross-section of stakeholders, including individuals, directors, insolvency practitioners, Scottish and non-Scottish banks and private equity/fund clients, companies and government departments. In 2016, the ‘very personable and responsiveColin McIntosh worked alongside associate Louise Laing to advise PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (as joint administrators of Fletcher Shipping) on what is believed to be Scotland’s first assignation of potential rights to a claim under sections 246ZA and 246ZB of the Insolvency Act. Another highlight involved acting for Blackfriars Hotel (UK) Holdings in its acquisition of the business and assets of Fontenhall (Scotland) Limited (in administration). Other notable clients include Whyte & MacKay, Ernst & Young, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Tennent Caledonian Breweries. McIntosh jointly heads the practice with Rachel Grant, who has more than 25 years’ experience of personal and corporate insolvency work and corporate recovery matters. Lucy McCann and Amy McVey are highly regarded associates, and senior solicitor Laura Borland is also recommended.

Pinsent Masons LLP is ‘responsive and focused on the end outcomes’, and has an outstanding reputation in high-value, complex Scottish and UK work, as well as cross-border matters. The team excels in the trading and restructuring of distressed loan portfolios, acquisitions and sales of individual distressed businesses and cross-border corporate restructurings. It also undertakes advisory work to corporates and directors. The firm’s strong offering sees it generate work from clients in a variety of sectors, particularly charities, construction, energy and financial services. Practice head Claire Massiegets to the point quickly, is client-focused and is a joy to work with’. In 2016, she and senior associate Michael Thomson acted for CPL Industries in its acquisition of Fergusson Coal out of administration via a pre-pack sale. Another highlight for the firm involved handling the restructuring of the Trinity Exploration & Production group of companies, which included a UK private placement to provide funding for the restructuring. Lone Star Funds, First Oil and KPMG are other notable clients. Stacey Bairner has played a key role in growing the firm’s non-bank lender and non-performing loan work. Ainslie Benzie, Jen Marshall and Natalie Colaluca are other key individuals at senior associate level.

At the very top end in Scotland’, Shepherd and Wedderburn’s practice covers a wide ambit of matters, such as distressed debt portfolio transactions, administrations and liquidations, workouts, and disposals of distressed commercial and residential property portfolios and strategic advice to distressed businesses. The heavyweight team includes Gillian Carty, the ‘commercial and dedicatedFiona McKerrell and Paul Hally, who are all licensed insolvency practitioners. John Gallacher is knowledgeable about property-related issues in insolvencies. Yvonne Brady, who is ‘highly respected in the Scottish market’, is ‘able to cut through complexity and manage a variety of demanding stakeholders’; ‘under her leadership of the practice, the firm is well placed to command the market by leveraging on her experience and renowned reputation’. In 2016, McKerrell, Gallacher and ‘extremely bright’ senior associate Allana Sweeney acted for Ernst and Young in the administration of Galloway Group and its subsidiary Ductmate (Europe) Limited. Wells Fargo, Deloitte and Johnston Carmichael are also clients. Hamish Patrick has been consulted by the Scottish and UK governments on changes to receivership, floating charge, charge registration and financial collateral legislation. Senior associate Andrew Scott specialises in contentious insolvency matters and associated litigation.

Addleshaw Goddard has a strong track record in complex and large-scale, high-profile restructuring and insolvency matters, where it acts for clients such as insolvency practitioners, asset-based lenders and corporates, among others. Its banking client roster is particularly impressive, with the firm acting for institutions such as Lloyds Banking Group, RBS, Clydesdale Bank and Santander. Jamie McIntosh, Tim Cooper and senior associate Emma Widdowson (a recent hire from DLA Piper Scotland LLP) acted for Bank of Ireland and CBRE Limited (the latter as fixed charge receivers) in the £90m restructuring and insolvency of M&F Finance Property Unit Trust. Tim Cooper, who ‘takes great pride in his work’, was the lead adviser to KPMG in the high-profile administration of Hawick Knitwear. Aberdeen-based Addi Shamash provides ‘an excellent balance of commerciality and legal advice’; she worked with Lynsey Walker and senior associate Jamie Nellany to handle the administration and sale of Impact Trading Limited for Lloyds Commercial Finance and FRP Advisory LLP. The matter also involved challenging several transactions in the run-up to the insolvency. Joan Devine recently joined from Anderson Strathern.

Burness Paull LLP has full-service capabilities in contentious and non-contentious insolvency and restructuring matters, and its diverse workload includes work as varied as large-scale loan portfolio sales, insolvency litigation and pension advice in the context of distressed situations. In Aberdeen, under the stewardship of Alasdair Freeman, its team is particularly active in oil and gas sector insolvencies and restructurings (both in the upstream and oilfield services sectors), as well as matters connected with the hotels and leisure arena, among others. In 2016, Freeman worked with members of the banking and corporate teams to advise Calgary-based Sterling Resources Limited on a recapitalisation agreement with subsidiary Sterling Resources (UK) Limited and Nordic Trustee ASA. Elsewhere, Glasgow-based Gary Moffat, senior associate Steven Chesney and others undertake a significant amount of work for The Insolvency Service, which includes carrying out investigations into insolvent companies, bringing disqualification actions against company directors and handling public interest winding up proceedings. Other clients of the practice include Norsk Gjenvinning Offshore, Amicus Finance Plc and Santander. In Edinburgh, Gaenor Cassell is able to leverage prior experience in-house at various banks into her work on loan portfolio sales.

CMS handles all aspects of corporate recovery, restructuring and insolvency for clients from a wide variety of sectors, with particular expertise in the energy and financial services industries. In addition to drawing on its core insolvency expertise, the firm’s full-service capabilities mean it is also able to advise clients on ancillary areas connected with insolvencies, such as employment and shipping law. In the oil and gas arena, Sian Aitken and Frank Fowlie jointly led a multidisciplinary team that handled First Oil’s restructuring and entry into administration (acting for First Oil prior to the administration, and then for KPMG as administrator). Another highlight involved advising the administrators of Iona Energy on a company voluntary arrangement (CVA). The firm has also recently handled insolvencies of oil and gas service companies. Greig Williamson specialises in restructuring matters, where he acts for clearing banks, corporates and equity houses. Senior associate Jennifer Antonelli is also recommended.

At BBM Solicitors, ‘the quality of people, service, breadth of knowledge and expertise enables it to compete with much larger, better-resourced firms’. Eric Baijal, who heads the practice, has ‘his finger on the pulse in relation to current developments’, has ‘comprehensive knowledge of insolvency legislation and practice’ and is ‘always available’. On domestic matters, the firm is particularly renowned for acting for insolvency practitioners, with the work including corporate and property disposals, as well as contentious work, and informal restructurings and workouts. It is also active in cross-border insolvency work, advising foreign office-holders and lawyers on Scottish insolvency law. Sheana Campbell, who made principal in 2016, is recommended for her personal insolvency expertise. Alasdair Baijal now practises as a consultant.

Harper Macleod LLP undertakes personal insolvency work, and also handles all aspects of corporate restructurings and insolvencies, including bank-led restructurings and refinances, CVAs, administrations and liquidations. Other areas of expertise include distressed M&A, distressed debt trading and non-performing loan transactions. The firm acts for a significant number of insolvency practitioners, including KPMG, BDO and Campbell Dallas. In addition, it also acts for key banking clients such as Lloyds Banking Group and Clydesdale Bank, as well as corporates. Gordon Hollerin led the advice to the Scottish Football League (as the entity being wound up) and the Scottish Professional Football League (as the new entity) on the merger between the Scottish Football League and Scottish Premier League. Hollerin is also acting for the liquidators of Glasgow 2014 Limited. James Lloyd, who heads the personal insolvency practice, and Andrew Hunter are also names to note.

Maclay Murray & Spens LLP’s team utilises its knowledge of contentious and non-contentious issues to cover all aspects of restructurings, turnarounds and insolvencies (formal and informal). Practice head Michael Hughes, whose experience in this space dates back 15 years, is ‘technically sound, highly commercial and straightforward to deal with’. Hughes was the lead adviser to BDO LLP in the winding-up of Aquamarine Power Limited, a matter which involved commercial contract reviews, employment issues and the sale of intellectual property assets. In another matter, Hughes worked with Douglas Blyth and Craig Kennedy to represent Hooley Limited and its administrators in the landmark Court of Session case Hooley Limited v The Victoria Jute Company, in which it was held that the principle of modified universalism should be recognised by Scottish law, and that foreign insolvencies are ancillary to Scottish administration proceedings. Stuart Fitzsimmons, Susan Kelly, Tim Edward and Derek McCombe are other key contacts.

MacRoberts LLP’s ‘very relationship-driven’ practice is ‘focused on getting the right result for clients’. The team acts for some of the leading insolvency practitioners in Scotland, as well as banks, asset-backed lenders and company directors. On the non-contentious side, the team handles a wide range of matters, including corporate restructurings, CVAs, administrations and liquidations. Another cornerstone of the practice is personal and corporate insolvency litigation, wherein Leon Breakey is a name to note. Ian Bowie is an expert in the property aspects of insolvencies. Alan Meek leads the practice, which acts for clients such as KPMG, WRI Associates, Alix Partners and Begbies Traynor.

A hallmark of Morton Fraser’s practice is its breadth, with its team handling the contentious and non-contentious aspects of personal or corporate insolvencies and corporate restructurings for banks, insolvency practitioners, creditors, directors and businesses. In 2016, practice head Iain Young led a team, which included recently promoted partner Nicola Ross and members of other disciplines, in the advice to creditor Leumi ABL and FRP Advisory LLP on the administration of Johnstone’s Just Desserts Limited, as well as its eventual sale to Finsbury Foods. In another matter, Young acted for a specialist purchaser and reseller of heavy machinery in its acquisition of certain assets from KPMG, the administrators of Tullis Russell Papermakers. Richard McMeeken is another key contact. A particular area of strength for the firm is in the interplay between insolvency and financial crime, where the firm’s membership of the International Chamber of Commerce’s Fraudnet is a key generator of work. Joel Conn joined Mitchells Roberton.

Anderson Strathern draws upon its strengths in areas such as commercial litigation, banking and finance, and commercial property to cover a wide range of restructuring and insolvency issues for clients. The firm is particularly active in contentious insolvency work, wherein practice head Katrina Lumsdaine, Karyn Watt, John Kerr and associate Seonaid Sandham have been representing Baker Tilly in various matters connected with the administration of Pihl UK Limited, including a dispute with Isle of Wight Council involving unjust enrichment and insolvency issues, which is related to the construction of a school on the island. The group has a strong following of government agency clients, for which it provides insolvency and restructuring advice, including HMRC and The Accountant in Bankruptcy. The firm was also recently reappointed to Lloyds Banking Group’s litigation and recoveries panels. Senior associate Claire Martin has a wealth of experience in insolvency cases involving UK, EU and other cross-border issues. Alistair Dean has expertise in construction disputes that also have insolvency issues. Gillian Anderson, Fiona Stephen and associate Lesley Fitzgerald are other key practitioners.

BTO Solicitors LLP’s team advises on personal and corporate insolvency issues for directors, banks, insolvency practitioners and funders, as well as SMEs and larger corporates, among other clients. It undertakes a significant amount of non-contentious work, including Andrew Sleigh serving as lead adviser to Hamilton Brothers (Engineering) Limited on its pre-pack acquisition of a tractor distribution business. The firm also handles corporate restructures, as well as administration, sequestration and liquidation petitions. On the contentious side, the firm fields a number of practitioners with a wealth of experience of insolvency litigation, including Dorothy Hatfield, Grant Hunter, consultant Robin Macpherson and associate Kirsteen Maclean. Cases typically involve issues such as misfeasance, wrongful trading and disqualification issues. Alastair Dunn is often called upon by former directors to provide expert opinions on corporate matters that have been challenged by insolvency practitioners.

Blackadders LLP has built up notable expertise in personal and corporate insolvency, advising on bankruptcies, corporate restructurings, CVAs, administrations, liquidations and insolvency litigation, among other matters. Recent hire Stephanie Carr, who leads the Glasgow office (having joined from Harper Macleod LLP) and practice head Ryan McKay are qualified to practise across Scotland, England and Wales, making them well placed to advise on cross-border issues. Carr passed the personal insolvency and liquidations papers of the Joint Insolvency Examination Board (JIEB), and is also an accredited insolvency specialist. In addition to providing core restructuring and insolvency advice, the practice also covers ancillary issues, such as corporate, employment, pensions and property. The team also acts for such names as KPMG and RSM Restructuring, while other clients include distressed companies (and their directors and sponsors), creditors, investors and financial advisers. Solicitor advocate Richard Godden has more than 20 years’ experience.

Noted for its pan-UK reach, DWF acts for secured and unsecured creditors, insolvency practitioners, investors and company directors, among other clients. Derek Ellery heads the practice, which draws upon the firm’s multidisciplinary strengths to cover a broad spectrum of insolvency-related issues. Its diverse workload, which spans a multitude of sectors, includes corporate restructurings and turnarounds, debt and equity restructuring, distressed business disposals and litigation, or administrations where there are multiple substantial property assets. Property finance specialist Geoff Stansfield and Damien Bechelli are names to note along with Euan McSherry, who acted for Mazars LLP in the removal and replacement of joint liquidators in 17 liquidated companies based in Scotland. Alix Partners, UK Asset Resolution, Scott Moncrieff and Baker Tilly are also clients. Chris McLauchlan joined Eversheds Sutherland.

Gilson Gray’s strengths in a wide range of disciplines enable it to provide an extensive insolvency offering. Steven Jansch, who is accredited by the WS Society in commercial litigation, and is also accredited by the Law Society of Scotland as an insolvency law specialist, works with others on restructurings, insolvency appointments and insolvency litigation. Craig Darling, who heads the business restructuring and recoveries team, has experience of practising in England and Scotland, and acts for creditors, directors, liquidators and fixed charge receivers, among others. Real estate head Murray Stewart is experienced in matters such as administrations of property companies and the realisation of distressed property assets, among other areas. David Alexander’s workload includes debt recovery matters that have insolvency-related issues. In a notable highlight, a team including Darling and Alexander acted for the board of directors in the restructuring, debt recovery and insolvency of Caledonian Marts (Stirling).

Ledingham Chalmers LLP provides assistance with administrations and liquidations, insolvency-related debt recovery, asset realisation, corporate restructuring and refinancing, as well as property-related insolvency work. Practice head Tim Thomas undertakes a significant amount of work for insolvency practitioners in the North East of Scotland and further afield, and has completed the full ICAS course for the JIEB exams. Rebecca Walker recently obtained the Certificate of Competency in Insolvency from the Insolvency Practitioners Association. Jody Mitchell is also recommended.

Lindsays provides contentious and non-contentious advice to a wide range of clients, including company directors, individuals, creditors and insolvency practitioners. On the personal insolvency front, Iain Penman is particularly experienced in sequestrations, as well as matters such as trust deeds, heritable property sales, and property or asset recoveries from bankrupt parties. The firm’s corporate insolvency work includes debt and company restructurings, court appointments of insolvency practitioners in administrations and liquidations, and advice on directors’ duties and unfair preferences.

Shoosmiths’ multidisciplinary team was significantly strengthened by the recent hire of new practice head Stuart Clubb, who joined from HBJ Gateley. Clubb is a solicitor advocate with 15 years’ insolvency litigation experience. Litigators Rod Macphail and solicitor advocate Andrew Foyle are also well regarded. Foyle and associate Ben Zielinski defended a former shareholder and director of a Scottish limited company against a claim brought by its liquidators arising from an allegation of a transaction involving an undervaluation that benefited the client. The firm’s other clients include insolvency practitioners, lenders and distressed businesses. The practice is also able to leverage strengths in areas such as real estate and corporate law, as needed.

Alan Munro is the main contact at TLT, which handles various types of litigated insolvency matters, including claims involving company directors (where matters involve misfeasance allegations, the recovery of unlawful payments made from company funds) and against private individuals (where matters involve recovering debtors’ assets), among others. In 2016, Munro and others defended a former company director against a gratuitous alienation claim brought by the liquidator of the company. Another area of strength involves assisting local authorities with creditor petitions in personal insolvency cases, concerning the recovery of council tax and non-domestic rates. UK Asset Resolution and Greene King Brewing & Retailing are notable clients.

Unit trusts, OEICs and investment trusts

Index of tables

  1. Unit trusts, OEICs and investment trusts
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1
    • Douglas Armstrong - Dickson Minto WS

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Unit trusts, OEICs and investment trusts 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


A notable hallmark of CMS’ first-rate practice is its breadth; the ‘highly responsiveKaragh Gilliatt is an expert in retail funds (particularly those with a real estate element), and recently advised various UCITS managers, including Baillie Gifford and T. Bailey Fund Services, on aspects of the implementation of UCITS V. Other key individuals are Colin Lawrie, who specialises in private funds (particularly private equity funds) and Scottish limited partnerships, and Wendy Colquhoun, who is a go-to expert in retail and listed funds. Investment trust specialist Scott Burns and retail funds expert Aidan Campbell are also recommended. In addition to handling the formation and management aspects of funds, the team provides regulatory advice (including on the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD) and packaged retail and insurance-based investment products (PRIIPs)), and also handles a wide range of funds-related corporate transactions. Gilliatt was the lead adviser to Lloyds Banking Group on a complex fund merger involving the client’s Clerical Medical ranges and certain funds in the Scottish Widows Unit Trust Managers range. Other clients include F&C Asset Management, Virgin Money Unit Trust Managers, Prestonfield Investments and Franklin Templeton.

Corporate boutique Dickson Minto WS has a standout reputation acting for listed investment trusts, which sees its team advising on vehicles targeting asset classes such as healthcare, debt, renewable energy and real estate. The team, which is led by Douglas Armstrong and Bruce Minto, also has expertise in OEICs and private funds. The group acts for funds managed by Scottish fund managers, and also increasingly act for funds managed by London-based fund managers. Its impressive client roster includes such names as Fidelity, Schroders, Artemis and F&C. Recent highlights include advising BlackRock Income Strategies Trust Plc on its merger with Aberdeen UK Tracker Trust Plc, and acting for Hg Capital Trust in its £350m investment into the Hg 8 fund. Andrew Todd, Colin MacNeill and Duncan Christison are other names to note.

Brodies LLP’s extensive practice spans fund structuring and formation, ongoing day-to-day management and regulatory advice, capital raising, marketing, fund restructuring, as well as assistance with funds-related tax issues and asset management outsourcing transactions. A particular specialism is the structuring of a wide variety of specialist and alternative fund structures using Scottish limited partnership structures. Another strength lies in the development of tax-efficient private wealth management fund structures. On the investor side, the firm advises clients on investments into funds and other investment management arrangements. Practice head Andrew Akintewe is leading a multidisciplinary team in its advice to LXB Retail Properties and other entities in its group on the formation of various funds, as well as on financing and investments into commercial real estate assets. Another highlight involved assisting Walls & Futures London Growth Fund on its restructuring into Walls & Futures REIT Plc and admission to the ISDX Growth Market. Other clients include Oaktree Capital, TPG Europe, Moorfield Group and FIM Services. Karen Fountain is ‘very knowledgeable, and provides practical, commercial advice’. Consultants Frank Doran and Alistair Campbell, and managing associate Paul McLaughlin are also recommended.

Burness Paull LLP has a particularly outstanding reputation in the use of Scottish limited partnerships in private fund vehicles, such as private equity funds and debt funds, among others. Led by Alan Soppitt, who is ‘wise and finds solutions’, the team provides assistance with every stage of the funds lifecycle. Another strong suit lies in borrower- side debt finance in relation to Scottish limited partnerships. The practice’s high-end client roster includes a number of UK and international private equity houses, and it also generates referrals from a significant number of City law firms. In a recent highlight, Soppitt and ‘calm, helpful and technically very good’ senior associate Andrew Christie advised Ardian Private Equity on the Scottish law aspects of the formation and launch of its $10bn ASF VII fund, which is structured as a series of Scottish limited partnerships. In addition to sponsor-side matters, the group also undertakes work for investors, an area of work led by recently promoted partner Paula Kennedy, who acted for Santander (CF Trustee) Limited as the lead counsel in its $75m cornerstone investment into ECP Africa Fund IV.

Maclay Murray & Spens LLP’s Edinburgh-based team works alongside colleagues in London to undertake advisory and transactional work for a variety of UK-based and overseas clients, such as fund managers, banks and insurance companies, and investment funds. The practice covers a wide variety of fund types, such as retail funds (including authorised funds and enterprise investment scheme funds), listed funds and alternative funds. Group head Guy Norfolk divides his time between Edinburgh and London. Other key individuals in Edinburgh are Claire Armstrong and associate Owen McLennan.

Shepherd and Wedderburn has a strong closed-ended listed funds practice, which acts for clients such as Alliance Trust and Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust. The team also has expertise in Scottish limited partnerships, which have been a notable area of growth for the practice recently. Paul Hally leads the practice, which covers every stage of the lifecycle of a fund.

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