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Agriculture and estates

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  1. Agriculture and estates
  2. Leading individuals

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Agriculture and estates 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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Anderson Strathern has an extensive track record assisting estate owners and private individuals with transactions and disputes in the rural sector, as well as handling land registration and general private client work. The firm also handles renewable energy matters, with Sheonagh Richards. The team led by John Mitchell assisted a number of landowners, including Buccleuch Group, the Crown Estate, Callendar Estate and Penicuik Estate, with voluntary registration of land procedures. Other key members of the team include Anne Chapman, Fiona Gibb and Adèle Nicol.

Clients of Brodies LLP single out the firm’s ability to β€˜turn matters around quickly, accurately and commercially’. The β€˜efficient and thorough’ team β€˜has the strength to advise on all aspects of rural property work’ and β€˜provides first-class service’ to farming and rural businesses, lenders, funders, developers and public sector organisations. Team head Clive Phillips, who β€˜thinks outside the box and gives well-informed advice’, assisted a client with the sale of a residential and sporting estate, including a portfolio of farms, which involved negotiations with sitting agricultural tenants and advising on agricultural holdings In another highlight, Odell Milne advised a number of sub-consultants to Transport Scotland on the A9 Dualling project, involving ownership queries and a review of several estate and farm titles, as well as minerals leases. Robert Forman β€˜brings a commercial view to agricultural and estate issues’, and Andrew Askew Blain is praised as β€˜providing straightforward, no-nonsense advice in a very efficient manner’. Murray Soutar moved to Gillespie Macandrew LLP.

The β€˜approachable, personable and professional’ team at Gillespie Macandrew LLP β€˜tailors its prompt and efficient advice to clients’ needs while maintaining a commercial outlook’. The group excels in estate and farm transactions, renewable energy projects and commercial matters such as restructurings and subsidies. Alistair Anderson assisted a client with the purchase of a sporting estate, including tenancies and forestry issues, while Fraser Leslie assisted a client with voluntary first registration procedures. in another highlight, the team advised a client on a renewable energy project, which involved crofting issues. Alan White (who is praised as β€˜a safe pair of hands’ and for β€˜having a keen eye for detail’) provided a client with estate restructuring advice. Robert Scott-Dempster heads the team, which includes Murray Soutar, who joined from Brodies LLP.

Turcan Connell’s β€˜strong’ team has an excellent reputation for handling private client matters and advises on the full spectrum of agricultural and rural law matters. Farmers and landowners frequently call on the team to advise on residential development deals, estate and forestry transactions and the reorganisation of agricultural leases. Clients also single out the team’s expertise in renewable energy and minerals work, including the granting of options and leases. β€˜Experienced and tough’ team head Jon Robertson is particularly experienced in handling wind, anaerobic digestion and hydro work. Also recommended are the β€˜unflappable and wise’ Don Macleod, Grierson Dunlop, who is praised as being β€˜well connected and practical’, Niall Stringer, and Louise Johnston.

Lindsays’ β€˜competent, responsive and approachable’ team β€˜understands the requirements of its clients’ and is recognised for its β€˜great renewable-sector knowledge’. Other areas of expertise include agricultural holdings and farm transactions, alongside crofting and heraldry matters. The β€˜knowledgeable and solution-oriented’ Andrew Linehan advised two individuals on the sale of Press Mains Farm, which included renewable energy elements due to the presence of a wind turbine on the property. β€˜Personable, knowledgeable and experienced’ team head Michael Yellowlees acted for a high-net-worth American client on the acquisition of the feudal Earldom of Erroll, and advised an individual as one of the executors of an estate on crofting tenancy matters. Associate Lauren Cook is also recommended.

Thorntons Law LLP is β€˜very experienced’ in handling estate and farm purchases, leasing and restructuring matters, as well as assisting clients with land registration procedures and issues arising from renewable energy projects. Susan Duff advised a family farming business on a number of restructuring and refinancing issues, while another client instructed her to carry out a voluntary registration of a farm title in order to clarify boundaries and to obtain defined routes of servitude rights of access for future use. The β€˜very knowledgeable’ Christopher Lindley, who is praised for his β€˜clear and concise updates’, assisted a developer with the purchase of a site for renewable energy usage. Other clients include trusts, financial institutions and public sector bodies. Kenneth Mackay heads the team, which includes key names Linsey Barclay-Smith and George Dunlop. Associate David Dundas β€˜has very good sector knowledge and is effective in dealing with complex rural issues’.

Blackadders LLP is experienced in all aspects of farm, estate and woodland transactions, including the transfer of entitlements and grant schemes. The firm also advises on succession issues and agricultural tenancies, and represents rural clients in negotiations with renewable energy developers. Team head Petra Grunenberg advised the Bank of Scotland on the security and financing aspects of the acquisition of a traditional landed estate encompassing 3,500 acres, which comprises a mixture of residential, commercial and agricultural properties. Directors Gail Clarke, Gillian Gibbons and Ellen Eunson are other names to note.

Davidson Chalmers LLP attracts praise for its β€˜excellent level of knowledge’ in advising rural businesses on commercial, corporate and regulatory matters while β€˜keeping business goals in mind’. This includes advice on farm and estate diversification, succession and crofting law issues, as well as renewable energy projects. The team, which consists of β€˜very good listeners’, assisted the Dunrobin Highland Distillery with the development of a craft distillery, including lease agreements with the landowners. Andy Drane advised Guinness Asset Management on its acquisition of a 500kW run-of-river hydroelectric scheme from MEG Renewables located in Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park, which also included assistance with land and access right issues and a lease renegotiation with two landlords. Laura Tainsh heads the team, which includes β€˜responsive’ associate Louise Jones.

β€˜Nothing is too much trouble for’ Harper Macleod LLP’s β€˜efficient and cost-effective’ team, which β€˜works together very well’ and β€˜provides pragmatic advice’ while also being β€˜easy to work with’. In conjunction with the firm’s private client, banking and dispute resolution teams, the practice regularly advises on rural sales and acquisitions, land registration and crofting matters, as well as handling renewable energy and agricultural tenancies issues. Inverness-based β€˜crofting expert’ Calum MacLeod advised a client on the purchase of the Keose Glebe Estate, a large crofting estate in the Western Isles. In another highlight, team head Graeme Nisbet assisted the Forestry Commission Scotland with voluntary land registration matters, and advised Craignathro Farms on the purchase of Easter Meathie Farm. β€˜Tenacious’ associate Frances Rooney is β€˜an expert in all aspects of land registration and goes the extra mile for her clients’.

The β€˜knowledgeable and efficient’ team at Ledingham Chalmers LLP β€˜guides its clients through tricky situations’ and is praised for its β€˜attention to detail’. Family businesses, banks and lenders regularly instruct the team to advise on transactional, succession planning and leasing matters, including renewable energy leases while also handling contentious work. The team assisted Scottish Enterprise with a number of agricultural leasing matters pertaining to the client’s property portfolio. Jim Drysdale heads the team, which includes Hazel Moir, who was elevated to the partnership and β€˜is easy to work with’. Allan Collie retired.

Morton Fraser is β€˜well organised, works hard and provides very sound and practical advice’ on a wide range of agricultural and rural law matters. This includes assisting with rural property sales and purchases, agricultural tenancies, crofting law matters and renewable energy, diversification and land registration issues. β€˜Very professional’ team head James Rust, who β€˜has superb knowledge of complex issues’ and β€˜is easy to work with’, advised the Scottish Wildlife Trust on the establishment of a community-based hydroelectric joint venture scheme and related crofting issues. He also assisted C G Greig Farms with the sale of a farming portfolio in Fife, including advice on the transfer of employees, residential tenancies and the rearrangement of servitude arrangements for access, irrigation, water and services. Newbie Salmon Fisheries and Scottish Natural Heritage are also clients.

Shepherd and Wedderburn’s β€˜very professional and proficient’ team frequently handles rural property leasing matters as well as advising on renewable energy, land reform and crofting issues. Richard Leslie advised the Woodland Trust on the purchase of two forests at Loch Arkaig from the Forestry Commission, and assisted Silvertide – a family-owned rural development and renewable energy investment business – with the sale of forests in Dumfriesshire. In another highlight, he advised a relocating English farmer on the purchase of Press Mains Farm, which comprises 1000 acres of arable land, an operational wind turbine and biomass boiler, and several holiday cottages. Team head Peter Misselbrook advised Invercauld Estate on the termination of an agricultural tenancy and the sale of five estate houses, while Hugh Smith assisted Sutherland Estates with voluntary land registration and crofting matters. Hamish Lean joined from Stronachs LLP.


Charities and not-for-profit

Index of tables

  1. Charities and not-for-profit
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Charities and not-for-profit 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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Burness Paull LLP is particularly noted for its expertise advising development trusts and social enterprises on regulatory and corporate structures, including partnership models. Highly regarded team head Stephen Phillips advised Falkirk Council on a governance review pertaining to its current offshoot trust Falkirk Community Trust, and led advice to West Lothian Council on the restructuring of an existing offshoot trust. The team, which regularly works in conjunction with colleagues in the property, employment and IP departments, has particular expertise in matters where these elements intersect; in an illustration of this capability, the team assisted Kilmahew/St Peter’s with the restoration and development of the former St Peter’s Seminary to form a Β£7.5m arts and community venue. The team also developed a constitution for Hub Community Foundation, which is intended to maximise the impact of training and employment initiatives run by the newly established charity. Other clients include the Development Trusts Association Scotland and the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO).

Turcan Connell draws on a wealth of experience in advising grant-making trusts, national collection institutions, independent schools and charities working in the arts and culture sectors. The team is noted for its specialism in assisting philanthropists with their charitable giving activities, and also handles the management and regulation of charities, trusts and endowment funds. Practice head Gavin McEwan advised the Royal Scottish Academy on the reorganisation of historic endowment and benevolent funds in order to free up moribund funds for more effective use. He also advised on contracts to be put in place for a major new charitable foundation being created within the financial services sector in Scotland. Highly regarded chairman of the firm Simon Mackintosh advised the Shetland Charitable Trust on constitutional reforms. Other recent highlights include advising the Green Purposes Company on the creation of a single purpose company for a potential future conversion to a charity as part of the privatisation of the Green Investment Bank, and assisting the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh with the management of its land and estate alongside constitutional matters.

β€˜Offering a very good all-round, customer-focused service’, Brodies LLP assists its clients with a wide range of corporate, regulatory and governance issues, among others. Brenda Scott β€˜provides reliable and practical advice’ and assisted the University of Edinburgh with a number of governance matters and with issues arising from its dealings with educational trusts. The β€˜hugely competent and experienced’ Alan Eccles, who β€˜gets straight to the nub of the issue’, advised the Dundee Rep and Scottish Dance Theatre on the establishment of two separate charitable incorporated organisations. He also assisted the Trades House of Glasgow – one of the city’s oldest charities – with its potential restructuring, the establishment of a new multimillion-pound fund and the transfer of a different charity into the existing not-for-profit organisation. In another highlight, the team advised media company STV on the establishment of charities and the wider legal structure to support the creation of the Scottish Children’s Lottery. Paul McMahon is also recommended.

Lindsays has a β€˜strong’ team that attracts praise for its β€˜wide knowledge of local authority affairs’. The team provides β€˜reliable advice’ on governance and charity registration and establishment issues. β€˜Impressive, professional and approachable’ team head Alastair Keatinge is highly recommended and consistently praised for his β€˜practical advice’ and β€˜extensive knowledge of the sector’. He advised a long-term client and operator of a concert hall and theatre in Perth on alternative governance structures as well as procurement and lease documentation issues. Keatinge is also assisting the Border Union Agricultural Society with the implementation of new governance arrangements and the recruitment of a new board. In another significant matter, he acted for the BrewGooder Foundation – a partnership between two entrepreneurs and an independent craft brewer – in obtaining charitable status. The team’s client roster also includes Citizens Advice Scotland and An Comhdhail.

Shepherd and Wedderburn is β€˜very professional’ and particularly active in advising its clients – often educational, sports and arts charities – on governance and corporate matters. The β€˜very knowledgeable and supportive’ Malcolm Rust, who co-heads the team with Christopher McGill, advised the trustees of a charity on governance issues. As another highlight, the team assisted a charity with an acquisition, which included the preparation of the funding documentation. Among the clients are Foundation Scotland, the Royal Society of Edinburgh and the Woodland Trust.

Anderson Strathern provides charity sector clients with a wide range of advice, frequently pertaining to corporate, governance, data protection and tax matters. In a notable mandate, the team advised Live Borders – formerly Boders Sport and Leisure Trust – on all aspects of its proposed takeover of cultural services, including museums, libraries, art galleries, archives and community centres, from the Scottish Borders Council. Senior associate and team head Victoria Simpson assisted a client with OSCR investigation issues. Other clients include the National Trust for Scotland, the University of Stirling, the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland and the Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh.

BTO Solicitors LLP β€˜provides clear and concise advice’ on charity regulation and OSCR requirements, including the transition from non-charitable to charitable status and governance matters. β€˜Knowledgeable and professional’ associate and β€˜excellent communicator’ Marion Davis advised the University of Strathclyde Students’ Association (USSA) on OSCR requirements following its transition from an unincorporated association to an incorporated company structure, and subsequently assisted the client with obtaining OSCR consent to change its legal form. The practice also regularly assists charitable registered social landlords with regulatory and governance issues. Team head Patrice Fabien assisted Richmond Fellowship Scotland (TRFS) in its role as a private landlord with regulatory issues applicable to private residential tenancies. Other clients include the Scottish Cremation Society, CLIC Sargent and McSence.

The β€˜very helpful, personable and knowledgeable’ team at Balfour+Manson LLP β€˜gives pragmatic advice based on client needs’, which often pertain to contentious and non-contentious corporate, governance, employment and property issues. As well as the team’s extensive expertise in dealing with faith-based organisation, it also acts for a number of healthcare, environmental and community-based charities. Bethany Christian Trust, the Faith Mission, Health in Mind and Scripture Union are among the firm’s longstanding clients, while Scottish War Blinded is a new client win. Hugh Angus heads the team, which includes β€˜prompt and friendly’ associate Alan Gilfillan. Former practice head John Hodge is now a consultant.

Gillespie Macandrew LLP’s β€˜knowledgeable, responsive and efficient’ team stands out for its military sector expertise, advising a number of Scottish military charities on a wide range of issues. Other areas of expertise include advising land-owning charities, religious bodies and medical charities on governance and best practice matters alongside obligations of charity trustees. The practice continues to advise the Johnson & Johnson Corporate Citizenship Trust on the establishment of a $15m social impact fund to be used in granting loans oversees to organisations furthering the client’s charitable purposes. A UK-wide medical education charity instructed the team to advise on Scottish and English charity law matters. Associate Lianne Lodge now heads the team, which includes former practice head and consultant Tom Murray.

MacRoberts LLP β€˜provides quick advice’ and β€˜has a very good technical knowledge of charity and data protection issues’. Advising charitable trusts and sociable enterprises on tax, corporate, contractual, regulatory and governance issues are other key elements of the practice. β€˜Knowledgeable’ team head Val Surgenor, who β€˜has a unique insight into the sector and explains matters in an understandable way’, advised the Scottish Council of Voluntary Organisations on its funding platform – a site set up to assist charities source appropriate funding and provide advice on funding arrangements. She also advised Trust in Fife as lead agent in a public social partnership, involving Fife Council and 13 providers of housing support services, on a collaborative contracting structure. Ready for Business is another client. Senior associate Robin Fallas is β€˜approachable, obliging and knowledgeable’.

Morton Fraser’s client base includes charities and not-for-profit organisations from the educational, cultural, health care and environmental sectors. Adrian Bell advised several trustees on constitutional matters and advised a trust on governance arrangements. Iain Meiklejohn assisted a charity with environmental liability issues. Social Investment Scotland, the Schuh Trust and Scotland’s Rural College are also clients. β€˜Knowledgeable’ senior associate Lauren Scott is also recommended.

CMS is praised for its β€˜attention to detail’ and β€˜understanding and knowledge of third sector organisations’. The team is well versed in handling regulatory, corporate, funding, construction and IP issues on behalf of educational, cultural and research establishments. The team advised the National Museum of Scotland on a number of IP-related matters, including agreements on loaning and touring of its collections. Other clients include Newlands Junior College and National Galleries of Scotland. Key contact Graeme Bruce β€˜provides practical solutions to difficult problems’, and Chris Rae demonstrates β€˜great clarity of thought and expression’.

Harper Macleod LLP is experienced in assisting small community-based organisations and registered social landlords with a wide range of matters such as charity incorporation, compliance with the Charities and Trustee Investment (Scotland) Act 2005, corporate governance, commercial contracts and grant funding. James McMorrow acted for The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations on charity law compliance, charitable structures and commercial contracts, while the Cairn Housing Association instructed him to assist with regulatory, funder and charity law issues pertaining to its establishment of a constitutional partnership with ANCHO. In another highlight, he advised the trustees of the Kilravock Christian Trust on the proposal to wind up the trust and transfer its assets to Scripture Union Scotland and Scripture Union Northern Ireland. The team advised Shetland Charitable Trust on commercial and regulatory matters, and the Scottish Surfing Federation on its restructuring from a charitable unincorporated association to a charitable company limited by guarantee. Glasgow Life is another client.

Maclay Murray & Spens LLP β€˜has extensive knowledge in dealing with a charitable trust client base’ and is praised for its β€˜attention to detail’. The team is well versed in advising on amendments of existing constitutions including conversions and dissolutions, reorganisations, mergers and governance issues affecting charities and charity trustees. Clients also include philanthropists, who regularly call on the team’s expertise establishing charities through a will or lifetime planning. Alexis Graham heads the team and attracts praise for its β€˜efficient and personal service’. Eleanor Kerr is also recommended.

Clients single out T C Young for its β€˜good attention to detail’ and substantial expertise in the social housing sector. Clients frequently instruct the β€˜reliable’ team, which is β€˜easy to work with’ and consists of β€˜good communicators’, to advise on changes to legal and governance structures, limited liability status issues and on issues arising from entering into mergers, joint ventures and other strategic partnerships. β€˜Approachable and knowledgeable’ practice head Mark Ewing assisted a number of clients (including the Arran Cancer Support Trust, Glen Kin Outdoor Centre and Money Advice Scotland) with their governance and constitution reviews. He also advised a client on the establishment of a charity to develop and operate a water sports facility as part of Glasgow’s canal network. Other recent highlights include advising Erskine Hospital on changes to its board reporting structure and succession planning issues, and assisting Tiree Community Development Trust with the transfer of community assets.

Wright, Johnston & Mackenzie LLP acts for a wide range of charities and third sector organisations, including national and smaller grant-giving charities, social enterprises and other not-for-profit organisations such as trade associations. The team, which is led by Colin Millar, also assists philanthropic individuals and families with the establishment and running of charitable foundations. Recent highlights include assisting Haven Products with contractual and governance matters, and advising Momentum Scotland on contractual arrangements with the Scottish government. Scottish Women’s Institutes regularly instructs the team to handle regulatory matters. Graham Murray acted for the Theosophical Society of Scotland in setting up a charitable arm through which to develop a new public library facility. In 2016, the team guided the Glasgow Hutchesons’ Aloysians Sports Club through the process of applying for charitable status.


Contentious trusts and probate

Index of tables

  1. Contentious trusts and probate
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Contentious trusts and probate 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 β€˜provides an excellent service in a highly professional and straightforward manner’. The practice covers a broad spectrum of contentious trust and probate work, including handling applications to the Court of Session to seek clarification in the law regarding powers of attorney; incapacity applications; disputes over the validity of wills; and the winding-up of estates. The β€˜strong and approachable’ team also handles cohabitants’ rights and claims on death. Recently, the practice represented an individual in a dispute arising from his capacities as executor and beneficiary under his late mother’s will. A number of large commercial institutions instruct the team to act on their behalf when appointed as executor. Team head Alan Barr is praised for his β€˜exceptional knowledge and sensitive approach’. Susanne Beveridge is β€˜a safe pair of hands’ who is β€˜friendly and professional’ and β€˜provides information in a timely manner’. β€˜Professional and helpful’ managing associate Angela McCulloch is also recommended.

Morton Fraser has particular expertise in succession and tax planning work and the administration of trusts and estates. The team acts for executors and trustees, as well as beneficiaries of estates in disputes arising from the interpretation of wills and trusts, including testament forgery matters. Richard McMeeken heads the team, while Christian Melville left the firm to join Thorntons Law LLP.

Turcan Connell’s β€˜superb’ team is a respected player in the market, providing β€˜very good service’ and β€˜calm, considered views’. The team is best known for its high-value contentious executry work, acting for pursuers and defenders alike. Recent work includes representing the defendant, who is the executor and a beneficiary of an estate, in an action by the deceased’s children to reduce the will on the grounds that the deceased’s signature was forged by the executor. The team also advises a large number of UK charities on the full spectrum of trust issues, including the interpretation of wills, and represents them in Sheriff Court and Court of Session proceedings. The β€˜outstanding’ Peter Littlefield is β€˜very pragmatic and comes up with sensible solutions’, with clients also praising his β€˜engaging personality and honesty’. David Ogilvy heads the dispute resolution team.

Anderson Strathern represents beneficiaries and executors in Court of Session and Sheriff Court proceedings pertaining to a wide range of contentious executry matters. Recent work includes representing clients in will challenges, proving the tenor of a will and in actions for reduction of the disposition. John Peutherer heads the team, which includes director Alasdair Gillies, who joined the firm’s Glasgow office following the firm’s merger with Jeffrey Aitken. Gordon Frew has retired, and former practice head John Biggar is now a consultant.

The β€˜extremely professional’ team at Gillespie Macandrew LLP is β€˜very good’ at administering estates, often involving rural business and foreign assets, as well as dealing with the interpretation of wills and inheritance tax litigation, including negotiating tax settlements with the HMRC, and tax tribunal cases. Team head Agnes Mallon advised the beneficiary of an estate on reducing the will on the grounds of incapacity and undue influence, which included assistance with proving the tenor of a missing previous will benefitting the beneficiary. John Stirling is β€˜utterly reliable, worldly-wise, insightful and level-headed’.

The β€˜solid and well-respected’ team at Murray Beith Murray β€˜provides excellent service’ to beneficiaries and executors. Recently, the team advised Lord Nickson on the potential loss to his estate as a result of the early termination of the trust created in Lady Nickson’s will. Team head Carole Hope, who is noted for her β€˜excellent relationship-management skills’, acted for a client in a court petition, claiming an improper administration of the deceased’s estate by the executors. The β€˜efficient’ Andrew Paterson is also recommended.

Shepherd and Wedderburn acts for private individuals, as well as trustees and institutional clients such as high street banks, on a wide range of trust and executry disputes, including associated professional negligence actions and contentious private tax matters. Known for its cross-border work with a particular focus on matters under English Law, the team regularly advises on the removal of trustees from office, will interpretations and will validity matters. Other areas of expertise include negotiating the resolution of disputes between competing groups of beneficiaries and handling cases of potential negligence by executors. Elaine Brailsford advised executors on the distribution of an estate where the wishes of the deceased have been challenged, and assisted a residual beneficiary with a dispute over alleged debt. Alastair Frood handled a contentious will interpretation case. Practice head Christopher McGill attracts praise for his β€˜high ethical standards’.


Family

Index of tables

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

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1
    • John West - SKO

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Family 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 β€˜excellent’ practice is singled out for its ability to handle high-value financial provision on divorce and complex jurisdictional issues. Covering the full remit of family law, the team is well equipped to assist clients with pre-nuptial, post-nuptial, cohabitation and separation agreements, and international child abduction cases, alongside civil partnership dissolutions, and adoption and domestic abuse issues. Lisa Girdwood, who β€˜deals with clients sensitively and with compassion without losing focus on difficult legal issues’, advised a client on financial matters arising from a separation. The β€˜very experienced and pragmatic’ Scott Cochrane, who is noted for his β€˜straightforward advice’, defended a client in a Court of Session divorce action, where the claimant sought the payment of a large sum alongside the payment of long-term spousal maintenance. β€˜Effective and well-organised litigator’ Richard Smith is praised for his β€˜thorough and focused approach, which inspires confidence’. β€˜Experienced and patient’ team head Shaun George is β€˜extremely good at explaining legal terminology in an easily understandable way’.

The β€˜utterly professional and brilliant’ team at SKO has β€˜significant international expertise and exceptionally skilled lawyers’, who are β€˜particularly well versed in dealing with high-value financial provision cases’. It handles a steady flow of post-nuptial and pre-nuptial work alongside a wide range of child-related matters such as cross-border surrogacy, child abduction, adoption and relocation. Susan Oswald is β€˜an unfailingly calm beacon of strength’; β€˜particularly effective in child-related disputes’ she β€˜combines cool analysis with an effortless ability to put even the most stressed of clients at ease’. Recently, she represented a client in a cross-border adoption case in the Court of Session, which involved working with a number of social work agencies due to mental health issues. β€˜An outstanding lawyer for complex financial issues’, Rachael Kelsey acted for the father in a high-profile divorce and financial provision case at the Court of Session. She attracts praise for being β€˜phenomenally strong on the law while looking at everything practically and with the client in mind’, and for her β€˜boundless energy and superb judgement’. Robert Gilmour, who β€˜provides pragmatic and sensible advice’, acted for a client in public and private law proceedings pertaining to sexual abuse allegations. Associate and β€˜rising star’ John West is β€˜brilliant and totally unflappable’.

Considered by many as β€˜one of the leading firms in the field’, Turcan Connell is renowned for its experience in assisting high-net-worth individuals with financial settlement negotiations, cohabitation cases under the Family Law (Scotland) Act 2006 alongside prenuptial, postnuptial and cohabitation agreements including multi-jurisdictional cases. Handling child law cases, including international relocation issues, constitutes another key portion of the team’s workload. β€˜Very experienced and pragmatic’ practice head Alasdair Loudon β€˜always fights his clients’ corner’ and β€˜focuses on getting matters resolved’. He assisted a couple with an international divorce case, including the negotiation of a mutually acceptable settlement of all parties’ financial interests. Gillian Crandles, who β€˜provides straightforward advice’ and is β€˜excellent with clients and easy to work with’, handled a child residence case, and assisted a client with a pre-nuptial agreement. Noel Ferry deals with a number of cohabitation claims and child relocation matters.

BTO Solicitors LLP has β€˜a wealth of experience in all areas of family law’ and is particularly well versed in dealing with financial provision and child law cases. The firm is singled out for its expertise in complex international child custody cases, including adoption and surrogacy matters. β€˜Tenacious’ team head Cath Karlin provides β€˜straightforward advice’ and attracts praise for her β€˜substantial experience in public child law cases; she is a safe pair of hands in financial provision matters’. She acted for a client in a child abduction case, and handled a number of surrogacy petitions. Lesley Gordon (a β€˜thorough, well-prepared and tough negotiator’) advised a client on sexual offence matters, and assisted another individual with financial provision and contentious child residence issues. β€˜Extremely helpful and competent’ associate Marjory Blair is also recommended.

Balfour+Manson LLP’s β€˜professional’ team β€˜provides good and straightforward advice’ on a wide range of contentious and non-contentious family law matters, including post-nuptial and pre-nuptial agreements, financial claims on divorce, cohabitation, child relocation and other child-related matters. β€˜Calm’ team head Shona Smith β€˜provides pragmatic and confident advice and seeks practical solutions for clients’, and is noted for her β€˜extensive knowledge and unflappable manner’. She acted for a client in a divorce action in the Sheriff Court involving cohabitation matters. Associate Jamie Foulis is also recommended.

Clients single out Morton Fraser for its track record in high-value financial provision and child law work, including abduction cases. β€˜Very experienced’ team head Rhona Adams, who β€˜guides clients effectively through the process thanks to her calm manner and level-headed approach’, acted for West Lothian Council in a Court of Session application for a permanence order with authority to adopt where both natural parents opposed the application. She also acted for a farmer in divorce proceedings and a subsequent appeal at the Inner House of the Court of Session. The β€˜tenacious and prompt’ Fiona Sasan, who is β€˜committed to fighting her clients’ corner’, represented a client in Court of Session divorce proceedings involving financial provision issues, and acted for a separate individual in a relocation case. The β€˜knowledgeable, meticulous and very understanding’ Lucia Clark is also recommended.

Family Law Matters Scotland LLP’s β€˜good’ team handles a wide range of contentious and non-contentious family and child law work, including divorce and separation proceedings, which frequently involve matrimonial property, child relocation and financial provision matters. Karen Gailey represented a Polish father in two petitions in the Court of Session, both under the Hague Convention. The first involved retaining the petitioner’s son in Scotland in 2013, and the second one pertained to the child’s re-abduction from Poland in 2015. The team also advised a client on matrimonial property and pension issues, which subsequently led to divorce proceedings. Senior associate Michaela Hinchin, who also serves as a mediator, and consultant Anne Dick are key members of the team.

Harper Macleod LLP attracts praise for its β€˜dedicated and empathetic assistance on family law matters’. The firm regularly acts on contentious child relocation matters, high-value financial provision disputes and cohabitation issues, including pre-and-post-nuptial agreements. Recently promoted partner Alexis Miller is β€˜highly intelligent and very experienced’; she is praised for her β€˜warm and professional approach’ and β€˜hard work put in to representing her clients’ views’, and is also noted for her β€˜authority and leadership in a crisis’. Miller acted for the defendant in a divorce action at the Court of Session pertaining to matrimonial property issues. Amanda Masson, who attracts praise for her β€˜great listening skills’ and β€˜decisive approach in finding solutions’, acted for a client in a child relocation matters before the Sheriff Court. In another key matter Jenny Smith represented a client in separation and divorce proceedings involving business interests. β€˜Professional’ associate Claire Christie is β€˜a tower of strength’. Alan Susskind left the firm.

MTM Family Law regularly handles high-net-worth divorce cases alongside child law and adoption matters. β€˜Formidable court practitioner’ Shona Templeton, who regularly appears in the Sheriff Court and is noted for her β€˜thoughtful and careful approach’, represented a client in assault allegations against his spouse, and assisted another individual with a claim of economic disadvantage and childcare issues. The team also acted for a client seeking the transfer of the matrimonial home as part of an unequal division due to the economic burden of caring for the children. The practice also assisted a client with a separation and the negotiation of a fair division of net assets, including high-value foreign equity assets. The β€˜knowledgeable and experienced’ Carolyn MacBride β€˜keeps abreast of developments’. Founding partner Sara Matheson left to take up a position as a Summary Sheriff in Airdrie.

Aberdeen-based Patience and Buchan handles a wide range of contentious and non-contentious family and child law work for clients across the North East of Scotland. This includes assistance with adoption and financial provision matters, cohabitation disputes and disputes between same-sex couples as well as high-value collaborative cases. The β€˜very conscientious, diligent and confident’ Lorna Buchan, who β€˜excels in litigated cases and has excellent rapport with clients’ while β€˜maintaining a balanced and fair view of negotiations’, advised an individual on child contact arrangements after the client’s separation from their partner, who is also the parent of the child. In a separate matter, she assisted a client with cross-border matrimonial property matters following a separation. Ashley Simpson, who β€˜is sensitive to client needs and demonstrates great attention to detail’, acted for a client in a cohabitation separation, and advised another client on a child contact dispute, and on assault allegations. Consultant Iain Patience is β€˜very experienced and equally strong in litigation and other forms of dispute resolution’.

Aberdein Considine’s β€˜knowledgeable’ team β€˜gives good advice in a timely manner’ and is β€˜able to communicate any issues in plain English’. β€˜Very trustworthy, professional and sympathetic’ team head Ruth Aberdein is β€˜able to approach difficult matters with empathy and understanding while using extensive knowledge and experience to achieve as good a solution as possible’. She acted for a client in a divorce action involving a number of child relocation, financial and matrimonial property issues. Other recent work includes assisting a client with a separation involving a diverse range of assets such as business interests and investments, and acting for the pursuer in a residence dispute over shared care agreements for a child. Isabelle Douglas, who was elevated to the partnership in 2016, is also recommended.

Anderson Strathern frequently handles divorce and separation issues alongside pre-and-post-nuptial agreements. Team head Janice Jones assisted a client with a pre-nuptial agreement involving overseas assets, and another client with a pre-nuptial agreement involving inherited wealth and trust matters. In a separate matter, she acted for the pursuer in a contentious financial provision divorce action pertaining to conflicting pension values. Other recent work includes advising a client on parental rights and child residence matters in order to prevent the child to be relocated to live with the client’s ex-partner, and assisted a different client with economic disadvantage issues following a separation and early retirement in order to support the client’s ex-partner with their business interests.

The β€˜proactive’ team at BLM is β€˜supportive, eminently pragmatic’ and experienced in dealing with contentious and non-contentious family and child law matters such as financial provision divorce cases, cohabitation and child relocation matters, as well as handling matters pertaining to sexual abuse and physical assault allegations. Caroline Gillespie acted for a client in an international child relocation case, and represented an individual in a post-cohabitation action. β€˜Outstandingly strong’ team head Siobhan Kelly, who β€˜handles delicate matters of family separation with compassion’, advised a client on financial provision and child welfare matters. She also acted in a child contact dispute and advised an individual on matrimonial property matters pertaining to assets gained from a trust and family business.

Blackadders LLP stands out for its expertise in financial disputes, including pension entitlements, arising from divorce and separation proceedings, which often involve international elements. Other areas of expertise include assisting with pre-and-post-nuptial agreements, cohabitation and child law matters. Team head Craig Samson acted for a cohabitant in court proceedings pertaining to financial claims, and advised another client on child retention issues and on seeking interim maintenance. He also assisted an individual with child care matters involving mental health issues.

Digby Brown LLP has a strong profile in adoption cases and pre-nuptial agreements, and also has a track record in divorce and separation proceedings involving child maintenance and matrimonial property issues. Team head and associate Roger Mackenzie negotiated a financial settlement for a client as part of high-value divorce proceedings, and assisted a Scottish family with child adoption matters. He also advised a client on a pre-nuptial agreement, and advised a client on child maintenance issues, including school fees. The β€˜very organised’ Sue Grant is β€˜highly experienced in adoption cases’ and has β€˜superb client skills’.

The β€˜professional and approachable’ team at Lindsays β€˜provides a good service’ and is noted for its β€˜pragmatic approach’. The team has particular expertise in handling divorce and separation proceedings, often involving cross-border elements, and is also well versed in handling child law work such as relocation and contact issues. β€˜Determined and experienced’ team head and β€˜strong litigator’ Alison McKee β€˜has particular expertise in child abduction cases’. The β€˜hardworking, efficient and results-oriented’ Nina Taylor, who β€˜finds meaningful, fair and long-term solutions in contentious and volatile situations’, advised a client on divorce matters involving the division of matrimonial assets. The β€˜experienced’ Jennifer Gallagher is β€˜very impressive in the courtroom’ and β€˜always prepared to find creative solutions’. Director and β€˜experienced litigator’ Lucy Metcalf β€˜finds good solutions in difficult situations’ and β€˜knows how to judge the strengths and weaknesses of a case’. Dundee-based partners Lesley Macdonald and Duncan Mackinnon are also recommended.

MacRoberts LLP attracts praise for its β€˜guidance and reassurance in difficult family and child law matters’. Key areas of expertise include handling divorce and separation proceedings, including financial provision issues, as well as cohabitation and pre-nuptial agreements. β€˜Experienced, knowledgeable and pragmatic’ team head Jacqueline Stroud, β€˜provides clear advice and reassurance to clients in distress’, and also serves as a mediator. She acted for a client in separation proceedings involving sexual abuse allegations, and assisted a different client with pre-nuptial agreement negotiations. The team also acted for an individual in a divorce action involving matters such as the relocation of a child and contact arrangements, and advised a client on economic advantage and disadvantage matters pertaining to non-matrimonial property.

Morisons LLP’s β€˜experienced and professional’ team β€˜communicates in an effective and timely manner’ and has a strong presence in the Sheriff Court and the Court of Session in child-related and financial cases. The team has a niche in surrogacy matters and also handles international child abduction cases alongside other family law work such as pre-nuptial, post-nuptial and cohabitation agreements. β€˜Compassionate, calm and supportive’ team head Alasdair Docwra, who is β€˜committed to achieving a fair outcome’ and is β€˜a pleasure to work with’, acted for a mother in an Inner House Appeal pertaining to child contact arrangements, and acted for a father seeking routine contact with his children and permission to take the children on holiday to a country that is not a signatory to the Hague Convention. He also represented a mother in an action raised by the City of Edinburgh Council for a forced marriage protection order pertaining to the client’s youngest child, following accusations that the client’s older child had been forced to marry in Pakistan.

Shoosmiths is β€˜easy to work with’ and provides β€˜quick responses’, often on high-value divorce actions involving partnership and business interests. Clients also single out the team’s expertise in child protection issues, aliment agreements and child relocation matters. β€˜Intelligent, personable and professional’ team head Marika Franceschi is β€˜incredibly supportive’ and β€˜a delight to work with’. She advised a client on divorce matters including property and pension aspects. Consultant John Fotheringham is noted as β€˜being very experienced in child maintenance legislation and regulations’.

Stuart & Stuart covers a wide range of family law issues, including divorce and financial provision matters, separation and maintenance agreements, and handles child residence and contact orders and other issues pertaining to parental rights and responsibilities. β€˜Outstanding’ team head John MacKenzie β€˜heads off problems and gets great results for clients’. He is praised as β€˜being efficient and technically superb’.

T C Young is noted for its strength in handling child-related work including cross-border contact and residence actions and Hague convention cases, as well as being experienced in handling divorce and separation matters such as disputes over matrimonial property and pre-marriage assets. Edinburgh office team head and β€˜good negotiator’ Grant Knight is β€˜very good in court’ and β€˜at drilling down to what is salient’. Recently, he advised a client on child relocation matters, and acted for another client in divorce proceedings. Glasgow office team head Lynne Collingham is β€˜well organised, professional and knowledgeable’ and β€˜provides clear advice’. She secured a capital payment for a client in divorce action. β€˜Great negotiator’ Vicky Lewis is β€˜a real joy to work with’.

Thorntons Law LLP’s β€˜informative and highly responsive’ team is β€˜good at making clients feel at ease and at explaining the law in layman’s terms’. The team regularly advises high-net-worth individuals on divorce and separation matters, and is well versed in handling financial provision cases and disputes over the relocation and residence of children. Other areas of expertise include dealing with cohabitation disputes, pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements, and adoptions. Stephen Brand heads the team, which includes the β€˜very professional’ Amanda Wilson, as well as Sandra Sutherland and Graham Harding.


Personal tax, trusts and executries

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  1. Personal tax, trusts and executries
  2. Leading individuals

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Brodies LLP’s β€˜strong and approachable’ team is β€˜highly rated’ and stands out for its β€˜professional and straightforward manner’ when handling the full remit of private client work. The recommended Norman Kennedy advised a board of trustees on a number of matters including the administering of an estate. β€˜Intellectual heart of the department’ and head of the personal tax planning team Alan Barr advised a client on personal tax planning issues and estate planning structures while advising another client on inheritance tax matters. Susanne Beveridge is a β€˜safe pair of hands’ who β€˜always looks for innovative strategies’ and is noted for her β€˜excellent work ethic and great rapport with clients’. She is experienced in advising on the establishment of family limited partnerships, while Alan Eccles advised the Golden Charter Trust on a number of matters, including trust law issues and financial services regulations. In Aberdeen, β€˜extremely knowledgeable’ team head Mark Stewart, whose β€˜personable approach puts clients at ease’, assisted a client with estate and succession planning issues.

Turcan Connell excels at advising high-net-worth individuals and trusts on the full spectrum of tax and succession work. This includes advising on charity law and the tax implications of restructuring family-owned groups of companies and landed estates, as well as the establishment of new partnership structures, intra-family gifting and trust restructurings. The highly regarded Alexander Garden heads the team, which includes Peter Littlefield, who β€˜has a very good manner with clients’, and the β€˜very knowledgeable’ Tom Duguid. Managing partner Ian Clark is recommended for tax-driven issues. Robin Fulton retired from the partnership but remains with the firm as a consultant.

Anderson Strathern focuses on trust advisory work and assists clients with heritage property and tax planning matters, which includes the tax implications of owning assets in a trust, asset structuring work and general succession planning. Client include trustees, beneficiaries, executors, high-net-worth individuals and family offices, such as the Buccleuch family and the Roxburghe family. Practice head Colin Henderson specialises in asset protection, succession and estate planning alongside wealth management matters, heads the team, which includes consultant John Biggar and Martin Campbell. Alec Stewart moved to Thorntons Law LLP, while David Campbell joined from Balfour+Manson LLP.

Maclay Murray & Spens LLP frequently acts for high-net-worth individuals in succession planning matters involving inheritance and capital gains tax issues and the review of wills. Trustees regularly instruct the team to advise on the creation of trusts alongside its administration and on asset protection matters, while executors appreciate the team’s expertise in the administration of large estates, which regularly involves handling assets such as landed estates and other heritable property, shareholdings and private company interests. The β€˜extremely empathetic’ Andrew Biggart heads the team and is known for his trust law and tax planning expertise. Eleanor Kerr and Alexis Graham are also recommended.

Shepherd and Wedderburn has a specialism in providing tax planning and compliance advice to high-net-worth individuals and trusts, as well as advising on wills and estate planning matters. Malcolm Rust heads the private client and charities team, which includes Christopher McGill and Greig Honeyman. Recent work includes advising a client on inheritance planning measures and assisting a client with the creation of a trust. Brian Robertson retired, while consultant Charles Scott joined from Mackinnons and Hamish Lean arrived from Stronachs LLP.

The β€˜exceptionally professional’ team at Gillespie Macandrew LLP is β€˜extremely knowledgeable about general tax and tax planning issues’, particularly with regards to landed estates, and is noted for its β€˜client-focused approach’. The β€˜experienced’ Agnes Mallon, who β€˜handles large cases with ease’, regularly advises clients on contentious executries and has specialist knowledge of judicial factory administrations. Recently, she advised the beneficiaries of a trust on managing a development project. Elspeth Paget heads the practice, which includes the β€˜knowledgeable’ John McArthur. He leads the tax advisory and returns team and frequently advises high-net-worth clients on succession and tax-planning issues and on strategies in dealing with HMRC in contentious high-value tax issues.

Lindsays β€˜adapts well to different clients’ circumstances’ and β€˜works in a friendly and efficient manner’. The β€˜knowledgeable and client-focused’ team deals with a wide range of private client work. Team head Callum Kennedy is well versed in providing agricultural and estate clients with tax planning and tax mitigation advice. His work includes the appointment as guardian for a farmer and the management of a number of charitable endowments. The β€˜approachable’ Grant Johnson, who β€˜is eager to listen’ and β€˜finds sensible and practical solutions’, frequently assists individuals and families with the drafting of wills and provides advice on associated succession and taxation implications, alongside trust and executry matters. He also advises on charitable and non-charitable trust creation and administration matters. Sandy Lamb is particularly experienced in advising executors and beneficiaries on the administration of executry estates. Dorothy Kellas is another name to note.

MacRoberts LLP’s β€˜professional’ team β€˜demonstrates great attention to detail and understanding of clients’ requirements’. Areas of expertise include the preparation of tax-efficient wills and guardianship orders, the creation and administration of trusts, general capital gains and income tax advice as well as handling succession disputes including contentious probate cases. The team also handles executry administration work and negotiations with HMRC on claims for agricultural property and business property relief, as well as claims for gifts out of excess income. Recently, the team was instructed by a high-net-worth executry to advise on the potential transfer of the client’s inheritance to an offshore company, which included inheritance tax, stamp duty and land tax issues. The team also assisted an individual, who had received a considerable personal injury award from an accident, with the creation of a personal injury trust, and acted for the executors of a deceased individual, who had prepared a will before the birth of his children. β€˜Thorough, knowledgeable and diligent’ team head Carole McAlpine-Scott, who has β€˜exceptional client skills’, advised a number of multimillion-pound estate owners on heritable assets and trust issues. James Inglis is another key member of the team.

Morton Fraser’s β€˜professional and compassionate’ team is β€˜a breath of fresh air’ and is well equipped to guide clients through a broad range of private client matters. The team advises boards of trustees and individuals on the administration of trusts, estate planning and tax matters, as well as the drafting of wills. The firm also handles general succession planning and contentious executry work. β€˜Tough and smart’ team head Sue Hunter is β€˜a real people person’, and Graham Scott is praised as β€˜having an encyclopaedic knowledge of trust law’. Robin Morton is also recommended. Christian Melville moved to Thorntons Law LLP.

Murray Beith Murray regularly advises high-net-worth clients on matters arising from trusts and estates alongside succession planning and taxation issues. It also handles contentious and non-contentious executry work. The β€˜diligent’ Andrew Paterson, who is β€˜easy to work with’, advised a family on the administration of an estate following the death of the owner without a will to allow the heritable property to be sold and all the estate funds to be distributed to the correct beneficiaries. Senior partner Hugh Younger acted for a beneficiary in setting up a life-rent trust following the death of a family member. Peter Shand heads the team, which includes Carole Hope and Ruthven Gemmell.

Harper Macleod LLP is β€˜very knowledgeable in the field’ and β€˜has very strong insight into the nuances of clients’ circumstances’. The team is adept at advising on executry matters such as the administration of estates, estate planning and taxation issues, and also handles trusts, including personal injury trusts, and the drafting of wills. Team head Pamela Niven is β€˜exceptionally personable’, and Jacqueline Leslie’s β€˜reassuring manner gives clients confidence’. The β€˜highly motivated’ Julie Doncaster is β€˜willing to put in extra work to ensure the best result for her clients’. Other key figures include Tom Monteith, whio β€˜has the ability to get to the nub of his clients’ aims and objectives with a pragmatic solution, and explains complex matters in an understandable way’. Associate Susie Cowan is β€˜very strong in handling executry work’.

High-net-worth individuals call on Thorntons Law LLP to handle trust matters and advise on tax planning and asset protection issues. It is also experienced in dealing with wills and estate executry work. Malcolm Farquhar and Murray Etherington are key figures of the team, which includes Audrey Dishington, who joined from Pagan Osborne Limited. Lynn Melville moved to BTO Solicitors LLP.

Wright, Johnston & Mackenzie LLP assists clients with the establishment of family office structures such as family partnerships, which frequently involves advice on asset structuring, asset protection and tax planning. High-net-worth individuals, families and trusts also call on the firm to advise on establishing trusts and drafting wills. Following the firm’s merger with BMK Wilson in May 2017, the team led by Ian Macdonald has significantly increased its bench strength by the addition of Rosina Dolan, Kathleen McArthur and Beth Hamilton. Other key figures include Graham Murray – who was recently elevated to the partnership – Susan Hoyle and Grant Johnston.

Addleshaw Goddard’s team is going through a transition phase after former practice head Sarah McKinlay left the firm. Alastair Shepherd, Louise Williams and Ross MacKay also left the team to work in-house. Douglas Hunter, who is experienced in dealing with tax, trust and succession matters, remains with the firm, while Gregor Mitchell joined from Stronachs LLP.

The β€˜professional, knowledgeable and supportive’ team at BTO Solicitors LLP is particularly active in advising high-net-worth individuals on inheritance tax, capital gains tax and income tax planning matters alongside estate administration and will interpretation issues. Team head Roddy Harrison, who is known for his experience in business succession planning, advised a business client on capital gains and inheritance tax issues. He also advised a company shareholder and chairman entering retirement on loan notes with the aim of extracting him from the business with a continued income through the partial gifting and partial selling of shares in exchange for loan notes. In a separate matter, he assisted an entrepreneur with a will and other succession planning issues. Neil Headrick advised trustees on tax matters pertaining to land held for development. Claire MacPherson moved to Burness Paull LLP.

The β€˜courteous’ team at Balfour+Manson LLP β€˜responds promptly’ and β€˜always takes time to explain and clarify issues’. The β€˜reliable and highly conscientious’ Shona Brown β€˜combines excellent technical legal skills with an ability to remain empathetic’. She is regularly instructed to advise on wills and the creation and management of trusts, including personal injury trusts, succession planning, asset protection and tax mitigation. Ken Robertson has a focus on residential property matters. Senior associate Margaret Ross is β€˜very good at handling trust and executry work’. David Campbell moved to Anderson Strathern.

Blackadders LLP frequently acts in a range of succession planning matters, including tax advice, estate administration issues and disputes over the interpretation of wills. Scott Williamson handled a cross-border will execution matter, while Laura McDowall advised a client on a heritable estate including its administration. Managing partner Johnston Clark acted for a beneficiary in a will interpretation dispute.

Pagan Osborne Limited is best known for its contentious and non-contentious succession and inheritance planning work, which often involves assisting with wills, but it also deals with charitable trust matters. Key members of the team include Elizabeth Calderwood, Douglas Turner and Sue Arrowsmith Rodger. Former practice head Audrey Dishington moved to Thorntons Law LLP.

Shoosmiths’s β€˜knowledgeable’ team β€˜lifts the burden from the client’s shoulder’, β€˜inspires confidence’ and β€˜provides prompt replies’ to high-net-worth individuals. Often working in conjunction with the firm’s real estate, family law and corporate practices, the team regularly handles income tax, capital gains tax and inheritance tax matters, estate administration and will reviews and preparations. β€˜Very supportive, efficient and polite’ senior associate Sara Smith β€˜explains each step in detail’ and β€˜shows a very caring and considerate manner while remaining highly professional’. Trust and executry manager Neil McNab is β€˜knowledgeable, calm, very efficient and a joy to deal with’.

Stronachs LLP provides high-net-worth individuals with β€˜sound and helpful advice’ on taxation, estate planning and executry matters while also dealing with private trust arrangements. George Stevenson, who heads the team after Gregor Mitchell’s move to HBJ Gateley (now Addleshaw Goddard), advised a client on matters arising from a tax avoidance scheme and inheritance tax mitigation measurements. The β€˜very knowledgeable’ team also advised trustees on the establishment of trading vehicles to hold farming and woodland assets and on the creation of a sub-fund in the existing trust. β€˜Very dedicated’ senior associate Jaclyn Russell acted in a high-value executry matter involving Spanish property. Carol Crowther is another key member of the team. Senior associate Leigh Gould moved to Brodies LLP and Hamish Lean joined Shepherd and Wedderburn.


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