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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 > Projects, energy and natural resources > Energy (excluding oil and gas) > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

  1. Energy (excluding oil and gas)
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Hall of Fame

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

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Who Represents Who

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CMS attracts praise for its ‘superb range and depth of expertise, which inspires confidence that one is working with an industry-leading team’. ‘Right up there in the renewable energy sector’, the practice handles a wide variety of energy projects, including onshore and offshore wind, biogas, and solar; it also has an extensive track record in electricity transmission upgrades and public sector energy efficiency initiatives. The multi-disciplinary team is led by Donald Cumming, who advises on complex commercial, corporate and regulatory matters for major utilities, public sector bodies and financial institutions. He is ably assisted by the ‘commendably well-organised and supportedTimothy Pitt, who combines real estate and energy sector expertise in onshore wind farm developments, as well as wave and tidal projects. Other recommended individuals include Gordon Hay, who advises banks and borrowers on energy finance; construction expert Mark Kirke; and planning specialist Robin Hutchison. David McGowan worked with Hutchison and others advising EDF Energy Renewables on its acquisition and development of the 177MW Dorenell wind farm project. Another highlight involved assisting Inch Cape Offshore with planning-related challenges associated with a 213-turbine offshore wind farm. Fiona Scott and Ailsa Ritchie are leading a team advising FCC Environment on the design, financing, construction and operation of a £450m energy-from-waste facility at Millerhill, Edinburgh.

Pinsent Masons LLP’s ‘very knowledgeable and pragmatic’ team is active on a range of major Scottish and UK projects, including those involving onshore and offshore wind, solar, low carbon infrastructure (including major district heating and energy efficiency schemes), and biomass, wave and tidal energy. Led by Ian McCarlie, the cross-practice group acts for banks, developers, major utilities, landowners and institutional investors, among other clients. On the regulatory side, the team has been acting on the introduction of the Energy Act, and has also been at the forefront of advice on the Capacity Market Auction. In 2016, McCarlie worked with senior associates Ronan Lambe and Campbell Hutcheon for KfW Ipex Bank as the mandated lead arranger and sole lender on the financing of the 30MW Sanquhar wind farm in Scotland. In another matter, Chris McGarvey, Gordon McCreath and others advised joint venture vehicle Beatrice Offshore Wind Farm Limited on various issues connected with its 750MW wind farm project in Scottish territorial waters, including consenting, project financing and construction procurement. Jennifer Ballantyne, who leads the planning and environment team in Scotland, is another name to note. Other key individuals in the group include Julia Maguire, Iain MacPhail, Alan Cook, Gillian Frew and legal director Kate Turner.

Shepherd and Wedderburn’s team is singled out for its depth of expertise; ‘it really understands the issues they face’, according to one client. Its wide-ranging knowledge encompasses areas such as competition and regulatory (including advice on non-contentious matters and assistance with investigations), planning and consenting, property, corporate and construction across the whoe renewable/alternative energy spectrum, including onshore and offshore wind, biomass, energy from waste, hydro, and small-scale renewables. A team including Scott McCallum and Liz McRobb is acting for DONG Energy on the 1.8GW Hornsea Two offshore wind farm project in the Southern North Sea, which involves advising on associated planning and environment, property and commercial issues. In another matter, Gordon Downie and senior associate Natasha Durkin are handling a UK Competition and Market Authority investigation into the energy supply market in Great Britain for ScottishPower, while Clare Foster acted for UK Green Investment Bank on the £6.8m financing to the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham for the replacement of 14,790 streetlights with energy-efficient LED alternatives. James Saunders, who is dual-qualified in English and Scottish Law, has been advising on the restructuring of the UK energy sector since the late 1980s. Corporate specialist Daniel Lee, planning expert Colin Innes and Patricia Hawthorn are other highly regarded partners. Key senior associates include Fiona Parker and Joanne McDowall. Jamie Grant joined from MacRoberts LLP.

Brodies LLP’s team handles a diverse workload spanning the independent power, low carbon and district heating, transport fuels and renewable energy sectors. In the power space, its team undertakes a significant amount of work for independent power producers, advising on complex issues such as power purchase agreement (PPA) offtakes, project finance, equipment supply, consents and construction. Other clients in this area include landowners, funders and investors. The group also has a strong track record in district heating network (DHN) schemes, combined heat and power (CHP) schemes and transport fuels projects. In a recent highlight, Roger Cotton advised River Clyde Homes on the Broomhill gas district heating and Cartsdyke Court biomass district heating projects in Glasgow, which involved the provision of district heating systems to more than 650 properties and energy efficiency works. Renewable energy work spans a wide range of sub-specialisms, including onshore and offshore wind, solar, biomass, tidal and hydro. A multi-disciplinary team involving Keith Patterson, Sarah-Jane McArthur, Michael Stoneham and Alix Bearhop acted for 2020 Renewables/Velocita in the development and project finance aspects of a portfolio of Scottish wind farms at Airies in Dumfries & Galloway and Sorbie in North Ayrshire. Kirsty Macpherson advises on the real estate aspects of alternative energy projects, while Neil Collar handles planning matters. Associates Ali Rimell and Claire Reid are also recommended.

Addleshaw Goddard, which recently merged with HBJ Gateley, draws on the latter’s historical strengths across a wide range of disciplines, including areas such as construction, restructuring and insolvency, finance, corporate and real estate, to advise on renewable and alternative energy projects in Scotland and the wider UK. In 2016, practice head Alan Shanks, and managing associates Aileen Burke and Calum Fisher, acted for Scottish wind turbine developer Lochend Wind Energy on the sale of a four turbine wind farm in Caithness, which involved assisting the client with designing and establishing grid-sharing agreements with Meygen, and also handling crofting issues. Other highlights for the cross-practice team included advising Aberdeen Community Energy on all aspects of the development of Aberdeen’s first community-led renewable energy project, and acting for joint venture company Edintore Wind Farm Limited on the financing, procurement and construction of a six-turbine wind farm in Scotland. Paul Minto, who is knowledgeable about energy and climate change law, advises on planning and environmental aspects of renewable energy projects, and electricity contracts. Catriona Smith provides banking advice to banks and borrowers.

Anderson Strathern has a particularly strong reputation in offshore wind; it is the sole Scottish legal adviser to The Crown Estate, for whom it handles all renewable energy projects off the coast of Scotland. In a recent highlight, offshore energy specialist Gavin Thain, Simon Brown, Deborah Lovell and associate Hannah Currie recently acted for the client in the restructuring of zone development agreements for Zone One in the Moray Firth with EDPR. The team also excels in onshore renewable energy projects, where it acts for developers in UK-wide projects involving onshore wind energy and solar farm developments; practice head Bruce Farquhar, Neil Farrell and Martin Whiteford advised German solar farm developer and EPC contractor F&S Solar Concept on various matters in 2016, including the purchase, construction and sale of a solar farm development at Manor Farm, England. Elsewhere, the group has experience of gas-to-grid projects, and is also acting for Bright Green Hydrogen (as the lead partner in a consortium) on the delivery of the Levenmouth community project. Sheonagh Richards has more than 20 years of experience in the rural sector, with particular emphasis on acting for landowners. Alastair McKie is another name to note.

Burness Paull LLP attracts praise for its ‘good understanding of underlying projects/technologies’, including onshore and offshore wind, hydro, biomass, solar and energy-from-waste, among other areas. Its multi-disciplinary team covers a wide variety of issues, including land acquisitions, financings, corporate structuring and construction. A cross-practice group led by Chris Gotts acted for BayWa r.e. UK on all aspects of its acquisition of the 21MW Wathegar 2 wind farm near Caithness, which included advising on property, planning and grid connection arrangements. In another highlight, planning specialists Craig Whelton and senior associate Emma Dewar assisted Ecotricity with a public local inquiry associated with its proposal for a 58MW wind park at Dulater Hill in Perthshire. Elsewhere, Stephen Phillips led a team, which included James Forbes (who has ‘very good negotiation skills’) and senior associate Peter Ward, advising Huntly and District Development Trust and its subsidiary Greenmyres Renewable Energy on the development of a community wind project. Also recommended are Tamar Tammes, who leads the property renewables team, and senior associate Andrew Wood; both are ‘adept at dealing with lenders and their requirements in a project finance context’ and ‘willing to rise to demanding timelines’. Chris Martin also highly regarded. Other clients include Fred. Olsen Renewables, ESB and Santander UK.

DWF’s Scotland-based energy team, which operates as part of a wider UK group, handles high-end energy projects for utilities, funders, suppliers and developers. The group, which is noted for its ‘very good business acumen and first-class industry knowledge’, has practitioners with wide-ranging expertise spanning corporate, finance, real estate, planning and environment matters, and has particular strength in electricity, gas and renewables. Moray Thomson and Magdalena Urbanowska advised Scottish Power Generation on its acquisition of assets and environmental consents connected with the operation of thermal power stations at Damhead Creek and Shoreham, as part of an internal restructure at Scottish Power Group. Yingli Green Energy Europe, Vensys Energy and Loco2gen are also clients. Other key figures include Wayne Lawrence, who leads the team; David Gilchrist, whose experience includes energy asset sales and acquisitions, as well as Ofgem investigations; Suzanne Moir, ‘a great team player who ensures that the client is well-informed throughout the procurement process’; Anthony McEwan, whose track record includes electricity distribution and transmission projects, as well as handling grid connections for major wind farms in Scotland; and Gary MacDonald. Ben Powell departed for MacRoberts LLP.

Harper Macleod LLP’s workload covers the full spectrum of renewable energy matters, including onshore and offshore wind (where it has a strong track record acting for developers and landowners), solar, tidal, and hydropower. The practice also handles energy from waste projects and has experienced an uptick in mandates concerning community-led renewable energy projects, as well as handling an increasing number of secondary investments into wind farms and operational onshore wind assets. In 2016, practice head David Bone led a team advising Fred. Olsen Renewables on the Scottish law aspects of the development and construction of Crystal Rig Wind Farm Phase 3. In another highlight, a team including Bone, Omar Ali and David Steel acted for Sovereign Partners on its acquisition of four operating wind turbine sites from Locogen Limited. Ali also undertakes a significant amount of work for solar developer Lightsource Renewable Energy. In another highlight, Inverness-based Calum MacLeod acted for Coigach Wind Power on consenting and financing aspects of a community-owned wind project in Ross-shire. Associate Donna Cooper is also recommended.

Maclay Murray & Spens LLP has a strong presence in the Scottish and UK renewable/alternative energy market, where its multi-disciplinary team acts for entities such as developers, contractors, landowners and funders. David Cruickshank leads the group which includes Stewart Maciver, real estate expert Allan Cairns and Gareth Tenner; Maciver, Cairns and Tenner advised a consortium of investors on the Scottish legal aspects of its £355m acquisition of a stake in SSE’s Clyde onshore wind farm. In another key mandate, Stuart Fitzsimmons was part of a team assisting Muirden Energy with seven onshore wind project financing transactions with an aggregate value of £20m. Other key figures include Bill Fowler, who has a particular focus on marine renewables, energy from waste and renewable heat projects; and planning law specialist Gillian Simpson. The practice has been strengthened by the additions of Andrew Orr and associate Adam Knowles from MacRoberts LLP; and director Donald Smith and senior solicitor Jan Connerton, who joined from in-house positions at BP and Scottish Water, respectively.

BTO Solicitors LLP’s practice handles a range of issues for various stakeholders in the renewable/alternative energy sector, including corporate structures, project finance and asset finance, commercial contracts, investments into projects and site acquisitions. Its wide-ranging experience encompasses schemes related to onshore wind, solar, hydro, biomass, community renewables and energy-from-waste. Nicolas McBride and Jeremy Glen jointly head the team, which acted for Garbhaig Hydro Power Company on the redevelopment of a 2MW storage hydro scheme, and advised Triodos Bank on the financing of a three-turbine wind farm, which is being developed as a joint venture between Community Energy Scotland and a housing association. Scott Wyper, chairman Alan Borthwick and David Gibson are other key partners in the team, which includes associates Marieclaire Reid, Jennifer Whitelaw and Caroline Earnshaw.

Clients of Davidson Chalmers LLP rate its ability to ‘deliver workable deals in a challenging environment’. The firm is regularly called on to advise on the corporate and commercial aspects of renewable energy projects, including fundraising, joint ventures and commercial contracts. Other areas of expertise include planning and environment, property and crofting issues. Practice head Andy Drane and Stuart Duncan are acting for Gala Water and Mill Lades Society in a community-led renewable energy project involving the regeneration of the mill lade infrastructure in Galashiels, and on the installation of several hydroelectric installations on the mill lade. In another recent highlight, the team advised Guinness Asset Management on its acquisition and development of a run-of-river hydroelectric scheme in Argyll and Bute. June Gilles, who has 20 years of experience in the renewable energy sector, acts on small and large-scale onshore wind projects, as well as solar, hydro and wave energy schemes. Laura Tainsh, who ‘goes about her business in a no-nonsense manner’, acts for clients such as Peel Energy and ABO Wind. Corporate partner Craig Stirling and associate Louise Jones are also highly regarded. Jenny Davies left the firm in 2017.

Gillespie Macandrew LLP attracts praise for its ‘real commitment to its clients’. The firm acts on all aspects of renewable energy, water and waste projects, and is increasingly instructed in UK cross-border projects, with a number of members either being English law trained or dual-qualified in English law and Scottish law. The team covers a wide range of issues, from corporate, property, planning and construction, to sector-specific regulatory issues, with particular strengths in the rural and agricultural sector, making it a regular fixture on large-scale onshore and offshore projects. In 2016, practice head Derek McCulloch, Amy McDowell, Michael Cox, Margaret Day and Chris Gibson acted for Rio Tinto on the £330m sale of Alcan Aluminium UK to SIMEC. In another matter, John Stirling and associate Colin Hamilton are representing Seagreen Wind Energy in a planning appeal following the RSPB’s successful judicial review of consent for the development of the Forth and Tay offshore wind farms. Alan White, Fraser Leslie and recently promoted senior solicitor Susan Young are also recommended, as is legal director Simon Williams, who joined from TLT. Murray Shaw has retired from private practice, but retains a position as a consultant to the firm.

MacRoberts LLP leverages its expertise in areas such as property, corporate, planning and environment, construction and finance to handle the full range of related issues in renewable energy projects. Nick Jones heads the practice, which features prominently in schemes involving onshore wind, small hydro and solar electricity generation. Jones, who has 25 years of commercial property experience, has a particularly strong track record acting for wind farm developers. Another area of strength for the firm is electricity transmission and distribution; In an illustration of its capability in this area, Ian Bowie and David McGuire are assisting SP Energy Networks with establishing permanent land rights as part of the South West Scotland Connections Project. Mike Barlow, Ian Riach and Lesley Roarty are other recommended individuals in the group, whose clients include ENGIE Renewables, REG Windpower and Nautricity. Jamie Grant moved to Shepherd and Wedderburn.

DLA Piper Scotland LLP has a diverse practice covering issues associated with anaerobic digestion plants, wind energy, ESCO arrangements and photovoltaic projects, among other matters. Stuart McMillan leads the team, which includes planning experts Sandy Telfer and legal director Michael Greig; legal director Michael Urquhart, who has expertise in project finance; and construction specialist Jonathan Gaskell. The group also draws on the expertise of Scotland-based practitioners involved in areas such as real estate, corporate and regulatory, as well as members of the firm’s wider network. McMillan led a cross-office team advising Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ (BTMU) and Barclays Bank on the £75m financing of the 51.7MW Harburnhead onshore wind farm in West Lothian. In another matter, McMillan and Urquhart acted for BTMU on the £76m project financings of a wind farm portfolio comprising the Airies wind farm in Dumfries and Galloway, and the Sorbie Wind Farm in North Ayrshire. In an illustration of its multi-jurisdictional credentials, the firm was appointed to Green Africa Power’s panel and assisted it with the €20m financing of Senergy 2 development, a 20MW photovoltaic solar power plant in Bokhol, Senegal. Blue Energy, Investec and Nord LB are other notable clients.

Peter Murray and Allan Collie jointly head the team at Ledingham Chalmers LLP, which is experienced in schemes connected with onshore and offshore wind, hydropower and wave projects, as well as CHP schemes. Other areas of strength include carbon capture, transportation and storage projects. In 2016, consultant Malcolm Laing and Craig Wilson acted for Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group on the sale of a 25% interest in Aberdeen Offshore Wind Farm Limited to Swedish energy company Vattenfall. Jim Drysdale and Neil Anderson are other notable practitioners in the team, which has a particularly strong track record acting for landowners and developers.

Led by Nick Atkins, Morton Fraser’s team leverages the firm’s expertise across a number of practice areas to handle a range of issues associated with renewable and alternative energy projects. It acts for a variety of public, private and not-for-profit clients, including the Scottish government and other government agencies, UK clearing banks, funds, developers, and rural and agricultural landowners, for which it covers a wide range of schemes, including those involving onshore wind, hydro, solar and anaerobic digestion. Through its work with Social Investment Scotland and Big Society Capital, the group is particularly active in advising on investment into community-led renewables projects. Atkins, who specialises in nuclear energy, regularly advises on contaminated land, pollution and waste management issues. Other key figures include real estate finance specialist Paul Kenneth, who conducts property due diligence of wind farm sites and hydro schemes; and Joanne Wilson and Claire Sturrock, who are all dual-qualified to practice Scottish and English law.

Turcan Connell has historically been strong in acting for landowners and also handles work for developers, funders and investors such as VG Energy, Garth Wind and Windvestments Easter Drumclair. Its expertise covers a variety of onshore schemes, including wind, hydro and gas to grid, and has experienced a marked uptick in secondary market transactions involving the sale of consented (but unbuilt) and operational renewable energy sites. Agricultural law specialist Jon Robertson leads the team, which includes Mike Kane, recently promoted partner Louise Johnston, senior associate Alastair Collin and associate Victoria Tweed.

Wright, Johnston & Mackenzie LLP’s track record in the renewable energy industry dates back to the early 1990s, during which time its multi-disciplinary team has acted on behalf of UK-based clients on onshore wind, hydro, energy storage and various other projects. Property specialists Andy McFarlane and Alan Simpson, and corporate finance expert Ken Long are all recommended, as is Fraser Gillies, who has an outstanding reputation in onshore wind farm planning appeals and s.36 inquiries. Other key figures include corporate partner Angus MacLeod in Inverness, and Glasgow-based Graham Bell. In 2016, the practice acted for Renewable Energy Systems on the sale of Freasdail Wind Farm to TRIG, which included advice on finance, property and planning issues. In another matter, Gillies led the advice to 2020 Renewables on a public inquiry into its plans for Whitelaw Brae wind farm. Innogy Renewables UK, Brookfield Renewable Energy and Energiekontor are also clients.

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