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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. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

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Next generation lawyers

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Who Represents Who

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CMS's multidisciplinary team demonstrates strong capabilities at all levels of seniority, with its first-rate bench of partners being well-supported by 'the strength in depth of the associates'. The group covers a multitude of areas within renewable and alternative energy, including onshore and offshore wind, biomass, solar, new build nuclear and renewable heat. In addition, the firm's merger with Nabarro and Olswang in 2017 has enhanced its ability to handle energy from waste projects and energy-related technology outsourcings, among other matters. Robin Hutchison and Mark Kirke are leading a team, which includes Douglas Campbell and Lottie Flood (among various others), in the advice to Inch Cape Offshore Limited on the development of a 110 turbine offshore wind farm; a recent related highlight involved successfully representing the client at a judicial review brought by the RSPB. David McGowan, Doug Land and others advised EDF Energy Renewables on its acquisition of 11 wind farm sites from Partnership for Renewables, with all sites having a potential capacity of 600MW. Donald Cumming acts for major utilities, financial institutions and public bodies in corporate/commercial and regulatory matters. Christine Worthington is leading a team on the contracting process for the marine works package at Hinkley Point C nuclear power station. Gordon Hay, Timothy Pitt and Jenny Allan are highly regarded. Claire Wallis, Anna Cameron and Kirsty Nurse are names to note at senior associate level.

Pinsent Masons LLP's impressive spread of work spans areas such as onshore and offshore wind, biomass, solar, wind, tidal and low carbon infrastructure projects, among many others. Ian McCarlie, who recently became the firm's global renewable energy and cleantech head, leads on a high number of strategically significant transactions in the sector. In 2017, McCarlie headed up a multidisciplinary team, which acted for a consortium (consisting of WElink Energy, Compton Group and British Solar Renwables) in the procurement and circa £75m sale of Shotwick Solar Park to Foresight Solar Fund Limited. McCarlie also led a group, which advised Element Power on the construction, procurement and sale of its Tynemouth Energy Storage Project to ENEL. On the project finance front, the team has recently acted for sponsors and funders in various transactions; clients included such names as Barclays, Investec and Bayern LB.  The group also draws upon the experience of Scottish planning and environment group head (and also UK energy property team head) Jennifer Ballantyne, who is among the advisers to E.ON on onshore wind projects throughout Scotland, including those at Benbrack, Monquhill and Enoch Hill. Chris McGarvey specialises in handling complex process engineering projects, which involve the use of cutting-edge technologies, including electricity generation and transmission, wastewater and waste to energy projects. Senior associate Ronan Lambe handles a wide variety of energy schemes for sponsors and funders, as well as acquirers and sellers. Legal director Kate Turner is also deeply embedded in the industry, as illustrated by her appointments on the Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme board, RenewableUK's Grid Strategy Group and District Heating Loan Fund advisory panel (among others). Gordon McCreath, Gary McGovern, Gillian Frew and senior associate Campbell Hutcheon are other names to note.

Shepherd and Wedderburn¬†Edinburgh, which is active in high-profile¬†renewable and alternative energy projects across Scotland and the UK, has practitioners with specialist knowledge of areas such as real estate, planning and environment, M&A/private equity and project finance.¬†Patricia Hawthorn¬†recently led a team which successfully represented Neart na Gaoithe Offshore Wind (NNG) in judicial review proceedings brought by the RSPB, following the decision by the Scottish Ministers to grant consent to four offshore wind farms in the Forth and Tay including the 450MW NNG project. The group is currently assisting the same client with other issues connected with the project, including a new consent application, the acquisition of land rights and banking-related matters. Scott McCallum, Stephen Hubner, Liz McRobb¬†and others are advising¬†√ėrsted on the planning, environmental, property and commercial aspects of the 1.8MW Hornsea Two Offshore Wind Farm. In 2017, clean energy head¬†Clare Foster¬†(who is also the head of project finance) led a cross-practice team, which acted for AOE Windfarm in the¬†¬£16.6m¬†refinancing of a newly-acquired operational 11.5MW onshore wind farm. Gordon Downie¬†is an expert in¬†UK/EU competition law and regulatory issues. Colin Robertson, Colin Innes, Daniel Lee¬†and senior associate¬†Nicky Pascoe¬†are also recommended.

Brodies LLP has a strong market profile in the Scottish renewable energy sector, and it particularly stands out in areas such as onshore wind, hydro, heat and bioenergy. The team, which is jointly led by Keith Patterson and Kirsty Macpherson, is frequently sought-after by clients in the most high-profile matters in the market. Patterson, Roger Cotton and Neil Collar are acting for Grangemouth Renewable Energy Limited in the development of a large biomass combined heat and power (CHP) project and district heating network; this is the largest CHP project, and the first heat-led project, to win a contract for difference (CfD) in Scotland. In 2017, Patterson, Sarah-Jane McArthur, Phil Hunter, associate Alison Polson and others advised three project companies owned by Banks Renewables on the £210m development and financing of a 151MW CfD wind farm portfolio; this matter represented the first CfD onshore wind farm financing. McArthur, construction director Mark Finlay and Michael Stoneham (who is the head of energy and infrastructure finance) are acting for MeyGen in the development of a landmark, first-of-its-kind tidal stream energy project in the Pentland Firth. Alix Bearhop focuses on the real estate aspects of renewable energy projects, while Derek Stroud has more than 15 years of experience of corporate transactions connected with the industry. Associate Claire Reid assists developers and landowners with wind, hydro and anaerobic digestion projects.

Having merged with HBJ Gateley in 2017, Addleshaw Goddard now has a team in Scotland, whose work in the energy and utilities sector complements the work undertaken by the London and Leeds offices. The firm acts for a multitude of market participants in the industry, including developers, corporate clients, financial institutions and private equity funds. Paul Minto, Aileen McCallum, Alison Horner, Andrew Fairlie and Alan Shanks advised Berwickshire Community Renewables LLP (a joint venture between Berwickshire Housing Association and Community Energy Scotland) on the groundbreaking development of a three turbine wind farm in the Scottish Borders for the purpose of funding the building of affordable housing in the region. Minto, managing associate Calum Fisher (who assists emerging electricity trading companies with commercial contracts issues) and Leeds-based Paul Dight are advising Flexitricity on transforming its business into becoming a licensed electricity and gas supplier, which is designed to transform the trading of electricity capacity in the UK. Corporate partner Murray Jack has recently acted for clients such as Greenpower International and Recyclate Supply.

Anderson Strathern, which 'looks at client value in the broadest sense', provides 'excellent support' on renewable energy projects across the UK. In the onshore wind space, in 2017, the firm won work from a string of new clients, including BlackRock, Greece-based infrastructure company Metka, AIM-listed company AMP and Chinese investor Shandong Huay Wind Power Equipment Co Limited. The firm is also heavily involved in projects involving offshore wind, solar, gas to grid, biomass, hydro, wave and tidal energy. In addition, it has been active in energy storage projects and district heating projects. Offshore energy specialist Gavin Thain is the lead adviser to The Crown Estate on all of its offshore wind and ocean energy projects, and recently assisted the client with restructuring the Zone Development Agreements with French energy giant EDPR for Zone One in the Moray Firth to ensure that the project was CfD compliant. Neil Farrell, Pat Loftus, Martin Whiteford and others acted for Bluemerang Capital in the sale of its entire wind turbine portfolio to Malaysian energy provider Tenaga. Alan Simpson joined as a consultant from Wright, Johnston & Mackenzie LLP. Experienced corporate partner Bruce Farquhar heads up the practice, with planning and environment group head Alastair McKie and rural property expert Sheonagh Richards being the other active individuals in this space.

Burness Paull LLP's cross-practice team covers the entire spectrum of issues for renewable energy sector clients, which includes planning and consenting, regulatory advice, finance, development and construction, operation and maintenance, and acquisitions and disposals. The team, which is led by Chris Gotts, particularly stands out in higher-value and technically complex matters. Director Peter Ward is one of only three advisers in the UK who is instructed by BayWa r.e. to advise on grid connection and regulatory issues. Fred Olsen Renewables is another key client in this space. The team also has expertise in battery storage projects. Further illustrative of the group's renewable energy experience, in 2017, Tamar Tammes, Gotts, Ward, senior associate Neil Bruce and others act for Invenergy in relation to the property, planning, construction, grid/regulatory, banking and company law aspects of its £181m sale of the 69.5MW Corriegarth wind farm to Greencoat Capital. Another notable individual is Stephen Phillips, who is particularly knowledgeable about issues concerning the community renewables sector, and has advised local communities, such as the West Harris Community Trust and Huntly Development Trust, and large utilities, such as Boralex. Craig Whelton leads the planning and consenting team's advice on related aspects of renewable energy projects. Energy finance expert Sophie Coffey joined as a senior associate from Harper Macleod LLP. Chris Martin is also recommended.

Dentons merged with Maclay Murray & Spens LLP in 2017, with the combined entity now benefiting from both firms' strengths in the area of energy regulation. In addition, the merger means there is now additional resource to assist clients with small to mid-scale projects (particularly in relation to onshore wind, hydro and gas peaking/gas CHP distributed generation). Led by David Cruickshank, the team acts for a wide range of participants in the renewable and alternative energy market, including developers, contractors, landowners, funders, regulators and regulated companies. A highlight in 2017 involved acting for UK Green Investment Bank in its £2.3bn sale by the UK government to Macquarie. In addition, director Carolyn Burns, Cruickshank, Mark Hamilton, senior associate Paul Young and director David McGowan advised Aggreko on its successful joint bid with National Grid to provide a new energy solution for the Shetland Islands. Bill Fowler is knowledgeable about marine renewables, onshore wind and energy from waste/renewable heat projects. Other notable partners are Stuart Fitzsimmons, who advises lenders and developers on renewable energy financing transactions, and real estate partner Allan Cairns. Stewart Maciver and senior associate Gareth Tenner are also recommended.

DWF's sizeable UK presence and strengths across multiple disciplines enables it to assist domestic and international clients with every aspect of their most important gas, electricity and renewable energy projects. Its work covers corporate and finance transactions, commercial and regulatory advice, and also assistance with real estate, planning and environment aspects of projects. Procurement work is another facet of the practice. The firm's first-rate reputation is reflected by its client roster, which includes Scottish Power Group, Babcock International Group and Gildemeister Energy Solutions. Real estate partner Paul Mason led a cross-office team, which advised Farm Energy Partnership LLP on the sale to a fund (set up by Albion Community Power Plc) of a portfolio of special purpose vehicles, which owned three onshore wind turbine developments in Scotland. Moray Thomson is currently acting for SP Transmission Plc in planning matters associated with upgrading the substation at Crystal Rig. Suzanne Moir and others recently advised Dundee City Council and Angus City Council on the £100m joint procurement of residual waste management services as part of the Dundee and Angus Residual Waste Project. Wayne Lawrence is an experienced corporate and commercial lawyer, as is David Gilchrist (the firm's UK head of utilities). Gary Macdonald is another notable corporate partner. Anthony McEwan's experience includes advising clients on grid connections for Scottish wind farms, electricity distribution and transmission, and gas transportation.

Harper Macleod LLP has made an important contribution to the Scottish renewable energy sector, with its team having advised clients on projects amounting to more than 3GW of Scotland's currently installed 9GW. In the onshore wind space, its team handles matters ranging in size from community and small-scale projects to large-scale developments. One of the firm's main areas of activity is in relation to the secondary wind farm market, which refers to the market for investments into (or sales of) developed renewable energy assets. In 2017, senior partner David Bone, Peter Ferguson, Lewis Hendry and others acted for European Wind Investments Group Limited (part of InfraRed fund) in the Scots law aspects of its acquisition of Neilston Community Wind Farm from Neilston Development Trust and Carbon Free Neilston. Omar Ali was the firm's lead adviser to Sovereign Partners on the sale of eight single wind turbine sites to Alpha Real Capital. The group also has expertise in many other energy schemes, including those concerning solar/PV, tidal, biomass/heat, hydro and wave. In the community energy sector, Calum MacLeod, Bone, associate Donna Cooper, Steven Brown and Tom Thomas are acting for Fair Isle Electricity Company Limited in a project which purports to provide a secure supply of electricity to the residents of Fair Isle in Shetland. Elsewhere, the firm undertakes a significant amount of work in the mining sector; it recently won Western Gold Exploration as a new client.  Renewable energy financing and refinancing work is another pillar of the practice; entities such as Assetz SME Capital and RMS Secured Lending are key clients.

BTO Solicitors LLP has a strong track record in community-driven renewable energy projects, and with advising landowners on the diversification of landed estates in wind and hydro developments. David Gibson is acting for Luss Estates Company as the landowner in the construction of an innovative new community hydro scheme. In addition, Scott Wyper, team head Nicolas McBride, Emma Barclay and Marieclaire Reid are advising Triodos Bank on the refinancing of an operational single turbine community wind farm. They also recently assisted the same client with financing the development of a three turbine wind farm, which is being developed as a joint venture between housing association Fyne Homes and Community Energy Scotland. Other specialisms of the team include projects involving solar, energy from waste and biomass. Jeremy Glen is recommended for his project finance expertise, and also his knowledge of the commercial and contractual aspects of renewable energy deals. Alan Borthwick is another key figure.

Davidson Chalmers LLP has established itself as a credible player in the renewable energy sector, since it handled its first project in 1998. Its 'very knowledgeable team' now undertakes a wide range of matters for clients such as community bodies, developers, landowners, investors, funders and suppliers of renewable energy fuel stocks. Its workload spans schemes involving onshore wind, biomass, solar PV, battery storage and community renewables, among others. The group provides 'strong, value-for-money advice, which is reflective of leading industry standards and expertise'. Team head Andy Drane and Stuart Duncan are acting for Gala Water and Mill Lades Society Limited in a community-led project, which involves the regeneration of the historic mill lade infrastructure in Galashiels and installation of several hydroelectric installations on the mill lade. 'Very experienced' Laura Tainsh works with  Louise Jones, Andrew McDonald and Jenny Anfield to assist clients such as Germany-based wind developer ABO Wind and Peel Energy with their Scottish renewable energy projects. June Gilles joined CMS in January 2018.

Gillespie Macandrew LLP has an excellent record in energy, water and waste projects. It has seen its portfolio of high quality work grow; recent matters have included hydrogen electrolysis projects, storage projects and solar projects. In addition, the firm undertakes projects in Scotland and England, and it benefits from the expertise of legal director Simon Williams, who is dual-qualified in English and Scottish law. The firm's first-rate reputation in the agricultural and rural sector puts it on a strong footing to advise on the associated complexities arising from onshore, offshore and island projects. In a big-ticket transaction, in 2017, Derek McCulloch and others advised Rio Tinto on the $410m sale of its UK assets, and power and smelting business at Lochaber and Blyth, to SIMEC. Another standout highlight saw John Stirling, Murray Shaw and Colin Hamilton act for Seagreen Wind Energy in the RSPB's high-profile judicial review of the combined consent of the Forth and Tay offshore wind farms. Hamilton made partner in 2017. Amy McDowell, Alan White, Fraser Leslie and legal director Susan Day are recommended. The firm has also won work from a number of new clients, including REG Power, Environmental Energy Investments Scotland Limited and Steelwind Nordenham. Senior solicitor Stewart Crosbie joined from Morton Fraser in 2017.

Illustrative of MacRoberts LLP's reputation in the industry, practice head Nick Jones is a member of the Scottish Renewables Onshore Wind Group, and has more than 18 years of experience advising clients on the real estate aspects of renewable energy projects (with a particular focus on onshore wind). The group's other areas of expertise include floating wind, tidal, hydro, solar, biomass generation projects and heat pumps. It also recently established a portfolio of battery storage and electricity peaking plants for clients such as GridCodePower Limited. Mike Barlow (accredited by the Law Society of Scotland as a construction law specialist) has five years of in-house experience at John Brown Engineering Limited, where he negotiated contracts over the supply and construction of gas turbine power stations and associated equipment in the UK and worldwide. The multidisciplinary team also draws upon its strengths in areas such as corporate, planning and environment, and finance to advise on all types of technically complex issues arising from renewable energy projects. Ian Bowie and David McGuire are assisting SP Energy Networks with establishing permanent land rights as part of the South West Scotland Connections Project. Martin Sales, who has undertaken more than 60 planning inquiries in circa 20 years, is representing developer West Garty Renewables LLP at a public local inquiry into a large wind farm in East Sutherland. Senior associate Keith Campbell, who heads up the planning team, is another notable individual. Lesley Roarty and Ian Riach also have extensive knowledge of the renewable energy sector.

Wright, Johnston & Mackenzie LLP is praised by clients for its ability to 'deliver to tight and difficult timescales'. The team is active across a broad cross-section of renewable energy projects, with battery storage projects representing one of its key areas of growth.The firm's reputation in the renewable energy market sees it act for clients ranging from independent developers to major utilities.One of the firm's major strengths is in the planning-related aspects of renewable energy projects; Fraser Gillies advised Forsa Energy (formerly 2020 Renewables) on a number of matters recently, including the consenting aspects of the 55MW Whitelaw Brae wind farm and battery storage project, and a planning appeal concerning the proposed Gilston wind farm in the Scottish Borders. Gillies also represented RES in a public inquiry over the 36MW Culachy wind farm in Newton, Invergarry. Another bedrock of the work is in the property-related aspects of renewables projects, with the work being led by practice head Andy McFarlane. Associates Nicola Martin and Esme Macfarlane are other notable practitioners. Alan Simpson joined Anderson Strathern as a consultant.

DLA Piper has the breadth of expertise in Scotland (and, where appropriate, the wider global network) to advise clients on the most complex aspects of anaerobic digestion plants, wind energy, ESCO arrangements and photovoltaic projects. Stuart McMillan leads the team, which has a particularly strong project finance offering, and whose work has previously included advising funders, such as Barclays Bank and The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, and borrowers on UK renewables projects. Like McMillan, legal director Michael Urquhart has a wealth of project finance experience. Elsewhere, Sandy Telfer and legal director Michael Greig are recommended for their planning law knowledge, while construction expert Jonathan Gaskell is another key figure. As part of an international firm, the Scottish team's work extends beyond Scotland, and includes projects with a cross-border flavour.

Ledingham Chalmers LLP is regularly involved in CHP and onshore renewable energy projects, with particular experience of advising landowners on wind, and acting for landowners and developers in hydro schemes. Noted for its historical strengths in the oil and gas sector, the firm is also being increasingly sought-after to assist oil and gas industry clients with opportunities in offshore wind. In addition, the practice is rounded out by projects spanning areas such as wave and tidal, carbon capture, transportation and storage. Clients include Arjo Wiggins Fine Papers, Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group and Puffin Energy Limited. Peter Murray and Jim Drysdale co-head the practice. Neil Anderson and consultant Allan Collie are other notable individuals.

Morton Fraser's first-rate team includes senior associate Gail Watt, who serves as chair (and was a co-founder) of Women in Renewable Energy Scotland, and is also a member of the Law Society of Scotland's Energy Law Reform Committee. Watt is experienced in a wide variety of schemes, such as hydro, solar, anaerobic digestion and wind. Consultant Claire Sturrock advises developers on the property aspects of onshore wind farm projects. James Rust acts for landowners in various renewables projects, particularly wind, hydro and solar schemes. Adding to the firm's credentials in the sector, the group acts for Social Investment Scotland, which provides financing for innovative social enterprise initiatives, such as renewable energy projects. Other clients of the firm include government departments, charities and utility companies. A recent highlight for the firm involved acting for Glenmuckloch Community Energy Park in the development of two community wind turbines. In addition to renewable energy, the wider practice also encompasses nuclear energy law, which is an area where Nick Atkins has particular expertise. Senior associate Joanne Wilson, who is dual-qualified in English and Scottish law, handles property issues arising from cross-border energy-related transactions. Neil Rainey joined as a consultant from Shepherd and Wedderburn.

Turcan Connell's renewable energy practice derives from the firm's longstanding track record acting for substantial farming operations and landed estates in the rural sector. The multidisciplinary group, which has previously been involved in more than 300 renewable energy schemes, assists clients with a range of issues arising from renewable energy projects by drawing on expertise in business law, land and property, and tax. Jonathan Robertson leads the team, which assists clients with projects involving hydro, wind, anaerobic digestion and solar, among others. A group including Robertson, Mike Kane, Louise Johnston, and senior associates Alastair Collin and Victoria Tweed, recently advised a number of landowners on several battery storage projects. The firm's client roster also includes developers and funders. Senior associate Alistair Rushworth is recommended, as is associate Antonia Scott, who is dual-qualified in English and Scottish law.

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