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  1. Energy (excluding oil and gas)
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The multidisciplinary practice at CMS handles the full spectrum of Scottish renewable energy projects for utility companies, independent developers and funders. Mark Kirke, Robin Hutchison and others have been advising Inch Cape Offshore Limited as developer on various aspects of the Inch Cape wind farm project, including consents, construction contracts and real estate issues. Donald Cumming has ‘vast experience of the energy market across the UK’, and Timothy Pitt is another key name.

Pinsent Masons LLP’s team ‘impresses by consistently adding value’ in offshore wind and low carbon projects (including district heating and energy efficiency schemes) and planning-related issues, among other areas. In 2015, Ian McCarlie and others acted for Blue Energy’s funder KfW IPEX on the financing of the 108MW Beinneun onshore wind farm project. Other key clients of the practice include UK Green Investment Bank, RES Group and E.ON.

Shepherd and Wedderburn’s ‘efficient and perceptive’ team handles all aspects of major energy projects, including financing, planning and environment, construction, regulatory, and corporate and M&A matters. James Saunders and John Grady are advising CalaChem on a new waste to energy CHP plant to be constructed by Standardkessel at CalaChem’s industrial site at Grangemouth, Scotland. Gordon Downie, Patricia Hawthorn and Liz McRobb are among other key names.

Anderson Strathern is the sole Scottish legal adviser to the Crown Estate, which it advises on offshore renewable energy projects. Elsewhere, Bruce Farquhar, Martin Whiteford, Audrey Cameron and others are acting for Bright Green Hydrogen as the lead partner in the consortium behind the Levenmouth Community Energy Project. In the onshore wind space, clients include developers and wind turbine manufacturers.

At Brodies LLP, Keith Patterson’s team is ‘aware of the commercial realities in a fast-changing industry’. Active in all sectors, the firm has a particularly standout reputation in the independent renewables space, where it advises on energy trading, power purchase agreement offtakes and financing, among other areas. The firm has been advising Banks Renewables on every aspect of its five turbine wind farm project at Hook Moor, Yorkshire. Other clients include Infinis, Velocita/2020 Renewables and MeyGen. Onshore renewables expert Kirsty Macpherson joined from Gillespie Macandrew LLP in 2015, along with two associates and a solicitor. Sarah Sleigh departed the firm.

HBJ Gateley’s multidisciplinary team provides a full service to emerging energy companies, commercial banks and major corporates. Paul Minto, Alan Shanks and Frazer Wardhaugh are advising Burcote Wind on the development and sale of a portfolio of wind farms in Scotland. Recent hires included Alison Horner, who joined from MacRoberts LLP, and Alison Sim, who was hired from Subsea 7.

Harper Macleod LLP’s broad practice acts for clients such as Fred.Olsen Renewables, ComSol Energy and ORE Catapult. The firm also acts for Forestry Commission Scotland on its solar, wind and hydro projects. Omar Ali and David Bone advised Lightsource on its first solar project in Scotland. Chris Dowle joined the firm following its acquisition of Dowle, Smith & Rutherford Solicitors in 2015. Sophie Coffey and Philip Sim joined from Brodies LLP and McClure Naismith LLP, respectively.

Maclay Murray & Spens LLP’s diversified team acts on projects across the UK. It is not only active in onshore wind and solar projects, but also deals with emerging areas such as energy efficiency and district heating. David Cruickshank’s team includes Mark Macaulay, who was lead adviser to Babcock & Wilcox Vølund on an energy-from-waste project in Teeside. Capital projects expert Stewart Maciver joined from CMS in 2015.

BTO Solicitors LLP handles equity fundraising for developers, project finance for funders and borrowers, joint ventures and site acquisitions. It undertakes a significant amount of work for Triodos Bank and, in 2015, assisted the client with its £14m funding of a three-turbine wind farm being developed as a joint venture between a housing association and Community Energy Scotland. Nicolas McBride and Jeremy Glen lead the team, which ‘combines good legal advice with commercial reality’.

Burness Paull gained a number of notable clients in 2015, including Ecotricity, Fred.Olsen Renewables and Santander. Chris Gotts acted for Scottish Equity Partners on Environmental Capital Fund’s investment of £9m into Hamsin Wind. Tamar Tammes leads the property-related side of the practice, and is particularly experienced in onshore wind. Peter Ward is an expert in grid connection and regulation.

DWF’s energy practice was bolstered in 2015 by the hires of Moray Thomson from MacRoberts LLP and Ben Powell, who moved from Tods Murray. In 2015, Wayne Lawrence’s team was appointed by Aberdeen City Council, Aberdeenshire Council and Moray Council on a £120m energy-from-waste development. Martin Sales departed for MacRoberts LLP.

Davidson Chalmers LLP’s Andy Drane leads the team’s advice to Lonburgh on all aspects of the creation of investor-ready renewable energy schemes. In 2015, construction specialist Simone Young joined from Lindsays. Craig Stirling, Laura Tainsh and June Gilles are other key names.

Gillespie Macandrew LLP deals with a range of matters across all forms of renewable energy, including planning and construction, property matters, and finance. Derek McCulloch’s team was strengthened by Fraser Leslie’s move from Bond Dickinson LLP in 2015; Leslie is experienced in acting for landowners and developers in property-related renewables matters. Alan White has expertise in crofting issues, particularly in large-scale onshore projects.

At MacRoberts LLP, David Gourlay, Nick Jones and others assisted Edinburgh Community Solar Limited with facilitating the UK’s largest community solar power scheme. The group also deals with issues concerning other renewables sources, such as onshore wind and hydro projects, including planning and consent strategies, finance, procurement and property rights. Another area of strength is electricity transmission and distribution. Martin Sales joined from DWF, while Moray Thomson went the other way.

Stuart McMillan heads DLA Piper Scotland LLP’s multidisciplinary practice, which draws on strengths in areas such as project finance and planning to advise on a variety of matters including photovoltaic projects, anaerobic digestion plants and ESCO arrangements. McMillan advised Investec on the £110m financing of the Levenseat energy-from-waste plant in West Lothian. Other clients include Blue Energy, Barclays and BTMU.

Ledingham Chalmers LLP’s team undertakes a significant amount of work for landowners in matters involving onshore wind farms, and acts for both landowners and developers in relation to hydro schemes. The group also advises on carbon capture, transportation and storage projects, as well as offshore wind and wave matters. Peter Murray and Allan Collie lead the team, which acts for clients such as Arjo Wiggins Fine Papers and Puffin Energy.

Nick Atkins heads Morton Fraser’s practice, which handles property-related matters in the renewable energy sphere for landowners (rural and agricultural) and developers. It also deals with property finance transactions for onshore renewables projects, and investments into community-owned initiatives. In a notable highlight, it advised Social Investment Scotland and SIS (Community Finance) on financing the largest community wind farm in the UK. Susan Younger has retired from private practice.

Turcan Connell has a notable landowner client base and also acts for other participants in the renewable energy market, such as developers, investors and funders. Practice head Jon Robertson is knowledgeable about the agricultural and crofting law aspects of renewables development. Louise Johnston and Mike Kane are recommended.

In 2015, Wright, Johnston & Mackenzie LLP’s Fraser Gillies advised Partnership for Renewables on planning and consenting issues concerning a portfolio of onshore wind farm sites. Other clients include Energiekontor, Brookfield Renewable Energy and RAW Energy.

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