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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 > Public sector > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings




Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Education 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


Anderson Strathern's clients include universities, colleges and schools, for which it handles safeguarding, governance and regulatory work, in addition to peripheral matters such as employment, procurement and construction. The group acts as the external solicitors for the General Teaching Council for Scotland, which it advises on the spectrum of regulatory and disciplinary issues. Practice head Alun Thomas has niche expertise in education-related contentious work, particularly in the area of student contract disputes; he is assisting Perth College with a review following a critical tribunal decision relating to an aggrieved former employee. Fiona Killen stands out for having ‘a strong grasp’ of regulatory and legislative detail, as well as in the management of relations between the higher education sector and government, when changes to internal legislation are being considered. Highlights for Catriona Watt included representing two independent schools in relation to allegations of historic abuse being investigated by the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry. Solicitor advocate Jonathan Guy often represents clients at Additional Support Needs Tribunals (ASNTs) in cases under the Equality Act.

Brodies LLP fields a team of ‘effective communicators’ which acts for an extensive client roster of further education (FE) and higher education (HE) sector clients, local authority education provers, and government agencies such as the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA). The group advises on governance matters (including legislation, new governance arrangements and sensitive reputational issues), sector-specific employment issues, overseas work, immigration, real estate strategy and joint ventures. The practice is co-led by corporate and commercial specialist, Brenda Scott (who has ‘a good eye for detail’); government, regulation and competition lawyer Christine O’Neill (who ‘provides spot-on advice’); and Lynne Marr, who focuses on education sector-specific employment issues. The group is on the University of Edinburgh’s panel and advises it on a number of commercial initiatives, including an ongoing joint venture arrangement with Milltrust Agricultural Investment, to commercialise IP from the Roslin Institute and the Rosalind Franklin Institute. Jackie McGuire advised Falkirk Council on a number of challenges to decisions to refuse placing requests for children with additional support needs. Associate Niall McLean is also recommended for his ‘particularly strong understanding of the finer points of procedure’ in relation to education law.

CMS is particularly focused on the HE sector, and advises a wide range of prominent Scottish and English universities, including the University of Glasgow and Heriot-Watt University, on corporate and commercial matters, as well as governance, regulatory and employment law issues. Possessing ‘second-to-none knowledge and experience’, Carina Healy is advising University College London on the various high-profile strategic projects, including the transfer of an academic research facility, the Prion Unit, combined with Medical Research Council strategic funding, to the University – a matter that involves academic employee transfers, pension rights, complex IP licensing arrangements and governance. Practice head, Laurence Ward assisted the University of Aberdeen with the decision of the returning officer to annul the 2017 rectorial election, after the emergence of electoral misconduct allegations. Construction and projects specialist Christine Worthington has ‘a unique understanding of the higher education landscape in Scotland’ and provides ‘a high-quality service’.

MacRoberts LLP acts for an impressive roster of Scottish NHS health boards and private companies operating in the health space, which it advises on the spectrum of non-contentious matters. It also has a significant medical product liability practice. Highlights for practice head David Wylie included advising healthcare entrepreneur Robert Kilgour, on various projects, including securing development funding for the refurbishment of a portfolio of care homes, and an investment in HealthTech software, Storii Care. Projects specialist Duncan Osler advised NHS Orkney on the procurement and funding for the new General Hospital in Kirkwall under the NPD model developed by the Scottish Futures Trust. Rod Munro is assisting NHS Lothian with The Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh PFI project, which involves the preparation of documentation for the capital investment programme and operational management issues.

The team at Pinsent Masons LLP predominantly advises universities and other HE providers, in addition to companies involved in the EdTech sector on the range of education-related matters, including setting up branch campuses in other jurisdictions, private sector partnering for student accommodation, governance and constitutional projects, IT procurement and IP protection. The group also supports institutions with preparations for Brexit, in terms of employment and other affected areas. Chris Martin leads the practice and is advising EdTech start-up, Jisc, on its strategic and technology procurement projects, including a learning analytics framework through which education institutions can procure learning analytic solutions. He is also advising the University of Edinburgh on the replacement of IT business systems with a cloud-based system, whilst Jonathan Kirkwood  is assisting the client with a proposed joint venture with a Chinese healthcare provider which is investing in the university.

Thorntons Law LLP draws on its ‘good business acumen and sector knowledge’ to advise Scottish universities, HE and FE institutions on a diversity of commercial operations, governance issues, academic and disciplinary appeals, guidance on government policy and funding, strategy and political considerations, regulatory compliance and collaborations with international partners. The team is led by IP expert Lesley Larg, who also has a wealth of experience in governance issues. Other key figures include Liam McMonagle, who focuses on technology transfers, commercialisation and procurement, and corporate specialist Michael Royden, who advises clients on structural change, institutional mergers and shared services projects. The group is currently advising Abertay University on the implementation of the Higher Education Governance Act, which includes guidance on the provisions of the act and attendance at University Court in connection with the proposed changes. It is also assisting Glasgow Caledonian University on a collaboration with an east African health organisation partner for the delivery of healthcare qualifications.

BTO Solicitors LLP handles the spectrum of education sector work, but it excels in employment, cyber security and data protection matters (for which it is noted as ‘outstanding’), where it is instructed by a variety of major Scottish educational establishments. Team head David Hoey has an ‘in-depth’ knowledge of the Equality Act, and is experienced in representing institutions before the Sheriff Court and specialist tribunals. He advised the University of Strathclyde Students’ Association (USSA) on the employment aspects of an asset transfer, which included TUPE and employment processes. Associate Marion Davis is assisting the USSA with various aspects of its move to an incorporated company structure. Data protection and cyber security expert Laura Irvine advised a Scottish college on data protection concerns, including the Named Persons Legislation, complex subject access requests, consent forms and some GDPR compliance issues. She is currently advising the Glasgow Academy on the implementation of GDPR throughout the school, and the legal basis for processing fair notice provisions, contracts, fundraising and data retention.

Burness Paull LLP has an extensive track record advising on the establishment of research facilities for Scottish HE institutions, project work (including high-value and complex deals, often with cross-border aspects) and contentious matters. The ‘authoritative’ James Forbes is advising the University of St. Andrews on contractual and regulatory matters in relation to a newbuild music centre, as well as the procurement process for the centre’s construction. Stephen Phillips is advising the governors of the Donaldson Trust on the charity’s change from a trust to an SCIO. Phillips is also advising the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow on the legal framework behind a collaborative arrangement with the Royal College of Physicians of London to deliver post-graduate examinations, training and continuous professional development. The practice is led by Chris MacKay, who specialises in project dispute resolution in the public sector. ‘Calm and organised’ senior associate Chris Horsley is another key contact.

Clyde & Co LLP’s clients include a range of further and higher education institutions, local authorities and independent schools on the defence of claims for failure to educate, judicial reviews, exclusions and disciplinary action against students, human rights and equalities matters. Highlights for Graeme Watson included successfully defending an independent school at the Scottish ASNT against a disability claim brought under the Equality Act by the parents of a former pupil, concerning a delay in identifying the child’s dyslexia and discrimination of the child by a teacher. The practice is led by Graham Mitchell who is often called upon to advise local authority education departments on employment law and regulatory issues. Another employment practitioner, Frances Ross, is also recommended. Former practice co-head, Gina Wilson, moved to an in-house position in January 2018.

Dentons stands out for its ability to provide support services to a range of HE institutions relating to construction projects, employment and the commercialisation of intellectual property. Highlights for Amanda Jones included advising the Educational Institute of Scotland and its members on voluntary severance packages offered by Fife College and Glasgow Caledonian University by settlement agreements. Morag Campbell assisted the Glasgow School of Art with setting up a new creative campus in the Highlands of Scotland, including funding matters and lease documentation. Alyson Bryce is currently handling the delivery of IP Protect, an intellectual property advisory service, for the University and College Union. Practice head, Mark Macaulay acted for Glasgow Academy in relation to the refurbishment of the old Newlands Bowling Club into a new nursery and kindergarten for the school.

Morton Fraser acts for employers in the school, college and HE sectors on immigration issues, particularly in relation to Brexit, as well as handling sensitive parental and student complaints and local authority school projects work, in addition to real estate development and student accommodation projects. The group recently advised Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) on a development agreement with a major property developer in relation to a significant redevelopment of the client’s campus. It is also advising SRUC on its strategy for the commercialisation of its IP. Austin Flynn is currently assisting and Edinburgh independent school with the implementation of GDPR policies. David Hossack,  (who is praised for his ‘depth of knowledge across a number of specialisms’) is advising a university researcher who is Italian national, on various options for the client to apply for permanent residence.

Shepherd and Wedderburn’s education practice includes ‘very pragmatic’ employment practice head Neil Maclean, who has vast experience advising Scottish universities, colleges and independent schools on employment matters and business support. He is providing ongoing HR and employment support for Skills Development Scotland, in relation to its organisational restructure, and the TUPE and employment implications of the client’s assumption of responsibility for various employability services for the Scottish government.  Project specialist Rhona Harper is currently advising South Ayrshire Council on its £23m Queen Margaret Academy procurement project, which is structured under a Design, Build, Finance and Maintain contract over a 25-year period. Ed Mustard advised the trustees of the University of Edinburgh on its £420m staff benefits scheme on all aspects of pension law, in addition to other projects relating to GDPR compliance.


Index of tables

  1. Health
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Health clients in Scotland using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


Brodies LLP has a multidisciplinary practice which handles the full spectrum of contentious and non-contentious health work, with a particularly strength in regulatory mandates in relation to health and social care. The group continues to support the Professional Standards Agency (PSA) in a number of matters, including an appeal to the Inner House of the Court of Session against a lenient sanction imposed on a dentist who had sexually harassed members of his staff. The firm also has expertise in healthcare-related financing projects; in a recent matter, Peter Kelly advised Meallmore and Hilton Rehabilitation on financing provided by Santander for the £27.9m purchase and refurbishment of the Mandaville Care Home in Inverness. ‘Friendly, approachable and knowledgeable’ associate Shona Tennant assists the University of St Andrews with various medical research matters, most recently including a Research Services Agreement with the University of Dundee, and in connection with a collaboration agreement between several UK Universities, The National Cancer Research Institute and Breast Cancer Care for the development of a programme to support individuals undergoing breast cancer treatment. IP specialist Gill Grassie has vast experience advising pharmaceutical companies on contractual and regulatory matters. Local authority healthcare provision expert Jackie McGuire leads the practice.

CMS has a team of ‘top lawyers who are well versed in the health industry’. The firm is marked out by its expertise in health-related projects; in a recent highlight, practice head Amanda Methven, who has ‘a strong track record’ in PFI and PPP matters, is currently advising Hub East Central (PSS) on the £30m development of a specialist pharmaceutical production facility at Ninewells District General Hospital in Dundee, which is currently at the construction phase. Methven is acting alongside senior associate Jenny Walker for 3i Infrastructure and its asset manager, Infrastructure Managers, on various acute health projects, including alterations to University Hospital Wishaw, to support mental health provision. In another matter of note, procurement expert Michael McAuley is advising NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde on the delivery of three major primary and community care projects in the West Hub Territory under a single £125m design, build, finance and maintain (DBFM) project, through the hub procurement model. Alan Nelson is recommended for his expertise in outsourcing for healthcare charities.

Burness Paull LLP’s practice spans healthcare-related commercial, project development and real estate matters, as well as contentious work such as defective hospital design, procurement challenges, fatal accident inquiries and medical product liability. The ‘highly responsive’ team is led by ‘commercially pragmatic’ PFI, PPP and NPD specialist Chris MacKay, who advised NHS Lothian on the second phase of the Royal Edinburgh Hospital project via the hub initiative, which included commercial and strategic advice on all project related matters. Gavin Paton assisted hub West Scotland with project agreements and management in relation to the financing, design, construction and service provision of two health and care centres in Gorbals and Woodside. Joanne Fulton, who made partner in August 2017, specialises in medical product liability litigation. Ray Gribben departed the firm in December 2017.

MacRoberts LLP has an impressive client roster of Scottish NHS health boards and private companies operating in the health space, which it advises on the spectrum of non-contentious matters. It also has a significant medical product liability practice. Highlights for practice head David Wylie included advising healthcare entrepreneur Robert Kilgour, on various projects, including securing development funding for the refurbishment of a portfolio of care homes, and an investment in HealthTech software, Storii Care. Projects specialist {Duncan Osler} advised NHS Orkney on the procurement and funding for the new General Hospital in Kirkwall under the NPD model developed by the Scottish Futures Trust. Rod Munro is assisting NHS Lothian with The Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh PFI project, which involves the preparation of documentation for the capital investment programme and operational management issues.

Pinsent Masons LLP’s team is ‘highly intellectually capable, without losing the commerciality of its advice’. It provides corporate, commercial, procurement, employment, pensions, real estate, governance and IP advice to a range of public and private healthcare sector clients. ‘Extremely capable’ practice head Stuart Barr ‘revels in challenging negotiations’ and specialises in advising investors, lenders and procuring authorities on PPP projects. He continues to advise Healthcare Centres PPP on a major primary care centre procurement in Ireland. Experienced procurement expert Wendy Nicolson is advising NHS Grampian on its bundled Foresterhill/Inverurie project and NHS Forth Valley on the procurement of Stirling Care Village. Joanne Ellis assisted Embrace Group with various corporate disposals of its care facilities to separate buyers.

Shepherd and Wedderburn handles capital projects and finance work for major care home operators and healthcare investment funds. It also acts for public bodies, including Councils and NHS Trusts, in relation to major NPD, hub and PPP transactions. Practice head John Elder is advising care home operator, Four Seasons Health Care Group, on Scottish aspects its restructuring and refinancing project, including a new facility agreement and the preparation of restructuring proposals for its third party landlords. Clare Foster and Stephen Colliston are advising NORD/LB on all aspects of the DBFM project for two health and care centres at Gorbals Health and Care Centre and Woodside Health and Care Centre; a mandate that includes assistance with project management, property, procurement, construction, facilities maintenance and finance. Daniel Lee is advising US-based MedSource on its acquisition of data trial services business, Datatrial, and post-transaction integration, which involved complex data protection issues.

Anderson Strathern handles a variety of corporate, commercial and contentious health matters, in addition to a strong clinical negligence practice. ‘Responsible and knowledgeable’ Healthcare, Public and Regulatory practice head Catriona Watt specialises in high-value clinical negligence, professional discipline, regulation and public law. Alongside Robert Carr and the ‘first-class’ Gary Burton, Watt is representing the General Medical Council in an appeal to the Inner House of the Court of Session brought by a doctor who was struck off for sexually assaulting a patient. John Kerr is advising Dentex Healthcare Group on partnership working agreements for its Scottish dental practice acquisitions. Commercial real estate lawyer Neil Farrell is advising a major healthcare fund on property management initiatives in Scotland.

Davidson Chalmers Stewart is noted for its work in the medical and dental sectors, in addition to advising vets, care home operators, pharmacies, opticians and medical device companies on a range of non-contentious issues, including partnership agreements. ‘Sensible negotiator’ and corporate lawyer, practice head Craig Stirling is highly experienced in the sale and purchase of dental practices across Scotland. Andy Drane advised Leith Walk Surgery on its relocation to another premises with support and funding from NHS Lothian; and Musselburgh Primary Care Centre on mitigating the impact of the closure of its Riverside Medical Practice in cooperation with the Lothian Health Board.

Harper Macleod LLP’s team displays ‘superb professionalism’ when handling corporate, employment and dispute resolution matters for Scottish care home operators, primary care providers and veterinary practices. The practice is led by Carolyn Morgan, who primarily advises health clients on contentious matters, including civil and commercial disputes. Paula Skinner is advising Glasgow City Council alongside various care home operators in relation to the Glasgow City Council Business Growth Fund programme, on matters such as succession planning, employment law and data protection issues. Jennifer Jack continues to represent The Care Inspectorate in judicial review proceedings, Court of Session appeals and in relation to procedural matters in the Sheriff Court. Also recommended are ‘extremely commercial’ Tony Cameron and John Pringle, who displays ‘exemplary conduct and quality of work’.

The ‘professional’ team at Thorntons Law LLP provides ‘an all-encompassing service’ to clients in the dental sector, building on ‘excellent industry knowledge’. Practice head Michael Royden ‘understands the unique situations that arise within dentistry’ and is particularly noted for his expertise in limited companies, and agreements between dentists. Alongside Ewan Miller, Royden is assisting Armitage Dental Group with its disposal of one of its major Scottish dental practices. The duo also assisted Dr Omid Mowlawi on his acquisition of Roslin Dental Practice in Midlothian, involving complex leasing matters. With extensive experience advising pharmacies Miller was instructed by Walter Davidson & Sons to conduct due diligence on its acquisition of Garelochhead, as well as the negotiation of the business purchase agreement, and ancillary advice on the license transfer and filings with the General Pharmaceutical Council.

Local government

Index of tables

  1. Local government
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Local government clients in Scotland using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


Brodies LLP's 'excellent' practice acts for major Scottish councils, including Glasgow, Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Stirling, on the full spectrum of project work, including governance, electoral law, judicial reviews, private legislation, local government finance. It also acts for Arms-Length External Organisations (ALEOs) on TUPE matters. Practice head Jackie McGuire and consultant Jane McMonagle are advising Glasgow City Council in connection with all aspects of its refurbishment and redevelopment of the Burrell Collection, including procurement, pre-construction agreements and the drafting of specific contractual clauses to allow for community benefits and partnering provisions. Drawing on her expertise in public, planning and environmental law, McGuire is also advising Perth and Kinross Council on a major road and bridge infrastructure project. The group is Argyll and Bute Council’s principal external legal adviser, and continue to provide the client with employment, pensions, property and public law support regarding the externalisation of its leisure services. Firm chair Christine O’Neill is recommended for expertise in contractual and procurement issues, while Sarah-Jane McArthur has particular experience in supporting local authorities with their low-carbon emissions projects.

CMS is marked out by its strong offering of planning and transport legal services for local authorities, which it advises on major infrastructure projects spanning waste management, education, housing and other procurement matters, in addition to contentious matters arising from the public sector. The practice is co-led by public sector veteran Alisa Ritchie and Ann Faulds, who has considerable experience in the intersection between planning, transport and public law. The group represented Stirling Council in the planning appeal inquiry into the proposed Park of Keir tennis and golf centre, permission for which was refused, until the intervention of Scottish Ministers. The group is now advising the Council on the terms of the Scottish Ministers’ decision and the negotiation of the legal agreement with the developer, in addition to the client’s communication with community representatives. The team is also advising Glasgow City Council on a £250m residential development programme, and its procurement of 600 houses for private sale and 200 mid-market units for direct sale to Glasgow Housing Association; a matter that involved a suite of contracts, the identification of project legal risks with mitigation strategies and environmental considerations. It is also assisting a number of local councils with the construction of new schools through the Scottish Government’s hub programme. Michael McAuley is another key contact for procurement matters and project finance.

Under ‘authoritative’ practice head Jennifer Jack, Harper Macleod LLP has the ‘pre-eminent team in Scotland’ which stands out for its public law work. The group high-value procurement projects for a mixture of government bodies and local authorities. It is also noted for its pedigree in licensing and planning, from a local authority perspective. The group was recently appointed as the sole legal advisers to the Glasgow 2018 European Championships, handling procurement, regulatory and procurement matters, including host city contracts, negotiations between the Council and various sports federations, and the procurement of ICT services and a host broadcaster. James McMorrow and Euan Pirie are advising City of Edinburgh Council on procurement arrangements for the delivery of the city’s Christmas and New Year events, as well as the procurement of its energy efficient street lighting programme. Experienced litigator Sandy Hastie successfully defended a high-value claim brought against Highland Council at the Court of Session by a tenant of Kyle Harbour who was seeking substantial damages for the loss of his business arising from alleged conduct of council officials.

Morton Fraser handles the full spectrum of local authority work and possesses expertise in public law, planning, licensing, judicial review, procurement and local government law. The group has particular experience in local government litigation, where it has acted in public local inquiries and statutory appeals. Alongside Douglas Milne, practice head Rory Alexander, who is a thought leader in the field, successfully acted for the Strategic Development Planning Authority (SDPA) for Aberdeen City and Shire Council in a Supreme Court appeal, brought by Elsick Development Company, against the SDPA’s supplementary guidance which seeks contributions to a Strategic Transport Fund. Jenny Dickson and legal director Lynda Towers represent the City of Edinburgh Council in the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry.

Shepherd and Wedderburn advises local councils across Scotland on a variety of matters, including major capital infrastructure projects, hub programmes, ALEOs and the Scottish Government’s low carbon initiative. Rhona Harper leads the firm’s Government and Public Sector group and has vast experience in advising public sector bodies on a variety of projects involving infrastructure procurement and outsourcing, particularly specialist accommodation projects in the education and health sectors and equipment procurement in the defence sector. Projects practice head Stephen Colliston is noted for his expertise in public finance initiative (PFI), public private partnership (PPP) and non-profit distribution (NPD) structures. Highlights included advising North Lanarkshire Council on the complex sale of its shares in a facilities management joint venture between the council and ALH 86. The group is currently advising West Dunbartonshire Council on the procurement of a major water source heat pump system, and assisted the client with securing Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme (LCITP) funding from the Scottish Government. Ewan McLeod and Euan McLeod are also key practitioners.

Anderson Strathern’s ‘strong’ team focuses on projects, regeneration and infrastructure work, but it also advises local authorities on novel structures, such as transferring assets to ALEOs and the consolidation of existing ALEOs. The firm’s construction practice handles a range of both contentious and non-contentious issues for numerous Scottish councils. Practice head Audrey Cameron is currently assisting Fife Council with the delivery of its Affordable Housing programme, which is being procured under the Scrape Framework. Real estate litigator Fiona Stephen is representing Midlothian Council against an appeal lodged by various land owners to recall a notice served by the council requiring them to remove a fence. Gillian Anderson is instructed by Dumfries and Galloway Council regarding its proposed £1m loan to the Crichton Trust.

Burness Paull LLP’s public law practitioners are noted as ‘experts in their field’. The group stands out for its expertise public service delivery models, which includes the establishment of culture and leisure trusts, shared service structures and economic development partnerships. It also handles a number of public infrastructure projects, especially involving NPDs and hub initiatives. Practice head Stephen Philips has ‘excellent all round knowledge of matters affecting local government’ and regularly advises local authorities on offshoot companies and shared services. Graeme Palmer often assists with high-level options appraisals, as well as issues arising from procurement and state aid. Highlights included advising the Improvement Service, a body set up by the Scottish Government to improve public service delivery across Scotland, on the development of the governance structure for the Ayrshire Regional Partnership, between three local councils. It is also assisting the Scottish Government subsidiary, Scottish Futures Trust, with templates and guidance to promote wider use of property-sharing arrangements across Scottish local authorities. Also of note, the group advised West Lothian Council on the transfer of certain leisure operations into an offshoot charitable company.

DWF has particular clout in IT infrastructure projects, in addition to advising on the establishment of NPDs, including ALEOs for the delivery of leisure and culture services. Martin Gallaher, who is ‘an excellent’ commercial lawyer, ‘combines an eye for detail with extensive experience in public procurement’. ‘Good at seeing the bigger picture’, Suzanne Moir provides ‘pragmatic and very commercial advice’. The group continues to advise Dundee City Council and Angus Council on their joint procurement for residual waste management services, which is currently at the dialogue phase. It has also supported Dundee City Council in connection with the sale of Dundee Energy Recycling, which involved a complex restructuring of the company and extensive tax advice. It is also advising the Scottish Government on the delivery of the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme (DSSB) in connection with the investment of capital contributions from multiple Scottish local authorities. In another highlight, the group advised Angus Council on two school design, build, finance and maintain (DBFM) projects.

MacRoberts LLP’s public sector procurement team specialises in high-value contentious and non-contentious matters concerning Scottish local authorities. The group is led by Duncan Osler, who advises ReadyforBuiness, which is an intermediary between the public and third sectors, on local authority procurement legislation, a recycling contact and the integration of a reserved business lot into a major framework. Katy Wedderburn is representing a large local authority at an employment tribunal regarding multiple claims for unfair dismissal brought by senior education staff (including a head teacher) who were fired for a failure to properly manage a complaint of sexual harassment by an adult student. Legal director James Keith is also recommended for his expertise in local government pension schemes.

Parliamentary and public affairs

Index of tables

  1. Parliamentary and public affairs
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals

Leading individuals: Hall of Fame

  1. 1

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Parliamentary and public affairs 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


Anderson Strathern's ‘excellent’ practice has a range of expertise spanning drafting primary and secondary legislation, statutory interpretation, amendments to Government bills and the implications of legislation in the Scottish and UK parliaments and at the European level. Clients include a mixture of public and regulatory bodies, UK and Scottish Government agencies and departments. With ‘a wealth of experience throughout public law’, practice head Fiona Killen is noted for her ‘unsurpassed attention to detail’. She continues to act for the Scottish Information Commissioner (SIC) in matters concerning statutory interpretation in defence of decisions and with respect to statutory appeals to the Court of Session and UK Supreme Court and judicial reviews. Killen and Alastair McKie is advising the Pow of Inchaffray Commissioners on all aspects of drafting a Private Bill to amend the 1846 Act of Parliament which established statutory commissioners with responsibility for maintaining land in rural Perthshire. McKie advised Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park Authority on the statutory interpretation of EU law in connection with the right to access environmental information. Other clients include The Crown Estate and Audit Scotland. Robert Carr is another key contact.

A market leader’, Brodies LLP handles the full range of parliamentary and public affairs issues, including in relation to legislation, parliamentary advice, judicial review, public inquiries, local government and public procurement. ‘Extremely skilful’ firm chairman Christine O’Neill exercises ‘acute political sensitivity’ and is representing the Scottish government as sole counsel before the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry. She was also instructed by the Scottish parliament’s Finance and Constitution Committee to review the Westminster parliament’s European Union Withdrawal Bill and its impact on the powers of the Scottish parliament.  Jackie McGuire leads the government, regulatory and competition division and is advising Lerwick Port Authority on a harbour revision order (HRO) that introduces a number of changes to the constitution of the authority, reflecting Scottish government good practice. Charles Livingstone specialises in constitutional issues and represented the Scotch Whiskey Association, alongside other alcohol industry bodies, in a challenge to the Scottish government’s Alcohol (Minimum Pricing) (Scotland) Act 2012 at the Supreme Court.

DLA Piper Scotland LLP’s ‘hardworking, diligent and knowledgeable’ team advises corporations, in addition to regulatory authorities, government departments and commissioners, on the full range of public and parliamentary issues. Hazel Moffat leads the team and has considerable experience in drafting interpretation and opposition bills going through the Scottish and UK Parliaments.  She is currently advising The Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy on its involvement in the Magnox Inquiry, which is looking into the award of the Magnox decommissioning contract by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) and its subsequent termination. She continues to advise Heineken in relation to the potential implications of the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015, in addition to representing the client before government in order to address policy issues and drafting errors in the statutory Pubs Code before it goes live. Legal director James McGachie is also recommended for his expertise in information law.

The team at CMS specialises in public law as it applies to the energy and transport sectors. It advises a variety of local authority clients, as well as corporations, in relation to public law, UK and Scottish Parliament legislation and elections. It also has a strong contentious practice that handles judicial reviews and public inquiries. The group continues to advise Renfrewshire Council on its Glasgow Airport Investment area (GAIA) and Clyde Waterfront and Renfrew Riverside (CWRR) projects. Robin Hutchison advised Inch Cape Offshore on all consenting matters and represented the client in relation to a successful judicial review challenge by the RSPB and the subsequent appeal to the Inner House, which overturned the initial decision. The team is led by Ann Faulds.

Harper Macleod LLP handles judicial reviews and statutory appeal cases for public sector clients as well as contentious and non-contentious planning law matters, including in relation to public inquiries and litigation. Public procurement, state aid and competition law expert James McMorrow and experienced public sector disputes lawyer Jennifer Jack co-lead the team, which includes Sandy Hastie, who often advises on judicial review. The group is advising Wheatley Group on Scottish government proposals to make Scottish housing associations subject to Freedom of Information (FOI) requests in April 2019. In another highlight, it is advising Loch Lomond and The Tronachs National Park Authority on proposed camping bylaws which are intended to target perceived anti-social behaviour issues within the park. On the contentious front, David Kerr is instructed by Scottish Natural Heritage as respondents to a petition for judicial review of a decision to restrict the use of Scottish-wide general licences for killing wild birds for pest control purposes on land operated by the petitioner, Raeshaw Estates.

MacRoberts LLP handles the spectrum of public law issues, including monitoring legislation proposals and advising on their legal implications, drafting and vetting briefing papers and advising on parliamentary and judicial procedures for challenges to proposed legislation. The group is led by Duncan Osler who advised NHS Orkney on Scottish Government issued guidance on the application of the ESA10 accounting standards in relation to project finance. He also advised ReadyForBusiness on new developments in Scottish procurement legislation in relation to mechanisms through which public and third sector bodies work together. David Flint is recommended for his experience in lobbying, FOI requests and experience in appearing before the Public Petitions Committee of the Scottish Parliament.

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