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Clients of Anderson Strathern rate it as ‘one of only a handful of firms to have a meaningful degree of knowledge and experience of education law’. The firm advises universities and schools on issues including legislative, outsourcing, employment and civil liability matters. Practice head Alun Thomas represented the University of Stirling in a Supreme Court case against the UCU regarding fixed-term employees.

Brodies LLP advises universities on matters including intellectual property, governance and commercial issues. Brenda Scott advised the University of Edinburgh on a range of partnerships and collaborations, and Christine O’Neill advised the Scottish Qualification Authority on a variety of issues including the extent of its powers and Scottish Parliamentary procedure.

CMS advises universities on real estate matters, funding agreements and issues, among other matters. Intellectual property specialist Carina Healy assisted the University of Glasgow with a £4.5m investment into a diabetes research company. Practice head Laurence Ward advised the University of Dundee on an IT project.

Burness Paull LLP’s education practice has particular strength advising on construction projects for schools and universities. Chris Mackay advised Fettes College on a £6.5m construction project including a new teaching block. Other clients include Falkirk Council.

Maclay Murray & Spens LLP advises schools and universities on issues including IP exploitation, employment and high-profile construction projects. Euan Wilson advised Aviva Public Private Finance on the financing for a new school. Mark Macauley heads the practice.

MacRoberts LLP advises its education-sector clients on construction projects, spin-outs and governance matters. Laurence Fraser advised The University of the Highlands and Islands on the development of a new teaching facility. Practice head Robin Corbett joined from DWF.

Pinsent Masons LLP advises on IT procurements, land acquisitions and funding agreements. Chris Martin assisted JISC with the procurement of a new data warehouse system and Hugh Bruce-Watt acted for the University of Edinburgh on a real estate acquisition.

Shepherd and Wedderburn provides ‘a diligent service’ to clients including The University of Edinburgh, which it advises on employment matters. Neil Maclean leads the practice.

Lesley Larg leads the practice at Thorntons Law LLP and carried out a strategic review of the University of St Andrews’ trade marks. Jamie Kerr’s expertise includes education-specific immigration law matters.

BTO Solicitors LLP advises colleges, schools and leading educators on employment and discrimination matters. David Hoey is singled out for his track record on Equality Act matters.

Clyde & Co LLP is noted for its ‘high standard of response time and support’ on human resources, discrimination and negligence issues. Robert Kingexplains challenging Equality Act matters excellently’. Ranald Macpherson leads the team and is also recommended.

Harper Macleod LLP advises on development projects, spin-outs and planning matters. Clients include Derwent Living and the University of St Andrews. Euan Mitchell heads the practice.

Ledingham Chalmers LLP advises schools and institutions on discrimination, admissions, governance and human resources challenges. Kirk Tudhope and Jennifer Young are key contacts. Clients include the University of the Highlands and Islands.

At Morton Fraser, practice head David Walker advises colleges on employment law matters.


Index of tables

  1. Health
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

In addition to handling medical product liability and professional discipline issues for clients including the General Dental Council and the Royal College of Nursing, Anderson Strathern’s health practice also advises on research contracts, and public law matters for the GMC. Catriona Watt heads the practice.

Brodies LLP’s ‘highly professional’ team advises on pharmaceutical investments and patents, care home joint ventures and product liability. William McIntosh advised Lamellar Biomedical on a £2.3m equity funding round.

CMS is a source of ‘comprehensive advice’ on health procurement, public finance initiative and construction matters. Key names include ‘very knowledgeable’ practice head Amanda Methven and Ailsa Ritchie, whose ‘knowledge of the market is second to none’. Clients include several NHS trusts.

Burness Paull LLP’s work includes product liability matters, nursing home acquisitions and procurements. Chris Mackay advised NHS Lothian on a redevelopment of the Royal Edinburgh Hospital.

Advising GP and dental practices sits at the core of Davidson Chalmers LLP’s health practice, which advises on real estate procurement, practice sales and partnership disputes. Craig Stirling and Andy Draneknow the sector well’.

Harper Macleod LLP’s health practice regularly features in high-value care home M&A deals. Scott Kerr is advising Epipole on distribution of a hand-held retinal photography camera. Jamie Watt advises on pharmaceutical regulatory matters.

At MacRoberts LLP, procurement practice head Duncan Osler advised NHS Orkney on a new hospital in Kirkwall. Other mandates include veterinary and dental M&A transactions and acquisition finance.

Pinsent Masons LLP is ‘a real value-add’ when it comes to health-related procurement. Practice head Stuart Barr, who stands out for his ‘no-nonsense approach’, is advising Robertson Capital Projects on the new Orkney hospital.

Shepherd and Wedderburn’s work includes corporate, M&A and real estate matters within the care home, hospital care and pharmaceutical sectors, as well as handling professional discipline and intellectual property matters. John Elder is ‘accurate and timely’.

Thorntons Law LLP provides ‘amazing, proactive service’ to medical practices, care homes and pharmacies on issues including acquisitions and regulation. Dental practice specialist Michael Royden leads the team alongside Ewan Miller.

Local government

Index of tables

  1. Local government
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Brodies LLP represents a number of councils in litigation regarding social housing, health and social care. Practice head Jackie McGuire, who advises Falkirk Council on a range of issues, has ‘a rare mix of strategic vision and operational understanding’. Other mandates relate to arms-length bodies and planning.

The hardworking, knowledgeable, pragmatic and commercially aware’ team at CMS advises local authorities and public bodies on a range of projects. Ann Faulds and Trudi Craggs continue to advise the City of Edinburgh Council on compulsory purchase powers related to Edinburgh Trams.

Anderson Strathern advises local authorities and arm’s-length external organisations (ALEOs) on construction, state aid and redevelopment projects. Practice head Audrey Cameron advised Clyde Gateway on the construction of a new £24m headquarters for Police Scotland.

Burness Paull advises councils on planning, spin-offs, developments, and procurement. Stephen Phillips is advising Glasgow City Council and seven other participating local authorities on the the Glasgow and Clyde Valley City Deal, which is the first such deal to be carried out in Scotland involving £1.3bn of public investment. Chris McKay represents councils in procurement disputes and is noted for his ‘keen eye for detail’.

DWF’s local government practice advises local authorities, developers and ALEOs on planning, procurement and project matters. Colin Miller advised InTechnologyWiFi on the provision of Wi-Fi in public places, while Suzanne Moir advised Dundee City Council on the procurement of waste management services.

Harper Macleod LLP supports local authorities on issues ranging from human resources and procurement to elections and planning. Jennifer Jack advised the returning officer for Orkney and Shetland in an Election Court case regarding the 2015 general election. James McMorrow’s work includes restructuring of ALEOs.

MacRoberts LLP’s work for local authorities includes advice on procurements and spin-outs. Andrew Orr* advised Angus Council on the DBFM procurement of a school and fitness facility through the East Central Hub. Duncan Osler heads the practice. *Following publication, Andrew Orr has left the firm.

Rory Alexander leads Morton Fraser’s education practice, which focuses on litigation, governance and construction projects. Richard McMeeken is representing Aberdeen City Council in judicial review proceedings brought by a prisoner.

Shepherd and Wedderburn advises local authorities and ALEOs on issues including planning agreements, procurement, licensing and employment. Rhona Harper advised five local authorities on procuring twelve new schools and Renfrewshire Leisure Limited on a transfer of responsibilities from the council.

Parliamentary and public affairs

Index of tables

  1. Parliamentary and public affairs
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Anderson Strathern is ‘one of the best firms in Scotland for public law’. Practice head Fiona Killen is advising Universities Scotland on the Higher Education Governance (Scotland) Bill. Robert Carr, who is rated for his ‘confidence-inspiring manner’, advises the Crown Estate.

Brodies LLP is ‘acutely aware of upcoming issues facing clients’ industries’. The practice regularly acts on legal challenges to legislation, proposed bills and on handling relations with parliamentary committees. Christine O’Neill (who is ‘one of Scotland’s elite public law solicitors’) acted alongside Charles Livingstone for the Scotch Whisky Association in a challenge to minimum alcohol pricing.

DLA Piper Scotland LLP’s Hazel Moffat advised the British government on the creation of a regulatory framework for opening the water market to retail competition, and acted for Avid Life Media, owner of, on the aftermath of its much-reported security breach.

CMS’ expertise covers issues including the exercise of statutory powers and high-stakes judicial reviews. Ann Faulds advised the National Galleries of Scotland on a private bill to allow for an expansion.

Harper Macleod LLP advises public bodies on issues involving City Deals, electoral law and interventions by parliamentary committees. James McMorrow is advising Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Authority on proposed by-laws.

MacRoberts LLP’s practice is ‘tuned-in and able to identify the narrative that needs fixing’. Michael Kelly and associate Gary Baines are ‘adept at explaining arcane procedures to the layperson’. Highlights included securing an order-in-council for the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland as part of its change of name.

Thompsons advises trade unions and members of the public on proposed legislative changes. Patrick McGuire acts for families affected by the Mortonhall baby ashes scandal.

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