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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 > Local government > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

  1. Local government
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals

Hall of Fame

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Leading individuals

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Who Represents Who

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Brodies LLP provides a ‘five-star service’ and is many clients’ ‘go-to firm for high-profile work’. Praised for its ‘practical solutions to difficult problems’, the ‘excellent’ team handles the full spectrum of local government work and is particularly active in major infrastructure projects, procurement and project development matters, including finance, and local government litigation. ‘Tremendously helpful’ team head Jackie McGuire demonstrated her ‘extensive knowledge of the public sector’ by advising Renfrewshire Council and Glasgow City Council on a review of the Outline Business Case (OBC) for GAAP – the proposed tram and train rail link between Glasgow City centre and Glasgow airport – which involved a number of issues such as planning, compulsory purchase, environmental, procurement and state aid. In another highlight, the team assisted Perth and Kinross Council with aspects arising from a major road infrastructure project, which involved the drafting of objection responses and liaising with Transport Scotland. Roger Cotton advised Aberdeen City Council on procurement matters, while the team acted for Argyll and Bute Council on the consultation process for a proposed review of the harbour charges at over 20 locations in the council area. Chairman Christine O’Neill and ‘safe pair of handsCharles Livingstone are also recommended.

CMS has ‘a very good understanding of the public sector’ and ‘provides excellent service, always meeting the deadline, no matter how challenging’. The team, which is jointly led by Ann Faulds and Ailsa Ritchie, has considerable clout in assisting local authority clients with large-scale infrastructure projects across a range of sectors including waste, education and housing, which includes commercial, planning and procurement work, among other aspects, as well as handling regulatory and contentious work. Ritchie assisted Glasgow City Council with the procurement of 450 houses for private sale and 200 units for direct sale to the Glasgow Housing Association as part of the council’s regeneration programme. The team also provided advice to Dumfries and Galloway Council on its existing PFI contract for the treatment of waste, which requires certain amendments in light of the Scottish government’s introduction of the Zero Waste Regulations; and advised South Lanarkshire Council on all legal aspects pertaining to its residual waste project, which will see more than 95% of the council’s residual waste being diverted from landfill. Trudi Craggs departed for an in-house position.

The ‘highly responsive’ team at Shepherd and Wedderburn is ‘willing to go the extra mile for clients’ and ‘is particularly strong at project development and procurement work’, as demonstrated by its advice to the City of Edinburgh Council on the St James’ Quarter Growth Accelerator Model (GAM) project. This role included assisting with the documentation for council funding provision alongside planning and property matters. In other work, the team provided procurement support to the council pertaining to a housing project development at North Sighthill, Edinburgh. ‘Experienced and determined’ practice head Rhona Harper (who ‘demonstrates inherent understanding of the aims and needs of her public sector clients’) advised South Ayrshire Council, North Lanarkshire Council and Dumfries and Galloway Council – participants of hub South West Scotland – on the procurement of a number of new schools through the hub initiative. This includes the procurement of Dumfries Learning Town for Dumfries and Galloway Council and the procurement of Greenfaulds High School for North Lanarkshire Council. Other key figures include planning specialist Ewan MacLeod and construction law expert Euan McLeod.

Anderson Strathern focuses on handling regeneration and redevelopment projects while also assisting a wide range of local authorities and arm’s-length external organisations (ALEOs) with matters pertaining to sports, leisure and education facilities. Team head Audrey Cameron acted for Clyde Gateway on all legal work to secure SRUCE (Scottish Partnership for Regeneration in Urban Centres) funding for the regeneration of Clyde Gateway East. The University of the West of Scotland instructed the team to advise on a number of matters, including state aid, property and public procurement, pertaining to its plan to create a new state-of-the-art campus at Hamilton International Technology Park (HITP). Other clients include Dumfries and Galloway Council, Live Borders (formerly Borders Sport and Leisure Trust) and Midlothian Council.

Local authorities regularly instruct Burness Paull LLP to advise on the development of new public service delivery models, and the team’s experience extends to handling major infrastructure projects alongside public procurement and governance matters. Practice head Stephen Phillips advised Orkney Islands Council on a procurement process for the design, construction, operation and financing of a tidal energy generation scheme at Churchill Barriers, and carried out a governance review for Falkirk Council pertaining to Falkirk Community Trust. In other work for the same client, Chris Mackay advised it on its first hub project to construct a further support needs facility adjacent to existing schools. Steven McKinlay advised City Property Glasgow (Investments), a wholly owned offshoot of Glasgow City Council, as landowner in a ground lease re-gearing exercise to facilitate the development of a vacant site to create around 365,000 square feet of space in a city centre location for office and mixed use. West Lothian Council and Renfrewshire Council are also clients.

DWF attracts praise for its ‘good industry knowledge’. The firm handles a range of issues, including handle procurement, state aid, planning and employment work for local authorities. Suzanne Moir assisted Dundee City Council and Angus Council with their joint procurement for residual waste management services, and advised Aberdeen City Council, Aberdeenshire Council and Moray Council on the procurement of a £120m joint energy-from-waste development in Aberdeen, which included a number of state aid, governance and construction issues. Team head Martin Gallaher, who has ‘good in-depth knowledge of the public sector’, advised the Scottish government on the delivery of the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme (DSSB), which comprises two contracts with BT and encompasses more than £410m of public and private funding to extend fibre broadband infrastructure. Colin Miller acted for InTechnologyWiFi in negotiations with the City of Edinburgh Council pertaining to a contract to provide WiFi in public areas in the City of Edinburgh. In the employment sphere, the team continues to advise Aberdeenshire Council on mass multiple equal pay claims.

Harper Macleod LLP’s ‘experienced and knowledgeable’ team is well versed in handling state aid and public procurement work, the latter often pertaining to major events while also demonstrating significant expertise in defending local government clients in judicial review challenges. Team head James McMorrow advised Glasgow City Council on a number of matters pertaining to the 2018 European Championships, which are co-hosted by Glasgow and Berlin, such as IP procurement for digital media and central results services, event management services drafting and competition law compliance. In other recent work, he advised the City of Edinburgh Council on a number of procurement matters pertaining to Edinburgh’s Christmas and New Year event programmes, and assisted Renfrewshire Council with state aid compliance matters pertaining to its City Deal project. The ‘reliable, efficient and professional’ Jennifer Jack, who is ‘pleasant to work with’, defended Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (Western Isles Council) in an appeal against a judicial review concerning the procurement of a multimillion-pound regeneration project.

Morton Fraser’s ‘strong and committed’ team is well equipped to guide clients through a range of contentious and non-contentious matters, including planning, governance, project development and corporate issues. ‘Always helpful’ team head Rory Alexander advised the City of Edinburgh Council on an application for a proposed residential development and community facilities, and assisted Aberdeen City Council, as planning authority, with planning aspects of the 3000-unit residential-led mixed use scheme at Countesswells, Aberdeen. In litigation, the ‘very experienced’ David Hossack defended Aberdeen City Council against allegations of human rights breaches brought by an individual. Director Lynda Towers joined the firm from an in-house role.

MacRoberts LLP has a strong profile for representing clients in employment tribunal claims and disputes pertaining to construction defects and service delivery failures while also dealing with a range of non-contentious matters, most prominently procurement, commercial and regulatory work. The team represented the City of Edinburgh Council in employment tribunal claims brought by senior managers for unfair dismissal. Practice head Duncan Osler advised the Scottish government on procurement matters. Andrew Orr moved to Maclay Murray & Spens LLP.

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