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  1. Commercial property: Elsewhere in Scotland
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Who Represents Who

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Brodies LLP has a first-class reputation for handling high-end matters, as demonstrated by practice head Colin MacLaren (‘consistent, dedicated and displays calm professionalism at all times’) and senior solicitor Jenna McCosh’s advice to Drum Property Group on various matters associated with the development of the flagship Prime Four Business Park in Kingswells, including the development and letting of a headquarters for Lloyds Register EMEA. Chris Dun, who recently joined from Maclay Murray & Spens LLP, has strengthened the property finance side of the firm’s practice. He joins a team that includes Clive Phillips, who has a particular focus on the rural sector, where he acts for landed estates and farming clients throughout Scotland, as well as overseas-based clients; and Tracey Menzies. The Aberdeen-based team acts for a range of clients including Oaktree, Brookfield Student Real Estate and Knight Property Group. The group is also involved in various consultations with the Scottish Property Federation, and also participates in consultations following requests from the Scottish government and other public sector bodies.

Burness Paull LLP has a market-leading practice covering all aspects of commercial property development, commercial leasing, housebuilding, and oil and gas sector related real estate transactions. Richard Goodfellow and senior associate Sarah Stewart are among the advisers to a consortium of landowners on the development of a residential property settlement consisting of 4500 houses at Chapelton of Elsick. Goodfellow, who specialises in commercial and residential property development, has a wealth of experience in acting for developers, housebuilders, investors and funders. In another matter, Peter Smith is leading the advice to The Grandhome Trust on a mixed-use development, which includes 4000 homes. John Strachan and senior associate Nicola Henderson are assisting John Clark Motor Group with site acquisition arrangements for the purposes of establishing new car dealership facilities in Dundee. Other clients include Stewart Milne Group, Total E&P, Mars Pension Fund and Dandara Group.

Pinsent Masons LLP has a first-rate reputation in large-scale, high-profile and strategically complex commercial development and regeneration projects. It acts for a wide-ranging client base including developers, investors, funders and occupiers, and has a = standout residential development practice, where it acts for an impressive stable of housebuilder clients, including Persimmon Homes and Taylor Wimpey. Rodney Whyte and associate Michael Shepherd acted for CALA Management Limited in its acquisition of Jordanhill College Campus in Glasgow for the purposes of a proposed residential development of circa 370 units. In another highlight, the team acted for the same client on a 600-unit development in Penicuik. Other clients include landowners, for whom the firm acts on the sale of sites to residential developers. Work for oil and gas sector operators and service companies is another key area of activity, as is advice on various types of renewable energy schemes and infrastructure projects. Legal director Mark McCall and associate Leanne Hill are advising Aberdeen Harbour Board on the property aspects of the development of the extension to Aberdeen Harbour.

Blackadders LLP’s team handles the full spectrum of commercial property matters, from commercial property acquisitions and disposals (including advice on management of investments) and property finance, to landlord and tenant and portfolio management. Emma Gray leads the practice, which handling an increasing amount of work for landowners, as well as large and mid-sized housing developers. The firm also has a strong following in the retail, leisure and renewable energy sectors. Other key contacts in Dundee include director Stuart King and senior solicitor Fraser Morrison. Associate solicitors Fiona McNaughton and Jennifer Douglas are based in Perth and are also recommended.

Ledingham Chalmers LLP has a notable footprint in the North and North East of Scotland and covers a broad range of matters, including residential development, commercial leasing, and acquisitions and disposals of commercial property investments. The firm’s first-rate reputation sees it undertake a significant amount of work for major oil service companies and public sector organisations (such as Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Scottish Enterprise), as well as commercial developers and housebuilders. Practice head Stephen Morrice and Malcolm Ferguson acted for Carlton Rock as the landlord on the lease of premises to the Oil & Gas Technology Centre Limited, which was one of the largest office lettings in Aberdeen in 2016. Alan Michie, who heads the firm’s housebuilding unit, led the advice to Kirkwood Homes on acquisitions of residential development sites in Inverness. Alasdair MacLure, John Mitchell and John Smart are also recommended.

Stronachs LLP’s team acts for public and private sector clients throughout Scotland, as well as international organisations. It handles a range of acquisitions and disposals, investment portfolio matters, and residential and commercial developments, as well as property finance, commercial leasing, option agreements and joint ventures. The team also has a track record handling property aspects of renewable energy projects and insolvency-related property work. Duncan Campbell heads the group in Aberdeen, which includes Liz Stewart, consultant Grant MacKenzie, and senior associates Joy Mullin and Emma Stephen. Senior associates Ross Linn and Paul Adams are based in Inverness and are also recommended. Ferga McKay joined DWF.

At Aberdein Considine, Aberdeen-based practitioners Jacqueline Law and Ritchie Whyte advise on portfolio management, standalone investments and sales, leasing, residential development and financing. The team’s work spans multiple sectors, such as retail, industrial, offices, and hotels and leisure. Whyte acted for Morrison Investments on its acquisition of commercial properties in the North East and Highlands of Scotland. Anthony Quin is a name to note in Stirling.

At Bond Dickinson LLP, Scotland real estate head Michael Spence is experienced in development work, including structuring and negotiating option agreements for site acquisitions. Spence also advises on the property aspects of renewable energy projects, and has expertise in the purchase/letting of retail space. Associate Caroline Sodersten is an expert in secured lending matters and advises on landlord and tenant matters in the offices, retail and industrial sectors. In 2016, Spence and Sodersten assisted Ashfield Land with expanding its Scotland portfolio through its £5.5m acquisition of the Pyramids Business Park in Bathgate from Clearbell. In another highlight, Spence has been advising Oakapple Renewables on the development of a portfolio of solar power facilities, and its subsequent disposal. Dream Alternatives Wind, GVO Wind and Agricultural Mortgage Corporation are other clients.

Key figures at CMS include Paul Carter, who splits his time between the Glasgow and Aberdeen offices and advises institutional investors on investment and development matters; and senior associate Carol Nisbet, who handles a broad cross-section of mandates involving leasing, secured lending, investment acquisitions and disposals. Nisbet has particular strength in property transactions related to the oil and gas sectors; in 2016, Nisbet led the advice to the Oil & Gas Technology Centre as the tenant on a high-profile letting in Aberdeen, and also acted for Subsea 7 in the disposal of its office premises and leisure facility at the West Campus site in Westhill. Nisbet also handles a significant amount of work for clients in the renewable energy sector. Other highlights included acting for Lloyds Register on the development and leasing aspects of its new premises at Prime Four Business Park.

MacRoberts LLP has an excellent reputation in commercial development, which spans the office, retail and leisure sectors. Other key areas of activity include residential development, commercial leasing, acquisitions and disposals of investment properties and property finance. David Milne leads the Dundee team, which includes senior associate Kyle Moir and Lisa MacRae. In 2016, Milne led the advice to charity ANGUSalive on the transfer of all assets owned by Angus Council (including country parks, schools and libraries) to the client.

Maclay Murray & Spens LLP’s track record includes handling property-related financings and refinancings, investment acquisitions and disposals, leasing and development work. Director David Rose acted for Paul Lawrie Golf Centre on its acquisition of the Inchmarlo Golf Centre, and led a cross-practice team in the advice to Royal Bank of Canada on the Scottish financing and real estate aspects of North Sea Midstream Partners’ acquisition of the Frigg UK Pipeline, the Shetland Island Regional Gas Export System and the St Fergus Gas Terminal. Muirden Energy, Persimmon, Ardmuir Limited and Redwood Leisure are also clients. Other key figures include team head Alan Stewart, who divides time between the Edinburgh and Aberdeen offices.

Noted for its partner-led approach, Thorntons Law LLP’s team acts for clients located throughout Scotland on property finance, commercial and residential development projects, commercial leasing, and investment acquisitions and disposals. Clients include developers, local authorities, banks, SMEs and international investors. In addition to handling Scottish law issues, the practice also leverages the expertise of practitioners such as Hugo Allan and associate Janice Napier, who are dual-qualified in Scottish and English law. In a notable highlight, practice head Janet MacIntyre worked with associates Andrina McDowall and Judith Vandecasteele to advise Ore Valley Housing Association and its subsidiaries on the financing and property aspects of a wind turbine project. Other recommended individuals include Ewan Miller, Graham Wilson, Craig Nicol and Bruce Renfrew.

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Legal Developments in Scotland for Commercial property: Elsewhere in Scotland

  • Parking rights: here to stay? Consent might be the surprising answer 


    In the field of the acquisition of easements by prescription, little has caused more consternation over the last decade or so than the question of whether a right to park cars can be acquired by twenty years user as of right. The types of property capable of being adversely affected range from individual residential units all the way up to major development sites. The establishment of such a right can have a devastating impact on the value of the burdened land.

    - Falcon Chambers

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