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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 > TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Intellectual property

Index of tables

  1. Intellectual property
  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 Intellectual property 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 team houses ‘among the best and most experienced contentious IP practitioners’, in addition to having a thriving non-contentious practice. Its work covers copyright, trade mark and patent law in a variety of sectors, such as luxury brands, oil and gas, renewables, life sciences and financial services. The ‘knowledgeable and personable’ Gill Grassie leads the IP dispute resolution practice, and has a strong track record representing clients in patent infringement and validity cases as well as brand and trade mark protection cases. ‘Hardworking and very able’ litigator Robert Buchan is ‘commercially minded and a joy to work with’; he has particular experience in cross-border patent and copyright infringement, entitlement and validity cases, often involving co-ordinating actions in national courts and IP offices. He is defending a major engineering company against a court action including allegations of copyright and database right infringements and the theft of confidential information. Non-contentious IP head Grant Campbell handles a wide spectrum of transactional and advisory work. Associate Shona Tennant is recommended for providing ‘good support’ as well as ‘a clear knowledge of IP law’. Clients include the University of Edinburgh, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Performing Rights Society for Music and the University of Edinburgh.

Burness Paull LLP’s ‘first-class’ contentious IP practice stands out for its substantial expertise in the pharmaceutical and life sciences sector, where it has handled a number of major trade mark and patent disputes. It also acts for high-profile clients in the fashion and TMT industries. Colin Hulme (the ‘oracle of Scottish IP’) leads on IP litigation and is representing AstraZeneca Group in four patent litigation cases at the Court of Session, concerning three of the client’s patents and an action for declaratory non-infringement in relation to one of the patents, brought by a supplier of generic medicines to the NHS, securing an interim interdict for all three patents in November 2017. Hulme continues to manage Sky’s copyright enforcement programme across Scotland, in addition to acting as general counsel to Harris Tweed Authority in relation to the registration and enforcement of its global trade mark portfolio. Callum Sinclair leads on non-contentious matters, notably supporting Renfrewshire Council on its IP strategy in connection with the Paisley 2021 UK City of Culture bid. The ‘business-focused’ David Goodbrand advised Standard Life Aberdeen on IP matters arising from its acquisition of Jones Sheridan Holdings. Neeraj Thomas is noted for his ‘expert knowledge and tenacity’ in the contentious IP space.

Pinsent Masons LLP handles the full range of contentious and non-contentious IP work for national and international clients. The group’s expertise covers a variety of key Scottish industries, including energy, food and drink, life sciences, technology and financial services. ‘Star lawyer’ Chris Martin gives ‘consistently good advice’ and specialises in advising HE institutions on IP matters. He is currently assisting Edinburgh Business School with a range of issues, including historic IP arrangements with academic staff, the preparation and implementation of a new IP policy and a new IP model for commissioning course content from third-party providers. Jim Cormack is defending the Falkland Islands government against a claim brought in the Supreme Court by Geophysical Service in relation to an allegation of copyright infringement in seismic data. He is also representing Teva UK in a dispute with AstraZeneca in relation to the validity of three of the defendant’s patents. Legal director David Woods advises RSA on strategic and clearance matters in relation to proposed new brands, domain name dispute recovery and trade mark infringement issues. Legal director George Campbell heads the non-contentious IP practice.

Providing ‘an excellent level of service’, the team at CMS is noted for handling contentious and non-contentious IP mandates in the life sciences and healthcare, higher education, entertainment and energy sectors. Practice leader Laurence Ward continues to assist the Scottish Event Campus with a range of matters in relation to SSE Hydro, including drafting, negotiating and advising on sponsorship agreements with A.G. Barr, Cadbury’s and Clydesdale Bank, in addition to image rights agreements with Royal Mail for the use of the Armadillo building on a stamp. Carina Healy is advising cell and gene therapy company, Sympromics, on deals with multiple US partners, including development agreements to endure the protection of proprietary technology. She is also advising MacRebur on the implications of various supply agreements for the client’s pending patents. Senior associate Jennifer Barr is recommended for ‘an outstanding ability to turn commercial aspirations into contracts’.

Dentons’ full-service IP practice has particular strength in matters pertaining to the food and drink industry, life sciences and branding, for which it is able to ‘quickly identify key issues in complex situations’. Practice head Alison Bryce advises UK and international clients on all non-contentious IP matters, such as licensing deals, portfolio acquisitions, investments and joint ventures. She recently assisted Kings Landing with its acquisition of the IP portfolio of Jaeger and QUIZ on all IP and commercial contract aspects of its £200m Alternative Investment Market (AIM) listing. The ‘approachable’ Ross Nicol advised Stagecoach Group on branding issues arising from its partnership with South Gloucestershire Bus and Coach Company. Alongside Corinne Ward and the ‘knowledgeable’ Susan Snedden, he advised STV Productions on various matters, including content-related IP and data protection issues and matters concerning a proposed appointment of a new distributor.

DLA Piper Scotland LLP is marked out by its transactional and advisory IP practice, but it also handles contentious matters for a variety of corporates. Highlights for practice head, John McKinlay, include advising Merlin Entertainments, which instructs the firm on all of its IP matters, on image rights for Madame Tussauds; licensing issues for CBeebies Hotel; IP licenses for theme park attractions such as Peppa Pig World; and multiple branding, advertising clearance and commercial IP issues. The firm is also sole legal adviser to Heineken UK and assisted it with a range of e-commerce deals and commercial contracts involving the use of IP rights, in addition to the management of its trade mark portfolio, including opposition and infringement claims. In another highlight, Alastair Drummond is representing the Football Association Premier League in interdictions against Scottish businesses showing the overseas broadcast of English Premier League matches on the basis of copyright infringement. Other clients include Skyscanner and Underbelly.

MacRoberts LLP’s ‘excellent’ team is noted for its ‘quick turnaround time’ and ability to ‘deal with complex issues in an efficient manner’. The group advises a mixture of corporations and government agencies on the range of IP issues, including licensing, protection, disputes, technology transfers, insolvencies and portfolio commercialisation, in addition to IP issues arising out of major procurement and implementation projects. Highlights for David Gourlay included advising the Scottish government’s Digital Directorate on the second phase of its CivTech project, which included contractual documentation, brand protection and international licensing arrangements. He also defended Brownings the Bakers in trade mark opposition proceedings brought by KFC concerning an application for its Killie pie mark. Euan Duncan is advising CCGH on licensing issues relating to its Vaporized brand, which operates a franchise model.

Shepherd and Wedderburn is noted for ‘sensible, efficient advice’, which is provided by individuals who demonstrate that they ‘know the practical realities of business as well as the legal necessities’. Joanna Boag-Thomson, who leads on patent and technology licensing, media and brand activation, is advising the Pernod Ricard group subsidiary, Chivas Brothers, on a number of matters, including the development of the La Distillerie Generale brand in France, which required distribution and co-branding agreements. She is also assisting Winduna on licensing agreements with Oxford University Press in relation to its production of an animated series based on the Winnie the Witch books. Paul Carlyle leads the media and technology team and assists the National Trust for Scotland with the protection of its trade mark portfolio. John MacKenzie is representing RSVP Design in trade mark infringement proceedings that the client raised against Future Factory, in the Court of Session, relating to its colourblind trade mark. ‘Extremely professional’ associate Ashley McLean is also recommended.

Thorntons Law LLP always ‘offers valuable advice’, and draws on ‘a wide breadth of knowledge’ of IP law. The team is led by Lesley Larg, who handles IP matters for a range of research institutions and universities, including the University of St Andrews, which she advised on international brand strategy and other aspects of its trade mark portfolio. She also assisted Glasgow Caledonian University with an IP assignation and revenue sharing agreement with a US spin-out company related to an app developed by academics at the university, relation to a US spin-out company for an app developed by academics at the university. In another highlight, Larg is representing Design Dundee in a complex a tri-partite agreement in connection with the opening exhibition at the V&A museum in Dundee. ‘Thorough and pragmatic’ commercial lawyer Liam McMonagle successfully secured a UK registered word mark for the People’s Postcode Lottery. Associate Gemma Kelly, who focuses on contentious IP, is recommended for being able to provide ‘excellent advice and support’.

Anderson Strathern’s team is led by Douglas McLachlan, who acted alongside James Blair for Rangers Football Club on a range of IP matters, including the protection, commercialisation and enforcement of its copyright and trade mark portfolios, in addition to IP litigation, sponsorship and software matters. McLachlan is also assisting the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland with media and IP matters, including in relation to a contract with STV for documentary filming and live broadcasts in relation to the birth of polar bear cubs at the Highland Wildlife Park, which will be broadcast on Channel 4. Simon Brown advised MyWay Digital Health on its spin-out from the University of Dundee, with respect to a licence agreement with the university and on contractual matters relating to the platform’s roll-out across the UK. Katrina Lumsdaine is co-ordinating counsel for the defence of Deepak Nitrate, in a complex trade mark dispute with Archroma IP, which is currently in a High Court litigation in London, with further litigation in the Munich High Court. Bruce Farquhar is another name to note.

Bonaccord’s IP practice is headed by founding partner Patricia Barclay; she is a 'top-class' and ‘business-savvy’ lawyer with ‘great industry knowledge’. The team is ‘very strong in the life sciences arena’ and provides ‘clear, simple and practical solutions’. The group is currently advising ExScientia on a collaboration to design patented compounds to order for Sanofi. It is also representing stem cell technology company, Censo, in connection with all IP matters linked to a series of commercialisation templates for the acquisition of human tissue for use in developing cell lines, in addition to negotiations with suppliers regarding the client’s downstream activities.

DWF is noted for its expertise in jurisdictional patent, trade mark and copyright portfolio protection and management, with particular strength in the food and drink, pharmaceutical, transport and energy sectors. Its client base includes a number of HE and FE establishments, for which it handles the range of IP work. Practice head Colin Miller advised Whitbread and Morrisons on separate brand protection matters relating to procurement contracts for water and waste services. He also advised Angostura on the protection of its product recipes and proposed distribution agreements in China. Martin Gallaher is advising the Scottish Government on the identification and protection of underlying intellectual property rights created by contractors working on the R100 broadband project. Paul Mason assisted Monsoon Accessorize with trade mark and copyright registrations following the appointment of the client as a concessionaire in both Glasgow and Edinburgh airports.

Harper Macleod LLP’s ‘professional and efficient’ team has a particularly strong profile in trade mark work, including prosecution, portfolio management, application filings and protection. ‘Sharp, pragmatic and creative’ practice head Jamie Watt is advising Celtic Football Club on its international registered trade mark portfolio, in addition to providing anti-counterfeiting assistance which involves working closely with Northern Ireland’s Border Force. The team is assisting multiple companies with IP strategy and audit work, funded through the Scottish Enterprise and the UK Intellectual Property Office scheme. As part of the firm’s broader work with Glasgow City Council in relation to the Glasgow 2018 European Championships, Tom Thomas is advising the client on all associated IP rights, including its brand protection and trade mark registration strategy. Scott Kerr is also recommended for his expertise in food and drink sector-related IP.

Morton Fraser’s practice is geared to the needs of IP producers, particularly in relation to clients in the life sciences sector, which it advises on University spin-outs, protection and commercialisation. It also handles due diligence mandates for lenders and potential investors, in addition to taking security over IP assets. Practice head Austin Flynn is advising Mercia Technologies plc on assignations and ownership rights of IP, in relation to its equity investment in a start-up technology company. Richard McMeeken leads on contentious IP matters, and has extensive experience in IP enforcement actions before the Court of Session in Edinburgh and the Supreme Court in London. Associate Julie Nixon is another key practitioner and is a former life scientist.

BTO Solicitors LLP’s full-service team handles the range of IP matters, including licensing agreements, but is most noted for its IP litigation practice, where it is often instructed on trade mark and copyright infringement, database infringement, restrictive covenant breaches, domain disputes, website IP disputes and content take-downs. Practice head, Paul Motion successfully represented Milton Hotels in a dispute in which a competitor had used an trade mark infringing internet domain name; a matter that was resolved after a complaint was raised under the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) disputes procedure.

TLT draws on its UK-wide office network to advise a variety of blue-chip clients on brand and portfolio management issues, in addition to handling IP disputes. The group is led by litigator John Paul Sheridan , who has substantial experience in copyright claims, on which he is currently advising a major national sports broadcaster in relation to broadcasting rights.

IT and telecoms

Index of tables

  1. IT and telecoms
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which IT and telecoms 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


Noted for its ‘good industry knowledge’, the team at CMS specialises in handling complex IT projects in the financial services industry, as well as having a strong profile in Scottish public and education sector projects. It is also handling several significant GDPR compliance mandates. Laurence Ward is advising NHS National Services Scotland (NSS) on procurement contracts for a system replacing NHS Scotland’s mainframe systems for the Community Health Index; this mandate involves multiple bidders and a complex technical specification. ‘Pragmatic and commercial’ Alan Nelson is assisting NSS and the Scottish public sector with contractual aspects of the Scottish Wide Area Network (SWAN), intended as the main IT service delivery contract for the public sector in Scotland. Nelson also advised a banking institution on all contractual aspects of a significant outsourcing arrangement with an IT services provider. ‘Knowledgeable and thorough’ senior associate Caroline Connolly is another key contact, with experience in transactions with a multi-jurisdictional element.

DLA Piper Scotland LLP is noted for its work on major IT, outsourcing and data projects across a range of sectors. Practice head John McKinlay is described as ‘very good’, while Ross McKean represented Goldman Sachs in negotiations with Google in relation to its global Data Processing and Security Terms. The group currently leads on competitive procurement for Viridian Group, which involves parallel negotiations with a number of significant software vendors in relation to a payment procurement system. It is also assisting Scottish Water with the re-procurement of its core IT and telecoms infrastructure. Legal director Ishbel MacPherson has particular expertise in technology transfer matters. Senior associate John McGonagle is recommended for his experience in complex IT outsourcing deals.

Pinsent Masons LLP is ‘a market leader in Scotland’ for IT procurement and outsourcing in the financial services, education and energy sectors both in Scotland and throughout the UK. In addition to a strong transactional offering, the group also has a significant contentious practice. Legal director David Woods is acting for David MacBrayne in an action for breach of contract against ATOS IT Services UK in relation to the provision, by ATOS, of a new ticketing system and reservation IT system for the Calmac ferry network. Mhairi Mival leads on all IT contracts entered into by Westfield Europe in the UK. Joanne McIntosh advised the University of Edinburgh on the procurement of high-end animal scanning technology from Siemens. ‘Star lawyer’ Chris Martin is recommended for his expertise in the energy and education sectors. An expert in IT outsourcing work in the financial services sector, Yvonne Dunn leads the practice.

Shepherd and Wedderburn ‘compares favourably with City firms’ and is noted for its ‘strong commercial acumen’ in relation to IT and outsourcing mandates. The practice is co-led by Gordon Moir, who specialises in regulatory support in the TMT sector, and Paul Carlyle, whose focus is IT investment in the financial service industry. Moir is acting for European Competitive Telecoms Association (on behalf of the European Commission) in relation to an appeal brought by Orange Polska against the Commission’s decision to fine the company for abuse of its dominant position. Joanna Boag-Thomson advised Water Plus on a major IT infrastructure procurement project. She is also advising Satellite Solutions Worldwide on the negotiation of its distributor arrangements with Euro Broadband Retail in relation to its expansion into markets in Sweden, Norway, Poland, France, Ireland and the UK. John MacKenzie represented Calsoft in relation to a claim raised by Bayonette in the Technology and Construction Court in London concerning alleged breaches of a contract to provide residential virtual consumer premise equipment and router software to the claimant; an action that was settled by negotiation. Associates Alison Rochester and Ashley McLean are noted for their ‘clear communication skills’.

Addleshaw Goddard is a strong new entrant in the Scottish IT and telecoms market, following the firm’s merger with HBJ Gately. The group, led by David Anderson, is most noted for advising suppliers of IT systems and services into the financial services industry; and utility companies, consultancy businesses, sporting organisations and charities, in connection with the procurement of IT services. The group advised FNZ on its master services agreement with respect to the provision of an investment transaction and administration outsourcing services to Old Mutual Wealth, which involved negotiation of all aspects of the contract that related to the client’s service delivery and on-going services to be provided. Highlights for Helena Brown included advising Celtic Football Club on a range of online consumer contracts for ticket and hospitality sales, and for the procurement of Wi-Fi services. She also conducted a detailed review of legal agreements for Edinburgh Airport concerning the client’s IT systems and service delivery. The group is currently assisting Clydesdale Bank with a major renegotiation of supply contracts, driven by the need for GDPR compliance. Ross McKenzie joined the team from Burness Paull LLP in February 2018, and leads on privacy matters.

Brodies LLP has ‘a strong team of associates who display commendable independence’ and ‘excellent knowledge of the telecoms sector and general market practice’. The practice is co-led by the ‘approachable and friendly’ Grant Campbell and ‘insightful’ Martin Sloan, who specialise in data protection and outsourcing, respectively. The firm also stands out for its IT litigation practice, with particular experience in English law matters as well as mediation. The group advised Sainsbury’s Bank on the strategic transformation of its insurance business, which centred on a new outsourced technology platform from CDL. It also advised Abellio Scotrail on a managed service arrangement with Cubic Transportation Systems for the provision of enterprise integration and an account-based ticketing service. In another highlight, the group acted for Sykes Enterprises on GDPR compliance matters.

Burness Paull LLP’s clients span tech businesses, financial service providers, oil and gas companies and public sector entities. The practice is led by the ‘professional and approachable’ Callum Sinclair, who is noted as ‘particularly helpful in crisis situations’. The group has been appointed as sole legal advisers to Oil & Gas Technology Centre and continues to advise ScottishPower on its GDPR compliance, data retention issues and updates to its data and security policies. Sinclair and Walter Clark advised on the UK IT and IP aspects of Weir Group’s acquisition of Singapore-based KOP Surface Products, as well as an IT transitional services agreement in relation to the transaction, and a renegotiation of its IT outsourcing arrangements with Cognizant. David Goodbrand is also recommended for fintech matters.

Dentons is marked out by its contentious IT practice, which focuses on dispute resolution in technology-related matters. The non-contentious team has expertise in IT outsourcing, hosted and online services as well as system procurement and implementation. Team leader Alison Bryce advised Ecometrica on its proprietary Service as a Software (SaaS) agreement and on various data protection compliance issues. Ross Nicol advised The Restaurant Group on all of its IT requirements, including the negotiation of an agreement with Get Grab, which enables pre-ordering of food and drink at airports.

Harper Macleod LLP has particular expertise in public and third sector IT and telecoms projects and mainstream IT contracts. Tom Thomas leads the team and specialises in high-value technology contract work in the public sector as well as having niche expertise in sports sector work. Thomas advised Fintry Renewable Energy Distribution on the technology, corporate and commercial aspects of a smart energy project. Scott Kerr advised Construction Industry Solutions on negotiations for all bespoke software development, licensing and hosting contracts for its clients. He is currently supporting Ideagen’s contract team in negotiating and drafting bespoke contracts for development and licensing of its products.

MacRoberts LLP handles a mixture of IT procurement, managed service agreement, hardware supply, service-level agreements and GDPR advice. The group is led by David Flint who has particular expertise in encryption and technology policy issues. Flint assisted Fidra Software with on-licensing to UK and international customers. David Gourlay specialises in large outsourcing projects in both the public and financial sectors. He is currently advising the Digital Directorate of the Scottish Governmnet on the second phase of its CivTech project. Julie Hamilton advised the Executive Agency of the Scottish Government on its ongoing Court of Session commercial action against a global IT contractor arising from the termination of a contract after the contractor’s default.

‘A truly valued strategic partner’, Thorntons Law LLP’s ‘fantastic team’ has ‘a broad range of knowledge and a wealth of experience’ in the IT and outsourcing space. It is led by ‘thoroughly professional’ Liam McMonagle, who has a particular focus on information security and data protection compliance. Alastair Lang is a specialist commercial legal advisor who works predominantly with IT companies in relation to corporate structures, governance, growth and exit strategies. Associate Gemma Kelly is recommended for IT disputes and pre-action matters.

Media and entertainment

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Media and entertainment 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


Burness Paull LLP operates in ‘a whole different league of professionalism’. The team is led by Grant Stevenson , who assisted with Scottish Investment Bank’s £5.2m equity investment and ongoing shareholder and board arrangements in TV Squared. Philip Rodney is advising BBC Scotland on all aspects of defamation law, including reporting restrictions, Freedom of Information (FOI) matters and litigation; Legal director Kirsteen MacDonald advised the client on its Paradise Papers investigation and coverage. Colin Hulme is managing Sky UK’s rights enforcement across Scotland, which involves copyright issues related to the company’s on-screen logos, through the commencement of interdict proceedings in the Intellectual Property Court of the Court of Session. David Morgan advises ITN on employment law matters, in addition to aspects of its news reporting.

Pinsent Masons LLP acts for a client roster that includes production companies and investors with advice on media and entertainment matters across film, television, music games and print media. Its strong contentious team has expertise in regulatory, criminal and investigation issues that are faced by media organisations. Yvonne Dunn leads on non-contentious matters, and specialises in film and television development, production and financing. Contentious practice head Jim Cormack is dual Scots and English law qualified, and has particular expertise in data protection and criminal law. He also has a niche in reputation protection, privacy and confidentiality matters. Legal director Joanne McIntosh is recommended for film and television investments. Notable clients include Creative Scotland, News Corp and News UK.

Brodies LLP acts for clients across the media and entertainment sphere on the full spectrum of legal services, including defamation, pre-publication and –broadcast advice, reputation management, privacy issues, FOI requests, and data protection. Practice head and regulatory expert, Christine O’Neill provides holiday and out-of-hours advice to BBC Scotland journalists and current affairs staff. Martin Sloan assisted the Chinese mobile gaming company, Skymoons Interactive, in establishing a UK subsidiary in Edinburgh and continues to advise the client on IP issues, contractual matters, employment and immigration law. Sports expert and managing associate Andy Nolan assisted 77 Management with legal aspects of the Andy Murray Live tennis event, including sponsorship agreements, a venue agreement with SSE Hydro, a broadcasting agreement with Eurosport, a player agreement with Mansour Bahrami and various service agreements. Alan Eccles is noted for his ‘excellent knowledge’ of charity and media law. Tony Jones QC joined the team from BTO Solicitors LLP in June 2018.

Building on the media and entertainment practice at legacy firm Maclay Murray & Spens LLP, Dentons also draws on its international office network to advise multinational corporations on the spectrum of matters relating to film, television, digital, gaming, e-sports, music, publishing and advertising. It also has a strong track record in reputation management. Practice leader Ewan Easton successfully represented BBC Scotland in an application to the High Court to reinstate trial reportage that was posted on twitter, for which consent was subsequently withdrawn by the presiding judge. He is also advising Edinburgh International Festival on contractual agreements with live performing artists, which required a particular focus on broadcasting and copyright issues. Ross Nicol and Susan Snedden are also recommended for their expertise in the intersection between IP and media law.

Thorntons Law LLP’s team works across all forms of media, including newspapers, television, television production, gaming, music, the arts, and online platforms. The group also stands out for the content-risk service it provides to journalists and editors in advance of print and broadcast deadlines. Practice head Lesley Larg handles newspaper clearance work and advice on new product lines for DC Thomson & Company. She is currently advising Jacks Hoose Music, Ged Grimes and the band Simple Minds on copyright ownership and licensing issues around music the clients are developing for a US-produced game. Alastair Lang assisted Mark Beaumont MB Broadcasting and Media with sponsorship contracts with a range of third parties, as well as a global production agreement with Moonsport in connection with the client’s round-the-world cycling challenge. Scott Milne continues to advise brightsolid Newspaper Archive on its acquisition of content from Johnson Press and Independent London News.

Anderson Strathern advises creative industry clients on commercial and regulatory matters, with a particular emphasis in the publishing sector. Practice head Simon Brown provides pre-publication advice to Birlinn, which spans defamation, privacy, IP infringement, contempt of court and protection of journalistic sources. Alongside David Hunter , Brown is advising Merlin Entertainments Group on IP, leasing and licensing in connection with its Scottish visitor attractions. Highlights for James Blair included advising Rangers Football Club on numerous defamation and reputation management issues, sponsorship and online marketing. He is also assisting Rangers Media with contracts for the live transmission of Rangers matches overseas and for delayed transmission and highlights packages in the UK.

Boutique media law firm Bannatyne Kirkwood France & Co specialises in defamation and reputation management, both for claimants and defendants. It has represented several national newspaper companies and broadcasters, in addition to politicians, professional sports players and celebrities, often in highly sensitive matters. The team is led by Campbell Deane, who often advises the Scottish government on defamation law reform. Margaret Smillie and Rory Cowan have substantial experience in pre- and post-production publication matters. The group is defending Andy Wightman MSP against a defamation action brought by Wildcat Haven Enterprises in connection with a series of articles written by the client about the claimant’s business activities. Other past matters have included successfully representing Premier league footballer Allan McGregor in relation to proceedings raised against The Scottish Sun at Glasgow Sheriff Court in two separate actions concerning false allegations and breach of privacy.

BTO Solicitors LLP has a strong profile for reputation management matters, with particular expertise in securing the removal of adverse comment in traditional and social media. Practice head Paul Motion was successful in defending Trump International Golf Club Scotland in court proceedings for damages under the Data Protection Act 1998 relating to material published on social media and in the press. He also successfully represented Mohammad Sarwar at the Court of Session in a challenge to allegations made against the client by a former business associate, that were published in the Scottish media. Tony Jones QC joined Brodies LLP in June 2018.


Index of tables

  1. Sport
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Sport 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


Harper Macleod LLP’s practice has wide-ranging sports law expertise, encompassing all associated corporate, commercial and employment issues faced by clients in the sport sector. The group is well known for its football and rugby work, but has substantial experience in advising international federations, national governing bodies, tournament organisers, sports clubs, sports people and representatives in all major sporting arenas. Practice head Bruce Caldow, who took over from Rod McKenzie following his move to the Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL) in January 2018, is lead partner for Sportscotland and the Institute of Sport, for which the group acts as the sole legal provider. Carolyn Morgan advised Commonwealth Games Scotland on an array of issues, including its Team Member Agreement, athlete eligibility, data protection, contractual matters, governance and guidelines for eligible sports to appeal non-selection decisions in relation to the 2018 Commonwealth Games. David Kerr is particularly noted for handling disputes between agents and players, and often appears before the SFA panel. Lorne Crerar and Tom Thomas are also recommended for their exceptional pedigree in sports law.

Addleshaw Goddard acts for clubs and individuals in a wide range of football-related matters. Helena Brown leads on the non-contentious front and draws on significant commercial, IP, IT and data protection compliance expertise. She is currently advising Celtic Football Club on consumer and data protection matters in relation to season ticket, hospitality and match ticket terms and conditions. Experienced litigator Simon Catto often represents players, clubs and agents in the SFA and SPFL at Scottish football tribunals, as well as Court of Arbitration for Sport proceedings and the Dispute Resolution Chamber of FIFA.

BTO Solicitors LLP’s team specialises in football, golf and boxing, but it also acts for clients in a variety of sports on corporate governance issues and disputes. It is also often instructed to negotiate commercial terms with both men’s and women’s international sports teams on behalf of the Scottish Football Association. The practice is headed by the ‘very strong’ Andrew Sleigh, who is noted for providing ‘commercial advice’, particularly set against the political landscape of football. Gary Booth is another key contact, with significant corporate governance and contractual expertise in the context of sport. Other clients include Hampden Park and Royal Troon Golf Club.

The ‘excellent’ team at Burness Paull LLP is particularly strong in football, rugby and golf mandates, and advises sporting governing bodies and sports teams alike. Neeraj Thomas provides ‘great commercial advice’ and acted for the Scottish Football Association in connection with disciplinary charges brought by FIFA in connection with alleged breaches of the Laws of the Game and other competition-specific breaches, following a match against England in which the Scottish team wore the poppy symbol on black armbands. Elaine Farquharson-Black is advising Aberdeen Football Club on its planning application to Aberdeen City Council for £50m community and sports facilities, football academy, stadium and the formation of access roads and parking. Colin Hulme represented the Scottish Rugby Union in a sensitive investigation into the conduct of a club and certain players in relation to a serious off-field incident, which provided the basis for disciplinary charges.

Morton Fraser is noted as ‘very good when it comes to sport law and related advice’, which includes governance issues, property, litigation and employment matters, although it has particular expertise in disciplinary cases. The group is also well placed to handle IP, immigration and licensing work. Iain Young successfully defended Howe of Fife Rugby Football Club, and certain members, against misconduct charges brought by the Scottish Rugby Union in relation to initiation ceremonies; avoiding the threat of relegation, points deductions and potential loss of charitable status. Paul Geoghegan leads on matters involving Scottish Gymnastics and its member clubs, for which the firm is preferred legal adviser.

Anderson Strathern’s clients includes Scottish sporting bodies, clubs and individual players, which it advises on the range of sports law issues. The practice is led by governance and compliance specialist John Kerr, who assisted with the contractual aspects of Badminton Scotland’s bid to host the World Championships in 2017, and is now reviewing the client’s hosting agreement with the Badminton World Federation (BWF) in order to run its Scottish Open Championships as a Grade 6 BWF World Tour Tournament from 2018-2021. He also advised Cricket Scotland on a major restructure of governance, which required the approval by member clubs and the senior management of Tennis Scotland on the exit of its CEO. James Blair and Paul Brown are instructed by Rangers Football Club on a range of employment matters, including a high profile player exit resulting from concerns about his behaviour.

Lindsays predominantly advises Scottish players and athletes in non-contentious mandates, but it also assists sporting clubs with incorporation and corporate governance matters, in addition to event hosting arrangements. The team is co-led by Douglas Roberts and Claire McCracken, both of who are experienced commercial lawyers. Roberts advised the Scottish Building Society on its sponsorship of Scottish Women’s Football; a deal which was a first for the client. David Wood advised the Ladies Golf Union on its reorganisation and subsequent merger with The Royal & Ancient Golf Club. Alastair Keatinge is assisting Carlton Cricket Club with its governance structure and a new constitution.

Noted for ‘good legal advice’, Shepherd and Wedderburn's practice is led by Paul Carlyle, who specialises in IP, branding, sponsorship, commercial partnerships and media rights in the sports industry. He drafted, negotiated and advised The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews on a variety of commercial contracts for the 146th Open at Royal Birkdale in 2017. He also advised Walton Heath Golf Club on the providsions of an agreement with the PGA European Tour to host the British Masters tournament in October 2018. Associate Alison Rochester is another key practitioner, with extensive commercial experience in sport.

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