The Legal 500


United Kingdom > Scotland > Transport > Transport


DLA Piper Scotland LLP represented Secro in its successful bid for the Northern Isles ferry service, and continues to advise Transport Scotland on all land acquisition matters arising from its road and rail projects. Sharon Fitzgerald heads the practice.

DWF Biggart Baillie acted for Transport Scotland in connection with the refranchising of the ScotRail passenger rail franchise. Other clients include Babcock Caledonian Maritime Assets and Loganair. Neil Amner heads the department, which includes the ‘pragmatic and helpful’ Martin Gallaher.

Dundas & Wilson CS LLP’s highlights included advising Transport Scotland and Halcrow in their review of the structures and processes for maintaining roads in Scotland. The team is also acting for the city of Edinburgh Council in connection with the creation of bye-laws for the regulation of the new Edinburgh tram network. Ann Faulds is recommended.

Shipping and marine specialist HBJ Gateley handles the sale, purchase and registration of commercial vessels; banking and corporate transactional work; and shipping litigation. Highlights included advising Topaz Energy and Marine on various complex, multi-jurisdictional transactions. It also advised Norwegian Hull Club and Clydeport. David Horne and Ed Watt are recommended.

Brodies LLP is active in the road, rail, shipping and aviation sectors. 2012 saw the firm act for Scottish Borders Council in connection with the Borders Railway project, and Caledonian Maritime Assets in relation to shipbuilding contracts for two hybrid ferries. Karen Hamilton is recommended for her ‘in-depth knowledge and technical understanding’.

Maclay Murray & Spens LLP acted for Network Rail and Transport Scotland on a range of matters. Other clients include Stagecoach Group and Strathclyde Partnership for Transport. David McGrory and Michael Dean are recommended.

MacRoberts LLP is active in the rail sector. In 2012, the firm advised Western Ferries in connection with a public services contract for the provision of passenger-only lifeline ferry services between Gourock and Dunoon.

Pinsent Masons LLP is acting for the Connect Roads consortium in its bid for the M8, M73 and M74 motorway improvements project. Michael Allen and Kenny Valentine are recommended for their ‘knowledgeable’ and ‘honest’ advice.

Anderson Strathern is representing Carnbroe Estates in connection with the proposed expansion of the Mossend rail international freight hub, and was recently re-appointed by the City of Edinburgh Council to its transport law framework panel. Practice head Alastair McKie is recommended.

Burness Paull & Williamsons has been advising Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles at all stages of the mediation process arising from the Edinburgh trams project. Chris Mackay heads the department.

Bruce Craig heads the practice at specialist maritime firm Mackinnons, which handles ship sales and purchases, shipbuilding and finance matters, and contentious maritime and criminal advice.

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Legal Developments in the UK

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
  • Home Office announces extension of support service for SMEs

    An online support service for small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) which need to recruit skilled overseas workers has been extended until 28 February 2014. The pilot was launched by UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI) in partnership with the Greater London Authority (GLA) and provides a step by step guide to sponsoring an overseas worker. This service is available via the GLA website.
  • Penningtons Manches' immigration team considers new changes to the Tier 4 Sponsor Guidance

    The Home Office has recently published new Tier 4 Sponsor Guidance, version 12/13. This guidance is to be used by all prospective and existing Tier 4 sponsors from 11 December 2013.
  • Finding the 
right words

    In the recent case of Newbury v Sun Microsystems [2013], the defendant argued that an offer to settle proceedings was ‘in principle' only and that a binding contract could not be formed until further terms had been agreed and a formal contract had been signed. It supported this argument by referring to a statement, in the offer letter, that the settlement was to be ‘recorded in a suitably worded agreement'. 

  • Behind the corporate veil: is that all there is?

    That companies have an existence entirely separate to that of their shareholders and directors is a foundational principle of English law and commerce.

  • Playing fair with penalty clauses

    It is often difficult to predict what will be recoverable as damages for breach of contract. To provide some certainty, parties will often seek to agree the sum that will be payable in the event of specified breaches. 

  • Restoring environmental damage: putting a price on ecosystem services

    On 7 August 2009 a 40-inch pipeline ruptured, spilling 5,400 cubic metres of crude oil into the soil and groundwater of La Crau nature reserve in southern France, a habitat protected under French and European law. The operator had to excavate and replace 60,000 tons of soil, install 70 wells to pump and treat groundwater and 25 pumps to skim oil from surface water, at a cost in the region of €50m. However, this was just the primary remediation (that is, restoring the site to the state it would have been if the damage had not occurred). The operator was also required to compensate for the damage to the habitats and the loss of the ecosystem services that would otherwise have been provided by La Crau nature reserve. Measures included purchasing land outside of the nature reserve and contributing to its management for a period of 30 years (over €1m), monitoring the water table for 20 years (over €500,000), monitoring fauna over three years (€150,000) and rehabilitation in accordance with best available ecological techniques (nearly €2m). Overall, the compensatory restoration (to compensate for the amount of time that the ecosystem was impacted) and complimentary restoration (to compensate for elements of the ecosystem that had been permanently lost) came to more than €6.5m. 

  • The role of arbitrators in EU antitrust law

    In May 2014, it will be ten years since Regulation No 1/2003 entered into force. When the legislator of the European Union adopted this Regulation on 16 December 2002, its main objective was to decentralise the enforcement of the two main provisions of EU antitrust law, Articles 81 and 82 of the Treaty establishing the European Community (now Articles 101 and 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU)). Where do the arbitrators fit in this picture?

  • New Immigration Bill, October 2013: cause for concern or appeasing public sentiment?

    The year 2013 has seen a string of reforms to the immigration system by the current coalition government. On 10 October, the government published a Bill aimed at continuing its drive to reduce net migration figures. 

  • New Schengen EU Regulations: impact on short-stay visa visitors

    The publication on 26 June 2013 of the European Union Regulation EU 610/2013 modified the incumbent Regulation EU 562/2006 in relation to third country nationals (ie non-EU citizens) and those travelling on a short-stay visitor visa, as well as those who do not require a visa to enter the Schengen area, Romania, Croatia and Bulgaria. Exceptions include EU and EEA nationals travelling to other EU/EEA states within the Schengen area together with foreign nationals holding either long-stay or residence permits for their destination Schengen countries.

  • New revised guidelines for administrators in pre-pack sales

    Pre-pack sales by administrators are now used frequently enough for most people in business to be aware of them and many have come across them in their business lives. A small amount of controversy still attaches to pre-packs, but it is probably right to say that they are now an accepted part of the UK business scene as a useful means of rescuing a business in difficulty and preserving some or all of the jobs connected with the business.
    - Druces

Press Releases in the UK

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