The Legal 500

Anderson Strathern

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Top-tier recommendations


  • Scotland: Crime, fraud and licensing > Licensing
  • Scotland: Overview >

Scotland: Corporate and commercial

Within Corporate and commercial: Edinburgh and Glasgow, Anderson Strathern is a third tier firm,

Led by Simon Brown in Edinburgh, Anderson Strathern is a popular choice for mid-sized Scottish corporates. Clients include INEOS Group, The Buccleuch Group and UPM Tilhill.

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Within EU and competition, Anderson Strathern is a third tier firm,

Anderson Strathern recently advised City Legacy on state aid issues relating to the funding of the construction of the Athletes’ Village for the 2014 Commonwealth Games. Karyn Watt is a key contact, and Audrey Cameron’s ‘extensive experience makes her particularly skilled at developing innovative solutions’.

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Scotland: Crime, fraud and licensing

Within Licensing, Anderson Strathern is a third tier firm,

Anderson Strathern continues to act for McDonald’s, and the Midlothian and City of Edinburgh Council licensing boards.

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Scotland: Dispute resolution

Within Commercial litigation, Anderson Strathern is a third tier firm,

Anderson Strathern is noted for its ‘responsiveness, knowledge and value for money’. It handles a variety of litigation, for clients such as Kwik Fit, INEOS Group and the Royal College of Nursing. Robert Fife is recommended.

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Within Debt recovery, Anderson Strathern is a second tier firm,

A good and well-rounded firm’, Anderson Strathern fields ‘a knowledgeable and practical’ debt recovery team which provides ‘a prompt and courteous’ service. Ruari MacNeill heads the group, which acts for a number of prominent banks. Senior associate Andrew Foyle is ‘a great asset’.

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Scotland: Finance

Within Banking and finance, tier 4

Led by James Blair, Anderson Strathern’s property-focused practice advised the development company on the syndicated revolving facility for phase one of the Bandstand Square development in Surrey.

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Within Insolvency and corporate recovery, Anderson Strathern is a second tier firm,

The ‘ambitious and forward-thinkingAnderson Strathern provides ‘consistently sound advice’ on contentious, personal and corporate insolvency work. The group is ‘well served by highly regarded individuals’, with team head Katrina Lumsdaine, noted for her ‘collaborative and disciplined approach’.

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Scotland: Human resources

Within Employment, Anderson Strathern is a second tier firm,

Anderson Strathern provides clients with a ‘high-quality, professional service’. The practice acts for the University of Stirling and the Scottish Ambulance Service, and was appointed sole external legal adviser to the Scottish government. Alun Thomas and Alan Masson are well regarded.

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Within Health and safety, Anderson Strathern is a second tier firm,

Anderson Strathern was appointed sole legal adviser to the Scottish government and Office of the Advocate General for all litigation matters, and continues to act as external legal adviser to the HSE. Practice head Robert Fife is ‘professional and knowledgeable’.

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Scotland: Insurance

Within Medical negligence: defender, Anderson Strathern is a first tier firm,

Anderson Strathern acted for the Royal College of Nursing in a fatal accident inquiry concerning three nurses. 2012 also saw the firm appointed as sole adviser to the Scottish Prison Service. Practice head Robert Carr and senior associate Judy Williamson are accredited specialists.

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Within Medical negligence: pursuer, Anderson Strathern is a first tier firm,

Headed by the ‘experiencedRobert Carr, Anderson Strathern’s practice provides a ‘quality, caring service’. Carr is an accredited specialist in clinical negligence, as is senior associate Judy Williamson, who has ‘very strong’ expertise in the area.

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Within Personal injury: defender, Anderson Strathern is a second tier firm,

Highlights for the ‘extremely competent and professional’ team at Anderson Strathern included its appointment by the UK and Scottish governments as sole provider for defendant personal injury work. Douglas Keir provides ‘incisive and sharp analysis’, and senior associate Sarah Phillips is also recommended.

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Within Personal injury: pursuer, Anderson Strathern is a third tier firm,

The ‘experiencedRobert Carr leads Anderson Strathern’s ‘well-organised’, ‘responsible’ and ‘well-informed’ team, which includes the ‘professional and knowledgeableRobert Fife .

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Within Professional negligence, Anderson Strathern is a second tier firm,

Anderson Strathern was re-appointed to the litigation panels of both Lloyds and RBS. Practice head Robert Carr chairs the Law Society of Scotland’s professional negligence accreditation committee. ‘Conscientious’, ‘effective’ and ‘responsive’ senior associate Andrew Foyle is also recommended.

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Scotland: Overview

Scotland: Private client

Within Agriculture and estates, Anderson Strathern is a first tier firm,

Anderson Strathern has a strong presence in the agricultural sector, where it handles the full range of land and business transactions as well as contentious matters. Practice head John Mitchell is an accredited agricultural law specialist. Jim Drysdale has joined Ledingham Chalmers LLP.

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Within Charities and not-for-profit, Anderson Strathern is a third tier firm,

2012 saw Anderson Strathern advise Culture NL Limited on its incorporation and application for charitable status, and the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland on amendments to its constitution. Former practice head Anne Swarbrick left the firm, and was succeeded by the ‘approachable and responsiveJohn Kerr .

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Within Contentious trusts and probate, Anderson Strathern is a second tier firm,

Alec Stewart heads the asset management team at Anderson Strathern, and is a member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners.

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Within Family, Anderson Strathern is a second tier firm,

The ‘excellent’ team at Anderson Strathern gives ‘appropriate, tailored advice’. The ‘positive, careful and enthusiasticSusan MacLeod heads the team and has over 30 years of family law experience.

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Within Personal tax, trusts and executries, Anderson Strathern is a second tier firm,

Anderson Stratherndeals with business promptly’ and displays ‘both breadth and depth of knowledge’ on the full range of trust and tax services. The firm has particular expertise in matters related to incapacity. ‘Experienced’ practice head John Biggar is recommended.

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Scotland: Projects, energy and natural resources

Within Energy (excluding oil and gas), Anderson Strathern is a third tier firm,

Anderson Strathern recently acted for e-Gen in developing its portfolio of over 150 wind farm sites across the UK. It has also been advising Dutch client Emergya Wind Technologies following its entry into the UK market in 2011, and continues to advise Imperative Energy on its biomass development project at Birmingham NEC. Bruce Farquhar heads the renewables group, which includes offshore energy specialist Gavin Thain .

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Within Projects, Anderson Strathern is a third tier firm,

Anderson Strathern provides ‘a very competitive, value-for-money service, and exceptional quality of work’. It has been appointed to advise the City Legacy consortium, the contractors appointed to construct the Athletes’ Village for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

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Scotland: Public sector

Within Education, Anderson Strathern is a first tier firm,

The ‘professional ‘, ‘supportive’ and ‘responsive’ team at Anderson Strathern provides the full range of services to schools, colleges and universities. 2012 saw the firm advise on due diligence matters arising from several mergers in the further education sector. Alan Masson and Leigh Davidson are recommended.

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Within Health, Anderson Strathern is a first tier firm,

Robert Carr heads the health and social care practice at Anderson Strathern. Clients include Quercus Healthcare Property Partnership, the Royal College of Nursing, and BioReliance Limited, a new client win in 2012. Chris McDowall provides ‘sound and practical advice’.

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Within Local government, Anderson Strathern is a second tier firm,

Anderson Strathern advised Midlothian Council on a number of matters, including the pursuance of permanence orders, education tribunals, and health, social care and adult protection matters. Other clients include Woking Borough Council and the City of Edinburgh Council. Audrey Cameron heads the practice.

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Within Parliamentary and public affairs, Anderson Strathern is a first tier firm,

A leader in the field’, Anderson Strathern provides ‘clear and relevant’ advice to a client base that includes the Scottish Information Commissioner, the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman and the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission. Practice head Fiona Killen provides ‘good legal advice, excellent contextual understanding, and outstanding customer service’.

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Scotland: Real estate

Within Commercial property: Edinburgh and Glasgow, Anderson Strathern is a second tier firm,

Anderson Strathern is highlighted for its ‘responsiveness’, and the firm’s lawyers ‘keep in touch at all times and offer continual advice and support throughout a transaction’. It is a popular choice for banks, and also acts for Walker Group and the Crown Estate. Paul Jennings heads the commercial real estate team, with James Blair leading on the corporate side. Recommended partners include Drew Morris, who has ‘excellent attention to detail’.

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Within Commercial property: Elsewhere in Scotland Commercial property: leisure and hospitality

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Within Construction, Anderson Strathern is a third tier firm,

Anderson Strathern’s ‘proactive and innovative’ practice recently succeeded in defending Pihl in an adjudication raised by Ramboll concerning additional fees for work on an English PPP project where the contract was subject to Scottish law. Practice leader Keith Bishophas the ability to balance the law and its final impact at a human level’.

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Within Environment, Anderson Strathern is a second tier firm,

Anderson Strathern is acting for Ross Estates, the Highlands estate of Mohamed Al Fayed, in its opposition to a proposed waste-to-energy combined heat and power plant. Alastair McKie is the name to note.

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Within Planning, Anderson Strathern is a third tier firm,

One of Anderson Strathern’s major clients is Ross Estates, which is owned by Mohamed Al Fayed. Alastair McKie is the key name to note.

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Within Property litigation, Anderson Strathern is a third tier firm,

Anderson Strathern’s ‘service is always professional, but personal and appropriately tailored’. Fiona Stephen leads the group, which handles a range of commercial, housing and agricultural disputes.

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Within Social housing, Anderson Strathern is a second tier firm,

Anderson Strathern has ‘a growing reputation’, with senior associate Shirley Evans ‘widely acknowledged as a leading authority on a wide range of issues’. David Hunter is also recommended. Recent work includes advising Kingdom Housing Association on leasing agreements, and advising the City of Edinburgh Council on a proposed solar PV project.

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Scotland: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

Within Intellectual property, Anderson Strathern is a second tier firm,

Anderson Strathern successfully represented Sudarshan Chemical Industries in its defence of a patent infringement claim. Other clients include the University of St Andrews and Edinburgh Napier University.

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Within IT and telecoms, Anderson Strathern is a third tier firm,

Anderson Strathern’s client base includes Edinburgh Napier University and the University of Stirling. New client wins in 2012 included the University of St Andrews, Veritas Vitae and Well Handled.

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Within Media and entertainment, Anderson Strathern is a third tier firm,

Anderson Strathern has expertise in publishing matters, and advises Birlinn, Waverley Books, the Scottish Book Trust and various clients in the higher education sector.

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Within Sport, Anderson Strathern is a second tier firm,

The team at Anderson Strathern is led by the ‘outstandingJohn Kerr, who is recommended for his ‘professionalism and knowledge of the sporting sector’. Highlights included representing Glen Golf Club in opposing an interdict action and defending a petition for judicial review following the expulsion of a club member. Other clients include the Scottish Sports Association, Tennis Scotland and Scottish Gymnastics.

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Scotland: Transport

Within Transport, Anderson Strathern is a third tier firm,

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.

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Further information on Anderson Strathern

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Offices in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, and Haddington

Legal Developments in the UK

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
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    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 
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    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?

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  • Playing fair with penalty clauses

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  • Restoring environmental damage: putting a price on ecosystem services

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