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Gillespie Macandrew LLP

76-80 MORNINGSIDE ROAD, EDINBURGH, EH10 4BY, SCOTLAND
Edinburgh, Edinburgh EH10, Glasgow, Perth

Scotland: Corporate and commercial

Corporate and commercial: Edinburgh and Glasgow
Corporate and commercial: Edinburgh and Glasgow - ranked: tier 4

Gillespie Macandrew LLP (Edinburgh)

Gillespie Macandrew LLP has a varied client base, which includes SMEs and family businesses, high-net-worth individuals, large corporates and public sector bodies. The firm’s work spans a wide range of industries, where members of its team handle M&A, equity investments and commercial contracts. A particular area of strength is in managing the corporate aspects of renewable energy and land-based development projects. In 2016, Derek McCulloch worked with associates Michael Cox and Chris Gibson to advise Rio Tinto on the £330m sale of its Alcan Aluminium UK business to SIMEC. Gibson, who joined the firm in 2016 from Jacksons Law, is dual-qualified in English and Scottish law, and is particularly experienced in acting for early-stage software and technology companies in matters ranging from fundraisings to sales. In another highlight for the firm, practice head Christopher Smith was the lead adviser to the shareholders of Route Monkey in the company’s £9.1m sale to Trakm8.

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Scotland: Private client

Agriculture and estates
Agriculture and estates - ranked: tier 1

Gillespie Macandrew LLP (Edinburgh, Perth)

The ‘approachable, personable and professional’ team at Gillespie Macandrew LLPtailors its prompt and efficient advice to clients’ needs while maintaining a commercial outlook’. The group excels in estate and farm transactions, renewable energy projects and commercial matters such as restructurings and subsidies. Alistair Anderson assisted a client with the purchase of a sporting estate, including tenancies and forestry issues, while Fraser Leslie assisted a client with voluntary first registration procedures. in another highlight, the team advised a client on a renewable energy project, which involved crofting issues. Alan White (who is praised as ‘a safe pair of hands’ and for ‘having a keen eye for detail’) provided a client with estate restructuring advice. Robert Scott-Dempster heads the team, which includes Murray Soutar, who joined from Brodies LLP.

Leading individuals

Robert Scott-Dempster - Gillespie Macandrew LLP

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Charities and not-for-profit
Charities and not-for-profit - ranked: tier 3

Gillespie Macandrew LLP (Edinburgh)

Gillespie Macandrew LLP’s ‘knowledgeable, responsive and efficient’ team stands out for its military sector expertise, advising a number of Scottish military charities on a wide range of issues. Other areas of expertise include advising land-owning charities, religious bodies and medical charities on governance and best practice matters alongside obligations of charity trustees. The practice continues to advise the Johnson & Johnson Corporate Citizenship Trust on the establishment of a $15m social impact fund to be used in granting loans oversees to organisations furthering the client’s charitable purposes. A UK-wide medical education charity instructed the team to advise on Scottish and English charity law matters. Associate Lianne Lodge now heads the team, which includes former practice head and consultant Tom Murray.

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Contentious trusts and probate
Contentious trusts and probate - ranked: tier 2

Gillespie Macandrew LLP (Edinburgh)

The ‘extremely professional’ team at Gillespie Macandrew LLP is ‘very good’ at administering estates, often involving rural business and foreign assets, as well as dealing with the interpretation of wills and inheritance tax litigation, including negotiating tax settlements with the HMRC, and tax tribunal cases. Team head Agnes Mallon advised the beneficiary of an estate on reducing the will on the grounds of incapacity and undue influence, which included assistance with proving the tenor of a missing previous will benefitting the beneficiary. John Stirling is ‘utterly reliable, worldly-wise, insightful and level-headed’.

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Personal tax, trusts and executries
Personal tax, trusts and executries - ranked: tier 3

Gillespie Macandrew LLP (Edinburgh, Perth)

The ‘exceptionally professional’ team at Gillespie Macandrew LLP is ‘extremely knowledgeable about general tax and tax planning issues’, particularly with regards to landed estates, and is noted for its ‘client-focused approach’. The ‘experiencedAgnes Mallon, who ‘handles large cases with ease’, regularly advises clients on contentious executries and has specialist knowledge of judicial factory administrations. Recently, she advised the beneficiaries of a trust on managing a development project. Elspeth Paget heads the practice, which includes the ‘knowledgeableJohn McArthur. He leads the tax advisory and returns team and frequently advises high-net-worth clients on succession and tax-planning issues and on strategies in dealing with HMRC in contentious high-value tax issues.

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Scotland: Projects, energy and natural resources

Energy (excluding oil and gas)
Energy (excluding oil and gas) - ranked: tier 4

Gillespie Macandrew LLP (Edinburgh)

Gillespie Macandrew LLP attracts praise for its ‘real commitment to its clients’. The firm acts on all aspects of renewable energy, water and waste projects, and is increasingly instructed in UK cross-border projects, with a number of members either being English law trained or dual-qualified in English law and Scottish law. The team covers a wide range of issues, from corporate, property, planning and construction, to sector-specific regulatory issues, with particular strengths in the rural and agricultural sector, making it a regular fixture on large-scale onshore and offshore projects. In 2016, practice head Derek McCulloch, Amy McDowell, Michael Cox, Margaret Day and Chris Gibson acted for Rio Tinto on the £330m sale of Alcan Aluminium UK to SIMEC. In another matter, John Stirling and associate Colin Hamilton are representing Seagreen Wind Energy in a planning appeal following the RSPB’s successful judicial review of consent for the development of the Forth and Tay offshore wind farms. Alan White, Fraser Leslie and recently promoted senior solicitor Susan Young are also recommended, as is legal director Simon Williams, who joined from TLT. Murray Shaw has retired from private practice, but retains a position as a consultant to the firm.

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Scotland: Real estate

Commercial property: Edinburgh and Glasgow
Commercial property: Edinburgh and Glasgow - ranked: tier 4

Gillespie Macandrew LLP (Edinburgh)

Gillespie Macandrew LLP’s practice, led by David Milne, is praised for its ‘outstanding attention to detail and problem-solving advice in complex transactions’. Its wide-ranging expertise covers property finance, acquisitions and sales of commercial and investment property, commercial development (including retail, office and industrial developments), and landlord and tenant. The practice has experienced a marked uptick in mandates from banks and alternative lenders, as well as corporates in the retail sector. Clients include Clydesdale Bank, Turnberry Homes and Guillemot Green Energy. It also has a dedicated housebuilder sub-group, which is led by Harry Smith, who has ‘a wealth of experience’ of the residential development sector. Also recommended are Kenneth Irons, who attracts praise for his ‘genuine concern for the needs of his clients’, and Greg Peebles, who joined the team in 2016 from DWF.

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Construction
Construction - ranked: tier 4

Gillespie Macandrew LLP (Edinburgh)

Gillespie Macandrew LLP has a strong housebuilding practice, and is on the panels of Taylor Wimpey, CALA Management and Avant Homes (Scotland). In addition to advising housebuilders, the firm acts for large estates active in constructing housing developments and renewable energy projects. The firm is currently advising Moray Estates Development Company (a landowner) and Tornagrain (a developer) on a residential development. The firm is also increasingly involved in hydro scheme developments, and is highly active in construction disputes. Harry Smith and associate Isobell Reid are also recommended. Murray Shaw has retired from private practice, but retains a position as a consultant to the firm.

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Planning
Planning - ranked: tier 3

Gillespie Macandrew LLP (Edinburgh)

Gillespie Macandrew LLP’s team handles advisory work and contentious matters for landowners, housebuilders, developers and public sector bodies. Its diverse workload covers all aspects of the planning process, including advice on development plans, planning obligations and compulsory purchase orders. The group also manages public inquiries, appeals and objections. Fiona Cameron leads the team, which combines planning expertise with real estate, construction and commercial litigation experience. John Stirling and recently promoted partner Colin Hamilton represented Seagreen Wind Energy in relation to the RSPB’s opposition to the construction of two Forth and Tay offshore wind farms. Isobell Reid joined from DWF in 2016.

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Property litigation
Property litigation - ranked: tier 4

Gillespie Macandrew LLP (Edinburgh)

Gillespie Macandrew LLP’s team is particularly skilled in rural and land-based property disputes; its clients in this space include rural estate clients, estate owners, housebuilders and public sector bodies. The firm also handles commercial and residential property disputes, including dilapidations claims, lease disputes, boundaries and encroachment issues, rights of access and nuisance, among other areas. Fiona Cameron, who made partner in 2016, handles cases at the Scottish Land Court, Sheriff Court and Court of Session. Cameron has particular strength in matters involving TUPE issues arising from the sale or purchase of an estate. Colin Hamilton also recently made partner. Ian Turnbull leads the team, which includes John Stirling and associate Isobell Reid, who joined from DWF.

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