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Ledingham Chalmers LLP

Work 01224 408408
Fax 01224 408400

Sarah Stuart

Work 01224 408449
Ledingham Chalmers LLP

Work Department



Partner in construction unit (based within the commercial litigation division). Experienced in both contentious and non-contentious construction work drawing on an understanding of the reasons why clients end up in disputes to assist in the drafting and negotiating of contracts and advising on resolving disputes before resorting to litigation. Represents clients in the construction industry and service companies in the oil and gas industry. Well acquainted with alternative methods of dispute resolution including adjudication particular to the construction industry, expert determination and mediation. Experience includes: advising on development agreements, building contracts, sub-contracts (including interfacing issues), consultant appointments, collateral warranties, novations and performance bonds. Recent projects include; advising a global service company on the procurement of new leased premises including negotiation of the development agreement and review of the construction suite; advising housebuilder clients on disputes over claims under missives, ownership disputes and defending interim interdict (injunction) proceedings; advising clients in relation to intellectual property disputes in the Court of Session; advising and representing clients in relation to recovery of documents under Section 1 of the Administration of Justice (Scotland) Act; advising on complex partnership disputes involving succession and property issues;  advising clients on enforceability of rental clauses in terms of the Competition Act 1998; preparation and conduct on seminars for clients, construction industry bodies and organisations on general contract law and common disputes arising under the contracts (particularly construction contracts).


Trained Peterkins, Aberdeen; qualified 1998, England and Wales 2005; solicitor 1998-2000; solicitor Ledingham Chalmers 2000-03; associate 2003-06; partner Ledingham Chalmers LLP 2006 to date. Director of Inspire Ventures Limited. Lectured in contract, delict and dispute resolution to undergraduate and postgraduate surveying students at The Robert Gordon University. Tutored on the Diploma in Legal Practice in Arbitration at The University of Aberdeen and at The Robert Gordon University.


Law Society of Scotland; Law Society of England and Wales; associate member CIArb (Past Chair of the Northern Chapter of the Scottish Branch of the ClArb to December 2016).


Westhill Academy, Aberdeenshire; University of Glasgow (1995 LLB Hons); University of Aberdeen (1996 Dip LP).


Running, yoga, playing golf badly.

Scotland: Dispute resolution

Commercial litigation

Within: Commercial litigation

Ledingham Chalmers LLP's team is particularly experienced in handling disputes in the oil and gas, renewable energy and marine industries. In addition, it also assists clients with matters connected with other sectors, such as agriculture, property, construction and insurance. Complementing the team's broad industry coverage is its experience of all forms of dispute resolution, including litigation, arbitration, mediation, expert determination and adjudication. Team head Sarah Stuart and Timothy Thomas, who are the main partners in Aberdeen, together have nearly 40 years of litigation experience at the Court of Session and Sheriff Court. Senior associate Rebecca Walker handles a variety of cases, with a particular specialism in insolvency-related matters. John Chalmers in Edinburgh is particularly active in advising insurance and public sector clients on a range of contentious issues. Victoria Leslie, who made partner in 2017, is ably supported in Inverness by senior solicitor Laura Edmunds].

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Scotland: Real estate


Within: Construction

Ledingham Chalmers LLP's practice captures a sizeable proportion of the Scottish market - particularly the north east of Scotland and Highlands and Islands region. Its team is spread between the Aberdeen and Inverness offices. In Aberdeen, managing partner Jennifer Young, who is accredited by the Law Society of Scotland as a construction law specialist, works alongside Sarah Stuart. The main contacts in Inverness are senior associates Roddy Cormack and Karen Cameron. Cormack (like Young) is also a Law Society accredited construction law specialist. The team is particularly well-known for acting for construction contractors (particularly those in the traditional building and oil and gas services sectors), for whom the non-contentious work encompasses risk reviews, analysis and negotiations of construction contracts. Other elements of the firm's non-contentious work include assisting private and public sector organisations with procurement and other construction issues, and advising banks on funding arrangements. The group also has expertise in matters that arise during the construction process itself (such as conflicts over instructions, health and safety, and financial disputes) and other-construction matters, including those concerning defective works, insolvency and late completion. Young and Stuart have litigation backgrounds, as does Cameron, who is a solicitor advocate. Gordon Mitchell Contractors, Bancon Construction, CFF Contractors and Svenska Handelsbanken are among the firm's many clients.

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Within: Environment

Ledingham Chalmers LLP garners a significant amount of environmental work from throughout Scotland, owing to its involvement in a number of sectors, such as forestry and fisheries, farming, renewable energy and oil and gas. Practice head Jim Drysdale is knowledgeable about a wide variety of matters, such as nature conservation, waste, contaminated land and fluvial/pluvial/diffuse pollution. Solicitor advocate John Chalmers has 26 years of Sheriff Court and Court of Session litigation experience, and represents insurance companies and local authorities in litigation involving environmental issues and in judicial review cases. Other key figures include planning head David Scott, commercial lawyer Peter Murray and commercial property partner John Smart. Sarah Stuart and Neil Anderson are also recommended.

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