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Pinsent Masons LLP

THIRD FLOOR, QUAY 2, 139 FOUNTAINBRIDGE, EDINBURGH, EH3 9QG, SCOTLAND
Tel:
Work 0131 225 0000
Fax:
Fax 0131 225 0099
Email:
Web:
www.pinsentmasons.com

Scotland

Transport
Transport - ranked: tier 2

Pinsent Masons LLP (Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen)

Noted for its ‘very good industry knowledge’, Pinsent Masons LLPprovides an excellent service level’ and ‘good, pragmatic and commercial advice’ on major infrastructure projects, acting for procurers, bidders and lenders in the rail, road, shipping and aviation sectors. Michael Allan advised the Aberdeen Harbour Board on the construction of two breakwaters and a new deep quay berthing space for oil and gas renewable sector vessels as part of the Aberdeen harbour expansion project, while Gavin Farquhar assisted CalMac Ferries with its successful re-tender for the Clyde and Hebrides Ferry Services. Kevin Devanny advised Ferrovial Aeropuertos on the proposed acquisition of Glasgow and Aberdeen airports from Heathrow Airport. In other work, the team continues to advise the City of Edinburgh Council on a range of matters pertaining to the Edinburgh tram project and is acting for the client in the Edinburgh tram inquiry. The ‘focused’ Bruce Craig has ‘exceptional client-handling skills’, and Stuart Barrmarries an incredible intellect with a down-to-earth style’. Drysdale Graham moved to Brodies LLP.

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Scotland: Corporate and commercial

Corporate and commercial: Edinburgh and Glasgow
Corporate and commercial: Edinburgh and Glasgow - ranked: tier 1

Pinsent Masons LLP (Glasgow, Edinburgh)

Pinsent Masons LLP’s wide-ranging sector expertise is brought to bear in headline transactions across a mix of Scotland-focused mandates and UK-wide transactions, as well as those with an international element. Its broad practice includes equity capital markets matters, public and private M&A, joint ventures and private equity investments. Practice head Barry McCaig recently acted for clients such as Lloyds Development Capital, West Coast Capital and Infinergy Limited. In 2016, Rosalie Chadwick assisted Total with the £585m sale of its North Sea midstream business to North Sea Midstream Partners. In another mandate, Chadwick worked with lead partner Alan Diamond, Jennifer Malcolm and Christine Yuill to handle Skyscanner’s £1.4bn takeover by Ctrip.com. Kevin Devanny is another key name, as are senior associates Brian Thumath and Kevin Beattie. Derek Stroud joined Brodies LLP.

Leading individuals

Alan Diamond - Pinsent Masons LLP

Barry McCaig - Pinsent Masons LLP

Rosalie Chadwick - Pinsent Masons LLP

Next generation lawyers

Kevin Beattie - Pinsent Masons LLP

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Corporate and commercial: Elsewhere in Scotland
Corporate and commercial: Elsewhere in Scotland - ranked: tier 1

Pinsent Masons LLP (Aberdeen)

Pinsent Masons LLP undertakes a particularly significant amount of corporate and commercial work in the oil and gas arena, where it acts for clients such as oil majors, services companies and private equity funds in high-value, multijurisdictional transactions. Practice head (and head of the Aberdeen office) Roger Connon acts for clients such as Statoil and Wood Group Plc. In 2016, David McEwing and senior associate David Millar were part of an international team which acted for Simmons Private Equity II LP in its acquisition of LEAP Group. In another matter, McEwing led the advice to Zennor Petroleum on its acquisition of subsidiary companies First Oil & Gas Limited and Antrim Resources Limited from the joint administrators of First Oil & Gas Expro. Martin Ewan is knowledgeable about oilfield technology exploitation, and also acts for upstream operators and service sector clients in acquisitions and disposals, and corporate restructurings, among other areas. Legal director Jonathan Kirkwood is also recommended. The practice also has clients in other industries, such as renewable energy, infrastructure and technology.

Leading individuals

David McEwing - Pinsent Masons LLP

Martin Ewan - Pinsent Masons LLP

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EU and competition
EU and competition - ranked: tier 3

Pinsent Masons LLP (Edinburgh)

Pinsent Masons LLP assists clients with contentious and non-contentious public procurement issues associated with major projects in Scotland and the wider UK, and also provides advice on state aid. Practice head Caroline Ramsay is particularly experienced in acting for UK government departments, including the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, and the Homes and Communities Agency. Elaine McLean specialises in state aid and utilities procurement. Christopher Murray is also recommended.

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Scotland: Crime, fraud and licensing

Crime: fraud
Crime: fraud - ranked: tier 1

Pinsent Masons LLP (Edinburgh, Glasgow)

Providing ‘robust advice’, Pinsent Masons LLP is particularly rated for its corporate crime work. The ‘highly responsive and well organised’ team advises corporate bodies on a wide range of issues such as criminal law, financial crimes, including bribery, suspected breaches of regulations and compliance issues, money laundering and financial crime reporting duties, as well as trade sanctions and modern slavery. Renowned practice head and ‘good communicatorTom Stocker, whose ‘experience and knowledge inspires confidence in clients’, and senior associate Stacy Keen are well versed in providing trade sanctions advice, often with respect to clients’ activities in Iran and Russia. Stocker advised a business on the application of Russian sanctions as part of its investment intentions. He also acted for an international company in an internal bribery investigation and assisted a different company with a money-laundering investigation. The oil and gas services company KCA Deutag and manufacturer Brand-Rex are clients.

Leading individuals

Tom Stocker - Pinsent Masons LLP

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Licensing
Licensing - ranked: tier 2

Pinsent Masons LLP (Glasgow)

Pinsent Masons LLP’s ‘very responsive, helpful and professional’ team ‘provides expert advice on licensing applications with particular experience in premises licence applications’. The team, consisting of ‘very good communicators’, is also well versed in advising on gambling, restaurant and civic government licensing matters and utilises its strong advocacy and litigation background to represent its clients at Licensing Board and court hearings. ‘Very knowledgeable and experienced’ director Audrey Ferrie acted for The Restaurant Group in applying for a liquor licence for the client’s new restaurant in the Overgate Centre in Dundee, which was granted after a contentious Licensing Board hearing. Among other examples of work, a distiller instructed the team to handle liquor licensing issues pertaining to an Edinburgh-based event. As another highlight, the team assisted its longstanding client Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC) with licensing matters pertaining to the Insomnia Gaming Festival at the centre, such as an application for a variation of its existing public entertainment licence to cover additional activities. Senior associate Frances Ennis is ‘very approachable’ and ‘provides hands-on advice’.

Next generation lawyers

Audrey Ferrie - Pinsent Masons LLP

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Scotland: Dispute resolution

Commercial litigation
Commercial litigation - ranked: tier 1

Pinsent Masons LLP (Glasgow, Edinburgh)

Laura Cameron leads the team at Pinsent Masons LLP, which has a breadth and depth of expertise that covers a range of disputes including product liability, intellectual property, health and safety, banking litigation and other types of financial services disputes. The firm’s footprint across Scotland, as well as further afield nationally and internationally, adds another dimension to the practice, making it a go-to firm for blue-chip clients in cases of the utmost significance and complexity. Craig Connal QC and senior associate Fiona MacGregor are defending Diageo Scotland in a test case for a group of households in which it is alleged that ethanol released from the client’s whisky maturation process caused the creation of a black fungus, which resulted in damage to properties throughout central Scotland. In another highlight, Jim Cormack (‘one of the big beasts of Scottish litigation’) and senior associate Laura Crilly defended the Falkland Islands government against a claim brought by a Canadian company concerning alleged copyright infringement of seismic data. Other key figures include legal director David Woods, who hash particular experience in disputes for financial services, energy and retail companies, as well as universities; Joanne Gillies, who is noted for ‘developing strategies that covers off different possible angles’; Jacqueline Harris; and Aberdeen-based Bruce Craig.

Leading individuals

Craig Connal QC - Pinsent Masons LLP

Jacqueline Harris - Pinsent Masons LLP

Jim Cormack - Pinsent Masons LLP

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Scotland: Finance

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 1

Pinsent Masons LLP (Edinburgh, Aberdeen)

Pinsent Masons LLP’s team has ‘a brilliant commercial understanding of the overall transaction and what is and isn’t important’, which is reflected by its record acting for a mix of borrowers, lenders, private equity houses and opportunity funds, among other clients. The Scotland-based practice leverages the firm’s pan-UK and international reach, advising on complex finance transactions involving sectors such as infrastructure, oil and gas, and renewables. In addition, it excels in more specialised matters, such as loan purchases and sales, derivatives and asset-based lending. The group also has a strong debt capital markets capability, where it acts for bond issuers and lead managers in bond financings. In 2016, highlights included Gillian Frew and senior associate Graham Young acted for the Bank of Ireland in the refinancing of the N17/N18 Gort to Tuam Irish road PPP scheme. Aberdeen-based Richard Scott advised HSBC on the financing aspects of Buckthorn Partners’ acquisition of Ashtead Technology. John Maciver heads the team, which includes project finance specialist Michael Watson, oil and gas finance expert Iain Macaulay, Alan Cassels and Stacey Bairner.

Leading individuals

John Maciver - Pinsent Masons LLP

Next generation lawyers

Gillian Frew - Pinsent Masons LLP

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Insolvency and corporate recovery
Insolvency and corporate recovery - ranked: tier 1

Pinsent Masons LLP (Glasgow)

Pinsent Masons LLP is ‘responsive and focused on the end outcomes’, and has an outstanding reputation in high-value, complex Scottish and UK work, as well as cross-border matters. The team excels in the trading and restructuring of distressed loan portfolios, acquisitions and sales of individual distressed businesses and cross-border corporate restructurings. It also undertakes advisory work to corporates and directors. The firm’s strong offering sees it generate work from clients in a variety of sectors, particularly charities, construction, energy and financial services. Practice head Claire Massiegets to the point quickly, is client-focused and is a joy to work with’. In 2016, she and senior associate Michael Thomson acted for CPL Industries in its acquisition of Fergusson Coal out of administration via a pre-pack sale. Another highlight for the firm involved handling the restructuring of the Trinity Exploration & Production group of companies, which included a UK private placement to provide funding for the restructuring. Lone Star Funds, First Oil and KPMG are other notable clients. Stacey Bairner has played a key role in growing the firm’s non-bank lender and non-performing loan work. Ainslie Benzie, Jen Marshall and Natalie Colaluca are other key individuals at senior associate level.

Leading individuals

Claire Massie - Pinsent Masons LLP

Next generation lawyers

Jen Marshall - Pinsent Masons LLP

Stacey Bairner - Pinsent Masons LLP

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Scotland: Human resources

Employment
Employment - ranked: tier 1

Pinsent Masons LLP (Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow)

The ‘strong and very responsive’ team at Pinsent Masons LLP attracts praise for its ‘practical advice’ and ability to cover the gamut of employment law, from working time and equal pay matters to industrial relations, team moves and immigration issues. Its client roster includes names from key sectors such as infrastructure, financial services, oil and gas, manufacturing and technology. The ‘deeply knowledgeable and accurateStuart Neilson advised Balfour Beatty on holiday pay issues. Aberdeen partner Katie Williams assisted a number of energy sector clients with employment contract and cross-border employment issues; she also handles whistleblowing matters and litigation. The well-regarded Diane Nicol, who ‘knows how to successfully resolve difficult and tricky issues’, regularly acts for senior management teams on industrial relation disputes, site moves and closures, while ‘excellent negotiatorEuan Smith is well versed in advising blue-chip companies and public sector organisations. He assisted a large multinational company with industrial action matters. Glasgow-based senior associate Gillian Ross is ‘pragmatic and very reassuring’.

Leading individuals

Diane Nicol - Pinsent Masons LLP

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Health and safety
Health and safety - ranked: tier 1

Pinsent Masons LLP (Aberdeen, Glasgow, Edinburgh)

Noted for its superb reputation for its contentious and non-contentious health and safety work, Pinsent Masons LLPprovides timely and practical advice’ to major insurers and corporates, with particular expertise in the energy, construction and infrastructure industries. Based in Aberdeen and noted for his expertise in dealing with incident investigations in the oil and gas and shipping sectors, the ‘excellent’ Bruce Craig advised Jacobite Cruises in a health and safety prosecution brought by an employee following an injury caused by a mooring rope. He also assisted Kaefer C&D with an accident investigation following the collapse of a work platform during shotblasting operations at Clydeport Coal Terminal at Hunterston, in which one worker sustained serious injuries, and acted for the client in the subsequent prosecution on indictment at Kilmarnock Sheriff Court. Edinburgh-based regulatory expert Tom Stocker, who is known for his experience in dealing with investigations alongside compliance and corporate criminal defence matters, acted for Hanson Aggregates Marine following the death of an engineer as a result of a fire in the engine room of one of its ships. This matter involved representing the client in investigations by the police, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, and the Marine Accident Investigation Branch. The highly regarded Laura Cameron heads the risk advisory services team from Glasgow.

Leading individuals

Laura Cameron - Pinsent Masons LLP

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Immigration
Immigration - ranked: tier 3

Pinsent Masons LLP (Edinburgh, Glasgow)

Pinsent Masons LLP is praised for providing ‘detailed and commercial advice in a timely manner’. The immigration practice is particularly well versed in handling corporate immigration issues, including advising on the prevention of illegal working and UKVI compliance investigations alongside sponsorship and visa applications. ‘Very helpful and knowledgable’ legal director and corporate immigration practice co-head Joanne Hennessy continues to assist an Aberdeen-based multinational energy company with day-to-day immigration law matters, including advising on the prevention of illegal working, sponsor compliance and visa applications. As well as its oil and gas sector expertise, the team is also experienced in working for higher education, retail, infrastructure, sport and financial services sector clients. Edinburgh-based Euan Smith heads the team alongside Hennessy.

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Pensions
Pensions - ranked: tier 1

Pinsent Masons LLP (Glasgow)

The ‘excellent’ team at Pinsent Masons LLPlistens to clients’ requirements and demonstrates in-depth knowledge’ while ‘not being afraid of tackling contentious issues head-on’. The practice ‘provides pragmatic advice’ to large global corporations, individuals, public authorities, insurers and financial institutions. In conjunction with the firm’s pensions litigators, ‘most experienced, very calm and confident’ practice head Ian Gordon, who is ‘always willing to take a stance when confronting an issue’, advised the trustees of the Scottish Solicitors Staff Pension Fund on a Court of Session action to recover outstanding contributions from a participating employer. The highly regarded Ruth Tobias, who is ‘very easy to work with’, assisted the trustees of the Forth Ports Group Pension Scheme with benefit changes that took effect in 2016. The ‘pragmatic’ Jae Fassam advised the trustee of Plumbers & Mechanical Services (UK) Industry Pension Scheme on the protection of members’ interests and represented the client in meetings with scheme employers.

Leading individuals

Ian Gordon - Pinsent Masons LLP

Ruth Tobias - Pinsent Masons LLP

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Scotland: Projects, energy and natural resources

Energy (excluding oil and gas)
Energy (excluding oil and gas) - ranked: tier 1

Pinsent Masons LLP (Aberdeen, Edinburgh)

Pinsent Masons LLP’s ‘very knowledgeable and pragmatic’ team is active on a range of major Scottish and UK projects, including those involving onshore and offshore wind, solar, low carbon infrastructure (including major district heating and energy efficiency schemes), and biomass, wave and tidal energy. Led by Ian McCarlie, the cross-practice group acts for banks, developers, major utilities, landowners and institutional investors, among other clients. On the regulatory side, the team has been acting on the introduction of the Energy Act, and has also been at the forefront of advice on the Capacity Market Auction. In 2016, McCarlie worked with senior associates Ronan Lambe and Campbell Hutcheon for KfW Ipex Bank as the mandated lead arranger and sole lender on the financing of the 30MW Sanquhar wind farm in Scotland. In another matter, Chris McGarvey, Gordon McCreath and others advised joint venture vehicle Beatrice Offshore Wind Farm Limited on various issues connected with its 750MW wind farm project in Scottish territorial waters, including consenting, project financing and construction procurement. Jennifer Ballantyne, who leads the planning and environment team in Scotland, is another name to note. Other key individuals in the group include Julia Maguire, Iain MacPhail, Alan Cook, Gillian Frew and legal director Kate Turner.

Leading individuals

Ian McCarlie - Pinsent Masons LLP

Next generation lawyers

Chris McGarvey - Pinsent Masons LLP

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Oil and gas
Oil and gas - ranked: tier 1

Pinsent Masons LLP (Aberdeen)

Pinsent Masons LLP has a market-leading reputation in the oil and gas sector across the UK and internationally, which is reflected in a high-calibre client base that includes John Wood Group, Shell UK, BP and Suncor Energy Services. The group’s breadth and depth of expertise makes it well placed to handle the full range of matters, including decommissioning and licensing, as well as procurement, capital markets transactions, finance, restructuring and dispute resolution. It also provides advice to regulatory bodies on regulatory initiatives. Key figures include global energy head and ‘respected industry figureBob Ruddiman and the ‘experienced and pragmaticShirley Allen, who leads the team in Aberdeen. In 2016, Allen led the advice to Siccar Point Energy on its acquisition of an interest in the Mariner Field from JX Nippon. In another highlight, Julia Maguire is leading a cross-practice team is acting for West Africa’s largest industrial conglomerate on the procurement of technology licences, equipment, material and services for a £12bn petroleum refinery and petrochemicals plant. Rosalie Chadwick, who has a strong track record in oil and gas transactions, was the lead adviser to Falkland Oil and Gas on its £57m merger with Rockhopper Exploration. Other notable individuals include David McEwing, Gillian Frew and Bruce Craig. Legal director Neil Hehir and senior associate Rachel Warner are also recommended.

Leading individuals

Bob Ruddiman - Pinsent Masons LLP

Next generation lawyers

Shirley Allen - Pinsent Masons LLP

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Projects
Projects - ranked: tier 1

Pinsent Masons LLP (Edinburgh, Glasgow)

Pinsent Masons LLP routinely acts on the most high-profile and significant infrastructure projects in Scotland and the UK, as well as matters further afield in Europe and beyond. Led by Michael Watson, the team acts for a mix of clients, including public sector bodies, funders and private sector bidders, with expertise in various types of projects, including NPD/PFI/PPP/hubs; healthcare, education, roads, renewables and oil and gas are all areas of strength. In an illustration of the practice’s project financing capability, Gillian Frew (who acts for lenders and borrowers on projects spanning a wide range of sectors) acted for Allianz as bondholder and EIB as letter of credit provider on the N25 Road Project in Ireland. In other highlights, Stuart Barr is leading a team advising Robertson Capital Projects on the Orkney Hospital NPD project; he is also acting alongside Wendy Nicolson in projects arising from the hub programme, including the £32m West Calder High School DBFM project. The team is also acting as project lawyers to Aberdeen Harbour Board in the Aberdeen Harbour expansion project. Partner Victoria Miller and senior associates Chris Owens and Sophie Black are other names to note.

Leading individuals

Michael Watson - Pinsent Masons LLP

Stuart Barr - Pinsent Masons LLP

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Scotland: Public sector

Education
Education - ranked: tier 2

Pinsent Masons LLP (Edinburgh, Glasgow)

The ‘supportive’ team at Pinsent Masons LLPprovides high-quality service’ to higher and further education clients, which frequently involves advice on infrastructure projects, employment and real estate as well as IP and IT matters. Team head Chris Martin advised the University of Edinburgh on a range of employment issues, including business-critical immigration matters arising from the Brexit decision. It also assists the same client with IP matters. In another key mandate, the team acted for The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland on plans for the development of its estate in central Glasgow, including the development of new student accommodation. This role involved advising on the disposal of student accommodation to a private provider and on subsequent arrangements for the leaseback. Joanne McIntosh was promoted to legal director.

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Health
Health - ranked: tier 2

Pinsent Masons LLP (Glasgow)

Pinsent Masons LLPprovides prompt and commercial advice’ to public and private sector clients, as well as investors, with particular emphasis on public infrastructure projects in the healthcare sector, including project finance and transactional work. The team advised a number of public sector players on a range of DBFM projects in the North and East Central territories of the Scotland-wide hub programme. This included NHS Grampian’s bundled Foresterhill and Inverurie project in the North territory and the Stirling Care Village, which was procured by NHS Forth Valley. ‘Sharp’ team head Stuart Barrgets the big picture without losing sight of the details’ and is ‘good to work with’. He assisted Robertson Capital Projects with its successful bid, including associated funding matters, for the delivery of NHS Orkney’s new £65m hospital and healthcare facility in Kirkwall.

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Scotland: Real estate

Commercial property: Edinburgh and Glasgow
Commercial property: Edinburgh and Glasgow - ranked: tier 1

Pinsent Masons LLP (Edinburgh, Glasgow)

Commercial property: leisure and hospitality - ranked: tier 2

Pinsent Masons LLP (Glasgow)

Commercial property: retail occupiers - ranked: tier 1

Pinsent Masons LLP (Glasgow)

Pinsent Masons LLP acts for some of the largest participants in the Scottish and UK commercial property markets, including housebuilders, commercial developers, UK-based and international funds, and banks and retailers. Led by Katharine Hardie, the team handles a broad cross-section of matters, including large-scale cross-border portfolio acquisitions, commercial development and regeneration projects, real estate finance, residential development and high-end acquisitions and disposals. A particular strength is in energy-related property work, which covers all aspects of early-stage development, project implementation and financing; Jennifer Ballantyne heads the UK-wide energy-related property practice, which acts for clients such as DONG Energy, E.ON, FIM Services and SSE. The retail, hotel and leisure, and healthcare sectors are additional areas of strength. Recent highlights include Russell Munro’s advice to EDI Group on the redevelopment of India Quay in Edinburgh, and Alan Cook’s advice to Martin McColl on the Scottish and Northern Irish aspects of its £117m acquisition of 298 convenience stores from Co-operative Group. In another key mandate, Paul Connolly, Adrienne Quin and others acted for HFD Glasgow on the development of Bothwell Exchange in Glasgow and its pre-let to Morgan Stanley.

Leading individuals

Katharine Hardie - Pinsent Masons LLP

Paul Connolly - Pinsent Masons LLP

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Commercial property: Elsewhere in Scotland
Commercial property: Elsewhere in Scotland - ranked: tier 1

Pinsent Masons LLP (Aberdeen)

Pinsent Masons LLP has a first-rate reputation in large-scale, high-profile and strategically complex commercial development and regeneration projects. It acts for a wide-ranging client base including developers, investors, funders and occupiers, and has a = standout residential development practice, where it acts for an impressive stable of housebuilder clients, including Persimmon Homes and Taylor Wimpey. Rodney Whyte and associate Michael Shepherd acted for CALA Management Limited in its acquisition of Jordanhill College Campus in Glasgow for the purposes of a proposed residential development of circa 370 units. In another highlight, the team acted for the same client on a 600-unit development in Penicuik. Other clients include landowners, for whom the firm acts on the sale of sites to residential developers. Work for oil and gas sector operators and service companies is another key area of activity, as is advice on various types of renewable energy schemes and infrastructure projects. Legal director Mark McCall and associate Leanne Hill are advising Aberdeen Harbour Board on the property aspects of the development of the extension to Aberdeen Harbour.

Leading individuals

Rodney Whyte - Pinsent Masons LLP

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Construction
Construction - ranked: tier 1

Pinsent Masons LLP (Edinburgh, Glasgow)

Pinsent Masons LLP attracts praise for its ‘impressive breadth of sector knowledge’ and for its ‘very commercial, and more importantly, demystified advice’. Kenny Valentine and Michael Allan jointly lead the team, which handles a range of complex contentious issues, and is also active in some of the most high-profile complex projects in Scotland and across the UK. Clients include Balfour Beatty, Galliford Try and Morgan Sindall. Allan is working with a cross-practice team advising Aberdeen Harbour board on the Aberdeen Harbour Expansion project. In another matter, Valentine, Julia Maguire and senior associate Gillian Woodward are acting for Lend Lease on the £90m Hydro project. On the contentious side, Brandon Nolan and legal director Simona Williamson represented Bouygues E&S Contracting Limited at the Court of Session in litigation against Vital Energi Utilities. Other key figures include Louise Forster, who ‘takes the time to understand the client’s business’; the ‘very knowledgeableFraser McMillan, who is rated for his ‘strategic advice’; and Colin Fraser. Iain MacPhail, Craig Morrison and Scott Johnston are also recommended.

Leading individuals

Brandon Nolan - Pinsent Masons LLP

Kenny Valentine - Pinsent Masons LLP

Michael Allan - Pinsent Masons LLP

Next generation lawyers

Nicholas Carlin - Pinsent Masons LLP

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Environment
Environment - ranked: tier 1

Pinsent Masons LLP (Glasgow)

Jennifer Ballantyne heads Pinsent Masons LLP’s ‘consistent and reliable’ team in Scotland, which is ‘a pleasure to deal with’. The practice operates on a UK-wide basis, covering non-contentious regulatory issues, the environmental aspects of planning matters, and provides transactional and project support (including advising on waste in oil and gas decommissioning projects). Dispute resolution and regulatory enforcement are other cornerstones of the practice. The firm acts as the sole environmental legal adviser to E.ON; in a recent highlight, a team including Gordon McCreath, Gary McGovern and legal director Ross McDowall have been advising the client on marine licensing issues at Humber Gateway offshore wind farm and environmental licensing issues at Rampion offshore wind farm, among other matters. Elsewhere, McDowall (who is praised for ‘delivering advice in a straightforward and business-friendly manner’) led the advice to Lakeland Dairies Co-operative Society on the regulatory and risk liability issues connected with its acquisition of Armaghdown Creameries’ dairy business. BP, Diageo Scotland and Tough Construction are also clients.

Leading individuals

Gordon McCreath - Pinsent Masons LLP

Jennifer Ballantyne - Pinsent Masons LLP

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Planning
Planning - ranked: tier 1

Pinsent Masons LLP (Glasgow)

Pinsent Masons LLP’s group covers a full range of contentious and non-contentious planning matters arising from high-profile Scottish projects, as well as matters across the UK. In the energy and infrastructure space, Gordon McCreath is leading a team advising Beatrice Offshore Wind Farm Limited on the consenting aspects of its 750MW offshore wind farm in Scottish territorial waters. In another matter, McCreath and senior associate Fiona MacGregor represented Millennium & Copthorne Hotels in a public local inquiry to its objection to the redevelopment of Queen Street Station in Glasgow. Kendra Lennox (who joined from Brodies LLP in 2016), Jennifer Ballantyne, Gary McGovern and Rodney Whyte are assisting Aberdeen Harbour Board with all planning and marine licence applications in connection with the Aberdeen Harbour expansion project. In addition to its track record handling planning appeals and planning agreements in the residential and commercial development sectors, Jacqueline Harris and MacGregor represented Barratt Homes in an appeal against the refusal by East Lothian Council to grant planning permission for a 120-unit residential development at Ormiston, East Lothian. The group also plays a key role in UK new town projects, including those in Manydown and Ebbsfleet Garden Village. Mineral-sector clients include Aggregate Industries, Kier Infrastructure and Patersons Quarries. Craig Connal QC, who is experienced in planning inquiries and court litigation, is aslso recommended.

Next generation lawyers

Gary McGovern - Pinsent Masons LLP

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Property litigation
Property litigation - ranked: tier 1

Pinsent Masons LLP (Glasgow, Edinburgh)

Pinsent Masons LLP has a strong bench of litigators at all levels of seniority, which covers a full range of general property disputes (including breaches of contract and dilapidations), as well as cases involving particularly novel legal issues. Clients include Peel Group, Realis Estates, BP, Livingston Centre Limited and John Lewis. Craig Connal QC and senior associate Fiona MacGregor are defending Diageo Scotland in a test case for a group of households in which it is alleged that ethanol released from the client’s whisky maturation process caused the creation of a black fungus, which caused damage to properties throughout central Scotland. In another matter, Connal QC and senior associate Claire Thornber defended Xcite Energy Limited as the tenant in a £161m dilapidations dispute involving Esson Properties Limited. Jacqueline Harris and Macgregor acted for William Tracey Group as the pursuer in William Tracey v SP Transmission Plc, a high-profile test case in relation to a wayleave, and also an associated judicial review. Associate Steven Blane is also recommended.

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Scotland: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

IT and telecoms
IT and telecoms - ranked: tier 1

Pinsent Masons LLP (Glasgow)

Nothing is too much hassle’ for Pinsent Masons LLP’s ‘extremely approachable’ team, which has a strong reputation for IT procurement and outsourcing in the financial services, education and energy sectors and also handles contentious work. Highly regarded practice head Yvonne Dunn advised Tesco Bank on the development of its digital wallet and a contractual joint venture for its development with Mastercard. This role included assistance with the terms of the strategic partnership between Tesco Bank and Mastercard, including advice on interchange rules. In the contentious arena, legal director David Woods acted for David MacBrayne – a limited company owned by the Scottish government – in Court of Session proceedings for breach of contract against ATOS IT Services UK. The ‘very personable and hardworking’ Chris Martin is ‘a real star’.

Leading individuals

Yvonne Dunn - Pinsent Masons LLP

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Intellectual property
Intellectual property - ranked: tier 1

Pinsent Masons LLP (Edinburgh, Glasgow)

Pinsent Masons LLP has a ‘good reputation for IP litigation’, and is equally adept at handling non-contentious IP work. ‘Friendly and approachable’ litigator and practice co-head Jim Cormack, who ‘keeps the client informed at all stages’, represented William Grant & Sons in a trade mark opposition matter. ‘Knowledgeable and experienced’ legal director and co-head George Campbell assisted Thomas Tunnock with a number of non-contentious and contentions brand-related matters, while Chris Martin advised the University of Edinburgh on a new approach to commercialise its intellectual property through a newly formed company, Sunergos Innovations.

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Media and entertainment
Media and entertainment - ranked: tier 2

Pinsent Masons LLP (Glasgow)

Pinsent Masons LLP’s ‘strong’ team provides ‘very good advice’ with a significant emphasis on film and television investment projects. It also handles contentious work such as defamation and privacy issues. Yvonne Dunn advised Creative Scotland on feature film investments and television investments, which involved verifying the chain of title for the project, drafting the investment documentation and negotiating the deal documentation to protect the client’s interests. Working in close conjunction with the firm’s technology practice, the practice also handles a range of IT and IP-related work.

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Offices in Manchester M3 and Manchester M3

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Offices in Aberdeen, Glasgow G2, Edinburgh EH3, Glasgow G2, and Edinburgh EH3

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