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Burness Paull LLP

Living Wage
Work 0131 473 6000
Fax 0131 473 6006
Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow

Elaine Farquharson-Black

Work +44 (0)1224 618531
Burness Paull LLP

Work Department



Elaine is a partner and the head of the firm’s property and infrastructure department and leads our planning division. Working closely with our colleagues in property and construction and projects divisions, Elaine advises on all aspects of planning, with particular emphasis on the promotion of land through Development Plans and the submission of major applications. She regularly appears as an advocate in planning appeals and reviews. Elaine is the co-author of Scottish Planning Law & Procedure (2001) and Compulsory Purchase and Compensation: The Law in Scotland (2009).


1989 Trainee Solicitor at James & George Collie; 1991 Assistant at James & George Collie; 1992 Assistant at Solicitor Paull & Williamsons; 1997 Associate at Paull & Williamsons; 2000 Partner at Paull & Williamsons (now Burness Paull)


Member of the Compulsory Purchase Association


LLB (Distinction); DLP; NP; Accredited by the Law Society as a Specialist in Planning Law

Scotland: Crime, fraud and licensing


Within: Licensing

Burness Paull LLP primarily advises pubs and hotel chains on the contentious and non-contentious aspects of liquor licenses. It also assists clients with retail licensing, with particular experience handling applications and transactions with respect to whiskey distilleries. The practice is led by Theresa Hunt, who regularly represents clients in hearings before various Scottish Licensing Boards. Highlights included advising the Hard Rock Café on licensing matters concerning its premises in Glasgow, successfully securing an Extended Hours License for NFL Super Bowl events, despite objections from Police Scotland. Elaine Farquharson-Black assisted L&S (Broadwood) with obtaining a Provisional Premises License for a pub and restaurant unit which forms a part of the client’s Glasgow retail-park development.

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Scotland: Real estate


Within: Leading individuals

Elaine Farquharson-Black - Burness Paull LLP

Within: Planning

Burness Paull LLP's 'efficient and knowledgeable team' is led by 'planning guruElaine Farquharson-Black, who has 'great in-depth knowledge of the law, has great commercial skills and is an all-round player at the top of her game'. Farquharson-Black recently represented Elsick Development Company Limited at the Court of Session and Supreme Court in a landmark legal challenge of supplementary guidance on the Strategic Transport Fund, which has led to a proposed change to the law on planning obligations.  Farquharson-Black is also the lead adviser to Aberdeen Football Club on the planning application for a new £50m community stadium. Elsewhere, the group is highly active in assisting housebuilding clients with the planning aspects of large-scale residential development projects throughout Scotland (including associated infrastructure to support these projects, such as schools, transport and education facilities). Clients in this space include Taylor Wimpey, Stewart Milne Group and Dandara. Craig Whelton and senior associate Emma Dewar are advising West Craigs Limited on the promotion of a proposed new development at Maybury in West Edinburgh, consisting of 1400 new homes, as well as retail and medical facilities, and a new primary school. The group's energy-related work is gaining momentum, with it attracting mandates from clients such as EDF and Airvolution. Whelton and Dewar recently acted for Skylark (a joint venture between Ecotricity and Skanska) at a public local inquiry into the proposed development of a 19 turbine wind park at Upper Sonachan in Argyll & Bute. In the oil and gas sector, the firm acts as the sole planning adviser to Total E&P UK. Senior associate Theresa Hunt is recommended.

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Scotland: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)


Within: Sport

The ‘excellent’ team at Burness Paull LLP is particularly strong in football, rugby and golf mandates, and advises sporting governing bodies and sports teams alike. Neeraj Thomas provides ‘great commercial advice’ and acted for the Scottish Football Association in connection with disciplinary charges brought by FIFA in connection with alleged breaches of the Laws of the Game and other competition-specific breaches, following a match against England in which the Scottish team wore the poppy symbol on black armbands. Elaine Farquharson-Black is advising Aberdeen Football Club on its planning application to Aberdeen City Council for £50m community and sports facilities, football academy, stadium and the formation of access roads and parking. Colin Hulme represented the Scottish Rugby Union in a sensitive investigation into the conduct of a club and certain players in relation to a serious off-field incident, which provided the basis for disciplinary charges.

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