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BTO Solicitors LLP

ONE EDINBURGH QUAY, 133 FOUNTAINBRIDGE, EDINBURGH, EH3 9QG, SCOTLAND
Tel:
Work 0131 222 2939
Fax:
Fax 0131 222 2949
DX:
ED77 EDINBURGH
Email:
Web:
www.bto.co.uk
Edinburgh, Glasgow

Scotland: Corporate and commercial

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

BTO Solicitors LLP (Glasgow)

BTO Solicitors LLP’s broad client base includes housebuilders, funders, entrepreneurs, owner-managed businesses and national/international businesses. In addition to assisting with funding transactions and organisational restructurings, the firm also handles acquisitions and disposals, MBOs, joint ventures and investment agreements, among other matters. Jeremy Glen leads the team, which is ‘realistic in its timescales and always provides value for money’. Singled out for particular client praise is the ‘very pragmaticAndrew Sleigh, who acted for Cooper Cromar Group (a vehicle used by the management team) in the MBO of Cooper Cromar Limited. Gary Booth handles a variety of matters for clients in the SME sector, including share and business purchases or sales, shareholder agreements and commercial contracts. Scott Wyper, who made partner in 2016, draws work from a wide range of sectors, with a particular specialism in renewable energy transactions. Alastair Dunn is another key individual.

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Scotland: Crime, fraud and licensing

Crime: fraud
Crime: fraud - ranked: tier 3

BTO Solicitors LLP (Glasgow)

Acting for individuals and companies, BTO Solicitors LLP handles internal investigations, fraud, embezzlement and corruption matters. Alasdair Gillies represented an individual, who was charged with embezzlement and breach of trust. Team head Clare Bone assisted a client with internal investigations into bribery and corruption offences.

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Crime: general
Crime: general - ranked: tier 3

BTO Solicitors LLP (Glasgow)

BTO Solicitors LLP has a strong profile for defending police personnel in a wide range of allegations, including serious injury, abduction, rape and assault. Other areas of expertise include criminal defence work pertaining to careless driving allegations. In 2016, Alasdair Gillies represented a police officer at trial, who was accused of causing serious injury by careless driving while on duty. Gillies also led the defence team in a trial where the accused faced five charges of sexual assault; three of the charges were subsequently dropped. In a separate matter, he successfully defended a police sergeant against allegations of an on-duty assault against a prisoner held in custody. Clare Bone heads the practice.

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Licensing
Licensing - ranked: tier 3

BTO Solicitors LLP (Edinburgh, Glasgow)

BTO Solicitors LLP has strong hotel industry expertise and advises clients in the sector on contractual licensing aspects pertaining to leasing arrangements and corporate transactions. Other clients include pubs, clubs and restaurants. Team head Nicolas McBride advised Gourmet Burger Kitchen on the conditional liquor licensing clauses, which are part of the company’s new Glasgow restaurant lease agreement. McBridge also assisted bowling alley provider Lane 7 with licensing provisions under the lease for new licensed premises in Aberdeen, and advised new client Jewel Hotels on licensing aspects of its hotel portfolio in Scotland. As another highlight, the team assisted Shearings Hotels with contractual licensing aspects pertaining to leasing arrangements as part of the client’s lease and sale of two Scottish hotels.

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Scotland: Dispute resolution

Commercial litigation
Commercial litigation - ranked: tier 2

BTO Solicitors LLP (Edinburgh)

BTO Solicitors LLP’s sizeable team includes 14 solicitor advocates, four qualified mediators and an appointed adjudicator. The group handles a broad cross-section of contentious matters, including banking and commercial disputes, oil and gas matters, professional negligence, and contentious construction and sports law issues. Tony Jones, who has been involved in more than 40 reported decisions, is acting for Community Windpower as the pursuer in litigation arising from the allegedly defective construction of a 16-turbine wind farm. Jones co-heads the practice with Grant Hunter. Bill Speirs has experience of cross-border disputes and a track record in commercial and insurance litigation dating back to the early 1980s. Paul Motion heads the data protection and intellectual property teams and manages disputes related to commercial contracts and renewable energy. Dorothy Hatfield and recently promoted partner David Young are also recommended.

Leading individuals

Tony Jones - BTO Solicitors LLP

Next generation lawyers

David Young - BTO Solicitors LLP

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Debt recovery
Debt recovery - ranked: tier 3

BTO Solicitors LLP (Glasgow)

BTO Solicitors LLP handles secured and unsecured debt recoveries, as well as insolvency-related recoveries. Dorothy Hatfield has particular experience of matters involving fraud-related issues. The firm acts for clients including SMEs, registered social landlords, insolvency practitioners, banks and other financial institutions. In addition to handling Scottish recoveries work, the firm’s membership of Mackrell International (a network of international law firms) sees it regularly advise on matters with cross-border issues. Practice head Grant Hunter, solicitor advocate Tony Jones and senior solicitor Ross Campbell are representing Highland Wood Energy in litigation centred on Highland Council’s purported early termination of a biomass heating contract on the grounds of alleged material non-performance by the client. The client refutes the allegation, and seeks payment of more than £200,000 of unpaid invoices for fuel supplies. Other recommended individuals include David Young, who made partner in 2016, consultant Robin Macpherson, associate Kirsteen Maclean, and senior solicitors Ross Campbell and Jamie Reekie.

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Scotland: Finance

Insolvency and corporate recovery
Insolvency and corporate recovery - ranked: tier 4

BTO Solicitors LLP (Edinburgh, Glasgow)

BTO Solicitors LLP’s team advises on personal and corporate insolvency issues for directors, banks, insolvency practitioners and funders, as well as SMEs and larger corporates, among other clients. It undertakes a significant amount of non-contentious work, including Andrew Sleigh serving as lead adviser to Hamilton Brothers (Engineering) Limited on its pre-pack acquisition of a tractor distribution business. The firm also handles corporate restructures, as well as administration, sequestration and liquidation petitions. On the contentious side, the firm fields a number of practitioners with a wealth of experience of insolvency litigation, including Dorothy Hatfield, Grant Hunter, consultant Robin Macpherson and associate Kirsteen Maclean. Cases typically involve issues such as misfeasance, wrongful trading and disqualification issues. Alastair Dunn is often called upon by former directors to provide expert opinions on corporate matters that have been challenged by insolvency practitioners.

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Scotland: Human resources

Employment
Employment - ranked: tier 3

BTO Solicitors LLP (Glasgow)

Acting for employers and employees alike, BTO Solicitors LLP is ‘a very good choice for medium-sized companies’ and ‘provides excellent service, from general advice to tribunal representation’. The team handles whistleblowing, discrimination and TUPE matters and often acts for public sector clients as well as colleges, private schools and senior executives. The ‘very organised and knowledgeableLaura Salmond, who ‘approaches conflicts with a calm demeanour and incisive wit’, advised more than 3,000 members of the Prison Officers’ Association Scotland on a wide range of employment matters, including discrimination, capability, misconduct and data protection issues. Practice head Caroline Carr is best known for her expertise in the clinical defence arena and frequently advises doctors, consultants and dentists on employment and disciplinary issues. Her recent highlights include advising a doctor on investigation proceedings. In another highlight, the team advised a Scottish group of companies on TUPE transfer matters. The ‘very responsive’ David Hoey is also recommended, as is consultant Rhona Wark, who joined from Anderson Strathern.

Next generation lawyers

Laura Salmond - BTO Solicitors LLP

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Health and safety
Health and safety - ranked: tier 1

BTO Solicitors LLP (Glasgow)

Handling regulatory defence work arising from serious and fatal injury and accident cases is a significant element of BTO Solicitors LLP’s practice, which regularly represents clients in investigations by regulators such as the HSE and MCA, as well as local authorities. The highly regarded Clare Bone jointly heads the team with Vikki Watt and acted for Marine Harvest in a HSE investigation following a serious injury incurred by an employee. Similarly, Watt acted for Rodger Builders in an HSE and police investigation, which was treated as a potential corporate homicide case, following a fatality on a farm involving one of the client’s longstanding employees. Watt also acted for holiday park operator Loch Earn Caravan Parks following a fatal accident at the on-site swimming pool. This included representation in HSE and police investigations, as well as the subsequent prosecution process. Other clients include AIG, NFU Mutual Insurance Society and Mactaggart & Mickel Homes. Alasdair Gillies is another key member of the team.

Leading individuals

Clare Bone - BTO Solicitors LLP

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Scotland: Insurance

Medical negligence: defender
Medical negligence: defender - ranked: tier 1

BTO Solicitors LLP (Edinburgh, Glasgow)

BTO Solicitors LLP is a ‘standout firm’ whose ‘highly capable lawyers’ attract praise for their ‘years of experience’. The team regularly acts for doctors, dentists and nurses in clinical negligence claims brought before the Court of Session and Sheriff Court, and in public inquires. Insurance companies also call on the practice to defend clinical negligence claims against their insured clients. The ‘excellentDouglas Jessiman jointly heads the team with the ‘superbLaura Donald; Donald’s track record includes acting for the Dental Defence Union (DDU) in all claims of negligent or defective treatment in Scotland raised against their members, while Jessiman defended a general dental practitioner against a compensation claim brought by a former patient before the Scotland Sheriff Personal Injury Court. The team also represented three doctors in the inquiry into the bin lorry crash in Glasgow city centre that killed six people in December 2014. Catherine Currie and Carly Forrest are also recommended.

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Personal injury: defender
Personal injury: defender - ranked: tier 2

BTO Solicitors LLP (Glasgow)

BTO Solicitors LLP handles a wide spectrum of defendant personal injury work, and attracts praise for ‘putting the client first’ as well as ‘providing a first-class service in a timely manner’. The ‘knowledgeable, strategic and detailedCatherine Currie acted for Aspen Insurance in a health and safety case pertaining to the claimant’s work accident. The ‘outstandingGarry Ferguson, who ‘displays a good understanding of insurers’ needs and expectations’, handled multiple claims for an insurance client following the claimant’s tractor accident. Carly Forrest acted for Amlin Insurance in a Court of Session action. Stephen Bryceland heads the team, which includes Claire White, who was elevated to the partnership.

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Professional negligence
Professional negligence - ranked: tier 1

BTO Solicitors LLP (Glasgow)

The ‘knowledgeable and diligent’ team at BTO Solicitors LLP attracts praise for its ‘tactical skill when aiming to achieve an economic settlement at a pre-litigation stage’. With a focus on defence work, the practice frequently acts for professional indemnity and D&O insurers covering a broad range of professionals, including advocates, accountants, architects and engineers. Alan Eadie, who jointly heads the team with Ashley Mawby, acted for the professional indemnity insurers of a firm of solicitors in a $210m action brought by the principal shareholder of an oil service company pertaining to a private equity investment. The claimant alleged that the solicitors acted for both sides in the investment and used another firm to act for the investor in negotiations in order to cover its involvement. Derek Allan retired.

Leading individuals

Alan Eadie - BTO Solicitors LLP

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Scotland: Private client

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

BTO Solicitors LLP (Glasgow)

BTO Solicitors LLPprovides clear and concise advice’ on charity regulation and OSCR requirements, including the transition from non-charitable to charitable status and governance matters. ‘Knowledgeable and professional’ associate and ‘excellent communicatorMarion Davis advised the University of Strathclyde Students’ Association (USSA) on OSCR requirements following its transition from an unincorporated association to an incorporated company structure, and subsequently assisted the client with obtaining OSCR consent to change its legal form. The practice also regularly assists charitable registered social landlords with regulatory and governance issues. Team head Patrice Fabien assisted Richmond Fellowship Scotland (TRFS) in its role as a private landlord with regulatory issues applicable to private residential tenancies. Other clients include the Scottish Cremation Society, CLIC Sargent and McSence.

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Family
Family - ranked: tier 2

BTO Solicitors LLP (Edinburgh, Glasgow)

BTO Solicitors LLP has ‘a wealth of experience in all areas of family law’ and is particularly well versed in dealing with financial provision and child law cases. The firm is singled out for its expertise in complex international child custody cases, including adoption and surrogacy matters. ‘Tenacious’ team head Cath Karlin provides ‘straightforward advice’ and attracts praise for her ‘substantial experience in public child law cases; she is a safe pair of hands in financial provision matters’. She acted for a client in a child abduction case, and handled a number of surrogacy petitions. Lesley Gordon (a ‘thorough, well-prepared and tough negotiator’) advised a client on sexual offence matters, and assisted another individual with financial provision and contentious child residence issues. ‘Extremely helpful and competent’ associate Marjory Blair is also recommended.

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Personal tax, trusts and executries
Personal tax, trusts and executries - ranked: tier 5

BTO Solicitors LLP (Glasgow)

The ‘professional, knowledgeable and supportive’ team at BTO Solicitors LLP is particularly active in advising high-net-worth individuals on inheritance tax, capital gains tax and income tax planning matters alongside estate administration and will interpretation issues. Team head Roddy Harrison, who is known for his experience in business succession planning, advised a business client on capital gains and inheritance tax issues. He also advised a company shareholder and chairman entering retirement on loan notes with the aim of extracting him from the business with a continued income through the partial gifting and partial selling of shares in exchange for loan notes. In a separate matter, he assisted an entrepreneur with a will and other succession planning issues. Neil Headrick advised trustees on tax matters pertaining to land held for development. Claire MacPherson moved to Burness Paull LLP.

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Scotland: Projects, energy and natural resources

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

BTO Solicitors LLP (Glasgow)

BTO Solicitors LLP’s practice handles a range of issues for various stakeholders in the renewable/alternative energy sector, including corporate structures, project finance and asset finance, commercial contracts, investments into projects and site acquisitions. Its wide-ranging experience encompasses schemes related to onshore wind, solar, hydro, biomass, community renewables and energy-from-waste. Nicolas McBride and Jeremy Glen jointly head the team, which acted for Garbhaig Hydro Power Company on the redevelopment of a 2MW storage hydro scheme, and advised Triodos Bank on the financing of a three-turbine wind farm, which is being developed as a joint venture between Community Energy Scotland and a housing association. Scott Wyper, chairman Alan Borthwick and David Gibson are other key partners in the team, which includes associates Marieclaire Reid, Jennifer Whitelaw and Caroline Earnshaw.

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Scotland: Public sector

Education
Education - ranked: tier 3

BTO Solicitors LLP (Glasgow)

BTO Solicitors LLP provides ‘thorough’ employment law advice to higher and further education sector clients, as well as a number of private schools. The team has strong experience in litigation, and regularly defends educational institutions against discrimination claims and insurers of educational institutions against claims raised by students and parents such as failure to teach, failure to identify learning difficulties and complaints about course formats and structures. ‘Knowledgeable and experienced’ team head David Hoey represented a private school in a discrimination claim at the Additional Support Needs Tribunal brought by a former pupil.

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Scotland: Real estate

Commercial property: Edinburgh and Glasgow
Commercial property: Edinburgh and Glasgow - ranked: tier 3

BTO Solicitors LLP (Glasgow)

Commercial property: leisure and hospitality - ranked: tier 1

BTO Solicitors LLP (Glasgow)

Commercial property: retail occupiers - ranked: tier 2

BTO Solicitors LLP (Glasgow)

BTO Solicitors LLP handles a wide range of issues for developers, housebuilders, charities and retailers, among other clients. In 2016 Graeme Kelly led a team, which acted for Rockford Portfolio Limited in its portfolio acquisition of nine office buildings in six separate locations in Lanarkshire. Another highlight involved David Gibson and associate Manjit Hunjan advising Isle of Arran Distillers on the development of a new whisky distiller, which included assisting the client with a site acquisition. The firm also acts for other clients, such as Mactaggart & Mickel Group, The Architectural Heritage Fund and Stena Line group. Gibson jointly heads the practice with chairman Alan Borthwick, who is experienced in strategic land development projects, and is active in renewables sector matters. Jane Steel undertakes a significant amount of work for retail sector clients such as Adidas, Maplin and Superdry. Other key partners include Scott Buchan, Nicolas McBride and Peter Graham. Associates Marieclaire Reid and Donnie Robertson are also recommended.

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Construction
Construction - ranked: tier 4

BTO Solicitors LLP (Glasgow)

BTO Solicitors LLP’s team demonstrates strong capabilities in non-contentious construction matters, where it assists clients with contractual and procurement issues, advises on insurance policy interpretation and indemnity issues, and provides strategic advice at all stages of construction projects. The firm also has impressive contentious credentials, including handling disputes over outstanding payments and extensions of time, challenges to certification, construction defects and insurance-related matters. Sandra Cassels, who has been involved in more than 50 adjudications, is also experienced in litigation, mediation and other forms of dispute resolution. Cassels co-heads the practice with Jilly Petrie, who handles construction claims for insurers and insured parties, and various other contentious construction matters. Consultant Ann O’Connell and Claire Mills assisted a subsidiary of the Institute of Structural Engineers with updating its guidance note on legal responsibilities and liabilities arising from the SER Scheme for Certification of Structural Design. Associates Julie Scott-Gilroy and Caroline Earnshaw are also recommended.

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Property litigation
Property litigation - ranked: tier 3

BTO Solicitors LLP (Glasgow)

BTO Solicitors LLP’s team inspires ‘complete confidence’ in clients. Mark Morton, Tony Jones, Robin Macpherson and Michael Collins all have solicitor advocacy expertise. Grant Hunter is leading a team defending Clyde Valley Group against court actions brought by multiple tenants in relation to personal injuries they claim were sustained due to the construction of housing stock on contaminated land. The practice also has a particularly strong following among insurer clients, including RSA and NFU Mutual. Bill Speirs, Jilly Petrie and Jones are representing an insurer in a Court of Session claim arising from the collapse of warehouse roofs owned by William Grant & Company following heavy snow falls in 2009 and 2010. Property damage expert Angus Crawford, recently promoted partner David Young and associate Mark McCluskie are other notable team members.

Next generation lawyers

David Young - BTO Solicitors LLP

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Social housing
Social housing - ranked: tier 2

BTO Solicitors LLP (Edinburgh)

BTO Solicitors LLP has a track record in the social housing sector dating back to the 1970s, and is particularly known for acting for RSLs. Patrice Fabien leads the group, which includes commercial conveyancing expert Karen Brodie. Brodie acted alongside Marieclaire Reid and Lesley Gray for Clyde Valley Housing Association on its acquisition of 13 separate development sites as part of an ambitious development programme. Grant Hunter assists with all forms of dispute resolution (including litigation, arbitration and mediation), and is experienced in contentious matters arising from development projects and tenement refurbishment programmes. David Young handles a variety of issues, such as antisocial behaviour, tenancy litigation and factoring. Also recommended are employment law specialists Caroline Carr and David Hoey, construction law expert Sandra Cassels, and Paul Motion, who is advising Oak Tree Housing Association on the data protection aspects of the Common Housing Register. Kingdom Housing Association, Partick Housing Association and Grampian Housing Association are also clients.

Leading individuals

Patrice Fabien - BTO Solicitors LLP

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Scotland: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

Intellectual property
Intellectual property - ranked: tier 4

BTO Solicitors LLP (Glasgow)

BTO Solicitors LLP is dedicated to contentious IP work, handling trade mark and copyright infringement cases alongside domain and website IP disputes, while also advising clients on domain names, IP licensing and trade mark matters, including registrations and applications. Paul Motion heads the team.

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Media and entertainment
Media and entertainment - ranked: tier 3

BTO Solicitors LLP (Edinburgh)

BTO Solicitors LLP acts for individuals and organisations in defamation and reputation matters pertaining to social and traditional media publications. Team head Paul Motion advised Trump International Golf Links Scotland on material published on Facebook and in several UK national newspapers, while also representing the client in court proceedings for damages under the Data Protection Act 1998. The team also advised politician Mohammad Sarwar on reputation issues following Scottish media reports over allegations made by a former business associate who claimed that certain parts of the client’s autobiography were fabricated and selective. Other key mandates included advising former SNP councillor Julie McAnulty on defamatory issues, and acting for Mactaggart & Mickel Homes in interdict actions against an individual who had started a campaign of criticism against the client on social media. Tony Jones is also recommended.

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Sport
Sport - ranked: tier 2

BTO Solicitors LLP (Glasgow)

The ‘strong’ team at BTO Solicitors LLP specialises in football, golf and boxing and ‘provides very good advice’ on corporate governance issues, while also handling contentious matters. Team head Andrew Sleigh, who is praised as being ‘very strong at providing commercial advice’, advised Royal Troon Golf Club on amendments to its constitution to admit women into membership, and assisted the Scottish Football Association with a number of issues pertaining to hosting UEFA Euro 2020 matches at Hampden Park. Gary Booth continues to assist the same client with corporate governance matters, including its annual revision process.

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