The firm traces its roots back to 1808, when Mr Boyd set up a legal practice in Edinburgh specialising in maritime law. The firm is a top-50 UK firm and continues to enjoy year on year growth. The firm’s ninth UK office is opening in Aberdeen in May 2014.
Types of work undertaken: Corporate recovery and insolvency: the firm operates one of the largest dedicated corporate recovery teams in Scotland. The team has a significant track record of managing large and complex matters. In 2013, the team led a firm-wide, multi-disciplinary team of lawyers advising KPMG as liquidator of The Scottish Resources Group. The team is one of the few in Scotland to be on the panel for every significant UK bank. It is also heavily involved in borrower work, with significant instructions from asset-based lenders, complex and cross-border restructurings, a range of instructions from IPs and accountancy firms, in addition to significant instructions in terms of volume and quality from banks and financial institutions.
Venture capital and investment: the corporate team handled a large market share of Scotland’s investment deals in 2013. Clients include Panoramic Enterprise Capital Fund I LP and Souter Investments. The firm has a particularly strong focus on the life sciences, oil and gas, and technology sectors. The corporate team continues to develop and achieved a 10% increase in turnover in the last financial year against a background of difficulties faced by other Scottish corporate teams.
Life sciences: increasingly high-profile in this sector, the firm completed a number of deals in 2013 for various clients including Lux Assure Limited, Silent Herdsman Holdings Limited, Ambicare Health Limited, ProFactor Pharma Limited and Pharmacells Limited.
Real estate: this large cross-border team is heavily involved in all aspects of the UK real estate market. During 2013, the real estate team concluded a number of high-profile, high-value transactions, including the £120m acquisition of 41 investment properties for Harwood Real Estate; acting for PPG on the sale of ten property investment assets for more than £42m; and the purchases of two shopping centres in Edinburgh and Grangemouth for New River Retail. Other work includes portfolio acquisition and management for blue-chip clients including BT, Virgin Media, PPG, Certas Energy (formerly GB Oils) and Senergy Group. The real estate team also bought and sold several large schemes, portfolios and single assets for the likes of Deka Immobilien, PPG, IVG and Harwood Real Estate. Residential investment and development clients include Terrace Hill plc, Grainger plc and Addington Capital and several administrators in the acquisition, management and disposal of large-volume residential investment portfolios.
Energy: 2013 was a very strong year for the team in on- and offshore wind projects, with particularly high levels of activity in the sale and purchase of onshore windfarms. Clients include Burcote Wind, BT, Windflow Technology, Wind Harvest, vento ludens and ABO Wind. The top-ranking shipping team combines effectively with the energy team. The firm’s global shipping expertise and capability is unmatched. This is a significant advantage for renewables and oil and gas industries, where much of the work is done offshore. In addition, the energy team provides banking and finance, corporate, commercial, property, planning, environmental, employment and disputes advice, all from specialists with hands-on experience in the sector.
Oil and gas services sector: this team is growing in strength and reputation. It has acted for many Aberdeen, London and Dubai-based oil and gas sector clients for many years. Due to its commitment to this sector, the firm is opening an Aberdeen office in May 2014. It is known for advising oil and gas services businesses in the UK and beyond; and has strong experience (unique for a Scottish-based firm) advising clients and managing transactions in the MENA and Caspian regions. Key clients include Senergy Group (the team advised Senergy on a significant investment made by Lloyd’s Register during 2013), Topaz Energy and Marine (the firm led the team acting as English and Scottish counsel to Topaz in connection with its successful $350m high-yield bond issue in 2013), Certas Energy, Bridge Energy ASA, Briggs Marine, Divex Limited and Lux Assure.
Retail: the firm provides a range of legal services to the sector. In 2013, it concluded the purchase of two shopping centres for New River Retail. It also acted for JD Sports in the high-profile acquisition of a controlling interest in the Tiso Group Limited. Other clients include Chanel, Tommy Hilfiger, Hackett, Karl Lagerfeld, Waitrose, Mappin & Webb and Go Outdoor.
Other offices: Aberdeen, Birmingham, Dubai, Glasgow, Leeds, Leicester, London, Manchester, Nottingham
Number of UK partners 148
Number of other UK fee-earners 280
Above material supplied by Gateley Plc.