The Legal 500

Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon

Brodies LLP

Work 0131 228 3777
Fax 0131 228 3878

Neil Collar

Work 0131 656 0125
Brodies LLP

Work Department

Planning, renewable energy, oil and gas (onshore).


Partner. Accredited specialist in planning law. Consistently rated as one of Scotland’s leading planning lawyers. Well known for both advisory and advocacy work. Over 20 years’ experience in housing, renewable energy, transport/infrastructure, waste, minerals and retail.


Trained Brodies LLP; qualified 1992; partner Brodies LLP 1998. Publications of note include: ‘Planning’ (W Green/Sweet & Maxwell, 4th ed published 2016); ‘Planning and Human Rights’ (W Green 2001).


Law Society of Scotland and sits on its planning law committee; legal associate of Royal Town Planning Institute; editorial board for Scottish Planning and Environmental Law; Scottish Renewables planning group; UK onshore oil and gas mineral planning group.


Douglas Academy, Milngavie; Glasgow University; Liverpool University; (1988 LLB Hons; 1990 LLM; 1990 Dip LP).


Playing the saxophone.

Scotland: Projects, energy and natural resources

Energy (excluding oil and gas)

Within: Energy (excluding oil and gas)

Brodies LLP has a strong market profile in the Scottish renewable energy sector, and it particularly stands out in areas such as onshore wind, hydro, heat and bioenergy. The team, which is jointly led by Keith Patterson and Kirsty Macpherson, is frequently sought-after by clients in the most high-profile matters in the market. Patterson, Roger Cotton and Neil Collar are acting for Grangemouth Renewable Energy Limited in the development of a large biomass combined heat and power (CHP) project and district heating network; this is the largest CHP project, and the first heat-led project, to win a contract for difference (CfD) in Scotland. In 2017, Patterson, Sarah-Jane McArthur, Phil Hunter, associate Alison Polson and others advised three project companies owned by Banks Renewables on the £210m development and financing of a 151MW CfD wind farm portfolio; this matter represented the first CfD onshore wind farm financing. McArthur, construction director Mark Finlay and Michael Stoneham (who is the head of energy and infrastructure finance) are acting for MeyGen in the development of a landmark, first-of-its-kind tidal stream energy project in the Pentland Firth. Alix Bearhop focuses on the real estate aspects of renewable energy projects, while Derek Stroud has more than 15 years of experience of corporate transactions connected with the industry. Associate Claire Reid assists developers and landowners with wind, hydro and anaerobic digestion projects.

[back to top]

Scotland: Real estate


Within: Environment

Brodies LLP's environmental law offering adds an important dimension to the firm's advice on corporate and real estate transactions, and energy and infrastructure projects, among other matters. In addition to providing transactional and project support, members of its team provide standalone advice on the full range of environmental law issues. Philip Hunter, who heads up the practice (and is also a real estate partner), is leading a team, which is advising Clyde Gateway Developments Limited on the Shawfield Phase Two redevelopment project as part of the redevelopment of the Clyde Gateway area; the project covers an area of land where large swathes have a legacy of environmental contamination, owing to previous use as a chemical works. Duncan MacLean and Hunter advised Lerwick Port Authority (LPA) on environmental and consenting issues associated with the arrival of the semi-submersible Buchan Alpha at LPA's newly-extended deep-water quay at Dales Voe decommissioning facility for decommissioning. Sarah-Jane McArthur and others are acting for Indaver NV as the proposed operating subcontractor for one of the bidding consortia of a waste management project in the north east of Scotland. Paul Marshall assists clients with regulatory compliance, and on the contentious side, he also handles environmental prosecutions and enforcement actions. Associate Niall McLean, who is a solicitor advocate with extended rights of audience at the Court of Session, is active in environmental litigation. Neil Collar, who heads up the planning practice, is another name to note. Associate Ewen Cairns recently joined from the Higher Education Funding Council for England.

[back to top]


Within: Leading individuals

Neil Collar - Brodies LLP

Within: Planning

Brodies LLP is 'one of the leading planning law firms in Scotland', and is 'particularly well regarded among planning authorities' for whom 'its presence on a mandate inspires confidence'. Practice head Neil Collar, associate Alison Polson and senior solicitor Victoria Lane 'have an excellent awareness of planning matters' and they all deliver 'clear and consistent advice'. Karen Hamilton, associate Lee Murphy and managing associate Niall McLean are also highly recommended. The group provides a full service on the contentious and non-contentious issues arising at every stage of the planning process, ranging from early-stage strategic advice to planning inquiry advocacy and Court of Session appeals. A particular area of strength is in drafting section 75 planning obligations, including provisions on continuing liability, modification and discharge, and decommissioning bonds for minerals and wind farm developments. Collar and Lane are preparing the terms of a section 75 obligation on behalf of Park of Keir Partnership in relation to the 'Murray Legacy' project in Dunblane. Collar and Lane are also assisting Moda Living and Apache Capital Partners with the planning aspects of a proposed Build to Rent scheme at Springside in Edinburgh. Grangemouth Renewable Energy Limited, Boralex and Candleriggs Limited are other notable clients.

[back to top]

Back to index

Legal Developments by:
Brodies LLP

  • Scottish planning obligations: modification and discharge ‚Äď the story so far‚Ä©

    Planning obligations 1 (formerly agreements), which restrict or regulate the use or development of land, perform a crucial function within the planning system. In Scotland in particular, where the community infrastructure levy has not been adopted, the planning obligation continues to be the primary mechanism for the delivery of much needed local and regional infrastructure through developer contributions, often involving very significant sums. ‚Ä©
    - Brodies LLP

Legal Developments worldwide

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to