The Legal 500

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12 HOPE STREET, EDINBURGH, EH2 4DB, SCOTLAND
Tel:
Work 0131 625 9191
Fax:
Fax 0131 625 9192
DX:
408 EDINBURGH
Email:
Web:
www.davidsonchalmers.com

Scotland: Corporate and commercial

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

Davidson Chalmers LLP (Edinburgh)

Davidson Chalmers LLP excels in acting for owner-managed businesses and other SMEs. Its client base spans various sectors, with the firm being particularly active in areas such as healthcare, technology and renewable energy. Practice co-head Craig Stirling is particularly experienced in dental sector transactions, and also advises other health sector clients, including pharmacists, opticians and medical practices. In 2016, practice co-head Stuart Duncan acted for environmental and waste recycling company Suez during its buy-in to Glenfarg Organics, while Stirling advised Inch Volkswagen on the sale of a portfolio of Scottish Volkswagen dealerships to the Arnold Clark Group. Duncan has particular expertise in setting up Scottish limited partnerships and Scottish limited liability partnerships. CL Selby Holding, Little Learners Scotland and Shin-etsu Group are among a number of recent client wins.

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Scotland: Dispute resolution

Commercial litigation
Commercial litigation - ranked: tier 5

Davidson Chalmers LLP (Edinburgh)

Davidson Chalmers LLP’s ‘efficient and reliable’ team handles shareholder and director disputes, issues of contractual interpretation, professional negligence claims (including cases against solicitors and engineers) and contentious real estate matters. The firm is particularly active for SME clients, including Scottish family-owned and owner-managed businesses, as well as the healthcare sector, where the group manages partnership-related issues and contractual disputes. Practice head Sheila Webster, who has more than 20 years of commercial litigation experience, is a qualified mediator. Webster and highly regarded associate Greg Flett recently acted for director Allan Murray and Allan Murray Architects in an unfair prejudice claim brought by another director and minority shareholder of the company. Alba Energy, Knight Frank and Straid Farms are also clients.

Next generation lawyers

Greg Flett - Davidson Chalmers LLP

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Scotland: Human resources

Employment
Employment - ranked: tier 5

Davidson Chalmers LLP (Edinburgh)

Davidson Chalmers LLP advises third sector organisations, SMEs and international companies on a broad range of employment law matters such as dismissals, temporary labour, holiday and equal pay, as well as assisting them with disciplinary investigations. ‘Well-respected’ practice head Alan Strain advised a third sector organisation on its job evaluation scheme and its implementation, which included advice on job redesign and equal pay issues. In a separate matter, the team assisted a corporate client with a possible introduction of a career transition policy, which would give employees the opportunity to leave their employment in exchange for a payment. On the contentious side, the practice is well versed in dealing with unfair dismissal, discrimination and breach of contract claims, while also acting for clients in disciplinary investigations. The team is acting for a third sector organisation to defend a number of collective underpaid holiday claims raised by existing and former employees.

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Scotland: Private client

Agriculture and estates
Agriculture and estates - ranked: tier 3

Davidson Chalmers LLP (Edinburgh, Galashiels)

Davidson Chalmers LLP attracts praise for its ‘excellent level of knowledge’ in advising rural businesses on commercial, corporate and regulatory matters while ‘keeping business goals in mind’. This includes advice on farm and estate diversification, succession and crofting law issues, as well as renewable energy projects. The team, which consists of ‘very good listeners’, assisted the Dunrobin Highland Distillery with the development of a craft distillery, including lease agreements with the landowners. Andy Drane advised Guinness Asset Management on its acquisition of a 500kW run-of-river hydroelectric scheme from MEG Renewables located in Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park, which also included assistance with land and access right issues and a lease renegotiation with two landlords. Laura Tainsh heads the team, which includes ‘responsive’ associate Louise Jones.

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Scotland: Projects, energy and natural resources

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

Davidson Chalmers LLP (Edinburgh)

Clients of Davidson Chalmers LLP rate its ability to ‘deliver workable deals in a challenging environment’. The firm is regularly called on to advise on the corporate and commercial aspects of renewable energy projects, including fundraising, joint ventures and commercial contracts. Other areas of expertise include planning and environment, property and crofting issues. Practice head Andy Drane and Stuart Duncan are acting for Gala Water and Mill Lades Society in a community-led renewable energy project involving the regeneration of the mill lade infrastructure in Galashiels, and on the installation of several hydroelectric installations on the mill lade. In another recent highlight, the team advised Guinness Asset Management on its acquisition and development of a run-of-river hydroelectric scheme in Argyll and Bute. June Gilles, who has 20 years of experience in the renewable energy sector, acts on small and large-scale onshore wind projects, as well as solar, hydro and wave energy schemes. Laura Tainsh, who ‘goes about her business in a no-nonsense manner’, acts for clients such as Peel Energy and ABO Wind. Corporate partner Craig Stirling and associate Louise Jones are also highly regarded. Jenny Davies left the firm in 2017.

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Scotland: Public sector

Health
Health - ranked: tier 2

Davidson Chalmers LLP (Edinburgh)

Davidson Chalmers LLP has a strong medical partnership client base, which the team regularly advises on a wide range of matters including funding, surgery leases, NHS contracting and employment and regulatory issues. The team also acts for dental sector clients on corporate, commercial, regulatory and employment matters. Andy Drane advised the Inverurie Medical Practice on the terms of its occupancy agreement with the Scottish government and the terms of the Scottish Futures Trust Hub contracts. In the dental arena, team head Craig Stirling acted for Shaw & Associates Dental Practice on the sale of two dental practices in Fraserburgh to two separate purchasers. Other clients include Ashgrove Group Practice, Orchard Medical Practice and Lammermuir Medical Practice.

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Scotland: Real estate

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

Davidson Chalmers LLP (Edinburgh)

In an illustration of Davidson Chalmers LLP’s track record handling large-scale developments, Bruce Lancaster and Andrew Chalmers advised Highbridge Properties on a development agreement concerning the development of a new business district in south east Glasgow. In a separate matter, Chalmers and Lisa Graham assisted Chris Stewart Group with negotiating a leasing agreement with Carluccio’s for a new restaurant at The Registers development in Edinburgh city centre. In the housebuilding sector, Andy Drane is leading a team advising Story Homes on all aspects of its flagship 285-unit housing development at Pentland Reach, Biggar. Other areas of expertise for the team include investment and development deals in the student accommodation sector, and healthcare-related real estate work involving medical partnerships, dental practitioners and veterinary practices. Gavin Maclean is also recommended, as are associates Lizzy Enayati and Louise Jones. Jenny Davies left the firm in 2017.

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Construction
Construction - ranked: tier 4

Davidson Chalmers LLP (Edinburgh)

Davidson Chalmers LLP’s team has extensive expertise in a wide range of construction-related matters, including assisting clients with procurement, and drafting and negotiating building and engineering contracts, collateral warranties, and development agreements. In addition to advising on risk mitigation prior to the commencement of a project, the team also has extensive experience resolving construction disputes. Simone Young, Andrew Chalmers and Jenny Anfield are acting for developer West Register Street (Property) on a mixed-use development at West Register Street in Edinburgh, involving the demolition of an existing six storey office building, and the construction of a new seven-storey building. Young and Chalmers are also acting for St Andrew Square Property LLP in the refurbishment of former bank premises at St Andrew Square in Edinburgh. In another matter, Bruce Lancaster is leading the advice to Scarborough Hermiston Limited on the design and construction of a mixed-use development at Donibristle.

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Environment
Environment - ranked: tier 2

Davidson Chalmers LLP (Edinburgh)

Davidson Chalmers LLP handles a range of environmental disputes, and also provides assistance with enforcement actions, contractual issues and regulatory matters (including those involving the Scottish Environment Protection Agency). Laura Tainsh leads the team, which acts for waste management services providers, logistics companies and landfill operators. Recent highlights include assisting Billy Bowie Special Projects with an environmental audit of its resource management activities, and acting for Trent Valley Recycling on the sale of a landfill site. Andy Drane is also recommended.

Next generation lawyers

Laura Tainsh - Davidson Chalmers LLP

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Planning
Planning - ranked: tier 3

Davidson Chalmers LLP (Edinburgh)

Davidson Chalmers LLP assists with planning issues across a wide range of sectors, including renewable energy, retail, residential and mixed-use developments, as well as roads and other infrastructure projects. Practice head June Gilles, who is dual-qualified in English and Scottish law, has more than 30 years of public and private sector planning experience. Gilles assists a national client base with obtaining planning consents, judicial reviews and planning appeals, among other matters. A recent highlight involved acting for Stamford Student Investments LLP on all planning matters associated with the acquisition, development and subsequent sale of a student accommodation site at St James Road in Glasgow, as well as those connected with the sale of a similar property in Edinburgh. Other clients include Chris Stewart Group, Peel Energy, Norse Stone Limited, ABO Wind and Dunrobin Highland Distillery Limited. Caroline Court is also recommended.

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Property litigation
Property litigation - ranked: tier 2

Davidson Chalmers LLP (Edinburgh)

At Davidson Chalmers LLP, ‘professional and knowledgeable’ practice head Sheila Webster and associate Greg Flett form ‘an excellent team, which you would wish to have on your side in any contentious matter’. The group undertakes landlord and tenant disputes, keep trading obligations, contested service of notice cases, development-related matters, major dilapidations claims, and contentious title and property contract issues. The team is currently handling various property disputes for the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority, including a substantial dilapidations claim and rent review matter against its former landlord. In another highlight, Webster is leading the advice to Carpetright Plc on a Tenancy of Shops Act case. Phillips 66, Burger King and Muir Group are also clients.

Leading individuals

Sheila Webster - Davidson Chalmers LLP

Next generation lawyers

Greg Flett - Davidson Chalmers LLP

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