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Davidson Chalmers Stewart

12 HOPE STREET, EDINBURGH, EH2 4DB, SCOTLAND
Tel:
Work 0131 625 9191
DX:
408 EDINBURGH
Email:
Web:
www.dcslegal.com
Edinburgh, Glasgow

Scotland: Corporate and commercial

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

Davidson Chalmers Stewart

Davidson Chalmers Stewart routinely works with English and international law firms on a range of corporate and commercial matters requiring Scottish expertise. The firm's corporate offering was recently enhanced by the firm's merger with boutique firm Kergan Stewart, which added David Allan, Catherine Feechan, Fiona Piper, Stephen Smith, Elizabeth Kennedy and chairman Alan Stewart to its roster of corporate partners. Craig Stirling, who specialises in private equity and M&A, leads the practice. Stuart Duncan is the other name to note.

Practice head(s):Craig Stirling

Other key lawyers:Stuart Duncan; David Allan; Catherine Feechan; Fiona Piper; Stephen Smith; Elizabeth Kennedy; Alan Stewart

Key Clients

Emerson Electric Corporation

Jabil Circuit Corporation

Murray Capital

Hercules Capital

Muir Homes

Guinness Asset Management

Suez Group

Shin-etsu

Natural Assets Investments Limited/Natural Retreats

Palm Capital

Work highlights

  • Acted for Ark Hill Wind Farm Limited on the sale of the entire issued share capital of the company to Sedgwick Wind 2 Limited.
  • Advised Livingston Mechanical Services Limited on the sale of the entire issued share capital of the company to competitor Morris & Spottiswood.
  • Assisted Edinburgh Computer Services Limited, a technology support company, with the sale of the entire issued share capital to Commsworld Holdings Limited.

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Scotland: Dispute resolution

Commercial litigation
Commercial litigation - ranked: tier 3

Davidson Chalmers Stewart

Davidson Chalmers Stewart's 'strong' team is led by the 'excellent and very sharp' Sheila Webster, who is 'particularly strong in property litigation' and 'very nice to deal with'. Other areas of expertise include contractual and contract interpretation disputes, including breach of warranty claims, and negligence claims against solicitors and engineers. The 'smart' Greg Flett made partner in May 2018, while criminal solicitor advocate Laura Irvine joined from BTO Solicitors LLP in May 2018.

Practice head(s):Sheila Webster

Other key lawyers:Greg Flett; Laura Irvine

Testimonials

'They work well together and support each other in the preparation of complex litigation.'

'Responds quickly and provides instructions in a clear and well ordered fashion.'

'The team is very personable and down to earth.'

'Their knowledge of commercial litigation is second to none.'

'Sheila Webster stands out. She is clever and a very experienced commercial litigator. Sheila is a safe pair of hands.'

'Very commercial and practical advice.'

Key Clients

William Grant & Sons Distillers

Alba Energy

Robert Kidd

Tweed Homes

Centenary 6

Chris Stewart Group

Pegasus Fire Protection Company

Ury Estate

Pizza Hut Restaurants (UK)

Cairngorm Mountain

Work highlights

  • Acting for the developer, Tweed Homes, claiming significant damages against Clydesdale Bank; the claim is based on breach of promise allegations.
  • Defending Scottish Borders Council against a claim brought by Ramoyle Developments arising from the council's decision to resile from a contract for the purchase of a property.
  • Advising Pegasus Fire Protection Company on a professional negligence claim against its contractors, who acted in the conversion of a former mill building to residential properties, and in relation to a significant potential damages claim from a third party.
  • Acting for FM Group in pursuing a claim against BP Exploration and Drilling Company for the loss of development value due to the presence of an oil pipeline.
Leading individuals

Sheila Webster - Davidson Chalmers Stewart

Next Generation Partners

Greg Flett - Davidson Chalmers Stewart

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Scotland: Private client

Agriculture and estates
Agriculture and estates - ranked: tier 3

Davidson Chalmers Stewart

Davidson Chalmers Stewart advises land owners, public sector bodies and family partnerships on a wide range of matters, including lease agreements,  joint ventures and large land transactions and corporate sales in the renewables sector. The practice has recently been representing a number of tenant farmers in a judicial review against the Scottish government regarding new legislation impacting property rights in farming partnerships. During 2018 Louise Jones was promoted to the role of director of rural business, while  Laura Irvine joined as partner from BTO Solicitors LLP  in 2018.

Practice head(s):Louise Jones

Other key lawyers:Laura Irvine

Testimonials

"There is a closely knit team working at Davidson Chalmers so you are guaranteed a good breadth of experience and a team effort to get the job done." 

"Davidson Chalmers provides an effective personal service which is thorough but pragmatic."

"Louise Jones is thorough, determined and exacting."

Key Clients

R J McMaster (Lead Petitioner in Group of Tenant Farmers)

Dunrobin Highland Distillery Limited

RT Overseas Settlement

Tartan Leisure Limited

Ury Estate Limited (part of FM Group)

Albrighton Roses Limited

The English Benedictine Congregation

Highlands of Scotland Sporting Estates Partnership

Ark Hill Wind Farm Limited

Hudson Hirsel LLP

Work highlights

  • Acting for a number of tenant farmers in a significant and high profile judicial review which, ultimately, seeks compensation from the Scottish Government following introduction of legislation affecting property rights in farming partnerships.
  • Advising Dunrobin Highland Distillery Limited on the development of a craft malt whisky and gin distillery and visitor centre in the former Dunrobin Castle powerhouse.
  • Acting for RT Overseas Settlement in connection with the creation of a new settlement of circa 900 units on the western edge of Inverness.
  • Advised on the corporate sale of a renewable energy company, following an auction process, at a total price of £17m.
  • Advising Ury Estate in Aberdeenshire regarding a dispute with BP Exploration Operating Company, former owners of the Forties pipeline, which runs over Ury Estate.

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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 Stewart

Davidson Chalmers Stewart's team regularly advises on a range of different renewable technologies and all elements of the related projects including corporate and commercial advice, property and construction contracts, planning work, environmental mandates and specialist rural business issues. The group's client roster includes developers, public sector bodies, investors and suppliers, which it also acts for in disputes. Laura Tainsh heads up the group and regularly acts for renewable energy developers.

Practice head(s):Laura Tainsh

Other key lawyers:Jacqueline Cook; Louise Jones; Andy Drane

Testimonials

'The energy practitioners at Davidson Chalmers are very pragmatic and reasonably priced.'

'Laura Tainsh and Stephanie Mackenzie have excellent knowledge of the renewable energy sector and are both very reliable.'

Key Clients

ABO Wind AG/ABO Wind UK

Peel Energy

Ark Hill Wind Farm Ltd

Suez Group

Ripple Energy Ltd

Sapphire Energy Ltd

Gala Water & Mill Lades Society Ltd

WKN AG

ENR (Scotland) Ltd

Leo Group Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advising Peel Energy on a number of significant onshore wind projects in the Shetland Islands.
  • Assisting ABO Wind with its Scottish projects, which were recently put out to market; the team handled the due diligence processes and various bespoke aspects.
  • Advised Ark Hill Wind Farm on its £17m sale through an auction process.
  • Successfully acted for Leo Group in an appeal against an Ofgem ruling that infrastructure installed by the company did not merit the award of benefits under the renewable heat incentive scheme.

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Scotland: Public sector

Health
Health - ranked: tier 3

Davidson Chalmers Stewart

Davidson Chalmers Stewart has a strong private sector healthcare practice, most notably in the medical and dental industries, but the team also acts for vets, care home operators, pharmacies and opticians, among others. The practice is jointly led by the 'knowledgeable and responsive' Craig Stirling and 'great communicator' Andy Drane and assists clients with the full spectrum of healthcare sector-specific corporate and commercial work, including funding, lease and regulatory matters as well as NHS contracting and disputes. Regulatory lawyer Laura Irvine joined the firm in November 2018 from BTO Solicitors LLP.

Practice head(s):Craig Stirling; Andy Drane

Other key lawyers:Laura Irvine

Testimonials

'Andy Drane is on the front foot with solutions to changes in GP contracts and sustainability loans.'

Key Clients

Portman Healthcare

Hawick Veterinary Group

St Clair Veterinary Clinics

Ambicare Health

Smile Dental Care

Stirling Care Village

Riverside Medical Practice

Stonehealth Alpha

North Berwick Dental Centre

Infinity Blu Dental Care & Implant Clinic

Work highlights

  • Instructed by the vendors to advise on the sale of the entire issued share capital of the company to the Linnaeus Group, a large dental corporate operating throughout the UK.
  • Assisted Portman Healthcare with the Scottish aspects of its acquisition of Edinburgh Dental Specialists, Strickland Care Dental and Clifton Dental.
  • Acting for the company in the process of a £1.5m fund raise.
  • Instructed by the three NHS GP practices that will occupy the new Stirling Care Village on negotiating commercial terms with NHS Forth Valley.
  • Advising the client on all Scottish property, statutory and regulatory aspects pertaining to its acquisition of four Scottish surgery investments.

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Scotland: Real estate

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

Davidson Chalmers Stewart

Davidson Chalmers Stewart’s real estate team focuses on niche commercial work and regularly acts for large developers. The group is also active in the healthcare and housebuilding sectors, where it counts builders and primary care providers as key clients. Andrew Chalmers heads up the department, which also includes Gavin Maclean, who has notable experience in the retail, leisure and office sectors; and Bruce Lancaster, who handles property developments and forward funding agreements.

Practice head(s):Andrew Chalmers

Other key lawyers:Gavin Maclean; Bruce Lancaster

Testimonials

'The group understands, addresses and resolves any issues promptly without fuss.'

'The real estate team is conscientious, pragmatic and approachable.'

'Andrew Chalmers is very approachable. He has experience of all issues and directs clients to the appropriate specialist for an effortless service delivery.'

'The firm's advice is prompt and competitive.'

'Andrew Chalmers and Lizzy Enayatti both provide an efficient and effective service, meeting timetables and budgets. They give clients the feeling that they actually care about what they are doing.'

Key Clients

Chris Stewart Group

Peveril Securities Limited

Crosslane Group

Muir Group

Suez Group

Peel Group

Highbridge Properties plc

Ministry of Justice

Pizza Hut

Burger King

Work highlights

  • Advised Chris Stewart Group on the forward sale of the Mint Building in Edinburgh to Hines for £50m.
  • Instructed by Muir Homes to act on its £35m acquisition of a development site at Glenboig, near Coatbridge.
  • Acted for Cumbrae Property on the letting and sale of an investment asset at Winchburgh, West Lothian.
  • Assisted Crosslane Student Accommodation Group with the £4.3m sale of a student accommodation site in Edinburgh.

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Construction
Construction - ranked: tier 3

Davidson Chalmers Stewart

With an emphasis on representing private development companies, Davidson Chalmers Stewart handles a wide range of contentious and non-contentious construction matters and has recently seen an increase in its renewable energy sector work. Typical instructions include development agreements, building and engineering contracts and collateral warranties. The team's contentious capabilities also include arbitration and adjudication proceedings. Director Simone Young is the main contact. Expert in contentious construction work, Greg Flett made partner in May 2018.

Practice head(s):Simone Young

Other key lawyers:Bruce Lancaster; Greg Flett

Key Clients

Chris Stewart Group

Muir Group

Whiteburn Group

Tartan Leisure

Scarborough Hermiston

Cumbrae Property

Kilmac

Hermiston Securities

Kingsford Developments

Edinburgh Castle

Work highlights

  • Advising Tartan Leisure on various matters pertaining to the design and construction of an inland, artificial surf wavegarden with associated leisure and accommodation facilities in a disused quarry in West Lothian, Scotland; this includes a number of corporate, property, planning, environmental and construction issues.
  • Advising on the procurement of a mixed-use development comprising 61,000 sq ft of Class A office accommodation with restaurant and bar space on the ground and basement floors.
  • Advising the contractor on the building contract, sub-contracts, collateral warranties and other related construction documentation required for the refurbishment and extension of car showroom in Dundee.
  • Advised the Chris Stewart Group on the refinancing of its investment portfolio with Laxfield involving the negotiation of the construction elements of a complex facility agreement.
  • Advising Cumbrae Property on its development, lease and sale of a town centre retail development at Winchburgh, West Lothian.

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Environment
Environment - ranked: tier 2

Davidson Chalmers Stewart

With a strong profile for recycling and waste management work, Davidson Chalmers Stewart routinely assists waste companies and landfill operators with various environmental law and regulatory issues. The team is also well versed in handling environmental impact assessments and environmental matters arising from quarries. The 'fantastic' Laura Tainsh heads the team, which includes key contact for contentious regulatory matters Laura Irvine (who joined the firm from BTO Solicitors LLP in November 2018). Director and planning law expert Jacqueline Cook joined from Pinsent Masons LLP in May 2018.

Practice head(s):Laura Tainsh

Other key lawyers:Jacqueline Cook; Laura Irvine

Testimonials

'Laura Tainsh is superb. She is exceptionally helpful, forthcoming, communicative at all times and available any time the client needs her.'

Key Clients

SAICA Natur UK

W. H. Malcolm

Suez Group

Armstrong Waste Management

Straid Farms

The British Millerain Company

Brewster Bros

C&M Property Management

Robertson Construction

Tartan Leisure

Work highlights

  • Advising the client on  environmental matters pertaining to the development of an inland, artificial surf wavegarden with associated leisure and accommodation facilities in an old quarry in West Lothian, the first of its kind in Scotland.
  • Providing assistance with permitting, compliance and enforcement issues arising from its waste management sites in Scotland, and providing general regulatory advice on environmental, waste, health and safety and landfill tax matters.
  • Provided a strategic audit and review of the environmental impact assessment forming part of the client’s planning application for a large onshore wind farm in Shetland.
  • Advising this new client on various environmental and regulatory issues relating to its business operations; this includes advice on existing permits and various disputes with customers regarding contaminated materials.
  • Ongoing advice on permitting, compliance and enforcement issues arising from a landfill site.
Next Generation Partners

Laura Tainsh - Davidson Chalmers Stewart

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Planning
Planning - ranked: tier 4

Davidson Chalmers Stewart

Davidson Chalmers Stewart is adept at handling planning law aspects of residential and commercial development projects, alongside energy and leisure sector matters, and regularly acts for developers and landowners. Director Jacqueline Cook, who joined the firm in May 2018 from Pinsent Masons LLP, heads the team.

Practice head(s):Jacqueline Cook

Other key lawyers:Caroline Court; Stephanie Mackenzie

Key Clients

Tartan Leisure

Peveril Securities (KSR) Edinburgh

Portobello Sands

J W Muir Group

Peel Group

RT Overseas Settlement

Story Homes

Ark Hill Wind Farm

Ury Estate

Guinness Asset Management

Work highlights

  • Advising on the development of the first inland, artificial surf lagoon in Scotland at the former Ratho Quarry, Edinburgh; this includes a number of corporate, property, planning, environmental and construction issues.
  • Advising Peel Energy on all its renewable energy projects in Scotland, including its planning application for the Mossy Hill wind farm on Shetland, a 12 wind turbine proposal with a total capacity of up to 50MW.
  • Advising on various non-contentious planning issues pertaining to the client’s property activities.
  • Acted for the landowners affected by a planning application to the Scottish Ministers for the 499MW Red John Pumped Storage Hydro facility near Loch Ness.
  • Advising on all property and planning aspects of a 165 ha site outside Inverness.

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Property litigation
Property litigation - ranked: tier 2

Davidson Chalmers Stewart

The 'strong' team led by the 'exceptional' Sheila Webster at Davidson Chalmers Stewart is well equipped to guide clients, such as property developers, retail and leisure sector players as well as individuals, through landlord and tenant disputes and dilapidation claims in addition to title, boundary and property contract disputes. The 'very good' Greg Flett is also recommended; he handles all forms of property litigation.

Practice head(s):Sheila Webster

Other key lawyers:Greg Flett

Testimonials

'Sheila Webster is a solid and able litigator. She is very experienced and keeps a cool head even in urgent situations.'

'Greg Flett is unfailingly upbeat which makes him a delight to work with.'

'Sheila Webster is one of the finest property litigation solicitors in Scotland.'

'Sheila Webster is a litigator who understands that the client doesn't want a PhD on the law but straightforward advice that tells the client what the law means for their business.'

'Gets to the nub of the issue quickly and outlines the options clearly.'

Key Clients

Kier Property and FORE Partnership joint venture: 50 Bothwell Street

William Grant & Sons Distillers

Knight Frank

Mothercare

Dandara/ Stoneywood Developments

Scottish Borders Council

Alba Energy

Tweed Homes

Ury Estate

Work highlights

  • Advising the landlord on the recovery of sums paid under service-charge obligations in a lease where Ignis (now Aberdeen Standard) has failed to pay sums certified as being due.
  • Acting for a number of tenant farmers in a judicial review which ultimately seeks compensation from the Scottish Government following introduction of legislation affecting property rights in farming partnerships.
  • Acted for Scottish Borders Council in defending an action for declarator brought by Ramoyle Developments; the claim arose out of the council’s decision to resile from a contract for the purchase of a property which was subject to a planning application being submitted.
  • Acted for the executors in a claim which concerned the remediation of quarry land which had been leased to Tarmac Trading.
Leading individuals

Sheila Webster - Davidson Chalmers Stewart

Next Generation Partners

Greg Flett - Davidson Chalmers Stewart

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