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DWF

NO 2 LOCHRIN SQUARE, 96 FOUNTAINBRIDGE, EDINBURGH, EH3 9QA, SCOTLAND
Tel:
Work 0131 226 5541
Fax:
Fax 0131 226 2278
DX:
ED15 EDINBURGH
Email:
Web:
www.dwf.law
Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol BS1, Bristol BS1, Brussels, Cologne and 14 more

Scotland

Transport
Transport - ranked: tier 4

DWF (Glasgow, Edinburgh)

DWF’s ‘extremely pragmatic, efficient and professional’ team has a ‘good understanding of the industry, the market and its complexities’, while also being ‘easy to work with and quick to respond’. Team head Martin Gallaher, who is noted for his ‘good in-depth knowledge of the private and public sector and expertise in transport infrastructure projects’, advised Caledonian Maritime Assets on matters pertaining to the procurement of a harbour operator for the Clyde and Hebrides Ferry Services, including negotiating the harbour operating agreement and terms and conditions of harbour use. The team is advising Transport Scotland on the procurement, mobilisation and operation of the ScotRail franchise and the Caledonian Sleeper franchise, which included advice on contractual terms, compliance with EU requirements and state aid matters. Suzanne Moir is ‘extremely knowledgeable, friendly and pragmatic’.

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Scotland: Corporate and commercial

Corporate and commercial: Edinburgh and Glasgow
Corporate and commercial: Edinburgh and Glasgow - ranked: tier 3

DWF (Edinburgh)

DWF’s extensive experience across the full spectrum of corporate and commercial matters is complemented by particular sector strengths in retail, energy and utilities, tourism, hotels and leisure, and sport. Led by Wayne Lawrence, the team manages a varied workload, which includes M&A, joint ventures, corporate structuring, private equity and capital markets transactions, and corporate governance. Its client roster spans a wide variety of Scottish, UK-based and international clients, including Distell, Visit Scotland, Capita Plc and Graham’s the Family Dairy Group. In addition to acting for almost half of the FTSE 250, other clients include private equity funders, management teams and public sector bodies. In 2016, Paul Pignatelli and Gemma Gallagher assisted Exova (UK) Limited with expanding its environmental business through its acquisition of Jones Environmental Forensics. In another matter, Alasdair Peacock and senior associate Rachel Gervaise worked with a multidisciplinary team which acted for Sterling Furniture Group in its acquisition of Forrest Furnishing Limited from Ken Forrest. Damien Bechelli and Gary MacDonald are other key individuals, as are legal director Tom Maxwell and senior associate Kirsty Smith.

Leading individuals

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EU and competition
EU and competition - ranked: tier 3

DWF (Glasgow)

DWF has a strong track record of handling the state aid and public procurement aspects of Scottish infrastructure projects. A recent highlight involved advising Dundee City Council and Angus Council on their joint procurement of residual waste management services. The firm also advised Energi on its UK franchising strategy, including managing associated competition law issues. Visit Scotland, Caledonian Maritime Assets and The Central Marketing Agency, are also key clients. Colin Miller heads the practice, which also covers CMA cartel investigations and merger control.

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Scotland: Dispute resolution

Commercial litigation
Commercial litigation - ranked: tier 3

DWF (Edinburgh)

DWF’s team handles high-stakes contentious commercial work for a sizeable roster of large Scottish and UK corporates, as well as global organisations, active in sectors such as food and drink, energy, retail, financial services, pharmaceuticals and agrochemicals. Scottish Power, Marks & Spencer and Jaguar Land Rover are longstanding clients of the practice, and the firm also recently won work from Telefonica and JD Sports, among others. Euan McSherry, who is a solicitor advocate and accredited mediator, leads the group, whose expertise includes shareholders’ disputes and contentious issues arising from commercial contracts, as well as procurement, insolvency and product liability. McSherry is working with associates Emma Forrester and Philip Knight on behalf of Pfizer in three test cases at the Court of Session concerning allegations that its heart drugs have caused heart attacks and strokes. Elsewhere, McSherry and Forrester are part of a multi-disciplinary team that is representing Braid Group in litigation brought by a minority shareholder seeking to compel the client to acquire his shares in the company. The group is also representing a subsidiary of Braid Group in separate litigation where the same pursuer is seeking to prevent his removal as a director of that entity.

Next generation lawyers

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Scotland: Finance

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 2

DWF (Edinburgh)

DWF has a strong UK profile and expanding international presence with a body of mandates from domestic and offshore banks and borrowers, including fund clients. Corporate and real estate financing transactions are core strengths along with the financing aspects of renewable energy schemes. Work also arises from other industries, including hotels and leisure, healthcare and social housing. Practice head Grant Docherty, who has more than 25 years’ experience acting for borrowers and lenders, advised Santander UK Plc on the circa £11.5m refinancing of a group of nine Guernsey-based special purpose vehicles that have invested in commercial and residential properties throughout England. Docherty also assisted Bladnoch Distillery with negotiating a £2.5m asset finance facility from Lombard North Central. Geoff Stansfield, who leads the real estate finance side of the practice, and senior associate Alan Glen are other key contacts in the team, whose clients include Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds Banking Group and Close Property Finance. Chris McLauchlan joined Eversheds Sutherland.

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

DWF (Glasgow, Edinburgh)

Noted for its pan-UK reach, DWF acts for secured and unsecured creditors, insolvency practitioners, investors and company directors, among other clients. Derek Ellery heads the practice, which draws upon the firm’s multidisciplinary strengths to cover a broad spectrum of insolvency-related issues. Its diverse workload, which spans a multitude of sectors, includes corporate restructurings and turnarounds, debt and equity restructuring, distressed business disposals and litigation, or administrations where there are multiple substantial property assets. Property finance specialist Geoff Stansfield and Damien Bechelli are names to note along with Euan McSherry, who acted for Mazars LLP in the removal and replacement of joint liquidators in 17 liquidated companies based in Scotland. Alix Partners, UK Asset Resolution, Scott Moncrieff and Baker Tilly are also clients. Chris McLauchlan joined Eversheds Sutherland.

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Scotland: Human resources

Employment
Employment - ranked: tier 5

DWF (Glasgow)

The team at DWFprovides advice and guidance of the highest standard’ and is led by ‘solid practitionerMichael McLaughlin, who is known for his employment tribunal and employment appeal tribunal expertise. He defended Amey in an employment tribunal claim brought by a former employee for unfair dismissal, sex and disability discrimination, and harassment. McLaughlin also defended Poseidon Systems in a dismissal claim. Other highlights included acting for Aberdeenshire Council on multiple pay claims, which included advisory work and employment tribunal representation, and advising Sterling Furniture on the employment aspects pertaining to the client’s acquisition of Forrest Furnishing. On the non-continuous side, McLaughlin regularly assists energy, IT and telecoms clients with TUPE aspects of service provision changes and outsourcing issues.

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Pensions
Pensions - ranked: tier 2

DWF (Glasgow)

Commended for its wide-ranging experience and ‘very good industry knowledge’, DWF advises employers, trustees, advisors and pension product providers on a wide range of contentious and non-contentious pension law matters. The team’s scope ranges from advising on pension aspects of M&A and restructuring matters to assistance with cross-border pension schemes, funding issues and with de-risking defined benefit pension schemes. Team head June Crombie advised a client on pension scheme restructuring matters, and assisted another client with pension liability matters. Colin Greig is also recommended. Iain Talman retired.

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Scotland: Insurance

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

DWF (Glasgow)

DWF’s ‘very responsive and proactive’ team handles the full spectrum of personal injury defence work, including motor, casualty, disease, catastrophic injury and fraud matters. New arrival and ‘excellent’ counter fraud head Jill Sinclair, who joined from Harper Macleod LLP, defended an insurance provider in road traffic liability matters, and assisted another client with the repudiation of two personal injury claims. ‘Highly experienced and very approachable’ general insurance head Andrew Lothian defended a client in an industrial disease claim and advised a different client on a construction-related fatality.

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Professional negligence
Professional negligence - ranked: tier 2

DWF (Glasgow)

Working in conjunction with the firm’s insurance team, DWF’s ‘determined and responsive’ team ‘provides good value for money’ and has a specialism in insurance sector work, defending architects, surveyors, engineers, solicitors and their indemnity insurers in property and construction-related disputes. The ‘very experienced, pragmatic and approachableAlison Grant heads the team, which includes recommended senior associate Lindsay Ogunyemi.

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Scotland: Projects, energy and natural resources

Energy (excluding oil and gas)
Energy (excluding oil and gas) - ranked: tier 3

DWF (Edinburgh)

DWF’s Scotland-based energy team, which operates as part of a wider UK group, handles high-end energy projects for utilities, funders, suppliers and developers. The group, which is noted for its ‘very good business acumen and first-class industry knowledge’, has practitioners with wide-ranging expertise spanning corporate, finance, real estate, planning and environment matters, and has particular strength in electricity, gas and renewables. Moray Thomson and Magdalena Urbanowska advised Scottish Power Generation on its acquisition of assets and environmental consents connected with the operation of thermal power stations at Damhead Creek and Shoreham, as part of an internal restructure at Scottish Power Group. Yingli Green Energy Europe, Vensys Energy and Loco2gen are also clients. Other key figures include Wayne Lawrence, who leads the team; David Gilchrist, whose experience includes energy asset sales and acquisitions, as well as Ofgem investigations; Suzanne Moir, ‘a great team player who ensures that the client is well-informed throughout the procurement process’; Anthony McEwan, whose track record includes electricity distribution and transmission projects, as well as handling grid connections for major wind farms in Scotland; and Gary MacDonald. Ben Powell departed for MacRoberts LLP.

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Projects
Projects - ranked: tier 4

DWF (Edinburgh, Glasgow)

DWF’s Scotland-based group ‘combines excellent industry knowledge with an open-minded approach, and an ability to work well as part of a larger team’. It leverages its UK-wide network office and multi-disciplinary strength in depth, making it a strong choice for Scottish and UK projects. In the telecommunications sector, Suzanne Moir, Martin Gallaher and others are acting for the Scottish government on its superfast broadband projects. Other areas of strength include transport, renewable energy and waste. Moir is leading a team assisting Dundee City Council and Angus Council with their joint procurement of residual waste management services. In another highlight, David Gilchrist led the advice to Discovery Park Limited on a 20-year energy supply agreement with Estover, and its £160m investment in a new biomass plant in Sandwich.

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Scotland: Public sector

Local government
Local government - ranked: tier 2

DWF (Edinburgh, Glasgow)

DWF attracts praise for its ‘good industry knowledge’. The firm handles a range of issues, including handle procurement, state aid, planning and employment work for local authorities. Suzanne Moir assisted Dundee City Council and Angus Council with their joint procurement for residual waste management services, and advised Aberdeen City Council, Aberdeenshire Council and Moray Council on the procurement of a £120m joint energy-from-waste development in Aberdeen, which included a number of state aid, governance and construction issues. Team head Martin Gallaher, who has ‘good in-depth knowledge of the public sector’, advised the Scottish government on the delivery of the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme (DSSB), which comprises two contracts with BT and encompasses more than £410m of public and private funding to extend fibre broadband infrastructure. Colin Miller acted for InTechnologyWiFi in negotiations with the City of Edinburgh Council pertaining to a contract to provide WiFi in public areas in the City of Edinburgh. In the employment sphere, the team continues to advise Aberdeenshire Council on mass multiple equal pay claims.

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Scotland: Real estate

Commercial property: Edinburgh and Glasgow
Commercial property: Edinburgh and Glasgow - ranked: tier 2

DWF (Edinburgh, Glasgow)

Commercial property: leisure and hospitality - ranked: tier 1

DWF (Edinburgh)

Commercial property: retail occupiers - ranked: tier 1

DWF (Edinburgh)

DWF has a strong Scottish and UK-wide footprint, making it a strong choice for high-profile property acquisitions and sales, portfolio management, residential and commercial development projects, corporate occupier work and property finance. Although its team undertakes work across a wide range of sectors, it is particularly well known in energy and infrastructure, retail, tourism and leisure, and education and the third sector, and acts for a client base that includes McDonald’s, Virgin Active, Scottish Power, M7 Real Estate and The Ambassador Group. Anthony McEwan, Joanna Hamilton and others are advising Scottish Power Energy Networks on the property aspects of a strategic grid expansion project in Scotland. In another highlight, Iain McHardy assisted retailer Next with its pre-let at the re-developed Edinburgh St James Centre, as well as with out-of-town store acquisitions and general estate management issues. David Ratter, Robin Watt and Geoff Stansfield are other notable practitioners. Hamilton and Paul Mason recently made partner.

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Planning
Planning - ranked: tier 3

DWF Glasgow, (Edinburgh)

DWF’s team has experience of environmental impact assessments, negotiating section 75 obligations, consenting strategies, compulsory purchase orders, judicial reviews of planning decisions and litigation. The group has a particular specialism in energy and infrastructure projects; key clients include ScottishPower Renewables (UK), Travis Perkins and Greggs. In a recent highlight, Moray Thomson and Steven Stewart successfully represented Aldi Stores in a judicial review arising from objections to planning permission that had been granted to the client for the development of a new store in Drumchapel. Thomson also acted for SP Transmission on a compulsory purchase order in order to create an extension to the 400kV Crystal Rig substation near Dunbar. Magdalena Urbanowska is recommended.

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Property litigation
Property litigation - ranked: tier 2

DWF (Edinburgh)

DWF’s expertise covers all forms of dispute resolution, including expert determinations, mediations, arbitrations and litigation. Although the firm is particularly well-known for acting for retail occupiers, with particular strengths in landlord and tenant, and dilapidations cases, it also acts for investors, local authorities, energy companies and developers. Practice head Euan McSherry, who is a solicitor advocate and RICS-accredited mediator, and associate Kenneth Campbell acted for Marks & Spencer in an action concerning the rights of the landlords to build a new Primark store in and adjacent to the centre. In another matter, McSherry and associate Philip Knight assisted Marine Harvest with raising eviction proceedings against a hostile tenant at a quarry in Skye to facilitate the client’s acquisition of the site, for the purpose of establishing a new fish food processing factory. Halfords, Schroders and Greggs are also clients.

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Scotland: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

Intellectual property
Intellectual property - ranked: tier 3

DWF (Glasgow)

DWF has a strong profile for trade mark, copyright infringement and IP licensing work and advises clients across a range of industries, including food and drinks, energy, education and the public sector. Practice head Colin Miller advised Fuel Juice Bars on the protection of its registered trade marks and assisted VisitScotland with copyright infringement matters arising from a collaboration with the Northern Ireland Tourist Board, Discover Northern Ireland. Beam Suntory instructed the team to advise on trade mark issues pertaining to the advertising and marketing of Scotch whisky in the UK and the EU, including regulatory and labelling requirements for display of Scotch whisky. On the disputes front, the team successfully defended BiP Solutions against Portakabin’s threat to commence trade mark infringement proceedings following the client’s reference to the word ‘portacabin’ which the pursuer regarded as deliberate infringement of its registered trade mark.

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Further information on DWF

Please choose from this list to view details of what we say about DWF in other jurisdictions.

Ireland

Offices in Dublin

London

Offices in London

North

Offices in Stockton on Tees and Newcastle upon Tyne

Northern Ireland

Offices in Belfast

North West

Offices in Manchester, Liverpool, and Preston

Scotland

Offices in Edinburgh and Glasgow

South East

Offices in Milton Keynes

South West

Offices in Bristol BS1 and Bristol BS1

West Midlands

Offices in Birmingham

Yorkshire and the Humber

Offices in Leeds

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