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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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United Kingdom > Scotland > Corporate and commercial > Corporate and commercial: Elsewhere in Scotland > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

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Index of tables

  1. Corporate and commercial: Elsewhere in Scotland
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next Generation Partners
  4. Rising stars

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1

Rising stars

  1. 1
    • Ross Fair - Blackwood Partners LLP
    • Shona Tennant - Brodies LLP

Brodies LLP 's Aberdeen offering has expertise across the full range of corporate matters, advising private and public companies and institutions, high-net worth individuals and the third sector. The corporate team is able to support clients in virtually all sectors of key importance to the Scottish economy, including oil and gas, fishing and maritime, property, education, funds and financial services and technology. Over recent years the firm has strengthened its ranks in Aberdeen with a number of relocation and hires, including Tom Boulton-Jones and Douglas Crawford. Senior associate Shona Tennant specialises in IT and complex commercial contracts.

Practice head(s):Shuna Stirling

Other key lawyers:Douglas Crawford; Gill Summers; Tom Boulton-Jones; Shona Tennant; Gemma Hills

Testimonials

'Brodies focuses on its delivery to the client's requirements through a positive, collaborative approach.'

'The corporate lawyers at Brodies are very willing to help in any way they can. The team works together extremely well and has great knowledge in the subjects they have to deal with.'

'The flexible, tolerant, detail-oriented, business-minded people at Brodies are willing to challenge when it is in the client's best interests.'

Key Clients

INEOS Upstream/INEOS Commercial Services UK

Drum Property Group Ltd

Dana Petroleum

John Lawrie Group

Tulloch Homes Group

ROVOP Group

Cooke Aquaculture

Caley Group

Maven Capital Partners UK LLP

Shetland Catch Ltd

Ocean Blue Quota Company Limited

Monymusk Land Company Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting for ROVOP Group on the acquisition of certain key strategic assets from M2 Group.
  • Acting for Parklands Limited and its management team on the £5m investment by BGF, split between equity and loan notes.
  • Advising Motorsport Aftermarket Group on the sale of Renthal Limited, the motorcycle and cycle accessories brand.
  • Advising Moorfield Real Estate Fund III on the sale of the company owning the Atlantic Quay I building in Glasgow.

The corporate team at Burness Paull LLP boasts particular expertise in the areas of oil and gas, private equity, capital markets, as well as work for family-owned businesses. As a Scottish independent, the firm acts on significant deals both at home and internationally for both Scottish clients seeking to expand and foreign entities investing in Scotland. Jamie Stark , who is dual qualified in both Scotland and England and Wales, is a hugely experienced corporate finance and M&A practitioner, while director Arran Mackenzie is also well-regarded. Gary Chapman was recently made partner to cater to a upturn in M&A transactions in the oil and gas sector.

Practice head(s):Mark Ellis (Edinburgh)

Other key lawyers:Jamie Stark; Helen Dickson; Alasdair Freeman; Arran Mackenzie

Testimonials

'Burness Paull has a strong corporate team with experience of supporting start-ups through to multinationals.'

'Gary Chapman always makes himself available when needed, often at short notice. He understands his client's business and supports the company in the decision-making process by providing contextually relevant advice whilst also ensuring current agreements are as future proof as possible.'

Key Clients

Standard Life Aberdeen

James Fisher and Sons

Scottish Power

A-Plan Insurance

Well-Sense Technology Limited

BlueGem Capital Partners

Walker Precision Engineering Group

i3 Energy

Kings Park Capital

Work highlights

  • Advising Well-Sense Technology on a seven-figure investment from Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures.
  • Advised the Oil and Gas Technology Centre on its joint venture with The University of Aberdeen to create a new multimillion-pound Decommissioning Centre of Excellence.
  • Advised on the acquisition of EDS HV Group Limited by longstanding client, James Fisher and Sons.
  • Advised EBar Initiatives on its equity funding round, led by Jenson Funding Partners SEIS and EIS Fund, joined by Scottish investors Gabriel Investments and Equity Gap.
  • Advising Incremental Group Holdings on the sale of the entire share capital to an acquisition company set up by Dunedin.

CMS, which has a five-partner team in Aberdeen, recently expanded its junior ranks with the hire of senior associate Joe Little from Blackwood Partners LLP and associate Craig Wilson from Ledingham Chalmers LLP. The firm's outstanding expertise in the infrastructure, energy, oil and gas and technology sectors carries over into Aberdeen, where the team handles a wide spread of corporate transactions, drawing on the wider firm's huge global footprint. Key partners include the 'very commercial' Frank Fowlie, who was appointed Scotland corporate head in 2018, and the 'consistently excellent' Helen Machin, who also has an active practice in the private equity mid-market.

Practice head(s):Frank Fowlie

Other key lawyers:Helen Machin; Norman Wisely

Testimonials

'CMS is a large international law firm that never makes its clients feel like just another fee and consistently provides a high level of legal expertise across all areas.'

'The corporate team at CMS has a wide range of experience, not only within the particular discipline area, but more widely across the whole practice.'

'CMS always commits the right mix of senior and junior staff to transactions to deliver optimal results. The corporate team is excellent at engaging senior resource as required and letting the broader team continue to progress other issues to the benefit of timetable.'

Key Clients

Halliburton

Buckthorn Partners Private Equity

Broadview Energy

LDC

Decipher Energy

ConocoPhillips

Elm Trading Limited

Albion Capital

Petrofac

Decom Energy Limited

Fairfield Energy Limited

Business Growth Fund

Work highlights

  • Acted for optical provider Duncan and Todd on a £15m investment from the Scottish office of LDC to accelerate its growth strategy.
  • Advised Gravis Capital on corporate aspects of the acquisition of the full 133MW Solar Portfolio by way of corporate acquisition from Solarplicity.
  • Advised New Century Care in relation to the sale of the 13 care homes owned by NCC.
  • Advised new client Buckthorn, a specialist oilfield services private equity house, on its acquisition of Coretrax.
  • Acted for Alpha Real Capital in connection with a string of acquisitions.

Blackwood Partners LLP is a niche practice, based in Aberdeen, which focuses on corporate, M&A, private equity and banking and finance, predominantly in the oil and gas sector. The corporate offering operates in conjunction with a wide network of international firms, enabling it to handle cross-border transactions. Managing partner Alastair Wyper, who founded the firm in 2010, leads on much of its key work, ably supported by Judith Quinn and associate Ross Fair .

Practice head(s):Alastair Wyper; Judith Quinn

Other key lawyers:Ross Fair

Testimonials

'The team is always responsive to requests and turn round work quickly.'

'The corporate lawyers at Blackwood have significant expertise in their core areas and take a commercial, practical view which is extremely helpful in negotiations.'

'Alastair Wyper is always available, even when out of the office.'

Key Clients

Ardyne Holdings Limited

Ashtead Technology Limited

Bank of Scotland/LBG

Balmoral Group

Bluewater Energy

Buckthorn Partners

Business Growth Fund

Centurion Group

Clydesdale Bank

Consilium Group

Coretrax Technology Limited

DNB Bank

Work highlights

  • Acted for the shareholders of Coretrax Technology in the sale to Buckthorn Partners.
  • Acted for Well-centric Oilfield Services Limited in relation to its acquisition of Simmons Edeco.
  • Advised Lloyds Development Capital on its acquisition of Duncan & Todd.

Pinsent Masons LLP's Aberdeen-based corporate team leads on complex, high-value transactions in Scotland and overseas. The firm has recently continued to focus on its strategy of internationalisation and its specific sector strengths, namely in infrastructure, energy manufacturing, technology, real estate and financial services. Martin Ewan - whose 'ability to quickly cut through any noise and get to the root of an issue is second to none' - is the practice's key lawyer, leading the firm's oilfield technology practice. David McEwing left to join Addleshaw Goddard in early 2019.

Practice head(s):Martin Ewan

Other key lawyers:David Millar; Fiona Kindness

Testimonials

'Martin Ewan's ability to quickly cut through any noise and get to the root of an issue is second to none. In addition to being extremely knowledgeable and commercially aware, Martin has made a particular effort to network both internally in the firm and externally. As a consequence, he is able to signpost the requirement to the correct people quickly and easily and do a personal handover, whilst maintaining overall involvement. To be honest, we'd move if he did and I've recommended him to other clients of mine.'

Key Clients

Ithaca Energy Limited

Isle of Man Government

Bahari Holding Company Limited

Pryme Group Holdings Limited

Three60 Energy Limited

McCaul Haulage Limited

Trifast Overseas Holdings Limited

Swire Oilfield Services Limited

Briggs Equipment UK Limited

Work highlights

  • A cross-departmental team acted for McCaul Haulage Limited on the sale of part of its business and assets to ARR Craib Transport Limited.
  • The firm advised the shareholders of Precision Technology Supplies Limited in their sale of the entire issued share capital of Precision Technology Supplies Limited to Trifast Overseas Holdings Limited,a subsidiary of Trifast.
  • Advised Swire Oilfield Services Limited on the sale and purchase of the entire issued share capital of Gordon Engineering Services Aberdeen Ltd from Philip and Nicola Gordon.
  • Advising Ithaca Energy in relation to the acquisition of the Greater Stella Area oil and gas licences and associated infrastructure interests of Dyas UK Limited and Petrofac Limited.

The corporate team at Stronachs LLP is involved in M&A, private equity and other corporate transactions for clients ranging from SMEs to large corporates including listed companies. The departments tends not to act for institutional clients, which grants it a certain independence when dealing with banks and financial institutions. While Ross Gardner's corporate partners have a strong expertise in the oil and gas sector, the team also has an impressive track record in the fields of transport, logistics and food and drink.

Practice head(s):Ross Gardner

Other key lawyers:Neil Forbes; Ross Linn; Malcolm Donald; David Rennie; Jamie Hunter

Testimonials

'Stronachs has a practical commercial approach to transactions; partner involvement is high and the team interacts well with the other side to deliver solutions to issues rather than focus on problems.'

'Most of the staff are local and therefore have a wide and sound knowledge of the local economy, the personalities and the characters.'

'David Rennie is very experienced and has the ability to put client at ease when tricky situations arise.'

'Associate Callum Armstrong is fully invested in client discussions including needs and wishes without fuss. The accuracy of his documentation is first-class.'

'Malcolm Donald and Ross Gardner stand out from other lawyers. They are both technically solid but strive to understand the commercial aspects of the underlying transaction and both provide practical solutions to problems as they arise.'

'Neil Forbes is approachable, amiable and not at all stuffy. His clearly has excellent wide and general knowledge and experience.'

'Senior associate Eloise Robb is very personable and approachable. She has an excellent knowledge base.'

Key Clients

Global Energy Group

Aurora Petroleum Limited

Dana Petroleum Limited

Azinor Catalyst Limited

Xodus Group Limited

Peterson (UK) Limited

Omega Well Intervention Ltd

Sport Aberdeen

Petrofac Facilities Management Ltd

Korrie Mechanical & Plumbing Ltd

Work highlights

  • Acting for the selling shareholders of ARR Craib Holdings Limited in the disposal of the entire issued share capital of the group of companies comprising transport and logistic services to Gregory Distribution (Holdings) Limited.
  • Advising Dana Petroleum on the Tolmount project, which involves the negotiation of joint venture agreements, transportation agreements through Humber System, transportation and processing arrangements with the Easington terminal and decommissioning security arrangements in respect of field and the Humber System.
  • Acting for the selling shareholders of Empire HR Group Limited on the disposal of the entire issued share capital of the group to Law at Work (Holdings) Limited.
  • Acting for the selling shareholders of Aberdeen Drilling School Limited in the disposal of a 75% shareholding to Falck Safety Services in Denmark.

Aberdein Considine's clients range from private clients and SMEs, through to large corporations and numerous FTSE 100 firms. In the corporate and business advisory space, our team advises businesses all over Scotland from offices in Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Stirling and Glasgow. The team's key areas are M&A - both buy and sell side - equity fundraising as well as general corporate, company law and corporate governance support.

Practice head(s):Ritchie Whyte

Other key lawyers:Jacqueline Law; Anthony Quin

Testimonials

'The team at Aberdein Considine provide a real hands on and personal approach to all projects and deliver to an extemely high standard on a consistent basis.'

'The team takes a balanced approach and gives practical advice to clients aimed at helping to achieve the best possible outcome, focusing on what is in the clien's best interests.'

'Great cross-disciplinary communications. Extremely responsive, attentive and resourceful.'

'The individuals at Aberdein Considine are very approachable and have the ability to adapt to any situation and deal with difficult clients. Their ability to make a commercial decision and give an informed opinion is what makes them stand out from many of their competitors.'

'Ritchie Whyte is one of the best lawyers at handling difficult situations and communicating effectively with clients.'

'Ritchie Whyte has a highly responsive, can-do approach.'

Key Clients

The Trump Organisation

Air Control Entech

Mackie Ramsay Taylor

Baird’s Pharmacy Limited

STATS Group

Investing Women Angels

Dark Matter Rum

Porter’s Gin

Jasmine Group

Venesky-Brown Recruitment Ltd

Indigo Sun

Work highlights

  • Advising the selling shareholders of Spark Ecommerce Group, a call centre and fulfilment business based near Gateshead.
  • Advised One Dental Care on the acquisition of business and assets of Breeze Dental.
  • Advising technology start-up Air Control Entech Limited on time-sensitive equity fundraising.

Blackadders LLP has continued to develop significant expertise and a growing track record in the niche area of employee ownership transactions, while maintaining substantial strength in timeshare and vacation ownership. The corporate team is particularly active in the healthcare, technology, hospitality and leisure and life sciences sectors, where it has proven its capabilities for cross-border work. The team is led out of Dundee by 'truly outstanding' corporate and commercial head Campbell Clark, who acts for private and public companies, high growth companies and investors.

Practice head(s):Campbell Clark

Other key lawyers:Susan McFadyen; Kirk Dailly; Ruth Weir; Sarah Winter

Testimonials

'The corporate team at Blackadders is personable and invests the time and effort to really understand the client's business.'

'Blackadders stands out even amongst the most accessible, knowledgeable, results oriented, and reasonable firms.'

'The team at Blackadders has great breadth and depth throughout the full corporate lifecycle. Clients receive superb attention and turnaround times always exceed expectations.'

'Susan McFadyen's knowledge and experience shines through in the speed she understands what clients are after. she and Ruth Weir are good at putting this in plain English, reflecting risks to facilitate decisions.'

'Campbell Clark is truly outstanding. He embodies the problem-solving approach and positive attitude that clients expect from counsel. Every good team has a capable leader and Campbell's ability to form a team with the skill set required to provide service for specific tasks and finalise any project.'

'Campbell Clark is one of the most diligent and focused corporate lawyers in the UK. His attention to detail and the breadth of his capability never fails to impress. Campbell and his team's ability to understand the intricacies and complexities of their individual clients' businesses is essential to the success of their relationships.'

Key Clients

4J Studios Limited

A Proctor Group Limited

Avian Communications Limited

Norco Group Limited

RCI Europe

Strathmore Foods Limited

Lippert Components Inc.

The Insights Group Limited

Vascular Flow Technologies Limited

Waracle Limited

Work highlights

  • Oversaw the sale of the share capital of Mountlodge Limited to Jelf Insurance Brokers Limited.
  • Advised client on the sale of the entire share capital of LHSL2 Limited, holding company of Rembrand Timber Limited.
  • Start-up Kumulos Ltd appointed the group to advise on the investment by Mercia Fund Managers, Scottish Investment Bank and angel investors.

The corporate team at Harper Macleod LLP is best known for advising family-owned and owner-managed businesses of all sizes, as well as acquirers of such businesses. The firm also offers extensive experience in cross-border corporate transactions, acting for both overseas investors and Scottish businesses seeking investment or exit opportunities. The group recently boosted its ranks through the arrival of Fiona Neilson from Ledingham Chalmers LLP, the promotion to partner of Jill Fryer and the appointment of associate Amy Mackenzie .

Practice head(s):Christopher Kerr

Other key lawyers:Fiona Neilson; Craig McKerracher

Testimonials

'Harper MacLeod has really good people in place to look after the complete process of the transaction to completion. Very professional and at the same time personal.'

'Craig McKerracher is absolutely excellent - professional and a decent guy.'

'The owners of the firm should be very proud of their staff.'

Key Clients

The Firm of Moravian Motors

Gael Force Group Limited

PSG Marine & Logistics Limited

Shetland Islands Council

Boyd Brothers (Haulage) Limited

G & A Barnie Group Limited

The shareholders of Angus Jamieson Consulting Limited

Dron & Dickson Group Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for Johnson Marine Limited in its merger with Norwegian company GripShip to form AquaShip.
  • Advised Independent Vetcare Limited on the Scottish law aspects of its acquisition of the entire issued share capital of Vets Now Limited.
  • Shetland Islands Council instructed the firm to handle the acquisition of the entire issued share capital of Shetland Leasing and Property Developments Limited.
  • Advised Gael Force Group Limited on the acquisition of 75% of the entire issued share capital of Fusion Marine Limited.

Ledingham Chalmers LLP is best known for its work in the oil and gas sector, and routinely advises oil service companies on their international supply and joint venture contracts. In the past few years, the firm's expertise has evolved to envelop work pertaining to decommissioning and energy-related projects such as carbon capture and storage.

Practice head(s):Peter Murray

Other key lawyers:Rod Hutchison; Jody Mitchell; Laura Petrie;

Testimonials

'The firm's corporate lawyers have an excellent understanding of what is a complex and interwoven business development, which gives them the ability to provide straightforward and impactful advice that maintains continuity throughout.'

'Jennifer Cham and Peter Murray are truly outstanding.'

Key Clients

EGroup Services

Interwell

Total E&P

Technip

Wood

Prosafe

CRC-Evans

Albyn Medical

Shareholders of Equalizer International Limited and Equalizer Flange Integrity Systems Limited

Pale Blue Dot Energy

Work highlights

  • Advising the shareholders of Equalizer International and Equalizer Flange Integrity Systems Limited on the disposal of their entire interests in Equalizer International and its subsidiaries.
  • Represented Albyn Medical SL on its acquisition of Premier Endoscopy Limited.

Thorntons Law LLP's particular expertise lies in the healthcare sector, where it has an impressive client roster of dental practices, pharmacies, veterinary practices and GP practices. Michael Royden's corporate team also acts in the high-growth technology sector and acts for universities spinning out companies, as well as angel investment syndicates.

Practice head(s):Michael Royden

Other key lawyers:Alistair Lang; Chris Byrne

Testimonials

'The team is genuinely engaged in a collective effort to provide the best possible levels of service for their clients.'

'Thorntons has managed to develop a culture that encourages all team members to work towards a common goal which as a client is very gratifying and very unusual.'

'I have worked with Chris Byrne for a number of years from when he was an associate through to being a partner and the highest compliment that I can pay him is that throughout his professionalism and demeanour have not changed. I was fully expecting that when he was made partner that our account would be passed primarily to an associate, but that has not been the case - Chris has maintained direct control of the work that is undertaken on our behalf, which has provided significant comfort to the management team.'

Key Clients

D.C. Thomson & Co. Group

Don & Low Limited

Walter Davidson & Sons

Design Dundee Limited (V&A Dundee)

Intelligent Growth Solutions Limited

Cyberhawk Innovations Limited

St Andrews Links Trust

EOS Technology Investment Syndicate

CGLMC Limited (Carnoustie Golf Links)

James Hutton Institute

Galedin Limited

Caledonian Dental Practice Limited

Deans Pharmaceuticals Ltd

Work highlights

  • Acted for St Andrews Brewing Company Holdings Limited in an over-subscribed crowdfunding transaction.
  • Advised Caresourcer Limited in relation to the equity investment of £8.5m by Legal & General Partnership Holdings Limited and Accelerated Digital Ventures.
  • Represented Instastock Limited in relation to a private equity investment of £400,000 into the company.
  • Advised on the sale of a privately owned dental practice to UK dental corporate Portman Healthcare.

Dentons' Aberdeen corporate team is active in the food and drink, financial services, industrial and retail sectors under the leadership of Gordon Hobkirk. The team's junior ranks were recently bolstered by the promotion to senior associate of Nicola Rae, while the oil and gas offering was significantly enhanced by the arrival of counsel Kenny Paton who was previously with Webber Wentzel in South Africa.

Practice head(s):Brian Moore (Edinburgh)

Other key lawyers:Gordon Hobkirk; Nicola Rae

Key Clients

Stork Technical Services (RBG) Limited

Muirden Energy LLP/Duncan Farms

Aberdeen Sports Village

Streamline Shipping Group Limited

The European Marine Energy Group

Decom North Sea

Grieg Seafood Shetland Limited )

The Deeside Water Company Limited

Fearnley Procter Group Limited

Hutcheon Services Limited

The Aberdeen corporate team at Shepherd and Wedderburn is led by John Rutherford and handles the full spectrum of work including acquisitions and disposals of businesses and private companies, advising start-up businesses, representing shareholders and directors in corporate governance issues, private equity investment and pre-insolvency advice.

Practice head(s):John Rutherford

Other key lawyers:Keir Willox

Key Clients

Mr and Mrs W G Robertson

Oliver Auston

Acumen Financial Planning Ltd

Ian Bremner & Shane Watt

WellEng Science & Technology Ltd

Rotojar Ltd

University of Aberdeen

Ian Brander

Wellpro Group Ltd

Rainbow Cars Ltd

Current 2 Current Ltd

Dyce Carriers Ltd

Mead Medical Holdings Ltd

Lecht Ski Company Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advised the founders of Wellpro Group Ltd, a new start-up company renting oilfield tools to the oil and gas industry, on an investment agreement, loan notes, service agreements and new articles of association.
  • Advised the Financial Planning Group Ltd on acquisition of the entire issued share capital of Medical & Dental Financial Planners in Aberdeen.
  • Advised shareholders on the sale of the entire issued share capital of A Youngson Ltd, a general insurance business based in Turriff, Aberdeenshire, to Bruce Stevenson Ltd.

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