Corporate and commercial: elsewhere in Scotland in Scotland

Brodies LLP

Brodies LLP’s large Aberdeen-based corporate team handles a range of domestic and international deals for private and public companies and institutions, high-net-worth individuals and third sector clients. The practice incorporates a dedicated oil and gas team, making it well placed to handle deals within the sector. Key practitioners Douglas Crawford and Tom Boulton-Jones are recommended for M&A, joint ventures, investments, reorganisations and private equity matters. Glasgow-based corporate partner Neil Burgess recently succeeded Shuna Stirling as head of corporate and commercial. Gill Summers retired at the end of 2020, but the practice was boosted by the addition of former Pinsent Masons LLP partner Martin Ewan in May 2021.

Practice head(s):

Neil Burgess

Other key lawyers:

Shuna Stirling; Douglas Crawford; Tom Boulton-Jones; Gemma Hills; Martin Ewan

Testimonials

‘The team provides valuable and insightful, timely advice that is specifically tailored to, and anchored by, our business’ commercial priorities and circumstances’.

‘Advice is delivered in a clear and organised fashion that is accessible for all within our business’.

‘They are truly valued members of our extended team and are very well respected.’

‘We truly value the work of all the individuals we work with within Brodies and particularly Doug Crawford for his commercial knowledge and vast experience’.

‘Doug Crawford is excellent – very professional and intelligent and thinks through all options before coming to a conclusion and then delivering’.

‘A dependable outsourced legal team’.

‘Tom Boulton-Jones is calm under pressure and argues the client’s case with skilled clarity; his calmness carries with it gravitas’.

‘Brodies are vibrant, commercial and delivery focused’.

Key clients

INEOS Upstream/INEOS Commercial Services UK Ltd

Drum Property Group Ltd

Dana Petroleum

John Lawrie Group

Tulloch Homes Group

ROVOP Group

Cooke Aquaculture

AGS Airports Ltd

Thinkanalytics

Energy Ventures

ECS Group

Clear Solutions International

Churchill Homes Limited

Maven Capital Partners UK LLP

Churchill Drilling Tools Limited

3rd Momentum Limited

Ocean Blue Quota Company Limited

Monymusk Land Company Limited

Nobel Upstream

Parklands

Nippon Gas

FIS Chemicals Ltd

Romar Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advised the preferred bidder on its potential strategic acquisition of Glasgow Prestwick Airport from the Scottish Government.
  • Advised ECS Group on its sale to GlobalLogic.
  • Advised the sole shareholder of FIS Chemicals Ltd in selling the Aberdeen-based oilfield services Company to a Newco in a management buy-in backed by private equity.

CMS

The Aberdeen-based corporate and commercial team at CMS focuses on major M&A and private equity matters. With considerable experience in advising on high-value deals in the energy market, the practice is also active in the financial services, TMT, leisure and real estate sectors. Head of practice Frank Fowlie acts for a number of oil and gas service companies, upstream oil and gas companies, and renewables businesses, and is well versed in reorganisations, restructurings and joint ventures. Helen Machin is recommended for venture capital transactions, management buy-outs and buy-ins. Aberdeen managing partner Norman Wisely specialises in oil and gas M&A.

Practice head(s):

Frank Fowlie

Other key lawyers:

Helen Machin; Norman Wisely

Testimonials

‘Very strong team, with the ability to combine strong legal expertise with the commercial impact’.

‘Collaborative and always looking for the most practical and efficient solutions, using experience and industry knowledge’.

‘They have the ability to solve problems and work pragmatically with a range of stakeholders to deliver the right solutions’.

‘Always keen to deliver the appropriate advice and guidance to deliver success’.

‘Frank Fowlie is a leader in the corporate field and has unrivalled experience in oil and gas deals and structuring’.

‘The CMS team are partners to our business; they are not a service provider – they take the time to care about our business, to bring their best forward and to support our objectives’.

‘CMS are a vital part of our team and I would not be able to navigate my business objectives without them’.

‘Helen Machin is relentless in looking for solutions to the problems my business brings her’.

Key clients

Graphite Capital

BGF

ICR Integrity

Risk Capital

Duncan and Todd

Pemba Capital Partners

NESTA Partners

New Century Care

Topolytics

Halliburton

LDC

Elm Solar Holdings Limited

Ramco Tubulars

Neo E&P

Decipher Energy Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised European Energy Company on an agreement with Greencoat UK Wind for the £320m sale of South Kyle wind farm.
  • Advised Neo Energy Holdings Limited on the completion of the $635m acquisition of a portfolio of assets from Total.
  • Advised BGF on their £2.7m investment in Stirling-based business Paint Shed Limited.

Blackwood Partners LLP

Aberdeen-based boutique firm Blackwood Partners LLP specialises in M&A, private equity, and banking and finance matters, with a focus on the energy services sector. It stands out from the crowd with its fixed-fee model, with no chargeable hours. Managing partner Alastair Wyper heads the team and counts entrepreneurs, start-ups, SMEs and listed companies among his clientele. Judith Quinn is recommended for domestic and international corporate transactions. Ross Fair handles a range of corporate matters for sponsors, corporates and institutions.

Practice head(s):

Alastair Wyper

Other key lawyers:

Ross Fair; Judith Quinn

Testimonials

‘Ross Fair is quick to respond, extremely personable, and easy to deal with on all corporate legal matters’.

‘Alastair Wyper is always available when required and ready to step in to resolve situations if necessary’.

‘They are experts in their fields and allow complete trust in the advice and continued support’.

‘They are very much a trusted member of our team.’

‘The team are commercial and solutions-based, while still giving us what we need in terms of protection and risk allocation’.

‘The firm generally recognises and understands us as an individual client and therefore their advice is typically relevant and concise, ensuring an efficient process’.

‘I think the strength of the practice is that it is focused on its core competence of corporate law, and is very good at what it does in this area’. 

‘The key team members are very strong technically, but are also pragmatic in finding appropriate solutions required for their clients’.

Key clients

Ardyne Holdings Limited

Ashtead Technology Limited

Balmoral Group

Bluewater Energy

Buckthorn Partners

Centurion Group

Coretrax Technology Limited

Dolphin Drilling

Front Row

Glacier Energy Services

Golden Section Technologies

Maven Capital Partners

Motive Offshore Group

Parker Drilling/ITS

Proserv

Richard Irvin FM Limited

RMEC

Rovop

SCF Partners

TWMA Group

Work highlights

  • Acted for SCF Partners, a Houston-headquartered private equity firm, in relation to its public to private acquisition of Score Group plc, a Peterhead based, international oil service group.

Burness Paull LLP

Burness Paull LLP’s Aberdeen office handles a range of corporate M&A matters, including international deals, equity investments and joint ventures. The practice is particularly active in the energy and tech sectors, and also handles equity capital markets work. The team is led from Edinburgh by Mark Ellis; a key name in Aberdeen is Jamie Stark, who has 25 years’ experience in the oil and gas services sector. Director Arran Mackenzie is recommended for private equity and transactional work. Another key director is Ralph McIntosh, who focuses on corporate finance, investments and reorganisations.

Practice head(s):

Mark Ellis

Other key lawyers:

Jamie Stark; Arran Mackenzie; Helen Dickson; Alasdair Freeman; Ralph McIntosh

Testimonials

‘The team at Burness Paull is extremely talented in each of their respective fields, but still maintain a very personal and dedicated approach to our business needs’.

‘The level of trust that I have with Alasdair Freeman allows me to place great reliance on him and his team being able to successfully deliver on all aspects of our corporate legal work’.

‘Ralph McIntosh was excellent; he managed to get our transaction done and avoided us getting blown off course’.

‘Ralph McIntosh combines people skills, legal ability and pragmatism’.

‘Burness Paull’s team have an incredibly in depth knowledge of the oil and gas industry’.

‘They are what I would describe as “lawyer’s lawyers” – they give you the advice you need quickly and in a clear and concise manner’.

‘Helen Dickson is pragmatic and always available for any corporate queries’.

Key clients

Neo Energy Group

FrontRow Energy

James Fisher and Sons PLC

Transocean

Kellas Group

RAB Microfluidics Research & Development Company Ltd

National Oilwell Varco

Maven Capital

Rever Offshore

Weatherford

Work highlights

  • Acted for James Fisher and Sons in its acquisition of Fathom Systems Limited, a leading provider of diver communications, gas analysis, diver monitoring and integrated diving control systems for diving support vessels.
  • Advised RAB Microfluidics Research & Development Company Ltd regarding an investment by EOS technology syndicate and Newable Ventures and Scottish Enterprise.
  • Acted for Rever Offshore International Limited in relation to a multi-jurisdictional pre-sale group reorganisation and intra-group debt rationalisation head of the sale of Rever’s subsea services business to Royal Boskalis Westminster N.V.

Harper Macleod LLP

Harper Macleod LLP is well known in the market for its representation of OMBs, family-owned businesses and high-growth companies. Its broad experience includes M&A, MBOs, private equity and venture capital deals, angel investments and joint ventures. Christopher Kerr heads the Highlands, Islands and Moray practice, and splits his time between the Elgin, Inverness, Glasgow and Lerwick offices.

Practice head(s):

Christopher Kerr

Other key lawyers:

Jill Fryer; Fiona Neilson; Craig McKerracher; Stephen Chan; Amy Mackenzie

Testimonials

‘From the receptionist to the managing partner, everyone is professional, friendly and helpful’.

‘Christopher Kerr doesn’t just know the law, he thinks very commercially and he has a deep understanding of business’.

‘Christopher Kerr is incredibly responsive and understands the value of great service as well as great advice’.

‘Craig McKerracher went above and beyond to ensure the successful conclusion of our sale’.

‘It’s clear that Craig McKerracher is passionate about doing things the right way as opposed to the easy way’.

‘They went to extraordinary lengths in order to get our deal done to our satisfaction and on time’.

‘Christopher Kerr is constructive, challenging, collaborative, commercial and a problem solver’.

Key clients

Scottish National Investment Bank plc

Speedcast International Limited

Low & Bonar plc

M&Co Trading Limited

G & A Barnie Group Limited

Gael Force Group Limited

Portman Healthcare Limited

Aquaship (UK) Limited

Swansons Fruit Company Limited

B. Mundell Limited

Hardbanding Solutions (Europe) Ltd

A P Jess Ltd

PSG Marine & Logistics Limited

Clydesdale Bank plc

Wester Ross Fisheries Limited

Compass Building Services Limited

Ocean Farm Services Limited

Carbon Financial Holdings Limited

Forestry and Land Scotland

Work highlights

  • Advised M&Co Trading on the acquisition of the vast majority of High Street retail giant M&Co, by way of pre-pack administration from Mackays Stores.
  • Advised Low & Bonar plc on its £107m sale to German group Freudenberg SE.
  • Advised Swansons Fruit Company Limited on its transition into employee ownership.

Stronachs LLP

With offices in Aberdeen and Inverness, Stronachs LLP has a strong presence in North East Scotland and a client base that is representative of thriving local industries, such as energy, transport, technology, and food and drink. The practice is well versed in M&A, cross-border transactions and private equity matters, and acts for a range of businesses, from SMEs to large corporates. Head of corporate Ross Gardner advises on corporate and commercial matters, and is particularly experienced in acting for OMBs.

Practice head(s):

Ross Gardner

Other key lawyers:

Neil Forbes; Ross Linn; Malcolm Donald; David Rennie; Jamie Hunter

Testimonials

‘Really strong team, all based locally in Aberdeen in the heart of the oil and gas market’.

‘They have the ability to provide quality advice across a wide spectrum of upstream oil and gas issues as well as supply chain matters’.

‘The quality of the advice and ability to support our organisation has been fantastic’.

‘Stronachs provide a complete package of business, domestic and personal legal services from employee issues to company acquisitions and everything in between’.

‘David Rennie is a helpful and knowledgeable senior partner’.

‘Malcolm Donald is one of the most helpful and flexible members of the Stronachs team’.

Key clients

Global Energy Group

Envoy & Partners Limited

Dana Petroleum Limited

Azinor Catalyst Limited

Xodus Group Limited

Peterson (UK) Limited

Omega Well Intervention Limited

Sulmara Subsea International Limited

Petrofac Facilities Management Limited

BritNRG Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising the shareholders of Flowline Specialists Limited in the sale of the entire issued share capital of the company to Motive Offshore Group.
  • Acting for ECOG Holdings Ltd in relation to a private equity investment from Par Equity, Castle View International Holdings and Scottish Enterprise.
  • Acting for the selling shareholders of Enpro Subsea Limited in the sale of the entire issued share capital to Hunting PLC.

Aberdein Considine

Aberdein Considine is well known in the energy sector for handling M&A, sell-side exit strategy planning and implementation, MBOs and equity fundraising. The practice is also active in the financial services, food and drink, and healthcare sectors. Ritchie Whyte heads the team and counts for SMEs and OMBs among his clientele.

Practice head(s):

Ritchie Whyte

Other key lawyers:

Jacqueline Law; Anthony Quin

Testimonials

‘Ritchie Whyte is an exceptional corporate solicitor and as far as I am aware is the go-to guy in Aberdeen for corporate deals, particularly in the SME space. He did an exceptional job for us and will be retained going forward as we expand further.’

‘The team at Aberdein Considine were always there to advise and reassure me’.

‘Working with people who can speak your language and not just jargon made me feel at ease and allowed me to understand what was going on during the sales process’.

‘I always felt comfortable that someone would communicate with me by email or video conference if I had any queries. ’

‘The team is not the largest, but what you get is a total commitment to your project with a real “can-do” attitude’.

‘Good advice permeates as the team guides you through the vagaries of the corporate transaction’.

‘Ritchie Whyte is fast becoming the go-to corporate lawyer for SMEs in Aberdeen’.

‘Ritchie Whyte is technically excellent, pragmatic and personable – working with him is an extremely positive experience’.

Key clients

STATS Group

Global Offshore Holdings

Brimmond Group

Vulcan Completion Products

Load Monitoring Systems

Utility ROV Services

Porter Pharmacy Group

Right Medicine Group

Indigo Sun

Sovereign Grooming

NorSea Group

PMAC Group

Porter’s Gin

Baird’s Pharmacies

Dry Ice Scotland

Work highlights

  • Advised shareholders of A & L Porter (Aberdeenshire) Limited on the disposal of entire issued share capital of the company.
  • Advised shareholders of Load Monitoring Systems Limited on the disposal of the controlling interest in the company.
  • Advised Elevator on the acquisition of entire issued share capital of Targeting Innovation Solutions Group.

Addleshaw Goddard

Addleshaw Goddard is particularly experienced in the oil and gas, and energy transition sectors, and has noted experience in cross-border M&A. The team is co-headed by David McEwing and Ross McKenzie, who handle corporate and commercial matters, respectively. McEwing has over 25 years’ experience in the oil and gas industry. McKenzie is recommended for IT and data protection matters.

Practice head(s):

David McEwing; Ross McKenzie

Key clients

Waldorf Acquisition Co. Ltd

Titan Torque Services

Stacey Oil Services Limited

Trojan Energy

J&F Subsea

BP International

SGN

Boohoo Group

Vision Express

Dana Petroleum

Mintra Training Group

Voluntary Services Aberdeen

Tymor Marine

OPEX

MCL Medics

Prodrill Recruitment Limited

Ineos FPS

Work highlights

  • Assisted Trojan Energy Limited on investments by OLEV, Equity Gap, Alba Equity, SIS Ventures, Impact Firm Nominees Ltd, Grampian Alba Limited and Scottish Enterprise.
  • Advising Boohoo Group plc on data protection and related IT-matters.
  • Advised Mintra Training Portal on supply chain management, and audit and data protection compliance.

Blackadders LLP

Under the leadership of Campbell Clark, Blackadders LLP continues to be active in the Dundee and Aberdeen markets, handling a range of corporate matters. With considerable experience in the tech industry, the firm also advises clients in the healthcare, and food and drink sectors. M&A transactions, IP and contractual arrangements are key areas of focus for the practice, which is also experienced in employee ownership transitions.

Practice head(s):

Campbell Clark

Other key lawyers:

John Plenderleath; Susan McFadyen; Kirk Dailly; Ruth Weir; Sarah Winter

Testimonials

‘Very experienced in employee ownership transactions’.

‘Always quick to respond and deliver on schedule’.

‘They fielded a wide-ranging team with specific and appropriate expertise and made successful introductions to a network of regionally based professionals to fully meet our requirements’.

‘Blackadders provided that rather over-used cliché of a “one-stop shop” with value efficiency’.

‘Stand-out service from the lead partner for our project, Susan McFadyen’.

‘Susan McFadyen delivered immediate responses both personally and across her team’.

‘Susan McFadyen provided solid and pragmatic guidance to risk throughout due diligence and in the negotiation of agreements’.

‘They are fast to adapt and also do really well explaining things in layman’s terms’.

Key clients

4J Studios Limited

The Insights Group Limited

RCI Europe

Lippert Components Inc.

Vascular Flow Technologies Limited

Waracle Limited

Altar Group Limited

A Proctor Group Limited

Strathmore Foods Limited

Norco Group Limited

Loch Rannoch Estate Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Forster Farms Limited on the acquisition by the JLEN infrastructure fund of a stake in the Peacehill Gas anaerobic digestion plant established at the Company’s farm, in a deal valued at £11m.
  • Advised the shareholders of Tariffcom Limited on the sale of shares to Radius Payment Solutions Limited.
  • Advised Islander Aircraft Limited on its transition to employee ownership.

Ledingham Chalmers LLP

Ledingham Chalmers LLP services international clients from its Aberdeen base and is no stranger to cross-border transactions. With a focus on the oil and gas industry, the firm is seeing an uptick in energy transition and decommissioning work. Head of practice Peter Murray is recommended for M&A work, and works closely with colleagues in IP, employment and litigation to provide a holistic approach to corporate matters. Uisdean Vass left in August 2020 for an in-house role at VassPetro and Neil Anderson left for transatlantic boutique Rooney Nimmo in April 2020.

Practice head(s):

Peter Murray

Other key lawyers:

Rod Hutchison; Jody Mitchell

Testimonials

‘The team provides a knowledge and understanding of our business, professionalism, availability and excellent communication and delegation skills’.

‘Very open, friendly and never show any stress or pressure – they reassure the client’.

‘In our dealings with them, even when the pressure was mounting they maintained a calm, professional, diligent approach’.

‘A large practice with great expertise and a strong team’.

‘Deep knowledge of the business and determination to ensure their clients get the best deal’.

‘Peter Murray is the partner who looks after our interests and has done so for many years’.

‘The team’s main strength is their ability to act at pace with efficiency, time and time again’.

Key clients

Arjowiggins Group

Total E&P

Wood

Solstad Offshore

Prosafe

Storegga Geotechnologies

CRC-Evans Pipeline International, Inc.

OPITO

Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group (AREG)

Isol8

Work highlights

  • Advised the sellers of a substantial marine engineering company on the sale of the whole issued share capital.
  • Acted on the sale of 100% of the share capital of Aximir and its subsidiaries to Storegga Geotechnologies, following the purchaser receiving investment from Macquarie Group of Australia.
  • Acted as lead advisers to Arjowiggins Group on the acquisition of a luxury paper distributor based in New South Wales, Australia from an international group of paper suppliers.

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP’s Aberdeen offering has a strong focus on the energy sector and acts for a number of high-profile oil and gas companies. The practice focuses on M&A, joint ventures and commercial matters, and is well supported by its integrated international network. Former practice head Martin Ewan left the team, which is now headed by Fiona Kindness, who was promoted to legal director in March 2020.

Practice head(s):

Fiona Kindness

Other key lawyers:

David Millar

Testimonials

‘Very helpful, attentive and knowledgeable’.

‘Extremely personable, enthusiastic, proactive and forward-thinking’.

‘Always available and very quick to respond to emails’.

Key clients

Helix Energy Solutions Group Inc

Aker Solutions AS

Equinor UK Limited

Repsol SA

Third Energy Holdings Limited

Spex Corporate Group Holdings Limited

Amplus Energy Services (Holdings) Limited

Superior Energy Services Inc

Work highlights

  • Advised on the call option agreement and shareholders agreement in respect of the entry of Total New Energies Limited as a shareholder of Offshore Wind Power Limited.
  • Advising Equinor on the completion of the disposal of their interest in the Bressay Field to EnQuest
  • Acted for Helix Energy Solutions Group Inc in relation to the Scots law aspects of its $200m convertible senior notes issue, including providing a legal opinion to the representatives of the underwriters as to the capacity of the Scottish subsidiaries guaranteeing the notes.

Shepherd and Wedderburn

Keir Willox is the key name for corporate matters in Shepherd and Wedderburn's Aberdeen office; he advises clients including SMEs and family owned businesses on sales and acquisitions and joint ventures, with a focus on the energy sector, working in tandem with the wider firm's strong bench of corporate lawyers across Scotland.

Practice head(s):

Keir Willox

Testimonials

‘For corporate transactions, they are able to field and coordinate their specialists to deliver an end-to-end service in a very reassuring and professional way.’

‘Keir Willox in Aberdeen has been our corporate lawyer for many years. His attention to detail, adherence to deadlines and ability to call in other members of the team when required is very reassuring.’

Key clients

TDC (Aberdeen) Limited

Garrick Group Limited

Acumen Financial Planning Limited

The Financial Planning Group Limited

Rotojar Holdings Limited

University of Aberdeen

Wellpro Group Limited

MRDS Group Limited

Mead Medical Holdings Limited

Sysmax Holdings Limited

Harbour Haulage Limited

Gregory Distribution (Holdings) Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for Banchory Car Centre Limited, a long established family business on Deeside, in connection with the sale of its business to Rubislaw Cars Sales Limited.
  • Acted for Garrick Group Limited in connection with the acquisition of Mark Robertson Drilling Services Limited, an oil and gas service company headquartered in Aberdeen.
  • Acted for The Financial Planning Group Limited in connection with a joint venture involving Beanstalk Advice Limited.

Thorntons Law LLP

Thorntons Law LLP’s deal flow remained strong in 2020 and it remains focused on high-growth companies, including those in the tech sector, where has close links with a number of universities; it also has a niche expertise in the dental sector. The practice has recently seen an uptick in employee ownership and corporate restructuring transactions. Michael Royden heads the practice and is recommended for corporate sales and acquisitions, he has considerable experience in the veterinary and pharmaceutical sectors.

Practice head(s):

Michael Royden

Other key lawyers:

Alistair Lang; Chris Byrne

Testimonials

‘Chris Byrne really understood what we wanted from Thorntons and he delivered that’.

‘Chris Byrne’s advice was sound and practical; he worked with us to deliver an important transaction’.

‘Alistair Lang brings in colleagues to advise where appropriate and is incredibly flexible and generous with the firm’s resources’.

‘Chris Byrne is our main point of contact and deals with our requests head on’.

‘Chris Byrne adopts a proactive approach which sees the projects through to a finish in a timely manner’.

‘Chris Byrne makes all our legal dealings seem straightforward and easy to understand.’

‘Alistair Lang has been a rock, with huge experience to relate to our own matters’.

Key clients

D C Thomson Group

Intelligent Growth Solutions Limited

Macomics Limited

Don & Low Group

Walter Davidson & Sons

Innovate Foods Limited

EOS Advisory LLP

Amiqus Resolution Limited

Cyberhawk Innovations Limited

McTaggart Group Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for Founders of Resolution Therapeutics Limited in a series A funding round in August 2020 with a value of £26.5m. 
  • Acted on behalf of Dunfermline Athletic Football Club Limited in relation to a substantial and high profile equity investment in the Club by a group of German based investors through an SPV called DAFC Fussball GmbH.
  • Advised EOS since its incorporation in 2014, and on all investments made by the fund/syndicate over the course of 2020, which together totalled over £3m.