Corporate and commercial: elsewhere in Scotland in Scotland
Brodies LLP leads on cross-border and international deals from its Aberdeen office, handling a range of corporate matters for private and public companies, institutions, high-net-worth individuals and third sector organisations. The firm generates mandates in all industries that are key to the Scottish economy including food and drink, energy, real estate, technology, healthcare and life sciences. Glasgow-based Shuna Stirling heads the team. Douglas Crawford leads on private equity matters, while Tom Boulton-Jones advises on general corporate and corporate real estate. Bryan Wilson joined as partner from an in-house role at Total E&P UK, while Rhona MacFarlane was recently promoted to partner.
Other key lawyers:
‘Knowledgeable and have the ability to work efficiently across different sectors and between teams’.
‘Always happy to go the extra mile’.
‘Quality, considered advice delivered in a user-friendly way’.
‘The team is very efficient and friendly’.
‘They do their best at all times to resolve any problems that may arise’.
‘My company has dealt with Gill Summers for many years – we have found her to be extremely efficient and knowledgeable’.
‘Brodies has a commercial ethos running through their whole organisation’.
‘Perfect levels of engagement, immediate availability, part of your team at exactly the time when you need their skills the most’.
INEOS Upstream/INEOS Commercial Services UK Ltd
Drum Property Group Ltd
John Lawrie Group
Tulloch Homes 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
- Acted in the sale of ECS Security by its shareholders into a newly formed MBO entity funded by Livingbridge Private Equity.
- Acted for the Aberdeen-headquartered 3rd Momentum in this transaction which saw their survey, rope and hose businesses combine with Global Energy’s inspection and wire ropes division, Reel, under a new joint venture company.
- Acted for the majority shareholders of Churchill Drilling Tools (Holdings) Limited in the sale of the company to oilfield service firm Coretrax.
The corporate team at CMS generates and leads on a range of work from its Aberdeen base, with a particular focus on the energy sector. Core areas of focus include M&A, private equity and equity capital markets, as well as support for growth companies and other fledgling businesses across sectors including financial services, TMT, leisure and real estate. Frank Fowlie heads the team and is well regarded for his expertise in oil and gas and renewables. Helen Machin is noted for experience in management buy-outs (MBOs), management buy-ins (MBIs) and venture capital transactions.
Duncan and Todd
Pemba Capital Partners
NESTA Impact Fund
New Century Care
Elm Solar Holdings Limited
Decipher Energy Limited
- Advised ConocoPhillips on the sale of its UK E&P group to Chrysaor for $2.68bn.
- Advised BGF on its £4.8m growth capital investment in Waracle Limited.
- Acted as legal advisor to Duncan and Todd opticians in its acquisition of nine branches from optometrist Black & Lizars.
Blackwood Partners LLP
Aberdeen-based firm Blackwood Partners LLP is a niche practice specialising in corporate, M&A, private equity and banking and finance, with a particular focus on the oil and gas sector. The firm operates a fixed-fee model with no chargeable hours. The team is co-headed by Alastair Wyper, who is adept at handling venture capital and insolvency issues, and Judith Quinn, who is experienced in domestic and international corporate transactions. Ross Fair was recently promoted to partner.
Other key lawyers:
Ardyne Holdings Limited
Ashtead Technology Limited
Coretrax Technology Limited
Glacier Energy Services
Golden Section Technologies
Maven Capital Partners
Motive Offshore Group
Richard Irvin FM Limited
- 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.
- Acted for Coretrax Technology Limited, an international oil service company backed by London based private equity firm, Buckthorn Partners, in relation to its acquisition of Churchill Drilling, an Aberdeen based international oil service company.
- Acted for Bluewater Energy, a London based private equity firm specialising in the energy sector, in relation to its acquisition of Pipeline Technique Ltd.
Burness Paull LLP’s corporate team has expertise in international transactions, advising Scottish and UK clients on cross-border deals and international investors on inbound investment into the UK. Other areas of focus include M&A, owner-managed business (OMB) sales, equity investments, capital markets and joint ventures. Edinburgh-based Mark Ellis heads the team. Jamie Stark is well regarded for his expertise in the oil and gas sector. Director Arran Mackenzie specialises in corporate finance and private equity, director Ralph McIntosh is recommended for corporate transactional work. Gary Chapman left after 18 months as a partner to become acting general counsel at Centurion Group.
‘Knowledgeable, friendly and efficient: particularly good at taking non-lawyers through the process and managing their expectations and concerns. Unflappable and easy to approach.’
‘Alasdair Freeman is easy to approach and is able to keep a cool head when the situation becomes demanding. Efficient and knowledgeable; good at problem solving and a good listener.’
Standard Life Aberdeen plc
James Fisher and Sons PLC
National Oilwell Varco, Inc.
BlueGem Capital Partners
Walker Precision Engineering Group
i3 Energy plc
Kings Park Capital
- Advising Magnesium Capital LLP in relation to its investment in Cyberhawk Innovations Limited.
- Acting for the management team of Foresight Metering Management Limited, a group company of Foresight Metering Limited, on its acquisition by Arcus Infrastructure Partners.
- Advised Alba, an independent service provider for aero-derivative gas turbines, in its sale to publicly listed Swiss engineering group Sulzer.
Pinsent Masons LLP
Pinsent Masons LLP is noted for its track record of work on high-value, international M&A transactions in the oil and gas sector, and has been building up its knowledge and expertise to meet the twin challenges of the energy transition and the digital revolution. It has cross-sector experience in infrastructure, technology, real estate and finance, with a focus on the energy sector. Martin Ewan, who heads the team, is well-regarded for corporate and commercial matters.
‘Ultimately, it’s about their people.’
‘Fiona Kindness is very straightforward and easily became one of the team during a maternity leave cover secondment.’
‘The team provides exceptional service, are always available and are an invaluable source of market practices on both buyer and seller side.’
- Acting for the shareholders in the sale of the entire issued share capital of Warrens Group Limited and Warrens Emerald Biogas Limited.
- Acting for Total in relation to entering a joint venture with fellow oil majors, Shell and Chrysaor, in relation to a nationally-significant Carbon Capture Usage and Storage project, offshore St Fergus, Scotland.
- Acted for the lenders to Coretrax (the buyer) to support its acquisition of Churchill Drilling Tools.
Stronachs LLP is well regarded for its experience advising SMEs, large corporates and listed companies on a broad range of corporate matters, including multijurisdictional M&A, private equity and other corporate transactions. The team generates mandates in the oil and gas, renewables, transport, technology, and food and drink sectors. Ross Gardner heads the team and advises individuals and a diverse range of businesses on all aspects of corporate and commercial law.
Global Energy Group
Envoy & Partners Ltd
Dana Petroleum Limited
Azinor Catalyst Limited
Xodus Group Limited
Peterson (UK) Limited
Omega Well Intervention Ltd
Petrofac Facilities Management Ltd
Korrie Mechanical & Plumbing Ltd
- Advised the management shareholders of Well-Safe Solutions Ltd in connection with a £66m investment led by a consortium of private investors.
- Advising Global Energy Group on significant multi-party group partition transactions.
- Advising the selling shareholders of Subsea Technologies Group Ltd in sale of the company to Helix Well Ops.
Aberdein Considine’s corporate offering is well regarded for M&A, including exit strategy planning and implementation, MBOs, and start-up and young company equity fundraising. The team handles mandates in the energy, professional services, healthcare, and food and drink sectors. 'Fantastic commercial lawyer' Ritchie Whyte heads the Aberdeen practice.
‘Personal service and a great understanding of what is best for your business’.
‘Great communicators and can put together our specific requirement in any deal we do’.
‘Ritchie Whyte is our main point of contact and he always treats us as if ours is the only job he is working on’.
‘I have been using them for different reasons for over 34 years and they have always acted in a professional and efficient manor achieving excellent results’.
‘They were professional at all times explaining each point in a way that we could understand easily’.
‘Fast-moving, young commercial team’.
‘They are professional and understand the need to move quickly on deals’.
‘Ritchie Whyte is a fantastic commercial lawyer and a pivotal key to our businesses successes’.
Vulcan Completion Products
Keith Builders Merchants
CA Engineering Scotland
Blaze Manufacturing Solutions
- Advised Blaze Manufacturing Solutions on equity investment by Balmoral Group.
- Advised Management Team at Keith Builders Merchants on the management buy-out of the company.
- Advised selling shareholders on the management buy-out of the company.
Addleshaw Goddard’s Aberdeen corporate team is noted for its experience in the oil and gas and energy transition space. Local heavyweight David McEwing joined from Pinsent Masons LLP in 2019 to lead the team and continues to develop the firm’s offering in the energy and private equity sectors. The group has a strong data practice and is adept at handling cross-border M&A for upstream oil and gas companies.
Other key lawyers:
‘David McEwing is very user friendly, experienced and calm under pressure.’
Waldorf Acquisition Co. Ltd
IWCF Operations Limited
Tetra Technologies (NYSE)
Titan Torque Services
Stacey Oilfield Services
- Advised Waldorf on the acquisition of the entire share capital of Endeavour Energy UK Limited (EEUK).
- Advised SGN on how to find an innovative way to streamline the negotiation of GDPR data sharing agreements.
- Advised Novellus Solutions Limited on an IP audit.
In 2019, Blackadders LLP’s Aberdeen corporate team was strengthened by the acquisition of local firm Plenderleath Runcie, a deal which added partner John Plenderleath to the team. Dundee-based corporate and commercial head Campbell Clark is recommended for his expertise and experience in the growing area of employee ownership. The team advises on the full gamut of corporate and commercial matters including M&A, cross-border transactions, joint ventures corporate fundraisings and commercial agreements. It is also experienced in the niche area of timeshare and vacation ownership. Other sector strengths include technology, life sciences, healthcare and leisure.
‘Always someone in the team able to pick up my business requirements and continue from the last point rather than having to repeat myself again’.
‘Very efficient response times and reactive to my business needs’.
‘Extremely responsive to queries, great attention to detail and really understand my business’.
‘They were always available and responsive, had an extremely positive “can do” attitude and were excellent at working out solutions to problems that arose during the process’.
‘Nothing was too much trouble for them and, as individuals, they were a delight to work with’.
‘Campbell Clark is very easy to work with, very personable, commercial in his approach and excellent at supporting his client through a complex transaction’.
‘Susan McFadyen is highly responsive, efficient and helpful in looking for solutions to problems encountered. Her eye for detail and persistence ran rings around the lawyer on the other side’.
‘In-depth knowledge of the employee ownership transition process enables Blackadders to offer and deliver a fixed-price service on an agreed timescale’.
4J Studios Limited
Lippert Components Inc.
The Insights Group Limited
Vascular Flow Technologies Limited
Snappy Shopper Limited
A Proctor Group Limited
Avian Communications Limited
Norco Group Limited
Strathmore Foods Limited
- Advised US-based Lippert Components Inc on the £33m acquisition of Lewmar Marine Limited.
- Advised Aspire Housing & Personal Development Services Limited on its transition to employee ownership.
- Advised the Trustees on the sale of Alliance Electrical Services Limited out of employee ownership.
Harper Macleod LLP is noted for its experience of advising OMBs and family-owned businesses of all sizes, as well as the acquirers of such businesses. It is also adept at handling cross-border transactions, particularly outbound investment for Scottish companies and overseas exits. The firm generates mandates in the marine, rural, healthcare, automotive, manufacturing, and food and drink industries. Practice head Christopher Kerr is well regarded for his expertise in employee ownership matters. Jill Fryer was promoted to partner.
‘I was very pleased with the way that Harper McLeod team guided me through the sale of my business. Excellent communication with me and clear explanation of options at each step. I would highly recommend.’
‘Highly skilled communicators and clear and concise explanation of options.’
Gael Force Group Limited
Shetland Islands Council
G & A Barnie Group Limited
Johnson Marine Limited
Ocean Farm Services Limited
Portman Healthcare Limited
Laurence Odie (Knitwear) Limited
Caithness Flagstone Limited
Andy & Tracey Sirel and Others
Even Property Ltd
B. Mundell Limited
McGowan Environmental Limited
Compass Building and Construction Limited
Colin Armstrong Architects
- Advising Ocean Farm Services Limited on the establishment of Ocean Farm Services Limited as a joint venture vehicle between Aurora Marine Limited and North Isles Marine Limited.
- Acted for the vendor shareholders of Northern Forklift (Scotland) Limited in relation to the sale of its entire issued share capital to Briggs Equipment UK Limited.
- Acted for Portman Healthcare Limited in the acquisition of three separate dental practice business in 2019.
Ledingham Chalmers LLP’s corporate team has a focus on servicing the oil and gas market; it specialises in transactional, general counsel work, and international supply and joint venture contracts. The firm is well positioned to advise businesses in the growing area of decommissioning, and related energy projects such as carbon capture and storage. Peter Murray heads the group and leads on M&A transactions.
‘The corporate department works very closely with the oil and gas department to provide a seamless service’.
‘Having dealt with many legal organisations across Scotland I can confidently recommend the Ledingham Chalmers Inverness team’.
‘The team has an understanding of how crucial it is to deeply understand the clients business and objectives in order to provide meaningful and reliable advice’.
‘They demonstrate effective communication and understand that not everyone has a deep knowledge of law or legal phrasing’.
‘Key qualities include; communication of complex ideas/concepts/solutions into readily understandable terms’.
‘Creativity and obviously comprehensive knowledge of legal issues facing our company and wider stakeholders’.
‘The team at Ledingham Chalmers are very experienced, hands on and extremely responsive’
Pale Blue Dot Energy
- Represented the AW Creative Papers Group Limited management team in the MBO of the business and assets of Arjowiggins Fine Papers Limited and Arjowiggins Chartham Limited (In Administration) and associated transactions.
- Represented the seller on the sale of the entire issued share capital of Centrifuges UN- Limited to Linton Investments.
- Advised Speedwell Energy Limited on the sale of Speedwell Energy (1) Limited by Speedwell Energy Limited to London-listed Rock Rose Energy for an undisclosed sum.
Thorntons Law LLP
Thorntons Law LLP stands out for its expertise in the healthcare sector, and in particular the buying and selling of dental practices, pharmacies and veterinary practices. The firm has also recently seen an uptick in employee ownership transactions. Another area of focus for the team is the high-growth technology sector and spin-outs, where it advises universities spinning out companies and angel investment syndicates. Michael Royden heads the team.
‘Approachable, thorough and calm’.
‘Compassionate, empathetic and really involved in the transaction’.
‘They all went above and beyond throughout the process’.
‘The team are commercially focused and very aware of the key commercial drivers for any of our investment transactions’.
‘All great personalities – very easy to deal with. Highly focused and commercially aware’.
‘They are able to provide a broad range of advice and knowledge in many areas’.
‘The team work hard to make sure we, as the client, get the results and outcomes that we are looking for’.
‘Queries are dealt with promptly and the communication with us and the solicitors on the other side has always been excellent’.
Design Dundee Limited (V&A Dundee)
Don & Low
Walter Davidson & Sons
James Hutton Institute
CGLMC Limited (Carnoustie Golf Links)
Intelligent Growth Solutions Limited
Cyberhawk Innovations Limited
G S Group
- Advised Westerton (UK) Limited on the disposal of its business and assets to Halliburton.
- Advised Intelligent Growth Solutions Limited on £7m Series A funding round.
- Advised G.S. Brown (Precision Engineers) Limited on its transition to employee ownership.
Shepherd and Wedderburn
Shepherd and Wedderburn handles a range of corporate matters including acquisitions and disposals, advice to start-ups, general commercial contracts work, and shareholder matters. It has a focus on acting for OMBs and management teams in the oil and gas service, transport, rural, food and drink, and financial services sectors. Former Aberdeen corporate head John Rutherford retired in early 2019 after three years at the firm; the team is now headed by Keir Willox.
Garrick Group Limited
Acumen Financial Planning Ltd
Highland Haulage Limited
University of Aberdeen
Wellpro Group Ltd
Spiral Services Limited
S.D.O. Enterprises Limited
Scotlog Sales Limited