Active in Aberdeen and the North East, Brodies LLP is instructed on an array of local, national and cross-border deals, operating across a variety of industries such as oil and gas, real estate, healthcare, retail and financial services, among many others. Standout partners include Douglas Crawford, a sale, acquisition, management buyout (MBO) and venture capital transaction specialist, as well as joint venture, M&A, investment and reorganisation expert, Tom Boulton-Jones. Martin Ewan and senior associate Greg Costello are further key names and provide the group with transactional and contractual knowhow in the technology and energy fields.
Corporate and commercial: elsewhere in Scotland in Scotland
Neil Burgess (Glasgow)
Other key lawyers:
Douglas Crawford; Tom Boulton-Jones; Martin Ewan; David Millar; Greg Costello
‘Greg Costello is a knowledgeable and professional individual with a tremendous work ethic and a determination to provide the very best service possible. He makes himself available on a schedule that suits the client’s business requirements and is, at all times, focused on those requirements. Greg is very much a business facilitator and stands in stark contrast to those legal advisors who seem to think their job is solely to point out the potential obstacles created by the law.’
‘Brodies provide a wide range service for corporate, personal and charity sector clients. Brodies have a depth of experience in the energy sector locally, nationally and internationally, which is particularly important for our business, and are able to provide legal advice and support quickly and effectively.’
‘The team brings into play experience and learning from corporate transactions across many different sectors to our specific industry, oil and gas. The corporate team are well integrated with the energy and infrastructure practice and so as a client we see and experience a single service. The legal advice is of the highest possible standard and the willingness to structure charges and billing to suit a particular deal or circumstance is also valuable in controlling cost and delivering great value.’
‘Tom Boulton-Jones brings experience across a range of business sectors and applies it effectively to our specific industry. Tom’s calm, firm and well-reasoned approach in negotiation delivers a great result for his client and I’d recommend him to anyone executing a corporate transaction.’
‘Martin Ewan is the stand-out partner and primary reason for us moving to Brodies. He understands our space and has built a remarkable network internally and externally that enables him to guide us in the right direction regardless of our requirement. This quality, aside from his competence and professionality which are a given, is a clear differentiator for us during a pivotal period of significant growth.’
‘Built on cumulative years of experience, the team have a wealth of knowledge in their field allowing them to deliver a professional service.’
‘Martin Ewan is not only exceptionally professional and knowledgeable in his field, he is more importantly extremely approachable. He has cultivated a strong team around him through his skills as both a mentor and having a keen eye for talent. He is passionate about he work he delivers always going above and beyond to deliver an excellent service.’
Ediston Real Estate
Whisky Hammer Ltd
Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Estate Assets
Blackfriars Hotel (UK) Holdings Limited
Superior Energy Services Group
AGS Airports Ltd
Maxwell Oil Tools Limited
Aquatera Group Limited
Maven Capital Partners UK LLP
BauMount Real Estate Capital
Drum Property Group Ltd
Binn Waste Management
John Lawrie Group
- Advised the shareholders of Whisky Hammer Ltd in a sell down to Hong Kong-based Rare Whisky Holdings.
- Advised Maxwell Oil Tools Ltd in a refinancing deal with a new joint-venture partner, and subsequent international moving of subsidiary operations to Germany.
- Advised the management team of Hydrasun Group regarding the sale of shareholding from Investcorp Bank BSC to SCF Partners – the new investment allows a focus on energy transition and other core markets, including hydrogen.
A firm with offices in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen, Burness Paull LLP is active on deals throughout the North East, demonstrating a particular tenacity for oil and gas-related transactions. Jamie Stark leads from the Aberdeen office, leveraging a 25-year track record in both local and cross-border transactions; his team includes Alasdair Freeman, a lawyer with IT, turnaround, restructuring and insolvency issues, in addition to Arran Mackenzie, a director well-versed in M&A and private equity transactions.
Mark Ellis (Edinburgh); Jamie Stark
Other key lawyers:
Helen Dickson; Arran MacKenzie; Alasdair Freeman
‘They understand the importance of having multi-skills and experience that need to be brought in from time to time either internally from their several offices or externally, to ensure a robust response to technical issues that arise. the diversity that they can bring is very important in dealing with international issues when you have business covering USA operations, Asia markets and Australia. As a practice they can deliver this support to there clients, this international element is key to develop future corporate and commercial growth, and Burness Paull delivers this for its customers.’
‘Excellent M&A advisory with ability to flex capacity to meet demands.’
‘The team at Burness are utterly personable and have a manner which is calm and assuring. We were taking part in a transaction which was new to the business and the Burness Team understood quickly what we wanted to achieve. Despite our lack of expertise in the transaction and our daft questions, we concluded and had great comfort that we got what we set out for at the beginning. Burness integrated seamlessly with us throughout by understanding our business and our ultimate requirements and took us to the finish line in a straightforward manner.’
‘Alasdair Freeman was the partner and whilst this was a fairly small transaction had full engagement with our team and our timetable.’
Grieg Seafood AS
Starn Energy Services Group Limited
James Fisher and Sons plc
National Oilwell Varco, Inc
- Acted for digital technology services provider Incremental Group in its acquisition of the Adatis Group, a London-based data analytics business. This was a multinational deal involving the acquisition of Adatis group companies in the UK, Bulgaria and India.
- Acted for Grieg Seafood ASA in connection with the sale of its Scottish business, Grieg Seafood Hjaltland UK Limited to Scottish Sea Farms Limited.
- Acted for James Fisher and Sons plc in the sale of James Fisher Testing Services Limited to the Phenna Group.
International firm CMS fields a team in Aberdeen with a notable capacity for energy, financial services, private equity, leisure and corporate real estate deals. The practice caters to a broad spectrum of market players, from early-stage businesses through to multinationals, and is headed by Frank Fowlie, a lawyer who leverages a track record in oil and gas-related M&A; he is supported by Helen Gillies, an acquisition, MBO, management buy-in (MBI), sale and venture capital transaction specialist, as well as senior associate Craig Wilson who has recently played an active role in a number of renewable transactions.
Other key lawyers:
Norman Wisely; Helen Gillies; Craig Wilson
‘Flexible approach – looks for solutions to problems and finds the common ground.’
‘Helen Gillies builds trust on all sides. So people listen to and respect her views.’
Venterra Group PLC
Dye & Durham Corporation
Duncan and Todd
Pemba Capital Partners
New Century Care
Elm Solar Holdings Limited
- Advised Hitec Vision and Neo Energy on 2 major acquisitions (Exxon CNNS for over $1bn and JX Nippon Exploration and Production for $1.6bn).
- Advised Spirit Energy on the sale of its Norwegian business to Sval Energi for $1.1bn.
- Advising Kerogen Capital on the sale of Zennor Petroleum to Neo Energy Holdings Limited for $625m.
Blackwood Partners LLP
Blackwood Partners LLP, a specialist corporate and commercial firm, runs a workload spread across M&A. banking and finance, general corporate and private equity affairs. Alastair Wyper serves as practice head, receiving engagement from listed companies, entrepreneurs, start-ups and SMEs in addition to venture capitalist and private equity providers. Judith Quinn and Ross Fair are the other key partners and, alongside Wyper, are predominantly active within the energy sector.
Other key lawyers:
Judith Quinn; Ross Fair
‘The team are responsive, commercial and understand the key issues for any transaction i.e. what is important.’
‘We get a partner-led transaction and Ross Fair is a great lawyer plus we also get the benefit of Alastair Wyper’s input as the managing partner. Both are responsive, commercial and good guys.’
Stats (UK) Limited
Maven Capital Partners
Ashtead Technology Holdings plc
Motive Offshore Group
Simmons Private Equity
Glacier Energy Services
Pragma Well Technology
- Acted for SCF Partners, a Houston-based PE firm, in relation to its acquisition of Hydrasun.
- Acted for Centurion Group, a global energy services business, in relation to its acquisition of Aleron.
- Acted for Pragma Well Technology in relation to its acquisition of Downhole Tools International.
Harper Macleod LLP leverages a broad geographical footprint outside of Scotland’s Central Belt, fielding offices in Inverness, Elgin, Thurso and Shetland. The team undertakes a wealth of corporate matters, including M&A, private equity and venture capital deals, MBOs, demergers and joint ventures, and is well-placed to advise on transactions involving listed companies and multijurisdictional elements. Christopher Kerr holds distinct expertise in family office representation and the Scottish employee ownership market, overseeing a team with specific expertise in the IT, telecommunications, food and drink, healthcare, energy and manufacturing sectors.
Other key lawyers:
Stephen Chan; Craig McKerracher
‘The team have been incredible, very knowledgeable and helpful.’
‘They are always there to help, nothing is an issue and have a lot of patience. Happy to breakdown information to help you understand better.’
Speedcast International Limited
Ardersier Port (Scotland) Limited
M&Co Trading Limited
G & A Barnie Group Limited
Portman Healthcare Limited
Wester Ross Fisheries Limited
Carbon Financial Holdings Limited
Swansons Fruit Company Limited
Highland Network Limited
Castle House Dental Practice Ltd
Gael Force Group Limited
Low & Bonar plc
- Acted as Scots law counsel to the Speedcast Group (the world’s largest global satellite providers with a key Scottish subsidiary) in relation to its financing, filing for voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings in US (in response to maritime/ oil and gas industry pressures and COVID-19 pandemic impact on cruise line customers) and its subsequent restructuring, involving an equity investment by Centrebridge Partners L.P.
- Advised Ardersier Port (Scotland) Limited on the purchase of Ardersier Port Limited which owned the former McDermotts fabrication yard in Ardersier.
- Advised the selling shareholders of Inverness-based telecoms firm, Highland Network Limited trading as HighNet, on its acquisition by West Sussex-based Focus Group – one of the UK’s fastest-growing business communications and technology solutions providers.
Present in Aberdeen and Inverness, Stronachs LLP is home to expertise in respect of both M&A and private equity, demonstrating particular expertise in acting for OMBs and management teams. Ross Gardner leads the practice which is also home to Neil Forbes and Malcolm Donald, respective experts of the energy sector, including both oil and gas and renewables. The team is geared to represent clients across the full company lifecycle, from start-up through to exit, and is also knowledgeable of the transport, food and drink, technology and logistics sectors.
Other key lawyers:
Neil Forbes; Malcolm Donald; Jamie Hunter
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
Aberdein Considine benefits from a considerable network, spread across Aberdeen, Ednburgh, Glasgow, Tayside and Perth, Stirling and West Lothian; its corporate and business advisory team hones its focus on general M&A, exit strategies, MBOs and equity fundraising. Ritchie Whyte spearheads the practice and is particularly experienced in the representation of SMEs and OMBs, operating across the energy, food and drink, healthcare and technology sectors, among others.
‘The team have been nothing short of exceptional over the last year in supporting our business in an extremely complex share buyout and business restructure. Key strengths are their attentiveness and responsiveness, this has enabled this complex project to continue even through the height of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
‘Ritchie Whyte and his team have all been instrumental in our businesses success over the past few years.’
‘Ritchie Whyte has been at the helm of the shareholder buyout and business reorganisation our company is currently going through. His knowledge, guidance’s and professionalism have without doubt played a critical role in pushing this complex project forward. As an Engineer I have no legal training and therefore Ritchie’s ability to put aside the legal jargon and explain situations in precise yet clear manner are another key factor in making him and his team so good to deal with. I cannot think of any way Ritchie could have done any more to assist our company.’
‘Responsiveness, excellent understanding of the business, consistently good, practical advice.’
‘Accessible with a great understanding of our business dynamics’
‘The guys have everything in one place, almost a turnkey business who have experience throughout the practice, as and when we have required it.’
‘Knowing that we will get a response quickly and efficiently even if it is not what we want to hear.’
Vulcan Completion Products
Dry Ice Scotland
Right Medicine Group
- Advised shareholders of Aberdeen Radiation Protection Services on disposal of entire issued share capital to Lucion Group
- Advised Baird’s Pharmacy on acquisition of entire issued share capital of Medicentre Newcastle
- Advised Whitebox Drinks on growth capital funding round
National firm Addleshaw Goddard fields a two-partner team in Aberdeen consisting of David McEwing and Ross McKenzie; the former is a specialist in both domestic and cross-border transactions, particularly those within oil and gas field, while the latter is a retail, consumer and energy expert who runs a practice centred around commercial contract, IP, IT and data protection matters.
David McEwing; Ross McKenzie
‘Addleshaw Goddard, on top of delivering top tier advice offer a range of well presented and helpful training to clients. Addleshaw Goddard embrace diversity.’
‘Ross McKenzie is always quick to respond with very clear and helpful advice.’
‘Ross McKenzie is best in class in providing tailored and practical data protection compliance support.’
‘Very hands on and quick to respond in a clear manner.’
‘David McEwing is always available and focuses on the key points.’
‘Addleshaw Goddard provides reliable and trustworthy support to our growing company. They engage well without overcomplicating an issue. Billing is always transparent and within budget.’
‘David McEwing – corporate and transaction knowledge is second to none. Always available to provide succinct advice and guide clients through various corporate processes.’
Waldorf Acquisition Co. Ltd
Titan Torque Services
Stacey Oil Services Limited
Voluntary Services Aberdeen
Prodrill Recruitment Limited
Aberdeen City Council
Automasjon OG Data AS
Drill Tools Limited
Razor Oiltools Limited
Mackay Marine Services Limited
- Advised Waldorf Production UK Limited on Project Hotel. Work included the completion of a Put & Call Option Agreement in terms of which Nautical Petroleum Limited (Seller) granted to Waldorf Production the right to require the Seller to enter into a share purchase agreement for the acquisition of the entire issued share capital of the Seller’s wholly owned subsidiary, Capricorn North Sea Limited (Target). The Target holds interests in the Catcher and Kraken Oil fields.
- Advised Waldorf Production UK Limited on the issuing of $300m Nordic secured bonds by Waldorf Production UK Limited to be used to fund the acquisition, and re-financing of existing senior debt facility and hedging.
- Advised Aberdeen City Council on the procurement of a joint venture partner to deliver its vision of an Aberdeen Hydrogen Hub.
Present in Dundee and Aberdeen, Blackadders LLP leverages its expertise of the technology and healthcare sectors, in addition to its knowledge of employee ownership transactions, to advise on a plethora of M&A deals. Campbell Clark leads the practice and is adept on both the transactional and advisory fronts; he is supported by Kirk Dailly whose core strengths include commercial contracts, business sales and purchases, brand protection and investment rounds.
Other key lawyers:
‘Excellent understanding of employee ownership transaction needs.’
‘Extremely good response times compared to other firms I have dealt with – personal but professional service – honest and factual feedback.’
‘In our experience the team is very responsive with high partner availability and involvement, providing timely and practical advice, always with an eye to commerciality.’
‘We recommend Campbell Clark for high levels of partner availability, providing straightforward, timely advice that we trust.’
‘I have found Blackladders LLP to be a friendly, transparent and responsive law firm. The firm makes me feel as though I am their only client as their response times are unmatched by any other law firm I have worked with. There had been one particular matter that I had asked them to handle, which I knew could have been protracted for many months due to its complexity, but with the team’s strong capability and robust approach, the matter concluded very swiftly. The firm also has a dedicated team with a broad range of expertise which has provided me with much support, knowledge and analysis of various legal and commercial issues.’
‘The individuals within the firm have a very proactive, supportive and personal approach in how they engage with me.’
‘The team attempts to find solutions which are consistent with our values. This means that, unlike some other lawyers, they do not try to win a fight but help us to find a solution which suits all parties.’
‘The individuals are always very personable, they try to make themselves available and they have worked to establish relationships with us.’
4J Studios Limited (Chroma Ventures)
The Insights Group Limited
Lippert Components Inc
Broker Insights Limited
Oilfield Machinery Limited
Strathmore Foods Limited
A Proctor Group Limited
MTC Media Limited
- Advised Broker Insights on its £6m Series A funding round led by Mercia Asset Management.
- Advised Chroma Ventures who co-led a $5m investment in augmented reality studio Blippar.
- Advised Oilfield Machinery on the sale of its OM Heavy Lift subsidiary to Forth Ports plc.
Aberdeen-based Ledingham Chalmers LLP operates across a variety of industries though is predominantly active in the oil and gas sector. Practice head Peter Murray is particularly accomplished in terms of representing joint venture and high-growth companies and also undertakes a wealth of M&A transactions; his team routinely supports on international supply mandates and restructuring support matters and includes Jody Mitchell, well-versed in acquisition, disposal, equity investment and general advisory affairs.
Arjowiggins Group Limited
TotalEnergies E&P (UK) Limited
Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group (AREG)
Plexus ocean Systems Limited
Pinsent Masons LLP
Pinsent Masons LLP, a firm with an expansive national and international network, is active in Aberdeen through the work of legal director Fiona Kindness; she handles a mixture of M&A, and private equity work in the energy sector and often supports on deals with a cross-border component.
‘Fiona Kindness and the team have an excellent work ethic, were genuine and provided an honest point of view, and made themselves available when necessary at short notice.’
Simmons Private Equity
Pryme Group Limited
Aker Solutions AS
Thomas Hopkinson & Others
Briggs Equipment UK Limited
Three60 Energy Limited
Raptor Data Limited
- Advised Pryme Group Holdings Limited and Simmons Private Equity on the merger of two Simmons PE portfolio companies – Pryme Group Holdings Limited and Seanamic Limited.
- Advising the management team of Taylor Hopkinson Limited in respect of the exit by Longacre Group and acquisition by Brunel International B.V.of Taylor Hopkinson Limited and their subsequent reinvestment.
- Advising the founding shareholders on the disposal of the entire issued share capital of John Warren (Animal By-Products) Ltd.
Shepherd and Wedderburn
Shepherd and Wedderburn’s Aberdeen offices delivers a comprehensive array of services including company acquisitions and disposals, start-up advice, shareholder agreements and commercial contract support. Keir Willox leads the practice and is predominantly active in the SME space, catering to onshore and offshore service companies in addition to those in the oil, gas and renewables fields.
‘Keir Willox is an outstanding solicitor and an excellent communicator. He is our main contact and we have full confidence in him and his advice and guidance.’
TDC (Aberdeen) Limited
R T McEwan Limited
Acumen Financial Planning Limited
The Financial Planning Group Limited
Gregory Distribution (Holdings) Limited
University of Aberdeen
Wellpro Group Limited
Mead Medical Holdings Limited
Kuller Fishing Company Limited
- Acting for Gregory Distribution (Holdings) Limited in connection with the acquisition of the entire issued share capital of Pollock Holdings Limited, a haulage company based in the central belt of Scotland.
Thorntons Law LLP
At Thorntons Law LLP, key points of differentiation include the practice’s proficiency in the buying and selling of dental practices in addition to its capacity for employee ownership transactions. Practice head Michael Royden is also adept in the veterinary and pharmaceutical sectors and his team also demonstrates a track record in representing high growth and technology companies, especially those which have spun out of universities. In addition to its transactional offering, the department also undertakes commercial contract, partnership agreement and shareholder agreement mandates, among other general commercial matters.
Other key lawyers:
Chris Byrne; Alistair Lang; Chris Allan
The work is always to a very high standard and attention to detail is noticeable.’
‘They don’t try to overwhelm with legal speak and will always explain the legal implications in layman’s terms, helping you to make decisions very quickly.’
‘Alistair Lang and the team have been exceptional in the support they provide. They both have a very personable character and always treat you with respect no matter how silly the question you may have.’
‘Great at getting deals and transactions done within the timeframe no matter how complicated.’
‘Michael Royden is fantastic. Great attention to detail and communication with us was brilliant.’
‘Thorntons were very helpful in that they took the time properly to understand our business and the rationale for the transaction in question. They provided practical solutions to the issues that arose during the transaction and kept the client fully involved at every step.’
‘Chris Byrne was responsible for the delivery of the high quality service we received. We always felt that he was available and he turned things round very promptly, always being careful to keep us fully informed.’
‘The firm has depth in its people and subsequently its capabilities, with strong expertise across key matters. There is a strong team culture and visible diversity bringing a breadth of knowledge and expertise together. It is not a firm where its people are constantly tracking the clock. It makes you feel like you have had definite value for money.’
D.C. Thomson & Company Limited
Intelligent Growth Solutions Limited
Don & Low Limited (part of Thrace Group)
Whisky Auctioneer Limited
EOS Advisory LLP
CGLMC Limited (Carnoustie Golf Links)
St Andrews Links Trust
McTaggart Group Limited
Amiqus Resolution Limited
Walter Davidson & Sons
Cyberhawk Innovations Limited
AI Exploration Limited
Westerton Access Limited
Cara Finance Group Limited
Dunfermline Athletic FC Limited
SP Automation & Robotics
- Advised Intelligent Growth Solutions Limited on a $42.2m series B investment round.
- Advised DCT Capital on a substantial equity investment in Cumulus Oncology Limited.
- Advised the selling shareholders in relation to the sale of the entire issued share capital of Orchard Timber Products Limited (a well established timber and building materials merchant with turnover in excess of £25m) to National Timber Group, a portfolio company of Cairngorm Capital.