Corporate tax in Scotland

Brodies LLP

Brodies LLP fields corporate tax experts such as Isobel D’Inverno and Glasgow-based Heather Gibson as part of its dedicated group. The practice advises businesses on complex transactions, but also acts for the individuals behind the businesses - both investors and management - on their personal tax affairs. This can range from effective remuneration and investment structures, to exit strategies and protecting wealth and assets for the next generation.

Practice head(s):

Alan Barr; Isobel d’Inverno

Other key lawyers:

Heather Gibson


Brodies’ corporate experts are proactive and practical, eager to find workable solutions.

Brodies is a great commercial, pragmatic and London-quality firm based in Edinburgh.

Isobel D’Inverno has a very thorough knowledge of private and corporate law.

Heather Gibson is a young lawyer with a great appetite for work.

Duncan Cathie is careful and caring.

Karen Davidson brings real commerciality to the team as an ex-Big 4 partner.

Key clients

Endeavour Acquisition UK Limited/AKKR

Silver Lake

Drum Property Group

Omega Diagnostics Group plc

Drum Development Group

Anadna Properties Limited and Cerberus Capital Management

The Shareholders of FIM Services Limited

FIM Services Limited

Shareholders of Barrhead Travel Group

Dundee Studio

Moorfield Real Estate Fund III (MREF III)


S. Harrison Developments

Work highlights

  • Provided tax advice to Endeavour Acquisition UK on the $1.16bn sale of the Episerver group by US private equity house Accel-KKR to Insight Venture Partners.
  • Assisted Silver Lake with UK tax and stamp duty advice in connection with the recommended cash acquisition of the ZPG group by funds managed by Silver Lake.
  • Advised Drum Property Group on the tax structuring of the Buchanan Wharf development project.
  • Acted for Anadna Properties Ltd in the purchase of Maxim Office Park, Euro Central, Glasgow from Tritax Euro Central EZ Unit Trust.


Dentons' tax team in Scotland has specialist skills across the full gamut of issues, including planning and structuring for corporate deals and reorganisations, real estate tax, cross-border M&A tax issues, financial services tax, and tax planning for high net worth individuals. Practice head Gwen Souter sits in Glasgow is especially renowned for her expertise in international taxation and the structuring of M&A transactions, while Lorna McCaa leads on much of the firm's key work.

Practice head(s):

Gwen Souter

Other key lawyers:

Lorna McCaa; Alastair MacLeod


‘The team at Dentons has deep technical knowledge combined with commercial perspective and an ability to convey complex issues to clients.’

‘Lorna McCaa is able to cut through complex technical issues to identify those that really matter to the client.’

‘Easy to get on with. Engaging, direct and pragmatic. No sitting on the fence.’

Key clients

M&G Real Estate

Standard Life Aberdeen plc

Scottish Equity Partners LLP

The PRS REIT plc

J Sainsbury plc

The Edrington Group Limited

John Menzies plc

FreeAgent Holdings Limited

Dalmore Capital Limited

Hurricane Energy plc

Gatehouse Bank

H.M. Government

Work highlights

  • Advised the Prudential Assurance Company Limited on acquiring a 50% share of a heritable and leasehold interest in Edinburgh Fort Retail Park and Kinnaird Retail Park via a joint venture.
  • Advised the PRS REIT on a partial restructuring of its real estate portfolio to raise £200m of new debt facilities.
  • FreeAgent Holdings appointed the firm to oversee its £53m recommended cash takeover by a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Royal Bank of Scotland.
  • Represented Aberdeen Asian Smaller Companies Trust in the conversion of up to £50m convertible unsecured loan stock.

Burness Paull LLP

Burness Paull LLP's tax practice regularly works in tandem with the firm's well-regarded real estate team to provide full tax support, ranging from structural advice at the outset of the deal through to post-completion issues. The team works across all asset classes and boasts a strong skill set relating to private equity and management incentives. Practice head Ronnie Brown heads the group from Glasgow and has a strong track record of acting for London businesses and Scottish accountancy firms.

Practice head(s):

Ronnie Brown

Other key lawyers:

Gary Chapman; John Finnick; Robert Burns


Burness Paull’s team is able to cover any legal queries a client might have and can flex its approach depending on the client.

Robert Burns is very practical and works to find solutions for his clients.

Ronnie Brown has excellent technical knowledge and is able to explain and apply this to his clients.

Key clients

Taylor Wimpey

Cruden Homes

Springfield Properties

Zhouli Imaging

London and Scottish Investments

Maven Capital Partners

Standard Life



Hg Capital

Faroe Petroleum

Work highlights

  • Advising Standard Life Aberdeen on the acquisitions of financial advisory firms Jones Sheridan Holdings Limited and Cumberland Place Financial Management Limited.
  • Advising A-Plan Insurance on the acquisition of Endsleigh Insurance.
  • Advising James Fisher and Sons on the sale of the entire issued share capital of EDS HV Group Limited.
  • Advising LendingCrowd with its £2m equity fundraising.

MacRoberts LLP

MacRoberts LLP's practice advises on tax issues relating to property transactions, employee share schemes, entrepreneur’s relief and substantial shareholdings relief. The team has recently increased the number of charities on its client roster, advising on tax relating to mergers and other day-to-day issues such as the VAT status of grant income. Ainsley MacLaren  - 'an absolute go-to expert' - is a solicitor and a chartered tax adviser, advising solely on tax matters, while also sitting on the Law Society of Scotland’s tax sub-committee.

Practice head(s):

Ainsley MacLaren


MacRoberts’ tax lawyers are part of a larger team providing everything one would expect from a full-service firm, especially good technical expertise and knowledge.

Ainsley MacLaren is an absolute go-to expert for stamp duty, land and buildings transaction tax and stamp duty land tax.

Key clients

Idox plc

Dow Investments plc (including Renaissance Care)

Breedon Aggregates plc

Boyd Insurance

Hamilton Capital Partners

BAM Properties Limited

British Waterways Board (trading as Scottish Canals)

People’s Postcode Lottery

Sumdog Limited

Muse Developments

Work highlights

  • Acting for Renaissance Care on the acquisition of the entire issued share capitals of Croftbank House Limited and Rosepark Care Home Ltd from the Balmer Group.
  • Appointed to intervene in Breedon Group’s acquisition of the entire issued share capital of Blinkbonny Quarries Limited.
  • Representing the joint venture vendors of Energen Biogas Limited in the drafting of the transactional tax documents required by the purchaser.
  • Advised TCP Atlantic Square Limited on the development, letting and forward funding through L&G of an office development at Atlantic Square, Glasgow.
  • Acted on the reorganisation of the Pacson Group, which included a demerger by way of capital reduction.

Shepherd and Wedderburn

Shepherd and Wedderburn has substantial expertise in land and buildings transactions tax issues, and represents both large corporate clients and individual shareholders across the full spectrum of tax matters. Its key strengths include corporate tax transaction advice, specialist tax advice for individual shareholders and real estate tax. The practice is led by chartered tax adviser Stephen Miller, who has spent more than a decade at the firm.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Miller; Rodger Cairns

Other key lawyers:

Douglas Sinclair


‘Exceptional attention to detail’.

Key clients

FanDuel Ltd

BigBlu Broadband plc

Miller Developments/Miller Homes

Taylor Wimpey plc

Sainsbury’s plc


British Land plc

Reach plc

BAE Systems

Chivas Brothers Ltd/Pernod Ricard SA

Work highlights

  • Acted for Reach plc on its £48m sale of the Echo Building, a former printworks in Liverpool.
  • Advised Qdos Holdings on the tax aspects of the restructuring and sale of part of the group.
  • The team was appointed as sole adviser to Hermes on the tax aspects of its acquisition of the Skypark Campus at Finnieston, Glasgow.
  • Assisted Nucleus Financial Group with the tax aspects of its IPO on AIM.


DWF's Scottish tax team provides advice on share incentives, as well as issues relating to M&A and private equity transactions across a broad range of sectors and clients, including local companies. The team also handles work regarding reports, tax analysis and input into transactions for warranty and indemnity insurers, and assists with Scottish and UK tax issues in the context of transactions for well-known high street brands, real estate investors and project developers. The main name to note is Caroline Colliston who was recently promoted to partner in the Edinburgh office.

Practice head(s):

Caroline Colliston

Key clients

Capita plc

Marine Harvest Scotland

Custodian Reit plc

Element plc

Visit Scotland

Graham’s The Family Dairy Group

Aliter Capital LP

Enertrag AG

Work highlights

  • Advising Ipsum Group Limited, a utilities and infrastructure service provider backed by Aliter Capital, on the acquisition of Specialist Power Engineering Contracts Limited.
  • Advised Capita on the sale of Supplier Assessment Services (Constructionline) which comprised its construction procurement and supply chain services division.
  • Advised on the £32m cross-border sale of Scottish outdoor advertising company Forrest Media to London-based Ocean Outdoor.

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP's corporate tax team distinguishes itself through the wide-ranging corporate transactional and advisory work it handles for its enviable client roster. While maintaining its firmwide strength in the energy, real estate and private equity sectors, the firm has also been involved in significant mandates pertaining to share plans and incentives. Much of the practice's key recent work is made up of tax advice on multimillion-pound transactions, led by Christine Yuill.

Practice head(s):

Christine Yuill

Other key lawyers:

Margaret Rankin


‘The lawyers at Pinsent Masons get on with the job and deal with issues rather than treating them as obstacles.’

‘The team manage to distill very complicated subject areas into targeted pragmatic advice.’

‘Christine Yuill consistently provides quality pragmatic advice – she is clearly up to date on not just the legislation but market practice, she can respond quickly and concisely to queries – often answering questions you didn’t even know you needed to ask.’

Key clients

Skyscanner Holdings Limited

Taylor Hopkinson/SeaFox Apollo 1 Limited

Nevis Capital LLP

CALA Group

Energy Assets Group Limited

Siccar Point Energy Limited

Total SA

Balfour Beatty

Work highlights

  • Advised on the sale of Linnaeus Group to Mars Petcare’s Veterinary Health Group, a part of Mars Incorporated.
  • Advised tesa SE on its acquisition of the entire issued share capital of FormFormForm Ltd from individual sellers.
  • Advised investment funds managed by Alinda Capital Partners which, along with company management, acquired 100% ownership of Kelling Group Limited from Elysian Capital in a secondary buyout.