Corporate tax in Scotland

Brodies LLP

Brodies LLP’s tax team is well-placed to serve the needs of high-net-worth individuals, families and their businesses; the practice works closely with members of the personal and family team. Alan Barr and Isobel d’Inverno are the co-heads of the practice. D’Inverno has deep knowledge of land and buildings transaction tax (LBTT) and stamp duty land tax (SDLT). Heather Gibson is recommended for her expertise in oil and gas taxation and HMRC excise duty approvals.

Practice head(s):

Alan Barr; Isobel d’Inverno

Other key lawyers:

Heather Gibson; Bob Langridge


 ‘Isobel is extremely knowledgeable about tax and very generous with her time on what is not a fee paying matter’.

‘Brodies LLP specializes in Scottish law’.

‘I have been impressed by their teamwork and knowledge’.      

‘Isobel D’Inverno is a corporate tax specialist who is firm, knowledgeable and decisive’.

‘Heather Gibson has good knowledge of tax and trust law’.

‘Brodies have a long standing knowledge of our business and aspirations’. 

‘We receive pragmatic and commercially focused advice’. 

‘We get solutions as well as risks being highlighted’. 

Key clients

Capreon funds

Lalique Group SA

Drum Property Group

Omega Diagnostics Group plc

Drum Development Group

Anadna Properties Limited and Cerberus Capital Management

Gresham House plc

FIM Services Limited

The shareholders of Paterson Arran Limited

Dana Petroleum

Moorfield Real Estate Fund III (MREF III)

Janus Henderson

LCN Capital Partners

Work highlights

  • Provided UK tax and incentives advice to CBRE in connection with the recommended £260m acquisition of Telford Homes PLC.
  • Advised Lalique Group SA on the tax aspects of the acquisition of the Glenturret distillery and whisky brand from Highland Distillers (part of the Edrington Group).
  • Advised Capreon on several matters, including the tax aspects of refinancing and restructuring UK commercial property investments.


Dentons' Scottish tax practice handles a broad range of matters, including planning and structuring for corporate deals and reorganisations, value-added tax, financial services tax and employment tax. Team head Gwen Souter, who is a chartered accountant, is adept at providing international tax advice to listed companies, privately held businesses and multinational groups. Lorna McCaa is recommended for corporate and real estate tax advice, and cross-border deals.

Practice head(s):

Gwen Souter

Other key lawyers:

Lorna McCaa; Alastair MacLeod

Key clients

M&G Real Estate (various funds)

Hyundai Asset Management

Scottish Equity Partners LLP

The PRS REIT plc

J Sainsbury plc

The Edrington Group Limited

John Menzies plc

FreeAgent Holdings Limited

Hansa Trust plc

Hurricane Energy plc

Work highlights

  • Provided tax advice to KPS Capital Partners on aspects of their US$ 1.8 bn acquisition of Howden, a Glasgow headquartered multinational group
  • Advised Edrington Distillers Limited on the sale of its Cutty Sark Whisky brand to French spirits group La Martiniquaise-Bardinet.
  • Structuring the acquisition and financing of a Jersey company owning a property at Gyle Square, Edinburgh.

Burness Paull LLP

Burness Paull LLP is well regarded for its corporate finance and related tax expertise, particularly in relation to private equity and management incentives. The team advises on the complex tax aspects of corporate deals in Scotland, the UK and internationally. Real estate tax matters are another area of focus, with the team providing structural advice at all stages of transactions, ranging from the outset of the transaction to post-completion and the overseeing of LBTT and SDLT. Team head Ronnie Brown is noted for his experience of advising London businesses and Scottish accountancy firms.

Practice head(s):

Ronnie Brown


‘Ronnie Brown and John Finnick provided excellent tax advice with a friendly tone.’

‘The team are always responsive and helpful whenever we call on them.’

‘Ronnie Brown has provided excellent advice.’

Key clients

Management of The Foundry Visionmongers

Asklepios BioPharmaceutical, Inc

Murgitroyd Group PLC

SST Sensing Limited

i3 Energy plc

First Mortgage Direct

Royal London Mutual Insurance Society Limited

The shareholders of McConechy’s Tyre Service Limited

Sword Charteris Limited

Magnesium Capital LLP

Springfield Properties Limited

Work highlights

  • Provided tax advice during the takeover of the Foundry by Roper Technologies for £410m in cash from Hg.
  • Advising AskBio on the buy-side during the acquisition of Edinburgh-based Synpromics Ltd.
  • Advised Murgitroyd on its de-listing and takeover by a special purpose vehicle affiliated with Sovereign Capital Partners LLP.

MacRoberts LLP

MacRoberts LLP’s tax team provides transactional tax advice to corporates and business owners. The firm has recently seen an uptick in instructions from the charities sector, where it advises on mergers and consolidations, and charity tax trading matters. On the property side, the practice handles VAT and SDLT/LBTT issues. It is also experienced in providing tax planning advice to shareholders in relation to entrepreneurs' relief and substantial shareholdings relief. Employee share schemes are another area of expertise. Practice head Ainsley MacLaren sits on the Law Society of Scotland’s Tax Sub-Committee and the Tax Committee of the Scottish Property Federation.

Practice head(s):

Ainsley MacLaren


‘Apart from her wider tax knowledge, Ainsley McLaren is my go to person in Stamp Duties and Land and Buildings Transaction Tax.’


Key clients

Wm Morrison Supermarkets PLC

Breedon Aggregates plc

JPI Media Limited (previously Johnston Press plc)

Dow Investments plc (including Renaissance Care)

Muse Developments

BAM Properties

British Waterways Board/Scottish Canals

Black & Lizars Limited

Douglas Laing & Company

CCHG (trading as Vaporize)

Work highlights

  • Provided transactional tax support to the sellers of Cultivate Software Limited, an Edinburgh based Software consultancy business to international food delivery service, Deliveroo.
  • Provided transactional tax support to the vendor of J. Thomson Colour Printers Limited in the sale of the entire issued share capital of the company to Bell & Bain.
  • Provided transaction tax support to the corporate finance team in relation to the acquisition by Douglas Laing & Company of Strathearn Distillery, a Scottish whiskey distillery established in 2013 in Perth.

Shepherd and Wedderburn

Shepherd and Wedderburn has notable experience of undertaking real estate tax matters - including SDLT, LBTT and VAT planning - for charitable clients and developers of student accommodation. Other core strengths include corporate tax transaction advice, bespoke tax advice for individual clients and specialist tax advice for individual shareholders. Rodger Cairns jointly heads up the team with chartered tax adviser Stephen Miller, who is recommended for his experience of the tax aspects of corporate acquisitions, disposals and restructurings. Douglas Sinclair made partner.

Practice head(s):

Rodger Cairns; Stephen Miller

Other key lawyers:

Douglas Sinclair


‘Exceptional attention to detail’.

Key clients

JP Morgan Chase


Miller Homes Limited

Taylor Wimpey plc

Sainsbury’s plc


British Land plc

Mint Office Properties Limited

BAE Systems

BDL Hotels

Work highlights

  • Advised the shareholders of DeltaDNA on the tax aspects of the sale of the company to San Francisco-based Unity Software, one of the largest games engine providers in the world.
  • Advised Forsa Energy Limited on the tax aspects of its sale of its 350MW consent portfolio of onshore wind projects to BayWa r.e. UK Limited.
  • Advised on the tax aspects of the acquisition of the Mint Building, Leeds, which is the headquarters of airline company Jet2.


DWF handles a wide range of issues for clients, including tax and share incentive advice, and M&A and private equity-related tax. The firm also provides real estate tax advice to high street brands in relation to Scottish and UK transactions. Professional indemnity is another area of focus, where the team advises on allegations of negligent tax advice and failed tax compliance. The client base includes SMEs and publicly listed companies. Caroline Colliston is the key practitioner in Scotland.

Practice head(s):

Caroline Colliston

Key clients

Boost (Bidco) Limited (part of Aliter Capital)

Mowi (previously known as Marine Harvest Scotland Ltd)

Marks and Spencer plc

Custodian Reit plc

Graham’s The Family Dairy Group

LDC and other individual sellers

Perle Hotels

Boston Group (Bidco) Limited (part of Aliter Fund LP)

PSC Insurance Group Limited

Acamar Limited

Work highlights

  • Providing tax deal support to Aliter Fund LLP on multiple acquisitions.
  • Providing tax deal support to Custodian REIT Plc on acquisitions and tax advice on group reorganisation post acquisitions.
  • Acting for LDC and the other shareholders on the sale of CMS Windows to Maven Capital.

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP is well regarded for advising FTSE 100 companies, institutional investors, entrepreneurs and government bodies on the tax aspects of large M&A and public takeovers. The firm generates mandates from clients operating in the manufacturing, infrastructure, energy, financial services and real estate sectors. Practice head Christine Yuill is renowned for her experience of corporate and business tax, employee share incentive schemes and property tax issues, including VAT and SDLT.

Practice head(s):

Christine Yuill

Other key lawyers:

Margaret Rankin


‘Christine Yuill has an amazing ability to translate complex corporate tax issues into understandable, contemporary and bespoke advice that we can actually digest and act on.’

‘Marketing leading knowledge in corporate tax and share schemes.’

‘Christine Yuill is a genuine expert and has always been able to provide us with incisive advice.’


Key clients

Ithaca Energy

Abstract group of companies


Nevis Capital LLP

CALA Group

Energy Assets Group Limited

CH&Co Limited

Total E&P Limited

Ability Hotels

Lloyds Development Capital

PfP Capital

Work highlights

  • Advised Ithaca Energy on its $2 bn acquisition of Chevron’s North Sea business.
  • Advised PfP Capital on the formation of a fund being established to invest in mid-market rental properties in Scotland.
  • Advised Total on the disposal of their interests in ten assets located in the Eastern North Sea.