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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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United Kingdom > Scotland > Dispute resolution > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Commercial litigation

Index of tables

  1. Commercial litigation
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next Generation Partners
  5. Rising stars

Leading individuals: Hall of Fame

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Leading individuals

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Next Generation Partners

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Rising stars

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Brodies LLP fields an 'excellent' team, which is frequently involved in many of Scotland's most high-profile disputes, most notably those arising from food and drink sector contracts, oil and gas contracts, debt and asset recovery and the international supply of goods and services. The team led by Stephen Goldie is equally well versed in handling corporate disputes and has a strong alternative dispute resolution offering. 'Litigation heavyweight' Joyce Cullen and Iain Rutherford, who also handles high-value arbitration claims, are recommended, as is 'bright' professional negligence expert Tony Jones QC, who joined the firm in June 2018 from BTO Solicitors LLP, and associate Monica Connolly, who has particular expertise in high-value IT disputes.

Practice head(s):Stephen Goldie

Other key lawyers:Joyce Cullen; Tony Jones QC; Iain Rutherford; Ken MacDonald; Monica Connolly


'Very professional, friendly, responsive.'

'Joyce Cullen is a pleasure to work with. She always provides pragmatic, and commercially sensible advice.'

'The firm has a track record of hiring some of the best and brightest associates.'

'Joyce Cullen is an unflappable doyenne of Scottish litigation solicitors.'

'Ken MacDonald is a seasoned litigator with a remarkable depth of expertise in the oil and gas sector.'

'Driven, well resourced and committed.'

'Tony Jones QC is bullish yet pragmatic.'

Key Clients

Johnston Press

Highland Wood Energy

Scottish Water Business Stream

Oil States International

McLaughlin and Harvey

PRA Group (UK)



Work highlights

  • Acting for Highland Wood Energy in seeking damages for the early termination of a contract.

Covering a broad range of disputes, Burness Paull LLP acts for clients across various sectors, including financial services, media and energy. The 'very calm and collected' Gary Moffat heads up the 'well organised and very responsive' commercial litigation team, which includes main contact for banking and regulatory disputes Stuart Murdoch, who made partner in February 2018. Recent work includes IP and product liability disputes, banking litigation and insolvency-related disputes, among others. Dispute resolution team head Neil Smith is another key individual.

Practice head(s):Gary Moffat

Other key lawyers:Neil Smith; Colin Hulme; Alan McMillan; Joanna Fulton; Jody Crockett; Stuart Murdoch


'They go the extra mile to ensure the client is always aware what is going on before it happens.'

'Joanna Fulton is very knowledgeable about cross-border litigation issues and excellent at dealing with the practicalities of explaining and translating Scottish court procedures for international clients and lawyers from other jurisdictions.'

'Vast experience, legal knowledge and commercial acumen make Neil Smith a great man for a crisis.'

'A dream to work with.'

'What sets them apart is their quiet authority based on their extensive experience of document and data heavy disputes.'

'Colin Hulme provides practical business-focused advice that keeps the client's goals in mind.'

'Alan McMillan is extremely knowledgeable and thinks outside the box.'

'Very high quality, commercially astute lawyers.'

'Jody Crockett is absolutely dedicated to the client and a pleasure to work with.'

Key Clients

JK Rowling

Pension Protection Fund

Sky UK

AstraZeneca Group

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS)

The Insolvency Service

The Scottish Football Association

Taylor Clark Leisure

James McFadden

Cleveland Bridge UK

Work highlights

  • The team continues to manage Sky’s enforcement programme across Scotland in order to prevent the unauthorised broadcast of sporting events in pubs and clubs throughout the country.
  • Continues to act for RBS in defence of a claim brought by the proprietor of a car dealership; the team achieved a notable success when RBS was absolved of liability (and awarded costs).
  • Acted for Cleveland Bridge UK in a dispute with a subcontractor, Sarens (UK), arising from significant delays to a major installation of motorway bridges in England.
  • Acted for the Pension Protection Fund in a court action arising from the administration of the former Pringle knitwear group.

With particular strength in the energy and financial services sectors, CMS receives regular instructions from national and international blue-chip clients to act in major litigation, including contractual claims and shareholder disputes, while the team led by the 'renowned' Colin Hutton is also experienced in mediation and other ADR forms. 'Bright' financial services and technology sectors specialist Graeme MacLeod and associate Emma Boffey are recommended; Boffey has a specialism in contract, financial services and corporate matters. Gemma Lampert left the firm in January 2019 to work in-house.

Practice head(s):Colin Hutton

Other key lawyers:Graeme MacLeod; Rob Wilson; Alison Gow; Harriet Munro; Valerie Allan; Robin Hutchison; Mark Kirke; Shona Frame; Jan Burgess; Pieter Bekker; Emma Boffey


'We enjoy a long history with CMS and its predecessor firm, Dundas & Wilson. They fully understand our business and go to considerable lengths to work very closely with us.'

'The team is knowledgeable, pragmatic and very approachable. They continue to attract impressive associates and provide a level of support that we would find difficult to match in the Scottish market.'

'Mark Kirke provides excellent, attentive support in construction disputes and he or an able colleague is always available. We have had good work from Colin Hutton and Graeme Bruce in other commercial dispute matters.'

Key Clients


Basalt Infrastructure Partners

Braid Group

Clydesdale Bank


James Fisher and Sons

Land Securities

Lloyds Banking Group


Standard Life

Work highlights

  • Acting for SSE in a high-value dispute before Scottish courts pertaining to the recovery of losses arising from the collapse of a tunnel at the Glendoe hydro-electric scheme.
  • Acted for the insurers of a former firm of solicitors, and one of its former partners, and successfully defended a claim brought by NRAM concerning alleged negligent advice.
  • Advising Basalt Infrastructure Partners III on its breach of warranty and wilful concealment claim following its purchase, via the vehicle Ardmair Bay, of the entire issued share capital of Craig Group where critical information was not disclosed to the buyer.
  • Acting for Clydesdale Bank in its defence of a claim raised by a former customer, alleging various breaches of contractual and statutory duties.
  • Acting for the James Fisher Group in a dispute brought by the Norwegian dredging and excavation specialists, Scanmudring; the pursuers claim for breach of contract and seek payment of hire costs for the scanmachine used to carry out underwater excavation works.

Pinsent Masons LLP is a respected player in the market and utilises its strong cross-border capabilities to act for clients across a wide range of industries. Recently, the team led by 'impressive operator' Jim Cormack QC, a solicitor advocate since September 2018, has been handling high-profile banking litigation, IP and IT disputes and product liability claims as well as commercial disputes arising from energy projects. Craig Connal QC, who also sits as arbitrator, and commercial litigator Jacqueline Harris are other key individuals of the team. Contentious IP expert David Woods made partner in May 2018.

Practice head(s):Jim Cormack QC

Other key lawyers:Craig Connal QC; Jacqueline Harris; Bruce Craig; Joanne Gillies; David Woods


'Jim Cormack is very bright and highly regarded and if that wasn't enough, he is also very pleasant to deal with.'

'David Woods is extremely knowledgeable and helpful.'

'Genuine customer service ethos.'

'The team has an excellent understanding of the commercial issues facing complex negotiations and of the contractual problems businesses have in today's marketplace.'

'Able to explain a complex legal issue in a clear and concise manner.'

Key Clients

News Corp


Balfour Beatty Group

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS)

William Grant & Sons

Imperial Tobacco

Galliford Try Group

Legal & General


KCA Deutag Group

Work highlights

  • Acting for David MacBrayne in an action for breach of contract against ATOS IT Services UK; the contract concerned ATOS' provision of a new ticketing and reservation IT system for the Calmac ferry network.
  • The team continues to act for the IT solutions provider Agilisys in a large-scale IT dispute with CGI IT.
  • Acting for Oricom (insured by Hiscox Underwriting) pursuing a circa £1.1m claim against NHS Lanarkshire arising from the termination of Oricom's contract to provide telecommunications infrastructure and managed technical services support to NHS Lanarkshire.

Shepherd and Wedderburn is well placed to handle a wide range of construction and contractual disputes, including breach of warranty. Insolvency practitioner Gillian Carty heads the 'fantastic' team, which includes the frequently recommended John MacKenzie; he is particularly noted for his expertise in IP and IT disputes. Barbara Bolton left the team in November 2018 to work in-house.

Practice head(s):Gillian Carty

Other key lawyers:John MacKenzie; Elaine Brailsford; Iain Drummond; Alastair Frood; Colin Archibald; David Anderson


'Team of really great lawyers with a wide spread of different expertise and interests.'

Key Clients

TROUW (UK) t/a Skretting


Lochaber Properties

Ayr Environmental Services

Work highlights

  • The team continues to act for Skretting in defence against a claim arising from allegedly defective fish feed.
  • Defending NCTech against a claim brought by Digital Reality Corp (DRC) concerning a damage claim included in the contract.
  • Represented Ayr Environmental Services in pursuing a claim arising from the installation of defective tanks at waste water treatment plants across three sites in Ayrshire.

Addleshaw Goddard acts for corporate entities and individuals in a wide range of contractual and shareholder disputes, including insolvency-related matters. Commercial litigator Peter Anderson joined Simon Catto's team from Clyde & Co LLP in July 2018.

Practice head(s):Simon Catto

Other key lawyers:Peter Anderson; Alan Sinclair

Key Clients

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS)

Work highlights

  • Acting for the UK's largest pub retailer and brewer in a professional negligence claim following issues which arose in relation to the plans drawn up by a firm of architects.
  • Acting for a private individual in a dispute over an agreement entered with the purchasers of shares the client sold.
  • Acting for an estate agency business in a dispute over shareholders provisions.
  • Acting for the former owner of a software development company against the purchasers of the same company in a dispute concerning the alleged breach of a warranty included in the purchase agreement.  
  • Acting for the administrators of a shopfitting company in an action for payment against a health food store company and its guarantor based on a breach of contract.

The 'strong' team at Anderson Strathern has particular expertise in the construction and transport sectors but also acts for clients across various other industries in a broad spectrum of commercial and contractual litigation. Fraser Geddes heads the team, which includes commercial litigator Gillian Jamieson, who was elevated to the partnership in September 2018.

Practice head(s):Fraser Geddes

Other key lawyers:Katrina Lumsdaine; Robert Carr; Jonathan Guy; Fiona Stephen; Gillian Jamieson; Gary Burton


'Straight-talking and confident team.'

Key Clients

Deepak Nitrite

Edge Energy

Burke Joinery

CDS Superstores (International)


Colin Hastings

Work highlights

  • Acting for Edge Energy in a Court of Session action pertaining to an alleged infringement of IP rights.
  • Acting for construction company Burke Joinery in a claim against its supplier, Halspan, concerning defective goods, and in a contemporaneous action by the supplier against the client for unpaid invoices.
  • Acting for a client in a tax appeal before the Inner House of the Court of Session concerning the question whether VAT is payable on portable cabins.
  • Acted for window and door manufacturing company Skaala Group Oy in pursuing a claim for damages against its former managing director, and through him a major insurer.

Grant Hunter's 'strong' team at BTO Solicitors LLP is adept at handling insolvency-related, insurance and professional negligence commercial litigation while also having experience in corporate and partnership disputes. Its client base spans various industries including insurance, banking and finance, construction and property as well as renewable energy; the team also acts for individuals. David Young is recommended for property-related litigation. Tony Jones QC moved to Brodies LLP in June 2018.

Practice head(s):Grant Hunter

Other key lawyers:Bill Speirs; Dorothy Hatfield; Paul Motion; Mark Morton; Angus Crawford; Robin MacPherson; David Young


'Confident and calm team.'

'Paul Motion is highly experienced.'

Key Clients

AIG Europe

Stena Line Ports


Cigna UK

Lloyds Banking Group

NFU Mutual

Post Office

RSA Group

Trump International Golf Links Scotland

Coface UK

Work highlights

  • Defended a Scottish hotelier against the pursuer seeking payment of substantial sums said to haven arisen in respect of management and facilities services provided to the hotel.
  • Acted for Berwickshire Housing Association in a contractual dispute with a developer pertaining to the construction and purchase of two turnkey housing developments comprising 32 and 40 houses respectively.
  • Acting for plc client Pendragon in a Lands Tribunal appeal for compensation arising out of a compulsory purchase order by Glasgow City Council to build a link road through commercial premises operated by the client in Glasgow.

Dentons' 'strong' team is well equipped to represent clients in various domestic and cross-border disputes arising from business transactions and shareholder relations. Its expertise also covers insolvency-related matters. The 'very good' Edinburgh-based Tim Edward, Glasgow partner Douglas Blyth and Aberdeen-based Malcolm Gunnyeon are the main contacts. In 2018, Rona Hutchison left the firm to change career and Ewan Easton retired from private practice.

Practice head(s):Tim Edward; Douglas Blyth; Malcolm Gunnyeon

Other key lawyers:Gareth Hale


'Always listens to the client and provides good balanced advice.'

Key Clients

DuPont Teijin Films UK

CVR Global

Network Rail

The Official Receiver

LOC Group

Highlands and Islands Enterprise

Rieuneau Avocats



Rangers FC Group

Work highlights

  • Acting for a group of 14 retailers, headquartered in Scotland and elsewhere, in a claim for damages against MasterCard and Visa pertaining to multi-lateral interchange fees.
  • Defending Highland and Islands Enterprise against claims of allegedly unlawful state aid granted for the development of Nigg Energy Park; LC Services is the claimant.
  • Instructed by Rangers FC Group to pursue the recovery of a multi-million pound claim in the insolvency of RFC 2012 (the former Rangers Football Club); the claim relates to sums said to be due to the original entity (once owned by Craig Whyte) used to acquire The Rangers Football Club from former owner David Murray.
  • Acted for the farming partnership of JH&W Lamont in a contractual dispute concerning the entitlement of the client, as the granter of an option, to obtain a discharge upon expiry of the option.
  • Defending Scotch Whisky Auctions in Court of Session proceedings raised by Michael Kerrigan for unfair prejudice to a minority shareholder under s994 of the Companies Act 2006.

Harper Macleod LLP's 'very approachable, professional and commercially minded' team is noted for its strong sports sector practice, receiving a steady flow of instructions from sports professional bodies, leading clubs and sports personalities. Other key areas of expertise include banking and finance, energy, real estate and construction-related commercial disputes but the team led by Sandy Hastie also acts in corporate and shareholder disputes.

Practice head(s):Sandy Hastie

Other key lawyers:David Kerr; Jennifer Jack; John McHugh; Carolyn Morgan; E-Ming Fong; Fiona Pask


'The team pulls out the stops to understand the client's point of view and responds in a manner that inspires extreme confidence.'

'Fiona Pask is particularly dedicated, while offering a high degree of professionalism, expert advice and experience.'

'David Kerr is well organised dealing with all procedural matters within the deadlines. He also has excellent commercial acumen.'

'The team is very competent, relaxed under pressure and a pleasure to work with.'

Key Clients

Tom Brake and Chris Leslie MP

Nigel Eccles and others (Founders of FanDuel)

Dragados UK

WebHelp Group

RBS Insurance

Optical Express Group


AIB Group

5 P.M.


Work highlights

  • Representing the founders of FanDuel in their pursuit of a substantial claim against the directors of FanDuel concerning their undervaluation of the company in the context of its merger with Paddy Power Betfair (PPB).
  • Representing the liquidators of a Scottish distribution company, Grampian MacLennan's Distribution Services (GMDSL), in their defence of an ongoing appeal to the UK Supreme Court concerning the sale of assets at a discounted price.
  • Represent the majority shareholders of 5 P.M., which operates the nationwide restaurant discount website, in a long-running dispute with minority shareholder and director, David Maguire.
  • Successfully represented Prospect Healthcare in its defence of an appeal to the Inner House of the Court of Session pertaining to third party costs.

MacRoberts LLP has a strong IT and IP litigation practice but is also well versed in representing clients in insurance and energy litigation alongside disputes arising from insolvency. Team head Julie Hamilton is a 'very capable and experienced litigator'.

Practice head(s):Julie Hamilton

Other key lawyers:Gillian Craig; Leon Breakey


'Well balanced and responsive team that delivers useable and practical advice.'

'Leon Breakey is calm and measured.'

Key Clients

The Scottish Government

French Duncan


CCHG t/a Vaporized


The Football Company (Scotland)

NHS Lothian

Glasgow City Council

Bairds Malt


Work highlights

  • Acted for the defender in alleged trade mark infringement proceedings (in respect of products and services) in the Court of Session.
  • Acting for an executive agency of the Scottish government in its termination of a large ICT contract with an international IT services contractor.
  • Instructed to act on behalf of William Wright and Robert Croxen of KPMG in their capacity as the supervisors in the Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) of House of Fraser and House of Fraser Stores; it concerned a challenge by a number of landlords to the CVA on the grounds that it was unfairly prejudicial and suffered from material irregularities.
  • Defending Ballyvesey against an action for damages brought by Caithness Flagstone; the client supplied the pursuer, on hire purchase terms, with heavy plant equipment which allegedly was not fit for purpose.

Davidson Chalmers Stewart's 'strong' team is led by the 'excellent and very sharp' Sheila Webster, who is 'particularly strong in property litigation' and 'very nice to deal with'. Other areas of expertise include contractual and contract interpretation disputes, including breach of warranty claims, and negligence claims against solicitors and engineers. The 'smart' Greg Flett made partner in May 2018, while criminal solicitor advocate Laura Irvine joined from BTO Solicitors LLP in May 2018.

Practice head(s):Sheila Webster

Other key lawyers:Greg Flett; Laura Irvine


'They work well together and support each other in the preparation of complex litigation.'

'Responds quickly and provides instructions in a clear and well ordered fashion.'

'The team is very personable and down to earth.'

'Their knowledge of commercial litigation is second to none.'

'Sheila Webster stands out. She is clever and a very experienced commercial litigator. Sheila is a safe pair of hands.'

'Very commercial and practical advice.'

Key Clients

William Grant & Sons Distillers

Alba Energy

Robert Kidd

Tweed Homes

Centenary 6

Chris Stewart Group

Pegasus Fire Protection Company

Ury Estate

Pizza Hut Restaurants (UK)

Cairngorm Mountain

Work highlights

  • Acting for the developer, Tweed Homes, claiming significant damages against Clydesdale Bank; the claim is based on breach of promise allegations.
  • Defending Scottish Borders Council against a claim brought by Ramoyle Developments arising from the council's decision to resile from a contract for the purchase of a property.
  • Advising Pegasus Fire Protection Company on a professional negligence claim against its contractors, who acted in the conversion of a former mill building to residential properties, and in relation to a significant potential damages claim from a third party.
  • Acting for FM Group in pursuing a claim against BP Exploration and Drilling Company for the loss of development value due to the presence of an oil pipeline.

DLA Piper Scotland LLP is routinely engaged in cross-jurisdictional disputes and has particular expertise in handling public sector, property and construction-related disputes. Alastair Drummond is the main contact.

Practice head(s):Alistair Drummond

Other key lawyers:Hazel Moffat; James McGachie

Key Clients



Assurant General Insurance

Babcock Group

Clydesdale Bank


British Airways


Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)

Scottish Police Authority



Work highlights

  • Representing the Institute of Apprentices in an appeal brought by a trailblazer group, challenging the decision by the institute to recommend to the Secretary of State that the funding for certain course categories should be revised downwards.
  • Advising Lothian Amusements on the enforcement of a package of contractual arrangements for a development site in Portobello, Edinburgh.
  • Acted for Consort Healthcare in a dispute over a project agreement for the construction of new facilities at the Victoria Hospital in Fife, and raised proceedings in the Court of Session against its contractors and the independent tester following the discovery of faulty pipework and defects to the heating system.
  • Acting for developer Broad Sands in a defects liability dispute pertaining to a residential development in North Berwick, Scotland.

The team at DWF is experienced in handling domestic and cross-border commercial disputes as well as corporate litigation pertaining to the operation of corporate entities and shareholders' rights; recently, it has been particularly active in reputation and product-related matters. Following Euan McSherry's move to Aberdein Considine in November 2018, Naomi Pryde now heads the team; she divides her time between Edinburgh and London and joined the firm from Dentons in January 2019, while debt recovery expert Ricky Cannon joined from Brodies LLP in March 2018.

Practice head(s):Naomi Pryde

Other key lawyers:Ricky Cannon; Jill Sinclair; Andrew Lothian; Alison Grant; Jonathan Gaskell

Key Clients

Scottish Water Business Stream

Santander Consumer UK

Jaguar Land Rover


Grahams the Family Dairy and Mactaggart & Mickel

Work highlights

  • Defending Jaguar Land Rover against any product liability claims made in Scotland.
  • Successfully progressed a statutory appeal in the Inner House of the Court of Session against a decision of the Scottish ministers to refuse planning permission in principle for the redevelopment of land at Kerse Dairy Farm, Bridge of Allan.

Gilson Gray frequently acts in disputes featuring cross-border elements and has particular expertise in the construction, property, infrastructure, financial services and oil and gas sectors. In addition to its commercial litigation capabilities, the 'commercially minded and client-focused' team led by 'very experienced first-class litigator' Rosie Walker is also adept at handling corporate and shareholder disputes. The 'exceptionally user-friendly' Keith Anderson was promoted to partner in June 2018 and has particular experience in contentious insolvency matters.

Practice head(s):Rosie Walker

Other key lawyers:Keith Anderson


'Rosie Walker and Keith Anderson have an impressive command of very complex litigation, with an attention to detail combined with a focus on the greater strategic objectives.'

'Rosie Walker genuinely wants to do a good job for the client. She is an excellent team player, pragmatic and commercially minded.'

'Very high quality service.'

Key Clients

QTS Group

Shaf Rasul


Alistair Carmichael

Sir Fraser Morrison

Caledonian Trust

Len Lothian

Class One Traffic Management

Begbies Traynor (Central)

Edinburgh Academy

The Compass School

Work highlights

  • Acting in a dispute arising out of the sale of a UAE business by the client, a Scottish partnership, to a Californian corporation involving questions of private international law, constructive trusts, breach of contract, fiduciary duty, UAE statutory liability and allegations of fraud.
  • Defence of an action raised in the Commercial Court in Ghent, Belgium, against Wilson Imports relating to claims made under an alleged distribution arrangement, among others.
  • Acting for the defender in a Court of Session Commercial Action concerning an alleged £6m payment purportedly due under a shareholders agreement to an outgoing investor.
  • Acting for a commercial agent in a claim against a Danish company for commission payments.
  • Acting for the defender in an action relating to payment under a construction contract following allegations of defective work.

Lindsays assists clients with various corporate and commercial disputes and has particular expertise in property and real estate-related work. Douglas Millar heads the 'thorough' team.

Practice head(s):Douglas Millar

Other key lawyers:Brent Haywood; John Bett; Paul Harper; David Armstrong

Key Clients

David King, chairman of Ranger International Football Club

Scottish Water

Arnold Clark Automobiles

Healthcare Environmental Services

British Boxing Board of Control

The University of Edinburgh

Lamond & Murray

Scottish Youth Hostels Association

Campbell & Kennedy

CJ Lang & Son

Work highlights

  • Acting for David King, chairman of Rangers International Football Club, in a dispute with the Panel on Takeovers and Mergers concerning the acquisition of shares in the club.
  • Continues to act for construction and roads maintenance business McGivney Construction in litigation pertaining to its former director's breach of fiduciary duties.
  • Acted for property management business Cullen Property in a dispute with the owner of a property in central Edinburgh following the refusal to pay the client for renovation works amounting to over £140,000.
  • Acted for Scottish Environmental and Outdoor Education Centres Association in a dispute over contradictory invoices for gas with the supplier.

Morton Fraser receives regular instructions from high-net-wort individuals and other private clients to act in disputes arising from their business activities, but the team is equally well placed to assist corporate and public sector clients with various commercial and corporate disputes. Richard McMeeken is the main contact.

Practice head(s):Richard McMeeken

Other key lawyers:Maggie Moodie; Nicola Ross

Key Clients

Crannog Investments


Tesco Stores

Green Town (Heartlands)

Standard Life

Environment Agency

BAM Developments

Lloyds Bank Commercial Finance


Empire Systems

Work highlights

  • Acted for the administrators of Granite City Assets in relation to a corporate dispute arising out of a commercial transaction in Aberdeen.
  • Acted for an individual in an equine sector dispute pertaining to alleged false information provided on the height of a horse prior to its sale for competition purposes.
  • Acted for an investor in a £1m investment dispute in the Glasgow Sheriff Court.
  • Acted for a well known Scottish family in a complex partnership dispute worth £500k.
  • Acted for Graham & Sibbald, a national firm of chartered surveyors, in a dispute with a former partner concerning questionable expenses.

'With considerable expertise in Scotland's northern markets', Stronachs LLP is particularly active in the region's key sectors such as energy and construction, while the 'sensible and commercial' team also increased its share of cross-border litigation. 'Great tactician and pragmatic litigator' Robert McDiarmid heads the team, which lost Robert McDonald in March 2018 following his appointment as sheriff.

Practice head(s):Robert McDiarmid

Other key lawyers:Colin Sandilands


'Responsive and practical in their approach.'

'Take time to get to know their clients and their issues.'

'Personable, approachable, professional, responsive.'

'Cost-conscious, efficient and organised in their instructions, preparation and administration.'

'Colin Sandilands has an easy style which overlays a clear grasp of the issues, prospects and commercial realities of the situation.'

'Robert McDiarmid offers fantastic support and extremely thorough preparation to achieve a first class result.'

'Easy to communicate with, clear itemised billing, good operators who inspire confidence in their clients.'

Key Clients

Andover Development Company

Marshall Errock Construction

Altens Development Company

Sparks Mechanical Services

Nu-Style Products

Work highlights

  • Acting for the sellers of an oil and gas service company in defence against a multi-million pounds warranty claim.
  • Acting for a major international oil services company in a multi-jurisdictional dispute concerning claims of breach of contract, patent infringement and other matters.
  • Acting for a Middle Eastern services company in a claim for damages arising from breaches of a services contract, among others.
  • Acting for CRU Holdings in a dispute with its landlord over a rent free period and lease interpretation matters.

The 'very business oriented' Euan McSherry now heads the team at Aberdein Considine following his arrival from DWF in November 2018 and former practice head Leonie Donald's departure in July 2018. The team is well placed to assist clients with various disputes concerning commercial contracts, insolvency disputes and litigation concerning the operation of corporate entities and shareholder rights.

Practice head(s):Euan McSherry

Other key lawyers:Ross Webb

Key Clients


Marine Harvest




PMAC Scientific

The A & S Leisure Group

Shepherd Chartered Surveyors

Griffins Chartered  Accountants

Food and Drink Hub


Mark Coulter

DASH Properties

Work highlights

  • Defending Pfizer in a Court of Session litigation case alleging that one of its heart drugs caused heart attacks and strokes.
  • Defended PMAC Scientific in a dispute over a share purchase agreement; the action was raised by the vendor.

Balfour+Manson LLP assists clients, including individuals and corporate entities, with various contractual, corporate and shareholder disputes. Gordon Deane and chairwoman Elaine Motion jointly head the team.

Practice head(s):Gordon Deane, Elaine Motion

Other key lawyers:David Flint; David McIntosh

Work highlights

  • Acted for a minority shareholder in a long-running shareholder dispute.
  • Acted for the NHS in Court of Session proceedings to claw back a substantial overpayment of a lump sum pension payment made to a retired doctor.

Clyde & Co LLP is best known for undertaking commercial litigation as a result of instructions from insurers or direct from nominated corporates. As well as its insurance sector expertise, the team led by Gordon Keyden also handles various construction-related disputes as well as product and professional liability matters.

Practice head(s):Gordon Keyden

Other key lawyers:Gavin Henderson; Anne Kentish; Andrew Constable; Duncan Batchelor; Vikki Melville

MBM Commercial's 'client-focused' team is best known for defending individuals and SME clients in proceedings against banks and other financial institutions, which frequently pertain to property portfolios, development funding and contractual matters. The 'refreshingly candid and supportive' Cat MacLean is the main contact.

Practice head(s):Cat MacLean


'The team has an ability to take on banks and vulture funds; they are not conflicted and are very well equipped to do so.'

'Cat MacLean is approachable and very knowledgeable with a wealth of experience and astute commercial approach. Her experience in litigating against banks is unmatched in the Scottish legal market.'

'They are creative, intellectually curious and not phased by taking on novel and potentially difficult matters.'

Key Clients

Ballantyne Property Services

Murraybrooke Properties

Work highlights

  • Successfully defended Ballantyne Property Services in repossession proceedings concerning a property portfolio worth circa £3m.
  • Following Promontoria buying the client's debt from Clydesdale Bank, the team successfully defended the clients against bankruptcy proceedings interdicting Promontoria and retaining judgement on appeal.
  • Represented Murraybrooke Properties in a dispute with Allied Irish Bank over development funding provided by the bank.
  • Successfully defended clients in repossession proceedings brought by Promontoria.

As well as its commercial litigation expertise, the team at Shoosmiths routinely acts in insolvency and banking-related litigation. The 'outstanding' Stuart Clubb heads the team.

Practice head(s):Stuart Clubb

Other key lawyers:Andrew Foyle

Key Clients

Boots UK

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS)


British Gas

Calor Gas

Grafton Merchanting GB

Screwfix Direct

Volkswagen Financial Services


Work highlights

  • Representing a bank in a Court of Session commercial action for the payment of sums due under an invoice finance agreement.
  • Acting for the insurers of a car manufacturer in the defence of a Court of Session action in which the pursuer is seeking damages arising from an alleged failure of the electronic parking brake.
  • Acting for a client in a high-value and multi-party contractual dispute in the Technology and Construction Court concerning made-to-order bolts that failed during use.

Debt recovery

Index of tables

  1. Debt recovery
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next Generation Partners

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1

Aberdein Considine's extensive roster of lender clients is testimony for the team's 'strength in banking sector work', which includes secured mortgage litigation, asset recovery and mortgage fraud matters alongside other types of residential and commercial banking litigation. Myra Scott heads the team. Leonie Donald left private practice in July 2018 while lender services expert Laura Browne was appointed consultant January 2019.

Practice head(s):Myra Scott

Other key lawyers:Laura Browne; Ross Webb


'The firm has managed to find the perfect balance between corporate governance, first-class service and client management.'

'They continue to look for innovative ways to enhance a customer experience whilst maintaining a high standard of quality.'

'No matter who you deal with at Aberdein Considine, you are always treated as an individual and not a number.'

'Offers a wide range of debt recovery services all to a high standard.'

Key Clients

Lloyds Banking Group


Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS)

Yorkshire Building Society (YBS)

TSB Bank


Just Retirement

Pepper (UK)

Virgin Money


West Bromwich Building Society

Atom Bank

Brodies LLP routinely handles debt and asset recovery work for banks and other financial institutions, debt purchasers and debt collection agencies as well as utility providers. Stephen Goldie and Iain Rutherford jointly head the 'very professional' team.

Practice head(s):Stephen Goldie; Iain Rutherford


'The team's attitude to their clients and work sets a very good example within the industry.'

'They have sound knowledge about the Scottish debt recovery and litigation process.'

'The team is quick to respond and answers any questions you may have, despite the busy caseload they have.'

Key Clients

Moneybarn No.1 t/a Moneybarn

Scottish Water Business Stream t/a Business Stream


Credit Style

PRA Group (UK)


Work highlights

  • Acting as Clearwin’s sole supplier of collections and litigation services in Scotland in relation to pursuing customers for unpaid contract sums.

Morton Fraser is well versed in advising FCA-regulated clients and other lenders on internal processes and FCA requirements but the team led by Bill Stark also provides wide-ranging debt recovery services to public and education sector clients as well as self-invested personal pension (SIPP) providers, PLCs, SMEs and individuals.

Practice head(s):Bill Stark

Other key lawyers:Maggie Moodie; Nicola Ross


'We find Morton Fraser to be very responsive and they provide very good advice. We feel confident in their abilities to get good results for our clients. Their communication lines are excellent so we know what is happening with each case.'

'The firm's solicitors are very interactive and thoughtful. '

Key Clients

Glasgow Credit Union

Advantedge Commercial Finance (North)

Commsave Credit Union

Central Demolition

Marsh Finance


Work highlights

  • Acting for the joint administrators of Extra Energy Supply in the pursuit of unpaid invoices for the provision of gas and electricity.
  • Regular assistance with the recovery of sums as sole supplier of debt recovery services to the Scottish Environment Protection Society.
  • Acting for Glasgow Credit Union and seven other credit unions in the pursuit of unpaid loans.

Providing full-service debt recovery support, Shoosmiths frequently works in close co-operation with its litigation team to assist clients with financial services, commercial business to business and insolvency sector recoveries. The 'excellent' Rod Macphail heads up the 'strong and very experienced' team.

Practice head(s):Rod Macphail

Other key lawyers:Andrew Foyle; Stuart Clubb


'Unique offering in the Scottish market place.'

'They know their stuff.'

'Andrew Foyle is very client-focused, hugely experienced and user-friendly.'

'Competent, thorough and innovative.'

'They are very proactive in providing alternative solutions.'

'The team takes a robust but practical approach to all claims.'

'All in all a complete and very satisfactory service.'

'High success rates.'

'Deals with requests quickly and efficiently.'

Key Clients

Aldermore Bank

Alex M Adamson

Arrow Global

Bibby Financial Services

Breedon Aggregates

Cabot Credit Management

Close Asset Finance

DM Hall

First Response Finance

Hays Specialist Recruitment


Scottish & Southern Energy

Mark Higgins' team at Ascent Legal Scotland is a respected player in the market and acts for many institutional lenders.

Practice head(s):Mark Higgins

With particular strength in the public and housing sectors, Harper Macleod LLP frequently assists clients with the recovery of pension payments alongside rent and other arrears form tenants and factored owners but the team's client roster also includes various commercial entities and financial institutions; the latter receive regular assistance with unsecured debt recovery matters. Dawn McKenzie heads up the 'personable and approachable' team.

Practice head(s):Dawn McKenzie


'Experts in what they do.'

Key Clients

National Car Park

Link Group

Sanctuary Scotland Housing Association

Scottish Borders Housing Association

Accountant in Bankruptcy

Matthew Clark Wholesale

John W Grant & Sons

Stirling Park

Cairn Housing Association

West of Scotland Housing Association

Irvine Housing Association

Complete Storage and Interiors

The 'efficient and totally reliable' team at MacRoberts LLP is co-led by Leon Breakey and Stephen Cowan and best known for its expertise in handling debt recovery work in the property management, financial services, construction and food and drink sectors.

Practice head(s):Leon Breakey; Stephen Cowan


'They are genuinely committed to providing a high level of service and client support.'

'They take time to properly understand the issues and then deliver pragmatic, balanced and sensible debt recovery advice.'

'Stephen Cowan displays calm equanimity in the face of challenging, complex and often adversarial situations, and responds quickly and professionally.'

'Excellent personal one-to-one advice.'

'Stephen Cowan will always provide an honest opinion on the probable success rate of individual actions.'

Key Clients

Cemex UK Operations

Speirs Gumley Property Management

Flogas Britain

John Brown Caterhire




Work highlights

  • Instructed by Clyde Scaffolding to recover £200,000 unpaid hire charges.

TLT has a fine reputation for secured and unsecured lending recovery work alongside asset based recovery matters and is most active in the finance, food and drink, retail and energy sectors. Litigators John Paul Sheridan and Tom McEntegart are the main contacts.

Practice head(s):John Paul Sheridan; Tom McEntegart

Other key lawyers:Alan Munro; Tony Reynolds


'TLT provide us with the expertise and knowledge in Scotland that know that very few firms in England can provide. The firm and those whom we deal with are always trying to think outside the box, offering different angles on the Scottish legal system which is often perceived as outdated. This differs with other firms who will just verbatim recite the law and adhere to age-old traditions of recovery.'

'We've worked with John Paul Sheridan for many years. His advice over the years has been spot on and invaluable. The individuals whom I deal with are invariably available to take your call or will call back as soon as they can, if they are not available they will arrange for other just as qualified to discuss the matter or issue.'

'Tom McEntegart and Louise Chopra are the go-to people for me in TLT.'

Key Clients

Lloyds Banking Group

UK Asset Resolution





Target Group

Virgin Money

Landmark Mortgages

Royal Bank of Scotland

Work highlights

  • Acted for NRAM in a contested repossession proceeding to recover a substantial country house in Aberdeenshire.

Anderson Strathern's client roster includes SMEs, public sector bodies and RSLs as well as banks and other financial institutions who regularly instruct the team with a wide range of commercial recovery matters. Property litigator Fiona Stephen and commercial litigator Fraser Geddes are the main contacts. Litigator Gillian Jamieson was elevated to the partnership in September 2018.

Practice head(s):Fiona Stephen; Fraser Geddes

Other key lawyers:Alistair Dean; Gillian Jamieson

Key Clients

Midlothian Council

Northern Lighthouse Board

JKM Industrial Supply Merchants

Bridgend Garage


Brandon Hire

Hayman Group

Stirling Park

Work highlights

  • Providing a full debt recovery service, predominantly in relation to the recovery of defaulted hire purchase and personal loan agreements.
  • Providing Brandon Hire with the full range of debt recovery matters including issuing letters, court proceedings and enforcement.

BTO Solicitors LLP has a strong profile for property management work, which frequently involves rent arrears, while, as another key area of expertise, banks regularly instruct the 'knowledgeable' team to handle insolvency-related matters. 'Supportive' litigator Grant Hunter is the main contact and also acts in defence of debt recovery actions.

Practice head(s):Grant Hunter

Other key lawyers:Dorothy Hatfield; David Young


'The firm is very much on the ball and can be relied upon to deliver good results.'

'The team is easy to deal with.'

Key Clients

Lloyds Bank Group Recoveries Commercial Banking

American Express Services Europe

Coface UK

Cigna Global Health

Mactaggart & Mickel Group

Clyde Valley Group

Life Property Management

Speirs Gumley Property Management

Argyll Community Housing Association (ACHA)

Barony Universal Products

Greenbelt Group

Stena Group

Work highlights

  • Acted for a Scottish hotelier in defence of commercial proceedings brought by a company against the client seeking payment of substantial sums said to have arisen in respect of management and facilities services to a hotel.
  • Ongoing assistance to Life Property Management with the issuance of demand letters and subsequent court actions.  
  • Assisting a landlord with the recovery of significant rent arrears.

Dentons provides commercial and compliance advice on volume debt and asset recovery in the debt purchase, banking and asset finance, utilities, oil and gas and general commercial sectors. Litigators Frank Johnstone and Douglas Blyth are the main contacts; Johnstone enjoys an 'excellent reputation in the market'.

Practice head(s):Frank Johnstone; Douglas Blyth

Key Clients

RCI Financial Services

Clydesdale Bank

Link Financial

Shawbrook Bank

Startline Motor Finance

Network Rail Infrastructure

Toyota Financial Services UK

FCA Automotive Services UK



Agricultural Mortgage Corporation

Ison Harrison

Work highlights

  • Acting for the landlords of a commercial property against its tenants seeking to recover arrears of rental payments.
  • Acting for a Jersey law firm in respect of the recovery of legal fees from a former client based in Scotland.
  • Representing Castle Water in litigation matters throughout Scotland and England to recover outstanding water and sewerage charges.
  • Representing a client in debt recovery matters throughout Scotland and England to recover outstanding maintenance fees from several timeshare resorts.

The 'up and coming' team at Gilson Gray is led by David Alexander and acts for a diverse client base, including small local businesses, multinational companies and individuals. Its focus lies on property sector work and recovering debt for commercial entities but the team also defends individuals against payment claims.

Practice head(s):David Alexander

Key Clients

DTW Associates

D. J. Alexander

Stirling Park

Scott & Co

Fife Housing Association

SRA Ventures

Graham + Sibbald

Global Voices

Work highlights

  • Advising on all of MGM Timber’s debt recovery needs, including court actions.
  • Dealing with all debt recovery matters for YESSS Electrical in Scotland.
  • Assisting a commercial landlord with rent arrears.
  • Ongoing support for Scotmid with the recovery of possession and the recovery of outstanding rent, repair and dilapidation costs.

Much of Shepherd and Wedderburn's workload pertains to the real estate and financial services sectors where the team led by commercial litigator Elaine Brailsford routinely assists with the recovery of debt arising from leases, timeshare management charges and service charges as well as asset recovery and secured and unsecured debt recovery matters.

Practice head(s):Elaine Brailsford

Other key lawyers:Alastair Frood; Gillian Carty; Stephen Humphrey

Key Clients

Ernst & Young (EY)

Hermes Unit Property Trust


FRP Advisory

UKAR UK Asset Resolution

Close Brothers

Macdonald Resorts

Paragon Mortgages


The City of Edinburgh Council

National House Building Council (NHBC)

Clydesdale Bank

Work highlights

  • Handling all debt recovery matters for the City of Edinburgh Council, including heritage arrears.
  • Advised Macdonald Resorts on the recovery of unpaid management charges for a variety of timeshare resorts across the UK.

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