Firms To Watch: Commercial litigation

Led by Tim Edward, the commercial litigation team at MBM Commercial handles a range of cases spanning contractual disputes, shareholder litigation, insolvency proceedings and professional negligence claims.

Commercial litigation in Scotland

Brodies LLP

Housing a sizeable commercial litigation practice, Brodies LLP ‘delivers sound, balanced and thoughtful advice’ across a wide range of domestic and cross-border disputes in the financial services, energy, food and beverages, construction, IT and automotive sectors. Praised for his ‘strong leadership and strategic nous’, Iain Rutherford focuses on intellectual property, IT and energy litigation, and jointly leads the team with Stephen Goldie, who handles high-value contractual disputes. The ‘outstandingJoyce Cullen has experience in financial services litigation, contractual claims, professional negligence proceedings and employment-related disputes, while Antony Jones KC handles construction cases, and Aberdeen-based Kenneth MacDonald heads the firm’s international arbitration practice. Other key contacts include Craig Watt, Jared Oyston and senior associate Monica Connolly, along with Malcolm Gunnyeon and Clare Bone, who joined in October 2022 from Dentons and BTO Solicitors LLP respectively.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Goldie; Iain Rutherford

Other key lawyers:

Joyce Cullen; Antony Jones KC; Craig Watt; Kenneth MacDonald; Jared Oyston; Monica Connolly; Fiona Chute; Amina Jamil; Malcolm Gunnyeon; Clare Bone


‘Iain Rutherford has an excellent strategic mind and is unflappable under pressure. Definitely someone to have on your team. Associate Amina Jamil is energetic, tireless and a strong analyst of legal issues.’

‘Joyce Cullen is outstanding. She was ably assisted by senior associate Fiona Chute.’

‘The entire team worked well with our business and was flexible when we needed advice. At times, we were speaking to them as much as anyone in our own business.’

‘The people involved had a great knowledge and personal manner, which was helpful in periods where emotions were running high. Their proactive and professional approach as well as ability to quickly build relationships were key factors that made the experience positive.’

‘Good knowledge of international maritime law.’

‘Strong leadership and strategic nous from Iain Rutherford.’

‘Great team with intimate knowledge of the Scottish business and economic environment, able to take into consideration many different options, and to focus on ultimate goals, approaching the matters in a very structured way.’

‘They are highly competent, and the team delivers sound, balanced and thoughtful advice. Iain Rutherford is exceptional in his field.’

Key clients

Aggreko Plc

Whyte and MacKay

Trident Trust

CGI IT UK Limited

Edgen Murray Europe Limited

FIM Forest Funds General Partner Ltd

PRA Group (UK) Limited

Pulsant Limited

Royal & Sun Alliance

AJ Capital Partners LLC

Work highlights

  • Advised Tomatin Distillery on a variety of IP issues, including copyright, patent and trade mark disputes.
  • Acting for Park’s of Hamilton in relation to an ongoing dispute with the Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL) and the Scottish Football Association (SFA) arising from the announcement of a new title sponsor for the league, which involved various obligations being imposed upon member clubs.


CMS stands out for its expertise in high-value energy and financial services litigation, often involving cross-border elements on account of the firm’s global footprint, with additional experience across the telecoms, life sciences, IT, insurance and transport sectors. Dual qualified in both English and Scots law, Colin Hutton leads the team and handles high-stakes shareholder disputes, while Graeme MacLeod specialises in commercial litigation and professional negligence work in the Court of Session. Alison Gow heads the real estate disputes group, and Harriet Munro is noted for her expertise assisting construction clients with professional indemnity claims. Other key contacts in the team include Rob Wilson, who focuses on energy, construction and infrastructure disputes; Will Anderson, who was promoted to partner in May 2022 and acts on high-profile franchise cases, and senior associate Rory Thomson, who handles both commercial disputes and professional negligence matters and is often involved in some of the team's biggest cases.

Practice head(s):

Colin Hutton

Other key lawyers:

Graeme MacLeod; Alison Gow; Rob Wilson; Harriet Munro; Will Anderson

Key clients

James Finlay (Kenya) Limited

Shell UK Oil Products Ltd

Scottish Event Campus Limited

The former Joint Administrators of Rangers Football Club

ITV Studios Limited/ITV Broadcasting Limited

The Common Services Agency for the Scottish Health Service (known as National Services Scotland)

Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission Plc

Scottish Power Renewables

SPEX Group Holdings Limited

Heriot-Watt University

Pinsent Masons LLP

Praised for its ‘energy, tenacity and determination’, the ‘top-class team’ at Pinsent Masons LLP handles the full gamut of mandates, from financial services litigation and contractual disputes to intellectual property and IT cases, property litigation and insolvency proceedings, among others. Jim Cormack KC leads the group and handles a broad range of disputes with a specialism in intellectual property, IT, media, finance, company and regulatory matters, while Jacqueline Harris has experience in product liability cases. ‘All-round superwomanJoanne Gillies focuses on contentious insolvency issues and corporate disputes, and the Aberdeen-based Bruce Craig ‘stands out in relation to marine and offshore litigation’. Other key contacts in the team include Glasgow-based David Woods and legal director Laura Crilly.

Practice head(s):

Jim Cormack KC

Other key lawyers:

Joanne Gillies; Jacqueline Harris; Bruce Craig; Laura Crilly; David Woods


‘Joanne Gillies: A straight arrow to deal with and a straight arrow into the heart of your opponent. Leads from the front.’

‘The team, and in particular Joanne Gillies, is solution-focused, at all times offering highly commercial and cost-effective advice.’

‘Very flexible with billing and provide a service similar to that of a magic circle firm, at 50% of the cost.’

Key clients

News Corp

BP plc

NatWest Group

William Grant & Sons Limited

Imperial Tobacco Ltd

Galliford Try Group

Legal & General plc

Deloitte LLP

KCA Deutag Group

Work highlights

  • Represented a medical device manufacturer in a series of product liability claims.
  • Acting for iiiTec on three connected actions in the Aberdeen Sheriff Court against entities in the Weatherford Group pertaining to a complex network of oil and gas technology and IP agreements and patents flowing from those agreements.

Burness Paull LLP

Burness Paull LLPis at the forefront of all wisdom in Scotland when it comes to commercial litigation’, acting on high-end disputes for domestic and international clients across the automotive, telecoms, energy, financial services and transport sectors. In the firm’s Glasgow office, practice leader Gary Moffat has ‘a wealth of knowledge in insolvency and financial services litigation’, in addition to fraud cases and telecoms-related disputes, while Jody Crockett heads the English law dispute resolution team. The Edinburgh office is home to the ‘meticulousJoanna Fulton, who specialises in product liability claims, and Alan McMillan, whose ‘reputation precedes him’. The Aberdeen-based Neil Smith handles energy and marine disputes, and is another key contact in the group. Associate Andrew McDonald recently joined the team from Davidson Chalmers Stewart; he is praised for his 'huge ability above his years', and for providing 'thoughtful, considered advice.'

Practice head(s):

Gary Moffat

Other key lawyers:

Jody Crockett; Joanna Fulton; Alan McMillan; Neil Smith; Sophia Harrison; Andrew Forsyth; Andrew McDonald


‘Gary Moffat has a wealth of knowledge in insolvency and financial services litigation and uses that knowledge to identify commercial solutions for his clients. He is incredibly strong when it comes to identifying strategy.’

‘Sophia Harrison is very client focused. She takes time to get to know her clients and understand their business needs and objectives.’

‘Joanna Fulton is meticulous. She has excellent attention to detail, which is invaluable when it comes to managing litigation projects.’

‘Burness Paull is the front of all wisdom in Scotland when it comes to commercial litigation. Forward-thinking and always looking for the best results for clients.’

‘Alan McMillan’s reputation precedes him.’

‘Burness Paull is our go-to Scottish counsel. It fields an exceptionally strong disputes teams, which is adept at handling high-value and complex disputes. They have excellent knowledge of Scots law and are able to field a skilled team to match the needs of the case regardless of the subject matter.’

‘Highly commercial approach, delivering excellent results with a pragmatic focus.’

‘Andrew Forsyth is excellent and provides expert guidance on complex matters.’

Key clients


The Republic of Cyprus

Sky Television

The Insolvency Service

Elite Sports Group Limited

Cornerstone Telecommunications Infrastructure Limited

Neos Networks

Galbraith Trawlers Limited

Ventgrove Limited

Harris Tweed Authority

Financial Services Compensation Scheme

Work highlights

  • Represented Galbraith Trawlers Limited in a commercial dispute in the marine sector, securing a victory against the Home Office in Campbeltown Sheriff Court’s first hybrid trial with witnesses giving evidence remotely from around the world.
  • Representing the interests of the Republic of Cyprus in issues arising from the deaths of eight seamen following the capsize and sinking of the commercial vessel, MV Cemfjord, in the Pentland Firth in the north of Scotland in early 2015.
  • Acted for The Insolvency Service, an executive agency of the UK Government’s Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Society, on a variety of commercial litigation cases.

Shepherd and Wedderburn

Counting multinational corporates, financial institutions, public sector entities, SMEs, trustees and private individuals among its key roster of clients, Shepherd and Wedderburn is commended for its ‘in-depth commercial litigation experience’ with demonstrable capability in cross-border cases. John MacKenzie leads the team and is noted for his expertise in intellectual property and IT mandates, while Iain Drummond focuses on construction, engineering and major project disputes, in addition to negligence claims. Other key contacts in the group include Elaine Brailsford, who focuses on commercial, financial and property-related disputes, Gillian Carty, who specialises in insolvency litigation, Matt Phillip, who handles contractual disputes and brand protection proceedings, Elaine Todd and senior associate Gina Johnston.

Practice head(s):

John MacKenzie

Other key lawyers:

Iain Drummond; Gillian Carty; Matt Phillip; Elaine Todd; Gina Johnston; Elaine Brailsford


‘The team has in-depth commercial litigation experience.’

‘They have excellent knowledge of the law and are proactive in the service they provide.’

‘The quality of their work is excellent.’

Key clients

Manolete Partners Plc

The Scottish Professional Football League

Balfour Beatty Group Limited

Macdonald Resorts Limited


Study World Higher Education Services FZ LLC

Work highlights

  • Acting for Manolete (as assignee/funder) in relation to a number of assigned and funded claims in the Court of Session.

Addleshaw Goddard

Counting regional and international corporations among its key roster of clients, the ‘highly knowledgeable team’ at Addleshaw Goddard is routinely instructed to assist with contractual disputes, shareholder litigation and procurement challenges alongside insolvency proceedings. Following the departure of Joan Devine in April 2022, the team bolstered its numbers with the arrival of Claire Thornber (previously at Weightmans LLP), who specialises in commercial property and insolvency litigation, and Douglas Blyth (particular expertise in insolvency disputes) from Dentons; both are solicitor advocates. Other key contacts in the group include practice leader Simon Catto, Alan Sinclair, who handles contentious insolvency mandates, and legal director Edward Gratwick.

Practice head(s):

Simon Catto

Other key lawyers:

Claire Thornber; Douglas Blyth; Alan Sinclair; Edward Gratwick; Kirsten Thomson


‘Highly knowledgeable team.’

‘Claire Thornber is highly skilled in her field and demonstrates this through her work. She is great at playing devil’s advocate and is very pragmatic.’

‘Alan Sinclair has a thorough and commercial approach. Alan and Claire Thornber are both proactive and demonstrate excellent knowledge.’

‘An outstanding team, who has leading technical knowledge and the skills to use this effectively. Through rigorous upfront analysis, they tend to be one step ahead.’

‘Douglas Blyth: A combination of excellent technical knowledge and a polite confident manner is a winning formula. Douglas is a fantastic commercial litigator, and I am very grateful for the results that he has achieved.’

‘Kirsten Thomson is a very astute commercial litigator. She has very strong technical knowledge and personal skills. I would definitely want Kirsten on my side of the negotiating table.’

‘The team at AG works closely with clients to understand their needs and objectives for particular matters. They respond quickly when there are pressing deadlines and always deliver first time without having to arduously go back and forth with more details and questions.’

‘Simon Catto is a technically gifted lawyer, who you have absolute confidence in to provide accurate advice and strategy on legal matters. Simon consistently strives to keep you up to date on matters and to keep you one step ahead.’

Key clients

EXIM Kabel Kereskedelmi KFT

ASDA Stores Limited

Scottish Gas Networks Limited

Briggs Marine Contractors Limited

Andrew Marr International Limited

Circularity Scotland Limited

Southbank Asset Finance Limited

Highland and Islands Airport Limited

Games Consultancy Limited

Muller UK and Ireland Limited

Work highlights

  • Providing Scottish Gas Networks Limited with ongoing commercial litigation assistance, from its business as usual to more complex legal disputes involving its network.
  • Acting for Circularity Scotland Limited as the scheme administrators for a deposit return scheme proposed for single use drinks containers on a judicial review; a retailer sought the judicial review of the client’s decision to implement a return handling fee.
  • Representing Briggs Marine Contractors Limited, a long-standing client of the practice, in a contractual dispute raised in the Court of Session.

Anderson Strathern

The ‘responsive and dedicated’ team at Anderson Strathern acts for government agencies, private individuals and national corporations on damages claims, contractual disputes and shareholder litigation. In the firm’s Glasgow office, practice leader Fraser Geddes handles commercial contract disputes, property litigation and professional negligence claims, while ‘experienced litigatorKatrina Lumsdaine spearheads the offering in Edinburgh and acts on high-value multi-party claims. Other key contacts in the group include Gillian Jamieson, property litigation head Fiona Stephen and senior associate Scott Flannigan.

Practice head(s):

Fraser Geddes

Other key lawyers:

Katrina Lumsdaine; Gillian Jamieson; Fiona Stephen; Tom McEntegart; Scott Flannigan


‘Katrina Lumsdaine is an experienced litigator, who retains focus on the commercial objective. Scott Flannigan is a senior associate, whose legal analysis allows him to interrogate the evidence and stay several steps ahead of the opposition in any dispute.’

‘Fiona Stephen and her team were phenomenal to work with. For a significant hearing fixed at very short notice, they marshalled all of the relevant information and witnesses in record time, enabling the client’s position to be fully and properly (and successfully) advanced before the court.’

‘The team is very responsive and dedicated to client’s needs. Someone in the team is always available for client contact. The team takes a commercial approach to litigation and is always mindful of getting the best overall results for its clients.’

Key clients

22 Scottish Local Authorities and Scottish Water (Angus Council, Clackmannanshire Council, Dundee City Council, East Ayrshire Council, East Dunbartonshire Council, East Lothian Council, Edinburgh Council (City of), Fife Council, Glasgow Council (City of), Midlothian Council, North Ayrshire Council, North Lanarkshire Council, Perth and Kinross Council, Renfrewshire Council, Scottish Borders Council, Stirling Council, South Ayrshire Council, Tayside Contracts, West Dunbartonshire Council, West Lothian Council, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar/ Western Isles Council)

Rangers Football Club Limited

Monarch Transport Limited

Dmwshnz Limited (In Liquidation)

West Dunbartonshire Council

Scottish Water

East Lothian Council

Skaala Group Oy

Locogen Consulting Limited

Iolair Ltd

Work highlights

  • Acting for a group of 22 local authorities, who are pursuing a multi-million damages claim against five defenders with eleven third parties.
  • Acting for Scottish Water on a wide range of commercial litigation matters, including an ongoing litigation resulting from a heavy goods vehicle belonging to the defender crashing into a pipe bridge, causing significant damage, including the closure of an aqueduct and a road.
  • Pursuing a commercial litigation against the Bank of Scotland in respect of its role as shadow director to a company that went into liquidation.

Harper Macleod LLP

Harper Macleod LLP ‘puts forward an incredibly strong and accessible offering, capable of going toe to toe on a client’s behalf in any adversarial situation’. Key areas of expertise include contractual disputes and shareholder litigation, in addition to issues arising from post-M&A transactions. Praised as ‘one of Scotland’s leading commercial litigators’, Sandy Hastie heads the practice from the firm’s office in Edinburgh, while ‘standout partnerDavid Kerr spearheads the team in Glasgow. Other key contacts in the group include John McHugh and Laura McCorquodale, who both operate from the Edinburgh office, as well as the Glasgow-based E-Ming Fong.

Practice head(s):

Sandy Hastie

Other key lawyers:

David Kerr; John McHugh; Laura McCorquodale; E-Ming Fong


‘Harper Macleod has a strong commercial litigation team. It is a Scottish-based litigation firm that is perfectly capable of matching some of the large multinational firms operating in Scotland. It has a truly commercial and client-oriented manner.’

‘The team is full of standout individuals. Sandy Hastie is one of Scotland’s leading commercial litigators. There is nobody better in the market in terms of technical knowledge, detailed understanding of a client’s case and pragmatic, commercial advice. He is definitely a star. Laura McCorquodale is absolutely brilliant. She is great at dealing with clients, understanding their issues and concerns, and provides clear and intelligible advice. She is great to work with. David Kerr is another standout partner. He is vastly experienced in all areas of commercial litigation. His real strength is in giving clear, commercial advice to his clients.’

‘One of the strongest commercial litigation teams in the country.’

‘E-Ming Fong has been highly efficient and communicative in our litigation case.’

‘In the field of complex commercial litigation, often dominated by international law firms, Harper Macleod puts forward an incredibly strong and accessible offering, capable of going toe to toe on a client’s behalf in any adversarial situation.’

‘Sandy Hastie is very bright and pragmatic. His ability to understand and process complex commercial information and present solutions to his client is second to none. He is robust in protecting his client’s position and does not appear to be intimidated by an inequality of bargaining power.’

‘John McHugh is very personable and able to provide advice in an organised manner, such that any litigation risks are clearly understood.’

‘Easy to collaborate with on cross-border cases, solutions-driven and responsive.’

Key clients

Halfords Group


Energiekontor UK Ltd

M & Co

Kuehne & Nagel International AG

Optical Express Group

Timpson Group

Musicians Union

National Car Parks Ltd

Scottish Government

Work highlights

  • Advised Robert Kidd on a $150m action against the purchasers of his shareholding in an oil and gas company and their solicitors based on an unlawful means conspiracy, including a successful appeal to the Inner House of the Court of Session.
  • Represented Centenary 6 Ltd in a £40m loss of opportunity claim against TLT solicitors, concerning legal advice given by TLT, which resulted in the irretrievable loss of a prior right of action.
  • Represented Moulsdale Properties in an appeal to the UK Supreme Court concerning a complex question of UK VAT law.

MacRoberts LLP

Noted for its expertise in insurance litigation and energy disputes, MacRoberts LLP‘s caseload also includes procurement challenges, intellectual property and IT disputes, insolvency proceedings and professional negligence claims. Julie Hamilton leads the team and ‘has broad experience’ in contractual disputes, intellectual property litigation and damages claims, while Leon Breakey specialises in insolvency litigation. Isobell Reid, who focuses on property and planning disputes, is another key contact in the group, as is the 'wonderful' Lynsay Cargill .

Practice head(s):

Julie Hamilton

Other key lawyers:

Leon Breakey; Isobell Reid; Lynsay Cargill


‘Julie Hamilton is a stand-out litigator. Commercial acumen and people skills are combined to ensure that the clients receive quality advice at every step of the way. Lynsay Cargill is equally able, with perhaps even greater focus on property litigation.’

‘Lynsay Cargill has been wonderful in guiding through a most difficult case, making sure we understand the steps and position in full.’

‘This team’s work is second to none in commercial litigation.’

Key clients

NHS Lothian


Logistics Plus Inc.

Genoyer SAS

Hermes Parcelnet Limited

Hydrogen Vehicle Systems Ltd

Renewi Plc

Tomatin Trading Company Limited

Social Care and Social Work Improvement Scotland (Care Inspectorate)

Scottish Water

Work highlights

  • Acting on behalf of the lender in pursuing a petition for liquidation against a property development company incorporated in Jersey.
  • Advised Tomatin Trading Company in the defence of an intellectual property action in the Court of Session.
  • Acted for William Munro Construction (Highland) Limited on a waste/recycling contract dispute with the Highland Council.

Aberdein Considine

Noted for its expertise across the banking, oil and gas, professional services, pharmaceutical and retail sectors, Aberdein Considine merged with Russel & Aitken in May 2022, bolstering the firm’s commercial litigation offering with the arrival of Alan Jones. The team has demonstrable experience in handling shareholder disputes, contentious insolvency proceedings, data protection litigation and commercial contract cases, among others. Euan McSherry advises on litigation mandates in the food and drink, energy and sport industries; he heads the practice, which includes ‘superb litigatorRoss Webb.

Practice head(s):

Euan McSherry

Other key lawyers:

Alan Jones; Ross Webb


‘Excellent practice punching well above its weight in terms of quality of clients and work. Notable for high-quality and hard-working associates and junior lawyers supporting well respected partners.’

‘Ross Webb is a superb litigator, who really cares about good outcomes for his clients.’

‘The team in Edinburgh is small but of good quality and very responsive to client needs.’

‘Euan McSherry is tenacious, yet at the same time is a calm and a strategic thinker.’

‘AC has a fantastic, hard-working team that is committed to excellent service. They regularly provide us with lump sum quotations for work, this innovative approach gives us cost certainty and allows us to make informed decisions.’

‘Euan McSherry is excellent. He makes himself available outside of office hours to support us. His knowledge of the law and ability to explain complicated legal matters in a way that we can understand is excellent.’

Key clients


Mowi (Scotland)

Texo Group


Royal & Ancient – St Andrews

Lloyds Banking Group

Nationwide Building Society

Royal Bank of Scotland

Castle Water

Solenis Group

Broxburn Bottlers


Consultiv Utilities

Manolete Partners PLC

LFH Engineering

Kames Fish Farming


Avant Homes

Utility ROV

John Inglis

Work highlights

  • Acting for Pfizer Inc in the defence of Court of Session proceedings alleging that one of its heart drugs caused heart attacks and strokes.
  • Acting for Texo Group in relation to a multi-million pound commercial dispute over the recovery of contractual payments and statutory penalties.
  • Acting for Mowi Group in relation to a business critical action pertaining to the client’s freshwater and sea loch sites.

BTO Solicitors LLP

BTO Solicitors LLP handles a broad range of disputes across the tourism and leisure, renewable energy, construction, banking and automotive sectors where its clients also benefit from the team’s close cooperation with the firm’s corporate crime, professional indemnity and regulatory groups. Grant Hunter leads the practice, which includes Will Cole, who handles shareholder disputes, property cases and insolvency litigation, complemented by his arbitration and mediation expertise. Other key contacts include Cat MacLean, who is experienced in handling financial claims and joined the firm from MBM Commercial in November 2022, as well as the ‘fiercely intelligentAngus Wood.

Practice head(s):

Grant Hunter

Other key lawyers:

Will Cole; Cat MacLean; Angus Wood


‘One of its unique strengths is the sheer breadth of experience. They handle everything from the most complex and high-value disputes to the much more routine commercial litigation with equal strength. They are also one of the most organised firms when it comes to instructing counsel.’

‘Angus Wood is one of the many standout stars at BTO. He combines being fiercely intelligent on the complex legal issues with a real ability to give practical and commercial advice to clients about their options.’

‘Cat Maclean is an up-and-coming solicitor in the team. She is very good at the detail and super organised. A definite star of the future.’

‘A very good team with high-quality individuals, evidenced by the high quality of their clients and the returning business they provide.’

‘Angus Wood is commercially minded, provides good and strategic advice to clients and is knowledgeable and insightful in his advice.’

‘Will Cole is a personable, engaged and focused litigator, a great team player, who is a joy to work with.’

‘Solid understanding of our sector and the particular challenges that we face in litigation matters.’

‘Will Cole always deals with situations in a calm manner with a focus on achieving a positive outcome.’

Key clients


ADM Agriculture Limited

Club Los Claveles

Scottish Football Association

Exchange Communications Installations Limited

Ocean Outdoor

Stephen Gorman and Catherine Gorman


Bullet Express Limited

Smith and McLaurin Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting for MAN SE in connection with multiple follow-on damages claims under competition law, founding upon the European Commission’s 2016 Trucks Decision.
  • Assisted the multinational grain supplier and processor ADM with litigation following the administration of the UK grain wholesaler Alexander Inglis and Son, through which ADM was able to recover over 3,700 metric tonnes of oil seed rape.
  • Acted for the shareholders of an online retailer on a multinational shareholder dispute involving interests in Scotland, England and Germany.

Davidson Chalmers Stewart

The ‘personable and approachable’ team at Davidson Chalmers Stewart handles a wide range of contractual disputes in addition to professional negligence claims, and is noted for its expertise in the healthcare sector, advising on medical and dental practice issues, partnership litigation and sector-specific contract disputes. Sheila Webster leads the team and has demonstrable experience in property litigation, while Magnus Miller handles real estate disputes and insolvency proceedings. Ewan McIntyre joined as partner coming from a consulting firm in May 2023.

Practice head(s):

Sheila Webster

Other key lawyers:

Magnus Miller; Jane Dickers; Ewan McIntyre


‘Sheila Webster is down to earth, approachable and gives good ‘common sense’ advice.’

‘The team I work with is relatively small but of a high quality with an ability to deliver results for clients without sugarcoating advice.’

‘There was simply no nonsense. We approached them with a problem, they listened, they thought about it and they came up with a solution. The solution worked. We were delighted with them.’

‘Jane Dickers was absolutely fantastic.’

‘Sheila Webster is very knowledgeable and able to explain the matter simply and clearly and with a real understanding of our business.’

‘The team is personable and approachable.’

‘Sheila Webster is very experienced and easy to deal with.’

Key clients

Springfield Properties plc

Natural Assets Investments Limited

Patersons of Greenoakhill Limited

Radisson Hotels UK Limited

Alba Energy Limited

Chik Commodities PVT Limited/York Holdings PVT Limited

Saica Natur UK Limited

Cambusmore Estates Limited and Kenneth Greenland

Corriedoon Limited

Caley Cruisers Limited/Jamie Hogan

Work highlights

  • Acting for Natural Assets Investments Limited on two cases currently in the Commercial Court of the Court of Session and relating to a £27m claim under guarantee obligations for works to the funicular railway at the ski resort in the Cairngorms.
  • Advised Allan Watt in a £3m breach of warranty claim arising from a share purchase agreement, relating to valuations of fishing businesses (linked to fishing quotas) and the settlement of the earlier litigation.
  • Representing Patersons of Greenoakhill Limited in its appeal to the Upper Tribunal regarding Revenue Scotland’s assessments applying the standard, rather than the lower rate of Scottish Landfill Tax to returns.


The commercial litigation practice at Dentons leverages the firm’s global footprint to act for large domestic and international corporations on multijurisdictional disputes, public inquiries and insolvency litigation. Following the departures of Malcolm Gunnyeon to Brodies LLP and Douglas Blyth to Addleshaw Goddard at the end of 2022, Craig Neilson took over the practice together with the London-based Louisa Caswell and is praised as being ‘a top-notch commercial partner with excellent instincts in a difficult litigation’; he is best known for handling cases involving cyberattacks and data privacy issues. Counsel Fiona Caldow, who is dual qualified in Scots and English law, is another key contact in the group.

Practice head(s):

Craig Neilson; Louisa Caswell

Other key lawyers:

Fiona Caldow; Sarah Wardell


‘Craig Neilson is a key expert in litigation involving complex issues of crypto assets. He is an outstanding expert in the field.’

‘Craig Neilson is a top-notch commercial partner with excellent instincts in a difficult litigation.’

‘Sarah Wardell is a safe pair of hands.’

‘Depth and breadth of knowledge alongside responsiveness.’

‘Craig Neilson is extremely knowledgeable and highly responsive.’

‘What makes this team unique is the very high calibre of the lawyers. They are all extremely bright and diligent.’

‘Craig Neilson and Fiona Caldow are a fantastic team. Craig has recently assumed the position of head of disputes. Fiona is considered, responsive and provides practical advice to our business, supporting us through some challenging circumstances.’

Key clients

DHL Information Services (Europe) s.r.o.

Eden Springs UK Ltd

Edinburgh International Festival Society

Emtelle UK Ltd

Equorium, part of the Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group

FSCom Limited

Funding Circle Limited

Laboratoires Théa SAS

Manolete Partners PLC

Muller UK & Ireland Group LLP trading as Muller Wiseman Dairies and OTHER

NatWest Group


Peel Land and Property Investments Plc

RELX UK Limited T/A LexisNexis

RH Independent Healthcare Limited

RSM Tenon Limited

Shieldwear Limited

Silicon Valley Bank

Snow Leopard Vodka Limited

Société Générale

Sodexo Services Asia Pte

Sofant Technologies Limited

The Edrington Group Limited

The Gupta Partnership

The Macallan Distillers Limited

TSB Bank Plc

Network Rail

Work highlights

  • Represented Mainstream Renewable Power Limited in a judicial review challenging a decision by Crown Estate Scotland.
  • Acted for Glasgow Prestwick Airport Limited in relation to two separate public inquiries pertaining to wind farm developments in the proximity of the airport.
  • Advised Lujo Properties Limited, a commercial landlord, following a breach by its tenant and initiated proceedings on its behalf in relation to an action for irritancy, which considered technical legal issues including personal bar and oppression.

DLA Piper

With demonstrable experience across the food, retail, construction and real estate, consumer goods and technology sectors, DLA Piper handles a broad range of domestic and cross-border disputes, from commercial contract cases to intellectual property litigation and payment actions. Alistair Drummond advises on commercial property disputes and contentious construction matters, while Stuart Murdoch focuses on financial services litigation. Other key contacts in the group include legal directors James McGachie (particular expertise in cybersecurity-related cases) and Jennifer Talbot (contractual disputes). Naomi Pryde joined the team from DWF in December 2022; she now heads up the firm's litigation and regulatory practice in Scotland.

Practice head(s):

Naomi Pryde

Other key lawyers:

Stuart Murdoch; James McGachie; Jennifer Talbot; Alistair Drummond; Patrick Fulton

Key clients

Shiseido UK Limited

YUGO Student Housing Association

Moorbrook Textiles Limited

Scottish Friendly Assurance

John Menzies Plc

MorphPackers Limited

Lothian Amusements Limited

Heineken UK Ltd

Maven Capital UK Partners LLP

Peak Scientific Instruments Limited

The Football Association of the Premier League

Airbus Helicopters S.A.S.

Sapphire 16 S.A.R.L. (owners of East Kilbride Shopping Centre)

Work highlights

  • Represented the owners of Scotland’s largest undercover shopping centre in the successful keep-open obligation against a global retailer, following their attempts to close the store despite the lease enduring until 2071.
  • Represented the Scotland-based aviation giant John Menzies Plc in its £763m takeover by Agility Public Warehousing Company.
  • Represented Shiseido in the resolution and removal of 346 fraudulent companies from the UK Register of Companies; the fraudulent companies were created using the stolen personal details of UK Shiseido company personnel.


The commercial litigation team at DWF handles a broad range of disputes across the construction and real estate sectors and counts UK companies and domestic retail operators among its key roster of clients. Following the departure of former practice head Naomi Pryde to DLA Piper in December 2022, Lauren Rae leads the practice and handles commercial contract disputes and IT-related litigation, while director Ursula Carrie advises on contentious property and planning mandates.

Practice head(s):

Lauren Rae

Other key lawyers:

Ursula Carrie

Key clients

Marks and Spencer Plc

Orkney Islands Council

BT Group Plc

The Highland Council

Aberdeenshire Council

Aberdeen City Council

EE Limited

Mowi Scotland Limited

Travis Perkins (Properties) Limited

Next Holdings Limited

Shetland Islands Council

PNFT 5 Real Estate Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised M&S, a tenant under a long lease at a shopping centre in East Kilbride, South Lanarkshire, in relation to a dispute with the landlord in respect of a keep-open clause in the lease.
  • Acting on behalf of H&V Commissioning Services Limited in defence of an action brought against the client in relation to the construction of the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital.
  • Acting on behalf of MBNL, a joint venture of 3 and EE, in relation to a portfolio of sites where the client is looking to obtain rights under the Electronic Communications Code for telecommunications apparatus.

Gilson Gray

Gilson Gray has demonstrable experience in handling commercial contract disputes, particularly high-value Court of Session litigations, in addition to shareholder disputes, construction cases, property litigation and judicial review mandates. Practice leader Rosie Walker has a robust international practice, notably in the Middle East, and focuses on Court of Session litigation, while John Kydd joined the firm from Thorntons Law LLP in August 2022; he spearheads the group’s expansion in the Tayside and northeast regions of Scotland. Keith Anderson departed for TLT in September 2023.

Practice head(s):

Rosie Walker

Other key lawyers:

John Kydd


‘Rosie Walker was always available, readily understood the concerns and was able to provide concise but comprehensive advice.’

‘A large team and growing rapidly, attracting new talent.’

‘Rosie Walker has excellent commercial knowledge and is very good at tactics and strategy in litigation.’

Key clients

United Voices of the World Trade Union

Mercedes-Benz Financial Services UK Limited

St Enoch Trustee Company Limited

The Association of Scotland’s Self Caterers

The Lead Generation Marketing Company Limited

Future Property Auctions Limited

First Subsea Limited

Yacht Havens Limited

Heart of Midlothian plc

Brewdog plc

Lime Rock Management LLP Limited

Sunny Hill Energy Limited (formerly Petroceltic Holdings Limited)

QTS Group Ltd

Elior UK plc

Scottish Liberal Democrats

Lidl UK GmbH

Scotbeef Limited


Dickson Minto WS

Weekett Limited

Dundee Football Club

Partick Thistle Football Club Ltda

AMA (New Town) Limited

Mansfield Care Limited

Avant Homes Scotland Limited

Grant Thornton UK LLP


Enterprise Rent-a-Car Limited

Ernst & Young


London & Country Mortgages Limited

Rettie & Co

Arnold Clark Automobiles Ltd

Shaf Rasul

Robert Matthew Johnson Marshall Limited

Len Lothian Limited

Class One Traffic Management Limited

Begbies Traynor (Central) LLP

Edinburgh Academy

The Compass School

St Aloysius School

DJ Alexander Limited

NCS Group Limited

Euro Systems Limited

Johnson’s Apparelmaster Limited t/a Professional Linen Services

Rewind Festival Limited

Vets Now Limited

Mischon de Reya LLP

Anglian Windows Limited

Association of Vehicle Recovery Operators

Middlebrooks Business Recovery and Advice

Musselburgh Joint Racing Committee

Federation of British Race Course Bookmakers

Xyrex Limited

Roy Brett & Gary Welch (Ondine Limited)

Alpine Travel Limited

Alex M Adamson LLP

Chiene & Tait

French Duncan LLP

Global Voices Limited

Gordon & Noble

Graham & Sibbald

Lester Aldridge LLP

LS Smellie & Sons Ltd

MGM Timber (Scotland) Limited

Stirling Park LLP

Thomas Hannah & Co

Western Circle Limited

Clarendon Planning & Development Ltd

William Duncan & Co Limited


Subsea Supplies Limited

Colin Murray Developments Ltd

James Gibb Property Management Ltd

Centric Community Projects Limited

Castle European Limited

Condies Business Recovery and Insolvency

Aberdeen Laundry Services Limited

Birketts LLP

Carnbroe Estates Limited

CSN Care Group Limited

Delete Limited

Associated British Ports

Disruptive Brands Ltd

Eros Retail Ltd

Invertay Homes Ltd

Kaas Properties Limited

KO Franchise Ltd

Polygon Marketing Limited

Plutus Developments Ltd

Scottish Golf Ltd

Stream Marine Training Group Limited

Vivers Scotlamb Limited

Salty Dog Holidays Limited

Adaptive Construction

GMG Contracts

Work highlights

  • Advising five defenders on a high-value claim in relation to a dispute arising out of an investment in a company by the Lime Rock Group, in which the pursuer held an interest. The pursuer alleges that his then agents acted in breach of their fiduciary duties and in breach of contract.
  • Assisting Vermilion Holdings Limited with a Supreme Court appeal pertaining to HMRC’s taxation of an options agreement.
  • Acting for Bogside Investments Limited on a multi-million pound fraud action arising out of an investment in the Middle East.


Housing a team of ‘top-quality professionals’, Lindsays displays ‘a talent and adaptiveness for dealing with a range of cases’, including disputes arising from commercial contracts, shareholder litigation and regulatory proceedings. Thanks to the firm’s robust rural practice, the group is also well placed to advise on agricultural disputes. Practice leader John Bett has built a strong SME client base, while the ‘eminently approachableBrent Haywood has experience in sporting disputes. Senior associate Gregor MacEwan is praised as being ‘intensely knowledgeable and incredibly organised’.

Practice head(s):

John Bett

Other key lawyers:

Brent Haywood; Gregor MacEwan; Brian Pollock


‘Flexible and tailored approach for specific requirements. Top-quality professionals at value-for-money rates, who go the extra mile to work collaboratively.’

‘Lindsays’ litigation team takes a very practical, focussed approach in order to secure their clients’ best interests swiftly, economically and effectively. They are also good natured and gracious as well as unerringly intelligent.’

‘The firm has an exceptionally talented pool of solicitors, who are very engaged and enthusiastic. They work on a number of high-profile, complex cases and have the experience needed to achieve results for their clients.’

‘Gregor MacEwan is highly skilled and easy to work with in high-pressure, time-sensitive cases.’

‘John Bett is a very approachable partner and has a wealth of experience.’

‘The commercial litigation team is approachable, practical and focused, ensuring that cases proceed smoothly but also that there is appropriate discussion of the commercial realities of litigation – they also display a talent and adaptiveness for dealing with a range of cases which are out of the ordinary.’

‘Brent Haywood is an eminently approachable communicator for both clients and counsel with a very practical approach to problems and ability to assess what is important in commercial disputes. He makes sure steps are taken to equip counsel and clients with what they need to proceed.’

‘Gregor MacEwan is an intensely knowledgeable and incredibly organised lawyer with a great knowledge of the law and a genuine interest in and attention for what goes on in court.’

Key clients

C J Lang & Son (wholesaler for SPAR Scotland)

Manolete Partners Plc

Scottish Water

Billy Graham Evangelistic Association

McGivney Construction

William Duncan Business Recovery

Ellmoll Builders

The University of Edinburgh

Grainger Corporate

Hutchison Technologies

Work highlights

  • Acting for Mayfly Gwr Offshort Industria E comerio Ltd, a Brazilian-based transport container supplier, on a Court of Session commercial action valued at in excess of £10m. The client is suing Swire Oilfield Services Do Brasil LTDA regarding its obligations under a distribution agreement.
  • Acting for a detectorist defending a claim arising from his discovery of a hoard of ancient valuables valued at more than £1m.
  • Acting for Billy Graham Evangelistic Association in relation to the withdrawal of services in a manner that amounted to unlawful discrimination.

Morton Fraser MacRoberts

Counting domestic and international corporations among its key roster of clients, Morton Fraser MacRoberts has demonstrable experience in handling commercial contract disputes, shareholder litigation, insolvency proceedings and contentious property cases. Dual qualified in Scots and English law, Richard McMeeken leads the team from Edinburgh and acts for UK businesses, high-net-worth individuals and public sector entities on a range of commercial disputes, while the Glasgow-based Nicola Ross handles shareholder litigation, contentious insolvency issues and banking disputes.

Practice head(s):

Richard McMeeken

Other key lawyers:

Nicola Ross; Jennifer Andrew


‘They are a reputable Scottish independent firm with a good profile in the market.’

‘Richard McMeeken is a knowledgeable and effective litigator, who combines an academic understanding of the law with a sensible, practical approach to litigation.’

‘They are a substantial Scottish litigation practice with notable clients attracting a wide range of disputes.

Key clients

Angelline (Scotland) Limited

BV10 Limited

Scottish Building Federation

Standard Life Trustee Company Limited

Will Rudd Davidson (Edinburgh) LLP

Lloyds Bank Commercial Finance Limited

Galaxy Transport Limited


Kingdom Gas Limited

Lowther Homes Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising Angelline (Scotland) Limited in a dispute arising out of a share purchase agreement in the pharmaceutical industry involving contractual interpretation and rectification of contract issues.
  • Acting for BV10 on two commercial court actions raised in the Court of Session against various land development companies for the implementation of contractual obligations entered into by those land development companies.
  • Acting for the City of Edinburgh Council on a commercial dispute over its obligations in a waste management contract with Dalton Group Limited.


Shoosmiths LLP goes ‘above and beyond’ for its clients, handling financial services litigation, property disputes and insolvency proceedings as well as professional negligence claims, recoveries litigation, and commercial contract and shareholder disputes. ‘Specialist in insolvency litigationStuart Clubb jointly leads the team with Andrew Foyle, who focuses on all aspects of financial services litigation, including claims against lenders, and professional negligence. Principal associate Ben Zielinski, who handles contractual claims and IT-related disputes, is another key contact in the group.

Practice head(s):

Stuart Clubb; Andrew Foyle

Other key lawyers:

Ben Zielinski


‘Works in collaboration, always available to assist and goes above and beyond.’

‘The team is efficient and pragmatic.’

The team has an excellent knowledge of insolvency and general commercial litigation law. The quality of their work is excellent.

They are proactive in their approach. They are commercial and charge reasonable fees. Also very pleasant and easy to work with.

‘I have been working with Ben Zielinski, who is thoughtful, well organised and pragmatic in his approach.’

‘Ben Zielinski is always available and aware of the client’s needs, resulting in very pragmatic and commercial solutions.’

‘Stuart Clubb is a specialist in the fields of bankruptcy and insolvency. He is very good at listening to clients and understanding what their aims and objectives are. Having identified these, he looks to put in place pragmatic solutions for them based on his wealth of experience.’

‘Stuart Clubb is very good at identifying his client’s objectives and then creating a strategy to achieve those. He has an excellent manner with clients. He can explain difficult concepts to clients of all levels of knowledge.’

Key clients

The Royal Bank of Scotland plc / Natwest Group

Boots UK Limited

Poundland Limited

Cabot Financial UK Limited

SSE / Ovo Energy

Screwfix Direct Ltd


Grahams The Family Dairy

Close Brothers Limited

Hoover Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting on behalf of a property developer on a breach of contract and professional negligence action against its former architects and cost consultants.
  • Acting on behalf of a specialist insolvency litigation claims acquisition company in the pursuit of an unpaid director’s loan.
  • Acting on behalf of minority shareholders on an unfair prejudice petition in the Court of Session.

Stronachs LLP

Based in Aberdeen, Stronachs LLP acts for domestic and international clients across the oil and gas, energy and construction sectors on a range of commercial disputes, from contractual issues and warranty claims to shareholder disputes and damages actions, and continues to be increasingly active in property, construction and insolvency-related litigation. Practice leader Robert McDiarmid handles commercial disputes in the energy and construction industries, while the Inverness-based Colin Sandilands has notable experience in property-related claims. Deborah Law, who was promoted to partner in June 2022, is another key contact in the group.

Practice head(s):

Robert McDiarmid

Other key lawyers:

Colin Sandilands; Deborah Law; Claire Stewart


‘This is a friendly approachable firm, where they all seem to work as a team and always get someone to answer your queries.’

‘Robert McDiarmid and the team handled our case with great efficiency, always providing good clear information and providing answers to any questions.’

‘The team at Stronachs has a deep understanding of the legal landscape in their chosen area of expertise.’

‘Easy to talk to and no jargon.’

‘Robert McDiarmid and Claire Stewart are lovely individuals to deal with. Robert has a particularly deep understanding of legal process and always takes a very balanced viewpoint on litigation. This comes with an ability to accurately predict reactions from the other side of the case. Both are very responsive, caring, and we really feel that we have people that care about our best interests.’

‘I have consistently been impressed by the thoroughness of Stronachs’ investigation and preparation of disputes, some of which are extremely complex, both factually and legally.’

‘Robert McDiarmid has shown a detailed and thorough hands-on understanding of very complex cases, and his grasp of the issues is consistently impressive. He is also inventive in finding promising new angles to consider.’

‘Colin Sandilands was exceptionally good at distilling what was important in order to defend our position. He dealt with the situation with an extremely measured and even-handed approach.’

Key clients

Weatherford International plc

Global Energy Group


Marshall Errock Construction Limited

Peterson (UK) Limited

Inverness Glass Co Ltd

Glen Mhor Limited

Subsea Tooling Services UK Limited

Xodus Group Limited

AMS Global Group

Work highlights

  • Represented Weatherford International plc and its subsidiaries in a commercial and intellectual property dispute.
  • Represented a shareholder, who has raised a petition at the Court of Session for orders under s. 994 of the Companies Act 2006 (unfair prejudice shareholder petition). The petition seeks orders for the compulsory sale of another shareholder’s shares in a private limited company to the client, owing to allegedly unfairly prejudicial conduct in the running of the company’s affairs by the other shareholder and director.
  • Represented Marshall Errock Construction Limited in relation to a multi-adjudication and dispute with its main contractor.