Commercial litigation in Scotland

Brodies LLP

Based out of Edinburgh, Brodies LLP‘s litigation practice has strength in depth, fielding a large team which has been bolstered by several internal promotions and lateral hires including Gareth Hale from Dentons and Craig Watt who was elevated to the partnership. The team stands out for its expertise in the energy, construction and IT sectors with practice head Iain Rutherford being the contact for IP/IT mandates. Co-head Stephen Goldie acts on high-value contractual disputes and is supported by a strong bench of partners including experienced litigator Jared Oyston who has appeared before the High Court and Supreme Court; he is recommended for energy- and insolvency-related disputes. Highlighted for its ‘measured and sound advice’, the group also has expertise in alternative dispute resolution (ADR) work, handling both domestic and international mediation. In Aberdeen, Kenneth MacDonald leads the firm-wide international arbitration practice and has a strong track record in handling complex disputes for corporates. Senior associate Monica Connolly specialises in IP and tech disputes. Elsewhere, Tony Jones KC and Joyce Cullen continue to be preeminent practitioners.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Goldie; Iain Rutherford

Other key lawyers:

Craig Watt; Gareth Hale; Monica Connolly; Kenneth MacDonald; Jared Oyston; Tony Jones KC; Joyce Cullen

Testimonials

‘They are smart, knowledgeable, responsive, and they try to work as efficiently as possible. They deliver great service without unnecessarily running up their bills.’

Joyce Cullen is excellent. Very thorough and possesses the requisite expertise, but is also quite pragmatic in her approach.’

The team at Brodies are very commercially aware, practical and offer measured and sound advice. Iain Rutherford has a clear understanding of the key issues and always has a clear vision and strategy for how to move forward.’

Great service to clients with a thorough and full understanding of clients’ needs, challenges, expected outcomes and possible trade-offs. The team fully adapted their way of working to our company’s needs and organisation.’

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

CMS

Strengthened by its international network, the litigation practice at CMS is frequently instructed on high-level cross-border disputes in the energy and financial services sector, with expertise in contractual, construction and insolvency disputes. Practice head Colin Hutton in Edinburgh is dual-qualified in both English and Scots law and is recommended for complex shareholder disputes. He is supported by core members of the group Graeme MacLeod, who is active in the Court of Session, and property disputes lawyer Alison Gow. The group also has experience in mediation work as well as domestic arbitrations – former practice head and senior partner Rob Wilson is the key contact here. On the insurance litigation side, Harriet Munro is of note. Often acting for high-profile names, in a representative matter, the group advised ITV in an intellectual property dispute concerning its show Love Island. Elsewhere, senior associate Emma Boffey departed the team for a position at the Faculty of Advocates.

Practice head(s):

Colin Hutton

Other key lawyers:

Graeme MacLeod; Alison Gow; Rob Wilson; Harriet Munro

Testimonials

‘CMS operates with high-quality lawyers and successfully runs its litigation teams with a very high level of effectiveness. The in-depth standards of ability are managed to produce timely results which puts CMS well above its competitors in Scotland.’

‘Colin Hutton is a top-level team leader who combines legal talent, an acute sense of commercial realities and a tenacious approach to client problems. He is pre-eminent in commercial litigation in Scotland.

Colin Hutton is exceptional in relation to commercial disputes. His tactical awareness is particularly appreciated by clients.’

Key clients

Scottish Event Campus Limited and The Robertson Trust

Basalt Infrastructure Partners II GP Limited

ITV plc

The former Joint Administrators of Rangers Football Club

Souter Investments Limited

Scott Wilson (URS/AECOM) and their professional indemnity insurers

Allied Irish Bank

Premier Oil (now Harbour Energy plc)

Work highlights

  • Acted for Scottish Event Campus Limited and The Robertson Trust in a series of high-profile religious discrimination claims concerning “cancel culture” involving the high-profile US Christian evangelist, Franklin Graham, who has close associations to former President Trump.
  • Won a high-value and high-profile breach of warranty claim in the shipping industry for Basalt Infrastructure Partners II GP Limited.
  • Instructed by ITV to raise IP proceedings against an online seller marketing personalised water bottles and suitcases which infringed ITV’s hugely popular Love Island brand.

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP routinely handles landmark litigation mandates for big name clients across the financial services and energy sectors, including Shell and The Royal Bank of Scotland. The team excels in arbitrations and high-value claims and is well placed to handle regional work underpinned by its geographical reach across Aberdeen and Glasgow. Practice head Jim Cormack KC is ‘an impressive operator’, and has extensive expertise in contractual and commercial disputes; he is also the main point of contact for IP and IT clients. Multi-party disputes are handled by the Edinburgh-based Jacqueline Harris, while Joanna Gillies leads on contentious insolvency matters. The group also has experience of cross-border mandates. In Aberdeen, Bruce Craig leads the litigation group.

Practice head(s):

Jim Cormack KC

Other key lawyers:

Joanna Gillies; Jacqueline Harris; Bruce Craig; Graham Horsman

Testimonials

Dynamic, user-friendly, highly commercial. They are great at teaming legal knowledge with innovative strategies. You get the sense they really care – about you, about your case, about the law.

Joanne Gillies – a class act, brimming with energy, wisdom and great ideas.’

‘Jim Cormack – veteran litigation heavyweight; what he doesn’t know isn’t worth knowing.’

Professional, commercial acumen, client focussed and attentive to demands whilst remaining approachable – Joanne Gillies has demonstrated all of the above over the past four years whilst handling for me a complex unfair prejudice case which I brought against my former directors.’

‘Graham Horsman punches far above his weight in terms of ability, client management, and quality of work. He is without doubt a superstar of the future but already a shining star of the present.’

Key clients

News Corp

BP plc

Balmoral Group Holdings

The Royal Bank of Scotland

William Grant & Sons Limited

Imperial Tobacco Ltd

Galliford Try Group

Legal & General plc

Deloitte LLP

KCA Deutag Group

Shell

Balfour Beatty

Transocean

Valaris

Petrofac Facilities Management

Work highlights

  • Acting for NatWest Bank in relation to a very substantial portfolio of county court claims for “Plevin plus” redress under the Consumer Credit Act in relation to the sale of payment protection insurance (PPI).
  • Acting on behalf of Diageo in relation to a large group of claims seeking damages allegedly caused by the release of ethanol in the process of Scotch whisky maturation.
  • Act for Balmoral Group Holdings Limited (“BGHL”) in relation to an unfair prejudice petition brought in the Outer House of the Court of Session by a minority shareholder under sections 994 and 996 of the Companies Act 2006 brought by Alfred and Valerie Cheyne, and a ‘cross petition’ raised by BGHL.

Burness Paull LLP

Burness Paull LLP is well known for its strength in the automotive sector, advising leading industry names in big-ticket commercial litigation matters. Led out of its Glasgow base by Gary Moffat, the group handles both domestic and cross-border disputes, as well as London High Court cases – Jody Crockett is the main contact here. The core team comprises Joanna Fulton who focuses on product liability matters and Alan McMillan in Edinburgh who handles commercial property work. Large insolvency litigation also features in the caseload.

Practice head(s):

Gary Moffat

Other key lawyers:

Jody Crockett; Joanna Fulton; Alan McMillan

Testimonials

Joanna Fulton is very committed, clever and commercial.

All members of commercial litigation team at Burness Paull demonstrate a level of competence and business understanding that provides reassurance that any matter being discussed is being handled accordingly.

Joanna Fulton is very experienced, knowledgeable and receptive to feedback.’

‘We have worked alongside Burness Paul on a Scottish law dispute arising out of a fund partnership. The team, lead by Joanna Fulton, is responsive and proactive, as well as being extremely knowledgeable and very pleasant to work with. They put forward good commercial ideas and are not simply “local counsel” but are strategic partners.’

Joanna Fulton has an excellent grasp of the issues that matter to the client. She leads her team of associates and trainees very well. The whole team works together to drive matters forward in an impressive way. Joanna’s advice is sound, commercial and no-nonsense.’

Gary Moffat is extremely approachable and down to earth but constantly displays a deep understanding of the law. I have dealt with many lawyers over many years and Gary is at the top.’

The partner in charge (Gary Moffat) engaged fully and generated a detailed knowledge of the case.’

‘Gary Moffat ensured he was able to provide clear advice throughout including on the more complex and technically detailed aspects.’ 

Key clients

Vodafone

William Grant & Sons

Van Oord UK Limited

Stewart Milne Group

Scottish Football Association

EnQuest

Elite Sports Group Limited

Cornerstone Telecommunications Infrastructure Limited

Westcrowns Group

Sir Alex Ferguson

BBC

Work highlights

  • Acted for Cornerstone Telecommunications Infrastructure Limited in a case against Marks & Spencer in one of the leading, pathfinding, cases in Scotland under the new Electronic Communications Code – relating to a mobile mast site on the flagship M&S store on Princes Street, Edinburgh.
  • Acting for EnQuest in a high value, complex English law governed dispute arising out one of the largest oil and gas processing plants in Europe.
  • Acting for renowned housebuilder, Stewart Milne Group, defending a high-value, business-critical commercial action bonus claim by a former high-ranking executive.

Shepherd and Wedderburn

At Shepherd and Wedderburn, the litigation practice is instructed by several multinational corporations and public sector bodies on large cross-border disputes across the sport, hospitality and education areas. Practice head John MacKenzie receives a steady stream of high-value transactional disputes and is recommended for his expertise in IP matters. The group also retains its specialism in litigation funding and enjoys referrals from international law firms. Elaine Brailsford advises renewable energy sector clients on contractual disputes whilst new partner Matt Phillip in Edinburgh is rated by peers and handles complex intellectual property work. Kevin Clancy was also promoted to the partnership. At the associate level, Gina Johnson is rated by clients.

Practice head(s):

John MacKenzie

Other key lawyers:

Elaine Brailsford; Matt Phillip; Kevin Clancy; Gina Johnson

Testimonials

‘Sheer professionalism in all aspects, specialist knowledge, commercially focused advice, understanding of the client and their needs.’

‘Gina Johnson displayed a real understanding of the underlying objectives and project of our court application.’

Our key contact is Matt Phillip. We worked with Matt when he was associate and found him hugely impressive. His promotion to partner was, in our opinion, thoroughly deserved and has enhanced our relationship with the firm.’

‘Matt Phillip has taken the time to understand our complex organisation in a highly challenging period for the business and continues to provide excellent advice.’

‘They are a very professional organisation that work tirelessly to achieve results for their clients.’

‘Personal service and the attention to details were above and beyond that of other firms I have dealt with.’

Key clients

The Joint Liquidators of RFC 2012 plc (formerly The Rangers Football Club Plc)

Scottish Sea Farms Limited (SSF)

Crerar Hotel Group Limited

The Scottish Professional Football League Limited (SPFL)

Study World Higher Education Services FZ LLC

Chrysaor Holdings Limited

Macdonald Resorts Limited (MRL)

Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Scottish SPCA)

North Lanarkshire Council (NLC)

Work highlights

  • Acting for the Joint Liquidators of RFC 2012 plc (formerly The Rangers Football Club Plc) in relation to a very high-profile Note for Orders under paragraph 75 of Schedule B1 to the Insolvency Act 1986 seeking a £47.7m contribution.
  • Successfully defending the Scottish Professional Football League Ltd in a very high-profile claim of unfair prejudice (s994 of the Companies Act 2006) with damages of £10m brought by Heart of Midlothian and Partick Thistle in the Court of Session.
  • Acting in relation to defence of a £3.5m cross-border (Scotland and UAE) claim in Court of Session.

Addleshaw Goddard

Highlighted for its ‘broad skillset and expertise across numerous markets’, the litigation practice at Addleshaw Goddard handles complex contractual and insolvency disputes for a roster of clients spanning large international corporations and domestic companies. Simon Catto leads the group from Edinburgh, which advises on litigation funding and financing, as well as receiving a steady stream of instructions from its English team on Scots law. In Glasgow, Alan Sinclair advises on shareholder disputes and intellectual property infringement matters. Edward Gratwick is recommended for real estate-related disputes.

Practice head(s):

Simon Catto

Other key lawyers:

Alan Sinclair; Edward Gratwick

Testimonials

They’re all great litigation lawyers to start with, who know their stuff in terms of how civil litigation works and what is relevant to the claim in front of them.’

‘No matter which of the team you speak with, you get a consistent level of quality.’ 

‘They do very well at summarising complexity in comprehensible terms.’

‘They are very nice people, which is not always a given.’

‘Very strong team with good associates to back up partners.’

‘Great communication at all times and excellent attention to detail.’

‘Edward Gratwick is a hugely knowledgeable and creative individual who took great care and attention in resolving a very sensitive issue.’

The individual teams members are approachable, transparent and honest with their feedback.’

Key clients

National Grid plc

Muller UK & Ireland LLP

SGN plc

FNZ (UK) Limited

Asda Stores Limited

Aldi Stores Limited

Cerberus

Eastern Motor Company Limited

Suzanne Ritchie

Highlands and Islands Airports Limited

Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited

Lloyds Pharmacy Limited

The Firm of A&G Rentals

Work highlights

  • Acting for Eastern Motor Company Limited on a dispute relating to its purchase of Grassick Garage Company.
  • Advised The Firm of A&G Rentals in relation to an action for damages raised for loss of rental income against its former solicitors resulting from the solicitor’s failure to register the client’s title to a development site.
  • Acted successfully for an individual on a count, reckoning and payment action in relation to a dispute over payments due to him from a limited partnership investment vehicle.

Anderson Strathern

At Anderson Strathern, the disputes team is led out of Glasgow by Fraser Geddes  and advises an enviable client base made up of public bodies, corporations and private individuals. The group advises on contractual litigation, shareholder disputes and high-value damages claims. Katrina Lumsdaine  who heads the Edinburgh litigation group, handles complex multi-party claims and cross-border work. Elsewhere, James McMillan has added to the group’s corporate crime and investigations offering, joining from the Dubai office of Al Tamimi & Company.

Practice head(s):

Fraser Geddes

Testimonials

‘The litigation team are experienced problem solvers who offer a pro-active, solution driven approach to litigation with outcomes at the centre of their objectives. Scott Flannigan – commercial nous and quick thinking, reliable and trustworthy.’

Fraser Geddes. Unfailingly optimistic with a “can do” approach.’

‘Very clear instructions to Counsel. Very quick turnaround of communications. Persistent yet pragmatic.

Great experience, good at working with the clients. Fiona Stephen is a first rate with 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

Sunbelt Rentals Limited (formerly Ashtead Plant Hire Limited)

DMWSHNZ LIMITED (In Liquidation)

West Dunbartonshire Council

Scottish Water

Edinburgh Airport Limited

Skaala Group Oy

Baxter & Gillespie Painting Contractors Ltd

Iolair Ltd

Work highlights

  • A group action representing 22 public bodies in a commercial action in the Court of Session. There are 38 defenders and third parties, all represented by Senior and Junior Counsel.
  • Instructed by Rangers Football Club Limited on all of their commercial litigation in Scotland.
  • Acting for Skaala Group Oy in a damages action against a director.

Dentons

At Dentons, the litigation practice has a track record handling public enquiries, cross-border disputes and insolvency-related work, and is led by Douglas Blyth from Glasgow. The team is active in the energy, transport and financial services sectors and advises on a range of complex disputes, including contracts and shareholder disputes – Malcolm Gunnyeon is recommended here. Other key contacts include Fiona MacGregor, who joined as Counsel from Pinsent Masons LLP, adding to the groups complex property litigation offering. Solicitor advocate Craig Neilson, who is based in the firm's London office, will now work between London and Scotland. Elsewhere, Gareth Hale left to join Brodies LLP.

Practice head(s):

Douglas Blyth

Other key lawyers:

Malcolm Gunnyeon; Fiona MacGregor; Craig Neilson

Testimonials

‘Strong team with a good depth of knowledge throughout.’

‘Fiona MacGregor is a very good new hire from Pinsent Masons – super organised, highly responsive and always provides very clear instructions.’

As Dentons has a large, capable team it is always possible to source an individual with deep sector knowledge.’

‘Their staff are available 24/7.’

‘Douglas Blyth is an exceptional litigation partner. He thinks through matters strategically and is always one step ahead of his adversaries. Douglas is a lawyer who I would always want on my side.

Key clients

Agile Energy Recovery (Inverurie) Limited

CSignum Ltd

Design LED Products Limited

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

Eagle Couriers (Holdings) Limited N

Eden Springs UK Ltd

Edinburgh International Festival Society

Emtelle UK Ltd

Equorium, part of the Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group

Expresso Property Limited

Faimly Limited t/a Cash Generator

FrogBikes Limited

FSCom Limited

Funding Circle Limited

L.S. Smellie & Sons, Limited

Laboratoires Théa SAS

Manolete Partners PLC

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

Murgitroyd & Company Limited

MW Encap Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting for Glasgow Prestwick Airport Limited in relation to two separate public inquiries relative to windfarm developments in the proximity of the airport.
  • Acting for ProQuip in connection with invoice arrears accrued by its US distributor.
  • Advising Rajinder Bains, OMI Management Limited & OMI Facilities Limited in four complex actions with a combined value of £8m raised in the Commercial Court of the Court of Session.

Harper Macleod LLP

Singled out for its strength in depth, Harper Macleod LLP has seen an uptick in complex insolvency litigation with key areas of activity remaining in corporate and shareholder litigation. Overseen from Edinburgh by Sandy Hastie, the team excels at disputes across the construction and infrastructure sector for an enviable client base made up of public sector and corporate clients. Commercial litigation matters are handled by the Glasgow-based David Kerr who leads the team over there and is supported by Andrew MacKenzie. Fiona Pask regularly appears before the Court of Session and has a wide practice covering contract disputes and professional negligence matters. M&A-related litigation also features in the caseload.

Practice head(s):

Sandy Hastie

Other key lawyers:

David Kerr; Andrew Mackenzie; Fiona Pask

Testimonials

An excellent and increasingly prominent team.’

‘The focus is always commercial. The approach is always pragmatic. To deal with them is always a pleasure. If I were engaged in a commercial litigation, I would instruct Harper Macleod to act on my behalf.’

David Kerr and Sandy Hastie lead the teams in Glasgow and Edinburgh respectively. They are without question two of the best solicitors in Scotland. Forensic in their analysis. Measured in their advice. To work with them is always a pleasure.’

Harper Macleod are involved in many of the very high-value and high-profile commercial disputes in Scotland.’

‘They are particularly strong in areas such as shareholder disputes and the protection of minority interests.’

David Kerr and Fiona Pask are the stars at partner level. They have a fantastic client base which remains loyal because of how good their advice is.’

Great work, both in Scotland and England. Clearly dedicated to both their work and clients. Accessible and good value.’

Key clients

Lidl

Kuehne + Nagel

Optical Express Group

Greenpeace UK

HCC International Insurance

M&Co

Scottish Government

Direct Line Insurance

Redress Scotland

Glasgow City Council

Work highlights

  • Represented the Optical Express Group in a series of connected appeals to the UK Supreme Court relating to the assessment of VAT.
  • Represented Lidl in its defence of trade mark infringement and passing off proceedings raised by Wm. Grant & Sons concerning the Hendrick’s Gin brand.
  • Advised Robert Kidd on a $210m action against the purchasers of his shareholding in an oil & gas company and their solicitors based on an unlawful means conspiracy, including a successful appeal to the Inner House of the Court of Session.

MacRoberts LLP

MacRoberts LLP has strength across the insurance and energy sectors and is skilled in a wide range of commercial disputes for Scotland’s largest public and private sector clients. Highly rated practice head Julie Hamilton in Edinburgh has expertise in shareholder and contractual disputes as well as mediation. The group has added to its property disputes offering with the hire of Isobell Reid from Gillespie Macandrew LLP. Leon Breakey is the key contact for insolvency litigation, whilst key partner Gillian Craig has left the team.

Practice head(s):

Julie Hamilton

Other key lawyers:

Jennifer Mackay; Neil Kelly; Isobell Reid; Leon Breakey

Testimonials

‘Julie Hamilton is experienced and involved in cases.’

Jennifer Mackay offers a depth of understanding of cases and dedication to clients’ interests.’

‘Neil Kelly is very experienced, and his degree of care about cases is second to none.’

Key clients

Scottish Government

SSE PLC

French Duncan LLP

HCCI

Howdens

Student Loans Company

The Care Inspectorate

VPZ (the UK’s leading e-cigarette retailer)

Renewi PLC

FAAC

Castle Dairies

National Trust for Scotland

Work highlights

  • Acted for the owner and operator of a chain of Scottish pharmacies in successfully defending an application for interdict by a regional health board in respect of the use of automated machines to dispense prescription medicine out with registered pharmacy premises.
  • Acting for the Tomatin Trading Company in the successful defence of an IP action raised by the Tomatin Distillery. Alleged trade mark infringement (including allegations of bad faith) and passing off.
  • Acted for a high-net-worth individual and company director in respect of the enforcement of loan and related share pledge, also involving an urgent, successful application for interim interdict.

BTO Solicitors LLP

The commercial litigation practice at BTO Solicitors LLP is active across the renewable energy, construction and banking sectors, handling an assortment of disputes from property to insolvency matters. Headed by Grant Hunter, the team has strengthened its partnership with the addition of Angus Wood, who joined from MacRoberts LLP, and is based in the firm’s Glasgow office. Lynn Richmond is the group's accredited specialist in IP disputes.

Practice head(s):

Grant Hunter

Other key lawyers:

Angus Wood; Lynn Richmond

Testimonials

‘ Communication between the team working with me was very efficient.’

‘We were delighted with the very high level of customer service and support that was provided from Angus Wood.’

‘Lynn Richmond is a hands-on thorough, thoughtful lawyer who analyses matters carefully and thinks to the end. The result is a clear actionable strategy with no unnecessary cul-de-sacs.’

‘Angus Wood is a strong clear thinker who is willing to challenge clients to ensure that any weaknesses in a case are identified at the earliest opportunity. This ensures that the appropriate strategy is identified from the outset.’

Key clients

ADM Agriculture Limited

MAN SE

Northern Energy Developments Limited

Bullet Express Limited

Smith and McLaurin Limited

Club Los Claveles

The Scottish Football Association

Residential Management Group (Scotland) Limited

LCP Management Limited

Link Group

Exchange Communications Installations Limited

Nadeem Sarwar

Harper James Solicitors

Ocean Outdoor UK Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for a truck manufacturer; MAN SE in the defence of damages claims made in Scotland by multiple purchasers of vehicles who are founding upon the 2016 finding by the European Commission that various truck manufacturers had infringed competition law.
  • Acted for The Scottish Football Association in connection with a dispute regarding the operation of its arbitration procedures to resolve a significant commercial dispute between companies under its jurisdiction and third parties.
  • Advising Bullet Express Limited in the pursuit of a claim against Poundstretcher Limited in relation to breach of contract and damages calculated by reference to loss of profit.

Davidson Chalmers Stewart

Davidson Chalmers Stewart retains its strength in large contractual disputes and high-profile professional negligence matters across the healthcare space. Overseen from Edinburgh by seasoned mediator and arbitrator Sheila Webster, who is rated by peers and clients, the group also advises on construction disputes. New partner Magnus Miller covers contentious insolvency and real estate disputes. The team continues to be instructed by leading financial institutions and energy companies.

Practice head(s):

Sheila Webster

Other key lawyers:

Magnus Miller

Testimonials

‘They have strength in depth in the areas in which they practice. They are responsive and give expert advice in a clear, unambiguous and understandable way.’

Sheila Webster is excellent at explaining issues in an understandable and commercial way.’

Strong commercial focus. Always thinks about the practical impact on us as a business and not just the legal or process requirements of litigation. Sheila Webster is excellent at speaking in plain terms and converting law into actions or decisions.’

They have excellent attention to detail, a broad depth of experience and an approachable manner. Sheila Webster is outstanding in her field. She is knowledgeable but approachable in her manner. She has a litigation brain.’

Highly personable and technically capable. A pleasure to deal with.’

Sheila Webster has a wealth of experience which is rarely matched in Scotland.

Key clients

John Stewart Duncan / Tenant Farmers

Springfield Properties plc

Robert Kidd / A&E Investments

Pegasus Fire Protection Limited

Motability Operations Limited

Natural Assets Investments Limited

Brown Bros. (Peebles) Limited

Patersons of Greenoakhill Limited

Radisson Hotels UK Limited

Allan Watt

Work highlights

  • Acting for Natural Assets Investments Limited in defending a multi-million pound guarantee claim by HIE following the closure of the Cairngorm Mountain Funicular.
  • Acted for Motability in a claim relating to reimbursement for delays in works arising out of Covid-related delay.
  • Acted for A&E Investments and Robert Kidd in the high-profile pursuit of a well-known Scottish law firm and advocate for recovery of fees arising out of an illegal success fee arrangement.

DLA Piper

DLA Piper has a track record advising on large cross-border disputes for major corporates, financial institutions and public bodies across commercial disputes, contract litigation and IP matters. Overseen by Alistair Drummond, the team handles arbitrations, enforcement proceedings and has enhanced its offering with the hire of Stuart Murdoch from Burness Paull LLP, who advises on financial services disputes. The team remains active in the real estate and manufacturing sector for which senior associate Patrick Fulton is recommended.

Practice head(s):

Alistair Drummond

Other key lawyers:

Stuart Murdoch; Patrick Fulton

Testimonials

‘Alistair Drummond is a very experienced litigator who is well liked by clients. He heads an experienced team.’

‘Patrick Fulton is an excellent litigator. He is experienced, thorough, well prepared and mindful of clients’ commercial aims. He is a pleasure to work with.’

Key clients

Scottish Friendly Assurance

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.

Work highlights

  • Successfully defended leading UK investment property owner, Coal Pension Properties Limited, on a commercial dispute raised at the Court of Session relating to payments due by the former tenant of commercial properties, following a breach of the repairing obligations in the lease.
  • Successfully defending the owners and landlords of Scotland’s largest shopping centre development – East Kilbride Shopping Centre – against a prominent retail sector anchor tenant in relation to the enforcement of a keep open obligation, following attempts made by them to close the store despite lease commitment until 2071.
  • Representing Scotland-based client, Maven Capital Partners UK LLP, on a commercial litigation matter raised in the Court of Session relating to breach of directors’ duties and malfeasance.

DWF

At DWF, the litigation group receives a steady stream of high-value mandates across the real estate, commercial property and construction industries, acting for an array of clients from its base in Edinburgh. Led by highly rated Naomi Pryde who is singled out for her ‘strong leadership’, the team handles a range of commercial disputes and cross-border work via its global offices. Contentious planning matters are dealt with by senior associate Ursula Carrie, who joined from Morton Fraser, while Alison Grant is the key contact for insured litigation and professional negligence matters.

Practice head(s):

Naomi Pryde

Other key lawyers:

Ricky Cannon; Jill Sinclair; Andrew Lothian; Alison Grant; Ursula Carrie

Testimonials

Strong leadership. Naomi Pryde leads the team from the front, she is a strong partner and excellent litigator.’

Naomi Pryde is one of the finest lawyers of her generation. Highly capable and charming, she works devilishly hard in her client’s interests.’

Key clients

Santander Consumer (UK) Plc

Marks and Spencer Plc

McCarthy & Stone Retirement Lifestyles Limited

The Highland Council

Mobile Broadband Network Limited

Shawbrook Bank Limited

Orkney Islands Council

Work highlights

  • Successfully defending The Highland Council in a judicial review action challenging the Council’s decision to approve plans for a £17.3m spaceport at the A’Mhoine Peninsula.
  • Defending Orkney Islands Council and Orkney Ferries Limited in a Competition Appeal Tribunal application alleging that our clients are operating an illegal cartel.
  • Acting for Marks & Spencer plc (“M&S”) in a high-profile litigation.

Gilson Gray

Gilson Gray is known for its high-value commercial contract disputes, shareholder disputes and complex Court of Session litigations. The group also has extensive coverage of the insolvency and construction sector with expertise in international arbitration, particularly in the Middle East. Spearheaded by Rosie Walker, the group is made up of key players; Keith Anderson, who is the name for contentious insolvency, and senior associate Iain Grant, who advises on contract disputes. The firm has enhanced its presence, acquiring Dundee-based practice Baillie Shepherd, adding three experienced lawyers to its team, including legal director Ken Glass.

Practice head(s):

Rosie Walker

Other key lawyers:

Keith Anderson; Iain Grant; Ken Glass

Testimonials

The team is commercially aware both in its legal knowledge and in its approach to litigation. The people are high quality as lawyers and humans. They have not put a foot wrong in the advice given to us.

‘Rosie Walker is brilliant. She knows the industry inside-out and is trusted by some of the big corporate firms to handle their corporate applications in the Court of Session. She is genuinely up their with the best of them.’

‘Keith Anderson is a brilliant solicitor. He is like a dog with a bone and always gets fantastic results for his clients, often even when the cases are borderline.’

Rosie Walker is a modern, dynamic lawyer who leads her team by example. Her impressive intellect is matched by a strong work ethic. She is easy to work with and communicates well.

‘A broad and experienced commercial litigation team. Rosie Walker heads the team and is very experienced and alert to key issues and always accessible.’

The team excelled at grasping all necessary facts and details as well as at presenting them to the Scottish court in the most efficient way.’

‘Keith Anderson is very dedicated and attentive to details.’

Ken Glass brings a substantial body of knowledge in legal matters built up over a number of years. As a client his expertise and empathy in commercial and personal legal matters has been outstanding.’

Key clients

Bogside Investments Limited

Weekett Limited

Heart of Midlothian plc

Spartan Race UK Operations Ltd t/a Tough Mudder

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

Scotmid

Dickson Minto WS

Leafrealm Land Limited

AMA (New Town) Limited

Mansfield Care Limited

Avant Homes Scotland Limited

Grant Thornton UK LLP

KPMG

Enterprise Rent-a-Car Limited

Ernst & Young

London & Country Mortgages Limited

Arnold Clark Automobiles Ltd

Shaf Rasul

Robert Matthew Johnson Marshall Limited

Caledonian Trust plc

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

James & George Collie solicitors

HBH Hydraulics Limited

MacInnes Brothers 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

George Hanson

Middlebrooks Business Recovery and Advice

Musselburgh Joint Racing Committee

Federation of British Race Course Bookmakers

DCL Joiners

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

Wilson Imports Limited

Sotheby’s

Subsea Supplies Limited

Colin Murray Developments Ltd

James Gibb Property Management Ltd

Centric Community Projects Limited

Castle European Limited

Condies Business Recovery and Insolvency

Robin Finlayson, Richard Sowter & Harry Bocker (shareholders in Sinnalba Group Ltd)

Antony Duthie

Aberdeen Laundry Services Limited

Birketts LLP

Carnbroe Estates Limited

CSN Care Group Limited

Delete Limited

Andersons Joinery

Associated British Ports

Contractor Property Rentals Limited

Dalkeith Apartments Limited

Disruptive Brands Ltd

Eros Retail Ltd

FGH Architectural and Building Design Services

GTC Infrastructure Limited

Happiness Delivered Ltd

Invertay Homes Ltd

Kaas Properties Limited

KO Franchise Ltd

Partick Thistle Football Club Ltd

Polygon Marketing Limited

Plutus Developments Ltd

Scot Heating Company Limited

Scottish Golf Ltd

Skwishee Ltd

Stream Marine Training Group Limited

Vivers Scotlamb Limited

WM Goodfellow (Contractors) Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising the first to fifth defenders on the highest value claim (Robert Kidd v Lime Rock Management LLP) ever raised in Scotland in relation to a dispute arising out of an investment in a company by the Lime Rock Group.
  • Instructed by Dickson Minto WS to assist obtain Court of Session Sanction for a Scheme of Arrangement
  • Acted for Leafrealm Land Limited in a long running, complex, ransom strip dispute in the Court of Session Commercial Court concerning title and use of a ransom strip.

Lindsays

Bolstered by its strong rural practice, Lindsays has seen an increase in instructions across the agricultural sector, as well as sport and transportation. The group handles contentious commercial contracts, shareholder disputes and regulatory work for SME clients and religious organisations. John Bett leads the team from Glasgow, which is made up of accredited mediator Brent Haywood, and senior associates Gregor MacEwan and Brian Pollock in Glasgow.

Practice head(s):

John Bett

Other key lawyers:

Brent Haywood; Gregor MacEwan; Brian Pollock

Testimonials

‘Brent Haywood and the team at Lindsays deliver practical, commercial advice on Scots Law and procedure in a user-friendly, collaborative and responsive way, enabling my firm to provide a seamless service and advice to our clients where there is a Scots law element to a query.’

‘They fulfill an extremely effective, efficient and good value co-counsel role on disputes with a cross-border element.’

Very professional and extremely trustworthy litigation specialists. excellent communicators.’

Brent Haywood stands out as exercising wise and balanced judgment in the difficult areas of law in which he operates. He is a calm and competent practitioner, prepared to address contemporary issues. He is well respected by those around him.’

Brent is thoroughly collegiate in his approach and regularly goes above and beyond to assist us and our clients.’

Key clients

C J Lang & Son

Scottish Water

McGivney Construction

British Boxing Board of Control

Lamond & Murray

David King, former chairman of Rangers International Football Club plc

The University of Glasgow

The University of Edinburgh

Billy Graham Evangelistic Association

Dundee United Football Company Limited

The Christian Institute

Work highlights

  • Acted for Mayfly Gwr Offshort Industria E comerio Ltd in Court of Session commercial action valued in excess of £10m.
  • Our client; Mater sa/ Belgium is pursing Volvo in respect of breach of warranty claims concerning 20 large dump trucks supplied for use in North Africa.
  • Acted for  The Dundee United Football Company limited; Raith Rovers Football Club Limited; and Cove Rangers Football Club Limited Successful defence of petition served on three of our Scottish football clients to challenge the outcome of the football season in top-flight Scottish football.

Morton Fraser

At Morton Fraser, the team is instructed by large businesses on commercial litigation matters with a focus on contractual disputes, real estate and insolvency cases. Practice head and dual-qualified Richard McMeeken handles cross-border commercial disputes and can leverage the firm’s membership of Interlaw to work with English law firms. Nicola Ross in Glasgow handles shareholder disputes and is recommended for property litigation.

Practice head(s):

Richard McMeeken

Other key lawyers:

Nicola Ross

Testimonials

Well-organised and professional. Richard McMeeken combines strong legal knowledge with a practical approach to clients’ problems.’

Nicola Ross is a highly experienced litigator and it shows. She inspires confidence. She listens to her clients and welcomes their input. This is not always the case for litigation partners.’

Diligent and responsive, demonstrating swift replies to enquiries.

Key clients

BV10 Limited

Heineken UK Ltd

Kinder Interiors Limited

Angelline (Scotland) Limited

Standard Life Trustee Company Limited

Stewart Milne Group Limited

Cosco Shipping Limited

Softcell Medical Limited

Micron Europe Limted

RM & JF Seed/ADM Agriculture

Work highlights

  • Acting for BV10 Limited in a complex shareholder dispute with the Allanvale Group of companies.
  • Acting for the liquidator of Beechmount Limited in a valuable dispute with a shareholder over application of a contract entered into prior to the company’s liquidation.
  • Acting for Angelline (Scotland) Limited in a significant Court of Session dispute arising out of the sale and purchase of a pharmaceutical business.

Shoosmiths

Shoosmiths has demonstrable strength across insolvency and finance litigation, acting for a large roster of clients including the Royal Bank of Scotland. The group has seen an increase of activity across professional negligence matters and is jointly led by solicitor advocate Stuart Clubb and Andrew Foyle. Highlighted by clients as ‘excellent‘, the litigation team also handles shareholder disputes and advises on recoveries litigation. Contractual disputes are handled by dual-qualified Ben Zielinski.

Practice head(s):

Stuart Clubb; Andrew Foyle

Other key lawyers:

Ben Zielinski

Testimonials

‘The team at Shoosmiths is regarded as one of the best in Scotland. It is full of very clever lawyers, whose names appear regularly in the most complex of commercial cases. On any view, a force to be reckoned with.’

‘Ben Zielinski – highly experienced. Great know-how. Very calm. A good negotiator.’

Shoosmiths is a substantial and well-resourced firm which has instructed me on a wide range of work, illustrating the range of work covered by their litigation practice. That has included Electronic Communications Code disputes, pension funds advice, professional negligence claims and IP litigation.’

‘Stuart Clubb is the partner that I have dealt with most. He is very strong both in terms of his technical ability and his ability to engage with clients. He is an excellent communicator.’

Stuart Clubb is an excellent solicitor. His legal analysis is very good. He fights hard for his clients. A guy you want in your corner.’

Excellent knowledge and expertise of commercial litigation and practice in Scotland.’

‘Main person I work with is Stuart Clubb. He is an excellent lawyer with in-depth and extensive knowledge and understanding of commercial litigation in Scotland.’

‘Stuart Clubb is practical and commercial in his approach. He communicates well, keeps clients up to date on progress with cases and is a pleasure to work with.’

Key clients

Rebound Technology Group Holdings Limited

The Royal Bank of Scotland plc / Natwest Group

Boots UK Limited

Poundland Limited

Cabot Financial UK Limited

SSE / Ovo Energy

Screwfix Direct Ltd

Middlebrooks

Grahams The Family Dairy

Close Brothers Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting on behalf of a property developer in a high-value breach of contract and professional negligence action against its former architects and cost consultants.
  • Acting on behalf of a specialist product design company in the defence of a patent infringement action in the Court of Session.
  • Acting on behalf of a specialist insolvency litigation claims acquisition company in the pursuit of a high-value unpaid director’s loan.

Stronachs LLP

‘Punching above its weight‘, the Aberdeen-based litigation group at Stronachs LLP is active in the oil and gas, energy and construction sectors, receiving instructions from leading companies on international disputes. The team has extensive experience in property litigation and insolvency cases, and is led by Robert McDiarmid. In Inverness, solicitor advocate Colin Sandilands leads the dispute team there and holds various Highland businesses and investors as key clients. The group is also skilled in mediation.

Practice head(s):

Robert McDiarmid

Other key lawyers:

Colin Sandiland; Aulo Vallarino

Testimonials

Colin Sandilands is a lovely guy, extremely professional, very bright and effective, and despite all of that, modest.’

The team at Stronachs is small, but punches above its weight in terms of quality of clients and cases.’

‘Aulo Vallarino is an excellent lawyer. He is thorough, well prepared, measured and commercially minded. Clients like him, and rightly so. He is one to watch for the future.’

‘Robert McDiarmid is a very experienced litigator who is likeable, and well regarded by clients and peers.’

Robert McDiarmid and Aulo Vallarino are the two solicitors we work with. They are very reassuring and make you confident in their ability to give the right advice.’

They’re just a really great team. The integration between solicitors in the Aberdeen office is seamless.’

‘You always get the feeling they all know what everyone has going on, so that everyone can pick up other matters’

‘I have found Colin Sandilands to be very efficient in dealing with his work and in keeping a good grip on their cases.’

Key clients

Weatherford International PLC

Mr Cameron Anderson, Mrs Emily Anderson and Subsea Tooling Services UK Limited

Airo-Tech Solutions Limited

Marshall Errock Construction Limited

G F Bissett (Inverbervie) Limited

Angus Sinclair

BritNRG Limited

Inverness Glass Co Ltd

Glen Mhor Ltd

Caledonian Logistics Ltd

Work highlights

  • Acting for Weatherford International plc and subsidiaries in respect of a high-value, multi-jurisdictional and complex series of litigations relating to breach of contract and IP issues.
  • Acting for BritNRG Limited in relation to a series of complex and inter-connected corporate disputes involving proceedings at the High Court and in the Scottish Courts with a listed company.
  • Advised Caledonian Logistics Ltd in a significant dilapidations claim in a Court of Session Commercial Action.

Aberdein Considine

Aberdein Considine is instructed by a large roster of domestic companies and multinational corporations, including Pfizer, on commercial contract disputes, insolvency matters and IP litigation. Practice head Euan McSherry is active in the energy, and food and drink sectors whilst Ross Webb regularly appears before the sheriff courts throughout Scotland and in the Court of Session.

Practice head(s):

Euan McSherry

Other key lawyers:

Ross Webb

Testimonials

‘Aberdein Considine’s instructions are well prepared; they show a clear grasp of detail and cases that have been thoroughly thought through.’

‘The main partner I’ve dealt with recently has been Ross Webb, who has been commercial and good with detail, and also good at getting to the heart of the matter.’

‘Euan McSherry is very highly regarded in Scotland as a litigator but also as a dispute resolution expert.’

‘As a commercial mediator I have the privilege of working with many solicitors who instruct me and Euan McSherry is highly regarded and respected within the legal profession, and is also well known amongst mediators for recommending mediation to his clients and using mediation to resolve disputes.’

Euan McSherry continues to impress us. We have built up a fantastic relationship with Euan and really value and trust the expertise that he brings to the table.’

‘Euan McSherry is an excellent communicator, breaking down and explaining complex legal issues so that we can understand them clearly.’

‘Euan McSherry always looks out for our (the company’s) best interests and pushes to resolve our legal issues as efficiently as possible. It is a pleasure working with him.’

Key clients

Pfizer

Mowi (Scotland)

Texo Group

Tiso Group

Solenis Group

Royal & Ancient – St Andrews

Petroineous

Barrs Hydro Limited

Utility ROV Limited

Broxburn Bottlers Limited

Shepherd Chartered Surveyors

Griffins Chartered Accountants

Jetlogic Limited

Consultiv Utilities Limited

Manolete Partners PLC

LFH Engineering Limited

Grant Thornton UK LLP

Staffscanner Limited

RSM UK Restructuring Advisory

Peveril Securities Ltd

John Inglis

Work highlights

  • Acting for Pfizer Inc in the defence of Court of Session proceedings.
  • Acting for Texo Group in relation to a multi-million pound commercial dispute.
  • Acting for Mowi Group in relation to a business critical action which protects is people, its product and its commercial interests.