Rising Stars

Employment in Scotland

Brodies LLP

Brodies LLP‘s reputation is bolstered by its prominent position in the energy sector, largely thanks to its strong presence in Aberdeen, and its expertise in the financial services, public and transportation industries. Seasoned litigator Tony Hadden heads the practice, which handles a wide range of contentious and non-contentious employment law matters, including transactional affairs; Lynne Marr is a key contact for the latter. In the contentious space, one recent dispute involved acting for M&G plc on an employment tribunal concerning claims of race discrimination. Joan Cradden is the first port of call for clients operating in the financial services sector, having handled a significant volume of industrial relations issues as well as executive hires and dismissals. Immigration expert Elaine McIlroy is another key member of the team.

Practice head(s):

Tony Hadden

Other key lawyers:

Joan Cradden; Lynne Marr; Brian Campbell; Elaine McIlroy; Fiona Herrell


‘Their advice is always practical, and they are also very responsive.’

‘Tony Hadden: Highly experienced, commercial, understands our business and risk appetites. Feels like part of the team, not an external adviser – a rare thing.’

‘Fiona Herrell is easy to deal with and always has a calm and professional demeanor.  She also really takes time to listen and understand scenarios, and I like the way Fiona has developed our relationship and has invested time to understand our company, our culture and our challenges.’

‘The employment law team is extremely knowledgeable and really supports their clients. They provide amazing support services.’

‘I could not be more impressed with their response times, their flexibility and their support, which allowed us to reach a very satisfactory solution for all parties. Would highly recommend them.’

‘I worked with Joan Cradden, whose representation was skilled, compassionate and showed absolute commitment.’

‘Lynne Marr gets to grips with the issues very quickly and understands the complexities of our business.’

‘Brian Campbell: Knowledgeable, practical, accessible, intuitive, precise; the main reasons we continue to put all of our trust in Brodies in this area.’

Key clients

Bristow Helicopters Limited

National Westminster Bank PLC

Ponticelli UK Limited

Artemis Investment Management LLP

Capricorn Energy PLC

City of Edinburgh Council

M&G plc

Computershare Investor Services PLC

Ooni Limited

Work highlights

  • Assisted Capricorn Energy PLC with the design and implementation of a voluntary redundancy programme, and with other issues arising from the shareholder dispute over their future strategic direction.
  • Advised M&G plc on a grievance involving allegations of race discrimination.
  • Assisted City of Edinburgh Council with an employment investigation and delivered comprehensive training to a new investigations team established in the council.

Burness Paull LLP

Under the leadership of Mandy Laurie from Glasgow, Burness Paull LLP's sizeable practice covers the entire spectrum of employment law, with the team counting players from Scotland’s key industries to its client portfolio, including oil and gas, food and drink, financial services, sport and media. The firm provides TUPE support – where Morag Moffett is an essential contact – and reorganisation advice in transactional matters, while typical contentious work includes employment tribunal claims and senior executive departures, an area in which Morag Hutchison excels. David Morgan anchors the team’s trade union and industrial relations offering. Other key individuals include Andrew Knight, a corporate transactional specialist in the energy sector, and Jennifer Skeoch, who focuses on client relationships in Europe and North America.

Practice head(s):

Mandy Laurie

Other key lawyers:

David Morgan; Jennifer Skeoch; Andrew Knight; Morag Moffett; Tricia Walker; Ronald Mackay


‘The employment law team headed by Mandy Laurie is excellent. Commercial and pragmatic.’

‘The experience, knowledge and the ability to provide solutions assists us to take measured and reasonable decisions.’

‘Mandy Laurie is exceptional. She can always find a pragmatic and commercial solution to any issue.’

‘David Morgan’s experience of handling complex trade union issues has benefited us greatly. His perception and considered analysis is most valuable.’

‘Andrew Knight is very capable and technically astute.’

‘Morag Moffett: Very quickly tunes in to any issues that we face, which allows her to give focussed, solutions-driven advice.’

‘Ronald Mackay: Calm and assured in his advice with a lot of experience of our sector and the challenges that we face.’

Key clients

Whyte & Mackay

Independent Television News

Baker Hughes

SSE plc.

Highland Spring

Scottish Football Association

Royal Dutch Shell plc

A.G. Barr plc


Everton FC

Work highlights

  • Appointed to provide employment support to the Chief People and Culture Officer and team at Everton FC.
  • Providing Independent Television News with employment support, in addition to foreign legal advice for the client’s overseas workforce.
  • Represented Baker Hughes in the successful defence of an employment tribunal claim for unfair dismissal, whistleblowing detriment and race discrimination.


CMS' practice advises on the full remit of contentious and non-contentious employment law; the team’s diverse expertise covers the energy, financial services, consumer goods, education, tech and public sectors. Practice head Alison Woods' strength lies in multijurisdictional mandates, working in close conjunction with offices across the UK and overseas. The group’s high-value transactional work is a significant workstream, although it is also well placed to represent employers in high-profile contentious matters – where Finlay McKay is an essential contact. Areas of recent growth include workplace investigations, such as discrimination claims and regulatory misconduct, and industrial action advice. Gillian MacLellan is renowned for her work with non-departmental public bodies, while Catriona Aldridge heads the firm’s ESG Centre of Excellence.

Practice head(s):

Alison Woods

Other key lawyers:

Gillian MacLellan; Finlay McKay; Catriona Aldridge; Mark Walker; Eric Gilligan


‘Excellent employment law knowledge and a business-like/commercial attitude to dealing with employment disputes.’

‘Gillian MacLellan: I value her expertise, knowledge and guidance in the area of employment law. Extremely knowledgeable and client-focused, deals with disputes practically and always from a commercial point of view.’

‘Catriona Aldridge is responsive and pragmatic. Catriona takes the time to understand what matters to us as a firm, meaning that advice is tailored to us and our ways of working/ appetite.’

Key clients



Baillie Gifford

ISIO Group Limited

Franklin Templeton

Scottish Enterprise

NEO Energy

Ithaca Energy



National Museums Scotland

Gleneagles Hotels

Scottish Event Campus

Baxters Food Group

Heriot Watt University



Work highlights

  • Represented Stonewall in a high-profile dispute involving allegations that they caused and/or induced Garden Court Chambers to discriminate against a barrister as a result of her gender-critical beliefs.
  • Advised BP on the employment aspects of the establishment of Azule Energy, the joint venture combining Eni and BP’s Angolan businesses.
  • Advised Aviva Investors on the employment aspects of the outsourcing to BNY Mellon for £230bn worth of assets under management across its liquid funds in the UK.

Anderson Strathern

Anderson Strathern's extensive experience spans both contentious and non-contentious employment law; the practice is the first port of call for education and public sector clients, due not least to the specialism of Andrew Brown and Alun Thomas in this space. Thomas is renowned for his mediation capabilities, while practice head Chris McDowall has an exceptional record in employment tribunal proceedings, drawing on his expertise in discrimination law, an area in which Robin Turnbull is also sought after. Trade union and industrial relations issues are typically handled by Musab Hemsi. On the non-contentious side, the group handles TUPE, restructuring and redundancy issues.

Practice head(s):

Chris McDowall

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Brown; Alun Thomas; Musab Hemsi; Robin Turnbull


‘The team, particularly my point of contact, Musab Hemsi, is an asset to our business. They provide clear and concise guidance in a timely manner. The team is personable and makes asking questions easier and more open. I know my data is safe and that the company takes every concern on board.’

‘Chris McDowall: An effective and energetic lawyer.’

‘Musab Hemsi: Truly a service with a smile. Always provides high-quality, tailored advice. It feels like I am chatting to a friend when seeking advice and I feel comfortable sharing complex information knowing that I will get a clear answer on how to proceed.’

Key clients

Scottish Government

Royal College of Nursing

Scottish Prison Service

Royal College of Surgeons

Royal Zoological Society of Scotland


Glasgow Rangers Football Club

Aston Martin Lagonda

Cranswick plc

Dron & Dickson

Work highlights

  • Advised the Royal College of Nursing on UK-wide pay negotiations and industrial action.
  • Advised Ridgewall Ltd on a large restructuring, including international outsourcing work and redundancy advice.
  • Advised Aston Martin Lagonda on creating a bespoke IR35 compliance framework, including delivering training across HR, recruitment, finance and procurement teams.

Morton Fraser MacRoberts

Morton Fraser MacRoberts (the result of the late-2023 merger between Morton Fraser and MacRoberts LLP) is known for its extensive experience in employment tribunal and discrimination work; Lindsey Cartwright excels in the former and newly promoted partner Sarah Gilzean in the latter. The team’s diverse client roster encompassing both the public and private sectors includes employers as well as senior executives and other employees. Edinburgh-based practice head Innes Clark often handles senior executive departures, but also has expertise in TUPE matters and provides transactional support to the firm’s corporate group; other non-contentious workflows concern restructuring programmes and Covid-19-related mandates. Other recommended individuals include David Walker, who specialises in TUPE and project-related work, and commercial mediator David Hossack. Following the merger, Kenny Scott, Eleanor Mannion and Meghan Jenkins also contribute to the practice

Practice head(s):

Innes Clark

Other key lawyers:

Lindsey Cartwright; David Walker; David Hossack; Alan Delaney; Sarah Gilzean; Hayley Johnson; Elise Turner; Kenny Scott; Eleanor Mannion; Meghan Jenkins


‘Each time they have made complex situations simple. They have people who remain professional but also act as people – very important! No question was “stupid” and they really made it less emotional.’

‘Hayley Johnson managed the situation professionally and compassionately.’

‘They are very responsive to all requests, appreciating the immediate nature of some of these questions.’

Key clients

Ministry of Defence

Police Scotland

Schuh Limited

Scottish Government and the Office of the Advocate General

Loch Lomond Sea Planes Limited

Royal Mail Group Limited


Micron Europe Ltd

Scottish Legal Aid Board

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar

Work highlights

  • Assisted Unison with a large equal pay litigation matter in Scotland.
  • Represented a company in the Priory Group in relation to constructive dismissal and disability discrimination claims arising out of a refusal to wear a face mask during the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Advising a board level director on possible age discrimination and unfair dismissal claims, and negotiated a high-value severance arrangement.

Pinsent Masons LLP

With the Aberdeen-based Claire Scott at the helm, Pinsent Masons LLP has a particular specialism in energy-related employment matters; she has extensive experience advising international clients across the oil and gas, shipping and aviation industries. Infrastructure employment head Stuart Neilson is often called upon in employment tribunals, senior executive departures, TUPE and trade union issues, and is based in Glasgow alongside financial services sector expert Diane Nicol and legal director Susannah Donaldson. Legal director Sarah Munro is a key contact in Edinburgh.

Practice head(s):

Claire Scott

Other key lawyers:

Diane Nicol; Stuart Neilson; Susannah Donaldson; Sarah Munro; Gillian Ross


‘The team shows a friendly attitude and close attention to the client’s needs and expectation. Timeliness and accuracy in responses are also a value.’

‘Claire Scott always shows a high commitment for the delivery of legal tasks, as well as an outstanding attention for any related need from the client in terms of timeliness and reachability.’

‘Pinsent Masons’ employment team has a strong set of pragmatic lawyers, who are able to provide commercially focused advice. The team really listens to the client’s concern and helps to work, in partnership, on a solution to the matter. Across the board from litigation, to drafting, advisory work and bespoke queries, the Pinsent Masons’ team delivers strong clear legal advice.’

Key clients

St Modwen


Eni S.pA

Balfour Beatty plc

Wood plc

Work highlights

  • Assisted St Mowden with the design and implementation of various products and initiatives to help clients adopt a cohesive approach to EDI and employment law.
  • Providing employment law support as part of the advice to Ithaca Energy on its £2.5bn IPO and premium listing on the main market of the London Stock Exchange.
  • Providing employment law advice to Eni S.p.A in respect of its acquisition of BP’s business in Algeria.

BTO Solicitors LLP

With the Glasgow-based Caroline Carr anchoring BTO Solicitors LLP's employment law offering, it continues to stand out for its work in the healthcare sector, but the team also has expertise in the social housing, education and insurance industries. Clients often seek assistance with TUPE transfers, complex grievances and redundancy procedures; an area of notable growth has been employment tribunal proceedings, such as those pertaining to discrimination claims. Known for her specialism in the education sector, the Glasgow-based Laura Salmond is an essential contact for trade union and federation members. Dawn Robertson often handles senior executive departures, while senior associate Douglas Strang is recommended for his TUPE expertise.

Practice head(s):

Caroline Carr

Other key lawyers:

Laura Salmond; Dawn Robertson; Douglas Strang


‘I have had nothing but positive experiences with BTO. They reply very quickly to enquiries and are always willing to help, which is incredibly useful when you need a fast response. Nothing seems to be too much bother for them!’

‘I’ve had contact with lots of different people in the team and have found them all to be really helpful, providing excellent advice. Not only are the responses of high quality, each person is friendly and builds a relationship with you.’

‘Laura Salmond always takes the time to meet new members of our team and ensures we are getting the advice from her team that we need.  She’s lovely and clearly works extremely hard. I’ve been very impressed with the team at BTO.’

‘The approach is highly commercial and practical and seeks a fair and respectful outcome, which is what we as clients are also seeking.’

‘Laura Salmond is a busy lawyer but always returns calls without any prompting. She makes herself available despite her busy schedule, which is a strength I value. She delivers on time and provides concise opinions with which to work. Her manner and approach are also strengths, which I value.’

Key clients

British Medical Association

Royal and Sun Alliance Plc

Medical & Dental Defence Union of Scotland

Mactaggart & Mickel Ltd

Strathclyde Partnership for Transport

Scottish Police Federation

Glasgow Kelvin College

ng homes

Epilepsy Scotland

Intelligent Pensions Ltd

Bethany Christian Trust

Scott Group Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Mactaggart & Mickel on all employment aspects of the £46m sale of a Scottish housebuilder business.
  • Assisted a multinational insurance company headquartered in London with the successful defence of employment tribunal claims.
  • Advised Derbyshire Technology Solutions Company on the employment law aspects of a capital investment by a global private equity firm.

Clyde & Co

With accredited employment and discrimination expert Stephen Miller at the helm, Clyde & Co is well equipped to guide clients – most of which operate in the public sector – through employment tribunal litigation, pay disputes and whistleblowing investigations. The Glasgow-based Graham Mitchell has particular expertise in the last-mentioned segment; he complements the team's sector focus with expertise in the transport and construction space. The group is also well placed to handle TUPE transfers and other non-contentious mandates. Discrimination law experts Frances Ross and Robert King are other key members of the team.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Miller

Other key lawyers:

Graham Mitchell; Frances Ross; Robert King


‘It is the knowledge of, manner of and access to the team which I find invaluable and which makes them stand out from other firms. I contact them when it is a difficult issue, often requiring urgent advice, or a complex employment tribunal claim. They consistently provide a high level of service.’

‘Their in-depth knowledge of my organisation and their awareness of the environment in which it operates is exceptional.’

‘Stephen Miller is an outstanding employment lawyer, who consistently delivers pragmatic and clear advice on the most complex of issues.’

Key clients

W H Malcom Limited

Glasgow City Council

North Lanarkshire Council

Scottish Leather Group Limited

City of Edinburgh Council

Scottish Ballet

Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Forth Valley College

North Ayrshire Council

Inverclyde Council

Work highlights


Under the leadership of the Glasgow-based Alison Weatherhead, Dentons' non-contentious employment law offering is particularly strong; the group handles corporate, commercial and TUPE matters in the UK and internationally. On the contentious side, Mark Hamilton has extensive experience in trade union and industrial relations issues, while Claire Maclean specialises in employment tribunal advocacy. Elouisa Crichton's expertise extends to discrimination law and data protection-related employment matters.

Practice head(s):

Alison Weatherhead

Other key lawyers:

Mark Hamilton; Elouisa Crichton; Sarah Jackman; Claire Maclean


‘Dentons has an unparalleled breadth of work and expertise in the employment field. The team works really collaboratively, with in-house teams and counsel working seamlessly together.’

‘Claire MacLean is the go-to expert on TUPE. Elouisa Crichton is going to go far, and is a real asset as an associate.’

‘Dentons works well with their London-based teams and with a seamless join – they can provide experienced legal counsel at more realistic hourly rates.’

‘Elouisa Crichton: A safe pair of hands and able to deliver advice in a straightforward pragmatic way. Alison Weatherhead: Personable and easy to deal with.’

‘Dentons combines expertise across many areas, which means that although my primary contact is within the employment law function, I have the strong reassurance that should any issue cross into other knowledge fields or jurisdictions, the firm is able to handle the matter within themselves.’

‘Elouisa Crichton is an excellent employment law practitioner.’

‘They are extremely personable and easy to work with and collaborative in style and like to involve counsel at an early stage. This is in stark contrast to many of its direct competitor firms, which often keep counsel in the dark and adopt silo working practices. Everyone in the team has been very diligent and competent and capable of turning work around at short notice.’

‘One of the standout individuals, who deserves specific mention, is Claire Maclean.’

Key clients

Airwair International Limited

Grünenthal Pharma GmbH & Co.KG

Jackson Distillers Limited

The Holyrood Distillery Limited

Mitie FM Ltd

Amazon UK Services Limited

John Lewis Plc

Aggreko Plc

Ascensos Limited

The Edrington Group

Network Rail Infrastructure Limited

Howco Group plc

Halfords plc

MND Scotland

Work highlights

  • Advised John Lewis on a range of internal projects, acting as part of their in-house employment law team working directly with commercial and HR colleagues within the business.
  • Provided the UK Government with TUPE advice, among other matters, in connection to service provision changes within the public sector.
  • Assisted Mitie plc with employment tribunal claims in the UK, and provided further advice to its HR team on policy and employment issues.

Shepherd and Wedderburn

Shepherd and Wedderburn is the first port of call for a number of clients operating in the education, tech and financial services sectors. The expertise of Neil Maclean and his team includes non-contentious employment law and HR advice, employment tribunal defence against claims of discrimination and unfair dismissal, among others, as well as corporate and transactional matters, including TUPE transfers and restructuring programmes. Other key individuals include senior associate Gillian Moore and consultant Deborah Miller.

Practice head(s):

Neil Maclean

Other key lawyers:

Gillian Moore; Deborah Miller


‘Pragmatic insightful advice, pulling in expertise from across the firm where necessary to provide a holistic overview.’

‘Deborah Miller: Diligent, realistic, strategic adviser with excellent communication skills. Pragmatic advice taking into account the client’s entire world rather than a single specific legal issue.’

‘Highly responsive team.’

Key clients

The University of Edinburgh

The University of Glasgow

The University of Aberdeen

Mangata Limited

Baillie Gifford

NHS Highland

Vallourec Oil & Gas

Cirrus Logic International (UK) Ltd

Medtronic Limited

Halfords Group Plc

The Scottish Professional Football League Trust

Scottish National Investment Bank

SuperAwesome Trading Limited

Ricardo plc

Work highlights

  • Successfully represented The University of Glasgow in a three-week hearing in the Glasgow Employment Tribunal, defending claims of direct and indirect sex discrimination brought in connection with its academic promotions process.
  • Provided one of Edinburgh’s largest investment funds, Baillie Gifford, with employment law and HR advice.
  • Advised TMC Pharma Services on the £18m minority investment by mid-market private equity firm LDC.

Thorntons Law LLP

Thorntons Law LLP has carved out a strong practice advising education sector clients, housing associations and the wider public sector. Dundee-based team head Noele McClelland has experience handling various grievances and disputes at executive level, often involving complex governance issues. Also recommended for her contentious capabilities is discrimination law specialist Debbie Fellows (Perth and Dundee), whose broader expertise reflects the team’s non-contentious workload, including redundancies, reorganisations and TUPE transfers. Accredited employment law expert Chris Phillips is the main contact in Edinburgh.

Practice head(s):

Noele McClelland

Other key lawyers:

Debbie Fellows; Chris Phillips; Amy Jones


‘Thorntons has a highly experienced employment law team in addition to in-house expertise in related areas, including immigration, health and safety, personal injury and intellectual property. They provide excellent employment law advice in a clear and concise way, taking account of different aspects of an issue.’

‘Debbie Fellows is exceptional to work with. She is highly knowledgeable about employment law generally, as well as in a higher education context. She provides very high-quality, comprehensive employment law advice in a clear and concise way.

‘Thorntons has always been able to respond in a timescale that meets our needs, and often at quite short notice.’

Key clients

Wheatley Group

Melville Housing Association Ltd

Museum and Galleries Scotland

University of Stirling

Robert Gordon University

James Hutton Institute

Intelligent Growth Solutions

Police Scotland

St Andrews Links Trust

Abertay University

Work highlights

  • Advised Bluebird Care Ltd in relation to a dispute involving TUPE, employee misconduct and an unusual termination based on pressing business needs and pressure from a third party.
  • Successfully defended Sayegh Orthodontics Ltd in an unfair dismissal hearing regarding employment status.
  • Advised City of Glasgow College on the introduction of a college-wide voluntary severance scheme.

Addleshaw Goddard

Addleshaw Goddard's team in Scotland is an important component of the firm’s UK-wide practice, which allows the group to excel in cross-border employment mandates. Practice head David Hughes – a solicitor advocate and certified mediator – specialises in employment tribunal proceedings involving claims of discrimination and unfair dismissal, as well as industrial relations issues, whistleblowing investigations and business reorganisations. Kelly Brown is recommended for her financial services knowledge, while the team’s sector expertise extends to retail and transport.

Practice head(s):

David Hughes

Other key lawyers:

Kelly Brown; Robert Phillips; Andrea Hunter; Gillian Hutchison


‘Addleshaw Goddard is consistently excellent, available and approachable.’

‘Andrea Hunter is technically excellent and combines that with a deep understanding of the business and that personal touch you can’t teach. Andrea is undoubtedly one to watch for the future.’

‘Very responsive, pragmatic solutions and aligned with the business risk appetite.’

‘David Hughes: Very comprehensive support, reliable and understands our business, culture and history.’

Key clients

Bilfinger UK

British Airways

Waldorf Group

Royal Mail Group



Federal Mogul Friction Products Limited


Circularity Scotland

Aria Healthcare

Work highlights

  • Advised a financial services tech company on a significant restructuring exercise across 20 jurisdictions.
  • Assisted a large UK bank with employment tribunal litigation.
  • Acted for an aviation company in the defence of a case brought by around 700 claimants following a Covid-19-related restructuring.

Blackadders LLP

Blackadders LLP is well equipped to guide employers and employees through the full spectrum of employment law. Dundee-based co-head Simon Allison acts for the former client group with a particular focus on the construction, manufacturing and transport sectors; fellow co-head Donna Reynolds adds to this offering with her expertise in unfair dismissal and disability discrimination claims. Elsewhere, the group’s continued healthcare focus has resulted in frequent instructions from GP practices, and due not least to its partnership with T C Young, it has also represented a number of housing associations. Stephen Connolly and Jack Boyle are recommended for their specialism in employment tribunal proceedings.

Practice head(s):

Simon Allison; Donna Reynolds

Other key lawyers:

Stephen Connolly; Jack Boyle

Key clients

University of Dundee

TC Young LLP

Hillcrest Maintenance Limited

David Livingstone Trust

Leisure & Culture Dundee

Martin Aitken & Co

Reith Lambert FM LLP

Royal College of Physicians & Surgeons, Glasgow

Global Connections Scotland Ltd

Two Fat Ladies Ltd

Ubuntu Women’s Shelter

Dunedin Advisory

Scotland Food & Drink

First Scottish Group

Staff Buddy Limited

Mihaus Limited

Elder Homes Limited

Middlebrooks Advisory Limited

Taxi Central Ltd

The Ogilvie Group

National Express plc

The Fairmont, St Andrews

Leisure and Culture Dundee

The Insights Group Limited

Dover Fueling Solutions Limited

Abbeyford Leisure Limited

C J Lang & Son Limited

Waracle Limited

R T Stuart Limited

Scottish Salmon Limited

Monterey Jacks Limited

CR Smith Glaziers (Dunfermline) Limited

Dell Corporation Limited

AK Recruitment Limited

Macfie & Co LLP

Eversheds Sutherland

Eversheds Sutherland's client roster consisting of national and international companies benefits from the group’s renowned capabilities in the energy sector, due not least to the specialism of practice head Euan Smith in this space; he splits his time between Edinburgh and Newcastle. Dawn Dickson's expertise extends to the industrial sector and employment law matters at the intersection with data protection. Recent contentious work includes employment tribunal support pertaining to whistleblowing, discrimination and unfair dismissal claims, while typical non-contentious instructions involve strategic HR, transactional and TUPE advice.

Practice head(s):

Euan Smith

Other key lawyers:

Dawn Dickson

Key clients

Petrofac Facilities Management

Nissan Motor Manufacturing (UK) Ltd

Macdonald Hotels

Petroleum Experts

KCA Deutag Drilling

Prestwick Aircraft Maintenance Ltd

Shin Etsu Handotai

Jabil Inc

Insight Direct (UK) Ltd

The Kitchin Group


Rowan Alba

Liontrust Asset Management plc

Harper Macleod LLP

Harper Macleod LLP stands out for its notable public sector expertise, leading to regular instructions from local authorities, which is complemented by practice head Bruce Caldow‘s expertise in the sports, oil and gas, and social housing arenas. Redundancies and reorganisations, TUPE and business transfers account for a large proportion of the group’s non-contentious work, whereas typical contentious instructions include investigations, trade union and industrial relations issues alongside employment tribunal proceedings, such as those pertaining to discrimination and unfair dismissal claims – an area in which Lorna Davis has extensive experience.

Practice head(s):

Bruce Caldow

Other key lawyers:

Lorna Davis; Scott Milligan


‘They have provided us with excellent support and advice, sometimes at very short notice. They are fully knowledgeable and helpful with any advice needed, or reviews of documentation.’

‘Scott Milligan is excellent and very approachable, and always meets timescales.’

‘Practical, no-nonsense application of the law.’

Key clients

Telecom Service Centres Ltd

East Lothian Council

Dumfries and Galloway Council


Airdrie Football Club

Triathlon Scotland

Portman Healthcare Ltd

Work highlights

  • Assisting Webhelp with disputes, restructurings, people management and transactions interfacing with blue-chip clients.
  • Assisting Airdrie FC with multiple complex allegations brought in employment tribunals under the Equality Act 2010.
  • Acting for East Lothian Council on a discrimination dispute involving EAT proceedings.

Ledingham Chalmers LLP

With offices across Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Inverness, Ledingham Chalmers LLP is a well known player in the Scottish market, and most notably recognised for its strength across the Highlands and Islands region, where practice head Kirk Tudhope is based. The group receives frequent instructions from SME employers as well as from large institutional clients, on matters involving redundancies and reorganisations, business transfers and general HR. In the contentious space, employment tribunal litigation is a particular strength; an area of particular expertise for discrimination law specialist John Lee.

Practice head(s):

Kirk Tudhope

Other key lawyers:

John Lee; Sine Mackay


‘Small but knowledgeable employment law team able to respond quickly, offering pragmatic advice.’

‘Kirk Tudhope: Responsive and knowledgeable.’

‘The employment law team at Ledingham Chalmers offers a responsive, practical and commercial service.’

Key clients

Highland Fuels Limited

Eden Court Highlands

Orion Engineering (Services) Ltd

Common Thread Group Ltd

John Gordon and Sons Ltd

SGL Carbon Fibers Ltd

Haines Watts Scotland

Scottish Shellfish Marketing Group Ltd

Highland Hospice

Hawco & Sons Limited


Lindsays is a regular port of call for SMEs, charities and other third sector clients due to its broad employment law offering, which includes tribunal defence against claims of discrimination and unfair dismissal. Glasgow-based team head Ben Doherty, whose expertise extends to senior executive departures, is an essential contact for this. On the non-contentious side, the group provides the full range of day-to-day employment law advice, in addition to transactional and TUPE support; the Edinburgh-based Kate Wyatt is frequently instructed to provide assistance in the transactional space.

Practice head(s):

Ben Doherty

Other key lawyers:

Kate Wyatt; Katherine Irvine


‘Accessible and willing to tailor their service to meet needs.’

‘Honest. Pragmatic. “Can-do” attitude. Humour. Good knowledge across the sector.’

‘The service and support is what makes this organisation unique. The response and direction is always prompt; thorough; balanced, displaying a clear commerciality, married to a deep understanding of our culture. The service is cost-effective and trusted and that is such an important quality.’

‘Kate Wyatt represents everything that is excellent about our experience with Lindsays. She challenges, she understands, she provides technically strong advice and direction. She manages our expectations and is clear and timely in her communications. Just an exceptional legal practitioner.’

‘The most obvious thing potential clients want to know is, do the team know their stuff. And that’s a resounding yes.’

‘They collaborate internally and externally, showing their professionalism and often leading the way in industry thinking. No question feels daft. Most importantly, we didn’t need compliance, we needed forward-thinking and fairness for our contractual obligations, and they delivered.’

Key clients


Hostelling Scotland

Trichology UK Ltd

Inclusion Scotland

Pizza Geeks

Salt n Pepper Ltd

Carr Gomm

Families Against Murder & Suicide

Prince and Princess of Wales Hospice

Build a Rocket Boy Ltd

Work highlights

  • Represented Build a Rocket Boy Ltd in defending a tribunal claim, which was struck out due to the claimant’s unreasonable conduct.
  • Represented Sense Scotland in defending a tribunal claim brought by a former HR director alleging disability discrimination.
  • Advising a football club in respect of a high-profile footballer’s contract termination.


Glasgow-based litigator Michael McLaughlin heads Shoosmiths’ employment law team, which handles a significant volume of employment tribunal claims across the UK; his sector expertise includes the infrastructure, transport, utilities and public sectors. Typical non-contentious advice includes TUPE, redundancy processes and HR. Senior associate and experienced litigator Grace Watson is another key member of the team. Former team co-head Kim Pattullo retired in December 2022.

Practice head(s):

Michael McLaughlin

Other key lawyers:

Samantha Mackie; Grace Watson; Jennifer Wright


‘The team at Shoosmiths works to provide the right solution. They have got to know our business and our sector extremely well and work in collaboration with us. They don’t just offer the quickest solution to get the job done, they work with our business objectives and offer the right solution and advice for us.’

‘Samantha Mackie not only knows our organisation extremely well, but she gives excellent confidence in the decisions that we make and works to give us the solutions in line with business objectives. She also explains things in simple terms, looks at potential issues and is able to come up with well thought out solutions. She is an asset to Shoosmiths.’

‘Key to the outstanding service we get from this firm is the time Michael McLaughlin and his team have taken to understand our organisation, the political landscape in which it sits and the environmental factors affecting its workforce. They really have sought to get under the skin of how we work, and they bring that background and intelligence to all of their advice.’

‘Michael McLaughlin’s client care is exceptional. The personable and relatable way in which he connects to make the complex legal advice easily understood is a hallmark of his approach.’

‘Michael McLaughlin doesn’t just give us excellent legal advice, he gives us practical solutions to tricky issues. He wraps up his legal advice in pragmatic, easy-to-follow guidance.’

‘Samantha Mackie: A technically gifted solicitor with a keen eye for detail, an excellent work ethic and a winning client manner. She’s able to handle big matters with aplomb and is experienced and well rounded in her judgement.’

‘The team is fantastic. Able to provide practical solutions and advice to extremely complex and protracted situations. Have taken the time to get to know the business and the team. Always contactable.’

Key clients

Beam Suntory Ltd

Chivas Brothers Ltd

Amey Services Ltd

Scottish Water

Grahams The Family Dairy Ltd

Hutchison 3 Mobile

Zonal Retail Data Systems


British Association of Social Workers

David MacBrayne HR (UK) Ltd

Student Loans Company Ltd

The Wise Group

Advinia Healthcare Ltd

Work highlights

  • Assisted Amey with business-critical industrial relations issues throughout the UK.
  • Representing Boots in a mass equal pay case.
  • Providing advice to Scottish local authorities on the practical effects of Harpur v Brazel Trust.

Aberdein Considine

With the arrival of team head and experienced litigator Robert Holland from Balfour+Manson LLP in February 2023, Aberdein Considine has significantly boosted its contentious capabilities, leading to regular employment tribunal defence instructions pertaining to discrimination and whistleblowing claims, among others. On the non-contentious side, the group provides corporate and transactional support, including TUPE transfers and redundancies. Another key member of the group is immigration expert Nicola Gray, who has particular expertise in the shipping sector.

Practice head(s):

Robert Holland

Other key lawyers:

Nicola Gray


‘The team has a deep understanding of employment law and how it relates in the real world of industry.’

‘The employment law profile of the firm has been significantly raised by the recruitment of a new partner – Robert Holland, who brings with him a solid list of clients and a well deserved reputation as an effective and experienced employment law specialist.’

‘This is a relatively small firm but has an impressively high calibre. Its strengths are its agility and ability to deal very promptly with client queries and issues as soon as they arise, and its team, which comprises able and well known professionals within the sector.

‘The firm’s strength lies in the depth of experience across a range of employment issues, especially for respondents involving high-value claims.’

‘Nicola Gray is highly experienced across a wide range of employment issues. She is highly knowledgeable and has an excellent rapport with the employment judges. Nicola has a tremendous grasp of detail and is a determined litigator.’

‘The service we receive is of the highest standard and quality. Aberdein Considine goes the extra mile to deliver what we require from them. Their staff is not only very friendly but extremely professional.’

‘Apart from being unflappable, Nicola Gray is excellent to work with and has a steady hand with clients. I most value Nicola’s knowledge, prompt responses to issues, her diligence and unfailing sense of humour.’

‘Robert Holland is pragmatic and sensible.’

Key clients

St Johnstone FC

DW Football Ltd

Shepherd Chartered Surveyors

Holyrood PR

Hawick Rugby and Hawick Colts

Vulcan Completion Products

Shareholders of Cable Solutions

Porter Pharmacy Group

Work highlights

  • Advised St Johnstone FC on HR and employment law matters, including equality, diversity and inclusion in professional sport.
  • Advising Porter Pharmacy Group on TUPE issues pertaining to the purchase of a number of businesses from a nationwide firm.
  • Provided Shepherd Chartered Surveyors with HR advice for over 300 employees throughout Scotland.

Burges Salmon LLP

Burges Salmon LLP’s Edinburgh team works in close collaboration with the firm’s Bristol office when advising large businesses across the financial services, hotel and leisure, food and drink, and transport sectors. The group’s contentious workload includes employment tribunal claims, where practice head Katie Russell is an essential contact, in addition to senior executive issues and internal investigations; on the non-contentious side, typical instructions include transactional and TUPE matters.

Practice head(s):

Katie Russell

Other key lawyers:

Eilidh Wood


‘I rate Katie Russell highly – excellent knowledge of employment law and an enthusiastic contributor to the matters we work on. She has a very pragmatic and balanced approach.’

Key clients

HS1 Limited

BAE Systems plc

Sterlite Technologies UK Ventures Ltd

Inverleith LLP

TCR Group

Babcock International Group

Atlas Hotels

John Lewis Partnership

FirstGroup PLC

National Composites Centre

Reiss Limited

Department for Education

The Racecourse Association

Work highlights

  • Advising HS1 on a number of sensitive employment matters.
  • Provided Babcock Group’s UK businesses with day-to-day employment advice on a large-scale restructuring/redundancy process.
  • Advised Atlas Hotels on employment matters pertaining to the £63m acquisition of a portfolio of six hotels across Scotland.


Glasgow-based litigator Jonathan Rennie heads TLT‘s employment team, drawing on his construction, infrastructure and sports sector expertise in various employment-related mandates. Much of the group’s non-contentious work pertains to transactional, TUPE and outsourcing matters, while typical contentious instructions involve senior executive departures and various employment tribunal claims. Corporate immigration expert Joanne Hennessy joined the team in March 2022 from Pinsent Masons LLP.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Rennie

Other key lawyers:

Joanne Hennessy; Helen Donnelly


‘The practice is very professional and covers a wide rage of legal knowledge. TLT researches and understands our industry. They are always very helpful.’

‘Jonathan Rennie is always helpful, polite and understands and works with us as an organisation to help with legal matters.’

‘The expertise of the team within the various speciality departments is second to none. The stability of staff is also something that is extremely important.’

‘They also appreciate how to deal with others who don’t hold that level of legal knowledge, and can explain things very easily. All team members have given excellent service.’

Key clients




TJ Morris


Raeburn Drilling & Geotechnical Ltd

Search Consultancy Ltd

Association for Project Safety

French Duncan Accountants

British Drilling Association

Breedon Group PLC

Aviagen Ltd

Glasgow Taxis Ltd

BEAR Scotland

Work highlights

  • Assisting Street League with various employment tribunal claims.
  • Advised Association for Project Safety on various corporate governance and employment issues.
  • Provided Turnberry Homes with Covid-19-related advice on the management of lockdown, furlough and other matters.