Employment in Scotland

Brodies LLP

Brodies LLP's large public, third and private sector client base, including employers and employees, is testimony to its substantial employment law offering, which, in the non-contentious space includes transactional support, advice on IR35 taxation regime changes and senior exits, and, in the contentious arena - where team head Tony Hadden and solicitor advocate Brian Campbell are regular features - the team is well placed to handle a wide range of employment tribunal proceedings and associated investigations, such as those arising from discrimination, unfair dismissal, equal pay and holiday pay claims. Joan Cradden is another key member of the team and has particular finance sector expertise.

Practice head(s):

Tony Hadden

Key clients

Lothian Buses

Argyll and Bute Council

Dana Petroleum Plc

AXIS Capital

M&G Prudential

American Express

ENABLE Scotland

The University of Edinburgh

Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body


Work highlights

  • Continues to assist long-standing client Lothian Buses with various employment law matters and has recently provided assistance with holiday pay claims, pension issues, the establishment of an employee forum, and with the closure of travel shops and the relocation of staff to one flagship travel shop.
  • Continues to advise Argyll and Bute Council on various matters, including a disability discrimination employment tribunal complaint and multiple equal pay and holiday pay claims.

Burness Paull LLP

Burness Paull LLP is a well respected player in the market and provides full-service employment law support, spanning strategic employment law, TUPE, employment tribunals and industrial relations and trade union law. While the team focuses on advising employers, and most notably those from the energy, media and sport sectors, its client base also includes senior executives. Team head Mandy Laurie has a focus on contentious matters, while David Morgan is the main contact for trade union and industrial relations. Aberdeen-based Sean Saluja has substantial expertise in the oil and gas industry. Jennifer Skeoch is another key member of the team and regularly appears in employment tribunals.

Practice head(s):

Mandy Laurie


Burness Paull is completely in touch with my sector and goes out its way to understand our challenges, not in a legal sense but in a more personal, ‘real’ sense and then bring the legal aspects in. They keep completely up-to-date with trends and themes and always seem to me to be ahead of the curve. They really offer a personal service and very pragmatic, easy-to-understand legal advice. Unlike other legal firms who simply apply the law without always considering the ‘human impact’.

Strategic and pragmatic. Personable and a pleasure to work with.

The firm has a polished and professional brand, with an excellent reputation in the local market. They put a lot of effort into continual engagement with their clients in a proactive manner, tackling topical issues and concerns.

They take the time to really listen to the situation, take all the people factors into account, they are not risk averse and they are very compassionate in sensitive situations. They also provide alternatives to reach your end state rather than just one option. I am always impressed with how forward-thinking they are.’

I have always been impressed by the employment team. They take the time to get to know the business and its people, enabling them to tailor advice to the business, providing client care that is second to none. Courses and events are thought through and tailored with the needs of the clients, making them relevant and useful. I have found that personal touch to be what differentiates them from other firms.

Strength/ differentiator of the firm is the commercial and pragmatic consideration, rather than pure legal opinion.

Our team at Burness has taken the time to fully understand how our business works and our approach to risk where our employee relations is concerned. They are a true business partner in every sense.

I work mostly with Tricia Walker. In my experience she is energetic and driven to support her clients.

Morag Hutchison is a stand-out partner in the employment team. Morag is both extremely knowledgeable and sensitive to individual situations. She genuinely looks for the right outcomes. Morag has excellent relationship skills. Her approach is a lot more than just delivering advice. As a result, she has been able to influence a number of difficult situations and build credible relationships with a variety of stakeholders. I would not hesitate to recommend Morag to any business.

Jen Skeoch always stands out to me. Jen understands that we like to think out of the box and she will always come up with solutions that fit with that approach. She understands that our team is very knowledgeable and as such does not patronise us when discussing cases etc. Jen will always fight our corner as if she works for our company and is just as affected as us if things don’t go our way – she is totally invested in us.’

Key clients


ITN (Independent Television News)

General Electric (GE)

SSE plc


Scottish Football Association


A.G. Barr plc


Everton FC

Work highlights

  • Appointed as sole employment lawyers to Whyte & Mackay. Recently, the team advised the client on a number of complex cross-jurisdictional matters and has been conducting a wholesale review and update of its contracts of employment and handbook for UK workers.
  • Advising Cornerstone on industrial relations and trade union law.
  • Advising Chrysaor E&P Services Limited on all employment and HR matters arising from the client’s acquisition of ConocoPhillips UK North Sea Business.
  • Acting for STV PLC in two employment tribunal claims; the first claim centred around allegations of discrimination by an existing employee against her manager; and the second claim involved an application for interim relief in the context of alleged whistleblowing.
  • Providing employment law advice to all approximately 1700 members of Oceaneering International Services Limited staff across the UK.

Anderson Strathern

Acting for employers and employees, Anderson Strathern's clients stem from a wide range of sectors - with particular expertise in the education and public sectors -and include individuals. This notable sector expertise is reflected in team head Alun Thomas, who also heads up the firm's education sector group. Much of its recent work is contentious in nature and involved unfair dismissal alongside various discrimination and pay-related claims as well as whistleblowing proceedings and industrial relations disputes. In the non-contentious space, the team is well equipped to provide clients with strategic employment law and HR advice.

Practice head(s):

Alun Thomas


I work with the employment law team and they always respond quickly to queries. Their advice is pragmatic, solidly based in case law and employment law and they give me options to consider.

Excellent customer service which is consistent, reliable and practical to our organisation.

They are able to move quickly to deal with new instances of unauthorised occupation. They also demonstrate an understanding of the relevant legislation and court guidance.

Good team work.

Andrew Brown is well regarded and offers an excellent service. He looks at options, risks and potential outcomes and his advice is always helpful.

I have worked with Andrew Brown and he has gone beyond the call of ask. He follows up on enquiries almost immediately and I found him engaging and insightful.’

Key clients

The Scottish Government

Royal College of Nursing (RCN)

The University of Edinburgh

Scottish Prison Service

Edinburgh Napier University

Fife Council

University of Strathclyde

Hawick Knitwear

The Glenmorangie Company

University of St Andrews

Rangers Football Club

Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS)

Work highlights

  • Acted for an individual, pursuing claims for unfair dismissal and whistleblowing against his employer, an Aberdeen-based company.
  • Successfully defended McAlpine & Company Limited against sex discrimination and unfair dismissal claims.
  • Supported the Scottish Police Authority while it consulted with employees and employee representatives to negotiate new terms and conditions and pay scales when it was created upon merger of the 11 Scottish police forces to create Police Scotland.
  • Advising Rangers Football Club Ltd on a whole range of employment law matters, including the departure of the previous football management team and negotiating and arranging contracts for the new management team.
  • Advising the University of Edinburgh an ongoing employment tribunal regarding allegations of age, disability and sex discrimination against one of its senior academic staff.


CMS is well placed to guide clients - including well-known names in the financial services and energy sectors - through transactional matters and TUPE transfers alongside senior exits, trade union issues and employment tribunal proceedings. Much of its contentious work involves whistleblowing, unfair dismissal, discrimination and harassment matters. Alison Woods heads the team from Aberdeen and is experienced in working with employer and senior executive clients. In November 2019, of counsel Eric Gilligan, who handles contentious and non-contentious employment law work, joined the practice from Stronachs LLP. Senior associate Catriona Aldridge is noted for her experience in representing clients at the employment tribunal.

Practice head(s):

Alison Woods


Really good team to work with. Responsive, down-to-earth and ‘get’ us as a company and employer. Good approach to collaboration and I also find their training sessions really good and informative.

Professional, commercially focussed no-nonsense approach, open and very honest.

Fabulous team: they are pragmatic, can explain everything in layman terms, ask very clarifying questions, care about our brand name and are able to give written drafts which require no tweaking to match our values and principles.

The team is very responsive, i.e. respond within hours of queries, all helping to deliver a responsive HR-to-business need. CMS is viewed as an extension of the HR arm and we work together to resolve successfully both for the employee and the company any issue that arise. Fantastic marriage of HR and legal.

Having worked with a number of employment law practices over the years, CMS is unique in its ability to offer practical solutions for our business, while being pragmatic with the associated risks.

Gillian Maclellan is extremely responsive and is very collaborative. She follows up well with case work and litigation and is always looking at ways to improve their service.

Alison Wood is excellent at simplifying points of law, asking very astute questions which help us get a successful solution.

Alison Wood is by far and away the best employment lawyer to work with in Aberdeen. She is personable, practical and professional in her approach. The rest of her team are great too.

In Alison Wood, I appreciate her direct and pragmatic approach. She is warm and friendly but not afraid to respectfully put her point across in an understandable way. All too often, in my experience, employment lawyers send screeds of information through which you must wade in order to distinguish a potential outcome. With Alison, her solutions are clear and comprehensive and this is very much welcomed. Also, she seeks to understand the issues and has a thorough understanding of our business, which really helps her to delivery options efficiently.

Finlay McKay always gets back to you as asap – very reassuring and his advice is practical and to the point followed up in a easy-to-understand email. He is knowledgeable, friendly and approachable, never judgemental.

Finlay McKay is an excellent specialist lawyer. He has assisted me on a wide range of complex employment issues and he has the added benefit of regulatory expertise from an employment perspective. Accordingly, Finlay has managed to help me successfully navigate our way of some extremely tricky situations but he has always done this with integrity and his approach is always undertaken with a view to getting the best result for us and ensuring that any damage is minimised for all parties.

Finlay McKay is easy to work with and a really lovely person – he is razor sharp and extremely practical and always willing to help.

Key clients

Baxters Food Group

Bell Geospace

Yokogawa Electric Corporation

Bright Maze

READ Cased Hole Limited


Braid Group (Holdings) Limited

Conde Nast


ZG Lighting


TAQA Bratani

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS)

First Bank of Nigeria

Wise Investments

Catalent, Inc

Saybolt United Kingdom Limited

COSL Drilling

EnerMech Limited

GasLog Services UK Limited

ICR Integrity (Group) Limited


Leverton GmbH

Mintra Training

Roland Berger

Serica Energy

Clydesdale Bank



Bristow Helicopters

Stirling Council

Scottish Event Campus Ltd

Repsol Sinopec Resources

YESSS Electrical Limited

Avaloq Innovation Limited

Iqarus Limited

Stork Technical Services (RBG) Limited


Scottish Enterprise

Highlands and Islands Enterprise

Ocean Media Group

National Museums Scotland

Kettle Produce Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised the ConocoPhillips US parent company in the sale of its entire North Sea business to Chrysaor, and assisted the client with the employee communication and consultation processes, including matters pertaining to the removal of employees from a final salary pension benefit.
  • Advising the purchaser of Hibernian Football Club on the employment liabilities pertaining to the purchase.
  • Advising Scottish Enterprise on transfer of staff matters.
  • Representing the University of Glasgow in three separate employment tribunal claims involving allegations of race discrimination and victimisation, whistleblowing and unfair dismissal.
  • Acted for Stirling Council in holiday pay litigation.

Morton Fraser

Morton Fraser assists employers and employees in the public, private and third sectors with TUPE transfers and HR matters alongside employment tribunal proceedings pertaining to whistleblowing, discrimination and equal pay matters, among others. Team head Innes Clark has particular TUPE expertise and also provides assistance with senior exits.

Practice head(s):

Innes Clark


They take the time to fully understand their clients’ business.

Morton Fraser’s partnership and strategic understanding of our organisation during a significant period of change for us is exceptional and their ability to provide pragmatic and risk managed advice is superb.

Exceptional service. Provided honest, truthful advice. Left me with total confidence in advice given.

David Hossack is knowledgeable, realistic and understanding.

David Walker was excellent in every respect. Highly recommend Morton and Fraser.

Key clients

Ministry of Defence

Royal Mail Group Limited

Schuh Limited

SRUC – Scotland’s Rural College

The Scottish Government and the Office of the Advocate General

Robertson Group Limited

Church of Scotland (CrossReach)

DAS Insurance

Trust Housing Association

Micron Europe Limited

Work highlights

  • Continued advice to Unison in the largest equal pay litigation in Scotland.
  • Advised a group of elected employee representatives, who were representing over 150 employees, on matters pertaining to a TUPE transfer to a large PLC investment firm.
  • Advised a global technology company on the TUPE aspects of a large, high-value and commercially sensitive tender win.
  • Advised the seller of a UK-wide hostel business on the TUPE aspects of the sale of its hostels based in England, and is currently advising the client on the sale of its hostels based in Scotland.
  • Continues to assist a charity with employment law matters in Scotland. Recently, the team was  instructed to review and update its existing employment policies and procedures and terms and conditions.

BTO Solicitors LLP

BTO Solicitors LLP has a strong profile for employment tribunal and litigation work and regularly acts in whistleblowing proceedings alongside procedures pertaining to dismissal and discrimination claims. Led by Caroline Carr, the team is also adept at providing its employer and employee clients, including individuals, SMEs and large companies, membership organisations and insurance companies across various sectors, with advice on TUPE programmes, general employment law and HR matters. Other key members of the practice include Laura Salmond, who has particular expertise in working with employee defence organisations within the public sector, and Jacqueline McCluskey, who joined the team in April 2019 from Morisons (now defunct); she advises employers across a number of industries on contentious and non-contentious matters.

Practice head(s):

Caroline Carr


The individual attention that you receive as clients. Nothing is ever too much for them to do or to speak to you about.

Truly outstanding and professional from first point of contact right through to the current day. I have been consistently impressed by the professionalism, tireless dedication and attention to detail.

Can always be relied upon for accurate guidance in layman’s terms.

We always work with Laura Salmond and have been working with her for over 10 years. She is never too busy, always very pleasant and goes out of her way to keep up-to-date with the matters which affect or members specifically as they are in a niche employment category. She always has time for our members and exhibits great patience and empathy.

My experience of working with Laura Salmond is outstanding. She is extremely thorough and meticulous. I cannot emphasise enough the extreme professionalism, effort and meticulous attention to detail carried out by Laura. She has worked tirelessly on complex matters. Her approachable and supportive manner has also been evident all the way. I truly believe and will be forever grateful for being represented by Laura. All-round outstanding experience. Couldn’t want or ask for better.’

Jacqueline McCluskey is an asset to the firm I have relied on her for many years and followed her to each firm she has worked with.

Key clients

Royal & Sun Alliance plc

Chubb Insurance UK

Cigna Insurance Services (UK) Ltd

Medical and Dental Defence Union of Scotland (MDDUS)

Scottish Police Federation

Mactaggart & Mickel Limited

The Turner Group Limited

Angus Dundee Distillers plc

West Lothian College

Glasgow Kelvin College

Argyll Community Housing Association (ACHA)

Intelligent Pensions Limited

Booth Welsh Automation Ltd

Work highlights

  • Represented a former undercover police officer in a six figure whistleblowing/ stress at work case.
  • Represented a clinician in a six figure constructive dismissal and whistleblowing employment tribunal case.
  • Advising members of a large UK medical defence organisation on all areas of employment law and on professional disciplinary hearings.


Dentons handles a wide range of contentious and non-contentious employment law, including transactional matters, discrimination claims, balloting and industrial actions, pay-related and national minimum wage issues alongside TUPE and outsourcing. Its financial services sector expertise was further strengthened by the arrival of counsel Sarah Jackman from Clydesdale Bank in June 2019. Mark Hamilton, who advises on all aspects of employment law, heads the team, which includes TUPE specialist Alison Weatherhead; she was promoted to partner in May 2019.

Practice head(s):

Mark Hamilton


Being a global firm, it enables a wealth of knowledge and understanding of issues that arise for a global organisation like ours.

Strong team.

Always keeping up to speed with current issues and reacting swiftly with advice and providing information to assist in decision making.

Great approach to key topics such as Inclusion and Diversity and current topics such as #MeToo. Forward thinking and happy to challenge the status quo.

Highly experienced and specialist in their own specific practices. Always willing to help connect with other subject matter experts when required.

Alison Weatherhead has provided advice to me over a number of years. Alison understands the needs of the business and will always work with you to provide a balanced resolution. Her no-nonsense approach means she is a pleasure to work with.

Alison Weatherhead is particularly noteworthy as an excellent commercially minded lawyer – she is someone you want to have on your side.

Key clients

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. Partners LLP

Aggreko Plc

Scot JCB Limited

John Lewis Plc

The Edrington Group

Scottish Equity Partners

Ceridian Europe Limited

Virgin Atlantic Airways Limited


Martin Currie Investment Management Ltd

MB Aerospace

Work highlights

  • Advised KPS Partners on all employment aspects pertaining to the client’s acquisition of Howden for an enterprise value of $1.8bn.
  • Advised a medical device manufacturer on the management and ultimate exit of an employee with self-diagnosed autistic spectrum disorder who was refusing formal assessment and diagnosis.
  • Assisting Aggreko with a complete revamp of its contractor processes to enable it to comply with the extension of IR35 deduction rules.
  • Advising over 50 college lecturers part of Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS), on alleging less favourable treatment on the grounds they are part-time and/or fixed-term workers; while also advising the EIS itself on compliance with ballot and notice requirements for its successful industrial action campaigns.
  • Assisted Virgin Atlantic Airways Limited (VAA) with a gender pay gap review.

Shepherd and Wedderburn

Thanks to its multidisciplinary approach, Shepherd and Wedderburn is well placed to handle corporate support work, such as TUPE transfers and restructuring programmes - which constitute key areas of expertise for team head Neil Maclean - alongside a wide range of HR matters. The latter includes advice on redundancies, IR35 changes, pay-related matters, collective consultation and industrial relations issues as well as employment tribunal instructions and disciplinary investigations.

Practice head(s):

Neil Maclean


The team responds with a solution focus from the outset drawing on multi-level experience to get you the support and solution you need to maintain the integrity of your service.

They create a team response alongside a named individual to guide you through the complexity that employment issues can raise and impact on your service, the reassurance this gives you is immense as they will utilise all resources from senior partners to associates, to provide a plan, that meets your needs to maintain your services ability to function.

Powerful legal knowledge, compassionate understanding, genuinely socially responsible, unlike some that tick a corporate responsibility box, excellent customer service across every dept, networks of external experts available at no extra cost to you to ensure they provide the most succinct legal solution you require.

Capable, legal experts across multiple fields, resourceful, socially conscience, responsive and reactive to problems if required, innovative, culturally progressive and honest.

Neil Maclean and his team have provided us with a very rapid, personalised, employment advice service. This allowed us to respond to issues in a timely manner, and for us to provide credible solutions to, what were to us, difficult problems.’

Neil Maclean gives himself tight deadlines and meets them. We know we are going to get a workable solution.

Key clients

The University of Edinburgh

University of Glasgow

University of Aberdeen

Baillie Gifford

Epic Games, Inc.

Scottish Enterprise


Tungsten Corporation plc


The Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland (RHASS)

Work highlights

  • Continues to advise the University of Edinburgh, a long-standing a client of the team, on TUPE implications, the appointment of a professional services consultant, pay and redundancies.
  • Sole employment advisor to the University of Glasgow; advising the client on HR issues arising in relation to its wish to create commercial subsidiary companies to take over part of the university’s operations. This included a number of disciplinary, grievance and tribunal matters including discrimination and harassment allegations.
  • Ongoing advice to Baillie Gifford on all employment and HR requirements. Recently, the team provided advice on the application of SMCR regulations.
  • Advising Epic Games, Inc. on various employment law matters, including employee departures, employment contract reviews and family leave and pay entitlements.
  • Providing ongoing assistance to Scottish Enterprise with all HR matters; recently, this included advice on the employment implications arising from the proposed creation of a new Scottish Government agency; assistance with a dispute with a job applicant, who alleged that a contract of employment had been formed and breach of contract committed when the offer was withdrawn; and advice on disability discrimination risks, among others.

Addleshaw Goddard

As part of a wider UK team, Addleshaw Goddard is frequently called upon to assist with UK-wide instructions but also receives regular instructions rooted in the Scottish market. Its offering includes assistance with employment tribunal litigation - which constitutes a key portion of its workload -, industrial relations, business restructuring and reorganisations, senior executive exits and discrimination law. Following former co-head Kim Pattullo's move to Shoosmiths in November 2019, solicitor advocate David Hughes now serves as the main contact for Scotland.

Practice head(s):

David Hughes

Key clients

Castle Water

Sigma Capital PLC

John Menzies PLC


Law Society of Scotland


Gist Limited

Bilfinger Salamis

Highlands and Islands Airports

Raytheon Systems


Work highlights

  • Acted as part of the legal team assisting Brickability Group PLC with an IPO and associated employment law issues.
  • Provided operational and strategic advice on several TUPE transfers to the board and senior HR team of National Timber Group, including balloting for employee representatives, collective consultation, relocations and site closures and redundancies.
  • Advised a national utility company on an industrial relations dispute pertaining to the interpretation of pay terms in a collective agreement valued at circa £3m.
  • Advising Michelin on the future closure of the Michelin Dundee factory, including exit arrangements, redundancy packages and related transfers of employment.

Blackadders LLP

Blackadders LLP is well equipped to guide employers and employees through employment tribunal proceedings - frequently these concern pay-related, unfair dismissal and discrimination claims, among others -, but the team also provides transactional employment assistance and advice on various HR matters. Simon Allison heads up the team from Dundee; he has a focus on manufacturing and construction sector work and has developed a niche in advising GP practices. Jack Boyle, who was promoted to director in April 2019, is another key member of the team and noted for his expertise in contentious employment work.

Practice head(s):

Simon Allison

Other key lawyers:

Donna Reynolds; Jack Boyle


Very competent team of legal experts in the field of employment law, indeed the wider human resources remit. With positive and “can do” personalities, they wisely steer their clients to best solutions. They are consummate professionals who are very highly regarded and they also participate in community payback through many fundraising activities.

A well integrated team who clearly communicates very effectively to the benefit of clients. Accessibility is far superior to other teams I have worked with and they definitely go the extra mile for their clients. A fantastic team that delivers great results.

Committed individuals capable of understanding client needs and working tirelessly to deliver results.

Simon Allison has a proficient, professional and considerate manner and is someone who can easily adapt to the audience he is dealing with and put them at ease. His expert knowledge is evident and this commands respect.

Key clients

National Express Group PLC

The Insights Group Limited

Robertson Group

Ogilvie Group

Dover Corp

Lippert Components, Inc

Norco Group Limited

Guthrie Brothers (Craigo) Limited

Furniture Plus Limited

C.J. Lang & Son Limited

Dundee Science Centre

Dundee Contemporary Arts

TSG France

Al-Maktoum College

4J Studios Limited

Waracle Limited

Work highlights

  • Successfully defended Robertson Group against a claim brought by an apprentice for constructive dismissal, breach of contract and other payments.
  • Advised Fairmont St Andrews on the National Minimum Wage (NMW), Working Time Regulations (WTR), including working time for employees who travel as part of their role, and the interaction between NMW and WTR.
  • Successfully defended TSG France against a cross-border employment tribunal claim for unfair dismissal, wrongful dismissal and holiday pay, as well as negotiating various senior ranking employee appointments and exits from the company.
  • Advised Guthrie Brothers (Criago) Limited on employment law matters arising from the sale of business, land and property, including redundancies and TUPE.
  • Acted for National Express Group PLC in defence against a claim brought by an ex-employee for unfair dismissal, disability discrimination and indirect discrimination.

Harper Macleod LLP

Harper Macleod LLP's employer client base consists of public, private and third sector players, who regularly instruct the team led by sports sector expert Bruce Caldow with employment tribunal work alongside various HR matters, business transfers and TUPE, restructurings and compulsory redundancies as well as investigations.

Practice head(s):

Bruce Caldow

Other key lawyers:

Lorna Davis; Scott Milligan

Key clients

Assessment Inc Ltd

The Highland Council

Children’s Hospice Association Scotland


Scottish Swimming

Cornerstone Community Care

River Clyde Homes (RCH)

Forestry Commission

East Lothian Council (ELC)


Compello Staffing Group

Work highlights

  • Successfully defended Assessment Inc Ltd in an appeal to the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) pertaining to a claim of indirect disability discrimination.
  • Advised Webhelp UK on the full spectrum of on-contentious and contentious advice, including transferring people and restructuring services on acquisition; recently, this also included advice on legislative requirements and potential liabilities following the collapse of Thomas Cook.
  • Advising sportscotland and Scottish Swimming on the employment status of coaches, including IR35 taxation advice.
  • Instructed to represent the Highland Council in a discrimination complaint in which allegations of direct discrimination, failure to make reasonable adjustments, harassment and victimisation were all claimed from circumstances arising from the claimant’s disability.
  • Providing Children’s Hospice Association Scotland with ongoing employment law support, which has recently included successfully defending the client in employment tribunal proceedings, and providing assistance with grievances and exits.

Ledingham Chalmers LLP

Led by Inverness-based Kirk TudhopeLedingham Chalmers LLP is well placed to act for employers, and to a lesser extent employees, in the Highland and Island region but the team also has a presence in Edinburgh. Much of its work is in the contentious space and frequently pertains to discrimination and unfair dismissal claims.

Practice head(s):

Kirk Tudhope

Other key lawyers:

John Lee


The team is always friendly and responsive and makes you feel whatever issue you bring to them is important. The response is always considered and with practical solutions not a purely legal perspective. They understand the challenges of running a business and this is evident in their responses.

We really value Kirk Tudhope’s experience and knowledge. He always brings that extra something which adds to the debate and solution. We know we are in safe hands. Kirk is always mindful of the challenges we face as a business and our timescales.

Key clients

Arjowiggins Scotland Limited

Highland Fuels Limited

Last Mile Infrastructure Limited (formerly Energetics Design & Build Limited)

Orion Engineering (Services) Limited

John Gordon & Son Limited

SGL Carbon Fibers Limited

Green Team Christmas Trees Limited

Moray Leisure Limited

Hawco & Sons Limited

Green Team Christmas Trees Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Arjowiggins Scotland Limited on the employment law aspects of a major management buyout of a business with in excess of 500 employees.


Lindsays provides SMEs across various sectors such as construction, manufacturing, software and hospitality, alongside social care providers and other charity sector clients with strategic employment law advice, including executive level terminations, industrial and trade union issues and TUPE matters. Ben Doherty and his team also defend clients against various employment tribunal claims such as unfair dismissal, discrimination and whistleblowing.

Practice head(s):

Ben Doherty


The team is extremely responsive and very much partner-led. It provides far more accessibility to partners than others of its competitors. It is sensible about pricing and there are no surprises on costing. They have a good all-round knowledge in all areas of law relevant to employment law, including data protection, and are excellent at cross-jurisdictional issues. They are very collaborative with other law firms and are solution-led and non-confrontational.

Ben Doherty is an excellent leader of the team. He provides clear, concise advice and is extremely responsive. He adopts a no-nonsense, non-confrontational approach to his work, seeking solutions wherever he can.

Key clients

I. & H. Brown Limited

AMG Group Limited

Down Syndrome Scotland

Scottish Autism

Sense Scotland

Harley Haddow

Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH)

Mclaughlin & Harvey Construction Limited

Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland

St Columba’s Hospice

Industrial Floor Treatments Limited

Kelso Races

The Prince & Princess of Wales Hospice

Avesta Scotland Limited

The Brothers of Charity Services

Work highlights

  • Advised B/F Bakkafrost on employment law matters pertaining to the client’s acquisition of the entire share capital of the Scottish Salmon Company plc (SSC).
  • Advised a large construction company on a director’s exit, including a disciplinary action, and subsequently negotiated the director’s exit using a settlement agreement.
  • Defended a social care charity against employment tribunal claims for unfair  dismissal, whistleblowing and sex discrimination.
  • Advising a large social care provider on the removal of the HR director following a breakdown in her relationship with the chief executive.
  • Assisted a drug manufacturer and distributor with a grievance relating to the correct way of calculating holiday pay for factory workers, who worked late shifts and received various enhancements.

MacRoberts LLP

MacRoberts LLP has a strong profile for employment and employment appeal tribunal work but it is also well versed in handling corporate support work, including TUPE, and other non-contentious employment law and HR matters, such as industrial relations and senior executive exits. Clients include local authorities, charities, individuals and corporate entities. Team head Katy Wedderburn provides wide-ranging employment law advice and regularly conducts employment tribunal litigation.

Practice head(s):

Katy Wedderburn

Other key lawyers:

Deborah Miller; John Macmillan


The team has great knowledge and insight and work well together, sharing information on casework to ensure cover and advice is always available.

Each member of the team shows compassion and understanding and “gets” our organisation. They have a great value-base and bring this to all to their work.

Excellent personal service from this very busy company. Always very supportive and very knowledgeable about our business and our policies.

Friendly, patient, always take time to listen and give excellent advice, feels like you are talking to a family member at times. Very involved in their local communities and raising money for charities. Diversity and inclusion are just two of the special qualities about this company.’

A team who understands our company culture and takes that into consideration when providing advice, and who also has direct access to other legal disciplines when this is relevant to our issues. Other firms we have used do not have a team specifically available to our organisation, so we would deal with a different person each time.

Katy Wedderburn and her team provide best-in-class advice, their advice is clear, concise and tailored to client needs.

I can always contact Katy Wedderburn and have confidence I will receive consistent advice.

Katy Wedderburn’s approach, confidence and gravitas make her a very good employment lawyer. She is clear and confident in her advice, which inspires confidence in her.

Key clients

WM Morrison Supermarkets plc

Stena Line Limited

The Scottish Government

CCHG Ltd t/a VPZ


People’s Postcode Trust

Together Energy

Enable Scotland

Kilmarnock Football Club

CALA Group Limited

Work highlights

  • Instructed by McTear Contracts Limited to defend proceedings by 22 claimants against the client and two other respondents, Amey Services Ltd and Mitie Limited, pertaining to an alleged TUPE transfer on the award of a kitchen replacement contract by North Lanarkshire Council.
  • Continues to assist North Ayrshire Council with multiple equal pay claims.
  • Successfully acted for the Royal Gourock Yacht Club in defending a claim of unfair dismissal.
  • Providing advice to the Scottish charity, Feisty Women, on sex and age discrimination.
  • Successfully defended Newcross Healthcare Solutions in a victimisation and working time detriment claim brought in the Glasgow Employment Tribunal.

Thorntons Law LLP

Thorntons Law LLP stands out for its education sector expertise, which translates into a steady stream of instructions from higher and further education institutions, but the team also acts for various public and private sector clients across other industries. The team is led by Noele McClelland, who primarily advises employers on the full range of contentious and non-contentious employment law; her broad expertise is shared by the rest of the team, who is well versed in providing assistance with collective bargaining and collective consultation, TUPE, wage negotiations, redundancies and regulatory compliance as well as discrimination, unfair dismissal and bullying and harassment claims.

Practice head(s):

Noele McClelland

Other key lawyers:

Debbie Fellows; Chris Phillips

Key clients

Perth College UHI

University of Abertay

The Glasgow School of Art

University of Stirling

Don & Low Limited

Robert Gordon University

Balhousie Care Limited

Scot J C B Limited

City of Glasgow College

Caledonia Housing Association

Work highlights

  • Advising City of Glasgow College on collective bargaining issues arising from legacy terms following a merger of several institutions. This included advice on the implementation of the National Working Practices Agreement (NWPA).
  • Advising Caledonian Housing Association on the employment aspects of large-scale changes in its operating model. This included advice on collective consultation, the application of recognition agreements, TUPE, role matching, pensions and reconciling variations in terms and conditions.
  • Advising Caledonian Care Consultants in a claim of sex, pregnancy and disability-related discrimination from a new employee with an asymptomatic heart condition and an undisclosed pregnancy.
  • Assisted a large veterinary practice with TUPE matters arising from a share sale.
  • Advising Edan Communications Solutions Limited on the impact of new off-payroll working rules.

Balfour+Manson LLP

Balfour+Manson LLP is best known for its employment tribunal work, frequently representing unions and individuals. Instructions include unfair dismissal and discrimination claims. In the non-contentious space, the team led by solicitor advocate Robert Holland provides assistance with various HR matters, such as employment contracts, employment status issues and TUPE.

Practice head(s):

Robert Holland

Other key lawyers:

Sarah Shiels


Balfour & Manson provides an individual service which looks into their clients best interests from the very first meeting and in our case, up until the present day. They keep you informed of the pitfalls and the benefits of your position, giving their honest opinion of a way forward. They take their time to understand your personal case and are not afraid to look at it from different positions, rather than taking a generic position as I have found when using other legal firms. Balfour & Manson does more than represent you, they look after you, keeping you informed every step of the way!

Robert Holland and his team worked tirelessly to be prepared in our tribunals.

Robert Holland has been totally honest with us since the very beginning, keeping us more than informed every step of the way as our case has moved on.

Robert Holland really looks after us, is very approachable and sincere, very easy to get on with.

Key clients

Educational Institute For Scotland (EIS)

British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA)

The Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB)

The Scottish Cricketer’s Association (SCA)

Faculty of Advocates, Scotland

Bates Wells Braithwaite

David Adamson & Partners

J&E Shepherd

Work highlights

  • Represented a principal teacher in unfair dismissal proceedings against the employer and subsequent appeal proceedings.
  • Represented the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB) in employment appeal tribunal proceedings with Glasgow City Council over the employment status of foster carers.
  • Represented the Scottish Cricketer’s Association (SCA) in its contract negotiations with Cricket Scotland and GS Holdings concerning players’ contracts for the proposed EuroSlam competition.
  • British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) instructed the team to advise on a trade dispute with a Scottish-based employer of pilots operating across the UK.
  • Advising the Faculty of Advocates on various employment policies including capability, attendance, rights to work and redundancy policies.

DLA Piper

Much of DLA Piper's employment law work is contentious in nature and frequently involves equal pay, discrimination, unfair dismissal and whistleblowing claims, but the team led by Kate Hodgkiss also provides assistance with TUPE transfers, restructuring programmes and senior management exits.

Practice head(s):

Kate Hodgkiss


They understand my business and appetite for risk. Pragmatic solutions.

The team is very good at recognising particular areas of expertise and seeks cross-team collaboration where it is in the client’s bests interests to do so, and to great effect. The team is led by a very experienced partner, Kate Hodgkiss, who really knows what she is talking about and supports others.

I think Kate Hodgkiss is a stand-out individual, who has years of litigation under her belt. When there is a difficult case, she is excellent at explaining risks and realities to clients whilst getting right in the trenches with counsel when the battle commences. She is considerate and informative when she instructs counsel, gets counsel involved sufficiently early on and engaged in key strategic decision making so that what follows is a genuine team effort. She is excellent and instills confidence in others. This is really the experience I have had with the firm as a whole.

Key clients

Aggreko plc


Dawnfresh Seafoods



The Scottish Police Authority (SPA)

Scottish Water

CPA Global Management

Charles Taylor plc

Elements Materials Technology

Feilo Sylvania Europe

Hitachi Rail Europe




Thomas Murray Network Management Limited

Horizon Discovery Limited

Menzies Aviation Ltd


VetPartners Limited

Work highlights

  • Assisted John Menzies plc in connection with the stepping down of its former CEO, and advised the client on its contractual and other legal obligations to secure an appropriate departure and protections for all relevant parties involved.

Eversheds Sutherland

Team head Dawn Dickson's specialism in employment tribunal litigation and strategic employment law advice is reflected in the workload typically handled by Eversheds Sutherland's wider employment law team. Much of is contentious work pertains to claims of unfair dismissal and discrimination, while, in the non-contentious space, regular instructions include IR35 taxation matters, restrictive covenants, senior exits, internal investigations and general HR issues.

Practice head(s):

Dawn Dickson


‘Commercial, pragmatic and solution-focused. Giving the balanced view of risk vs business requirements.’

Key clients

Scottish Autism

Construction Industry Training Board (CITB)

Jabil Circuit Limited

Tennents Caledonian Breweries

Shin-Etsu Handotai (Europe) Limited

PSP Media Group

First Scottish

Turkish Airlines

Saipem Limited

SPX Flow/ ClydeUnion

Work highlights

  • Acted for a brewery in Glasgow in employment tribunal proceedings raised by the client’s former employee on constructive dismissal.
  • Advising a producer of activated carbon for end-use applications on its obligations and key aspects of the changes in IR35.
  • Advised the board of directors of a Scottish property search company on restrictive covenants applicable to a senior member of the executive board who was joining them from a competitor.
  • Defended a rail infrastructure organisation in an employment tribunal action in which the client faced claims of discrimination brought by an employee of a sub-contractor of one of the client’s main contractors.
  • Advised a global bank on a number of its employment tribunals in Scotland, most notably on a claim of unfair dismissal, whistleblowing and direct disability discrimination.

Stronachs LLP

Stronachs LLP has a strong presence in the North of Scotland, leading to regular instructions from oil and gas sector players, but the team also acts for national and international companies from other industries and senior executives. David Chalmers now heads the team, which regularly provides HR support, assistance with employment law issues arising from corporate transactions (including TUPE), compliance and employment tribunal proceedings.

Practice head(s):

David Chalmers

Other key lawyers:

Anya Duncan


Stronachs is professional, knowledgeable and always on hand to help.

Anya Duncan really understands our business and has gone out of her way to get to know the people and how we work. She is always on hand to help even out of business hours for anything urgent. She is extremely knowledgeable on all aspects of employment law, she has assisted me with TUPE, disciplinary, and grievance. She wrote our contracts of employment and assists on day-to-day contractual issues. Anya is also lovely to work with on a personal level and I appreciate having someone to talk around the problems with.

Key clients

Oil States Industries (UK) Limited

Belvar Life (UK) Limited

NHV Helicopters Limited

Global Energy Group

Genesis Oil and Gas Consultants

Xodus Group Limited

Walkers Shortbread Limited

Scottish Fishermen’s Federation

Swire Oilfield Services Limited

Eland Oil & Gas PLC

Work highlights

  • Advised Oil States Industries UK Limited on the closure of long established manufacturing and testing facility in Cumbria, England, and on the relocation of its operations to an existing facility in West Lothian, Scotland.
  • Advised Xodus Group Limited on the effect of changes to off-payroll working legislation.
  • Advised Eland Oil and Gas PLC on a number of employment law aspects relating to a scheme of arrangement prior to a share sale.
  • Successfully represented a senior employee in an employment tribunal action for constructive unfair dismissal.


TLT is regularly called upon by players in the construction, infrastructure and sports sectors to assist with senior and board level exits, employment contracts and contentious issues. The last-mentioned segment constitutes team head and litigator Jonathan Rennie's key area of expertise, whose instructions include whistleblowing and disability discrimination claims.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Rennie


Friendly team, who responds quickly to live issues. Excellent proactive information on current/ topical issues.

Jonathan Rennie provides first-rate advice for quick resolution to employment issues. Makes himself available at short notice and reacts quickly to developing situations for effective HR management. Pragmatic approach to business realities. Friendly and approachable manner.

Key clients

Raeburn Drilling & Geotechnical Limited

Search Consultancy Limited

Forest Green Rovers and Ecotricity

French Duncan Accountants

Breedon Aggregates (Northern) Limited

WiredScore UK Limited

Glasgow Taxis Limited

Antibody Analytics

Deloitte LLP


Government Legal Department

British Drilling Association

R.J. Blasting (Scotland)

Work highlights

  • Advised Glasgow Taxis on the dismissal of its chairman following allegations of misappropriation of business funds.
  • Providing Antibody Analytics with restrictive covenant advice.
  • Advising Forest Green Rovers on the exit of the club’s assistant first team manager and head of goalkeeping, as well as on the appointment of the club’s new head of academy.
  • Advising Raeburn Drilling & Geotechnical Limited on the restructuring of laboratory operations and consequential senior level employment terminations.
  • Advising Savills on all day-to-day employment law matters in Scotland; recently, the team defended the client against disability discrimination claims before the employment tribunal.