Firms To Watch: Banking and finance

Fronted by director Alan Glen, DWF is particularly active within the real estate finance field, catering to borrowers and lenders alike.

Banking and finance in Scotland

Brodies LLP

Brodies LLP delivers market-leading expertise to major businesses and lenders on a broad breadth of matters; examples include green and fund finance, securitisation, built-to-rent development finance and marine finance. Bruce Stephen leads the practice, leveraging over 25 years worth of experience, and is particularly accomplished in respect of real estate finance and corporate funding; he is supported by Marion Macinnes who fronts the dedicated capital markets and structured finance group, as well as Michael Stoneham who heads the energy and infrastructure finance offering. Neal Richardson is the key contact for marine finance, demonstrating a particular tenacity for leveraged and cross-border transactions meanwhile Chris Dun is a go-to for both investment, housing and development property finance. 

Practice head(s):

Bruce Stephen

Other key lawyers:

Marion Macinnes; Michael Stoneham; Neal Richardson; Chris Dun; Peter Kelly; Alan Knowles; Jack Moir; Mark Meiklejohn


‘We regularly work with the Brodies team on Scots Law aspects of securitisation and other transactions. They deliver excellent and commercial legal advice.’

‘Marion MacInnes delivers practical and commercial advice and oversees the projects very well. Her clear and concise explanations of Scots law formalities are extremely valued by our clients.’

‘Strong team who we have worked with for many years across a number of deals in the marine sector.’

‘Neal Richardson and the team have provided excellent service across a number of deals.’

‘We have worked with Brodies for a number of years and in that time have built a strong relationship, with Brodies having a good understanding of our business. This is most useful considering that Brodies are often dealing with complex and urgent issues on our behalf and delivering innovative solutions designed to meet our requirements.’

‘Bruce Stephen is very attentive to our requirements and works hard to deliver high-quality solutions.’

‘Depth of team, knowledge of the market.’

‘Jack Moir is a trusted advisor with a strong grasp of commercials.’

Key clients

Lloyds Banking Group/Bank of Scotland plc

NatWest Group

HSBC Bank Plc

Scottish Enterprise

Premium Brands Holdings Corporation

DNB Bank

Garroch Investments Limited

Clearpay Finance Limited

Secure Trust Bank plc

Work highlights

  • Acted as sole UK counsel for Premium Brands Holdings Corporation, advising on all of the English law and Scots law aspects of the ground-breaking acquisition of the entire issued share capital of Clearwater Seafoods Incorporated including its UK subsidiary group, Macduff Shellfish, and the associated committed CA$350m revolving credit facility arranged by Bank of Montreal.
  • Acted for DnB Bank ASA and Shell Treasury Dollar Company Limited in the acquisition and development financing of $3.2bn for Chrysaor Oil in respect of its merger with the Premier Oil Group.
  • Acted as lead advisor to RBSI on a series of unsecured fundings to major investments trusts (both English and Scottish) managed by Baillie Gifford, one of the UK’s leading independent management firms. Lending exceeded £400m.

Burness Paull LLP

At Burness Paull LLP, the practice demonstrates a tenacity for fund, leveraged and acquisition finance transactions, counting its expertise in energy, oil and gas, renewables and real estate-related deals as a key distinguisher. Team head Jonathan Heaney is an authority for corporate lending property financing and the team is also home to Dawn Reoch, a specialist in respect of investment grade facilities, general corporate finance, cross-border deals and restructuring work. Other standout partners include energy expert John Kennedy whose workload spans leveraged, housebuilder and upstream oil and gas finance, in addition to Andrew Christie who fronts the dedicated fund finance group, operating across subscription line, NAV and hybrid facilities and GP and management fee facilities. Beyond partner level, director Sophie Coffey is ‘technically excellent advising on Scots law aspects of renewable energy project financings’. Alan Cassels, formerly of Pinsent Masons LLP, joined the team in June 2022.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Heaney

Other key lawyers:

Dawn Reoch; John Kennedy; Andrew Christie; Sophie Coffey; Alan Cassels


‘The practice at Burness Paull is high quality, offering City service at Scottish rates. This means they’re fantastic value, but they’re also top notch lawyers. We rely on Dawn Reoch to help us with financing deals often at short notice and with little background or briefing. The lawyers are highly responsive and always ready to help us with little advanced warning.’

‘Dawn Reoch is hugely impressive. She’s responsive, laser-focused on the commercial rationale for each deal she’s instructed on, and equally comfortable working with in-house lawyers or with other departments at the client. She’s a real asset to the firm.’

‘A knowledgeable and experienced team, who are always able to offer creative and commercial legal advice, thinking about the bigger picture and the client’s longer term plans, rather than get bogged down in the minutiae.’

‘I spend time working with Sophie Coffey and with Dawn Reoch; both are fiercely intelligent, driven and look after our best interest from a position of knowledge and experience. You can’t ask any more from your legal advisers.’

‘Dawn Reoch is one of the best banking lawyers I have ever worked with.’

‘We work regularly with the Burness Paull banking and finance team on renewable energy projects in Scotland. Their team has a wealth of experience acting on both sponsor and lender mandates. They understand the sector very well (particularly onshore wind and offshore wind), which helps in ensuring their advice is commercial and consistent with latest market practice. Whenever we have worked alongside them, they function effectively as our “Scottish office”, which ensures a seamless service for clients. They are very responsive and approachable.’

‘Sophie Coffey is technically excellent advising on Scots banking and finance law aspects of renewable energy project financings.’

‘John Kennedy – very experienced in all facets of finance-related matters; offers creative but practical solutions to complex problems.’

Key clients

Smart Metering Systems plc


Agilitas Private Equity

Frontier Medical

Hydro International

The Harbro Group

ASCO Group

Springfield Properties

Traditional lenders (incl. Santander UK plc, Royal Bank of Scotland plc Bank of Scotland plc, Clydesdale Bank plc)

Private equity sponsors (incl. Kings Park Capital, Kester Capital, Maven Capital Partners, Three Hills Capital Partners, Bluegem Capital Partners plc, Magnesium Capital, MDP, Lonsdale Capital Partners)

Work highlights

  • Acted for Smart Metering Systems plc in a full refinance of its £420m syndicated revolving credit facility.
  • Advised Brookfield Renewable UK in respect of all aspects of its disposal of six onshore wind farms, as part of a wider disposal together with twelve Irish onshore wind farms, to Danish developer Orsted.
  • Acting for Incremental Group Holdings, backed by Dunedin, in relation to term and revolving acquisition finance facilities in connection with the acquisition of data analytics business Adatis Group.


Catering to banks and borrowers alike, international firm CMS is a premier destination for project, fund, asset, shipping, aircraft, real estate and corporate finance. The practice leverages the firm’s global footprint to advise on a number of multijurisdictional affairs and is led by Gordon Hay, a project finance specialist who predominantly focuses on the energy sector. Jenny Allan handles an array of syndicated and bi-lateral deals in addition to overseas energy project financing whereas Caryn Miller’s broad practice includes the handling of high-profile restructurings and portfolio loan sales. Alan Fulton garners acclaim for ‘streamlining the banking process‘ while the extensively experienced Stephen Phillips is a further name of prominence, deploying his expertise across corporate lending, receivables financing, derivatives and securitisations.

Practice head(s):

Gordon Hay

Other key lawyers:

Jenny Allan; Caryn Miller; Stephen Phillips; Alan Fulton; Michael Urquhart


‘Michael Urquhart – exceptional ability to translate complex financial arrangements negotiated over time into meaningful finance documents that accurately reflect the commercially agreed positions. When commercial positions are unclear, Mike is particularly good at talking through options, suggesting appropriate compromises and drafting for bespoke arrangements.’

‘The banking team at CMS are a cohesive unit. On one occasion the person we were working with on a transaction was ill with COVID, one of their colleagues stepped in and it was seamless. Their communication with me is not too much, not too little – just right. They articulate matters in a way that I can easily understand.’

‘Partner – Jennifer Allan is very quick to respond, turns work around quickly too. Communication is spot on – I am not a lawyer and the way Jenny explains things to me is in a concise and easily understandable manner (without being patronising!) and explains her advice.’

‘Good industry knowledge, responsive and professional.’

‘CMS is very responsive to my needs as a client, and ensures that I feel supported appropriately with the advice they provide.’

‘Caryn Miller is excellent. Very supportive and able to explain complex legal issues to a non-legal audience.’

‘Well-resourced and knowledgeable team who adopt a highly commercial approach to negotiation.’

‘Alan Fulton delivers necessary experience and pragmatic approach to streamline the banking process. Excellent communication with the confidence to focus client attention on key issues.’

Key clients

Ib Vogt GmbH

IBG Solar Parks BV

Close Leasing Limited

Santander UK Plc

Bank of Ireland


Clydesdale Bank

Virgin Money

SSE plc

North Star (Shipping ) Aberdeen Limited

Perpetual Asia Limited

Singapore Press Holdings

Social and Sustainable Capital LLP

Work highlights

  • Advised the Ib Vogt group, a European solar developer, headquartered in Berlin, in relation to a new €120m SPV holdco loan facility (with a €150m accordion) to be provided by BAE Systems Pension Funds Trustees, BNP and SCOR.
  • Acted for Close Leasing Limited in providing a project finance facility to Three Maids Renewables Energy Limited to develop a 25MW ground mounted solar park located in Winchester, Hampshire in Southern England.
  • Acted for a syndicate of banks in relation to the provision of debt facilities to STV Group plc. This was one of Santander’s first SONIA loans at that time and STV Group plc are an important plc in Scotland.

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP deploys its broad national network to advise on leveraged, real estate and project finance mandates across Scotland, England and Northern Ireland. John Maciver leads the offering, catering to a client roster of loan sellers and purchases, including private equity houses and debt funds; his team also thrives in respect of asset-based lending, LIBOR transitions, loan-and-loan financings and derivatives and is home to significant debt capital markets capabilities, acting for bond issuers and lead managers alike. The team is bolstered by Richard Scott ’s knowhow in the oil and gas sector and Gillian Frew's expertise in respect of renewable energy and infrastructure finance transactions.

Practice head(s):

John Maciver

Other key lawyers:

Richard Scott; Gillian Frew; Iain Macaulay


‘Very good in explaining a move from one type of financing to another.’

‘They identified main issues for us and explained them clearly.’

Key clients

Natwest Group

Homes England

Deutsche Bank

Lloyds Banking Group

Santander UK Plc

HSBC UK Bank plc

Bricks Capital

Wells Fargo Bank N.A. (London Branch)

Qatar National Bank (Q.P.S.C.)

First Abu Dhabi Bank P.J.S.C.


Springfield Properties plc

Edrington UK Distribution Limited

Clyde Munro Group

Diamond Transmission Hornsea One Limited

Capricorn Energy Limited

Cheiron Holdings Egypt Limited

Arcus Infrastructure Partners

Work highlights

  • Acting for Arcus Infrastructure Partners on the acquisition and financing of Smart Meter Assets 1 Limited, a smart meter infrastructure provider in the UK with an installed meter portfolio of 1.6 million meters, which is expected to achieve a total roll-out of over 2 million smart meters.
  • Acting for Diamond Transmission Hornsea One Limited on the £1.2bn acquisition and financing of the transmission assets relating to the 1218MW Hornsea One offshore windfarm from Hornsea 1 Limited.
  • Acting for The Silvertown Partnership LLP in relation to their loan facilities with Homes England in respect of their development of a mixed-use site at Silvertown Quays in London.

Addleshaw Goddard

Addleshaw Goddard, a firm with extensive national and international networks, is geared to support on acquisition, real estate, and project finance in addition to corporate refinancings. Alan Shanks  is an expert within the energy sector, overseeing the team which includes Euan Cluness, a go-to for corporate and asset-based lending transactions, as well as Gaenor Cassell who caters to a broad client roster of corporates, international and domestic banks, non-bank lenders and private equity funds. At the more junior end, legal director John Waller specialises in the financing of listed property investment trusts and property developments.

Practice head(s):

Alan Shanks

Other key lawyers:

Euan Cluness; Gaenor Cassell; Tom Speirs; Addi Spiers; John Waller; Peter Smartt; Simon Hart


‘Approachable and knowledgeable around a number of banking matters and has a calm demeanor when faced with various challenges.’

‘The team is friendly, practical and proactive and assisted with putting together a bespoke transaction on a challenging timeline.’

‘I have worked on many transactions with Euan Cluness and the team for nearly a decade now and have always found their approach to be extremely professional in all aspects. Their knowedge, experience and practical nature deployed in negotiations makes them a great team to work with.’

‘The team are excellent partners during corporate refinance exercises and possess all the key traits one values- speed, pragmatism, commerciality, intellect and a clear can-do attitude.’

‘Euan Cluness is an excellent partner and is a real credit to both Addleshaws and himself personally. Extremely trustworthy, Euan is superb and possesses the all important ability to remain calm and focused during the maelstrom of complex corporate refinances.’

‘I find Addleshaw Goddard is able to ‘translate’ complex legal issues into language which bank and client can discuss easily. This, coupled with a very commercial approach to transactions, makes working with AG a pleasure. Partners and key associates are heavily involved in transactions so you always have comfort that transactions are properly resourced up to the highest level. Detailed fee quotes are always provided which makes it easy to track progress of a transaction versus costs incurred.’

‘I have worked closely with Euan Cluness  and Peter Smartt from Addleshaw Goddard. Both bring a highly commercial approach and detailed knowledge of the current banking/legal market, making them very easy to work with.’

‘In the banking team I work predominantly with Euan Cluness and his team. They are always very responsive, commercial and helpful. I would see Euan as a go-to lawyer if something unusual came across my desk – he and his team provide sound counsel and early advice sometimes on transactions that don’t necessarily progress immediately. Equally, I have found him extremely supportive on more demanding deals over the years.’

Key clients

National Westminster Bank plc

Allied Irish Bank (AIB)

Bank of Scotland

Ability Group

National Timber Group

Clydesdale Bank Plc


PNC Business Credit

James Donaldson & Sons Limited


Barclays Bank plc

Robertson Group

Work highlights

  • Advising James Donaldson & Sons on the funding of the acquisition of Stewart Milne Timber Systems Limited. The funding was provided by a three bank club comprising Lloyds Bank, RBS and HSBC
  • Advising National Westminster Bank as agent for a syndicate comprising RBS, HSBC, Clydesdale Bank and Bank of Ireland in providing a £100m revolving credit facility to iomart Group plc, with an option to establish a £50m accordion facility
  • Advising The Ability Group in relation to its provision of a £121m term loan facility made available by Lone Star, a US based private equity firm, to refinance four Hilton hotels in Dunblane, Luton, Liverpool and London


Dentons leverages its extensive international network to support on an array of domestic and cross-border acquisition, real estate, asset based, renewable project, infrastructure and structured finance matters. The team in Scotland is also acclaimed for its capacity in general and investment trust lending and is headed by Stuart Fitzsimmons, a go-to for corporate, investment trust and project-related transactions; his team includes Susan Kelly, a seasoned veteran within the corporate lending, acquisition finance and real estate finance fields, who possesses distinguished expertise in senior, stretch senior and mezzanine products.

Practice head(s):

Stuart Fitzsimmons

Other key lawyers:

Susan Kelly; Morag Campbell; James Wilson


‘Very knowledgeable, friendly and helpful team, highly efficient.’

‘Stuart Fitzsimmons and his team are excellent.’

‘The Dentons team work efficiently, with good understanding of our business to reflect this in negotiations, offering practical solutions and middle-ground to resolve issues.’

‘The team are pragmatic, focus on the real issues and take a proportionate approach to resolve issues. Lorna Henderson stands out as being in control, with a thorough understanding of our complex arrangements.’

Work highlights

  • Advised FTSE 250 Murray International Trust plc on its US private placement debt transaction with MetLife.
  • Advised EQT Real Estate and Sigma Capital on the funding aspects of their joint venture which was launched to create a £1bn investment portfolio of residential homes in the UK including putting in place a £96m syndicated facility with NatWest as lead arranger.
  • Advised The 1887 Company Limited owner of the iconic Macallan and Famous Grouse whisky brands on a new debt facility with a syndicate of domestic and international banks. The debt facility supports the Group’s continued growth and strength in the global spirits market.

Shepherd and Wedderburn

Shepherd and Wedderburn is engaged by lenders and borrowers alike, demonstrating formidable capabilities in respect of securitisations, structured and fund finance, infrastructure projects and regulatory matters. The team is headed by Fiona Buchanan and includes Andrew Kinnes, a go-to for corporate deals, asset-based lending facilities and auto securitisations. Hamish Patrick, a fund finance authority who often serves as advisor to the Scottish Parliament, is also integral to the offering.

Practice head(s):

Fiona Buchanan

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Kinnes; Hamish Patrick; Patrick Bell; Clare Foster


‘Excellent lawyers, they know the market very well, very approachable and pleasant to deal with. We go back a long way and they are very much our go-to.’

‘The largest and best resourced securitisation team in Scotland.’

‘Hamish Patrick knows everything there is to know about Scottish securitisation. Fiona Buchanan is very switched on and pragmatic.’

‘Well resourced, attentive and flexible. Good understanding of commercial issues relevant to the sector, allowing pragmatic resolution of challenges. Effective in leading / steering negotiations with borrower counsel and holding all parties to timelines.’

‘Lead contact is Claire Foster. Lucid and clear sighted, anticipates and manages complexities well.’

‘Recent experience of the team has been in the area of financial services and financial product documentation, where I have found them both highly competent and very responsive. They are able to offer in depth advice on financial regulation, which is not I think in strong supply among Scottish firms generally. Although I am not currently involved in the area I know from past experience that they have an in-depth practice in capital markets and asset-backed instruments.’

‘I would particularly commend the head of their team, Fiona Buchanan, for her highly responsive service – even under the considerable pressure of tight timetables she manages to remain unflappable and a pleasure to deal with. Partner Hamish Patrick is a go to person for his specialist knowledge, not least in cross border issues.’

‘As well as being led by a top-rate partner, the S&W Banking team that I deal with has teal strength in depth with a high quality associate team.’

Key clients

Virgin Money

Lloyds Banking Group

Blackstone Group

HSBC Group


Amber Infrastructure

Yorkshire Building Society

FCE Bank plc

Belmont Green Finance Ltd

Moray Offshore Windfarm (East) Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted as lead counsel to Moray Offshore Windfarm (East) Limited in relation to the transition from LIBOR to a reference-free rate in the context of its project finance arrangements for the Moray East Offshore Wind Farm.
  • Acted as UK lead counsel (Scotland and England) to the EW Group GmBH, a global agribusiness, on loan facilities provided to the group from Santander and Unicredit to assist with the US acquisition of Hygiena.
  • Acted as UK lead counsel (Scotland and England) to Investec Bank plc in the provision of loan facilities for CA Ventures and Harrison Stewart Real Estate in a joint venture to fund the development of four purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) schemes in London, Edinburgh, Leicester and Belfast, comprising 935 beds in aggregate plus associated infrastructure.

Anderson Strathern

Active on both Scottish and UK-wide affairs, Anderson Strathern is instructed for real estate, renewables, energy, asset, project, infrastructure and agri-finance affairs, demonstrating distinguished proficiency within the public, government and charity sectors. Gillian Anderson  leads the team and is especially well-versed when it comes to property matters, acting on an array of development, investment, leisure and healthcare-related finance.

Practice head(s):

Gillian Anderson

Key clients

NatWest Group

Crown Estate Scotland

Halo Kilmarnock Limited


Buccleuch Group

Klondyke Group Limited

Svenska Handelsbanken

Apex Hotels Group

Clydesdale Bank plc

Hampden & Co

Work highlights

    DLA Piper

    The practice at DLA Piper is headed by Allan Leal, a September 2021 arrival from Burness Paul; he arrives with a track record in real estate, acquisition and general leveraged finance along with asset based lending and securitisation capabilities. The team is also home to William Reid, a ‘very highly rated’ senior associate with an up-and-coming reputation in corporate lending.

    Practice head(s):

    Allan Leal

    Other key lawyers:

    William Reid


    ‘Allan Leal led a transaction in a highly professional manner, guiding us through and demonstrating himself as a standout against the other legal firms in the process.’

    ‘We really enjoy working with the DLA Team as they are super responsive and always provide a very high level of service and care. We have worked with the team consistently over the last 10 years or so and we really enjoy working with them. Our deal sizes are relatively small but can be complex and it is important that we have a law firm who we trust to deliver the right advice which is protective of the Bank’s position but also sufficiently commercial and focused on practical solutions to reach a successful completion.’

    ‘We value the Team’s expertise and attention to detail always combined with a reliably friendly and helpful manner.’

    Key clients

    Lloyds Banking Group

    ICICI Bank




    Vespa Capital


    Harrison Street

    Tosca Debt Capital Fund


    The Welsh Ministers

    Work highlights

    • Solely represented Arrow Global on a 2021 Scotland flagship deal, funding the buyer on the acquisition of Scotland’s largest office premises – 310 St. Vincent Street, Glasgow.
    • Acting for German state bank, Bayerische Landesbank, on the £62m green loan refinancing of Scotland’s Harburnhead windfarm – an operational onshore windfarm consisting of 22 Enercon turbines in West Lothian, Scotland.
    • Representing the Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Company with £450m green loan construction financing for the development of a luxury hotel in London (previously the US Embassy premises).

    Harper Macleod LLP

    Harper Macleod LLP’s practice is fronted by Tony Cameron, a veteran of countless acquisition, real estate, project and asset finance transactions who also acts on general corporate banking, receivables and restructuring mandates; he is particularly active within the hotels, healthcare, energy, housing and marine economy industries and is supported by John Pringle, a lawyer who regularly caters to alternative lenders, and Jacqui Fraser, well-versed in real estate back security documentation and multijurisdictional deals.

    Practice head(s):

    Tony Cameron

    Other key lawyers:

    John Pringle; Jacqui Fraser


    ‘Harper Macleod have provided excellent service across a number of deals demonstrating strong experience and service at a competitive price.’

    ‘Tony Cameron and the team have provided excellent service across a number of deals demonstrating strong experience and service at a competitive price.’

    ‘I think they are a genuinely good full service offering in real estate and finance, providing the opportunity to deal with an independent Scots law firm that understands the market and can proficiently assist on each practice area which might become involved in the transaction.’

    ‘Tony Cameron is an excellent, no-nonsense lawyer who will go into bat to get the best result with minimum fuss.’


    Key clients

    Bank of Scotland plc/Lloyds Banking Group

    Clydesdale Bank plc/Virgin Money

    Santander UK plc

    Cynergy Bank

    M&Co Trading Limited

    Morrison Community Care Group


    Rikvin Capital

    Allied Irish Bank

    Abundance Investments

    Work highlights

    • Advised M&Co, one of the UK’s largest privately owned retailers, in relation to its refinancing by Hilco of its inventory asset backed lending loan facilities.
    • Advised Clydesdale Bank plc in relation to loan facilities with a value in excess of £33m to a number of companies in the Marine Economy sector, including vessel finance and ports and harbours.
    • Acted for Thincats in relation to 3 acquisition funding transactions in the healthcare, financial services and manufacturing sectors.

    MacRoberts LLP

    At MacRoberts LLP, the practice is tailored to support on the full array of Scottish, UK-wide and international matters. Norman Martin  leads the practice which is particularly accomplished within the project finance, corporate banking, real estate and development finance, asset based lending, loan sales and enforcement advice fronts. Key sectors include agriculture, hotels, the whisky industry and healthcare, the latter of which is a specialty of ‘excellent‘ legal director Fiona Armour.

    Practice head(s):

    Norman Martin

    Other key lawyers:

    Lisa Maguire; Fiona Armour; Rebecca Yassin


    ‘Experienced team who are able to deliver to tight timescales. Always give us as a client advice that is practical and commercial to ensure we can document a deal that suits both parties.’

    ‘Fiona Armour and the team are always available to discuss complex issues offering sound advice and a balanced view to help us make a informed decision.’

    ‘MacRoberts provide and excellent level of service to the bank when we ask them to engage with us on providing legal advise and for ensuring all aspects of due diligence are carried out to give us comfort to lend money. They charge a reasonable fee for work carried out and always deliver for us. They are sector experts in healthcare transactions and I have 100% confidence in their ability to deliver what we need.’

    ‘Fiona Armour and Norman Martin are available when I need to speak with them and always provide a top level of advise and service. Sector experts on the banks panel of forms we use.’

    ‘A great team of lawyers who have helped us access new markets by supporting us with real estate in Scotland. Dependable and accessible.’

    ‘Fiona Armour is an excellent partner. A pleasure to deal with.’

    ‘All colleagues we deal with at MacRoberts are highly professional, client focused, accessible and provide exceptional legal and professional advice at all times. They make the complex simple by collaborating with us in the delivery of our business. The service is always first-class.’

    Key clients

    HSBC UK Bank plc

    Bank of Scotland plc & Lloyds Bank plc

    The Royal Bank of Scotland plc

    Santander UK plc

    Handelsbanken plc

    Signature Private Finance Limited

    Together Energy Limited

    Postcode Lottery

    Lendswift Holdings Limited

    US Private Placement Institutions

    Work highlights

    • Acting for the Bank in the re-structuring of the Meallmore Group, a well-known operator of 26 care homes across Scotland.
    • Acting for the HSBC, in the provision of invoice finance and overdraft facilities to Target Healthcare Group Limited (Isle of Man registered), in order to assist with the acquisition of shares of two new subsidiary English registered companies of the Quantum Pharmaceutical Group from Clinigen plc.
    • Acting for the Bank of Scotland in a significant number of pharmacy, dental, medical and vet practice acquisitions, re-finances and associate buy-ins, with supporting security over the pharmacy/dental/medical/vet practice asset.

    Morton Fraser

    Morton Fraser counts its expertise in asset based lending and receivables finance as a key distinguisher and is also home to prominent consumer and retail finance expertise. Asset and receivables finance expert Beverley Wood heads the practice which is also home to Andrew Meakin, a lawyer often engaged on the Scots Law aspects of debt restructurings and portfolio sales with additional expertise in real estate finance matters.

    Practice head(s):

    Beverley Wood

    Other key lawyers:

    Andrew Meakin; John Lunn; Ross Caldwell

    Key clients

    All of the UK clearing banks

    ING Bank

    Deutsche Bank


    Hampshire Trust Bank

    Danske Bank

    Cumberland Building Society

    Norfolk Capital group

    Cadence Bank

    Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi

    Work highlights

    • Acted for NatWest in respect of Project Mercatus, the first stage of what is expected to be a significant round of non-performing loan sales.
    • Appointed as lead adviser to Investec-Palatine on global financing across 12 jurisdictions.
    • Acted for DNB – Cooke Aquaculture as specialist Scottish counsel on CAN$1000m financing.


    National firm Shoosmiths is active on both local and national transactions, demonstrating a particular tenacity for real estate and leveraged finance in addition to general corporate lending work. Fiona Cameron has handled a number of sustainable finance and LIBOR transaction matters of late; she serves as practice head alongside Sheelagh Cooley, a property finance expert who caters to borrowers and lenders alike.

    Practice head(s):

    Fiona Cameron; Sheelagh Cooley


    ‘Partner-led service at appropriate cost levels.’

    ‘Commercial views/assistance where required i.e. not simply quoting legal positions but providing meaningful direction / assistance to resolve challenges.’

    ‘Fiona Cameron is an experienced lawyer with a very strong grasp of the commercial aspects of any request. She looks to assist with straightforward practical solutions acceptable to all parties which help greatly in a transaction. I would have no hesitation in recommending her.’

    ‘The team were able to bid very keenly for a bespoke piece of work and brought considerable expertise to the project. They were very easy to deal with, commercial and approachable and made the project a much easier task for me as in-house solicitor.’

    ‘Fiona Cameron and the team are excellent. They were much more approachable than others I have worked with at other similar firms but had similar levels of expertise.’


    Key clients

    AAG Capital Management and others

    Berkeley De Veer

    Extreme E Limited

    Gresham House


    Sancus (Gibraltar) Limited

    Ortus Secured Finance

    Ultimate Bridging Finance

    Santander UK PLC

    Kilmona Group Limited

    ARP Properties

    Astir Living Limited

    Whyte & Mackay Limited

    Emperador Inc

    Work highlights

    • Advised AAG Capital Management and others (a lending syndicate) which made funds available to the owner and developer of a large site zoned predominantly for housing.
    • Advised Berkeley de Veer in the acquisition of its much larger rival, Avant Homes in what was named the deal of the month by Insider Magazine.
    • Acted for Gresham House through its British Strategic Investment Fund. Gresham made a first-round investment of £10.5m into Borderlink Broadband to allow it to grow its high-speed fibre broadband offering across Scotland and the north of England. This was followed up by a second-round investment of £164m.


    Active in the market since 2018, TLT is developing a prominent reputation for debt finance transactions, including those in the M&A, healthcare, venture debt, real estate and sustainable business fields. Douglas Gourlay, dual qualified in both Scotland and England, is well placed to advise on UK-wide transactions, deploying a distinguished track record in hotel and leisure-related deals.

    Practice head(s):

    Douglas Gourlay

    Other key lawyers:

    Catharine MacDonald


    ‘The team are quick and efficient. They manage the transaction and the client well. The fees are reasonable.’

    ‘Proactive, efficient and look to meet the expectations of both their client and the other party.’

    ‘The TLT team work exceptionally close to ourselves from initial quote through to deal completion and then post completion work. Communication is always excellent and once they have dealt with you on a few transactions, they know what general stance to take when negotiation with other professional firms working on the other side of the transaction.’

    ‘Douglas Gourlay is a stand-out professional who is completely hands-on with any transaction that he assists us with. Contactable at any time of the day and superb communication and efficiency are evident 100% of the time.’

    ‘Exceptional pricing competitiveness and partner-led service.’

    ‘The partner I primarily deal with, Douglas Gourlay, is perhaps the most highly visible partner and commercially focused lawyer I have worked with. Highly active on the important phases of transactions and provides strong assistance / alternative solutions on complex matters rather than simply stating legal positions and leaving for the bank to decide. Also extremely pragmatic on cost overruns and a strong ethos for deal doing rather than deal stalling as often otherwise appears to happen in the current market.’

    Key clients

    AIB Group (UK) plc

    Santander UK plc

    Ortus Secured Finance

    Punjab National Bank (International) Limited

    Eurobank Cyprus

    Triodos Bank UK

    ICICI Bank (UK) plc

    Bank of Ireland

    Salus Properties Limited

    McGills Bus Service Limited

    Work highlights

    • Advised Santander UK plc on refinance and provision of new facilities totalling £24m to Thrive Childcare and Education/ Apiary Capital.
    • Advised AIB Group (UK) plc on the provision of £21m finance for acquisition of student accommodation in Glasgow.
    • Advised Santander UK plc on numerous real estate investment and development finance deals, including a hedged £17m portfolio refinance.

    Blackwood Partners LLP

    At Blackwood Partners LLP, the team has forged a particularly prominent reputation for sponsor-side acquisition finance within the energy sector. Scott Swankie leads the practice, leveraging his 22 years worth of experience in M&A and private equity acquisition finance, general corporate banking and debt restructuring in addition to aviation, shipping and property finance.

    Practice head(s):

    Scott Swankie


    ‘Team take the time to know client so as to be able to deliver relevant and practical solutions.’

    ‘Hands-on partners always available to clients.’

    ‘Blackwoods have a commercial approach to relationships and are very supportive.’

    ‘Scott Swankie is a first-class banking lawyer and we get a partner-led relationship.’

    Key clients

    Centurion Group

    Hydrasun Group

    SCF Partners

    Ashtead Technology

    Coretrax Technology

    Score Group

    Buckthorn Partners


    TWMA Group

    Glacier Energy Services

    Clydesdale Bank

    Scottish Loan Fund

    Maven Capital Partners

    Simmons Private Equity

    Bluewater Energy

    Balmoral Group

    Seanamic Group

    Ardyne Holdings Limited

    Work highlights

    • Acted for SCF Partners, a US based specialist energy PE fund, on the financing elements of its acquisition of Hydrasun Group and its funding from a club of banks.
    • Acted for Ashtead Technology in relation to the banking & finance elements of its IPO listing on AIM including putting in place a revolving credit facility with HSBC and Clydesdale.
    • Acted for Centurion Group, an international energy services firm, in relation to the banking and finance elements of its acquisition of Specialist Services, a UAE based business with operation across the Middle East, Asia and Europe.

    BTO Solicitors LLP

    Lawyers at BTO Solicitors LLP handle finance matters in an array of industries which include industrial, real estate development, projects, social housing, renewables, leisure and pension schemes. Nicholas McBride is routinely instructed on property and development finance, secured lending and renewable energy scheme matters, also holding distinguished expertise in ethical and social finance; he co-leads the team alongside corporate finance specialist, Jeremy Glen .

    Practice head(s):

    Nicolas McBride; Jeremy Glen

    Other key lawyers:

    Scott Buchan


    ‘The team has extensive knowledge in these areas and always provide a input/solution to issues as they arise.’

    ‘Knowledge and experience of the social housing sector and its associated regulation and banking requirements. Supported our organisation through a transfer of engagements, over a short period of time and during Covid restrictions.’

    ‘Recommended for their knowledge, experience and care for what they do, and commitment to getting the best for their client.’

    Key clients

    Lloyds Banking Group

    Triodos Bank UK Limited

    Close Brothers Limited

    Royal Bank of Scotland plc

    Bank of Scotland plc

    TSB Bank plc

    Crowd Property Limited

    Barony Universal Products Plc


    AMC Agricultural Mortgage Co

    Work highlights

    • Serving as one of the few Scottish firms on Close Brothers Limited’s panel (and the first to be appointed).
    • Acting for Triodos Bank, an international ethical lending bank, undertaking all of its commercial lending works in Scotland and also acting for its renewables team.
    • Acting on the borrower side in a larger commercial lend to to a huge car company, Peter Vardy Group.

    Burges Salmon LLP

    National firm Burges Salmon LLP opened its Edinburgh office in 2019 and has since developed a noteworthy reputation for real estate, energy, infrastructure and corporate finance. Practice head Stuart McMillan is particularly well-placed to support on matters of UK-wide significance, owing to his qualification in England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

    Practice head(s):

    Stuart McMillan

    Other key lawyers:

    Robert Forman; Amy McVey


    The team are very motivated and their communications process, both externally and internally is extremely strong – this is particularly borne out by their response times and clarity of reporting/summary.’

    ‘Robert Forman was superb; he was extremely impressive when negotiating key points in the transaction – firm but fair and always had us (his clients) as his priority.’

    ‘As a team they are particularly proactive which assists us greatly when working on real estate deals. They are also always readily available to contact and if I have to leave a message they respond rapidly.’

    ‘Amy McVey continues to provide professional and sound advice to me. Her proactive approach in offering solutions to challenges – particularly those deals which had a number of complex layers – has been much appreciated; we would not have secured completion when we did without Amy’s expert knowledge and hard work. She is a real team player.’

    Key clients

    Bank of Scotland

    Bio Capital Limited

    Lloyds Bank plc

    Ooni Limited

    Embark Group Limited

    Standard Life Investments

    Work highlights

    • Advised Bank of Scotland housebuilders team in providing in excess of £35m of funding to various entities, accounting for over 300 new homes in Scotland over a 12 month period.  
    • Acted for Lloyds Bank plc as Lender’s counsel on the financing of a subsidy-free 20MW solar photo voltaic generating station along with a subsidy-free 8MW wind generating station, which is to be built by the Farm Energy Company at GlaxoSmithKline’s Irvine production site at Ayrshire, Scotland.
    • Advised investment platform Bio Capital as Borrower on the £85m refinancing with NatWest, Allied Irish Bank and Banco Sabadell of its UK anaerobic digestion portfolio.

    Gillespie Macandrew LLP

    Gillespie Macandrew LLP banking and finance team is particularly accomplished in the agriculture, rural affairs, real estate and renewables fields, all of which are long-standing sectors of focus for the overall firm. Property finance lawyer Kenneth Irons fronts the practice, receiving significant support from Ross MacRae, a legal director with development, leveraged and bridging transaction finance capabilities.

    Practice head(s):

    Kenneth Irons

    Other key lawyers:

    Ross MacRae


    ‘Practical and commercial while clearly explaining the Scots law implications and requirements. Friendly, helpful and responsive is how I would describe the team.’

    ‘Ross MacRae is very knowledgeable and thorough in his approach. He has an easy but efficient manner and gets on with people on all sides of the deal.’

    ‘Their ability to get the job done with the minimum of fuss and taking the approach of finding solutions to unexpected issues. As a team they are very proactive in finding solutions and will engage other areas of their firm to find solutions before reporting back. This makes a big difference when managing my clients expectations and it feels like this firm understands my clients which makes commercial life a lot easier.’

    ‘Always professional and consistent in their approach and willing to talk through any issues or changes to the original instructions/remit. I feel this firm considers everything fully and that earns a great deal of trust from my part. They are also very open and communication I would say is very strong both verbally and written.’

    ‘The team as a whole is very responsive and knowledgeable. The team members do not change during a transaction and you deal with a small tight knit team throughout the transaction.’

    ‘They make themselves available at any time and do not delay in providing responses.’

    Key clients

    Assetz SME Capital Limited

    Gresham House Forestry Limited (formerly Aitchesse Limited)

    Avant Homes Group

    Avignon Capital Limited

    AMA Homes Group

    Work highlights

    • Acted for Majestic (Belford) Limited on a further refinance of a key development asset in central Edinburgh. The transaction included a partial refinance of OakNorth Bank’s acquisition facility which was originally advanced in October 2019.
    • Acted as lead counsel to Johnson and Johnson Foundation Scotland (JJFS) in connection with a significant cross-border funds investment.


    Lindsays is especially well-regarded for property finance, a specialism of practice head Gavin Buchan  who works in close tangent with the firm’s commercial and rural property, development and construction lawyers; his team demonstrates particular proficiency in representing challenger banks, peer-to-peer lenders and alternative lenders, often acting on financings with a cross-border or bridging component.

    Practice head(s):

    Gavin Buchan


    ‘Commercial team that worked seamlessly on a cross-border transaction.’

    ‘Went the extra mile to ensure tight timeframes were met.’

    Key clients

    Allica Bank

    Cambridge & Counties Bank

    Castle Collection hotel group

    Shot Scope Technologies Ltd

    Canada Life Asset Management Limited

    Unbranded Finance

    Assetz Capital

    Redwood Bank

    Aldermore Bank

    Clydesdale Bank plc

    Work highlights

    • Acted for Canada Life Asset Management Limited in relation to the Scottish elements of a £34m loan to an alternative investment manager borrower, Investcorp, to allow the borrower to acquire a portfolio of industrial and logistics properties located in England and Scotland.
    • Acted on behalf of a challenger bank client, Redwood Bank Limited, in relation to a multi-million pound loan provided to one of their property development borrowers to acquire a portfolio of 91 properties located across 16 Scottish towns.
    • Acted on behalf of a lender client, Assetz Capital, in relation to two Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) loans to linked borrower.