Investment funds in Scotland


CMS fields four partners in its dedicated funds practice including group co-heads Karagh Gilliatt and Colin Lawrie. The group provides advice on the full spectrum of funds issues to its client base of listed, unauthorised or regulated funds. Recent mandates include the establishment of an investment manager, obtaining regulatory authorisation, back-office and mid-office arrangements including outsourcing arrangements to support the investment fund business; and arrangements with depositaries. Aidan Campbell counts fund providers and distributors as clients and Wendy Colquhoun specialises in structuring outsourced fund platforms and fund administration arrangements.

Practice head(s):

Karagh Gilliatt; Colin Lawrie

Other key lawyers:

Wendy Colquhoun; Aidan Campbell


The team really understands the clients’ industry and the specific intricacies and nuances, with a good understanding of market practices.

The team is commercially focused with good insight on regulatory requirements and regulator views.

Aidan Campbell and Karagh Gilliatt both demonstrate a combination of commercial focus with insight on what regulators are looking for.

Key clients

Lloyds Banking Group

Standard Life Aberdeen Group

Zurich Assurance

Baillie Gifford


Smith & Williamson

T. Bailey Fund Services

Kames Capital plc

Citibank Europe plc, UK Branch


Phoenix Group


Close Brothers Asset Management

Franklin Templeton


Trustees of the University of Glasgow Pension Scheme

Work highlights

  • Advised Standard Life Investments and Aberdeen Asset Management on the harmonisation of their authorised fund ranges.
  • Acted for Citibank on its appointment as depositary to the £7bn UCITS fund managed by Kames Capital.
  • Instructed by T Bailey Fund Services to advise on the soft closure of the Evenlode Fund.
  • Advised Baillie Gifford on the creation of a master-feeder arrangement.
  • Assisted Sanlam UK with negotiating various outsourced platform, fund administration and custody arrangements with Pershing, Hubwise and IRESS.

Dickson Minto WS

Dickson Minto WS counts funds managed by the larger UK fund managers as clients and has maintained its strong position advising boutique and alternative fund managers. Recently, the practice has grown to advise on a number of alternative asset classes including healthcare, student accommodation, renewables, infrastructure and debt. Douglas Armstrong and Bruce Minto jointly lead the group.

Practice head(s):

Douglas Armstrong; Bruce Minto

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Todd; Colin MacNeill; Duncan Christison

Work highlights

  • Advised the Alliance Trust on the sale of Alliance Trust Savings to Interactive Investor to create a £35bn investment platform.
  • Acted for JPMorgan Multi-Asset Trust on its IPO.
  • Advised on the launch of the Inverleith Private Equity Fund.

Brodies LLP

Brodies LLP's team, led by Andrew Akintewe, advises on all aspects of investment fund structures and terms including investment companies and unit trusts, offshore vehicles including protected cell companies, classic partnerships and LLPs. Karen Fountain is singled out by clients for 'using her knowledge in a pragmatic manner', and Paul McLaughlin specialises in the various uses of LLPs, general partnerships and SLPs.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Akintewe

Other key lawyers:

Karen Fountain; Paul McLaughlin


Karen Fountain is key to the advice provided by Brodies.’

Brodies fields a small tight-knit group, which delivers an exceptional service with excellent value for money.

Karen Fountain is very knowledgeable on the UK investment environment, and uses that knowledge in a pragmatic manner. She is always available and attentive to clients’ needs.

Key clients

FIM and Gresham House Group

HIPCC and Helios Underwriting PLC


LXB Retail Properties Fund LP

North East Scotland Pension Fund

Promethean Investments LLP

Schulenburg Capital

Arjun Infrastructure Partners

TPG Europe LLP

Grosvenor Estates

Work highlights

  • Advising the Grosvenor Estates on the terms of its investment in a series of private equity, debt and other investment funds.
  • Assisted with restructuring FIM renewable energy funds as well as capital raising projects.
  • Advising North East Scotland Pension Fund, one of Scotland’s major public sector pension funds, on investments into alternative investment funds.
  • Instructed by Arjun Infrastructure Partners to advise on aspects of its acquisition and development of a shareholding in the holding vehicle of a multi-national motorway services area operator.
  • Advised Helios Underwriting and H I PCC on the structure, marketing and establishment of an investment product to give exposure to Lloyd’s underwriting.

Burness Paull LLP

At Burness Paull LLP, the team of banking and finance experts, led by Alan Soppitt, is recognised for its private fund formation and partnership work, particularly regarding the structuring, establishment and operation of Scottish limited partnerships. The enhancement of the firm's regulatory team through the appointment of Stuart Murdoch to the partnership has boosted the practice's presence and capabilities in the financial services sector, especially in contentious work. Andrew Christie continues to build the funds finance sub-group, which regularly assists clients with debt and security structures. Paula Kennedy is singled out for her work acting for investors in their investments into alternative investment funds.

Practice head(s):

Alan Soppitt

Key clients

Simpson Thacher Bartlett


Kirkland & Ellis




Fried Frank

Partners Group

Aberdeen Standard Investments

Work highlights

  • Acted for the European Investment Fund on its co-investment with Hedosophia Gamma II LP in the Series C funding round of N26, a German-headquartered, pan-European mobile bank.
  • Advised Rede Partners on all the UK law partnership issues relating to the formation and operation of a series of ten executive co-investment limited partnerships.
  • Provided Actis with Scottish law structuring advice on several elements of its fund and carry structuring.
  • Assisting Schroder Adveq with the formation and operation of seven Scottish limited partnerships, which were established as fund-of-one vehicles.


The practice at Dentons regularly advises its blue-chip client roster on issues relating to fund financing, regulatory matters, corporate structures and disputes. The firm has notable expertise in handling corporate and banking structures with fund involvement; it leverages the firm's knowledge of tax, insurance and trust law. Claire Armstrong is based in Edinburgh and leads the Scotland asset management offering.

Practice head(s):

Claire Armstrong

Other key lawyers:

Tim Edward; Owen McLennan


‘The breadth of the team and practice areas and the lawyers’ ability to draw on different skill sets and expertise is fantastic.’

‘The thing that sets Dentons apart is the effort put in to understand clients’ individual businesses and complexities with regular informal meetings. The low staff turnover drives a consistent approach with a deep understanding of the matters at hand.’

‘The finance experts at Dentons are always there at the end of a phone and able to deal with issues in a constructive way.’

Key clients

M&G Real Estate

Gatehouse Bank

Target Global Advisors Limited

Aberdeen Standard Asia Focus PLC




Sigma Capital

Work highlights

  • Acted for Gatehouse on the reorganisation of two funds, which manage real estate lettings, including the removal of the existing letting agent and appointment of a new one.
  • Acted on the establishment of a new fund for Target Global Advisors.
  • Handling the issuance of £37m of debt securities for Aberdeen Asian Smaller Companies Investment Trust (now Aberdeen Standard Asia Focus) on the premium debt segment of the London Stock Exchange’s main market.
  • Instructed by Tortoise Investment LLC to advise on its acquisition of Ecofin, an FCA-regulated specialist investor in sustainable infrastructure.

Shepherd and Wedderburn

Shepherd and Wedderburn has a strong track record in the closed-ended listed funds space; the team also has notable strength representing its asset manager client base and Scottish limited partnerships. Practice head Paul Hally has substantial experience in the investment trust field and has recently been advising clients on the potential impact of Brexit, among other issues.

Practice head(s):

Paul Hally


‘We worked with Shepherd and Wedderburn on a complex transaction under a very challenging timetable. They worked tirelessly to ensure the transaction complied with all the required legislation and regulatory requirements. We were very impressed’.

‘Paul Hally led from the front and coordinated a diverse team of lawyers, accountants, secretaries and brokers. He worked tirelessly on the project and brought great experience and knowledge to the table’.

Key clients

European Assets Trust NV

Baillie Gifford & Co

The Scottish Investment Trust plc

Horizon Infrastructure Partnership LLP

Canadian General Investments, Limited

Nucleus Financial Group Ltd

First State Investment Services (UK) Ltd

Schroder UK Mid Cap Fund plc

F&C Asset Management plc


Alliance Trust plc

Oaktree Opportunities Fund X, L.P

Accrue Capital Group

Hermes Real Estate Investment Management Ltd

Britel Fund Trustees Ltd

Catalyst Capital LLP

Blackstone Group LP

OLIM Property Ltd

Value and Income Trust plc

Scottish American Investment Trust Company plc

Deutsche Asset and Wealth Management

Canada Life Investments

Work highlights

  • Advising on the rationalisation of the structure of European Assets Trust from being a Dutch entity that is managed from the UK, to a UK entity managed in the UK.
  • Acting for Dunedin Property Asset Management on the establishment of a Scottish limited partnership.