Investment funds in Scotland

Burness Paull LLP

Burness Paull LLP fields a full-service funds practice, providing end-to-end support for national and international private investment companies. Primarily active on the borrower side, the team handles primary investments, secondary deals and co-investment transactions across a range of asset classes and jurisdictions. Newly appointed practice head Paula Kennedy has considerable experience in advising investors on alternative investment funds, while Andrew Christie is experienced in cross-border transactions; veteran funds lawyer Alan Soppitt is also recommended. Ruaridh Cole was promoted to partner in November 2020.

Practice head(s):

Paula Kennedy

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Christie; Stuart Murdoch; Alan Soppitt; Ruaridh Cole


‘They are close to the client, offering very personal and bespoke services’.

‘Ruaridh Cole, who just made partner, is great to work with’.

‘Burness Paull go above and beyond to understand and serve the specific needs of their clients’.

‘They are diligent, agile and very pro-active, and offer a great customer experience’.

‘Ruaridh Cole is experienced in advising on complex investments in VC and PE funds in UK and Europe, and has a deep understanding of latest market trends’.

‘Ruaridh Cole is pragmatic, very responsive and a real pleasure to work with’.

‘They are the only firm we recommend to assist with the establishment of Scottish carried interest/co-invest vehicles’.

‘We treat them like an extension of our own team and trust them to deliver a quality service to our clients’.

Key clients

European Investment Fund

Greystar European Partners

Livingbridge EP LLP

Vitruvian Partners

Schroder Adveq

EIG Global Energy Partners

Hg Capital

The Pension SuperFund

Kirkland & Ellis

Proskauer Rose

Work highlights

  • Acted for EIF in relation to its cornerstone investment in NVC Fund I.
  • Advised Greystar Europe Partners on the formation and operation of a series of seven carried interest structures.
  • Advised global private equity manager Hg Capital in relation to the formation of its newest buy-out fund.


Colin Lawrie and Karagh Gilliatt head up the investment funds team at CMS. Lawrie is particularly active in the private equity and real estate asset classes, where he handles the establishment, investment in and debt finance of unregulated funds. Gilliatt handles fund formations, mergers and reorganisations. Aidan Campbell is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Colin Lawrie; Karagh Gilliatt

Other key lawyers:

Aidan Campbell


‘Karagh Gilliatt provides very clear advice which is combined with excellent market awareness’.

‘Karagh Gilliatt’s advice is provided in a form which is readily useable as she understands our business’.

‘The CMS team provide a great service at attractive pricing’.

‘Karagh Gilliatt makes a real point of making sure that she is available for her clients’.

‘Aidan Campbell’s knowledge of financial regulations and their application to the community investment in the renewables sector was vital for our project.’

‘Karagh Gilliatt is able to draw upon her wide network within CMS to get the right specialist to help’.

‘The team provides the depth and breadth of experience both in the legal and commercial sense’.

‘Karagh Gilliatt and her team have provided an excellent and responsive service to our business for a number of years’.

Key clients

Barclays Bank plc

Royal Bank of Scotland

Close Brothers

Big Society Capital Limited

M Squared Lasers Limited

International Swaps and Derivatives Association Inc. (ISDA)

Clydesdale Bank PLC

Triodos Bank UK Limited

Santander Bank UK plc

Close Leasing Limited

HSBC UK Bank plc

Brodies LLP

Brodies LLP’s funds practice acts for managers in the alternative investment funds space in relation to renewables and other sustainable assets. It handles a broad range of matters, including fund structurings, formations, restructurings, regulatory issues, tax work and dispute resolution. Regularly acting for large London and international firms, the practice is well versed in handling the Scots law aspects of cross-border funds. Practice head Andrew Akintewe is recommended for corporate finance transactions, joint ventures and consortium arrangements involving partnership structures. Karen Fountain retired in April 2020.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Akintewe

Other key lawyers:

Paul McLaughlin; Alan Knowles

Key clients

Gresham House Asset Management


North East Scotland Pension Fund

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP

Promethean Investments LLP

Hermes Real Estate

Arjun Infrastructure Partners

Ropes & Gray LLP

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

TPG Europe LLP

University of Edinburgh

Grosvenor Estates

Work highlights

  • Advised market-leading renewable energy and commercial forestry investment manager, Gresham House Forest Fund I LP on a capital raising project.
  • Advised North East Scotland Pension Fund on its alternative investment programme, involving commitments of over £400m.
  • Advised MSCI Inc (leading provider of investment decision support tools for over 6,000 clients worldwide) on a multi-jurisdictional reorganisation and subsequent listing of a US dollar-denominated bond on the Cayman exchange.


Dentons stands out for its combination of listed fund and regulatory experience, and its private funds practice. Regularly acting on a cross-office basis with the London team, the firm handles a high number of cross-border mandates. It routinely acts for service providers to funds, including investment managers, investment advisers, depositaries, custodians and administrators. Claire Armstrong heads up the group and is recommended for fund establishment, structuring and restructuring matters, partnership law issues and asset management regulatory advice. Tim Edward left for MBM Commercial at the start of 2021.

Practice head(s):

Claire Armstrong

Other key lawyers:

Owen McLennan; Stuart Fitzsimmons


‘Accessible, pragmatic and experienced – always with an eye on good commercial outcomes.’

‘Claire Armstrong is accessible, pragmatic and thoughtful; and very diligent

‘Owen McLennan is very user-friendly and reliable’.

‘The main standout was the quality and timeliness of advice given, not only on the legal documents, but also the tactical advice to the board as it navigated the process’.

‘Their availability at short notice and fast turnaround of some complex documentation was much appreciated’.

Key clients

Murray Income Trust PLC

Sigma Capital

Target Global

Gatehouse Bank

Work highlights

  • Advised new client Murray Income Trust PLC on its merger with Perpetual Income & Growth Investment Trust plc pursuant to a scheme of reconstruction under S110 of the Insolvency Act 1986.
  • Advising Target Global on the structuring and implementation of a carried interest policy to be applied across all global funds.
  • Restructuring and migrating a private equity fund from Guernsey to Abu Dhabi.

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP’s Scottish investment funds teams is based across Edinburgh and Glasgow, and works closely with the firm's wider network, particularly the London office. Its broad expertise includes funds, tax, regulatory and US securities work, and it counts fund managers and institutional investors among its clients. David Young leads the practice and is recommended for advisory and transactional matters relating to alternative investment funds, asset management work and institutional investments.

Practice head(s):

David Young

Other key lawyers:

Elaine MacGregor

Key clients

Aberdeen Standard Investments

Aegon Absolute Return Pool

Aegon Private Equity Pool

Bricks Capital Limited

Dalmore Capital Limited

Fife Pension Fund

HSBC Alternative Investments Limited

LCN Capital Partners

Lothian Pension Fund

Martin Currie

Merseyside Pension Fund

NILGOSC (The Northern Ireland Local Government Officers’ Superannuation Committee)

PfP Capital Limited


Railpen Investments

Resonance Impact Investment Limited

RWE/E.ON Trustees

Scottish Widows

Stichting Pensioenfonds KPN

Strathclyde Pension Fund

TKPI Real Estate Fund

Work highlights

  • Advised Resonance on the establishment and launch of the £100m Women in Safe Homes fund, believed to be the first gender-lens property fund of its kind.
  • Advised Railpen in connection with the establishment of the Greencoat Wilton LP; a fund-of-one set up to invest in a UK renewable energy plant and managed by Greencoat Capital LLP – one of the UK’s largest investors in the resource efficiency and renewable energy market.
  • Advised Strathclyde Pension Fund on its investment programme which included 14 separate investments across a variety of fund structures in sectors including private equity, credit mandates, real estate, infrastructure and co-investments.