Investment funds in Scotland


CMS’ investment funds team is jointly led by Colin Lawrie and Karagh Gilliatt, with the latter being particularly noted for her vast experience of open-ended funds. The firm handles all aspects of the funds lifecycle from inception to closing; this includes establishment, regulatory authorisations, back-office and mid-office arrangements, arrangements with depositaries, fund restructurings, closings and terminations. Aidan Campbell acts for leading financial institutions and is adept at handling compliance matters.

Practice head(s):

Colin Lawrie; Karagh Gilliatt


‘Approachable, personal and solid frank no nonsense approach and advice. Good band with and you can rely on them to always deliver on time and on budget.’

‘Karagh Gilliatt is first class in her field. She has a pragmatic approach to problem solving and works with her clients to fine tune her advice and service to the situation.’

‘I cannot recommend Wendy Colquhoun more. She is sensible, straight talking and gets things done. Her depth of legal knowledge is admirable and she has good commercial knowledge.’


Key clients

Aberdeen Standard Investments

T. Bailey Asset Management

T. Bailey Fund Services

Baillie Gifford

Citibank Europe plc, UK Branch

Zurich Assurance Limited

Phoenix Group

Work highlights

  • Advised Aberdeen Standard Investments (“ASI”) on the requirements for compliance with the FCA’s PS19/4 and implemented the changes across the entire UK fund range in 2 discrete phases, seeking and obtaining FCA approval throughout the summer, while at the same time re-papering the fund documents for ASI re-branding.
  • Advised ZISUK on the requirements of terminating sub-funds and winding-up a UCITS umbrella OEIC.  Implementing all the changes, including drafting client communications and obtaining FCA approval.
  • Advised Baillie Gifford Savings Management Limited on the transfer of their investment trust ISA, child trust fund and regular savings business to Hargreaves Lansdown (“HL”).

Dickson Minto WS

Dickson Minto WS has a first-rate reputation among boutique and alternative fund managers. The practice is jointly led by Bruce Minto and Douglas Armstrong, who act for listed companies, financial institutions and investors.

Practice head(s):

Bruce Minto; Douglas Armstrong

Brodies LLP

Brodies LLP works closely with City, US and global firms on cross-border arrangements. It also acts as lead counsel on the full spectrum of investment fund vehicles, including investment companies and unit trusts. In addition, the team has expertise in offshore vehicles, such as protected cell companies, classic partnerships and LLPs. Practice head Andrew Akintewe and Karen Fountain are key figures in the team, which counts fund managers, investors, banks, pension funds, insurers and sovereign investors as clients.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Akintewe

Other key lawyers:

Karen Fountain; Paul McLaughlin


‘Rapid responses to requests for review of private equity LPAs, addressing not just legal issues but giving opinions on commercial terms.’

‘Karen Fountain is first-class, experienced, responsive, commercial, technically outstanding and concise.’



Key clients

Gresham House Asset Management / FIM

Helios Underwriting and HIPCC

City of London Club

State General Reserve of Oman


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

  • Advising the investment vehicles of the Grosvenor Estate on the terms of their investment in a series of private equity, debt and other investment funds.
  • Advising State General Reserve Fund of Oman on the terms of its investment in private equity and other investment funds.
  • Advising the University of Edinburgh and its investment vehicles on the terms of its investment in venture capital and similar investment funds.

Burness Paull LLP

Burness Paull LLP’s large investment funds team provides structuring, formation, lifetime and regulatory advice to domestic and global clients. A notable strength of the practice involves handling the formation and operation of Scottish limited partnerships used in private investment fund structures and other arrangements. Alan Soppitt, who heads up the team, is noted for his private funds expertise. Paula Kennedy is well regarded for her knowledge of alternative investment funds. Andrew Christie is renowned for his fund finance experience.

Practice head(s):

Alan Soppitt


‘Easy going people, stay close to the client at all times.’

‘Technically excellent, involved in wide variety of Scottish fund structures so good view across the market, friendly and approachable.’

‘Paula Kennedy is very helpful, approachable and knows her stuff.’

‘Really strong, easy to deal with lawyers who make my life super easy. Head and shoulders above other Scottish firms.’

‘Alan Soppitt just makes things really really easy and my life easier.’


Key clients

European Investment Fund (EIF)

Proskauer Rose

Kirkland & Ellis


Big Society Capital

Aberdeen Standard Investments

Partners Group


Simpson Thacher Bartlett

Santander (CF Trustee)

Work highlights

  • Advising leading UK social impact investor Big Society Capital on its investment in Social Growth Fund, a social enterprise fund raised by Social Investment Scotland with backing from the Scottish Government, the University of Edinburgh and Big Society Capital.
  • Advising Livingbridge in connection with: (i) the structuring and establishing of Scottish limited partnerships in relation to the Livingbridge Enterprise 3 Fund, which attracted investment worth over £330m; and (ii) and in connection with a £56m uncommitted facilities made available to the fund.
  • Acting for EIF and its “return driven” mandate vehicle Asset Management umbrella Fund in relation to its investment in EQT Ventures II.


Dentons' team is noted for its strong capabilities in relation to private funds and listed funds. Its experience includes fund formation, fund financing, standalone regulatory issues and fund redomiciliations. It is also knowledgeable about matters that are specific to fund managers' businesses and provides support on issues such as governance, compliance and financial crime. Claire Armstrong leads the team.

Practice head(s):

Claire Armstrong

Other key lawyers:

Tim Edward; Owen McLennan


‘Professional, responsive and knowledgeable.’


Key clients

Hansa Trust PLC

Gatehouse Bank

Target Global

Work highlights

  • Advised the board of Hansa Trust PLC on redomiciling the listed closed-ended investment fund to Bermuda.
  • Continuing to advise Target Global on its Mobility fund.  The fund invests in an innovative asset class and we continue to assist with the admission of new investors and sound fund governance arrangements.

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP has a strong track record handling the full lifecycle of fund management for clients, which includes the establishment and marketing of funds, as well as advice on regulation and licensing requirements. The team, which is led by David Young, has a broad base of global blue-chip clients.

Practice head(s):

David Young


‘The Pinsents team are well organised, technically excellent and customer focused, providing clear advice in a business context. In addition, their consultancy arm, Vario, has provided targeted resource to enable our team to expand temporarily for certain major project activity and has provided good flexibility. Each of the Vario contractors has demonstrated knowledge and expertise in their area.’

‘I would describe Pinsents as having a leading funds practice (public and private), and I think the teams they have in Edinburgh and Dublin are particularly strong, and probably a key differentiator with their peers.’

‘David Young not only demonstrates considerable technical knowledge and experience, but also is extremely personable and excellent in facing off to clients. I would recommend David to any in-house legal function looking for an expert whose team can deliver excellent work in a timely and efficient manner.’

‘I find the individuals have a good depth of knowledge of the asset management industry and therefore can anticipate the questions you will ask (or should be asking). I have worked for many years with David Young and can highly recommend him as a good technical lawyer but with a very practical approach.’

Key clients

HSBC Alternative Investments Limited

Aberdeen Standard Investments

Bricks Capital Limited

LCN Capital Partners

Dalmore Capital Limited

Railpen Investments

Stichting Pensioenfonds KPN

Aegon Private Equity Pool

Aegon Absolute Return Pool

TKPI Real Estate Fund

PfP Capital Limited

Glasgow City Council (as administering authority for The Strathclyde Pension Fund)

The Northern Ireland Local Government Officers’ Superannuation Committee

Martin Currie

Lothian Pension Fund


Norfolk County Council – National LGPS Framework

Scottish Widows

Fife Pension Fund


Work highlights

  • Advising Dalmore Capital on the establishment of a circa £300m investment fund to invest in rail assets, raising capital from investors in the Republic of Korea.
  • Advising Dalmore Capital on the establishment of Dalmore Ireland (a new Irish AIFM) and a complex transaction involving the amendment to a circa £200m investment fund structure investing in international infrastructure assets to allow migration of portfolio management to the Irish AIFM.
  • Continuing to act as lead adviser to Railpen Investments, the investment arm of the £28bn Railways Pension Scheme. In 2019, the firm assisted with numerous private market fund investments and participation in complex co-investment structures in numerous jurisdictions.

Shepherd and Wedderburn

Shepherd and Wedderburn is renowned for its expertise in the closed-end listed funds area and it is also sought out for advice on Scottish limited partnerships. Practice head Paul Hally, who has notable expertise in investment trusts, is noted for his advice on the potential impact of Brexit on the sector.

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) Limited

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 Limited

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

Royal London Asset Management

Martin Currie

Franklin Templeton

Nuclear Liabilities Fund Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Nuclear Liabilities Fund Limited on its £250m investment management mandate with British Patient Capital (BPC), a subsidiary of the British Business Bank.
  • Acted as UK counsel to closed-end investment fund European Assets Trust on the migration of the fund from the Netherlands to the UK, which involved the listing of European Assets Trust PLC on the premium segment of the main market of the London Stock Exchange.