Employment in Scotland

Brodies LLP

Acclaimed for its proficiency in employment law, Brodies LLP provides its clients with wide-ranging 'practical and prompt' advice including transactional support as well as assistance with investigations and Employment Tribunal claims. Its expertise spans various sectors including the public and third sectors alongside the finance, education, manufacturing, transport, oil and gas industries. The 'extraordinaryTony Hadden heads the team which includes recommended industrial relations expert Joan Cradden and 'very smart' director Brian Campbell, who has extensive litigation expertise. Paul McMahon left the firm in December 2018 to work as employment judge. Elaine McIlroy, joined the team from Weightmans in August 2019, bringing expertise in immigration.

Practice head(s):

Tony Hadden

Other key lawyers:

Joan Cradden; Lynne Marr; Brian Campbell; Ashley Topping; Elaine McIlroy; Fiona Herrell


You can always rely on the team to work to very tight deadlines.

The team has the fantastic capability to advise on matters and see them through to advocacy in Employment Tribunals which gives them a massive advantage over firms who need to instruct external advocates.

Tony Hadden is an advocate with an outstanding track record of success.’

The team offers sound, pragmatic advice which takes into account reputational issues.’

Lynne Marr is exceptional. She inspires confidence in her advice through her pragmatic approach and sound grasp of the issues that matter most to the client.

‘Fiona Herrell is a real go-to person for all employment law matters. Her advice is practical and reliable – you can always rely on her to work to very tight timelines.’

Key clients


Dana Petroleum

AXIS Capital

8×8 UK


American Express


D.C. Thomson

Work highlights

  • Successfully represented Abellio in a claim brought against it on the grounds of sex, age and disability discrimination.
  • Advising Queen Margaret University on a wide range of HR matters arising from the client’s organisational change.
  • Providing long-standing client Prudential with advice on the full range of employment law and HR-related matters, including senior exits and recruitment as well as GDPR and employment tribunal litigation.

Burness Paull LLP

Burness Paull LLP's 'impressive' team has gained reputation as a leading employment law specialist, covering the full spectrum of contentious and non-contentious work, which has recently included various instructions concerning GDPR compliance, gender pay gap matters, TUPE transfers, industrial actions, senior executive changes and general Employment Tribunal work. Providing transactional support is another key area of expertise. In August 2018, the 'intelligentMandy Laurie took over the team lead from 'very experienced' oil and gas sector expert Sean Saluja, while, in other team changes, the 'very goodJamie Kerr joined from Thorntons Law LLP in September 2018, significantly boosting the firm's immigration offering. Clients include oil and gas, food and drink, financial services, sport, media and retail sector players. The 'approachableDavid Morgan, who is 'a joy to work with' and particularly experienced in trade unions and industrial relations, and the 'down-to-earthJennifer Skeoch are recommended.

Practice head(s):

Mandy Laurie

Other key lawyers:

David Morgan; Margaret Gibson; Morag Hutchison; Ronald Mackay; Sean Saluja; Tricia Walker; Jennifer Skeoch; Morag Moffett; Jamie Kerr


David Morgan is a solid practitioner with a good profile.

The team is extremely knowledgeable, thoughtful and patient and always provides pragmatic advice.

Its stability is a strong point.

Provides the most cost effective, real world advice.

Takes the time to understand the business and the client’s objectives and challenges.’

Delivers tailored advice efficiently and clearly.

Professional and pragmatic.

Morag Hutchison has a very professional and down-to-earth approach and makes any challenge the client is dealing with seem easy to manage.

The first legal team that listens to the client and not bombard them with legal jargon.

Very forward thinking organisation that keeps up with the times.

Key clients



General Electric



Scottish Football Association


A.G. Barr


Work highlights

  • Advised Total on industrial relations matters following the client’s proposed variation to offshore working patterns.
  • Assisting Scottish Rugby Union with employment law requirements for employees and rugby players throughout the organisation (including Glasgow Warriors and Edinburgh Rugby). Recently, the team represented the client before the Employment Tribunal in Edinburgh following an unfair dismissal claim.
  • Continued advice to long-standing client Wheatley Group; regular instructions include TUPE transfers, union relations matters and employment litigation.
  • As the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants’ sole employment law advisors, the team provides regular advice on business critical and strategic matters, including on gender pay gap issues and GDPR compliance, trade union matters, management changes and the outsourcing of services and also defends the client against various employment tribunal claims.
  • Following a restructuring of the stv (Channel 3 on Scottish TV) business, the team advised the client on a number of high-profile senior executive changes and departures, including in the news team (and Head of News).

Anderson Strathern

Anderson Strathern 'makes the client feel valued' and has particular education, food and drink and public sector expertise but also assists other clients with the full spectrum of employment law work. The 'very knowledgeable' team led by the 'highly ratedAlun Thomas provides regular advice on TUPE transfers, working time, equal pay and general HR issues, and, in the contentious space, is noted for its experience handling unfair dismissal claims, alongside other employment tribunal work, and for its mediation offering.

Practice head(s):

Alun Thomas

Other key lawyers:

Paul Brown; Barry Nichol; Andrew Brown; Murray McCall; Chris McDowall


Barry Nichol is a pragmatic advisor.

Andrew Brown is a sensible and solid advisor.

Provides comprehensive and practical advice.

Alun Thomas is a first rate practitioner whose mediator training assists in noting all angles of a disputes.

Professional and friendly at the same time.

Chris McDowall has a wealth of knowledge.

Spends time getting to know the client and their business in order to understand the issues the client faces and responds with tailored solutions.

Key clients

The Scottish Government

Royal College of Nursing

The Glenmorangie

Scottish Prison Service

Rangers Football Club

The University of St Andrews

Ineos Chemicals

Duke of Roxburghe

Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service

Scottish Social Services Commission (SSSC)

Edinburgh College

Edinburgh Napier University

Glasgow Caledonian University

Work highlights

  • Advice to a national health service body on working time issues and shift allowances.
  • Advising Rangers Football Club on various employment law matters including the departure of the previous football management team and negotiating and arranging contracts for the new management team.
  • Providing assistance to Midlothian Council on internal investigations and disciplinary proceedings following allegations of fraud and inappropriate procurement activity.
  • The team acted for a director, shareholder and employee of an IT services company in a dispute concerning his employment and rights on exit from the business.
  • Advising Fife Council on TUPE transfers of services in and out of the private sector.


CMS has been increasingly active assisting clients with internal investigations and employment litigation concerning discrimination, harassment, equal pay and unfair dismissal claims, among others, while, in the non-contentious space, the 'highly knowledgeable and pragmatic' team led by the 'highly regardedAlison Woods is 'a pleasure to work with' and well versed in handling GDPR and gender pay gap matters and frequently provides transaction support. Its client base includes various financial services, energy and higher education sector players. Senior associate Catriona Aldridge is recommended; she handles contentious and non-contentious work.

Practice head(s):

Alison Woods

Other key lawyers:

Gillian MacLellan; Finlay McKay; Catriona Aldridge


Gives clear and pragmatic advice.

Doesn’t just highlight the issues but gives workable solutions.

Provides clear transparency of billing.

Takes the time to understand the circumstances well before giving advice.

Gillian MacLellan is extremely professional and approachable.’

Alison Woods provides rock solid advice.

Every response is tailored to the client’s individual needs.

Key clients

Baxters Food Group

Stonewall Equality

FirstBank Nigeria

Wise Investments


COSL Drilling


GasLog Services

ICR Integrity Group


Stirling Council

National Museums Scotland

Work highlights

  • Advised Equinor on employment matters pertaining to the client’s acquisition of Chevron’s 40% operated interest in the Rosebank field development project.
  • Advised Francisco Partners on the employment aspects of its acquisition of Verifone Systems.
  • Successfully represented the former director of domestic rugby at the Scottish Rugby Union in his claim of unfair dismissal.
  • Advised the Highland and Islands Enterprise on a broad range of HR matters including data protection, disciplinary processes and long-term absence and grievance cases, among other matters.

Morton Fraser

Acting for employer and employees across the public, private and third sectors, Morton Fraser fields a large team covering the gamut of employment law from non-contentious equal pay and TUPE-related corporate work to various employment tribunal cases, which typically involve discrimination, unfair dismissal and holiday pay claims. Its contentious abilities also include mediation. Innes Clark is 'very good' and heads the team, which includes legal director Alan Delaney; he joined the firm in April 2018 from Dentons and has significant experience of TUPE and restructuring issues.

Practice head(s):

Innes Clark

Other key lawyers:

Lindsey Cartwright; David Hossack; David Walker; Alan Delaney


‘Morton Fraser are capable of understanding the complexities of a charity as a commercial business and provide advice accordingly’.

‘Innes Clark and Alan Delaney both outstanding in their field’.

‘Very committed to making even the most tortuous things as painless as possible’.

‘Friendly approachable and good to have on your side’.

‘Our contact always provides sound, commercially aware advice’.

Key clients

Ministry of Defence

Royal Mail Group

Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation


Micron Europe

Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC)

The Scottish Government and the Office of the Advocate General


Van Oord

DAS Insurance

Work highlights

  • Continues to act for Unison against Glasgow City Council in the largest equal pay litigation in Scotland. This relates to equal pay claims brought by Unison’s members against Glasgow City Council and associated employers.
  • Defending over 1,000 claims arising from changes to public sector pensions (age discrimination, equal pay and sex discrimination).
  • Advised the coach of a national sporting team on a potential constructive dismissal claim arising as a result of material changes to his role by his employer during his notice period.
  • Advising a charity on various employment law matters in Scotland and carrying out a wholesale review of all of its employment documentation.
  • Represented SDC Group on the acquisition of four dental practices in various parts of Scotland, which included advice on employee indemnities and warranties in transactions involving the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006.

Pinsent Masons LLP

'Providing excellent support', Pinsent Masons LLP's 'thorough and pragmatic' team stands out for its expertise in contentious employment law work, representing clients at the Employment Tribunal and in senior employee and board level disputes. On the non-contentious side, much of the group's workload pertains to equal pay and TUPE issues, industrial relations and team moves with many of its instructions stemming from financial services, energy, infrastructure and manufacturing sector clients. Euan Smith and the 'extremely experienced and highly regarded' Diane Nicol are among the main contacts in Scotland; both act for an extensive blue-chip and plc client base. Katie Williams formerly based in Aberdeen, relocated to firm's Perth office, Australia, in June 2018.

Practice head(s):

Euan Smith

Other key lawyers:

Diane Nicol; Stuart Neilson; James Cran


Diane Nicol is a stand-out partner and drives high standards through the team to ensure that the team acts as true partner to the client.

Any issues are faced and solved quickly.

Very approachable and knowledgeable about the Employment Tribunal process in Scotland and how it differs from England and Wales.

James Cran suggests innovative solutions and explains technical points clearly.’

Key clients


The Royal Bank of Scotland

Balfour Beatty Group


P&O Ferries

Standard Life Aberdeen



Royal BAM Group

Thomas Tunnock

David MacBrayne Group

Work highlights

  • Continues to advise a major infrastructure client on holiday pay arrangements.
  • Acted for Liberata in Employment Tribunal and Supreme Court proceedings pertaining to the issue of whether an employer should have known about an employee’s disability.
  • Advising Motor Fuel Group, the largest independent petrol station forecourt operator in the UK, following its £1.2bn acquisition of Malthurst Retail, on HR issues arising from the integration of the two businesses, which included collective redundancy processes and TUPE issues.
  • Represented Parity Professionals, a key supplier of temporary contractor labour in the Scottish public sector, in a discrimination claim brought by the personal service company of one of those contractors and successfully defended the claim through to dismissal.

Addleshaw Goddard

Clients from the financial services, energy, retail, transport and healthcare sectors, among others, routinely instruct Addleshaw Goddard to advise on equal pay, TUPE, workforce restructuring and industrial relations matters alongside issues arising from corporate transactions. Equally well versed in handling contentious work, the group jointly led by David Hughes and the 'well regarded' Kim Pattullo also handles regular employment tribunal proceedings pertaining to unfair dismissal and discrimination claims.

Practice head(s):

Kim Pattullo; David Hughes

Key clients

Action 4 Equality (Scotland)


2 Touch BPO

Enventure International

Ove Arup

Oodle Financial Services


ANM Group


Slater Menswear

GAP Group


Smarter Grid Solutions

Heart of Midlothian

Work highlights

  • Acting for Action 4 Equality (Scotland) in a class action, acting for approximately 11,000 claimants in Scotland’s largest equal pay litigation.
  • Acted for Eastern Western Motor Group in the purchase of the whole of the share capital of Barnetts Motor Group, which included assistance with TUPE transfers.
  • Providing operational and strategic industrial relations advice to the board and senior HR team of a national logistics company, including advice on balloting, collective grievance and strike avoidance actions.
  • Represented Gist in a hearing before the Glasgow Employment Tribunal involving allegations of unfair dismissal, trade union victimisation and harassment.

BTO Solicitors LLP

BTO Solicitors LLP serves a broad client base consisting of individuals, small and large companies alongside membership organisations and insurance companies. The team's expertise spans various sectors, but it is particularly noted for its experience in the healthcare industry including its niche advising doctors and dentists on regulatory and disciplinary issues. Much of its work pertains to contentious and non-contentious whistleblowing, discrimination, holiday pay, minimum wage and TUPE matters. 'Good advisor' Caroline Carr heads the team, which includes Laura Salmond; Salmond is 'always available and provides first-class advice' on the full range of employment law.

Practice head(s):

Caroline Carr

Other key lawyers:

David Hoey; Laura Salmond; Rhona Wark


Makes the client feel important.

Immediate responses to enquiries.

Takes the time to understand the client’s business to give tailored advice.

David Hoey is an absolute legend.

Key clients

Prisoner Officers’ Association for Scotland

Booth Welsh Automation

Key Housing Association

Royal & Sun Alliance

Medical and Dental Defence Union of Scotland (MDDUS)

Royal College of Nursing (RCN)

Chubb Insurance UK

Duddingston Golf Club

City of Edinburgh Council

Work highlights

  • Instructed by the Prison Officers Association (Scotland) to advise over 3,000 members and their immediate family on a wide range of employment matters including discrimination, capability, misconduct, whistleblowing and data protection.
  • Advised Booth Welsh Automation on TUPE, redundancy, discipline and high level exists and successfully defended a claim in the Employment Tribunal.
  • Providing advice to Key Housing Association and Community Lifestyles on a rage of employment law matters including holiday pay and the national minimum wage.
  • Providing advice to Chubb Insurance’s large corporate insured on their employment claims via their Employment Practices Liability insurance policies.
  • Represented a member of the Royal College of Nursing in a minimum wage claim.

Clyde & Co LLP

Clyde & Co LLP has carved out a 'strong' practice defending clients, most notably from the public sector, against various claims brought before the Employment Tribunal; its contentious work typically concerns whistleblowing, discrimination, equal pay and unfair dismissal claims alongside mass holiday and equal pay litigation. The 'excellentStephen Miller heads the team, which includes 'very efficient' discrimination law expert Frances Ross.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Miller

Other key lawyers:

Graham Mitchell; Frances Ross; Robert King


Provides robust and efficient advice that’s easy to understand.

Excellent customer service.

The team are good communicators and always on hand to assist when required.’

Takes the time to understand the client’s business and provides tailored advice.

Approachable and very supportive.

Stephen Miller is balanced in his approach. He clearly has extensive knowledge of his field and delivers his advice in a way that is not only well presented for the in-house lawyers but is also readily understood by non-lawyers.

Robust in its commercial outlook when giving legal advice.

Graham Mitchell’s intellect, calm nature and vast experience help enormously when it comes to navigating through complex legal matters.

Key clients

Glasgow City Council

The City of Edinburgh Council

Scottish Police Authority

Malcolm Group

Devro Group

J & J Denholm

Scottish Ballet

Airth Castle Hotel

Argyll, Lomond & the Islands Energy Agency

Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland

Work highlights

  • Supporting Glasgow City Council in the defence of equal pay and sex discrimination claims since 2005, with the number now exceeding 14,000 claims.
  • Defending the Scottish Police Authority against whistleblowing claims brought by a director.
  • Defending claims challenging the Fife Council’s job evaluation scheme.


Dentons' 'responsive and approachable' team has a strong profile for insolvency-related and corporate employment work, which frequently involves other UK jurisdictions, but the team's expertise also expands to various other HR matters including executive contracts and data protection issues. In litigation, handling equal and holiday pay claims, discrimination and unfair dismissal matters alongside whistleblowing allegations are particular areas of expertise. The 'very professionalMark Hamilton is the main contact for Scotland following Amanda Jones' appointment as the firm's global woman's advancement director in October 2018. The 'very experienced' Alison Weatherhead was appointed counsel in March 2018 and advises on the full spectrum um employment law, while in April 2018, director Alan Delaney moved to Morton Fraser.

Practice head(s):

Mark Hamilton

Other key lawyers:

Alison Weatherhead 

Key clients

The Official Receiver

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co Partners

TUI Holidays

Barclays Bank

Menzies Aviation

The Edrington Group

DuPont Teijin Films

W. L. Gore UK

Martin Currie Investment Management

MB Aerospace

Educational Institute of Scotland

Work highlights

  • Advised the Official Receiver as liquidator and PwC as special managers on various employment aspects concerning the liquidation of Carillion, including the transfer of employees out of the liquidated companies.
  • Advised Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co Partners on TUPE, redundancy and international employment law matters pertaining to its acquisition of Unilever’s global spreads business.
  • Advised GfK on the UK employment aspects of the client’s sale of four global divisions in its custom research business, including TUPE, restructuring and collective redundancy matters.
  • Providing assistance to LGT Capital Partners with general HR matters, and advising on complex recruitment arrangements for consultants who carry out regulated activities in the UK, but are based abroad.
  • Responded to proceedings brought against Falkirk Football and Athletic Club by the Scottish Premier Football League involving allegations of inducing breaches of the employment contracts between another club and those managers.

Shepherd and Wedderburn

Shepherd and Wedderburn expanded its client base in the technology sector with various new client wins adding to its broad sector expertise spanning energy, finance, education, leisure and public sectors, among others. The team led by the 'very good' Neil Maclean handles a wide range of employment law work, which frequently pertains to various commercial projects and corporate activities, but it also provides assistance with GDPR and senior management matters alongside disputes.

Practice head(s):

Neil MacLean


‘There is a real strength in depth to the team’.

Key clients


Epic Games


Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL)


University of Aberdeen




The Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland

Work highlights

  • Providing regular employment law advice to long-term client Epic Games, including various employment law issues arising from its strategic acquisition of the business and assets of Cloudgine.
  • Continues to provide advice on the remuneration structures of Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s UK asset management business.
  • Successfully defending British Midland Airways against a discrimination claim in excess of £350,000.
  • Advising the University of Edinburgh, the University of Glasgow, and University of Aberdeen on all employment, immigration and pensions matters.
  • Advising Fortinet on the employment aspects of its acquisition of ZoneFox, an Edinburgh headquartered company.

Balfour+Manson LLP

Frequently working in conjunction with the firm's personal injury and human rights practice, Balfour+Manson LLP handles an array of contentious and non-contentious employment law matters; in the contentious space, the team is best known for its experience in claimant work concerning discrimination and unfair dismissal claims while also acting for respondants. Regular non-contentious instructions include GDPR and various HR matters. Robert Holland heads the team, which includes contentious employment law expert Sarah Shiels, who made partner in January 2019.

Practice head(s):

Robert Holland

Other key lawyers:

Sarah Shiels

Key clients

Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS)

DAS Legal Expenses Insurance

British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA)

IWGB (Independent Workers Union)

Work highlights

  • Continues to represent Educational Institute of Scotland in employment tribunal claims; in 2018, the team successfully litigated a ten day unfair dismissal hearing for a teacher dismissed on the grounds of statutory bar.
  • Instructed by the British Airline Pilot Association to advise on the implications of GDPR and the new Data Protecon Act 2018 in relation to collective agreements on Flight Data Management which the Union has with individual commercial airlines.
  • Advising Cricket Scotland on issues relating to the players such as salaries, bonuses, commercial rights, funding and creating a pathway into retirement.

Blackadders LLP

Simon Allison's 'very active and responsive' team at Blackadders LLP regularly works in close conjunction with its corporate team to advise on TUPE matters, executive service agreements and severance agreements arising from acquisitions and disposals, while also handling a wide range of contentious matters; these frequently pertain to claims of unpaid holiday, unfair dismissal and discrimination, where the team acts for employers and employees. In October 2018, the 'extremely knowledgeable and supportiveDonna Reynolds, who has a particular focus on discrimination law, joined from CCW Business Lawyers, now Wright, Johnston & Mackenzie LLP.

Practice head(s):

Simon Allison

Other key lawyers:

Donna Reynolds


The team is very responsive and provides balanced and pragmatic advice.

‘Excellent team work.’

It’s a cohesive and professional unit. When one of them is not there, the cover is excellent.

They put themselves in the shoes of the client which enables them to give good practical advice – not just the straight legal view.

Strong team.

Key clients

Canongate Books

Balnacraig School

CJ Lang & Son

Robertson Homes

National Express Group

New Park Medical Practice

Dundee Contemporary Arts

Fairmont St Andrews

Traverse Theatre

Work highlights

  • Assisted Canongate Books with all employment law aspects concerning its acquisition of the London publishing company Severn House Publishers. This included the transfer of Severn House Publishers’ employees to the client which required advice on the application of the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006.
  • Successfully resisted a claim for unfair dismissal and disability discrimination by a former employee of Balnacraig School.
  • Successfully resisted multiple claims for unpaid holiday pay brought against CJ Lang & Son by an employee.
  • Represented a client in an employment tribunal claim alleging that he had been unfairly dismissed and unlawfully discriminated against on the grounds of disability.
  • Advised Dundee Contemporary Arts in the resistance of an employment tribunal claim for unfair dismissal, age discrimination and sex discrimination.

Harper Macleod LLP

Harper Macleod LLP routinely assists clients with commercial and transactions and restructuring-related employment law matters while the group led by the 'personableBruce Caldow also has a strong profile for contentious work, routinely defending clients against claims of discrimination and unfair dismissal, among others, at the Employment Tribunal; it also conducts investigations following whistleblowing complaints. With a strong presence in the sport sector, the team receives frequent instructions from various sports organisations but also acts for an extensive roster of public and third sector clients alongside corporates. Dawn Robertson moved to Rooney Nimmo in May 2018.

Practice head(s):

Bruce Caldow


The team is tenacious in pursuing its client’s interests.

Bruce Caldow impresses with his consideration and willingness to find innovative solutions.’

Key clients

Glasgow City Council

Celtic FC

Compello Staffing

Neogen Europe Group

Cornerstone Community Care

Dumfries & Galloway Housing Partnership

Forestry Commission


Historic Environment Scotland

Teekay Corporation

Work highlights

  • Successfully defended a long running unfair dismissal claim brought against Glasgow Life by a former employee.
  • Providing regular advice to Webhelp UK on international outsourcing deals.
  • Regular advice to Cornerstone Community Care on a wide variety of employment issues including a complex and novel restructuring and modernisation programme.
  • Advised Go Beyond Services on various employment law matter arising from its acquisition of OEE Consulting (OEE) and OEE’s subsequent merger with gobeyond.

Ledingham Chalmers LLP

With strong presence in the Highlands and Islands region, the 'friendly, knowledgeable and flexible' team at Ledingham Chalmers LLP is noted for its 'practical and professional approach'. The practice acts for a number of large companies, family-owned business, SMEs and individuals within the region, most notably from the oil and gas sectors, but it also strengthened its presence in the Central Belt region with the arrival of John Lee from Lindsays in February 2019; he joined the firm's Edinburgh office and is well versed in discrimination law. The team handles a wide range of employment law matters, including corporate support work, but it has particular strength in representing claimants and respondents in disputes. The 'professional, calm and outcome-focusedKirk Tudhope heads the team.

Practice head(s):

Kirk Tudhope

Other key lawyers:

John Lee


Always tells the client where they stand.

Extremely commercially aware.

Very quick response times to queries.

Key clients

LifeScan Scotland

Highland Fuels

Baxters Food Group

Orion Engineering Services

John Gordon & Son

SGL Carbon Fiber

Green Team Christmas Trees

Moray Leisure

Hawco & Sons

Work highlights

  • Successfully defended Green Team Christmas Trees against an unfair dismissal claim by having the case dismissed at the preliminary hearing.


Lindsays has substantial expertise in the third sector but also acts for various SMEs and larger privately owned employers as well as senior executives in a wide range of non-contentious and contentious issues; the latter is an area of particular expertise for the team, leading to regular instructions concerning claims of unfair dismissal, discrimination and whistleblowing alongside bullying and sexual harassment as well as disciplinary actions taken against employees. Non-contentious work frequently involves termination of employment and employment status matters. The 'very pragmatic and commercially mindedBen Doherty heads the team, which lost John Lee to Ledingham Chalmers LLP in February 2019.

Practice head(s):

Ben Doherty


Ben Doherty works hard for his clients.’

Pragmatic and solution-driven approach.

Considers the client’s company culture before making suggestions.

Key clients

2 Agriculture

Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH)

Castle Water

McLaughlin and Harvey Construction

Hostelling Scotland

AGR Automation

Borland Insurance

William Stephens

Carr Gomm

Viewpoint Housing Association

Work highlights

  • Tribunal representation in the successful defence of a claim of unfair dismissal and whistleblowing.
  • Against the background of the #metoo movement, the team advised a client on complaints of bullying and sexual harassment brought by a female PA against her line manager.
  • Advice to a new client accused by an employee of subjecting her to a detriment following a whistleblowing email sent to the client’s local authority funder.
  • Provided advice on the employment termination of a senior member of the client’s account team.
  • Defended a client against unfair dismissal and whistleblowing claims brought by an employee.

MacRoberts LLP

The 'good' team at MacRoberts LLP regularly acts for public and third sector bodies, while its client base also includes various private sector players, in employment litigation concerning unfair dismissal, discrimination and remuneration issues including a number of class actions and whistleblowing matters; the team also represents employees. In non-contentious work, the group led by Katy Wedderburn is noted for its experience handling TUPE transfers, collective consultation processes and senior executive exits alongside employment contracts and compliance matters.

Practice head(s):

Katy Wedderburn

Other key lawyers:

Deborah Miller; John Macmillan

Key clients


The Scottish Government

Johnston Press (now named JPIMedia)

Glasgow City Council

City of Edinburgh Council

ENABLE Scotland

Hillcrest Group

The House of Bruar

CCHG t/ a Vaporized

Work highlights

  • Defended Transport Scotland, on behalf of the Scottish Government, against a class action pertaining to holiday pay.
  • Provided advice and tribunal representation to the University of Dundee in relation to claims for unfair dismissal, breach of contract and indirect age discrimination.
  • Defended McTear Contracts against claims of unfair dismissal, sex discrimination and other allegations.
  • Advised ENABLE Scotland on mean and median pay gaps and zero hour arrangements.
  • Acted for Vaporized on an unfair dismissal and disability discrimination claim raised by its production manager.

Thorntons Law LLP

Best known for its education sector expertise, Thorntons Law LLP acts for an extensive roster of higher education institutions and research centres but the practice also represents local authorities and housing associations alongside healthcare, manufacturing and and leisure sector clients, among others. Its predominately employer-focused work frequently involves discrimination and whistleblowing cases, industrial actions, TUPE matters, collective redundancies and holiday pay litigation as well as corporate governance and regulatory issues. 'Safe pair of handsNoele McClelland heads the 'impressive' team which includes new arrival Chris Phillips; he joined the firm in April 2018 from Loch Employment Law and mainly acts for employers.

Practice head(s):

Noele McClelland

Other key lawyers:

Debbie Fellows; Chris Phillips


Always takes the time to understand the client’s business in order to provide tailored commercial advice.’

The team always takes a pragmatic, common sense approach and gives the full picture of options and risks.’

Debbie Fellows provides first-class advice and possesses a talent of cutting straight to the heart of the problem in order to find the correct solution.

Its assistance is consistently of a very high standard.

Prompt, professional service.

Chris Phillips provides timely, accurate information.

Key clients

Robert Gordon University

University of Stirling

Glasgow School of Art

University of Abertay

Caledonia Housing Association

Don & Low

University of Strathclyde

Perth College

Scot JCB

A.M. Phillip

Work highlights

  • Provided strategic advice to Don & Low on restructuring certain areas of this major manufacturing business including associated redundancy issues.
  • Advised Perth College on a senior management restructure and associated grievances regarding bullying and harassment.
  • Advised A.M. Phillip Limited on the sale of a large proportion of its business and the associated employment matters concerning the transfer of several sites to a new operator and one site closure.
  • Continued advice to Colleges Scotland on national bargaining and industrial relations issues.
  • Advised the University of Abertay on a significant restructure of its academic schools, moving from five to four academic schools, and the implications for employees.


The 'hugely knowledgeable, approachable and non-judgemental' team at TLT has been particularly active defending corporate clients, most notably from the construction and infrastructure sectors, against various claims such as discrimination, unfair dismissal and holiday pay but it also handles TUPE matters arising from business acquisitions, restructuring and redundancy scenarios as well as collective bargaining and whistleblowing matters. Employment litigator Jonathan Rennie heads the team.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Rennie


‘Apart from him being a very approachable individual, I perceive Jonathan Rennie’s strengths to be in his knowledge and in his practical application of that to real life situations i.e. applied employment legislation. Lawyers can be very well versed in the legal aspects and case law but not always well versed in how it is applied.’

‘Jonathan Rennie is a considerable strength in the litigation team. I have essentially followed him from another practice as he possesses the attitude and skill I value and offers realistic advice.’

‘The team instils great confidence in the client.’

‘Explains things in an understandable way.’

Key clients

BEAR Scotland

Raeburn Drilling and Geotechnical

Breedon Aggregates

Glasgow Taxis


Antibody Analytics

TBR Global


Sterling Furniture

R.J. Blasting

Aberdein Considine

The 'very competent mid-sized firm' Aberdein Considine is particularly experienced in handling employment tribunal work for employers as well as executives, including whistleblowing investigations, but also advises on GDPR, TUPE transfers and general HR matters. 'Fine employment lawyerSally-Anne Anderson heads the 'highly responsive' team.

Practice head(s):

Sally-Anne Anderson

Other key lawyers:

David Burnside; Jennifer Gardner


Provides very practical and commercial advice.

The firm is keen to develop its skills and practice and takes the training of its junior members seriously.

‘David Burnside’s wisdom and practical advice are invaluable.

Takes its preparations seriously.

Sally-Anne Anderson is very sensible and hard working and always does her best for the client.

Sally-Anne Anderson has great local knowledge of the tribunal court and judges.’

Key clients

Air Control Entech

Mackie Ramsay Taylor

Work highlights

  • Assisted Air Control Entech with director service agreements.
  • Advised Mackie Ramsay Taylor on the exit of a retiring partner.

DLA Piper

DLA Piper Scotland LLP frequently acts in close conjunction with its national employment team, handling UK-wide and cross-border matters in the banking and financial services, food and drink, insurance, life sciences and technology sectors, among others, pertaining to internal restructurings, transactions and projects. Other work includes assistance with GDPR issues and employment tribunal litigation. Kate Hodgkiss is the main contact for Scotland.

Practice head(s):

Kate Hodgkiss

Key clients



Dawnfresh Seafoods



Scottish Police Authority

Scottish Water

CPA Global Management

Charles Taylor

Elements Materials Technology

Felio Sylvania Europe



Work highlights

  • Following Smartsheet’s acquisition of a technology business in Scotland, the team advised on the integration of UK employees into its business.
  • Acting as HEINEKEN’s sole employment law advisor and advising the client on all aspects of employment relations and employment matters. In 2018, this included advice on senior exits, disciplinary matters, industrial relations documentation and employment tribunal litigation, among other issues.
  • Successfully defended HSBC against a claim of discrimination based on race and religion.
  • Advising Scottish Water on employment law issues associated with major IT infrastructure projects, including the assessment of employment risks and implications at bidder stage, among other matters.
  • Advising Hitachi Rail Europe on the transfer of more than 500 employees following the successful bid by the client to undertake maintenance of rolling stock and management of a number of maintenance depots.

Eversheds Sutherland

Eversheds Sutherland is particularly active in contentious employment work, defending employers against various claims before the Employment Tribunal, and conducting internal investigations, but the team led by Dawn Dickson also provides corporate support work and advises on GDPR and remuneration matters, including gender pay gap issues.

Practice head(s):

Dawn Dickson

Key clients

Scottish Autism

Construction Industry Training Board (CITB)

Jabil Circuit

Virgin Money

Shin-Etsu Handotai (Europe)

PSP Media Group

Mansfield Estates (Scone Palace)

Turkish Airlines


Work highlights

  • Advised Scottish Autism on GDPR matters.
  • Defending a major bank against various claims brought before the Employment Tribunal.
  • Successfully defended a claim of unfair constructive dismissal and breach of contract involving a higher earner and former employee of Carpetright’s business.
  • Assisted Rowan Alba with a national minimum wage audit.
  • Represented Scottish Autism in nine separate claims for holiday pay, successfully securing the withdrawal of five of these claims and negotiating a global settlement for the client of less than £1,500.

Stronachs LLP

With a focus on the North of Scotland, Stronachs LLP's 'pragmatic and solution-oriented' team covers the full spectrum of employment law work spanning HR support, corporate transactions, GDPR and compliance issues. In litigation, the team regularly acts in TUPE disputes and contentious remuneration matters.

Practice head(s):

David Chalmers

Other key lawyers:

Anya Duncan


Achieves the desired outcome whilst minimising the legal risks.

Provides a first-class service.

‘David Chalmers can anticipate problems arising from any given course of action and enable us to take steps to mitigate risks.’

Key clients

Global Energy Group

Oil States Industries UK

Xodus Group

Genesis Oil and Gas Consultants

Walkers Shortbread

Stork Technical Services

NHV Group

4D Pharma Research

Eland Oil & Gas

Target Well Control

OSM Maritime Group

ASV Pioneer

QMHotel UK

Work highlights

  • Advised Target Well Control on a significant cross-border redundancy programme covering both UK and France.
  • Advised Xodus Group on the implementation of GDPR.
  • Advising Oil States Industries (UK) on the closure of a manufacturing and testing facility in Cumbria and the relocation of its operations to an existing facility in West Lothian, Scotland. This included advice on the statutory collective consultation with representatives of c.50 affected employees and advice on contractual rights and obligations of employees to work at other sites.
  • Advising ASV Pioneer on the purchase of a ship and associated TUPE matters concerning the crew of the ship.