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Energy (excluding oil and gas)

Index of tables

  1. Energy (excluding oil and gas)
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Energy (excluding oil and gas) clients in Scotland using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


CMS attracts praise for its ‘superb range and depth of expertise, which inspires confidence that one is working with an industry-leading team’. ‘Right up there in the renewable energy sector’, the practice handles a wide variety of energy projects, including onshore and offshore wind, biogas, and solar; it also has an extensive track record in electricity transmission upgrades and public sector energy efficiency initiatives. The multi-disciplinary team is led by Donald Cumming, who advises on complex commercial, corporate and regulatory matters for major utilities, public sector bodies and financial institutions. He is ably assisted by the ‘commendably well-organised and supportedTimothy Pitt, who combines real estate and energy sector expertise in onshore wind farm developments, as well as wave and tidal projects. Other recommended individuals include Gordon Hay, who advises banks and borrowers on energy finance; construction expert Mark Kirke; and planning specialist Robin Hutchison. David McGowan worked with Hutchison and others advising EDF Energy Renewables on its acquisition and development of the 177MW Dorenell wind farm project. Another highlight involved assisting Inch Cape Offshore with planning-related challenges associated with a 213-turbine offshore wind farm. Fiona Scott and Ailsa Ritchie are leading a team advising FCC Environment on the design, financing, construction and operation of a £450m energy-from-waste facility at Millerhill, Edinburgh.

Pinsent Masons LLP’s ‘very knowledgeable and pragmatic’ team is active on a range of major Scottish and UK projects, including those involving onshore and offshore wind, solar, low carbon infrastructure (including major district heating and energy efficiency schemes), and biomass, wave and tidal energy. Led by Ian McCarlie, the cross-practice group acts for banks, developers, major utilities, landowners and institutional investors, among other clients. On the regulatory side, the team has been acting on the introduction of the Energy Act, and has also been at the forefront of advice on the Capacity Market Auction. In 2016, McCarlie worked with senior associates Ronan Lambe and Campbell Hutcheon for KfW Ipex Bank as the mandated lead arranger and sole lender on the financing of the 30MW Sanquhar wind farm in Scotland. In another matter, Chris McGarvey, Gordon McCreath and others advised joint venture vehicle Beatrice Offshore Wind Farm Limited on various issues connected with its 750MW wind farm project in Scottish territorial waters, including consenting, project financing and construction procurement. Jennifer Ballantyne, who leads the planning and environment team in Scotland, is another name to note. Other key individuals in the group include Julia Maguire, Iain MacPhail, Alan Cook, Gillian Frew and legal director Kate Turner.

Shepherd and Wedderburn’s team is singled out for its depth of expertise; ‘it really understands the issues they face’, according to one client. Its wide-ranging knowledge encompasses areas such as competition and regulatory (including advice on non-contentious matters and assistance with investigations), planning and consenting, property, corporate and construction across the whoe renewable/alternative energy spectrum, including onshore and offshore wind, biomass, energy from waste, hydro, and small-scale renewables. A team including Scott McCallum and Liz McRobb is acting for DONG Energy on the 1.8GW Hornsea Two offshore wind farm project in the Southern North Sea, which involves advising on associated planning and environment, property and commercial issues. In another matter, Gordon Downie and senior associate Natasha Durkin are handling a UK Competition and Market Authority investigation into the energy supply market in Great Britain for ScottishPower, while Clare Foster acted for UK Green Investment Bank on the £6.8m financing to the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham for the replacement of 14,790 streetlights with energy-efficient LED alternatives. James Saunders, who is dual-qualified in English and Scottish Law, has been advising on the restructuring of the UK energy sector since the late 1980s. Corporate specialist Daniel Lee, planning expert Colin Innes and Patricia Hawthorn are other highly regarded partners. Key senior associates include Fiona Parker and Joanne McDowall. Jamie Grant joined from MacRoberts LLP.

Brodies LLP’s team handles a diverse workload spanning the independent power, low carbon and district heating, transport fuels and renewable energy sectors. In the power space, its team undertakes a significant amount of work for independent power producers, advising on complex issues such as power purchase agreement (PPA) offtakes, project finance, equipment supply, consents and construction. Other clients in this area include landowners, funders and investors. The group also has a strong track record in district heating network (DHN) schemes, combined heat and power (CHP) schemes and transport fuels projects. In a recent highlight, Roger Cotton advised River Clyde Homes on the Broomhill gas district heating and Cartsdyke Court biomass district heating projects in Glasgow, which involved the provision of district heating systems to more than 650 properties and energy efficiency works. Renewable energy work spans a wide range of sub-specialisms, including onshore and offshore wind, solar, biomass, tidal and hydro. A multi-disciplinary team involving Keith Patterson, Sarah-Jane McArthur, Michael Stoneham and Alix Bearhop acted for 2020 Renewables/Velocita in the development and project finance aspects of a portfolio of Scottish wind farms at Airies in Dumfries & Galloway and Sorbie in North Ayrshire. Kirsty Macpherson advises on the real estate aspects of alternative energy projects, while Neil Collar handles planning matters. Associates Ali Rimell and Claire Reid are also recommended.

Addleshaw Goddard, which recently merged with HBJ Gateley, draws on the latter’s historical strengths across a wide range of disciplines, including areas such as construction, restructuring and insolvency, finance, corporate and real estate, to advise on renewable and alternative energy projects in Scotland and the wider UK. In 2016, practice head Alan Shanks, and managing associates Aileen Burke and Calum Fisher, acted for Scottish wind turbine developer Lochend Wind Energy on the sale of a four turbine wind farm in Caithness, which involved assisting the client with designing and establishing grid-sharing agreements with Meygen, and also handling crofting issues. Other highlights for the cross-practice team included advising Aberdeen Community Energy on all aspects of the development of Aberdeen’s first community-led renewable energy project, and acting for joint venture company Edintore Wind Farm Limited on the financing, procurement and construction of a six-turbine wind farm in Scotland. Paul Minto, who is knowledgeable about energy and climate change law, advises on planning and environmental aspects of renewable energy projects, and electricity contracts. Catriona Smith provides banking advice to banks and borrowers.

Anderson Strathern has a particularly strong reputation in offshore wind; it is the sole Scottish legal adviser to The Crown Estate, for whom it handles all renewable energy projects off the coast of Scotland. In a recent highlight, offshore energy specialist Gavin Thain, Simon Brown, Deborah Lovell and associate Hannah Currie recently acted for the client in the restructuring of zone development agreements for Zone One in the Moray Firth with EDPR. The team also excels in onshore renewable energy projects, where it acts for developers in UK-wide projects involving onshore wind energy and solar farm developments; practice head Bruce Farquhar, Neil Farrell and Martin Whiteford advised German solar farm developer and EPC contractor F&S Solar Concept on various matters in 2016, including the purchase, construction and sale of a solar farm development at Manor Farm, England. Elsewhere, the group has experience of gas-to-grid projects, and is also acting for Bright Green Hydrogen (as the lead partner in a consortium) on the delivery of the Levenmouth community project. Sheonagh Richards has more than 20 years of experience in the rural sector, with particular emphasis on acting for landowners. Alastair McKie is another name to note.

Burness Paull LLP attracts praise for its ‘good understanding of underlying projects/technologies’, including onshore and offshore wind, hydro, biomass, solar and energy-from-waste, among other areas. Its multi-disciplinary team covers a wide variety of issues, including land acquisitions, financings, corporate structuring and construction. A cross-practice group led by Chris Gotts acted for BayWa r.e. UK on all aspects of its acquisition of the 21MW Wathegar 2 wind farm near Caithness, which included advising on property, planning and grid connection arrangements. In another highlight, planning specialists Craig Whelton and senior associate Emma Dewar assisted Ecotricity with a public local inquiry associated with its proposal for a 58MW wind park at Dulater Hill in Perthshire. Elsewhere, Stephen Phillips led a team, which included James Forbes (who has ‘very good negotiation skills’) and senior associate Peter Ward, advising Huntly and District Development Trust and its subsidiary Greenmyres Renewable Energy on the development of a community wind project. Also recommended are Tamar Tammes, who leads the property renewables team, and senior associate Andrew Wood; both are ‘adept at dealing with lenders and their requirements in a project finance context’ and ‘willing to rise to demanding timelines’. Chris Martin also highly regarded. Other clients include Fred. Olsen Renewables, ESB and Santander UK.

DWF’s Scotland-based energy team, which operates as part of a wider UK group, handles high-end energy projects for utilities, funders, suppliers and developers. The group, which is noted for its ‘very good business acumen and first-class industry knowledge’, has practitioners with wide-ranging expertise spanning corporate, finance, real estate, planning and environment matters, and has particular strength in electricity, gas and renewables. Moray Thomson and Magdalena Urbanowska advised Scottish Power Generation on its acquisition of assets and environmental consents connected with the operation of thermal power stations at Damhead Creek and Shoreham, as part of an internal restructure at Scottish Power Group. Yingli Green Energy Europe, Vensys Energy and Loco2gen are also clients. Other key figures include Wayne Lawrence, who leads the team; David Gilchrist, whose experience includes energy asset sales and acquisitions, as well as Ofgem investigations; Suzanne Moir, ‘a great team player who ensures that the client is well-informed throughout the procurement process’; Anthony McEwan, whose track record includes electricity distribution and transmission projects, as well as handling grid connections for major wind farms in Scotland; and Gary MacDonald. Ben Powell departed for MacRoberts LLP.

Harper Macleod LLP’s workload covers the full spectrum of renewable energy matters, including onshore and offshore wind (where it has a strong track record acting for developers and landowners), solar, tidal, and hydropower. The practice also handles energy from waste projects and has experienced an uptick in mandates concerning community-led renewable energy projects, as well as handling an increasing number of secondary investments into wind farms and operational onshore wind assets. In 2016, practice head David Bone led a team advising Fred. Olsen Renewables on the Scottish law aspects of the development and construction of Crystal Rig Wind Farm Phase 3. In another highlight, a team including Bone, Omar Ali and David Steel acted for Sovereign Partners on its acquisition of four operating wind turbine sites from Locogen Limited. Ali also undertakes a significant amount of work for solar developer Lightsource Renewable Energy. In another highlight, Inverness-based Calum MacLeod acted for Coigach Wind Power on consenting and financing aspects of a community-owned wind project in Ross-shire. Associate Donna Cooper is also recommended.

Maclay Murray & Spens LLP has a strong presence in the Scottish and UK renewable/alternative energy market, where its multi-disciplinary team acts for entities such as developers, contractors, landowners and funders. David Cruickshank leads the group which includes Stewart Maciver, real estate expert Allan Cairns and Gareth Tenner; Maciver, Cairns and Tenner advised a consortium of investors on the Scottish legal aspects of its £355m acquisition of a stake in SSE’s Clyde onshore wind farm. In another key mandate, Stuart Fitzsimmons was part of a team assisting Muirden Energy with seven onshore wind project financing transactions with an aggregate value of £20m. Other key figures include Bill Fowler, who has a particular focus on marine renewables, energy from waste and renewable heat projects; and planning law specialist Gillian Simpson. The practice has been strengthened by the additions of Andrew Orr and associate Adam Knowles from MacRoberts LLP; and director Donald Smith and senior solicitor Jan Connerton, who joined from in-house positions at BP and Scottish Water, respectively.

BTO Solicitors LLP’s practice handles a range of issues for various stakeholders in the renewable/alternative energy sector, including corporate structures, project finance and asset finance, commercial contracts, investments into projects and site acquisitions. Its wide-ranging experience encompasses schemes related to onshore wind, solar, hydro, biomass, community renewables and energy-from-waste. Nicolas McBride and Jeremy Glen jointly head the team, which acted for Garbhaig Hydro Power Company on the redevelopment of a 2MW storage hydro scheme, and advised Triodos Bank on the financing of a three-turbine wind farm, which is being developed as a joint venture between Community Energy Scotland and a housing association. Scott Wyper, chairman Alan Borthwick and David Gibson are other key partners in the team, which includes associates Marieclaire Reid, Jennifer Whitelaw and Caroline Earnshaw.

Clients of Davidson Chalmers LLP rate its ability to ‘deliver workable deals in a challenging environment’. The firm is regularly called on to advise on the corporate and commercial aspects of renewable energy projects, including fundraising, joint ventures and commercial contracts. Other areas of expertise include planning and environment, property and crofting issues. Practice head Andy Drane and Stuart Duncan are acting for Gala Water and Mill Lades Society in a community-led renewable energy project involving the regeneration of the mill lade infrastructure in Galashiels, and on the installation of several hydroelectric installations on the mill lade. In another recent highlight, the team advised Guinness Asset Management on its acquisition and development of a run-of-river hydroelectric scheme in Argyll and Bute. June Gilles, who has 20 years of experience in the renewable energy sector, acts on small and large-scale onshore wind projects, as well as solar, hydro and wave energy schemes. Laura Tainsh, who ‘goes about her business in a no-nonsense manner’, acts for clients such as Peel Energy and ABO Wind. Corporate partner Craig Stirling and associate Louise Jones are also highly regarded. Jenny Davies left the firm in 2017.

Gillespie Macandrew LLP attracts praise for its ‘real commitment to its clients’. The firm acts on all aspects of renewable energy, water and waste projects, and is increasingly instructed in UK cross-border projects, with a number of members either being English law trained or dual-qualified in English law and Scottish law. The team covers a wide range of issues, from corporate, property, planning and construction, to sector-specific regulatory issues, with particular strengths in the rural and agricultural sector, making it a regular fixture on large-scale onshore and offshore projects. In 2016, practice head Derek McCulloch, Amy McDowell, Michael Cox, Margaret Day and Chris Gibson acted for Rio Tinto on the £330m sale of Alcan Aluminium UK to SIMEC. In another matter, John Stirling and associate Colin Hamilton are representing Seagreen Wind Energy in a planning appeal following the RSPB’s successful judicial review of consent for the development of the Forth and Tay offshore wind farms. Alan White, Fraser Leslie and recently promoted senior solicitor Susan Young are also recommended, as is legal director Simon Williams, who joined from TLT. Murray Shaw has retired from private practice, but retains a position as a consultant to the firm.

MacRoberts LLP leverages its expertise in areas such as property, corporate, planning and environment, construction and finance to handle the full range of related issues in renewable energy projects. Nick Jones heads the practice, which features prominently in schemes involving onshore wind, small hydro and solar electricity generation. Jones, who has 25 years of commercial property experience, has a particularly strong track record acting for wind farm developers. Another area of strength for the firm is electricity transmission and distribution; In an illustration of its capability in this area, Ian Bowie and David McGuire are assisting SP Energy Networks with establishing permanent land rights as part of the South West Scotland Connections Project. Mike Barlow, Ian Riach and Lesley Roarty are other recommended individuals in the group, whose clients include ENGIE Renewables, REG Windpower and Nautricity. Jamie Grant moved to Shepherd and Wedderburn.

DLA Piper Scotland LLP has a diverse practice covering issues associated with anaerobic digestion plants, wind energy, ESCO arrangements and photovoltaic projects, among other matters. Stuart McMillan leads the team, which includes planning experts Sandy Telfer and legal director Michael Greig; legal director Michael Urquhart, who has expertise in project finance; and construction specialist Jonathan Gaskell. The group also draws on the expertise of Scotland-based practitioners involved in areas such as real estate, corporate and regulatory, as well as members of the firm’s wider network. McMillan led a cross-office team advising Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ (BTMU) and Barclays Bank on the £75m financing of the 51.7MW Harburnhead onshore wind farm in West Lothian. In another matter, McMillan and Urquhart acted for BTMU on the £76m project financings of a wind farm portfolio comprising the Airies wind farm in Dumfries and Galloway, and the Sorbie Wind Farm in North Ayrshire. In an illustration of its multi-jurisdictional credentials, the firm was appointed to Green Africa Power’s panel and assisted it with the €20m financing of Senergy 2 development, a 20MW photovoltaic solar power plant in Bokhol, Senegal. Blue Energy, Investec and Nord LB are other notable clients.

Peter Murray and Allan Collie jointly head the team at Ledingham Chalmers LLP, which is experienced in schemes connected with onshore and offshore wind, hydropower and wave projects, as well as CHP schemes. Other areas of strength include carbon capture, transportation and storage projects. In 2016, consultant Malcolm Laing and Craig Wilson acted for Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group on the sale of a 25% interest in Aberdeen Offshore Wind Farm Limited to Swedish energy company Vattenfall. Jim Drysdale and Neil Anderson are other notable practitioners in the team, which has a particularly strong track record acting for landowners and developers.

Led by Nick Atkins, Morton Fraser’s team leverages the firm’s expertise across a number of practice areas to handle a range of issues associated with renewable and alternative energy projects. It acts for a variety of public, private and not-for-profit clients, including the Scottish government and other government agencies, UK clearing banks, funds, developers, and rural and agricultural landowners, for which it covers a wide range of schemes, including those involving onshore wind, hydro, solar and anaerobic digestion. Through its work with Social Investment Scotland and Big Society Capital, the group is particularly active in advising on investment into community-led renewables projects. Atkins, who specialises in nuclear energy, regularly advises on contaminated land, pollution and waste management issues. Other key figures include real estate finance specialist Paul Kenneth, who conducts property due diligence of wind farm sites and hydro schemes; and Joanne Wilson and Claire Sturrock, who are all dual-qualified to practice Scottish and English law.

Turcan Connell has historically been strong in acting for landowners and also handles work for developers, funders and investors such as VG Energy, Garth Wind and Windvestments Easter Drumclair. Its expertise covers a variety of onshore schemes, including wind, hydro and gas to grid, and has experienced a marked uptick in secondary market transactions involving the sale of consented (but unbuilt) and operational renewable energy sites. Agricultural law specialist Jon Robertson leads the team, which includes Mike Kane, recently promoted partner Louise Johnston, senior associate Alastair Collin and associate Victoria Tweed.

Wright, Johnston & Mackenzie LLP’s track record in the renewable energy industry dates back to the early 1990s, during which time its multi-disciplinary team has acted on behalf of UK-based clients on onshore wind, hydro, energy storage and various other projects. Property specialists Andy McFarlane and Alan Simpson, and corporate finance expert Ken Long are all recommended, as is Fraser Gillies, who has an outstanding reputation in onshore wind farm planning appeals and s.36 inquiries. Other key figures include corporate partner Angus MacLeod in Inverness, and Glasgow-based Graham Bell. In 2016, the practice acted for Renewable Energy Systems on the sale of Freasdail Wind Farm to TRIG, which included advice on finance, property and planning issues. In another matter, Gillies led the advice to 2020 Renewables on a public inquiry into its plans for Whitelaw Brae wind farm. Innogy Renewables UK, Brookfield Renewable Energy and Energiekontor are also clients.

Oil and gas

Index of tables

  1. Oil and gas
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Oil and gas clients in Scotland using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


Brodies LLP has a 12-strong team led by Clare Munro which acts for operators and services-sector clients in all aspects of their businesses; it ‘goes the extra mile to ensure that the advice sought or representation required is delivered to a tight timescale, without compromising on quality’. The group has members with in-house oil and gas experience in the UK and internationally, which ‘enables the team to provide advice that is accurate and practically useful’: key figures include include Munro, Greg May (‘the go-to lawyer for drilling contracts’) and Sonia Love. In 2016, May and corporate partner Andrew Akintewe acted for Transocean Onshore Support Services on the provision of the Sedco 704 semi-submersible to a small independent operator in order to facilitate the drilling of an appraisal well. May also provides ongoing advice to Maersk on a suite of pro-forma service contracts used by the client and its affiliates worldwide. Other clients include INEOS Upstream, Premier Oil, Shelf Drilling and Total E&P. Standout figures at managing associate level include Suzanne Hopkinson, who ‘thinks outside the box’, and Rhona McFarlane, who has ‘superb knowledge of oil and gas contracts’. Clients also single out partner Ken MacDonald for his ‘fierce intellect’.

Burness Paull LLP is ‘a very joined-up firm that provides a high level of support across the board’. The practice attracts praise for its deep sector knowledge and grasp of the more technical and commercial aspects of the industry, making it a go-to firm for all oil and gas related issues. Team head Bruce McLeod and Brian Hemming have previous experience serving as commercial managers at BP and Maersk. In addition, McLeod, Hemming and Robin Clarkson have previously undertaken in-house legal roles at oil and gas companies; ‘this shows in the practical and effective way they handle work for clients’. Although the UK is the main area of focus of the practice, the firm also handles a growing workload of international matters; in 2016, McLeod and senior solicitor Laura Fraser assisted Germany-based DEA Group with a sale and purchase agreement associated with its disposal of interests in two Egyptian oil and gas concessions to Italian purchaser Edison. McLeod’s track record includes handling agreements concerning oil and gas interests in Niger, Norway and South Africa, among other jurisdictions. In another matter, Clarkson, Fraser and senior solicitor David Smith advised Sterling Resources on the sale of a 47% interest in the Kirkleatham and Westerdale onshore fields to Dess Energy. Parkmead, Savannah Petroleum and Centrica are also clients.

CMS’s team comprises ‘true industry leaders in their field’, covering every facet of the oil and gas industry from a UK and international standpoint for some of the world’s largest companies, including BP, Shell, Transocean and ConocoPhillips. Scotland team head Norman Wisely has substantial experience of UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) and international sales and acquisitions of onshore/offshore oil and gas assets, oil and gas share transactions, and decommissioning and licensing matters. Judith Aldersey-Williams has extensive knowledge of a wide variety of sector-specific commercial contracts, including joint operating agreements, gas sales agreements and supply and service contracts. In an illustration of its track record of advice to multinational oil and gas clients, a team including recently promoted partner Graeme Clubley and ‘rising star’ Paula Kidd assisted BP with the restructuring of the Eastern Trough Area project. Elsewhere, lead partner Frank Fowlie, Frances Reilly and Clubley were part of a team acting for First Oil on the sale of two subsidiaries to Zennor Petroleum and the related restructuring of its business, including its entry into administration. Lorna Dawson, David McGowan and Valerie Allan are other names to note. Managing partner Stephen Millar maintains relationships with clients such as BP and Eni. Rob Wilson heads the energy disputes practice.

Pinsent Masons LLP has a market-leading reputation in the oil and gas sector across the UK and internationally, which is reflected in a high-calibre client base that includes John Wood Group, Shell UK, BP and Suncor Energy Services. The group’s breadth and depth of expertise makes it well placed to handle the full range of matters, including decommissioning and licensing, as well as procurement, capital markets transactions, finance, restructuring and dispute resolution. It also provides advice to regulatory bodies on regulatory initiatives. Key figures include global energy head and ‘respected industry figureBob Ruddiman and the ‘experienced and pragmaticShirley Allen, who leads the team in Aberdeen. In 2016, Allen led the advice to Siccar Point Energy on its acquisition of an interest in the Mariner Field from JX Nippon. In another highlight, Julia Maguire is leading a cross-practice team is acting for West Africa’s largest industrial conglomerate on the procurement of technology licences, equipment, material and services for a £12bn petroleum refinery and petrochemicals plant. Rosalie Chadwick, who has a strong track record in oil and gas transactions, was the lead adviser to Falkland Oil and Gas on its £57m merger with Rockhopper Exploration. Other notable individuals include David McEwing, Gillian Frew and Bruce Craig. Legal director Neil Hehir and senior associate Rachel Warner are also recommended.

Bond Dickinson LLP’s team in Aberdeen is led by Richard Cockburn and advises upstream and supply chain clients on all aspects of their activities, both on a standalone basis and also alongside other offices in the firm’s wider UK network. Its strong track record is reflected in a client list of international and UK-based clients, including Schlumberger, Shell and Total E&P. Cockburn’s team includes legal director Laura Petrie, whose expertise includes agreements related to drilling projects, joint operating agreements and farm in/farm out arrangements; and senior counsel Uisdean Vass, who primarily focuses on the upstream oil and gas space, including advising on asset acquisitions and farm-outs. Vass also has extensive knowledge of oilfield service contracting issues – where he acts for oil companies and oil services companies – and oil and gas related financings. In 2016, Cockburn and Petrie advised PX Group (as an agent of North Sea Midstream Partners) on assuming the operation and maintenance of the St Fergus gas plant and related infrastructure.

Maclay Murray & Spens LLP’s practice primarily handles matters relating to decommissioning, shale gas, drilling projects and international upstream projects requiring English law advice. The practice was further strengthened in 2016 with solicitor Jennifer Davis re-joining the firm from an in-house role at Vitol, and the recruitment of Donald Smith from BP. Bill Fowler and others have been advising Peel Gas & Oil on its involvement in the UK onshore/shale gas industry, which included advising on negotiations with licence holders/operators over onshore drilling activities. Jill Reid’s expertise includes upstream oil and gas operations and project development, with particular knowledge of late life asset M&A and associated decommissioning and security issues. Kirsti Olson is experienced in decommissioning projects, and is chair of the Oil and Gas UK Decommissioning Working Group. Senior solicitor Nicola Rae specialises in reviewing and drafting drilling and oilfield services contracts.

Stronachs LLP has a longstanding reputation in the oil and gas arena, advising on a wide range of matters for oil and gas companies, such as exploration, drilling, field development, production and decommissioning, as well as acquisitions and disposals of oil and gas assets. In 2016, Malcolm Donald acted for Dana Petroleum on the sale of its interest in Faroe Petroleum. A growth area of the practice is in matters involving oil and gas technology innovation; energy practice head Ewan Neilson, James Downie and senior associate James Muir have been advising Shandong Twin Marine Limited on an international joint venture between Norwegian, UK and Chinese entities to construct a purpose-built decommissioning ship, which deploys groundbreaking heavy lift technology. Neilson’s other recent work includes handling a big data project in the UKCS, as well as advising on a number of oil and gas sector insolvencies.


Index of tables

  1. Projects
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Projects clients in Scotland using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


CMS has an outstanding track record acting for public sector bodies, private sector bidders and funders in high-value and high-profile projects involving all models of infrastructure delivery, including PFI/PPP, non-profit distributing (NPD) and hub projects (across all five hub territories in Scotland). Practice head Ailsa Ritchie recently led a team acting for Nord LB as the senior funders in four design build finance maintain (DBFM) school projects in the hub South West Scotland territory, and also handled the restructuring of the Greenfaulds High Street project ahead of new Eurostat guidance on PPP projects. In another highlight, a team including Eleanor Lane, Lynsey Brown and senior associate Amy Norton assisted Strathclyde Partnership for Transport with the procurement of rolling stock, a new signalling system, a new control system and a depot (among other assets) for the Glasgow Subway Modernisation Project. Also recommended are Amanda Methven, who has more than 16 years of infrastructure and PPP projects experience in sectors such as health, transport and waste water; Michael McAuley, who specialises in acting for public authorities in large-scale and complex procurements; Shona Frame, who is recommended for disputes arising from PFI/PPP projects; and Christine Worthington, who regularly handles the construction aspects of PPP/PFI contracts. Fiona Scott, Davinia Cowden and Jenny Walker are experienced senior associates in the team.

MacRoberts LLP’s multifaceted practice handles high-profile and complex NPD/PFI/PPP projects, as well as hub projects, and has a prominent position on the Scottish government’s panel, where it undertakes advisory work on major projects. The practice’s reach also extends beyond Scotland, with the firm recently being shortlisted to advise the Welsh government on its PPP projects. The firm has longstanding reputation in infrastructure projects, where it acts for clients including public sector bodies, funders, sub-contractors and sponsors; in an illustration of its infrastructure prowess, a team including practice head Rod Munro, Duncan Osler and Gillian Campbell are acting for NHS Orkney on the groundbreaking Orkney Hospital NPD project, which involves advising the client as the procurer and senior funder. The firm is also acting for Fife College on the NPD procurement associated with the development of new college facilities. In addition to handling non-contentious work, the team also assists clients with disputes arising from projects; it is acting for Edinburgh Schools Partnership (the project company on the first Edinburgh schools PFI project) in an inquiry into construction defects at a number of local schools. Other clients include Angus Council, Carillion, Equitix and Bilfinger Andrew Orr joined Maclay Murray & Spens LLP.

Pinsent Masons LLP routinely acts on the most high-profile and significant infrastructure projects in Scotland and the UK, as well as matters further afield in Europe and beyond. Led by Michael Watson, the team acts for a mix of clients, including public sector bodies, funders and private sector bidders, with expertise in various types of projects, including NPD/PFI/PPP/hubs; healthcare, education, roads, renewables and oil and gas are all areas of strength. In an illustration of the practice’s project financing capability, Gillian Frew (who acts for lenders and borrowers on projects spanning a wide range of sectors) acted for Allianz as bondholder and EIB as letter of credit provider on the N25 Road Project in Ireland. In other highlights, Stuart Barr is leading a team advising Robertson Capital Projects on the Orkney Hospital NPD project; he is also acting alongside Wendy Nicolson in projects arising from the hub programme, including the £32m West Calder High School DBFM project. The team is also acting as project lawyers to Aberdeen Harbour Board in the Aberdeen Harbour expansion project. Partner Victoria Miller and senior associates Chris Owens and Sophie Black are other names to note.

Burness Paull LLP has an extensive track record acting on a range of projects for public sector bodies, private sector bidders and funders, spanning sectors such as education, healthcare, waste and roads. The team’s varied workload covers procurement advice, including challenges to bids, property-related advice, product liability and disputes arising from projects (including construction disputes). In 2016, Chris Mackay acted as the lead adviser to NHS Lothian on a DBFM project to establish a new community hospital in Haddington, and acted alongside senior associate Chris Horsley on Falkirk Council’s project to build a new support needs facility. The team is also handling a DBFM project for hub West Scotland in relation to new health centres in the Gorbals and Woodside areas of Glasgow. Other clients include Weir Group, City of Edinburgh Council and Bellrock Property & Facilities Management. Gavin Paton assists clients with a range of matters, including procurement strategies and contract drafting/implementation, and is experienced in handling projects involving various commercial models, including PFI/PPP, hybrid, hub, NPD and LIFT.

Maclay Murray & Spens LLP acts for private sector sponsors and funders on all types of projects, including those involving roads, education, health, renewables and waste. The firm undertook a particularly significant amount of work for Aviva Public Private Finance in 2016; one matter involved acting for the client in the Baldragon Academy project. In the secondary projects market, the team advises clients such as 3i, Dalmore Capital and Sir Robert McAlpine on their investments into projects, as well as divestments, refinancings and restructurings. Stewart Maciver and David Young acted for Dalmore Capital on its acquisition from Lendlease of a 50% stake in a general partner vehicle that manages a £200m UK infrastructure fund. Euan Wilson leads the team, which was significantly strengthened by the arrival of Andrew Orr from MacRoberts LLP; he brings extensive experience in infrastructure finance transactions, including PFI/PPP and energy projects. Director Sandra Hartley and associate Gareth Tenner are other notable practitioners.

Shepherd and Wedderburn covers a range of projects for public sector bodies, private sector bidders and funders. Projects involving district heating schemes are a notable growth area of the practice; Gareth Parry and practice head Rhona Harper are acting for West Dunbartonshire Council on the procurement of a water source heat pump district heating system at Queen’s Quay regeneration site in Glasgow. In another standout matter, Harper and Euan McLeod led a cross-practice team assisting City of Edinburgh Council with all legal aspects of the St James’ Quarter Growth Accelerator Model project; the team provided support on multiple issues, including state aid, construction, corporate and procurement. Stephen Colliston led the advice to Nord/LB on the £75m funding of the new East Lothian Community Hospital project. The team is also increasing its exposure to secondary market transactions and disputes associated with projects. Other key figures include Nigel Sievwright, who particularly specialises in health and education projects and handles operational issues such as latent defects. In 2016, John Gallacher joined from HBJ Gateley and Jamie Grant joined from MacRoberts LLP. Senior associate Euan Murray and associate Sarah Channin are also recommended.

Brodies LLP acts for a varied client base including sponsors, investors, banks, utilities and public bodies. The firm is particularly active in renewable energy projects, where its work spans combined heat and power (CHP) and district heating schemes, wind farms, solar projects and hydro schemes. Keith Patterson has expertise in project finance, transactional matters (including contracts for difference and grid-sharing arrangements) and development. The firm also handles infrastructure projects in the education, transport, waste, water and healthcare sectors. Jackie McGuire is leading a cross-practice team, including Roger Cotton, Odell Milne and Karen Hamilton, for Renfrewshire Council on a new train-tram link from Glasgow City Centre to Glasgow Airport. A particular strength of the firm’s offering is in infrastructure finance, as illustrated by its advice to Aberdeen City Council on a £370m index-linked bond issue to finance part of its £1bn capital and infrastructure investment programme. Other recommended individuals are Alistair McLean, Michael Stoneham, Sarah-Jane McArthur and associate Ali Rimell. Drysdale Graham joined from Pinsent Masons LLP.

DLA Piper Scotland LLP acts for public and private sector clients in projects involving industries such as energy, transport, healthcare, and education. Stuart McMillan has a particularly strong track record in project finance transactions, where he acts for banks, borrowers, corporate clients and local authorities. Other names to note are Sharon Fitzgerald, who has procurement and commercial contracts expertise, and Lillian Mackenzie, who regularly acts for bidders, funders and public authorities in NPD/PFI/PPP projects. Mackenzie is assisting the Welsh government with the development of a standard suite of PPP procurement documents, and is acting for the same client on the new Velindre Cancer Centre PPP project. In another matter for the Welsh government, Fitzgerald is acting in the A465 road dualling PPP project. Emerging markets related energy and infrastructure projects are another pillar of the practice; McMillan and legal director Michael Urquhart acted for Green Africa Power in negotiating a €20m project finance facility for the construction of a 20MW photovoltaic solar power plant in Senegal.

Harper Macleod LLP has a particularly strong track record in projects procured through the Scottish hub initiative; in 2016, the firm advised on the financial close of a significant number of separate hub projects. In one notable highlight, practice head Euan Pirie assisted hub North Scotland with achieving financial close on a hub project related to the development and maintenance of new health centres at Foresterhill (in Aberdeen) and Inverurie. Elsewhere, the practice generates a significant amount of work in the student accommodation sector; Euan Mitchell was the lead adviser to service provider Derwent Living on three student accommodation projects in 2016. Other areas of strength include NPD/PFI projects and civil engineering projects. It also excels in PPP secondary market transactions; Pirie and associate Catriona Kemp acted for Hochtief PPP Solutions on its £22.7m sale of Hochtief PPP Schools Capital Limited (a company holding interests in six education-sector PPP projects located in the UK and Ireland) to HICL Infrastructure Company.

Anderson Strathern handles projects involving transport, housing and urban regeneration, as well as rural development projects. As the sole Scottish legal adviser to the Crown Estate, the firm also undertakes a significant number of offshore renewable energy projects. Education is another core area of strength; the firm’s client base includes establishments such as Edinburgh Napier University and the University of Highlands and Islands. Other clients include public sector bodies, such as Fife Council and Transport Scotland, and national housebuilders. The firm also acts for the Scottish government. Martin Whiteford assisted INEOS with all construction documentation related to its new headquarters at Grangemouth, and has been acting for Apex Hotels on the funding and construction of a new hotel development in Bath. EU procurement expert Karyn Watt leads the team, which includes construction specialist Pat Loftus, renewable energy head Bruce Farquhar, Audrey Cameron, and Douglas McLachlan.

DWF’s Scotland-based group ‘combines excellent industry knowledge with an open-minded approach, and an ability to work well as part of a larger team’. It leverages its UK-wide network office and multi-disciplinary strength in depth, making it a strong choice for Scottish and UK projects. In the telecommunications sector, Suzanne Moir, Martin Gallaher and others are acting for the Scottish government on its superfast broadband projects. Other areas of strength include transport, renewable energy and waste. Moir is leading a team assisting Dundee City Council and Angus Council with their joint procurement of residual waste management services. In another highlight, David Gilchrist led the advice to Discovery Park Limited on a 20-year energy supply agreement with Estover, and its £160m investment in a new biomass plant in Sandwich.

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