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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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United Kingdom > Scotland > Public sector > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings




Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Education 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


Anderson Strathern has a strong client base consisting of higher, further and secondary education institutions, which the team frequently advises on regulatory, governance and construction matters, and IP and IT licensing issues. In an example of its ability to handle complex employment litigation, Barry Nichol defended the University of Stirling in a protective award complaint brought by an academic trade union pertaining to fixed-term contract employees whose contracts were not renewed. The team, led by Alun Thomas, also advised five further education colleges on contentious and non-contentious industrial action matters. Other clients include the University of St Andrews, Glasgow Caledonian University, Fife College and the University of the West of Scotland.

Working in conjunction with the firm’s public sector, corporate and employment practices, Brodies LLP’s education team is known for its experience advising further education and higher education clients, including the University of Edinburgh, Queen Margaret University and the University of St Andrews, on a wide range of contentious and non-contentious matters. Team head Brenda Scott, who attracts praise for her ‘good eye for detail’, advised The University of Edinburgh on a number of commercial initiatives involving partnerships and collaborations with higher education institutions and other partners. This involved drafting and negotiating agreements and advising on regulatory and data protection issues. In other work, the ‘knowledgeable’ team advised the Glasgow Clyde Education Foundation (GCEF) on governance issues, and assisted the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) with a wide range of matters, including advising on its qualifications approval and accreditation functions. Chairman Christine O’Neill, who ‘is excellent at providing practical advice on the spot’, defended the Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) in a civil action raised by a former student before the Inner House of the Court of Session claiming breach of contract and breach of human rights. ‘Nothing seems too daunting forLynne Marr, who advised Queen Margaret University on a number of employment law issues, including the termination of a fixed-term contract on grounds of redundancy.

CMS’s ‘client-friendly and commercially minded’ team has ‘excellent knowledge of the university sector’ and is praised as ‘providing an outstanding service in a timely manner’. Recent highlights include acting for longstanding client the University of Glasgow on all aspects of its multimillion-pound campus redevelopment project. Darina Kerr, who has ‘excellent knowledge of the real estate sector’, acted for the Glasgow School of Art on its acquisition of the former Stow College from Glasgow Kelvin College, while ‘effective communicatorCarina Healy, who is also noted for ‘her outstanding knowledge of the life sciences sector alongside an immensely pragmatic approach and excellent inter-personal skills’, advised the University of Aberdeen on the creation of Islexa Limited, a new university spin-out which is developing a novel technology to produce laboratory grown islets (the organoids responsible for insulin production). This included assistance with the negotiation of the licence and management agreement with Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult. Team head Laurence Ward advised the University of Dundee on the procurement of a cloud-based integrated business solution.

Clients of Burness Paull LLP single out the ‘clear, informed and pragmatic advice’ provided by the education team, which regularly advises clients on construction projects for schools and universities and which has ‘very good sector-specific knowledge of government policies’. The ‘highly skilled and experienced’ team advised Skills Development Scotland on the development of a Scottish Institute, which involved advising on its corporate structure and constitutional requirements. James Forbes assisted the University of St Andrews with construction aspects of the university’s estate development plan, and advised East Renfrewshire Council on matters arising from building defects in a recently constructed special needs school. Other key figures include Chris MacKay is ‘extremely knowledgeable’ and ‘a very experienced strategist’ while director Graeme Palmer is ‘consistently strong in procurement law, government policy and public service structuring matters’. Scott Wilson retired.

Maclay Murray & Spens LLP’s practice is singled out for its track record in construction projects, employment issues and IP commercialisation matters. Team head Mark Macaulay assisted Glasgow Academy - War Memorials Trust with the negotiation of the pre-construction services agreement alongside the advance works and building contract related to the academy’s acquisition of a tenement building adjoining the main school site in order to redevelop it into a new science building. In other work, Amanda Jones advised the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) on a number of employment law matters, including contentious discrimination, whistleblowing, working time and pay-related issues. Other clients include Fife College and Glasgow Clyde College.

The ‘supportive’ team at Pinsent Masons LLPprovides high-quality service’ to higher and further education clients, which frequently involves advice on infrastructure projects, employment and real estate as well as IP and IT matters. Team head Chris Martin advised the University of Edinburgh on a range of employment issues, including business-critical immigration matters arising from the Brexit decision. It also assists the same client with IP matters. In another key mandate, the team acted for The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland on plans for the development of its estate in central Glasgow, including the development of new student accommodation. This role involved advising on the disposal of student accommodation to a private provider and on subsequent arrangements for the leaseback. Joanne McIntosh was promoted to legal director.

Thorntons Law LLP acts for a number of higher and further education clients, as well as other school sector participants such as research centres, in matters where commercial, corporate, governance and employment advice is required. Practice head and ‘good communicator’ Lesley Larg assisted the University of the Highlands and Islands with a review of student terms and conditions and a review of the university’s admission procedures to ensure CMA and legislative compliance. The team also advised the client on the grant of research degree awarding powers via an order of the Privy Council and its effect on the university’s constitutional arrangements. In another highlight, the team advised Glasgow Kelvin College on the sale of a major campus to another education institution. The James Hutton Institute instructed the team to assist with the negotiation of collaboration agreements and subcontracts for a research project involving the agricultural industry in Brazil and India. Liam McMonagle is another key member of the team.

BTO Solicitors LLP provides ‘thorough’ employment law advice to higher and further education sector clients, as well as a number of private schools. The team has strong experience in litigation, and regularly defends educational institutions against discrimination claims and insurers of educational institutions against claims raised by students and parents such as failure to teach, failure to identify learning difficulties and complaints about course formats and structures. ‘Knowledgeable and experienced’ team head David Hoey represented a private school in a discrimination claim at the Additional Support Needs Tribunal brought by a former pupil.

Contentious work is a key area of focus for Clyde & Co LLP’s team, which is experienced in defending educational institutions against claims for failure to educate and personal injury claims, as well as representing its clients in disciplinary proceedings and employment tribunal proceedings. The team recently acted for the University of Glasgow in a failure to educate claim under the Equality Act 2010 on account of the pursuer’s disability. Graeme Watson represented the Educational Institute for Scotland (EIS) in regulatory proceedings that were brought against the client by the General Teaching Council for Scotland. Ranald MacPherson and Gina Wilson jointly head the team.

Harper Macleod LLP’s ‘reliable and proactive’ team ‘provides straightforward advice’ and ‘has the ability to express complex legal issues in a clear and concise way’. In conjunction with the firm’s infrastructure and projects practice, the team frequently advises on development projects and planning matters. Ken Ross advised the University of St Andrews on the development of its student accommodation at Fife Park, which involved the construction and operation of a new 196-bed student development in a joint venture arrangement with Campus Living Villages. Euan Pirie (who attracts praise for his ‘good and clear advice’) assisted hub North Scotland with negotiations for a project agreement with Aberdeen City Council pertaining to a new secondary school in Aberdeen to replace two existing secondary schools. Other areas of expertise include advising on commercial matters, university spin-outs and contentious issues. The ‘sensible, clear and intelligent’ Jennifer Jack represented the Highland Council in an appeal against a decision refusing consent to the proposed closure of four schools on the island of Skye. The ‘personable and professional’ Euan Mitchell heads the team.

MacRoberts LLP assists educational institutions and education authorities with large projects, providing advice on procurement, finance, construction and real estate matters while clients also appreciate the team’s experience in handling sector-focused employment and IP work. Notably, the team advised the University of Strathclyde on a wide range of matters pertaining to the construction of a technology centre, including assistance with the acquisition of the site, the procurement of tenders and the negotiation of all construction-related contracts. Other recent work includes assisting Fife College with procurement and real estate matters. Dumfries and Galloway College is another client of the team, which is now led by Katy Wedderburn following the departure of former practice head Robin Corbett.

Morton Fraser acts for further and higher education institutions, private schools and education bodies on construction and project development work, governance and employment law matters – including advising on immigration issues – and in litigation. The team acted for a local authority in a judicial review brought by a parent, which pertains to the decision of a council not to provide funding for a child to attend a private school. It also acted for a number of Non-British academics on immigration matters such as their ability to remain and work in the UK after Brexit. The ‘experienced’ David Walker heads the team, which includes ‘friendly and professional’ senior associate Lorna Davis, who is praised for her ‘impressive depth of knowledge’ and for ‘considering various approaches and scenarios to identify a way forward that allows for risk assessments and the consideration of potential consequences’. Glasgow Kelvin College is among the firm’s clients.

Shepherd and Wedderburn’s ‘very professional’ team is best known for providing education sector clients with employment, pensions, property and procurement advice, as well as assisting with governance, construction and corporate matters. Main contact Neil Maclean advised Skills Development Scotland on the TUPE and employment implications of taking over responsibility for various employability services from the Scottish government. Similarly, the University of Edinburgh instructed the team to assist with employment and HR-related issues, as well as property transactions, including recently advising on entering into a nominations agreement for student residential accommodation at St Leonards in Edinburgh. In a separate matter, Rhona Harper advised South Ayrshire Council on the procurement of a number of new schools, including Dailly Primary School, Tarbolton Community Campus and Ayr Academy.


Index of tables

  1. Health
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Health 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 LLPprovides very good service’ to clients on a wide range of healthcare matters, with particular experience in the life sciences, medical device and pharmacy sectors. Areas of expertise include advising on regulatory matters such as the regulation of health and social care professionals alongside IP and licensing issues while the team is equally adept at guiding clients through investigations by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency. The practice recently advised the Scottish Social Services Council on a number of issues arising from disciplinary matters including deficiencies in professional practice such as the mal-administration of medicines, poor standards of care and inappropriate behaviour within the workplace. Gill Grassie jointly heads the team with Paul Marshall.

CMS provides ‘timely advice’ to blue-chip and public sector clients, including financing and developing major health and social care projects, and health procurement matters. Team head Amanda Methven assisted hub East Central Scotland with the development of a specialist pharmaceutical production facility at the Ninewells Hospital in Dundee, and advised the same client on a project to redevelop the NHS Forth Valley Stirling Community Hospital site to provide a new primary care centre. Michael McAuley advised NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde on the procurement of two primary care facilities under the hub West Scotland initiative, while Methven advised Canmore Consortium as one of the final two bidders to deliver a new acute and community hospital on Orkney for NHS Orkney. In another highlight, the ‘very experiencedAilsa Ritchie advised NHS Grampian on a NPD project to deliver the new Baird Family Hospital and Anchor Centre projects on the Foresterhill hospital site in Aberdeen, which will deliver a new woman’s hospital, maternity facilities and a cancer centre with a value of £110m.

Anderson Strathern acts for a wide range of public and private sector clients in predominantly corporate and contentious matters, including clinical negligence cases. It also advises on professional regulation, public procurement and employment issues. The team advised the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) on a wide range of issues, including employment, personal injury at work and professional negligence matters, and continues to act for members of the RCN in professional regulatory proceedings before the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). Senior associate Gary Burton acted for the Scottish Social Services Council as legal presenter in proceedings against a social worker who failed to act on a report of abuse in the case of Liam Fee, a two year old, who was later murdered by his mother and her partner. The recommended Catriona Watt and chairman Robert Carr jointly head the team.

Burness Paull LLP specialises in assisting private and public sector clients with healthcare, commercial and project development work alongside contentious matters, including disputes over defective hospital designs, product liability issues and fatal injury inquiries. Team head Chris Mackay advised NHS Lothian on issues arising from the design, build, finance and maintenance (DBFM) contract for a new community hospital in Haddington, East Lothian. This role included advice on demolition and asbestos removal matters and a review of the construction and FM documents. Acting for the same client, he drafted and negotiated the DBFM contract and reviewed the construction and FM documents for the provision of three partnership centres known as the Lothian Health Centre Bundle. In the contentious sphere, Ray Gribben represented Boots UK at a fatal accident inquiry held at Inverness Sheriff Court, which concerned the death of a patient who was provided with medication by the pharmacy intended for another patient with a similar surname. Scott Wilson retired.

Davidson Chalmers LLP has a strong medical partnership client base, which the team regularly advises on a wide range of matters including funding, surgery leases, NHS contracting and employment and regulatory issues. The team also acts for dental sector clients on corporate, commercial, regulatory and employment matters. Andy Drane advised the Inverurie Medical Practice on the terms of its occupancy agreement with the Scottish government and the terms of the Scottish Futures Trust Hub contracts. In the dental arena, team head Craig Stirling acted for Shaw & Associates Dental Practice on the sale of two dental practices in Fraserburgh to two separate purchasers. Other clients include Ashgrove Group Practice, Orchard Medical Practice and Lammermuir Medical Practice.

Harper Macleod LLP’s ‘commercially minded’ team ‘has good common sense’ and ‘provides great service’ to care home and primary care providers. Recent highlights include assisting Carechoice with the sale of four care homes, which included advising on finalising the business purchase agreement and on regulatory aspects. It also advised dental group Brite Dental and its sister company Berkeley Clinic on the acquisition of a number of properties and on various lease arrangements as well as on the structure and roll-out of joint venture arrangements with five dentists and the purchase of a technical dental laboratory. Other work for the client included trade mark registration and employment advice. Paula Skinner assisted independently owned Cadham Pharmacy with an equity investment and a number of property matters. Jamie Watt is the main contact.

The team at MacRoberts LLPdisplays a very high level of attention to deal’ and is best known for its public procurement, commercial and M&A work, including contentious matters. Duncan Osler advised NHS Orkney on its procurement for the design, build, finance and maintenance of a new hospital in Orkney and healthcare facility in Kirkwall, and advised NHS Tayside on its procurement – through hub East Central Scotland – of new facilities at the Ninewells Hospital in Dundee. As well as health boards, the team is also well versed in acting for private sector clients such as Boston Scientific Corporation, which instructed the team to advise on procurement documentation issues. David Wylie heads the team, while Andrew Orr moved to Maclay Murray & Spens LLP.

Pinsent Masons LLPprovides prompt and commercial advice’ to public and private sector clients, as well as investors, with particular emphasis on public infrastructure projects in the healthcare sector, including project finance and transactional work. The team advised a number of public sector players on a range of DBFM projects in the North and East Central territories of the Scotland-wide hub programme. This included NHS Grampian’s bundled Foresterhill and Inverurie project in the North territory and the Stirling Care Village, which was procured by NHS Forth Valley. ‘Sharp’ team head Stuart Barrgets the big picture without losing sight of the details’ and is ‘good to work with’. He assisted Robertson Capital Projects with its successful bid, including associated funding matters, for the delivery of NHS Orkney’s new £65m hospital and healthcare facility in Kirkwall.

Shepherd and Wedderburn is particularly active in advising care home operators and healthcare investment funds on corporate transactions, project development and banking and finance matters. Team head and director John Elder assisted Four Seasons Health Care – the UK’s largest care home provider – with a number of transactions, including its sale of Whitecraigs Care Home in Glasgow and the sale of Guthrie Court in Edinburgh.

The ‘highly regarded’ team at Thorntons Law LLP has ‘very good subject knowledge’ and ‘guides clients through the legal framework in a friendly and professional manner’. Recognised for its broad offering, the team advises clients from the dental, medical, pharmacy, care home and veterinary sectors. Practice head and ‘good communicator’ Michael Royden advised two individuals on the sale of the entire issued share capital of Border Vets, which operated multiple veterinary practices in the Scottish borders, to a national veterinary corporate. Together with Ewan Miller, he advised another individual on the disposal of a large NHS dental practice in Greenock to one of Scotland’s leading dental corporates. This involved assisting with the business sale agreement and a disclosure exercise in order to limit the client’s liability for any warranty claims. Other work included advising Walter Davidson & Sons with the acquisition of a pharmacy business in Comrie, and advising Clyde Munro Dental on NHS dental regulations. ‘Very knowledgeable, reassuring and professional’ senior associate Kim McNaughton is also recommended.

Local government

Index of tables

  1. Local government
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals

Hall of Fame

  1. 1

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Local government 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 provides a ‘five-star service’ and is many clients’ ‘go-to firm for high-profile work’. Praised for its ‘practical solutions to difficult problems’, the ‘excellent’ team handles the full spectrum of local government work and is particularly active in major infrastructure projects, procurement and project development matters, including finance, and local government litigation. ‘Tremendously helpful’ team head Jackie McGuire demonstrated her ‘extensive knowledge of the public sector’ by advising Renfrewshire Council and Glasgow City Council on a review of the Outline Business Case (OBC) for GAAP – the proposed tram and train rail link between Glasgow City centre and Glasgow airport – which involved a number of issues such as planning, compulsory purchase, environmental, procurement and state aid. In another highlight, the team assisted Perth and Kinross Council with aspects arising from a major road infrastructure project, which involved the drafting of objection responses and liaising with Transport Scotland. Roger Cotton advised Aberdeen City Council on procurement matters, while the team acted for Argyll and Bute Council on the consultation process for a proposed review of the harbour charges at over 20 locations in the council area. Chairman Christine O’Neill and ‘safe pair of handsCharles Livingstone are also recommended.

CMS has ‘a very good understanding of the public sector’ and ‘provides excellent service, always meeting the deadline, no matter how challenging’. The team, which is jointly led by Ann Faulds and Ailsa Ritchie, has considerable clout in assisting local authority clients with large-scale infrastructure projects across a range of sectors including waste, education and housing, which includes commercial, planning and procurement work, among other aspects, as well as handling regulatory and contentious work. Ritchie assisted Glasgow City Council with the procurement of 450 houses for private sale and 200 units for direct sale to the Glasgow Housing Association as part of the council’s regeneration programme. The team also provided advice to Dumfries and Galloway Council on its existing PFI contract for the treatment of waste, which requires certain amendments in light of the Scottish government’s introduction of the Zero Waste Regulations; and advised South Lanarkshire Council on all legal aspects pertaining to its residual waste project, which will see more than 95% of the council’s residual waste being diverted from landfill. Trudi Craggs departed for an in-house position.

The ‘highly responsive’ team at Shepherd and Wedderburn is ‘willing to go the extra mile for clients’ and ‘is particularly strong at project development and procurement work’, as demonstrated by its advice to the City of Edinburgh Council on the St James’ Quarter Growth Accelerator Model (GAM) project. This role included assisting with the documentation for council funding provision alongside planning and property matters. In other work, the team provided procurement support to the council pertaining to a housing project development at North Sighthill, Edinburgh. ‘Experienced and determined’ practice head Rhona Harper (who ‘demonstrates inherent understanding of the aims and needs of her public sector clients’) advised South Ayrshire Council, North Lanarkshire Council and Dumfries and Galloway Council – participants of hub South West Scotland – on the procurement of a number of new schools through the hub initiative. This includes the procurement of Dumfries Learning Town for Dumfries and Galloway Council and the procurement of Greenfaulds High School for North Lanarkshire Council. Other key figures include planning specialist Ewan MacLeod and construction law expert Euan McLeod.

Anderson Strathern focuses on handling regeneration and redevelopment projects while also assisting a wide range of local authorities and arm’s-length external organisations (ALEOs) with matters pertaining to sports, leisure and education facilities. Team head Audrey Cameron acted for Clyde Gateway on all legal work to secure SRUCE (Scottish Partnership for Regeneration in Urban Centres) funding for the regeneration of Clyde Gateway East. The University of the West of Scotland instructed the team to advise on a number of matters, including state aid, property and public procurement, pertaining to its plan to create a new state-of-the-art campus at Hamilton International Technology Park (HITP). Other clients include Dumfries and Galloway Council, Live Borders (formerly Borders Sport and Leisure Trust) and Midlothian Council.

Local authorities regularly instruct Burness Paull LLP to advise on the development of new public service delivery models, and the team’s experience extends to handling major infrastructure projects alongside public procurement and governance matters. Practice head Stephen Phillips advised Orkney Islands Council on a procurement process for the design, construction, operation and financing of a tidal energy generation scheme at Churchill Barriers, and carried out a governance review for Falkirk Council pertaining to Falkirk Community Trust. In other work for the same client, Chris Mackay advised it on its first hub project to construct a further support needs facility adjacent to existing schools. Steven McKinlay advised City Property Glasgow (Investments), a wholly owned offshoot of Glasgow City Council, as landowner in a ground lease re-gearing exercise to facilitate the development of a vacant site to create around 365,000 square feet of space in a city centre location for office and mixed use. West Lothian Council and Renfrewshire Council are also clients.

DWF attracts praise for its ‘good industry knowledge’. The firm handles a range of issues, including handle procurement, state aid, planning and employment work for local authorities. Suzanne Moir assisted Dundee City Council and Angus Council with their joint procurement for residual waste management services, and advised Aberdeen City Council, Aberdeenshire Council and Moray Council on the procurement of a £120m joint energy-from-waste development in Aberdeen, which included a number of state aid, governance and construction issues. Team head Martin Gallaher, who has ‘good in-depth knowledge of the public sector’, advised the Scottish government on the delivery of the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme (DSSB), which comprises two contracts with BT and encompasses more than £410m of public and private funding to extend fibre broadband infrastructure. Colin Miller acted for InTechnologyWiFi in negotiations with the City of Edinburgh Council pertaining to a contract to provide WiFi in public areas in the City of Edinburgh. In the employment sphere, the team continues to advise Aberdeenshire Council on mass multiple equal pay claims.

Harper Macleod LLP’s ‘experienced and knowledgeable’ team is well versed in handling state aid and public procurement work, the latter often pertaining to major events while also demonstrating significant expertise in defending local government clients in judicial review challenges. Team head James McMorrow advised Glasgow City Council on a number of matters pertaining to the 2018 European Championships, which are co-hosted by Glasgow and Berlin, such as IP procurement for digital media and central results services, event management services drafting and competition law compliance. In other recent work, he advised the City of Edinburgh Council on a number of procurement matters pertaining to Edinburgh’s Christmas and New Year event programmes, and assisted Renfrewshire Council with state aid compliance matters pertaining to its City Deal project. The ‘reliable, efficient and professional’ Jennifer Jack, who is ‘pleasant to work with’, defended Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (Western Isles Council) in an appeal against a judicial review concerning the procurement of a multimillion-pound regeneration project.

Morton Fraser’s ‘strong and committed’ team is well equipped to guide clients through a range of contentious and non-contentious matters, including planning, governance, project development and corporate issues. ‘Always helpful’ team head Rory Alexander advised the City of Edinburgh Council on an application for a proposed residential development and community facilities, and assisted Aberdeen City Council, as planning authority, with planning aspects of the 3000-unit residential-led mixed use scheme at Countesswells, Aberdeen. In litigation, the ‘very experienced’ David Hossack defended Aberdeen City Council against allegations of human rights breaches brought by an individual. Director Lynda Towers joined the firm from an in-house role.

MacRoberts LLP has a strong profile for representing clients in employment tribunal claims and disputes pertaining to construction defects and service delivery failures while also dealing with a range of non-contentious matters, most prominently procurement, commercial and regulatory work. The team represented the City of Edinburgh Council in employment tribunal claims brought by senior managers for unfair dismissal. Practice head Duncan Osler advised the Scottish government on procurement matters. Andrew Orr moved to Maclay Murray & Spens LLP.

Parliamentary and public affairs

Index of tables

  1. Parliamentary and public affairs
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Parliamentary and public affairs 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


Anderson Strathern is a respected player in the market, handling the full remit of parliamentary and public affairs work. Its client roster includes key public and regulatory bodies, UK and Scottish government agencies and departments, the Scottish parliament, and local authorities and education institutions. Highly regarded team head Fiona Killen advised the Scottish Information Commissioner (SIC) on the statutory interpretation of a range of statutes while also acting for the client in statutory appeals to the Court of Session and UK Supreme Court as well as in judicial review proceedings. In 2016, the team successfully defended a decision of the SIC that was challenged by a prisoner and pertained to a request for CCTV information made to the police. Other recent work includes assisting the SIC with data protection and regulatory compliance matters. The firm also handles the drafting of primary and secondary legislation, statutory interpretation and government bills amendments. Chairman Robert Carr and senior associate Ailidh Callander are also recommended.

Regarded by public sector and commercial clients as ‘one of the leaders in the field’, Brodies LLPprovides to-the-point advice’ on a range of matters including legislation, judicial review, public inquiry and procurement. Charles Livingstone continues to assist the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA), Spirits Europe and the Comité Européen des Entreprises Vins (CEEV) in their challenge of the Scottish government’s Alcohol (Minimum Pricing) (Scotland) Act 2012, which would allow the Scottish government to set a minimum unit price for alcohol. ‘Eminently capable and pragmatic’ joint team head and chairman Christine O’Neill acted for the Scottish government as junior counsel before the UK Supreme Court in an appeal pertaining to the validity of the Scottish parliament’s named person legislation, involving human rights and data protection issues. The ‘excellentJackie McGuire, who heads the team alongside O’Neill, is praised for ‘delivering timely, high-quality and detailed advice’. She acted for the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) on the appointment of a judicial factor to Scotia Aid Sierra Leone, a charity accused of fraud and financial mismanagement.

DLA Piper Scotland LLPprovides a very good service’ to regulatory authorities, government departments and commissioners alongside corporate organisations. The firm regularly handles matters involving the drafting and interpretation of bills and legislation, governance and procurement, and judicial review proceedings. ‘First-rate’ practice head Hazel Moffat advised the Scottish Funding Council on a number of governance inquiries within the further education sector, and advised Heineken UK on its statutory obligations and duties following the introduction of a new statutory adjudicator, the Pubs Code Adjudicator (PCA). In another highlight, the team successfully represented the Scottish Police Authority in defending judicial review proceedings raised by a senior police officer against a decision to refuse the renewal of management vetting clearance.

CMS handles a broad spectrum of contentious and non-contentious public law matters, with particular expertise in the transport and renewable energy sectors. Notably, Eleanor Lane advised Renfrewshire Council on its Glasgow Airport Investment Area, Clyde Waterfront regeneration and Renfrew Riverside projects, which are being promoted as part of the £1bn Glasgow City Region City Deal. In another highlight, she assisted Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) with its approximately £300m procurement of a railway system for the Glasgow Subway Modernisation project, which included the drafting of project documents and negotiations with bidders. Team head Ann Faulds assisted the National Galleries of Scotland with the promotion of a private bill in the Scottish parliament pertaining to the client’s proposal to extend its complex at the Mound in Edinburgh. The bill would allow the City of Edinburgh Council to dispose of the relevant land and overcome a statutory restriction preventing construction in Princes Street Gardens. Trudi Craggs departed for an in-house position.

Harper Macleod LLP’s ‘good and reliable’ team ‘has considerate experience and knowledge’ of handling judicial reviews and statutory appeals for public sector clients while also handling contentious and non-contentious planning law, housing law and procurement matters. The ‘reliable, efficient and professional’ Jennifer Jack, who is ‘pleasant to work with’, advised a senior Scottish government official as witness in the Edinburgh tram inquiry, which aims to establish why, after a five-year delay and a reduced scope, the £776m transport project went significantly over budget. In a separate matter, she defended Perth and Kinross Council in two judicial challenges to planning decisions. Team head James McMorrow advised the Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Authority on its proposed camping by-laws, which are intended to target a number of perceived anti-social behaviour issues within the national park area. The ‘well-prepared and hardworking’ Sandy Hastie is also recommended.

MacRoberts LLP is best known for advising on proposed legislation including its implications and on parliamentary and judicial procedures for challenges to proposed legislation. Team head Duncan Osler advised a number of Scottish ministers on the reform to the Scottish public procurement legislative framework, and assisted Transport Scotland with its implementation of the Forth Road Bridge Act 2013. Other clients include the Scottish Council for Development and Industry and the Glasgow Chamber of Commerce. Neil Amner moved to Curle Stewart.

Unions and third sector clients regularly call on Thompsons Solicitors Scotland to advise on public inquiries, bill drafting and commercial issues. Notably, the team led by Patrick McGuire advised the National Union of Miners on matters arising from the miners’ strike inquiry, and advised the charity Open Secret on issues pertaining to the Scottish child abuse inquiry.

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