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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

Editorial

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Parliamentary and public affairs

Index of tables

  1. Parliamentary and public affairs
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next Generation Partners

Leading individuals: Hall of Fame

  1. 1

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1

Anderson Strathern's impressive client base includes a large number of local authorities and higher educational establishments which benefit from the team's wide-ranging skill set. Regular work includes statutory interpretations of legislation, primary and secondary legislation draftings, government bill amendments and Brexit-related matters. The 'highly regarded' Fiona Killen is the main contact.

Practice head(s):Fiona Killen

Other key lawyers:Alastair McKie; Robert Carr

Testimonials

'The combination of excellent customer service and good legal advice makes the practice unique.'

'Fiona Killen goes above and beyond. She explains things clearly, sets out options and risks and is completely costumer-focused.'

'Fiona Killen makes you feel like you are her only client.'

Key Clients

Scottish Public Services Ombudsman

Scottish Information Commissioner

Scottish Police Authority

University of the Highlands and Islands

Pow of Inchaffray Commissioners

Glasgow Caledonian University

Edinburgh Napier University

Crown Estate Scotland

The Scottish Government

University of St Andrews

Work highlights

  • Ongoing advice on matters of statutory interpretation relating to its current functions under the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman Act 2002, the  scope of powers of the SPSO and any proposals being considered to expand its role as a complaints-handling body in Scotland.
  • Acted for the SIC in respect of an appeal by William Beggs against a decision of the Scottish Information Commissioner.
  • Advising four higher education institutions on matters relating to the interpretation of the Higher Education Governance (Scotland) Act 2016.
  • Advising the Pow of Inchaffray Commissioners on their promotion of a private bill to update their governing statute in the form of a Victorian Act of the Westminster Parliament dated 1846, based on an older Act of the Scottish Parliament stemming back more than 300 years.
  • Advising a number of Scottish public bodies on Brexit-related matters such the implications for them as an employer, including recruitment issues, EU citizens rights and arrangements for residency applications.

With superb reputation for its handling of all aspects of parliamentary and public affairs, including legislative drafting, public law litigation and EU public law matters, Brodies LLP receives frequent instructions from various public sector clients and commercial organisations. Its client roster includes the Scottish government, local governments, utilities, Scottish and UK regulators, colleges and universities as well as charities. The 'highly experienced and extremely responsive' practice is led by the 'highly regarded' Christine O’Neill and includes Charles Livingstone, who is recommended for his 'broad expertise'.

Practice head(s):Christine O'Neill

Other key lawyers:Jackie McGuire; Charles Livingstone

Testimonials

'Without hesitation, Christine O'Neill is the best public lawyer in practice in Scotland.'

'Leading public law solicitors in Scotland.'

'Christine O'Neill admirably combines experience and understanding while also being very approachable.'

'The team has extremely strong public law knowledge and experience.'

'Provides robust advice.'

'The team's open and friendly manner coupled with a pragmatic approach is extremely helpful.'

'Always well prepared and definitely on top of the law.'

'Charles Livingstone has a fine eye for detail and an immense capacity for hard work.'

Key Clients

The Scottish Government

Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body (SPCB)

Lerwick Port Authority

Wildland

Scottish Housing Regulator

Royal Incorporation of Hutcheson’s Hospital

Scotch Whisky Association

Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA)

The City of Edinburgh Council

Perth and Kinross Council

Glasgow City Council

Work highlights

  • Christine O’Neill acted as junior counsel for the Lord Advocate in the defence of the UK Government’s challenge to the UK withdrawal from the European Union (Legal Continuity) (Scotland) Bill, the first time the UK Government had referred a Scottish Parliament bill to the Supreme Court.
  • Advising this Scottish charity on the promotion of a private bill in the Scottish Parliament; the bill will modernise the charity’s governance arrangements by transferring its assets to a new Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO) and thereafter dissolve the current body and repeal the 19th century legislation under which it has most recently been constituted.
  • Assisting Lerwick Port Authority with the promotion of harbour revision orders (HROs) to enable the expansion of the port to accommodate business activity, including North Sea oil and gas decommissioning activity.
  • Advised the client on various issues including the powers to intervene in the affairs of registered social landlords and on whether a local authority was discharging its duties with regard to homelessness, among other matters.
  • Drafted the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Repeal) (Scotland) Act 2018, a Scottish Parliament Member’s Bill introduced to repeal legislation passed following a number of controversial incidents at and around football matches.

The 'impressive' team at DLA Piper Scotland LLP is led by the 'highly experienced' Hazel Moffat and is well equipped to guide public sector clients as well as food and drink, manufacturing and energy industry players through the full spectrum of parliamentary and public affairs issues. Much of its work pertains to judicial reviews, public inquiries, government structures and regulatory framework draftings.

Practice head(s):Hazel Moffat

Other key lawyers:James McGachie

Testimonials

'Hazel Moffat is very smart, intuitive and very easy to work with.'

Key Clients

Institute of Apprenticeships

Underbelly

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

Heineken UK

Market Operator Services

Transport for the North

Scottish Police Authority

Airbus Helicopter

Ineos

Sodexo

Work highlights

  • Advising The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on the Magnox Inquiry, investigating the award of the Magnox decommissioning contract by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) and its subsequent termination.
  • Ongoing advice on the small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act (SBEEA) and the Pubs Code; recently, the team has been advising and defending the first tranche of arbitrations raised by tenants and addressed policy issues and drafting errors in the statutory Pubs Code to the government.
  • Advised on issues relating to the delegation of powers from local and central government to TfN.
  • Advising the SPA on judicial review cases brought against them by police officers in relation to decisions by the SPA to refuse applications for ill health retirement.
  • Represented Ineos in its application for judicial review of the Scottish Government ban on onshore unconventional gas (fracking ban).

The multi-disciplinary team at CMS is led by Ann Faulds and is best known for advising local authorities on primary and secondary legislation matters pertaining to large-scale infrastructure and other development projects including associated public inquiries.

Practice head(s):Ann Faulds

Other key lawyers:Michael McAuley; Ailsa Ritchie; Eleanor Lane; Graeme Young; Shona Frame

Key Clients

Glasgow School of Art

Renfrewshire Council

The City of Edinburgh Council

Calton Hill Hotel

Work highlights

  • Supported Glasgow School of Art in the Scottish Parliament’s investigation into the fires in the Mackintosh Building; this included assistance with the drafting of written submissions to the  Scottish Parliament’s Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Affairs Committee during evidence sessions, and with responding to the evidence of other parties who have been critical of GSA.
  • Advising Renfrewshire Council on its Glasgow Airport Investment Area (GAIA) and Clyde Waterfront and Renfrew Riverside (CWRR) projects which are being promoted as part of the £1.13bn Glasgow City Region City Deal.
  • Advising the City of Edinburgh Council on preparations for the extension of the Edinburgh Trams project. This included advice on securing the necessary land and land rights through the use of compulsory purchase powers, the review and amendment of third party agreements and the securing of rights to allow the council to attach fixings for overhead lines to buildings.
  • Advising the developers on a major public inquiry into hotel proposals for the former Royal High School.

Harper Macleod LLP receives a steady flow of instructions from local authorities and other public sector bodies but it also acts for corporates and individuals. Its recent workload included a number of judicial reviews and statutory appeal cases, public procurement matters and regulatory and legislative issues arising from major sporting events. Derek Hogg, James McMorrow and 'complete star' Jennifer Jack jointly head the 'great' team.

Practice head(s):Derek Hogg; James McMorrow; Jennifer Jack

Testimonials

'Supremely well prepared.'

'Nothing is too much trouble for the team.'

'Totally reliable.'

'Jennifer Jack is utterly dependable, even in the most pressing circumstances. More than that, she is a very bright lawyer and an astute tactician.'

Key Clients

Tom Brake MP and Chris Leslie MP

The Scottish Government

Scottish Natural Heritage

Revenue Scotland

Registers of Scotland

Forestry Commission Scotland

The City of Edinburgh Council

Glasgow City Council

Scottish Legal Complaints Commission

Highlands and Islands Enterprise

Work highlights

  • Representing MPs Tom Brake (LibDem Brexit spokesperson) and Chris Leslie (Labour) in the high-profile case seeking declarator specifying whether the UK's Article 50 notification of its intention to leave the EU may be unilaterally revoked.
  • Advising the client on the Scottish Government's proposals to make housing associations in Scotland subject to freedom of information laws from April 2019, subject to a parliamentary vote.
  • Acted for the client in Right to Roam legislation matters and associated proceedings relating to the public access over the Drumlean Estate in Argyll, where the landowner had erected fencing, gates and signage to prevent and deter members of the public from exercising their statutory access rights under the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003.
  • Representing the client in the public inquiry arising from a planning appeal on the proposed re-development of the former Royal High School of Edinburgh (RHS).
  • Appointed, through GCC, as sole legal advisors to the Glasgow 2018 European Championships, advising on a range of issues relating to the hosting of the championships, including procurement, regulatory and commercial matters, negotiations between the council and various sports federations, and the procurement of ICT services, among others.


Education

Anderson Strathern's multi-disciplinary team, led by Alun Thomas , remains a popular choice for many of Scotland's leading universities and colleges that require assistance with regulatory and governance matters, development projects as well as employment, safeguarding and immigration issues, including litigation. Working in the Additional Support Needs Tribunal is another key area of expertise.

Practice head(s):Alun Thomas

Other key lawyers:Fiona Killen; Catriona Watt; Jonathan Guy; Barry Nichol; Audrey Cameron; Andrew Brown

Key Clients

The University of Edinburgh

University of St Andrews

University of the Highlands and Islands

Glasgow Caledonian University

University of the West of Scotland (UWS)

Edinburgh Napier University

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Ayrshire College

City of Glasgow College

Edinburgh College

Fife College

Glasgow Clyde College

Work highlights

  • Advising the local authority on the provision of further education and a potential merger between Shetland College and NAFC Marine Centre.
  • Advising the Malaysian-based education client on the purchase of the Beaconhurst Grange School in Stirling which  closed and entered administration in July 2018. This includes advice on the transaction including charity law, commercial, education and governance issues.
  • Advised the client on proposals for further constitutional and structural change.
  • Provides advice on regulatory issues, its potential sale and eventual closure.
  • Assisted the client with the purchase of a £4.2m property in November 2018 from Shepherd Offshore as part of the college’s plan to build a new super campus combining a brand new college campus and secondary school in a joint venture with Fife Council.

With a fine reputation for its broad education sector offering, Brodies LLP's 'responsive' team regularly advises higher and further education sector clients as well as local authorities and government agencies on various governance structures, including new governance arrangements and sensitive reputational matters, sector-specific employment, immigration and corporate issues. Led by the 'fantastic' Brenda Scott, the group also receives frequent instructions on various contentious and non-contentious student matters.

Practice head(s):Brenda Scott

Other key lawyers:Will McIntosh; Christine O’Neill; Jackie McGuire; Lynne Marr; Joyce Cullen; Brenda Scott

Testimonials

'Works hard to understand the client's issues and concerns and contextualises its advice and support accordingly.'

Key Clients

Perth and Kinross Council

Inverness College

Scottish Funding Council (SFC)

Queen Margaret University

Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA)

Glasgow Clyde Education Foundation

University of St Andrews

Merchiston Castle School

Work highlights

  • Acted for a Scottish independent school in connection with a complaint that the school was objectionable for having failed to safeguard the well-being of its pupils.
  • Providing regular advice to the client; in 2018, this included advice on property transactions, governance, freedom of information and data security issues alongside IP and copyright disputes in order to protect SQA’s brand as well as dealing with complaints by students and parents.
  • The team is the sole supplier of legal services to the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) and has recently provided advice on its statutory powers and duties, its relationship with the government, colleges and universities as well as real estate, procurement, employment law and equality law matters.
  • Assisted the client with its response to challenges to decisions refusing placing requests involving children with additional support needs. This included advice on whether the council had properly applied the statutory tests, and on Assisted Support Needs Tribunal proceedings.
  • Acting for the university in a wide range of governance and student issues, including student discipline cases, policy changes to the Student Code of Conduct, part-time study and admission matters alongside litigation.

With a strong focus on the higher education sector, Carina Healy's multi-disciplinary team at CMS acts for many of Scotland's best-known universities and colleges. Much of its work pertains to corporate, IP, IT and property-related matters including those pertaining to large-scale campus development and refurbishment projects. In the contentious space, the practice is well versed in handling whistleblowing and other employment-related disputes.

Practice head(s):Carina Healy

Other key lawyers:Laurence Ward; Darina Kerr; Gillian MacLellan

Testimonials

'Very good team for higher education sector work.'

Key Clients

University of Glasgow

Stratified Medicine Scotland Innovation Centre

Glasgow School of Art

University of Aberdeen

University of Dundee

Heriot-Watt University

The James Hutton Institute

Glasgow Clyde College

Work highlights

  • Advised the university on various constitutional and governance matters concerning the compliance with the Higher Education and Governance (Scotland) Act 2016 (HEGSA) and the Scottish Code for Good Higher Education Governance.
  • Advising the University of Glasgow on its joint venture with Portage Pharmaceuticals (PPL), a wholly owned subsidiary of Toronto based Portage Biotech.
  • Advised the University of Glasgow on the drafting and negotiation of a worldwide licencing and revenue sharing agreement with Koninklijke Philips for the rights to manufacture and market Philips' recently validated prognostic biomarker for prostate cancer.
  • The team has been advising the University of Glasgow on its campus expansion purchase, leaseback and redevelopment of the former Western Infirmary Hospital in Glasgow.
  • Advised the client on refurbishment works and other matters pertaining to the Mackintosh building fire.

Providing full-service advice, Pinsent Masons LLP is a respected player in the market, which leads to regular instructions from universities and higher education sector bodies on sector specific governance and regulatory matters, IP and IT issues, alongside procurement, corporate, employment law and campus estate property matters. The 'strong and well-regarded' team led by the 'excellent' Chris Martin has also been increasingly active in university accommodation project-related tax work and litigation arising out of regulatory frameworks.

Practice head(s):Chris Martin

Testimonials

'Committed to its clients.'

'Understands the needs of its clients.'

'Its obvious to see how the team has developed its reputation in the sector.'

'Provides first-class service.'

Key Clients

The University of Edinburgh

Edinburgh Business School

Robert Gordon's University

University of Aberdeen

Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh

Higher Education Statistics Agency

Work highlights

  • Advised the University of Edinburgh on the procurement of a multi-million-pound high-performance computer system from Hewlett Packard Enterprise.
  • Advising the university on two major technology procurements; firstly, the replacement of its core local area network with a new campus-wide network and, secondly, the replacement of the university's legacy core business systems with an integrated and cloud-based solution.
  • Assisted Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh with the review of its student residence arrangements.
  • Advising the University of Edinburgh on its participation in a €64m grant-funded clinical trial project relating to the European Prevention of Alzheimer’s Dementia.
  • The team has been appointed as exclusive legal advisor to the University of Edinburgh on the £1.1bn Edinburgh and South-East Scotland City Region Deal including technology procurement, funding arrangements and GDPR compliance.

Neil Maclean's team at Shepherd and Wedderburn covers a broad spectrum of contentious and non-contentious education sector work. Universities, independent schools and governmental bodies receive regular assistance with procurement and construction matters pertaining to large-scale projects but clients also instruct the team with employment, immigration and pensions-related issues as well as charity law work.

Practice head(s):Neil Maclean

Other key lawyers:Joanna Boag-Thomson; James Dobie; Malcolm Rust; John Rutherford

Key Clients

The University of Edinburgh

The University of Glasgow

The University of Aberdeen

South Ayrshire Council

The City of Edinburgh Council

The University of Edinburgh Staff Benefits Scheme

Craigholme School

Merchants Company of Edinburgh

Hutchesons’ Educational Trust

University of St Andrews Superannuation and Life Assurance Scheme

Work highlights

  • Advised the City of Edinburgh Council (CEC) on its Queensferry High School hub South East project, valued at approximately £40m. This involved advice on the procurement process and negotiating project-specific amendments to the Standard Form DBFM Agreement.
  • Ongoing advice on all employment law matters.
  • The team acted for PwC, the administrator appointed to Beaconhurst Grange (in administration), to protect the creditors’ position, and provided advice on various rescue options and ultimately the closure of the school.
  • Advising East Ayrshire Council (EAC) on the procurement of new early childhood centres in Kilmaurs, Stewarton and Netherthird.
  • Advising the University of Glasgow on all employment and pension matters including immigration advice and the securing and maintaining of sponsor licences.

Thorntons Law LLP provides education sector clients with wide-ranging advice on various commercial and governance issues, academic and disciplinary appeals alongside government policy and funding matters as well as assistance with regulatory compliance, brand management and student affairs. IP expert Lesley Larg heads the 'focused' team, which includes IP lawyer Loretta Maxfield and corporate and commercial expert Robbie Francis, who were both promoted to the partnership in January 2019.

Practice head(s):Lesley Larg

Other key lawyers:Noele McClelland; Robbie Francis; Loretta Maxfield

Testimonials

'Always acts in the best interest of the client.'

'Excellent service.'

Key Clients

University of Abertay Dundee

University of Stirling

University of Strathclyde

University of the Highlands and Islands

Glasgow Caledonian University

Glasgow School of Art

Robert Gordon University

University of St Andrews

The James Hutton Institute

Dundee and Angus College

Perth College

Colleges Scotland

High School of Dundee

Work highlights

  • Advised the client on the drafting of the university’s new governing order.
  • The team advised the college on a senior management restructure and associated grievances regarding bullying and harassment.
  • Advising the university on two complex race, religion and age discrimination claims involving unrepresented claimants.

BTO Solicitors LLP handles a wide range of education sector work with a focus on sector-specific employment, cyber security and data protection matters alongside online reputation, charity law, construction and real estate issues, including litigation. Paul Motion leads the team.

Practice head(s):Paul Motion

Key Clients

Glasgow Kelvin College

George Watson's College

Glasgow Academy

Glenalmond College

University of Strathclyde Students’ Association

Work highlights

  • Advising the college on various employment and HR matters, including employment tribunal claims, settlement agreements, grievances, disciplinary matters and collective industrial relation issues.
  • Assisting the Students’ Association of the University of the West of Scotland (SAUWS) with the move from its current unincorporated association form to a company limited by guarantee.
  • Acting for an independent school following allegations of failure to provide a proper education, proper pastoral care and medical malpractice; the claim was brought by the parents of a pupil.
  • Assisting the academy with the implementation of GDPR and other general data protection.

MacRoberts LLP's client base consists of educational institutions and education authorities, which benefit from the team's real estate and construction expertise. Clients also instruct the team to handle contentious and non-contentious employment law work alongside GDPR and IP matters. Deborah Miller is the main contact.

Practice head(s):Deborah Miller

Other key lawyers:Katy Wedderburn; Rod Munro; David Gourlay; Valerie Surgenor; John Macmillan; Gillian Craig; Jennifer McKay

Key Clients

University of Highlands and Islands (UHI)

Ready for Business

South Lanarkshire College

Perth and Kinross Council

Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Donaldson’s School

Glenalmond College

George Watson’s College

Work highlights

  • The team continues to advise ESP on the legal implications following the discovery of latent defects in wall construction at various schools in Edinburgh.
  • Provided advice and tribunal representation to the University of Dundee in relation to claims for unfair dismissal, breach of contract and indirect age discrimination.
  • Advising Education Scotland on a digital multi-tenancy platform used nationally by schools, universities and other educational institutions. This includes advice on commercial contracts, data protection and software licensing matters.

Morton Fraser's strength lies in advising local authorities, public education bodies and private schools on sector-specific employment and immigration law matters alongside reputational issues pertaining to student and pupil relationships, student accommodation property work and litigation. David Walker is the main contact.

Practice head(s):David Walker

Other key lawyers:David Hossack

Key Clients

Scotland's Rural College (SRUC)

The Scottish Council of Independent Schools (SCIS)

George Watson's College

Glasgow Kelvin College

George Heriot's School

Craigclowan Preparatory School

Student Awards Agency for Scotland

Scottish Schools Education Research Centre

Empiric Student Property

East Renfrewshire Council

Work highlights

  • Successfully represented a leading university in its defence of an unfair dismissal and discrimination claim.
  • Providing immigration advice to a higher education institution which includes a review of its policies and procedures relating to international workers.
  • Advised SCIS on the production of templates and policies for its members; this involved sector-specific advice on contract law, consumer finance, GDPR, parental rights and responsibilities, child law and equality law.
  • Advised Empiric Student Property on a £7.1m student accommodation acquisition in Edinburgh.
  • Assisted George Heriot's School with GDPR and Data Protection Act 2018 compliance. This included reviewing and updating all relevant documentation and processes, including updating and preparing privacy notices for staff, job applicants, pupils, parents and others and updating and preparing internal data protection policies.

Burness Paull LLP's 'approachable and hard-working' team acts for a diverse range of education sector clients such as universities, private schools, further and higher-education institutions as well as local authorities and private-sector players. Typically, its work pertains to transactions and funding matters arising from major education sector projects but Chris MacKay's team is also experienced in charity law, employment and commercial property work.

Practice head(s):Chris Mackay

Testimonials

'The team has an enviable track record advising various local authorities.'

'Its staff is well informed, knowledgeable and easy to engage with.'

Key Clients

University of St Andrews

Robert Gordon’s College

Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA)

The City of Edinburgh Council

Falkirk Council

Albyn School

Aboyne After School Club

Renfrewshire Council

Skills Development Scotland

Work highlights

  • Acted for the university as the majority landowner in a complex series of transactions which will deliver 1,000 new homes as well as additional university facilities, retail, sports facilities, and schools in St Andrews.
  • Advising the trust, which runs the Donaldson's School, on changing its legal form from a trust to a Scottish charitable incorporated organisation (SCIO).
  • Advising RCPSG on the implementation of a new legal framework, including the incorporation of a new joint venture entity, and a suite of legal documentation to regulate various aspects of the arrangements.
  • Advised Albyn School, an independent co-educational school based in Aberdeen, on a range of commercial property, employment and contentious matters.

Clyde & Co LLP has sector-specific contentious and non-contentious employment and discrimination law work at its core. The 'entirely committed' practice acts for higher and further education institutions, local authority education departments and other educational bodies and frequently defends against claims of unfair dismissal, race and age discrimination as well as various forms of abuse. Employment lawyer Graham Mitchell heads the team.

Practice head(s):Graham Mitchell

Other key lawyers:Frances Ross; Graeme Watson; Stephen Miller

Testimonials

'Provides sound and timely advice.'

'Understands complex situations very quickly.'

'You can have complete confidence in their judgement.'

'Questions are answered promptly, often outside office hours.'

'Graeme Watson is highly knowledgeable and has the ability to be both empathetic and strong in his guidance. He has a very calm yet determined approach.'

Key Clients

Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

EIS

Argyll College

The University of Edinburgh

University of St Andrews

Forth Valley College

New College Lanarkshire

University of Glasgow

West College Scotland

Work highlights

  • Advising the client on the terms of the 2019 pay offer to teachers and associated threats of industrial action.


Health

Index of tables

  1. Health
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Rising stars

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Rising stars

  1. 1

With significant experience in the life sciences, medical devices and pharmacy sectors, Brodies LLP's 'pragmatic, responsive and very knowledgeable' multi-disciplinary team routinely advises on corporate, investment, IP, licensing and contentious matters, including proceedings against NHS boards. Jackie McGuire heads the team. IP expert Gill Grassie retired in July 2018.

Practice head(s):Jackie McGuire

Other key lawyers:Peter Kelly; Duncan Mawby; Christine O’Neill; Will McIntosh; Paul Marshall; Robert Buchan; Shuna Stirling; Drysdale Graham

Testimonials

'The team has a wealth of experience in public and regulatory law.'

'Christine O’Neill is exceptional. She goes out of her way to explain the intricacies of Scots law and procedure to lay clients and English lawyers and demonstrates both a keen understanding of the client's business and a commercial awareness of the issues.'

'Great attention to detail.'

'Christine O’Neill is a pragmatist with a dry sense of humour, she is great to work with.'

'Very experienced across the sector and able to provide excellent advice at all levels of the team.'

Key Clients

Thermo Fisher Scientific

AorTech Biomaterials

W.L. Gore & Associates

The University of Edinburgh

Mirador Analytics

Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care

Cross Healthcare

Balhousie Care Group

Omega Diagnostics

Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC)

Welcare Homes

Perth and Kinross Council

Parklands Care Group

Work highlights

  • Advising a large multi-regulated home charity on a group restructure.

Advising on the financing and development of major health and social care projects is one of the core strength of CMS' team along with transactional, contractual and contentious matters. Healthcare projects expert Amanda Methven heads the team.

Practice head(s):Amanda Methven

Other key lawyers:Ailsa Ritchie; Shona Frame; Christine Worthington; Alan Nelson

Key Clients

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde

Hub East Central (PSS)

3i Infrastructure

NHS National Services Scotland

Cindat Capital Management

Assura

FES FM

Nord LB

Infrastructure Managers

Robertson Capital Projects

Work highlights

  • Advising NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde on the design, financing, construction and maintenance of a new health centre at Greenock and new mental health wards at Stobhill.
  • Advised Hub East Central (PSS) on the development of specialist pharmaceutical production facilities at Ninewells Hospital, Dundee.
  • The team continues to advise 3i Infra and its asset manager, Infrastructure Managers, on various Scottish acute health projects. This includes the University Hospital Wishaw and Whitehills Hospital, Forfar.
  • Advised NHS National Services Scotland on the Scottish Wide Area Network (SWAN).
  • Advising Cindat Capital Management on the acquisition and financing of a portfolio of 69 care homes throughout England, Scotland and Ireland.

Burness Paull LLP's strength lies in advising private sector and public sector clients on healthcare projects. This includes assistance with property, construction, investment and procurement matters, among others, but the 'very experienced' team led by the 'pragmatic' Chris MacKay is noted for its care home and dentistry acquisition expertise and litigation capabilities.

Practice head(s):Chris Mackay

Testimonials

'Great pharmaceutical and medical device sector expertise.'

'Easy to work with.'

'The firm has an international outlook and is experienced in working with clients based elsewhere.'

'Very able to support NHS clients.'

'Excellent attention to detail.'

'Gives clear advice on risks and market positions.'

Key Clients

NHS Lothian

hub West Scotland

The Carbon and Energy Fund (CEF)

AstraZeneca

Smith & Nephew Orthopaedics

Hub Community Foundation

Xeon Smiles UK

Oasis Dental Care (Central)

Work highlights

  • Advising the client on the financing, design, construction of and provision of services at the new Greenock and Clydebank Health and Care Centres and additional ward buildings at Stobhill Hospital.
  • Advising NHS Lothian on the Royal Edinburgh Hospital (phase 2) project via the hub initiative (DBDA and DBFM) with regards to the delivery of a new integrated rehabilitation facility, a newly refurbished MacKinnon House and a new facilities management centre.
  • Acting for AstraZeneca in matters pertaining to four separate commercial litigations in the Court of Session concerning patents for a breast cancer treatment.
  • Provided advice on the procurement and construction of a multi-purpose facility consisting of an Elective Care Centre for NHS Highland (NHSH).
  • Provided advice on Scottish property elements concerning the sale of four Oasis Dental branded dental practices.

MacRoberts LLP is best known for advising NHS trusts on healthcare infrastructure projects and for providing privately owned health care groups with transactional support. The group led by corporate lawyer David Wylie also conducts healthcare litigation.

Practice head(s):David Wylie

Other key lawyers:Duncan Osler; Rod Munro; Val Surgenor; Lisa Frost; Julie Hamilton

Key Clients

NHS Orkney

NHS Tayside

NHS Lothian

Renaissance Care Group

Vascutek

Coalition of Care and Support Providers in Scotland (CCPS)

Frontier Scientific

Beatson Cancer Charity

Boston Scientific Corporation

University of Dundee

Work highlights

  • The team continues to act for NHS Lothian in matters pertaining to NHS Lothian’s Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh PFI project.
  • Providing advice to NHS Lothian on its new Sick Kids NPD project in Edinburgh.
  • Acting for Renaissance Care in the acquisition of the entire issued share capitals of Croftbank House and Rosepark Care Home from the Balmer Care Group.
  • Assisting Terumo Aortic with building contracts and associated contract documentation for multiple phases of works at Terumo Aortic’s manufacturing facility at Inchinnan, near Glasgow Airport.

Stuart Barr leads the healthcare team at Pinsent Masons LLP, which receives regular instructions from private equity houses, property funds, banks and corporates as well as public-sector players to advise on public infrastructure projects in the healthcare sector as well as transactional healthcare property portfolio matters.

Practice head(s):Stuart Barr

Other key lawyers:Alan Cook; Martin Devine; Victoria Miller

Key Clients

NHS Grampian

NHS Highland

hub South East Scotland

hub South West Scotland

Healthcare Centres PPP

Work highlights

  • Advising public sector participants on a range of DBFM projects in the North and East Central territories; this includes operational advice on NHS Grampian’s Aberdeen Community Health Care Village, the bundled Forres, Woodside and Tain and bundled Foresterhill/ Inverurie projects and the Stirling Care Village.
  • Advised Serco on the acquisition of a large portfolio of acute healthcare private finance initiative facilities management contracts from Carillion (originally) and subsequently from Carillion's special managers following liquidation.

Acting for private and public sector clients, Shepherd and Wedderburn covers a wide range of healthcare-related restructuring, financing, project development and regulatory work, including disputes. Director and real estate lawyer John Elder heads up the team.

Practice head(s):John Elder

Other key lawyers:Stephen Colliston; Joanna Boag-Thomson; Nigel Sievwright

Key Clients

Four Seasons Health Care Group

Primary Health Properties

BUPA

Spire Healthcare

Caring Homes Group

Norddeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale (Nord/LB)

Consort Healthcare

Highlands and Islands Enterprise

Dumfries and Galloway NHS

Work highlights

  • Assisting the care home operator with management, restructuring and refinancing matters.
  • Advising the client on various project development matters.
  • Advised Nord/LB on all aspects of the £56m Inverurie Community Campus project.
  • Advising Nord/LB on the £45m financing of Clydebank, Greenock and Stobhill healthcare centre developments.

Anderson Strathern is well placed to assist clients with medical negligence and governance matters, corporate and commercial issues as well as litigation. The 'excellent' Catriona Watt heads the 'professional' practice.

Practice head(s):Catriona Watt

Other key lawyers:Robert Carr; Neil Farrell; Gary Burton

Testimonials

'As a client, you feel like you are a priority to them.'

'The team is conscious of the political environment the client operates in and its advice always reflects that reality.'

'Robert Carr is exceptional. His expertise in regulation and public law is without parallel and his forensically detailed approach is the gold standard.'

'Litigates complex and novel cases.'

'Thorough attention to detail.'

'Robert Carr gives consistently excellent advice and is a pleasure to work with.'

'Gary Burton gives clear and straightforward advice.'

Davidson Chalmers Stewart has a strong private sector healthcare practice, most notably in the medical and dental industries, but the team also acts for vets, care home operators, pharmacies and opticians, among others. The practice is jointly led by the 'knowledgeable and responsive' Craig Stirling and 'great communicator' Andy Drane and assists clients with the full spectrum of healthcare sector-specific corporate and commercial work, including funding, lease and regulatory matters as well as NHS contracting and disputes. Regulatory lawyer Laura Irvine joined the firm in November 2018 from BTO Solicitors LLP.

Practice head(s):Craig Stirling; Andy Drane

Other key lawyers:Laura Irvine

Testimonials

'Andy Drane is on the front foot with solutions to changes in GP contracts and sustainability loans.'

Key Clients

Portman Healthcare

Hawick Veterinary Group

St Clair Veterinary Clinics

Ambicare Health

Smile Dental Care

Stirling Care Village

Riverside Medical Practice

Stonehealth Alpha

North Berwick Dental Centre

Infinity Blu Dental Care & Implant Clinic

Work highlights

  • Instructed by the vendors to advise on the sale of the entire issued share capital of the company to the Linnaeus Group, a large dental corporate operating throughout the UK.
  • Assisted Portman Healthcare with the Scottish aspects of its acquisition of Edinburgh Dental Specialists, Strickland Care Dental and Clifton Dental.
  • Acting for the company in the process of a £1.5m fund raise.
  • Instructed by the three NHS GP practices that will occupy the new Stirling Care Village on negotiating commercial terms with NHS Forth Valley.
  • Advising the client on all Scottish property, statutory and regulatory aspects pertaining to its acquisition of four Scottish surgery investments.

Providing corporate and commercial advice to dental practices, GPs, pharmacy businesses and care homes is the core strength of Thorntons Law LLP but the 'dedicated, professional and experienced' team jointly led by 'excellent' corporate lawyer Michael Royden and commercial property expert Ewan Miller is also well versed in assisting dental corporates with NHS dental regulation matters. 'Outstanding' associate Kim Campbell is particularly active in the dental sector.

Practice head(s):Michael Royden; Ewan Miller

Other key lawyers:Kim Campbell

Testimonials

'The team knows the sector very well.'

'The team works well together and keeps the client informed.'

'Kim Campbell is especially approachable and professional.'

'Acts with efficiency and professionalism.'

'They know what they're talking about and explain complex legal speak in plain language.'

'Michael Royden is very knowledgeable and experienced and completely unflappable.'

Key Clients

Galedin

Caledonian Dental Care

Walter Davidson & Sons

Deans Pharmaceuticals

Work highlights

  • Represented the shareholders of Galedin in the sale of Galedin to VetPartners UK.
  • Represented the owners Michael San and John Cockburn in the sale of Scotland’s largest privately owned dental practice to one of the UK’s leading dental corporates, Portman Healthcare.
  • Instructed by one of Scotland’s largest independent pharmacy owners, Walter Davidson & Sons, to assist with the acquisition of a pharmacy business in the Broughty Ferry area of Dundee.
  • Assisted the owners Alastair and Aileen McCulloch with the sale of Dunblane Dental Practice to an associate dental practitioner.
  • Acted for Deans Pharmaceuticals in its multi-million pound acquisition of Welch Chemists.


Local government

Index of tables

  1. Local government
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Rising stars

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Rising stars

  1. 1

Brodies LLP's multi-disciplinary team is recognised by clients and peers alike for its outstanding expertise in advising Scottish councils on major local government projects such as infrastructure, heat and power. Led by the 'well regarded' Jackie McGuire, the practice handles contentious and non-contentious procurement work, judicial reviews and statutory appeals and advises on governance, election law and local government finance matters. Its client base also includes Arm's Length Organisations. Managing associate Niall McLean is recommended; he handles a wide range of contentious and non-contentious issues.

Practice head(s):Jackie McGuire

Other key lawyers:Roger Cotton; Christine O’Neill; Sarah-Jane McArthur; Charles Livingstone; Niall McLean; Jane McMonagle; Lynne Marr; Mike Stephen

Key Clients

East Lothian Council

COSLA

Aberdeen City Counsel

Aberdeenshire Council

The City of Edinburgh Council

Stirling Council

West Lothian Council

Glasgow City Council

Falkirk Council

Argyll and Bute Council

Dumfries and Galloway Council

Work highlights

  • Advising on significant roads infrastructure projects undertaken by a Scottish local authority, which will include a new bridge over one of Scotland’s largest rivers.
  • Advising Hub East Central, on behalf of Fife Council, on a district heating scheme in Glentrothes; this includes assistance with the final development and procurement of a substantial multi-customer district heating scheme in Glenrothes.
  • Advised on the development and finance of a district heating scheme using heat from sewers to provide heat to commercial developers at Clyde Gateway as part of a wider energy masterplan for the area.
  • Advised SIC on the transfer of the operator role at Sollum Voe Terminal (SVT) in Shetland from British Petroleum to EnQuest.

Burness Paull LLP stands out for its expertise in assisting local authorities with public service delivery models, including the establishment and restructuring of culture and leisure trusts, shared service structures and economic development partnerships. Other key areas of expertise of Stephen Phillips's team include advising on new models for the delivery of public infrastructure projects and associated procurement, state aid, planning, property and governance matters.

Practice head(s):Stephen Phillips

Other key lawyers:Graeme Palmer; Gillian Harkness

Key Clients

Glasgow City Council

The City of Edinburgh Council

Perth and Kinross Council

Renfrewshire Council

Falkirk Council

Scottish Futures Trust

Improvement Service

Highlands and Islands Enterprise

Sustrans

Work highlights

  • Advised the City of Edinburgh Council on the public inquiry into two planning and listed building appeals for the proposed redevelopment of the former Royal High School (New Parliament House).
  • Advised North Lanarkshire Council and Sanctuary Housing Association on the regeneration scheme in Cumbernauld, including the compulsory acquisition of 12 multi-storey tower blocks, which are being demolished and replaced with affordable housing and housing for the elderly.
  • Advised Glasgow City Council on the joint venture between the council and Wheatley Housing Group to become City Building (Glasgow).
  • The team continues to assist the Improvement Service with various EU procurement law matters, among others, pertaining to a major Scotland-wide project involving all 32 Scottish local authorities and focusing on shared services in roads.
  • Advising Scottish Futures Trust, a subsidiary of the Scottish Government, on developing new templates and guidance to promote wider use of property sharing arrangements across all public authorities in Scotland.

Anderson Strathern handles all aspects of local government work including construction, public procurement and litigation which translates into a steady flow of instructions from local authorities and related authorities across Scotland. Acting in public sector regeneration projects is a key area of expertise for Audrey Cameron's team as well as assisting with shared service models and the rationalisation of Arm’s Length Organisations, among other novel structures and arrangements, across multiple authority areas.

Practice head(s):Audrey Cameron

Other key lawyers:Fiona Killen; Catriona Watt; Karyn Watt; Alastair McKie

Key Clients

Fife Council

Midlothian Council

The City of Edinburgh Council

Shetland Islands Council

Glasgow City Council

North Lanarkshire Council

Dundee City Council

Scottish Borders Council

SEStran

Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT)

Work highlights

  • Advising the client on construction contracts, tenders and tender responses pertaining to the demolition of two existing primary schools, and the design and construction of two primary schools, nurseries and additional sports facilities.
  • Acted for the council to defend the public’s right to roam on a path following a summary application in the Sheriff Court under the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 challenging the council’s notice to remove a locked gate and fence preventing public access on a path through their land.
  • Assisting Shetland Islands Council with the legal due diligence and the production of a full business case in respect of the potential merger between Shetland College and NAFC Marine Centre.
  • Advising the client on construction contracts pertaining to the purchase of a completed housing development from a private sector developer.

CMS' multi-disciplinary local government team 'provides a highly professional service in a timely manner' and puts significant emphasis on advising Scottish local authorities. It covers a wide range of property, planning, procurement and state aid matters arising from major projects in the transport, education, housing, sport, leisure and waste sectors. Ann Faulds and Ailsa Ritchie jointly head the team. Project finance expert Michael McAuley retired as partner in April 2018 and still supports the team as consultant.

Practice head(s):Ann Faulds; Ailsa Ritchie

Other key lawyers:Eleanor Lane; Christine Worthington; Amanda Methven; Paul Carter; Amy Norton; Iain Doran; Graeme Young; Shona Frame; Michael McAuley

Testimonials

'Extremely knowledgeable and well equipped to answer any questions.'

'Always available to help when required.'

'The team ensures that the client's views are represented and does not make assumptions as to what is required.'

Key Clients

Stirling Council

Moray Council

Glasgow City Council

Renfrewshire Council

The City of Edinburgh Council

Aberdeenshire Council

South Lanarkshire Council

Dumfries and Galloway Council

Shetland Islands Council

Argyll and Bute Council

East Renfrewshire Council

Aberdeen City Council

Work highlights

  • Acted for the council in its £250m city regeneration project, assisting with the procurement for circa 900 houses for private sale, 200 mid-market units for direct sale to the Glasgow Housing Association and the provision of a commercial and retail development.
  • Advising Renfrewshire Council on property, planning, compulsory purchase, construction, procurement and state aid matters, among others, pertaining to its Glasgow Airport Investment Area (GAIA) and Clyde Waterfront and Renfrew Riverside (CWRR) projects which are being promoted as part of the £1bn Glasgow City Region City Deal.
  • The team has been advising Stirling Council on various planning matters pertaining to the Park of Keir tennis and golf centre and the review of the mineral permission for Murrayshall Quarry.
  • Advising the council on the proposed extension of the Edinburgh Tram to Newhaven, including advice on the acquisition of land and securing statutory consents required for attaching overhead line equipment to buildings.  
  • Advised each of the councils on the construction of new schools in Inverurie, Alness, Elgin, Lossiemouth and Jedburgh, as well as the demolition of old schools.

James McMorrow and the 'highly experienced' Jennifer Jack jointly head the 'solid' team at Harper Macleod LLP, which receives regular instructions from local authorities and other Scottish governmental agencies to assist with housing law, public procurement and state aid matters alongside contentious and non-contentious planning and environmental law issues. Other regular work includes judicial reviews and statutory appeals. The team is also rated for its strength in sporting events-related work.

Practice head(s):James McMorrow; Jennifer Jack

Other key lawyers:Sandy Hastie; Tom Thomas

Testimonials

'Good firm with a wide range of expertise across the board which makes it well suited to provide advice to local authorities.'

Key Clients

Glasgow City Council

The City of Edinburgh Council

The Highland Council

North Lanarkshire Council

Moray Council

East Renfrewshire Council

North Ayrshire Council

Shetland Islands Council

Orkney Islands Council

Comhairle Nan Eilean Siar

Cairngorm National Park Authority

Work highlights

  • Appointed, through GCC, as sole legal advisors to the Glasgow 2018 European Championships. This instruction included various procurement, regulatory and commercial matters such as host city contracts, negotiations between the council and various sports federations and the procurement of ICT services, among other issues.
  • Advising Shetland Islands Council on the acquisition of the entire issued share capital of Shetland Leasing & Property Developments (SLAP) from the Shetland Charitable Trust.
  • Successfully defended an action for judicial review raised by Wm Grant & Sons in connection with the proposed Dorenell wind farm.
  • Defending the council in an action for judicial review related to the procurement of a multi-million pound regeneration project in the Outer Hebrides.
  • Advising Inverclyde Council on procurement and state aid matters pertaining to the City Deal-funded project for the redevelopment of port facilities at OceanTerminal, Greenock, in conjunction with Peel Ports Clydeport.

MacRoberts LLP frequently assists local authorities and third-sector bodies with employment law matters, pension schemes, GDPR and procurement issues, but the team (led by Duncan Osler ) is also well versed in handling community asset transfers, development projects and regeneration schemes. Public and third-sector expert Robin Fallas made partner in May 2018.

Practice head(s):Duncan Osler

Other key lawyers:Robin Fallas

Key Clients

The City of Edinburgh Council

West Lothian Council

Coalition of Care and Support Providers in Scotland

Social Work Scotland

North Lanarkshire Council

Scottish Borders Council

North Ayrshire Council

West Lothian Council

CVS Inverclyde

West Dunbartonshire Council

Work highlights

  • Advising and representing the council in the Employment Tribunal in a claim involving disability discrimination, detriment as a result of making a protected disclosure and constructive unfair dismissal.
  • Assisted the client with the creation of a bespoke form of contract to be used between local authorities, charities and individuals for the delivery of social care.
  • Advised the client on the process to secure a new ICT system, which included assistance with procurement, employment, contractual and data protection matters.

The team at Morton Fraser has particular expertise in local government litigation and is frequently instructed to assist with judicial reviews, internal investigations and public enquiries. In the non-contentious space the group, led by Rory Alexander , is experienced in handling a wide range of matters arising from public sector projects, most notably planning and environmental matters, but it also advises on election law and governance structures.

Practice head(s):Rory Alexander

Key Clients

The City of Edinburgh Council

Glasgow City Council

Aberdeen City Council

Orkney Islands Council

East Lothian Council

Aberdeenshire Council

Highland Council

West Lothian Council

Environment Agency

Work highlights

  • Advised the Strategic Development Planning Authority (the SDPA) on a Supreme Court appeal in respect of a challenge by Elsick Development Company against the SDPA's Supplementary Guidance which seeks contributions to a strategic transport fund.
  • Assisting the City of Edinburgh Council with an application for a proposed residential development, local centre and community facilities at East of Millburn Tower, Edinburgh.
  • Advising the council on an appeal by West Craigs against the refusal of planning permission for a residential and commercial development at West Craigs.
  • Acting for Aberdeen City Council in defence of a legal challenge by objectors to the new Aberdeen Football Club stadium at Kingsford in Aberdeen following the council's permission for the new £50m stadium.
  • Acted for Jordanhill Community Council in a judicial review of a decision of Glasgow City Council to grant planning permission for a large residential development on the site of the University of Strathclyde's Jordanhill College.

Shepherd and Wedderburn is well known for assisting local government clients and ALEOs owned by local governments with a wide range of project development, property, construction, procurement and planning matters. Recently, the practice has been particularly active advising on new housing, education and urban regeneration projects. Neil Maclean is the main contact following Rhona Harper's move to an in-house role in February 2018.

Practice head(s):Neil Maclean

Other key lawyers:Stephen Colliston; Euan McLeod; Ewan MacLeod

Key Clients

West Dunbartonshire Council

West Lothian Council

The City of Edinburgh Council

East Ayrshire Council

Scottish Enterprise

South Ayrshire Council

Fife Council

Wheatley Housing

Dumfries and Galloway Council

North Lanarkshire Council

Work highlights

  • Advising the local authority on the procurement of UK’s first large-scale water source heat pump district heating system at the Queen’s Quay regeneration site in Clydebank.
  • Advising on all aspects of the legal documentation pertaining to its City Deal Project including a Tri-Partite Agreement between the council, the developer and the Scottish ministers.
  • Advised the council on its £40m Queensferry High School hub DBFM project. This involved assistance with procurement documentation and negotiating project-specific amendments to the Standard Form DBFM Agreement.
  • Advising East Ayrshire Council (EAC) on its procurement of new early childhood centres in Kilmaurs, Stewarton and Netherthird.
  • Advised the council on the procurement of its Transport and Infrastructure Framework, which involved the creation of a bespoke framework agreement.


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