Health in Scotland


Acclaimed for its proficiency in the healthcare sector, CMS acts for NHS and private sector clients with its advice spanning large-scale NHS projects, acute operational PFIs, residential and social care acquisitions and developments alongside transactions in the primary care and community care sectors. Besides transactional and development-related mandates, the group typically assists with financing, property and contractual arrangements as well as with disputes, most notably over construction and product liability-related matters. Amanda Methven heads up the team and has recently been particularly active in disputes arising from PFI hospital projects.

Practice head(s):

Amanda Methven

Other key lawyers:

Ailsa Ritchie; Shona Frame; Christine Worthington; Jenny Durie; Amy Norton


‘The team has knowledge of specialist topics, expertise, unique methods of brainstorming and a wealth of legal knowledge.’

‘Shona Frame has a brilliant yet calm approach, a good depth of understanding of the subjects we required, and the ability to convey and explain without legal jargon.

‘I would consider CMS to be one of the few firms in Scotland that can offer the breadth of genuine expertise that a FTSE 250 company like ours requires. I have been impressed with their track record in healthcare projects and their understanding of the complexities involved in this particular sector. In terms of innovation and technology, they recently pulled together a searchable guidance note for one particular project for us, which I thought was user-friendly, innovative and was well received by our team.’

‘Christine Worthington is excellent, particularly her forensic attention to detail and her approachable manner, which really helped get one of our projects over the line when faced with a difficult customer and set of circumstances.

‘A professional and responsive approach which has been developed with certain key personnel for many years.’

‘A very strong level of PFI knowledge but most significantly their decency in dealing with people at all levels. The values embraced by Jenny Durie are quite exemplary.’

‘CMS is always looking to improve its service and the use to technology over the last year has fantastic. For everyone the last year has been a challenge but there has been no drop in the quality of services provided and the switch to digital meetings and reviews has been faultless.

‘The team at CMS of Ailsa Richie has gone over and above to ensure we are provided with a high-quality legal service, broken down into a language we can understand. As a public sector client we always need to ensure we achieve value for money and this has never been in question with CMS.’

Key clients

Scottish Event Campus

NHS National Services Scotland (NSS)

Pierval Santé

NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde (NHS GG)

3i Infrastructure

Allied Irish Bank plc

Assura PLC

Work highlights

  • Advised SEC (Scotland’s Nightingale Hospital) on the effective requisition of the Scottish Events Campus to create the NHS Louisa Jordan Covid-19 Facility.
  • Advised Pierval Santé on two separate projects for the acquisition of new build care homes for the elderly in Scotland and grant of long leases to the care home operator.
  • Advising NHS National Services Scotland on strategic outsourcing projects for the Scottish Wide Area Network (SWAN).

Brodies LLP

Led by public law specialist Jackie McGuire, Brodies LLP stands out for its regulatory expertise, which is frequently called upon by residential and nursing care providers requiring assistance with inspections by the Care Inspectorate, alongside advice on the commissioning of care and medicine and healthcare products regulations, while, thanks to its multidisciplinary set-up, the group is also well placed to provide transactional, real estate, planning and finance advice. Clients, including healthcare regulators, insurers and educational institutions, also benefit from its contentious capabilities and the firm's strong life sciences practice.

Practice head(s):

Jackie McGuire

Other key lawyers:

Peter Kelly; David Gallagher; Richard Smith; Christine O’Neill QC


‘The team has strong knowledge and capability in their specialisms; however the services which distinguished Brodies from our experience working with other firms include: transparent billing, clear and concise communication,  collaboration, and good use of technology, particularly during the pandemic.

‘Everything was so utterly efficient from my first contact right through to follow-up once the case had concluded. What was particularly helpful was their explanation of the Scottish Court process without being either patronising or assuming you already had knowledge of it.’

‘Christine O’Neill is utterly astounding in her ability to go from zero to advising on a new area of law within hours. Her client engagement is amazing and her determination to get to the bottom of particularly challenging issues where the client is a little reluctant to tread is incredible.’

‘Solid understanding of the sector, with a responsive team.’

‘Brodies LLP is always keen to provide solutions that do work rather than pointing out why things won’t work.’

‘Jackie McGuire is a really strong team leader. Her understanding of public sector health law is exceptional and this has filtered down to those in her team. The team has both very strong technical skills and knowledge of the law.’

‘Jackie McGuire is incredibly practical as well as extremely technically able. She has a great ability to cut to the heart of the issue and filter out what is important. She has strong strategic skills and is able to take a long-term view of an issue which is often key in this sector where multi-agency involvement and the need for an awareness of such complexity is central to a good client service. With her previous role in local government, Jackie is well placed to understand and respond to the needs of public sector clients.’

‘In our case the wide range of service and knowledge within the practice making it a complete service provider. David Gallagher has helped and introduced other members of the team at Brodies to conclude the other services to help with all aspects of our legal needs as requested.

Key clients

Huntercombe Neuro Ltd

Huntercombe Adult Ltd

Mauricare (Ascot Care) Ltd

Care Concern UK Ltd

Dornoch Medical Care

Scottish Care

WL Gore & Associates

Care UK Homecare Ltd

Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care

Medical & Dental Defence Union of Scotland

Lorimer Care Homes

Omega Diagnostics Ltd

Aseptic Health

TC BioPharm

Antonine Court Limited


Meallmore Care Group

Parklands Care Group

Balhousie Care Group

Jon Fleming Group

Work highlights

  • Instructed in Sheriff Court appeals against two closure notices that the client Mauricare Ascot Limited had been served in respect of a residential care home during the Covid–19 pandemic.
  • Advised Omega on a fundraising on AIM to accelerate its existing core plans and take advantage of partnership opportunities to manufacture both antigen and antibody Covid-19 tests.
  • Advised Northcare (Scotland) on a range of matters relating to its strategic expansion in the Central Belt, including providing real estate, planning, tax and finance advice pertaining to two separate development sites in Glasgow and East Renfrewshire.

Burness Paull LLP

Burness Paull LLP has a strong profile for large-scale healthcare project developments, advising health boards, government and public agencies alongside private sector developers on procurement exercises, construction matters, sector-specific investments and various contractual arrangements. Investment trusts, care home providers and operators also receive regular assistance with property, regulatory, corporate and transactional issues. Its contentious capabilities are typically played out in the context of construction disputes and medical device claims but the team has recently also handled judicial reviews in the pharmaceutical sector. Construction and projects expert Chris MacKay is the main contact.

Practice head(s):

Chris Mackay

Other key lawyers:

Joanna Fulton


‘Since the pandemic the firm has made great use of technology to maintain relationships. They are also very flexible when discussing payments – my organisation prefers cost certainty and they provide this.’

‘They are able to provide insights into how to protect our investments more robustly based on their experiences. Really proactive in offering solutions in advance of anticipated problems.’

‘Burness provides a well-geared team in terms of experience from partner through to solicitor. The team offers excellent relevant advice at competitive rates making them stand out as value for money. They are a pleasure to work with.’

‘The Burness Paull team provides an excellent level of service, always conscious of the commercial aims of our transactions whilst keeping the legal aspects water-tight. We are a high-volume user of their legal services and this enables them to be efficient and focused on our needs.’

Key clients

NHS Lothian

hub West Scotland Limited

Hamberley Care Homes

AstraZeneca AB


Smith & Nephew Orthopaedics Limited

Wellcome Trust

Scottish Enterprise


Aedifica S.A.

Work highlights

  • Advised NHS Lothian on the delivery of a number of mass vaccine centres in the Lothians; a DBDA project for the refurbishment of a school building to provide a health and care centre which is primarily for Edinburgh’s homeless population; and on the future delivery of phase 2 of the Royal Edinburgh Hospital.
  • Advising hub West Scotland on the SPV in relation to Covid-19 delays to the construction of the Greenock Health & Care Centre, Stobhill Hospital and Clydebank Health & Care Centre; as well as acting on a phased DBDA project to develop a new North East Health Hub on a site near Parkhead, Glasgow.
  • Provided Scots Law advice to Impact Healthcare REIT plc on all property elements of the £47.5m share purchase of the Scottish care homes operator Homes Care Group.

MacRoberts LLP

MacRoberts LLP acts for a diverse client roster including health boards, private business, charities, financial institutions, research institutions and public sector bodies in infrastructure project and construction litigation and provides regular investment, transactional, contractual and financing advice. The team's expertise also attracts veterinary and dental practices as well as pharmacy owners. Team head David Wylie is a key contact for corporate advice.

Practice head(s):

David Wylie

Other key lawyers:

Duncan Osler; Valerie Armstrong-Surgenor; Rod Munro; Jennifer McKay; Julie Hamilton


‘The team has a wealth of knowledge and diverse skill set. They offer value for money and a better understanding of the dental market versus competitors.’

‘They are always readily available to speak to.’

‘Highly professional, customer-centric with prompt, yet reliable response times. Furthermore, expert subject matter across various aspects, as well as, having the network of other legal firms who sub-specialise in niche legal practices. Never try to sell additional services. Always positive, calm and calculated which has a positive effect on the client.’

‘Valerie Armstrong-Surgenor is highly proficient and efficient – she addresses the most complex of customer needs by having a skillset to tailor-make complex commercial contracts that protect her clients whilst not being disadvantageous to the other negotiating party. Great communicator and manager of tasks and complex matters. Proactive at all times with exceptional attention to detail that results in exceptional quality of her work.’

Key clients

NHS Greater Glasgow Health Board

NHS Lothian

ECG Facilities Management/KUDOS Services

Jon Fleming Group

Air Ambulance Kent


Bio Reliance Limited/Merck Group

Work highlights

  • Acting for NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde in Court of Session proceedings raised against Multiplex Construction Europe Limited; Currie & Brown and Capita Property and Infrastructure Limited seeking payment of approximately £74m in damages in respect of defects identified in the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital.
  • Advising NHS Lothian on all issues arising as a result of the delay to the completion of the new Royal Hospital for Sick Children and DCN at Little France.
  • Advised ECG Facilities Management Limited/ Kudos Services Limited on a joint venture vehicle between ECG Facilities and Fulcrum (called Kudos Services Limited) created to take over (from Integral and Kier) approximately 35 operational facilities management contacts on healthcare projects across five separate LIFT territories in England.

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP is best known for its expertise in large-scale infrastructure projects in the healthcare sector. Corporate expert Stuart Barr is the main contact.

Practice head(s):

Stuart Barr

Other key lawyers:

Martin Devine; Victoria Miller; Alan Diamond

Anderson Strathern

Anderson Strathern's team is led by Catriona Watt, who handles a wide range of health and social care matters for regulators, medical professional associations and private healthcare providers.

Practice head(s):

Catriona Watt

Davidson Chalmers Stewart

Providing medical and dental partnerships with wide-ranging support constitutes the key element of Davidson Chalmers Stewart's practice. Reflecting the expertise of co-practice heads Craig Stirling (corporate and commercial) and Andy Drane (property and regulatory), much of its works falls into the transactional, corporate, commercial and property sphere it but also includes advice on funding and disputes. Care home operators, veterinary practices and medical professionals are also among its clients.

Practice head(s):

Craig Stirling; Andy Drane


‘The team I deal with a DCS is knowledgeable in the medical and dental sector space.’

‘Specialists in their field and they give great advice to their clients.’

‘The team was small, coordinated and very knowledgeable. Lead by Craig Stirling, his associates in the property side of the transaction were also very efficient and a pleasure to deal with. It was clear that they all communicated very well.’

‘We worked very closely with Craig Stirling on a dental practice disposal to a large corporate. He was knowledgeable, experienced, professional, reassuring and calming where needed and a pleasure to work with. It was obvious that he considered all aspects of the transaction and had our best long term interests at the centre of his decision making. He was efficient in dealing with all our issues. We consider ourselves very lucky to have had him in our corner.’

‘The team has a client-centred expertise in the healthcare sector. They understand (as a whole team) the nuances of the healthcare sector and add significant value to every engagement they take on for our dental clients.’

‘Craig Stirling is a highly approachable and commercially astute legal adviser who can de-mystify the complexities of law for our clients and allow a pragmatic solution in their best interests.’

‘Andy Drane was very good and reassuring that we were making the right decision.’

Key clients

Portman Dental Care

Clyde Munro Dental Group

Edinburgh Orthodontics Limited

Aviemore Medical Practice

Ladywell Medical Centre (East) and Ladywell Medical Centre (West)

Family Dental Care

Direct Healthcare Group

Baronscourt Medical Practice

RUA Life Sciences PLC (previously Aortech International plc)

Work highlights

  • Acted for RUA Life Sciences PLC in several major transactions, including its acquisition of RUA Medical Devices Limited, and a placing, subscription and open offer on the Alternative Investment Market of the London Stock Exchange to raise £7m to fund the group’s development of grafts, patches and synthetic heart valves using its highly biostable Elast-Eon polymer.
  • Advised Aviemore Medical Centre on the occupancy agreement with the Scottish Government and other contractual matters pertaining to its move into the NHS Grampian Health Board’s new community hospital.
  • Acted for the three corporate shareholders of Edinburgh Orthodontics Limited in the share sale to the Portman Group.

Shepherd and Wedderburn

Shepherd and Wedderburn is well placed to guide care home operators, healthcare investment funds and health boards through restructuring, transactional and refinancing processes, while also providing regular property-related support, which is not least due to team head John Elder's broad real estate expertise. In other work, healthcare sector charities retain the group to advise on corporate governance and trust administration, while project companies and engineering firms make use of the team's contentious capabilities in disputes over defects.

Practice head(s):

John Elder

Other key lawyers:

Joanna Boag-Thomson; Stephen Colliston


‘They always respond promptly to us.’

‘They give prompt and helpful advice and guidance.’

Key clients

Four Seasons Health Care Group

Primary Health Properties plc

Collagen Solutions plc

Spire Healthcare

States of Jersey

Caring Homes Group

Norddeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale (Nord/LB)

Consort Healthcare

Highlands and Islands Enterprise

NHS Dumfries and Galloway

The Children’s Heart Disease Trust

The Royal Environmental Health Institute

Work highlights

  • Advised Four Seasons Health Care on its ongoing restructuring and sale processes, including the Scottish aspects of the conditional sale of parts of the Huntercombe Group high acuity care business to Montreux Capital Management for £35m.
  • Acting for Consort Healthcare (Birmingham) Limited to deliver improved mental health facilities at an urgent care centre.
  • Advised the Royal Environmental Health Institute of Scotland on corporate governance to include possible changes to the structure of the board of trustees and the potential amendment of the Institute’s Royal Charter.

Thorntons Law LLP

With dental, medical and veterinary sector expert Michael Royden co-heading Thorntons Law LLP's team with dental, care home and pharmacy sector specialist Ewan Miller, the group is well equipped to handle a broad spectrum of healthcare sector work spanning transactional, commercial, funding and regulatory matters. Associate Kim Campbell is another key member of the practice and provides wide-ranging advice with a focus on dental, veterinary and pharmacy sector work.

Practice head(s):

Michael Royden; Ewan Miller

Other key lawyers:

Kim Campbell


‘The practice has always been very efficient and willing to help any time I have approached them whether relating to practice purchase, staff contracts or other lesser issues arising from time to time.’

‘Michael Royden has been my main contact within the practice and is always prompt to respond to any queries I raise. This has been especially useful when dealing with some of the unique issues this past year has thrown at us.’

‘Thorntons certainly provides a unique service that is tailored to the client and is very personalised. The use of data rooms for documents is a great use of technology making the transactions easier to follow for both the client and the solicitor on the other side.’

‘We work closely with Kim Campbell and Michael Royden. The communication we receive is nothing short of excellent. The attention to detail with each transaction is fantastic. We as clients, are only involved in the transactions when it’s needed but otherwise the team at Thorntons just get on with it.’

‘A good team with a wide range of interests and areas of expertise.’

‘I will always be grateful to Michael Royden for helping me navigate the journey to selling my practice. He was always professional and available. He would happily reply to my many queries. It is hard to put into words but his ability to reassure, offer the appropriate advice, made the whole process much less stressful than I imagined. His team is a reflection of himself. All were most professional, available and offered sound advice.’

‘There are two amazing individuals at Thorntons who stand out – Michael Royden and Kim Campbell. The service they give is second to none, and nowadays it’s all about service. In this busy field, quick responses to either emails or phone messages are vital – they deal with either in a swift manner.’

‘I have worked with the team at Thorntons for a number of years now and enjoy a close working relationship with them. They demonstrate a great understanding of my sectors and provide guidance and advice when any bumps appear on the legal road.’

Key clients

Walter Davidson & Sons Limited

Jackie Henderson – Cults Dental Practice

Douglas Thain – Central Dental Care

Charles Simpson – Longniddry Dental Care

Simon Miller – Glasgow Orthodontics

Shareholders of Nithsdale Vets Limited

University of the Highlands & Islands

Work highlights

  • Advised Walter Davidson & Sons Limited on the acquisition of George Ellis Ltd, a pharmacy operator in the North of Scotland.
  • Advised Douglas Thain of Central Dental Care on the legal issues and implications pertaining to the possible use of his dental practice as a treatment centre for Covid-19 symptomatic patients.
  • Advised the shareholders of Nithsdale Vets Limited on the sale of their shares to one of the UK’s largest corporate veterinary operators for a sum in excess of £2m.