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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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Commercial property: Edinburgh and Glasgow

Index of tables

  1. Commercial property: Edinburgh and Glasgow
  2. Commercial property: leisure and hospitality
  3. Commercial property: retail occupiers
  4. Hall of Fame
  5. Leading individuals
  6. Next generation lawyers

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Commercial property: Edinburgh and Glasgow 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 handles a range of property issues for listed and privately-owned property companies, overseas-based investors, lenders and corporate occupiers, among other clients. In addition to advising on investment and development matters, the practice also has extensive experience of related property issues involving real estate finance, planning and environment, litigation, and real estate related tax. The firm, which acts for nine of the 20 largest real estate investors in the UK, is a stalwart figure in the Scottish property market, covering a multitude of sectors including office, industrial, retail, hospitality and leisure, and student accommodation. James Roscoe and Phil Hunter are key advisers in a cross-practice team that is acting for APG Asset Management in a mixed-use urban regeneration project at St James’ Quarter in Edinburgh. In 2016, ‘always available’ practice head Nick Scott, Chris McDaid and senior solicitor Jacqueline McFarlane acted for Brookfield Student Real Estate on its £37m acquisition of Collegelands (a 500-bed student accommodation scheme in Glasgow) and £25m forward-funding of St Mungo’s scheme (also in Glasgow). Scott also led on Varde Capital’s acquisition of a £150m Scottish retail park portfolio. Johane Murraybrings real value to every situation’. Other key individuals include Richard Smith, Richard Whyte, recently promoted partner Helen Abrams. Murray Soutar joined Gillespie Macandrew LLP.

Burness Paull LLP provides ‘a valued and diligent service’ and has a strong track record in high-value property acquisitions and sales (including portfolio transactions), regeneration projects, housebuilding developments and commercial redevelopments, among other matters. The firm’s ability to handle property transactions in England and Wales was further strengthened by the recent recruitment of Nicky Clemence from Brodies LLP. She joins a team that includes Peter Chambers and senior associate Andrew Yule, who are acting for Queensberry Properties on the formation of a joint venture company with Edinburgh St James Residential Holding Company, which is tasked with delivering the high-end residential development that will form part of the new St James’ Centre. In 2016, a group including Ian Wattie and James Forbes acted for Heartlands (Central) and Land Options (West) on the sale of the Heartlands development site in West Lothian to Green Town (Heartlands). Other key figures include practice head Tamar Tammes; Nick Naddell, a specialist in commercial landlord and tenant work with particular experience acting for national and international retailers; Steven McKinlay; Gaelen Doherty; and consultant John Sinclair, who recently joined from Maclay Murray & Spens LLP.

CMS is a regular fixture on the most significant and high-value real estate projects in Scotland. The firm has a strong track record acting for a wide variety of clients, including energy companies, hotels and leisure sector companies, retail landlords, institutional investors, public sector bodies and universities. In a recent highlight, practice head Allan Wernham, Stuart Tait and recently promoted partner Kirsten Partridge acted for TH Real Estate on the flagship St James redevelopment scheme, while Darina Kerr (who ‘never fails to give excellent advice and options both on the immediate matter at hand and on more strategic considerations’) and Lorri Pollock handled the Glasgow School of Art’s purchase of the former Stow College. Other clients of the practice include Aviva Investors, Ziggurat Student Accommodation Providers, Scottish Enterprise, EDF Energy and the University of Glasgow. Brian Donald routinely handles the real estate aspects of renewable energy developments, including transactions involving wind farm sites, and Margaret McLean focuses on purpose-built student accommodation, with extensive experience acting for student residence developers. Paul Carter excels in advising institutional investors on investment and development matters. Timothy Pitt is also highly regarded, as are senior associates Mike McColl and Gary Georgeson.

Maclay Murray & Spens LLP’s practice has broad expertise covering large-scale private rented sector and housebuilding projects, shopping centre sales and acquisitions, as well as leisure and energy sector developments. Other areas of strength include commercial landlord and tenant matters, and property finance. In 2016, Gordon Aitken led a cross-practice team acting for The Prudential Assurance Company on the site acquisition, development and subsequent sale of Quartermile 4 to Triuva, as well as handling pre-lets to FanDuel and Cirrus as part of the process. In another highlight, Allan Cairns acted for Greencoat UK Wind and an infrastructure investment joint venture between Greater Manchester Pension Fund and London Pensions Fund Authority on the property aspects of their £355m acquisition of a stake in the 350MW Clyde wind farm from SSE. Barry Edgar was part of a team acting for Aviva Investers on the sale of its investment in student accommodation at Collegelands in Glasgow, having previously advised the client on its acquisition in 2014. Aitken jointly heads the practice with Simon Etchells, while Gillian Downie, who has more than 30 years of experience in the commercial property arena, heads the Glasgow-based housebuilder and residential units. Also recommended are Colin Keenan (who is experienced in UK shopping centre acquisitions and disposals), Paul Haniford and Barry McKeown. Jennifer Johnson retired from private practice.

Pinsent Masons LLP acts for some of the largest participants in the Scottish and UK commercial property markets, including housebuilders, commercial developers, UK-based and international funds, and banks and retailers. Led by Katharine Hardie, the team handles a broad cross-section of matters, including large-scale cross-border portfolio acquisitions, commercial development and regeneration projects, real estate finance, residential development and high-end acquisitions and disposals. A particular strength is in energy-related property work, which covers all aspects of early-stage development, project implementation and financing; Jennifer Ballantyne heads the UK-wide energy-related property practice, which acts for clients such as DONG Energy, E.ON, FIM Services and SSE. The retail, hotel and leisure, and healthcare sectors are additional areas of strength. Recent highlights include Russell Munro’s advice to EDI Group on the redevelopment of India Quay in Edinburgh, and Alan Cook’s advice to Martin McColl on the Scottish and Northern Irish aspects of its £117m acquisition of 298 convenience stores from Co-operative Group. In another key mandate, Paul Connolly, Adrienne Quin and others acted for HFD Glasgow on the development of Bothwell Exchange in Glasgow and its pre-let to Morgan Stanley.

Also recommended are Martin Devine, who is ‘good on leasing and associated development work’ and Ewan Alexander, who ‘knows how to pull together the strands of a transaction’.

Shepherd and Wedderburn has a first-rate reputation and an extensive track record in commercial and residential development, leasing, property investments and acquisitions, real estate finance and regeneration projects. Its diverse client roster includes names such as John Lewis, Investec, the University of Edinburgh and Hermes. In 2016, the firm acted for City of Edinburgh Council on the £105m sale of Atria One to a German investment company, and also advised Cirrus Logic on the letting of Quartermile 4. Elsewhere, David Mitchell, senior associate Rhona McGregor and associate Hannah Swinton handled a number of mandates for British Land and Hercules Unit Trust, including the sale of Cuckoo Bridge Retail Park in Dumfries to NewRiver Retail, and various retail lettings at Glasgow Fort, Inverness Shopping Park and Fort Kinnaird. Mitchell and Nick Ryden jointly head the practice, which includes distressed property expert John Gallacher, who is experienced in real estate asset recovery and reconstruction assignments; and Caroline Shand, who is recommended for her expertise handling the Scottish aspects of cross-border portfolio investment and finance transactions. Andrew Hall, James Dobie and Scott Ritchie are also recommended. The team was joined in 2016 by Jamie Grant from MacRoberts LLP and Michael Anderson from The Commercial Law Practice LLP, which was acquired by the firm. Stuart Rowson departed for Lindsays.

Addleshaw Goddard established a presence in Scotland through its merger with HBJ Gateley, incorporating a practice with a dedicated English real estate sub-group led by Kirsty Nicholson and a track record in cross-border matters, including large-scale portfolio transactions and high-value property investments. In 2016, Nicholson acted alongside Alastair Cowan, Kirsty Woods and Gary Munro for Harwood Anthony Limited on the £18.5m sale of freehold and leasehold interests in a UK-wide portfolio of ten retail and industrial properties. The commercial property practice also handles residential development and student accommodation schemes, as well as private rented sector matters; Cowan recently acted for Maven Capital Partners on the acquisition and development of three student accommodation sites (consisting of 575 studios in total). Corporate occupier work, asset management and real estate finance are other pillars of the practice. The team generates a significant amount of commercial property work from clients in the telecommunications and leisure sectors, including EE, Malmaison Hotels, City Pub Group, BT and Virgin Media. Miles Ede leads the team, which includes Alison Newton, Neil Addis and Mike Fitzgerald, as well as newly promoted senior solicitors David McClean and Allison Leiper, and Katherine Golding, who made associate.

Anderson Strathern has a dedicated real estate practice with particular expertise in the retail, leisure, healthcare, renewable energy and education sectors, and which can call on specialists in areas such as planning, environment, construction and property litigation. Anne McGregor and senior associate Fiona McKinnon are advising Intu Properties Plc on the development of Intu Braehead Shopping Centre and Retail Park. In another matter, Ruth Maclean, Gillian Anderson and senior associate Neil Fraser are acting for S1 Developments on the redevelopment of Westerlea House in Edinburgh. Practice head Andrew Morris has more than 30 years of commercial property experience. Another name to note is Deborah Lovell, who has expertise in property development, estate management, land tax issues and property matters specific to the renewable energy sector. The Crown Estate, Moyallen Properties and Transport Scotland are among other notable clients.

DLA Piper Scotland LLP acts for a sizeable blue-chip client base, including Mas Plc (Artisan), Blackstone Scottish Water, and Heineken, which recently appointed the firm to handle its UK property work. Drew Wallace leads the team and handles a wide-ranging workload covering cross-border portfolio transactions, acquisitions and sales of high-end real estate assets, commercial leasing, and commercial and residential development projects. Steve Edgecombe, legal director Barbara Dow and senior associate Guy Irving advised Henry Boot on a development funding deal with Aberdeen City Council, in connection with the development of a new exhibition centre, energy centre and hotels. Elsewhere, Wallace, Irving and legal director Carolyne Hair are assisting Hansteen (AIF) with various matters across Scotland, including developments at Gilston, Polmont and Darnley in Glasgow. Sheila Irvine’s recent work includes advice to student accommodation providers and funds on urban development projects. Legal directors Stephen Dick and Edwin Truesdale are also recommended.

DWF has a strong Scottish and UK-wide footprint, making it a strong choice for high-profile property acquisitions and sales, portfolio management, residential and commercial development projects, corporate occupier work and property finance. Although its team undertakes work across a wide range of sectors, it is particularly well known in energy and infrastructure, retail, tourism and leisure, and education and the third sector, and acts for a client base that includes McDonald’s, Virgin Active, Scottish Power, M7 Real Estate and The Ambassador Group. Anthony McEwan, Joanna Hamilton and others are advising Scottish Power Energy Networks on the property aspects of a strategic grid expansion project in Scotland. In another highlight, Iain McHardy assisted retailer Next with its pre-let at the re-developed Edinburgh St James Centre, as well as with out-of-town store acquisitions and general estate management issues. David Ratter, Robin Watt and Geoff Stansfield are other notable practitioners. Hamilton and Paul Mason recently made partner.

Harper Macleod LLP has a particularly strong reputation in the housebuilding space, where it acts for clients including Tulloch Homes, Persimmon Homes and Ediston Homes. The firm also acts as the sole adviser to the Scottish Government on its Help to Buy scheme, and is highlight active for public sector clients including Highland Council, Glasgow City Council and the Scottish Courts Service. The firm also acts for retail sector businesses such as William Hill, Caffe Nero and Optical Express. David Bell has a 26-year track record acting for JD Sports on all of its Scottish commercial lettings. Other areas of strength include high-end investment transactions, portfolio management, property finance, advice on property structures and joint ventures, and rural and agricultural sector work. In 2016, practice head John Meehan led advice to shareholders Bruce Linton and Philip Mulholland on the sale of a leisure resort in Angus (as part of the 300-acre Piperdam estate) to Coppergreen Developments. Other recommended individuals include Ken Ross, Chris Noble and Philip Sim in Edinburgh. David Eason and Gary Campbell are the main contacts in Inverness.

MacRoberts LLP’s team attracts praise for its credentials in commercial development and redevelopment projects; in a highlight, Laurence Fraser and Jenna McLean are acting for the Citizens Theatre in Glasgow on its £20m refurbishment and redevelopment. On the residential development side, the practice recently won mandates from major housebuilders such as CALA Homes and Persimmon, and Gillian Campbell, senior associate Mark Quinn and Keith Campbell recently assisted Dundas Estates & Development with a site acquisition in West Lothian for the development of residential housing. Elsewhere, Kelsey Gibson led on a circa £29.5m property portfolio sale for Hamilton Capital Partners. Douglas Lamb heads the highly experienced team, which also excels in high-end office and retail lettings, and property finance transactions. Other recommended partners include John McQuillan, Lisa Frost and David Milne. Clients also single out senior associate Mark Quinn and associate Nicole Cook. Neil Amner joined Anderson Strathern.

Morton Fraser has been an active player in the residential development sector for 30 years, with key figure Robert Swindell acting for a number of the largest housebuilders in Scotland, including Persimmon Homes, Taylor Wimpey and Stewart Milne Group. The team, which is led by Jonathan Seddon, also has an extensive track record in high-end commercial and mixed-use developments, as well as investment transactions, large-scale portfolio deals and corporate occupier work. A team including Seddon, Michael Ramsay, Caroline Docherty and Steven Thomson acted for Green Town (Heartlands) on its £23m acquisition of the mixed-use Heartlands development. The practice also has a strong capability in the student accommodation sector, led by Brian Hutcheson; in a recent highlight, the team acted for Empiric Student Property on its £26m purchase of Ayton House in St Andrews. Elspeth Carson, recently promoted partner Suzanne Hardie, Chris Harte and David Stewart are also recommended.

BTO Solicitors LLP handles a wide range of issues for developers, housebuilders, charities and retailers, among other clients. In 2016 Graeme Kelly led a team, which acted for Rockford Portfolio Limited in its portfolio acquisition of nine office buildings in six separate locations in Lanarkshire. Another highlight involved David Gibson and associate Manjit Hunjan advising Isle of Arran Distillers on the development of a new whisky distiller, which included assisting the client with a site acquisition. The firm also acts for other clients, such as Mactaggart & Mickel Group, The Architectural Heritage Fund and Stena Line group. Gibson jointly heads the practice with chairman Alan Borthwick, who is experienced in strategic land development projects, and is active in renewables sector matters. Jane Steel undertakes a significant amount of work for retail sector clients such as Adidas, Maplin and Superdry. Other key partners include Scott Buchan, Nicolas McBride and Peter Graham. Associates Marieclaire Reid and Donnie Robertson are also recommended.

In an illustration of Davidson Chalmers LLP’s track record handling large-scale developments, Bruce Lancaster and Andrew Chalmers advised Highbridge Properties on a development agreement concerning the development of a new business district in south east Glasgow. In a separate matter, Chalmers and Lisa Graham assisted Chris Stewart Group with negotiating a leasing agreement with Carluccio’s for a new restaurant at The Registers development in Edinburgh city centre. In the housebuilding sector, Andy Drane is leading a team advising Story Homes on all aspects of its flagship 285-unit housing development at Pentland Reach, Biggar. Other areas of expertise for the team include investment and development deals in the student accommodation sector, and healthcare-related real estate work involving medical partnerships, dental practitioners and veterinary practices. Gavin Maclean is also recommended, as are associates Lizzy Enayati and Louise Jones. Jenny Davies left the firm in 2017.

A great firm to know’, Lindsays enhanced its real estate credentials with the recent recruitments of finance experts Gavin Buchan and Stuart Rowson from Maclay Murray & Spens LLP and Shepherd and Wedderburn, respectively; director Stacy Campbell, who joined from Wright, Johnston & Mackenzie LLP; Dawn Anderson, who joined from Anderson Strathern; and professional support director Alison Mackay, who joined from The Law Society of Scotland. The group acts for a range of developers and investors in matters involving sectors such as leisure and hospitality, healthcare, and retail. In 2016, team head Derek Nash led the advice to Glenisla Developments on the acquisition of Glenisla Golf Course for the purpose of redeveloping it into a care centre. In another highlight, Kenneth Gray and Fiona Linklater acted for Edinburgh University as the tenant on the letting of five floors at Argyle House in Edinburgh. Other key figures include Susan Law, Alan McLaren and Alastair Goodman.

The practice at Shoosmiths is led by Stephen Dougherty and has experienced a notable uptick in investment transactions. In 2016, Janette Speed and Shona White advised HPJ Investments on its strategic acquisitions of two industrial estate properties in Scotland. The firm is also active in property development matters, where it acts for national housebuilders, student accommodation providers, investors and landowners, as well as having a strong presence in the retail and leisure sector, where it assists high street and out of town retailers such as Poundland, Clintons and Cineworld, with strategic site acquisitions and portfolio management. The team also acts for social housing providers and is called on to handle property finance transactions by the major UK clearing banks. Also recommended are Robin Mitchell, and senior associates Sheelagh Cooley and Laura Bloxham.

Aberdein Considine’s practice has been significantly strengthened by the arrival of the ‘proactivePaul Jennings from Anderson Strathern in 2015. The practice handles a healthy mix of matters, including high-end investments and disposals, property financing, and commercial developments and lettings. Jennings, who has significant retail and leisure sector experience, recently acted for Greggs in the management of its Scottish portfolio across multiple sites. Investment highlights included advising Westerwood Development Company on prime office investments into properties located in Edinburgh’s New Town. Other new client wins for the group include Skipton Building Society, Colston Trustees and Rentokil. Associate David Orr is also recommended.

Bellwether Green’s ‘attentive and very hands-on’ team is regularly called on to advise on high-value investments and sales, commercial lettings (including those in the retail/office/industrial sectors), and property refinancings. John Bingham and Steven Templeton acted for global real estate asset manager St Bride’s Managers on its £7.55m acquisition of a multi-let property located in central Edinburgh from Imperial Tobacco. In another highlight, the team advised Clyde Property on its lease of a prime retail unit in Morningside, Edinburgh. New client wins include Matador Capital Partners, Manor Investments and Panoramic Growth Equity.

Led by Hazel Tait, Eversheds Sutherland’s team works as part of the firm’s wider UK group, and acts for clients nationally as well as globally. The practice has a notable real estate finance capability, which is complemented by extensive experience in property acquisitions and disposals, development, and landlord and tenant matters. Principal associate Steven Dick, who is dual-qualified in Scottish and English law, and associate Dixcee Fast are other names to note in the group, which is particularly active in work connected with the leisure, retail and renewable energy sectors.

Gillespie Macandrew LLP’s practice, led by David Milne, is praised for its ‘outstanding attention to detail and problem-solving advice in complex transactions’. Its wide-ranging expertise covers property finance, acquisitions and sales of commercial and investment property, commercial development (including retail, office and industrial developments), and landlord and tenant. The practice has experienced a marked uptick in mandates from banks and alternative lenders, as well as corporates in the retail sector. Clients include Clydesdale Bank, Turnberry Homes and Guillemot Green Energy. It also has a dedicated housebuilder sub-group, which is led by Harry Smith, who has ‘a wealth of experience’ of the residential development sector. Also recommended are Kenneth Irons, who attracts praise for his ‘genuine concern for the needs of his clients’, and Greg Peebles, who joined the team in 2016 from DWF.

Leslie Wolfson & Coinspires confidence that all matters are being dealt with efficiently’. Practice head Howard Beach attracts praise for his ‘ability to manage lawyers on the other side very well’. Its expertise encompasses property acquisitions and sales, finance transactions, and portfolio management, for a diverse client base across the UK and internationally, including banks, retailers and property companies. Highlights included acting for Town Centre Securities on the £2m sale of two properties in Edinburgh’s West End, and handling the £48.3m sale of a government-let building at Gyle Square in Edinburgh for a Manchester-based property company. Partners Alan Carlton and Andrew McCowan are highly regarded, as is associate Donna Strong, who joined in 2016 from Pinsent Masons LLP.

At Morisons LLP, Andrew Warren has more than 26 years of experience in the industrial, retail, office and leisure sectors, where he acts for investors, occupiers and funders. Other key figures include Gary Thomas, who leads the team; rural sector expert Sandy McCreath, who handles a range of issues for farmers, landowners and companies, including handling the property aspects of renewable energy projects; Jan Mackay, who has a particular focus on the telecommunications industry; David Jennings; and Robin Valentine.

TLT’s practice covers all aspects of commercial and residential developments, commercial leasing and cross-border portfolio transactions. It also has expertise in property finance, large-scale securitisations and portfolio refinancings. Kenneth Meldrum and Brian Armour undertake a particularly significant amount of work for clients in the leisure sector, while Richard Turnbull specialises in the property aspects of renewable energy projects. Meldrum, Armour and others are acting for Greene King on the sale of various public houses following the client’s takeover of Spirit Taverns. The firm also handles work arising from the financial services, housing and retail sectors. Central Assets (Scotland), Living Ventures and Brewdog are also clients.

Weightmans LLP advises UK-based and international clients on a variety of commercial property transactions, commercial and residential developments, and portfolio management issues. Cassandra Auld, who joined from Pinsent Masons LLP in 2016, has substantial transactional property experience, with a particular specialism in the retail, leisure and hotel sectors. Douglas Gourlay, who is dual-qualified in Scottish and English law, leads the real estate finance team in Scotland. Practice head Bryan Finlayson acts for a wide variety of clients, ranging from SMEs to FTSE 100 corporates, and is advising Edinburgh Airport on a hotel development at the airport. Other clients include Punch Taverns, Ness Clothing, Rexel UK Limited and Dickie & Moore.

Vicki Provan and Colin Brass jointly head the team at the Wright, Johnston & Mackenzie LLP, which acts for clients across a wide range of industries, including telecommunications, renewable energy and agriculture/rural. Leisure and hospitality is a particular sector strength; Cosmo Restaurants, Cairn Hotel Group and David Lloyd Clubs are all clients. Brass, Neil Darling and associate Joanne Ockrim are all dual-qualified and regularly handle Scottish and English commercial property matters. Inverness-based George MacWilliam joined the team, following the firm’s recent merger with MacArthur & Co. 2016 highlights included acting for The Rasul Property Co. on its £1.5m acquisition of a portfolio of 32 flats in Glasgow.

Commercial property: Elsewhere in Scotland

Index of tables

  1. Commercial property: Elsewhere in Scotland
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

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


Brodies LLP has a first-class reputation for handling high-end matters, as demonstrated by practice head Colin MacLaren (‘consistent, dedicated and displays calm professionalism at all times’) and senior solicitor Jenna McCosh’s advice to Drum Property Group on various matters associated with the development of the flagship Prime Four Business Park in Kingswells, including the development and letting of a headquarters for Lloyds Register EMEA. Chris Dun, who recently joined from Maclay Murray & Spens LLP, has strengthened the property finance side of the firm’s practice. He joins a team that includes Clive Phillips, who has a particular focus on the rural sector, where he acts for landed estates and farming clients throughout Scotland, as well as overseas-based clients; and Tracey Menzies. The Aberdeen-based team acts for a range of clients including Oaktree, Brookfield Student Real Estate and Knight Property Group. The group is also involved in various consultations with the Scottish Property Federation, and also participates in consultations following requests from the Scottish government and other public sector bodies.

Burness Paull LLP has a market-leading practice covering all aspects of commercial property development, commercial leasing, housebuilding, and oil and gas sector related real estate transactions. Richard Goodfellow and senior associate Sarah Stewart are among the advisers to a consortium of landowners on the development of a residential property settlement consisting of 4500 houses at Chapelton of Elsick. Goodfellow, who specialises in commercial and residential property development, has a wealth of experience in acting for developers, housebuilders, investors and funders. In another matter, Peter Smith is leading the advice to The Grandhome Trust on a mixed-use development, which includes 4000 homes. John Strachan and senior associate Nicola Henderson are assisting John Clark Motor Group with site acquisition arrangements for the purposes of establishing new car dealership facilities in Dundee. Other clients include Stewart Milne Group, Total E&P, Mars Pension Fund and Dandara Group.

Pinsent Masons LLP has a first-rate reputation in large-scale, high-profile and strategically complex commercial development and regeneration projects. It acts for a wide-ranging client base including developers, investors, funders and occupiers, and has a = standout residential development practice, where it acts for an impressive stable of housebuilder clients, including Persimmon Homes and Taylor Wimpey. Rodney Whyte and associate Michael Shepherd acted for CALA Management Limited in its acquisition of Jordanhill College Campus in Glasgow for the purposes of a proposed residential development of circa 370 units. In another highlight, the team acted for the same client on a 600-unit development in Penicuik. Other clients include landowners, for whom the firm acts on the sale of sites to residential developers. Work for oil and gas sector operators and service companies is another key area of activity, as is advice on various types of renewable energy schemes and infrastructure projects. Legal director Mark McCall and associate Leanne Hill are advising Aberdeen Harbour Board on the property aspects of the development of the extension to Aberdeen Harbour.

Blackadders LLP’s team handles the full spectrum of commercial property matters, from commercial property acquisitions and disposals (including advice on management of investments) and property finance, to landlord and tenant and portfolio management. Emma Gray leads the practice, which handling an increasing amount of work for landowners, as well as large and mid-sized housing developers. The firm also has a strong following in the retail, leisure and renewable energy sectors. Other key contacts in Dundee include director Stuart King and senior solicitor Fraser Morrison. Associate solicitors Fiona McNaughton and Jennifer Douglas are based in Perth and are also recommended.

Ledingham Chalmers LLP has a notable footprint in the North and North East of Scotland and covers a broad range of matters, including residential development, commercial leasing, and acquisitions and disposals of commercial property investments. The firm’s first-rate reputation sees it undertake a significant amount of work for major oil service companies and public sector organisations (such as Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Scottish Enterprise), as well as commercial developers and housebuilders. Practice head Stephen Morrice and Malcolm Ferguson acted for Carlton Rock as the landlord on the lease of premises to the Oil & Gas Technology Centre Limited, which was one of the largest office lettings in Aberdeen in 2016. Alan Michie, who heads the firm’s housebuilding unit, led the advice to Kirkwood Homes on acquisitions of residential development sites in Inverness. Alasdair MacLure, John Mitchell and John Smart are also recommended.

Stronachs LLP’s team acts for public and private sector clients throughout Scotland, as well as international organisations. It handles a range of acquisitions and disposals, investment portfolio matters, and residential and commercial developments, as well as property finance, commercial leasing, option agreements and joint ventures. The team also has a track record handling property aspects of renewable energy projects and insolvency-related property work. Duncan Campbell heads the group in Aberdeen, which includes Liz Stewart, consultant Grant MacKenzie, and senior associates Joy Mullin and Emma Stephen. Senior associates Ross Linn and Paul Adams are based in Inverness and are also recommended. Ferga McKay joined DWF.

At Aberdein Considine, Aberdeen-based practitioners Jacqueline Law and Ritchie Whyte advise on portfolio management, standalone investments and sales, leasing, residential development and financing. The team’s work spans multiple sectors, such as retail, industrial, offices, and hotels and leisure. Whyte acted for Morrison Investments on its acquisition of commercial properties in the North East and Highlands of Scotland. Anthony Quin is a name to note in Stirling.

At Bond Dickinson LLP, Scotland real estate head Michael Spence is experienced in development work, including structuring and negotiating option agreements for site acquisitions. Spence also advises on the property aspects of renewable energy projects, and has expertise in the purchase/letting of retail space. Associate Caroline Sodersten is an expert in secured lending matters and advises on landlord and tenant matters in the offices, retail and industrial sectors. In 2016, Spence and Sodersten assisted Ashfield Land with expanding its Scotland portfolio through its £5.5m acquisition of the Pyramids Business Park in Bathgate from Clearbell. In another highlight, Spence has been advising Oakapple Renewables on the development of a portfolio of solar power facilities, and its subsequent disposal. Dream Alternatives Wind, GVO Wind and Agricultural Mortgage Corporation are other clients.

Key figures at CMS include Paul Carter, who splits his time between the Glasgow and Aberdeen offices and advises institutional investors on investment and development matters; and senior associate Carol Nisbet, who handles a broad cross-section of mandates involving leasing, secured lending, investment acquisitions and disposals. Nisbet has particular strength in property transactions related to the oil and gas sectors; in 2016, Nisbet led the advice to the Oil & Gas Technology Centre as the tenant on a high-profile letting in Aberdeen, and also acted for Subsea 7 in the disposal of its office premises and leisure facility at the West Campus site in Westhill. Nisbet also handles a significant amount of work for clients in the renewable energy sector. Other highlights included acting for Lloyds Register on the development and leasing aspects of its new premises at Prime Four Business Park.

MacRoberts LLP has an excellent reputation in commercial development, which spans the office, retail and leisure sectors. Other key areas of activity include residential development, commercial leasing, acquisitions and disposals of investment properties and property finance. David Milne leads the Dundee team, which includes senior associate Kyle Moir and Lisa MacRae. In 2016, Milne led the advice to charity ANGUSalive on the transfer of all assets owned by Angus Council (including country parks, schools and libraries) to the client.

Maclay Murray & Spens LLP’s track record includes handling property-related financings and refinancings, investment acquisitions and disposals, leasing and development work. Director David Rose acted for Paul Lawrie Golf Centre on its acquisition of the Inchmarlo Golf Centre, and led a cross-practice team in the advice to Royal Bank of Canada on the Scottish financing and real estate aspects of North Sea Midstream Partners’ acquisition of the Frigg UK Pipeline, the Shetland Island Regional Gas Export System and the St Fergus Gas Terminal. Muirden Energy, Persimmon, Ardmuir Limited and Redwood Leisure are also clients. Other key figures include team head Alan Stewart, who divides time between the Edinburgh and Aberdeen offices.

Noted for its partner-led approach, Thorntons Law LLP’s team acts for clients located throughout Scotland on property finance, commercial and residential development projects, commercial leasing, and investment acquisitions and disposals. Clients include developers, local authorities, banks, SMEs and international investors. In addition to handling Scottish law issues, the practice also leverages the expertise of practitioners such as Hugo Allan and associate Janice Napier, who are dual-qualified in Scottish and English law. In a notable highlight, practice head Janet MacIntyre worked with associates Andrina McDowall and Judith Vandecasteele to advise Ore Valley Housing Association and its subsidiaries on the financing and property aspects of a wind turbine project. Other recommended individuals include Ewan Miller, Graham Wilson, Craig Nicol and Bruce Renfrew.


Index of tables

  1. Construction
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

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


Brodies LLP has ‘a superb team’ that is ‘great to work with’, is praised for its ‘commercial acumen’, and is ‘prepared to put words into action, beyond mere token gestures, to go the extra mile’. Alistair McLean spearheads the non-contentious side of the practice, which regularly acts in large-scale projects in Scotland and the UK involving areas such as student accommodation, oil and gas, renewable energy, infrastructure, mixed-use developments and offices. McLean and director Mark Finlay recently advised Dutch pension fund APG on construction issues associated with the St James Centre redevelopment in Edinburgh. In another highlight, McLean and managing associate Juliet Haldane advised Morgan Stanley on the construction aspects of its new headquarters in Glasgow. Louise Shiels, who is dual-qualified in Scottish and English law, has more than 12 years of construction-sector experience. Other key clients include Carillion, Interserve Construction, Drum Property Group and Amey OW. Manus Quigg, (‘an excellent strategist’) heads the contentious side of the practice, which was strengthened by the recent arrival of David Arnott from MacRoberts LLP. Also recommended are Jane McMonagle, who joined from Harper Macleod LLP, and associates Claire Rice, Keith Kilburn and Christopher Duff.

Pinsent Masons LLP attracts praise for its ‘impressive breadth of sector knowledge’ and for its ‘very commercial, and more importantly, demystified advice’. Kenny Valentine and Michael Allan jointly lead the team, which handles a range of complex contentious issues, and is also active in some of the most high-profile complex projects in Scotland and across the UK. Clients include Balfour Beatty, Galliford Try and Morgan Sindall. Allan is working with a cross-practice team advising Aberdeen Harbour board on the Aberdeen Harbour Expansion project. In another matter, Valentine, Julia Maguire and senior associate Gillian Woodward are acting for Lend Lease on the £90m Hydro project. On the contentious side, Brandon Nolan and legal director Simona Williamson represented Bouygues E&S Contracting Limited at the Court of Session in litigation against Vital Energi Utilities. Other key figures include Louise Forster, who ‘takes the time to understand the client’s business’; the ‘very knowledgeableFraser McMillan, who is rated for his ‘strategic advice’; and Colin Fraser. Iain MacPhail, Craig Morrison and Scott Johnston are also recommended.

Burness Paull LLP is deeply entrenched in the Scottish construction market, as illustrated by its client base, which includes Galliford Try, Amey and Weir Group. Led by Fenella Mason, the team has a strong track record handling the construction aspects of NPD and hub projects, and is singled out for its expertise in renewable energy projects, as well as matters involving the social housing, education, health and retail sectors. Stephen Phillips is regularly called on to develop structures to facilitate the delivery of infrastructure projects. In 2016, Chris Mackay led a team including Phillips and senior solicitors Andrew Little and David Harris, advising NHS Lothian on the delivery of a new community hospital in Haddington, East Lothian. In another highlight, Gavin Paton, director Colin Clelland and senior solicitor Kate Faith are acting for Grandhome Trust on a large-scale mixed-use development project at Bridge of Don, north of Aberdeen. On the contentious side, Mason is leading the firm’s representation of Kier Construction in litigation connected with the construction of the flagship DG One sport and leisure complex in Dumfries & Galloway. James Forbes, who specialises in the construction aspects of capital infrastructure and energy projects, and director Caroline Maciver are other names to note. Chris Arnold retired.

CMS has ‘demonstrable breadth and depth of expertise in contentious and non-contentious areas’, making it a strong choice for prestigious Scottish, UK and international projects. The group’s construction expertise spans the renewable energy, healthcare, education, utilities, infrastructure, and transport sectors. It also handles office and shopping centre developments, among others. The group is able to call upon the expertise of practitioners in various ancillary disciplines, such as projects and environment, and also leverage the wider network, to provide a full-service offering to clients including Laing O’Rourke, Galliford Try, Balfour Beatty, Standard Life Investments and Interserve. Ian McCann is leading the construction advice to Edinburgh St James on the redevelopment of the St James Quarter. In another highlight, Christine Worthington advised SSE on the construction aspects of its £355m disposal of a stake in the 350MW Clyde wind farm. The firm also has an outstanding reputation in high-profile construction disputes; key figures include Mark Kirke and Shona Frame, whose expertise includes remediation and bond claims, and PFI projects involving defects at operational phase. Recommended senior associates include Jane Fender-Allison and Madeleine Young, all of whom focus on contentious construction issues. Clients also single out non-contentious practitioners Christopher Dickson, Gwen Napier and Claudia Russell. Lindy Patterson QC has left the firm.

Maclay Murray & Spens LLP’s team is ‘knowledgeable, and quick to respond to all issues’. The group is particularly strong in employer-led development work, and has notable strengths in the real estate, energy and transport sectors. Practice head Mark Macaulay, who specialises in construction procurement, is ‘a real shoulder to lean on’. Macaulay is leading the advice to The Edrington Group on the construction of the Macallan distillery and visitor centre. In another highlight, Kirsti Olson is acting for Stork Technical Services at a Court of Session appeal concerning its dispute with SGL Carbon Fibers arising from the client’s construction of a carbon fibre production line. Also recommended are David Scott, who is ‘approachable and persuasive’, and associate Sarah Alexander.

According to clients, Shepherd and Wedderburnstands out from the crowd’ in the construction arena, thanks to its track record in high-value and strategically important Scottish and UK projects involving sectors such as housing, defence, offices and retail. It also handles public sector projects delivered through the Scottish Futures Trust’s hub programme. Euan McLeod, who has 20 years of construction experience, is acting alongside Lauren Thomson for BAE Systems on the £250m redevelopment of the Govan and Scotstoun shipyards. In another matter, MacLeod is leading a team acting for Wheatley Housing Group on the procurement and construction aspects of a large-scale residential regeneration project at Sighthill. The firm’s other clients include British Land, Lend Lease and the Ministry of Defence. Gareth Parry is experienced in energy and infrastructure projects, as well as matters involving the education and healthcare sectors. Solicitor advocate Iain Drummond has an outstanding reputation in construction, engineering and PFI disputes, as well as professional negligence cases. David Anderson, Colin Archibald and senior associate Kirsteen Milne are recommended.

Following its merger with HBJ Gateley, Addleshaw Goddard now has a construction team in Scotland led by dual-qualified partner Alison Horner, who is ‘an excellent communicator’ who focuses on non-contentious construction and advises clients on commercial developments and renewable energy matters. In 2016, Horner, assisted a care home developer and operator with the construction aspects of five new care home developments in Scotland. Construction disputes specialist Anne Struckmeier handles contentious PFI/NPD matters, as well as cases related to waste and energy. Senior associate Andrew Fairlie, who joined from Turcan Connell in 2016, handles a wide range of projects for developers, contractors and funders, among other clients.

Ledingham Chalmers LLP’s team consists of Jennifer Young and Sarah Stuart, who are based in Aberdeen, and senior associates Roddy Cormack and Karen Cameron in Inverness. The group undertakes non-contentious work for contractors, including conducting risk reviews and advising on construction and engineering contracts, as well as providing assistance in construction disputes. The team also advises other public and private sector clients on construction and procurement issues, and regularly acts for banks in the financing of developments. Stuart and Cormack assisted specialist mechanical and electrical engineering contractor Richard Irvin & Sons with negotiating sub-contract terms in relation to a PPP project for the construction of a new school. In another matter, Young and Cormack represented CFF Contractors as the pursuer in a dispute centred on recovering sums due under a contract. Other clients include Arjo Wiggins Fine Papers, Tendeka BV, Svenska Handelsbanken and Kirkwood Homes.

MacRoberts LLP has an extensive construction practice, which is complemented by experts in associated areas, such as procurement and finance. John McGovern leads a specialist corporate defence team, which focuses on handling prosecutions brought by regulatory authorities such as the Health and Safety Executive and HMRC. Neil Kelly leads the team, which acts for a multitude of stakeholders in the construction industry, including funders, UK and international businesses, Scottish SMEs, project developers and specialist sub-contractors. The group particularly excels in the non-contentious construction aspects of large-scale PPP projects, as well in the associated disputes. It also advises on other types of high-stakes construction disputes; in 2016, Kelly and Jennifer McKay represented AMEC Foster Wheeler in litigation brought by Scottish Power concerning alleged defects in the foundation bases of wind turbines at a wind farm in central Scotland. Gavin Thomson (who recently joined from Pinsent Masons LLP) and Sophia Harrison are acting for Carillion Utility Services in the Edinburgh Trams Inquiry. Other key figures include. David Wilson, who has 20 years of experience of contentious construction; and non-contentious construction specialist Mike Barlow, who regularly advises on building contracts, development agreements and collateral warranties. Craig Bradshaw and senior associates Sarah Pengelly and Maggie Kinnes are also recommended. In 2016, David Arnott joined Brodies LLP and Richard Barrie departed for Levy & McRae.

Morton Fraser handles a range of non-contentious and contentious issues at all stages of construction projects, from inception to conclusion. Although the firm is particularly well-known for acting for commercial property developers and financiers, it also advises public sector organisations, retailers, consultants and contractors. In 2016, practice head Jonathan Seddon led a team advising Curo Poperty Funds on the redevelopment of Charlotte House in Glasgow, which including selling the retail and office sections of the building to Target Real Estate for £3.3m. In another matter, Kenneth Carruthers and senior associate Lisa Dromgoole are representing a consortium of property owners in an appeal against Inverclyde Council’s plans to demolish 95 properties located in Port Glasgow, on the basis of alleged structural defects on the properties’ concrete roofs. Another highlight involved acting for Transport Scotland, as one of the tenants at Buchanan House in Glasgow, in a long-running and high-profile dispute with the contractor responsible for a refurbishment project over defective cladding at the premises. Senior associates Mimi Stewart and Claire Logue are other notable practitioners.

Anderson Strathern’s practice went from strength to strength in 2016: Alistair Dean joined the firm as a partner following the acquisition of his niche commercial and construction litigation firm ADLP. Further, the practice secured a significant number of new client wins, including Stewart Milne Group, New Age Developers, Andrew Cowie Construction and Dynamic Earth Enterprises. Practice head Karyn Watt, Pat Loftus and Martin Whiteford are acting for the University of Highlands and Islands in the multi-site construction of new student accommodation. Martin Whiteford is acting for Apex Hotels on the construction of a new hotel development in Bath. On the contentious side, the firm is representing Fife Council as the pursuer in litigation against a contractor arising from structural defects identified at a swimming pool in the Carnegie Leisure Centre in Dunfermline following its refurbishment. Audrey Cameron is also recommended.

BTO Solicitors LLP’s team demonstrates strong capabilities in non-contentious construction matters, where it assists clients with contractual and procurement issues, advises on insurance policy interpretation and indemnity issues, and provides strategic advice at all stages of construction projects. The firm also has impressive contentious credentials, including handling disputes over outstanding payments and extensions of time, challenges to certification, construction defects and insurance-related matters. Sandra Cassels, who has been involved in more than 50 adjudications, is also experienced in litigation, mediation and other forms of dispute resolution. Cassels co-heads the practice with Jilly Petrie, who handles construction claims for insurers and insured parties, and various other contentious construction matters. Consultant Ann O’Connell and Claire Mills assisted a subsidiary of the Institute of Structural Engineers with updating its guidance note on legal responsibilities and liabilities arising from the SER Scheme for Certification of Structural Design. Associates Julie Scott-Gilroy and Caroline Earnshaw are also recommended.

DLA Piper Scotland LLP primarily acts for blue-chip UK and international clients on all non-contentious aspects of large-scale construction projects, but also handles a range of disputes. Legal director Jonathan Gaskell has a wealth of experience of projects involving rail infrastructure, shopping centres, retail units, student accommodation and offices. Gaskell advised Merseytravel on construction law issues associated with new depot facilities on the Merseyrail network, and assisted Victoria Hall Management with the procurement of a 283-bed student accommodation scheme in Southampton. Other clients of the practice include Hansteen, Tiger Developments and Babcock International.

Davidson Chalmers LLP’s team has extensive expertise in a wide range of construction-related matters, including assisting clients with procurement, and drafting and negotiating building and engineering contracts, collateral warranties, and development agreements. In addition to advising on risk mitigation prior to the commencement of a project, the team also has extensive experience resolving construction disputes. Simone Young, Andrew Chalmers and Jenny Anfield are acting for developer West Register Street (Property) on a mixed-use development at West Register Street in Edinburgh, involving the demolition of an existing six storey office building, and the construction of a new seven-storey building. Young and Chalmers are also acting for St Andrew Square Property LLP in the refurbishment of former bank premises at St Andrew Square in Edinburgh. In another matter, Bruce Lancaster is leading the advice to Scarborough Hermiston Limited on the design and construction of a mixed-use development at Donibristle.

Gillespie Macandrew LLP has a strong housebuilding practice, and is on the panels of Taylor Wimpey, CALA Management and Avant Homes (Scotland). In addition to advising housebuilders, the firm acts for large estates active in constructing housing developments and renewable energy projects. The firm is currently advising Moray Estates Development Company (a landowner) and Tornagrain (a developer) on a residential development. The firm is also increasingly involved in hydro scheme developments, and is highly active in construction disputes. Harry Smith and associate Isobell Reid are also recommended. Murray Shaw has retired from private practice, but retains a position as a consultant to the firm.

Harper Macleod LLP’s team is highly regarded for its work for public sector bodies, developers, national and international contractors and banks. Its wide-ranging practice covers reviews of all types of construction and engineering contracts, bidding and procurement advice, assistance with project finance, joint ventures and dispute resolution. Practice head Michael Conroy, who has more than 20 years of experience of contentious and non-contentious matters, is advising Raag Glasgow Limited on the redevelopment of Fisher House as a Tune Hotel. In another highlight, Euan Pirie is acting for hub North Scotland Limited on the construction aspects of the Foresterhill and Inverurie health centre projects. Other clients of the practice include Everwarm Limited, Shetland Islands Council and London & Scottish Property Asset Management. In Inverness, Ross Thomson assists clients with construction disputes, and advises banks and developers on site acquisitions and development funding. Jane McMonagle joined Brodies LLP.


Index of tables

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

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Environment 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 environmental law support on oil and gas, renewable energy, infrastructure and real estate transactions. The group also handles environmental prosecutions and civil litigation, and advises on regulatory issues, environmental aspects of planning matters, and waste, contaminated land, water and air pollution issues. Practice head Phil Hunter has more than 17 years of experience in the environment law arena. Paul Marshall is leading a team, which includes Duncan MacLean and Greg May, advising Transocean on possible civil and criminal liabilities for any pollution caused by the running aground of a semi-submersible rig on the Western Isles due to a storm. In another matter, Jackie McGuire defended Renfrewshire Council against a challenge brought by a developer to proposed plans to expand Braehead Shopping Centre, which involved a review of compliance with various EU environmental directives and environmental impact regulations. Other key figures include Neil Collar, Sarah-Jane McArthur and associate Niall McLean. Kenneth Ross retired from private practice in March 2017.

Jennifer Ballantyne heads Pinsent Masons LLP’s ‘consistent and reliable’ team in Scotland, which is ‘a pleasure to deal with’. The practice operates on a UK-wide basis, covering non-contentious regulatory issues, the environmental aspects of planning matters, and provides transactional and project support (including advising on waste in oil and gas decommissioning projects). Dispute resolution and regulatory enforcement are other cornerstones of the practice. The firm acts as the sole environmental legal adviser to E.ON; in a recent highlight, a team including Gordon McCreath, Gary McGovern and legal director Ross McDowall have been advising the client on marine licensing issues at Humber Gateway offshore wind farm and environmental licensing issues at Rampion offshore wind farm, among other matters. Elsewhere, McDowall (who is praised for ‘delivering advice in a straightforward and business-friendly manner’) led the advice to Lakeland Dairies Co-operative Society on the regulatory and risk liability issues connected with its acquisition of Armaghdown Creameries’ dairy business. BP, Diageo Scotland and Tough Construction are also clients.

Shepherd and Wedderburn handles a wide range of matters, including the environmental aspects of planning and consenting, compliance and regulatory work, as well as investigations into and prosecutions of alleged breaches of environmental law. A significant proportion of the work is connected to the renewable energy sector; Patricia Hawthorn, John MacKenzie and others are representing Neart na Gaoithe Offshore Wind in judicial review proceedings brought by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), challenging the decision by the Scottish Ministers to grant consent for the development of four offshore wind farms located in the Forth and Tay. In another matter, Colin Innes is leading the advice to ScottishPower Renewables UK on the development of numerous onshore wind projects, which includes handling associated wildlife, habitats legislation and roads matters. Real estate partner Jamie Grant, who joined from MacRoberts LLP, is particularly well known for his expertise in soil contamination amtters. Scott McCallum, who handles contentious and non-contentious matters UK-wide, acted for DONG Energy in a six-month investigation into the recently-consented 1.8GW Hornsea Two offshore wind farm, which included a review of its potential impacts on environmentally protected sites and species. Richard Leslie is another key contact.

Anderson Strathern’s team has expertise in a wide variety of environmental issues, such as statutory and common law nuisance, pollution, contaminated land, flooding, water and drainage. It advises on environmental matters at every stage of a project, including those associated with consenting. In addition, the group handles judicial reviews, environmental appeals, regulatory investigations and environmental prosecutions. Alastair McKie is leading a team, which includes Martin Whiteford, Simon Brown and Jonathan Guy, advising INEOS on the environmental issues associated with the consenting of its new £20m headquarters at Grangemouth. In another highlight, McKie and Kirsty Slee are representing Ross Estates Company at a public local inquiry into a proposed Waste to Energy Combined Heat and Power Plant in Invergordon, which the client opposes. Other clients include Buchan Biogas, The Crown Estate, Scottish Water and Elgin Energy. Bruce Farquhar, Gavin Thain, Fiona Stephen and Anne Chapman are other notable practitioners.

Burness Paull LLP advises on a range of contentious and non-contentious environmental law issues, including matters arising from onshore and offshore renewable energy developments, and oil and gas infrastructure. In addition to providing advice on standalone environmental law matters, the practice is also active in assisting on issues related to corporate transactions; Craig Whelton assisted Brown-Forman Corporation with environmental due diligence in connection with its £285m acquisition of the BenRiach distillery company. In another matter, Whelton acted for North Lanarkshire Council in establishing legal agreements with certain landowners in the North Lanarkshire area over the remediation of contaminated land. Cemex, WH Malcolm & Sons and BP Central Area Transmission System are other clients.

Davidson Chalmers LLP handles a range of environmental disputes, and also provides assistance with enforcement actions, contractual issues and regulatory matters (including those involving the Scottish Environment Protection Agency). Laura Tainsh leads the team, which acts for waste management services providers, logistics companies and landfill operators. Recent highlights include assisting Billy Bowie Special Projects with an environmental audit of its resource management activities, and acting for Trent Valley Recycling on the sale of a landfill site. Andy Drane is also recommended.

Harper Macleod LLP has a strong track record acting on regulatory issues for regulatory bodies, local authorities and other public sector entities, and also assists with environmental litigation and public inquiries. Rod McKenzie, Peter Ferguson and Jennifer Jack are representing Scottish Natural Heritage and Cairngorms National Park Authority in a public inquiry into the Dorenell 60-turbine wind farm development. In another highlight, David Kerr, Sandy Hastie and associate Laura McCorquodale defended Scottish Natural Heritage against two judicial review petitions, matters which involved novel environmental law issues concerning the imposition of restrictions on general licences for the killing of wild birds. Elsewhere, the firm acts for developers of renewable energy projects in contentious and non-contentious matters. Peter Ferguson focuses exclusively on planning and environmental law. Other clients of the practice include the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, Forestry Commission Scotland and Perth & Kinross Council.

Ledingham Chalmers LLP advises public and private sector clients located across Scotland on a full range of environmental issues, including contaminated land issues, matters related to salmon and freshwater fisheries, water and drainage, and nature conservation. Jim Drysdale, who has more than 30 years of experience in the environmental law arena, heads the practice, which includes David Scott, who is singled out for his combined expertise in planning and environmental matters. Solicitor advocate John Chalmers, who has 26 years of experience of Sheriff Court and Court of Session litigation, undertakes a significant amount of work for local authorities, including judicial reviews of planning decisions (which involve environmental issues). Other names to note are Sarah Stuart, John Smart and Peter Murray.

Maclay Murray & Spens LLP’s varied practice covers regulatory investigations and environmental prosecutions, civil litigation, environmental due diligence and risk allocation related to corporate and real estate transactions, and oil and gas sector related regulatory advice. Associate Pamela Coulthard, who heads the practice, has wide-ranging expertise including handling regulatory issues connected with oil and gas decommissioning and onshore fracturing, contaminated land and the interplay between insolvency legislation and environmental law. The firm recently acted for Esso Petroleum as the pursuer in high-profile litigation against the Scottish Ministers and M74 joint venture arising from the wrongful contamination of one of the client’s properties. Peel Gas & Oil, The Scottish Salmon Company, AF Decom and Swegon are also clients. Associate James McMillan, who joined from MacRoberts LLP, specialises in environmental litigation.

At MacRoberts LLP practice head Martin Sales combines planning and environmental law expertise to advise clients on the potential environmental risks of major projects, and ways to mitigate those risks. John McGovern, who spearheads the specialist corporate defence practice, has a wealth of experience defending clients in prosecutions arising from investigations brought by regulatory bodies such as the Health and Safety Executive and Scottish Environment Protection Agency. Senior associate Louise Gibson has extensive expertise in issues relating to contaminated land, operational consents, due diligence and risk apportionment. In 2016, Sales acted for Partnership for Renewables in section 36 application to develop a wind farm in Cloich Forest, Peeblesshire. Shanks Waste Management, John Dewar & Sons and Simpsons Oils are other clients. Jamie Grant and Neil Amner joined Shepherd and Wedderburn and Anderson Strathern, respectively.

CMS is noted for the breadth and depth of its expertise, which covers the environmental law spectrum. Its Edinburgh team handles standalone mandates, and also works with members of the London office on transactional, advisory and contentious matters. Particular areas of strength include acting for international clients in the waste management, chemicals and energy sectors. Robin Hutchison, senior associate Joanna Waddell and others have been assisting Hargreaves Services with environmental issues associated with a large-scale energy-from-waste development at Earls Gate Park, and the Westfield mixed-use development. Senior associate Mark McMurray is working with Hutchison to advise Inch Cape Offshore Limited on an appeal concerning the RSPB’s opposition to the proposed Inch Cape offshore wind farm.

Barry Love is the key contact at boutique firm Environmental Law Chambers Ltd; he advises clients across Scotland and the UK on a wide ambit of issues, including birds and habitat protection, marine regulation and water pollution. In addition to providing compliance advice, Love assists clients with contract reviews, regulatory investigations and environmental prosecutions. A particular area of activity is in the waste sector, where notable clients include Veolia Organics, Lowmac Alloys and Green Circle Recycling. Love also acts for property owners in matters involving contaminated land and nuisance. Other clients include food and drink manufacturers, public authorities and supermarkets.

Morton Fraser’s Nick Atkins has notable expertise in the environmental issues associated with nuclear energy, where he acts for clients such as the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and UK Atomic Energy Authority. The firm also acts for the Ministry of Defence on potential energy developments that may impact on the client’s activities, such as radar interference caused by wind farms. Elsewhere, the team advises contamination issues, including those arising from oil spillages and asbestos. Planning head Douglas Milne primarily provides strategic advice on projects, but also undertakes public inquiry work for the Scottish government, including matters involving challenges on environmental grounds. Senior associate Lisa Dromgoole is also recommended. Associate Gail Watt has extensive knowledge of renewable energy developments on rural land in Scotland, and related environmental issues.


Index of tables

  1. Planning
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Hall of Fame

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Planning 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


One of the leading planning law firms in Scotland’, Brodies LLP attracts praise for its ‘very thorough knowledge of planning law’, ‘clear advice’ and its ability to ‘keep clients and other consultants informed of legislation changes’. The ‘hugely experiencedNeil Collar leads the team, which provides strategic planning advice on projects and also features heavily in large planning inquiries and appeals. The group acts for a wide-ranging client base, including housing, transport, minerals and renewable energy. Onshore oil and gas and aquaculture are growth areas of the practice. A particular strong suit is drafting section 75 planning obligations, including new statutory provisions on continuing liability and modification and discharge. In a recent highlight, Collar represented Park of Keir Partnership (a partnership between Judy Murray, Colin Montgomerie and the King Group) at a public inquiry into the proposed ‘Murray legacy’ project in Dunblane. The pair also assisted APG Asset Management with the planning aspects of the mixed-use St James Quarter regeneration project in Edinburgh. Brookfield, Meygen and Infinis are other clients. Also recommended is ‘experienced inquiry advocateKaren Hamilton, whose ‘public sector background provides her with a helpful insight into the local authority perspective’. Associates Alison Polson and Lee Murphy together have more than 40 years of planning law experience. Kevin Graham is another name to note.

According to clients, Burness Paull LLP has ‘one of the best planning practices in Scotland’. It is particularly highly regarded in the housebuilding sector, where it handles the planning aspects of large-scale residential development projects for clients such as Stewart Milne Group, Springfield Properties and Dandara. Although the planning practice has historically been weighted towards work for private sector entities, mandates from public sector bodies are on the increase; Craig Whelton is acting for North Lanarkshire Council at a planning appeal concerning a proposed development to build 600 new homes. Student accommodation schemes are another area of activity. Elsewhere, another pillar of the planning practice is the work undertaken for clients in the energy sector, both in oil and gas and renewable energy. Whelton and senior associate Emma Dewar are assisting Ecotricity with the planning aspects of a proposed 58MW wind park at Dulater Hill in Perthshire, including a forthcoming public local inquiry. In another highlight, Whelton is acting for Clyde Gateway on the compulsory purchase of more than 800 land interests for a redevelopment scheme in Dalmarnock, Glasgow. The firm also acts for parties whose land is being acquired. Practice head Elaine Farquharson-Black is ‘a great team player and leader’, with ‘exceptional depth of knowledge’ and ‘a strong pedigree’.

Pinsent Masons LLP’s group covers a full range of contentious and non-contentious planning matters arising from high-profile Scottish projects, as well as matters across the UK. In the energy and infrastructure space, Gordon McCreath is leading a team advising Beatrice Offshore Wind Farm Limited on the consenting aspects of its 750MW offshore wind farm in Scottish territorial waters. In another matter, McCreath and senior associate Fiona MacGregor represented Millennium & Copthorne Hotels in a public local inquiry to its objection to the redevelopment of Queen Street Station in Glasgow. Kendra Lennox (who joined from Brodies LLP in 2016), Jennifer Ballantyne, Gary McGovern and Rodney Whyte are assisting Aberdeen Harbour Board with all planning and marine licence applications in connection with the Aberdeen Harbour expansion project. In addition to its track record handling planning appeals and planning agreements in the residential and commercial development sectors, Jacqueline Harris and MacGregor represented Barratt Homes in an appeal against the refusal by East Lothian Council to grant planning permission for a 120-unit residential development at Ormiston, East Lothian. The group also plays a key role in UK new town projects, including those in Manydown and Ebbsfleet Garden Village. Mineral-sector clients include Aggregate Industries, Kier Infrastructure and Patersons Quarries. Craig Connal QC, who is experienced in planning inquiries and court litigation, is aslso recommended.

Shepherd and Wedderburn’s ‘collegiate, responsive, thoughtful’ team is ‘a pleasure to deal with’. Jointly led by Colin Innes and Ewan MacLeod, the group handles contentious and non-contentious matters for clients in high-profile projects in Scotland and across the UK, with particularly strong specialisms in the residential development, retail and energy sectors, making it a go-to firm for clients such as Taylor Wimpey, City of Edinburgh Council and Sainsbury’s Supermarkets. MacLeod is currently acting for Murray Estates in its planning application for consent to build 1300 houses in West Edinburgh, representing the largest-ever proposed housing development in the Edinburgh green belt. In another matter, MacLeod is representing Hallam Land Management in its appeal against the refusal by East Dunbartonshire Council to grant permission for 140 homes to be built in Torrance. Innes and Emma Paton recently acted for Engie in its section 36 application for the construction and operation of a wind farm at Crossburns in Perth and Kinross. Dual-qualified partner Scott McCallum, who splits his time between the Glasgow and London offices, acted for DONG Energy in a six-month examination of the environmental issues associated with the 1.8GW Hornsea Two Offshore Wind Farm. Senior associate Fraser Mitchell manages housing and retail developments, compulsory purchase, planning appeals and development policy.

Alastair McKie leads the team at Anderson Strathern; his recent work has spanned projects involving transport and infrastructure, public sector, regeneration and strategic housing developments, as well as energy, infrastructure and waste. McKie is leading on the planning aspects of a multimillion-pound development in Woking town centre for Bandstand Square Developments. In another highlight, McKie, senior associate Kirsty Slee and others are acting for Ross Estates Company (which is owned by Mohamed Al Fayed) at a public local inquiry, which relates to the client’s opposition to a proposed waste-to-energy CHP plant in Invergordon. Audrey Cameron was formerly head of legal at Strathclyde Partnership of Transport, where she handled consenting and compulsory purchase matters for infrastructure projects, and also has previous experience working in-house at local authorities. Fiona Stephen is another key contact.

The team at CMS combines extensive knowledge of all areas of the planning process with a breadth of expertise in projects spanning a number of sectors, including mining and minerals, waste, retail and housing. Practice head Ann Faulds has a wealth of experience in transport consenting projects in Scotland, and also acts for public and private sector clients in projects across a number of other sectors. Robin Hutchison, who has a particular specialism in energy and infrastructure projects, is advising Pilot Offshore Renewables on all consenting aspects of the Kincardine Offshore Wind Farm development. In another matter, Hutchison, who is ‘very good at articulating and negotiating his points’, is the lead adviser to Inch Cape Offshore Limited on consenting matters associated with the Inch Cape offshore wind farm. Senior associate Mark McMurray handled all planning and compulsory purchase matters in relation to the Edinburgh St James redevelopment for TH Real Estate. Senior associate Joanna Waddell is particularly knowledgeable about the environmental aspects of planning, and is working with Hutchison to advise Orkney Council on the Scottish government’s proposals to designate large areas of Orkney waters as Special Protection Areas under the Wild Birds Directive. Trudi Craggs departed the firm to become a Reporter at the Scottish government’s Planning and Environmental Appeals Division.

DLA Piper Scotland LLP’s team undertakes a significant amount of work in the housebuilding sector, where it advises developers and planning authorities on development plan examinations, appeals and challenges. The group also assists public sector bodies and developers with negotiating planning obligations. Sandy Telfer is assisting Aggregate with negotiating a section 75 agreement for a minerals development across two local authority areas. The group also advises on the planning aspects of wind farm developments, with emphasis on acting for the funders of such developments. In addition, Telfer has particular cross-border experience of onshore gas development, and was instrumental in the firm recently being appointed to INEOS’ planning and environmental law panel, which involves assisting with its push to explore for shale gas in the UK. Legal director Michael Greig, who has more than 20 years of planning experience, is working with Telfer to advise Hallam Land Management and Commercial Estates Group in an appeal against the refusal of planning permission for a housing development at Cambusbarron, Stirling. Consultant John Watchman is another name to note.

MacRoberts LLP excels in advising public and private sector clients on all aspects of large-scale and contentious planning applications and appeals. Led by consultant Martin Sales, the team undertakes work across a broad cross-section of industries, particularly areas such as renewable energy, minerals, retail and commercial property. Sales’ worked with senior associate Keith Campbell to advise MI Drilling Fluids on its planning application for a deep barite mine in the Loch Tummel National Scenic Area, which included assisting the client with an environmental impact assessment and advising on consenting strategy. Another highlight involved Sales acting as the lead solicitor and advocate for Partnerships for Renewables in its section 36 application (and related appeal) to develop a wind farm in Cloich Forest, Peeblesshire. Jamie Grant and Neil Amner departed for Shepherd and Wedderburn and Anderson Strathern, respectively.

Morton Fraser has a first-rate reputation in public inquiries, and is particularly highly regarded by public sector clients. The firm was recently reappointed to act for the Scottish and UK governments, and in a notable highlight, practice head Douglas Milne led a team which represented Transport Scotland it a public inquiry concerning the dualling of the A9. Milne also acted for the same client in inquiries into the Dalry bypass, Maybole bypass and Berriedale Braes improvements. Planning-related challenges and litigation are another pillar of the practice; Kenneth Carruthers has represented Tesco in a number of planning challenges, including against Aberdeen City Council. The firm also has notable strength in the housebuilding sector; Stewart Milne Group is a longstanding client of the practice. Rory Alexander and Caroline Docherty are experienced in assisting public and private sector clients with negotiating section 75 and other planning agreements for major developments in Scotland. Docherty advised Persimmon Homes on an agreement for a development consisting of 512 homes within the Glasgow and Clyde Valley City deal area, and is acting for Green Town (Heartlands) in the Heartlands development. Associate Ursula Currie is also recommended.

Addleshaw Goddard merged with HBJ Gateley in 2017, taking on a planning team led by Sarah Baillie, who joined from Anderson Strathern in 2016. She acts for Aldi in planning matters associated with its store acquisition and development programme in Scotland, and recently represented the client in a judicial review brought by Asda. Other key figures include Paul Minto, who specialises in planning and environmental issues in renewable energy projects and acts for onshore and offshore wind developers, banks, public sector bodies and investors. Former head Craig Adamson left the firm.

DWF’s team has experience of environmental impact assessments, negotiating section 75 obligations, consenting strategies, compulsory purchase orders, judicial reviews of planning decisions and litigation. The group has a particular specialism in energy and infrastructure projects; key clients include ScottishPower Renewables (UK), Travis Perkins and Greggs. In a recent highlight, Moray Thomson and Steven Stewart successfully represented Aldi Stores in a judicial review arising from objections to planning permission that had been granted to the client for the development of a new store in Drumchapel. Thomson also acted for SP Transmission on a compulsory purchase order in order to create an extension to the 400kV Crystal Rig substation near Dunbar. Magdalena Urbanowska is recommended.

Davidson Chalmers LLP assists with planning issues across a wide range of sectors, including renewable energy, retail, residential and mixed-use developments, as well as roads and other infrastructure projects. Practice head June Gilles, who is dual-qualified in English and Scottish law, has more than 30 years of public and private sector planning experience. Gilles assists a national client base with obtaining planning consents, judicial reviews and planning appeals, among other matters. A recent highlight involved acting for Stamford Student Investments LLP on all planning matters associated with the acquisition, development and subsequent sale of a student accommodation site at St James Road in Glasgow, as well as those connected with the sale of a similar property in Edinburgh. Other clients include Chris Stewart Group, Peel Energy, Norse Stone Limited, ABO Wind and Dunrobin Highland Distillery Limited. Caroline Court is also recommended.

Gillespie Macandrew LLP’s team handles advisory work and contentious matters for landowners, housebuilders, developers and public sector bodies. Its diverse workload covers all aspects of the planning process, including advice on development plans, planning obligations and compulsory purchase orders. The group also manages public inquiries, appeals and objections. Fiona Cameron leads the team, which combines planning expertise with real estate, construction and commercial litigation experience. John Stirling and recently promoted partner Colin Hamilton represented Seagreen Wind Energy in relation to the RSPB’s opposition to the construction of two Forth and Tay offshore wind farms. Isobell Reid joined from DWF in 2016.

Harper Macleod LLP is particularly well known for advising public sector bodies; it acts for eight of the 34 planning authorities in Scotland, including The Highland Council and Dumfries & Galloway Council. It also acts for the National Park Authorities for Scotland’s only two national parks: Cairngorms and Loch Lomond & the Trossachs. Rod McKenzie and Jennifer Jack are representing Scottish Natural Heritage in a public inquiry into a proposed large-scale wind park at Dulater Hill in Perth and Kinross. The firm also acts for a number of developer clients on renewable energy and mining projects. Other areas of sector expertise include retail, industrial and residential development. Peter Ferguson acted for Flying Scott (Edinburgh) Limited in an appeal against the refusal by City of Edinburgh Council to grant permanent planning permission for a car park serving Edinburgh Airport. Sandy Hastie is experienced in judicial reviews and statutory appeals.

Ledingham Chalmers LLP’s work covers development plans, planning agreements and compulsory purchase (and compensation), as well as public inquiries. David Scott is handling a compensation claim for two landowners who were affected by a compulsory purchase order in relation to the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route. Scott has a particular interest in wind farms and housing developments. Senior associate Rebecca Walker is experienced in planning inquiries and appeals. Other client include Kirkwood Homes, Bancon Developments, John Gordon & Son and Veitchi Homes. Graham Cooper joined Raeburn Christie Clark & Wallace.

Maclay Murray & Spens LLP’s team has experience of planning issues arising from projects involving transport and infrastructure, renewable energy and residential/commercial/mixed-use development. The team covers every aspect of the planning process for investors, developers and landowners. Department head Gillian Simpson, who mainly acts for developers of residential and mixed-use developments, has particular expertise in drafting and negotiating planning agreements, as well as all aspects of compulsory purchase. In 2016, Simpson advised Robertson Homes and Avant Homes (Scotland) in their interests in a residential development site in Dunbar, which involved negotiating a section 75 planning agreement that dealt with the provision of affordable housing, and the payment of contributions towards education and infrastructure. Triple Point, Muirden Energy, Network Rail and Catesby Properties are among other clients. Associate Fiona Gordon rejoined the firm from Pinsent Masons LLP in 2016.

Wright, Johnston & Mackenzie LLP advises developers and landowners on all planning and consenting issues of renewable energy developments, which include wind farms, hydro schemes and solar projects. In 2016, team head Fraser Gillies and recently promoted associate Nicola Martin acted for 2020 Renewables in a public inquiry into the proposed 50.4MW Whitelaw Brae Wind Farm, which was the first combined battery and wind energy project to be considered at a public inquiry in Scotland. Gillies is also handling planning and consenting advice for RES UK & Ireland Limited on its Scottish wind farm portfolio.

Property litigation

Index of tables

  1. Property litigation
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

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Brodies LLP has a strong track record securing favourable outcomes for domestic and international investors, corporate occupiers, housebuilders and property funds. Led by Stephen Goldie, the team handles significant and highly complex matters at all court levels, ranging from Sheriff Court proceedings to cases heard at the Supreme Court. The group’s extensive expertise covers a wide range of contentious property issues, including professional negligence, breaches of contract, dilapidations, rent reviews and development disputes. In 2016, Matthew Farrell defended Aviva, as the guarantor of Scottish Coal Company Limited, against a £4m claim for payment allegedly due under a bond. Farrell also defended Abellio Scotrail against a court application, which was brought by Select Service Partner in relation to the redevelopment of Queen Street railway station. Aberdeen-based Ken MacDonald, who has more than 20 years of experience in real estate litigation, successfully represented a landowner in a Land Register appeal at The Lands Tribunal for Scotland. Other clients include Pramerica, TIAA Henderson Real Estate, Sports Direct and Orion.

Burness Paull LLP’s specialist team ‘combines strong legal knowledge with creativity and boldness’. It has a wealth of expertise in dispute avoidance, as well as mediations, arbitrations and litigation for clients such as Argos, Aon, Ladbrokes and Royal Bank of Scotland. Gary Moffat and associate Jennifer Neill have undertaken a significant amount of work for Vodafone, including recently representing the client in a dispute with Glasgow College over mast equipment on college buildings scheduled for redevelopment. Practice head Alan McMillan is leading the defence of City of Edinburgh Council against a £8m dilapidations claim brought by Mapeley, which arose from its alleged breach of repair obligations as a tenant at Chesser House in Edinburgh. McMillan is also defending Dana Petroleum against a £1m dilapidations claim in relation to its tenancy at Grampian House in Aberdeen. The firm’s other recent matters include contested notices to quit and development-related matters.

Maclay Murray & Spens LLP excels in all types of complex and high-value real estate disputes, including dilapidations claims, cases involving issues over title and servitudes, and contested notices to quit. Ewan Easton heads the practice, which acts for clients from a wide range of sectors, including retail, energy, agriculture, public infrastructure and residential development. 2016 highlights included representing Landvest PCC in Landvest PCC Limited v The Archdiocese of St Andrews, Edinburgh, which dealt with the issue of whether an exclusivity period referred to in a heads of term document amounted to a unilateral promise (and therefore created a binding legal obligation). Gareth Hale, who is the current secretary of the Property Litigation Association in Scotland, handles various matters for commercial landlords, commercial tenants and landowners.

Morton Fraser advises public and private sector clients on contentious servitude issues, dilapidations claims, boundary disputes and breaches of missives and development agreements. Practice head Kenneth Carruthers worked with Lisa Dromgoole and others advising Transport Scotland, as one of the tenants at Buchanan House in Glasgow, on a high-profile dispute with the contractor responsible for a refurbishment project at the premises. Carruthers and Dromgoole are also defending The Scottish Prison Service, as the tenant, against a dilapidations claim. Douglas Milne, who has specialised in property litigation since 1995, is experienced in rent arrears cases and lease disputes (including keep open claims). Also recommended is Richard McMeeken, who defended Stewart Milne Group against a claim brought by a family of property developers that it was entitled to a monthly payment of £5000 as a penalty if the client defaulted on a contract. Joel Conn joined Mitchells Roberton.

Pinsent Masons LLP has a strong bench of litigators at all levels of seniority, which covers a full range of general property disputes (including breaches of contract and dilapidations), as well as cases involving particularly novel legal issues. Clients include Peel Group, Realis Estates, BP, Livingston Centre Limited and John Lewis. Craig Connal QC and senior associate Fiona MacGregor are defending Diageo Scotland in a test case for a group of households in which it is alleged that ethanol released from the client’s whisky maturation process caused the creation of a black fungus, which caused damage to properties throughout central Scotland. In another matter, Connal QC and senior associate Claire Thornber defended Xcite Energy Limited as the tenant in a £161m dilapidations dispute involving Esson Properties Limited. Jacqueline Harris and Macgregor acted for William Tracey Group as the pursuer in William Tracey v SP Transmission Plc, a high-profile test case in relation to a wayleave, and also an associated judicial review. Associate Steven Blane is also recommended.

Shepherd and Wedderburnstands out in Scotland’ for providing ‘an excellent service combined with a commercial focus’. Led by Colin Archibald, the group covers a full range of contentious property cases for commercial landlords and tenants, housebuilders, funders, developers and retailers. Archibald worked with associate Daniel Bain for Atkins in high-value landlord and tenant litigation with Friends Provident Life Assurance Limited and Friends Life Limited, which concerned the validity of break notices in relation to office premises occupied by the client in Glasgow. In another matter, Ewan MacLeod is representing Taylor Wimpey UK in a Court of Session action concerning the status of a grass verge located between a public footpath and a proposed development site owned by the client. Elaine Brailsford has more than 25 years of property litigation experience.

Anderson Strathern’s property litigation practice acts for clients in the commercial, agricultural and housing sectors. Fiona Stephen heads the practice, which includes Fraser Geddes, who has a wealth of experience in Sheriff and Court of Session proceedings, as well as other types of dispute resolution, such as mediation and arbitration. Alistair Dean and senior associates Kirsty Slee and Shirley Evans are other key individuals in the team, which acts for clients such as The Crown Estate, Intu Properties and Scottish Midland Co-operative Society. Slee, Stephen and are solicitor advocates. Joan Devine joined Addleshaw Goddard.

The ‘thoroughly professional team’ at CMS is headed by Alison Gow, who has more than 20 years of experience in this space and attracts praise for her ‘very good tactical instincts’; she is ‘a committed litigator with seemingly boundless energy’. Gow’s workload covers areas such as contentious landlord and tenant, wayleave and servitude disputes, and boundary encroachments cases. Gow and Danielle McLaughlin represented the trustees of The Tonsley 2 Trust in a dilapidations claim against former tenant Scottish Enterprise. Another name to note is Colin Hutton, who is dual-qualified in Scottish and English law, and specialises in energy disputes involving transmission and distribution networks. Marc Armstrong is ‘very bright, understands the law and has a pragmatic approach to problems’. Harriet Munro is recommended for real estate professional negligence claims.

DWF’s expertise covers all forms of dispute resolution, including expert determinations, mediations, arbitrations and litigation. Although the firm is particularly well-known for acting for retail occupiers, with particular strengths in landlord and tenant, and dilapidations cases, it also acts for investors, local authorities, energy companies and developers. Practice head Euan McSherry, who is a solicitor advocate and RICS-accredited mediator, and associate Kenneth Campbell acted for Marks & Spencer in an action concerning the rights of the landlords to build a new Primark store in and adjacent to the centre. In another matter, McSherry and associate Philip Knight assisted Marine Harvest with raising eviction proceedings against a hostile tenant at a quarry in Skye to facilitate the client’s acquisition of the site, for the purpose of establishing a new fish food processing factory. Halfords, Schroders and Greggs are also clients.

At Davidson Chalmers LLP, ‘professional and knowledgeable’ practice head Sheila Webster and associate Greg Flett form ‘an excellent team, which you would wish to have on your side in any contentious matter’. The group undertakes landlord and tenant disputes, keep trading obligations, contested service of notice cases, development-related matters, major dilapidations claims, and contentious title and property contract issues. The team is currently handling various property disputes for the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority, including a substantial dilapidations claim and rent review matter against its former landlord. In another highlight, Webster is leading the advice to Carpetright Plc on a Tenancy of Shops Act case. Phillips 66, Burger King and Muir Group are also clients.

Addleshaw Goddardoperates an excellent case management system, which means that the information is always available when interfacing with the firm’. The team in Scotland, which comprises practitioners from the legacy HBJ Gateley practice led by Simon Catto, and which covers a wide range of matters, including rent review disputes, professional negligence, breaches of contract, and dilapidations claims. Joan Devine, who joined the group from Anderson Strathern in 2016, and senior solicitor Ilona McGowan are representing Link Housing PSL in 27 combined actions for recovery of possession of properties and rent arrears under short Scottish secure tenancies. Also recommended are Lynsey Walker, who made partner, Edward Gratwick, who became a solicitor advocate in 2016 and was promoted to senior associate, Alan Sinclair and Anne Struckmeier. Stuart Clubb joined Shoosmiths.

BTO Solicitors LLP’s team inspires ‘complete confidence’ in clients. Mark Morton, Tony Jones, Robin Macpherson and Michael Collins all have solicitor advocacy expertise. Grant Hunter is leading a team defending Clyde Valley Group against court actions brought by multiple tenants in relation to personal injuries they claim were sustained due to the construction of housing stock on contaminated land. The practice also has a particularly strong following among insurer clients, including RSA and NFU Mutual. Bill Speirs, Jilly Petrie and Jones are representing an insurer in a Court of Session claim arising from the collapse of warehouse roofs owned by William Grant & Company following heavy snow falls in 2009 and 2010. Property damage expert Angus Crawford, recently promoted partner David Young and associate Mark McCluskie are other notable team members.

DLA Piper Scotland LLP’s ‘responsive and efficient team’ regularly handles complex property disputes. The practice generates work from a broad base of Scottish, UK and international clients; Henry Boot Developments, RBS and Heineken UK Limited are all clients. Alistair Drummond has wide-ranging expertise covering commercial leases, dilapidations, keep open obligations and servitudes. Drummond, who jointly heads the practice with Hazel Moffat, is defending Arjo Wiggins in an action for breach of contract related to the assignation of a wayleave agreement. Drummond is also handling a defect liability dispute connected with a residential development in North Berwick for developer Broad Sands Limited. Joanna Clark is singled out for her knowledge of insolvency-related property issues.

Harper Macleod LLP’s client roster includes institutional landlords, commercial tenants (such as financial institutions and corporate occupiers), UK public bodies and registered social landlords. Its team, which appears at all courts and tribunals in Scotland, handles commercial lease disputes, boundary and public access disputes, dilapidations claims, contentious land management matters and recoveries of possession of heritage. Practice head Carolyn Morgan, who is dual-qualified in Scottish and English law, led a team acting for Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park Authority in a case concerning the enforcement of public access rights under the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003. Rod McKenzie and associate Andrew Upton issued proceedings on behalf of Caledonian & Northern Properties over the refusal by its landlord to consent to assignation of a lease. E-Ming Fong successfully defended Kashmiri Properties in declaratory and interdict proceedings concerning whether a servitude right existed over the client’s property in favour of a neighbour’s land. Sandy Hastie and John McHugh are other highly regarded practitioners.

MacRoberts LLP’s team ‘understands property law and the commercial property market in which its clients operate, enabling it to direct the conduct of cases skilfully and efficiently as a result’. ‘Superbly able’ practice head Gillian Craig, who ‘goes above and beyond expectations’, worked with senior associate Angus Wood to defend the guarantors of a tenant (which had gone into administration) of an Edinburgh aparthotel, against a claim initiated by a landlord seeking to recover payment for rent arrears and dilapidations. The group’s other areas of expertise include title condition disputes, nuisance-related matters, boundary disputes and encroachments. Also recommended are solicitor advocate Julie Hamilton and senior associate Lynsay Cargill. In 2016, Gavin Thomson joined from Pinsent Masons LLP, while David Arnott joined Brodies LLP and Richard Barrie moved to Levy & McRae.

At Blackadders LLP, practice head Ryan McKay is particularly active in contentious commercial leasing matters and Scottish Land Court cases. Stephanie Carr, who is an accredited insolvency specialist, regularly handles contentious property matters for insolvency practitioners. Solicitor advocate Richard Godden is experienced in property cases before the Court of Session.

Gillespie Macandrew LLP’s team is particularly skilled in rural and land-based property disputes; its clients in this space include rural estate clients, estate owners, housebuilders and public sector bodies. The firm also handles commercial and residential property disputes, including dilapidations claims, lease disputes, boundaries and encroachment issues, rights of access and nuisance, among other areas. Fiona Cameron, who made partner in 2016, handles cases at the Scottish Land Court, Sheriff Court and Court of Session. Cameron has particular strength in matters involving TUPE issues arising from the sale or purchase of an estate. Colin Hamilton also recently made partner. Ian Turnbull leads the team, which includes John Stirling and associate Isobell Reid, who joined from DWF.

Lindsays acts for charities, registered social landlords, commercial developers, SMEs and universities. Cases involving issues under the Telecommunications Code 1984 are a particular area of activity; in 2016, team head Paul Harper and senior solicitor Gregor MacEwan assisted the University of Edinburgh with raising numerous court actions against mobile network operators, and also handled parallel negotiations for the purpose of compelling them to vacate various sites at the university. In another highlight, John Bett and Brian Pollock defended Healthcare Environmental Services as the tenant at the Commercial Court of the Court of Session in a £3.5m commercial landlord and tenant dispute.

Social housing

Index of tables

  1. Social housing
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Social housing 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


Harper Macleod LLP’s team is led by Derek Hogg, who has more than 20 years of experience in the social housing sector, and is a go-to for regulatory, governance and constitutional advice. Its client base of registered social landlords (RSLs) collectively manage 55% of RSL housing stock in Scotland, as well as local authorities, funders and housebuilders. In 2016, Hogg and associate Collette Miller assisted Port of Leith Housing Association with securing a £35m private funding facility for the purposes of building 480 new affordable housing units in Edinburgh, which involved a linked revolving credit facility and private placement deal. In a separate matter, Hogg is currently acting for Wheatley Housing Group in a large-scale governance review. James McMorrow handles corporate, regulatory and public procurement issues, and is experienced in large-scale projects, such as constitutional partnerships between RSLs. Other key members of the team include Jennifer Jack, Derek McIndoe, John McHugh and associate Fiona McLeod.

Social housing and charity law boutique T C Young has more than four decades of experience acting for RSLs located throughout Scotland. The firm has ‘a wide team of specialists’ that possesses ‘an in-depth knowledge of the social housing sector, and the risks that RSLs have to be mindful of’. Stephen MacGregor heads the social housing division, which acts as a one-stop shop for contentious and non-contentious matters. Alison Brynes and Douglas Collingham are acting for Thenue Housing Association on the regeneration and development of the east end of Glasgow, and are handling the acquisition of a development site at Montieth Row in Glasgow. In another matter, MacGregor and associate Lauren Little acted for Wellhouse Housing Association on a major refurbishment project concerning numerous properties, which involved incorporating energy-saving measures and co-ordinating the provision of similar improvements for owner-occupiers. Jim Bauld, Alastair McKendrick, Andrew Cowan, Mark Ewing, Christine Stuart and consultant Len Freedman are also recommended.

Addleshaw Goddard merged with HBJ Gateley in Scotland, taking on the legacy firm’s housing team, which acts for some of Scotland’s largest RSLs, as well as the Scottish government, developers, funders and consultants. Practice head Heather Pearson and Andrew Fairlie acted for Kingdom Housing Association on its acquisition of a development site from Robertson Homes Partnership. In another highlight, Susan McDonald and Elaine Imlach assisted Link Housing Association with a review of its factoring service provided to more than 1100 homeowners. Joan Devine, Alan Sinclair and Ilona McGowan are representing Link PSL in numerous actions for recovery of possession of properties. Pearson’s team also advises RSLs on investment in and development of renewable energy projects, such as onshore wind farms. Devine and Sarah Baillie joined from Anderson Strathern, and Alison Horner joined from MacRoberts LLP, while Stuart Clubb departed for Shoosmiths, and Frazer Wardhaugh joined BAM Construction.

BTO Solicitors LLP has a track record in the social housing sector dating back to the 1970s, and is particularly known for acting for RSLs. Patrice Fabien leads the group, which includes commercial conveyancing expert Karen Brodie. Brodie acted alongside Marieclaire Reid and Lesley Gray for Clyde Valley Housing Association on its acquisition of 13 separate development sites as part of an ambitious development programme. Grant Hunter assists with all forms of dispute resolution (including litigation, arbitration and mediation), and is experienced in contentious matters arising from development projects and tenement refurbishment programmes. David Young handles a variety of issues, such as antisocial behaviour, tenancy litigation and factoring. Also recommended are employment law specialists Caroline Carr and David Hoey, construction law expert Sandra Cassels, and Paul Motion, who is advising Oak Tree Housing Association on the data protection aspects of the Common Housing Register. Kingdom Housing Association, Partick Housing Association and Grampian Housing Association are also clients.

Shepherd and Wedderburn handles the full range of contentious and non-contentious matters for RSLs and housing associations, drawing upon the expertise of practitioners in disciplines such as projects, litigation, real estate, construction and employment. Stephen Humphreys, who has more than 25 years of experience of the social housing sector, has a particular specialism in litigation (particularly contentious landlord and tenant matters). He acted alongside senior associate Siobhan Connelly for Kingdom Housing Association on obtaining a decree for recovery of possession against an anti-social tenant. In another contentious highlight, Colin Archibald and associate Kate Gillies are representing Wheatley Housing Group and Loretto Housing Association in a structural defects dispute with the contractor and structural engineer behind a redevelopment project in the early 2000s. Rhona Harper acts for RSLs and public sector bodies in the procurement and outsourcing aspects of social housing projects. Accredited employment law specialist Neil Maclean and real estate director Elaine Hunter are also recommended.

Anderson Strathern acts for housing associations, developers, local authorities and property factors. David Hunter, Douglas McLachlan and senior associate Victoria Simpson are acting for East Lothian Housing Association in the development of a novel cash back scheme as a means of encouraging tenants to manage rental payments online, and register for other services. In another matter Hunter, Gavin Thain and Deborah Lovell are advising East Lothian Housing Association, Grampian Housing Association and Castle Rock Edinvar Housing Association on a renewable energy initiative designed to generate free electricity for tenants and reduce fuel poverty levels. Senior associate Shirley Evans, who is a housing management expert, is handling an eviction action for Manor Estates Housing Association. Recently promoted partner Martin Whiteford, Bruce Farquhar, Fiona Killen, accredited charity law specialist Victoria Simpson and public procurement expert Fiona Killen are also recommended. Alistair Dean rejoined the firm following its acquisition of ADLP Limited.

Burness Paull LLP provide a wide range of services to housing charities, housing associations and private sector housebuilders. Link Group, Scottish Futures Trust Investment Limited and Wheatley Housing Group are among the firm’s key clients. Jointly led by Peter Chambers and Scott Peterkin, the team advises on issues such as planning, health and safety, and construction. Peterkin, Louise Chambers, Gillian Irons and senior associate Sarah Stewart acted for Sanctuary Housing Association on its high-profile £6.5m acquisition of the site formerly known as the Victoria Infirmary in Glasgow as part of a major development project. Stephen Phillips was the lead adviser to the same client on the development of a legal framework for delivery of the project. Another highlight involved acting for Hillcrest Housing Association in the acquisition of, and linked development agreement associated with, a site at Loaning Road in Edinburgh for 59 affordable housing units.

The team at CMS is led by Ailsa Ritchie and has assisted clients with various phases of the Scottish government’s flagship National Housing Trust (NHT) initiative since its inception in 2010. Senior associate Lynsey Brown’s knowledge of the NHT is complemented by her expertise in other initiatives, such as the Custom and Self Build Scheme and Local Authority Mortgage Scheme. Lorri Pollock, who focuses on real estate and property issues, is another name to note. City of Edinburgh Council, Capita Asset Services and The Royal Bank of Scotland are all clients. Craig McGinn departed for an in-house role at SMS Plc.

Morton Fraser is particularly well-known for its work in social housing finance, where it acts for clients such as Santander and Bank of Scotland in a significant portion of their Scottish matters. In 2016, Andrew Meakin, who has more than 20 years of acting for lenders to social landlords, advised a number of social landlords on new financing facilities to Antonine Housing Association and Cadder Housing Association. Associate Lauren Hart and senior associate Paul Kenneth are other names to note. Suzanne Hardie, who leads the capital projects team, has notable experience of social housing development projects, while Innes Clark advises registered social landlords on employment law issues.

Shoosmiths acts foe social housing sector clients on a broad cross-section of matters. Practice head Janette Speed and senior associate Laura Bloxham are experienced in residential development and property transactions. Recent highlights include advising Port of Leith Housing Association on the acquisition of a development site at S2 Granton in Edinburgh. Solicitor advocate Andrew Foyle manages recoveries matters and also undertakes insolvency-related work. Solicitor advocate Stuart Clubb handles housing litigation, which includes cases involving Anti-Social Behaviour Orders, recoveries of rent arrears and property from tenants and post-stock transfer warranty and indemnity claims. Karen Harvie is particularly knowledgeable about governance and employment issues. Corporate partner Stuart Murray and senior associate Kenny Scott are other highly regarded practitioners. Kingdom Housing Association, Fairfield Housing Co-operative and Cairn Housing Association are all clients.

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