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Index of tables

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

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1
    • Allan Cairns - Dentons

Who Represents Who

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Noted for its 'strength in depth', Brodies LLP fields a team of 'industry-leading professionals, who are absolutely dedicated to their job and their clients'. It operates at the very top end of the investment and development market across a number of sectors, such as leisure, retail, offices and student accommodation. It also excels in commercial lettings, real estate finance and tax. Associate Elaine Petterson has extensive experience of the acquisition, disposal and management of multiple large-scale real estate assets. Richard Whyte and Elizabeth Ward are 'both technically superb, commercially astute and very easy to work with'. Johane Murray is 'able to see the full picture' and has 'a huge amount of personal charm and charisma'. Nick Scott, senior solicitor David Bales and others recently acted for Abu Dhabi Investment Authority in the £71m sale of Saltire Court in Edinburgh to the private office of the Al Rasheed family. Another highlight saw Scott and associate Clare Dewar advise Swiss fund manager AFIAA on the circa £28m sale of Quartmermile Two in Edinburgh to UBS. James Roscoe focuses on property investment and property finance, and acts for clients such as Blackstone, Citigroup and TPG Capital. Chris McDaid is assisting Brookfield with growing its student accommodation sector portfolio. Helen Abrams, Richard Smith, Michael Stephen and Colin Morrison (who heads up the retail sector, and hotels and leisure practices) are also recommended.

Burness Paull LLP 'compares favourably with most of the top law firms in the UK' in the commercial property arena; 'it always provides good strategic advice, rather than batting back queries to clients, looking for instructions'. Led by John Strachan, the team performs strongly in marquee acquisitions and disposals, headline development and regeneration projects and high-profile corporate occupier matters. It is also becoming increasingly active in the burgeoning Build to Rent sector. It is highly active in the retail sector, as well as hotels and leisure industry; one name to note in this area is Graeme Bradshaw, who is accredited by the Law Society of Scotland as a commercial leasing law specialist, and made partner in August 2017. Richard Rennie and senior solicitor Hannah Richards acted for Supermarket Income REIT in its £50m acquisition of a Tesco Extra store in Cumbernauld town centre. Rennie and Richards were also part of the team which advised Mars Pension Fund on the circa £100m sale of Livingston Designer Outlet to Blackstone. Nicholas Naddell advised Pace Trustees Limited/PGIM Real Estate on the £525m acquisition and leaseback of a portfolio of hotels in the UK regions; this was the largest hotel deal in 2017. Steven McKinlay has particular experience of assisting public sector clients with reorganising and restructuring their property portfolios. Peter Chambers is recommended for his commercial and residential development expertise. Tamar Tammes, Nicky Clemence and Scott Peterkin are also recommended.

CMS' 'proactive' team consists of 'industry experts, who are responsive, knowledgeable and commercial'; 'its ability to simplify matters to focus on the key points is excellent'. The firm's merger with Nabarro and Olswang in May 2017 expanded the breadth and depth of its offering to clients in the UK and further afield internationally. The firm acts for an impressively broad range of clients, including energy sector companies, hotels and leisure sector businesses, financial institutions and public sector organisations. Allan Wernham, who heads up the Scottish real estate team, specialises in real estate development and investment, with a particular interest in regeneration projects. Wernham, Stuart Tait, Roland Smyth and others are acting for TH Real Estate in the £1bn Edinburgh St James redevelopment. In a notable matter in the energy sector, David McGowan and Doug Land were the lead advisers to EDF Energy Renewables Holding Limited on the acquisition of 11 wind farm sites from Partnership for Renewables. Paul Carter and senior associate Mike McColl acted for UBS in its high-profile acquisition of the Quartermile Two office building from Swiss fund AFIAA. Darina Kerr's experience includes development, investment acquisitions and disposals, and portfolio management. Margaret McLean, who is dual-qualified in English and Scottish law, has specialist knowledge of the student accommodation sector. Kirsten Partridge made partner in 2017.  Other key figures include David Davidson, Graeme Bruce, Iain Doran, Timothy Pitt, Chris Rae and senior associate Gary Georgeson.

Dentons expanded its coverage of the UK market, when it merged with Scottish firm Maclay Murray & Spens LLP in 2017. A sizeable number of the Scottish team are dual-qualified in English law and Scottish law, and a significant proportion of the work it handles is written under English law. Colin Keenan has a notable English and Scottish practice, with particular experience of transactions involving shopping centres (acquisitions, disposals and asset management). Simon Etchells advises English and Scottish clients on projects UK-wide involving cinemas, mixed-use and industrial developments. Barry McKeown is at the forefront of the team's advice to clients such as Sigma Capital Group and Gatehouse Bank on the delivery of new PRS housing units across the UK. Also recommended is Allan Cairns, who assisted Alpha Real Capital with the Scottish property aspects of a circa £125m sale and leaseback transaction involving 109 care homes across the UK, including 15 in Scotland.  Gordon Aitken (who co-heads the practice with Etchells) led a team, which included director Susan Gillon and senior associate Sheena Mackintosh, in the advice to Lime Property Fund on its circa £52.8m acquisition of the EcoCampus at Hamilton International Park. The firm has a strong track record in the retail sector; in 2017, a highlight involved acting for Long Row Properties Limited in its £25m acquisition of Debenhams department store in Nottingham. Elsewhere, McKeown and Gillian Downie are key figures in the specialist housebuilder unit which generates work from clients such as Barratt Homes, Taylor Wimpey and Persimmon Homes.

In addition to being embedded in the Scottish market, Pinsent Masons LLP's team leads on some of the most significant, complex and headline matters in the wider UK. Katharine Hardie heads up the group, which is among the market-leaders for commercial and residential development, commercial occupier work, high-end investment acquisitions and disposals, and portfolio transactions. Neil Hogg, who is particularly active in the student accommodation and hotels sectors, led a multidisciplinary team, which advised The Ability Group on the development of a new Hampton by Hilton Hotel at Edinburgh Airport. Jennifer Ballantyne leads the circa 40-strong specialist energy property team across the UK (of which approximately half are based in Scotland). Ballantyne, senior associates Andrea McLellan, Margaret McNeil and others are acting for Nanclach Limited in the development, sale and financing of the 39.1MW Tom Nan Clach onshore wind farm. Another name to note in the team is Alan Cook, who was the lead adviser to Legal & General Pensions Limited on the forward funding of the 190,000 sq ft office development at New Waverley, Edinburgh, which is pre-let to the UK government. Ewan Alexander, Paul Connolly, Richard Linton, Tom Ferrier and legal director Adrienne Quin are among other highly rated practitioners.

Shepherd and Wedderburn's position at the premium end of the market sees it act for some of the largest and most active housebuilders, funds, banks, investors and retailers. In the retail sector, it advises British Land Plc on the asset management of Fort Kinnaird retail park in Edinburgh and Glasgow Fort, which are owned by Gibraltar Limited Partners and Hercules Unit Trust respectively.  Another area of strength is in the hotels and leisure sector; Jamie Grant and Hugh Smith head up the firm's offering in this space. Recent highlights in this area included advising BDL Select Operations Limited on the £5.4m sale of the Hilton Doubletree hotel in Dundee, and acting for BlackRock in the Scottish aspects of its £23m acquisition of the Stonegate pub portfolio. The firm's development work spans mixed-use and residential developments, retail sector schemes and offices, among others. Scott Ritchie recently acted for large-scale residential investor Get Living in its acquisition of a 7.5 acre site in Glasgow's Merchant City; this is one of the largest Build to Rent schemes in Scotland to date. Elaine Todd and others are advising Hermes Investment Management on the largest current speculative office development in Edinburgh, to be known as Capital Square. Mitchell co-heads the practice with Nick Ryden. James Dobie, Andrew Hall and Caroline Shand are among many other notable individuals.

Addleshaw Goddard inherited HBJ Gateley's real estate team, which is led by Simon Ede, following the merger between the two firms in 2017. Now part of a much larger firm, the group is now better-placed to service a wide spectrum of UK and international clients, which includes funders, private developer investors, landlords and corporate occupiers, and fund clients. Ede's group includes Alison Newton, who has a wealth of experience in multi-use regeneration schemes and UK portfolio acquisitions. Neil Addis has expertise in investment and development matters, as well as commercial leasing work. Kirsty Nicholson is one of a number of individuals in the team with experience of undertaking English real estate work; a recent highlight involved acting for Staycity in deals for purpose-built aparthotels in Manchester, Edinburgh and Liverpool (and also the completion of leases for new aparthotels in London, Manchester and York). In 2017, Alastair Cowan led a multidisciplinary team, which acted for Harwood Mouse Two Limited in the £48m sale to Accrue of nine SPVs owning a mixed-use portfolio of 18 industrial and office properties. Carrie Armstrong, legal director Joanne Moynan are also recommended.

Anderson Strathern provides a full service to clients, with its work covering property investment, commercial and residential development, commercial leasing, property finance, and portfolio management. Although its team undertakes work across a wide range of sectors, it has a particularly strong profile in healthcare, education, energy, retail and leisure. Anne McGregor, Fiona Stephen and Stephen Moffat advise Intu Properties Plc on the management and development of Intu Braehead Shopping Centre, Retail Park and Soar at Intu. In a notable community-led regeneration project, McGregor is acting as the firm's lead adviser to The Halo Kilmarnock Limited on the redevelopment of the former Diageo Johnnie Walker bottling plant in Kilmarnock. Neil Farrell, who is dual-qualified to practise in Scotland and England/Wales, heads up the firm's English property group. Chris Richardson leads the team, which has benefited from the arrival of Iain Grieve from Addleshaw Goddard in 2017. Deborah Lovell and Ken Gerber are among other notable figures.

DLA Piper Scotland LLP is a strong choice for big-ticket investment acquisitions, disposals and development deals in Scotland. Its team also has a strong track record in commercial leasing and portfolio management matters. Further, its prominence in the market enables it to attract a sizeable portfolio of cross-border property work from blue-chip clients. In a particularly high-profile transaction, team head Drew Wallace (who has more than 30 years of commercial property experience), Lisa Kerr, Carolyne Hair and Edwin Truesdale worked with the property team in England to advise Heineken on the property aspects of its £403m acquisition of more than 1800 pubs from Punch Taverns across the UK. Another standout mandate saw Wallace, Stephen Dick, Guy Irving and others act for New Waverley 20 Limited in the circa £100m Government Property Unit letting of more than 180,000 square feet of office space at New Waverley; this was the largest office letting in Edinburgh for 20 years. Another name to note is Steve Edgecombe, who has a particularly strong reputation in the hospitality and leisure arena (particularly the hotels sector). Edgecombe leads on the firm's UK-wide relationships for Travelodge and Places for People, and also the international relationships for clients such as Hilton Hotels and Qatar Airways. Edgecombe was the lead adviser to Proprium and C&C Group on their £300m acquisition of shares in Admiral Pubs. Other clients of the firm include Aggregate Industries, Timpsons, AXA and Hansteen. Sheila Irvine is also recommended.

DWF, whose Scottish real estate team working closely with the other offices in the UK network, is particularly well-placed to serve the Scottish market, as it is active in all the key sectors of the economy. Reflective of its reputation in the retail sector, the firm acts as the exclusive adviser to Marks & Spencer on Scottish real estate matters; David Ratter and others assisted the client with the rollout of its expansion programme in 2017. Iain McLean and Iain McHardy are other individuals who are active in retail-related property work. McHardy is also the firm's lead contact for real estate work in the tourism/leisure industry; clients in this space include Whitbread, Marriott and De Vere Hotels. The firm also has a strong offering in the energy sector, as is evidenced by the firm's work for key client Scottish Power; Anthony McEwan is leading a team, which includes Joanna Hamilton  and Andrew Martin, in the advice to the client on the real estate aspects of a nationally-significant grid expansion project (this includes the grid connection to the Neart na Gaoithe wind farm). The firm also undertakes a significant amount of work for education/third sector clients, including Marie Curie, RNLI and The Robert Gordon University. Further illustrative of the firm's high quality real estate mandates, Ratter and Amy Watson acted for Aegon UK Property Fund in the sale of Silvan House in Edinburgh to a consortium of Far East-based investors. Another notable individual is Chris McLeish, who was the lead adviser to Bouwfonds Investment Management on its acquisition of the NCP Cark Park in Mitchell Street, Glasgow.

Harper Macleod LLP's credentials in commercial property are underpinned by its ability to consistently secure high-end mandates in sectors such as hospitality and leisure, retail, education and utilities. The team includes David Bell, who was the lead partner advising CBRE Global Investors Limited on the £7.76m sale of Oakbank Industrial Estate in Glasgow to Ribston UK Industrial Property (Nominee One) Limited and Ribston UK Industrial Property (Nominee Two) Limited. Bell, who is accredited by the Law Society of Scotland as a commercial leasing specialist, also assisted JD Sports with negotiating lease agreements for a number of retail units in Scotland. Chris Noble and associate Limor Wolfe advised Bridgepoint Capital on the Scottish real estate aspects of its acquisition of the largest Burger King franchisee in the UK. Noble has helped drive the firm's real estate offering in the hospitality and leisure sector, as has Philip Sim. Sim acted for The Edinburgh Collection and its parent company Europoint Holdings in the £23m acquisition of Tune Hotel in Haymarket. Practice head John Meehan  has worked with Wolfe, Kathryn Black, Mandy Quinn and Orla Gilligan to drive the growth of the firm's work for private developers in the residential development sector. The commercial development sector is another area of activity for the firm.

MacRoberts LLP has established a first-rate reputation for commercial property in the UK market, with the firm working alongside London-headquartered and international firms, in addition to undertaking mandates on a standalone basis. One of the areas of growth of the practice is in residential development; the firm is currently advising CALA Group on a project at Pacific Quay in Glasgow. Douglas Lamb heads up the team, which has also had a strong pipeline of work in property investments and finance transactions, as has been demonstrated by its work for Wirefox City Park Property Limited in the acquisition (and related financing) of a 285,000 square feet multi-let Grade B listed building in Glasgow for £41m. Lamb's group is also assisting clients such as Hamilton Capital Partners, Revcap and London & Cambridge Properties with making investment acquisitions across Scotland. In another highlight, Lamb and others are advising Clydeside Regeneration Limited on the development of an 85 acre mixed-use site on the Clyde waterfront in Clydebank. Laurence Fraser, who is a director of the Citizens' Theatre in Glasgow, chairs the board sub-committee that is overseeing its £20m redevelopment; this is one of the largest ongoing development projects in the West of Scotland. Lisa Frost is active in all areas of real estate, with particular strengths in real estate finance and the Scottish aspects of UK portfolio deals. Gillian Campbell is dual English and Scottish law qualified, and is sought-after for cross-border commercial property transactions. In the retail and hospitality/leisure sectors, the firm's clients include Wm Morrison Supermarkets Plc, All Saints Retail Limited and Dalata Hotel Group Plc. Kelsey Gibson, John McQuillan and David Milne are recommended.

Morton Fraser's team garners praise from clients, with one source reporting that 'they have made a real difference to our business with the way they conduct our affairs'. It also has an equally strong profile among law firms in England that provide referral work. One of the well-known names in the team is Elspeth Carson, who is 'very much on top of her brief and exceptionally good at organisation'. In 2017, Carson led a team including David Stewart, Morven Coulter and Stuart Dick, which advised BAM Properties on the forward fund development at Capital Square in Edinburgh; this is the largest speculative office development in Edinburgh. Chief Executive Chris Harte is another key figure in the group, (which is led by Jonathan Seddon) and was the lead adviser to Tritax Amazon Fund on the sale of the Amazon distribution centre in Dunfermline; this is Scotland's largest ever single-asset logistics deal. Elsewhere, the team fields a particularly strong capability in residential development; Robert Swindell, Robert Bree and Brian McFarlane act for housebuilders such as Persimmon, Stewart Milne and Taylor Wimpey. Robertson Homes were a new client in 2017. Seddon's team also has a sweet spot acting for pensions providers in SIPP/SSAS and other pensions-related commercial real estate transactions; key clients include Standard Life, James Hay and Legal and General. Another cornerstone of the practice involves advising public and private sector clients on managing their property portfolios. Elsewhere, consultant Claire Sturrock leads a team that focuses on acting for clients in the telecommunications sector. On the investment side of the practice, Brian Hutcheson, Sandra Hunter and others acted for Moolmoor (Waverley) Limited in the £23.3m acquisition of Waverley Shopping Centre in Edinburgh from Ritchie Investments Lux SARL. Other areas of activity for Seddon's group include property finance, PRS/Build to Rent, student accommodation, retail and leisure.

The experience of BTO Solicitors LLP's team has made it a go-to for commercial developers, housebuilders, retailers, charities, large estates and UK/overseas investors, among other clients. The group, which is jointly led by chairman Alan Borthwick and David Gibson, advises on the full spectrum of real estate matters, with support from practitioners active in areas such as banking and finance, construction and private client/tax. In 2017, Graeme Kelly, Peter Graham and others acted for Wirefox Management in the circa £16m acquisition of Silvan House in Edinburgh, and in its £43m acquisition of the multi-let office Capella Building in Glasgow. Showcasing the firm's work in development matters, Gibson is advising independent whisky company Isle of Arran Distillers on the development of a new distillery and warehouse. Another notable individual Scott Buchan assisted Calmont Group with negotiating a development agreement with Maven Capital over the refurbishment and conversion of Douglas House in Bothwell Street (Glasgow) to an Accor-branded hotel. Jane Steel acts for retail sector brand names, such as Superdry, Adidas and Maplin. Senior associate Jennifer Whitelaw is another notable individual.

Davidson Chalmers LLP, which is 'very good in all respects' for commercial property work, has a particularly standout reputation in property development; its list of clients includes Chris Stewart Group, JW Muir Group Plc and Kingsford Developments. Bruce Lancaster and Simone Young recently acted for developer Peveril Securities Limited in its negotiations with Staycity over the terms of a lease for a new aparthotel on a brownfield site near Edinburgh Castle. They also worked with Jenny Anfield to advise the same client on a land sale contract and forward funding agreement with Empiric Student Property Plc over a new student accommodation building in the centre of Edinburgh. On a related front, the team has handled student accommodation sector development and investment deals for Crosslane and Stamford Student Investments Limited. Outside of student accommodation, Lancaster and team head Andrew Chalmers advised specialist business park developer on the terms of a development agreement with Clyde Gateway Development Limited for a new satellite business district in Glasgow. Beyond development work, the group has a wealth of experience of investment transactions and commercial leasing; a highlight in 2017 involved acting for CL IV REO (Offshore) LLC in the £16.1m acquisition of Orchard Brae House in Edinburgh. Also recommended in the team are senior solicitor Lisa Graham, and associates Lizzy Enayati and Louise Jones. Director Stephanie Mackenzie recently joined from CMS, while June Gilles has gone the other way.

Lindsays' team is 'extremely professional in its dealings' and has 'good business acumen'. Having undergone significant expansion in 2016 and 2017, it now provides a full-service to clients on property-related matters. Stuart Rowson and Gavin Buchan have property finance expertise, while director Stacy Campbell is experienced in property investment and development, with particular knowledge of the hospitality and leisure sector. Director Dawn Anderson is particularly active in the retail sector, but her sector expertise also includes student accommodation, office and industrial, hospitality and leisure, and renewable energy. In addition to providing support on corporate transactions, director Fiona Linklater advises clients on commercial leasing and secured lending transactions. Practice head Derek Nash and Anderson acted for Waterstones Booksellers Limited in the relocation of its Aberdeen outlet to a flagship two floor store at the Bon Accord Centre. Nash, Anderson and director Andrew Boccoli assisted TP Real Estate with the sale of the Tune hotel in Edinburgh to The Edinburgh Collection. Kenny Gray and Susan Law are also recommended.

Shoosmiths, which has Stephen Dougherty at the helm as practice head, provides 'a reliable and steady service'. In addition to assisting clients with investment acquisitions and disposals (including portfolio transactions), it has seen significant growth in property finance mandates. Edinburgh office head Janette Speed, who is particularly knowledgeable about the student accommodation sector, has been instrumental in the firm seeing a major uptick in residential development work; clients in this space include Mactaggart and Mickel, Bellway, Balfour Beatty and Wheatley Group. In 2017, Speed and associate Shona White acted for student accommodation provider Watkin Jones in the disposal of a development site at Pittodrie Street in Aberdeen. Another pillar of the practice is commercial leasing, where the firm has a particularly strong profile among retail and office occupiers. Speed, senior associate John Dunlop and others assisted Roomzzz with negotiating a pre-let with TH Real Estate (the landlord) of a 73 room aparthotel at the Edinburgh St James development. Also experienced in landlord and tenant matters is Robin Mitchell. Senior associate Sheelagh Cooley specialises in real estate finance. Senior associate Gillian Wood joined from Shepherd and Wedderburn in 2017.

Aberdein Considine's overall level of service is 'excellent and cannot be faulted'; 'response times, business acumen and industry knowledge are all exemplary'. Practice head Paul Jennings and associate David Orr, who divide their time between the Edinburgh and Glasgow offices, 'work exceptionally well as a team'. Jennings, who has nearly 30 years of commercial property experience, has overseen the growth of the firm's practice in the central belt, since he moved from Anderson Strathern in 2015. The practice continued on its upward trajectory in 2017, winning work from clients such as Harlequin Group and Drum Property Group. Jennings and Orr acted for another new client Currie European Transport Limited as the landowner in the disposal of a former haulage yard and adjoining ground to Housing Partnership. Jennings also assisted Greggs Plc with negotiating lease arrangements in relation to its presence at The Centre in Livingston.

John Bingham leads Bellwether Green's team, which 'provides a level of service that goes above and beyond'. It 'scores highly for professionalism, value for money, being proactive and problem solving'. The practice is centred around acquisitions, development work, letting and financing. Reflective of the high calibre of the practice, the client list includes Fortune 500 company Emerson Process Management, motor retailer Vertu Motors Plc and global real estate investment manager St Bride's Managers. The firm also secured Virgin Media as a new client in 2017 to assist it with its Scottish property interests; Bingham and director Steven Templeton advised the client on the Scottish aspects of an intra-company transfer of a portfolio of 25 sites. Another highlight involved acting for Flemington Care Limited in the development of a children's nursery to be built within an existing care village in Cambuslang, Glasgow.

Eversheds Sutherland's Hazel Tait, who is the partner leading the real estate practice in Scotland, has a specialism in covering the clean energy sector.  Tait's expertise includes the property issues associated with financing the acquisition and disposal of clean energy projects, and matters related to development and construction. Tait is supported by real estate finance expert Christine Barnsley, who is also knowledgeable about the energy industry. Also recommended for his real estate finance expertise (particularly cross-border finance transactions) is principal associate Steven Dick, who (like Barnsley) is dual-qualified to practise in Scotland and England/Wales. Dixcee Fast is active in a wide range of sectors, focusing particularly on real estate investment, asset management and development. Clients of the firm include clearing banks, international banks, alternative lenders, funds and energy companies. 

Gillespie Macandrew LLP's team has had an upswing in commercial property activity.. The housebuilding side of the practice has gained momentum, with the firm adding to its client roster names such as Robertson Partnership Homes, Merchant Homes and Turnberry Homes. Harry Smith, who heads up a dedicated housebuilder team, recently worked with senior solicitor Andrew Leslie and Isobell Reid to advise Bellway Homes on the £10m+ acquisition of a development site at Bishopton in Renfrewshire. They also acted for Avant Homes (Scotland) Limited in the £9.5m acquisition of a development site at Shott Farm in High Blantyre. Commercial development work is another area of strength; clients include Newland Assets, Worthington Property Maintenance and Midtown Capital. Elsewhere, there has been a notable uptick in real estate finance mandates, with the firm generating work from UK and international banks, and alternative lenders; Kenneth Irons, Greg Peebles and others recently acted for Assetz SME Capital in a number of loan finance transactions. Another pillar of the practice is in investment transactions, which span sub-sectors such as retail, office and industrial. David Milne heads up the commercial property team.

Commercial property boutique Leslie Wolfson & Co has a group of practitioners that is 'professional, skilled, passionate and a pleasure to work with at all times'; it is 'very commercial and plain-speaking, and has the ability to seamlessly integrate in cross-border transactions'. Team head Howard Beach, who is 'consummate professional', has been accredited by the Law Society of Scotland as a commercial leasing specialist since 2001. Other partners in the group, whose work covers the entire commercial property spectrum, are Alan Carlton, Andrew McCowan and Donna Strong. In addition to acting for Scottish and UK clients, the firm undertakes cross-jurisdictional matters for clients based in territories such as Brazil, the Netherlands and Poland. A recent highlight involved Strong acting for Leeds-based property company Town Centre Securities Plc in the £6.3m sale of 1-23 Shandwick Place (a mixed-use development in Edinburgh city centre) to 83S Limited. Beach and McCowan advised The Burger Chain Limited on the acquisition of four outlets in Scotland as part of a 28 restaurant national portfolio being bought out of administration.

'No issue is too small' at Morisons LLP, whose 'down to earth' team is praised for its 'practical approach to getting on with the job'. The team, which is led by Gary Thomas ('diligent, pragmatic and sensible in his advice'), includes partners Robin Valentine and Andrew Warren; all three individuals jointly have 90 years of private practice experience. In 2017, Warren assisted Vue Entertainment Limited with negotiating a new lease at Glasgow's St Enoch Centre in order to open a new multiplex cinema. In addition, Warren also acted for Singapore-based listed company Frasers Centrepoint Limited in the Scottish property aspects of its acquisition of Hillington Industrial Estate in Glasgow, as part of a portfolio acquisition of industrial estates UK-wide. PPG Industries, Lidl UK and Telefonica are longstanding clients of the firm.

TLT's clients are 'impressed' with its 'concise and commercial advice' on securitisations and portfolio refinancings, property portfolio acquisitions and disposals, commercial leasing, and investment and development matters. Kenneth Meldrum, who 'identifies key issues, and resolves them with practical and commercial solutions', is acting for Central Assets LLP as the landlord in the negotiation of multiple leases at Strathclyde Business Park. 'Excellent technical lawyer' Richard Turnbull, who specialises in handling energy-related property issues, advised GE Capital on the £39.8m disposal of an operational 16MW wind farm in Selkirk (known as Langhope Rig) to Greencoat Capital. Turnbull was also the lead adviser to Abundance in the forward funding of a pumped hydro project for ILI Investments. In addition to Meldrum and Turnbull, Brian Armour is another key figure. In the leisure sector, the firm acts for clients such as Greene King and Punch Taverns. Financial services is another area of strength.

Weightmans LLP's Scottish real estate team operates as part of a larger integrated UK group. Its wide-ranging workload for UK and international clients includes acquisitions and disposals, development, asset management and finance. Practice head Cassandra Auld has a wealth of experience of acting for clients in the hotels, leisure and retail sectors. The other notable figure in Glasgow is real estate finance head Douglas Gourlay, who is dual-qualified in English and Scottish law. Bryan Finlayson recently departed for Curle Stewart.

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP, the result of a merger in November 2017 between Bond Dickinson LLP and US firm Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, LLP, now has a presence in Edinburgh, with a new office being opened there in the same year. Scottish real estate practice head Michael Spence, who had previously been based in Aberdeen, relocated to the new Edinburgh office. In addition, the firm has recently beefed up its operations by hiring managing associates Laura Bloxham and Paul Kenneth from Shoosmiths and Morton Fraser respectively. Kenneth specialises in real estate finance, with a particular focus on acting for lenders in Scottish loan and security transactions, and also in advising on the Scottish aspects of cross-border transactions. Bloxham is particularly knowledgeable about the residential development sector, where her work includes advising on acquisition and disposal contracts, section 75 agreements, estate set up and the disposal of individual plots. Property litigator Philip Knight and Emma Shearer joined from DWF as managing associate and associate respectively. Spence's team is also active in the retail and renewable sectors, and is also known for advising on PRS and Build to Rent Projects. Spence and Shearer advised Bridon on taking a lease of a new manufacturing and distribution facility at Grangemouth in 2017. The team also acts as the sole adviser on Scottish property matters to SIPPS provider Curtis Banks.

Wright, Johnston & Mackenzie LLP has the resources to provide the full scope of advice on acquisitions and disposals, development, real estate finance and commercial leasing as they relate to the Scottish market. In addition, it leverages the experience of dual-qualified practitioners Colin Brass, Neil Darling and senior associate Joanne Ockrim to advise on matters in England and Wales. Another feature of the practice is its broad industry coverage, which includes energy, leisure and hospitality, retail and telecommunications. In 2017, Ockrim assisted Macfarlane Group Plc with the English property aspects of its £16.75m acquisition of the business and assets of Greenwood Stock Boxes and its sister company Nottingham Recycling. Another matter involved Brass and Ockrim advising the UK's largest equipment hire group GAP Group on the acquisition of a five acre island site at Tillbury in England for £4m. Iain Dunn, Vicki Provan and Katy Davenport are other active members of the team. 

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