Commercial property: Edinburgh and Glasgow in Scotland
The commercial property team at Brodies LLP has recently been active in the emerging build-to-rent sector; it also has notable expertise in the investment, development, hotel, retail, leisure and housebuilding industries. Recent highlights include finance work, private equity investments, hotel management agreements, construction issues and licensing mandates. On the retail side, the group regularly acts for tenants and has expanded its client roster to include Tim Hortons, Waterstones, Pandora and Under Armour; the group has also gained new foreign investor and domestic developer clients. Johane Murray heads up the real estate practice and Colin Morrison leads the hotels and leisure group and the retail team. Managing partner Nick Scott also contributes to the practice, as does James Roscoe, who focuses on investment matters. Elaine Petterson in Glasgow recently made partner.
Johane Murray (Real estate); Colin Morrison (Hospitality, leisure and retail)
Other key lawyers:
‘The team is sensitive to its clients’ specific requirements and strives to achieve all goals while maintaining commercial acumen in securing deals.‘
‘Johane Murray is solution-focused and has a great understanding of the commercial realities. This, combined with her approachable manner, establishes her as a key part of any development team. She is entirely committed to delivering the highest level of service across her team and the wider firm.‘
‘Colin Morrison is a class act and a very commercial operator. His team is very responsive, knowledgeable about the sector and always delivers on time and on budget.‘
‘Robert Forman is very commercial and always understands the deal.‘
‘Brodies always provides a first-class service through its stable team.‘
‘Laurence Douglas is a hugely reliable legal adviser with an excellent understanding of clients’ requirements and their need to hit tight schedules in the context of store openings. Work is undertaken diligently but also with good humour.‘
Drum Property Group
Peel Outlets Management
Orion Capital Partners
Anadna Properties Limited
Pret a Manger
- Acted for Starwood Capital on the Scottish aspects of the £750m sale of the Principal Hayley hotel portfolio.
- Advised Drum Property Group on the multimillion-pound deal to acquire and develop a new 470,000 sq ft campus headquarters for Barclays at Buchanan Wharf in Glasgow.
- Assisting Hyatt with the development of Scotland’s first Hyatt Regency hotel, which is due to open at the new Edinburgh Marina Development.
- Advising Sportsdirect.com on the Scottish aspects of its acquisitions of House of Fraser and Evans Cycle and the ongoing management of its portfolio.
- Advised Resolution Property on the £60m refinancing of the Ocean Terminal Shopping Centre in Edinburgh.
Burness Paull LLP has recently acted for its client base on high-profile regeneration work and also handled matters involving foreign investment into the Scottish real estate market. Along with leisure and retail occupiers, the firm also regularly assists corporate tenants. The group's development work includes matters in the build-to-rent sector relating to social housing projects and also private-rented sector initiatives; the team also has notable expertise in real estate financing work and residential, commercial and student accommodation mandates. John Strachan leads the practice and Graeme Bradshaw is the key contact for retail, leisure and hospitality clients; other key individuals include managing partner Tamar Tammes, Nick Naddell, who specialises in high-end investment deals, funding packages and landlord and tenant work; and Richard Rennie, who focuses on property investment and development work.
John Strachan (Property); Graeme Bradshaw (Retail, leisure and hospitality)
Other key lawyers:
‘Clients always receive a very personal service from the real estate team at Burness Paull. Its lawyers pay particular attention to detail and are happy to assist in whatever way they can.’
‘Working with Graeme Bradshaw is always a positive experience. He is approachable, listens to exactly what clients require, and does his very best with a perfect combination of professionalism and enthusiasm.’
‘This is a very strong, capable and reliable team which is very thorough in its approach with extensive experience in all aspects of residential property law.’
‘Nick Naddell and Barbara Mayne both provide a very personal service with nothing being too much trouble. Their attention to detail is excellent.’
‘Mark Patterson stands out through his simple approach to dealing with acquisitions and property-related work. He has great in-depth knowledge of the sector and delivers results.’
‘Nick Naddell and Graeme Bradshaw are a great team bringing property knowledge together with a commercial approach. Both are very approachable and are ready to think outside the box in order to get the deal done.’
Bupa Care Homes
Deuce Acquisitions Limited
London & Scottish Group
Sitel UK Limited
Supermarket Income Reit
- Acted for Deuce Acquisitions on the refinancing of the Scottish portfolio of David Lloyd Leisure clubs.
- Advised Westbrook Partners on its purchase of the Sterling Industrial portfolio, which comprises 28 assets.
- Handled the purchase of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Edinburgh for buyer, Twenty14 Holdings.
- Acting for London & Scottish Developments on the Cumbernauld retail development project.
- Assisted international clients of 90N Real Estate Partners with the investment purchases of two student accommodation properties in Edinburgh and Dundee.
CMS advises a varied client base, which includes energy companies, hotels and leisure sector businesses, financial institutions and public sector organisations. The multidisciplinary group handles investment, corporate transaction, financing and dispute resolution mandates; the firm also has strong expertise in the student accommodation space. Managing director Allan Wernham heads up the Scottish real estate team and specialises in retail development and investment work, with a focus on major regeneration projects. Of counsel Roland Smyth leads the hospitality and leisure sub-team; Iain Doran and Stuart Tait are also key names to note alongside associate Teresa Wong.
‘CMS is thorough in its approach, which is defined by its senior partner engagement at all times. It has a great understanding of how lenders and banks operate and when they need to cut out the unnecessary.’
‘CMS fields a strong multidisciplinary and client-focused team.’
‘Darren Craig is excellent when it comes to communication; he makes things simple and smooth.’
‘Client can have trust and confidence in CMS’ team to manage situations and discussions on their behalf without needing to be there.’
‘Darren Craig is always excellent to deal with, whether discussing a high-level outline of a potential future deal or the line-by-line detail of a specific transaction. He is thorough and able to break down complex issues into the key areas for consideration.’
Nuveen Real Estate (formerly known as TH Real Estate)
Aberdeen Standard Investments
Barclays Bank plc
Pearkal Property Investments Limited
Info Properties Limited
Europe Hotels Private Collection
Matthew Hunter Fitness
The Terrace Hotel Limited
- Assisted Accor with issues relating to nine Scottish hotels and the UK aspects of the €4.6bn demerger of a majority stake in the AccorInvest division of Accor Hotels.
- Acted for Hawksmoor on the letting of its first Scottish restaurant.
- Handled the forward funding of the development of a new Malmaison hotel in St Andrew Square, Edinburgh for an FTSE 100 pension fund.
- Advised on the sale of the Doubletree by Hilton Aberdeen Treetops for Oaktree Capital.
- Acted for Fattal Hotels, Israel’s largest hospitality organisation, on its acquisition of the 36 hotel operating businesses and brand of the Jurys Inn Group.
Dentons has recently expanded its UK coverage while maintaining its cross-border capabilities and expertise in English law. In recent highlights, the group handled a series of transactions involving shopping centres, UK-wide projects involving cinemas, mixed-use and industrial developments, and the delivery of new PRS housing units across the UK through its specialist housebuilding unit. Also notable is the team's established strength in the retail sector. Gordon Aitken and Simon Etchells jointly lead the department from the Glasgow office; Allan Cairns is a key contact in the Edinburgh office.
Gordon Aitken; Simon Etchells
Other key lawyers:
Leveraging the firm's global network, Pinsent Masons LLP is recognised for its cross-border commercial property work, especially in the energy space. The Scottish team, led by Katharine Hardie, has a strong track record in the residential development sector and is also singled out for regeneration mandates; Paul Connolly is the key name for development matters. The group's high-profile client roster also ensures the team regularly handles large-scale asset acquisitions including shopping centres and cross-border portfolio acquisitions; it also assists with cross-border restructuring and refinancing deals. Ewan Alexander, energy property team head Jennifer Ballantyne, and property investment specialist Russell Munro are also recommended.
‘Pinsent Masons delivers a technically robust but commercially aware service across the full property life-cycle including developments, construction matters, property management work and investment issues.’
‘Distinguished by a real can-do attitude, the team balances the ultimate need to protect the client’s legal position with commercial acumen and a willingness to get the deal done.’
‘Paul Connolly has excellent client relationship management skills and can coordinate various and varied instructions.’
HFD Group Limited
CALA Management Limited
Scottish Widows Property Authorised Contractua lScheme
BAM TCP Atlantic Square Limited
New Uberior House Limited managed by Aerium
Glasgow City Council as administering Authority for Strathclyde Pension Fund
Ropemaker Properties Limited (BP Pension fund)
West Coast Captial
- Assisted Barclays Bank with the development of its new city centre multi-building office campus in Buchanan Wharf, Glasgow.
- Acted for the Scottish Widows Property Authorised Contractual Scheme on its acquisition of Lochrin Quay, Edinburgh.
- Assisted Winchburgh Developments with its purchase of a mixed-use development site in the Central Belt of Scotland and the creation of a public-private funding structure involving a new joint venture with CALA Homes.
- Instructed by Strathclyde Pension Fund on the sale of the iconic House of Fraser department store in Glasgow to Sportsdirect.
- Acting for Investcorp Securities on its purchase of five industrial logistics assets across the Central Belt.
Shepherd and Wedderburn counts housebuilders, funds, banks, investors and retailers as clients, and is noted for its development work, which spans mixed-use and residential developments, retail sector schemes and office developments. Hugh Smith and Jamie Grant jointly head the leisure and hospitality sub-group, which advises a roster of hotel operators, investors, financiers and managers on all aspects of hotel transactions and operations. The property group is jointly led by Andrew Hall and David Mitchell from Glasgow and Edinburgh respectively. Other key names include Nick Ryden and development expert James Dobie.
Andrew Hall (Property); David Mitchell (Property); Jamie Grant (Leisure and hospitality); Hugh Smith (Leisure and hospitality)
‘Great communicators with an ability to get to the essence of the problem. Strong ability to make complex legal issues seem simple to laypeople’.
‘Paul Donald is particularly good and makes life very easy. He is very helpful and always available to assist. Advice is concise and to the point. Vikki Henderson, Kirsteen Milne and Ian Soppitt are also very good’.
‘Good with the detail on property transactions which others can miss’.
British Land plc
CBREGI UK Property Fund
Molo Hotel (formerly Polcom Developments)
Crerar Hotel Management
BDL Select Hotels Limited
BDL Shetland Limited
HPMC Limited (owners Crowne Plaza London Docklands)
- Advised British Land, Hercules Unit Trust and Fort Kinnaird on the sale of the Crown’s 50% share in Fort Kinnaird to M&G for £167.5m, the disposal of a B&Q in Glasgow and a David Lloyd Club in Hamilton, and the asset management of Fort Kinnaird and Glasgow Fort.
- Acted for William Pears Group, Capital Land Holdings and Cyan Properties on the sale of the Jury’s Hotel, Jeffrey Street, Edinburgh and neighbouring development site to Fattal Group.
- Advised Baillie Gifford on the pre-let of the newly-developed 20 West Register Street, Edinburgh.
- Assisting the University of Edinburgh with securing the use of privately owned purpose-built student accommodation for over 1000 students.
- Acted for Crerar Hotel Group on the sale of the GoGlasgow Urban Hotel.
Addleshaw Goddard has significant capabilities in Scottish and English law matters, and recently strengthened its presence in the hotels and leisure, logistics, offices and portfolios, care homes, regeneration, retail, student accommodation and housing sectors. Practice head Miles Ede specialises in UK-wide portfolio acquisitions, asset management work for large corporate occupiers, investments and development transactions. Alison Newton is a key name for real estate development and investments, and Neil Addis focuses on real estate finance work and alternative properties.
Legal & General
British Telecommunication plc
City Pub Group
Harwood Real Estate
StayCity Apart Hotels
- Acting for IP Investment Management and Atlas Residential as forward funder of a Private Rented Sector (PRS) development at MediaCity on a development facility from Barings Bank.
- Assisting Maven Capital Partners and IP Investment Management with the sale of two PBSA schemes, which were the first two acquisitions of eight development sites.
- Advised The Multifamily Housing Reit on the proposed IPO of a residential REIT on the London Stock Exchange with an initial fund raise of £125m.
- Acting for Square and Crescent on its acquisition of five properties in Edinburgh to convert or redevelop into residential property.
- Advising Legal & General on the acquisition and forward funding of student accommodation in Pentland House, Edinburgh.
Anderson Strathern fields a cross-departmental group encompassing commercial real estate, real estate tax, planning work, environment issues, procurements, construction matters and property disputes. The group's sector coverage spans the education, healthcare, energy, education and public sectors; it also handles residential developments. Chris Richardson leads the team with a particular specialism in English law and the retail space; Deborah Lovell focuses on property developments, renewable energy projects and commercial leasings; Anne McGregor handles real estate transactions and Ruth Maclean acts for housebuilders.
‘The practice operates in an effective team capacity.’
‘Fiona McKinnon is strategic in her approach, understands projects strategies and works well with external accounts, property agent and developer team.’
‘Alasdair Gillies is patient, extremely diligent and understands the commercial business aspects arising from the management of residential transactions.’
Intu Properties plc
The Halo Kilmarnock Limited
Firm of Macfarlane Farming
CALA Management Limited
4TH Developments (Johnstone) Limited
Edinburgh Napier University
- Advised Intu Properties on the management and development of Intu Braehead Shopping Centre, Intu Retail Park and Soar at Intu Braehead.
- Acting for Transport Scotland on its acquisition of agricultural, commercial and residential land to facilitate the first phase of the £3bn A9 dualling upgrade.
- Assisted The Halo Kilmarnock with the redevelopment of the former Diageo Johnnie Walker bottling plant in Kilmarnock.
- Assisting Almondvale with its £30.5m acquisition of Almondvale South Retail Park from Land Securities.
- Advising CALA Management on its acquisition of Waterfront Plaza, Leith from Forth Ports for £10.3m.
The real estate team at DLA Piper Scotland LLP acts for developers, property funds and corporate occupiers and has particular strength in student accommodation mandates, shopping centre issues and retail matters. The department also benefits from the firm's global network and regularly acts for international clients. Real estate practice head Drew Wallace has a notable track record in the development and investment fields and Steve Edgecombe leads the firm's hospitality and leisure team; clients also praise Sheila Irvine, who focuses on leasings, investment issues and developments.
Drew Wallace (Real estate); Steve Edgecombe (Hospitality and leisure)
Other key lawyers:
‘Known for its good legal knowledge and capabilities, DLA Piper is willing to bring in specialists – be they internal or external – to augment services and deliver results.’
‘Sheila Irvine is very well informed and gives a fair and balanced view on most transactions. She will go the extra mile to get critical transactions completed.’
‘Scott Ferrier is a senior associate who is very diligent and delivers detailed examination of transactions.’
Catella Parken Europa
The Ambassador Theatre Group
Osborne & Co/Vanguard Limited
Heineken UK Limited
Artisan Real Estate Investors Limited
LaSalle Investment Management
Places for People
St Enoch Trustee Company (Blackstone and Sovereign)
Leonardo Hotel Group
Henry Boot Developments
Royal Bank of Scotland
Round Hill Capital UK Limited
- Advised Heineken on its pub portfolio across the UK including several disposal programmes.
- Acted for Fattal Group and Jurys Inn on the acquisition of the freehold of the Jurys Inn, Edinburgh for £50m to include a development site for a new hotel.
- Assisted New Waverley 12 with the £38m sale of its Premier Inn, Premier Inn Hub, Costa and Ronaq Restaurant to Union Investment.
- Acting for Henry Boot on the development of the new £360m Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre, which includes a new arena, conference halls, a subterranean multipurpose space, energy centre, Hilton and Aloft hotels, car parking and public space.
- Assisting Downing Students (Meadows) with its acquisition of the Royal Hospital for Sick Children building in Edinburgh for a proposed mixed-use development.
The Scottish branch of DWF's UK-wide real estate practice has notable strength in investment, tourism, leisure and development work. The group also has an established presence in the retail sector, where it represents high-profile retailers and occupiers including Marks and Spencer, Premier Inn and WHSmith, and has recently expanded its client roster in the investment arena. The team, which is jointly led by David Ratter and Chris McLeish in Edinburgh and Glasgow respectively, also benefits from the firm's funds expertise in London and Glasgow. Iain McHardy is the key contact for retail work.
David Ratter; Chris McLeish
Other key lawyers:
Geoff Stansfield; Iain McHardy; Iain McLean
Marks and Spencer p.l.c.
M7 Real Estate/Blackstone
McCarthy & Stone
McAleer & Rushe
Squarestone Growth LLP
Arcadia (TopShop, Burton, Dorothy Perkins, Wallis, Evans, Miss Selfridge, Outfit)
Holland & Barrett
The White Company
- Advised Marks and Spencer on its strategic portfolio realignment in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
- Acted for Holland Street Property Company on its purchase of the former Strathclyde Police Headquarters at Pitt Street, Glasgow for a PRS development.
- Advising Arcstaw as one of the landowners on the expansion of St Andrews including new homes, a new secondary school and major infrastructure, retail, educational and research premises.
- Instructed by LXI REIT on the forward funding of a site for a new Travelodge in South Gyle, Edinburgh.
- Advised McAleer & Rushe on an agreement for the lease of a major Glasgow City hotel development.
The commercial property group at Harper Macleod LLP regularly works alongside the firm's planning, construction, banking and corporate departments to handle strategic and high-profile development work, and purchase, sale and lease matters. The team's expertise focuses on the development of land for developers, banks and owners; issues in the housing space, utilities and infrastructure mandates, and work in the healthcare, education, leisure, hospitality and public sectors. John Meehan leads the group, which also includes David Bell and Chris Noble, who are the key contacts for work in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors. Limor Wolfe was recently promoted to the partnership.
‘The lawyers at Harper Macleod are experts in Scottish property law, and are known for their quick turnaround times and very pragmatic methodology.’
‘Limor Wolfe stands out for her quick responses and great pragmatism.’
‘David Bell is approachable and responsive to the many queries that clients may raise. David coordinates the multi-disciplinary Harper Macleod team superbly and ensures that everything is synchronised.’
New City Vision Group
Tulloch Homes Group
James Keiller Group
Philip C Smith (Commercials) Limited
Fairways Inverness Limited
Home Farms Partnership
Aprirose Real Estate Investment
Parkland Developments Limited
City Vale Developments Limited
Destiny Scotland Group
J D Sports
MRH (GB) Limited
Britannia Hotels Limited
Allied Irish Bank Plc
Bank of Scotland Plc
St Andrews University
Wallets Marts Plc
- Advised James Keiller Investments on the sale of a portfolio of commercial, industrial and residential properties in Scotland and England.
- Acting for MCR Property Group on the letting and £2.4m sale of Kingsway Park, Dundee, an industrial shed park.
- Acted for CBRE Global Investors and one of its property investment funds on purchase of the leased investment of David Lloyd Health Club, Hamilton from British Land.
- Assisted Britannia Hotels with the £10.3m acquisition of the former Hilton Coylumbridge Hotel, near Aviemore.
- Advising New City Vision Group on the due diligence and contract negotiation for its acquisition of multiple residential developments.
Douglas Lamb and Gillian Campbell lead the practice at MacRoberts LLP, which excels in development, investment, real estate finance and occupier lease work. The group has also recently built on its presence in the residential development space handling land acquisitions, refurbishments and overage and access arrangements. The firm's retail expertise encompasses retail investments and developments; Kelsey Gibson is the key contact.
Douglas Lamb; Gillian Campbell
Other key lawyers:
Laurence Fraser; Kelsey Gibson; Ian Bowie; Lisa Frost; John McQuillan; David McGuire
‘MacRoberts provides a first-class service and really understands the benefits of long-term relationships with clients. This makes the real estate team so much more than just a legal service provider.’
‘Laurence Fraser has always been exceptional. His commitment and desire to see projects succeed means he is always contributing constructive can-do advice in a positive and collaborative way.’
BAM Properties Limited
Muse Developments Limited
Wm Morrison Supermarkets PLC
Hamilton Capital Partners (HKIP)
London and Cambridge Property Group
CBRE Global Investors
British Waterways Board (Scottish Canals)
- Acting for Clydeside Regeneration on its £250m development scheme, Queens Quay Regeneration.
- Advised TCP Atlantic Square on the development, letting and forward funding of an office development at Atlantic Square, Glasgow.
- Advised a joint venture between Hamcap and Revcap on the acquisition of City Wharf Development in Aberdeen.
- Assisted The Citizens Theatre with its proposed redevelopment and refurbishment of the theatre, a landmark in the Gorbals area of Glasgow.
- Instructed by Sheet Anchor Investments to handle the purchase of numerous industrial and retail investments.
The property team at Morton Fraser has particular strengths in the student accommodation and telecoms sectors, where Brian Hutcheson and public sector specialist Amy Entwistle lead the work respectively. Elspeth Carson heads up the retail sub-group. Michael Ramsay recently became head of the real estate group with former team leader Jonathan Seddon focusing on construction work. Other areas of expertise for the team include investment issues, residential housing developments, estate management work and pensions-related matters. Alan Stewart joined the firm from Dentons.
Michael Ramsay; Elspeth Carson (Retail)
‘Our business has worked with Morton Fraser for many years at a corporate level and they have handled our Scottish property work for c 20 years. You get prompt, accurate and commercial advice and they are a pleasure to work with. They are keen to explore new ideas and find solutions. On the rare occasion that there has been an issue, it has been dealt with extremely professionally’.
‘Commercial and professional’.
Empiric Student Property PLC
Hunter UK Retail Trust
BAM Properties Limited
- Assisting Diageo with its agreement for lease and new lease for the relocation of its Edinburgh headquarters.
- Advising Patrizia on the sale of its Tanfield multi-let office development.
- Acting for BAM Properties on the leasing of the top three floors at Capital Square, Edinburgh to Brodies LLP.
- Assisted Tesco with the re-letting of the former Tesco Distribution Centre at Caputhall Road, Livingston to DHL Supply Chain and the subsequent sale of the property to Rossco Properties.
- Advised Crucible Alba Group on the acquisition and forward funding of a Travelodge development at South Gyle, Edinburgh, and the subsequent sale of the development to LXI REIT.
The real estate practice at BTO Solicitors LLP covers the full gamut of work for a variety of clients including private overseas investors and developers; the group also assists estates with diversification projects. David Gibson leads the group and is acting for the Scottish Football Association on all property aspects of the selection of the National Stadium. Other key practitioners include Jane Steel, who focuses on the retail sector; Scott Buchan, who has notable expertise in investment and development work; and newly promoted partner Jennifer Whitelaw.
Other key lawyers:
‘The legal team at BTO knows and understands its clients and their requirements. Its lawyers are able to pre-empt legal issues, which enables clients to manage the processes in an effective and pro-active manner.’
‘Its high level of personal service is a distinguishing mark for BTO. One of the firm’s key strengths is its detailed knowledge of the legal requirements surrounding the commercial property market.’
‘Karen Brodie understands the pressures and issues affecting voluntary organisations who are reliant on public purse funds and will review contracts ensuring that the level of risk to the organisation is minimised.’
‘Jane Steel and Angela Allison both provide excellent service and advice. Jane has great experience in the legal profession and is very ably supported by Angela.’
Boultbee Land plc
A S Homes (Scotland) Limited
Isle of Arran Distillers Limited
Mactaggart & Mickel Group
Waterhill Property Group Limited
TUI Travel Group
William Morton Limited t/a Inverarity Morton
Wirefox Management/Wirefox Investment Group
Standard Real Estate
- Advised the Scottish Football Association on all the property aspects of the selection of the National Stadium.
- Handled all property work relating to the Mar Hall golf and hotel complex and related disposal negotiations for Mar Estates.
- Assisted Stena Line Group with all the Scottish property and security issues relating to its ferry and port interests in Scotland including a refinance arrangement.
- Assisted Standard Real Estate with the purchase of a multi-tenanted investment property from Peel Properties.
- Advising AS Homes (Scotland) and its subsidiary Briar Homes on the acquisition of six development sites in the Central Belt of Scotland.
Davidson Chalmers Stewart’s real estate team focuses on niche commercial work and regularly acts for large developers. The group is also active in the healthcare and housebuilding sectors, where it counts builders and primary care providers as key clients. Andrew Chalmers heads up the department, which also includes Gavin Maclean, who has notable experience in the retail, leisure and office sectors; and Bruce Lancaster, who handles property developments and forward funding agreements.
‘The group understands, addresses and resolves any issues promptly without fuss.’
‘The real estate team is conscientious, pragmatic and approachable.’
‘Andrew Chalmers is very approachable. He has experience of all issues and directs clients to the appropriate specialist for an effortless service delivery.’
‘The firm’s advice is prompt and competitive.’
‘Andrew Chalmers and Lizzy Enayatti both provide an efficient and effective service, meeting timetables and budgets. They give clients the feeling that they actually care about what they are doing.’
Chris Stewart Group
Peveril Securities Limited
Highbridge Properties plc
Ministry of Justice
- Advised Chris Stewart Group on the forward sale of the Mint Building in Edinburgh to Hines for £50m.
- Instructed by Muir Homes to act on its £35m acquisition of a development site at Glenboig, near Coatbridge.
- Acted for Cumbrae Property on the letting and sale of an investment asset at Winchburgh, West Lothian.
- Assisted Crosslane Student Accommodation Group with the £4.3m sale of a student accommodation site in Edinburgh.
Gillespie Macandrew LLP's real estate team includes a prominent housebuilder sub-group led by Harry Smith. Kenneth Irons heads up the commercial property group generally and has a notable track record acting for corporate clients including international corporates and SMEs. The group also recently handled investment transactions, advised high-profile retail clients, and assisted English law firms with Scottish law issues. Greg Peebles regularly acts for student accommodation and healthcare developers.
Kenneth Irons; Harry Smith (housebuilding);
Other key lawyers:
‘Gillespie Macandrew offers a very prompt, efficient and reliable service.’
‘This is a strong team led by the excellent Kenneth Irons.’
‘English clients find Gillespie Macandrew to be a responsive and reasonable partner for real estate legal work referrals north of the border.’
‘Greg Peebles is easy to get hold of, quick to act and deals with everything in a very timely manner whilst applying a commercial approach.’
‘Kenneth Irons is responsive, pragmatic and commercial. He provides an excellent service.’
Bellway Homes Limited
Westerleigh Group Limited
National PLC housebuilder
Majestic (Belford) Limited
Robertson Partnership Homes Limited
Assetz SME Capital Limited
HR Consultancy (Scotland) Ltd
West Ranga Group Limited
Lindsays' real estate team is singled out for its retail sector strength along with healthcare and charity sector expertise. The group regularly handles healthcare transactions, principally regarding the purchase and sale of dental, pharmacy and veterinary practices, opticians, nursing homes and children’s nurseries. The practice's client roster also includes investors, developers and high-profile corporate occupiers. Practice head Derek Nash is particularly experienced in development and investment transactions, while Kenny Gray specialises in investment work.
Other key lawyers:
Kenny Gray; Susan Law
‘The commercial property team at Lindsays is extremely dedicated, dynamic, forward-thinking, effective and tenacious. The firm’s experts provide an exceptional service, are thorough in their work and have great attention to detail. ‘
‘Lindsays’ real estate specialists are very knowledgeable in the renewable energy sector. The team works hard to meet client expectations.’
‘The team is very keen to get to know its clients well so that its practitioners really understand what is important. It is very much a relationship-led group rather than purely transactional.’
‘Susan Law is always available when needed and provides a very personal service. She is a very accomplished and commercially astute lawyer who is always methodical and thoughtful in her approach. She puts things across in simple and straightforward terms and provides quality and well thought through advice and recommendations.’
Hurricane Energy PLC
Intu (formerly Capital Shopping Centres)
Scottish Association for Mental Health
Waterstones Booksellers Limited
Tom Howley Limited
- Acted for an Edinburgh private property company on lettings, disposals and other property work.
- Instructed by Tom Howley to handle the lease for its first store in Scotland.
- Advised Perivan on the relocation of its office premises.
- Advised an Irish property investment group on a lease renegotiation and acted for the client in a service charge and dilapidations claimrelating to a property in central Edinburgh.
Retail property work remains a key cornerstone of Shoosmiths' practice; it is particularly noted for its niche expertise in the shopping centre and retail park space and has expanded its work for retail landlords. The team also works closely with the firm's Birmingham and Manchester offices to handle cross-border mandates. Stephen Dougherty leads the group, which also includes retail expert Robin Mitchell.
Other key lawyers:
‘Shoosmiths distinguishes itself through a high level of competency and experience in a number of interrelated fields. The property lawyers work well with other professionals in the best interest of the client and all partners and associates are easily accessible.’
‘The team understands the need for pragmatic advice to get the deal done.’
‘Shoosmiths not only provides the legal advice clients require but will go the extra mile to find the best solution.’
One Stop Stores (Tesco)
Russell & Bromley
DPSK (Dominos Pizza)
BBs Coffee & Muffins
Bob & Berts
- Acted for Leftfield Properties Retail II on its acquisition of Caledonian Retail Park, Wishaw.
- Assisting Euro Garages with its expansion across the UK including the acquisition of development sites and existing businesses in Scotland.
- Acting for MKM Building Supplies on its development roll out across Scotland.
- Advised Cine UK on a variation to its existing lease at Queens Links, Aberdeen relating to the construction of an IMAX cinema.
- Acting as sole supplier of Scottish property legal advice to Boots, including handling issues relating to its portfolio of stores and distribution warehouses.
TLT's Scottish real estate team recently benefitted from its merger with specialist commercial property boutique Leslie Wolfson & Co, which added three partners and a variety of clients to its roster. Nick Shenken also recently joined as a partner from Pinsent Masons LLP and has particular expertise in the clean energy sector. Kenneth Meldrum leads the group, which acts for a range of commercial property developers, investors, leisure operators and retailers.
Other key lawyers:
Brian Armour; Howard Beach; Donna Strong; Andrew McCowan; Richard Turnbull; Nick Shenken
‘Andrew McCowan is always responsive and efficient.’
‘Brian Armour is an exceptionally dedicated person who would never give a client bad advice.’
‘Howard Beach has a great track record in ensuring all transactions are completed quickly.As well as providing sound advice, he always makes it easy to understand the most complex issues with his expertise and knowledge and provides real value for money.’
‘The team is always easy to deal with and never fails to provide useful counsel.’
Greene King plc
Punch Taverns Limited
Tapi Carpet & Floors Limited
British Heart Foundation
Town Centre Securities plc
- Acting for Designer Sofas, trading as Natuzzi, on the leasehold acquisition of its first two Scottish retail stores.
- Acted for Svenska Handelsbanken on a refinancing transaction relating to a portfolio of seven commercial properties in Glasgow.
- Advised Linthouse Business Park on a major development on the remaining part of a business park in Glasgow.
- Advised Tapi Carpets and Floors on its acquisition of various Scottish stores as part of its UK store roll out programme.
Aberdein Considine leverages its key offices in Aberdeen, Glasgow and Edinburgh to act for a high-profile client roster, which includes The Trump Organisation and Greggs. The real estate team focuses on landlord and tenant work, and office, retail and industrial property development matters. Paul Jennings leads the practice from Glasgow, and the firm's Aberdeen office is noted for its oil, gas and marine sector commercial work.
Other key lawyers:
‘The level of intellectual force at Aberdein Considine is absolutely stunning! The property team is always ready to challenge and be challenged in the interests of its clients. The firm’s customer service is unbeatable and work is equally meticulous and quick.’
‘The team is very inclusive and knows when to engage with other parties involved in the deals it is working on. All members of the team are very strong and have an understanding of their colleagues work.’
‘Paul Jennings and David Orr: this duo is unstoppable. They are professional without ego and with a great sense of humour.’
‘Paul Jennings and David Orr are very responsive and knowledgeable. They also take time to learn the client’s overall business and not just the parts which relate to them. They continually look for ways to simplify and make things more straightforward for the client.’
Ashfield District Council
West Coast Estates
Currie European Limited
Mack Residential Group
- Assisting Trump International Golf Club Scotland with a proposed 550 unit village development with additional leisure, commercial and retail premises.
- Advising Mack Residential on its acquisition of Torbrae House in Glasgow for a proposed asylum seeker accommodation centre.
- Assisting Greggs with its first drive-thru at The Forge Retail Park, Glasgow including landlord and tenant issues and new-build matters.
Bellwether Green acts for a significant client roster including landlords and property developers, and provides assistance with development, acquisition, funding and letting issues. The team, led by John Bingham, has strong experience acting for large tenants and advises Virgin Media and Liberty Global on Scottish property work. Bingham is based in Glasgow with Steven Templeton.
Other key lawyers:
‘John Bingham and Eve Mundell are extremely responsive, practical and effective. They are pleasant to deal with and organised.’
‘Bellwether Green adopts a partner-led, commercial approach in providing legal advice on commercial property in Scotland. The real estate experts are quick to pick up the phone and have always been very responsive to ad hoc queries or efficient in dealing with transactional matters or disputes.’
‘Bellwether Green stands out through its bespoke service, and understands fully the parameters of any instructions.’
‘At Bellwether Green, turnaround time and efficiency are second to none. The real estate team really knows how to get things done and is very good at keeping client updated.’
‘Communication skills are vital and these guys are excellent!’.
‘John Bingham clearly has an in-depth knowledge of his field, but is also highly personable and commercial in his advice and dealings.’
Liberty Global plc
Virgin Media Limited
Emerson Process Management
Fortune 500 Company.
Vertu Motors plc.
St Brides Managers
AGF Insurance Limited
Walbrook (IOM) Nominees (No.4) Limited and Walbrook (IOM) Nominees (No.5) Limited as trustees for The Castlemilk Retail Property Unit Trust.
M8 Portfolio Partners Ltd
- Advising AGF Insurance as lender on the Scottish aspects of a loan facility and assignation of debt and security over the Scottish aspects of a hotel chain.
- Advised Liberty Global and Virgin Media on the Scottish aspects of an intra-company transfer of a portfolio of 10 sites as part of a wider company restructuring.
- Appointed by Virgin Media to handle a new lease with the landlord of Mercury House in Strathclyde Business Park including negotiating with the landlord and existing tenant on dilapidations.
The real estate group at Eversheds Sutherland specialises in major institutional and inward investment mandates, development transactions and significant real estate finance deals. The team also has a strong track record in leasing and portfolio management work. Principal associate Steven Dick heads up the real estate finance practice and senior associate Dixcee Fast heads up the core real estate team.
Steven Dick; Dixcee Fast
Other key lawyers:
Gilson Gray's real estate expertise spans across all key real estate sectors including office, leisure, industrial, hotels, residential, healthcare, retail, rural and mixed use. Alongside working with English firms as Scottish counsel, the group also represents a wide range of investors, developers, occupiers and corporates. Also notable is the team's work in the restructuring space, where it regularly acts for lenders and insolvency practitioners on distressed real estate assets. Murray Stewart leads the team from Edinburgh.
Tempest Brewing Company
- Advising the Centre for Process Innovation on the development of a £56m medicines manufacturing innovation facility (MMIC) in Inchinnan as part of the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District Scotland (AMIDS).
- Assisting The Paint Shed with its plans to expand its foot print and increase the number of units both in and out of central Scotland.
- Assisting Tempest Brewing Co with the expansion of its operations into a new purpose built brewery at Tweedbank in the Scottish Borders.
- Acting on SRA Ventures’ £18m property investment portfolio including handling the rationalisation and disposal of a £4.3m industrial investment.
Weightmans LLP's real estate group is led from Glasgow by Cassandra Auld and was recently bolstered by the arrival of contentious expert Claire Thornber from Pinsent Masons LLP, and commercial expert Andrew Warren from legacy firm Morisons LLP. The group operates as part of the firm's wider UK real estate practice and regularly advises its clients on issues pertaining to real estate investments, developments, finance matters and litigation.
Octopus Group/Octopus Property.
- Acting for Octopus Group as funder on a £10m secured bridging loan to facilitate the acquisition and re-development of Granton Harbour Estate, Edinburgh, a significant multi-use development including harbour, hotels, retirement accommodation and residential housing.
The Scottish real estate team at Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP sits as part of the firm's national UK practice, which the group leverages to assist with matters in the energy, residential, finance and retail sectors. Michael Spence leads the team and has a strong track record in development work; he recently relocated to Edinburgh from the Aberdeen office. Managing associate Philip Knight leads the real estate litigation team.
Other key lawyers:
Philip Knight; Paul Kenneth
Renewable Energy Systems Limited
Ashfield Land (Glasgow) Limited
Edison Oakapple Limited
ESB Asset Development UK Limited
Element Power Ireland Limited
Bridon International Limited
Lloyds Banking Group (Scottish panel)
Allied Irish Banks p.l.c. (Scottish panel)
Salus Developments Limited
Brent Infrastructure IBV
Post Office Limited (Scottish real estate)
Fabricom Offshore Services Limited
Smart Sheet UK Limited
- Acting for Renewable Energy Systems on its development of onshore wind farm opportunities in Scotland.
- Assisting Edison Oakapple with its development of a portfolio of solar power facilities and the subsequent disposal of the resulting project.
- Advising Airwave Solutions on the management its Scottish telecoms sites.
Wright, Johnston & Mackenzie LLP
Wright, Johnston & Mackenzie LLP is singled out for its sector expertise; the team is experienced in the leisure and licensed trade real estate sector and also handles matters in the agricultural and rural estates industries. Recent mandates include commercial property transactions, development work, landlord and tenant disputes and portfolio management issues. Leisure and hospitality sector specialist Colin Brass leads the group, Joanne Ockrim was recently promoted to partner, and Michael Dewar and Inverness-based John Smart joined from legacy firm CCW Business Lawyers and Ledingham Chalmers LLP respectively.
United Real Estate
Pagazzi Lighting Limited
Macfarlane Group PLC
JWR Holdings Limited
- Advised Lotus Group on the acquisition of an investment portfolio in Scotland.
- Assisting Melness Crofters Estate with the development of the first spaceport in the UK.