Commercial property: Edinburgh and Glasgow in Scotland

Aberdein Considine

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.

Practice head(s):

Paul Jennings

Other key lawyers:

David Orr


‘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.’

Key clients

Trump International

Ashfield District Council

West Coast Estates

Greggs plc

Currie European Limited


Rentokil plc

Jupiter Hotels

Mack Residential Group

Svenska Handelsbanken

Work highlights

  • 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.

Addleshaw Goddard

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.

Practice head(s):

Miles Ede

Other key lawyers:

Alison Newton; Neil Addis; Alastair Cowan; Kirsty Nicholson; Carrie Armstrong

Key clients

Legal & General

Europa Capital


British Telecommunication plc

City Pub Group




Harwood Real Estate

StayCity Apart Hotels

Work highlights

  • 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

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.

Practice head(s):

Chris Richardson


‘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.’

Key clients

Intu Properties plc

Transport Scotland

The Halo Kilmarnock Limited

Almondvale Limited

Firm of Macfarlane Farming

CALA Management Limited

4TH Developments (Johnstone) Limited

Edinburgh Napier University

Work highlights

  • 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.

Bellwether Green

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.

Practice head(s):

John Bingham

Other key lawyers:

Steven Templeton


‘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.’

Key clients

Liberty Global plc

Virgin Media Limited

Emerson Process Management

Fortune 500 Company.

Brookhouse Group

Vertu Motors plc.

St Brides Managers

AGF Insurance Limited

City Estates

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

Work highlights

  • 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.

Brodies LLP

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.

Practice head(s):

Johane Murray (Real estate); Colin Morrison (Hospitality, leisure and retail)

Other key lawyers:

Nick Scott; James Roscoe; Elaine Petterson; Laurence Douglas; Richard Whyte; Richard Smith; Chris McDaid; Tanya MacLeod; Robert Forman; Kevin McGlone


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.

Key clients

Peveril Securities

Royal London


Drum Property Group

Peel Outlets Management


Orion Capital Partners




Anadna Properties Limited



Morgan Stanley



New Look





Burger King


Pret a Manger

Work highlights

  • 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 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.

BTO Solicitors LLP

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.

Practice head(s):

David Gibson

Other key lawyers:

Scott Buchan; Jane Steel; Graeme Kelly; Peter Graham; Karen Brodie; Nicolas McBride


‘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.’

Key clients

Boultbee Land plc

Calmont Group

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

Work highlights

  • 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.

Burness Paull LLP

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 TammesNick 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.

Practice head(s):

John Strachan (Property); Graeme Bradshaw (Retail, leisure and hospitality)

Other key lawyers:

Richard Rennie; Tamar Tammes; Nicholas Naddell; Mark Patterson; Scott Peterkin; Peter Chambers


‘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.’

Key clients

Bupa Care Homes

Deuce Acquisitions Limited


FirstGroup plc

London & Scottish Group

Miller Homes

Queensberry Properties

Scottish Enterprise

Sitel UK Limited

Supermarket Income Reit

Taylor Wimpey


Westbrook Partners

Work highlights

  • 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.

Practice head(s):

Allan Wernham


‘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.’

Key clients


Nuveen Real Estate (formerly known as TH Real Estate)

Aberdeen Standard Investments

Gleneagles Hotel

Oaktree Capital


Barclays Bank plc


Pearkal Property Investments Limited

Info Properties Limited

Fattal Hotels

FRP Advisory



Europe Hotels Private Collection

Cup/Gin 71

Snow Factor


Matthew Hunter Fitness

The Terrace Hotel Limited

Work highlights

  • 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.

Davidson Chalmers Stewart

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.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Chalmers

Other key lawyers:

Gavin Maclean; Bruce Lancaster


‘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.’

Key clients

Chris Stewart Group

Peveril Securities Limited

Crosslane Group

Muir Group

Suez Group

Peel Group

Highbridge Properties plc

Ministry of Justice

Pizza Hut

Burger King

Work highlights

  • 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.


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.

Practice head(s):

Gordon Aitken; Simon Etchells

Other key lawyers:

Allan Cairns

DLA Piper

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.

Practice head(s):

Drew Wallace (Real estate); Steve Edgecombe (Hospitality and leisure)

Other key lawyers:

Sheila Irvine;


‘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.’

Key clients

Admiral Taverns

Aggregate Industries

Catella Parken Europa

The Ambassador Theatre Group


Osborne & Co/Vanguard Limited


Heineken UK Limited

Artisan Real Estate Investors Limited



British Airways

LaSalle Investment Management

Places for People


St Enoch Trustee Company (Blackstone and Sovereign)

Leonardo Hotel Group

Henry Boot Developments

New Waverley

Royal Bank of Scotland

Round Hill Capital UK Limited

Work highlights

  • 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.

Practice head(s):

David Ratter; Chris McLeish

Other key lawyers:

Geoff Stansfield; Iain McHardy; Iain McLean

Key clients

Babcock Group

Marks and Spencer p.l.c.


M7 Real Estate/Blackstone

McCarthy & Stone

Ambassador Group

Moda Living

McAleer & Rushe

Squarestone Growth LLP

Goldman Sachs

Next PLC

Arcadia (TopShop, Burton, Dorothy Perkins, Wallis, Evans, Miss Selfridge, Outfit)





Holland & Barrett


Karen Millen

Fat Face

Dunelm Mill

Oasis Stores




The White Company

River Island


Work highlights

  • 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.

Eversheds Sutherland

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.

Practice head(s):

Steven Dick; Dixcee Fast

Other key lawyers:

Hazel Tait

Gillespie Macandrew LLP

Gillespie Macandrew LLP's real estate team includes a prominent housebuilder sub-group led by Harry SmithKenneth 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.

Practice head(s):

Kenneth Irons; Harry Smith (housebuilding);

Other key lawyers:

Greg Peebles


‘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.’

Key clients

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

Gilson Gray

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.

Practice head(s):

Murray Stewart

Key clients

Global Radio


Ondine Restaurant


SRA Ventures


Binn Group

Tempest Brewing Company


Lend Invest

Work highlights

  • 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.

Harper Macleod LLP

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.

Practice head(s):

John Meehan

Other key lawyers:

David Bell; Chris Noble; Limor Wolfe


‘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.’

Key clients

New City Vision Group

Tulloch Homes Group

Hazledene Group

James Keiller Group

Meallmore Limited

Philip C Smith (Commercials) Limited

Fairways Inverness Limited

Home Farms Partnership

Energetics Group

Aprirose Real Estate Investment

Ardent Group

Parkland Developments Limited

City Vale Developments Limited


Charles Tyrwhitt

Destiny Scotland Group

Camlin Group



Tattu Limited

Café Nero

J D Sports

Card Factory

Bon Marche

MRH (GB) Limited

Britannia Hotels Limited

Allied Irish Bank Plc

Bank of Scotland Plc

St Andrews University

Wallets Marts Plc

Queensway Group

Café Nero

Work highlights

  • 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.


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.

Practice head(s):

Derek Nash

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.’

Key clients


Hurricane Energy PLC

Intu (formerly Capital Shopping Centres)

Scottish Water

Scottish Association for Mental Health

Community Windpower

Waterstones Booksellers Limited

Structured House

Tom Howley Limited

Fanduel Limited

Work highlights

  • 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.

MacRoberts LLP

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.

Practice head(s):

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.’

Key clients

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)

Work highlights

  • 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.

Morton Fraser

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.

Practice head(s):

Michael Ramsay; Elspeth Carson (Retail)

Other key lawyers:

Brian Hutcheson; Amy Entwistle; David Stewart; Brian Macfarlane; Alan Stewart


‘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’.

Key clients



Empiric Student Property PLC

Moorgarth Group

Taylor Wimpey


Visit Scotland

Hunter UK Retail Trust

BAM Properties Limited

Bloc Hotels

Work highlights

  • 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.

Pinsent Masons LLP

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.

Practice head(s):

Katharine Hardie

Other key lawyers:

Paul Connolly; Ewan Alexander; Russell Munro; Jennifer Ballantyne; Martin Devine


‘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.’

Key clients

Barclays Bank

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

Wheatley Group

Ropemaker Properties Limited (BP Pension fund)

West Coast Captial

Work highlights

  • 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

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.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Hall (Property); David Mitchell (Property); Jamie Grant (Leisure and hospitality); Hugh Smith (Leisure and hospitality)

Other key lawyers:

Nick Ryden; James Dobie; Scott Ritchie; Elaine Todd


‘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’.

Key clients

British Land plc



Tilstone/Warehouse REIT

CBREGI UK Property Fund

Miller Homes

Trump Turnberry

Dakota Hotels

Balmoral Hotel

Molo Hotel (formerly Polcom Developments)

Fraser Suites

Crerar Hotel Management

BDL Select Hotels Limited

Chardon Trading


BDL Shetland Limited

HPMC Limited (owners Crowne Plaza London Docklands)

Aberdeen Standard


BAE Systems

Taylor Wimpey

Work highlights

  • 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.


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.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Dougherty

Other key lawyers:

Robin Mitchell


‘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.’

Key clients

Leftfield Properties



Estee Lauder





Euro Garages


Deltic Group

One Stop Stores (Tesco)


Krispy Kreme


Russell & Bromley

DPSK (Dominos Pizza)

Clinton Cards


Revolution Bars

BBs Coffee & Muffins

Bob & Berts

Work highlights

  • 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.

Practice head(s):

Kenneth Meldrum

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.’

Key clients

Greene King plc

Punch Taverns Limited

WH Smith

Tapi Carpet & Floors Limited


Q-Park Limited


British Heart Foundation

Town Centre Securities plc

Ecotricity Limited

Work highlights

  • 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.

Weightmans LLP

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.

Practice head(s):

Cassandra Auld

Other key lawyers:

Claire Thornber; Andrew Warren

Key clients

Octopus Group/Octopus Property.

Work highlights

  • 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.

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

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.

Practice head(s):

Michael Spence

Other key lawyers:

Philip Knight; Paul Kenneth

Key clients

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

Springquote Limited

Brent Infrastructure IBV

Post Office Limited (Scottish real estate)

Fabricom Offshore Services Limited

Smart Sheet UK Limited

Carpetright plc

Work highlights

  • 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.

Practice head(s):

Colin Brass

Other key lawyers:

Iain Dunn; Andrew McFarlane; John Smart; Michael Dewar; Joanne Ockrim

Key clients

Lotus Group

Dundas Heritable

Cairn Group

Rosemount Taverns

GAP Group

United Real Estate

Colhoun Family

Pagazzi Lighting Limited

Macfarlane Group PLC

JWR Holdings Limited

RGI Group

Work highlights

  • 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.