Commercial property: Edinburgh and Glasgow in Scotland

Brodies LLP

Brodies LLP’s broad and deep bench of practitioners handles real estate matters in ‘a precise and expeditious manner which adds real commercial value’, and is ‘unrivalled in Scotland’. The firm has a large share of the domestic market and also acts for a number of international entrants to Scotland. It is active in a number of developing sectors, including the build-to-rent sector and co-living development schemes. Johane Murray heads the practice and is recommended for investment and development deals. Managing partner Nick Scott is active in the office, retail, leisure, student and industrial sectors. James Roscoe is recommended for property finance and corporate occupier work, while Colin Morrison handles the Scots law aspects of cross-border commercial contracts. In May 2020, Kate McLeish and Karren Smith were promoted to partner.

Practice head(s):

Johane Murray

Other key lawyers:

Nick Scott; James Roscoe; Elaine Petterson; Laurence Douglas; Richard Whyte; Richard Smith; Chris McDaid; Tanya MacLeod; Colin Morrison; Kate McLeish; Karren Smith; Allan Cairns; Colin Keenan


‘Very good at working as part of a wider deal team, interacting with lawyers in other jurisdictions or from the funder group. They know when to accommodate a point and when to close out’.

‘The team deals with our extensive real estate requirements in a precise and expeditious manner which adds real commercial value to our business’.

‘Johane Murray remains peerless in Scottish Real Estate circles; she provides clear, concise advice and exceptional commercial acumen’. 

‘Elaine Petterson has a calm manner and a methodical method of execution, Elaine inspires confidence’.

‘James Roscoe is a skilled practitioner and deep thinker – a combined skill set which delivers excellence for us on a daily basis’.

‘The team appear to operate effortlessly between Edinburgh and Glasgow, providing the full suite of real estate disciplines for their clients’.

‘They adapted well to the restrictions imposed by the pandemic and continued to promote their collaborative ethos, even when working remotely’.

‘Colin Keenan oversees our account with great detail and I am extremely comfortable taking on any legal transaction when I know he is involved’.

Key clients

Drum Property Group

Ediston Real Estate

Knight Property Group


Orion Capital Partners

Frasers Property UK

Student Roost


Blackbrook Capital

Baumont Real Estate Capital


New Look



Pret a Manger




Co-operative Group

Accor Hotels

Everyman Cinema

Casual Dining Group

The Restaurant Group

Work highlights

  • Acting for Korean investor clients of Knight Frank Investment Management (KFIM) in the real estate investment acquisition of the Amazon Fulfilment Centre in Dunfermline, Fife for £63m.
  • Acting for Drum Property Group and Stamford Property Investments on two separate forward funding and development projects on the 3.6 acre Candleriggs site, which is a significant regeneration project in Glasgow city centre.
  • Advised iQ Student Accommodation on Scottish property aspects of Goldman Sachs and Welcome Trust’s £4.66bn sale of the business to Blackstone.

Burness Paull LLP

Burness Paull LLP’s real estate team play a key role in shaping policy and driving change in the Scots market, as evidenced by its involvement with a number of industry bodies, including the Scottish Property Federation (SPF). The practice is well versed in high-profile development and regeneration matters, and is experienced in the corporate occupier, build-to-rent, telecoms, residential, retail, and leisure and hospitality sectors. The Aberdeen-based John Strachan heads the team and is ably supported by veteran commercial real estate partner Graeme Bradshaw, who is recommended for commercial leasing matters. Richard Rennie focuses on property investment and Nick Naddell handles cross-border mandates for blue chip retailers.

Practice head(s):

John Strachan

Other key lawyers:

Richard Rennie; Nick Naddell; Scott Peterkin; Peter Chambers; Graeme Bradshaw; Steven McKinlay


‘The team are extremely professional and experienced, which enables transactions to take place easily and to our expectations. There is good collaboration to discuss client requirements and availability of meeting times makes things so much easier to deal with’.

‘They work as a highly effective team, with good co-ordination within the real estate practice area and involving other specialist areas when required’.

‘The Burness team is always very responsive, provide sensible commercial advice and assist in getting the deal done to the client’s desired deadline’.

‘Steven McKinlay offers clear considered leadership to challenging RE issues and provides solutions that are focused on the client’s strategic objectives.’

‘Steven McKinlay is attentive to the matters and intervenes as necessary in support of his associates. He takes a sensible commercial view which is what is needed when real estate is only part of a larger deal to be done.’

Key clients

Barratt Homes

CALA Homes

Cemex UK Operations Limited

Crosslane Group

CSG (Chris Stewart Group)

Flavourly Limited

Glasgow City Council

Impact Healthcare REIT plc

IWG/ Regus

LSPIM/ Regional REIT (London & Scottish)

On Tower

Pizza Express (Restaurants Limited)

Verdant Leisure

Viva Italia Limited (Tony Macaroni Group)


YUM! (III) UK Limited

Taylor Wimpey

Work highlights

  • Advised Cemex UK Operations Limited in connection with the Scottish aspects of the divestment of a UK-wide portfolio of business and assets to Breedon for £178m, including 27 Scottish properties.
  • Advised Chris Stewart Group in its acquisition and development of a substantial site in Glasgow City Centre. The former offices are being developed to form destination hotel, residential and serviced apartment accommodation with office, leisure and retail aspects.
  • Advised Impact Healthcare REIT on all property law elements of a share purchase by Impact Healthcare of a Scottish care homes operator, Homes Care Group comprising nine care homes in Scotland.


The real estate group at CMS handles a range of investment and development work, and draws on expertise from its colleagues in the wider firm's funds, tax, finance, construction, planning and disputes teams. It is particularly active in the care, build-to-rent, hospitality and leisure, energy and public sectors. Paul Carter heads the practice and has considerable experience in advising foreign investors looking to invest in Scotland. Iain Doran is experienced in the sale of distressed property portfolios. Stuart Tait counts a number blue-chip institutional investors among his clientele, and is recommended for funding transactions. Of counsel Roland Smyth and senior associate Teresa Bradshaw-Wong are also recommended. Douglas Hunter retired in mid-2020.

Practice head(s):

Paul Carter

Other key lawyers:

Iain Doran; Stuart Tait; Roland Smyth; Teresa Bradshaw-Wong; Allan Wernham


‘We have a longstanding relationship with CMS, who deal with all our legal requirements exclusively – they provide a quality service to our business’.

‘Paul Carter provides exceptional service’.

Key clients

Nuveen Real Estates

Aberdeen Standard Investments





Pierval Sante


Trinova Real Estate

Scottish Event Campus

The City of Edinburgh Council

Ribston Property Unit Trust

SSE Renewables


NewRiver Retail

University of Glasgow

Murray Estates

Scottish Enterprise

National Grid




Clydesdale Bank

Credit Suisse

Work highlights

  • Advising Nuveen Real Assets on the £1bn St James Quarter, Edinburgh.
  • Advising M&G on the £133m sale of the Aegon HQ (formerly known as Scottish Equitable House), office building at 1-3 Lochside Crescent, Edinburgh Business Park, Edinburgh.
  • Advised longstanding client, Scottish Event Campus Limited, on the lease and other operational agreements to allow the Scottish Ministers and the NHS to convert the Scottish Event Campus in Glasgow into Scotland’s only ‘Nightingale Hospital’, the Louisa Jordan Hospital.

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP handles a broad range of commercial property work, including high-profile investment and development deals. The practice stands out for its Glasgow-based, dedicated property innovation team, which identifies how technology assists in the delivery of real estate legal services. Katharine Hardie heads the team and is experienced in commercial and residential development work in the private sector. Russell Munro handles acquisition management and the disposal of large portfolios of assets. Paul Connolly focuses on complex, high-value, multi-party development projects.

Practice head(s):

Katharine Hardie

Other key lawyers:

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


‘Katherine Hardie and Paul Connolly both know the market very well and both have a good balance of commercial acumen and protecting our interests, whilst understanding the other side’.

Katharine Hardie is extremely knowledgeable and experienced’.

‘All individuals we have had involved in our workload have been impressive’.

‘They are highly skilled lawyers who know the market well and are very commercial aware’.

‘They work well as a team and are focused to get deals done’.

‘There has been continuity of service during the pandemic due to the use of technology and their lawyers not being furloughed’.

Key clients

Barclays Bank

LCN Capital Partners


Legal & General UK Build to Rent Fund

HFD Group Limited

Bricks Capital Limited

LEN Property Investment Limited

Arbah Capital

Strathclyde Pension Fund

Wheatley Housing Group

City of Edinburgh Council

Pilkington Trust

Work highlights

  • Acted for Legal & General on its third Scottish build-to-rent project at Candleriggs, Glasgow, which will form a major component of a key mixed-use regeneration of a longstanding vacant site in the heart of Glasgow city centre.
  • Advising the City of Edinburgh Council in relation to the development proposals relating to the high-profile Fountainbridge site which is planned to provide over 400 residential units, office, retail and leisure space.
  • Acting for Arbah Capital on the acquisition of The Sauchiehall Street Centre, Glasgow.

Addleshaw Goddard

The real estate team at Addleshaw Goddard is active across a broad range of sectors, including energy and hospitality, as well as a more recent focus on digital infrastructure. It is well versed in handling the restructuring and reorganisation of UK portfolios, and is no stranger to cross-border work. Miles Ede heads the practice and has considerable experience in the digital infrastructure sector - he is the key client partner for BT. Alison Newton is a name to note for leasing and land development deals, and also handles regeneration work.

Practice head(s):

Miles Ede

Other key lawyers:

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


‘A dedicated and committed service that should make others sit up and notice’.

‘Alison Newton is the lawyer you need in heated discussions; she take complex problems and adds an air of experience, simplicity and ease to resolve them swiftly’.

‘Access and availability are paramount concerns for any client: and both are provided in abundance’.

‘There is a personal approach here that I have found lacking elsewhere and a real commitment to commerciality’.

‘The AG real estate team are an extension of our operating capability internally and that is something that we rely on absolutely’.

‘Collaboration and the handing over the matter between fee earners was stellar’.

‘The team understands what we are trying to achieve and are focused on delivering this for us’.

‘Communication is strong and they have the clarity of thought that we value’.

Key clients

Scottish Enterprise

KanAm Grund

Aviva Investors

Asda Stores Limited

British Telecommunications plc

Legal and General

SSE plc


Watkin Jones plc

Ediston Real Estate

Work highlights

  • Advised Watkin Jones on two student accommodation developments in Westfield & Gorgie Road Edinburgh.
  • Advised KanAm on the purchase of 4 North St Andrew St Edinburgh.
  • Advised the administrators of Kast Retail Limited t/a Quiz Clothing on a job saving strategy.


Brian Hutcheson joined Dentons from Morton Fraser in May 2020 and now heads the team following the retirement of Gordon Aitken. With a huge international network, the firm is well placed to handle high-value, multi-jurisdictional mandates. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the firm created interactive toolkits that assist clients with lease, agreement and litigation, possession and enforcement issues. Hutcheson is recommended for estates management and development work.

Practice head(s):

Brian Hutcheson

Other key lawyers:

Paul Haniford


‘Every member of the team, no matter how junior, is more than capable of the task they are required to do’.

‘All individuals are working within their own specialised area, but they always provide a joined-up approach’.

‘Each of the people we are involved with give us the highest attention at all times, no matter how small the question’.

Key clients

M & G Real Estate

Aviva Investors

Hammerson Plc

Praxis Asset Management

Aberdeen Standard

Peel Retail Developments Limited

Universities Superannuation Scheme Limited

The Student Hotel

Inmark Asset Management Co. Limited

Sigma Capital

Work highlights

  • Instructed by DB Financial Investment Co. Ltd (in association with Hyundai Asset Management and Roebuck Asset Management) on the acquisition of 1-3 Lochside Crescent, Edinburgh, an office complex that acts as Aegon’s UK headquarters.
  • Advised Tarn Crag Limited, managed by Praxis Real Estate, on the lease of 28,216sq ft of Grade A office space at 310 St Vincent Street, Glasgow to Wescot Credit Services Limited.
  • Provided Scots law support to Universities Superannuation Scheme Limited on its acquisition of a 49% share in the share capital of a new joint venture company.

DLA Piper

The real estate department at DLA Piper acts on a range of matters in Scotland, the UK and further afield, with support from the wider firm's international network. It has recently been acting on a number of real estate development and financing deals, and has also been providing advice relating the COVID-19 pandemic. Key client sectors include financial services, energy, consumer goods, food and drink, and the public sector. Drew Wallace heads the practice; Sheila Irvine is recommended for leasing, investment and development matters; and Carolyne Hair was promoted to partner in May 2020.

Practice head(s):

Drew Wallace

Other key lawyers:

Sheila Irvine; Steve Edgecombe; Carolyne Hair


‘Good balance and breadth of experience in team’.

‘Commercial acumen when dealing with critical matters in tight time frames’.

‘Sheila Irvine is very good at detailed matters and brings sound commercial experience to assist in negotiations’.

Key clients

Admiral Taverns

Aecom Limited

Aggregate Industries  UK plc

Alba Group

Ambassador Theatre Group

Artisan Real Estate Investors Limited


BrewDog plc

British Airways

Caledonian Heritable

Campus Living

Government of the United Kingdom


Hansteen Property Investments Limited

Harrison Street Real Estate

Heineken UK Limited

Henry Boot Developments

HGIT Edinburgh Limited (Hines)

Hines Global

LaSalle Investment Management

Ministry of Defence

Odeon Cinemas

Osborne & Co/Vanguard Limited

Places for People


NatWest Group plc

Structured House Group

St Enoch Trustee Company

Work highlights

  • Following the acquisition of over 1,800 pubs from Punch Taverns, continuing to manage Heineken’s UK property portfolio, including a number of required disposal programmes including the Project Tokyo UK-wide sale to Admiral Taverns.
  • Representing the UK Government on agreeing the legal framework for the 2021 (Scotland-hosted) United Nations Climate Change Conference, including negotiation of rights of access and occupation of key venues in Scotland, such as the SEC Centre and the Glasgow Science Centre.
  • Representing Osborne and Co on the development of a 270,000 square feet office for JP Morgan Chase in Glasgow, Scotland – including all planning, tax, construction and project finance aspects.


DWF fields a multidisciplinary team, which services an international client base on matters in both Scotland and England. It handles a large amount of investment and development deals, and stands out for its high-profile retail clients, which it advises on leasing and insolvency matters. It also handles matters in the logistics, education, energy, leisure and tourism, and public sectors. The team is headed by David Ratter, Chris McLeish and Kevin McGlone.

Practice head(s):

David Ratter; Chris McLeish; Kevin McGlone

Other key lawyers:

Geoff Stansfield; Iain McHardy; Iain McLean


‘Chris McLeish gets on well with all of us and manages the DWF team effectively, He understands what is important to us and is pragmatic. We don’t like our lawyers to spend time point-scoring and Chris avoids doing this.  He makes sure that the team takes the same approach.  He is proactive in managing transactions for us.’

‘The team is well integrated and we know them well’.

‘They operate well as a team and understand how we work as a business’.

‘We work to agreed fee scales with the team, so billing is very rarely a contentious matter.’

Key clients

Babcock Group

Mileway / Blackstone

McAleer & Rushe

Aberdeen City Council



Whitbread/Premier Inn


Marks and Spencer p.l.c.

Hermes Parcelnet

Mowi (Marine Harvest)


David Samuel Properties

Apollo Real Estate Investments

Lake Merritt Hotel Group

Jet 2

C&C Group (Magners & Tennents)

Buxani Group

Seacare Hotel Group

Kenworth Student Living

Muthu Hotel Group

Work highlights

  • Acted for Potter UK Bidco on the Scots law aspects of the real estate, finance, construction, planning, corporate and tax aspects of its £500m acquisition of Hansteen Holdings Plc.
  • Advised M7 Real Estate on the £8.5m acquisition of Galabank Business Park.
  • Acted as Scottish counsel for M7 Box + II in connection with a £300m UK multi portfolio acquisition of 19 retail warehouses.

MacRoberts LLP

MacRoberts LLP acts for a range of public and private sector clients, including property professionals, business occupiers and investors. It handles the full gamut of property law matters, including development, investment, finance, and planning and environmental issues. The practice stands out for its expertise in the mineral, biotech, storage and distribution, and supermarket operator sectors. Gillian Campbell and Ian Bowie head the practice, while Douglas Lamb is experienced in high-profile and high-value developments. Kelsey Gibson acts for landlords and tenants on commercial and residential developments.

Practice head(s):

Ian Bowie; Gillian Campbell

Other key lawyers:

Douglas Lamb; Lisa Frost; John McQuillan; David McGuire; Kelsey Gibson


‘Ian Bowie is a safe pair of hands in any transaction and never known to make an error’.

‘Ian Bowie quickly grasps the commercial reality of a transaction and adapts accordingly’.

‘John McQuillan’s expertise in options and overage comes in very useful to us’.

‘Kelsey Gibson has impressed me over the many years we have conducted business in her ability to work damn hard pushing to ensure she gets the absolute best result for the client’.

‘John McQuillan goes the extra mile and fights our corner well’.

‘MacRoberts offer a rounded business perspective in addition to sound legal and technical advice’.

‘The team that work on our behalf communicate promptly, clearly and give straightforward commercial advice’.

‘They provide high quality but good value services with no fuss nor unexpectedly high billing’.

Key clients

Robertson Property Limited and Live Nation Entertainment

Hamilton Capital Partners/ Revcap

BAM Properties

Chivas Brothers (Pernod Ricard group)

Menzies Distribution plc

Clydeside Regeneration Limited

Wm Morrison Supermarkets PLC

Wm Hamilton & Sons Limited

BioReliance Limited and Millipore/Merck Group

London and Cambridge Properties / Sheet Anchor Investments

Work highlights

  • Advising Robertson Property Group on the legal aspects of a bid by Robertson Property Limited and Live Nation Entertainment Inc to develop and operate a new 15,000 seater indoor arena at Atlantic Wharf, Cardiff in conjunction with Cardiff City Council at a cost of approximately £150m.
  • Acted for Clydeside Regeneration Limited in the negotiation of a Development Agreement to deliver almost 150 new affordable homes for social rent and several commercial units as part of the Queens Quay regeneration project in Clydebank.
  • Acted on behalf of a consortium of infrastructure investors – lead by Equitix Investment Management/Helios Capital via their infrastructure investment platform Bio Capital Ltd in relation to the acquisition of a significant portfolio energy asset and connected land assets from SSE plc and the ENVA Group.

Morton Fraser

Morton Fraser takes a multidisciplinary approach to real estate matters, drawing on strength from practitioners in construction, planning, real estate finance, corporate, insolvency and litigation. It has particular expertise in the build-to-rent, residential development and estate management sectors. Michael Ramsay heads the practice and is no stranger to cross-border work, often handling the Scots law aspects of international deals. Elspeth Carson focuses on investment and development matters, acting for property investors, developers, institutional funds, private property companies and high street retailers. John Gallacher joined as a consultant from Shepherd and Wedderburn; Brian Hutcheson and Brian Meldrum departed for Dentons and Bannatyne Kirkwood France & Co respectively.

Practice head(s):

Michael Ramsay

Other key lawyers:

Amy Entwistle; David Stewart; Brian Macfarlane; Alan Stewart; Elspeth Carson; John Gallacher


‘A very professional team who are reactive and know our business so can anticipate and assist on areas requiring advice’.

‘The individuals we deal with are very responsive to our requests and react with speed and professionalism when required’.

‘Our structure and governance is complex and their advice always takes this into account and is tailored to our needs’.

‘They provide a very prompt service, they always accommodate tight deadlines and their billing is clear and transparent’.

‘Amy Entwhistle is very knowledgeable, professional, clear and helpful’.

‘The team were very strong and personable’.

‘David Stewart has a strong focus on detail but provides commercial solutions instead of just issues’.

‘The team are always responsive, they are connected and able to stand in and back up each other and have a good work ethic with the demands we place upon them’.

Key clients

Urban Logistics

Tetra Technologies





Tesco Stores


Crucible Alba

City of Edinburgh Council

Aberdeen City Council

Aberdeenshire Council



BAM Properties

Scottish and UK Ministers

Scottish Prison Service

Empiric Student Property

Work highlights

  • Acted for Urban Logistics in the Scottish aspects of the acquisition of two UK-wide portfolios of logistics properties, and also on the Scottish side of a debt finance facility.
  • Acted for Patrizia in the sale of Guildhall in Glasgow, a 145,000 sq ft mixed office & retail building, completed at the start of the first lockdown and one of the few office investment sales completed in Scotland in 2020.
  • Acted for Green Town (Heartlands) throughout 2020 on the Heartlands development site, one of the largest regeneration projects in Europe, with £650m being invested residentially and commercially.

Shepherd and Wedderburn

Shepherd and Wedderburn acts for bluechip clients on a wide range of real estate matters. Its multidisciplinary team draws on strength from construction, planning, tax, banking and litigation experts. The team is jointly led by Andrew Hall and David Mitchell. Hall handles commercial and residential developments, regeneration projects and property finance. Mitchell has a broad commercial practice and has considerable experience in office, retail and mixed-use projects across Scotland. James Dobie is recommended for development work and land disposal.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Hall; David Mitchell

Other key lawyers:

Nick Ryden; James Dobie; Scott Ritchie; Elaine Todd; Judith Stephenson; Richard Turnbull; Jamie Grant


‘Andrew Hall has a practical and sensible approach to problem solving’.

‘Judith Stephenson’s experience, comprehensive knowledge and attention to detail is extremely beneficial to her clients’.

‘They feel as is they are part of my team – it feels as if they are in-house and always looking out for me’.

‘They operate at a very personal level, nothing is ever a hassle for them – they just get on and do a very good job’.

‘The ethos of the firm is to provide good advice promptly and without fuss’.

‘The interaction between the various departments is quick and apparently seamless, allowing matters to be resolved expeditiously’.

‘They have excellent multi-disciplinary legal expertise’.

‘Excellent client service, readily accessible and willing to go the extra mile’.

Key clients

British Land plc



Tilstone/Warehouse REIT

CBREGI UK Property Fund

Miller Homes

Aberdeen Standard

LondonMetric Property plc

BAE Systems

Taylor Wimpey

AXA Real Estate IM

JPMorgan Chase Bank

Work highlights

  • Acted for investment manager Baillie Gifford in agreeing a 20-year pre-let on 280,000 sq ft of office accommodation at the £350m Haymarket Edinburgh development, a mixed-use site currently being developed by M&G Real Estate and Qmile Group.
  • Acted for Axa Real Estate Investment Managers in relation to the acquisition of the Thistles Shopping Centre, Stirling, from Aberdeen Standard Investments.
  • Acting for Taylor Wimpey in the majority of its site acquisitions and sales in Scotland, and in the management of its strategic land portfolio (in excess of 50 sites).

Aberdein Considine

Aberdein Considine is known in the market for completing deals efficiently and effectively, and for its broad geographic coverage across Scotland. It is particularly experienced in advising local authorities on the acquisition, and portfolio management, of Scottish investment property. Paul Jennings heads the team and David Orr is recommended for real estate-related investment and finance matters.

Practice head(s):

Paul Jennings

Other key lawyers:

David Orr


‘They display a willingness to work outwith their location by partnering up with other reputable solicitors, making completing transactions outside Scotland very easy’.

‘David Orr was always willing to go above and beyond to ensure we got what we wanted’.

‘David Orr has a commercial as well as having a risk-averse mindset and therefore allowed us to move at the pace we required’.

They have been able to pivot, adapt and protect myself and my clients on numerous and diverse transactions, always leading to a successful conclusion’.

‘They are always available, always reliable and are willing to challenge’.

‘Everyone I worked with at Aberdeen Considine was professional and helpful and clearly were working together’.

‘David Orr was both pragmatic and professional and helped get the deal over the line when I think many would have suggested we walked away’.

‘Paul Jennings is one of the most commercially sensitive solicitors in the market; he always has an eye on the deal and is willing to give the right advice even what that might be unpalatable’.

Key clients

Ashfield District Council

Charnwood Borough Council

Greggs plc

Trump International

Westerwood Group

National Windscreens

Vinci Construction

Broadridge Financial Services Limited

Blairston Investments

Haus Holdings

RK Properties (Scotland) Ltd

Mason & Harris

Rajpal Developments Ltd

Rox UK

Rentokil Initial plc

Jupiter Hotels

Work highlights

  • Advising Ashfield District Council on the acquisition of 1 Central Park, Larbert.
  • Advised Charnwood Borough Council on the purchase of a site at Gateway Business Park in Aberdeen.
  • Advised Greggs on the leasing aspects of its new flagship store at Great Western Retail Park in Glasgow.

Anderson Strathern

Under the leadership of Anne McGregor, Anderson Strathern continues to advise on all aspects of commercial real estate. It has a dedicated business hub, which provides clients with information around hot topics in the market; recently it has been providing information around Brexit and the COVID-19 pandemic. McGregor acts for a range of clients from local businesses to multinational organisations. Ruth Maclean is a name to note for residential developments and Deborah Lovell handles commercial leasing and specialist land tax advice.

Practice head(s):

Anne McGregor

Other key lawyers:

Deborah Lovell; Ruth Maclean; Euan Mellor


‘Anne McGregor has a pragmatic approach and and in-depth expertise which gives confidence that we are in the best of hands’.

‘A trusted core team with a very thorough approach’.

‘Ruth Maclean understands the values of our business and is a trusted member of the team’.

‘The team are always happy to talk through options where multiples exist and take on board any client comments’.

‘They take a pragmatic approach to sometimes difficult situations.’

‘The team act as a team and there is strong and evident personal interaction between specialisms’.

‘The team are committed to growth through innovation’.

‘Their knowledge of our business and what we require of them has always been impressive’.

Key clients

Braehead Shopping Centre

Halo Kilmarnock Limited

Teague Homes (UK) Limited

Northwind 5S Limited

Scottish Courts & Tribunal Service (SCTS)

Shetland Islands Council

Apex Hotels Limited

Clyde Gateway Developments Limited

Crown Estate Scotland

Visser & Co Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising and partnering with Halo Kilmarnock on its £63m brownfield urban low carbon mixed-use development 23-acre site.
  • Acted for the Scottish Courts and Tribunal Service in the creation of bespoke agreements to use Cinemas as remote jury centres, to allow court jury trials to resume in September, during the covid-19 pandemic.
  • Acting for Shetland Island Council in relation to the Sullom Voe Oil Terminal and the Shetland Gas Plant and in connection with the council’s Orion Project for development of a hub to provide a clean sustainable energy future for Shetland.

BTO Solicitors LLP

BTO Solicitors LLP is active in a wide range of areas, including the retail, charities, marine and housebuilder sectors. It has particular expertise in property finance, which complements the firm’s funder-focused banking and finance practice. The firm acts for a number of overseas and domestic investors, making use of limited partnerships and other innovative structures. Jane Steel heads the team, while Nicholas McBride handles lease and portfolio management in the leisure and hospitality industry.

Practice head(s):

Jane Steel

Other key lawyers:

Scott Buchan; Graeme Kelly; Peter Graham; Karen Brodie; Nicolas McBride; David Gibson


‘The team at BTO are concise, clear, contactable and commercial’.

‘Scott Buchan is very user friendly; he doesn’t just look for problems, he offers solutions to potential issues’.

‘I have always found them to be diligent, thorough, professional and very collaborative’.

‘Their legal knowledge is second to none and I very much value their advice’.

‘David Gibson is excellent.’

‘Excellent resource across all levels, good partner engagement and driven to achieve the commercial outcome sought’.

‘Skilled at cutting through the complexities and details and providing summary advice of the position with appropriate recommendations’.

‘Scott Buchan is our key contact and is energetic and enthusiastic’.

Key clients

The Scottish Football Association

Calmont Group

Wilson Developments (Scotland) Ltd

OCO West End Limited and Burton & Speke Limited

Standard Real Estate Ltd

Wirefox Management Limited

PVY Limited

Tegco Immingham

Erindale (SC) Limited

Panacea (Scotland) Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised the Scottish Football Association on the acquisition of the national stadium, Hampden Park, Glasgow.
  • Advised Calmont Group on the £25m purchase of two properties in Glasgow for development as build-to-rent.
  • Advised Tegco Inningham on the cross-border acquisition of a waste to energy plant at Inningham, with £100m plus project value.

Burges Salmon LLP

Burges Salmon LLP continues to go from strength to strength in the real estate sector in Scotland and has recently been providing contingency advice around COVID-19, along with some high-profile and high-value transactions. It is active in a wide range of areas, including hotels and leisure, retail, industrial, energy and rail. The team is jointly led by Robert Forman and Bristol’s Paul Browne, with Forman recommended for investment, development and finance work.

Practice head(s):

Paul Browne; Robert Forman

Other key lawyers:

Claire MacLean

Key clients

Abellio Scotrail Limited

Atlas Hotels

Bank of Scotland

West Ranga Property Group

BSW Timber Limited

David Lloyd Leisure/Next Generation

H&H Developments

Knight Frank Investment Management

BayWa r.e. UK Limited

Heritage Square/Puma Property Finance

Work highlights

  • Advised Atlas Hotels and L+R Hotels on the acquisition of Holiday Inn’s Edinburgh City West Hotel, including both the property and trading business.
  • Providing ongoing advice to West Ranga Property Group on their UK wide assets and opportunities, including dvising on the purchase of a £21m development site at Eurocentral, and the subsequent development agreement and fifteen year lease with Scania (UK) Limited.
  • Advised Abellio on the impact of COVID-19 on their properties in Glasgow, including lease terminations, dilapidations and other lockdown-related matters.

Davidson Chalmers Stewart

Davidson Chalmers Stewart handles transactional matters in the residential and commercial development, investment and commercial leasing spheres. It has experience in the housebuilding sector, where it handles contracts and land acquisition work; and in the healthcare sector, where it deals with primary care property and development work. Andrew Chalmers heads the practice and works with a broad range of clients, from family offices to multinationals.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Chalmers

Other key lawyers:

Gavin Maclean; Bruce Lancaster


‘I feel that this firm understand our business and are always keen to offer advice on how we can do things better or differently’.

‘I’ve worked with Andrew Chalmers for years; he epitomises what one wants from a trusted advisor’.

‘We have a very open and honest relationship, which I believe supports us to get transactions completed with the minimal amount of fuss’.

‘They are incredibly responsive, hard working and continually go the extra mile for me, even when we have challenges from solicitors on the other side’.

‘Their professionalism is outstanding and they always keep me updated and give me the best advice for me to make key decisions’.

‘The team that we work with are very responsive, pragmatic and efficient’.

‘They are quick to identify any issues that arise during the course of a transaction and unlike many firms they provide suggestions to resolve problems rather than just a list of options’.

‘They stick their necks out to provide commercial advice’.

Key clients

Chris Stewart Group

Scarborough Muir Group

Crosslane Group

Peveril Securities Limited

Muir Group

Peel Group

Suez Group

Computacenter plc

Thermo Fisher Inc.

Cummins Inc.

Work highlights

  • Advised HAG Global Limited on the purchase of a major building on princes street, Edinburgh for in excess of £20m.
  • Advised RT Overseas Settlement on the sale of a residential development site for c900 units.
  • Advised JW Muir (Property Investments) Limited on the complex forward sale of an asset at Fairways Business Park, Aberdeen for c£6m.

Gillespie Macandrew LLP

Gillespie Macandrew LLP has recently seen an uptick in instructions from lenders and handles a range of property finance transactions. Kenneth Irons acts for international and large corporate clients, SMEs and family businesses on a variety commercial property matters. Gregor Peebles specialises in development, investment, retail and property finance. Harry Smith is recommended for residential development work.

Practice head(s):

Kenneth Irons; Gregor Peebles; Harry Smith

Other key lawyers:

Nikki Dundas


‘Kenneth Irons is always available directly, reliable and follows through on promises’.

‘Wide range of skills across property and finance’.

‘A comprehensive and practical understanding of the Scottish housebuilding sector and its needs’.

‘The team keep abreast of new developments’.

‘Sound legal as well as practical advice is delivered in always within required timescales’.

‘Harry Smith has vast experience and is well respected in the housebuilder sector’.

‘Sound advice is always delivered’.

Key clients

West Ranga Group Limited

Assetz Capital

Binn Group Limited

Bellway Homes Limited

Westerleigh Group Limited

Majestic (Belford) Limited

Robertson Partnership Homes Limited

Syneos Health Inc

Brady PLC

Avignon Capital

Work highlights

  • Advised Wire Oast Limited, an SPV established by Avignon Capital on the acquisition of two Waitrose stores in Glasgow for £23.2m.
  • Advised AMA Homes Group on the £2.9m purchase of a property in Edinburgh.
  • Acted for a landowner in agreeing and concluding an option agreement relative to 120 acres of land involving a major UK housebuilder.

Harper Macleod LLP

Harper Macleod LLP is particularly experienced in the SME market, where it advises clients with large property portfolios and on complex deals and structures. It has considerable experience in the agricultural and rural affairs, utility infrastructure and telecoms sectors. John Meehan heads the team and has noted expertise in general lease management, insolvency and distressed property matters, and property finance. Chris Noble acts for landlords and tenants on investment deals.

Practice head(s):

John Meehan

Other key lawyers:

David Bell; Chris Noble; Limor Wolfe; Caroline Summers; Ross Thomson


‘Good comprehensive experience and coverage throughout the team, well led and coordinated by John Meehan’.

‘John Meehan has a very calm and considered approach built off a wide number of commercial transactions’.

‘John Meehan’s background early in his career in commercial banking is a real asset in more complex transactions’.

‘John Meehan provided an excellent service within the timescales required’.

Key clients

James Keiller Group

Aberdeen Standard Investments

CBRE Global Investors

MCR Property Group

JD Sports Fashion Plc

Halfords Plc

Caffé Nero

Card Factory

Clyde Munro Dental

Queensway Group (Point A Hotels)

Persimmon Homes

Jacobite Cruises Limited

Cityfibre Limited

Scottish Government

Independent Vet Care Limited


OakNorth Bank Plc

Springfield Real Estate Management Ltd

Scotia Homes

City Property Glasgow (Investments) LLP

Work highlights

  • Lead advisor to M & Co Trading Limited in the pre-pack buyout of 218 stores out of 260 stores throughout the UK.
  • Advised Camlin Group on the acquisition of Scotia Homes housebuilder group involving due diligence in relation to 20 + subsidiary companies and joint venture arrangements and, completing detailed due diligence in relation to 15 sites.
  • Advised OakNorth Bank in a £15m senior secured debt package for the purchase of 94 finished apartments and apartments under construction across 4 sites in Scotland.


The commercial property team at Lindsays is well versed in investment and acquisitions and disposals, and often handles the Scottish aspects of international deals. It has recently seen an uptick in development work and continues to act for some well-known brands in the retail sector. Healthcare is another area of strength, alongside food and drink, corporate occupier and the charities sectors. Derek Nash heads the practice and handles a fair amount of transactional work. Darren Leahy was promoted to partner in April 2020.

Practice head(s):

Derek Nash

Other key lawyers:

Kenny Gray; Susan Law; Darren Leahy


‘Lindsays’ attention to detail is second to none’. 

‘Kenny Gray, with whom I have been working, has every attribute you could ask for in someone working in this field; he is, hard working, thorough, approachable and capable of communicating in non-legalese’.

‘Efficient and knowledgeable’.

‘Kenny Gray makes things happen and draws together the strengths of his team’.

‘Kenny Gray has a can-do attitude which has got some tricky deals over the line’.

‘Derek Nash is very professional and knowledgeable’.

‘Strong team collaboration ensured the deal stayed on track and was completed in a timely manner.’

‘They take ownership of proposals and provide strong communication throughout the legal process’.

Key clients

Tile Giant

EG Group

Well Pharmacies


Telegraph Media Group Limited

Smyths Toys UK Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting for Braehead Park Estates Limited in the disposal programme and sale of eight development sites forming part of Braehead Retail Park, Renfrew.
  • Acted for RRH Finance Limited on the purchase of a prestigious, corner building in the heart of Edinburgh’s New Town.
  • Acted for Alicydon Limited in relation to the purchase of the historic former Custom House building at Dundee Waterfront for a proposed development of 49 residential flats.


Shoosmiths is well regarded for its work in the living sector, with a focus on housebuilding, build-to-rent, student accommodation, serviced apartments and hotels. Retail and leisure are other core areas of strength for the practice, where it has recently been handling COVID-19-related occupier and landlord issues, alongside insolvency and restructuring matters. Former practice head Stephen Dougherty retired and the practice is now led by Janette Speed, who handles both residential and commercial developments, and counts a number of national housebuilders among her clients.

Practice head(s):

Janette Speed

Other key lawyers:

Robin Mitchell; Barry McKeown; Fraser Mitchell; Sheelagh Cooley


‘Barry McKeown is extremely proactive and hands on as a real estate legal partner’.

‘We benefit from Barry McKeown’s strong legal experience, but more importantly his commercial approach to reaching solutions’.

‘They are very strong, loyal and supportive in these difficult times and have adapted communications to suit our purposes’.

Key clients



Intelligent Land Solutions limited

Whiteburn Projects Limited

Ediston Land Limited


Wireless and Infrastructure Group

Rocco Forte

Civil Nuclear Constabulary

NATS Limited

Carriden Developments Limited

Balloch Farm Limited

Mactaggart and Mickel Homes

Bellway Scotland East Division

Perseus Land Limited

Marstons Developments

Bank of Scotland /Lloyds

PfP Capital Fund

Clinton Cards



Leonardo MW Limited

Straiton Park Limited

Euro Car Parks


Coleby Investments Limited

Highland Properties Limited

Bellway Homes Scotland

Watkin Jones Group

Frontier Estates


Paladin Ventures Limited

North Berwick Golf Club

Dunbar Golf Club

Port of Leith Housing Association


British Car Auctions

Hitachi Rail Europe Limited

Edinburgh Woollen Mill/Peacocks

Robertson Living Limited

Robertson Homes Limited

Robertson Property Limited

Sigma Capital Group plc

Fortus Properties limited

ARP Properties lim

Work highlights

  • Acting for Bellway Homes Limited on the acquisition of a residential development site for 403 units at Ruchill in Glasgow for a gross price of £16m.
  • Acting for Watkin Jones Group in the purchase and development of Portcullis House a former Glasgow City Council office intended for demolition and redevelopment as a major new mixed use development comprising 825 build-to-rent and co-living units plus retail and leisure spaces.
  • Acted for the seller in the sale of the Sainsbury’s at Westfield Road, Edinburgh for £37.1m.


TLT handles multi-million pound transactions in a wide range of industries. Areas of focus include developments, property acquisitions and financings. Practice head Kenneth Meldrum focuses on commercial property work and is well versed in land acquisitions for housebuilders, mixed-use projects, acquisitions and disposals, and commercial leasing. Michael Spence joined from Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP in May 2020.

Practice head(s):

Kenneth Meldrum

Other key lawyers:

Brian Armour; Howard Beach; Donna Strong; Andrew McCowan; Nick Shenken; Michael Spence


‘Howard Beach is very knowledgeable and commercial, and always prompt with his responses’.

‘Howard Beach, Donna Strong and Andrew McCowan are all hugely responsive and deal with matters very efficiently, frequently with late evening working where required’.

‘Howard Beach in particular has a very insightful and commercial approach to matters’.

‘As well as excellent legal knowledge, the commercial property team are always contactable and quick to revert on any query posed, which is vital in the current climate’.

‘Brian Armour’s knowledge and integrity is excellent and I would have no issue in recommending him to any of my peers’.

Key clients

Ashfield Land Limited

M&S Investments (Glassford) LLP

Tapi Carpets and Floors Ltd

Greene King

Town Centre Securities plc

City Site Jersey Limited/City Site Life Limited

Mr and Mrs Isaac Bamberger, CTL Estates

Danobe Securities Ltd

Arbuthnot Latham, Private Bank

Work highlights

  • Advising Ashfield Land Limited on a conditional contract for the development sale of a central Scotland housing site to a national housebuilder.
  • Appointed by Tapi Carpets on an exclusive basis to undertake all Scottish acquisitions, relocations and real estate asset management work.
  • Appointed by Danobe Securities on an exclusive basis to undertake all real estate acquisitions, disposals and asset management work.

Bellwether Green

Boutique firm Bellwether Green acts for local businesses, London firms and institutional clients a variety of real estate matters. John Bingham heads the team, while Steven Templeton is recommended for commercial transactions. Virgin Media and Liberty Global are notable clients of the firm.

Practice head(s):

John Bingham

Other key lawyers:

Steven Templeton


‘I have always found the team to be very helpful, proactive and commercially astute’.

‘Being smaller than some of the legal firms that we deal with is certainly no handicap and allows them to be agile and responsive to client needs’.

‘I regularly deal with John Bingham and Steven Templeton on real estate matters and find them both to be very professional, helpful and commercial to deal with’.

‘They are a niche firm that provide strong director-level advice with good back up from their solicitors’.

‘John Bingham is a very experienced head of real estate with strong support and advice being provided by his fellow director, Steven Templeton’.

‘A relatively small but focused team of professionals with a dedicated approach to all instructions’.

‘Every job is given equal care no matter how small and there is a flexibility on fees, which is refreshing and very much the opposite of the large corporates’.

‘John Bingham leads his team with a cheerful and positive attitude, delivering real value to every transaction over and above the instruction request’.

Key clients

Liberty Global plc

Virgin Media Limited

Emerson Process Management

Brookhouse Group

RSK Group Limited

Vertu Motors plc

Rothschild & Co Wealth Management UK Limited

Kinmuck Energy Limited

Belgate Group

Briggs Equipment UK Limited

The Homeless World Cup Foundation


Work highlights

  • Advising Rothschild & Co Wealth Management UK Limited on all Scots law matters in respect of the inclusion of additional subjects (£7.5m) as charged property under the £22m facility agreement between, amongst others, Value and Income Trust Plc as borrower and Rothschild Co Wealth Management UK Limited as agent.
  • Advising Virgin Media Limited on the lease of >40,000 sq/ft of office space.
  • Advising Vertu Motors plc on the property aspects of the acquisition of Kia, Suzuki and Mistubushi dealerships from the administrators of the Leven Car Company Limited (In Administration) and on the purchase of 2.3 acre site at 900 Kennishead Road, Darley for £1.4m.

Eversheds Sutherland

The Edinburgh team at Eversheds Sutherland specialises in real estate finance, development, leasing and portfolio management work. It acts for blue chip companies and major institutional investors. Steven Dick, who was promoted to partner in May 2020, now heads the team. Dick is dual-qualified and acts for borrowers and lenders in Scotland, England and Wales.

Practice head(s):

Steven Dick

Other key lawyers:

Dixcee Fast


‘A professional team; always available for advice’.

Key clients

GlaxoSmithKline Plc

Urban Exposure Plc

EVH Finance Limited / Zetolite Limited

Arqiva Limited

Aviva Commercial Finance Limited

Starz Mortgage Capital Limited

Elite Partners Capital

Gilson Gray

Gilson Gray is active in the hotel and leisure, industrial, retail, healthcare and residential sectors, among others. Key areas of focus for the practice include acquisitions and disposals, portfolio asset management and dispute resolution. Murray Stewart heads the team.

Practice head(s):

Murray Stewart

Other key lawyers:

John Fulton


‘I was quickly and efficiently directed to the correct partner, who responded quickly to my enquiry’. Although I was working to a limited budget, I was made to feel valued as a client’. 

‘I was treated as an intelligent adult, from start to finish of my dealings with Gilson Gray’.

‘They work like the biggest firm in Scotland, but charge like a medium-sized practice’.

‘I have a high volume of small work, but I am never made to feel that my work is unimportant’

‘Any phone calls were dealt with in a friendly and professional manner’.

Key clients

Gloria Jean’s Coffees UK Franchising


Global Radio

SRA Ventures

Caley Water

The Paint Shed

GTC Infrastructure

Glenshire Group

Sunnybrae Property

MSZ Property/Strategic Commercial Investments

Activate Group

Intersystems Corporation

Sharp Business Systems

Subway Scotland/Atwal Family

Cloudstream Technology

Talash Hotels

Work highlights

  • Advised KPMG on the disposal out of administration of the property assets of the Watt Bros. department store chain.
  • Advised GTC Infrastructure in relation to all real estate matters connected to its activities as an independent network operator and statutory undertaker.
  • Advised SRA Ventures on the investment purchase of a new build unit in Kirkcaldy let to PureGym.

Weightmans LLP

Weightmans LLP’s Scottish offering acts as part of its wider UK team and handles a range of real estate matters with a focus on disputes. Other areas of focus include investment, property finance and portfolio management. Cassandra Auld heads the team and Claire Thornber is a key name to note.

Practice head(s):

Cassandra Auld

Other key lawyers:

Claire Thornber; Andrew Warren

Key clients

Thorntons Limited

Magell Limited

Regent Capital

House of Hearing

Bannatyne Fitness Limited

S. W. Enviro Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Julian Hodge Bank on the development funding of a new Starbucks drive-thru coffee site in Aberdeen.
  • Advising Smith Brothers Stores on the acquisition/lease of its first store in Scotland.
  • Advising S W Enviro Limited on the acquisition of a development site for its future head office which will be part of a regeneration scheme in West Lothian alongside a local development Trust.

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

Following the departure of Michael Spence to TLT, the Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP real estate team is now headed by Paul Mason, who recently joined from DWF, and Newcastle’s John Ralph. Operating as part of a wider UK team, the practice is experienced in the energy, residential, finance, retail and office spaces. Mason is recommended for property finance matters.

Practice head(s):

Paul Mason; John Ralph

Other key lawyers:

Philip Knight; Paul Kenneth

Key clients

Renewable Energy Systems Limited

Ashfield Land (Glasgow) Limited

Statkraft UK Limited

Airwave Solutions Limited

Lloyds Banking Group

Ministry of Justice

Brent Infrastructure IBV

Post Office Limited

Smartsheet UK Limited

Carpetright plc

Superdrug Stores plc

Savers Health and Beauty

A large multi brand high street retailer

The Perfume Shop

Greggs plc

Holland & Barrett Retail Limited

Kans and Kandy Investments

Caretech / Spark of Genius

Relendex Security Trustees Limited

Augean PLC

Work highlights

  • Acting for Renewable Energy Systems Limited in its continuing development of onshore wind farm opportunities in Scotland.
  • Acting as lead Scottish legal supplier, advising on new acquisitions, lease renewals, asset and management including the acquisition of a new Edinburgh flagship store.
  • Acting for Airwave Solutions Limited in connection with the management of its Scottish telecommunication sites.

Wright, Johnston & Mackenzie LLP

Wright, Johnston & Mackenzie LLP advises a range of clients, from sole traders to large national corporates. It draws on expertise from its agricultural, rural and crofting, tax, corporate, construction and dispute resolution practitioners. Andrew McFarlane, who is well versed in planning agreements and contracts, heads the practice and handles a large number of renewables projects.

Practice head(s):

Andrew McFarlane

Other key lawyers:

Iain Dunn; John Smart; Joanne Ockrim


‘Iain Dunn is knowledgeable, unflappable and provides sound advice’.

‘Iain Dunn is highly responsive, reliable and commercially sensible’.

‘Very strong team with great knowledge of the sector’. 

‘The team will work round the clock to meet deadlines and generally provide a very high level of service’.

‘Andrew McFarlane is very highly regarded by our company’.

‘Andrew McFarlane is excellent, very commercially driven and very strong in meetings’.

Key clients

GAP Group Ltd

Loch Ness Monster Exhibition Centre Ltd

Lord Lovat

Lotus Group Ltd

Lovat Highland Estates Ltd

Macfarlane Group PLC

Mellness Crofters Estate Ltd

Prestige Properties Ltd

Renewable Energy Systems Ltd

RWE Renewables UK Swindon Ltd

Speymalt Whisky Distributors Ltd (t/a Gordon & MacPhail)

Work highlights

  • Advised Renewable Energy Systems Limited / Blary Hill Energy Limited on all property aspects of their Blary Hill onshore wind project (including a multi-landowner site and joint ICP grid connection route with another developer) and on the sale of the project.
  • Advised Speymalt Whisky Distributors Limited on all property, planning and construction matters in relation to a proposed new distillery located by the River Spey in the Cairngorm National Park, planning permission was secured and development of the distillery is now underway.
  • Advised Melness Crofters Estate in relation to the UK’s first proposed spaceport including advising on option and lease agreements.