The real estate team at Brodies LLP continues to be active in the build-to-rent (BTR) sector and has recently been involved in two co-living development schemes in Scotland and in providing advice around COVID-19 restrictions. The practice draws on strength from its partners in planning, tax, environment, construction, and property litigation. The real estate team is headed in Glasgow by Johane Murray; the key name to note in Aberdeen is Tracey Menzies, who handles commercial and residential land acquisition and development work. Karren Smith , who is based in the Dingwall office, was promoted to partner in May 2020. Aberdeen-based senior associate Sarah Stewart is also recommended.
Commercial property: elsewhere in Scotland in Scotland
Other key lawyers:
Tracey Menzies; Karren Smith; Jenna McCosh
‘Skilled and competent staff, who have the ability to get to the nitty gritty of a deal and not trouble their clients with unimportant parts of a transaction’.
‘Tracey Menzies is forward-thinking in terms of looking to the next part of a deal and what may be required’.
‘Tracey Menzies is able to give proper commercial advice’.
‘The Brodies team deliver a consistent and proactive approach to the various, often complex, property matters they have worked on’.
‘Jenna McCosh and Tracey Menzies are excellent solicitors, who display a firm understanding of, not only the project, but the clients needs’.
‘The people I work with are very knowledgeable, act in a timely manner and are always willing to assist’.
‘Tracey Menzies and Jenna McCosh are always most helpful and polite, and make themselves available at short notice’.
‘Tracey Menzies is our lead contact and is always available to respond quickly and guide work as appropriate’.
Drum Property Group
Knight Property Group
University of Aberdeen
Aberdeen City Council
Casual Dining Group
The Restaurant Group
- Advising Cellnex Telecom on the acquisition of the European telecoms tower assets of CK Hutchison Holdings.
- Advising Eskmuir Properties on the acquisition of the Lunar Portfolio, a significant multi-let UK-wide industrial portfolio, from Legal and General’s Property Investment Fund.
- Acting for Student Roost (the borrower) in the financing and refinancing of two significant purpose-built student accommodation developments in Aberdeen and Edinburgh.
Burness Paull LLP handles acquisitions and disposals for high-net-worth individuals, private equity-backed buyers, institutional investors and discretionary fund managers. The team continues to be active in high-profile development and regeneration work, and is well versed in the corporate occupier and BTR spheres. Other areas of focus include insolvency, lease management and English commercial property work. John Strachan heads the property division and is active in the Aberdeen market, focusing on both residential and commercial developments. Fellow Aberdeen partner Richard Goodfellow has noted experience in the housebuilding sector.
Other key lawyers:
‘Burness Paull is very prompt to respond and the quality of work is high and delivered on time’.
‘Burness Paull’s approach has very much been a collaborative one with my position as in-house solicitor’.
‘I trust all of the team to give valid and quality work and advice’.
‘I always receive a very hands-on approach from Burness Paull’.
‘They are committed to providing a professional and personal service’.
Cemex UK Operations Limited
CSG (Chris Stewart Group)
Glasgow City Council
Impact Healthcare REIT plc
LSPIM/ Regional REIT (London & Scottish)
Pizza Express (Restaurants Limited)
Viva Italia Limited (Tony Macaroni Group)
YUM! (III) UK Limited
- 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 Impact Healthcare REIT plc 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.
Pinsent Masons LLP
Pinsent Masons LLP’s real estate offering acts as part of the wider UK team and is active in both the commercial and residential sectors. It acts for local and national developers, such as the CALA Group, Persimmon Homes and Barratt. It also acts for landowners in relation to residential development transactions. Energy is another area of focus for the practice, where it handles project financing and day-to-day matters. Rodney Whyte heads the Aberdeen team and is well versed in residential developments and non-contentious planning matters.
Other key lawyers:
Mark McCall; Michael Shepherd
‘Excellent knowledge of the development market, acting for both developers and landowners’.
‘Rodney Whyte is a cool and logical trusted advisor, who can cut through a myriad of complicated legal issues to get to the key issues, and help find a solution’.
BDW Trading Limited (Barratt Homes)
The Pilkington Trust
Avant Homes (Scotland) Limited
Persimmon Homes Limited
GSS Developments (Aberdeen) Limited
Taqa Bratani (The Abu Dhabi National Energy Corporation)
Aberdeen Harbour Board
Kier Property Developments
Mactaggart & Mickel
Bellway Homes Limited
Watt Taylor Limited
Robertson Homes Limited
John Dick (Farming) Limited
Almond Valley Limited
TLW Trading Properties Limited (Part of Telereal Trillium)
- Advised CALA Management Limited in the acquisition of 47 unit development at the former Royal Blind School, Edinburgh.
- Acted on behalf of Almond Valley Limited in the acquisition of development land at Almond Valley Village, Perth
- Advising Aker Solutions on various sub-leases at their Aberdeen International Business Park campus.
The commercial property team at Blackadders LLP continues to see an uptick in deals in the oil and gas sector in Aberdeen. Clients include landowners, occupiers and administrators, and it is well versed in acquisitions, disposals and the management of large-scale investment portfolios. Emma Gray heads the practice from Dundee, and is experienced in high-value development transactions, with a focus on the office, retail and leisure sectors. In Aberdeen, Neil Robb acts for property developers and builders, and is recommended for development, leasing and finance work.
Other key lawyers:
Neil Robb; Stuart King
‘The service that Emma Gray has provided us with can only be described as exceptional’.
‘Emma Gray is a fantastic communicator, always on the ball’.
‘A very personal service with experienced and responsive staff that do what they can to get the best for their client in a timely and cost-effective manner’.
‘Easy to work with and very user-friendly in their style’.
Eldor UK Limited
Glendola (Leisure) Holdings Ltd
A. & J. Stephen Limited
Morris Leslie Group
James Hay Pension Trustees Limited
Gamma Telecom Limited
Insights Learning & Development
Alliance Trust Savings
Loch Rannoch Estate Limited
- Advised Glendola Leisure (Holdings) Limited on Scottish side of refinancing a property portfolio.
- Advised Loch Rannoch Estate Limited in the acquisition of a hotel and estate in the Scottish Highlands.
- Acting in purchase of ground at Spoutwells, Scone for large scale housing development (700 homes).
CMS acts for a number of large corporate occupiers in the Aberdeen market and further afield. It handles real estate investment, finance, development, asset management and sales. The practice has strong links with the energy sector, both in oil and gas, and renewables. Carol Nisbet heads the Aberdeen team and is recommended for occupational leasing work. She also sits on the Scotland Board of the Association of Women in Property and is well known in the local market.
Paul Carter (Glasgow); Carol Nisbet
‘Carol Nisbet deals with all our external property related advice; she is extremely knowledgeable but also exceptionally pragmatic’.
‘Carol Nisbet is very responsive and commercially astute, ensuring the smooth running of a transaction even under high levels of time pressure’.
‘Very approachable – no task is too small or large’.
‘Fees and billings are always open for discussion by way of innovative fee structures’.
‘Collaboration with the client allows internal counsel to develop and actively engage in the issues’.
‘The partners are exceptionally approachable and easy to work with and alongside’.
‘They give clear and concise advice, and their drafting skills are second to none which is complimented by their ability to fully understand what are particularly complex arrangements. ’
‘Carol Nisbet negotiates hard but is able to maintain an excellent working relationship with the other side’s solicitors’.
Transocean Drilling UK Limited
Opportunity North East
Cordatus Real Estate
Standard Life Aberdeen
Lloyds Register EMEA
Equinor Production Limited
Duncan and Todd Group
- Advised Transocean Drilling UK Limited, the world’s largest offshore drilling contractor, in connection with the lease of its 76,000 sq. ft. Aberdeen office headquarters to TAQA Bratani Limited.
- Advised Opportunity North East in relation to the acquisition and development of their new £40m Bio Therapeutics Hub at the Forresterhill Health Campus in Aberdeen.
- Acted for oil giant BP on the leasehold acquisition of their new North Sea Headquarters taking 100,000 sq. ft space at Aberdeen International Business Park in Dyce.
Ledingham Chalmers LLP has particular experience in the housebuilding sector, where it acts for local and national housebuilders, and landowners in relation to the purchase and sale of land for residential developments. Commercial leasing, development and leasing are other key pillars of the practice, where it counts a range of clients from SMEs to plcs, among its clientele. Stephen Morrice heads the Aberdeen practice with over 30 years’ experience in commercial property matters.
Other key lawyers:
Alan Michie; Alasdair Maclure
Kirkwood Homes Limited
Gilcomston Investments Limited
Carlton Rock Limited
ANM Group Limited
RWG (Repair & Overhauls) Limited
Veitchi Homes Limited
Skene Enterprises (Aberdeen) Limited
Claymore Homes Limited
- Acting for Kirkwood Homes Limited in the conclusion of an option agreement for 59.26 hectares of land at Broughty Ferry, Dundee prospectively for circa 1000 residential units.
- Acting for Gilcomston Investments Limited in the Sale of 6.077 hectares site at Lang Stracht, Aberdeen under the a long term option agreement.
- Acting for Skene Enterprises (Aberdeen) Ltd in the acquisition of strategic land for future commercial development of residential retirement homes north of Inchmarlo Retirement Village, Banchory.
Thorntons Law LLP
Thorntons Law LLP handles a number of high-profile domestic projects and is particularly active in the energy sector, with a focus on gas and electric connection projects. Leasing transactions are a key area of focus, where the practice advises both landlords and tenants. Janet McIntyre heads the real estate team; she is primarily based in St Andrews and is recommended for acquisitions and disposals, development and property investment and finance work, with a focus on the retail, office and leisure sectors. A number of the firm's real estate partners are also based in Dundee.
Other key lawyers:
‘This firm is friendly, well run with a good geographical spread’.
‘Very good broad market knowledge and experience with good geographic coverage’.
‘Key experts in local markets where they bring innovation and value to transactions’.
‘Janet McIntyre is proactive on transactions, extremely knowledgeable and commercially focused’.
‘Thorntons always provide a unique service that is tailored to the client and is very personalised’.
‘The transactions are smooth and effortless from a client’s point of view’.
‘They have invariably been helpful, personable and proactive’.
‘Proactive rather than reactive practice, with a good partner-level of involvement in commercial property’.
Mainetti (UK) Limited
Chaplin Finance Limited for NCM Group
Angus Housing Association Limited
University of Strathclyde
Irvine Enterprises Shetland Limited
- Advised Mainetti (UK) Limited on the sale of a large industrial premises in Jedburgh.
- Advised Angus Housing Association Limited (AHA) on the purchase of 22 new houses for social rent in Forfar from a local housebuilder.
- Advised the University of Strathclyde relative to the Agreement for Lease and Development Leases for a joint venture between the University, Scottish Enterprise and a local authority.
The commercial real estate team at Aberdein Considine works closely with its counterparts in the corporate department, servicing local, national and international businesses. It has a number of banking clients and is also active in the healthcare and development sectors, where it advises on mixed-use and residential projects. The team is headed by Paul Jennings in Glasgow, while Ritchie Whyte and Anthony Quin are the key names in Aberdeen and Stirling respectively.
Paul Jennings (Glasgow)
Other key lawyers:
Ritchie Whyte; Anthony Quin
‘Experts in their field. Attention to detail. High levels of customer care’.
‘The team will go that extra mile; nothing is too much trouble. They are very knowledgeable and efficient’.
‘They offer a very personal and approachable service. They treat you like a friend and not just a client’.
@SIPP (Pension Trustees) Limited
James F Donald (Aberdeen Cinemas) Limited
Optimus Projects Limited
Lorimer Construction Limited
ABZ Property Development Limited
Web Pharmacy Limited
Right Medicine Pharmacy Limited
Santander UK plc
Redmac Developments Ltd
Porters Pharmacy Group
Atlas Lifts and Services Limited
Café Boheme Restaurant Limited
Grampian Geotechnical (Scotland) Limited
The Royal Bank of Scotland plc
Morrison Investments Limited
Burn O’Bennie Distillery Limited
Latheron Properties (Scotland) Limited
EIS Waste Services
CHAP Group (Aberdeen) Ltd
Dry Ice (Scotland) Ltd
Norsea UK Limited
- Advised Handelsbanken plc in relation to financing of various investments, across mix of industrial, residential and development properties in the North East of Scotland.
- Advised Web Pharmacy Limited in relation to their acquisition of an investment portfolio of five pharmacies, operated by and let to a prominent high street pharmacy chain.
- Advised Lorimer Construction Limited in relation to the acquisition of a land option and onward sale of completed residential properties.
With offices in Inverness, Thurso, Elgin and Lerwick, Harper Macleod LLP is geographically well placed to handle domestic matters outside of the Central Belt. With ancillary expertise in agricultural and rural affairs, utility infrastructure and telecoms, the real estate team handles a wide range of matters. Inverness-based Ross Thomson heads the team and handles transactional work and litigation, with notable experience in the healthcare sector.
Other key lawyers:
Calum MacLeod; John Meehan
‘Good quality service across a number of different deals’.
‘John Meehan has full knowledge and control of all matters and provides a personal service that is second to none’.
‘John Meehan stands out as he appears to be contactable 24 hours a day; he can cut to the chase on the deal and does not point score’.
‘The team at Harper Macleod in Inverness assisted us with our transaction in a highly professional manner’.
‘Communication with the team was excellent and we felt we could have practical discussions with the team around all aspects of the deal’.
‘We feel that going forward we have a highly collaborative relationship with the team, which we intend to make use of again in the future’.
‘Value for money in all aspects of legal advice within commercial real estate’.
Whiterow Properties Limited
Saltire Business Parks Limited
Inceptum2 Solutions Limited
Myrekirk Developments Limited
G & A Barnie Group
Tulloch Homes Group
James Keiller Investments
James Keiller Group
Boyd Brothers Limited
Fairways Inverness Limited
Home Farms Partnership
Jacobite Cruises Limited
Parkland Developments Limited
James Evans & Sons Limited
Gael Force Group
Rathven Investments Limited
Independent Vetcare Limited
Clydesdale Bank Plc
Bank of Scotland Plc
Ashers Bakeries Limited
Compass Building & Construction Services Limited
Whinhurst Properties Limited
Ardent Property Group
Loch Ness Homes Limited
Clyde Munro Dental Group
Dicksons of Forres Limited
GF Job Limited
Craigton Foods Limited
Bolts Shetland Limited
Morrison Community Care Group Limited
St Giles Shopping Centre Holdings Limited
Cameron Paterson Homes Limited
- 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 Clydesdale Bank Plc on senior debt funding with full construction review and grant of collateral warranties and fixed charge over St Ola Pier, Scrabster Harbour, including foreshore and seabed to allow the pier extension and docking of larger vessels as a key transport link for the North Highlands.
- Advising Inceptum2 Solutions Limited on the acquisition, development, financing and procurement for a new retail park in Glenrothes with drive thru unit pre-let deals negotiated with Burger King and Starbucks.
Lindsays' commercial property team was bolstered by the arrival of David Rose in May 2020 from Dentons and the promotion of Darren Leahy to partner in April that year. Rose has brought with him a number of developer clients and is experienced in handling significant transactions for developers, investors, occupiers and lenders. Chris Todd heads the practice and focuses on residential and commercial acquisitions and disposals, and leasing.
Other key lawyers:
David Rose; Darren Leahy
‘I have always found that no matter who I have dealt with, within the firm, the response has always been positive and helpful’.
‘Darren Leahy is an extremely competent young man; he is efficient, thorough and is always able to answer any queries easily and in layman’s terms’.
‘Darren Leahy is down to earth and if I had someone like Darren working for me, I would be keen to hang on to him’.
‘David Rose is an excellent lawyer with very specific and highly developed skills and knowledge in the area of property transactions’.
‘David Rose is friendly and approachable at a personal level, with a very apparent desire to be thorough and professional in delivering his services’.
‘David Rose makes us feel that nothing will be missed and that our interests will always be looked after’.
Persimmon Homes Limited
Agile Energy Recovery (Inverurie) Limited
Kilmac Properties Limited
Scotia Capital Partners Limited
Glamis Investments Limited
Kinnettles Mansion Limited
- Acting on behalf of Agile Energy Recovery (Inverurie) Limited in relation to the acquisition of a ground leasehold interest in land at Kirkwood Commercial Park, Inverurie (formerly Inverurie Paper Mill) for the proposed development of a state-of-the-art Energy Recovery Facility valued at £200m.
- Acted on behalf of Persimmon Homes Limited in relation to the acquisition of a serviced site for the development of 144 homes at Kingdom Park, Kirkcaldy; and two separate serviced sites for the development of 76 affordable units at Kingdom Park from Murray.
- Represented GL Residential Limited in connection with the acquisition of former school buildings and adjacent land at Monifieth, the funding for the purchase and separate funding for the developments costs and continue to deal with the disposal of the flats within the converted building and the new build units.
Independent Scottish firm MacRoberts LLP acts for public and private sector clients, with a focus on property development and investment matters. David Milne heads the practice from Dundee and handles a range of commercial and residential developments across Scotland. He is particularly experienced in advising lenders and borrowers on real estate finance transactions.
The Royal Philharmonic Society
Bank of Scotland
The Royal Bank of Scotland
Unicorn Property Group
West Developments Scotland
- Advised Bank of Scotland in respect of taking standard security over Kingsbarns Golf Course, Kingsbarns, St Andrews.
- Advised The Royal Philharmonic Society in respect of assignation of standard security and related property issues.
- Advising clients Eastacre Group in respect of the purchase of Development Site at historic castle in St Andrews.
Boutique firm Stronachs LLP acts for both public and private sector clients across the country. Its client base includes domestic and international businesses, private individuals, developers and investors. The practice is led from Aberdeen by Duncan Campbell, who is particularly experienced in the industrial sector. The team handles acquisitions and disposals, commercial leases and licensing matters.
Other key lawyers:
Ross Lin; Emma Stephen; Liz Stewart
‘The practice is smaller and more locally based, however this works to their advantage with good communication between their teams, as well as with clients and contacts’.
‘Emma Stephen is stand out – fast, efficient and very knowledgeable – a pleasure to deal with’.
‘Their property team has a wide range of skills and is very knowledgeable in all aspects of the property sector’.
‘Excellent knowledge of the property and development sectors’.
‘Quick turnaround of questions and legal paperwork, and good communication throughout deals’.
‘Stronachs are unique in ability to handle all of our legal needs from our diverse range of companies’.
‘Emma Stephen is meticulous and timely with her work; she goes beyond the call of duty to deliver’.
Global Energy Group
Strathdee Properties Limited
Peterson (UK) Limited
Spex Services Limited
Xodos Group Limited
DOF Subsea UK Limited