At Brodies LLP, the real estate team is some 120 legal professionals strong and is supported by extensive tax, planning, environment, litigation and construction capabilities. In Aberdeen, Tracey Menzies is one of the market’s most accomplished commercial property lawyers, specialising in transactions and developments within the build-to-rent (BTR), housebuilding and office sectors; she is supported by senior associate Jenna McCosh whose focus on development schemes has seen her amass significant exposure to pre-lets, development contracts, project management and forward funding arrangements. Karren Smith is the other key partner outside of the Central Belt, operating on investment, occupier and project affairs from Inverness.
Commercial property: elsewhere in Scotland in Scotland
Other key lawyers:
Tracey Menzies; Karren Smith; Jenna McCosh
‘Tracey Menzies and Jenna McCosh provide a consistent high-quality service on complex property matters.’
‘Jenna McCosh is detailed and always very positive and works well in a collaborative manner.
‘Tracey Menzies provides an excellent service.’
‘Having worked closely with Tracey Menzies and Jenna McCosh over a number of years, I feel they are a great team and provide excellent service on complex deals.’
‘The team demonstrates great client commitment, and works well together and with business partners to ensure delivery of work within deadlines. They maintain good awareness and management of multiple workstreams relating to large commercial property transactions.’
‘Jenna McCosh and Tracey Menzies readily make themselves available and are always well-informed on transactional status and related matters for complex transactions, they are reliable and display great commitment in assisting the client, and are effective in proposing or contributing to pragmatic solutions when needed or when unexpected issues arise with transactions, in a manner that protects the clients’ best interests.’
Aberdeen City Council
Cater Property Investment
Drum Property Group
Knight Property Group
Lerwick Port Authority
Montrose Port Authority
University of Aberdeen
University of Edinburgh
University of West of Scotland
- Acted for the University of Aberdeen in the lease for development of the £40m life sciences hub at Foresterhill, Aberdeen.
- Acted for GSS Developments on the redevelopment and lettings at the multi-tenanted office building at 37 Albyn Place, Aberdeen.
- Acted for Cater Property Investment in the sale of a property for regeneration of a neglected area of Dundee.
Key strengths of Burness Paull LLP’s national offering include development and regeneration, investment, corporate occupier, BTR, finance and English real estate projects. In Aberdeen, Richard Goodfellow leads the firm’s housebuilding practice though is likewise accomplished when it comes to commercial development schemes; he is based alongside John Strachan, a lawyer with extensive experience in supporting funders on development transactions and developers in respect of affordable housing projects.
Other key lawyers:
Richard Goodfellow; John Strachan
‘Very responsive. Very committed to the deals.’
Countesswells Development Limited
Duke of Fife
Stuart Milne Group
Cognito Oak LLP
Impact Healthcare REIT
- Advising First Endeavour in the acquisition and sale to Aberdeen City Council of the former Aberdeen Market and BHS site. The site is intended to be re-developed as a new £75m mixed-use leisure and market facility.
- Acted for Grieg Seafood ASA in connection with the sale of its Scottish business, Grieg Seafood Hjaltland UK Limited to Scottish Sea Farms Limited. Grieg Seafood ASA operate 21 marine farms, a fresh water hatchery and a processing facility across Shetland and the Isle of Skye.
- Acting for Cognito Oak LLP on the land sale contract and various development arrangements for a major land sale to Aberdeen City Council in relation to the proposed development of 536 affordable homes and community facilities at Bridge of Don, Aberdeen.
Pinsent Masons LLP
Pinsent Masons LLP’s Aberdeen practice is led by Rodney Whyte, a lawyer who dedicates the bulk of his practice to the housebuilding sector, supporting on planning matters, s75 agreements, large-scale developments and transactions. Senior associate Michael Shepherd works in close tangent with Whyte and provides purchase and option, land assembly, property finance and title examination knowhow.
Other key lawyers:
Michael Shepherd; Leanne Hill
‘Offers clear, uncomplicated advice, geared around client requirements.’
‘Rodney Whyte- great ability to map out the route to delivery and manages his team well to achieve the timescales.’
‘The team at Pinsents are always on hand to timeously deal with any issues that arise, as well as regularly manage complex consortium matters that arise across our various sites.’
‘Michael Shepherd at Pinsent Masons provided a first-class service in dealing with various complex land issues that surfaced through the 2 year process.’
‘Team provide invaluable support. They are accessible and approachable with proactive team members, who manage contentious negotiations calmly and professionally.’
‘Rodney Whyte – strong leader showing excellence in finding solutions to complicated commercial negotiations. Resilient and proactive, and able to bring contentious discussions to a successful conclusion. Able to distil complicated matters down to the key problems quickly. Interacts with a range of clients in an approachable and modest way that sets clients at ease. Michael Shepherd – proactive team member able to focus on the key issues quickly. Supportive and accessible.’
‘Rodney Whyte and his team were very responsive to my client needs and went above and beyond to deliver a very professional service.’
BDW Trading Limited (Barratt Homes)
Avant Homes (Scotland) Limited
Persimmon Homes Limited
GSS Developments (Aberdeen) Limited
Ithaca Oil and Gas Limited
Taqa Bratani (The Abu Dhabi National Energy Corporation)
Aberdeen Harbour Board
Kier Property Developments
Mactaggart & Mickel
Wallace Land Investment & Management Limited
Bellway Homes Limited
Bancon Homes Limited
Watt Taylor Limited
Robertson Homes Limited
John Dick (Farming) Limited
Almond Valley Limited
TLW Trading Properties Limited (Part of Telereal Trillium)
Simon Thomson (Parkdean Homes)
Miller Homes Limited
Oakridge Property Limited
- Advised CALA in relation to site assembly of 980 unit development at Builyeon Road, South Queensferry, Edinburgh including associated S75 Agreement and prospective sub sales of residential and commercial phases.
- Acting on behalf of Almond Valley Limited in connection with land assembly of the 1500 unit Almond Valley Village development site, variation of pre-existing s75 Agreement and advising on prospective sale of phase 1 of the development comprising 340 units.
- Advised Wallace Land in connection with the proposed sale of a 187 unit development site under promotion by Wallace Land, the implementation of the buy in of the site on behalf of Wallace Land and contemporaneous onward sale to Miller Homes.
Blackadders LLP fields lawyers in Dundee and Aberdeen with particular accomplishment in the development, landlord and tenant, portfolio management, acquisition and disposal fields, often acting in respect of housebuilding, student accommodation and care home assets. Practice head Emma Gray routinely acts on on-site acquisition and assembly matters, in addition to option agreements, and is especially well-regarded within the self-invested personal pension (SIPP) and affordable housing sectors.
Other key lawyers:
Stuart King; Neil Robb
Morris Leslie Group
A & J Stephen Limited
James Hay Pension Trustees
Salvation Army Trading Company
Enterprise Investments (Dundee) Limited
Insights Learning and Development
George Martin Builders
Glendola Leisure Group
- Advising client with an investment portfolio on a multi-million pound refinancing.
- Acting for client in acquisition of Scottish headquarters and subsequent refinancing.
- Acting for private investors in several high value lettings in the Aberdeen Oil & Gas sector.
CMS is home to one of the largest real estate practices in the UK and the wider continent; its Scottish team is equipped to support on the full array of leasing, investment, finance, asset management and development mandates and its Aberdeen offering is fronted by Carol Nisbet; she routinely supports investment funds and occupational leasers on relevant affairs and is likewise well-regarded for her knowledge of energy assets.
Carol Nisbet; Paul Carter
Other key lawyers:
‘Carol Nisbet possesses knowledge and attention to detail which is second to none. She has at her disposal a number of third party providers providing property law mapping (technology) which informs us as the client in a manageable way. Carol also understands the commercial importance of strategy decisions on certain areas surrounding the assets.’
‘CMS are open when it comes to providing quotes, competitive and keep accurate tracking of costs versus quotes to ensure we can manage financial expectations internally.’
‘Carol Nisbet is exceptional. She delivers and understands the needs/ambitions of the scope of work, end goal and will advise of the implications property law aspects in a manner.’
‘Carol, also is helpful in facilitating areas out with her area of expertise and collaborates well with other members of the firm to work towards a combined deliverable.’
‘Carol Nisbet and her team provide clear advice, on time and on budget’
‘Carol Nisbet is clearly an expert in her field and is able to translate complicated issues to allow commercial decisions to be made.’
‘Carol Nisbet – exceptional commercial property knowledge.’
Opportunity North East
Abrdn (Aberdeen Standard Investments)
Knight Frank Investment Management
CBRE Investment Management
Columbia Threadneedle Investments
Duncan & Todd Group
Lloyds Register EMEA
Cordatus Real Estate
Alpha Real Capital
- 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.
- Advising Opportunity North East in relation to the acquisition and development of their new £21m SeedPod development in Aberdeen.
- Acting on the sale of Boulevard Retail Park, Aberdeen for longstanding client, Abrdn.
Active on commercial leasing, development, investment, licensing and property-related corporate transactions, Ledingham Chalmers LLP caters to a broad array of clients, including multiple housebuilder, energy and hospitality entities. Practice head Stephen Morrice operates from Aberdeen and is particularly skilled in relation to the leasing and disposal of land to housebuilders and renewable energy development projects.
Other key lawyers:
Alan Michie; David Scott; John Mitchell
‘Experienced and very competent with a practical approach. Look for solutions rather than problems.’
‘Recommended for their experience and knowledge of our company needs and requirements.’
‘We have dealt with the team at Ledingham Chalmers for a number of years and always had excellent service in a variety of aspects of commercial property law, from short term to longer term leases, several with complex conditions and terms. They have been exceptionally thorough when reviewing Heads of Terms, advising on pertinent topics and completing the contracts on our behalf in a timely manner. They are always open & friendly to communicate with and certainly make us feel that we are a valued client. The firm are keen supporters of local charities, often fundraising and supporting local charity events.’
‘David Scott has supported us with work on numerous leases. He has been diligent and timely on his review of documents. He has ensured that we have had all the pertinent information to make decisions and has offered his advice on various aspects that may have needed further explanation. David is always quick to respond to our questions when necessary. We have great trust in the firm being able to deliver what we need.’
‘The team at Ledingham Chalmers provide an excellent all round service which meets the needs of our business – they work closely with us as part of our project teams in addition to providing overarching property legal advice. They would always be our first choice in Aberdeen/Scotland.’
Charlie House (Grampian Children’s Respite Care)
Ronnie & Fiona Moore
Magnus Beresford Limited
Streamline Shipping Agency
6DN Limited (Six Degrees North)
Nexus Property Company Limited
PB Development Company Limited
Carlton Rock Limited
Kirkwood Homes Limited
- Advised Kirkwood Homes Limited on the purchaser of multiple development sites worth in excess of £10m.
- Advised Streamline Shipping Agency on a significant new lease at Aberdeen Harbour allowing them to double their local fleet.
- Advised Charlie House on the lease of the site for their £8.7m respite centre in Aberdeen.
Thorntons Law LLP
The practice at Thorntons Law LLP counts healthcare, retail, office, leisure, education and energy assets among its key strengths, leveraging its expertise on a mixture of both locally generated and referral work. Janet McIntyre possesses notable expertise in disposal, acquisition, landlord and tenant, development and finance matters; she co-heads the practice jointly with Ewan Miller whose client base encompasses a number of Scottish universities, colleges, pharmacies and dental chains.
Ewan Miller; Janet McIntyre
Other key lawyers:
Ian Fraser; Gary Thomas; Graham Wilson; Hugo Allan; Aimee Gibbons
‘Thorntons have repeatedly proven their professionalism and efficiency. Their services have been invaluable in finalising some exceptionally complicated property transactions.’
‘We have found the expertise of Aimee Gibbons invaluable over the last 6 years during our many property transactions. She is knowledgeable, experienced, respectful and extremely patient, which is often demonstrated when negotiating challenging lease agreements. Aimee has shown real dedication often responding to emails out of work hours and during annual leave.’
‘Diverse team that understands the needs of the client. Fast acting.’
‘Aimee Gibbons is proactive in transactions with great attention to detail.’
‘We work on two fronts namely the commercial property side and also the contractual aspects, the team provide a positive position on the challenges and options explained to allow informed decisions to be made.’
‘Tremendous depth and strength with a real “can do” attitude. Well reasoned advice from highly experienced individuals. Strength across all sectors of the commercial market.’
‘Fantastic experience, manner of going about their business, and always able to provide a solution/workable way forward.’
‘Gary Thomas and his team have been impressive in their ability to communicate and keep matters progressing well during the challenges of the last two years. They are almost instantly available to deal with commercial property issues. They are proactive, helpful, friendly and consider all permutations of the issues I approach them with.’
Irwin Mitchell LLP as agents for Park Homes (UK) Ltd
Hillcrest Homes (Scotland) Limited (HH)
Shareholders of Kitchens International Group
Messrs K & D Henderson
- Acted for Irwin Mitchell LLP, as agents for Park Homes (UK) Ltd, on the purchase at over 8 Million of the business of Each Step care and 15 Care Homes across UK from Community Integrated Care.
- Acted for Hillcrest Homes (Scotland) Limited on the £24m purchase of an area of land for development for 167 housing units in Cove, Aberdeen, conditional on a design and build contract with the seller.
- Acted for the shareholders of Kitchens International Group on the sale of Kitchens International Group to James Donaldson & Sons (JDS).
Aberdein Considine’s Aberdeen office is led by Gemma Perfect, a commercial property all-rounder with experience in leasing, acquisitions, disposals, refinancings, portfolio work and developments, both mixed-use and residential.
Other key lawyers:
Gemma Perfect; Lindsey McDiarmid
‘They are always on hand to provide practical and concise advise.’
‘Gemma Perfect is excellent.’
‘From initial enquiry, contact was set up quickly with good introductions. Individual solicitor who was day-to-day contact was approachable, had good knowledge and was interested. Meetings were by Zoom, for example, where needed. There were also other individuals within the company to assist. Billing and money transfers were clear and prompt.’
‘Lindsey McDiarmid is approachable, returned calls promptly, kept us updated each week. The latter kept stress levels low. When out of office clear contact instructions were provided. There were 4 transactions in all to transfer the business and buy a house- a lot going on. Seemed genuinely interested in us as individuals. Talked through options when we needed to. Kept a cool head throughout.’
@SIPP (Pension Trustees) Limited
James F Donald (Aberdeen Cinemas) Limited
Norsea UK Limited
Dry Ice (Scotland) Ltd
Indigo Sun Retail Limited
Web Pharmacy Limited
Right Medicine Pharmacy Limited
The Royal Bank of Scotland plc
ABZ Property Development Limited
Santander UK plc
Redmac Developments Ltd
Mostyns (Footwear) Limited
Les Enfants Nursery LLP
Aberdeen Distillery Limited
City Restoration Project Ltd
Pewag Real Estate UK Limited
Deeside Bike Collective
Curtis Bank Limited
- Advised Dry Ice (Scotland) Limited in relation to lease negotiations and security elements of their funding package relative to their new £4m production headquarters.
- Advised Pewag Real Estate UK Limited in relation to the acquisition of their first UK property investment.
- Advised Handelsbanken plc in relation to financing of finance transactions across a mix of industrial, residential and development properties in the North East of Scotland, Moray and Highlands.
Lawyers at Harper Macleod LLP are engaged for their residential and commercial development, portfolio management and finance knowhow, in addition to their knowledge of healthcare, leisure and hospitality assets. Ross Thomson leads the Inverness practice.
Other key lawyers:
‘From my many years of experience relative to working with legal advisors I can honestly say that HM outshine the pack. One would expect all advisors to perform well however from my experience they generally fail to perform to all the desired/expected standards. In consequence HM’s uniqueness is that they actually do what they say they are going to do – do it exceptionally well- and all in an exceptionally timeous manner.’
‘The conveyance, construction and company law teams in Inverness all shine and really are at the top of their game in terms of knowledge experience and guidance imparted.’
‘John Meehan is an outstanding legal advisor.’
‘John Meehan’s knowledge of both Contract law and commercial undertakings – across a wide variety of scenarios is quite simply second to none. His response and follow up action times excel all others whom I have had the fortune and indeed, on occasions, the misfortune to work alongside.’
‘John Meehan has the insight and ability to ask the right questions and understand the bigger picture of what a Client is seeking to achieve.’
‘Commercially astute, pragmatic and deal orientated. Also a pleasure to work with.’
‘John Meehann – one of the best in Scotland in the property sector. He is able to draw on his depth of experience and commercial savvy to solve problems whilst also being a genuinely nice guy. He is also listens intently to what us, his clients, and his junior colleagues have to say in order to find a path through any practical challenges that often emerge as a deal progresses. He is the most well-rounded lawyer I have come across.’
CBRE Global Investors
RM Brora Ltd
RGH Dornoch Ltd
The Firm of D&L Forbes
Scotia Homes Group
Raymond Hutchison and Ingrid Austin & Nort Wind Enterprises Limited
MacDonald & Muir Limited (property company of Glenmorangie Whisky)
Orion Engineering Services
Morrison Community Care (CCG) Holdco Limited
Bracken Hide Ltd
L Williamson Limited
QA Fish Limited
Portman Healthcare (Properties) Limited
Fortrose & Rosemarkie Golf Club
Nairn Golf Club
Cairngorms Taverns Ltd
Active Parks Group (Innflate)
Fulton Realty Ltd
Scottish Natural Heritage (NatureScot)
MacKenzie Harris Ltd
Ardersier Port Ltd
Orbital Express Launch Ltd (Orbex)
GDF Commercial Limited
Callander Consulting Limited
Caley Cruisers Limited
Caley Timber & Construction Services Limited
Shetland Recreational Trust
Shetland Amenity Trust
Wester Ross Fisheries Group
Whiterow Properties Limited
Saltire Business Parks Limited
Inceptum2 Solutions Limited
Myrekirk Developments Limited
G & A Barnie Group
Tulloch Homes Group
James Keiller Property 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
Ocean Kinetics Limited
Compass Building & Construction Services Limited
James Evans & Sons Limited
Whinhurst Properties Limited
Ardent Property Group
Loch Ness Homes Limited
Clyde Munro Dental Group
GF Job Limited
Craigton Foods Limited
Morrison Community Care Group
St Giles Shopping Centre Holdings Limited
AXM Investments Limited
Aquaship UK Limited
Tulloch Developments Limited
- Advised Upland Properties Limited and Rathven Investments Ltd in relation to the sale of a portfolio of commercial properties in the region including the two central shopping centres in Aviemore, other retail premises, and office, leisure and professional services properties as one of the biggest deals of the year in the Highlands Region.
- Advised Ardersier Port (Scotland) Limited on the acquisition of Ardersier Port in Inverness, the UK’s largest ground field port and in relation to the agreement entered into with BW Ideol relative to the land & harbour in connection with manufacturing of concrete floaters and assessment of a serial production line for floating win substructures.
- Advised RGH Dornoch Limited and RM Brora Limited, in relation to the sale of the two renowned hotels The Royal Golf Hotel in Brora and Royal Dornoch Hotels, on the North Coast 500 route.
Lindsays’s Dundee office caters to a mixture of residential and commercial developer, renewable energy, hospitality and leisure entities. David Rose leads the practice and runs a workload spanning acquisitions, landlord and tenant affairs, developments, real estate finance, investments and renewable energy projects.
Other key lawyers:
‘Lindsays are professional and multi-skilled’
‘We have dealt with Darren Leahy for a number of years and he is always helpful and totally knowledgeable in a calm and professional.’
‘I work with this firm on both a professional and personal level. They have the staff at both partner and associate level to deal with a wide variety of aspects. On a personal level they have dealt promptly and efficiently with residential property purchases. On a professional level they have expertly assisted a number of clients with commercial property matters.’
‘In short, whilst obviously being experts in their field they are very personable/friendly and available to deal with and answer queries at short notice.’
‘The Team at Lindsays are very diligent and thorough in exploring a can-do attitude towards all challenges that arise, they are very professional in everything they undertake.’
‘David Rose stands out as a professional partner of this practice bringing an in depth contribution of Scottish property law and advice.’
‘We were in need of legal advice for a complex transaction which involved the sale and purchase of alternative property with ongoing rights of access to both to allow for business continuity (in the former) and conversion (of the latter).’
‘They appeared to us to be committed to the project and its successful delivery.’
DJ Laing Homes Limited
Persimmon Homes Limited
GL Residential Limited
Scotia Capital Partners Limited
Kinnettles Mansion Limited
Kilmac Properties Limited
Greystone Estates (Scotland) Limited
AWT Development Holdings Limited
Ground Developments Limited
Agile Energy Recovery (Inverurie) Limited
- Represented Persimmon Homes Limited on the acquisition of Phases 2 and 3 Lathro Farm Kinross.
- Acted on the purchase of Mayrock Industrial Estate and Crail Airfield Fife, sold to Gilmore Property 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 (ERF) valued at £200m.
Duncan Campbell leads the Aberdeen-based practice at Stronachs LLP and is noted for his development, re-development, transactional, leasing and investment proficiency; he serves as the go-to for numerous oil and gas entities and is supported by Liz Stewart whose core strengths include development-related land purchases, renewable energy projects and option agreements. Emma Stephen is another key figure within the group and directs particular emphasis towards title and development transactions, compulsory purchases and environmentally contaminated sites.
Other key lawyers:
Liz Stewart; Emma Stephen; Ross Linn; David Marshall
‘The team have a wide skill set covering all requirements for commercial property client’s needs. The team are knowledgeable, flexible and accessible.’
‘Emma Stephen is highly knowledgeable, approachable and accessible. Readily available to assist in a wide range of commercial property and development transactions.’
‘The team at Stronachs work closely with us to understand exactly how we want to work. They will condense their queries to allow us to respond quickly which works well for us when we work in a dynamic and pro-active way to make the most of market opportunities. Their legal knowledge is comprehensive and allows us to make the commercial decision with a full understanding of the possible risks. They have adapted well to Covid-19 and there has been no loss of service due to them not being in the office and this must be due to their IT capabilities.’
‘We work closely with Emma Stephen, she stands out because she provides her excellent legal expertise in a personable and practical manner. Emma takes the time to understand our business and is dedicated to working to our timelines. We value her adaptability, reliability, commercial awareness and eagerness to accept a challenge.’
Global Energy Group
Strathdee Properties Limited
Peterson (UK) Limited
Spex Services Limited
Xodos Group Limited
DOF Subsea UK Limited