Commercial property: elsewhere in Scotland in Scotland

Brodies LLP

Brodies LLP continues to be active in the build-to-rent sector (BTR) and the emerging retirement and co-living markets. The real estate team works closely with other related departments, including construction, planning, environment, tax and litigation. It is noted for its high level of instructions from government and industry bodies. The team is jointly led by Glasgow-based partner Johane Murray and Tracey Menzies in Aberdeen, who handles commercial and residential acquisitions and developments. Elaine Farquharson-Black joined from Burness Paull LLP.

Practice head(s):

Johane Murray; Tracey Menzies


‘Highly respected property lawyers and are widely considered to be some of the best in the city.’

‘The level of expertise, good advice and speed of response sets them apart from many other firms in the city.’

‘Extremely knowledgeable and efficient. We receive regular updates in respect of the transactions with which we are involved and someone is always available to take calls or reply to emails.’

‘Office hours do not apply for this team – they are available when ever needed and always go the extra mile to deliver what is demanded.’

‘Nothing is ever a problem and the willingness to get “stuck in ” is fantastic.’

‘Tracey Menzies and her whole team constantly deliver to the highest standard and always present a unified and cooperative front to ensure that what is needed is always provided.’

Key clients

Knight Property Group

University of Aberdeen

Drum Property Group


CALA Homes

GSS Investments

Aberdeen City Council

Great Century

Maven Capital

Robertson Group

Strathmore Hotels

Work highlights

  • Acted for Great Century Investors/London & Oriental on the purchase of the Fairmont St Andrews Hotel.
  • Acquisition of Rusacks Hotel in St Andrews for AJ Capital as part of a UK-wide hotel acquisition deal.
  • Acting for Maven Property (Carters Yard) LP on the acquisition of student accommodation development site at 14 – 16 Dumbarton Road, Stirling and subsequent development funding.

Burness Paull LLP

Burness Paull LLP advises on high-profile development and regeneration work. It often acts for blue-chip corporate occupiers on asset management and office relocations. Its client base includes oil and gas companies, as well as industrial, leisure and public sector organisations. Team head John Strachan focuses on both residential and commercial developments. Another key individual is Richard Goodfellow, who is the head of the housebuilding sector group, and advises developers, landowners, housebuilders, investors and corporate occupiers on developments. Senior associate Sarah Stewart is also recommended. Neil Bruce made partner.

Practice head(s):

John Strachan

Key clients

A & J Robertson (Granite) Limited

Aberdeen Football Club PLC

Cats Management Limited (now Kellas Midstream Limited)

Countesswells Development Ltd


Duke of Fife

Esson Properties

GE Oil & Gas

John Clark Motor Group

Manse LLP

Fiera Real Estate (previously Palmer Capital)

CALA Homes

Stewart Milne Group

Total E&P UK

University of St Andrews

Uppermill Farms Ltd

London & Scottish Investment Property Ltd

First Endeavour LLP

BS Global One

Work highlights

  • Advising Oceaneering International Services Limited on the consolidation of their operations in Aberdeen representing the largest industrial and office transaction in the Aberdeen market since 2015.
  • Advising First Endeavour LLP on the acquisition from a private owner, entering into development arrangements and subsequent disposal to Aberdeen City Council of the site comprising 283 council houses as part of Aberdeen City Council’s drive to provide 2,000 new council homes.
  • Continuing to act for Aberdeen Football Club on its new training facility and stadium at Kingsford, Aberdeen.

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP is highly active in the residential and commercial sector, where it acts for national housebuilders, national and local developers, contractors, international oil services and related companies. The team is well regarded for its day-to-day, development and industrial support to oil companies. The firm also advises energy companies on early-stage development, project implementation and project financing. Team head Rodney Whyte focuses on the housebuilding sector, where he advises landowners and developers on residential developments.

Practice head(s):

Rodney Whyte

Other key lawyers:

Mark McCall; Michael Shepherd


‘A key strength to the Pinsent Masons team is their approachability and respect, regardless of whether it is a partner, senior associate, associate or trainee graduate’.

‘What appears to make Pinsent Masons stand-out from the competition is the ability to assess risk from a purely legal perspective, and then apply a level of business pragmatism to not over-complicate things and still reach a favourable outcome’.

‘One of the key stand-out strengths of the Pinsent Masons team is their ability to be available and responsive, no matter the situation’.

‘Rodney Whyte showed strong leadership and pragmatism when coming up against stumbling blocks’.

‘The reputation and relationships Rodney has built up within his industry was clearly evident and was a key driver in getting this deal over the line collaboratively with the seller’s solicitor’.

‘Rodney is extremely approachable and contactable and this can prove difficult in other firms for someone of a similar level’.

‘The team has a depth of knowledge of the residential development sector which enables them to provide good commercial insights in addition to legal expertise’.         

‘Rodney Whyte has many years of experience in the residential development sector and gives pragmatic commercial advice founded on a solid legal base’. 

Key clients

CALA Group

BDW Trading Limited (Barratt Homes)

The Pilkington Trust

Avant Homes (Scotland) Limited

Taylor Wimpey plc

Persimmon Homes  Limited

GSS Developments (Aberdeen) Limited


Taqa Bratani (The Abu Dhabi National Energy Corporation)

Aberdeen Harbour Board

Kier Property Developments

Baker Hughes

Mactaggart & Mickel

Wallace Land

Bellway Homes Limited

Bancon Homes

Watt Taylor Limited

Robertson Homes Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised CALA Management Limited on the acquisition of a 700 unit development at Builyeon Road, Edinburgh.
  • Advised the trustees of The Hilda Pilkington Trust on the proposed development and sale of 1500 unit development at Almond Valley Village, Perth.
  • Continuing to advise Aberdeen Harbour Board on the development of the circa £400m new harbour at Nigg Bay, Aberdeen.

Blackadders LLP

The real estate team at Blackadders LLP handles a broad range of commercial property matters, including sales and purchases, leasing, property finance, property development and property disputes. The practice generates mandates in the retail, leisure, healthcare and renewable energy sectors. Group head Emma Gray acts on high-value development transactions. Neil Robb joined the team as partner as part of the firm’s merger with Plenderleath Runcie.

Practice head(s):

Emma Gray

Other key lawyers:

Neil Robb; Stuart King

Key clients

Salvation Army Trading Company Limited

Tayforth Properties Ltd

Morris Leslie Group

A. & J. Stephen Limited

James Hay Pension Trustees Limited

Hotel Management International

Tayforth Properties

Work highlights

  • Acting for the administrators on the sale of the business of McGill & Co (which included a number of properties) to the buyer and the separate sale of other assets of the company to third parties.
  • Advising PJS One Limited/Mike Street on the Scottish property aspects of the sale of SHB Hire Limited to Enterprise UK which involved work in relation to several Scottish depots.  This deal resulted in the creation of one of the UKs biggest commercial rental businesses.
  • Acting for Morris Leslie Limited on the acquisition of new group headquarters at West Kinfauns (former Edrington Group headquarters).


At CMSCarol Nisbet was recently promoted to partner and now leads the Aberdeen real estate team. The group is noted for its expertise in the energy sector, particularly in relation to occupational leasing and the Scottish aspects of cross-border deals. Clients include developers, lenders and investors.

Practice head(s):

Carol Nisbet


‘Very responsive team who give clients clear advice and are very well respected in their market.’

‘I have worked with Carol Nisbet on a number of transactions and have always been impressed in her response time and attention to detail. She is able to focus on the important matters in a transaction and has the trust of her clients in advising on all aspects of commercial property.’

‘Carol Nisbet is responsive and goes the extra mile for clients.’

Key clients


Knight Frank Investment Management

CBRE Global Investors

Opportunity North East

Repsol Sinopec

Lloyds Register EMEA

Duncan and Todd Group



Hunting Plc

Work highlights

  • Acted for Knight Frank Investment Management (KFIM) on the £100m acquisition of the Leonardo Innovation Hub at Crewe Toll, Edinburgh.
  • Acted for Lloyds Register on the letting of part of its facility at Prime Four Business Park to Transocean.
  • Advised WeWork on the lease of its premises in George Street, Edinburgh, which marked its entry into the Scottish property market.

Ledingham Chalmers LLP

Ledingham Chalmers LLP is well regarded for its development and commercial leasing work. Its team also handles residential site acquisitions, refinancings and secured funding transactions, where it acts for mainstream lenders. Department head Stephen Morrice works with Alan Michie, who heads up the firm’s housebuilding unit, and Alasdair Maclure, who leads the commercial leasing unit. John Smart departed for Harper Macleod LLP.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Morrice

Other key lawyers:

Alan Michie; Alasdair Maclure

Key clients

Kirkwood Homes Limited


Anderson Anderson & Brown LLP

Gilcomston Investments Limited

Bancon Homes Limited

Veitchi Homes Limited

Carlton Rock Limited

Skene Group Limited

AW Creative Papers Group Limited

Redco (Slackbuie) Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting Kirkwood Homes Limited on the acquisition of 33 unit residential development at Dunecht, Aberdeenshire
  • Acting for Redco (Slackbuie) Limited on the acquisition and immediate onward sale of 4.9 acre development site at Slackbuie, Inverness
  • Acted for AW Creative Papers Group Limited on an MBO which included the acquisition of Stoneywood Paper Mill, Stoneywood, Aberdeen and Chartham Mill, Canterbury.

Stronachs LLP

Stronachs LLP acts for domestic and international public and private sector clients, including private individuals and partnerships, oil and gas companies, public sector bodies, developers and investors. Practice head Duncan Campbell handles acquisitions and disposals, leases, investment and development matters. Ross Linn is the key practitioner in Inverness.

Practice head(s):

Duncan Campbell

Other key lawyers:

Ross Lin; Emma Stephen; Liz Stewart

Key clients

Global Energy Group

Strathdee Properties Limited

Peterson (United Kingdom) Limited

Spex Services Limited

Xodus Group Limited

DOF Subsea UK Limited

Aberdein Considine

Aberdein Considine handles a broad range of commercial real estate matters, including acquisitions and disposals, finance, development and leasing. Clients include developers, retailers, banks, hotels and football clubs. Glasgow-based Paul Jennings is the overall head of the practice, with Ritchie Whyte being the name to note in Aberdeen. Anthony Quin is the key contact in Stirling.

Practice head(s):

Paul Jennings

Other key lawyers:

Ritchie Whyte; Anthony Quin

Key clients

Trump International

Ashfield District Council

Greggs plc

Indigo Sun

Handelsbanken plc

@SIPP (Pension Trustees) Limited

James F Donald (Aberdeen Cinemas) Limited

The Aberdeen Picture Palaces Limited

IWM Communications Ltd

Atlas Lifts and Services Ltd

R & W Scott Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Trump International Golf Club Scotland Limited on all aspects of proposed 550 unit village development with additional leisure, commercial and retail premises.
  • Advised Handelsbanken Plc on the financing of various investments in the North East of Scotland.
  • Advised James F Donald (Aberdeen Cinemas) Limited on ongoing lease transaction work and related landlord and tenant issues relative to its large retail investment portfolio.

Harper Macleod LLP

Outside of the Edinburgh and Glasgow offices, Harper Macleod LLP’s real estate team operates in Inverness, Thurso, Elgin and Lerwick. Inverness-based Ross Thomson handles transactional work and litigation, recently shifting his focus to commercial property work, while Ian Davidson joined as a partner in Elgin from Wink & Mackenzie. John Meehan in Glasgow is the practice head.

Practice head(s):

John Meehan


‘I have always found it easy to arrange meetings to discuss matters either in person or telephone. If the partner I have contacted does not have the expertise required they always have the ability to recommend another partner within HM To carry out the work required.’

Key clients

G & A Barnie

Tulloch Homes Group

Upland Developments

James Keiller Investments

Hazledene Group

James Keiller Group

Meallmore Limited

Boyd Brothers Limited

Fairways Inverness Limited

Home Farms Partnership

Jacobite Cruises Limited

Parkland Developments Limited

James Evans & Sons Limited

Gael Force Engineering Group

Rathven Investments Limited

Independent Vetcare Limited


Clydesdale Bank Plc


Bank of Scotland Plc

Ashers Bakeries Limited

Ocean Kinetics

Compass Building & Construction Services Limited

James Evans & Sons 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 Corp Group Limited

St Giles Shopping Centre Holdings Limited

Cameron Paterson Homes Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for Jacobite Cruises Limited on its lease of land and property at Dochgarroch, Inverness, and the subsequent development of the lease property as a café, ticket office and visitor centre to service cruises.
  • Acted for Marketgait Developments Limited on the acquisition and development of Myrekirk Retail Park, Dundee.
  • Acted for Fairways Inverness Limited on due diligence and legal contracts for the acquisition of an 18 hole golf course, driving range, restaurant bar as a going concern business and investment property.

MacRoberts LLP

In 2019, MacRoberts LLP acquired Murray Snell LP, which bolstered its rural, agriculture and forestry services capabilities. The team handles property development and investment matters for public and private sector clients. Practice head David Milne advises clients on commercial and residential developments throughout Scotland.

Practice head(s):

David Milne

Key clients

Braemore Estates

Eastacre LLP

Broxburn Limited

Unicorn Property Group

Cullross Limited


West Developments (Scotland) Limited

Thomas Johnstone Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting for Eastacre LLP on the disposal of £3.6m residential development.
  • Acting for Royal Bank of Scotland on a £1.9m lease.
  • Acting for Smugglers Development on the £1.6m disposal of a seaside residential development.

Thorntons Law LLP

Reflective of its wide reach across Scotland, Thorntons Law LLP recently acquired the former Morisons’ LLP’s real estate team, bolstering the practice’s capabilities with the addition of four new partners in the Edinburgh office. The firm also opened a new office in Glasgow in 2019. Team head Janet McIntyre, who is based in St. Andrews, is experienced in acquisitions and disposals, and landlord and tenant work, with a focus on the retail, office and leisure sectors. Healthcare and education are also areas of focus for the practice.

Practice head(s):

Janet McIntyre

Other key lawyers:

Ewan Miller; Graham Wilson


‘They understand my needs and react quickly to my instruction’.

‘If they have any queries that they cannot answer, there is always someone in the team that they can refer to’.        

‘All queries from me are dealt with promptly and with confidence’.

‘A real pleasure to work with’.

‘Communication is just right with enough detail for me to make a decision’.  

‘Impressive, pragmatic practical advice at a sensible cost with a huge degree of common sense and thorough understanding of the law’.

‘The team we deal with joined Thorntons last year from Morisons; they provide top quality service, equal to any of the international firms, but still with a more local, personal touch’.        

‘High quality service and excellent responsiveness’.

Key clients

Robert Adam & Son

Ward (Leisure) Scotland Limited

JJKS Estates Ltd

NC Tech Limited

Hillcrest Homes (Scotland) Limited (HH)

Caledonia Housing Association Limited (CHA)

Angus Housing Association Limited (AHA)

Acrefine Limited

University of Highlands & Islands

Work highlights

  • Advised University of Highlands & Islands on the £10m acquisition of a new health/science centre.
  • Advised Robert Adam & Sons on key development within Edinburgh for 900 residential units.
  • Advised Hillcrest Homes (Scotland) Limited on £12.5m land acquisition.