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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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United Kingdom > Scotland > Real estate > Construction > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

  1. Construction
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals: Hall of Fame

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Leading individuals

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Next generation lawyers

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Who Represents Who

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Brodies LLP is viewed as the firm of choice by many of the UK's largest developers, contractors, investors and insurance companies. Alistair McLean, who heads up the non-contentious practice, has 30 years of construction experience and is qualified to practise in Scotland, England and Wales, and Hong Kong. McLean and others handle some of the largest and first to the market construction projects in Scotland. McLean and senior solicitor Rachael Brown are acting for Inhabit in the Candleriggs Quarter project in Glasgow and Broadford Works project in Aberdeen; these are among the first buy to rent projects in Scotland. McLean is also working with senior solicitor Lesley Mackenzie to advise Robertson Construction Group as the main contractor on the construction of the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre. Transactional lawyer Jane McMonagle, who recently made partner, 'explains concepts easily and shows available options in a simple and clear style'. Mark Finlay and managing associate Juliet Haldane also have non-contentious construction expertise. The firm also has 'the go-to lawyers for construction disputes', who are praised for their 'thorough knowledge and understanding of legal and commercial issues involved'. David Arnott and associate Christopher Duff are representing Muir Construction Limited in Court of Session proceedings against Kapital Residential Limited; this case is one of the first in the UK to concern the requirements of a valid Pay Less Notice. Manus Quigg, who leads the contentious practice, is 'a brilliant tactician and thoroughly reliable - he knows every trick in the book'. Louise Shiels, managing associate Keith Kilburn, and associates Claire Rice and Sara Lannigan are also experienced in construction disputes. In recent developments, Drysdale Graham was hired from Pinsent Masons LLP, while associate Laura McCorquodale joined from Harper Macleod LLP.

Pinsent Masons LLP, which is 'one of the best firms for construction in the UK', has a team that is 'very aware of how construction companies operate and the pressures they work under in the current economic climate'. Fielding a group that is spread between the firm's Aberdeen and Central Belt offices, it stands out in the contentious and non-contentious aspects of the largest and most high-profile construction projects in Scotland. It is also active in UK and international matters of significant scale. Kenny Valentine and Michael Allan head up the group, whose experience spans sectors such as civil infrastructure/transport, manufacturing and real estate. Nicholas Carlin has supported clients in projects in the renewable energy and oil and gas markets (in the UK and beyond) for more than 10 years. Allan, Scott Johnston and others are acting as the project lawyers to Aberdeen Harbour Board in the Aberdeen Harbour Expansion Project.  In 2017, Valentine, legal director Gillian Woodward and Julia Maguire represented Lend Lease in two Court of Session litigations arising from the construction of the Hydro; this is a £90m 12,000 seat arena, which was built next to the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre in Glasgow. Louise Forster is representing Bilfinger Construction UK Limited in a high-profile public inquiry into the Edinburgh Trams Project. Brandon Nolan undertakes advisory and disputes work in the construction and engineering, and oil and gas sectors. Colin Fraser is another key individual.

Addleshaw Goddard, which merged with HBJ Gateley in 2017, has invested in its construction offering in Scotland by hiring legal director Helen Hutcheson from Dentons. Hutcheson specialises in drafting and negotiating construction contracts and ancillary construction agreements, as well as third party development and funding documentation. In addition, managing associate Peter Clyde joined from niche London-based construction and property firm Decimus Fearon LLP; he also has previous in-house experience at Balfour Beatty. Alison Horner heads up the firm's non-contentious practice, which has historically been known to provide full-service support to developers on the construction aspects of PFI/PPP, NPD and hub projects, as well as matters involving areas such as renewable energy, education, hotels and leisure, and retail. The practice also now generates work from funders and funds in other sectors throughout Scotland and the UK. In addition, the firm is increasingly active in construction matters connected with the utilities and residential development sectors. Managing associates Andrew Fairlie and Suzanne Murphy are other practitioners who undertake non-contentious construction work. Horner and Murphy advised BAM Construction Limited on the Blairdardie and Carntyne DBFM project. In another matter, Horner is acting for Moda Living in the construction aspects of Scotland's first PRS scheme. The firm's contentious work is led by Anne Struckmeier, who is particularly active in PFI/NPD, waste and energy disputes.

Burness Paull LLP's 26-strong dedicated construction and projects team advises on procurement issues, standard form contracts (including NEC, JCT and ICC), dispute resolution and various other matters for its clients. Its ability to cover the entire ambit of contentious and non-contentious matters has enabled it to build up a notable client list, which includes Barhale Plc, Amey and Morgan Sindall Investments Limited. Practice head Fenella Mason and others are representing Kier Construction in a third party action, which arose from a dispute between Kier and DGC over DGC One's leisure complex. Another key individual in the group is Gavin Paton, who is leading the advice to Countesswells Development Limited on the construction of a new residential settlement of circa 3000 units, and related facilities, at Countesswells in Aberdeen. In 2017, Paton worked with senior associates Chris Horsley and Caroline Allan, and associate Kevin Cannon, to assist hub West ScotlandLimited/hub West Scotland Project Company (no. 6) Limited with various matters, including the Carntyne and Blairdardie DBFM project. James Forbes, who is dual-qualified in English and Scottish law, recently handled four major projects for the University of St Andrews. Forbes also has a notable specialism in renewable energy projects.

CMS has a 30-year track record of handling high-value and prestigious construction, engineering and infrastructure projects. Rated by clients as 'one of the front-runners' in the market for contentious and non-contentious matters, it demonstrates strong capabilities in all aspects of Scottish and UK projects, as well as those overseas. In addition, the firm's merger with Nabarro and Olswang in 2017 has added to the breadth and depth of support that the Scotland-based team can call upon. In a recent highlight, a team led by Ian McCann and Mark Kirke advised on the contractual aspects of, and handled claims relating to, the construction of the £100m Shieldhall Tunnel in the south of Glasgow. In another high-profile matter, Kirke, Shona Frame and others are assisting Interserve Construction with handling high-value disputes associated with the long-delayed construction of the Glasgow Recycling and Renewable Energy Centre, and the client's termination from the project. Christine Worthington is leading a team, which is acting as the main legal adviser to Balfour Beatty on the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station project. Senior associate Gwen Napier is 'skilled in drafting a wide range of construction contracts and she is also knowledgeable about current practices/market trends'.  Other highly regarded senior associates include Jane Fender-Allison, Christopher Dickson, Madeleine Young and Claudia Russell.

Dentons moved into the Scottish market by merging with Maclay Murray & Spens LLP in 2017, expanding the scope of its construction offering across the UK. The firm's Scottish team is a strong performer in contentious and non-contentious matters, as is reflected by it consistently featuring in sophisticated, high-end projects, and by its list of high calibre clients. On the non-contentious side, it is particularly active in employer-led development work, particularly in areas such as real estate, energy (renewable energy and oil and gas) and transport. Mark Macaulay is leading a team in the advice to London Luton Airport Operations Limited on the procurement and construction issues associated with the expansion of the airport. The firm is also equally highly regarded in contentious construction matters; Kirsti Olson, who is dual-qualified in Scotland and England/Wales, is particularly knowledgeable about contentious construction matters related to transport, energy and PFI/PPP projects. David Scott recently departed the firm.

MacRoberts LLP's ties to the Scottish construction industry dates back more than 30 years. Its high quality team includes Mike Barlow, Craig Bradshaw, David Wilson and senior associate Sarah Pengelly; they are all accredited by the Law Society of Scotland as specialists in construction law. Practice head Neil Kelly, who is also an accredited construction law specialist, was made an honorary member of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) in 2007 and honorary fellow of the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) in 2012. The group has extensive experience of construction projects across a broad cross-section of industries, including healthcare, renewable energy, infrastructure, transport, education and real estate. It is equally strong in complex, high-profile and high-value contentious and non-contentious matters, where it acts for a wide range of parties. Barlow and real estate partner Laurence Fraser are advising Scottish Canals on the North Glasgow Integrated Water Management System, the construction aspects of which recently concerned the governance agreement and drainage partnership agreement with Glasgow City Council and Scottish Water, the NEC3 engineering and construction contract, and infrastructure works contract. Elsewhere, the firm has had significant involvement in the construction aspects of PPP projects across Scotland, and counts NHS Lothian as one of its clients in this area. It also acts for large UK and international businesses, and developers, among other entities. On the contentious side of the practice, Jennifer McKay is defending engineering services provider Aecom against an action at the Court of Session, where it is alleged that the client failed to properly advise on the design and supervision of groundworks at a site in Leithlands in Glasgow, which led to the site no longer being suitable for development. 

Shepherd and Wedderburn provides 'tailored and pragmatic advice at the first time of asking' on construction law issues to public and private sector clients, and its team demonstrates 'a strong understanding of business requirements and the pressures clients face'. Reflective of the breadth of the practice, the group is equally active in assisting employers and contractors with a wide range of contentious and non-contentious matters. Led by Euan McLeod, it has made a name for itself in high-value and complex construction projects across the UK, with its work spanning areas such as renewable energy, social housing and real estate. McLeod, senior associate Lauren Thomson and others are acting for Wheatley Housing Group in the procurement and construction aspects of the £250m Transformational Regeneration Area project at Sighthill in Glasgow, which involves the construction of 650 new homes. In another significant mandate, McLeod and senior associate Kirsteen Milne are part of the team which is acting as the lead construction adviser to the UK government on an innovative new Framework Agreement and underlying contracts for the provision of £500m to £1bn over 10 years in order to deliver critical pieces of UK infrastructure. Gareth Parry advised a UK/Republic of Ireland joint venture company on the construction of a waster water treatment works project in Essex. The firm's recent contentious work included Iain Drummond and solicitor Nathaniel Buckingham representing Amey, as FM contractor for 21 primary and secondary schools in the Edinburgh Schools PPP project, in an independent inquiry and two adjudication proceedings over the collapse of a school wall. David Anderson and Colin Archibald also undertake contentious construction work.

One of Harper Macleod LLP's strong suits is in the construction aspects of large-scale Scottish infrastructure projects. Euan Pirie, who is 'an innovative thinker and inventive problem-solver', has expertise in NPD, PFI/PPP and hub projects. In 2017, he worked with associate Catriona Kemp to advise Robertson Construction Group Limited as construction contractor on the circa £30m Bertha Park hub DBFM project. Team head Michael Conroy, who has more than 20 years of contentious and non-contentious construction experience, is working with others to assist Glasgow City Council with drafting and negotiating contracts for the preparation of venues for the Glasgow 2018 European Championships. Other public sector clients to whom the firm provides advice on contentious and non-contentious matters (of which there are many) include Forestry Commission Scotland, sportscotland and City of Edinburgh Council. It also acts for private sector developers, sub-contractors and construction consultants. Solicitor advocate John McHugh and David Kerr handle construction disputes as part of their broader dispute resolution practices. Ross Thomson is a notable individual in Inverness.

Ledingham Chalmers LLP's practice captures a sizeable proportion of the Scottish market - particularly the north east of Scotland and Highlands and Islands region. Its team is spread between the Aberdeen and Inverness offices. In Aberdeen, managing partner Jennifer Young, who is accredited by the Law Society of Scotland as a construction law specialist, works alongside Sarah Stuart. The main contacts in Inverness are senior associates Roddy Cormack and Karen Cameron. Cormack (like Young) is also a Law Society accredited construction law specialist. The team is particularly well-known for acting for construction contractors (particularly those in the traditional building and oil and gas services sectors), for whom the non-contentious work encompasses risk reviews, analysis and negotiations of construction contracts. Other elements of the firm's non-contentious work include assisting private and public sector organisations with procurement and other construction issues, and advising banks on funding arrangements. The group also has expertise in matters that arise during the construction process itself (such as conflicts over instructions, health and safety, and financial disputes) and other-construction matters, including those concerning defective works, insolvency and late completion. Young and Stuart have litigation backgrounds, as does Cameron, who is a solicitor advocate. Gordon Mitchell Contractors, Bancon Construction, CFF Contractors and Svenska Handelsbanken are among the firm's many clients.

Since Jonathan Seddon established Morton Fraser's construction team in 2003, the firm has become a well-known name in the market for complex, large-scale and high-value development projects (and related disputes). On non-contentious matters, the firm has a particularly strong profile in relation to its work for developers. Illustrative of the quality of the firm's portfolio of work, Seddon and senior associate Mimi Stewart recently advised BAM Properties on the construction aspects of the forward funded development at Capital Square in Edinburgh; this is currently the largest speculative office development in Edinburgh. Seddon and Stewart were also part of a multidisciplinary team in the advice to student housing provider Empiric Student Property Plc on forward funding the acquisition and development of a 166 bed student accommodation block on King's Stables Road in Edinburgh. Other clients of the practice include development funders, and public and private sector owners and occupiers. Also recommended in the group is senior associate Lisa Dromgoole, who is 'good at case management and presenting sound advice in a timely manner'. In 2017, Dromgoole (who is the head of contentious construction), Kenneth Carruthers and others acted for the owners of a commercial property located in Edinburgh city centre in interdict proceedings arising from the damage sustained to the property as a result of demolition works at an adjacent plot.

Anderson Strathern's practice is led by Karyn Watt, who is accredited by the Law Society of Scotland as a construction law specialist, and has 'a tremendous ability to get through masses of ability in a short time'. Watt's team has an excellent record working with contractors, developers and funders on a wide range of construction projects, including town centre mixed-use schemes, housing projects and developments involving areas such as education, energy and manufacturing. In 2017, Martin Whiteford assisted Victoria Square Woking Limited with the construction aspects of the Victoria Square mixed-use scheme in Woking. The firm is developing a specialist practice in relation to hotel developments, and has recently handled projects for clients such as Apex Hotels, among others. In addition to acting for private sector clients, the firm has a particularly significant public sector client following, for whom it assists with procurement and construction issues; Transport Scotland, Fife Council and City of Edinburgh Council instruct the firm in this space. Elsewhere, the firm's work for educational institutions is another pillar of the practice. Audrey Cameron and Pat Loftus also have non-contentious construction expertise. Alistair Dean specialises in construction disputes.

BTO Solicitors LLP handles a mix of contentious construction matters, which includes cases involving complex insurance/liability/quantum issues, contractual disputes and conflicts over final accounts and extensions of time, challenges to certification and construction defects. Jilly Petrie has particular expertise in this area. In addition, practice head Sandra Cassels specialises in construction and engineering dispute resolution. Elsewhere, the group advises on the non-contentious aspects of projects at all stages from inception to completion. It acts for a broad base of clients, including contractors, sub-contractors, local authorities, developers and funders. In 2017, Cassels and associate Caroline Earnshaw acted for Tigh Grian Limited in the delivery of 48 sustainable, energy-efficient and affordable homes to Link and Paragon Housing Associations. A notable growth area for the firm has been in mandates from hotel and leisure sector developers, with the team negotiating building contracts, professional appointment agreements, development agreements and facility agreements. Consultant Ann O’Connell, and associates Julie Scott-Gilroy and Claire Mills, are also recommended.

Davidson Chalmers Stewart acts for a number of Scotland's most active private development companies in the construction of large, high-profile residential, commercial and mixed-use developments. Practice head Simone Young is the lead adviser to Chris Stewart Group on high-end new-build and refurbishment developments at St Andrew Square in Edinburgh; the work recently covered procurement and contracts advice. In a related matter, Greg Flett advised the client on a claim brought by the proprietor of a neighbouring property against a demolition contractor employed by the client over damage the contractor had caused to the property. In another major project in Edinburgh, Bruce Lancaster and Young are advising Peveril Securities Limited on a multi-use development at King's Stables Road, which consists of four neighbouring construction projects; when complete, this will consist of a hotel, student accommodation, residential apartments and commercial units. Outside of acting for developers, the firm undertakes high-end work for other clients; Young is advising Apple Apartments on the multimillion pound refurbishment of a former school building in Edinburgh city centre to form a mixed serviced apartment and bar/restaurant scheme. Elsewhere, Andy Drane heads up a team that specialises in the waste and renewable energy sectors, and he also advises primary medical care operators on development matters.

At DLA Piper Scotland LLP, legal director Jonathan Gaskell (who is dual-qualified in English and Scottish law) advises clients on the contentious and non-contentious aspects of construction projects, including those connected with the development of student accommodation, rail infrastructure, roads and shopping centres. Gaskell's recent work included assisting Merseytravel with construction law issues associated with new depot facilities on the Merseyrail network, and advising Artisan Real Estate Investors on the construction of a new circa 190,000 square feet office development at the New Waverley development in Edinburgh. St Enoch Trustee Company Limited, Ark Data Centres and Sodexo are other clients in this area.

At Gillespie Macandrew LLP, residential development is one of the bedrocks of the firm's construction work. Harry Smith, who heads up a dedicated housebuilder team, has more than 30 years of experience of residential development. The firm is on the legal panels of major housebuilders such as Bellway Homes, Taylor Wimpey, CALA Management and Avant Homes (Scotland) Limited. It also acts for a number of large estates that have development companies, which construct new housing developments and renewable energy projects. The firm also plays an active role in building restoration projects, and also represents private individuals in construction disputes related to them. Smith works with Isobell Reid, who made partner in 2017, and is 'thoroughly professional in dealings with clients, experts and counsel'. Robertson Partnership Homes Limited, Turnberry Homes Limited and Merchant Homes Partnerships Limited are recent client wins. Murray Shaw has retired.

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