Construction in Scotland

Brodies LLP

Brodies LLP's construction practice is built on two cornerstones: its non-contentious arm led by Alistair Mclean and a disputes offering led by Louise Shiels. This broad team attracts an equally broad client base, including developers, public bodies, funders and contractors. Much of its advisory work pertains to residential, commercial and mixed-use developments, including large-scale regeneration projects, while a large portion of its contentious work arises from large infrastructure and healthcare projects. Other key individuals for the latter include David Arnott, who routinely handles infrastructure and engineering disputes, Manus Quigg, who has a strong engineering background, and Christopher Duff, who, alongside employers, contractors and consultants, also acts for insurers. This expertise at the intersection with insurance law is also regularly called upon by large consultant practices.

Practice head(s):

Alistair McLean; Louise Shiels

Other key lawyers:

Manus Quigg; David Arnott; Christopher Duff; Jane McMonagle

Testimonials

Brodies are the leading law firm in Scotland for defence of professional negligence claims, particularly against construction professionals. Whenever a dispute crystallises there seems to be a race to appoint Brodies – whoever gets there first is immediately (and remains) several steps ahead of their opponents. The team’s strengths lie in its people, who are formidable and thoroughly reliable legal and commercial advisers. Money spent on having these guys on board is money well spent.’

Manus Quigg – extremely well versed in litigation strategy. He is only ever ahead of the game.’

Brodies continue to provide a brilliant service to us, are always respectful of our needs, timely with information and advice, and extremely personable.’

Jane McMonagle is fantastic. She understands the real issues that matter to us and explains everything simply, clearly and refers to what a particular change means for us.

The Brodies team have provided us with excellent continuous support on a very complex, technically challenging and extremely contractual construction project. Due to the diversity within Brodies team they have the strengths to clearly grasp the complex nature of the project and to offer superb contractual and legal support.

Louise Shiels – exceptional in every regard. Nothing is too much trouble, and whenever you engage with Louise, it is as though you are her only client and only priority. She is also a fantastic leader of her team, organiser and expert in her field. Chris Duff – similarly to Louise, his approach and attitude is first class.’

Brodies have strong technical capabilities and strive to ensure their clients interests are protected throughout the case life. They have a strong female presence in the construction sector (which is often male dominated), and the team hold their own in technical discussions but with an eye on customer service ensuring the claims process is amicable and runs smoothly.’

Key clients

Drum Property Group

McLaughlin & Harvey Ltd

Aggreko

Robertson Construction Group

Multiplex Construction Europe Ltd

Amey OW Ltd

Balfour Beatty

Sacyr UK Limited/ Sacyr Neopulsa

Springfield Properties PLC

Orion Capital Partners

Work highlights

  • Advising Holland Street Property Company Limited (HP) on a large-scale development of 433 high specification apartments, situated in a prime central location within Glasgow.
  • Advising Cameron House Resort Limited on the reinstatement and refurbishment of its spa luxury hotel.
  • Supporting Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) in progressing construction works for the Cairngorm funicular viaduct – a major tourist attraction in the Highlands.

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP's sizable construction practice is a regular fixture on large-scale energy, infrastructure and real estate projects, acting for national and international owners, developers and institutional investors. Colin Fraser is a key contact for infrastructure projects and receives regular instructions from contractors, while, in the energy space, Nicholas Carlin specialises in supply chain arrangements and is particularly active in the renewable energy sphere. Michael Allan routinely takes the lead on property development construction projects but also handles energy and infrastructure work; he jointly heads the practice with Kenny Valentine, who is the main contact for construction disputes. He is qualified in both Scotland and England and Wales and, as a qualified meditator, is able to provide a wide range of dispute resolution services. He also sits as an adjudicator on the RCS panel in Scotland, England and Wales. Brandon Nolan is another key member of the team and is noted for his wide-ranging expertise, spanning non-contentious and contentious construction work.

Practice head(s):

Kenny Valentine; Michael Allan

Other key lawyers:

Colin Fraser; Louise Forster; Nicholas Carlin; Brandon Nolan; Scott Johnston

Testimonials

‘Scott Johnston’s experience in construction disputes, paired with his practical and commercial understanding of the oil and gas industry, is why he is our go-to lawyer for upstream commercial disputes. Involving his team during the execution of a difficult project has made a material benefit to the strength of our position in the resultant dispute.’

‘My main interactions over a number of years have been with Kenny Valentine on matters involving contractual disputes. He has been excellent in providing sound advice and analysis. He is always readily available to discuss matters. Kenny givers us realistic views as to the likely success or otherwise of the issues at hand.’

The Pinsents team is able to tailor their vast experience in domestic construction disputes to the slightly less contentious world of oil and gas. They know the argument that will work.’

Pinsent Masons’ proactive approach to cross-practice area services sets them apart from many other firms in the energy/maritime/engineering sectors. Where partners in elsewhere may look to personally hold on to all instructions form their clients, Pinsents are always keen to cross-refer and provide the right person for the job based on their specialism.

‘Scott Johnston and his team are technically excellent and have always achieved a good balance between dealing with the practicalities of adjudication, but also ensuring the black letter law advice and lessons learned are provided to the business.’

‘I enjoy working with Scott Johnston as I have found he has a great working knowledge of the aspects of Scottish law that are less well known to us practising south of the border, which makes dealing with Scottish disputes considerably easier. He gets to the point quickly and is able to articulate our options clearly, to allow us to move with speed on time sensitive matters.’

‘The practice is able to match the right person for the particular advice we require. We find that the advice given does not sit on the fence, it is always very clear.’

‘I have always found the advice Pinsent Masons have given to us to be reflective of the risks involved in litigation. Also pre-contract advice and drafting has been informative, concise and delivered to us efficiently within the required timescales. I have found them to advise more fully than other firms and be open and upfront as to when not to proceed with issues. This ensures that the financial risk of legal action is fully analysed in our decision making.’

Key clients

Balfour Beatty

Aker Solutions ASA

Barclays Bank

Hochtief Solutions AG

Galliford Try

Morgan Sindall

BP plc

City of Edinburgh Council

Winchburgh Developments

Lend Lease

Brookfield Multiplex

Morgan Sindall

Work highlights

  • Acting for Forth Crossing Bridge Constructors (FCBC) in proceedings to enforce an adjudicator’s award against an Italian subcontractor appointed by FCBC for the construction of the lifts in the three towers of the new Queensferry Crossing.
  • Advising Winchburgh Developments Limited (a joint venture between West Coast Capital and CALA Homes) on the development and construction of Winchburgh.
  • Appointed as project lawyers by the Aberdeen Harbour Board to advise on the Aberdeen Harbour Expansion Project (Nigg Bay).

Burness Paull LLP

Burness Paull LLP continues to act for a large number of contractors, local authorities, developers and investors requiring assistance with large-scale projects and developments. Recently, this has concerned the healthcare, residential, commercial and education sectors in particular but thanks to the firm's solid projects practice, the group also receives instructions on harbour and energy developments. While its non-contentious work frequently lies at the interface with procurement law, much of its contentious work typically pertains to design and construction defects alongside contract breaches. Team head Fenella Mason is a key contact for the latter; an area that was given additional weight with the partner promotion of Caroline Maciver in February 2021.

Practice head(s):

Fenella Mason

Other key lawyers:

Gavin Paton; Chris Mackay; James Forbes; Caroline Maciver

Testimonials

‘Strong team with detailed experience.’

‘Fenella Mason is a first rate adviser; Caroline MacIver has been operating at partner level for a number of years and her promotion is more than just recognition of here fine ability and understanding of the sector.’

‘Burness Paull are a thoroughly professional outfit – smart, responsive, diligent and confidence-inspiring. Their follow-up and engagement is excellent, keeping us up to date and informed with matters they are working on.’

‘Fenella Mason is insightful and assured, inspiring confidence in her clients that matters are being dealt appropriately at all times. Always friendly, always measured.’

Caroline Maciver gets on top of the detail and project manages excellently.’

‘Chris MacKay has an exceptional legal mind, and is keen to interrogate all possible angles of a case. Drafting is second to none with extreme clarity and always presented to the same high quality no matter the timescales. Makes even the most complicated matter look simple. True class leader.

Full service offering within the construction team, coupled with being both subject matter experts and commercially astute make the Burness team a practically unmatched proposition. Exceptional level of value adds also!

All very good lawyers who we continue to work with and who provide efficient and helpful legal support on our Scottish construction issues.’

Key clients

Galliford Try Construction (UK) Limited

John Graham Construction Limited

EDF Energy

Amey plc

Morgan Sindall Investments Limited

Mercury Engineering

Ferrovial Lagan

Outotec

Van Oord

Scottish Futures Trust

Work highlights

  • Advising longstanding client hub West Scotland Limited on various DBDA and DBFM projects in greater Glasgow, including a new North East Health hub, Greenock Health Centre, ward buildings at Stobhill Hospital, Clydebank Health Centre and the first hub West affordable housing project.
  • Providing ongoing advice to Port of Cromarty Firth in connection with the £31m Phase 4 development of Invergordon Service Base.
  • Advising CA Ventres at various stages of the development of three student accommodation developments across Scotland.

CMS

With Shona Frame and Mark Kirke as key contacts for construction dispute resolution and dispute avoidance alongside Christine Worthington and Ian McCann co-heading CMS' non-contentious construction offering, the practice is well placed to provide assistance with the full spectrum of construction matters, most notably those arising from energy, engineering, commercial property and infrastructure developments. Clients, including local authorities, utilities, developers, institutional investors and contractors, also benefit from the team's use of smart tools to streamline processes with time-saving benefits for the client.

Practice head(s):

Shona Frame; Mark Kirke; Christine Worthington; Ian McCann

Other key lawyers:

Rob Wilson; Harriet Munro

Testimonials

‘They have experts in both the contentious and non-contentious sphere across the sectors including retail, healthcare and residential, most of whom are highly regarded in the industry. We have taken advantage of several technological innovations, particularly interactive guidance notes that have been well received not only by our in-house lawyers, but by the wider business as well.’

‘Christine Worthington comes highly recommended, her breadth of commercial and technical understanding is second to none and combined with her forensic attention to detail results in targeted, timely and relevant legal advice.’

‘The construction team is very strong. Unfailingly good quality from associate to partner level – high energy levels, very strong on client relations and has the ability to deal with different people with different backgrounds. Unflappable during very challenging matters – very responsive.

The team as individuals and as a unit have been exceptionally proactive and very well organised.

‘Knowledgeable team with strength in depth. Christine Worthington has become a go-to person for advice during the Covid shutdown period.’

‘Covers all disciplines and with good practical knowledge across the sector. Many leading lights and strength in depth. Helps to receive various legislative and policy trackers and keep up to date across the various sectors. ’

‘Clear advice, warts and all, and a good understanding of the strategic management of issues. Fast response times and depth of knowledge.’

‘Excellent service from an approachable, knowledgeable and pragmatic team. CMS tries hard to tailor support to the needs of our business and goes out of its way to understand our priorities and aims. It is a modern firm with whom we really like working.’

Key clients

SSE plc

EDF

Scottish Water

Northern Ireland Water

Land Securities

Interserve

Balfour Beatty

Galliford Try

Multiplex

Laing O’Rourke

Morrison Utility Services

Aberdeen Standard Investments

Nuveen

M&G

Union Investment

Tarmac

City of Edinburgh Council

North Lanarkshire Council

Renfrewshire Council

InfraRed Capital Partners

Infrastructure Management Limited

Semperian

WSP

Work highlights

  • Defending Interserve Construction Ltd in a dispute arising from the construction and commissioning of Glasgow Recycling and Renewable Energy Centre.
  • Advising Nuveen Real Estate on construction aspects of the new £1bn St James Quarter redevelopment in Edinburgh.
  • Acting for an international oil major in a complex arbitration relating to the re-development of an oilfield in the Middle East.

Shepherd and Wedderburn

Shepherd and Wedderburn has particular strength in the energy sector, including renewable energy and waste to energy, but also receives regular instructions on commercial and residential developments. Its non-contentious offering has received a boost with the partner promotion of Lauren Thomson in May 2020 - she has been particularly active in the commercial and housing space - and the arrival of consultant Alison Horner in October 2020; she previously co-headed the team at Addleshaw Goddard and focuses on  strategic advice. The team acts for public and private sector employers and contractors and routinely works closely with various other practice groups, most notably procurement, corporate, property and dispute resolution. Thanks to its cooperation with the commercial litigation department, the group is able to handle a wide range of construction disputes. Construction and infrastructure projects expert Euan McLeod heads the team.

Practice head(s):

Euan McLeod

Other key lawyers:

Lauren Thomson; Alison Horner; Iain Drummond; Gareth Parry; David Anderson; Colin Archibald; Leigh Herd

Testimonials

‘Shepherd and Wedderburn offers a unique large practice experience to clients. Our experience is that the original partners involved on the initial call stay with, and lead the process from start to finish, acting with integrity, extreme knowledge, but equally approachable, often explaining complex legal matters in plain English.’

‘Lauren Thomson treats my business as if it were her own – attention to detail is commendable.’

‘The ownership that they have in each and every project – no matter size or value.’

‘I’ve greatly valued Lauren Thomson’s pragmatic and collaborative approach. Transactions have happened more smoothly and harmoniously as a direct consequence.

‘Iain Drummond is an experienced construction lawyer, who provides easy to follow robust advice.’

‘The team has strength and depth in its construction practice. This is important for us as we only seek external legal support from proven experts in this field and practices that can deal with complex matters. The team is particularly good at turning around advice in a short space of timing and making that advice accessible for lay clients. The team has really stepped up during the Covid pandemic, providing a seamless service. The team has really impressed our internal lay clients. They are very much seen as a safe pair of hands.’

‘The team are not just legal advisors; they are part-time consultants who work for the business, they get to know the company very quickly and understand what the values, culture and ethos of the business are. They always have the interests of the company first but equally know what type of market it is out there and will find a way to help get the client sales in without exposing the company. They are commercial, financial and operational consultants who are an extension of the team and our “go-to guys” when we need help. Equally, without sounding arrogant, we have 100% trust and belief in their advice and judgement we always feel that we are in a win-win situation when it comes to contracts.’

‘Leigh Herd is our other member of the team in the company. It feels like Leigh has worked on behalf of the company for years. Her grasp of taking a brief, cutting to the chase and through the paperwork and getting to the point is superb, and even although she is an expert in her chosen field, we always want her to be involved in any other legal aspects in the business even if its with another partner in Sheppard. Leigh simplifies/ breaks down the legal jargon/ processes to help us understand, has a brilliant mind, very sharp and a good sense of humour, but don’t mess if you’re on the opposing team. Always feel we are getting good value for money and will always meet deadlines, work during the night or early morning to help us.’

Key clients

JPMorgan Chase

Acciona Industrial S.A.

Baillie Gifford

Wheatley Housing Group

East Ayrshire Council

States of Jersey

Mirastar Real Estate Investment Management Limited

HMRC Government

International Music and Performing Arts Charitable Trust Scotland

The City of Edinburgh Council

Work highlights

  • Advising Acciona Industrial on a £150m contract for a 25-year energy from waste project in Aberdeenshire.
  • Advising the City of Edinburgh Council on a £90m consultancy framework agreement.
  • Advising JPMorgan Chase on its new technology base in Glasgow’s International Financial Services District.

Addleshaw Goddard

Addleshaw Goddard's construction portfolio includes funding and procurement advice, which, alongside various Scottish projects, routinely concerns UK-wide projects with a focus on commercial, residential (including student accommodations) and office developments. Work pertaining to energy and infrastructure projects has recently been mostly in the contentious space. Team head Anne Struckmeier is the key contact for construction disputes; she took on the lead following Alison Horner's move to Shepherd and Wedderburn in October 2020. Clients include developers, contractors and UK funds.

Practice head(s):

Anne Struckmeier

Other key lawyers:

Suzanne Moir; Sarah Baillie; Alan Shanks

Testimonials

‘This is a solid commercial practice with highly driven solicitors and some of the best brains in the business.’

‘Ease of communication, detailed understanding of our sector, highly flexible and nothing is a problem.’

‘I have used this team for a number of years across a number of in-house employers and have always found them to be very responsive and responsible at picking up a new matter and getting it dealt with efficiently. The team is technically excellent and always seeks to understand and meet the client’s legal and commercial objectives.’

‘I find Anne Struckmeier very accessible and her advice is generally pragmatic and aligned to the client’s commercial objectives. Recent work with Anne in relation to COVID issues demonstrated that Anne is well up to speed with the ever changing legal landscape in Scotland and was able to apply this knowledge to a very practical set of advices to the internal client that were in readily usable format. Anne is a pleasure to deal with and the rare combination of very knowledgeable and also very personable.’

‘The team is very proactive in alerting to me things that may interest me or affect the business such as legislation changes, articles etc. They involved themselves in our large projects making sure they fully understood what our projects were and providing initial advice together hints and tips on how they could assist the business. They provide complete clarity on their billing and invoicing, giving me monthly updates.’

‘Anne Struckmeier heads up the team and she can be relied upon to leave no stone unturned in order to deliver what I need. The firm understands our business, always seeks to meet our objectives and they sort out problems quickly and efficiently. They look for ways in which to add meaningful value to their service.’

Key clients

Bywater

RBS

Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited (CMAL)

SSE plc

Maven Capital Partners

BT plc

Staycity

Work highlights

  • Continues to advise the Royal Bank of Scotland plc on the funding of the development of a key site at 266 George Street, 73-77 John Street and 1-3 Martha Street, Glasgow, known as the George Street Complex by Chris Stewart Group.
  • Continues to act for Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited in the procurement of civils upgrade works relative to the introduction of a new roll-on roll-off hybrid dual-fuel ferry on the Outer Hebrides routes between Uig (Skye), Tarbert, and Lochmaddy.
  • Advising SSE plc on the turbine supply agreements and civils contracts for two major onshore wind farms.

Dentons

Dentons has carved out a strong practice handling developer-led work but also acts for a number of contractors. The team headed by Glasgow-based construction procurement specialist Mark Macaulay handles both contentious and non-contentious matters - with Edinburgh-based construction dispute resolution expert Kirsti Olson being the main contact for the former - and has particular expertise in the transport sector. Other recent work arose from mixed-use, leisure, residential and healthcare projects. In March 2021, transactional construction and engineering specialist Craig Bradshaw joined as counsel from MacRoberts LLP.

Practice head(s):

Mark Macaulay

Other key lawyers:

Kirsti Olson; Craig Bradshaw

Key clients

Honeywell S.L.

P & O Ferries

Galliford Try Construction (UK) Limited

Halcrow Group Limited

Taylor Wimpey UK Limited

Helical plc

M&G plc

Clyde Gateway URC

Network Rail Infrastructure Limited

Wilson Bowden plc

Work highlights

  • Advised the Prudential Assurance Company Limited (PACL) on its mixed-use development at Haymarket, Edinburgh.
  • Advised Capita Property & Infrastructure Limited on a court action raised in the Court of Session by Greater Glasgow Health Board. The action relates to the construction of the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow.
  • Advised Dutch client, The Student Hotel, on the acquisition and development of part of the Candleriggs Quarter, which is at the heart of the Merchant City in Glasgow.

MacRoberts LLP

MacRoberts LLP has notable strength in the contentious space, acting for private and public sector players in disputes associated with infrastructure projects in particular. Its client base in the non-contentious arena is equally broad and includes public and private sector developers, institutional funders, Scottish SMEs and specialist sub-contractors. Besides its regular involvement in infrastructure projects, the team's workload also includes a number of PPP projects and projects in the healthcare sector. Neil Kelly heads the team and, reflective of the team's overall specialism, has a focus on contentious construction.

Practice head(s):

Neil Kelly

Other key lawyers:

Jennifer McKay; Mike Barlow; Gavin Thomson; David Wilson

Testimonials

‘One of the top Scottish firms for construction dispute work. They have a a very strong team.’

‘Neil Kelly has been there and done it, when it comes to construction disputes. He has massive experience in this area, and has a a very high market reputation to match. Neil always goes the extra mile for the client, and is someone you want on your side – and not as an opponent. His detailed knowledge of the law in this sphere, and his knowledge of the sector as a whole, are hard to beat.

‘Excellent firm with historic track record in construction disputes.’

Gavin Thomson, a highly talented partner, treats adjudicators with utmost respect and courtesy; a pleasure to deal with unlike some other Scottish solicitors.

‘Response times are exceptionally good. If a partner is not available to address an issue sufficiently promptly then an associate will, or vice versa.’

‘David Wilson has a true understanding of NEC contracts and appreciates the implications of disputes on the parties involved.’

‘MacRoberts is a long established and respected practice. The firm authors a key book on Scottish Construction Law. They have a dedicated construction team headed by Neil Kelly and offer an all round comprehensive construction and engineering offering. They have been involved in many of the key cases in Scotland over many decades. They also offer other commercial property and real estate services. Their teams are well structured and diverse and offer all skills at all levels. They are very budget aware and manage experts very well’

Jennifer McKay is a recent partner and rising star in the construction disputes field. She is unerring in her efforts and maintains a personable but firm approach with a dogged yet fair resolve for her clients’ best interests.

Key clients

CALA Homes Limited

John Wood Group Plc

Edinburgh Schools Partnership

Jacobs

NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde

NHS Lothian

Robertson Group

Scottish Government

SSE plc

Transport Scotland

Work highlights

  • Advised Robertson Property Limited and Live Nation Entertainment on its successful bid to develop and operate a new 15,000 seater indoor arena at Atlantic Wharf, Cardiff in conjunction with Cardiff City Council.
  • Acting for NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde in Court of Session proceedings raised against Multiplex Construction Europe Limited, Currie & Brown and Capita Property and Infrastructure Limited seeking payment of approximately £74m in damages in respect of defects identified in the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital.
  • Representing Renfrewshire Schools Partnership in multi-million pound Court of Session proceedings raised against it by Renfrewshire Council concerning novel legal arguments about the interpretation of payment provisions in a school PFI project.

Anderson Strathern

Noted for his public and education sector client base, Anderson Strathern is routinely called upon to advise on infrastructure and higher education developments, but the team also receives regular instructions from independent contractors and private sector developers. Its contentious and non-contentious private sector work is typically associated with regeneration, renewable energy, housing, retail and hotel projects. Infrastructure projects expert Karyn Watt is the main contact for non-contentious matters, while Alistair Dean heads the contentious construction segment.

Practice head(s):

Alistair Dean; Karyn Watt

Other key lawyers:

Gillian Jamieson; Martin Whiteford; Pat Loftus; Fraser Geddes

Testimonials

‘What is striking about the construction team is the exceptional teamwork which involves excellent communication. In complex multi-faceted disputes involving major infrastructure works, it is key that everyone knows what is happening across the project in what is a dynamic situation.’

‘Karyn Watt is a powerhouse of energy and enthusiasm who can keep the momentum up and take the initiative when that is of advantage.’

Alistair Dean approached the matter from a common sense perspective understanding from the outset that our case was something we needed to fight or settle in a favourable way. He knew the adverse party very well and suggested a strategy, which we adopted and which has proven to be entirely successful. If you need a street-fighter with common-sense and good strategic instincts, he is an excellent choice.

‘They offer sensible, realistic advice and summaries of contractual matters in construction disputes.’

‘They don’t over-heighten expectations but keep all aspects of communications very measured and professional.’

‘The team are very flexible in their approach and always available. I have recommended them on numerous occasions to my peers.’

‘Wide ranging capabilities across the team allows the client to get the specialist advice they require from one firm. Seamless transition between teams so they engage fully from day one.’

‘Great service and very pragmatic approach to issues. Great understanding of industry sector and key players.’

Key clients

Scottish Government/ Transport Scotland

Transform Schools Ltd

University of the Highlands and Islands

Ashleigh Contracts (NI) Ltd

The Trustees of the Lauren McLeish Trust Fund

Inovyn ChlorVinyls

CCG Scotland Limited

Midlothian Council

Strathclyde Partnership for Transport

S1 Developments Limited

Axcel Hospitality

Apex Hotels

Dundas Estates Limited

Fife Council

J. Smart & Co

Work highlights

  • Advising Victoria Square Woking Limited on the redevelopment of Woking town centre and the large extension to the town centre shopping complex, including retail and restaurant space.
  • Advising Ashleigh Contracts (NI) Ltd. on a multi-million pound adjudication relating to the construction of the northern breakwater as part of the Aberdeen Harbour Expansion Project.
  • Advising Halo Kilmarnock Limited on the redevelopment of the Johnnie Walker bottling site in Kilmarnock to form a mixed-use scheme that includes housing, leisure, offices and an entrepreneurial hub.

Davidson Chalmers Stewart

Acting for a large number of developers, Davidson Chalmers Stewart has particular expertise in leisure, mixed-use, office and commercial developments and frequently acts in conjunction with other practice groups to advise on associated planning, property and environmental matters. Infrastructure companies, most notably in the waste and renewables sectors, also receive advice on energy projects. This offering is complemented by solid contentious capabilities, covering litigation, arbitration and adjudication. Team head Simone Young handles all aspects of non-contentious construction.

Practice head(s):

Simone Young

Other key lawyers:

Bruce Lancaster; Greg Flett

Testimonials

‘The construction and real estate team are very great. It was the first time we used Scottish solicitors and I would recommend them. The collaboration between them all was very beneficial to our matter and in getting the documents in order and ready for signature.’

‘Great knowledge and experience of construction contract law. Guided me through the whole process to a successful conclusion.’

‘Simone Young’s knowledge of sector and construction contract law was evident from our first call. Simone seamlessly guided both myself and our business through the process and was key in ensuring our best interests were protected through the favourable terms we ultimately agreed with our landlord. I honestly cannot speak highly enough of Simone and the wider team at Davidson Chalmers Stewart, hence why we have utilised their services exclusively over the course of the last 15 years.’

Key clients

Tartan Leisure Limited

Lateral City Limited

Chris Stewart Group

Motability Operations Limited

Royal Bank of Scotland plc

Peveril Securities Limited

Crosslane Group

Scarborough Hermiston Limited

Mars Black Sheep Hotels Limited

Pegasus Fire & Protection

Work highlights

  • Continues to advise Tartan Leisure Limited on the design and construction of an inland, artificial surf wavegarden with associated leisure and accommodation facilities in a disused quarry in West Lothian.
  • Advising Motability Operations Limited on the lease and multi-million pound refurbishment of an office development at Edinburgh Park.
  • Advising Scarborough Hermiston Limited on the design and construction of its mixed-use development at Donibristle, Dalgety Bay.

Harper Macleod LLP

Harper Macleod LLP has a busy practice advising contractors and employers, including a large number of public sector clients and housing associations, on D&B contracts for large school campus, housing, infrastructure and hub projects. The team, led by Michael Conroy, who handles a wide range of contentious and non-contentious construction matters, also provides assistance with associated procurement and funding issues. Working in conjunction with colleagues from the dispute resolution practice, the team is also well placed to handle disputes, mainly payment-related and those arising from defects, but focuses on dispute avoidance.

Practice head(s):

Michael Conroy

Other key lawyers:

Euan Pirie

Testimonials

‘The team is consistently impressive in their knowledge of the market place and their clients, and the commerciality of their advice to clients is second to none. They are one of a handful of go-to firms in the Scottish marketplace for this kind of work. In all areas, they are innovative in their use of technology when it comes to running disputes and managing court cases, including their instruction of counsel.’

‘Harper Macleod are a respected set of construction practitioners. They punch above their weight, and are always a force to be reckoned with.’

‘Michael Conroy is a hugely experienced construction practitioner, with experience in both contentious and non-contentious situations. He always exhibits sound judgment, and knows how to get a result for his client.’

‘Their in-depth knowledge of construction contracts and personable nature of the staff helps them stand out.’

‘Euan Pirie is diligent, knowledgeable and practical.’

‘The team knows its stuff and has come up with some practical and innovative solutions to tricky problems for us. Their advice is well thought through and anticipates potential problems well.’

‘Euan Pirie is an excellent partner- a good communicator with a commercial and pragmatic outlook. He is always happy to go the extra mile for clients.’

‘Euan Pirie is always accessible and approachable and understands where any questions I may have are coming from, so his advice is always on point.’

Key clients

Cairn Housing Association

Dumfries & Galloway Council

FCC Construcción S.A

Glasgow City Council

Hub North Scotland

North Ayrshire Council

RJT Excavations Limited

Shetland Islands Council

Stirling Council

West of Scotland Housing Association

Work highlights

  • Advised FCC Construcción S.A on its successful bid to be appointed as contractor on the £588m A465 Project, the first Mutual Investment Model (MIM) project to reach financial close in Wales.
  • Advising Edina (UK) Limited on its defence of a multi-million pound claim for defects at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, Glasgow.
  • Advised RJT Excavations Limited on a series of related payment disputes in adjudication, Court of Session enforcement and negotiated settlement.

Morton Fraser

At Morton Fraser, Jonathan Seddon is the main contact for non-contentious construction matters and Sandra Cassels for construction and engineering dispute resolution. This offering is regularly taken up by public sector bodies and commercial property developers alike and predominately relates to residential property developments - including student accommodations and build-to-rent projects - office developments and urban regeneration projects, while recent work has also included energy, education and health sector projects. Associated real estate and banking matters are handled in conjunction with the relevant practices.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Seddon; Sandra Cassels

Other key lawyers:

Mimi Stewart

Testimonials

‘My calls and emails, whether to partner or associate, are answered immediately, and if not available, replied to latest next working day. On every query I’m informed of the timescale of when the associate and/ or partner will respond and the response is made within that timescale or better.’

‘Everything is explained in language we can understand; options available, pros & cons of each option, potential timescales for each option and anticipated cost to our business of each option. This allows us to make an informed decision on how to proceed very quickly which is critical for the business.’

‘The Morton Fraser team has an excellent knowledge and a very hands-on approach to the construction aspects of each of our development projects.’

‘Approachable and accessible team offering friendly, practical and dependable advice.’

‘Sandra Cassells and Jonathan Seddon are very approachable and generous with their advice. They are good at maintaining relationships with us and we feel like a team.’

Key clients

Valneva Scotland

BAM Properties Limited

Empiric Student Property PLC

Diageo Scotland Limited

Scottish Prison Service

Moorgarth

Urban Logistics REIT Plc

Tetra Technologies UK Limited and Tetra Technologies Inc

Urban Logistics REIT Plc

Will Rudd Davidson

Work highlights

  • Continued to advise Diageo Scotland on all of its construction projects in Scotland, including Diageo’s new Scottish HQ at Lochside Place, Edinburgh and also the redevelopment of the former House of Fraser store on Princes Street, Edinburgh, to create a Johnnie Walker global visitor attraction over seven floors.
  • Advised Urban Logistics on the construction aspects of its acquisition of two UK-wide portfolios of mid-sized logistics warehouses.
  • Advising Valneva on the construction of a laboratory and warehouse at Livingston.

BTO Solicitors LLP

BTO Solicitors LLP's construction offering is split into two key segments: commercial construction, ley by Fraser Hopkins, on one hand and construction insurance, headed by Jilly Petrie, on the other. While the practice continues to grow its non-contentious offering, most recently with the recruitment of a senior associate, it strength remains in the contentious sphere. Petrie receives regular instructions from large insurers and Hopkins frequently acts for contractors but the team also advises employers.

Practice head(s):

Fraser Hopkin; Jilly Petrie

Other key lawyers:

Alan Eadie

Testimonials

‘Fraser Hopkins was exceptional. He analysed forensically a huge amount of historical data and produced an in-depth report with a variety of options, clearly highlighting risks etc. The whole process was much simplified and enabled my organisation to make an informed decision.’

‘Fraser Hopkins is a technically gifted, pragmatic lawyer who has an ability of getting to the real issues in a dispute. Calm and collected, punctual, organised and a pleasure to work with.’

‘The construction disputes team is carving out a solid reputation for reasonable cost services in relation to dispute resolution. They have a hands-on personal approach which is backed up by sound legal analysis and a commercial approach.’

‘Fraser Hopkins is a sound lawyer who always gives advice from a commercial perspective and works to find solutions. He is unflappable and an excellent asset particularly in adjudication procedures.’

‘A very capable professional team who can be relied upon to do a thorough job taking a considered approach on even the most complex of cases.’

‘Everyone I deal with is approachable, personable and a pleasure to deal with, always willing to explain their views and how the Scottish legal system varies, very customer-orientated and friendly.’

Key clients

RSA Group

AXA XL

Energy Assets Utilities (Scotland) Limited

Bell Building Projects Limited

Trelleborg Offshore and Construction AB

Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios LLP

Isle of Arran Distillers Limited

Partick Housing Association Limited

AIG

The Turner Group

Clark Contracts Limited

Clyde Valley Housing Association Limited

CGLMC Limited (Carnoustie Golf Club)

Work highlights

  • Advising a global technical services provider on its involvement in the construction of two Scottish hospitals (Edinburgh RHSC and Glasgow QEUH).
  • Acting for a utility network construction company in the defence of a Court of Session litigation brought against it and others arising from the design and construction of the new Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow.
  • Acting for a Swedish engineering company in the defence of a Court of Session litigation raised against it and others by a Scottish port authority in connection with alleged failures in the design and construction of new berthing facilities and fender system at a harbour.

Ledingham Chalmers LLP

With its construction team based in Aberdeen, Ledingham Chalmers LLP has a strong presence in the Northeast of Scotland and particular expertise in the energy sector, spanning oil, gas and renewables. Sarah Stuart is a key contact in this space and jointly heads the practice with managing partner Jennifer Young, who is a key contact for construction dispute management and resolution. The team has long-standing relationships with housebuilder clients and also assists contractors, developers and consultants with various contentious and non-contentious construction and engineering law matters.

Practice head(s):

Jennifer Young; Sarah Stuart

Testimonials

‘The individuals assigned to deal with our business are keen to resolve challenges and update us on progress regularly; despite this becoming more difficult through the Covid-19 pandemic.’

‘Friendly, responsive, given invaluable advice in construction disputes. The practice is well resourced with experienced staff to deal with all aspects of our legal requirements’

‘Jennifer Young is always responsive to any queries myself and members may have, even at times when she is on her holidays which is much appreciated.’

Key clients

Heidi Beers Limited

Deeside Timberframe Limited

M N Hamilton & Sons Limited

Hutcheon Services Limited

John Gordon & Sons Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for Meston Reid in securing the settlement of claims sought by the liquidator appointed to a specialist sub-contractor on ten construction projects.
  • Advising Highland Groundcare on claims for loss and expense and extension of time under a NEC4 contract linked to the impact of Covid-19.
  • Supporting the commercial painting and decorating contractor, M N Hamilton & Sons Limited, with contractual notices required as a result of, and to mitigate the impact of, the Covid-19 lockdown.