Brodies LLP‘s wide-ranging expertise is brought to bear in large-scale projects across various asset classes and associated disputes and is routinely called upon by an equally diverse client base including blue chips, investors, developers and contractors. Its non-contentious offering is led by Alistair Mclean and has recently included regeneration, residential, commercial and energy projects. Jane McMonagle is another key contact in this space and, being dual qualified in Scotland, England and Wales, frequently takes the lead on projects under English law. Louise Shiels heads up the contentious construction team and is supported by David Arnott, Manus Quigg and Christopher Duff, whose recent workload includes construction disputes in the energy sector and contentious building safety matters, such as fire protection and cladding disputes. Quigg’s expertise extends to insurance law, translating into regular professional indemnity work.
Construction in Scotland
‘Experienced, quick to get to the core of issues and develop a plan for resolution, adapted very well to the restrictions imposed by COVID with no interruption to service.’
‘Practical and pragmatic with a very good understanding of the law. Appropriate partner involvement and support providing excellent value for money. Brodies are also very supportive of their clients and generally tell you how it is.’
‘The team is well organised and knowledgeable but always have the clients’ best interests at the forefront of their considerations.’
‘The individuals have an excellent understanding of technical issues and are able to apply that to the legal issues in a very practical way.’
‘High percentage of value adding activities in terms of helping our internal team understand a new area of industry but inherent knowledge of our own industry was also apparent.’
‘Subject matter experts that give practical commercial advice. Excellent value for money.’
‘Depth of knowledge and direct access to the decision makers in the practice are two of the key attributes that make this team stand out. Linking these with an approach that sees no problem too large or too small to be solved give a client a one-stop shop at all times.’
‘David Arnott is an individual whose depth of knowledge and experience in the construction industry are second to none.’
Drum Property Group
McLaughlin & Harvey Ltd
Robertson Construction Group
Multiplex Construction Europe Ltd
Sacyr UK Limited/ Sacyr Neopulsa
Springfield Properties PLC
Orion Capital Partners
- Advising Multiplex on the delivery and completion of the £490m construction of the new Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow; on contentious disputes arising out of the delivery and on the completion of the £150m construction of the new Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh; and on the public inquiry concerning the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow and the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh.
- Advising Vanguard in relation to all construction documentation for the extensive high-value and high-spec refurbishment of Santander’s London HQ office at Triton Square.
- Advising Artisan Leeds Kirkstall Limited in relation to the development of a 263-home residential development in Leeds using a construction management procurement method, through which Artisan Leeds Kirkstall Limited appoint a range of individual trade contractors directly.
Pinsent Masons LLP
Following Kenny Valentine’s retirement in summer 2021, Louise Forster now jointly heads Pinsent Masons LLP‘s construction practice with Michael Allan and routinely takes the lead on disputes arising from large-scale development and infrastructure projects, including public inquiries, while Allan is the key contact for non-contentious work. Besides major infrastructure projects – for which Colin Fraser is another key contact -, the team also has a strong profile for contentious and non-contentious matters in the energy space. The latter is an area of particular expertise for Nicholas Carlin, who has recently been particularly active advising on supply chain contracts pertaining to renewable energy projects.
‘Wide-ranging experience, thorough and detailed knowledge from contract, procurement, financing and dispute resolution disciplines.’
‘Willingness to embed themselves in the wider team, concerned to know as much about the construction project as possible to target advice and assistance the most efficiently.’
‘Capable of seeing the bigger picture in complex cases and providing pragmatic advice.’
‘The ability to quickly grasp construction/technical concepts and issues; Ability to find pragmatic legal ways to solve complex problems; Ability to understand how the corporate entity works.’
‘The advice does not seek to sit on the fence. It’s always clear, concise and to the point. Response times are carefully communicated so that expectations are managed.’
‘The practice is quick to understand a situation and effectively project manages the process from that point.’
‘Mike Allan and Scott Johnston have been the main team throughout a 6-year construction project – dedicated, knowledgeable and quick to support and advise as required.’
‘Scott Johnston – First and foremost, Scott is kind; he listens attentively; he finds ways to avoid conflict with counterparties; he is available/present! He is smart; a quiet thinker; a potent facilitator.’
Barclays Bank plc
City of Edinburgh Council
Forth Crossing Bridge Constructors
Aberdeen Harbour Board
Integrated Health Solutions Lothian
Winchburgh Developments Limited
- Continuing to advise Forth Crossing Bridge Constructors on matters arising from the construction of the New Forth Bridge; recently the team assisted with 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 cable-stayed bridge.
- Project lawyers for the Aberdeen Harbour Expansion Project, the largest marine infrastructure project underway in the UK, and the largest in Trust Port history.
- Acting for Barclays Bank in its development of a new 500,000 sq. ft. Barclays Glasgow Campus facility, comprising five buildings, to be built at Tradeston in the centre of Glasgow.
With Fenella Mason heading up Burness Paull LLP's construction law practice, it has a strong profile for contentious work. This has recently included an increasing number of instructions from contractors, but the team is also regularly retained to assist with non-contentious matters pertaining to residential, redevelopment, infrastructure and energy projects. Gavin Paton, whose expertise extends to procurement law, and James Forbes, who is part of the firm's renewable energy group, are the key contacts in the non-contentious arena. Besides contractors, the team also receives a steady flow of mandates from developers, most notably those in the ports and harbour, energy and education sectors.
‘An attentive firm that seek to understand the risk profile of projects in order that solutions can be developed and the legal structure can be shaped to suit.’
‘Very strong understanding of various forms of contracts to suit a variety of sectors which ultimately promotes developing an appropriate solution for each project.’
‘They are very personable people which generally improves the working environment. Everyone is accessible and they are all very well versed in the current law.’
‘They work extremely well as a team and are very good at engaging with clients and advisors.’
‘James Forbes has a very strong understanding of the commercial market, which allows project risks to be appraised against market challenges. High level of dedication to work with clients and project teams to develop solutions and ensure that project risks are properly understood.’
‘Fenella Mason is a very competent legal operator with considerable ability to project manage complex legal cases.’
‘Caroline Maciver has a good technical brain and is able to marshall complex data as well as being easy to work with.’
‘Chris Mackay is very thoughtful and does not rush decision making. Takes clients wishes onboard.’
Glyndebourne Productions Limited
Cognito Oak LLP (Henry Boot Developments/Wraith Real Estate JV)
Ferrovial Construction UK Limited
University of St Andrews
Van Oord UK Limited
Port of Cromarty Firth
Pencloe Wind Energy Limited
Highland Spring Limited
Hub West Scotland Limited
Fraserburgh Harbour Commissioners
- Advising Cognito Oak LLP on the proposed development of over 500 homes and community facilities at Cloverhill, Aberdeen, with a construction value in excess of £100m.
- Advising Highland Spring Limited on the design, construction and commissioning of a new rail freight facility in Perthshire to improve its logistical capability and sustainable transport of goods.
- Advising hub West Scotland Limited on the delivery of infrastructure projects in Greater Glasgow, including the construction of a new North East Health Hub, a refurbishment of the Paisley Learning and Cultural Hub and the construction of the Carntyne Primary School Extension.
Much of CMS' recent non-contentious work pertains to developments in the healthcare, education and leisure sectors but also includes regeneration projects. This type of work is typically led by the Glasgow-based Christine Worthington and includes procurement and transactional matters. She jointly heads the practice with Shona Frame (Glasgow) and Mark Kirke (Edinburgh), who both specialise in construction dispute resolution. Its contentious expertise is routinely called upon by developers and contractors and translates into regular instructions arising from construction delays, building defects and cost overruns, among other issues. Christopher Dickson, specialising in construction contracts and procurement, was promoted to partner in summer 2021.
‘The team at CMS do truly operate as a team and their strength in depth always ensures that someone knowledgeable is at hand to support.’
‘The advice given is concise and clear, which aides our decision-making processes.’
‘The individuals I worked with are very helpful to resolve issues on construction documents and are always on the front foot in terms of the next step.’
‘They are good communicators and manage client expectations very well.’
‘This practice is a breath of fresh air. They communicate with you in a relaxed but confident manner, and bring their calmness to situations that are often stressful.’
‘Strong team to deliver work required. Take time to understand the business they are acting for.’
‘The team provide high-quality advice which cuts to the heart of the issue. The team are available and receptive.’
‘Keen market knowledge and excellent understanding of the construction sector overall. Timely “on point” legal advice is a hallmark of this team.’
Northern Ireland Water
Aberdeen Standard Investments
City of Edinburgh Council
North Lanarkshire Council
- Advising Scottish Water on its procurement strategy and contract terms for its £5bn SR21 capital investment programme.
- Advising EnteroBiotix on its new manufacturing and office facility at Strathclyde Business Park, Glasgow.
- Advising Dragados on issues arising out of the construction of the Aberdeen harbour expansion project.
Shepherd and Wedderburn
Shepherd and Wedderburn's wide-ranging construction law expertise attracts an equally broad client base, including developers, contractors, local authorities, social landlords and investors. Team head Euan McLeod specialises in advisory mandates - many of which have recently involved redevelopment and energy projects - and is supported by Lauren Thomson, who has been particularly active advising on housing and commercial developments. Solicitor advocate Iain Drummond is a key contact for construction and engineering disputes. Much of his recent work stems from the education and healthcare sectors.
‘Shepperd and Wedderburn provide a clear, fresh and professional approach to every challenge we present to them.’
‘The service they provide is proactive and decisive around the advantages and disadvantages and always well balanced and made easy for clients to fully understand the risks and associated costs of each action.’
‘David Anderson shows great stewardship skills with his team and this has always resulted in key milestones being achieved on time and within budgets set from the outset.’
‘David Anderson is a highly balanced individual who has commercial empathy and awareness.’
States of Jersey
International Music and Performing Arts Charitable Trust Scotland
Dunedin Canmore Housing Association (part of Wheatley Housing Group)
Acciona Industrial S.A.
City of Edinburgh Council
- Advising City of Edinburgh Council in connection with the redevelopment of Meadowbank, Edinburgh, to create a sustainable mixed-use development including 600 modern energy efficient homes and commercial space.
- Advising JPMorgan Chase in connection with its new 270,000 sq. ft. technology base in Glasgow’s International Financial Services District.
- Advising International Music and Performing Arts Charitable Trust Scotland in connection with the development of a concert hall in Edinburgh’s city centre.
Edinburgh-based team head Anne Struckmeier almost entirely deals with contentious construction work but the team at Addleshaw Goddard is also well equipped to guide clients - including developers, contractors, energy sector players and funds - through various non-contentious matters. Its advisory arm received a boost with the arrival of Gordon Anderson from Irwin Mitchell in summer 2021. He has particular expertise in the transactional space and, having previously been based in London, he continues to combine his English practice with Scotland-based mandates. This UK-wide approach is a general characteristic of the practice.
Other key lawyers:
‘The team is excellent, work well together and are totally pragmatic.’
‘They understand our current business and its constraints, but are also very attuned to and supportive of our ambitions as a company.’
‘The work is carried out at the right level by fee earners with the right expertise.’
‘Anne Struckmeier leads the team and epitomises the ideal client relationship partner.’
‘I have worked with Anne Struckmeier for many years and she shows real commitment to the business and to delivering my requirements. She sorts out problems effectively and with the minimum of fuss.’
Maven Capital Partners
Highland and Islands Airports Limited
- Advised Caudwell on the development of super prime residences in Mayfair, London.
- Advised Blackstone on fitting out of its corporate HQ and works at Chiswick Park.
- Advised LabTech London Ltd on the development and sale of 101 Camley Street to a JV between Blackrock and Outpost.
Dentons has a strong profile for contentious work in the transport sector, including ports and ferries, which is typically led by the Edinburgh-based Kirsti Olson, but the team also acts across other sectors. In the non-contentious sphere, team head Mark Macaulay (specialises in construction procurement) provides assistance with Scottish, UK-wide and international office, mixed-use, infrastructure and energy sector projects and routinely works in close cooperation with other offices across the network. Its non-contentious offering was underlined with Paul Young's promotion to partner in summer 2021.
‘The team at Dentons are sticklers for detail – important in their job, but they have a knack of getting the information out of you that they need without too much pain.’
‘I’m impressed at their ability to give you answers to technical questions on the spot – not needing to go away and research.’
‘The team at Dentons are predominantly young and female which is refreshing.’
‘Mark Macaulay has been excellent in supporting us with a number of international projects. We highly recommend him.’
- Advising PACL on all construction aspects of the mixed-use development at Haymarket, Edinburgh.
- Advising Capita Property & Infrastructure Limited in an action raised in the Court of Session against them by Greater Glasgow Health Board (GGHB).
- Advised the London Stock Exchange Group plc (LSEG) on a number of office refurbishment projects throughout the world in 2021.
MacRoberts LLP has contentious construction at its core, which is not least due to practice head Neil Kelly‘s expertise in this space. Much of its work pertains to infrastructure projects and developments in the healthcare and education sectors but the practice also handles residential, commercial and hotel projects and acts for a wide range of public and private sector clients.
‘The MacRoberts’ construction team adopt a welcome commercial approach to the resolution of any dispute and provide clear, pragmatic advice.’
‘Advice provided is always carefully crafted and delivered in an easy to understand manner.’
‘A key player in Scotland. A construction team that includes a depth of skills that provide a rounded and experienced service in the sector. A responsive and strategically mature firm who can deliver in all circumstances.’
‘Gavin Thomson is extremely friendly and approachable. Gavin clearly knows his stuff when it comes to resolving construction disputes, but is prepared to listen to others and take their views onboard when formulating a strategy/advice.’
‘Neil Kelly is a forward thinking and a highly-skilled lawyer and a quick thinking and clear strategist.’
‘Jennifer McKay is a versatile and clear lawyer and has a good commercial head. She sets clear strategies and delivers on them.’
‘Gavin Thomson is a key player in the team and has a detailed knowledge of the market; his strengths are client facing and positive thinking.’
‘Mike Barlow – great to work with – thorough, relevant, hugely knowledgeable and experienced, very professional yet easy to get on with and gets the work done – Mike understands what we are looking for.’
CALA Homes Limited
John Wood Group PLC
NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde
- Advising Robertson Property Limited on the drafting, negotiation and completion of pre-construction agreements, professional appointments, building contract and associated documents for a new hotel and arena project in Cardiff, Wales, sponsored by Cardiff City Council, as part of a joint venture between the client and Livenation and Oakview.
- Continues to act on behalf of 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.
- Acting on behalf of the SPV on the Renfrewshire Schools PFI project in multi-million pound Court of Session proceedings raised against it by Renfrewshire Council concerning alleged breach of the terms of the services specification.
With Karyn Watt, Anderson Strathern‘s construction team is well equipped to guide public and private sector clients through contentious and non-contentious matters arising from infrastructure and education sector projects, while developers regularly retain Martin Whiteford to assist with renewable energy, hotel and regeneration projects, and Pat Loftus with housing, commercial and leisure developments respectively. Solicitor advocate Alistair Dean is the key contact for contentious construction.
‘The construction team is extremely collaborative with work allocated according to experience and expertise, with excellent communications to ensure everyone is in the picture.’
‘They have a very sound grasp of the law and are diligent and hardworking in pursuing their clients’ interests while having a good grasp of the commercial realities in any given situation.’
‘The construction team is very reliable and responds quickly to any queries.’
‘Karyn Watt has an extremely busy and pressurised workload, yet always deals with matters thoroughly, conscientiously and with good humour.’
‘Karyn Watt is good at explaining legal issues to clients in clear terms and provides sound advice on both legal issues and the commercial realities.’
‘Pat Loftus provides very pragmatic advice and quickly deals with points – the objective here is to get the job done (and so we avoid academic points that do not benefit either party).’
Scottish Government/ Transport Scotland
University of the Highlands and Islands
Wills Bros Civil Engineering
Iceland Foods Limited
Victoria Square Woking Limited/ Woking Borough Council
S1 Developments Limited
Infinite Renewables Group Limited
Caber House Limited
Haven Health Care Limited
O’Hare and McGovern Ltd
CCG Scotland Limited
J. Smart & Co
- Advising the developers of the Victoria Square Woking project on all construction matters. This project includes 125,000 sq. ft. of commercial space, two thirty storey residential towers and a hotel.
- Advising Iceland Foods Limited in relation to the design and build of a new hub refrigerated storage facility.
- Advising S1 Developments on the construction aspects of the Skyliner project. This is a project located on brownfield land to the north of Edinburgh adjacent to the historic Leith Docks. The development consists of 237 high-end apartments over four buildings.
Davidson Chalmers Stewart's multidisciplinary approach is based on a close cooperation between its construction, real estate and corporate practices. This is particularly attractive for developer and commercial tenant clients who not only require assistance with residential, mixed-use and refurbishment projects but also with associated transactions, leases and loan facilities. Its offering includes assistance with construction disputes which is taken up by developers and contractors. Director Simone Young heads the practice and mainly deals with non-contentious matters.
Other key lawyers:
‘They are excellent communicators and they pick up on their colleagues’ brief when one of the team is unavailable.’
‘They have a great team ethic which is all about supporting the client first.’
‘Very patient, never make you feel like you’re a nuisance or in the way.’
‘They look for solutions rather than problems.’
Tartan Leisure Limited
Lateral City Limited
Chris Stewart Group
Royal Bank of Scotland plc
Peveril Securities Limited
Scarborough Hermiston Limited
Artfarm Property Limited
Pegasus Fire Protection Company Limited
AC Whillans Racing
Geo Oliver & Son Limited
- Advised Tartan Leisure Limited in connection with the design and construction of an inland, artificial surf wavegarden with associated leisure and accommodation facilities in a disused quarry in West Lothian.
- Advised Artfarm Property Limited in connection with the extensive refurbishment of an existing category B listed hotel, mews and dairy buildings at Braemar, to include the construction of a new build leisure complex and restaurant.
- Advised the Chris Stewart Group in connection with the design and construction of a mixed-use development at George Street, Glasgow.
Harper Macleod LLP combines its construction, projects and dispute resolution expertise to assist public sector clients, contractors and housing associations with the drafting and negotiation of building and engineering contracts - many of which pertain to the provision of social and affordable housing -, procurement law matters and associated disputes. Michael Conroy and infrastructure and projects head Euan Pirie are the main contacts for non-contentious work and Laura McCorquodale for construction and engineering disputes, including professional negligence claims.
‘Works with you to get the best solution – highly knowledgeable of the construction sector.’
‘In-depth legal knowledge, instant response to queries raised, balanced judgement on resolving issues, willing to accept a challenge.’
‘Laura McCorquodale has built a very strong contentious construction department. An area of the market historically difficult to crack, the team is involved in more and more of the big cases.’
‘Laura McCorquodale has experience of high-value engineering litigation/adjudication. Her technical ability is matched only by her pragmatism. A very talented lawyer.’
‘Euan Pirie listens and works with us to get the best possible solution.’
Dumfries & Galloway Council
Glasgow City Council
Hub North Scotland
North Ayrshire Council
RJT Excavations Limited
West of Scotland Housing Association
- Advising North Ayrshire Council on one of the largest PassivHaus projects to be procured in Scotland.
- Acting for a multi-national construction and engineering firm, Edina UK Limited, in its defence of a multi-million pound claim for defects at The Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, Glasgow.
- Continues to act for RJT Excavations Limited in a series of related payment disputes in adjudication, Court of Session enforcement and negotiated settlement.
Much of Morton Fraser's contentious and non-contentious construction work takes place in the commercial, residential and leisure property space - including regeneration projects -, where the team acts for housebuilders, public sector entities, developers and construction sector professionals. Thanks to the team's integration into the firm's full-service offering, it is also able to handle associated real estate and health and safety matters. Jonathan Seddon (non-contentious construction) and Sandra Cassels (construction and engineering disputes) jointly head the practice from Edinburgh.
Other key lawyers:
‘They are a strong team who work well together, particularly when under time pressures.’
‘Sandra Cassels is highly experienced in the construction sector. She has excellent insight and provides sound advice, particularly in relation to dispute resolution.’
Diageo Scotland Limited
BAM Properties Limited
Empiric Student Property PLC
Scottish Prison Service
Tesco Stores Limited
Tetra Technologies UK Limited
Urban Logistics REIT Plc
Will Rudd Davidson
ECOSystems Technologies Limited
City of Edinburgh Council
Aberdeen City Council
- Continues to advise Diageo on the redevelopment of the former House of Fraser building on Princes Street, Edinburgh, to create a global visitor attraction.
- Continues to advise BAM Properties on the development and letting of the eight-storey office development at Capital Square, Edinburgh.
- Advised Crucible Developments on the site acquisition, construction and pre-let of circa 70,000 sq. ft. of office space in Dundee to British Telecommunications plc.
BTO Solicitors LLP
Led by risk and construction dispute specialist Fraser Hopkins, BTO Solicitors LLP's strength lies in handling disputes pertaining to design and construction defects, contract terminations and those involving insurance and liability issues. He previously co-lead the practice with Jilly Petrie (construction and engineering insurance claims), who moved to DAC Beachcroft Scotland LLP in January 2022. Its non-contentious work is frequently embedded in a transactional context. Clients include insurers, housing associations, contractors and developers.
‘Focus on the resolution of disputes through discussion and exchange of views.’
‘We have found BTO’s strength to be quickly establishing the issues at hand, directing the collection of supporting documentation to build a case and working closely and effectively with our staff.’
‘They identified weaknesses in the other side’s position and exposed those sufficiently to convince the adjudicator of same. The outcome was successful for our business and a welcome one.’
‘Fraser Hopkins has understood our information and opinions before informing us of his own. Has been frank with our chances of success at stages this far.’
‘Fraser Hopkins: Experienced, commercial, thorough and down to earth.’
‘Fraser Hopkins is always accessible and understands our business. He considers the merits of our case and advises us accordingly and at an early stage.’
‘We trust Fraser Hopkins’ judgement and his methods dovetail well with our company philosophy.’
Newbridge Residential (2) Limited
Clyde Valley Housing Association Limited
Calma Group Limited
New College Lanarkshire
Bell Building Projects Limited
MacTaggart & Mickel Homes Limited
M7 Real Estate Investment Partners VI Commercial Propco Limited
The Isle of Kerrera Development Trust
- Advising and successfully representing a main contractor at adjudication in challenging the purported termination of its employment in respect of a contract for the redevelopment of a major football stadium and the subsequent commercial settlement.
- Acting through multiple successive insurers for a global technical services provider in connection with multiple claims at litigation and core participant involvement in a public inquiry concerning alleged design and construction defects, and resulting public health risks, arising out of the construction and commissioning of both the Edinburgh RHCYP/DCN and Glasgow QEUH hospitals.
- Advising Newbridge Residential (2) Limited in connection with the construction of 480 units on a brownfield site outside Edinburgh with a deal value of over £70m.