Property litigation in Scotland

Brodies LLP

With the experienced litigation expert Stephen Goldie at the helm, Brodies LLP has a strong profile among a broad range of clients, including landlords, housebuilders, public sector bodies and commercial tenants. Landlord and tenant issues, such as dilapidations, where Matthew Farrell is an essential contact, and lease terminations, remain a core strength for the team alongside retail, office, industrial and development disputes. Other recommended individuals include Gareth Hale, an accredited mediator with extensive experience in both local and international arbitrations, and associate David Ford, whose support spans the full remit of property litigation.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Goldie

Other key lawyers:

Matthew Farrell; Gareth Hale; Ken MacDonald; David Ford


‘Extremely professional and always maintaining a commercial view of the issues involved.’

‘Their technical knowledge is always up to date and delivered in a concise and helpful manner.’

‘I have had many years of dealing with Brodies and always find the team to be very experienced, exceptionally commercial and cost-effective.’

‘Stephen Goldie stands out among his competitors. His advice is very well considered with regards to the type of dispute.’

‘We have always received acutely commercial advice from seasoned litigators.’

‘The standout performer in this team is Stephen Goldie. His advice is concisely delivered, insightful, intelligent and commercial.’

‘Matthew Farrell is very approachable and is able quickly grasp the commercial aspects of a situation. He has the ability to break down complex lease provisions into plain English making our decision-making process far easier.’

‘Matthew Farrell, Stephen Goldie and David Ford are excellent and leaders in their field. Their knowledge of the law and ability to offer solutions depending upon circumstances, with clear recommendations sets them apart.’

Key clients

Eurofund and Henderson Park



Orion Capital Partners


Peel Ports


Moorfield Group Limited



Work highlights

  • Advising Henderson Park and Eurofund on all landlord and tenant issues, from recovery of tenant arrears to pursing dilapidations claims, with respect to Silverburn Shopping Centre, Glasgow.
  • Acting for GWR (part of the Wildstone group of companies) in high-value proceedings against Forrest Outdoor Media Limited concerning the construction and letting of the M8 Tower, Scotland’s largest advertising structure at Glasgow Airport.
  • Acting for Ashtenne Caledonia Limited in three high-value dilapidations claims that have been raised in the Commercial Court of Session against its former tenants of large industrial units.

Burness Paull LLP

Burness Paull LLP is a notable player in the Scottish property litigation market and is a regular fixture on landlord and tenant issues, including commercial lease disputes and dilapidations claims, as well as land purchase and land access disputes. Commercial litigator and accredited mediator Alan McMillan heads the team, which has considerable experience in the renewable energy, technology and telecommunications sectors. Director Stephen Farrell has particular expertise in the latter space having acted for various operators under the Communications Code.

Practice head(s):

Alan McMillan

Other key lawyers:

Steven Guild; Stephen Farrell


‘Burness Paull are market leading in Scotland for property litigation. They have in-depth knowledge and are always seeking the best results for clients.’

‘Alan McMillan’s reputation precedes him.’

Key clients

Cornerstone Telecommunications Infrastructure Limited

Taylor Wimpey

Mars Pension Trustees Limited

Quale Homes

Britannia Invest A/S

Scotco/Euro Garages


NFU Mutual


Neos Networks

Work highlights

  • Advised Vodafone on a mixture of different commercial property disputes including commercial rent disputes and leasing disputes relating to retail stores.
  • Acted for Cornerstone Telecommunications Infrastructure Limited in an Electronic Communications Code case against Marks & Spencer – the first such case in Scotland about a commercial, city centre, rooftop mobile phone mast.
  • Acted for a private client in a dispute involving an easement whereby a neighbouring landowner sought to establish rights for use and access to the land.

Anderson Strathern

With solicitor advocate Fiona Stephen heading up Anderson Strathern‘s property litigation practice, the team is frequently called upon by a mixture of commercial, public and private sector clients. Typical instructions include lease disputes, dilapidations claims and other landlord and tenant issues encompassing both the commercial and residential sectors, where the practice acts for both landlords and tenants, alongside land access disputes and compensation claims for compulsorily purchased land.

Practice head(s):

Fiona Stephen

Other key lawyers:

Shirley Evans


‘Experience and expertise in property litigation.’

‘Fiona Stephen is one of the leading property litigators in Scotland. She brings an expertise that allows immediate focus on details that are decisive to the dispute.’

‘Fiona Stephen and her team were phenomenal to work with. For a significant court hearing fixed at very short notice they marshalled all of the relevant information and witnesses in record time, enabling the client’s position to be fully and successfully advanced before the court.’

Key clients

East Lothian Council

Transport Scotland

Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park Authority

City of Edinburgh Council

Work highlights


Handling landlord and tenant issues for commercial and institutional clients, such as dilapidations claims, lease disputes and tenant administration litigation, remains one of CMS' core strengths. Commercial litigator and accredited mediator Alison Gow heads up the practice, which is also well-equipped to handle issues arising from large developments, including access and servitude disputes. Marc Armstrong's expertise further spans energy sector compensation claims and the Electronic Communications Code.

Practice head(s):

Alison Gow

Other key lawyers:

Marc Armstrong; Jennifer Love; Gordon Tsang

Key clients

Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission Plc

Threadneedle Property Unit Trust

Edinburgh St James

Raeburn Place Development Limited/Raeburn Place Foundation

University of St Andrews

Scottish Hydro Electric Power Distribution Plc

Muirhall Energy Limited

Hargreaves Land Limited

Independence from Drugs and Alcohol Scotland

Work highlights

  • Assisted Threadneedle Property Unit Trust with the removal of an historic title restriction to allow for the regeneration of the Anniesland site in Glasgow.
  • Acted for Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission in defending a £14m compensation claim raised in the Lands Tribunal for Scotland by Countesswells Development Ltd.
  • Advising Edinburgh St James as the landlord of the St James Quarter, a large mixed-use development in Edinburgh consisting of a retail shopping centre, a new hotel, and residential development.

Davidson Chalmers Stewart

Davidson Chalmers Stewart is noted for its involvement in landlord and tenant disputes, including dilapidations claims and repair disputes, in addition to matters at the intersection with construction and planning, such as planning appeals. Commercial litigator and experienced arbitrator Sheila Webster heads up the practice, which further handles judicial reviews and contractual disputes arising from project developments; the former is an area of particular expertise for hotel and leisure sector specialist, Magnus Miller.

Practice head(s):

Sheila Webster

Other key lawyers:

Magnus Miller


‘A highly experienced, thoughtful, intelligent and sophisticated law practice. They are always available for the client and provide detailed advice. They are both commercial and professional, and always keep the bigger picture in mind.’

‘Very strong commercially and with a real focus on our business. They don’t litigate for litigation’s sake; they look at all angles.’

‘Sheila Webster is very knowledgeable and always provides advice with a focus on our business first and litigation second.’

Key clients

Radisson Hotel Group

Chris Stewart Group

CGW Snooker LLP

Rock DCM

Muir Group

Natural Assets Investments Limited

Woodland Renewables Limited

Patersons of Greenoakhill Limited

Crosslane Group

Esk Properties Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting for Radisson Hotel Group in a dispute with the landlords of a hotel on the Royal Mile, Edinburgh.
  • Instructed by Woodland Renewables Limited to raise a summary application in the Fort William Sheriff Court.
  • Instructed by Rock DCM as the lead respondent in opposition by an application by Royal London to the Lands Tribunal, seeking to reduce title conditions applying to Argyll Chambers in Glasgow, a well-known building in Glasgow city centre, regarding shared maintenance costs.

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP is a popular choice for commercial occupiers in landlord and tenant disputes, including rent recovery and recovery of possession, as well as dilapidation claims, access issues and planning-related matters; the team likewise demonstrates additional expertise in the energy, infrastructure and telecommunications sectors. Commercial litigator and practice head Jacqueline Harris has handled a number of matters related to the Electronic Communications Code, an area in which senior associate Steven Blane also excels.

Practice head(s):

Jacqueline Harris

Other key lawyers:

Steven Blane; Graham Horsman; Brian Grierson


‘Strong and well-resourced team that his able to handle very large cases, as well as more niche disputes. They are in the top tier for this category in Scotland, in my view.’

‘Brian Grierson is a star associate – hard working, good instincts and a great instructing solicitor. Steven Blane is also a very strong member of that team.’

‘Strong commercial property practice with a wide range of high-profile clients, acting in the largest disputes.’

Key clients

Arqiva Limited

Stornoway Wind Farm Limited

Industrials UK LP

Cellnex UK Limited

Livingston Centre Limited

On Tower UK Limited

HFD Group

CALA Homes

Work highlights

Shepherd and Wedderburn

Shepherd and Wedderburn‘s varied client roster ranges from large corporates, public and third sector organisations to SMEs, estate owners and high-net-worth individuals, who instruct the group to assist with landlord and tenant issues, including dilapidations, as well as title disputes and servitude rights, among others. Commercial litigator Colin Archibald heads the team, which has particular expertise in the telecoms and rural property sectors. Daniel Bain left for Balfour+Manson LLP in September 2023.

Practice head(s):

Colin Archibald

Other key lawyers:

Elaine Brailsford; Stephanie Hepburn


‘By far the greatest expertise in litigation involving the Electronic Communications Code. It has driven cases through the tribunal and has secured excellent results in a still-developing area of the law.’

‘The team are a safe pair of hands and are particularly strong in Electronic Communications Code matters. They are quite traditional in approach but in a good way.’

‘Commercial and professional.’

Key clients

British Telecommunications plc

Taylor Wimpey Group

Miller Homes Limited

EE Limited

H3G Limited

Mobile Broadband Network Limited


British Land plc

RWE Renewables

Tarmac Trading Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting for British Telecommunications plc in defending a court action by BAM TCP Atlantic Square Ltd regarding property rights relating to two adjacent properties in central Glasgow.
  • Acting for MBNL (as an agent for the mobile network operator EE) in an application to the Lands Tribunal for Scotland under the Electronic Communications Code for a new agreement for the occupation by EE of a telecommunications mast site.
  • Acting for EE in a number of disputes with landowners in the context of the roll-out of the new Emergency Services Network.

Addleshaw Goddard

Simon Catto heads up Addleshaw Goddard‘s broader dispute resolution practice, which includes legal director and solicitor advocate Edward Gratwick, the firm’s main contact for property litigation. Much of Gratwick's recent work requires commercial litigation expertise but he has also assisted private clients with residential sector disputes. Capabilities in dilapidations and insolvency-related work were strengthened with the arrival of Claire Thornber from Weightmans LLP in September 2022.

Practice head(s):

Simon Catto

Other key lawyers:

Edward Gratwick; Claire Thornber; Patrick Campbell-Corcoran; Alan Sinclair; Lynsey Walker


‘Lynsey Walker is an exceptional lawyer who gives pragmatic advice but remains calm even in conflicting situations.’

‘Their pragmatic advice has been invaluable in relation to managing a court case and have steered us in the right direction on many occasions.’

‘Edward Gratwick is a standout individual. His in-depth knowledge of the law is reassuring but his ability to translate this into practical advice and strong case management is what makes the difference.’

‘They can provide a whole spectrum of advice in both Scotland and the wider UK.

‘Being able to call on other disciplines within the same practice makes management of our legal work more practical and provides a better service overall.’

‘Both Alan Sinclair and Patrick Campbell have extremely good knowledge of the issues and can provide practical commercial solutions to issues they are provided with.’

‘The team gave us clear advice and support on a complex matter. They took time to explain the issues and listen to our views, which enabled us to reach a successful outcome on the matter.’

‘The individual I had contact with provided the information that was requested within reasonable timescales and to a high standard.’

Key clients

Caudwell Properties (108) Limited

Iain Carslaw

Citybee Propco 2 Limited

Unipol Student Homes

Ayrshire Housing

Highlands and Islands Airport Limited

Ramsdens Limited

Scotland Gas Networks Limited


Aldi Stores Limited

Campion Homes Limited

Sonder Hospitality UK Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Ayrshire Housing on all legal matters arising from its social housing stock.
  • Advised Scotland Gas Networks plc with issues arising in relation to the location of its underground gas network.
  • Advising Aldi Stores Limited on their property litigation needs in Scotland.


Solicitor advocate Craig Neilson, who splits his time between Edinburgh and London, heads up Dentons‘ property litigation team in Scotland, whose recent work has included landlord and tenant issues, such as commercial lease disputes, dilapidation claims and the recovery of rent and possession, as well as title problems and construction-related work. One of the main contacts is counsel Fiona MacGregor, an expert in matters at the intersection with property, planning and public law.

Practice head(s):

Craig Neilson

Other key lawyers:

Kirsti Olson; Fiona MacGregor; Linzi Hedalen; Philip Knight

Key clients

Aberdeen Standard Investments

Glasgow Prestwick Airport

JD Wetherspoon plc

M & G Real Estate

Marks & Spencer plc

Network Rail Infrastructure Limited

Peel Retail Developments Limited


TSB Bank plc

Universities Superannuation Scheme Limited


Work highlights

  • Advised Glasgow Prestwick Airport on number of public inquiries into windfarm developments proposed in close proximity to the airport.
  • Acted for Lujo Properties Limited in a sheriff court action concerning the validity of the landlord’s attempt to irritate the lease.
  • Acted for a private client in a sheriff court action raised against them by James (Glasgow) Limited in a dispute over whether a strip of land owned by the client forms part of the verge to the public road.

Gillespie Macandrew LLP

Gillespie Macandrew LLP‘s capabilities at the intersection between property, construction and planning were recently strengthened with the arrival of Andrew Ross Taylor from Wright, Johnston & Mackenzie LLP in July 2022, and Sandy Telfer from DLA Piper in May 2022. Seasoned litigator and accredited mediator Fiona Cameron heads the team, which has particular expertise in rural, agricultural and energy sector work for a mixture of land and estate owners, housebuilders and private clients.

Practice head(s):

Fiona Cameron

Other key lawyers:

Colin Hamilton; John Stirling; Andrew Ross Taylor; Sandy Telfer


‘Very clear focus on the crux of each case – they don’t waste time chasing stuff that in the end will not make a great deal of difference.’

‘They give excellent guidance on the actions required and they are very efficient in carrying out these actions.’

‘They focus on the end game but are respectful of the process and the potential pitfalls.’

Key clients

Crofters having rights in Stornoway Wind Farm Sites

Gartmore House

Work highlights

  • Advice to crofters with rights in Stornoway Wind Farm Sites on their objection raised to the Land Court for a developer to develop a wind farm development on the property.
  • Assisted Gartmore House with challenging the National Park Authority’s decision to route a core path through the grounds of the property, including the issuance of judicial review proceedings.

Harper Macleod LLP

Acting for a mixture of private sector clients, public authorities and private individuals, Harper Macleod LLP is often called upon to handle commercial tenant disputes, including dilapidations and leases, as well as issues pertaining to title boundaries and conditions in rural and agricultural property-related matters. The team is led by the Glasgow-based Andrew Upton and sits within the firm’s wider litigation practice led by Sandy Hastie from Edinburgh. John McHugh is a popular choice for owners of shopping centre.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Upton; Sandy Hastie

Other key lawyers:

John McHugh; Carolyn Morgan; Jennifer Grosvenor


‘A very strong team with dedicated specialists in property litigation.’

‘Andrew Upton is an excellent lawyer with impeccable instincts – knows when to twist and when to stick.’

‘Jennifer Grosvenor is very impressive – pragmatic but not scared to push for her clients.’

‘They are a well-resourced firm with impressive litigation experience.’

‘John McHugh is an astute and commercially minded litigator who combines a practical mindset with a strong legal understanding.’

Key clients

Scottish Government

Forestry and Land Scotland

Energiekontor UK Ltd

National Car Parks Ltd

William Hill Organisation Limited

Halfords Limited

Cairngorms National Park Authority

J.G. Martin Plant Hire Limited

The Glenmorangie Company Limited

The Highland Council

Work highlights

  • Acting for Energiekontor UK Ltd in a £10m dispute with a contractor regarding access to land to carry out operations under a contract entered into by an agent acting without proper authority.
  • Defended Denny Enterprises International Ltd and its director in Court of Session proceedings for payment of damages valued at £450k.
  • Acting for Chigwell Estates Limited in its dispute with its tenant regarding whether the lease between them has been properly terminated by the tenant.


With John Bett anchoring Lindsays‘ property litigation offering following the retirement of Paul Harper in May 2022, the team is an attractive choice for commercial landlords and tenants thanks to Bett’s specialism in dilapidation claims. Elsewhere, matters encompassing the telecoms, residential and agricultural property sectors are also well-handled by the group; land access disputes are a typical example of the latter. Other clients include landowners, property developers and private clients.

Practice head(s):

John Bett

Other key lawyers:

Brian Pollock; Gregor MacEwan


‘From initial contact right through to resolution, I was always kept updated and the matter was handled diligently. A great service all round.’

‘Brian Pollock was excellent throughout, taking the time to unravel what had become a very complex situation.’

‘Moved things through to resolution skillfully and efficiently – highly recommended.’

‘The firm has a strong understanding of Scottish property matters and has always been able to provide insightful and accurate advice tailored to the unique circumstances of the case. We regard the property litigation practice as almost an extension of our own business and would not consider using any other firm for this work.’

‘John Bett takes time to understand our requirements and provide advice based on our preferred outcomes. He is not afraid to say “no” to a client, and to advise a different course of action or likely solution if our preferred outcome is unlikely to be achieved.’

Key clients

Scottish Water

The Thirteenth Duke of Argyll

CJ Lang & Son

Thomas Steuart Forthringham, Baron Murthly, Murthly and Strathbaan Estates

Hostelling Scotland

Scottish Association of Mental Health

Parkhead Housing Association

Donald Cameron of Lochiel, Lord of Lochaber, Chief of the Clan Cameron, Achnacarry and Lochiel Estates

The University of Glasgow

McGivney Construction

Work highlights

  • Acting for the Duke of Argyll in a mineral rights dispute with the Scottish Ministers in the Commercial Court of the Court of Session.
  • Acting for a major national retailer and distributer in an arbitration concerning a substantial dilapidations claim relative to a commercial lease.
  • Acting for Yeoman McAllister Consultants in a contractual dispute involving the interpretation of terms and other legal issues.

Morton Fraser MacRoberts

Morton Fraser MacRoberts’s client portfolio includes several major public authorities in Scotland, who often call upon commercial litigator Kenneth Carruthers and his team to assist with infrastructure projects. Recent instructions pertain to landlord and tenant issues, including commercial leases and dilapidation claims, as well as development-related matters concerning the ownership of land, such as compulsory purchase orders and related compensation claims. The group likewise also acts for a number of prominent private sector players. Lynsay Cargill, Julie Hamilton, and Isobell Reid joined the team through the late 2023 merger between Morton Fraser and MacRoberts LLP.

Practice head(s):

Kenneth Carruthers

Other key lawyers:

Douglas Milne; Nicola Ross; Cameron Greig; Lynsay Cargill; Julie Hamilton; Isobell Reid


‘I had an extremely difficult tenant who caused me a great deal of trouble, and they were very helpful.’

‘Providing timely in-depth advice on complex property disputes.’

‘Kenneth Carruthers has provided outstanding advice to our firm over the years.’

Key clients

Tesco Stores Limited

Glasgow City Council

Persimmon Homes

BAM TCP Atlantic Square Limited

Patrizia Hanover Property Trust

French Duncan LLP

Buchan Biogas Limited

Aberdeen City Council

Transport Scotland

Moray Council

Work highlights

  • Successfully acted for Glasgow City Council in a claim against an individual responsible for the construction of a sheltered housing project which was abandoned due to the drainage system failing.
  • Successfully acting for Tesco Stores Limited in an action raised by its landlord, in which it was claimed that Tesco were responsible for extraordinary repairs due under the dilapidations clause in a commercial lease.
  • Acted for Aberdeen City Council in relation to a court action brought by a green energy provider who had entered into an agreement giving them access to 72 council properties to locate photo voltaic panels, the output of which was sold to the council at discounted rates.

BTO Solicitors LLP

BTO Solicitors LLP has extensive experience in the commercial sector though also handles residential sector disputes. Clients include landowners, developers, landlords and tenants. As a reflection of practice head Will Cole, commercial litigator and accredited mediator, and his team’s expertise, typical instructions include lease disputes and dilapidations, property damage-related matters and disputes arising from corporate transactions; the latter is an area of strength for Angus Wood.

Practice head(s):

Will Cole

Other key lawyers:

Grant Hunter; Angus Wood


‘Every individual I have come across within BTO is extremely knowledgeable in their field, providing sound advice and guidance.’

‘Angus Wood conveys advice in simple language. As a client, this approach is appreciated in aiding understanding. He always takes a commonsense approach to settling disputes, being pragmatic in attempting to find a resolution.’

‘The team is very commercially oriented and good to work with. They take time to understand the client’s aims and requirements and don’t just offer a ‘one size fits all’ approach.’

‘Angus Wood is a great communicator and offers clear and actionable guidance which takes account of client needs.’

Key clients

Ocean Outdoor

Hallam Land Management

Commercial Estates Group Limited

Rockford Trilogy Limited


Residential Management Group Scotland Limited

Glasgow Maritime Academy LLP

James Gibb Property Management Limited

CDR Holdings (Scotland) Limited

LCP Properties Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for Ocean Outdoor Limited in a dispute regarding an agreement to lease a 131ft tall advertising totem at Glasgow Airport.
  • Acted for Rockford Trilogy Limited in a dispute concerning the application of the doctrine of tacit relocation in the extension of commercial leases.
  • Assisted Glasgow Maritime Academy LLP with a claim for damage to educational premises and equipment arising from an over-voltage electrical event.

DLA Piper

DLA Piper  is particularly active within the commercial, residential and retail sectors. Regular instructions involve commercial leases, dilapidations, and access and servitude rights, among other issues. The team's capabilities in cross-border mandates were strengthened with the arrival of solicitor advocate Naomi Pryde in January 2023, who was formerly head of DWF‘s Scottish litigation group; she now heads up DLA's wider litigation and regulatory practice, succeeding Alistair Drummond, who has particular expertise with regards to property litigation.

Practice head(s):

Naomi Pryde

Other key lawyers:

Alistair Drummond; Jennifer Talbot; Tony Holloran; Kirsty Gray

Key clients

Moorbrook Textiles Limited

Sapphire 16 SARL

St Enoch Trustee Company Limited

Westfield Holdings Limited

Work highlights