Property litigation in Scotland

Brodies LLP

In May 2021, Brodies LLP increased its bench strength by adding Gareth Hale (previously at Dentons), who has recently been particularly active for landlords and housebuilders. This complements the team’s broad client base, which also includes public sector bodies and commercial tenants. Like team head Stephen Goldie, his commercial litigation expertise goes beyond real estate, making Matthew Farrell the main contact for core property litigation; Farrell is best known for his expertise in dilapidations, business rates and service charge disputes. The team also provides assistance with arbitration and mediation proceedings and has been able to grow its telecoms sector expertise as evidenced by new instructions in this field.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Goldie

Other key lawyers:

Matthew Farrell; Gareth Hale

Testimonials

‘High-quality advice and practical consideration of issues. Approachable and friendly.’

‘Very quick to pick up on the issues at hand. Very commercially aware and have a real grasp on costs and processes required.’

‘They have resolved a number of difficult litigation issues – they have been excellent in assisting with Covid arrears collection. Simple and easy to deal with.’

‘Brodies, whilst being a large corporate entity, still always provide a personal service with employees being contactable and very customer facing. Being part of a large company this gives me access to a wide skill set and experienced legal team.’

‘Brodies are informative and to the point . Brodies communicate well and make sure that you are kept updated and advised.’

‘There is a great breadth of knowledge within the team. Good practical advice based on real world experiences. Can always answer the “what if…” questions.’

‘Matthew Farrell is a stand-out partner that gives you confidence in his actions and ability to get on and undertake the project in hand.’

‘Gareth Hale – easy to deal with and a great source of practical advice. His knowledge of anticipated court outcomes is excellent.

Key clients

Drum Property Group

Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE)

Mileway

Orion Capital Partners

M&G

Peel Ports

Ediston

Moorfield Group Limited

M7

CBRE

Work highlights

  • Acting for APCOA Parking (UK) Limited in a multi-million pound commercial lease dispute on the ability of the client to terminate a lease agreement for material breach by the landlord.
  • 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.
  • Instructed by the Highlands and Islands Enterprise to apply to the Scottish Land Court to address the objections to the construction and operation of the UK’s first spaceport for launching satellites.

Burness Paull LLP

Burness Paull LLP covers a wide range of property-related disputes, making the team led by commercial litigator and accredited mediator Alan McMillan an attractive choice for a wide range of clients. Typical instructions include commercial lease disputes, dilapidations claims and other landlord and tenant issues – where the practice acts for both landlords and tenants – alongside land purchase and land access disputes. Director Stephen Farrell is another key contact for property litigation and complements the team’s offering with a specialism in the telecommunications sector.

Practice head(s):

Alan McMillan

Other key lawyers:

Steven Guild; Stephen Farrell

Testimonials

‘This team have for well over a decade been my “go-to” team in Scotland for real estate disputes. They take the time to build personal relationships and have a collaborative ethos.’

‘The practice has a really strong real estate team with years of experience. They keep up to date with changing legislation and guidance and are always on hand to offer advice.’

‘They are strategic in their thinking, helping mould the arguments and, thereby, the outcomes. They are highly responsive and a pleasure to work with.’

‘Very attentive, great lawyers and personable. Able to summarise complex matters clearly.’

‘The team were very knowledgeable, professional and provided great advice throughout.’

‘They provided fantastic advice and were very knowledgeable throughout the whole process. All queries and questions were answered thoroughly and they provided fantastic advice throughout.’

‘Alan McMillan has a can-do attitude, is so clever with an encyclopedic knowledge and an absolute pleasure to work with. Nothing is too much trouble for him.’ 

‘Stephen Farrell – superb knowledge and excellent commerciality. This combined with friendly, common-sense approach is invaluable.’ 

Key clients

Cornerstone Telecommunications Infrastructure Limited

Taylor Wimpey

Mars Pension Trustees Limited

Quale Homes

Britannia Invest A/S

Scotco/Euro Garages (KFC)

Vodafone

NFU Mutual

PizzaExpress

Carpediem

Work highlights

  • Acting for Carpediem Investors in defence of a claim by their tenant in large premises seeking to enforce demolition of much of the structure, negating the repairing obligation and a related high-value dilapidations claim.
  • Acting for Vodafone in a variety of different commercial property disputes including commercial rent disputes and leasing disputes relating to retail stores.
  • Acting 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.

Anderson Strathern

Handling landlord and tenant disputes, where the team typically acts for landlords, but, to a lesser extent, also for tenants, remains one of Anderson Strathern‘s key strengths. This covers both the commercial as well as the residential sectors, while other regular instructions pertain to disputes arising from the purchase of land, including those related to the Telecommunications Code, and compensation claims for compulsorily purchased land. Solicitor advocate Fiona Stephen heads up the team and acts for a wide range of commercial, public and private sector clients.

Practice head(s):

Fiona Stephen

Testimonials

The team’s strengths are to understand the clients position and build a team that’s bespoke to the client’s needs.

The words team and collaborative working are used by many but practiced by few. The AS property litigation team are one of the few. It is demonstrated by the ease of solicitors assisting each other where required.

The firm’s client base is as enviable as it is wide. The team deals with a range of clients dealing from buy-to-let landlords to significant estates and public bodies.

I find the solicitors to be exceptionally well prepared insofar as everything is not simply done in time but well in advance of any deadlines and of a very high quality.’

The team is largely comprised of female solicitors and therefore demonstrates our diversity from a gender perspective. The team utilises file sharing platforms, making the job of being either a client or a party using their services easy and user friendly.

They work collaboratively and share information well, to the extent that one is confident you can get the right answer no matter who you speak to. It’s a well oiled machine, led by the hugely knowledgeable Fiona Stephen.

Fiona Stephen is a titan of property litigation. She is very knowledgeable and inspires confidence.

Shirley Evans is a delight to work with and knows more about housing law than anyone else I know. Senior Solicitor Francesca Glendinning is one to watch – she is very diligent and has a brilliant attitude.

Key clients

Sunbelt Rentals Limited (formerly Ashtead Plant Hire Limited)

Edinburgh Airport Limited

D J Alexander for Bernisdale Homes Limited

Ms Pauline Pirrie

Fife Council

Ross & Liddell Limited

Balgonie Estates Limited

Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park Authority

Jim Smith

Transport Scotland (Scottish Ministers)

Work highlights

  • Acting for Transport Scotland (Scottish Ministers) in a multi-million pound compulsory purchase compensation claim by Scotland’s Rural College.
  • Acted for Sunbelt Rentals Limited (formerly Ashtead Plant Hire Limited) in a dispute with its landlord, Granton Holdings Limited, over the rent review clause.
  • Acting for the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park Authority (NPA) in a judicial review in relation to its decision to adopt its amended Core Path plan.

CMS

CMS has a strong profile acting for commercial and institutional landlords in landlord and tenant disputes, including dilapidation claims and litigation involving tenant administrations, but also counts commercial tenants to its client portfolio. Handling property issues arising from large developments, such as access and servitude disputes, among others, as well as energy sector work constitutes another key element of the practice led by commercial litigator and accredited mediator Alison Gow. Marc Armstrong made partner in May 2021 and complements the team's offering with his expertise in the Electronic Communications Code.

Practice head(s):

Alison Gow

Other key lawyers:

Marc Armstrong

Testimonials

Superb organisational skills and information management.’

‘Attention to detail and respect for professional opinion. Accurate analysis of key issues.

Alison Gow and Marc Armstrong have a superb grasp of the legal baseline and precedents. Very quick to respond to enquiries and patience in explaining areas of expertise.

Marc Armstrong has a strong sense of commerciality.

Key clients

Raeburn Place Foundation (RPF) and Raeburn Place Development Limited (RPDL)

Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission Plc (SHET)

CWL Energy Limited

Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE)

SSE plc (SSE)

Anglo Scandinavian Estates 7 LLP

City of Edinburgh Council (CEC)

Scottish Hydro Electric Power Distribution plc (SHEPD)

Edinburgh St James (GP) Limited (ESJ)

Savage

Work highlights

  • Acting for Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission Plc in defence against a disputed compensation claim for over £14m, which was raised in the Lands Tribunal for Scotland in May 2019 by Countesswells Development Limited (CDL), a subsidiary of Stewart Milne Group.
  • Has been advising Edinburgh St James as the landlord of the St James Quarter on a number of issues that have arisen during the development of the retail, hotel and residential development.
  • Acted for SSE Plc in three commercial actions raised against the client and an associated LLP by a landowner for alleged damage to land resulting from site investigation work in 2018. This included damage to roads and forestry as well as consequential business loss claims.

Davidson Chalmers Stewart

Handling landlord and tenant disputes and matters at the intersection with construction and planning are the core strengths of Davidson Chalmers Stewart. Dilapidation and repair disputes are typical instructions of the former segment and are routinely handled by team head Sheila Webster (she also acts as arbitrator). The practice's expertise also leads to regular judicial review work - which remains a key focus for the team - and to instructions pertaining to disputes arising from project developments. Clients include property developers, commercial tenants and landlords. Magnus Miller made partner in November 2021 and has a specialism in property-related judicial reviews and CVAs.

Practice head(s):

Sheila Webster

Other key lawyers:

Magnus Miller

Testimonials

Strong commercial focus. Always thinks about the practical impact on us as a business and not just the legal or process requirements of litigation.

The team is hugely experienced in this area and led by Sheila who is a pioneer in this area of the law.

Sheila Webster is excellent at speaking in plain terms and converting law into actions or decisions.

Sheila Webster is outstanding in her field.

Sheila Webster is awesome!

Key clients

Ogilvie Homes Limited

Motability Operations Limited

CGW Snooker LLP

Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority

Rock DCM

Natural Assets Investments Limited

Woodland Renewables Limited

Patersons of Greenoakhill Limited

Chris Stewart Group

Work highlights

  • Acted for Motability Operations Limited in a claim relating to reimbursement for delays in works arising out of a Covid-19-related delay.
  • 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.
  • Acted for the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) in defence of a claim brought by its landlord for dilapidations and loss of rent arising from those dilapidations.

Pinsent Masons LLP

With offices in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen, Pinsent Masons LLP is an established player in the Scottish property litigation market and is a regular fixture on landlord and tenant disputes, including rent recovery and recovery of possession, as well as title disputes, access issues and planning-related work. Commercial litigator and team head Jacqueline Harris has recently also provided assistance with compulsory rights under the Electronic Communications Code which stands testament to the team's expertise in this sphere. In December 2021, Fiona MacGregor left the firm to head the property litigation team at Dentons.

Practice head(s):

Jacqueline Harris

Key clients

BP plc

Balfour Beatty Group

Legal & General plc

HFD Group

Livingston Centre Limited

McColl Retail Group

Serco

Arqiva Limited

Hazledene House Limited

Lovell Homes

Work highlights

  • Representing Arqiva in an application for compulsory rights over a site in Lanark sought under the Electronic Communications Code.
  • Successfully representing Serco in a test case before the Outer House and Inner House raised by former asylum seekers challenging the legal basis on which Serco proposed to evict them from accommodation.
  • Advising Industrials UK on contentious issues across its portfolio in Scotland, including strategic advice on developing issues and commencing litigation where necessary.

Shepherd and Wedderburn

Shepherd and Wedderburn's commercial real estate litigation expertise is complemented by a specialism in telecoms property disputes - senior associate Daniel Bain is the key contact in this space and exclusively acts for operators - and by the firm's contentious rural property capabilities. Historically, the team led by Colin Archibald had a focus on work for landlords but it also increasingly assists tenants with lease and dilapidations disputes alongside other landlord and tenant issues. Its rural property workload frequently, but not exclusively, involves ownership, access, wayleave and title issues.

Practice head(s):

Colin Archibald

Testimonials

Depth of talent throughout the team.

Good knowledge of niche areas, commercial focus, practical advice.

I felt confident that the advice given in relation to the matter, which is now settled, was the best available and resulted in a satisfactory outcome.

Colin Archibald remained constantly approachable and accessible. He took particular care to explain developments and gave advice as to how these should be tackled.

I did not, at any time, feel pressure to adopt a particular course of action which I thought the team might have preferred. We operated in a collegiate way which is the best one can say about a relationship between a solicitor and his client.

Key clients

Taylor Wimpey Group

Miller Homes Limited

British Telecommunications plc

EE Limited

ScottishPower

Clydeport Operations Limited

Reach plc (formerly Trinity Mirror)

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, including successfully opposing an appeal by BAM TCP Atlantic Square Ltd against a judgment determining certain issues in the case.
  • Acting for EE Ltd and Hutchison 3G UK Ltd in applications to the Lands Tribunal for Scotland for the renewal of agreements under the Electronic Communications Code, including successfully appealing against a decision of the tribunal to dismiss the applications.
  • Acting for a landowner in an application to the Lands Tribunal for Scotland for determination of disputed compensation arising from the grant of a necessary wayleave by the Scottish Ministers.

Addleshaw Goddard

Embedded in the firm's wider dispute resolution practice led by Simon Catto, legal director and solicitor advocate Edward Gratwick remains Addleshaw Goddard's main contact for property litigation. While the bulk of the team's work pertains to commercial property, such as landlord and tenant disputes alongside disputes arising from property transactions, it also assists private clients with residential sector disputes as well as with crofting and rural property matters. Joan Devine (insolvency-related work) left private practice in April 2022.

Practice head(s):

Simon Catto

Other key lawyers:

Edward Gratwick

Testimonials

Ability to explain options and possible consequences clearly.

Addleshaw Goddard have consistently been proactive in providing us with advice and support across a number of areas, including litigation, tenancy management, conveyancing and general legal support.

All individuals we work with from Addleshaw Goddard are approachable and contactable and the efficiency of their responses when we seek them is commendable and extremely helpful.

They consider the bigger picture and it is clear that clients appreciate that.

Addleshaws defined/identified the issue, gave clear and succinct advice together with an additional commentary on potential actions by my opponent.

Very strong team with several more junior members providing excellent support to the main partner. A good mix of people who all contributed to resolving the litigation and delivering a positive result.

Edward Gratwick devised a very detailed and inventive approach to resolve a dispute with various third parties. His original thinking was absolutely crucial in arriving at a successful outcome.

Edward Gratwick is extremely knowledgeable in the area of property litigation and the team is involved in high-profile and complex litigation.

Key clients

Highlands and Islands Airports Limited

Scotland Gas Networks plc

Lloyds Pharmacy Limited

Asda Stores Limited

Aldi Stores Limited

Mapeley STEPS Limited

Eastern Motor Company Limited

Link Housing Association

Premier Hytemp Limited

The Firm of A&G Rentals

Gladbourne Estates Limited

Castle Water Limited

Kingdom Housing Association

Work highlights

  • Acted for A&G Rentals raising an action for damages for loss of rental income against its former solicitors resulting from the solicitor’s failure to register the client’s title to a development site.
  • Acted for a real estate investment fund in the enforcement of missives of the sale of an office building in central Edinburgh.
  • Acted for a private individual in pursuing an action for declarator and interdict in relation to a servitude right of access.

DWF

DWF assists a significant number of retail occupiers with landlord and tenant issues, such as lease terminations, dilapidation claims and those pertaining to CVAs, and demonstrates additional expertise in telecoms sector and construction-related work. While most instructions stem from private sector clients, the team also acts for public authorities. Solicitor advocate Naomi Pryde heads the Scottish litigation team and is supported by senior associate Ursula Currie, whose expertise spans landlord and tenant as well as planning-related matters; she joined from Morton Fraser in November 2021.

Practice head(s):

Naomi Pryde

Other key lawyers:

Ursula Currie

Key clients

Marks and Spencer plc

McCarthy & Stone Retirement Lifestyles Limited

Mobile Broadband Network Limited

The Highland Council

Aberdeenshire Council

Shawbrook Bank Limited

Orkney Islands Council

Aberdeen City Council

EE Limited

BT Group Plc

Work highlights

  • Strategic legal supplier to Marks & Spencer plc and currently engaged in defending M&S in a high-profile litigation.
  • Successfully defending McCarthy & Stone Retirement Lifestyles Limited in an action raised by Aldi Stores Limited claiming damages for the cost of Aldi removing waste materials that it had deposited on McCarthy & Stone’s land.
  • Successfully defending the Highland Council in a judicial review action challenging the council’s decision to approve plans for a £17.3m spaceport at the A’Mhoine Peninsula.

Gillespie Macandrew LLP

Gillespie Macandrew LLP puts significant emphasis on rural and agricultural property work, making it a popular choice for private clients alongside land and estate owners requiring assistance with landlord and tenant relationships and servitude rights among other issues. This is complemented with energy sector expertise spanning compulsory purchase issues and matters at the intersection with crofting law. The team is led by litigator and accredited mediator Fiona Cameron, while Isobell Reid left for MacRoberts LLP in April 2022.

Practice head(s):

Fiona Cameron

Other key lawyers:

John Stirling; Colin Hamilton

Testimonials

‘Very strong team, which dovetails well with real strengths in property more generally.’

‘John Stirling has particular expertise in crofting law but also has very good broad experience. Conscientious and consistent in his approach, providing just the support and input that clients should expect.’

Key clients

Richmond Global Services Limited

Crofters having rights in Stornoway Wind Farm Sites

Seagreen Wind Energy Limited

The Scottish Creel Fishermen’s Federation

Gartmore House

Building Craftsmen (Dumfries) Limited

Harper Macleod LLP

Harper Macleod LLP's property litigation team is led by the Glasgow-based Andrew Upton and sits within the firm's wider litigation practice led from Edinburgh by Sandy Hastie. Its recent workload stands testament to the group's wide-ranging capabilities spanning commercial tenancy disputes - such as those pertaining to dilapidations and leases - alongside litigation pertaining to land and agricultural property. Title, servitude rights and mineral rights disputes are typical instructions in the latter segment. The team acts for private sector clients, public authorities and private individuals.

Practice head(s):

Sandy Hastie; Andrew Upton

Testimonials

‘A very strong team, led by the ultra impressive Andrew Upton. They exude competence and are very highly regarded across the market.’

‘I have been very impressed with the way Andrew and his team have assembled the material and have identified and prioritised the issues.’

‘Andrew Upton is a very talented lawyer with vast experience in property litigation (a subject on which he regularly gives lectures). His attention to detail marks him out.’

‘In the sometimes dense world of dilapidations disputes, for example, there is no point which will escape Andrew Upton’s eye. The perfect combination of smart and street smart.’

‘Andrew communicates in a clear and well-informed way.’

‘Andrew Upton knows when to twist and when to fold. His instincts are impeccable. And he will fight harder for his clients than almost anyone I have encountered. Hugely impressive.’

‘E-Ming Fong is very experienced in this area. She brings a very methodical approach to her cases. Her legal analysis is always impressive.’

Key clients

NatureScot

William Hill Organisation Limited

Dumfries and Galloway Housing Partnership

Northwick Estates

AFI Uplift Ltd

The Highland Council

London & Scottish Property Investments Management Limited

Denny Enterprises Int’l Ltd

Shell Pensions Trust Ltd

The Glenmorangie Company Limited

Forestry and Land Scotland

Scotvet Animal Health Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Tay Properties Limited on its pursuit and settlement on advantageous terms, of payment of repair costs and loss of rent under a commercial lease.
  • Advising and representing one of the Glenmorangie group of companies in its defence of proceedings at the Lands Tribunal for Scotland to discharge a title condition restricting residential development.
  • Advising Forestry and Land Scotland in its pursuit of a declarator that stone worked by its tenant is not a mineral within the meaning of a title reservation.

Lindsays

Lindsays' workload is a reflection of team head Paul Harper's personal expertise, which covers the commercial, residential and rural property sectors and extends to telecoms-related property work. In the last-mentioned segment, the team solely acts for landowners, while property developers, private individuals, landlords and tenants are also part of the team's client portfolio. Due to its wide sector expertise, dilapidations and commercial lease matters are examples of regular instructions alongside access and boundary disputes.

Practice head(s):

Paul Harper

Other key lawyers:

John Bett

Testimonials

‘I have experienced a high standard of service in any of the matters we have been obtaining advice on.’

‘The teams are small enough to ensure commitment to and connection with the clients interests throughout. This continuity and focus helps ensure a higher standard of litigation.’

‘They are a great team and very easy to work with and good communicators.’

‘Paul Harper is seasoned and cool-headed. He always advises clients in a prudent but forthright way.’

‘John Bett: He is very knowledgeable and we value his legal advice and work that he oversees for us. He is a great communicator.’

Key clients

Scottish Water

The Thirteenth Duke of Argyll

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

Thomas Steuart Forthringham, Baron Murthly, Murthly and Strathbaan Estates

Hostelling Scotland

Scottish Association of Mental Health

Parkhead Housing Association

CJ Lang & Son

The University of Glasgow

McGivney Construction

Work highlights

  • Acted for Baron Murthly and Strathbaan Estate in a telecoms dispute with a leading UK mobile infrastructure services company.
  • Acted for Property & Development Consultants in a dispute over a lengthy and complex joint development agreement pertaining to social housing.
  • Acted for a commercial property owner in a dispute raising various issues arising from a commercial lease, the sale of a company and dilapidations claims.

MacRoberts LLP

Following Gillian Craig's departure and appointment as judge at Paisley Sheriff Court at the end of 2021, MacRoberts LLP's property litigation group is now led by solicitor advocate and commercial disputes specialist Julie Hamilton and includes senior associate Lynsay Cargill. Cargill and the team as a whole have recently been particularly active handling landlord and tenant disputes as well as neighbourly issues, most notably in the energy sector. Development-related matters, including those with an environmental angle, alongside compulsory purchases and related compensation claims are other typical instructions. Capabilities at the intersection between property, construction and planning were strengthened with the arrival of Isobell Reid from Gillespie Macandrew LLP in April 2022.

Practice head(s):

Julie Hamilton

Other key lawyers:

Lynsay Cargill; Isobell Reid

Key clients

Scottish Government

Chisholm Hunter

London and Cambridge Properties

British Waterways

GAC Services

Renewi

Morrisons plc

CS Wind UK Ltd

HCC International Insurance Company plc

Fraser Hart

Work highlights

  • Acted for CS Wind UK Limited in defence of Court of Session proceedings raised by Highlands and Islands Enterprise in relation to its wind turbine manufacturing facility at Campbeltown Airport, Machrihanish.
  • Advising an international hotel chain in relation to a dispute with Network Rail regarding a disputed property valuation and related Lands Tribunal proceedings.
  • Advised Balmore Estates Limited, landlord of a B-listed building in Glasgow, in relation to a dispute with its tenant, Glasgow City Council, over the tenant’s ability to exercise a conditional break clause, monetary arrears, other lease breaches and a large dilapidations claim.

Morton Fraser

Morton Fraser stands out for its extensive public sector client base but also acts for private sector players. As a reflection of team head Kenneth Carruthers' expertise, the team routinely assists with landlord and tenant disputes alongside matters at the intersection with land law and ownership issues, such as compensation claims arising out of compulsory acquired land and those pertaining to property developments.

Practice head(s):

Kenneth Carruthers

Other key lawyers:

Douglas Milne; Nicola Ross

Testimonials

‘High and wide range of experience ensuring good advice is provided on time.’

Experience in a wide field of litigation matters has ensured we get detailed, thorough and appropriate advice in a timely manner.’

‘Ken Carruthers has provided us with an excellent service for many years.’

Key clients

Tesco Stores Limited

Bank of China, Sputnik News and Petroceltic Limited

City of Edinburgh Council

BAM TCP Atlantic Square Limited

Patrizia Hanover Property Trust

Castle Crown Properties Limited

Patrizia Property Fund

Aberdeen City Council

Transport Scotland

Work highlights

  • Advising Edinburgh City Council in relation to a major landslip caused by a commercial development at the top of an area of land owned by the council. The slip led to damage to the council land and to private housing below and the spread of asbestos and other contamination in the surrounding area.
  • 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.
  • Acting for BAM Properties in a significant claim alleging that the client has constructed a 12-storey office development partly on land co-owned by BT. The dispute, for which leave to appeal to the UK Supreme Court has been sought, raises very important points about the land registration system in Scotland and how competing land interests are registered.

BTO Solicitors LLP

BTO Solicitors LLP‘s team is led by Edinburgh-based commercial litigator and accredited mediator Will Cole and has commercial property at its core. Its Glasgow office received a boost with the arrival of Angus Wood from MacRoberts LLP in 2021; he is dual-qualified to practice law in Scotland and England and is regularly, but not exclusively, called upon to assist with disputes arising from corporate transactions. Handling lease disputes, compensation claims for compulsory purchases, property damage-related matters and various contractual issues are other key areas of expertise for the team.

Practice head(s):

Will Cole

Other key lawyers:

Mark Morton; Grant Hunter; Angus Wood

Testimonials

‘BTO is able to provide an outstanding service that caters for a wide span of property litigation issues.’

‘The team is very client orientated and communication is always first rate.’

‘BTO is able to provide services across a broad spectrum of legal sectors and provide a “one-stop shop” for our needs.’

‘I am consistently impressed by Will Cole’s client-orientated approach.’

‘At every stage, Will provided excellent advice and the highest levels of professionalism in what had been challenging and stressful circumstances.’

Key clients

Rockford Trilogy Limited

Ocean Outdoor Media

Hallam Land Management Limited

Pendragon plc (Evans Halshaw)

James Gibb Property Management Limited

Berwickshire Housing Association

Mactaggart & Mickel Limited

Greenbelt Group Limited

Hallam Land Management Limited

Residential Management Group Scotland Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for Rockford Trilogy Limited as the landlord in Court of Session proceedings pertaining to the extension of a commercial lease following the lease end date by implied consent.
  • Acted for the property developer Hallam Land Management Limited in a title dispute about an area of development land, which involved the application of common law rules regarding the acquisition of legal title by possession and their interaction with statutory land registration rules.
  • Acting as principal advisors to James Gibb Property Management Limited, providing assistance with a wide variety of real estate litigation, including the interpretation and enforcement of title conditions and the application of property factoring law.

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP's client portfolio includes many well-known high street brands, most notably retailers, who regularly call upon commercial litigator and accredited mediator Philip Knight and his team to assist with lease terminations, dilapidations and other landlord and tenant issues alongside CVA-related disputes.

Practice head(s):

Philip Knight

Testimonials

‘Philip Knight is a standout individual. He is an excellent lawyer, very experienced, commercially minded, and very well liked by clients.’

‘Philip Knight is excellent at keeping on top of current events in the law, and in sharing that knowledge with clients and colleagues. He is well organised, considers carefully the issues which his clients face, and their objectives.’

‘Philip Knight is the clear standout here. Phil is smart, diligent, and incredibly capable.’

‘Philip Knight is the kind of commercial litigator everyone wants to have in their corner. He’s tenacious without fighting for the sake of it and is a really smart operator who knows which levers to pull and when.’

‘Philip Knight: Incredibly knowledgeable, exceptionally efficient.’

Key clients

FRP Consultancy

Holland and Barrett

Expeditors

Secretary of State for Transport

Airwave

Greggs

Tuli Holdings

Vodafone

Work highlights

  • Advising FRP Consultancy and the Insolvency Service on a cross-border property-related scam and related ownership issues.
  • Advising Holland & Barrett on a range of property litigation issues.
  • Assisting Expeditors with a dilapidations case for a warehouse at Glasgow International Airport.