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



Intellectual property

Index of tables

  1. Intellectual property
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next Generation Partners
  5. Rising stars

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1

Rising stars

  1. 1

Brodies LLP's dedicated IP team advises on advisory and contentious matters pertaining to commercial, regulatory and cross-border issues. The group also assists with issues across a range of sectors including the oil and gas, energy, IT, engineering and life sciences industries. Grant Campbell heads up the non-contentious practice while Robert Buchan now leads the contentious expertise following Gill Grassie's retirement. Other key individuals include Martin Sloan, who advises on IP issues relating to new technologies; and associate Shona Tennant, who has notable expertise in the education sector.

Practice head(s):Grant Campbell; Robert Buchan

Other key lawyers:Martin Sloan; Shona Tennant


'Brodies has a diverse team with complimentary experience and skills that ensures it is always a safe pair of hands.'

'The team has unparalleled expertise in this area.'

'Brodies' IP experts are very efficient and effective.'

'Robert Buchan in particular has many years of experience in contentious IP matters. He can also assimilate a lot of information quickly in order to provide clear, concise and, importantly, commercial advice to a client, even in the most complex of matters.'

'The team is pragmatic and has a good feel for realistic outcomes.'

'Brodies' TMT team always provides detailed, accurate and timely legal advice that is also commercially and pragmatically focused such that it has true value and meaning to the client's wider business. The advice is also delivered in a clear and concise manner that is easily understood by a variety of audiences, particularly those who are not legally qualified. The team's input is invaluable as it brings to the table unparalleled sector knowledge, awareness and insight.'

Key Clients

The Scottish Qualifications Authority

DC Thomson

Oil States Inc

Krispy Kreme

Judy Murray Foundation


BAE Systems Regiona lAircraft

University of Edinburgh


Performing Right Society for Music

Phonographic Performance Limited

PPLPRS Limited

The Scotch Whisky Association

Omega Diagnostics PLC

Maggie’s Centres

Power League

Lothian Buses

Strathclyde Partnership for Transport

Work highlights

  • Advised on the establishment of The Judy Murray Foundation, a new charity, including handling the protection of IP (trade marks, domain names, copyright and social media channels) and all data protection and regulatory issues.
  • Advised Episerver on its $1.2 billion sale to Insight Venture Partners including issues regarding the use of open source software, patent disputes, and the integration of software from previous acquisitions.
  • Advised the University of Edinburgh on a new contract with EdX to enable the provision of a new platform and expanded strategic relationship for the delivery of online Masters degrees and MicroMasters programmes.

The dedicated IP group at Burness Paull LLP acts for a diverse client roster spanning a wide array of industry sectors including technology, oil and gas, financial services and healthcare. The team's contentious offering advises on trade mark, copyright, trade secret disputes. Colin Hulme leads the practice and focuses on IP litigation, while David Goodbrand and Callum Sinclair handle non-contentious work; Goodbrand also heads up the fintech group and Sinclair leads the firm's technology and commercial division. Neeraj Thomas departed to CMS.

Practice head(s):Colin Hulme; Callum Sinclair; David Goodbrand


'Burness Paull provides excellent IP advice. The team's knowledge of substantive and procedural rule is fantastic and is always used to get the best commercial results for its clients.'

'Burness Paull is the leading IP firm in Scotland with a top team of knowledgeable and approachable experts.'

'The firm's intellectual property lawyers have extremely good legal knowledge, coupled with a sound commercial approach and quick response times.'

'The team at Burness Paull stands out from the crowd for its unwavering commitment to understanding the needs of the client's business and then delivering a service that is closely aligned with the established requirements.'

'Burness Paull endeavours to be as flexible as it possibly can, taking into account budget, required skills, customer capabilities and cultural ethos.'

'Colin Hulme is THE leading IP expert in Scotland.'

Key Clients


Harris Tweed Authority

AstraZeneca Group

Highland Spring




Standard Life Aberdeen

Scottish Rugby Union

PPL PRS Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for AstraZeneca in multiple patent disputes against Teva Pharmaceuticals in the Court of Session relating to patents for breast cancer treatment.
  • Managing Sky’s IP enforcement programme across Scotland including preventing unauthorised broadcasts of Sky’s sporting events in licensed premises throughout Scotland.
  • Advised Principal & Prosper on its title sponsorship agreement with Edinburgh Rugby as official shirt sponsor and principal corporate sponsor of Edinburgh Rugby.
  • Represented Vapouriz in a trade mark dispute against CCHG in the Court of Session relating to the Vaporized Inhale the Freedom brand name.

As well as representing clients across a number of industry sectors including the life sciences, entertainment and energy industries, CMS recently launched its equIP Scotland programme, which helps IP-rich businesses with the development and scaling up of their activities in Scotland. The group also utilises the firm's global network to handle cross-border matters and also acts in IP litigation. Carina Healy heads up the department and has a notable focus on the life sciences sector; other key names include senior partner Laurence Ward and IT specialist Alan Nelson. Of counsel Neeraj Thomas recently joined the Glasgow office from Burness Paull LLP.

Practice head(s):Carina Healy

Other key lawyers:Duncan Turner; Laurence Ward; Alan Nelson; Neeraj Thomas


'CMS has a great breadth and depth of expertise and provides pragmatic advice.'

'CMS' team is easy to work with and is able to convert ideas into contracts and make the final documents easy to understand. The team is also excellent at explaining complex legal terms in plain English, which saves a great deal of time and puts clients at ease. The team always responds in a timely fashion to requests.'

'Carina Healy is a standout individual; she has a great breadth of knowledge and provides timely practical advice.'

Key Clients

University of Glasgow

University College London

MacRebur Limited

Scottish Event Campus (previously Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre)

UCL Business

NuCana Plc

Edinburgh Trams Limited

Consilient Health Limited

Synpromics Limited

The Carbon Trust



Work highlights

  • Advised University College London on a number of high-profile strategic research collaborations in the life sciences field involving various academic institutions with significant funding from UK research councils and charity partners.
  • Assisted Unilever with a variety of IP-related commercial contracts for its skincare brands including influencer and brand ambassador agreements, sponsorship agreements and creative services contracts.
  • Adsvied LifeArc on a review of a several of its template IP-related agreements including an antibody humanisation agreement for the provision of humanisation services, various material transfer agreements for the supply of human tissues for research purposes, an evaluation and option agreement and a master services agreement for use in product development projects.
  • Advised the University of Glasgow on a worldwide licensing and revenue sharing agreement with Philips relating to a biomarker for prostate cancer.
  • Advised The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers on trade mark strategy and trade mark licensing and merchandising agreements.

Pinsent Masons LLP provides end-to-end advice to its client roster of energy, food and drink, life sciences and technology companies on advisory and contentious IP matters in the UK and abroad. The team regularly handles portfolio management, brand strategy, market exclusivity and access issues, as well as strategic contracts. Jim Cormack QC leads the contentious IP team while legal director George Campbell heads up the non-contentious practice. Litigator David Woods is a key name for clients in the financial services, retail, energy and university sectors; and Chris Martin focuses on higher education work; senior associate Gillian Anderson is also recommended.

Practice head(s):Jim Cormack QC; George Campbell

Other key lawyers:Chris Martin; David Woods' Gillian Anderson


'The team has an excellent level of knowledge and it deals very promptly with all enquiries.'

'George Campbell is great to work with and deals very efficiently with all work sent to him.'

Key Clients

William Grant & Sons Limited

Thomas Tunnock Limited

Falkland Islands Government

University of Edinburgh

Pertemps Limited


Jacobs and Turner Limited t/a Trespass

Celtic plc

Kier Limited


Work highlights

  • Defended the Falklands Island Government in the Supreme Court of the Falkland Islands against an allegation of copyright infringement brought by Geophysical Service relating to seismic data.
  • Represented Teva in three separate proceedings challenging the validity of life sciences patents owned by AstraZeneca.
  • Defending Jacobs and Turner in trade mark infringement proceedings raised by a Hong Kong-based company in the Intellectual Property and Enterprise Court.

The TMT team at Dentons is particularly strong in the food and drink and life sciences sectors, and recently made new client gains in the public sector and manufacturing industry. The group handles the full range of IP issues spanning trade mark and patent matters, IP litigation and copyright issues. Practice head Alison Bryce is a key name for non-contentious work including licensing deals, IP acquisitions, investments and joint venture; Ross Nicol also handles the IP aspects of transactions, e-commerce issues and data protection work.

Practice head(s):Alison Bryce

Other key lawyers:Ross Nicol


'The team at Dentons is professional, knowledgeable and well regarded with a diverse but well positioned client base.'

'The individuals are very approachable and down to earth.'

Key Clients

Finsbury Food Group plc

The Restaurant Group plc

The Edrington Group

Optos plc (part of Nikon)

National Theatre of Scotland

Edinburgh Woollen Mill

Hunter Boot Limited

British Polythene Industries

Global Alliance for Livestock Vaccines

Collins Debden

Work highlights

  • Advised Finsbury Food Group on the terms of a trade mark and copyright licence with an international household brand.
  • Assisted Edrington Distillers with the IP aspects of the sale of its Scotch whisky, Cutty Sark, to La Martiniquaise-Bardinet.
  • Acted for BDD Pharma on an agreement to license OralogiK, its timed drug delivery technology, to Novartis Pharma for the development of a new product.
  • Assisted the National Theatre of Scotland with the IP issues relating to its production of My Left Right Foot, which was performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

DLA Piper Scotland LLP has substantial capabilities in Scotland and internationally, where it leverages the firm's global network to handle cross-border projects. John McKinlay heads up the practice, which also includes legal director Ishbel MacPherson, who regularly advises on commercial contracts in the technology and life sciences sectors.

Practice head(s):John McKinlay

Other key lawyers:Ishbel MacPherson

Key Clients

Merlin Entertainments

Shire Pharmaceuticals


Heineken UK

FA Premier League



Wm Grant & Sons



Work highlights

  • Advised Merlin on a range of IP issues including image rights, promotion agreements, sponsorship and marketing deals, advertising matters and IP licensing work for its theme parks and tourist attractions.
  • Representing The Football Association Premier League in seeking interdicts against pubs showing the overseas broadcast of English Premier League matches on the basis of copyright infringement.
  • Advised Heineken on a range of e-commerce deals and other commercial contracts involving the use of IP rights, and also handled the management of over 2000 UK and international trade mark registrations.

The Glasgow-based IP team at Harper Macleod LLP is recognised for its strength in sports-related IP work; it also handles matters in the life sciences sector and has notable cross-border expertise. The group assists with the full gamut of IP issues encompassing patents, trade marks, copyrights and design rights. Jamie Watt heads up the practice, which also includes sports expert Tom Thomas  and food and drink sector specialist Scott Kerr.

Practice head(s):Jamie Watt

Other key lawyers:Tom Thomas; Scott Kerr


'The team at Harper Macleod is extremely knowledgeable and provides accurate and timely advice.'

'Harper Macleod has a great client roster and is surprisingly strong.'

'Jamie Watt is a star.'

'Jamie Watt is an essential resource for clients, going above and beyond the level of service expected from a practice as busy as his.'

Key Clients


Apple, Inc.

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland

Celtic FC

Historic Environment Scotland

The Forestry Commission

Godrej Americas

The Commonwealth Games Federation

The University of St Andrews

Amnesty International

Work highlights

  • Advised Celtic F.C. on the management of its worldwide trade mark portfolio including carrying out international online anti-counterfeiting work and providing commercial and transactional IP support.
  • Acting for Reactec in Court of Session proceedings relating to an alleged infringement of their European vibration monitoring patent.
  • Advised NMBRS on all IP and commercial matters relating to the operation of its business including the acquisition of registered trade mark rights and revising its IP-related contracts.
  • Acting for Glasgow City Council on the IP issues relating to the city's co-hosting of the inaugural European Championships including matters relating to staging large-scale sports events, sponsorships, trade mark registrations and brand protection advice.

MacRoberts LLP's expertise encompasses trade marks, patents and copyrights with substantial experience in cross-border disputes and licensing matters in the IT and technology space. The team also has notable sector knowledge with the food and drink, charities, manufacturing, media, life sciences and energy industries being key examples. David Gourlay leads the group and has particular expertise in brand and trade mark protection work and software-related matters; Euan Duncan leads the food and drink sector group, and Valerie Surgenor focuses on the third sector.

Practice head(s):David Gourlay

Other key lawyers:Euan Duncan; Valeria Surgenor


'MacRoberts provides a great level of support and advice and is always available when needed without fail.'

'The intellectual property experts at MacRoberts provide consistency in their service.'

'The firm's practitioners all understand their clients' business needs and provide the necessary level of support and advice.'

'David Gourlay is always well prepared and offers clear and helpful advice. He has an impressive knowledge of IP and commercial law. He is an excellent communicator and his calm, positive manner inspires confidence in clients and colleagues.'

Key Clients

Scottish Government



Peoples Postcode Trust

The Scottish Salmon Company Limited

Kames Capital Plc

The Scotch Whisky Association

The Scotch Whisky Heritage Centre Ltd t/a Scotch Whisky Experience

Johnstons of Elgin

Community Enterprise in Scotland and Social Enterprise World Forum C.I.C

Work highlights

  • Assisted Glencairn with the protection and enforcement of its IP rights in the UK and abroad.
  • Advising Scottish Higher Education Institution on the spin-out of a company, which will commercialise patented technology targeting certain protein structures for the development of medication.
  • Defending CCHG against trade mark infringement proceedings initiated by Vapouriz in the Court of Session.
  • Advising People’s Postcode Trusts on the appointment of its external lottery manager including the negotiation and drafting of various commercial agreements and trade mark licences.

Shepherd and Wedderburn fields a dedicated media and technology team and a specialised IP litigation group. With particular expertise in the food and drink, sports, energy, entertainment, financial services and life sciences sectors, the group operates at a national and global level from its offices in Aberdeen, Glasgow and Edinburgh. Key practitioners include Joanna Boag-Thomson, who focuses on patent and technology licensing work, media issues and brand activations; Paul Carlyle, who leads the media and technology team; and John MacKenzie, who is an experienced litigator.

Practice head(s):Joanna Boag-Thomson; John Mackenzie; Paul Carlyle

Key Clients

Scottish Enterprise and Highlands & Islands Enterprise

The R&A

Pernod Ricard Group

Diet Chef Ltd

BI Wines and Spirits Ltd

Collagen Solutions plc

University of Aberdeen

The Scottish Professional Football League

Tungsten Corporation

The National Trust for Scotland

City of Edinburgh Council

Artemis Investment Management LLP

Brand IP Licensing Ltd

RSVP Design Ltd

The Tartan Army Ltd

Capital Document Solutions Ltd

Sainsbury’s Bank plc

People Can Fly

Winduna Enterprises Ltd

Fotech Solutions

Work highlights

  • Managing the entire trade mark portfolio of the Scottish Professional Football League.  
  • Acted for CYBG on the IP aspects of a £400m deal to fund loans through UK financial technology group Salary Finance, including negotiating the related licences.

  • Acting for RSVP Design in a dispute relating to its colourblind trade mark including successfully opposing an application by Future Factory for a declaration of invalidity.
  • Assisted Pernod Ricard Group with its acquisition of a cocktail bar brand and trade mark portfolio.
  • Assisted Winduna Enterprises, producer of the animation series Winnie the Witch, with its negotiation of agreements with new investors, global distribution rights issues and its negotiations with Channel 5.

The Dundee-based IP team at Thorntons Law LLP covers the full spectrum of mandates including novel issues relating to new technologies, plant variety rights and music copyright. The group, which is led by Lesley Larg, recently saw the promotion of Loretta Maxfield to the partnership;  Maxfield heads up the firm's data protection sub-team. Other key names include Liam McMonagle, who focuses on the television, gambling and education sectors; and Alastair Lang, who handles technology and SME-related work.

Practice head(s):Lesley Larg

Other key lawyers:Liam McMonagle; Alistair Lang; Loretta Maxfield


'Liam McMonagle is very pragmatic and knowledgeable, and able to respond within tight timescales.'

Key Clients


Cyborn Limited

University of Stirling

Hillcrest Housing Association Limited

The James Hutton Institute

Robert Gordon University

Design Dundee Limited (V&A Dundee)

Postcode Lottery Limited

St Andrews Links Trust

DF Concerts Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised St Andrews Links Trust Group on all aspects of the global management and exploitation of its key brands, and international partnership and licensing arrangements.
  • Representing the University of St Andrews in a high-profile dispute against Student Gowns relating to the defendant’s use of the university's trade mark to sell the client’s distinctive red gowns worn by its undergraduates.
  • Advised Robert Gordon University on IP licences granted to a university spin-out involved in medication.

Anderson Strathern is notably strong in the Scottish public, education, sports and media sectors, where its IP specialists handle contentious and advisory mandates; the group has also recently expanded its client roster in the charity sector. Douglas McLachlan heads up the department, which also benefits from the expertise of corporate partner Simon Brown and litigator Katrina Lumsdaine.

Practice head(s):Douglas McLachlan

Other key lawyers:Simon Brown; Katrina Lumsdaine


'Katrina Lumsdaine always gives a fair and balanced view of the legal position and is rigorous in exposing the weakness in the oppositions case.'

'The team at Anderson Strathern has demonstrated that it can handle complex combined intellectual property and contractual disputes very effectively.'

Key Clients

The Rangers Football Club Limited

The Skills Development Scotland Co Limited

East Lothian Housing Association

Sudarshan Chemical industries Limited

Deepak Nitrite Limited

Edge Energy Limited

STV ELM Limited (related to Scottish Television “STV”)

Scottish Book Trust

MyWay Digital Health Limited

Willow Tea Rooms Trust

Work highlights

  • Acting for The Rangers Football Club on various issues including trade mark opposition proceedings, bringing actions against people infringing the client's trade marks, advising on sponsorship issues, and taking down Facebook accounts, websites and other online or social media presences that were selling infringing merchandise.
  • Advising Sudarshan Chemical Industries on a range of IP matters including acting in trade mark litigation in China, and managing its international trade mark portfolio.
  • Representing Deepak Nitrite in an international patent litigation against a Swiss-German chemical company in the High Court in London.
  • Advising Scottish Television on its procurement of a contract for remote lottery terminals for the Scottish Children’s Lottery.

Boutique IP firm Bonaccord fields founding partner and practice head Patricia Barclay, who acts exclusively in the life sciences space. Barclay focuses on non-contentious mandates and handles the full range of advisory mandates including fundraising matters and issues pertaining to innovative technologies including virtual reality and photonics.

Practice head(s):Patricia Barclay


'It is very useful (and unusual) to be able to access this level of expertise without having to engage a larger London-based firm.'

'It is Patricia Barclay's in depth expertise that allows Bonaccord to stand out from the crowd.'

'Patricia Barclay has a knack for simplifying processes and guiding a client to the best outcome. She is fast and attentive and is experienced on both the buyer and seller-side of major transactions.'

DWF has a strong track record advising the Scottish government; the group, led by Colin Miller, also advises a range of clients across various industry sectors including the food and drink, retail, pharmaceuticals, education and infrastructure arenas. Clients instruct the group to assist with the protection of brands and IP assets at a national and international level.

Practice head(s):Colin Miller


'The DWF team is very experienced, knowledgable and responsive to client needs as they arise.'

'Colin Miller is an extremely capable individual whose willingness to take ownership of issues enables the client to have the peace of mind and confidence that the issue is in the best hands. He has good communication skills, fairness in billing and a broad knowledge of the sector.'

Key Clients

The Scottish Government

APUC Panel

Cirrus Response Inc.


British Home Stores International


Morrisons Supermarkets

Monsoon Accessorize

Chivas Brothers

Alba Bioscience

Work highlights

  • Instructed to advise BHS International on a trade mark licence deal with one of its former suppliers, which will continue to manufacture and sell household furnishings under the BHS brand.
  • Advised Angostura on the protection of its trade marks in its distribution contracts in the EU and South East Asia.
  • Advised Maven Capital Partners on its IP licensing arrangements with the Tinderbox coffee chain.
  • Assisted Monsoon Accessorize on its renewal as a concessionaire at Edinburgh Airport, including the related trade mark and copyright issues.

The team at Morton Fraser has substantial contentious and advisory IP expertise with particular experience in handling university spin-outs, the protection and commercialisation of IP rights for early to mid-stage companies, IP due diligence, and brand protection issues. Group head Austin Flynn is the key contact for non-contentious advice while Richard McMeeken handles IP litigation; associate Julie Nixon has notable experience in the life sciences sector.

Practice head(s):Austin Flynn

Other key lawyers:Richard McMeeken; Julie Nixon


'The firm has the ability to understand my business needs and aims, and provide excellent, practical, and realistic solutions'.

'Julie Nixon has great skills, a background in relevant science, and most importantly can find solutions that meet our aims, whilst at the same time being realistic about the needs of other parties. Julie has been proactive in her work with us'.

Key Clients

Mercia Technologies

Historic Environment Scotland

Scotland's Rural College (SRUC)

Mars Blacksheep Hotels Ltd

Myeloma UK



Shot Scope Technologies Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting for Mercia Technologies on the IP aspects of its investment for equity in a start-up technology company, as well as its investment into a life sciences spin-out.
  • Advised Mars Blacksheep Hotels on the trade mark applications for its key properties.

BTO Solicitors LLP is singled out for its contentious IP work including passing off matters, trade mark and copyright infringements, database infringements, restrictive covenant breaches, domain disputes, website IP disputes and content take-downs. The team's client base spans a variety of sectors including the retail, charity, leisure, IT and media industries. Litigator Paul Motion heads up the group, which also fields newly promoted partner Lynn Richmond.

Practice head(s):Paul Motion

Other key lawyers:Lynn Richmond

Key Clients

Springbank Distillers Ltd

Epicurean Dairy (UK) Ltd t/a The Collective

Quorum Cyber Security Ltd

Milton Hotels Ltd

Fathom Financial Consulting Ltd

Kingfisher Building Products Ltd

Johnston Carmichael LLP

The Big Partnership Group Ltd

Turner Iceni Ltd

Ian Henderson

Gleann Mor Spirits Co Ltd t/a Leith Rum

William Cadenhead Ltd

Work highlights

  • Representing Epicurean Dairy in a passing-off claim against Aldi relating to the packaging of one of the clients products.
  • Assisting Quorum Cyber Security with IP issues related to its delivery of cyber security services including the revision of standard contracts and terms and conditions for its services and products.
  • Advising Turner Iceni on the drafting of an agreement with a third party relating to a joint venture for the development of software and related technology.
  • Representing Gleann Mor Spirits in an application for a UK trade mark, which was refused by the UK registry.

TLT's Glasgow-based group sits as part of the firm's national network and has particular strength in IP enforcement work, and brand and reputation management issues including substantial experience in prosecuting trade mark applications, dealing with oppositions and cancellations and handling exploitation issues. John Paul Sheridan leads the Scottish IP disputes team, which also includes litigator Tom McEntegart.

Practice head(s):John Paul Sheridan

Other key lawyers:Tom McEntegart


'The team is very friendly and approachable, and offers a breadth of knowledge to support a range of enquiries.'

Key Clients

BT Sport

Matthew Clark Bibendum Limited

KD Media Ltd

Punch Taverns

Tempest Brew Co

Montpeliers (Edinburgh)

Work highlights

  • Advising BT on the infringement of BT Sport's copyrights across the UK by various pub license holders and premises managers who allegedly showed the client's broadcast without the proper commercial subscriptions.

IT and telecoms

Index of tables

  1. IT and telecoms
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next Generation Partners
  4. Rising stars

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1

Rising stars

  1. 1

CMS has strong expertise in the financial services and public sectors alongside substantial strength in mandates pertaining to new technologies and data privacy. The group handles large IT projects and is a key name in the market for fintech work; it has also been notably active in GDPR-related matters. Key practitioners include Alan Nelson, who focuses on IT and outsourcing projects; senior partner Laurence Ward, and Duncan Turner, who leads the technology team and assists with IT, commercial contracts and data protection work. Senior associate Caroline Connolly is also a noteworthy name in the department.

Practice head(s):Alan Nelson; Laurence Ward; Duncan Turner

Other key lawyers:Caroline Connolly


'CMS provides commercial, pragmatic and solution-focused advice.'

'The team is approachable, friendly and has a great overall service.'

'The IT team is strong and known for its excellent knowledge and understanding of the subject matter.'

Key Clients

Clydesdale Bank

NHS National Services Scotland

Standard Life Aberdeen

Royal Bank of Scotland

Scottish Water

Scottish Exhibition Centre

University of Glasgow




Work highlights

  • Advised Standard Life Aberdeen on the negotiation and implementation of a transitional services agreement following the sale of its insurance business to Phoenix Group Holdings.
  • Assisted a bank with the outsourcing of the monitoring, management and maintenance of its ATM fleet.
  • Acted for a Scottish local authority on a major reset of an outsourcing agreement.
  • Advising NHS National Services Scotland on the nationally strategic Sottish Wide Area Network, the largest public sector IT contract in Scotland.

Under the leadership of John McKinlay, DLA Piper Scotland LLP's IT team has substantial experience advising its client roster on major projects, particularly in the financial services and public sectors. The team has gained several new clients including BAE Systems. McKinlay is a key name for outsourcing and procurement contracts, technology licensing work and cross-border transactions; and legal director Ishbel MacPherson acts for entertainment and public sector clients.

Practice head(s):John McKinlay

Other key lawyers:Ishbel MacPherson; Caroline Scott


'The team at DLA Piper is very experienced in TMT work and its industry knowledge is invaluable during commercial and legal negotiations. It is a very strong part of DLA Piper's Scottish team and is very well regarded in the sector.'

'With strong leadership by John McKinlay, the team is able to translate and communicate complex legal issues to a non-legal audience in a straightforward and practical manner. It is innovative,highly responsive, extremely patient and always makes clients feel like they are the only client. The team is truly commercial and takes ownership; it becomes an extension of and vital part of the client's in-house legal team.'

'John McKinlay is the lead partner and is a joy to work with. He is knowledgeable, clever and attentive and is supported by a strong team of associates. He is extremely efficient and a very effective negotiator of complex contracts. The stand-out senior associate is Linzi Penman, whose youth belies her ability to produce outstanding, thoughtful results to tight timescales.'

'John McKinlay stands out as a stalwart adviser who draws on deep and wide ranging experience.'

'Ishbel MacPherson stands out. She is technically strong and extremely capable yet het ability to swap legalese for what makes commercial sense is what makes her a pleasure to deal with.'

Key Clients


Clydesdale Bank


Royal Bank of Scotland

Scottish Water

BAE Systems

Core HR

The Highland Council

Merlin Entertainments

Edinburgh Airport



Work highlights

  • Assisted Scottish Water with procuring a new five-year partnership with consulting firms Capgemini and Atos to deliver a portfolio of services across Scottish Water including customer-focused IT services, core IT infrastructure and applications.
  • Advising Heineken on matters relating to its BEAM (build, extend, accelerate and maximise) framework including advising on the introduction of telematics in its fleet management processes, drafting and negotiating a framework agreement for the adoption of a toolset to comprise Heineken’s strategic configurable platform for workflow, and further negotiating with a different technology vendor on the developments for Heineken’s critical lease management system.
  • Advised Core on a variety of IT contract negotiations and drafting, involving a full GDPR remediation programme with vendors.

The IT practice at Pinsent Masons LLP is singled out for its sector-focused approach, notably in the financial services, public and energy industries, where it is particularly recognised for its outsourcing and procurement work. Also noted is the firm's dedicated TMT litigation team, and its digital and IT work for universities in Scotland and abroad. Yvonne Dunn leads the TMT group and also heads up the TMT financial services and fintech practice.

Practice head(s):Yvonne Dunn

Other key lawyers:Matthew Godfrey-Faussett; Chris Martin; David Woods; Kathryn Wynn


'Pinsent Masons has true expertise and market-leading insight on how technology is impacting business. It is the leading European firm for all aspects of fintech.'

'The individuals at Pinsent Masons stand out through their inter-personal relationship skills, attention to detail, constructive approach and thorough understanding of the needs of their clients' business.'

Key Clients

Smart DCC

Calmac Ferries / David Mac Brayne


University of Edinburgh


Allied Irish Bank

Edinburgh International Conference Centre

Edinburgh Airport

Hiscox Underwriting Limited

Work highlights

  • Assisted the University of Edinburgh with several strategic IT transformation projects including the procurement of a suite of cloud-based core back office systems and a new campus wide local area network and cable management solution.
  • Advised Legal & General Investment Management on its procurement of the Sonata platform from Bravura.
  • Acted for David MacBrayne in a breach of contract action against Atos IT Services relating to the provision of a new ticketing and reservation IT system for the Calmac ferry network.
  • Represented Oricom, a company insured by Hiscox Underwriting, in a claim against NHS Lanarkshire regarding the termination of a contract to provide telecoms infrastructure.
  • Assisting a top UK supermarket chain with its contracts with Microsoft relating to an enterprise resource planning tool.

At Shepherd and Wedderburn the IT, media and telecoms practice focuses on assisting its client roster of broadcasters, telecom operators, content owners and technology companies with corporate, commercial and regulatory issues. The group also has a strong contentious offering under John MacKenzie and is active in the regulated sectors of financial services and utilities. Paul Carlyle leads the media and technology team and Joanna Boag-Thomson has specialist knowledge of the utilities sector.

Practice head(s):Paul Carlyle

Other key lawyers:John MacKenzie; Joanna Boag-Thomson

Key Clients



European Competitive Telecoms Association


European Bank of Reconstruction and Development

Big Blu Broadband


Asia-Pacific Carriers Coalition

Capital Document Solutions Ltd

Sainsbury’s Bank

Water Plus Ltd

Iomart Group

Satellite Solutions Worldwide

Multrees Investor Services Ltd

Scottish Enterprise/Highlands and Islands Enterprise

Spartan Solutions

Scottish Power

Baillie Gifford & Co

Work highlights

  • Advised Big Blue Broadband on the negotiation of its distributor arrangements and partner status with Euro Broadband Infrastructure to expand operations based on a shared growth model.
  • Prepared an intervention for the European Competitive Telecoms Association (ECTA) against the European Commission in an appeal brought by Orange Polska against the Commission’s decision to impose a substantial fine on Orange Polska for abuse of its dominant position.
  • Advised CYBG on a £400m deal to fund loans through UK financial technology group Salary Finance, in a partnership with a fintech company.

The IT team at Addleshaw Goddard acts for clients across a variety of industry sectors including the retail, sports and financial services arenas. The firm recently leveraged its strong expertise in the personal data field  to attract new clients including Edinburgh Airport and Lumesse. Ross McKenzie, who was previously the head of privacy at Burness Paull LLP, recently joined the Aberdeen office to strengthen the firm's capacity in the data protection space. David Anderson leads the IT practice in Scotland, and Helena Brown is a key contact for non-contentious matters.

Practice head(s):David Anderson

Other key lawyers:Helena Brown; Ross McKenzie; Andrew Walker


'Addleshaw Goddard is a consistently outstanding firm to work with. The lawyers' knowledge of their clients' business and work ethic means that clients get timely and accurate advice from them time and time again.'

'David Anderson is responsive, commercial and hugely knowledgeable about the industry. He is always looking to add value wherever possible.'

'David Horne is known for his excellent support and advice.'

'Helena Brown is technically excellent but also has a great commercial, pragmatic approach.'

Key Clients


Highlands and Islands Airports

ICS Learn



Red 61


Salunda Limited

Jade Software

Par Equity

Work highlights

  • Advised FNZ on its master services agreement regarding the provision of investment transaction and administration outsourcing services to a blue-chip financial institution.
  • Acted for Highlands and Islands Airports on the production of a bespoke template contract to be used with individual airlines operating at Inverness airport and regulating the installation, repair and maintenance of hardware and software at the airport to enable individual airlines to conduct and operate check-in desks and departure gates.
  • Appointed to advise on and draft the agreements between VIism and its external software design consultancy for the continual development, testing and implementation of improvements to the client's products.
  • Advising Red 61 on the provision of ticketing for the Edinburgh Festival, in particular the data protection arrangements applicable to the personal data acquired from applicants for tickets.
  • Advised on the technology and corporate aspects of Par Equity's investments into a number of fast-growing technology business and the disposal of its e-learning portfolio company, ICS Learn.

Brodies LLP is recognised for its work in the financial services and technology sectors acting on a variety of contentious and advisory mandates; the cross-departmental team has substantial experience handling major projects, audits and M&A transactions. The group also recently advised on matters involving new technologies including blockchain and online trading platforms. Grant Campbell and Martin Sloan jointly lead the practice; Campbell is a data protection specialist and Sloan is noted for his financial services technology procurement and outsourcing work and cloud issues. Gill Grassie retired.

Practice head(s):Grant Campbell; Martin Sloan

Other key lawyers:Robert Buchan; Iain Rutherford


'Brodies covers all types of legal services required, from IT, employment, tax and corporate law, but it is the firm's cross-departmental approach that makes it unique and a pleasure to work with.'

'The team is there whenever clients need them, be that out of office hours or even during holidays.'

'What makes Brodies unique is the commercial and non-legal input it provides on the strategy to deliver a successful outcome.'

'Grant Campbell has excellent legal knowledge and can explain things in simple commercial terms. He will raise concerns or issues in a measured way allowing sensible debate on how to resolve or address specific issues.'

'Iain Rutherford is excellent to have on side in a dispute. He is robust in difficult situations but creative in finding resolutions to complex problems and open to a challenge.'

Key Clients

Aberdeen Standard Investments

Sainsbury’s Bank

Capgemini UK plc


Nucleus Financial

TV Squared

Highlands and Islands Enterprise




Work highlights

  • Acted for Capgemini in the bid, negotiation and conclusion of a five-year agreement to provide application services to Scottish Water as part of its new strategic digital partnership arrangements.
  • Advised Episerver on its preparations for GDPR including a number of intra-group data issues, data mapping, privacy notices and changes to its policies and procedures. The team also advised on its subsequent $1.2bn sale to Insight Venture Partners.
  • Advised the University  of Edinburgh on a contract with EdX for the provision of a new platform and expanded strategic relationship for the delivery of online masters degrees and MicroMasters programmes.
  • Instructed by Highlands and Islands Enterprise to develop a playbook on electronic signatures, which provides guidance to its internal legal and business teams on when it is appropriate to sign documents using electronic signatures.

Burness Paull LLP has particularly strong contentious expertise, which covers the full gamut of disputes including cybersecurity breaches, licensing issues and regulatory violations. The group recently added several high-profile clients including Ancala Water, Brandseye and Administrate to its diverse roster. Callum Sinclair leads the technology and commercial division and is head of technology for the firm; he is particularly active in the financial, public and utilities sectors. Other key practitioners include David Goodbrand, who is an expert in fintech matters; Colin Hulme, who heads up the contentious IT practice; and solicitor Andrew Maxwell.

Practice head(s):Callum Sinclair

Other key lawyers:David Goodbrand; Colin Hulme; Andrew Maxwell


'The team at Burness Paull is absolutely fantastic. What makes this practice unique is the very fact that it truly approachs work as a team.'

'David Goodbrand is knowledgeable, approachable and delivers high-quality work, often in very tight deadlines. He leads his team with a calm confidence, which is an invaluable skill in negotiations.'

'Andrew Maxwell does exactly what he says he will in the time frame agreed.'

Key Clients


Nucleus Financial


The Weir Group plc

Royal London



Viridian Group plc

ScottishPower plc

Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society

The Scottish Football Association/Hampden Park Limited

Weir Group

Oil & Gas Technology Centre

Student Loans Company Limited

The Royal London Mutual Insurance Society Limited

Phoenix Group

Highland Spring

Scottish Friendly Assurance

AG Barr

WHM – Malcolm

Work highlights

  • Advising the Weir Group on a master services agreement with RSM to facilitate a number of key software services and development projects.
  • Assisting a media client with data protection and security advice.
  • Instructed by Viridian Group to handle its £65m re-procurement of IT services currently provided by incumbent Capita.
  • Advising Ancala Water Services on its acquisition of Aquatrine Package A from Kelda Water Services including reviewing and advising on IT and business services contracts.

The practitioners at Thorntons Law LLP act for a range of software and cloud companies, IT service providers, universities, and corporate and institutional buyers at a national and international level. Liam McMonagle heads up the team and has a key focus on information security and data protection compliance, a growing area of work for the firm. Other noteworthy individuals include Lesley Larg, who acts for clients in the online publishing, games and online innovation sectors; commercial expert Alastair Lang and newly promoted partner Loretta Maxfield, who is based in Dundee.

Practice head(s):Liam McMonagle

Other key lawyers:Lesley Larg; Alistair Lang; Loretta Maxfield


'Liam McMonagle is very pragmatic and knowledgeable, and is able to respond within tight timescales.'

Key Clients

ThinkAnalytics (UK) Limited

ECS Group

Postcode Lottery Limited

University of Strathclyde

brightsolid Online Technology Limited

University of Abertay

Cyborn Limited

SkillsScorecard Pty (trading as Performance Leader)

BTL Group

Sportsmate International (UK) Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised ThinkAnalytics on the supply of recommendation software to the BBC as part of its personalisation programme.
  • Advised Instastock, trading as Pixey, on the drafting and negotiating of a software development contract and the incorporation of AI technology.
  • Advised Cyberhawk on the renewal of SSE’s licence to use its iHawk solution to manage its extensive portfolio of transmission towers, power lines and wind turbines.

Dentons' Scottish IT practice handles outsourcing matters, system procurements and implementations, e-commerce and data protection advice, and issues pertaining to hosted services. The group also leverages the firm's global network to advise on international matters. Alison Bryce leads the team, which also includes non-contentious IT specialist Ross Nicol and senior associate Julie Brown, who has experience in website compliance and e-commerce issues.

Practice head(s):Alison Bryce

Other key lawyers:Ross Nicol; Julie Brown


'The group at Dentons is very much part of the combined team, working to achieve a common outcome for the client.'

'Ross Nicol does a fantastic job both bringing breadth and depth of expertise to an assignment, and working in a flexible manner, with a pragmatic approach, to achieve the best outcome for the client.'

Key Clients

Sainsbury's Bank

Menzies Distribution


MUFG Bank Ltd/MUFG Securities EMEA

Finsbury Food Group

Aon UK Limited

PCF Group

Stream Technologies Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised the majority shareholders on the sale of Glasgow-based Internet of Things company Stream Technologies to global chip-maker Arm.
  • Handling the review and negotiation of MUFG's business as usual IT contracts including software licensings, SaaS agreements, reseller arrangements and market data licensing.
  • Assisted with the IT aspects of PCF Group's acquisition of Azule, a provider of specialist funding and leasing services in the broadcast and media industries.

Harper Macleod LLP's practice provides full-service advice on IT and technology matters and also handles the IT aspects of wider transactional matters handled by other departments. The group is led from Glasgow by Tom Thomas and has significant experience in the public and third sectors, as well as the fintech, blockchain, life sciences, technology, telecoms and energy industries. Thomas regularly assists with technology contract work, Scott Kerr leads the food and drink group, and Jamie Watt has experience in competition-related issues.

Practice head(s):Tom Thomas

Other key lawyers:Scott Kerr; Jamie Watt


'The team shows great credentials and expertise in the sector and strong business acumen.'

'Tom Thomas gets to know his clients' business and understands the importance of the solutions they are seeking to protect.'

'The team members are easy to work with, available and proactive.'

Key Clients

Glasgow City Council

Glasgow Life

Highland Council

Go Beyond Market Limited


Uteach Limited

East Renfrewshire Council

Enduro Sports Organisation

Work highlights

  • Advised on its £6m further investment from existing investors including Notion, BGF and Kindred Capital.
  • Prepared an SaaS agreement and IP assignation for Haelo Consulting.
  • Acted for G4K Fashion on several non-contentious commercial issues including IT contracts for its online business model.

MacRoberts LLP is particularly noted for its work for the Scottish government and related public sector bodies, regularly handling high-value IT projects. The team, led by David Gourlay, also acts on matters including cloud computing, software licensing, data protection and cybersecurity, e-commerce and open-source software issues and advises on privacy and data security work. Gourlay is singled out for his IT procurement and outsourcing expertise, Valerie Surgenor regularly assists with software licensing, cybersecurity and social media matters; and Euan Duncan has experience in the technology, media and digital sectors.

Practice head(s):David Gourlay

Other key lawyers:Valerie Surgenor; Euan Duncan

Key Clients

Kames Capital

Dacoll Group Limited

Scottish Government

Transport Scotland

Education Scotland

Disclosure Scotland

Police Scotland

Scottish Fire & Rescue Service

Scottish Courts and Tribunal Service

Scotch Whisky Association

Work highlights

  • Advising the Scottish Government Procurement Directorate on new model terms for use when procuring ICT services.
  • Instructed by new client Police Scotland to assist with an urgent process to secure a new ICT system.
  • Assisted Sartorius Stedim Data Analytics with the commercialisation of a data analysis software system it has developed for use in the life sciences sector.
  • Advising a leading drinks representation body on a digital transformation programme and the related contracts.

Media and entertainment

Index of tables

  1. Media and entertainment
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Rising stars

Rising stars

  1. 1

Brodies LLP represents a broad range of clients, including major broadcasters, publishing companies, private individuals, and social media companies. The firm has excellent knowledge of intellectual property law, ranging from acquiring IP rights, to advising on compliance and handling IP-focused acquisitions. Beyond this, the team advises clients on defamation risks through pre-publication reviews and pre-broadcast content reviews and manages data and brand protection for companies and individuals. Martin Sloan specializes in IP and technology, including contracts for the development of mobile apps and online affiliate advertising.

Practice head(s):Christine O'Neill

Other key lawyers:Martin Sloan


"The team at Brodies displays intelligence, honesty and enthusiasm."

"Christine O'Neill has a standout intellect combined with practicality and candour." 

Key Clients

BBC Scotland

Channel 4

DC Thomson



TV Squared

STV Group

Wyvex Media

Rewards 4 Group

Scottish Ballet

Work highlights

  • Providing on-call support to BBC Scotland’s journalists and current affairs staff on defamation, privacy and contempt of court matters.
  • Advising advertising analytics business TV Squared on data protection and ePrivacy law.
  • Advising DC Thomson on the acquisition of Aceville, one the UK’s fastest growing publishing houses.
  • Providing complex copyright infringement advice to a leading global TV broadcaster and preparing to defend a business critical interim interdict (injunction) action.
  • Raising a successful trade mark and infringement and passing off action in the Court of Session for a global fashion magazine and brand.

Burness Paull LLP’s large team act for major broadcasters, high net worth individuals and private companies in defamation and contempt of court proceedings, intellectual property and copyright enforcement mandates and restructuring matters. In a recent case, the team advised STV on its high-profile sale of its ITV2 channel to That’s Media, a deal which involved the sale of five separate entities, each holding local broadcasting licences, as well as intellectual property considerations. The team is led by Grant Stevenson, who works alongside Colin Hulme and director Kirsteen MacDonald , who advised JK Rowling on a court action raised against the author’s former personal assistant.

Practice head(s):Grant Stevenson

Other key lawyers:Colin Hulme; Kirsteen MacDonald


"The media law team at Burness Paull has quality throughout. They work tirelessly together and go well beyond the extra mile."

"The team are commercial in their approach and great fun to work with.They are really responsive and work seamlessly with our in-house lawyers as a team."

"Kirsteen MacDonald is a standout performer in the media law field. Her knowledge of the law, tactical nouse and exceptional hard work make her the person to turn to in Scotland for media law related matters."

Key Clients

STV plc

Independent Television News

ACF Sports Promotions Limited

BBC Scotland

Wildcat Haven Enterprises CIC


Sky UK Limited

Performing Right Society Limited

JK Rowling

Ms Julie McAnulty

Phonographic Performance Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising STV plc on the high-profile sale of its ITV 2 channel to That’s Media Limited.
  • Advising ITN in London on the employment and equality law implications of the publication of their gender pay gap report, including advice on risk and reputation management and equal pay issues.
  • Assisted ASF Sports Promotions Limited in negotiating an agreement with Neptune Street Films Limited for Sir Alex Ferguson to participate in the first feature length documentary based upon his life.
  • Acting on behalf of BBC Scotland in applying for the release of Crown productions in a Fatal Accident Inquiry before Sheriff Principal Turnbull in Glasgow Sheriff Court.
  • Advising Sky UK on the enforcement of copyright in Sky’s on-screen logos through commencement of interdict proceedings in the Intellectual Property Court of the Court of Session.

Thorntons Law LLP acts for media organisations, public and private sector bodies, music producers and games developers, advising on matters relating to defamation claims, licensing, copyright and intellectual property infringements. The team advised ThinkAnalytics on its collaboration with the BBC to incorporate its personalization software into BBC iPlayer. Lesley Larg , who represents a range of clients including games companies, music promoters and newspaper publishers, advises the V&A Museum in Dundee on all aspects of its development.

Practice head(s):Lesley Larg; Liam McMonagle; Alistair Lang; Scott Milne; Loretta Maxfield

Key Clients

Carnoustie Golf Links Management Committee

Ged Grimes

Design Dundee Limited

DC Thomson & Co Ltd

St Andrews Links Trust

People’s Postcode Lottery

Runrig Touring Limited

ThinkAnalytics Limited

Design Dundee Limited (V&A) Museum Dundee

All 4 Games Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised ThinkAnalytics on its collaboration with the BBC to develop the BBC iPlayer.
  • Advised Carnoustie Golf Links Management Committee, the host of the 2018 Golf Open Championships, in negotiating a contract with a video games developer for a new virtual betting game featuring Carnoustie Golf Links
  • Negotiated a project agreement between Simple Minds musician Ged Grimes and a US games company, involving copyright ownership and licensing, as well as complex points around royalties and licences.
  • Acting for Design Dundee Limited, the company responsible for the creation, management and running of the V&A Dundee.

Anderson Strathern has a wealth of experience advising publishing companies, trusts and media organisations on matters such as licensing, leasing, intellectual property, copyright and defamation, and acts on both sides of copyright infringement claims in court. The team is particularly focused on the arts and culture sector and often represents trusts seeking to contribute to creative projects in Scotland, such as a permanent exhibition by Scottish Borders Council. Practice head Simon Brown advises Birlinn, one of Scotland’s largest independent publishers, on a range of legal issues including intellectual property, contempt of court, privacy and the protection of journalistic sources.

Practice head(s):Simon Brown

Key Clients

STV ELM Limited

The Rangers Football Club Limited

Birlinn Limited

Merlin Entertainments Group

Scottish Book Trust

The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland

Floris Books

The Great Tapestry of Scotland Charitable Trust

The National Library of Scotland

Publishing Scotland

Heywow! Limited

Work highlights

  • Pre-publication legal reading for Birlinn Limited, one of Scotland’s largest publishers.
  • Advising Scottish Television ELM Limited in relation to the Scottish Children’s Lottery, including broadcasting, procurement, regulatory and branding matters.
  • Providing reputation management, broadcasting and sponsorship advice to Rangers Football Club.
  • Successfully represented a leading transport company against copyright infringement claims by PRS for Music.
  • Successfully concluded a long-running copyright and trade mark dispute on behalf of major publishing company.

BTO Solicitors LLP focuses on advising individuals and private companies on reputution management, including social media management, defamation proceedings, and strategic media advice. Solicitor advocate Paul Motion, who is dual accredited in data protection and freedom of information law, often advises clients in the music industry on artist management, recording and production contracts. The firm is also launching a music team following the hire of Jonathan Tait, who has a background in the music industry and music education.

Practice head(s):Paul Motion

Other key lawyers:Jonathan Tait

Key Clients


McTaggart & Mickel

Fathom Financial Consulting Ltd

Milton Hotels

Heather Hiram t/a Safe and Sound Hound

Work highlights

  • Advised EmuBands, a record producer and distributor, on a social media takedown letter issued against Facebook in relation to a defamation claim.
  • Advised Mactaggart & Mickel on a social media takedown letter issued against Facebook in relation to a defamation claim.
  • Provided strategic advice to a major housing association in response to a negative blog campaign.

Dentons' media and entertainment practice advises broadcasters and organisations in the arts and culture sector on intellectual property matters, copyright infringement, data protection, defamation risks and other contentious issues, such as production rights and censorship. In the non-contentious space, the team drafts agreements for cultural bodies and helps clients with reputation management. Partner Susan Snedden is well known for litigating in IP disputes on behalf of major broadcasters. Practice head Ewan Easton has a track record of advising BBC Scotland on their reporting rights and duties.

Practice head(s):Ewan Easton

Other key lawyers:Susan Snedden

Key Clients

BBC Scotland

STV Productions

Edinburgh International Festival

STV Group plc

National Theatre for Scotland

Network Rail Infrastructure Limited

Dine Scotland Limited

Work highlights

  • Instructed to make an application to the court to reinstate consent on the basis that tweeting from the courtroom by the BBC was crucial in ensuring that initial reportage of the proceedings came from a responsible source.

  • Drafting contracts for agreements with artists performing live shows at the Edinburgh International Festival.


Index of tables

  1. Sport
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Rising stars

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Rising stars

  1. 1
    • Neeraj Thomas - CMS

Burness Paull LLP’s team represents Scottish governing bodies, international organisations, football clubs and players, advising on matters such as disciplinary procedures, planning permissions, conduct issues and employment law. The team has further expertise in prosecuting clubs in tribunal proceedings on behalf of the Scottish FA, and in raising interdict proceedings in the Intellectual Property Court in Scotland.


'The best firm I know for sports law in Scotland. Very professional and completely on top of the field.'

Key Clients

Scottish FA

Scottish Rugby Union plc

European Professional Club Rugby

Scottish Squash Limited


Everton FC

Aberdeen FC

Celtic FC

Sir Alex Ferguson / ACF Sports Promotions

James McFadden

Work highlights

  • Instructed by the Scottish Rugby Union in connection with a comprehensive review of the organisation’s disciplinary rules and procedures.
  • Assisted AFC Sports Promotions Limited in negotiating an agreement with Neptune Street Films Limited, for Sir Alex Ferguson to participate in the first feature length documentary based upon his life.
  • Advised Scottish Squash in relation to eligibility issues, and specifically whether certain criteria set at World and European levels was discriminatory and/or manifestly unfair to athletes representing the Home Nations.

Harper Macleod LLP acts for international federations, national governing bodies, major football clubs and public sector bodies in a range of mandates including disciplinary hearings, safeguarding matters, trade mark registrations, GDPR compliance and intellectual property infringement. The team also acts as sole legal adviser to national sport agency sportscotland. Bruce Caldow, who sits as chairman of the SFA Judicial Panel, advised on several high-profile cases of alleged misconduct in 2018. Carolyn Morgan heads the Scottish Gymnastics Conduct in Sport Panel, where she is tasked with overseeing complaints regarding conduct, safeguarding and regulation, appointing panel members and scrutinizing decisions.

Practice head(s):Bruce Caldow

Other key lawyers:Carolyn Morgan

Key Clients


Scottish Rugby Union


Celtic FC

Aberdeen FC 2

Scottish Swimming

Scottish Gymnastics

Glasgow City Council

Enduro Sports Organisation Limited

Commonwealth Games Council for Scotland

Work highlights

  • As sole legal adviser to sportscotland's expert resource group, advising numerous Scottish governing bodies on the broadest possible range of legal issues.
  • Acted as exclusive external legal advisers to Glasgow City Council in relation to the European Championships 2018, advising on the wide range of legal issues associated with staging a large scale mulita-sport event including sponsorship and other commercial contracts, infrastructure and construction contracts, anti-doping arrangements, trade mark registrations and brand protection advice.
  • Managing the worldwide trade mark portfolio for Celtic Football Club, along with carrying out international online anti-counterfeiting work and providing external commercial and transactional IP legal support.
  • Providing governance support to Scottish Swimming on a range of matters including GDPR compliance.
  • Advising Aberdeen Football Club in relation to a compensation dispute over young player Lewis Ferguson.

Addleshaw Goddard's team represents football players, clubs and agents in regulatory proceedings raised by the SFA and the SPFL, and is the sole legal support to Celtic for the football club's GDPR compliance programme. Partner Helena Brown handles sponsorship agreements, trademarks and licensing, IT and software procurement for several football clubs. Legal director Tony McGlennan, who joined the firm in September 2018, has brought insider knowledge to the team from his tenure as compliance officer at the SFA.

Practice head(s):Simon Catto

Other key lawyers:Helena Brown; Tony McGlennan


"Helena Brown is a real revelation in terms of her responsiveness and willingness to support and build relationships with clients. Her technical expertise is unparalleled."

"I instruct Addleshaws due to their client relationship driven approach, their responsiveness and the pragmatic way they approach their advice. They have made every effort to understand our business."

Key Clients

The Scottish Football Association

Celtic Football Club

Work highlights

  • Provided advice to a Premiership football club in relation to a Scottish Professional Football League tribunal hearing on the appropriate transfer fee for an incoming player.
  • Advising a Premiership football club following an appeal against a notice of complaint served by the SFA relating to the construction of a particular regulatory point.
  • Acted for Heart of Midlothian FC in obtaining a rare victory against the SFA Compliance Officer on behalf of our clients.
  • Acted as the sole legal support to Celtic Football club in terms of GDPR compliance.

Anderson Strathern’s team, which acts for a roster of clients including sportspeople, golf and football clubs and public sector bodies, specialises in advising on contracts, funding arrangements and sporting partnerships. The team also has notable strength in governance matters, with key clients including the Scottish Sports Association and Rangers Football Club.

Other key lawyers:Paul Brown; Nick Howie; Scott Fyfe

Key Clients

Rangers FC

Scottish Sports Association

Cricket Scotland

Tennis Scotland

Badminton Scotland

Murrayfield Injured Players Foundation

Gullane Golf Club

Live Borders

Bill McLaren Foundation

Grangemouth Stags RFC

Work highlights

  • Advised Rangers FC on a number of high-profile regulatory, commercial and sporting matters.
  • Represented young professional boxer Willie Hutchison in connection with management and promotion agreements
  • Assisting the Scottish Sports Association (the association for governing bodies of sport in Scotland) in relation to legal issues and John Kerr representing then as nominated director of Sports Resolutions (UK).
  • Represented Edinburgh Napier University on an agreement to be academic partner of Melrose Rugby Limited for participation in the new Scottish Rugby Super Six competition for semi-professional players
  • Representing Gullane Golf Club to revise and modernise its constitution, contracts, property and also Scottish Open agreements.

BTO Solicitors LLP handles a wide range of matters for the Scottish Football Association, including advising on the hosting of major sporting events, commercial contracts, acquisitions and partnership agreements between sporting bodies and rules revision exercises. The team recently advised the SFA on the high-profile acquisition of national football stadium Hampden Park from Queen’s Park Football Club. The team is led by Andrew Sleigh, who 'really understands the issues that sports clubs face', while Gary Booth provides corporate governance and commercial contracts advice to football clubs and the SFA.

Practice head(s):Andrew Sleigh

Other key lawyers:Gary Booth

Key Clients

Scottish Football Association

Hampden Park Limited

Royal Troon Golf Club

Tommy Gilmour Sports Promotions

Work highlights

  • Acting on behalf of the Scottish FA in relation to the acquisition of title to Hampden Park from Queen’s Park Football Club.
  • Provided ongoing advice in relation to the hosting of matches during Euro 2020 Championships at Hampden, including finalisation of the cooperation agreement with UEFA.

Brodies LLP' practice takes a commercial approach to sports law, advising companies, individuals, sports clubs and public service bodies on contractual matters such as sponsorship agreements and service partnerships, acquisitions and structural matters, including establishing charitable foundations and advising councils on the spin-out of their services to charitable bodies. The team has a particular interest in tennis in Scotland, acting for the Judy Murray Foundation in a range of work including sponsorship and organisation of the Scottish ATP Championship Tour. Practice head Andy Nolan advised OPG-4 on its acquisition of Dundee United Football Club during 2018.

Practice head(s):Andy Nolan


"Brodies' work is of an extremely high standard. They advise on the legal aspects of any particular matter, but they are also extremely commercial in their approach and take time to understand our business, our challenges and think of ways to overcome them."

"The firm's work advising us on GDPR was superb and not only helped us get through this potential minefield, but actually meant that we were helping some of our clients navigate the challenges that GDPR created."

"I can't speak highly enough of Grant Campbell and his approach. His advice is pragmatic, commercial and very user-friendly."

Key Clients


Park of Keir Partnership

Murray Play Foundation

Royal Durnoch Golf Club

Rewards 4 Group

Brodies LLP

Kynoch Boxing

Scottish Football Partnership Trust

Western Baths Club

Council Leisure Trusts

Revolution Global Sports Consulting

Work highlights

  • Advising in the acquisition of the majority shareholding in Dundee United Football Club.
  • Worked with Judy Murray to establish the Judy Murray Foundation.
  • Providing ongoing contractual support to the Rewards 4 Group on a number of managed services.
  • Reviewing Western Baths Club's organisational structure to help provide long-term security and attain fiscal benefits for an iconic sporting institution.

Lindsays frequently carries out governance reviews for sporting clubs, while also advising athletes, coaches and football players on a range of matters. The practice also provides legal advice to scottishathletics and its board on an exclusive basis. Solicitor advocate Brent Haywood handles high value, contentious disputes, including defending Rangers chairman Dave King against action taken by the Takeover Panel in relation to his acquisition of shares in the football club.

Practice head(s):Douglas Roberts

Other key lawyers:Brent Haywood

Key Clients

Carlton Cricket Club

Corstorphine Lawn Tennis Club

British Boxing Board of Control

David King

Work highlights

  • Carried out a review of Carlton Cricket Club's governance structure.
  • Carried out a review of Corstorphine Lawn Tennis Club's constitution and its internal governance structures.
  • Acted for the British Boxing Board of Control in relation to a fatal accident inquiry into the death of professional boxer Michael Towell, who died after being knocked down in a televised bout in 2016.

Morton Fraser’s team has strong connections in the gymnastics world in Scotland, serving as sole legal adviser to Scottish Gymnastics, and regularly assists gymnastics clubs gain charitable status through OSCR approval. The team also advises footballers on a range of contentious and non-contentious matters and acts for private companies on investments and acquisitions in the sector. Corporate head Iain Young  acts for a number of football clubs, handling transactions, commercial agreements and disciplinary matters, while practice head Paul Geoghegan advises on a wide range of matters, including image rights for a Premier League footballer.

Practice head(s):Iain Young

Other key lawyers:Paul Geoghegan

Key Clients

Scottish Gymnastics

Ministry of Defence

Boroughmuir Rugby and Community Sports Club

Shot  Scope Technologies

Dynamic Gymnastics

Kingston Gymnastics

Bruntsfield Links Golfing Society

Mobo Sports Management (UK) Limited

Tartan Golf International Limited

Pollok Football Club

Work highlights

  • Acted for Shot Scope Technologies with regard to an investment round in the company by Equity Gap, Scottish Enterprise, Old College Capital and private investors.
  • We advised Dynamic Gymnastics Club, Gymnastics Club of the Year 2017, on its registration as a charity with the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator.
  • Appointed by Scottish Gymnastics as its nominated legal advisor and affiliated partner organisation for the third consecutive year.
  • Acted on behalf of Howe of Fife Rugby Club in the defence of misconduct charges issued by the Scottish Rugby Union following an initiation ceremony which went wrong.

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Legal Developments in the UK

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to

Press Releases in the UK

The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to