Adept across all commercial, infrastructure and regulatory aspects of transport projects, Brodies LLP is a leading player in the Scottish market and has long-established strength in the rail, shipping and aviation sectors, as well as the emerging market in zero-carbon transport. Duncan MacLean heads the shipping and transport team and covers both contentious and non-contentious work, while Roger Cotton also brings specialisms in regulatory law, public procurement and state aid. Odell Milne has a strong track record in carrying out large-scale land assembly for major transport infrastructure projects, with planning specialist Karen Hamilton adding invaluable consenting processes, compulsory purchasing and inquiries experience. Jackie McGuire heads the government and business team and is known for her skill in complex road litigations pertaining to ransom strips.
Transport in Scotland
Other key lawyers:
Roger Cotton; Fehmida Hanif; Odell Milne; Karen Hamilton; Jackie McGuire
‘Brodies are extremely responsive to our requests for legal advice. They very quickly put us in touch with the subject-matter experts and meetings were quickly set up. The advice or response is always in a very timely manner, and they have been able to turn some pieces around within 24 hours.’
‘Duncan MacLean is extremely proficient, professional, knowledgeable and personable.’
‘They understand our business and listen to what we are seeking to achieve. Working diligently, they support in many different legal areas.’
‘The breadth of experience allows the team to provide pragmatic and practical advice which is easy to understand and follow. The team is very approachable and open to new ideas and questions.’
‘The Brodies team have an unrivalled knowledge of the transport discipline, for example in relation to statutory process in the planning of linear transport infrastructure projects. They have a can-do-attitude and no issue or timescale seems to ever be a problem. In terms of value for money, they cannot be faulted. Highly recommended.’
‘Odell Milne: outstanding in her field. The can-do-attitude brings a great degree of calm to clients. Channelling her industry-leading knowledge of the subject matters has led to all issues being overcome, even when programme dates are incredibly demanding.’
‘Jackie McGuire is superb. She is pragmatic, solutions driven and understands the needs of her client. She acknowledges instructions quickly, delegates appropriately, and is always available when her expertise is required.’
‘Karen Hamilton has provided invaluable assistance on some very complex and detailed matters.’
Abellio East Midlands
Aberdeen City Council
Argyll and Bute Council (local roads authority)
Associated British Ports
Bank of Scotland
BP Shipping Ltd
City of Edinburgh Council (local roads authority)
Clarkson Port Services (Clarksons)
Clyde Marine Services
Edinburgh City Council
Falkirk Council (local roads authority)
International Group P&I Clubs (including North of England, Gard, UK, Standard, Britannia, West of England, Steamship, Shipowners and Skuld)
Jacobs UK Ltd
Lerwick Port Authority
Leyland Trucks Limited
Midlothian Council (local roads authority)
Montrose Port Authority
NMU Speciality Insurance
Perth and Kinross Council
Royal Bank of Scotland
Royal Yacht Britannia
Seaway Heavy Lift
Serco Northlink Ferries
Stirling Council (local roads authority)
Stirling Council (road and rail interface)
Stornoway Port Authority
Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (West of Scotland Regional Transport Partnership)
Subsea 7 Ltd
Svitzer Marine Ltd
Swire Oilfield Do Brasil Limitada
- Acted for Perth and Kinross Council on the Cross Tay Link Road, one of the most significant roads infrastructure projects ever undertaken by a Scottish local authority, which will include a new road bridge over the Highland mainline railway and one of Scotland’s largest rivers.
- Acted for Network Rail Infrastructure Ltd providing strategic advice and claim support to Network Rail in relation to claims against The Coal Authority following subsidence which impacted the railway near Kilmarnock in July 2022.
- Continued to advise the new public sector owned ScotRail Trains Limited in relation to its operations.
CMS combines considerable breadth and depth of expertise to offer a full-service transport offering, handling complex and high-value projects across a range of transport sectors, including roads, rail, aviation, goods transportation and regulatory work. The practice is also noted for its contentious offering, with a particular strength in shipping and maritime disputes and Protection and Indemnity (P&I) matters. The level of shipping expertise is epitomised by practice head Eleanor Lane, who is a recognised expert in maritime law and also has a particular specialism in large-scale rail and road projects. Mark McMurray is well respected for his regulatory expertise, particularly regarding road and traffic matters, supporting clients to secure planning permission for transport projects.
Other key lawyers:
‘Over the past 15–20 years, this practice has undertaken a number of major transport projects that that few practices could have coped with.’
‘The team has a familiarity with transport law that enables them to deal with client needs in this field with considerable confidence.’
‘The practice has a strong track record and the high standards are ably carried on by Mark McMurray and his team.’
TH Real Estate
The City of Edinburgh Council
Commissioner for Northern Lighthouses acting through the Northern Lighthouse Board (NLB)
Dragados UK Limited
Strathclyde Partnership for Transport
Transport Scotland/Scottish Government
Edinburgh Tram Limited
James Fisher & Sons Group
- Advised Transport Scotland and Scottish Ministers on legal aspects of the £3bn dualling programme of the A9 between Perth & Inverness, covering procurement options, programme structuring, and pre-contractual matters.
- Advised Northern Lighthouse Board on the contracts for a new-build vessel from Astilleros Gondan via a regulated public procurement, with funding provided by the Department for Transport.
- Advised the University of St Andrews on the contracts for the project to convert aformer ScotRail engine to be converted to hydrogen.
The transport group at Addleshaw Goddard consists of specialists across key sectors from rail and aviation to ports and shipping, advising major domestic and international clients on significant multi-jurisdictional projects. Ed Watt covers the full range of transactional and commercial shipping work, while Suzanne Moir has been involved in several major Scottish transport projects, including Design, Build, Finance, Operate & maintenance (DBFO) road and free-flow tolling schemes, bridges, light rail and lifeline ferry services. Leading the planning and infrastructure consenting team is Sarah Baillie, who is highly sought after by operators, public authorities, developers and landowners to advise across harbour, airport and canal projects. Carrie Armstrong , Ian Le Pelley, Sam Price, Chloe Oakshett, and Sophie Black are also key contacts.
Ed Watt; Suzanne Moir; Sarah Baillie; Carrie Armstrong; Ian Le Pelley; Sam Price; Sophie Black
Other key lawyers:
‘The team has a detailed and expert knowledge of the industry sector.’
‘They are always responsive, diligent and dedicated.’
Aberdeen City Council
ASDA Stores Limited
Briggs Marine Contractors Limited
Brodie Engineering Limited
Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited
Caspian Marine Services
Clydesdale Bank Plc
Forth Ports Limited
Highlands and Islands Airports Limited
INEOS FPS Limited
ScotRail Trains Limited
Strawson Holdings Limited
Westcon Yards AS
- Advised DP World on a $1.7bn joint investment platform with CDC Group plc, which will invest in origin and destination ports, inland container depots, economic zones and other logistics assets across Africa.
- Advised ScotRail in relation to its rolling stock procurement programme for the replacement/decarbonisation of its existing train fleets, with the initial procurement having an estimated value of circa £700m.
- Advised CMAL on the procurement and shipbuilding contracts for four new passenger ferries, a project valued in excess of £200m.
An 'all-round excellent team' of transport specialists, Burness Paull LLP offers a ‘broad range of experience’ acting on high-value, complex and niche projects across the gamut of key transport sectors, including ports, roads and bridges, shipping, aviation and logistics. With Chris MacKay retiring in January 2023, Andrew Little, who was promoted to partner in August 2022, now leads the team; he brings strong expertise in ports and harbours.
Other key lawyers:
‘Burness Paull has a deep knowledge of the industry and an unbeatable experience in court.’
‘Andrew Little is a great lawyer, very easy going and accessible, always ready to provide first-class advice.’
‘An all-round excellent team with a broad range of experience. Able to provide concise, clear advice which dovetails sound legal knowledge with a commercial pragmatism which, as a client, is entirely what we look for in a law firm.’
‘Whilst they are clearly very busy, the service remains exceptionally good.’
‘Andrew Forsyth is an excellent lawyer – he obviously has a wealth of legal knowledge, but is able to understand and appreciate the commercial realities that we face. That overriding pragmatism is a theme that carries down throughout his team and is highly appreciated by us as an organisation.’
‘Rather than focusing on the potential minutiae of a legal point, Andrew Forsyth and his team appreciate that we, as an organisation, also have to consider the wider perspective.’
‘They are always a pleasure to work with and can be thoroughly relied upon to put forward our position to the best of their ability.’
Port of Cromarty Firth
Fraserburgh Harbour Commissioners
Van Oord UK Limited
Highland Spring Limited
The Republic of Cyprus
Plug AS/Plug Shore Power Ltd
South Lanarkshire Council
Lonham and its insured Colin Lawson Transport
Scottish Futures Trust
- Acted for Port of Cromarty Forth in connection with the £31m Phase 4 Development of Invergordon Service Base, and c. £150m Phase 5 plans to expand capabilities to cater for exceptional demand from the renewables sector.
- Advised the German infrastructure investor, DWS, on the Scottish aspects of its £595m takeover of Stagecoach, which was listed on the main market of the London Stock Exchange.
- Acted for Van Oord UK Limited in relation to its involvement in the £400m Aberdeen Harbour Expansion Project as soft dredging sub-contractor to the project’s main contractor, Dragados UK Limited, including seven adjudications and several related Court of Session actions, including a claim for payment, adjudication enforcement and recovery of documents.
Most notable for its extensive rail capabilities, the transport practice at Dentons also offers considerable expertise in other key transport sectors in Scotland and throughout the UK, from highways and ports to buses and airports. Mark Macaulay jointly leads the team and is a construction procurement expert, while co-head Euan Wilson specialises in large infrastructure and project finance transactions, including PFI and hub deals.
Mark Macaulay; Euan Wilson
Other key lawyers:
Barry Edgar; Malcolm Gunnyeon; Kirsti Olson
Transport for London
Port of Cairnryan
Semperian PPP Investment Partners No. 2 Limited
Glasgow Prestwick Airport Limited
Scottish Citylink Coaches Limited
Ministry of Defence
Department for Infrastructure (Northern Ireland)
- Represented SSWT in ongoing collective proceedings in the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) brought by Justin Gutmann against SSWT and (now) three other rail operators.
- Working with sub-contractor, BDB Pitman, appointed to advise on the development of the East West Railway scheme, a brand new railway.
- Appointed as DfT’s advisers for IEP in Spring 2022 in replacement of the previous incumbent law firm.
Pinsent Masons LLP
Pinsent Masons LLP has a strong reputation in the Scottish market for its shipping expertise: on the contentious side, it covers complex litigation such as ship arrests, while on the non-contentious side, it is experiencing considerable growth in vessel construction and chartering contracts, particularly in the offshore wind industry. Maritime specialist Bruce Craig leads the team from Aberdeen and consistently handles the most significant marine casualty cases in Scottish waters. Gavin Farquhar, who co-heads the team from Edinburgh, acts for a diverse range of clients, from developers and vessel suppliers to oil field operators and supply companies. Isla Burns is recommended for her experience in shipping transactions and offshore contracting matters.
Bruce Craig; Gavin Farquhar
Other key lawyers:
Stuart Barr; Gillian Frew; Louise Forster; Neil Hehir; Isla Burns
‘The Pinsent Masons team has consistently and reliably provided us with the best representation and advice in transport and related safety matters. Their counsel is based on a depth of combined experience and has proven to result in good outcomes over and over again.’
‘They communicate very clearly and ensure all aspects are understood and nothing is left to chance. When additional expertise is required on a particular matter, they have a deep bench to draw from.’
‘The Pinsent Masons team in Aberdeen led by Bruce Craig is uniquely well placed to advise and represent clients in the shipping / fishing / maritime and offshore sector.’
Port of Aberdeen
Forth Ports Limited
Farra Marine Limited
Southern Cross Limited (Falkland Islands)
Calmac Ferries Limited
- Acted for Port of Aberdeen on the construction of the new port, which will be used for cruise liners.
- Acted for Valaris in a complex shipping litigation which included ship arrest and the law of salvage.
- Acted for Farra Marine Limited with the construction and financing of a series of crew transfer vessels (CTVs).
Marine specialist Mackinnons has a long history of working with shipping clients, advising them on complex matters ranging from contracts and competition to disputes and judicial reviews. Key names include commercial partner Graham Jones , 'diligent, conscientious and highly knowledgeable' disputes specialist Martin Sinclair, commercial property expert Caroline Cumming and accident investigator Keith MacRae.
Graham Jones; Caroline Cumming; Angus Easton
Other key lawyers:
Martin Sinclair; Keith MacRae
‘Martin Sinclair is very diligent, conscientious and highly knowledgeable about the area of law which we instruct him on. As a company and individually, I regard them to be the best on the region and know that if I need to instruct them, then the matter will be dealt with compentently and they will strive to get the best possible outcome.’
‘We have been dealing with Mackinnons for some years now, and find the service top class, with clear and easily understandable advice. A very personal service and always available to assist whatever the time.’
‘The individuals I work with are very approachable and always contactable. They are more than happy to pick up the phone to discuss any areas of concern concerning case work.’