Transport in Scotland

Brodies LLP

Brodies LLP covers the gamut of transport sector work with specialist expertise across the segments shipping, road, rail, aviation and logistics, but the team has been particularly active handling contentious and non-contentious instructions pertaining to rail and road projects. In the rail sector, Roger Cotton is noted for his expertise in rail franchising, while Jackie McGuire is well equipped to clients, including developers, contractors and local authorities, through road and rail regulations; together with Odell Milne, she is also a key contact for compulsory purchase orders. Karen Hamilton handles road and rail infrastructure project-related planning law, while Duncan MacLean is the main contact for shipping and marine sector work.

Other key lawyers:

Manus Quigg; Malcolm Mackay


Brodies excels in all aspects of major infrastructure schemes.

Their can-do attitude and commitment to tight timescales is thoroughly refreshing and smooths delivery of schemes.

Odell Milne is extremely friendly, efficient, knowledgeable and approachable. No issue is too great and her can-do attitude and commitment to deadlines – often very demanding – is hugely impressive.

Key clients

Abellio ScotRail


Ferguson Marine Engineering

Network Rail


International Group P&I Clubs (including North of England, Gard, UK, Standard, Britannia, West of England, Steamship, Shipowners and Skuld)

Transport Scotland

Perth and Kinross Council

Aberdeen City Council

Jacobs UK

Associated British Ports

Lerwick Port Authority

Stornoway Port Authority

CalMac Ferries

NorthLink Ferries

Lothian Buses

Agility Logistics


Clydesdale Bank

Bank of Scotland

Work highlights

  • Advised Jacobs UK Ltd on all legal aspects of the Airdrie-Bathgate Railway project. This included assistance with drafting the Private Bill and key documents, compulsory purchases, responses to objectors, and with parliamentary and assessors’ hearings, among other matters.
  • Advised Leyland Trucks Limited on the implications of the dualling of the eastern section of the A582 between Flensburg Way and Farrington Lane for its landownership and operations at the Leyland plant.
  • Advised the Spanish contractor Sacyr UK Ltd / Sacyr Neopul SA as part of a joint venture on its appointment terms for the Edinburgh Tram Extension project.
  • Advising Perth and Kinross Council on the roads infrastructure project Cross Tay Link Road, which includes a new bridge over the River Tay. The team has been advising on land assembly, planning and environmental matters alongside other regulatory issues.
  • Ongoing advice to Aberdeen City Council on all aspects arising from the road project, the Berryden Corridor Improvement Project. This includes advice on statutory procedures, public engagement, compulsory purchase, consenting and risk mitigation.


CMS acts for an array of public and private sector clients, including local authorities, developers and transport companies, who benefit from the team's broad transport sector expertise spanning road, maritime, aviation and rail. This leads to regular instructions on construction, regulatory and transactional matters, land acquisitions, road and traffic orders, procurement and associated disputes. The practice is led by shipping expert Eleanor Lane and includes Mark McMurray, who made partner in May 2019 and assists clients with consents and permissions required for major road projects.

Practice head(s):

Eleanor Lane


CMS has leading experience in Scottish roads and planning law with a particular strength in setting out clearly the way forward, and the possible consequences of actions/ inaction at each stage.

Strong credentials in this specialised area with a very experienced team which is largely unrivalled by other firms.

Individuals dedicated to the topics as well as their clients’ interests.

Mark McMurray displays a commitment to the needs of clients, often within extremely short timescales, to ensure that projects can progress timeously. He is approachable, with impressive technical knowledge, applied to clients’ specific requirements.

Mark McMurray has developed a particular understanding and skill in this area of law which is a great asset to a client. Connections within the industry are strong and extremely helpful when trying to move matters along.

Key clients

TH Real Estate

The Highland Council

The City of Edinburgh Council

Lothian Buses plc

South Lanarkshire Council

Aberdeen Standard Investments

Scottish Water

Renfrewshire Council

LS Buchanan (Landsec)

Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited (CMAL)

Sevan Marine ASA

Revedor Malta Limited

Basalt Infrastructure

Wells Fargo

Braid Logistics



North Star Shipping

CalMac Ferries Limited

James Fisher and Sons Group

Scottish Enterprise

Strathclyde Partnership for Transport


Transport Scotland/ Scottish Government

Stirling Council

Edinburgh Tram Limited

Aberdeen, Glasgow and Southampton Airports Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising the City of Edinburgh Council on the Scots law aspects of the proposed extension of the Edinburgh Tram to Newhaven. Advice spans land acquisition, planning and regulatory matters alongside construction and commercial issues.
  • Advised Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited (CMAL) on the purchase of a vessel, the MV Loch Seaforth, used for the Ullapool – Stornoway route, from Lloyds Bank plc.
  • Advised James Fisher & Sons Group on a dispute brought by the Norwegian dredging and excavation specialists, Scanmudring, pertaining to dredging and the removal of equipment from the seabed.
  • Assisted Aberdeen, Glasgow and Southampton Airports Limited (AGS) with an update of their existing suite of framework and construction contracts to ensure effective risk and opportunity management.
  • Advising the City of Edinburgh Council on the various roads and traffic orders required for Phase 1 of the City Centre West to East Cycle Link and Street Improvements project (CCWEL) and the Leith Street improvements linked to the Edinburgh St James redevelopment.

Addleshaw Goddard

Addleshaw Goddard is best known for its extensive expertise in the shipping sector, which translates into regular national and international instructions from banks, shipowners and operators on vessel sales and purchases, ship finance, shipbuilding contracts and ship registrations. This is complemented by capabilities in the airports sector. Commercial lawyer and shipping sector expert Ed Watt is the main contact.

Practice head(s):

Ed Watt

Other key lawyers:

Alan Shanks;  Carrie Armstrong

Key clients

Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd

Royal Bank of Scotland plc

Yuexin International Offshore Development Limited

Briggs Marine Contractors Ltd

Delta Marine Ltd.

Lombard North Central plc

Kincardine Offshore Windfarm Limited (KOWL)

Caspian Offshore Construction (COC)

Stone Marine Services Limited

Edinburgh Airport

Menzies Aviation

Highlands and Islands Airports Limited (HIAL)

Volkswagen AG

Work highlights

  • Assisting Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd with the ongoing project to procure two new-built LNG ferries under construction at the Ferguson Marine yard in Port Glasgow.
  • Advising Volkswagen AG on arrangements to supply Ford with VW’s modular electric vehicle toolkit (MEB).
  • Advising Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd on the purchase of two passenger ferries operating the Northern Isles routes from Aberdeen to Orkney and Shetland.
  • Advising Forth Ports on an infrastructure development project and on leasing arrangements at the Port of Dundee pertaining to the marine and land based requirements for turbine construction for the 450MW offshore NNG wind farm being developed by EDF.
  • Advised Delta Marine Limited on the sale of the entire share capital to a French oil-field services company.

Anderson Strathern

Anderson Strathern has a strong profile for contentious and non-contentious rail and road projects work, with team head and railway law expert Neil Amner (director) being a key contact for the former and senior associate and road operator licencing specialist Tom Docherty for the latter. Other work covers operational and infrastructure contractual and regulatory matters across the segments airports and aviation alongside ports and shipping. Its client portfolio includes an array of public and private sector clients.

Practice head(s):

Neil Amner


‘Outgoing and engaging in the thought leadership for the sector, acting as an enabler to economic growth.’

‘Neil Amner is highly professional, very constructive, identifying what could be done, rather than blockers, and can be trusted to do what he says.’

‘Anderson Strathern is one of the key players in the transport infrastructure market, notably with regard to dispute resolution and procurement issues. They have key experience in dealing with road and motorway provision and disputes.’

‘Karyn Watt is a dynamic and knowledgeable figure, while also remaining highly approachable. She always seeks to solve problems for her clients in an efficient and practical manner.’

Key clients

Transport Scotland (Scottish Government)

Strathclyde Partnership for Transport

South East Scotland Transport Partnership

Glasgow City Council

The City of Edinburgh Council

The Highland Council

Scottish Road Works Commissioner

Alexander Dennis Ltd

Bright Green Hydrogen


Grove Retail Limited

Allied Vehicles Ltd

John Martin Group

London North Eastern Railway Limited

Stadler-Ansaldo JV

Peter D. Stirling Ltd

Freight Transport Association (FTA)

Edinburgh Airport

West College Scotland

Northern Lighthouse Board

Crown Estate Scotland

Scottish Maritime Cluster Limited

Hays Ships Limited

Shetland College/ NAFC Marine

Waverley Steam Navigation Company Limited

Glasgow Chamber of Commerce

Work highlights

  • Sole advisors to Transport Scotland on its Scottish trunk road network, including assistance with compulsory purchase orders, servitude rights and leaseback arrangements.
  • Acting for a consortium consisting of Stadler Rail (Swiss) and Ansaldo (Italian), who are the contractor for the new driverless rolling stock and signalling system for the Glasgow Subway System; the team provided assistance with the terms of the manufacture and supply agreements as well as with train spare supply agreements.
  • Successfully represented the developer of the Railfreight Park, Peter D. Stirling Ltd, in securing the necessary consents in the face of sustained opposition from the local planning authority.
  • Acted for Edinburgh Airport Limited in the sale of land to form the Crosswind South development site.
  • Advised Edinburgh Airport Limited on objecting to a major wind farm due to impacts on the airport’s primary and secondary radar.

Burness Paull LLP

Burness Paull LLP is regularly called upon to provide contractual and procurement support for projects in the harbours and road sectors, and to a lesser extent in the rail sector, and also handles associated disputes and adjudications. Ports and harbours sector expert Chris MacKay heads the team, which includes marine insurance expert Andrew Forsyth, who joined the firm from Brodies LLP in May 2019.

Practice head(s):

Chris MacKay

Other key lawyers:

James Forbes;  Andrew Forsyth


Impeccable attention to detail and client understanding, focus and representation.

Key clients

Scot Roads Partnership Project Limited

Improvement Service

Roadbridge UK Limited

National Express Group PLC

Oban Community Harbour Development Association

John Clark Motor Group

Port of Cromarty Firth

Scrabster Harbour Trust

Highland Spring

Fraserburgh Harbour Commissioners

Skyscanner Limited

Subsea 7 and its P&I Club, The Standard club

Patentes Talgo

Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles

Work highlights

  • Advising Roadbridge UK Limited on its tendering of the £90m Clyde Waterfront and Renfrew Riverside Project, which involves the design and construction of the first opening road bridge over the River Clyde.
  • Advising Port of Cromarty Firth (POCF) on the £31m Phase 4 development of Invergordon Service Base, involving the design and construction of a new 218 metre long quayside and 9 acres of laydown area for utilisation as a new energy and cruise hub.
  • Acting for Scrabster Harbour Trust (SHT) in its procurement of a project for the design and construction of the redevelopment of the Ola Pier at Scrabster Harbour.


Acting as Network Rail's exclusive legal service provider, Dentons has a fine reputation for its rail sector offering, which includes the full range of contentious and non-contentious operational and business-crucial matters. Project finance and infrastructure expert Euan Wilson and construction specialist Mark Macaulay jointly head the practice from Edinburgh and Glasgow respectively.

Practice head(s):

Euan Wilson; Mark Macaulay

Other key lawyers:

Barry Edgar; Malcolm Gunnyeon

Key clients

Network Rail

Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT)


Work highlights

  • Representing Stagecoach South Western Trains Limited in ongoing proposed collective proceedings in the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) brought by Justin Gutmann against SSWT and two other rail operators pertaining to boundary fares.
  • Acted for Network Rail in its role of infrastructure manager in relation to the development of a new passenger railway station at Robroyston, Glasgow on the Cumbernauld line.
  • Supporting Network Rail in its planning for major enhancement projects to be delivered during the next five years and important preventative maintenance work by carrying out a substantial programme of land referencing along the Edinburgh South and East Kilbride to Barrhead and Larkfield junction lines, as well as other individual bridge sites around Scotland.
  • Advised Network Rail on the grant of a lease to Highland Spring for the client’s rail freight terminal to be connected to its spring water bottling plant in Perthshire.
  • Assisted Network Rail with a suite of documents needed to enable Highlands and Islands Enterprise to build a new public transport road bridge over the railway at Inverness Campus, and for the subsequent transfer of the bridge to the local authority under Section 79 of the Roads (S) Act 1984.


Mackinnons is a shipping law firm with particular expertise in offshore shipping, harbour law, Admiralty and associated marine matters, which is regularly called upon by various players across the sector. This includes operators, owners, financial institutions and port authorities. Graham Jones is a key contact for fleet purchases and sales, while consultant Keith MacRae is best known for his expertise in marine casualties and associated accident investigations. Advising on shipbuilding contracts and ship finance constitute other key elements of the practice.


Our experience working with Macinnons has only been positive, regardless if it is measured by the expertise or the service they provide to us.

Mackinnons is a go-to firm in Scotland for marine transport matters. They have unrivalled experience in regulatory aspects of fishing; of marine insurance claims; and big-ticket international commercial disputes. Recognised as having the boutique expertise in Scotland, they are the go-to contact for many London marine insurers.

Their knowledge and experience of this area of practice is exceptional. The quality of service provided to clients is top-notch.

They provide a very good and prompt service and have a wide range of skills covering all the areas where we need their expertise. They compare well to other firms we use in the sector, and provide sensible and clear advice. Would recommend them.

They provide a good personal service and are readily available at short notice. We have used this firm for many years which shows they are performing consistently over a long period.

The partner we are mostly working with, Graham Jones, is excellent to work with and has provided us with the best legal service for a long time. His enthusiasm and service towards us has been outstanding.

Martin Sinclair is one of the most decent lawyers around to work with; he is phenomenally well instructed.

Keith MacRae – quite simply: the colossus of Scots maritime law.

Keith MacRae and Martin Sinclair are excellent lawyers, who want to do the best job for their clients and excel in every area of their work.