Next Generation Partners

Transport in Scotland

Brodies LLP

Brodies LLP's wide-ranging transport sector expertise encompasses shipping and marine - Duncan MacLean is a key contact for this - alongside road and rail, which are key areas of expertise for Roger CottonJackie McGuireKaren Hamilton and consultant Odell Milne. This spectrum is based on a multidisciplinary approach, enabling the team to advise public authorities, operators and developers on large road, rail and harbour infrastructure projects, including associated planning issues, procurement strategies, compulsory purchase orders and disputes, while financial institutions and shipping companies also receive funding, transactional and operational support. This offering is rounded off with Cotton's rail franchising capabilities.


‘Excellent marine knowledge with the ability to take action and resolve issues before they become difficult.’

‘Nothing is too much trouble even when demanding timescales are imposed. Their knowledge of the law in this subject is second to none.’

‘Brodies’ ability to involve the required expertise to resolve large project development issues is what makes them stand out.’

‘The Brodies team displayed a real hands-on attitude and helped to structure our case logically and sensibly to get us through the inquiry process.’

‘The team really bought into our project and Jackie McGuire in particular brought a real understanding of the needs of a local authority to the table, having previously worked in that sector.’

‘The Brodies team led by Odell Milne along with Scott Logan bring a powerful and unique can-do attitude to their work.’

‘Duncan MacLean is extremely proficient, professional, knowledgeable and personable.’

‘Malcolm Mackay – excellent knowledge of the intricacies of marine law. Identifies quick solutions that ensure issues are resolved quickly.’

Key clients

Abellio East Midlands

Aberdeen City Council

Agility Logistics


Argyll and Bute Council

Associated British Ports


Bank of Scotland


BP Shipping Ltd

Borr Drilling

CalMac Ferries

City of Edinburgh Council

Clarkson Port Services

Clyde Marine Services

Clydesdale Bank

DB Cargo

Edinburgh City Council

Falkirk Council

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

Lothian Buses

Maersk Drilling

Midlothian Council

MS Amlin

Montrose Port Authority

Network Rail

NMU Speciality Insurance

Perth and Kinross Council


Royal Bank of Scotland

Royal Yacht Britannia


Seaway Heavy Lift

Serco Northlink Ferries

Stirling Council

Stirling Council

Stornoway Port Authority

Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (West of Scotland Regional Transport Partnership)

Subsea 7 Ltd

Sunderland Marine

Svitzer Marine Ltd

Swire Oilfield Do Brasil Limitada

TT Club

XPO Logistics

Work highlights

  • Advising ScotRail on all operational franchise matters including management of the franchise agreement, supply chain contracts, rolling stock issues, station infrastructure improvement, policies and procedures.
  • Instructed on behalf of both of Scotland’s lifeline ferry operators, CalMac Ferries and Serco NorthLink Ferries, on a variety of operational matters, and by their insurers to deal with any claims made against them. These include crew, passenger, cargo and harbour operator claims. The team also advises on any regulatory investigations.
  • Advising 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, and includes a new bridge over one of Scotland’s largest rivers.


CMS' transport sector strength is twofold: Thanks to Mark McMurray's roads sector and traffic regulations expertise, the team provides developers and public authorities with regular traffic management and traffic regulations support as part of large-scale housing, regeneration and infrastructure projects, including contentious matters; while team head Eleanor Lane is best known for her marine and shipping expertise. The latter typically translates into transactional and vessel procurement mandates but Lane's procurement law expertise is also called upon in rail and road projects. Other recent work involves ports and harbours.

Practice head(s):

Eleanor Lane

Other key lawyers:

Mark McMurray


‘Over the past 15 years or so this practice has undertaken a number of major transport projects including the Edinburgh Tram.’

‘Experienced and knowledgeable across the sector – they keep up with what is going on.’

‘The high standards set by Ann Faulds (now retired from the practice) and Trudi Craggs (now a DPEA reporter) are ably carried on by Mark McMurray and his team.’

Key clients

TH Real Estate

The City of Edinburgh Council

Scottish Water

Renfrewshire Council

LS Buchanan (Landsec)

Revedor Malta Limited

Basalt Infrastructure

Braid Logistics



North Star Shipping

CalMac Ferries Limited

James Fisher & Sons Group

PDG Aviation

Strathclyde Partnership for Transport

Transport Scotland/Scottish Government

Stirling Council

Edinburgh Tram Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising Transport Scotland / Scottish Ministers on the circa £3bn dualling programme of the A9 between Perth & Inverness; currently this covers procurement options, programme structuring, and pre-contractual matters.
  • Advised St Andrews University on the conversion, testing and commissioning of a hydrogen fuelled train including a contract with the strategic partner for the works and services and funding arrangements with the Scottish government.
  • Advising the City of Edinburgh Council on temporarily widening pavements and footpaths and providing temporary cycling infrastructure such as pop-up cycle lanes, all part of the Spaces for People programme in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Addleshaw Goddard

Shipping and ports works constitutes the cornerstone of Addleshaw Goddard's transport sector offering with Ed Watt being the key contact for this. His expertise includes ship transactions, offshore commercial contracts and ship registration and typically leads to instructions spanning various jurisdictions. While the team has traditionally mostly acted for shipowners, buyers and operators, it has recently been increasingly active for retail businesses requiring assistance with ocean freight and supply chain issues. Thanks to Sarah Baillie's planning and consenting expertise, the team is also well placed to advise on various infrastructure projects, such as ports and airports.

Practice head(s):

Ed Watt; Sarah Baillie


‘Vast experience and knowledge, diligent, organised and prompt to deal with questions.’

‘Very supportive, knowledgeable and professional team who specialize in shipping.’

‘Experts in shipbuilding contracts.’

‘Very helpful team assisting in a niche area of tax leasing and I have found the team to be excellent throughout this relatively protracted deal.’

‘I have worked with Ed Watt who is the subject matter expert on logistics transactions and has proven to be most valuable in relation to our logistics transactions.’

‘Ed Watt – clear and concise advice provided in a timely manner from someone who is clearly an expert in their field.’

‘Ed Watt has been extremely approachable and has helped simplify the highly complex logistics transactions and proves time and again to demystify a lot of the complexity.’

Key clients

Aberdeen City Council

ASDA Stores Limited

Bihar International Company

Briggs Marine Contractors Ltd

British-American Tobacco Holdings Ltd.

Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd

Caspian Marine Services

Clydesdale Bank plc

DP World

Forth Ports Limited

Highland and Islands Airports Limited (HIAL)


Strawson Holdings Ltd.

Westcon Yards AS

Work highlights

  • Advising 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.
  • Advising ASDA Stores Limited upon global ocean freight and logistics contracting and strategy amid the supply chain container crisis.
  • Advising Caledonian Maritime Assets on the procurement and shipbuilding contracts for two new passenger ferries.

Anderson Strathern

With senior associate Tom DochertyAnderson Strathern has a strong niche in road operator licensing; he assists road haulage and public service vehicle operators with contractual issues on one hand, and handles licensing committee hearings and public inquiries before the Traffic Commissioner on the other. He is a key member of the team led by director Neil Amner, who is well versed in providing operational, regulatory and infrastructure contractual support to various clients, most notably public sector bodies. Recently, this skill set was often called upon in the context of rail, road, port and harbour projects. Contentious work is handled in cooperation with the firm’s commercial litigation department.

Practice head(s):

Neil Amner

Other key lawyers:

Karyn Watt; Tom Docherty

Key clients

Transport Scotland

Alexander Dennis Ltd

ReFLEX Orkney Limited


Scottish Maritime Cluster

Scottish Canals

Northern Lighthouse Board

Edinburgh Airport Limited

Shetland Space Centre Limited

Work highlights

  • Neil Amner acts as the sole business representative on the Scottish Government’s Covid-19 Transport Transition Group as well as the National Transport Strategy Delivery Board.
  • Advising Shetland Space Centre Ltd on the necessary consents for a vertical launch space port at Lamba Ness, Unst, Shetland, with first launch planned for 2022.
  • Acting for 22 Scottish public body claimants seeking damages from the Truck Cartel through litigation in Scotland.

Burness Paull LLP

Thanks to projects and construction expert Chris Mackay's specialism in ports and harbours, Burness Paull LLP's team continues to receive sector-specific contentious and non-contentious instructions - including those involving maritime incidents - from marine contractors, transport insurers, port operators and other marine players. Matters at the intersection with health and safety are typically handled with the relevant team in Aberdeen, while the group's cooperation with its planning and construction law colleagues benefits clients requiring assistance with road and rail project-related matters at these intersections.

Practice head(s):

Chris Mackay

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Forsyth


‘Good knowledge of the industry and access to relevant experts to assist when required.’

‘The support and advice provided resulted in a successful outcome for the business.’

‘The team are very knowledgeable concerning civil engineering and thus can quickly understand problems and offer good advice.’

‘They are also very collaborative and friendly, with invoicing being carried out on time.’

‘Chris Mackay communicates very well; accessible when required and gives regular updates as to the ongoing progress in the dispute.’

Key clients

Scot Roads Partnership Project Limited

Improvement Service

Oban Community Harbour Development Association

John Clark Motor Group

Port of Cromarty Firth

Scrabster Harbour Trust

Highland Spring

Fraserburgh Harbour Commissioners

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

Patentes de Talgo

Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles

Arnold Clark Automobiles Limited


Work highlights

  • Continues to provide project contractual support to Port of Cromarty Forth in connection with the £31m Phase 4 development of Invergordon Service Base.
  • Advising Highland Spring Limited on the design, construction and commissioning of a new rail freight facility, including a rail mounted gantry crane adjacent to Highland Spring’s bottling plant in Blackford, Perthshire.
  • Advising Scot Roads Partnership Project Limited on the delivery of a high-value improvement to the main trunk road in Scotland. Advice includes resolving remaining construction phase disputes, defects issues and final payments – with active court actions being raised in relation to key topics such as final completion.


Demonstrating its in-depth rail sector expertise, Dentons‘ team continues to act as full-service supplier to Network Rail in Scotland, providing regular real estate, construction, procurement and commercial advice as well as litigation assistance. The team is jointly led by Glasgow-based construction procurement specialist Mark Macaulay and Edinburgh-based infrastructure and project finance expert Euan Wilson, and also applies its transport sector expertise to roads and ports projects in England and Northern Ireland.

Practice head(s):

Mark Macaulay; Euan Wilson


‘Dentons have worked with us a long time and have invested the effort in really getting to know our business.’

‘They have a strong team across the board.’

‘They are prepared to be challenged and work through the issues together.’

Work highlights

  • Advised the Ministry of Defence (MOD) on the c. £10bn, 11-Lot re-procurement of its maritime services contracts.
  • Carried out a land referencing exercise in respect of various sites on the railway line from Busby junction via Barrhead to Kilmarnock in advance of proposed electrification of this route, as part of Network Rail’s decarbonisation strategy.
  • Advising the Department for Infrastructure on various contractual and operational matters relating to two DBFO roads projects in Northern Ireland – Package 1 (a £120m PFI project to upgrade, operate and maintain the M1/Westlink and M2 motorways), and Package 2 (a £225m PFI project to upgrade, operate and maintain the A1 and A4 roads).

Pinsent Masons LLP

Handling wet, dry, contentious and non-contentious shipping matters, including those pertaining to the installation of wind farms, is a primary focus for Pinsent Masons LLP, and Aberdeen-based litigation and regulatory expert Bruce Craig and Edinburgh-based maritime specialist Gavin Farquhar in particular. Clients include insurers, shipowners and operators alongside energy sector players. Rail and road sector work is typically carried out in conjunction with other teams and offices across the UK.

Practice head(s):

Bruce Craig; Gavin Farquhar


‘The team provides a good service with all works carried to agreed deadlines and to fee quotes. Their knowledge of our requirements is excellent.’

‘Stuart Barr offers very good knowledge of the contract requirements for a PFI project. Good drafting of new agreements/ waivers when required.’

Key clients

Aberdeen Roads Limited

North Star Shipping

RBC Group

Amey plc

Balfour Beatty plc

Farra Marine Limited

Nuclear Transport Solutions


British Marine Managers Limited

TT Club

Technip UK Limited


Cumbria County Council

Forth Crossing Bridge Constructors (FCBC)

Work highlights

  • Acted for North Star Shipping in connection with the project to construct and then charter four service operations vessels to Equinor (and Equinor’s joint venture partners) in connection with the Dogger Bank offshore wind farm.
  • Advised FCBC (a joint venture consortium comprised of Hochtief, Dragados, Galliford Try and American Bridge) on all issues arising during the construction of the Forth Crossing Bridge, including adjudications, arbitrations and commercial advice.
  • Acting for offshore drilling contractor Valaris in defence of a court action for salvage.