The Legal 500

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Anderson Strathern

Work 0131 270 7700
Fax 0131 270 7788
Edinburgh, Glasgow, Haddington

Fiona Stephen

Work 0131 625 7281
Anderson Strathern

Work Department

Dispute resolution; property litigation.


Partner who heads up the property litigation team, focusing on commercial real estate and agriculture and estates. Also handles professional negligence cases involving property-related issues.


Articled McNeill & Critchley 1987-89; qualified 1989; partner Anderson Strathern 1997; the Law Society of Scotland’s pursuer’s panel for claims against solicitors; qualified as a solicitor advocate 2006. Experience in dealing with litigation in all courts in Scotland including the Court of Sessions, Scottish Land Court and Lands Tribunal for Scotland.


Writer to the Signet; solicitor to the Supreme Court; Environmental Law Association; Property Law Association.


Dalkeith High School; Dundee University (1986 LLB (Hons); 1987 Dip LP).


Music, hill walking, theatre.

Scotland: Dispute resolution

Commercial litigation

Within: Commercial litigation

Anderson Strathern represents private sector organisations in commercial litigation, arbitration and other types of dispute resolution, including mediation. It also has a particularly strong public sector following; the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), HMRC and the Scottish Prison Service are all key clients on the public-sector side. The firm also acts for the Scottish government, as well as regulatory bodies such as the Law Society of Scotland and the Scottish Court Service. Fraser Geddes leads the team, which includes senior associate Dominic Scullion, who became one of the youngest solicitor advocates in Scotland in 2016, and Katrina Lumsdaine, who led the representation of Andritz Gouda as a third party in Court of Session litigation arising from a £2m manufacturing dispute. Geddes and senior associate Gillian Jamieson are acting for SSE as the pursuer in a claim centred on damage to a high-voltage electricity cable during the refurbishment of a care home. The firm’s acquisition of litigation practice ADLP Solicitors in 2016 brought with it founder Alistair Dean, who is noted for his expertise in construction disputes. Jonathan Guy, Fiona Stephen and firm chairman Robert Carr are also recommended.

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Debt recovery

Within: Debt recovery

Anderson Strathern assists a wide variety of clients with recovering secured and unsecured debts, including registered social landlords, banks (and other financial institutions), SMEs and public bodies. Key clients include UK Visas and Immigration, Midlothian Council, CR Smith Windows and PSFM Sipp Limited. The team provides an extensive service, which covers pre-litigation letters before action, court proceedings and enforcement action. In 2016, a team including Fraser Geddes, Dominic Scullion, senior associate Gillian Jamieson and Karen Ogilvie assisted Lusona Consultancy (Professional Practice) with negotiating a settlement with a charted accountant over unpaid finders’ fees and additional expenses. Other key clients include Britannia, which practice head (and solicitor advocate) Fiona Stephen, senior associate Claire Martin and others advise on pursuing Scottish secured debts, including managing property repossession actions following defaults on mortgage repayments.

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Scotland: Finance

Insolvency and corporate recovery

Within: Insolvency and corporate recovery

Anderson Strathern draws upon its strengths in areas such as commercial litigation, banking and finance, and commercial property to cover a wide range of restructuring and insolvency issues for clients. The firm is particularly active in contentious insolvency work, wherein practice head Katrina Lumsdaine, Karyn Watt, John Kerr and associate Seonaid Sandham have been representing Baker Tilly in various matters connected with the administration of Pihl UK Limited, including a dispute with Isle of Wight Council involving unjust enrichment and insolvency issues, which is related to the construction of a school on the island. The group has a strong following of government agency clients, for which it provides insolvency and restructuring advice, including HMRC and The Accountant in Bankruptcy. The firm was also recently reappointed to Lloyds Banking Group’s litigation and recoveries panels. Senior associate Claire Martin has a wealth of experience in insolvency cases involving UK, EU and other cross-border issues. Alistair Dean has expertise in construction disputes that also have insolvency issues. Gillian Anderson, Fiona Stephen and associate Lesley Fitzgerald are other key practitioners.

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Scotland: Real estate


Within: Environment

Anderson Strathern’s team has expertise in a wide variety of environmental issues, such as statutory and common law nuisance, pollution, contaminated land, flooding, water and drainage. It advises on environmental matters at every stage of a project, including those associated with consenting. In addition, the group handles judicial reviews, environmental appeals, regulatory investigations and environmental prosecutions. Alastair McKie is leading a team, which includes Martin Whiteford, Simon Brown and Jonathan Guy, advising INEOS on the environmental issues associated with the consenting of its new £20m headquarters at Grangemouth. In another highlight, McKie and Kirsty Slee are representing Ross Estates Company at a public local inquiry into a proposed Waste to Energy Combined Heat and Power Plant in Invergordon, which the client opposes. Other clients include Buchan Biogas, The Crown Estate, Scottish Water and Elgin Energy. Bruce Farquhar, Gavin Thain, Fiona Stephen and Anne Chapman are other notable practitioners.

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Within: Planning

Alastair McKie leads the team at Anderson Strathern; his recent work has spanned projects involving transport and infrastructure, public sector, regeneration and strategic housing developments, as well as energy, infrastructure and waste. McKie is leading on the planning aspects of a multimillion-pound development in Woking town centre for Bandstand Square Developments. In another highlight, McKie, senior associate Kirsty Slee and others are acting for Ross Estates Company (which is owned by Mohamed Al Fayed) at a public local inquiry, which relates to the client’s opposition to a proposed waste-to-energy CHP plant in Invergordon. Audrey Cameron was formerly head of legal at Strathclyde Partnership of Transport, where she handled consenting and compulsory purchase matters for infrastructure projects, and also has previous experience working in-house at local authorities. Fiona Stephen is another key contact.

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Property litigation

Within: Property litigation

Anderson Strathern’s property litigation practice acts for clients in the commercial, agricultural and housing sectors. Fiona Stephen heads the practice, which includes Fraser Geddes, who has a wealth of experience in Sheriff and Court of Session proceedings, as well as other types of dispute resolution, such as mediation and arbitration. Alistair Dean and senior associates Kirsty Slee and Shirley Evans are other key individuals in the team, which acts for clients such as The Crown Estate, Intu Properties and Scottish Midland Co-operative Society. Slee, Stephen and are solicitor advocates. Joan Devine joined Addleshaw Goddard.

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