Firm Profile > Gillespie Macandrew LLP > Edinburgh, Scotland

Gillespie Macandrew LLP

Agriculture and estates Tier 1

Gillespie Macandrew LLP regular acts on both sides of major land transactions which include aspects such as access disputes, contentious employment issues and disputes over the value of land. The practice, which is led by Robert Scott-Dempster, is also notable for the advisory service it provides the Land Commission in terms of regulating the relationship between landlords and farm tenants. Associate Viktoria Wahle advises on security transactions for relating to rural property and also acts for landowners and developers on renewable energy developments.

Charities and not-for-profit Tier 1

Gillespie Macandrew LLP works with trusts and charities on SCIO incorporation, restructuring matters such as mergers and staff transfers, investments, governance and contentious matters such as disputes with the OSCR. The team has notable strength in the land and rural sector and a reputation for giving highly detailed and tailored advice to clients across the board. Practice head Lianne Lodge, who sits on the Law Society of Scotland Charity Law sub-committee, is well-known for helping philanthropists establish charities in Scotland. Corporate head Chris Smith, has a specialism in advising charities on corporate matters.

Practice head(s):

Lianne Lodge

Other key lawyers:

Chris Smith

Key clients

Johnson & Johnston Corporate Citizenship Trust

Poppy Scotland

Weir Charitable Trust

North Berwick Trust

Royal College of Physicians

Royal Regiment of Scotland

Contentious trusts and probate Tier 1

Gillespie Macandrew LLP's practice has a strong focus on advising family partnerships in the rural and land sector on complex legal rights claims and the duties and rights of liferents of such trusts. The practice is also known for its work on the interpretation of wills on behalf of beneficiaries, and handling complex tax issues concerning inheritance tax, agricultural property relief and business property relief. Eilidh G Adams has a niche handling estates with foreign elements, such as the application of the EU Succession Regulation, and advising on the impact of marriage and divorce on the revocation of foreign wills.

Practice head(s):

Agnes Mallon

Other key lawyers:

Elilidh Adams


‘The Gillespie Macandrew team do everything in their power to ensure the success of mediation in these difficult and longstanding disputes, including thorough preparation, excellent accommodation and expert representation.’ 

‘Sarah-Jane MacDonald helps clients maximise the value of mediation. She ably demonstrates the key skills of mediation advocacy – selecting the mediators; preparing the parties; providing representation and expert advice on the mediation day; and excellent follow-up to ensure matters are fully resolved.’

‘John Stirling always goes the extra mile to ensure we are well informed and adequately protected.’

‘Alan White and Eilidh Adams are excellent in their commitment to get things done – they are honest without pushing for extra expensive routes.’

Personal tax, trusts and executries Tier 2

Gillespie Macandrew LLP 's 'highly personable team' team acts for trustees, executors and beneficiaries, with a focus on advising clients on business property relief, agricultural property relief and estate planning. Outside of these core areas the firm has a commitment to the Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act, and arising issues concerning guardianship and powers of attorney: Elspeth Paget is financial guardian for several clients and has particular expertise on powers of attorney and guardianships in the context of estate planning. Eilidh G Adams is a specialist on the UK France Double Tax Treaty on Inheritance Tax and the impact of the EU Succession Regulation.

Practice head(s):

Elspeth Paget; John McArthur; Lianne Lodge

Other key lawyers:

Eilidh Adams


“Highly personable team of experts who genuinely wish the best possible outcome for their clients.” 

“A holistic approach, based on a desire to build long-term client relationships.” 

“Elspeth Paget is a pleasure to deal with as she is very organised, clear at explaining points and options, and always follows up on actions, promises, and commitments.” 

“John McArthur is shrewd, professional, attentive and a good collaborator with other professionals.”

Commercial property: Edinburgh and Glasgow Tier 3

Gillespie Macandrew LLP's real estate team includes a prominent housebuilder sub-group led by Harry SmithKenneth Irons heads up the commercial property group generally and has a notable track record acting for corporate clients including international corporates and SMEs. The group also recently handled investment transactions, advised high-profile retail clients, and assisted English law firms with Scottish law issues. Greg Peebles regularly acts for student accommodation and healthcare developers.

Practice head(s):

Kenneth Irons; Harry Smith (housebuilding);

Other key lawyers:


‘Gillespie Macandrew offers a very prompt, efficient and reliable service.’

‘This is a strong team led by the excellent Kenneth Irons.’

‘English clients find Gillespie Macandrew to be a responsive and reasonable partner for real estate legal work referrals north of the border.’

‘Greg Peebles is easy to get hold of, quick to act and deals with everything in a very timely manner whilst applying a commercial approach.’

‘Kenneth Irons is responsive, pragmatic and commercial. He provides an excellent service.’

Key clients

Bellway Homes Limited

Westerleigh Group Limited

National PLC housebuilder

Majestic (Belford) Limited

Robertson Partnership Homes Limited

Assetz SME Capital Limited

HR Consultancy (Scotland) Ltd

West Ranga Group Limited

Banking and finance Tier 4

The banking team at Gillespie Macandrew LLP has particular expertise in peer-to-peer debt funding and acts for a significant number of the peer-to-peer agents and lenders operating in Scotland. Also notable is the firm's substantial track record in the agriculture and estates, real estate and energy sectors, and in the SME bridging market, where the practice continues to handle a significant volume of deals. The group is jointly led by Kenneth IronsChristopher Smith and Gregor Peebles; Irons and Peebles handle property finance work.

Practice head(s):

Kenneth Irons; Christopher Smith; Gregor Peebles

Other key lawyers:

Ross MacRae


Known for its excellent client service, the banking team at Gillespie Macandrew is very responsive and easy to deal with.

Clients go to Gillespie Macandrew for its prompt, efficient service delivery, ability to keep advice simple and its commercial sense. The team is very supportive and makes itself available.

The finance practice is personable, responsive, technically excellent and focused on the advice and end point of getting the deal done.’

Key clients

Assetz SME Capital Limited

Royal Bank of Scotland

Gresham House Forestry Limited (formerly Aitchesse Limited)

Avant Homes Group

Majestic (Belford) Ltd

Clydesdale Bank

Repro Finance

Construction Tier 4

With a strong presence in the housebuilder market, Gillespie Macandrew LLP has residential development work at its core. The 'knowledgeable' team jointly led by Harry Smith and Isobell Reid provides regular assistance with site acquisitions but also handles commercial property work, building restoration projects and contentious matters.

Practice head(s):

Harry Smith; Isobell Reid


Isobell Reid has a good understanding of both the law and the players in the market.

Easy to work with.

Key clients

Bellway Homes

Avant Homes (Scotland)

Buchanan House Trust

Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh


Merchant Homes Partnerships

Robertson Partnership Homes

Turnberry Homes

Moray Estates Development Company

Corporate and commercial: Edinburgh and Glasgow Tier 4

Gillespie Macandrew LLP provides the full spectrum of corporate law advice to public and private sector clients from a variety of sectors. The firm particularly stands out in the renewable energy space, where it assists start-up and emerging companies with negotiating inward investments, joint ventures for renewables projects and other land-based development transactions. Other key areas of expertise include the food and drink and retail industries. Practice head David Christopher Smith is based in Edinburgh and - along with several other team members - is dual-qualified in Scottish and English law.

Practice head(s):

David Christopher Smith

Energy (excluding oil and gas) Tier 4

Gillespie Macandrew LLP's energy expertise leverages the firm's rural and agricultural knowledge to handle large onshore, island and offshore projects. The practice regularly works with the planning and construction, regulatory, land litigation and judicial review departments. Derek McCullough leads the energy, infrastructure and natural resources group, which also includes Amy McDowell, who handles renewables and strategic land developments.

Practice head(s):

Derek McCulloch

Other key lawyers:

Amy McDowell; Colin Hamilton


As a multi-disciplinary firm, Gillespie MacAndrew provides specialist advice across a number of aspects of renewable projects; in particular it provides expert knowledge on agricultural and forestry matters as they relate to commercial renewable energy leases. It also has a collaborative and practical approach to negotiating documentation.

Colin Hamilton provides clear and balanced advice on the procedural issues around CPO matters. Derek McCullogh and Amy McDowell also provide direct and well-thought-through advice on renewable energy projects. Across the board, the team is friendly and easy to deal with.

Key clients

Rio Tinto


Viking Energy

Seagreen Wind Energy

SGN (Scotia Gas Networks)

Planning Tier 4

Gillespie Macandrew LLP is experienced in handling contentious planning matters, including judicial reviews, but the team also provides advice on planning permissions and related matters to landowners, housebuilders and developers alongside energy and public sector clients. Colin Hamilton heads the team.

Practice head(s):

Colin Hamilton

Other key lawyers:

Isobell Reid

Key clients

Seagreen Wind Energy

No Kingsford Stadium

Teddy Morgan Ltd t/a The Sub Club

Dalmore Capital

Viking Energy Windfarm


Property litigation Tier 4

Gillespie Macandrew LLP has a strong profile for land and rural sector property disputes, which frequently pertain to energy, infrastructure and other construction projects. The team's workload also includes contentious commercial lease and right of way matters. Fiona Cameron heads the practice, which acts for land and estate owners, house builders and public sector bodies.

Practice head(s):

Fiona Cameron

Other key lawyers:

John Stirling; Colin Hamilton


Provides good all-round advice.

Colin Hamilton has first class knowledge on property, planning and environmental matters and a good track record of running contentious cases in court.

John Stirling has a very canny approach.

Key clients

No Kingsford Stadium

Crofters having rights in Stornoway Wind Farm Sites


Gillespie Macandrew is a leading Scottish law firm delivering quality advice and added value for its corporate, private, charity and property clients.

The fIrm: The firm has recognised strengths in a range of expertise areas with full service backup to its niche experts across the corporate, commercial, private, charity and property sectors together with litigation, employment and tax services. The firm’s client base extends throughout Scotland, the UK and beyond, and includes multinational companies and SMEs trading on an international basis. It is well placed to offer a clear understanding of the devolved Scottish government and regulatory process.

Types of work undertaken:CharIty: provide advice on all aspects of charity law including constitution and structure; trading subsidiaries; mergers and rearrangements as well as employment, commercial contracts, property and tax.

Commercial property: offers a range of specialist services covering landlord and tenant as well as environmental and property litigation matters.

Corporate and business law: advice is provided on all aspects of company and commercial law, mergers and acquisitions, insolvency, commercial contracts, international trade and competition law, joint ventures, partnerships, information technology, intellectual property, government consultations, Chinese business and corporate recovery.

Energy: renewables, water, power and forestry: the firm has a dedicated team dealing with all aspects of electricity generation, including coal and renewable generation, wind, hydro and biomass developments and all aspects of natural resource including mining, forestry and water resources. The firm represents landowners, developers, generators and intensive energy users.

Family: comprehensive family law services including divorce and issues concerning children, residential property services, estate agency, advice on elderly clients, succession and tax.

Housebuilder and construction: all aspects of housebuilder and construction including strategic land and option agreements, acquisitions, professional appointments, plot conveyancing; defect and warranty claims; professional negligence and dilapidations claims.

International: the firm is a member of the international legal network Lexwork.

Land and rural business: leading expertise is offered in agricultural law, farm and estate purchases and sales, crofting, fishing, forestry, mineral, agribusiness, land development, hotel and resort development, farm fishing and renewable energy.

Litigation and employment: all aspects of commercial and property litigation, specialist expertise in employment law.

Planning: undertakes all aspects of planning law including applications, appeals and breaches, development appraisal and investment advice; mediation and judicial reviews and statutory appeals.

Residential property: Hunters residential is a division of Gillespie Macandrew and is a leading estate agency in the Edinburgh prime property market.


Department Name Email Telephone
Chair Fiona Morton
CEO Robert Graham-Campbell
Agriculture/estates Robert Scott-Dempster
Charity Lianne Lodge
Commercial Derek McCulloch
Construction Isobell Reid
Corporate Christopher Smith
Energy Derek McCulloch
Executy/probate/wills Elspeth Paget
Housebuilder Harry Smith
International business Derek McCulloch
Litigation and employment Fiona Cameron
Personal tax and trust John McArthur
Planning Colin Hamilton
Private client Elspeth Paget
Residential Wilson Hunter
Photo Name Position Profile
 Fiona Cameron  photo Fiona Cameron
 Chris Gibson  photo Chris Gibson
 Colin Hamilton  photo Colin Hamilton
 SL Wilson Hunter  photo SL Wilson Hunter
 Kenneth Irons  photo Kenneth Irons
 Andrew Leslie  photo Andrew Leslie
 Fraser Leslie  photo Fraser Leslie
 Lianne Lodge  photo Lianne Lodge
 Jennifer Maciver  photo Jennifer Maciver
 Agnes Mallon  photo Agnes Mallon
 John McArthur  photo John McArthur
 Derek  McCulloch  photo Derek  McCulloch
 Amy McDowell  photo Amy McDowell
 David Milne  photo David Milne
 Elspeth Paget  photo Elspeth Paget
 Robert Andrew Scott-Dempster  photo Robert Andrew Scott-Dempster
 Harry Smith  photo Harry Smith
 David Christopher Smith  photo David Christopher Smith
 Murray Soutar  photo Murray Soutar
 John B Stirling  photo John B Stirling
 Alan White  photo Alan White
 Simon Williams  photo Simon Williams
 Donald Winskill  photo Donald Winskill
Number of UK partners : 23
Number of other UK fee-earners : 86