Ledingham Chalmers LLP > Inverness, Scotland > Firm Profile

Ledingham Chalmers LLP

Private client > Agriculture and estates Tier 2

Praised for its 'practical, pragmatic and personable approach', Ledingham Chalmers LLP assists clients across the length and breadth of Scotland with a variety of agriculture and estate mandates. Group co-head Hazel Moir shines in property purchases and sales, while fellow group lead Linda Tinson focuses on succession planning, diversification, family business and structure, agricultural holdings and general tenancy matters. Meanwhile, the practice of Jim Drysdale, an accredited agricultural law specialist, revolves around complex crofting and environmental law issues. In April 2020, Gary Webster joined as a partner from Macleod & MacCallum.

Practice head(s):

Hazel Moir; Linda Tinson; Gary Webster

Other key lawyers:

Jim Drysdale; Emily Horne


‘Very approachable team and with extensive legal and commercial knowledge. They always contactable and were determined to get the best result for me.’

‘A small team with unique rural law specialisms which were invaluable in the understanding of the work they carried out for me.’

‘I find all of the team exceptional to deal with. Their practical, pragmatic and personable approach is excellent and their knowledge and ability to ‘get things done’ is fantastic.’

‘Jim Drysdale’s technical knowledge within the agricultural sector is exceptional – for me, he is the ‘go to’ person for legal technicalities, especially with regards to leases.’

‘An expanding team with both experience and diversity of approaches. Has a positive approach to conflict resolution when required, notably in agricultural landlord/tenant work.’

‘Efficient, prompt and friendly service. It was easy to get advice, even during these difficult times.’

‘The team’s strengths are a combination of its members having considerable experience and knowledge, combined with a realistic and practical approach.’

‘Linda Tinson and Jim Drysdale both have very good legal knowledge and a good grasp of the how their clients live and work. They have excellent communication skills and can explain matters to clients clearly so that the client understands what is being said.’

Real estate > Commercial property: elsewhere in Scotland Tier 2

Ledingham Chalmers LLP has particular experience in the housebuilding sector, where it acts for local and national housebuilders, and landowners in relation to the purchase and sale of land for residential developments. Commercial leasing, development and leasing are other key pillars of the practice, where it counts a range of clients from SMEs to plcs, among its clientele. Stephen Morrice heads the Aberdeen practice with over 30 years’ experience in commercial property matters.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Morrice

Other key lawyers:

Alan Michie; Alasdair Maclure

Key clients

Kirkwood Homes Limited


Gilcomston Investments Limited

Carlton Rock Limited

Harbro Limited

ANM Group Limited

RWG (Repair & Overhauls) Limited

Veitchi Homes Limited

Skene Enterprises (Aberdeen) Limited

Claymore Homes Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting for Kirkwood Homes Limited in the conclusion of an option agreement for 59.26 hectares of land at Broughty Ferry, Dundee prospectively for circa 1000 residential units.
  • Acting for Gilcomston Investments Limited in the Sale of 6.077 hectares site at Lang Stracht, Aberdeen under the a long term option agreement.
  • Acting for Skene Enterprises (Aberdeen) Ltd in the acquisition of strategic land for future commercial development of residential retirement homes north of Inchmarlo Retirement Village, Banchory.

Corporate and commercial > Corporate and commercial: elsewhere in Scotland Tier 3

Ledingham Chalmers LLP services international clients from its Aberdeen base and is no stranger to cross-border transactions. With a focus on the oil and gas industry, the firm is seeing an uptick in energy transition and decommissioning work. Head of practice Peter Murray is recommended for M&A work, and works closely with colleagues in IP, employment and litigation to provide a holistic approach to corporate matters. Uisdean Vass left in August 2020 for an in-house role at VassPetro and Neil Anderson left for transatlantic boutique Rooney Nimmo in April 2020.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Rod Hutchison; Jody Mitchell


‘The team provides a knowledge and understanding of our business, professionalism, availability and excellent communication and delegation skills’.

‘Very open, friendly and never show any stress or pressure – they reassure the client’.

‘In our dealings with them, even when the pressure was mounting they maintained a calm, professional, diligent approach’.

‘A large practice with great expertise and a strong team’.

‘Deep knowledge of the business and determination to ensure their clients get the best deal’.

‘Peter Murray is the partner who looks after our interests and has done so for many years’.

‘The team’s main strength is their ability to act at pace with efficiency, time and time again’.

Key clients

Arjowiggins Group

Total E&P


Solstad Offshore


Storegga Geotechnologies

CRC-Evans Pipeline International, Inc.


Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group (AREG)


Work highlights

  • Advised the sellers of a substantial marine engineering company on the sale of the whole issued share capital.
  • Acted on the sale of 100% of the share capital of Aximir and its subsidiaries to Storegga Geotechnologies, following the purchaser receiving investment from Macquarie Group of Australia.
  • Acted as lead advisers to Arjowiggins Group on the acquisition of a luxury paper distributor based in New South Wales, Australia from an international group of paper suppliers.

Employment Tier 4

Led by Inverness-based Kirk Tudhope, Ledingham Chalmers LLP is a popular choice for employers and employees in the Highland and Islands area. Reflecting the team's key area of expertise, Tudhope is regularly called upon to assist with contentious matters including employment tribunal hearings. Much of the team's recent work involves (Covid-19-related) redundancy support and advice on the dismissal of (senior) employees including associated disciplinary and employment tribunal proceedings. Other work included TUPE and reorganisations advice.

Practice head(s):

Kirk Tudhope

Other key lawyers:

John Lee


‘They go to great lengths to ensure that their services are consistent and they always deliver the requests and responses on time. Contacting partners is easy and pricing is transparent and clear. ’

‘John Lee is outstanding. He really feels like one of our own. He understands the business well, he is always personally available, he will always be straight with us even if we don’t like what he has to say. It makes his contribution to the success of our company invaluable.

‘Professional yet friendly and approachable with a commercial focus. They get to know their clients and their business and provide sound legal advice whilst understanding the practical challenges for businesses.’

‘Kirk Tudhope is a highly experienced and capable lawyer who brings a commercial understanding. Available and accessible, always considered and creates a calm working environment breaking down complex issues.’

‘John Lee provided our firm with employment law advice throughout 2020 as we navigated the difficult waters of Covid-related changes in personnel. John’s knowledge, practical advice, commercial recognisance and ability to communicate in plain English made our work so much easier. He is a trusted advisor that we can certainly rely upon.’

‘Kirk Tudhope combines great professionalism with an outstanding knowledge of our business and the people that work in our business. Kirk is always able to make a commercial judgement whilst at all times providing the legal case for a certain course of action.’

‘The personal service, understanding of our business and culture, knowledge of applicable law and commercial approach makes the team stand out. In particular the firm’s pragmatic and commercial approach and willingness to offer solutions.’

‘Ledingham Chalmers not only offers sound legal advice surrounding employment law, they also take the time to know the individual business and tailor the needs to suit. They have vast amounts of experience and knowledge to share. They offer many useful free update sessions to clients on very important topics or updates on legislation changes. They always respond in a timely manner to any queries we have.’

Key clients

Lifescan Scotland Limited

Kirkwood Homes Limited

Orion Engineering (Services) Limited

Harbro Limited

John Gordon and Sons Limited

SGL Carbon Fibers Limited

Haines Watts Scotland

Scottish Shellfish Marketing Group Limited (‘SSMG’)

Qube GB Limited

Hawco and Sons Limited

Highland Fuels Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Haines Watts Scotland on a number of performance-related and capability issues and subsequent exits from its business.
  • Advising Scottish Shellfish Marketing Group Limited (SSMG) on all of its employment requirements under annual retainer arrangements. Recently, this included advice on senior management team member exits.
  • Advising Qube GB Limited on employment matters, including a disputed breach of restrictive covenants alleged by a former agency labour provider.

Insurance > Personal injury: defender Tier 4

Jointly led by John Chalmers, Victoria Leslie and Graeme Edward, Ledingham Chalmers LLP's team is renowned regionally for the large volume of work it undertakes for local authorities in Scotland. It is particularly knowledgeable about employers’ liability, industrial disease and public liability issues. The group also handles cases across Scotland for insurers, with particular expertise in fraudulent, catastrophic injury and fatal claims. Sarah Morris garners client praise as ‘a very able and experienced litigator'.

Practice head(s):

John Chalmers; Victoria Leslie; Graeme Edward

Other key lawyers:


‘This is a team of hard-working, highly skilled lawyers who deliver excellence.’

‘Victoria Leslie provides an excellent service to clients. She is highly skilled and thorough and leaves no stone unturned when achieving her client’s best interests.’

‘Sarah Morris is standout. She started with the firm as a trainee and is now a partner. She is really popular with clients because she demands excellence, whilst always being a pleasure to work with.’

‘Ledingham Chalmers do a huge amount of work for local authorities in Scotland, particularly in terms of defending personal injury litigations. They have an extremely able and experienced team in their Edinburgh office.’

‘Sarah Morris is a very able and experienced litigator who works extremely hard on her cases and has excellent attention to detail.’

‘Ledingham Chalmers offer an excellent service to a number of major public authority customers.’

‘Graeme Edward is a class act.’

Key clients

Gallagher Bassett International

Direct Line Insurance

North Lanarkshire Council

South Lanarkshire Council

Scottish Borders Council

Police Scotland

Zurich Insurance

East Lothian Council

Highland Council

Zenith Insurance

Markerstudy Insurance


Work highlights

  • Defending the insured in £5m catastrophic personal injury claim in the Court of Session.
  • Defending high-value personal injury stress at work claim in Court of Session.
  • Defending a house fire fatality claim brought against a local authority in Court of Session.

Real estate > Construction Tier 5

With its construction team based in Aberdeen, Ledingham Chalmers LLP has a strong presence in the Northeast of Scotland and particular expertise in the energy sector, spanning oil, gas and renewables. Sarah Stuart is a key contact in this space and jointly heads the practice with managing partner Jennifer Young, who is a key contact for construction dispute management and resolution. The team has long-standing relationships with housebuilder clients and also assists contractors, developers and consultants with various contentious and non-contentious construction and engineering law matters.

Practice head(s):

Jennifer Young; Sarah Stuart


‘The individuals assigned to deal with our business are keen to resolve challenges and update us on progress regularly; despite this becoming more difficult through the Covid-19 pandemic.’

‘Friendly, responsive, given invaluable advice in construction disputes. The practice is well resourced with experienced staff to deal with all aspects of our legal requirements’

‘Jennifer Young is always responsive to any queries myself and members may have, even at times when she is on her holidays which is much appreciated.’

Key clients

Heidi Beers Limited

Deeside Timberframe Limited

M N Hamilton & Sons Limited

Hutcheon Services Limited

John Gordon & Sons Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for Meston Reid in securing the settlement of claims sought by the liquidator appointed to a specialist sub-contractor on ten construction projects.
  • Advising Highland Groundcare on claims for loss and expense and extension of time under a NEC4 contract linked to the impact of Covid-19.
  • Supporting the commercial painting and decorating contractor, M N Hamilton & Sons Limited, with contractual notices required as a result of, and to mitigate the impact of, the Covid-19 lockdown.

Ledingham Chalmers LLP is a Scottish law firm with offices in Aberdeen, Inverness, Edinburgh and Stirling.

The firm: Ledingham Chalmers has played an important role in the Scottish legal scene for many years. With its origins in North East Scotland, it is not surprising that the firm’s development has followed Aberdeen’s emergence as the capital of the European oil and gas exploration and production sector, and as a centre of excellence for professional services.

Key features of the firm are its emphasis on long-term client relationships and a high level of partner delivery. While other firms have abandoned the full-service model, Ledingham Chalmers continues to match its broad offering to the changing requirements of its client base. This has involved a renewed commitment to rural and agricultural law, family law and private client services alongside its strong offering to the business, insurance and public sectors.

Ledingham Chalmers has a strong focus on the business sectors that drive the Scottish regional economy, such as agriculture/food/fisheries, energy (both oil and gas and renewables), construction, leisure and tourism, and education. The firm has an international outlook that reflects its involvement in the international energy sector.

The firm houses a team of experts in advising insurance companies, local authorities and other public bodies on a wide range of issues including employer liability, public liability, disease, property damage and motor claims, with particular expertise in fraudulent, catastrophic injury and fatal claims.

The firm is the Scottish member of Lawyers Associated Worldwide, a network that has members in over 100 jurisdictions and major commercial centres. Additional international exposure comes through client work in the oil and gas and oil services sectors.

Types of work undertaken: The firm’s commitment to providing a broad service has not been made at the expense of specialisation. Ledingham Chalmers recognises that clients across the length and breadth of the country, and internationally, have increasingly sophisticated requirements for specialist skills. The firm has accredited specialists in several areas, including agriculture, construction, personal injury, family law and employment law, as well as four solicitor advocates.

The areas in which Ledingham Chalmers has particular skills and expertise include: agriculture and rural affairs; banking and finance; commercial contracts; commercial property and construction; companies and partnerships; dispute resolution and litigation; employment; energy; family law; health and safety; intellectual property; insolvency; planning and environmental; private client services; public sector procurement; and residential property.

Managing partner Jennifer Young
Chief operating officer Chris Mackenzie
Victoria Leslie photo Victoria LesliePartner
Kirk Tudhope photo Kirk TudhopePartner in Inverness and head of Ledingham Chalmers’ employment team.  Represents and…
Number of UK partners : 28
Number of other UK fee-earners : 69