Firm Profile > MacRoberts LLP > Edinburgh , Scotland

MacRoberts LLP

Projects Tier 1

The projects team at MacRoberts LLP advises a varied client base, which includes procuring local and governmental bodies, developers, equity investors, banks, construction contractors and facilities managers, on a wide range of projects. With substantial expertise in construction and procurement law, the group also handles significant disputes arising from projects. Practice head Rod Munro has notable experience across a range of industry sectors including the hospitality, transport, social infrastructure and energy industries.

Charities and not-for-profit Tier 2

MacRoberts LLP acts for a wide range of clients, including international charities, social enterprises, trusts and SCIOs, primarily advising on regulatory matters such as data protection, safeguarding and equal pay obligations. The team has further expertise with all contract related matters, and also regularly carries out data audits for clients. Practice head Valerie Surgenor is noted for her expertise advising charities on fundraising procedures and requirements and works regularly with the UK Fundraising Regulator. Senior solicitor Jozanne Bainbridge has extensive regulatory auditing and reporting experience and expertise in the area of governance.

Commercial litigation Tier 2

MacRoberts LLP has a strong IT and IP litigation practice but is also well versed in representing clients in insurance and energy litigation alongside disputes arising from insolvency. Team head Julie Hamilton is a 'very capable and experienced litigator'.

Commercial property: Edinburgh and Glasgow Tier 2

Douglas Lamb and Gillian Campbell lead the practice at MacRoberts LLP, which excels in development, investment, real estate finance and occupier lease work. The group has also recently built on its presence in the residential development space handling land acquisitions, refurbishments and overage and access arrangements. The firm's retail expertise encompasses retail investments and developments; Kelsey Gibson is the key contact.

Corporate tax Tier 2

MacRoberts LLP's practice advises on tax issues relating to property transactions, employee share schemes, entrepreneur’s relief and substantial shareholdings relief. The team has recently increased the number of charities on its client roster, advising on tax relating to mergers and other day-to-day issues such as the VAT status of grant income. Ainsley MacLaren  - 'an absolute go-to expert' - is a solicitor and a chartered tax adviser, advising solely on tax matters, while also sitting on the Law Society of Scotland’s tax sub-committee.

Debt recovery Tier 2

The 'efficient and totally reliable' team at MacRoberts LLP is co-led by Leon Breakey and Stephen Cowan and best known for its expertise in handling debt recovery work in the property management, financial services, construction and food and drink sectors.

Environment Tier 2

MacRoberts LLP has particular expertise in the waste management, minerals, water, energy and food production sectors and handles a wide range of environment work, most notably in relation to contaminated land, waste and operational permits. Senior associate Louise Gibson is the key contact; she regularly handles transactional and advisory work while the team also has notable contentious capabilities.

Family Tier 2

MacRoberts LLP's thriving family law practice is frequently instructed in multi-jurisdictional cases relating to child abductions, relocation proceedings and financial provision upon divorce, often involving high net worth clients. The team, which is led by 'gifted family mediator' Jacqueline Stroud, has further expertise pursuing uncontested and contested adoption applications, advising on the drafting of prenuptial agreements, and acting in child contact cases. The 'outstanding' Marika Franceschi handles a wide range of matters for international clients, from asset division following separation to advising on ante-nuptial contracts.

Health Tier 2

MacRoberts LLP is best known for advising NHS trusts on healthcare infrastructure projects and for providing privately owned health care groups with transactional support. The group led by corporate lawyer David Wylie also conducts healthcare litigation.

Intellectual property Tier 2

MacRoberts LLP's expertise encompasses trade marks, patents and copyrights with substantial experience in cross-border disputes and licensing matters in the IT and technology space. The team also has notable sector knowledge with the food and drink, charities, manufacturing, media, life sciences and energy industries being key examples. David Gourlay leads the group and has particular expertise in brand and trade mark protection work and software-related matters; Euan Duncan leads the food and drink sector group, and Valerie Surgenor focuses on the third sector.

Local government Tier 2

MacRoberts LLP frequently assists local authorities and third-sector bodies with employment law matters, pension schemes, GDPR and procurement issues, but the team (led by Duncan Osler ) is also well versed in handling community asset transfers, development projects and regeneration schemes. Public and third-sector expert Robin Fallas made partner in May 2018.

Pensions Tier 2

MacRoberts LLP handles regular instructions from trustees of various pension schemes and employers pertaining to gender equalisation, pension scheme liability, investment structures and wind-ups alongside M&A transactions. 'Extremely good technical lawyerMartyn Shaw heads the 'pragmatic' team; he is 'commercially aware and understands how the legal issues fit into the bigger picture'.

Banking and finance Tier 3

MacRoberts LLP has strong expertise across the main financing markets in Scotland including corporate banking, real estate finance and project finance. The team fields a dedicated property finance specialists group and is recognised for its knowledge of the healthcare sector; senior associate Fiona Armour, who is based in Glasgow, leads the healthcare expertise. Also noted is practice head Norman Martin's knowledge of the whisky industries and the expertise of John Crawford in the agriculture space; Martin sits in Edinburgh while Crawford is based in Glasgow. Roddy Maclennan retired from the partnership but remains with the firm as a consultant.

Commercial property: elsewhere in Scotland Tier 3

MacRoberts LLP fields a real estate team that covers all aspects of commercial property work across Scotland. Practice head David Milne has a particular focus on commercial developments, investment deals and real estate finance work.

Construction Tier 3

Led by 'excellent communicator' and specialist in contentious construction work Neil Kelly, the 'pragmatic, approachable and knowledgeable' team at MacRoberts LLP has a strong profile for construction disputes, which frequently pertain to alleged construction and design defects and also include adjudications. In the non-contentious space, the team handles a wide range of issues spanning various sectors and acts for contractors and sub-contractors, employers and public sector bodies.

Corporate and commercial: Edinburgh and Glasgow Tier 3

MacRoberts LLP acts for a variety of mid-market companies, SMEs and owner-managed businesses, alongside larger clients including domestic PLCs and international buyers. The group is experienced in handling multi-jurisdictional transactions, acting for international investors and UK companies during overseas expansion. Alan Kelly, Michael Kelly, Louise Mahon and David Wylie head the practice.

Education Tier 3

MacRoberts LLP's client base consists of educational institutions and education authorities, which benefit from the team's real estate and construction expertise. Clients also instruct the team to handle contentious and non-contentious employment law work alongside GDPR and IP matters. Deborah Miller is the main contact.

EU and competition Tier 3

The MacRoberts LLP is best known for its work on compliance and investigation matters. David Flint's team advises on competition law aspects of corporate transactions, including mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures and the acquisition of companies holding publicly-awarded contracts.

IT and telecoms Tier 3

MacRoberts LLP is particularly noted for its work for the Scottish government and related public sector bodies, regularly handling high-value IT projects. The team, led by David Gourlay, also acts on matters including cloud computing, software licensing, data protection and cybersecurity, e-commerce and open-source software issues and advises on privacy and data security work. Gourlay is singled out for his IT procurement and outsourcing expertise, Valerie Surgenor regularly assists with software licensing, cybersecurity and social media matters; and Euan Duncan has experience in the technology, media and digital sectors.

Personal tax, trusts and executries Tier 3

The personal tax team at MacRoberts LLP works alongside the firm’s corporate team to advise executors on estate administrations and negotiate with HMRC in respect of claims for agricultural property relief and business property relief, while also representing trustees in a wide range of areas including updating trust deeds and transferring assets into charitable trusts. The practice also prepares a high volume of tax-efficient wills, predominantly for a wills writing company in Scotland, and manages guardianship orders, powers of attorney and personal injury trusts. The team is headed up by 'exceptional legal mind' Carole McAlpine-Scott.

Planning Tier 3

Handling contentious planning applications and compulsory purchase matters is MacRoberts LLP's area of particular strength, leading to regular instructions from private developers and public sector clients, but the team, led by senior associate Keith Campbell , also provides assistance with non-contentious planning matters, most notably those pertaining to energy,  renewables, minerals and residential housing developments.

Property litigation Tier 3

Working in close co-operation with its planning and construction teams, MacRoberts LLP acts for a diverse client base consisting of local authorities, utilities, listed companies, high street retailers, portfolio landlords and developers. The 'very approachable and switched-onGillian Craig heads the 'very friendly and efficient' team, which is best known for its expertise in judicial reviews, dilapidation claims, way leave and lease matters.

Employment Tier 4

The 'good' team at MacRoberts LLP regularly acts for public and third sector bodies, while its client base also includes various private sector players, in employment litigation concerning unfair dismissal, discrimination and remuneration issues including a number of class actions and whistleblowing matters; the team also represents employees. In non-contentious work, the group led by Katy Wedderburn is noted for its experience handling TUPE transfers, collective consultation processes and senior executive exits alongside employment contracts and compliance matters.

Energy (excluding oil and gas) Tier 4

MacRoberts LLP has specialist expertise across a range of disciplines including real estate, construction, planning, IP, power purchase agreements and energy regulation. The energy practice's key clients encompass developers, infrastructure providers and public sector bodies; the team also recently added Together Energy to its client roster. Team head Nick Jones is based in Edinburgh and has particular strength in wind farm developments.

Insolvency and corporate recovery Tier 4

The department at MacRoberts LLP is recognised for its contentious insolvency advice. Its client roster includes leading insolvency practitioners in Scotland which it advises on a range of matters from applications to fix remuneration to complex litigation in the Court of Session. Recently, the team has handled an increasing number of cross-border insolvencies and has increased its instructions from insolvency practitioners. Insolvency litigator Leon Breakey leads the group, which also includes property expert Ian BowieAlan Meek recently moved to Morton Fraser.

MacRoberts occupies a position of leadership and prestige in the Scottish legal sector and beyond. This position has been maintained through the delivery of high-quality, innovative and practical solutions for clients, by a firm with an impressive ability to adapt to the contemporary commercial landscape.

We are more than just lawyers, we are industry experts with unrivalled commitment to the sectors in which our clients operate. Keeping up-to-date with relevant law, industry challenges, and technological advancement is not just part of the job – it is a reflection of our enthusiasm. This dedication has allowed our firm to thrive, winning the favour of some of Scotland’s largest organisations and projects throughout the years.

We have vast experience and an impressive track record in areas including all aspects of corporate law; taxation, pensions and share schemes; corporate defence law; employment law; construction, transport and major infrastructure projects; real estate and energy. We also provide a select service to private individuals including family law. This means you can be confident that we will be able to understand your issues, anticipate any problems and provide the best possible outcome for you.

We work with clients in all key sectors within the Scottish economy, from traditional sectors of banking, construction and local and national government, through to growth industries such as renewable energy, food and drink and technology. Our clients find us professional, approachable and straight-talking with a proven ability to help generate practical and commercial outcomes.

Our strength comes from our collaborative relationships and our connections. We have an extensive network of clients and contacts throughout Scotland, as well as strong links to the wider UK and international markets. We are therefore able to offer advice to clients working from and in Scotland.

In this era of digital revolution and economic difficulty, we have risen to the challenge of meeting client expectations in the same way we have done for more than 150 years – with sophistication, passion and expertise.

Department Name Email Telephone
Managing Partner Neil Kennedy
Employment John Macmillan
Commercial litigation Julie Hamilton
Commercial property David Milne
Commercial property Douglas Lamb
Construction Neil Kelly
Corporate finance Alan Kelly
EU and competition David Flint
Employment Katy Wedderburn
Energy Nick Jones
Family Jacqueline Stroud
Health and safety John McGovern
Local government Duncan Osler
Pensions Martyn Shaw
Personal tax, trusts and executries Carole MacAlpine-Scott
Planning Martin Sales
Property litigation Gillian Craig
Construction Mike Barlow
Energy, Resources & Transport Ian Bowie
Construction Craig Bradshaw
Debt Recovery Leon Breakey
Real Estate Gillian Campbell
Banking & Finance John Crawford
IP, Technology & Commercial Euan Duncan
Projects Robin Fallas
Family Marika Franceschi
Real Estate Laurence Fraser
Banking & Finance Lisa Frost
Real Estate Kelsey Gibson
IP, Technology & Commercial David Gourlay
Real Estate Simon Hay
Private Client James Inglis
Commercial, Corporate Finance Michael Kelly
Corporate Tax Ainsley MacLaren
Banking & Finance Roddy Maclennan
Banking & Finance Norman Martin
Energy, Resources & Transport David McGuire
Construction Jennifer McKay
Real Estate John McQuillan
Employment Deborah Miller
Projects Rod Munro
IP, Technology & Commercial Valerie Surgenor
Construction Gavin Thomson
Construction David Wilson
Commercial, Corporate Finance David Wylie
Photo Name Position Profile
Mr Robin Fallas  photo Mr Robin Fallas
Dr Martin Sales  photo Dr Martin Sales
Ms Jacqueline Stroud  photo Ms Jacqueline Stroud
Mr Duncan Osler  photo Mr Duncan Osler
Mr Rod Munro  photo Mr Rod Munro
Mr Norman Martin  photo Mr Norman Martin
Mr Roddy Maclennan  photo Mr Roddy Maclennan
Ms Ainsley MacLaren  photo Ms Ainsley MacLaren
Mr Neil Kelly  photo Mr Neil Kelly
Mr Alan Kelly  photo Mr Alan Kelly
Mr Nick Jones  photo Mr Nick Jones
Ms Julie Hamilton  photo Ms Julie Hamilton
Mr David Gourlay  photo Mr David Gourlay
Number of UK partners : 43
Number of other UK fee-earners : 96
Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb)
Licensing Executive Society (LES)
Society of Construction Law
STEP London