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MacRoberts LLP

Work 0131 229 5046
Fax 0131 229 0849
Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow

Scotland: Corporate and commercial

Corporate and commercial: Edinburgh and Glasgow
Corporate and commercial: Edinburgh and Glasgow - ranked: tier 3

MacRoberts LLP

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.

Practice head(s):Alan Kelly; Michael Kelly; Louise Mahon; David Wylie

Other key lawyers:Neil Kennedy; Gary Baines;


'The group stands out for its straight-talking plain English explanation and ability to get the job done.'

'The team is very aligned with clients. It has a great understanding of clients' requirements and constantly checks back to see if the client is on track with what it is trying to achieve.'

'Michael Kelly is clear, concise, intelligent and always available.'

'Gary Baines (associate) powers through the work and is always available.'

Key Clients


Johnston Press (now JPI Media Limited)

Dow Investments

The Scottish Salmon Company

Spring Grove Clinic (Scotland) Limited

McTear Contracts

Black and Lizars Limited

Marine Procurement Limited

Speech Graphics

Work highlights

  • Acted for German-headquartered Moelle GmbH on a restructure involving its Scottish subsidiary, Moelle Interlok Packaging Limited.
  • Advised Edinburgh-based Speech Graphics on a £2m private equity fundraising.
  • Advised the selling shareholders of Bathing Mobility Advisory Service Limited, an Edinburgh-based bathing mobility specialist, on the disposal of the entire issued share capital to Mobility Group.
  • Acted for the sole shareholder of Unick Holdings Limited on a management buyout of the company.

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Corporate tax
Corporate tax - ranked: tier 2

MacRoberts LLP

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.

Practice head(s):Ainsley MacLaren


'MacRoberts' tax lawyers are part of a larger team providing everything one would expect from a full-service firm, especially good technical expertise and knowledge.'

'Ainsley MacLaren is an absolute go-to expert for stamp duty, land and buildings transaction tax and stamp duty land tax.'

Key Clients

Idox plc

Dow Investments plc (including Renaissance Care)

Breedon Aggregates plc

Boyd Insurance

Hamilton Capital Partners

BAM Properties Limited

British Waterways Board (trading as Scottish Canals)

People’s Postcode Lottery

Sumdog Limited

Muse Developments

Work highlights

  • Acting for Renaissance Care on the acquisition of the entire issued share capitals of Croftbank House Limited and Rosepark Care Home Ltd from the Balmer Group.
  • Appointed to intervene in Breedon Group's acquisition of the entire issued share capital of Blinkbonny Quarries Limited.
  • Representing the joint venture vendors of Energen Biogas Limited in the drafting of the transactional tax documents required by the purchaser.
  • Advised TCP Atlantic Square Limited on the development, letting and forward funding through L&G of an office development at Atlantic Square, Glasgow.
  • Acted on the reorganisation of the Pacson Group, which included a demerger by way of capital reduction.
Leading individuals

Ainsley MacLaren - MacRoberts LLP

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EU and competition
EU and competition - ranked: tier 3

MacRoberts LLP

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.

Practice head(s):David Flint

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Scotland: Dispute resolution

Commercial litigation
Commercial litigation - ranked: tier 2

MacRoberts LLP

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'.

Practice head(s):Julie Hamilton

Other key lawyers:Gillian Craig; Leon Breakey


'Well balanced and responsive team that delivers useable and practical advice.'

'Leon Breakey is calm and measured.'

Key Clients

The Scottish Government

French Duncan


CCHG t/a Vaporized


The Football Company (Scotland)

NHS Lothian

Glasgow City Council

Bairds Malt


Work highlights

  • Acted for the defender in alleged trade mark infringement proceedings (in respect of products and services) in the Court of Session.
  • Acting for an executive agency of the Scottish government in its termination of a large ICT contract with an international IT services contractor.
  • Instructed to act on behalf of William Wright and Robert Croxen of KPMG in their capacity as the supervisors in the Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) of House of Fraser and House of Fraser Stores; it concerned a challenge by a number of landlords to the CVA on the grounds that it was unfairly prejudicial and suffered from material irregularities.
  • Defending Ballyvesey against an action for damages brought by Caithness Flagstone; the client supplied the pursuer, on hire purchase terms, with heavy plant equipment which allegedly was not fit for purpose.
Leading individuals

Julie Hamilton - MacRoberts LLP

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Debt recovery
Debt recovery - ranked: tier 2

MacRoberts LLP

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.

Practice head(s):Leon Breakey; Stephen Cowan


'They are genuinely committed to providing a high level of service and client support.'

'They take time to properly understand the issues and then deliver pragmatic, balanced and sensible debt recovery advice.'

'Stephen Cowan displays calm equanimity in the face of challenging, complex and often adversarial situations, and responds quickly and professionally.'

'Excellent personal one-to-one advice.'

'Stephen Cowan will always provide an honest opinion on the probable success rate of individual actions.'

Key Clients

Cemex UK Operations

Speirs Gumley Property Management

Flogas Britain

John Brown Caterhire




Work highlights

  • Instructed by Clyde Scaffolding to recover £200,000 unpaid hire charges.

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Scotland: Finance

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 3

MacRoberts LLP

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.

Practice head(s):Norman Martin

Other key lawyers:John Crawford; Fiona Armour


'Norman Martin and Fiona Armour provide a great service with regular ongoing dialogue throughout a transaction.'

Key Clients

HSBC UK Bank plc

Bank of Scotland plc

The Royal Bank of Scotland plc

Santander UK plc

Handelsbanken plc

Moneything Capital Limited

Legal & General Pensions Limited

Colony Capital LLC

Formation Capital LLC

Peel Ports Group

Work highlights

  • Acting for the Scottish Ministers on the provision of partially convertible facilities to Burntisland Fabrications to assist with the implementation of its obligations under various fabrication contracts, and to support a long-term future for the BiFab yards.
  • Providing Scottish law banking and finance advice to Chapman & Cutler and The 1887 Company on the note purchase agreement and related documentation to be entered into by The 1887 Company Limited and the other Scottish registered companies in its group.

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Insolvency and corporate recovery
Insolvency and corporate recovery - ranked: tier 4

MacRoberts LLP

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 Bowie. Alan Meek recently moved to Morton Fraser.

Practice head(s):Leon Breakey

Other key lawyers:Ian Bowie


'MacRoberts fields a well-balanced team, which handles both contentious and non-contentious matters. The practitioners are responsive and deliver actionable and practical advice.'

'Leon Breakey is excellent, calm and measured while Sophia Harrison is a rising star and a real team player.'

Key Clients

Campbell Dallas


French Duncan

Alix Partners

WRI Associates

Johnston Carmichael

Wylie & Bisset

FRP Advisory


Work highlights

  • Instructed by KPMG as supervisor in the CVA of House of Fraser.
  • Acted for The Underwater Centre on an application to place the company into administration.
  • Advised AlixPartners as liquidators of European Development Company, Verase and European Development Holdings on seeking extensions to the three company's administrations.

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Scotland: Human resources

Employment - ranked: tier 4

MacRoberts LLP

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.

Practice head(s):Katy Wedderburn

Other key lawyers:Deborah Miller; John Macmillan

Key Clients


The Scottish Government

Johnston Press (now named JPIMedia)

Glasgow City Council

City of Edinburgh Council

ENABLE Scotland

Hillcrest Group

The House of Bruar

CCHG t/ a Vaporized

Work highlights

  • Defended Transport Scotland, on behalf of the Scottish Government, against a class action pertaining to holiday pay.
  • Provided advice and tribunal representation to the University of Dundee in relation to claims for unfair dismissal, breach of contract and indirect age discrimination.
  • Defended McTear Contracts against claims of unfair dismissal, sex discrimination and other allegations.
  • Advised ENABLE Scotland on mean and median pay gaps and zero hour arrangements.
  • Acted for Vaporized on an unfair dismissal and disability discrimination claim raised by its production manager.

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Pensions - ranked: tier 2

MacRoberts LLP

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 lawyer' Martyn Shaw heads the 'pragmatic' team; he is 'commercially aware and understands how the legal issues fit into the bigger picture'.

Practice head(s):Martyn Shaw

Other key lawyers:James Keith


'James Keith is a safe pair of hands and a pleasure to work with; he turns around any issue in a prompt fashion while never compromising on quality.'

'Martyn Shaw is calm and assured and provides his clients with confidence.'

'Pragmatic and commercial outlook.'

'James Keith is an excellent lawyer with terrific attention to detail.'

'Very pleasant to work with.'

'The team has a can-do attitude. They are very focused on achieving good outcomes for their clients.'

'Good commercial acumen.'

'Martyn Shaw is a highly professional lawyer with real gravitas.'

Key Clients

Jacobs UK (and the trustees of its various pension schemes)

Johnston Press (and the trustees of the Johnston Press Pension Plan)

The Scottish Government

The T.P.S. Benefits Scheme

The MacRae & Dick Retirement Benefits Scheme


Scottish Leather Group

The Travis Perkins Pension & Dependants’ Pension Scheme

The SIG Retirement Benefits Plan

Work highlights

  • Advising the trustees of the scheme in connection with a change of third party administrator and undertaking the review and adjustment of the proposed administration agreements with particular focus on TUPE and data protection.
  • Advised the client on a scheme funding package.
  • Advised the trustee on a proposed change in the scheme’s pension benefit structure.
  • Following advising the trustee of the scheme on the successful implementation of a £30m medically underwritten buy-in funding deal with Just Retirement, the team provided advice on the scheme’s investment powers (including amending the scheme’s statement of investment principles) and the financial services compensation scheme, among other matters.
  • Advising the scheme trustees on equalising normal pension dates of males and females (including the preparation and completion of supporting affidavits) and on the equalisation of guaranteed minimum pension benefits of males and females.

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Scotland: Private client

Charities and not-for-profit
Charities and not-for-profit - ranked: tier 2

MacRoberts LLP

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.

Practice head(s):Valerie Surgenor

Other key lawyers:Jozanne Bainbridge


'The practice offers practical and pragmatic advice.'

'Valerie Surgenor is understated but hugely competent, knowledgeable, and pragmatic.'

Key Clients

Royal Zoological Society of Scotland

Leeds Cares

Community Enterprise in Scotland / Social Enterprise World Forum

Coalition of Care Providers Scotland (CCPS)/ Social Work Scotland

Citizens Theatre

People’s Postcode Lottery

Scottish Opera


Dundee Blind & Partially Sighted Society

Forth Valley College

Work highlights

  • Carried out a full data protection audit for the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, including data mapping and reporting of GDPR compliance.
  • Advised Community Enterprise in Scotland on corporate structural matters, commercial contracts and IP matters relating to the Social Enterprise World Forum in Edinburgh.
  • Provided People's Postcode Trusts with advice on appointment, services and trade mark agreements and training in the areas of governance and GDPR.
  • Provided advice to the Dundee Blind & Partially Sighted Society arising as a result of a significant pension scheme liability, stemming from the client's participation in the Tayside Pension fund within the Local Government Pension Scheme.
Rising stars

Jozanne Bainbridge - MacRoberts LLP

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Family - ranked: tier 2

MacRoberts LLP

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.

Practice head(s):Jacqueline Stroud

Other key lawyers:Marika Franceschi


"The whole team is totally reliable, and the service has been outstanding. Any instruction is actioned immediately. We have to be able to rely on our Edinburgh agents completely, and have never been disappointed."

'MacRoberts has an excellent team with the full range of skills and a wealth of experience.'

'Marika Franceschi possesses an excellent knowledge of Court of Session procedure, even the less frequently used aspects.'

'Jackie Stroud is growing a strong reputation as a gifted family mediator. Mediation comes naturally to her - her warm manner means that clients feel at ease.'

"Marika Franceschi has a hugely empathetic manner with clients and substantial experience in dealing with high value financial divorce." 

"Jacqueline Stroud is an astute court practitioner."

Work highlights

  • Acting as Edinburgh agents in child abduction petitions at the Court of Session.
  • Acted in a number of adoption cases referred through local authorities and adoption agencies.
  • Advising an Italian national in respect of a pre-nuptial contract.
  • Acting in a long running divorce case involving technical arguments regarding changes to the nature of the husband’s company.
Leading individuals

Jacqueline Stroud - MacRoberts LLP

Marika Franceschi - MacRoberts LLP

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Personal tax, trusts and executries
Personal tax, trusts and executries - ranked: tier 3

MacRoberts LLP

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.

Practice head(s):Carole McAlpine-Scott

Other key lawyers:Brian Jackson


"The team is very approachable and with a wealth of experience in their field. They are approachable and are quick to establish good working relationships with their clients." 

"Exceptional technical knowledge and client service. - undoubtedly and easily one of the best firms I work with."

"The firm goes the extra mile to ensure quality outcomes for clients."

"James Inglis provides clear and concise advice and responds quickly to queries."

"Carole McAlpine-Scott has an exceptional legal mind and a very endearing personality. She makes the client feel very comfortable and in very safe and trustworthy hands."

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Scotland: Projects, energy and natural resources

Energy (excluding oil and gas)
Energy (excluding oil and gas) - ranked: tier 4

MacRoberts LLP

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.

Practice head(s):Nick Jones

Other key lawyers:Mike Barlow; Ian Bowie; David McGuire


'The energy team is pragmatic and experienced.'

'Gillian Campbell is pragmatic, knowledgeable and patient throughout challenging transactions.'

Key Clients

SP Energy Networks

Together Energy Limited

Falk Renewables Wind

Brookfield Renewable UK

Coriolis Energy

GridCodePower Ltd

Orenda Energy Solutions

ENGIE Renewables

Breedon Group/Breedon Northern

Tillicoultry Quarries

Work highlights

  • Assisted Together Energy with the negotiation and completion of a wholesale power trading agreement with BP Gas Marketing to enable the forward trading and hedging of gas and electricity volumes.
  • Handled the real estate arrangements for GridCodePower's portfolio of battery storage sites, including lease options, access rights, title due diligence and the preparation of reports of title prior to the sale of the portfolio.
  • Advising Suez Recycling and Recovery UK on its bid for the Ness Energy Project in Aberdeen.
  • Acted for the National Trust for Scotland on a large renewables project including reviewing and negotiating the main turbine and solar array lease to the Isle of Canna Community Development Trust.

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Projects - ranked: tier 1

MacRoberts LLP

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.

Practice head(s):Rod Munro

Other key lawyers:Duncan Osler; Jennifer McKay;


'This is a very experienced, professional and knowledgeable team.'

Key Clients

Aberdeen Standard Life


Angus Council

Babcock Wilcox Volund

Bank of Ireland (UK)

Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi

Charity Bank

ECG Facilities Services

Edinburgh Council

Glasgow City Council


Infrastructure Managers Limited


M&G Investments

Morgan Sindall Investments Limited

NHS Lothian

NHS Orkney

NHS Tayside

NHS Ayrshire & Arran

NHS Highland

Perth & Kinross Council

Pentland Ferries

Scottish Prisons Service

Scottish Government


Shepherd Engineering

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

SUEZ Recycling Limited

Transport Scotland

Western Ferries (Clyde)

Wm Hamilton & SonsLimited

Wood Group

Work highlights

  • Acted for NHS Lothian on the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary PFI Project and the Royal Edinburgh NPD Project.
  • Advising Suez Recycling and Recovery UK on its bid for the Ness energy-from-waste project in Aberdeen.
  • Instructed by Edinburgh Schools Partnership to handle the defects issues arising from the high-profile collapse of the gable wall at Oxgangs Primary School.
  • Acting for ECG Facilities Management on a joint venture partnership model to supply facilities management services to 35 operational projects across five separate local investment finance trust (LIFT) schemes in England.
  • Advising  Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation on its role as the incoming account bank on two operational PFI projects.
Leading individuals

Rod Munro - MacRoberts LLP

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Scotland: Public sector

Education - ranked: tier 3

MacRoberts LLP

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.

Practice head(s):Deborah Miller

Other key lawyers:Katy Wedderburn; Rod Munro; David Gourlay; Valerie Surgenor; John Macmillan; Gillian Craig; Jennifer McKay

Key Clients

University of Highlands and Islands (UHI)

Ready for Business

South Lanarkshire College

Perth and Kinross Council

Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Donaldson’s School

Glenalmond College

George Watson’s College

Work highlights

  • The team continues to advise ESP on the legal implications following the discovery of latent defects in wall construction at various schools in Edinburgh.
  • Provided advice and tribunal representation to the University of Dundee in relation to claims for unfair dismissal, breach of contract and indirect age discrimination.
  • Advising Education Scotland on a digital multi-tenancy platform used nationally by schools, universities and other educational institutions. This includes advice on commercial contracts, data protection and software licensing matters.

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Health - ranked: tier 2

MacRoberts LLP

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.

Practice head(s):David Wylie

Other key lawyers:Duncan Osler; Rod Munro; Val Surgenor; Lisa Frost; Julie Hamilton

Key Clients

NHS Orkney

NHS Tayside

NHS Lothian

Renaissance Care Group


Coalition of Care and Support Providers in Scotland (CCPS)

Frontier Scientific

Beatson Cancer Charity

Boston Scientific Corporation

University of Dundee

Work highlights

  • The team continues to act for NHS Lothian in matters pertaining to NHS Lothian’s Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh PFI project.
  • Providing advice to NHS Lothian on its new Sick Kids NPD project in Edinburgh.
  • Acting for Renaissance Care in the acquisition of the entire issued share capitals of Croftbank House and Rosepark Care Home from the Balmer Care Group.
  • Assisting Terumo Aortic with building contracts and associated contract documentation for multiple phases of works at Terumo Aortic’s manufacturing facility at Inchinnan, near Glasgow Airport.

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Local government
Local government - ranked: tier 2

MacRoberts LLP

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.

Practice head(s):Duncan Osler

Other key lawyers:Robin Fallas

Key Clients

The City of Edinburgh Council

West Lothian Council

Coalition of Care and Support Providers in Scotland

Social Work Scotland

North Lanarkshire Council

Scottish Borders Council

North Ayrshire Council

West Lothian Council

CVS Inverclyde

West Dunbartonshire Council

Work highlights

  • Advising and representing the council in the Employment Tribunal in a claim involving disability discrimination, detriment as a result of making a protected disclosure and constructive unfair dismissal.
  • Assisted the client with the creation of a bespoke form of contract to be used between local authorities, charities and individuals for the delivery of social care.
  • Advised the client on the process to secure a new ICT system, which included assistance with procurement, employment, contractual and data protection matters.

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Scotland: Real estate

Commercial property: Edinburgh and Glasgow
Commercial property: Edinburgh and Glasgow - ranked: tier 2

MacRoberts LLP

Commercial property: retail - ranked: tier 1

MacRoberts LLP

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.

Practice head(s):Douglas Lamb; Gillian Campbell

Other key lawyers:Laurence Fraser; Kelsey Gibson; Ian Bowie; Lisa Frost; John McQuillan; David McGuire


'MacRoberts provides a first-class service and really understands the benefits of long-term relationships with clients. This makes the real estate team so much more than just a legal service provider.'

'Laurence Fraser has always been exceptional. His commitment and desire to see projects succeed means he is always contributing constructive can-do advice in a positive and collaborative way.'

Key Clients

BAM Properties Limited

Muse Developments Limited


Wm Morrison Supermarkets PLC

Hamilton Capital Partners (HKIP)

London and Cambridge Property Group

CBRE Global Investors



British Waterways Board (Scottish Canals)

Work highlights

  • Acting for Clydeside Regeneration on its £250m development scheme, Queens Quay Regeneration.
  • Advised TCP Atlantic Square on the development, letting and forward funding of an office development at Atlantic Square, Glasgow.
  • Advised a joint venture between Hamcap and Revcap on the acquisition of City Wharf Development in Aberdeen.
  • Assisted The Citizens Theatre with its proposed redevelopment and refurbishment of the theatre, a landmark in the Gorbals area of Glasgow.
  • Instructed by Sheet Anchor Investments to handle the purchase of numerous industrial and retail investments.

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Commercial property: Elsewhere in Scotland
Commercial property: Elsewhere in Scotland - ranked: tier 3

MacRoberts LLP

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.

Practice head(s):David Milne

Key Clients

Unicorn Properties

Cullross Limited

Braemore Estates

James Hay Pension Trustees

Thomas Johnstone Ltd

Ceres Holographics Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for West Developments on its purchase of listed hotel building located on the boundary of a golf course in Angus.
  • Advising 5SR Property Holdings on the exchange of neighbouring and contiguous commercial plots for the development of 48 commercial units.
  • Assisting Eastacre with the sale of an £8m residential development on the exclusive Scores at St Andrews.

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Construction - ranked: tier 3

MacRoberts LLP

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.

Practice head(s):Neil Kelly

Other key lawyers:Mike Barlow; Craig Bradshaw; Gavin Thomson; David Wilson


'This firm has developed formidable experience in construction.'

'Neil Kelly rarely needs to check things. The knowledge he possesses is outstanding.'

'Gavin Thomson is a first-class communicator and knows his stuff.'

'They have a wide breadth of expertise and provide a high level of service.'

'Never makes a drama out of a crisis. The team remains calm during tough negotiations and can really focus on the desired outcome.'

'Makes the client feel valued and listened to.'

'They make things very easy with minimal fuss.'

Key Clients

Balfour Beatty

Wates Group

Wood Group


The Scottish Government  (including Transport Scotland and Scottish Prison Service)

NHS Lothian

The Edinburgh Schools Partnership

Engie Services

Vascutek Limited trading as Terumo Aortic

Souness & Boyne Interior Contracts

Work highlights

  • Advising Terumo Aortic on the building contracts and associated contract documentation for multiple phases of works at Terumo Aortic’s manufacturing facility at Inchinnan, near Glasgow Airport.
  • Acting for Claymore Roads in multiple defects disputes pertaining to the A92 trunk road with the design and build contractor.
  • Advising Edinburgh Schools Partnership on all issues arising from the collapse of the gable wall at Oxgangs Primary School.
  • Defending Aecom in Court of Session proceedings, which had been raised against the client and others in relation to alleged defects in the design and construction of ground consolidation works undertaken at a site in Leithlands in Glasgow.
  •   Advising the Wood Group on Court of Session proceedings, in defence of a multi-million pound claim concerning alleged defects to a waste water treatment plant.
Leading individuals

Neil Kelly - MacRoberts LLP

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Environment - ranked: tier 2

MacRoberts LLP

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.

Practice head(s):Louise Gibson

Other key lawyers:Martin Sales; John McGovern

Key Clients

Tillicoultry Quarries

Breedon Northern/ Breedon Group

The Scottish Salmon Company

Scottish Canals

The Scottish Government

GP Green Recycling

Work highlights

  • Advised the shareholders of GP Properties (Scotland) on the environmental aspects pertaining to the sale of GP Green Recycling, a waste recycling business based in Lanark, to GWE UK Opco.
  • Advising Scottish Canals on historic surface water and waste water discharges into canals across its Scottish canal network.
  • Acted for the client in land contamination proceedings in the Court of Session following the inadequate disposal of waste products on farm land.
  • Acted in the public inquiry into the application for the Drum Hollistan wind farm, Caithness.
  • Acted in an application for periodic review of a minerals planning permission at Murrayshall Quarry in Stirlingshire, including various environmental matters.

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Planning - ranked: tier 3

MacRoberts LLP

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.

Practice head(s):Keith Campbell

Other key lawyers:Martin Sales

Key Clients

The Scottish Government

Breedon Northern

Wood Group

M-I Drilling Fluids/ Schlumberger

Muirden Energy

Tillicoultry Quarries

Community Windpower

The Scottish Salmon Company

Dundas Estates & Development

Partnerships for Renewables

Work highlights

  • Acting for Schiehallion in objecting to a compulsory purchase order promoted by the Scottish Government to facilitate dualling of the A9 trunk road.
  • Acted in the public inquiry into the application for the Drum Hollistan wind farm, Caithness.
  • Advising Schlumberger on the planning and road aspects of the development of a deep barite mine in the Loch Tummel National Scenic Area of Perthshire.
  • Advised the client on planning matters concerning the establishment of a large portfolio of battery storage and electricity peaking plants of several hundred MWs.

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Property litigation
Property litigation - ranked: tier 3

MacRoberts LLP

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-on' Gillian 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.

Practice head(s):Gillian Craig


'All round great standard.'

Key Clients


The Scottish Government

All Saints Retail

Surface Technology UK



Scottish Property Group

Chivas Brothers

Work highlights

  • Advised on a judicial review that was raised against the Scottish Ministers by the owners of the Oak Mall Shopping Centre in Greenock and concerned a notice served on them by Transport Scotland in terms of section 87 of the Roads (Scotland) Act 1984.
  • Acted for the client in dilapidations claims concerning four neighbouring industrial units occupied by the client.
  • Instructed to act on behalf of William Wright and Robert Croxen of KPMG in their capacity as the supervisors in the Company Voluntary Arrangement of House of Fraser and House of Fraser Stores. It concerned a challenge by a number of landlords to the CVA on the grounds that it was unfairly prejudicial and suffered from material irregularities.
  • Acted for a college in contentious landlord and tenant matters.
  • Acted for the client, the owner of an industrial park, in a dispute with a tenant over waste disposal and associated licensing issues.
Leading individuals

Gillian Craig - MacRoberts LLP

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Scotland: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

IT and telecoms
IT and telecoms - ranked: tier 3

MacRoberts LLP

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.

Practice head(s):David Gourlay

Other key lawyers:Valerie Surgenor; Euan Duncan

Key Clients

Kames Capital

Dacoll Group Limited

Scottish Government

Transport Scotland

Education Scotland

Disclosure Scotland

Police Scotland

Scottish Fire & Rescue Service

Scottish Courts and Tribunal Service

Scotch Whisky Association

Work highlights

  • Advising the Scottish Government Procurement Directorate on new model terms for use when procuring ICT services.
  • Instructed by new client Police Scotland to assist with an urgent process to secure a new ICT system.
  • Assisted Sartorius Stedim Data Analytics with the commercialisation of a data analysis software system it has developed for use in the life sciences sector.
  • Advising a leading drinks representation body on a digital transformation programme and the related contracts.

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Intellectual property
Intellectual property - ranked: tier 2

MacRoberts LLP

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.

Practice head(s):David Gourlay

Other key lawyers:Euan Duncan; Valeria Surgenor


'MacRoberts provides a great level of support and advice and is always available when needed without fail.'

'The intellectual property experts at MacRoberts provide consistency in their service.'

'The firm's practitioners all understand their clients' business needs and provide the necessary level of support and advice.'

'David Gourlay is always well prepared and offers clear and helpful advice. He has an impressive knowledge of IP and commercial law. He is an excellent communicator and his calm, positive manner inspires confidence in clients and colleagues.'

Key Clients

Scottish Government



Peoples Postcode Trust

The Scottish Salmon Company Limited

Kames Capital Plc

The Scotch Whisky Association

The Scotch Whisky Heritage Centre Ltd t/a Scotch Whisky Experience

Johnstons of Elgin

Community Enterprise in Scotland and Social Enterprise World Forum C.I.C

Work highlights

  • Assisted Glencairn with the protection and enforcement of its IP rights in the UK and abroad.
  • Advising Scottish Higher Education Institution on the spin-out of a company, which will commercialise patented technology targeting certain protein structures for the development of medication.
  • Defending CCHG against trade mark infringement proceedings initiated by Vapouriz in the Court of Session.
  • Advising People’s Postcode Trusts on the appointment of its external lottery manager including the negotiation and drafting of various commercial agreements and trade mark licences.

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Legal Developments in the UK

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
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