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MacRoberts LLP

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

Duncan Osler

Work 0131 248 2115
MacRoberts LLP

Work Department





Duncan’s work is mainly focused on the public sector and he advises Government, NHS Boards, local authorities and other public bodies on a range of matters such as the procurement of hospitals, schools, transport projects and reforms.

He is Accredited by The Law Society of Scotland as a Specialist in Public Procurement Law.


The Board of Social Enterprise Scotland


University of Aberdeen
Diploma in Legal Practice

University of Aberdeen
Master's Degree, LLB (With French), First

Scotland: Corporate and commercial

EU and competition

Within: EU and competition

MacRoberts LLP's David Flint, who has nearly 40 years of competition law experience, leads the team, which advises public and private sector clients on competition law compliance, merger control, cartel and other regulatory investigations, and public procurement. It generates mandates from clients in sectors such as construction, food and drink, publishing and transport, among others. Duncan Osler, who is accredited by the Law Society of Scotland as a specialist in public procurement law, undertakes a significant amount of work for clients such as government bodies, NHS boards and local authorities. John Reid departed for an in-house role at Scottish Power.

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Scotland: Private client

Charities and not-for-profit

Within: Charities and not-for-profit

MacRoberts LLP is praised for its ‘excellent level of service and quality of advice, and for its solutions-focused approach’. The firm is singled out for its knowledge of public law, procurement, grants, tax, IPR and GDPR matters, and charity law and regulation. Practice head Valerie Surgenor focuses on governance, charitable fundraising and commercial contracting. Public procurement expert Duncan Osler advises a number of charities and social enterprises on their arrangements with government agencies and local authorities. The group assisted the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland with governance and fundraising related compliance, including a full GDPR audit. It continues to handle constitutional matters and trustee training for 18 separate People’s Postcode Lottery trusts in Scotland. Robin Fallas is also recommended.

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Scotland: Projects, energy and natural resources


Within: Projects

Illustrative of MacRoberts LLP's excellent reputation in PFI/PPP/NPD/hub projects, it is the only Scottish law firm on the Scottish government's projects panel; it advises the client on infrastructure matters involving district heating, rail, roads, housing and IT investment. In addition, the firm has a strong client following of other public sector clients, such as NHS Highland, Glasgow City Council and Fife Council. It also acts for private sector sponsors, funders and subcontractors. In 2017, Duncan Osler, team head Rod Munro, Gillian Campbell and director Ben Powell acted for NHS Orkney as the procuring public body and main provider of funding for a new hospital in Kirkwall; the matter involved a novel structure for PPP/PFI in the UK. In addition, Munro, and senior associates Lynn Pentland, Margaret Kinnes and Sarah Pengelly, are advising NHS Lothian on its Royal Hospital for Sick Children and Department of Clinical Neurosciences NPD project and The Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh PFI project. The contentious side of the practice, particularly in relation to PFI/PPP disputes, is gaining momentum; Jennifer McKay, Powell and Munro recently represented The Edinburgh Schools Partnership Limited in the highly-publicised case of The Edinburgh Schools Partnership Limited v Galliford Try Construction (UK) Limited. Mike Barlow and Craig Bradshaw are also recommended. Senior solicitor Pryderi Thomas joined from Pinsent Masons LLP.

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Scotland: Public sector


Within: Education

MacRoberts LLP acts for an impressive roster of Scottish NHS health boards and private companies operating in the health space, which it advises on the spectrum of non-contentious matters. It also has a significant medical product liability practice. Highlights for practice head David Wylie included advising healthcare entrepreneur Robert Kilgour, on various projects, including securing development funding for the refurbishment of a portfolio of care homes, and an investment in HealthTech software, Storii Care. Projects specialist Duncan Osler advised NHS Orkney on the procurement and funding for the new General Hospital in Kirkwall under the NPD model developed by the Scottish Futures Trust. Rod Munro is assisting NHS Lothian with The Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh PFI project, which involves the preparation of documentation for the capital investment programme and operational management issues.

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Local government

Within: Local government

MacRoberts LLP’s public sector procurement team specialises in high-value contentious and non-contentious matters concerning Scottish local authorities. The group is led by Duncan Osler, who advises ReadyforBuiness, which is an intermediary between the public and third sectors, on local authority procurement legislation, a recycling contact and the integration of a reserved business lot into a major framework. Katy Wedderburn is representing a large local authority at an employment tribunal regarding multiple claims for unfair dismissal brought by senior education staff (including a head teacher) who were fired for a failure to properly manage a complaint of sexual harassment by an adult student. Legal director James Keith is also recommended for his expertise in local government pension schemes.

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Parliamentary and public affairs

Within: Parliamentary and public affairs

MacRoberts LLP handles the spectrum of public law issues, including monitoring legislation proposals and advising on their legal implications, drafting and vetting briefing papers and advising on parliamentary and judicial procedures for challenges to proposed legislation. The group is led by Duncan Osler who advised NHS Orkney on Scottish Government issued guidance on the application of the ESA10 accounting standards in relation to project finance. He also advised ReadyForBusiness on new developments in Scottish procurement legislation in relation to mechanisms through which public and third sector bodies work together. David Flint is recommended for his experience in lobbying, FOI requests and experience in appearing before the Public Petitions Committee of the Scottish Parliament.

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