Firm Profile > Pinsent Masons LLP > Edinburgh, Scotland

Pinsent Masons LLP

Banking and finance Tier 1

Pinsent Masons LLP is well-known for its broad finance expertise, which spans derivatives, ship finance, asset-based lending and oil and gas reserve-based lending, among other areas. The firm also acts for bond issuers and lead managers on debt capital markets transactions. Team head John Maciver is experienced in acting for lenders, borrowers and other loan market participants. Aberdeen-based practitioner Richard Scott is noted for his experience of acquisition finance, vessel finance and real estate finance. Gillian Frew focuses on energy and infrastructure finance.

Practice head(s):

John Maciver

Other key lawyers:

Michael Watson; Iain Macauley; Richard Scott; Gillian Frew; Alan Cassels


They work well together, have good sector and market knowledge and are always available

They are very focused on getting the deal done and are great people to work alongside

Alan Cassel is a great guy to work with, very commercial and has good market knowledge

Pinsents are a knowledgeable, well-managed practice who provide sound, cost-effective advice to their clients

The banking and finance team are one of the strongest in Aberdeen and the “go-to” legal advisers for a number of banks

In addition to their undoubted knowledge and practical experience in this field, they adopt a very pragmatic and commercial approach to transactions

They have practical experience in leveraged transactions, partner availability and efficient delivery

Key clients

The Royal Bank of Scotland plc

HSBC UK Bank plc

Santander UK plc

Clydesdale Bank plc

Homes England

Legal & General Investment Management Limited

Ithaca Energy (UK) Limited

iGas PLC

Arcus Infrastructure Partners

Ancala Partners LLP

Bridges Fund Management

HFD Property Group

Commercial litigation Tier 1

Recognised by clients and peers alike, Pinsent Masons LLP handles all forms of commercial dispute resolution before all civil courts in Scotland and is well placed to assist with litigation involving cross-border elements. The practice has a strong profile for big-ticket work and, as such, attracts a wide range of clients from various sectors such as financial services, IT, energy, food and drink and the public sector. Jim Cormack QC heads the practice and specialises in contentious work pertaining to IP, IT, media, finance, company and regulatory matters. Dual-qualified litigator and solicitor advocate Craig Connal QC and Jacqueline Harris, who handles a wide range of litigations, frequently involving multinational companies and complex, high-value claims, are also key members of the team.

Practice head(s):

Jim Cormack QC

Other key lawyers:

Craig Connal QCJacqueline Harris; Bruce Craig; Joanne Gillies; David Woods


What makes Pinsents so unique is their innovative and proactive approach to legal practice and that they always have a commercial mindset at the forefront of all activity and advice. Having a UK-wide footprint is really helpful which is bolstered by dual-qualified lawyers with higher rights of audience. This gives the ability to conduct claims across the UK from a single office in Glasgow.

Very knowledgeable, calm, commercial and pragmatic team. Their availability is fantastic as is their ability to respond quickly.

Personal service and sensible, sound advice.

Very professional and client-focussed. Technically excellent and able to communicate effectively the legal aspects of your situation.

They provide a personal touch with regular visits and back it up with knowledge and sound advice. They compare well with other firms and we have a long relationship with the person who handles our work. Would recommend them.

The individuals within the litigation team at Pinsents are just fantastic and constantly make us feel well looked after. The team, at all levels, are hugely switched on and always approachable. Unlike many of their competitors, the team at Pinsents always goes out of their way to accommodate changing requirements and urgent matters.

Joanne Gillies is an excellent communicator, very much client and outcome-focussed and I have been most impressed with her commitment to my needs as a one time litigant. She has the ability to quickly and effectively get to the key issues.

David Woods is experienced, calm and assured.

Key clients

News Corp

BP plc

Balfour Beatty Group

The Royal Bank of Scotland

William Grant & Sons Limited

Imperial Tobacco Ltd

Galliford Try Group

Legal & General plc

Deloitte LLP

KCA Deutag Group

Commercial property: Edinburgh and Glasgow Tier 1

Pinsent Masons LLP fields a large Scottish real estate team which draws on its global network of offices to deliver investment and development deals both locally and internationally. The practice leverages mandates from funders, investors, occupiers and private property companies. Energy is another area of focus for the group, which handles project development, implementation and financing. Team head Katharine Hardie focuses on commercial and residential developments. Russell Munro is noted for his experience of the acquisition, management and disposal of large portfolios of assets, retail parks and shopping centres. Paul Connolly is also recommended. Neil Hogg joined Addleshaw Goddard.

Practice head(s):

Katharine Hardie

Other key lawyers:

Paul Connolly; Ewan Alexander; Russell Munro; Jennifer Ballantyne; Martin Devine


‘Technically excellent lawyers, but they are also very commercial and pragmatic and work very well together and with us to get the deal done. They also have excellent market and sector knowledge.’

‘Paul Connolly is a technically excellent lawyer, but also very commercial and pragmatic.’


Key clients

Barclays Bank

HFD Group Limited

Legal & General UK Building to Rent Fund

CALA Management Limited

Legal & General


E.ON Energy Solutions Limited

Seagreen Wind Energy Limited

Orsted Hornsea Project 3 (UK) Limited

Diamond Transmission Partners RB Limited

Commercial property: elsewhere in Scotland Tier 1

Pinsent Masons LLP is highly active in the residential and commercial sector, where it acts for national housebuilders, national and local developers, contractors, international oil services and related companies. The team is well regarded for its day-to-day, development and industrial support to oil companies. The firm also advises energy companies on early-stage development, project implementation and project financing. Team head Rodney Whyte focuses on the housebuilding sector, where he advises landowners and developers on residential developments.

Practice head(s):

Rodney Whyte

Other key lawyers:

Mark McCall; Michael Shepherd


‘A key strength to the Pinsent Masons team is their approachability and respect, regardless of whether it is a partner, senior associate, associate or trainee graduate’.

‘What appears to make Pinsent Masons stand-out from the competition is the ability to assess risk from a purely legal perspective, and then apply a level of business pragmatism to not over-complicate things and still reach a favourable outcome’.

‘One of the key stand-out strengths of the Pinsent Masons team is their ability to be available and responsive, no matter the situation’.

‘Rodney Whyte showed strong leadership and pragmatism when coming up against stumbling blocks’.

‘The reputation and relationships Rodney has built up within his industry was clearly evident and was a key driver in getting this deal over the line collaboratively with the seller’s solicitor’.

‘Rodney is extremely approachable and contactable and this can prove difficult in other firms for someone of a similar level’.

‘The team has a depth of knowledge of the residential development sector which enables them to provide good commercial insights in addition to legal expertise’.         

‘Rodney Whyte has many years of experience in the residential development sector and gives pragmatic commercial advice founded on a solid legal base’. 

Key clients

CALA Group

BDW Trading Limited (Barratt Homes)

The Pilkington Trust

Avant Homes (Scotland) Limited

Taylor Wimpey plc

Persimmon Homes  Limited

GSS Developments (Aberdeen) Limited


Taqa Bratani (The Abu Dhabi National Energy Corporation)

Aberdeen Harbour Board

Kier Property Developments

Baker Hughes

Mactaggart & Mickel

Wallace Land

Bellway Homes Limited

Bancon Homes

Watt Taylor Limited

Robertson Homes Limited

Construction Tier 1

Pinsent Masons LLP is a heavyweight in the construction market, assisting national and international owners, developers, contractors and investors with the whole range of construction law, most notably in the energy, infrastructure and real estate development sectors. The team is jointly led by Glasgow-based transactional construction work specialist Michael Allan and Edinburgh-based Kenny Valentine, who heads up the construction advisory and disputes team, and includes Brandon Nolan, who handles a wide range of both contentious and non-contentious construction work. Other key individuals include Nicholas Carlin, who specialises in supply chain arrangements on energy projects, and infrastructure project specialist Colin Fraser.

Practice head(s):

Michael Allan; Kenny Valentine


Pinsent Masons’ construction team has some very good lawyers, they work well together as a team, they have good sector and market knowledge and always take a very commercial and pragmatic approach to getting a deal done.

Pinsent Masons’ construction team in Scotland continues to impress with a team full of highly skilled, commercially-savvy lawyers who understand our business and are willing to come off the fence when required.

Able to provide expert and compelling legal advice to try and resolve disputes and if not achievable help guide us through various resolution paths.

Partners always available to provide advice and direction.

Mike Allan is the lead partner and is excellent. He is very down to earth, commercial and pragmatic and explains things very well. He also has good sector and market knowledge.

Brandon Nolan is excellent and has a thorough understanding of complex legal issues and a clear understanding of how to resolve them in a calm manner.

Key clients

Balfour Beatty plc

Aker Solutions ASA

Barclays Bank


Galliford Try

Morgan Sindall

BP plc

The City of Edinburgh Council

Winchburgh Developments


Brookfield Multiplex

Morgan Sindall

Corporate and commercial: Edinburgh and Glasgow Tier 1

Pinsent Masons LLP is noted for its work on large international corporate deals. The team, headed by Barry McCaig, has significant experience in the energy sector and also generates mandates in the financial services, tech, manufacturing, housebuilding and infrastructure industries. Alan Diamond is recommended for his expertise in equity capital markets, M&A and joint ventures; Rosalie Chadwick focuses on corporate finance; senior associate Kevin Beattie is another name to note.

Practice head(s):

Barry McCaig

Other key lawyers:

Rosalie Chadwick; Alan Diamond; Kenny Devanny; Jonathan Kirkwood; Brian Thumath; Jennifer Malcolm; Kevin Beattie


‘High quality across the team with clear concise advice’.             

‘Barry McCaig is good at seeing the situation from the clients’ perspective’.

‘They have a strong team at all levels, particularly below partner level with Jenny Malcolm, legal director’. 

‘Knowledge is backed with strong practical advice that understands that business have decisions to make and don’t want lawyers who just try and tell you what you can’t do’

‘Every specialist area is covered and the teamwork is excellent’. 

‘Client communication is very well managed’. 

‘Jonathan Kirkwood is extremely thorough and very easy to deal with’.

‘Jennifer Malcolm cares about a client’s deal as much as the client does and she offers experience, commitment and capability’.

Key clients

Blue Water Energy LLP (“BWE”)

Ithaca Energy (UK) Limited


Total E&P UK Limited

The shareholders of Walker Holdings (Scotland) Limited

Solo Oil PLC

Scottish Equity Partners LLP

Railway Pension Investments (Railpen)


BayWa r.e. UK Limited

Crime: fraud Tier 1

As part of an integrated UK and international team, Pinsent Masons LLP is best known for its criminal defence and risk mitigation expertise - which regularly leads to instructions from companies in the energy, infrastructure and financial services sectors, among others - alongside its work pertaining to anti-bribery, trade sanctions and money laundering. Within this space, the team's workload includes investigations, self-reports, compliance and criminal defence. Tom Stocker heads up the team and specialises in financial crime, corporate investigations and regulatory enforcement.

Practice head(s):

Tom Stocker


‘Very responsive, easy to work with and knowledgeable.’

‘Tom Stocker has a tremendous reputation in the Scottish legal market. Whilst his practice is certainly much broader than anti-money laundering, his expertise in that sector in particular is unsurpassed.’

‘Tom Stocker is a standout expert on white-collar crime in Scotland.’

‘Tom Stocker is a safe pair of hands through a difficult process.’


Energy (excluding oil and gas) Tier 1

Pinsent Masons LLP ’s energy and projects work is a key pillar of its operation in Scotland. On the corporate side, the team advises on M&A for purchasers and vendors of renewable energy assets. Elsewhere, the practice handles project finance transactions for both sponsors and banks on UK wind farm and solar refinancings. Other areas of focus include offshore wind planning, procurement and construction, energy trading and regulation, and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) initiatives. Team head Ian McCarlie acts for developers, stakeholders, funders and investors across the UK and Ireland. Kate Turner left for an in-house role at Scottish Power.

Practice head(s):

Ian McCarlie

Other key lawyers:

Jacqueline Harris; Jennifer Ballantyne; Ronan Lambe


‘Extremely strong understanding from Energy and in particular renewable markets. This has helped us build the first unsubsidised corporate PPAs of scale in UK history

‘Ian McCarlie and Ronan Lambe are absolutely top of their game in the energy space with contacts all over the industry and a pragmatic approach to landing complex negotiations.’


Key clients







Capital Dynamics

Blue Energy




Environment Tier 1

Pinsent Masons LLP has energy, infrastructure, housing and manufacturing sector work at its core and covers the gamut of environmental law, from regulatory matters alongside projects and transactional work to litigation and regulatory enforcement as well as carbon and energy efficiency mandates. Practice head Jennifer Ballantyne has particular expertise in contaminated land, waste management, environmental permitting, minerals and renewable energy work, while Gordon McCreath is well versed in the energy, waste and water sectors, handling contentious and non-contentious matters.

Practice head(s):

Jennifer Ballantyne

Other key lawyers:


The team has unique experience of projects throughout Scotland that can be brought to bear on your project. They are also very good at integrating with a wider team of consultants and convey the legal implications without the legalese.

I have found the team more pragmatic than other firms about what “risk” means and how to assess it. This has enabled us to come to a commercial view quicker and reduces the time spent negotiating/ debating enabling us to move forward quickly.

Key clients


Diamond Transmission Corporation Limited (DTC)

Keepmoat Homes Limited

National Westminster Bank plc

Greencoat Capital LLP

Enva Scotland

Patersons of Greenoakhill

Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA)

Health and safety Tier 1

Pinsent Masons LLP is best known for its energy and construction sector expertise but the team also acts for public sector bodies in HSE investigations and investigations conducted by other accident investigation bodies alongside fatal accident inquiries and associated Court of Session proceedings. Providing clients with non-contentious compliance and regulatory advice is another key element of the practice led by Laura Cameron, who also serves as global head of the firm's risk advisory group. Legal director Katherine Metcalfe is rated for her expertise in fire safety.

Practice head(s):

Laura Cameron

Other key lawyers:

Bruce Craig; Tom Stocker; Katherine Metcalfe


The team advised on a health of safety matter which was ongoing for a number of years. At the start of the matter, they were very responsive and provided much needed crisis management advice. Over the following years, they very much became our trusted adviser and helped us to manage the matter to a successful resolution. They demonstrated an in-depth legal knowledge but were also pragmatic and gave us strategic advice.

Pinsent Masons has a strong H&S team in Scotland. Of particular note is the strength of the fire safety practice and their knowledge of H&S in the construction sector.

Pinsent Masons has one of the largest regulatory teams in Scotland, with a wide range of expertise in health and safety and other regulatory cases including financial crime and off-shore, oil and gas and shipping work. They have the strength and depth of a large well-resourced team, capable of managing large and complex investigations.

All members of the team were friendly, approachable and professional and we developed a close working relationship. Laura Cameron clearly has a wealth of experience and she employs it to good effect, giving strategic but practical advice.

Bruce Craig in the Aberdeen office is worthy of special mention. He has a background in oil & gas and shipping work and has a great depth of expertise in the area. He is knowledgeable, pragmatic in approach and highly client-focussed.

Key clients

BP Exploration Operating Company

Shell UK

Balfour Beatty Group

BAM Nuttall

Peel Ports

Galliford Try

The University of Edinburgh



Diamond Offshore Drilling

Insolvency and corporate recovery Tier 1

The Pinsent Masons LLP restructuring team is renowned for its expertise in the oil and gas, retail, renewables, care homes and financial services sectors. It is particularly experienced in advising on under-performing and distressed businesses for all stakeholders, distressed loan sale and purchases, and UK bank ring-fencing projects. Group head Claire Massie is supported by Colin McIntosh, who is on the Law Society Insolvency Specialist Accreditation Committee. Stacey Bairner is also recommended, as are senior associates Ainslie Benzie, Natalie Colaluca and Jennifer McCormick.

Practice head(s):

Claire Massie


‘I have worked with the Glasgow based restructuring team at Pinsent Masons over a number of years and have always found they have provided excellent advice and service’.

‘The local Pinsent Masons team always provide a partner-led service which is ably supported by an extremely capable team’.

‘The stand out qualities for me are the responsiveness to my requirements which enables an appropriate response to be delivered to customers to drive forward difficult situations’.

‘We know that they will be able to deliver solutions quickly and effectively even if they have a number of other cases that require attention’.         

‘My main contacts within the firm are Claire Massie and Ainslie Benzie who have have delivered an excellent service to me on a wide range of engagements over a number of years providing’.

‘Very experienced individuals with strong technical knowledge and ability’.

‘Partners have a deep understanding of key issues; provide timely and clear advice; and leverage other teams in their firm when required to ensure correct advice given’.

‘Clear communications and input into key matters’.

Key clients

Deloitte LLP

Elli Finance and the Four Seasons Group


Albert Bartlett & Sons (Airdrie) Limited

HSBC Bank plc

Hutchison Networks Limited

French Duncan LLP

Ernst & Young LLP


Leonard Curtis

Intellectual property Tier 1

Pinsent Masons LLP provides contentious and non-contentious IP advice nationally and internationally, and is active in the energy, retail, food and drink, technology and financial services sectors. The team handles a broad range of matters including clearance work, trade mark and design right prosecutions, and IP litigation. Jim Cormack QC leads the contentious practice and handles IP disputes and reputation protection issues. George Campbell heads up the non-contentious side and handles the sale and purchase of IP, IP licensing work, IP due diligence and IP matters related to commercial agreements. Senior associate Gillian Anderson is recommended for contentious IP disputes.

Practice head(s):

Jim Cormack QC; George Campbell

Other key lawyers:

Chris Martin; David Woods; Gillian Anderson


‘The most important aspect of this firm in relation to other firms is the continuity across departments, the culture and effectiveness is almost seamless’.

‘Simply put it is a large firm that makes you feel like you are the only customer and this resonates from partners across the business’.

‘Excellent awareness of commercial objectives and operational constraints’.

‘Legal advice to drive performance rather than pure focus on legal technicalities’.  

‘George Campbell is excellent at client management, both in terms of responsiveness and expectation setting’.

‘George Campbell has strong knowledge and interpersonal skills’.

Key clients

William Grant & Sons Limited

Thomas Tunnock Limited

Falkland Islands Government

University of Edinburgh

Pertemps Limited


Jacobs and Turner Limited t/a Trespass

Celtic plc

Kier Limited


IT and telecoms Tier 1

Pinsent Masons LLP’s Scottish TMT team works nationally and internationally on IT and outsourcing matters in the financial services, education and energy sectors. The team often acts for London-based banks and insurers, and is active in the fintech space including advising on cloud, open finance and artificial intelligence matters. The practice also acts for universities in digital and IT matters, and handles information law matters relating to large technology projects. A further noteworthy aspect of the firm is the dedicated TMT disputes team. Practice head Yvonne Dunn is noted for her expertise in fintech issues, outsourcings and new regulations.

Practice head(s):

Yvonne Dunn

Other key lawyers:

Matthew Godfrey-Faussett; Chris Martin; David Woods; Kathryn Wynn


‘They provide clear, actionable advice’.

‘They don’t just describe the law, they help you make decisions based on it’.   

‘Super-clear communication from everything from instructions, scope, timing/budget all the way through to execution/delivery’.

Key clients


Calmac Ferries/David MacBrayne

Smart DCC

University of Edinburgh


Allied Irish Bank

Edinburgh Airport

The Commonwealth Secretariat

British Psychological Society

Open Data Institute

Oil and gas Tier 1

The oil and gas team at Pinsent Masons LLP handles the full gamut of industry-specific matters, including licensing, regulatory, joint ventures, decommissioning, competition, procurement, M&A, and anti-bribery and anti-corruption. Bob Ruddiman is the global head of oil and gas at the firm. Shirley Allen leads the decommissioning practice, while Rosalie Chadwick heads up the global corporate finance practice. Legal director Neil Hehir is recommended for banking, financing and restructuring matters.

Practice head(s):

Bob Ruddiman


‘Great international experience available locally in Aberdeen.’

‘A highly skilled and experienced team.’

‘Bob Ruddiman has superb industry knowledge and experience from legal and commercial perspective.’

‘Shirley Allen is a great partner who will always work hard to deliver deal or project for the client.’

‘Rosalie Chadwick is a true expert in her field. Extremely dedicated and commercially aware.’

Key clients


Shell UK Limited

Total E&P UK Limited

Ithaca Energy

Siccar Point Energy

Suncor Energy Services Inc

Talisman Energy

Aker AS


Repsol Group

Pensions Tier 1

Commended for its wide-ranging expertise, Pinsent Masons LLP provides employers, trustees and funds - spanning both the private and public sectors - with the full range of pensions services. This includes buy-outs and buy-ins, investments, scheme administration and governance issues. Working in conjunction with its corporate colleagues, the practice is also well placed to handle pension aspects pertaining to M&A transactions as well as those arising from solvent and insolvent corporate restructurings. Ian Gordon, who also acts as an independent trustee of a number of pension schemes, heads the team, which includes defined benefit pension scheme expert Ruth Tobias and legal director Mairi Carlin, who specialises in the pensions aspects of public sector outsourcing.

Practice head(s):

Ian Gordon

Other key lawyers:


Real strength in depth and some exceptional individuals. They combine technical rigour with a commercial and practical attitude that makes them a key player in any major trustee decision.

The Pinsent Masons team provides the trustees with excellent support, they have an in-depth knowledge of the scheme and the issues it is facing and take a full part in discussion/ advising across the full spectrum of issues.

They are comfortable discussing across the full range of issues and do not confine themselves to just legal matters. I welcome their invaluable advice and support.

The team is efficient at bringing in partner colleagues from other teams such as banking and investments to provide other specialist advice whenever necessary.

My overall impression is of a well-led team with strength in depth down through all levels of experience and knowledge to produce a highly competent client-friendly culture.

Over the last few years the team has guided us through a number of extremely complex change projects, providing us with expert advice in a very timely, pragmatic and cost-effective way.

Very timely in their response and also very pragmatic. Special mention and thanks to Mairi Carlin and Ian Gordon who have both been outstanding.

Ian Gordon ia technically excellent, calm and thoughtful, inspires confidence. Someone you always want in your camp.

Special mention and thanks to Mairi Carlin and Ian Gordon who have both been outstanding.

Ruth Tobias and Mairi Carlin were professional, engaged, timely with responses, proactive with advice and pragmatic with solutions.

Ruth Tobias is an exceptionally knowledgeable pensions lawyer with a very practical approach. Her advice is always prompt, very high quality and in a style which can be easily understood by the various stakeholders of our pension scheme.

Jae Fassam is a very knowledgeable and a highly regarded pensions lawyer.

Key clients

Plumbing and Mechanical Services (UK) Industry Pension Scheme

Babcock Naval Services Pension Scheme

Lothian Pension Fund

Trustees of the Scottish Solicitors Staff Pension Fund

RBS Ulster Bank

Fife Council


Franklin Templeton Global Investors Ltd

The Trustees of the Mowi Scotland Pension Scheme

University of Aberdeen

Projects Tier 1

The Scottish projects team at Pinsent Masons LLP attracts roles in high-profile transport and partnering programmes, where it advises procurers, bidders and lenders. Key areas of specialism include energy, infrastructure and real estate developments. The practice handles the full lifecycle of projects, with the work ranging from procurement and delivery to managing disputes. Team head Michael Watson is renowned for his experience of finance and debt-related work. Stuart Barr handles operational and procurement matters.

Practice head(s):

Michael Watson

Other key lawyers:

Stuart Barr; Gillian Frew; Michael Allan; Victoria Miller

Key clients

Morgan Sindall plc

Kier Highways Limited

Highways England Company Limited

Balfour Beatty plc

Allianz Global Investors GMBH

Galliford Try plc

European Investment Bank

BAM PPP Ireland

Iridium Concesiones de Infraestructuras SA

Obrascon Huarte Lain (OHL)

Equitix Limited


Foresight Group

Saur Services (Glasgow) Limited

Hub South West Limited

Robertson Capital Projects

Aecom Limited

University of York

University of Leicester


Equitix/Campus Living Villages

Royal Holloway, University of London

University of Birmingham

London School of Economics

National Westminster Bank plc

Corporate and commercial: elsewhere in Scotland Tier 2

Pinsent Masons LLP is noted for its track record of work on high-value, international M&A transactions in the oil and gas sector, and has been building up its knowledge and expertise to meet the twin challenges of the energy transition and the digital revolution. It has cross-sector experience in infrastructure, technology, real estate and finance, with a focus on the energy sector. Martin Ewan, who heads the team, is well-regarded for corporate and commercial matters.

Practice head(s):

Martin Ewan

Other key lawyers:

David Millar; Fiona Kindness


‘Ultimately, it’s about their people.’

‘Fiona Kindness is very straightforward and easily became one of the team during a maternity leave cover secondment.’

‘The team provides exceptional service, are always available and are an invaluable source of market practices on both buyer and seller side.’

Employment Tier 2

Pinsent Masons LLP's employer client base includes many national and international household names across various industries, including energy, financial services and infrastructure, who regularly instruct the team with M&A-related employment law matters alongside TUPE and IR35 tax compliance issues. Its employment tribunal capabilities are regularly called upon in relation to industrial actions alongside dismissal, discrimination, harassment and pay-related proceedings. Energy sector expert Euan Smith leads the practice, which includes Diane Nicol, whose focus includes the financial services industry alongside energy sector work.

Practice head(s):

Euan Smith

Other key lawyers:

Diane Nicol; Stuart Neilson


Great pragmatic advice and guidance. Personable and knowledgeable team that takes the time to build positive business relationships.

Extremely personable, hard-working and practical.

The team really tries to stand in the client’s shoes; they want to invest time in building their knowledge of our brand and they invest a lot of their time internally on client knowledge building.’

Always supportive and go above and beyond; good broad knowledge on all employment areas with specialisms within the team.

Stuart Neilson is very knowledgeable, always responsive, offers pragmatic, commercial, risk-based advice. Great relationship-builder. Truly understands your business.

Diane Nicol has an incisive legal mind with a huge work ethic. She is extremely easy to work with, has a massive wealth of experience and cannot do enough for her clients.

Key clients

BP plc

The Royal Bank of Scotland plc

Balfour Beatty Group plc

SSE plc

P&O Ferries Limited

Standard Life Aberdeen plc

Aviva plc

Centrica plc

Kier Group PLC

Thomas Tunnock Limited

Health Tier 2

Pinsent Masons LLP is best known for its sector-specific transactional and commercial work but it also assists with large healthcare developments. Clients include investors, public and private sector health care providers and local authorities. Team head and corporate lawyer Stuart Barr advises investors, lenders and procuring authorities on a wide range of PPP and infrastructure projects.

Practice head(s):

Stuart Barr

Other key lawyers:

Martin Devine; Victoria Miller; Alan Diamond

Key clients

Induction Healthcare

Highland Health Board

Lone Star Real Estate Fund

Immigration Tier 2

Working in close conjunction with its employment and tax teams, Pinsent Masons LLP provides the full spectrum of corporate immigration support services, such as sponsorship licence applications, compliance matters to prevent illegal working and Brexit-related issues. Edinburgh-based Euan Smith handles a wide range of immigration issues, principally under the points-based immigration system, and co-heads the practice with Glasgow-based legal director Joanne Hennessy, who has particular experience in the energy and construction sectors.

Practice head(s):

Euan Smith; Joanne Hennessy


The team is extremely professional and always provides information, advice and solutions suited for our business, they are extremely helpful. It is important to us that a great relationship is built and I am very pleased to have this with the individual team members, they understand our sector and our needs.

Extremely knowledgeable on employment questions and visa sponsorship.

Pinsent Masons takes a pragmatic, well-informed approach to complex immigration issues.’

What makes them stand-out is their ability to relate and understand our business and our people’s needs, they challenge us in an appropriate manner with the best interest in mind and together explore the risk and suitable solution in a collaborative way.

Their strength: their clear communication and timely responses.

The firm acted very promptly and diligently to our enquiries and guided us through a completely unknown area to the company.

Pinsents feels like a family firm, where nothing appears too much trouble, and as a client you feel respected and responded to in a timely manner.

Extremely knowledgeable and always available to assist. They provide one-to-one service with people one has come to know and to work with and therefore there has been a huge amount of trust built over time.

I find that the team is really pragmatic and knowledgeable. Really enjoy working with them. They proactively keep us updated with changes and make sure we know what we need to do.

Pinsent Masons works with us to provide pragmatic solutions to issues impacting our immigration sponsor licence and has taken the time to understand our complex and ever-changing group structure.

I have absolute confidence in the advice and support provided, particularly by Joanne Hennessy, in this complex and ever changing area of the law.

Joanne Hennessy is responsive and knowledgeable with the unique ability to explain how to perform certain tasks without being condescending. She is always available to speak or to email and I enjoy working with her.

Joanne Hennessy is very proactive in keeping us up-to-date and very quick at coming back on requests for advice.

Been really impressed with Joanne Hennessy. Great attitude and good communication skills.

Key clients



MOL Energy


Celtic FC

Balfour Beatty



Gray & Adams

Vattenfall Wind Power

Investment funds Tier 2

Pinsent Masons LLP has a strong track record handling the full lifecycle of fund management for clients, which includes the establishment and marketing of funds, as well as advice on regulation and licensing requirements. The team, which is led by David Young, has a broad base of global blue-chip clients.

Practice head(s):

David Young


‘The Pinsents team are well organised, technically excellent and customer focused, providing clear advice in a business context. In addition, their consultancy arm, Vario, has provided targeted resource to enable our team to expand temporarily for certain major project activity and has provided good flexibility. Each of the Vario contractors has demonstrated knowledge and expertise in their area.’

‘I would describe Pinsents as having a leading funds practice (public and private), and I think the teams they have in Edinburgh and Dublin are particularly strong, and probably a key differentiator with their peers.’

‘David Young not only demonstrates considerable technical knowledge and experience, but also is extremely personable and excellent in facing off to clients. I would recommend David to any in-house legal function looking for an expert whose team can deliver excellent work in a timely and efficient manner.’

‘I find the individuals have a good depth of knowledge of the asset management industry and therefore can anticipate the questions you will ask (or should be asking). I have worked for many years with David Young and can highly recommend him as a good technical lawyer but with a very practical approach.’

Key clients

HSBC Alternative Investments Limited

Aberdeen Standard Investments

Bricks Capital Limited

LCN Capital Partners

Dalmore Capital Limited

Railpen Investments

Stichting Pensioenfonds KPN

Aegon Private Equity Pool

Aegon Absolute Return Pool

TKPI Real Estate Fund

PfP Capital Limited

Glasgow City Council (as administering authority for The Strathclyde Pension Fund)

The Northern Ireland Local Government Officers’ Superannuation Committee

Martin Currie

Lothian Pension Fund


Norfolk County Council – National LGPS Framework

Scottish Widows

Fife Pension Fund


Licensing Tier 2

Pinsent Masons LLP handles liquor, gambling and civic government licensing with mandates regularly displaying overlapping matters with other departments such as real estate, restructuring and corporate. Its clients are typically drawn from the hospitality, leisure and tourism, manufacturing and real estate sectors, who also benefit from the team's strong litigation background. Legal director Audrey Ferrie heads up the team from Glasgow.

Practice head(s):

Audrey Ferrie


They invested a lot of time building relationships and understanding our business. They have a good client relationship and always strive to continue building on that. They offer very detailed advice when they are asked to support with any issue.

Audrey Ferrie takes the time to fully understand the requirements and ensure we are prepared.’

Key clients

Tesco PLC

Byron Hamburgers Limited

YO! Sushi UK Limited

Adil Group

Adagio Hotels UK Limited

Pizza Express (Restaurants) Limited

Wagamama Limited

Edinburgh International Conference Centre Limited (EICC)

Glasgow Film Theatre Limited

Azzurri Restaurants Limited

Property litigation Tier 2

Much of Pinsent Masons LLP's recent work stems from the energy, retail, food and drink and property sectors and regularly involves landlord and tenant disputes, dilapidations, the recovery of property and matters arising from planning and project development matters. Handling Electronic Communications Code-related telecoms sector work is another key area of expertise. Craig Connal QC, who represents clients in various courts, inquiries and tribunals, heads the team, which includes senior associate Fiona MacGregor, whose wide-ranging expertise includes rent reviews, title and planning disputes alongside disputes over development agreements, among others.

Practice head(s):

Craig Connal QC

Other key lawyers:

Jacqueline Harris; Fiona MacGregor


They draw on a huge real estate experience from all sectors and all types of property. They are definitely ‘go-to’ people for the biggest and most complex cases.’

Overall quality is top-notch; sound commercial sense combined with acute legal insight; and a brilliant ability to coordinate with all the other specialisms of a full-service firm.

Very hardworking team who gives practical, pragmatic and commercially sensible advice – but is also willing to litigate hard if the circumstances require it.

Fiona MacGregor is a stand-out senior associate. She is one of the most organised, knowledgeable and thorough litigators in Scotland.

Fiona MacGregor: excellent capacity for understanding the clients’ business and priorities; pragmatic and reliable.

Fiona MacGregor has formidable attention to detail and will fight hard for her client’s interests, while always remaining civil.

Craig Connal QC is excellent at explaining complex legal issues and jargon in a way that clients can really understand.

Jacqueline Harris is a stand-out in the Scottish commercial litigation field. Immense experience, great judgement and tactical nous.

Key clients

BP plc

Balfour Beatty Group

Legal & General plc

HFD Group

Livingston Centre Limited

McColl’s Retail Group

Corporate tax Tier 3

Pinsent Masons LLP is well regarded for advising FTSE 100 companies, institutional investors, entrepreneurs and government bodies on the tax aspects of large M&A and public takeovers. The firm generates mandates from clients operating in the manufacturing, infrastructure, energy, financial services and real estate sectors. Practice head Christine Yuill is renowned for her experience of corporate and business tax, employee share incentive schemes and property tax issues, including VAT and SDLT.

Practice head(s):

Christine Yuill

Other key lawyers:

Margaret Rankin


‘Christine Yuill has an amazing ability to translate complex corporate tax issues into understandable, contemporary and bespoke advice that we can actually digest and act on.’

‘Marketing leading knowledge in corporate tax and share schemes.’

‘Christine Yuill is a genuine expert and has always been able to provide us with incisive advice.’


Key clients

Ithaca Energy

Abstract group of companies


Nevis Capital LLP

CALA Group

Energy Assets Group Limited

CH&Co Limited

Total E&P Limited

Ability Hotels

Lloyds Development Capital

PfP Capital

Education Tier 3

Pinsent Masons LLP is regularly called upon to assist higher education sector players with strategic projects, such as IT and data projects, alongside international collaborations, while commercial and corporate work constitutes another key element of the practice. TMT projects expert Chris Martin heads the group.

Practice head(s):

Chris Martin


Pinsent Masons has provided an excellent level of support. They make significant effort to understand our organisation in order to contextualise advice and are proactive in bringing their experience in the sector and with other clients to our attention where relevant.

Chris Martin is very good.

Key clients

The University of Edinburgh

Heriot Watt University

Edinburgh Business School


Higher Education Statistics Agency

University of Aberdeen

Roslin Institute

APUC (Advanced Procurement for Universities and Colleges)

British Psychological Society

Robert Gordon’s University

Planning Tier 3

Embedded in the firm's wider UK planning team, Pinsent Masons LLP's Scotland team has been particularly active handling energy and infrastructure consenting work but has also been assisting housebuilders with contentious and non-contentious matters arising from residential developments. This includes planning applications, planning appeals and inquiries. Gary McGovern is the main contact in Scotland and specialises in energy, infrastructure and housing matters; he regularly acts for public and private sector clients.

Practice head(s):

Gary McGovern

Other key lawyers:

Gordon McCreath; Jaqueline Harris; Jennifer Ballantyne


‘A well respected team in the planning and property sphere, with a demonstrable track record in achieving positive outcomes. Key partners are acknowledged experts in their field and bring gravitas to a project team.’

‘A high level of active engagement from partners and other senior people on day-to-day project activities. Have the ability to see creative solutions to problems and to communicate these in a succinct and easily understood manner.’

Key clients

RWE Renewables UK Developments Ltd

Seagreen Wind Energy Limited

Dumfries and Galloway Council

Barratt Homes/ David Wilson Homes

CALA Group

Mainstream Renewable Power Ltd

Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Ltd


The Pilkington Trust

Crown Estate Scotland


Winchburgh Developments Limited

UK Space Agency

Pinsent Masons is an international law firm with a long-standing reputation for delivering high-quality legal advice rooted in its deep understanding of the sectors and geographies in which its clients operate. In recent years it has achieved more tier 1 rankings in The Legal 500 UK guide than any other firm and been recognised among the most innovative law firms in Europe by the Financial Times.

The firm: With over 1,500 lawyers operating from 20 locations throughout the UK, Europe, Asia Pacific and the Middle East, Pinsent Masons is well-placed to advise on complex multi-jurisdictional transactions across a full range of legal disciplines.

Type of work undertaken: The firm has significant international credentials in the global energy, infrastructure, financial services and advanced manufacturing and technology sectors. In the UK, it also conducts market-leading work in sectors including real estate, government, retail, universities and higher education.

Services provided across these sectors include corporate and M&A, commercial, competition, litigation and arbitration, banking, restructuring, insurance, regulatory, construction, projects, pensions, property, planning and environmental, procurement, outsourcing, employment, share plans, technology and tax advice.

Pinsent Masons stands out in particular for its innovative approach to service delivery. For example, the firm operates a hub of freelance lawyers, called Vario, and has also developed Cerico, a cloud-based regulatory compliance solution. It has developed long-term service agreements, often referred to as ‘sole adviser’ relationships, with a number of blue-chip organisations.

Other offices: Australia, Beijing, Belfast, Birmingham, Dubai, Hong Kong, Istanbul, Leeds, London, Manchester, Munich, Paris, Qatar, Shanghai, Singapore.

Department Name Email Telephone
Senior partner Richard Foley
Managing partner John Cleland
Chairman, Scotland and Northern Ireland Kirk Murdoch
Head of Aberdeen office Roger Connon
Head of Glasgow office Barry McCaig
Head of Edinburgh office Ewan Alexander
Photo Name Position Profile
 John Maciver  photo John Maciver John is a partner and leads the banking and restructuring team in…
 Gary McGovern  photo Gary McGovern
Number of UK partners (including legal directors) : 380 approx
Number of other UK fee-earners : 1,300+

The Lex 100 Verdict

A combination of 'international reach', an 'expansion strategy geared towards innovation' and an 'outstanding quality of work' sets Pinsent Masons apart. A 'great vacation scheme' worthy of a Lex 100 Winner award also convinced trainees that this was the firm for them. It was very reassuring for trainees that the firm has a 'genuine keenness to make things work for its people, such as promoting agile working and adopting a 'dress according to your day' dress code'. What's more, 'there are some absolutely brilliant teams' where 'people take an interest in your life outside of work and go out of their way to make you feel included'. Another Lex 100 Winner gong has been awarded for inclusiveness. Despite its vast UK network, respondents stressed that the Pinsent Masons culture is 'firm-wide and not just applicable to certain offices'. The seat allocation process was bemoaned, in particular the fact that 'trainees can be required to move location in the UK offices throughout their training contract'. There were also some complaints about the 'disparity in salaries between London and the regions'. 'Attending the Supreme Court and meeting Baroness Hale', 'working from start to finish on the drafting, negotiation and completion of contracts for the construction of a UK university' and 'spending two days interviewing witnesses' were hard-to-beat highlights. 'The stress of not knowing whether there will be a job for me post-qualification' and an 'all-nighter on a Friday night into Saturday morning in the corporate department' were far more stressful moments. For a firm with a 'supportive culture' which is 'innovative and progressive in its approach', consider Pinsent Masons.