Firm Profile > Pinsent Masons LLP > Edinburgh , Scotland

Pinsent Masons LLP

Banking and finance Tier 1

Pinsent Masons LLP covers the full gamut of finance work and also has specialist expertise in bank structural reforms, ring-fencings, loan sales and purchases, loan-on-loan financings, derivatives, ship finance work, asset-based lending and oil & gas reserve-based lending. The department, led by John MacIver, fields a specialist reserve-based lending sub-team and also has capabilities in debt capital markets. Michael Watson focuses on project finance work, Iain Macaulay handles project finance matters and Gillian Frew is a specialist in energy and infrastructure finance. Richard Scott is the main Aberdeen contact and was recently promoted to office head.

Commercial litigation Tier 1

Pinsent Masons LLP is a respected player in the market and utilises its strong cross-border capabilities to act for clients across a wide range of industries. Recently, the team led by 'impressive operator' Jim Cormack QC, a solicitor advocate since September 2018, has been handling high-profile banking litigation, IP and IT disputes and product liability claims as well as commercial disputes arising from energy projects. Craig Connal QC, who also sits as arbitrator, and commercial litigator Jacqueline Harris are other key individuals of the team. Contentious IP expert David Woods made partner in May 2018.

Commercial property: Edinburgh and Glasgow Tier 1

Leveraging the firm's global network, Pinsent Masons LLP is recognised for its cross-border commercial property work, especially in the energy space. The Scottish team, led by Katharine Hardie, has a strong track record in the residential development sector and is also singled out for regeneration mandates; Paul Connolly is the key name for development matters. The group's high-profile client roster also ensures the team regularly handles large-scale asset acquisitions including shopping centres and cross-border portfolio acquisitions; it also assists with cross-border restructuring and refinancing deals. Ewan Alexander, energy property team head Jennifer Ballantyne, and property investment specialist Russell Munro are also recommended.

Commercial property: elsewhere in Scotland Tier 1

The real estate experts at Pinsent Masons LLP regularly act for high-profile local and national developers operating across Scotland. The team is spread across Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen and is recognised for its work for major oil and gas companies. Aberdeen-based Rodney Whyte leads the practice, which is also active in residential development projects. The team also handles energy developments, planning work and regenerations.

Construction Tier 1

With a superb reputation, Pinsent Masons LLP's 'excellent and forward-thinking' team handles the full spectrum of construction law, including transactional projects and disputes, and acts for an impressive public and private client roster across a number of sectors including infrastructure and transport, energy, manufacturing and real estate. Kenny Valentine heads the construction advisory and disputes team and the 'practical and pragmaticMichael Allan is the main contact for transactional construction law. Brandon Nolan, known for his construction disputes work, and energy projects expert Nicholas Carlin are also recommended.

Crime: fraud Tier 1

Praised for its full-service corporate crime and white-collar crime offering, Pinsent Masons LLP is a respected player in the market and as such receives regular instructions from corporate clients to assist with compliance matters, investigations, self-reporting and remediation as well as criminal proceedings. 'Superb white-collar crime guru' Tom Stocker heads up the 'extremely responsive' team; clients describe him as 'smart, dynamic and hugely experienced'.

Energy (excluding oil and gas) Tier 1

Energy and projects work are cornerstones of Pinsent Masons LLP's Scottish practice. On the corporate front, the team acts for purchasers and vendors of renewable energy assets under the leadership of practice head Ian McCarlie, while the team's finance specialists regularly advise sponsors and banks on UK wind farm and solar refinancings. Legal director Kate Turner is a key name for low carbon, energy efficient schemes, decentralised energy projects and ESCO project structures for district heating projects. Also notable is the group's expertise in the dispute resolution space and regulatory matters. Chris McGarvey recently departed to CMS.

Environment Tier 1

Jennifer Ballantyne leads the 'proactive' Scottish environment team at Pinsent Masons LLP, which is a respected player in the market, handling a broad spectrum of environment law work in the energy, infrastructure, housing and manufacturing sectors. This includes, among other matters, regulatory advice and permitting assistance for energy and industrial installations, advice on projects and transactions, as well as litigation and regulatory enforcement support. Gordon McCreath and legal director Ross McDowall are recommended; both handle a wide range of sector-specific work.

Health and safety Tier 1

Noted for its broad health and safety practice, Pinsent Masons LLP's 'extremely professional and knowledgeable' team receives frequent instructions from high hazard industry players, including construction, waste, manufacturing and energy sector clients. As well as its expertise in handling investigations and prosecutions, the team led by the 'very good' Laura Cameron also provides regular compliance advice.

Insolvency and corporate recovery Tier 1

Pinsent Masons LLP's insolvency and restructuring group is notably strong in the oil and gas, renewables, care homes, retail and financial services sectors, with particular expertise in distressed loan sales and purchases and UK bank ring-fencing projects. Claire Massie leads the practice, which also fields Stacey Bairner, who specialises in the trading and restructuring of distressed debt; and senior associates Jennifer McCormickAinslie Benzie and Natalie Colaluca. The group was also recently strengthened by the arrival of senior consultant Colin McIntosh from Brodies LLP.

Intellectual property Tier 1

Pinsent Masons LLP provides end-to-end advice to its client roster of energy, food and drink, life sciences and technology companies on advisory and contentious IP matters in the UK and abroad. The team regularly handles portfolio management, brand strategy, market exclusivity and access issues, as well as strategic contracts. Jim Cormack QC leads the contentious IP team while legal director George Campbell heads up the non-contentious practice. Litigator David Woods is a key name for clients in the financial services, retail, energy and university sectors; and Chris Martin focuses on higher education work; senior associate Gillian Anderson is also recommended.

IT and telecoms Tier 1

The IT practice at Pinsent Masons LLP is singled out for its sector-focused approach, notably in the financial services, public and energy industries, where it is particularly recognised for its outsourcing and procurement work. Also noted is the firm's dedicated TMT litigation team, and its digital and IT work for universities in Scotland and abroad. Yvonne Dunn leads the TMT group and also heads up the TMT financial services and fintech practice.

Oil and gas Tier 1

Pinsent Masons LLP covers the full range of oil industry issues including decommissioning work, M&A, competition matters, procurements, tax mandates, disputes, financings and regulatory advice; the team also has a strong track record in corruption and anti-bribery cases. Aberdeen-based Bob Ruddiman is the firm's global head of oil and gas, while corporate expert Shirley Allen leads the Aberdeen group, which also includes legal director Neil Hehir and utilises the firm's experienced litigation department. In Glasgow, Rosalie Chadwick heads up the global corporate finance group and is a key name to note. David McEwing departed to Addleshaw Goddard.

Pensions Tier 1

'Providing professional, seamless service', Pinsent Masons LLP has impressive strength in the pensions sector which translates into a steady flow of contentious and non-contentious mandates from employers, trustees and funds. The 'knowledgeable and pragmatic' team led by the 'highly experienced' Ian Gordon stands out for advising trustees of various defined benefit schemes on pension scheme funding agreements and security packages alongside buy-in and buy-out insurance contracts, among other issues. In the transactional space, where the team benefits from its strong co-operation with its corporate team, the group is well versed in handling pensions aspects of M&A transactions including pensions issues arising from solvent and insolvent corporate restructurings. The 'deeply knowledgeable, pragmatic and efficientRuth Tobias is 'highly recommended' for defined pension schemes.

Projects Tier 1

Pinsent Masons LLP's client roster in the projects space includes 3i, Balfour Beatty and Equitix alongside other funders, sponsors and public sector bodies. The team handles a vast variety of projects including hub schemes, new product development, PPP and PFI projects; student accommodation work, oil and gas matters and renewable energy issues. Recent work highlights also include significant matters in the healthcare and transport infrastructure space. The team is led by Edinburgh-based Michael Watson and includes Stuart Barr in the Glasgow office.

Property litigation Tier 1

Known for its national and international reach, Pinsent Masons LLP remains a popular choice for developers, landlords, occupiers, investors and operators requiring assistance with landlord and tenant-related disputes, breach of contract claims, development-related litigation and dilapidation claims. Craig Connal QC heads the 'knowledgeable' team, which includes 'utterly meticulous and intelligent' senior associate Fiona MacGregor; her areas of expertise include rent reviews, title and planning disputes alongside disputes over development agreements, among others.

Corporate and commercial: Edinburgh and Glasgow Tier 2

Pinsent Masons LLP has considerable strength in sectors including energy and infrastructure, advanced manufacturing and technology, healthcare and life sciences, retail and consumer, real estate and financial services. It also has a notable private equity and capital markets offering. Barry McCaig heads the team, which also include Rosalie Chadwick, Alan Diamond and Kevin Beattie.

Corporate and commercial: elsewhere in Scotland Tier 2

Pinsent Masons LLP's Aberdeen-based corporate team leads on complex, high-value transactions in Scotland and overseas. The firm has recently continued to focus on its strategy of internationalisation and its specific sector strengths, namely in infrastructure, energy manufacturing, technology, real estate and financial services. Martin Ewan - whose 'ability to quickly cut through any noise and get to the root of an issue is second to none' - is the practice's key lawyer, leading the firm's oilfield technology practice. David McEwing left to join Addleshaw Goddard in early 2019.

Education Tier 2

Providing full-service advice, Pinsent Masons LLP is a respected player in the market, which leads to regular instructions from universities and higher education sector bodies on sector specific governance and regulatory matters, IP and IT issues, alongside procurement, corporate, employment law and campus estate property matters. The 'strong and well-regarded' team led by the 'excellentChris Martin has also been increasingly active in university accommodation project-related tax work and litigation arising out of regulatory frameworks.

Employment Tier 2

'Providing excellent support', Pinsent Masons LLP's 'thorough and pragmatic' team stands out for its expertise in contentious employment law work, representing clients at the Employment Tribunal and in senior employee and board level disputes. On the non-contentious side, much of the group's workload pertains to equal pay and TUPE issues, industrial relations and team moves with many of its instructions stemming from financial services, energy, infrastructure and manufacturing sector clients. Euan Smith and the 'extremely experienced and highly regarded' Diane Nicol are among the main contacts in Scotland; both act for an extensive blue-chip and plc client base. Katie Williams formerly based in Aberdeen, relocated to firm's Perth office, Australia, in June 2018.

Health Tier 2

Stuart Barr leads the healthcare team at Pinsent Masons LLP, which receives regular instructions from private equity houses, property funds, banks and corporates as well as public-sector players to advise on public infrastructure projects in the healthcare sector as well as transactional healthcare property portfolio matters.

Immigration Tier 2

Pinsent Masons LLP's 'very approachable and remarkably responsive' immigration group is part of the firm's employment law practice and puts significant emphasis on corporate immigration work, most notably in the energy, higher education, retail, infrastructure, sport and financial services sectors. Euan Smith and 'pragmatic and calm' legal director Joanne Hennessy are the main contacts.

Licensing Tier 2

Pinsent Masons LLP's broad licensing offering includes assistance with liquor, gambling and civic government licensing matters and attracts clients from various industries such as hospitality, leisure and tourism. As well as its advisory capacities, the team also benefits from its strong litigation background when representing clients at licensing board and court hearings, while it is able to call on colleagues from its real estate, restructuring and corporate departments when advising on matters at this interface. 'Highly regarded' legal director Audrey Ferrie heads the team.

Planning Tier 2

Pinsent Masons LLP's 'strong' planning team is led by its Birmingham and London offices with Jennifer Ballantyne being the main contact in Scotland. The team's strength lies in advising clients on energy, infrastructure and residential development projects, including contentious work such as planning appeal proceedings. The recommended Gary McGovern is another key member of the team and handles a wide range of planning and environmental law work.

Corporate tax Tier 3

Pinsent Masons LLP's corporate tax team distinguishes itself through the wide-ranging corporate transactional and advisory work it handles for its enviable client roster. While maintaining its firmwide strength in the energy, real estate and private equity sectors, the firm has also been involved in significant mandates pertaining to share plans and incentives. Much of the practice's key recent work is made up of tax advice on multimillion-pound transactions, led by Christine Yuill.

Transport Tier 3

The team at Pinsent Masons LLP advises procurers, bidders and lenders on transport and infrastructure projects including transactional matters. Major projects specialist Michael Allan, shipping expert Gavin Farquhar and corporate lawyer Kevin Devanny are the main contacts.

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
 Louise Forster  photo Louise Forster
 Julia Maguire  photo Julia Maguire
 Kenny Valentine  photo Kenny Valentine
Number of UK partners (including legal directors) : 380 approx
Number of other UK fee-earners : 1,300+