Firm Profile > Morton Fraser > Edinburgh, Scotland

Morton Fraser
QUARTERMILE TWO
2 LISTER SQUARE
EDINBURGH
EH3 9GL
Scotland

Contentious trusts and probate Tier 1

Morton Fraser’s contentious trusts practice focuses primarily on high-value and complex cases. The firm has extensive experience in matters related to the conduct and responsibilities of executors, acting both on their behalves, and for other beneficiaries of estates. The firm has advised on disputes between siblings, handled the division of assets held abroad, effected sales of assets and company shares, and both challenged and defended amendments to wills. Richard McMeeken, joint head of the practice, is a solicitor advocate and part of the firm’s commercial litigation team. Sue Hunter, joint practice head and also head of the firm’s private client division and finance and investment team, focuses on the tax implications of contested trust matters. Donna Brennan leads the team in Glasgow, and has expertise in incapacity issues, guardianships, and powers of attorney. Nick Ross, also based in Glasgow, is another name to note.

Debt recovery Tier 1

Morton Fraser has a strong profile for advising FCA-regulated clients and other lenders on FCA requirements, while also assisting public and education sector clients, self-invested personal pension (SIPP) providers, PLCs, SMEs, individuals and a growing number of credit unions with various recovery matters, including debt, possession of property, rental arrears and overpayments. Director Bill Stark heads the team.

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Testimonials

Very well-organised practice and very diverse in their legal offering. Main strengths are delivering a good service without delay, which is important to what we require. They also provide excellent legal advice on industry matters.

All individuals in the team are very efficient, cooperative and knowledgeable and always willing to help and assist in our endeavors, which makes it a great team.

Each individual stands out with their own professionalism and approach ability and willingness to help.

Maggie Moodie has a well-organised team behind her with excellent knowledge base.

Key clients

Glasgow Credit Union

Wells Fargo Bank International

Student Awards Agency for Scotland

Scottish Public Pensions Agency (SPPA)

Investec

Commsave Credit Union

Asset Alliance Leasing Ltd

Lloyds Bank Commercial Finance

Central Demolition Ltd

Marsh Finance Ltd

Immigration Tier 1

Morton Fraser has business immigration at its core, advising businesses on visa applications, sponsor licences and compliance issues, but the practice also provides immigration services to private clients, which includes assistance with appeal proceedings and child immigration matters. Public sector organisations regularly retain the team to advise on the staffing implications of Brexit. Stuart McWilliams made partner in May 2019 and subsequently took over the team from employment law expert and litigator David Hossack; McWilliams advises on all aspects of UK immigration and nationality law.

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Testimonials

Knowledgeable and approachable team.

Give clear, concise and straightforward information and guidance in relation to Brexit and the implications for organisation and staff within the organisation.

The immigration team at Morton Fraser inspires confidence that they are experts in their field. They explain what has to be done in a clear and concise manner, and they give very practical advice. There are often deadlines to be managed, and they respond very well to these.

The outstanding individual is Stuart McWilliams, who is hugely reliable and best characterises the strengths and capabilities which we ascribe to the team as a whole. He has a wonderful command of the very complicated issues involved, and we find that his guidance in dealing with UK visas and immigration is invaluable. Stuart explains the complexities of immigration law in a hugely reassuring way.

Key clients

Atlantic Salmon Trust

GameBench Ltd

The Scottish Government

NHS Lothian

Crover Ltd

Dollar Academy

Skyscanner Ltd

Altair Global

Cambridge Healthcare

Axis Productions Ltd

Agriculture and estates Tier 2

Morton Fraser advises on the full spectrum of rural matters, working with an impressive roster of clients on issues relating to renewable energy developments, farm and estate sales and land registration of large estates. The well-regarded Linsey Barclay-Smith (described as 'a breath of fresh air') is an accredited specialist and works with many of the team's key clients.

Testimonials

‘Great communicators of technical issues and went the extra mile to ensure situations were thoroughly covered.’

‘The team worked tirelessly through complex issues with multiple agencies on our behalf. Information sharing was excellent throughout.’

‘Linsey Barclay-Smith handled the sale of our family home and business and has also advised us on related matters. Also to be praised are her very swift responses to communications. I personally found working with Linsey a breath of fresh air: we had great communication and I had complete trust in her ability to look after our interests and see us through a tricky process and, thanks to her, a successful conclusion.’

‘Linsey Barclay-Smith is a very “client friendly” partner to work with and you know that in the unlikely event you cannot contact her, Matthew Barclay who works with her will be able to keep things moving with a detailed knowledge of your case. Linsey is able to handle difficult solicitors on the other side in a firm and professional manner and will do her best to cut through any waffle and nonsense that comes her way.’

Key clients

BTO Solicitors LLP

Dorothy Fleming

Forth Resource Management Limited

Lesley and Dario Negri

Orkney Islands Council

Scottish Mines Restoration Trust Limited

Scottish Wildlife Trust

Stenton Estate

The Scottish Ministers

Volunteer Development East Lothian

Commercial property: Edinburgh and Glasgow Tier 2

Morton Fraser is noted for its strength in student accommodation, public sector property matters, residential housing development, cross-border deals and investment issues. Team head Michael Ramsay handles investment and development matters and is the lead partner for key client Diageo. Elspeth Carson, who heads up the retail sub-group, is known for her strength in landlord and tenant issues, lease management, planning and construction. Alan Stewart joined as a partner from Dentons.

Key clients

Robertson Homes

Stagecoach

Keepmoat

Tesco Stores

Diageo

Bloc Hotels

Patrizia

BAM Properties

Scottish and UK Ministers

Empiric Student Property

VisitScotland

Bloc Hotels

Diageo

Curo

Accor

SRUC

City of Edinburgh Council

Schuh

Riverside Capital

Squarestone

Employment Tier 2

Morton Fraser assists employers and employees in the public, private and third sectors with TUPE transfers and HR matters alongside employment tribunal proceedings pertaining to whistleblowing, discrimination and equal pay matters, among others. Team head Innes Clark has particular TUPE expertise and also provides assistance with senior exits.

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Testimonials

They take the time to fully understand their clients’ business.

Morton Fraser’s partnership and strategic understanding of our organisation during a significant period of change for us is exceptional and their ability to provide pragmatic and risk managed advice is superb.

Exceptional service. Provided honest, truthful advice. Left me with total confidence in advice given.

David Hossack is knowledgeable, realistic and understanding.

David Walker was excellent in every respect. Highly recommend Morton and Fraser.

Key clients

Ministry of Defence

Royal Mail Group Limited

Schuh Limited

SRUC – Scotland’s Rural College

The Scottish Government and the Office of the Advocate General

Robertson Group Limited

Church of Scotland (CrossReach)

DAS Insurance

Trust Housing Association

Micron Europe Limited

Family Tier 2

Morton Fraser’s 'experienced and highly regarded' family practice has a strong track record of work on complex financial provision cases for separating couples, frequently advising on challenging cases where marital wealth is in the form of businesses, farms, and trusts – and when businesses are jointly owned. A key strength of the practice is its competence in English as well as Scottish law, enabling it to handle divorce settlements in both jurisdictions in an 'effective and skilful way', while it has also recently looked to improve billing transparency for clients, introducing 'project-managed' billing. The firm is experienced in a wide range of cases involving children, having advised on contact and custody arrangements for dual-national children, and arranged interdictions to prevent children being taken by one parent outside of Scotland. 'Calm and pragmatic' practice head Rhona Adams has strong credentials in financial provision and mediation strategies, while in Glasgow, Fiona Sasan  provides considerable expertise in litigation strategy for hostile separations. Lucia Clark handles cross-border cases, and is dual-qualified in Scots and English law. Savita Sharma, who has a consulting role within the firm, also attracts high praise from clients.

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Testimonials

‘Experienced, highly regarded firm and family team – dealing with complex, cross-jurisdictional matters in a pragmatic, effective and skilful way.’

‘One of the leading family law teams in Scotland. They have an experienced team.’

‘This is a top-tier firm in a unique position offering legal advice covering Scots law as well as English law. No stone is left unturned; the team are remarkably attentive to client needs.’

‘Rhona Adams’ professionalism and the quality of her work are to be commended.’

‘Savita Sharma is completely on the ball. A pleasure to work with and has a real eye for detail – spotting the legal issues and considers the tactical positioning to get the best outcome for her client. A ‘go-to’ in the field of family law – her dual qualification means she is perfectly equipped to deal with jurisdictional issues arising between Scotland and England & Wales.’

‘Rhona Adams and Lucia Clark are dual qualified in Scots and English law, which makes them well placed to advise in cross border matters. Rhona is hugely experienced and brings a calm and pragmatic approach. Lucia has a great technical knowledge and an eye for detail in legal matters.’

‘Fiona Sasan has what is perhaps an unmatched profile in the Glasgow family law market.’

‘Marisa Cullen has very extensive experience of Hague Convention (child abduction) applications. She is adept at identifying and dealing with the issues which arise quickly and efficiently.’

‘Fiona Sasan is one of the leading solicitors in this field. She is very experienced and provides pragmatic advice to clients.’

‘Rhona Adams has an excellent manner with clients – she provides sensible and sympathetic advice.’

‘Savita Sharma is an outstanding solicitor, dual qualified and so in a unique position to offer a very special service to clients. She is tenacious, highly forensic and adept at thinking of all angles in a case. She is a very fierce litigator but also equally able to negotiate and encourage settlement on excellent terms for her client.’

‘Lucia Clark has experience in cross-border and international cases in particular. She thinks through the issues thoroughly in order to provide the best advice to the client.’

‘I valued Savita Sharma immensely, she encouraged me to stay strong during a very heartbreaking and difficult divorce. Savita was very clear and upfront with me keeping me informed all the way; also, she showed great compassion towards me and great understanding.’

Insolvency and corporate recovery Tier 2

Morton Fraser draws upon strengths across multiple disciplines to undertake restructuring and insolvency work, including litigation, banking, property, employment, financial crime and asset-based lending. It advises a wide variety of stakeholders, including banks, financial institutions, unsecured creditors and insolvency practitioners, businesses, creditors and directors. Iain Young co-heads the practice with Alan Meek.

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Testimonials

‘The breadth of experience within the team at Morton Fraser is impressive and you can always have confidence that no matter how small or large the assignment it will be handled with skill and professionalism.’

‘The individuals we work with a very approachable and not afraid to give advice as opposed to regurgitating the law. Alan Meek and Nicola Ross have excelled.’

 

Key clients

RSM

KPMG LLP

French Duncan LLP

FRP Advsory LLP

The Environment Agency

Geoghegan & Co

Ernst & Young Legal

Interserve Group Limited

Wylie & Bissett

Bibby Financial Services

Licensing Tier 2

Morton Fraser provides assistance with public and private sector licensing with a specialism in the food and drink sector as well as in hospitality. Much of its work pertains to alcohol licences but it also handles a wide range of restaurant, hotel, office and retail licensing instructions, including contentious ones. Litigation and employment law specialist David Hossack heads the practice and routinely assists clients with applications and Licensing Board hearings.

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Testimonials

The team is extremely responsive and capable, able to consider and provide practical decisive advice at short notice on potential plans and projects allowing an organisation to make quick decisions and either progres projects quickly or identify if they are not going to be practical to implement early on, ensuring unnecessary resource time is minimised.

Morton Fraser has always dealt with my licensing matters in a very efficient and professional way.

True specialists.

David Hossack is very knowledgeable, supportive and always makes himself available to respond and act quickly on any issues he is brought in to assist with. His understanding of how each local licensing board operates and how to engage with them to ensure you obtain the most positive outcome for your organisation is invaluable.

David Hossack is prompt and efficient and very accessible.

Key clients

WeWork Community Workspace UK Limited

Diageo Scotland Ltd

The City of Edinburgh Council

Accor (UK) Hotels

Travelodge Hotels

Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC)

Security Industry Authority (SIA)

Scottish Canals

Brio Retirement Living (Chapelton) Limited

Forrest Road Holdings Limited

Local government Tier 2

Morton Fraser has a strong profile for contentious matters and frequently acts for local authorities in proceedings - including judicial reviews and statutory appeals - pertaining to planning permissions and objections to developments, as well as in commercial actions and housing-related litigation. In the non-contentious space, the practice is well versed in handling planning matters arising from mixed-use developments and stadiums. Planning and governance expert Rory Alexander heads the practice.

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Testimonials

Good experience of issues which affect local authorities with regard to commercial projects such as wind farm developments.

Key clients

The City of Edinburgh Council

Glasgow City Council

Aberdeen City Council

Orkney Islands Council

East Lothian Council

The Highland Council

West Lothian Council

Midlothian Council

Stirling Council

Moray Council

Medical negligence: pursuer Tier 2

Morton Fraser handles a wide range of medical negligence cases before Scotland's top courts. Jenny Dickson leads the practice and is notably strong in acting on cases involving delayed diagnosis, misdiagnosis and birth injuries. She is supported by senior associate Nicola Edgar, while the team also includes senior solicitor Derek Couper, who joined from Shoosmiths in late 2018. Key clients include individuals, legal expenses insurers and other solicitors.

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Testimonials

‘Jenny Dickson is extremely able and has excellent judgement about which cases to potentially fight and which cases to compromise. She is certainly not scared though of fighting cases that should be fought.’

Key clients

Innes & Mackay, Solicitors

Glasgow Law Practice

Personal injury: defender Tier 2

Fielding a 'settled, capable and experienced' team, Morton Fraser primarily advises government bodies across Scotland on industrial disease matters, wrongful death claims and historic abuse. The group has seen significant developments in 2019, having been appointed to act for the Ministry of Defence for Scotland in all defender personal injury matters, including employers' liability, public liability, and road traffic accident cases. Practice head Jenny Dickson leads on all work for the UK Government and is well-known for her ‘excellent judgement’ in mesothelioma claims.

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Testimonials

‘Jenny Dickson is extremely able and has excellent judgement about which cases to potentially fight and which cases to compromise. She is certainly not scared though of fighting cases that should be fought.’

Key clients

MOD

Royal Mail

Scottish Government

UK Government

Personal injury: pursuer Tier 2

Morton Fraser handles a wide range of personal injury claims with a team of lawyers based in Edinburgh and Glasgow. Jenny Dickson leads the practice; she is supported by senior associate Nicola Edgar. The team advises on cases involving road traffic accidents, accidents at work and abroad and industrial disease.

Testimonials

Personal tax, trusts and executries Tier 2

Morton Fraser's practice has continued to go from strength to strength since the firm took on Addleshaw Goddard's Scottish private client team in October 2018. Led by Carryl Beveridge, the team provides a comprehensive range of services to clients such as high-net-worth individuals, business owners and landowners. Its many areas of strength include trust administration, guardianships, tax planning (capital gains and income taxes) and succession planning. Although the majority of its work is Scotland-based, the firm is increasingly becoming prominent in cross-border mandates. Beveridge works with Sue Hunter (who is a Chartered Financial Adviser), Gregor Mitchell and Catriona MacPhailDonna Brennan leads the private client team in Glasgow. Tax director Collette Kerr joined from 1825 Financial Planning in 2019.

Testimonials

The team are highly knowledgeable, efficient and they are also really delightful people to work with, which makes for a very pleasant experience. Donna Brennan, Adrian Bell and Innes Clarke all immediately spring to mind

What makes Morton Fraser unique, in my opinion, has been the extraordinary sense of personal involvement that the partners have shown. They have combined an extremely high standard of professionalism with a strong sense of grounded personal engagement. This gives a belief in a bond having developed between firm and client which has built belief and trust

Accessibility and almost immediate understanding of the problem. Also they were willing to tackle an issue that a previous firm had avoided and resolve a longstanding issue.’

Carryl Beveridge dealt with my business at Morton Fraser, and I cannot fault her. She took care of my needs swiftly, and saw various details of which I wasn’t aware that required attention in order to achieve effective and valid results. With Carryl working for me, I felt totally confident that everything was being taken care of in the best possible way for my benefit.

Planning Tier 2

Morton Fraser is best known for its public sector work, which is not least due to team head Douglas Milne's extensive experience in this space, but the practice's client roster also includes private sector development and investment clients. With particular expertise in the contentious arena, which is also an area of particular expertise for associate and litigator Ursula Currie, the practice is regularly called upon to assist with planning inquiries, judicial reviews and planning litigation alongside compulsory purchase-related compensation claims and appeals against the refusal of planning permissions. Both, contentious and non-contentious work frequently pertains to housing, commercial and office developments.

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Key clients

Transport Scotland

Scottish Canals

National Grid Gas plc

New Ingliston Limited

Tesco Stores Limited

Vastint

Diageo

Parabola Property Limited

Persimmon Homes Limited

The City of Edinburgh Council

Property litigation Tier 2

Acting for a broad public and private sector client base, Morton Fraser has recently been particularly visible in the commercial property space, handling disputes pertaining to lease terminations, the ownership of property, servitude right of access, the recovery of rent arrears, compulsory purchases and energy-related matters, but it is also well placed to provide assistance with residential real estate work. The practice is led by commercial litigator Kenneth Carruthers and includes associate Ursula Currie, who handles a wide range of disputes before the Sheriff Courts, Court of Session and the Supreme Court.

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Key clients

Tesco Stores Limited

BAM Properties plc

National Grid Gas

Diageo

Ministry of Defence

Persimmon Homes

Standard Life Trustee Company

The City of Edinburgh Council

Stewart Milne Group Limited

Glasgow City Council

Banking and finance Tier 3

Morton Fraser has a strong finance practice and is notably capable in loan portfolio transactions. The firm provides specialist Scottish expertise to firms in England and Wales, and internationally. Practice head Andrew Meakin focuses on corporate debt, including distressed debt and real estate finance. John Lunn specialises in consumer finance and regulated financial products.

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Testimonials

‘Approachable, commercial and clear.’

‘Morton Fraser offer a very pragmatic approach in terms of engagement.’

‘The banking lawyers at Morton Fraser are hardworking, pragmatic and always deliver.’

‘The firm provides a high level of customer service, with clear concise advice, a flexible approach and a good overlay of commercialism. It is responsive to new requests for advice and pricing is sensible.’

 

 

Key clients

ING Bank

Deutsche Bank

Investec

Bridging VAT Limited

Danske Bank

Allied Irish Banks (both UK and Ireland)

Asset Alliance

Cadence Bank

Ogilvie Group

Charities and not-for-profit Tier 3

Morton Fraser provides a full service to charity clients, dealing with matters including registration, social finance, investigations and property purchases. Adrian Bell is the key partner in the team; he is principally a commercial lawyer and also has significant experience across a wide range of other areas relating to charity law. Notable clients include Social Investment Scotland and The Scottish Racing Academy.

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Testimonials

‘Adrian Bell took a genuine interest in our charity, which went beyond the call. His team were also very efficient, prompt and helpful.’

‘Even although we are a very small client, we were made to feel equally important as larger clients’

Key clients

SRUC

The Scottish Racing Academy

Scottish Wildlife Trust

Social Investment Scotland

Scottish Mines Restoration Trust

Corporate and commercial: Edinburgh and Glasgow Tier 3

Morton Fraser advises public sector and private clients, including SMEs and family business, on a range of corporate matters including succession planning. It has a niche expertise in crowdfunding and private fund limited partnership matters, and also advises higher education institutions on spin-outs. A further area of focus is investor clients, which the firm advises in relation to investment funds, groups and syndicates. Austin Flynn heads the team.

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Testimonials

‘Morton Fraser is a large but independent Scottish firm with a very hands on approach which helps to drive matters forward effectively’.

‘Very good and in depth knowledge of the law, together with a strong appreciation of the commercial backdrop’.

‘Extremely quick and dedicated service’.

‘Great academic insight into the legal issues but tailored to deliver the right commercial result’.

‘Real interest in getting to understand your business’.

‘Iain Young is an outstanding partner – he works hard to understand the brief and engages with the other side’.          

‘Morton Fraser have a tremendously strong corporate team with an unrivalled knowledge of the market in Scotland and beyond.’

‘In Austin Flynn, Morton Fraser are blessed with an individual with a unique skillset’.

Key clients

The Scottish Hockey Union

MGB Biopharma Limited

Witherby Publishing Group

Clinspec Diagnostics Limited

Euro Hostels Limited

Scottish Mines Restoration Trust

Boundary Technologies Limited

Diageo

Schuh Limited

Mountain Optech Inc.

Education Tier 3

Much of Morton Fraser's education sector work involves employment, immigration and corporate governance matters but the practice is also well placed to handle commercial and charity-related work alongside trade mark and data protection issues. This broad offering is regularly called upon by higher education institutions alongside independent and state schools as well as various education bodies. Employment specialist David Walker is the main contact.

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Testimonials

Practical, experienced technical advice that brought structure to complex situations.

Key clients

SRUC – Scotland’s Rural College

Robert Gordon’s College

George Heriot’s School

Student Award Agency for Scotland

George Watson’s College

East Renfrewshire Council

Dollar Academy

Empiric Student Property plc

Harmeny Education Trust Limited

The MacKenzie School of English

Health and safety Tier 3

Morton Fraser is best known for carrying out fatal accident inquiries for regulators such as the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), but also acts for local authorities and advises on breaches of health and safety law. Solicitor advocate Jenny Dickson heads the practice.

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Testimonials

In my experience Jenny Dickson’s team is very professional and organised and provides a very good offering.

Jenny Dickson is very good.

Key clients

Health and Safety Executive (HSE)

Air Accident Investigation Branch

Intellectual property Tier 3

Morton Fraser is noted for its experience advising early to mid-stage companies on IP protection and commercialisation issues. Other areas of expertise include data protection work, contractual and commercial matters, license agreements and trade mark registrations. Austin Flynn heads up the team, and senior associate Julie Nixon is recommended for university spinout issues.

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Testimonials

‘Speedy resolution and response’.

‘Refreshingly sharp and incisive, and a source of sound legal advice’.

‘The support and guidance from Morton Fraser has been faultless’.

‘This team are incredibly supportive of start-ups and spinouts from universities’.

‘Their advice and support is bang up to date with cutting edge practice and is timely, strategic and client-focused’.

 ‘They engage with programmes in a consistent and strategic way, adding value where they best can make a difference’.

‘I have found all interactions with Austin Flynn and Julie Nixon to have been particularly effective for the clients, with a direct, honest and transparent approach’.        

Key clients

Mercia Asset Management

Mars Blacksheep Hotels Ltd

Diageo

SRUC

ClinSpec Diagnostics Limited

Archangel Investors Limited

Sport Tier 3

Morton Fraser’s sports practice is led by Paul Geoghegan, whose specialisms encompass governance, discipline and commercial contract matters. He is particularly knowledgeable of football, both in the English Premier League and Scottish Premiership, with a history of representing prominent Scottish sports organisation including Scottish Hockey and Scottish Gymnastics. Also integral to the practice is Iain Young, an expert in corporate transactions, insolvency matters and sponsorship contracts. The group, which notably represents a number of gymnastics clubs, is also acclaimed for its knowledge of employment and image rights matters, as well as charity-related queries and applications.

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Key clients

Scottish Hockey

Scottish Gymnastics

The Scottish Racing Academy

Boroughmuir Rugby and Community Sports Club

Tartan Golf International Limited

Shot Scope Technologies Limited

Kirkcaldy RFC

Bruntsfield Links Golfing Society

Pollok Football Club

Merchants of Edinburgh Golf Club

Commercial litigation Tier 4

Much of Morton Fraser's litigation work takes place in the property and insolvency space and frequently includes payment-related claims. Alongside private clients, the team led by Richard McMeeken, who covers a wide range of commercial disputes, also acts for companies and individual shareholders with particular expertise in the hospitality, entertainment, financial services and public sectors.

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Testimonials

The team is firm with the opposing side – robust, yet measured and polite. They give sensible advice to their own clients, being realistic about what can be achieved in litigation. Good capability allows them to stick to the necessary deadlines.

Richard McMeeken is knowledgeable, and combines that with a good grasp of practicalities. His team works well together.

Key clients

Nationwide Building Society

Heineken UK Ltd

Environment Agency

Lanark Road Property Ltd

Standard Life Trustee Company Limited

Marine Scotland

J & E Smillie (Montrose) Ltd

French Duncan

Autauric Limited

Glasgow City Council

Construction Tier 4

Morton Fraser is jointly led by non-contentious construction and projects expert Jonathan Seddon and construction and engineering dispute resolution specialist Sandra Cassels, who joined from BTO Solicitors LLP in August 2019. In the non-contentious space, the team has a specialism in acting for commercial private and public sector property developers with significant expertise in student accomodation projects, PRS/ BTR and housing developments. In the contentious arena, the team has a depth of experience in adjudications and has been particularly active for employers and local authorities.

Testimonials

Morton Fraser is a legal company that specialises in all aspects of law, therefore a construction dispute may overlap with another field, and they have the necessary expertise in-house to provide clear concise expert advice to clients.

Sandra Cassels cares and wants the best for her clients, she offers good sound advice, whether it’s what we want to hear or not, but it is always with our best interests at heart. She is conscious of the costs of legal fees to her clients and informs us of the costs of actions.

Key clients

Diageo Scotland Limited

BAM Properties Limited

Hotel Management Limited

The Scottish Government and the Government of the United Kingdom (including Transport Scotland and Scottish Prison Service)

Empiric Student Property Plc

Oberlanders Architects

Glasgow City Council

Bank of Scotland PLC

Lloyds Bank Private Banking

Rockspring Group

Tesco Stores Limited/ Tesco Personal Finance plc

Energy (excluding oil and gas) Tier 4

Morton Fraser is noted for its expertise in crofting and agricultural-related energy matters. It acts for landowners and developers on consenting, licensing, developing, financing, decommissioning, remediation, re-powering and commercial agreements. Practice head Nick Atkins is an expert in nuclear and environmental law.

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Testimonials

‘Outstanding quality of communication and excellence of knowledge.’

‘Patient, responsive, and excellent communication.’

 

Key clients

United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority, Dounreay Site Restoration Limited

Ministry of Defence

Orkney Council

Glenmuckloch Community Energy Park Limited

Scottish Wildlife Trust

Aultguish Wind Farm

Inverliver Hydro Scheme

BTO Solicitors LLP

The Scottish Ministers

The firm: Morton Fraser is a Limited Liability Partnership, with a Management Board, a Chief Executive and a Chairman. The firm provides award winning and top rated legal services across the UK, and has links to over 160 international firms. It has been known as Morton Fraser since 2000.

The firm can lay claim to being the oldest law firm in Scotland following its merger with Macdonalds in February 2013. Macdonalds can trace records of the firm back to 1614.

The Morton Fraser practice in Edinburgh can be traced back to 1829, when it was founded by Charles Morton who set up as Greig & Morton WS in partnership with James Greig. Following various mergers during the 19th century, in 1915 the firm underwent another amalgamation to become known as Morton, Smart, Macdonald & Prosser WS.

1961 saw another merger – with J & J Milligan WS. The two firms becoming known as Morton, Smart, Macdonald & Milligan WS. In 1968 they merged again with Fraser, Stodart & Ballingall WS to become Morton, Fraser & Milligan WS, shortened to Morton Fraser in 2000.

The firm opened an office in Glasgow in 2004 and in London in 2007 in response to client demand. In 2002 the firm merged with the commercial practice of Robson McLean WS and in 2008, with Edinburgh based law firm Skene Edwards.

The firm continues to expand and develop to best serve their clients’ requirements.

Morton Fraser is a leading independent Scottish law firm delivering clear legal advice to businesses, the public sector, families and individuals. It operates from offices in Edinburgh, Glasgow and London, with a headcount of around 300 people including 44 Partners. It has links internationally to a further 160 law firms around the world. With a highly talented team of lawyers, Morton Fraser provides specialist expertise across its main business areas of commercial real estate, public sector, private client, banking, corporate and litigation.

Morton Fraser has highlighted clarity as its guiding principle. This directs the way it communicates, the way it advises, the way it conducts relationships with its clients and the way it is totally transparent and upfront about its charges. This applies to all its services from the straightforward to the more complex.

Clients: Morton Fraser’s impressive client base includes AGS Airports Limited, Diageo, Historic Environment Scotland, The Ministry of Defence, Nationwide, Post Office, Rockspring, Royal Mail Group, Schuh, Scottish Canals, Scottish Government, Skyscanner, Standard Life plc, Superdrug, Tesco Stores Limited, UK Government and Volkswagen UK.

Areas of practice: Banking: Morton Fraser has one of Scotland’s largest dedicated finance practices. Clients include all of the UK’s clearing banks, along with building societies, leasing companies and overseas financial institutions. The team offers real expertise from transaction-driven finance to consumer finance and consumer credit regulation. They advise on deals with values running into billions of pounds a year and frequently provide specialist Scottish advice to English and overseas law firms.

Commercial Real Estate: the commercial real estate team advises clients on the full spectrum of commercial real estate work including regeneration projects, retail and general leasing, property investment, property development, portfolio management, property finance, lender services and house building. They also have expertise in real estate support services such as construction, planning and environmental law. Clients benefit from their expertise gained in acting for some of Scotland’s largest property owners.

Corporate: the corporate team has extensive experience in a wide range of corporate matters throughout the UK, including share and business sales and purchases, mergers and acquisitions, capital reductions, restructuring, advising investors and investees in private equity transactions, joint ventures and shareholder disputes and advising on insolvency and data protection and GDPR matters. They work with a wide variety of organisations from PLCs and household-names to small and medium sized organisations including charities, owner-managed businesses and start-ups in all industry sectors.

The team is involved in many technically-complex and commercially-significant transactions across a range of sectors.

Litigation: the litigation team is one of the largest in Scotland. It includes experts in specialist areas such as fraud and financial crime, child and adoption law, immigration law, contentious planning law and alternative dispute resolution. The team also includes three solicitor advocates offering clients seamless and cost-effective representation in civil courts throughout Scotland; a substantial debt team with particular expertise in volume recoveries for public sector clients; and one of the most respected employment teams in Scotland.

The firm’s approach to litigation involves partnering with our clients and basing our strategy around their goals in order to get the best result possible. The core of our work is our commercial practice dealing with business to business disputes. The majority of these involve issues of contractual interpretation.

Private Client: the private client team have over 70 specialists, including its own Estate Agency and two chartered and certified Independent Financial Advisers. Together, they are all passionate about the work they do for people and their families. They advise on a wide range of areas of expertise including divorce and family law, wills, powers of attorney, finances, tax planning, family succession, pensions, buying and selling property, later life care and trusts.

Public Sector: Morton Fraser has a huge amount of experience of working with public sector clients who appreciate the firm’s sensitivity to the political, administrative and financial demands faced by the sector. The firm acts for over 70 public sector organisations including the Ministry of Defence, the Scottish Government, UK Government Departments and Agencies, Non-Departmental Government Bodies, Education Institutions as well as many Local Authorities (several of which as sole legal advisers).

Department Name Email Telephone
Agriculture and Rural Land and Business James Rust
Banking & Finance Andrew Meakin
Clinical Negligence - Claimant Jenny Dickson
Construction & Development Jonathan Seddon
Consumer Finance John Lunn
Corporate Austin Flynn
Dispute Resolution Innes Clark
Education: Institutions David Walker
Employment Innes Clark
Energy & Utilities Nick Atkins
Environment Nick Atkins
Family/Matrimonial Law Rhona Adams
Financial Services & Products John Lunn
Health & Safety Jenny Dickson
Hotels & Leisure Elspeth Carson
Immigration Stuart McWilliams
IP/IT Austin Flynn
Infrastructure & Project Finance Andrew Meakin
Insolvency Iain Young
Local Government Rory Alexander
Asset Finance Bev Wood
Licensing David Hossack
Mediators David Hossack
Parliamentary & Public Law Rory Alexander
Personal Injury Jenny Dickson
Planning Douglas Milne
Private Client Sue Hunter
Private Equity Austin Flynn
Projects Suzanne Hardie
Real Estate Michael Ramsay
Real Estate Litigation Douglas Milne
Retail Elspeth Carson
Residential Property Joanne Cruickshank
Restructuring/InsolvencyNicola Ross Nicola Ross
Social Housing Suzanne Hardie
Sports Law Iain Young
TMT Austin Flynn
Other offices : London
Number of UK partners : 44
Number of UK fee-earners : 143