Firm Profile > Burness Paull LLP > Edinburgh, Scotland

Burness Paull LLP

Banking and finance Tier 1

Burness Paull LLP is noted for its financing work, which focuses on oil and gas finance, renewables finance, leveraged finance and fund finance, including multijurisdictional debt and security structures. Alan Soppitt leads the team, which includes Jonathan Heaney, who has expertise in corporate lending and real estate finance. Aberdeen-based John Kennedy is renowned for his experience of advising major UK and Scottish banks on leveraged finance transactions in the oil and gas market. Dawn Reoch joined as a partner from CMSScott Wilson retired and Gaenor Cassell left the firm for Addleshaw Goddard.

Practice head(s):


The service provided by Burness Paull is one of the best in the market – you can always be sure of a comprehensive, concise response within the timescale required’.

‘The expertise within the firm is wide-ranging – they know what they can do, and will ensure that the client is aware of, and able to maximise their input’.

‘I think their size, compared to other bigger firms, means that they are able to act quickly and nimbly, and offer a competitive service for clients’.

‘Client service is clearly a priority – the service described is testament to that’.

‘The team are excellent at thinking outside the box – involving expertise from other areas of the firm wherever that might be required, and even in cases where we haven’t been aware of the requirement’.

‘Value for money is good – I always feel able to pick up the phone without becoming anxious of an incoming bill, or difficult fee negotiations’.

‘Their response times reflect their commercial awareness – they react quickly to ensure that we can optimise our business’.

‘Responsive, pragmatic, knowledgeable and efficient’.

Key clients

Santander UK plc

AgFe (Debt Fund)

CSG Glasgow Limited (part of the Chris Stewart Group)

Maven Capital Partners

Creditfix Asset Holdings Limited

Clydesdale Bank plc

MUFG Bank Limited

ING Corporate Investments Mezzanine Fonds B.V.

Danske Bank

Magnesium Capital

The Royal Bank of Scotland plc

Bank of Scotland plc

i3 Energy plc

Fortwell Capital Limited

BlueGem Capital Partners LLP

Springfield Properties plc

The Harbro Group

Charities and not-for-profit Tier 1

As well as providing the full spectrum of advice required by charities, trusts, and non-profits, Burness Paull LLP has particular expertise regarding charities’ use of corporate legal structures. The firm has advised on a range of charity mergers, as well as on partnerships between private enterprises and charitable bodies, having developed innovative partnership models and consortium structures for a range of clients. In particular, the firm has experience in establishing Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisations (SCIOs), and formed the first of its kind. Stephen Phillips, based in Glasgow, heads up the practice, and has extensive regulatory experience. Phillips acts as the Convenor of the Charity Law sub-committee of the Law Society of Scotland. Gillian Harkness, director of the firm’s third sector team, focuses on developing specialist corporate structures, while associates Emma Maxwell and Rhona McAdam are also key members of the team.

Practice head(s):


‘A clear understanding of our sector with professional staff that are approachable and friendly. Solution focused no matter how complex the issue seems to be. The experience and knowledge of this firm is very obvious.’

‘A prompt, clear, polite and efficient service. The business in hand was delivered successfully. I could not have wanted for a better group of practitioners.’

‘Stephen Phillips and Emma Maxwell have provided an excellent tailored service to our charity that has guided us through a very difficult period. Stephen has exceptional knowledge of charity law and is very obviously a leader in his field of work. Emma has provided excellent advice and practical solutions on request. Their advice has been invaluable.’

Key clients

Kwik-Fit (GB) Limited

DFN Project Search

Launch Foods Foundation


Workshop and Artists Studio Provision (Scotland) Limited

Thomas Coats Memorial Church Trust

Riverside Inverclyde

Friends of Kinloch Castle

First Port for Social Entrepreneurs Limited


Commercial property: Edinburgh and Glasgow Tier 1

The real estate team at Burness Paull LLP is well regarded for its high-profile development and regeneration work. The team acts for a wide range of investor clients on cross-border transactions and handles corporate occupier matters for blue-chip corporate clients. It continues to advise on large-scale developments in the build-to-rent sector, and also handles real estate finance in the private residential, social housing and student accommodation sectors. Team head John Strachan is supported by Graeme Bradshaw, who leads on the retail and leisure and hospitality side. Nick Naddell focuses on high end investment deals, funding packages, and landlord and tenant work for large global retailers. Richard Rennie, who acts for high-profile investor clients, and Tamar Tammes are also recommended. Neil Bruce made partner.


Burness Paull are incredibly responsive, delivering a really good quality of work product in a fast turnaround time’.

Their lawyers are clever and provide succinct commercially focused advice’.

Burness have strength and depth in the retail property area’.

Commercially focussed and adaptable to changing situations’.

Very good lines of communication throughout contact and excellent grasp of subject area’.

Burness Paull is always very prompt to respond and the quality of work is always high and delivered on time’.

The approach of Burness Paull has very much been a collaborative one with my position as in-house solicitor’.

A quick personal service and competent to provide a property service in a very personal manner’.

Key clients

Union Real Estate Investments GMBH

The UNITE Group plc

Glasgow City Council

HGIT Glasgow (Hines Subsidiary)

KKR/ Quadrant Estates


Verdant Leisure

Aedifica S.A

Barratt Homes West

CALA Homes

Longmore House Properties Limited

Hamilton House Investments Limited

Springfield Properties Plc


Nordic Outdoor

Louis Vuitton

Urban Outfitters

LK Bennett

Sharp Bedrooms


Papa John’s

Ladbrokes Coral



Neal’s Yard Remedies

Max Mara

Warren James


Smiggle UK



London & Scottish

Aberdeen Football Club



Lothbury Trust Holdings

Pizza Express

Pizza Hut

Tony Macaroni

Union Real Estate Investments GMBH

Glasgow City Council

Verdant Leisure

Carefree Universal Corp

Hamilton House Investments Limited

Yum! Brands, Inc

Signature Pubs

Commercial property: elsewhere in Scotland Tier 1

Burness Paull LLP advises on high-profile development and regeneration work. It often acts for blue-chip corporate occupiers on asset management and office relocations. Its client base includes oil and gas companies, as well as industrial, leisure and public sector organisations. Team head John Strachan focuses on both residential and commercial developments. Another key individual is Richard Goodfellow, who is the head of the housebuilding sector group, and advises developers, landowners, housebuilders, investors and corporate occupiers on developments. Senior associate Sarah Stewart is also recommended. Neil Bruce made partner.

Practice head(s):

Key clients

A & J Robertson (Granite) Limited

Aberdeen Football Club PLC

Cats Management Limited (now Kellas Midstream Limited)

Countesswells Development Ltd


Duke of Fife

Esson Properties

GE Oil & Gas

John Clark Motor Group

Manse LLP

Fiera Real Estate (previously Palmer Capital)

CALA Homes

Stewart Milne Group

Total E&P UK

University of St Andrews

Uppermill Farms Ltd

London & Scottish Investment Property Ltd

First Endeavour LLP

BS Global One

Corporate and commercial: Edinburgh and Glasgow Tier 1

Burness Paull LLP has a wide-ranging corporate offering which includes significant experience in joint ventures, private equity, venture capital and equity capital markets. The team acts for an impressive roster of Scottish and UK clients on international deals, while also advising owner managed businesses and technology start-ups. Head of team Mark Ellis is recommended for high profile private equity deals, while Peter Lawson handles international M&A deals. Chris Gotts is also well-regarded in the market for his record on corporate and capital markets matters.

Practice head(s):


‘Very responsive, commercial attitude by the team – willing to explore multiple options. Very good at disseminating complex legal structuring points into commercial headlines for the deal team.’

‘Very high quality people who are focused on delivering for their clients and are able to focus on the important issues and get things done with minimum fuss.’

‘Mark Ellis and Chris Gotts are genuine subject matter experts who are able to keep abreast of all developments in the process and give guidance and input where it is needed. Incredibly patient and pragmatic and very good at managing transactions, and the various parties involved in a transaction, to a successful conclusion.’

‘Our experience with everyone we have worked with at the firm is consistent: Burness Paull is excellent at taking complex legal issues that have significant business and finance implications and developing pragmatic an straight-forward solutions. they are always very clear on what the practical solution is and not getting completely caught up in largely irrelevant technical issues.’

Key clients

Standard Life Aberdeen plc

James Fisher and Sons PLC

Scottish Enterprise

National Oilwell Group


BlueGem Capital Partners

Walker Precision Engineering Group

i3 Energy plc

Kings Park Capital

STV plc

Employment Tier 1

Burness Paull LLP is a well respected player in the market and provides full-service employment law support, spanning strategic employment law, TUPE, employment tribunals and industrial relations and trade union law. While the team focuses on advising employers, and most notably those from the energy, media and sport sectors, its client base also includes senior executives. Team head Mandy Laurie has a focus on contentious matters, while David Morgan is the main contact for trade union and industrial relations. Aberdeen-based Sean Saluja has substantial expertise in the oil and gas industry. Jennifer Skeoch is another key member of the team and regularly appears in employment tribunals.

Practice head(s):


Burness Paull is completely in touch with my sector and goes out its way to understand our challenges, not in a legal sense but in a more personal, ‘real’ sense and then bring the legal aspects in. They keep completely up-to-date with trends and themes and always seem to me to be ahead of the curve. They really offer a personal service and very pragmatic, easy-to-understand legal advice. Unlike other legal firms who simply apply the law without always considering the ‘human impact’.

Strategic and pragmatic. Personable and a pleasure to work with.

The firm has a polished and professional brand, with an excellent reputation in the local market. They put a lot of effort into continual engagement with their clients in a proactive manner, tackling topical issues and concerns.

They take the time to really listen to the situation, take all the people factors into account, they are not risk averse and they are very compassionate in sensitive situations. They also provide alternatives to reach your end state rather than just one option. I am always impressed with how forward-thinking they are.’

I have always been impressed by the employment team. They take the time to get to know the business and its people, enabling them to tailor advice to the business, providing client care that is second to none. Courses and events are thought through and tailored with the needs of the clients, making them relevant and useful. I have found that personal touch to be what differentiates them from other firms.

Strength/ differentiator of the firm is the commercial and pragmatic consideration, rather than pure legal opinion.

Our team at Burness has taken the time to fully understand how our business works and our approach to risk where our employee relations is concerned. They are a true business partner in every sense.

I work mostly with Tricia Walker. In my experience she is energetic and driven to support her clients.

Morag Hutchison is a stand-out partner in the employment team. Morag is both extremely knowledgeable and sensitive to individual situations. She genuinely looks for the right outcomes. Morag has excellent relationship skills. Her approach is a lot more than just delivering advice. As a result, she has been able to influence a number of difficult situations and build credible relationships with a variety of stakeholders. I would not hesitate to recommend Morag to any business.

Jen Skeoch always stands out to me. Jen understands that we like to think out of the box and she will always come up with solutions that fit with that approach. She understands that our team is very knowledgeable and as such does not patronise us when discussing cases etc. Jen will always fight our corner as if she works for our company and is just as affected as us if things don’t go our way – she is totally invested in us.’

Key clients


ITN (Independent Television News)

General Electric (GE)

SSE plc


Scottish Football Association


A.G. Barr plc


Everton FC

Health and safety Tier 1

Burness Paull LLP has oil and gas sector work at its core, providing assistance with incident investigations alongside fatal accident and public inquiries, while also representing businesses and individuals - including those from various other sectors - facing enforcement actions. Its non-contentious offering is also noteworthy and includes advice on offshore safety case regulations and compliance. Rona Jamieson heads the team and handles the full spectrum of health and safety work.

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Burness Paull is one of the leading firms in Scotland in health and safety crime, and has an outstanding reputation in the oil and gas sector in particular.

The health and safety team has an impressive understanding of engineering matters relevant to the oil and gas industry. The advice received is always pragmatic and relevant and response times are immediate.

Burness Paull provides honest and fair advice.

Rona Jamieson provides outstanding advice in a manner that is well understood and received by senior management.’

Rona Jamieson leads the health and safety team, and is one of the leading practitioners in Scotland. She is a true specialist in the subject, has a wealth of experience, and excellent judgment ensuring clients always receive realistic and practical advice.

Lynne Gray became a partner in 2019 and will be a tremendous asset. She has great experience, is thoroughly professional, and understands the needs of clients, in particular in the oil and gas sector in which she specialises.

Key clients



Repsol Sinopec

Maersk Oil

Apache Corporation


Spirit Energy

Marathon Oil

Babcock International Group

Arnold Clark

Insolvency and corporate recovery Tier 1

Burness Paull LLP is noted for its strength in contentious and non-contentious restructuring and insolvency work. Its team acts for high-profile banking and accountant clients and also advises on Scots law matters for City and US firms. Practice head Michael Thomson handles advisory and transactional work for lenders and borrowers, and insolvency and enforcement advice and action. Gary Moffat has over 25 years of experience of insolvency litigation and represents the Insolvency Service.

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‘Michael Thompson is a “go to” partner at Burness Paull for Scottish insolvency advice, he is responsive and his knowledge of the law is extremely good’.

‘Michael Thomson is an exceptional character’.

‘Michael is proactive, technically good and commercial’.

‘Burness Paull is a firm which is forward looking and which employs talented and innovative people’. 

‘You get a real feeling they work together and there is an absence of the silo approach sometimes encountered’.      

‘Michael Thomson has been fantastic to work with and he and his team have consistently provided solid practical advice’.

‘Gary Moffat is a very skilled lawyer, he has specialist knowledge in company and insolvency matters and also significant experience in commercial litigation’.

‘The team is very knowledgeable, responsive and great to work with’.

Key clients

Arcadia Group

The Pension Protection Fund

The Royal Bank of Scotland

Clydesdale Bank

Lloyds Banking Group




Ernst & Young

Highlands & Islands Enterprise

Intellectual property Tier 1

Burness Paull LLP is noted for its experience in mandates in the energy, fintech, arts, financial services, food and drink, and public sectors. Colin Hulme heads up the contentious practice and has IP specialist accreditation by the Law Society of Scotland. On the non-contentious side, Callum Sinclair leads the firm's commercial division and is well regarded for IP strategy issues, data work and tech-based IP licensing mandates, as well as M&A and investment transactions. David Goodbrand co-heads the non-contentious IP practice and handles IP commercialisation work, strategy and protection issues, technology agreements, data transfers, sponsorship deals and media rights work. Fellow non-contentious co-head Colin Miller joined from DWF.

Other key lawyers:


‘The team works really well together and delivers great results for clients’.             

‘Colin Hulme is excellent, he is one of the most prominent IP lawyers in Scotland’.

‘Megan Briggs is a real problem solver, she has not only made herself available whenever we needed her but she has been supporting our new projects and provided alternative solutions to our problems’.

‘Colin Miller is an astute, tactical and first-rate technical lawyer’.            

‘The knowledge and understanding of the challenges we have presented Burness Paull have been met with exemplary service’.

‘The Burness Paul team are professional, proactive and a pleasure to work with’.

‘They are undoubtedly specialists in IP and as such we have nothing but confidence in the advice and actions they have given’.  

‘Colin’s Hulme’s management of our case and his knowledge of his profession gives us nothing but confidence that we are receiving the best possible advice and service’.

Key clients


Harris Tweed Authority

AstraZeneca Group

Highland Spring



Take Two/Rockstar Games

Standard Life Aberdeen

Scottish Rugby Union

PPL (Phonographic Performance Limited)/PRS for Music/PPL PRS Limited

IT and telecoms Tier 1

Burness Paull LLP is well-regarded for its IT work, which includes technology contracts, IT disputes and transactional technology mandates. Key client sectors include the energy, fintech, public and technology industries. Callum Sinclair heads up the team and is recommended for major technology, sourcing and enterprise cloud deals. David Goodbrand leads the fintech practice and regularly handles data protection compliance issues. Other key names include contentious practice head Colin Hulme and Colin Millar, who joined from DWF.

Practice head(s):


‘Right balance of commercial and legal, very attentive and keen to take on challenges’.      

‘Callum Sinclair makes you feel like a valued client, he’s hugely enthusiastic and very personable whilst delivering excellent work’.

‘In TMT, they’ve been highly responsive, eager to please and certainly receptive to ways of working which are not their own’.

‘They have a good range of talent at the partner and senior associate level’.

‘David Goodbrand is responsive, adept at understanding our business (not an easy task in some cases) and very pragmatic’.

Key clients

Energia Group

OGTC (the Oil & Gas Technology Centre)

ACCA (Association of Certified Chartered Accountants)

Royal London


Financial Services Compensation Scheme


Natural Power

Cogital Group

CCL Technologies

Media and entertainment Tier 1

The team at Burness Paull LLP is hailed for its ‘impressive and responsive service - London-quality advice coupled with a very personal service’. The full-service practice is headed by Grant Stevenson, who represents bluechip media clients on all aspects of their corporate, finance and commercial activities, and also includes Colin Hulme, a go-to name for media rights enforcement. Elsewhere, director Kirsteen MacDonald is developing a strong reputation for pre-publication and defamation matters, leveraging her ‘genuine enthusiasm for working with the media’. Household name media organisations and renowned individuals work with the firm, which has recently handled several high-profile disputes and is particularly well-regarded for its pre- and post-broadcasting advice, content rights management work and knowledge of reporting restrictions.

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‘Burness Paull’s partners are very impressive and responsive: nothing is too much trouble. They really engage in the deal and try to drive deals forward proactively. They provide London-quality advice at competitive rates and succeed in giving a very personal service.’

‘Outstanding speed of response and energy. Really good support staff- the approach and culture of the firm appears to cut across all layers to produce excellent service.’

‘Kirsteen MacDonald has a deep and genuine enthusiasm for working with the media. She is exceptionally flexible both in making herself available and in her approach to problem solving. She can’t do enough for a client.’

Key clients

STV plc

Independent Television News

ASF Sports Promotions Limited

BBC Scotland


Sky UK Limited

Performing Right Society Limited

JK Rowling

Ms Julie McAnulty

Phonographic Performance Limited

Oil and gas Tier 1

Burness Paull LLP advises domestic and international clients on operations in the North Sea. It is working on an increasing number of energy transition projects and also continues to be highly regarded for its exploration and production (E&P) work. Practice head Brian Hemming is adept at handling agreements relating to the acquisition and disposal of oil and gas field interests. Bruce McLeod is recommended for upstream M&A, as well as field development agreements between oil companies.

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‘Customer focus, in depth knowledge and experience which is always applied in a pragmatic and timely manner.’

‘Brian Hemming’s service has always been first class. He is extremely experienced in his field and can always come up with pragmatic solutions to any issues and consequently provides a very efficient and focused service.’

‘Very experienced and thorough. Provide clear and helpful advice. Deep oil and gas experience and understanding of complicated issues.’

‘Bruce McLeod has deep oil and gas experience and gives calm, clear-headed advice on complicated issues. An excellent negotiator.’

‘Industry top tier professionals with Brian Hemming and Bruce Macleod. Hugely experienced and capable.’

‘Brian Hemming is a calm, unflappable professional with an enviable combination of legal expertise and in-house experience.’

‘Calm, considered advice based on a depth of experience, with a friendly and accessible approach.’

‘Depth of experience, with a friendly and accessible approach. A willingness to provide pragmatic and balanced advice.’

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

Key clients


Dragon Oil

Tailwind Energy

Kellas Midstream / Humber Gathering System

Neptune Energy

Parkmead Group

Wintershall Dea

Savannah Petroleum

The Oil & Gas Technology Centre

Property litigation Tier 1

Burness Paull LLP has a fine reputation in the property litigation space and is well equipped to guide clients - including commercial clients, housebuilders and local authorities - through a wide range of disputes, such as those arising from dilapidations, lease terminations and obligations, building defects and land purchases. The group is also well placed to handle telecoms disputes and typically acts for operators. Solicitor advocate Alan McMillan heads the group and has particular expertise in commercial property.

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Key clients

Dana Petroleum

Britannia Invest A/S


Stirling Developments Limited


Scotco Restaurants Ltd (KFC)


NFU Mutual

University of St Andrews


Taylor Wimpey

Miller Homes

Commercial litigation Tier 2

Burness Paull LLP's team covers commercial disputes across a wide range of sectors. Much of its work pertains to fraud, insolvency and telecoms sector matters - all of which are areas of particular expertise for practice head Gary Moffat - alongside product liability, IP, banking and property. Within the research period, the team recorded a number of internal changes: In May 2019, shipping sector expert Andrew Forsyth joined from Brodies LLP and planning disputes expert Alasdair Sutherland from the Scottish Bar. Lynne Gray, who handles a wide range of contentious regulatory matters, was promoted to partner in September 2019.

Practice head(s):


Very effective and efficient team which seems well coordinated. Excellent communications. I had not worked with them before, but was very impressed.

A great regional law firm which handles a lot of interesting, high-value cases. Although they are a medium-sized firm, they often handle large, complex international litigations and arbitrations.

A leading Scottish firm with the client as their primary focus, whilst delivering a quality service within agreed timeframes.

The team within dispute resolution that I have experience working with is Gary Moffat’s team. I have found the whole team to be very well trained and very knowledgeable in the areas in which they specialise. This allows work to be done at the appropriate level without impacting on quality. I have found cases that the team deal with to have been very well managed. It is clear that time is spent at the outset analysing cases and advising clients of the different approaches that could be taken together with the benefits and weaknesses of each. This is hugely important in litigation where too many firms will simply raise proceedings and then only start thinking about the intricacies of the case at a later stage.

Jody Crockett is a very good communicator and was clearly working very hard in the background between calls. He also turned documents around quickly and managed the lay client well, despite the time difference. I was impressed by his diligence at every turn.

Jody Crockett is a fantastic lawyer, who is very talented. He is extremely capable and, in the case on which we worked together, was very adept at coming up with creative, effective solutions to procedural issues.

The individual I have worked with most is Gary Moffat. Gary is a very experienced commercial litigator with a specialism in insolvency and company law work. He is very client-focussed. One of the areas where he is particularly strong is in putting together the right team for a case. This involves consideration of both the client and the type of dispute. He clearly spends a lot of time training his team and helping them to further their own specialisms. This can be seen from the fact that Stuart Murdoch, who was one of his associates, became a partner in the division specialising in financial litigation. The benefit in investing in people in this way is that clients and counsel know that the person they are dealing with understands the issues in the case and can take them forward.

Gary Moffat provides excellent customer service and quality work.

Key clients

AstraZeneca Group

The Insolvency Service

Pension Protection Fund

SPUC Pro-Life Scotland Limited

Sky UK Limited


PicRights Europe GmbH

GMB Union

Nick Sellman (Holdings) Limited

Construction Tier 2

Burness Paull LLP has a strong profile for contentious and non-contentious construction and projects work, which attracts a steady stream of instructions from contractors, developers, local authorities and investors on a wide range of projects, including energy, housing, health, education, ports and harbours and retail. Recently, the team led by Fenella Mason, who handles advisory work alongside construction disputes, has been particularly active advising on NPD projects and Scottish hub projects.

Practice head(s):


‘The construction team, headed by the extremely capable Fenella Mason, have proven time and again their commitment to understanding client needs and delivering advice in a clear, understandable and useful fashion. The friendly team has an attention to detail which is second to none and are always readily on hand to provide advice and engage in legal training.’

‘Strong dedication to the client, good strategic advice, realism, no-nonsense style.’

‘Fenella Mason grasps situations quickly, tries to anticipate the moves of opposing parties. Looks at ways to play offensive even if situation looks dire.’


Key clients

Galliford Try Construction (UK) Limited No

John Graham Construction Limited Yes

EDF Energy No

Amey plc No

Morgan Sindall Investments Limited

Port of Cromarty Firth

Ferrovial Lagan


Van Oord

Scottish Futures Trust

Corporate and commercial: elsewhere in Scotland Tier 2

Burness Paull LLP’s corporate team has expertise in international transactions, advising Scottish and UK clients on cross-border deals and international investors on inbound investment into the UK. Other areas of focus include M&A, owner-managed business (OMB) sales, equity investments, capital markets and joint ventures. Edinburgh-based Mark Ellis heads the team. Jamie Stark is well regarded for his expertise in the oil and gas sector. Director Arran Mackenzie specialises in corporate finance and private equity, director Ralph McIntosh is recommended for corporate transactional work. Gary Chapman left after 18 months as a partner to become acting general counsel at Centurion Group.

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‘Knowledgeable, friendly and efficient: particularly good at taking non-lawyers through the process and managing their expectations and concerns. Unflappable and easy to approach.’

‘Alasdair Freeman is easy to approach and is able to keep a cool head when the situation becomes demanding. Efficient and knowledgeable; good at problem solving and a good listener.’


Key clients

Standard Life Aberdeen plc

James Fisher and Sons PLC

Scottish Enterprise

National Oilwell Varco, Inc.


BlueGem Capital Partners

Walker Precision Engineering Group

i3 Energy plc

Kings Park Capital

STV plc

Corporate tax Tier 2

Burness Paull LLP is well regarded for its corporate finance and related tax expertise, particularly in relation to private equity and management incentives. The team advises on the complex tax aspects of corporate deals in Scotland, the UK and internationally. Real estate tax matters are another area of focus, with the team providing structural advice at all stages of transactions, ranging from the outset of the transaction to post-completion and the overseeing of LBTT and SDLT. Team head Ronnie Brown is noted for his experience of advising London businesses and Scottish accountancy firms.

Practice head(s):


‘Ronnie Brown and John Finnick provided excellent tax advice with a friendly tone.’

‘The team are always responsive and helpful whenever we call on them.’

‘Ronnie Brown has provided excellent advice.’

Key clients

Management of The Foundry Visionmongers

Asklepios BioPharmaceutical, Inc

Murgitroyd Group PLC

SST Sensing Limited

i3 Energy plc

First Mortgage Direct

Royal London Mutual Insurance Society Limited

The shareholders of McConechy’s Tyre Service Limited

Sword Charteris Limited

Magnesium Capital LLP

Springfield Properties Limited

Crime: fraud Tier 2

Burness Paull LLP's corporate crime team excels in oil and gas sector work, providing advice on anti-bribery and corruption matters to a number of key players in the industry, while assisting engineering, retail and public sector clients with a wide range of financial compliance and regulatory investigation issues constitutes another key element. Its expertise in trade restrictions and international sanctions respectively rounds off this offering. Lynne Gray, who specialises in corporate crime-related instructions, most notably those pertaining to health and safety and corruption, heads the team from Aberdeen.

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Energy (excluding oil and gas) Tier 2

Burness Paull LLP handles consenting, development, construction, operation, financing, M&A and regulatory matters in the renewables sector. The firm receives referrals from City firms, as well as generating and leading matters on the ground in Scotland. Chris Gotts is the head of the team. Peter Ward focuses on energy transactions, advisory and regulatory work. Another key individual is Tamar Tammes, who is experienced in energy-related real estate matters. Senior associate Chris Horsley is also recommended. In a notable development, Neil Bruce was promoted to partner. In addition, Alasdair Sutherland , who was formerly an advocate at the Scottish Bar, joined as a partner. Craig Whelton left for Burges Salmon LLP.

Practice head(s):


‘Burness Paull are professional, responsive and most importantly can be completely trusted to deal with their work in a no fuss manner.’

‘Very good property team, which has been very responsive to various requests in relation to a large number of sites. The team are happy to stand behind their advice, and on many occasions have been proved absolutely right when tested.’

‘Neil Bruce is excellent on energy project real estate matters. He is also very client-focused and very responsive.’

‘The team have a depth of experience and knowledge across the energy spectrum and covering all applicable legal practice areas. Coupled with their commercial and collaborative approach to their service delivery, Burness Paull are a “go to” for Scottish energy transactions.’

‘Burness Paull have a “hands on” approach, meaning you receive the same level of engagement from senior team members as you do junior team members, which is reassuring.’

‘The service provided by Burness Paull is one of the best in the market.’

‘Peter Ward is extremely knowledgeable about complex energy market issues, and always able to understand any issue from both a legal and commercial perspective, using extensive experience and a strong team to provide a comprehensive, efficient response.’

‘Sophie Coffey is approachable and very knowledgeable.’


Key clients

ScottishPower Renewables

EDF Energy Renewables


Statkraft UK

Ventient Energy

Invenergy Wind Europe

Close Brothers

Fred Olsen Renewables

BayWa r.e. UK

Brookfield Renewables

EU and competition Tier 2

Burness Paull LLP’s competition practice was bolstered this year by the arrival of new practice head Colin Miller from DWF. Miller is renowned for his experience of cartel investigations, technology transfer and advice to public sector clients. The team generates mandates from clients in the technology, food and drink, public sector, and oil and gas sectors. Its expertise spans UK, EU and international competition law. Graeme Palmer, who jointly leads the team with Miller, is noted for his expertise in procurement and state aid law.

Practice head(s):


‘Colin Miller is a very careful technical lawyer, as well as a seriously astute tactician.’

‘London quality competition advice, from Edinburgh.’

‘Michael Bryceland has excellent technical skills, experience and ability to explain complex concepts to clients in plain English.’

Key clients

Highland Spring

Oil & Gas UK (trade association for Oil & Gas industry)


Inspired Energy plc

University of St. Andrews

The Weir Group plc

EDF Energy Renewables

FKA Brands

Scottish Enterprise

Carron Bathrooms

Health Tier 2

With projects and construction specialist Chris MacKay in the lead, Burness Paull LLP is well placed to assist NHS trusts, local authorities and other public as well as private sector players with large-scale healthcare projects, including construction, procurement, property and investment matters, alongside associated disputes. Its expertise also extends to transactional work, particularly in the care home sector.

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Easy to work with and responsive.

Great property support on health work.

Key clients

NHS Lothian

hub West Scotland Limited

Hamberley Care Homes

AstraZeneca AB

Covidien/ Medtronic

Smith & Nephew Orthopaedics Limited

Hub Community Foundation (and its non-charitable trading subsidiary, HCF Investments Limited)

British Medical Association


Aedifica SA

Highlands and Islands Enterprise

Immigration Tier 2

Burness Paull LLP regularly advises companies on immigration law aspects associated with their expansion into Scotland, but the practice is equally well versed in providing assistance with sponsor licences and Brexit-related instructions. Individuals also retain the team led by immigration, asylum and nationality law specialist Jamie Kerr to advise on various personal immigration matters.

Practice head(s):


Exceptional advice. Very trustworthy, knowledgeable and credible. As an applicant it can be very stressful to navigate the process, but when the team gives you clear, unbiased, easy-to-understand instructions of what is required, what are the expectations, and how they can help; a big part of the stress goes away. Very important aspect in my books.

Great communication with clear and concise recommendations (nothing is hidden behind legal jargon). Very cost-competitive, with clear and accurate estimates.

Honestly, all members of the team have provided excellent service. They are a great team!

Jamie Kerr is clearly very well versed in immigration law and any advice he gives us is detailed and put forward with excellent clarity. There is an immediate element of trust with Jamie.

Key clients

Maersk Drilling UK Limited

Scottish Enterprise

User Testing Limited

Visual Knowledge Share Limited

Investment funds Tier 2

Burness Paull LLP’s large investment funds team provides structuring, formation, lifetime and regulatory advice to domestic and global clients. A notable strength of the practice involves handling the formation and operation of Scottish limited partnerships used in private investment fund structures and other arrangements. Alan Soppitt, who heads up the team, is noted for his private funds expertise. Paula Kennedy is well regarded for her knowledge of alternative investment funds. Andrew Christie is renowned for his fund finance experience.

Practice head(s):


‘Easy going people, stay close to the client at all times.’

‘Technically excellent, involved in wide variety of Scottish fund structures so good view across the market, friendly and approachable.’

‘Paula Kennedy is very helpful, approachable and knows her stuff.’

‘Really strong, easy to deal with lawyers who make my life super easy. Head and shoulders above other Scottish firms.’

‘Alan Soppitt just makes things really really easy and my life easier.’


Key clients

European Investment Fund (EIF)

Proskauer Rose

Kirkland & Ellis


Big Society Capital

Aberdeen Standard Investments

Partners Group


Simpson Thacher Bartlett

Santander (CF Trustee)

Local government Tier 2

Burness Paull LLP's strength lies in advising local authorities and associated charitable bodies on commercial matters, most notably those at the property intersection, alongside governance and corporate structures as well as on charity law. These key elements also form part of team head Stephen Phillips' set of expertise and frequently pertain to the delivery of major public sector projects, public sector offshoots and partnerships alongside social enterprises.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:


The team truly understands the public sector and provides legal advice based on the relevant local authority risk appetite. Some other firms are very risk averse, and this can be very unhelpful. The team is also down-to-earth, creates good working relationships, avoids unnecessary legalese and is generally great to deal with and to work with.

Certain individuals are real experts in their field, having worked in the area for many years. Some have lived and breathed private sector work and have a wealth and depth of experience. Some are also seen as leading lights and have great influence in certain sectors.

Key clients

Glasgow City Council

The City of Edinburgh Council

Dumfries and Galloway Council

Perth and Kinross Council

Renfrewshire Council

Falkirk Council

Clackmannanshire Council

East Renfrewshire Council

East Ayrshire Council

Orkney Islands Council

South Lanarkshire Council

North Lanarkshire Council

Pensions Tier 2

Burness Paull LLP provides corporates and trustees with transactional and investment assistance - with the former being an area of particular expertise for team head Sarah Phillips -, alongside advice on scheme administration, scheme liabilities, various governance and compliance issues and contentious matters. Its work spans various sectors, most notably the financial services, public and third sectors.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:


Members of the team we have dealt with are always friendly and approachable giving us the advice we need in clear concise terms, recognising both the legal and business implications of the situation.

They deal with matters promptly and give clear advice rather than a range of possible answers.

Technically sound and provides clear, practical advice; looks for solutions.

Burness Paull seeks to really support and understand their clients’ needs. They are a firm you want to turn to in a crisis. The quality of their lawyers and their advice is very high, they are pragmatic in approach, and they offer competitive rates. They also appear to operate a very supportive culture for their staff.

The pensions practice is incredible. The intellectual rigour is first-class and everything is wrapped around with strategic, client-focused and pragmatic advice. They always think long-term and holistically. They can translate complex legal argument into language that non-lawyer colleagues can understand. Above all, their focus is on the client’s overall interests. They always make us feel as if they have our back. This is invaluable for us.

The team clearly had the confidence of their client, understood the transaction, were pragmatic and very responsive.

Sarah Phillips is very easy to deal with and very responsive and effective – she knew what was important and enabled the transaction to proceed quickly which both parties which both parties wanted to do.

Margaret Meehan always gives advice that cuts straight to what the law means for the business. She doesn’t waste time on legal “rabbit holes” whereas with some other law firms one sometimes gets the impression that legal commentary goes on for too long because the lawyers want to demonstrate how clever they are.

Margaret Meehan makes herself available and is a pleasure to deal with.

Key clients

Aegon UK

Lothian Pension Fund

Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority

Santander UK

Nucleus Financial Group

John Menzies plc

Phoenix Life & Standard Life

Lloyds Banking Group

Maersk/ Total

Ulster Bank

Baxters Food Group Pension Scheme

Ahlstrom Pension Scheme

Personal injury: defender Tier 2

Rather than receiving claims through insurance panels, Burness Paull LLP provides ‘a personal service’ and is instructed directly from Scottish industry to advise on employer liability, historic abuse and product liability claims. The group is especially active in the marine and energy sectors, representing global shipowners, P&I clubs and oil companies. Following the retirement of Ewan McIntyre, the practice is now led by Andrew Forsyth , who arrived from Brodies LLP in 2019. Senior associates Lynne Moss and Fiona Davidson are other key team members.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:


Andrew Forsyth took the time to visit our office to speak to our claims handlers in order to gain a better insight into the level of service that was expected from his team and provided some training in Scottish legal practices at the same time.’

Burness Paull have a very strong litigation team. They are responsive, commercial and skilled.’

Key clients

Resolute Management

Kier Group PLC

SSE PLC/Scotia Gas Networks Limited t/a SGN


Student Loans Company Limited

City of Edinburgh Council

Thomas Miller Claims Management

Smith & Nephew PLC


Seadrill Group

The Standard Club

Projects Tier 2

Burness Paull LLP’s construction and projects team is led by Chris MacKay, who has deep experience of a wide range of public sector projects, including schools, hospitals, airports, ports and rail. Stephen Phillips and Gillian Harkness handle the drafting of project documentation and project structures, as well as funding structures. Associate Chris Horsley is adept at dealing with projects, energy and commercial contracts. The team also covers project implementation, governance issues and disputes.

Practice head(s):


‘Good team who understand our needs.’

‘Fenella Mason and her team are quick to understand our issues and provide focused and relevant advice.’

‘Recommend the application to clients’ interests and strategic consideration of the cases.’


Key clients

NHS Lothian

Falkirk Council

Roadbridge UK Limited

Highlands and Islands Enterprise

hub West Scotland Limited

Hub Community Foundation

Scottish Futures Trust Limited

Scot Roads Partnership Project Limited

Scottish Enterprise

University of St Andrews

Scrabster Harbour Trust

Galliford Try Construction (UK) Limited

John Graham Construction Limited

Ancala Water Services

Hampden Park Limited

Highland Spring

Sport Tier 2

The team at Burness Paull LLP represents a client roster of football clubs, media outfits, international organisations and sports governing bodies on a broad array of affairs. Prominent examples include brand protection, disputes, IP, corporate and commercial, employment and property matters. Neil Smith heads the department, which is revered for its knowledge of disciplinary rules, governance matters and sporting-related litigation. Senior associate Stephen Farrellis a standout in the sports market, acting for a number of sporting federations’. Former practice leader Neeraj Thomas left to join to CMS.

Practice head(s):


Stephen Farrell is a stand out in the sports market, acting for a number of sporting federations.’

Key clients

Scottish FA

Scottish Rugby Union plc

Scottish Squash Limited


Everton FC

Aberdeen FC

Celtic FC

Sir Alex Ferguson / ACF Sports Promotions


Transport Tier 2

Burness Paull LLP is regularly called upon to provide contractual and procurement support for projects in the harbours and road sectors, and to a lesser extent in the rail sector, and also handles associated disputes and adjudications. Ports and harbours sector expert Chris MacKay heads the team, which includes marine insurance expert Andrew Forsyth, who joined the firm from Brodies LLP in May 2019.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:


Impeccable attention to detail and client understanding, focus and representation.

Key clients

Scot Roads Partnership Project Limited

Improvement Service

Roadbridge UK Limited

National Express Group PLC

Oban Community Harbour Development Association

John Clark Motor Group

Port of Cromarty Firth

Scrabster Harbour Trust

Highland Spring

Fraserburgh Harbour Commissioners

Skyscanner Limited

Subsea 7 and its P&I Club, The Standard club

Patentes Talgo

Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles

Agriculture and estates Tier 3

Burness Paull LLP's agricultural offering is focused on property - the key lawyers are Peter Smith and director Colin Brown, both of who have many years of experience advising on transactions, regularly working with clients operating in the agricultural and rural sector. Recent work of note has included advising on significant sales of estates and farmland, while rural clients can also draw on the wider firm's significant capabilities across a range of other practice areas.

Practice head(s):

Key clients

Farmcare Trading Limited

Blackford Farms Limited

The Forbes Estate

The firm of W & D Dunnett

Greenshields Estates Limited

Balnacoil Farming Limited

Mark Ogg (Arnhall)

C & E Ingram

Ballathie Estate Limited

The Grandhome Trust

Licensing Tier 3

Providing liquor and premises licensing advice to restaurants and hotels forms the cornerstone of Burness Paull LLP's practice.

Key clients

Aberdeen Football Club

Welcome Break Group Limited

Select Property Group Ltd

The Chester Hotel Limited

McGinty’s Group

Carlton Clubs

Brown-Forman Corporation

Splendid Hospitality Group

Aberdeen Douglas Hotel Limited/ RKM Group Limited

Unionrow Restaurant Limited t/a Rustico

Personal tax, trusts and executries Tier 3

Burness Paull LLP's strong client base includes high-net-worth individuals and family and owner-managed businesses, which the 'exceptionally good' team assists with a range of trust and tax planning matters, including providing advice on UK tax to non-residents and resident non-domiciliaries. Practice head Colin McKenzie has been active in high-value contentious matters, and also advises on investment and succession planning. Claire Macpherson, who has expertise in inheritance tax planning and the international aspects of trusts and estates, and Fiona Clarke - both of who were recently promoted to partner - are also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:


‘Burness Paull have a growing strength within private client and vast experience in trusts, and in particular in domicile issues.’

‘I have been very impressed with Clare Macpherson’s knowledge in regard to trusts and estates and the relevant planning that accompanies the creation of a trust and the work undertaken within an estate.’

‘Personal and conscientious service, very efficient collaboration’

‘Fiona Clarke is personable, provides clear advice for clients, and is conscientious.’

‘Claire Macpherson is knowledgeable, practical and pragmatic.’

‘A very close-knit and supportive team. Colin McKenzie is hands on with the clients but does an excellent job of ensuring his junior team members are viewed as an equally important part of their service offering. They are exceptionally good from a technical perspective but their people skills and ability to engage with and relate to their clients at the appropriate level is exceptional: clients feel at ease and supported by the team rather than intimidated and pressured.’

‘There is always a sense of collaboration with Colin McKenzie and Fiona Clarke. This makes achieving the desired end result for the client a much smoother and more rewarding process. Both Fiona and Colin are exceptionally personable and a joy to work with.’

Key clients

CHAP (Holdings)


Malcolm Allan Housebuilders

National Oilwell Varco

Petrofac Group

Scotia Homes

Stena Drilling

Transocean Group

University of St Andrews

Wood Plc.

Planning Tier 3

Burness Paull LLP has seen a number of internal changes resulting in former advocate Alasdair Sutherland taking over the team following his return to the firm in June 2019 from Terra Firma Chambers. He took over the lead from Elaine Farquharson-Black, who moved to Brodies LLP in May 2019, followed by Craig Whelton leaving the firm in June 2019; he now heads the planning group at Burges Salmon LLP. Under the new set-up, the practice has been particularly active for housebuilding clients and in the energy space, most notably renewable energy, providing assistance with planning permissions and associated contentious proceedings, but the team has also been handling planning obligations, compulsory purchases and transactional matters.

Practice head(s):


Hard-working and practical.

Good public and private sector experience.

Good all-round.

Great depth of knowledge.

Burness Paull is always very prompt to respond and the quality of work is always high. The approach always feels very much collaborative with our own efforts even when it involves areas where our own experience is limited.

Alasdair Sutherland has a great deal of experience form the Bar where he was very successful. This makes his experience unique.

‘I trust Alasdair Sutherland to give valid and quality work and advice and of particular note is the easy manner in which myself or anyone else in the company can pick up the phone and comfortably discuss relevant matters.

Alasdair Sutherland has just moved over from the Bar but is a star individual, with exceptional clear thinking and a good strategist.

Key clients

Barratt Homes

Aberdeen Football Club

Scotia Homes Ltd

Malthus Uniteam (UK) Limited

Stewart Milne Group

Queensberry Properties Limited


Mactaggart & Mickel Homes Limited

Cruden Homes (East) Ltd

CALA Homes

Fiera Real Estate (previously Palmer Capital)

Professional negligence Tier 3

At Burness Paull LLP, the pursuer-focused professional negligence group handles claims for corporate clients, professional advisers, and construction professionals. Headed by specialist construction lawyer Chris MacKay, the team has a cross-practice approach and offers clients a full service across real estate, commercial, and financial services.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:


‘Dedication and strategic thinking.’

‘Chris Mackay is a standout partner.’

Key clients

GMB Union

Fife Council

The Fraserburgh Harbour Commissioners

Kapital Residential Limited

Kerilee Properties Limited

Social housing Tier 3

Burness Paull LLP has been particularly active providing affordable housing providers and housing charities with advice on site acquisitions and developments, including planning, construction and funding matters. This focus is a reflection of team head Peter Chambers' key areas of expertise, namely property development and finance.

Practice head(s):


The firm has an excellent reputation for delivering a high level of service and for the in-depth knowledge and experience they have of the Scottish housing sector and environment, over a range of areas from property acquisition to project assembly and security work to funding and finance.

Peter Chambers has considerable expertise and knowledge of the housing sector specifically and is a recognised industry expert in the property and land acquisition sector generally. Peter has extensive experience in complex land transactions and the construction sector making him ideally placed to advise on anything from more conventional property deals to innovative and specialist deals. His extensive experience means that he can apply knowledge and solutions to complex issues. He is a pleasure to work with because of his calm and confident manner.

Key clients

Sanctuary Housing Association

Scottish Futures Trust Investment Limited

Cruden Group

Springfield Properties plc

Hillcrest Housing Association Limited

Link Group Limited

Miller Homes Limited

Castlehill Housing Association Limited

First Endeavour LLP

Taylor Wimpey UK Limited

Education Tier 4

Burness Paull LLP is experienced in assisting further and higher education institutions, private schools, local authorities and governmental bodies with sector-specific construction, procurement, property and charity law matters alongside dispute resolution. Projects and construction expert Chris MacKay is the main contact.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:


The team is simply impressive. The knowledge of the industry and the education sector is clear for all to see. The client’s interests always appear to be at the forefront of any decisions, and it seems that no stone is left unturned when running a case.

Key clients

University of St Andrews

The Governors of the Donaldson Trust

Robert Gordon’s College

Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow

North East Scotland College

The City of Edinburgh Council

Falkirk Council

Albyn School

The UNITE UK student Accommodation Fund

Renfrewshire Council

hub West Scotland Limited

The Oil & Gas Technology Centre

Albyn School

Aboyne After School Club

The firm:
Burness Paull is one of Scotland’s leading independent commercial law firms.

With 73 partners, over 540 people, and offices in Scotland’s three largest cities: Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow, the firm is deeply resourced in every sector important to its clients in Scotland, the UK and internationally — including financial services, energy, technology, property and infrastructure, plus food and drink.

Burness Paull is the exclusive member firm in Scotland for Lex Mundi — the world’s leading network of independent law firms – and has worked in over 60 jurisdictions in the last three years.

In 2019 it topped the corporate legal deals table in Scotland for the fourth year running.

Principal areas of work:

With 60 dedicated corporate finance lawyers, Burness Paull has the largest specialist deals teams in Scotland. The firm has continued to prove its market-leading position in Scotland and expand its global reach — with a significant proportion of work done worldwide for UK based clients as well as international investors acquiring companies and equity stakes in the UK.

Combining oil and gas and renewables practice areas, Burness Paull’s energy team is led by partners with senior in-house legal and commercial management experience with major operators — a differentiator from the firm’s peers. The firm advises on work for E&P companies globally and been involved in renewable energy projects from on and off-shore wind to solar, biomass, CHP, waste to energy, and waste management.

The firm’s tier one-ranked property team is one of the largest in Scotland, with specialist expertise in retail, leisure/hospitality, investment, housebuilding, developer, renewables, public sector, agriculture and estates and real estate finance. Combined with planning, it has delivered a number of innovative projects and has a depth of experience in acquisitions, disposals, finance and development, including investment portfolios and UK-wide financing.

With one of the largest construction law teams in Scotland, Burness Paull offers a truly integrated service in both contentious and non-contentious matters. The team provides advice across the whole spectrum of construction and engineering, from offshore engineering contracts, and major public sector infrastructure projects through to traditional mixed-use commercial developments.

The firm’s planning team is the largest and strongest in Scotland, working across private and public sectors on a full spectrum of developments: conventional energy, renewable energy, regeneration, retail and residential. Its work includes planning appraisals, representation on development plans, community consultations, submission of applications, discussions with planning authorities and consultees, negotiation of planning agreements, preparation and submission of appeals and reviews, appearances at public inquiries and hearings and compulsory purchase orders.

Burness Paull’s banking team is recognised for its exceptional track record of leading complex transactions and the delivery of practical solutions and advice. It acts for international and domestic financial institutions, private equity houses and corporate borrowers. Many of the team have City or in-house experience and all have exemplary credentials in a range of financings including oil and gas, renewables, acquisition, asset-backed and real estate as well as restructurings and securitisations.

The firm’s 20+ strong team is Scotland’s leading private funds practice. Its client base is made up of City and international law firms and domestic, European and North American fund managers. While the team has built its market-leading reputation on the sponsor side, the last three years have seen the growth and development of a significant investor side practice.

Commercial Dispute Resolution:
Burness Paull’s dispute resolution team is one of the strongest commercial litigation teams in Scotland. It handles high-value, complex cases for international businesses, global conglomerates, government agencies and high-profile individuals. Each of the team’s partners are specialists in their respective fields of intellectual property, property litigation, product liability, insolvency, reputation management, and marine and offshore. The IP team was named Scottish Patent Contentious Firm of the Year and also Scottish Copyright Firm of the Year at the Managing IP Awards in 2019.

Health & Safety:
The firm’s top-ranking Health and Safety practice provides strategic advice across offshore oil and gas, food and drink, shipping, marine and subsea, aviation, manufacturing and construction, healthcare and pharmaceuticals. It supports clients through every stage of H&S litigation, from emergency response and incident investigation through to representation at inquiries or criminal prosecutions. The team also advises on financial crime and is highly-experienced in representing clients in FAIs.

Burness Paull’s award-winning employment practice is the largest dedicated team in Scotland, advising some of the country’s best-known employers throughout the UK. The market-leading contentious employment litigation practice includes a number of highly-experienced litigators and solicitor advocates, and is fully capable of advising in relation to English employment law matters.

The firm’s impressive pensions practice advises on M&A, corporate restructuring, alternative funding arrangements and insolvency. It also advises trustees and local authorities on all aspects of running pension funds, and insurance companies on the pension products they provide to the market. Comprising lawyers dual-qualified in English and Scots law, the firm has the only pensions team with a full-time presence in Aberdeen.

Technology & Commercial:
Burness Paull’s tech and commercial team has market-leading expertise across a range of specialist tech areas, including outsourcing, procurement, complex commercial contracts, and the use of information. The team includes commercial lawyers with specialisms in IT, IP, information law, FinTech and financial services regulation.

Department Name Email Telephone
Chairman Peter Lawson
Managing Partner Tamar Tammes
Banking and Funds Alan Soppitt
Construction and Projects Fenella Mason
Corporate Finance Mark Ellis
Dispute Resolution Gary Moffat
Employment Mandy Laurie
Exploration and Production Brian Hemming
Health, Safety and Environmental Rona Jamieson
Pensions Sarah Phillips
Planning Alasdair Sutherland
Private Capital Colin McKenzie
Property John Strachan
Public Sector Stephen Phillips
Renewables Chris Gotts
Tax Ronnie Brown
Technology and Commercial Callum Sinclair
Number of UK partners : 73
Number of other UK fee-earners : 278
Lex Mundi Network

The Lex 100 Verdict

Burness Paull shines brightly as 'very modern and dynamic', a top-tier, full-service firm which is a popular choice with those looking for a traineeship in Scotland of the highest quality. The firm's variety of high-performing practice areas impress, and it is described as the 'market-leading firm in Scotland with top-quality work and friendly colleagues' offering the 'appeal of an independent firm'. With offices in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen, Burness Paull's reach extends outside Scotland as it is 'often involved in deals with top City and US firms', while retaining its independence and Scottish identity. This quality is highly praised by its trainees as well as the strength of its training programme. Trainees feel that the 'experience here has been very positive and quality of work and level of responsibility is second to none'. Another commented 'I am given proper work and trusted more than I ever thought I would be'. The 'friendliness and approachability' of everyone at the firm is commended, both of which have made one trainee 'certain that the firm would invest as much time, if not more, in me and my education, as I invested in the firm throughout a traineeship'. Drawbacks highlighted included the 'unpredictable hours', elements of the seat allocation process and necessity of relocation between offices. However, the negatives were few and far between with the firm praised for its social life and vacation schemes, both securing Lex 100 Winner awards. Highlights of the training include working 'directly with advocates on high-profile cases' and 'being invited to a fancy completion dinner after a very long and complicated deal closed successfully'. If you are considering training in Scotland and seek the benefits of a highly-ranked and full-service firm, Burness Paull could be top of your list.