Burness Paull LLP > Edinburgh, United Kingdom > Firm Profile

Burness Paull LLP
United Kingdom

Corporate and commercial > Corporate and commercial: Edinburgh and Glasgow Tier 1

The corporate and commercial team at Burness Paull LLP are ‘experts in their field’, boasting an impressive range of the most innovative companies in Scotland and beyond, including family businesses, private equity houses, venture capital firms, start-ups and PLCs. The team is particularly active across the technology, financial services and capital markets sectors, with team head Mark Ellis having a stellar reputation both nationally and internationally, especially for his stand-out private equity expertise. David Davidson specialises in M&A, PE transactions and corporate advisory work, with Peter Lawson also handling a steady stream of sophisticated public and private M&A matters. Chris Gotts brings specialist expertise of the energy, renewables and technology sectors, while Catriona Macallan is vastly knowledgeable regarding the Chinese market. Edward Hunter was promoted to partner in August 2022.

Practice head(s):

Mark Ellis


‘Burness Paull are an exceptional law firm.’

‘What sets the corporate practice apart is their outstanding team, characterised by professionalism, dedication, and a genuine passion for their work.’

‘Every team member possesses pragmatism and expertise in equal measure, their attention to detail is remarkable, and their strategic approach sets them apart from other firms.’

‘The team has strong leadership and provides great advice.’ 

‘The Burness Paull team, regardless of the division assisting you, are always proactive and responsive to business needs.’

‘They provide an excellent service and innovative solutions and advice.’

‘Mark Ellis provides outstanding partner support.’

‘Edward Hunter provides direct, frank and pragmatic counsel.’

Key clients


Harris Family Trusts


The Access Group

Cairngorm Capital

Lonsdale Capital Partners

Kings Park Capital

Future Business Partnership

The Inn Collection Group

The senior management shareholders of the Binding Site

Par Equity

Maven Capital Partners


Parkdean Resorts

Revera Asset Management


Phoenix Group

Royal London

Work highlights

  • Advised the Harris Family Trusts on their acquisition of Butlin’s from Bourne Leisure.
  • Advised The Access Group on all elements of its acquisitions of: (i) Rotaready Limited; (ii) Paycircle Limited; (iii) ProspectSoft; (iv) Caboodle Technology; and (v) adamHTT.
  • Advised the senior management team of Binding Site on the sale of their entire interests in Binding Site, alongside Swedish private equity investor, Nordic Capital, to Thermo Fisher Scientific. The total consideration payable by Thermo Fisher Scientific was £2.25bn.

Corporate and commercial > Corporate and commercial: elsewhere in Scotland Tier 1

With a longstanding and established presence in Aberdeen and throughout the North East, the corporate finance team at Burness Paull LLP is highly active across a wide range of key sectors including energy and renewables, textiles, healthcare, and technology. Following the retirement of team head Jamie Stark in July 2022, the team is now jointly led from Abderdeen by Alasdair Freeman and Helen Dickson. Freeman offers vast expertise in domestic and international M&A transactions, especially in the oil and gas and IT sectors, while Dickson’s practice has a particular focus on the energy sector and has built a solid reputation in the energy transition space and shift towards net-zero. Director Arran McKenzie departed in November 2022 to join Addleshaw Goddard.

Practice head(s):

Alasdair Freeman; Helen Dickson


‘There are a wide variety of specialist within the team, which allows individuals to be brought in on areas like property, when specific issues arise. However, clients always felt that they are in the care of one core team who ensures things progress through every single stage.’

‘Alasdair Freeman is diligent and patient and takes time to explain issues which clients do not understand. He creatively looks for solutions when problems arise.’

‘Excellent team ethic – always able to take over from each other depending on the needs of the client.’

‘Helen Dickson is good to work with and brings colleagues in as required’

‘Helen Dickson is hugely experienced and insightful in novel finance arrangements. Her approach to unusual structures is valued by the client, as is her experience when applying these to the oil and gas sector.

‘Helen Dickson has a deep understanding of corporate areas and is often much more bullish than those in magic circle firms.’

Key clients

Weatherford International

Fabric Scotland Limited

Incremental Group

Starn Energy Services Group Limited

Subsea Technology

Zi-Lift A/S

National Oilwell Varco, Inc

Stena Drilling

OPEX Group

Westerton Access

RSK Group

Horizon Energy Infrastructure Limited

PCO Holdings

Work highlights

  • Advised the shareholders of digital technology services provider Incremental Group on the sale of its entire share capital to Telefonica Tech.
  • Advised Horizon Energy Infrastructure Limited on its acquisition of Heat RHIght Limited.
  • Advised global oil services company Archer on its acquisition of Romar-Abrado.

Corporate and commercial > Corporate tax Tier 1

One of Scotland’s leading firms in the corporate tax space, Burness Paull LLP is renowned amongst major domestic and international clients for its ability to handle complex tax mandates across the spectrum of areas including employment, PE and management incentives, real estate, renewables, and owner managed businesses. Ronnie Brown Leads the team from Glasgow and maintains a strong reputation in the market, recently advising on the tax aspects of major private equity transactions and real estate projects. The team was significantly bolstered by the addition of Christine Yuill from Pinsent Masons LLP in November 2022; she is highly experienced regarding acquisitions, property, and employment tax advice. Director Nicola Williams is a key contact, especially related to tax aspects of PE and M&A transactions.

Practice head(s):

Ronnie Brown

Other key lawyers:


‘Christine Yuill is very user-friendly and down-to-earth.’

‘One factor which makes Christine Yuill stand out is that she can provide both tax advice and employee share plans advice which means she can handle everything rather than needing to seek advice from two specialists.’

‘Their Glasgow-based corporate tax lawyers are very practical and responsive.’

‘Christine Yuill is a stand out. She manages to strike the perfect balance between technical and commercial. She is extremely knowledgeable about tax legislation and share plan rules, and can explain and apply them in a straight up and understandable way.’

‘Christine Yuill does not send essays that are unhelpful like some other tax lawyers. Christine is always quick to respond and progress queries, and appears to work seamlessly under pressure, as the service levels are always high.

‘Partner Christine Yuill has a perfect blend of technical expertise and market knowledge, which is brought to the next level by her practical application, down-to-earth support and charming attitude.’ 

‘The team is great and has recently been enhanced. Christine Yuill’s knowledge of share schemes and corporate tax in general is a differentiator.’

‘Christine Yuill is very knowledgeable but more importantly is very client-friendly in her engagement.’

Key clients

The Royal London Mutual Insurance Society Limited

Access UK Ltd

Scottish Power


Harris Family Trust

Brookfield Renewable UK Limited (“BRUK”)

TGI Fridays

Kester Capital

David Lloyd Leisure

Edinburgh Airport

Work highlights

  • Advised on the corporate tax structuring in the acquisition of The Inn Collection Group by the Harris Family Trusts.
  • Advised Heimstaden Bostad on the tax and legal aspects of one of the biggest build-to-rent developments of the year in Scotland.
  • Advised Access UK Ltd on the tax and legal aspects of the acquisitions of Rotaready Limited, Paycircle Limited, ProspectSoft, Caboodle Technology and adamHTT.

Employment Tier 1

Under the leadership of Mandy Laurie from Glasgow, Burness Paull LLP's sizeable practice covers the entire spectrum of employment law, with the team counting players from Scotland’s key industries to its client portfolio, including oil and gas, food and drink, financial services, sport and media. The firm provides TUPE support – where Morag Moffett is an essential contact – and reorganisation advice in transactional matters, while typical contentious work includes employment tribunal claims and senior executive departures, an area in which Morag Hutchison excels. David Morgan anchors the team’s trade union and industrial relations offering. Other key individuals include Andrew Knight, a corporate transactional specialist in the energy sector, and Jennifer Skeoch, who focuses on client relationships in Europe and North America.

Practice head(s):

Mandy Laurie

Other key lawyers:

David Morgan; Jennifer Skeoch; Andrew Knight; Morag Moffett; Tricia Walker; Ronald Mackay


‘The employment law team headed by Mandy Laurie is excellent. Commercial and pragmatic.’

‘The experience, knowledge and the ability to provide solutions assists us to take measured and reasonable decisions.’

‘Mandy Laurie is exceptional. She can always find a pragmatic and commercial solution to any issue.’

‘David Morgan’s experience of handling complex trade union issues has benefited us greatly. His perception and considered analysis is most valuable.’

‘Andrew Knight is very capable and technically astute.’

‘Morag Moffett: Very quickly tunes in to any issues that we face, which allows her to give focussed, solutions-driven advice.’

‘Ronald Mackay: Calm and assured in his advice with a lot of experience of our sector and the challenges that we face.’

Key clients

Whyte & Mackay

Independent Television News

Baker Hughes

SSE plc.

Highland Spring

Scottish Football Association

Royal Dutch Shell plc

A.G. Barr plc


Everton FC

Work highlights

  • Appointed to provide employment support to the Chief People and Culture Officer and team at Everton FC.
  • Providing Independent Television News with employment support, in addition to foreign legal advice for the client’s overseas workforce.
  • Represented Baker Hughes in the successful defence of an employment tribunal claim for unfair dismissal, whistleblowing detriment and race discrimination.

Employment > Immigration Tier 1

Burness Paull LLP's business and personal immigration expertise attracts a broad range of public and private sector players, including energy companies and offshore oil and gas businesses, sport associations and professional bodies alongside space exploration clients, among others. Edinburgh-based team head Grace McGill specialises in commercial immigration, inter-country adoption work and family migration; the last-mentioned segment is an area of particular expertise for senior associate Amna Ashraf. Known for his cross-border capabilities, Jamie Kerr's recent workload includes post-Brexit sponsor licences and skilled worker visas. Director Nikki Weir's expertise extends to child migration.

Practice head(s):

Grace McGill

Other key lawyers:


‘They are always willing to consider any issues carefully and tailor their advice accordingly.’

‘Grace McGill is an outstanding solicitor with great client empathy and a focus on practical results.’

‘Grace McGill is the leading immigration solicitor in Scotland. She is an outstanding performer.’

‘In addition to having an in-depth knowledge of immigration law, the team is incredibly personable.’

‘Jamie Kerr’s advice is quickly tailored to every matter and in addition to the legal aspects, he offers rounded and practical tips to make the immigration process smooth.’

‘While no application is easy, I can say with confidence that I would use Burness Paull again without hesitation, given their excellent track record.’

‘Amna Ashraf’s warmth, humour and expertise gave us confidence in the process and comfort in the outcome.’

‘The team is a recognised group of leading immigration lawyers in Scotland. The team is diverse with many members playing a role in organisations outside the legal profession in contributing to societal change and policy development.’

Key clients

Skyrora Ltd

Modulr Technology Ltd

SSE plc

Association of Certified Chartered Accountants

Archdiocese of St Andrews & Edinburgh

Noble Drilling UK Ltd

Queen’s Park Football Club

Hibernian FC

Arnold Clark

Work highlights

  • Advised Skyrora on multiple international transfers, including the relocation of skilled space sector engineers from Ukraine into the UK.
  • Advised the Scottish Football Association on sports visa rules and the abolition of the Tier 5 concession that allowed easy entry to the UK for international coaching staff that work in the UK but live abroad.
  • Ongoing immigration support to the in-house team at SSE plc, including visa advice and right-to-work matters.

Finance > Banking and finance Tier 1

Providing ‘excellent technical skills allied to a very commercial approach’, the market-leading banking and finance team at Burness Paull LLP is highly sought after for its extensive expertise regarding real estate, funds, and acquisition and leveraged finance transactions, with a particular strength in the energy sector, including both renewables and oil and gas. Team head Jonathan Heaney’s practice focuses heavily on real estate financing and corporate lending, while Dawn Reoch has a highly respected presence in the leveraged finance space. John Kennedy is particularly well known in the energy financing market, with Alan Cassels adding significant receivables and project finance experience, having joined the team in June 2022 from Pinsent Masons LLP. Fund finance lead Andrew Christie has a strong focus on security structures, while director’s Sophie Coffey and Gemma Young are also key team members; the former is highly active on the borrower and sponsor side and the latter brings a wealth of experience in the Scots law aspects of securitisation and structured finance transactions.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Heaney


‘Solid, first-rate advice is a given, but also the level of empathy Burness Paull shows is exceptional.’

‘The Burness Paull banking and finance team is incredibly hard-working, extremely responsive and very commercial.’

‘Dawn Reoch all-round is an outstanding lawyer. She is highly technical, hard-working, very commercial, responsive and, above all, great to work with and a thoroughly nice person.’

‘Their key strength is in their depth and sector specialism. Burness Paull are a renewable energy firm who intimately understand the sector and the market. Their lawyers are well experienced with projects in this asset class and the unique challenges and risk allocation they bring.’

‘They are approachable, hard-working and very active members of the Scottish energy market.’

‘Sophie Coffey is a very experienced banking and finance lawyer. She has supported on a number of finance and M&A processes in connection with Scottish renewable energy assets over the years. She is knowledgeable, easy to work with and can sensibly benchmark positions across similar projects.’

‘Excellent technical skills allied to a very commercial approach and great fun to work with.’

‘Jonathan Heaney is top class.’

Key clients

Harris Family Trusts / Butlins

Highland Spring Limited

Macdonald Hotels

Smart Metering Systems plc

Sanctuary Capital PLC and Sanctuary Scotland Housing Association

Springfield Properties

Liberty Theta Limited [(Liberty of London)]

Cruden Homes

Traditional lenders (incl. Santander UK plc, Royal Bank of Scotland plc Bank of Scotland plc, Clydesdale Bank plc)

Private equity sponsors (incl. Kings Park Capital, Kester Capital, Maven Capital Partners, n4, Three Hills Capital Partners, Bluegem Capital Partners plc, Magnesium Capital, MDP, Lonsdale Capital Partners)

Work highlights

  • Acting as lead counsel to the Harris Family Trusts and Butlins in relation to syndicated senior and super senior facilities and merchant service lines in connection with the acquisition of Butlins and ongoing working capital requirements of the Butlins group.
  • Acting as global counsel to household brand Highland Spring in connection with its £50m+ strategically important refinancing with Breal Zeta and Bank Leumi.
  • Acting for HICP Holdings Limited in relation upsizing its facilities and acquiring Baxters Place Limited (owner of an AC Marriot Hotel in Edinburgh). This helps demonstrate our strong financing credentials in relation to the hotel and leisure sector.

Finance > Insolvency and corporate recovery Tier 1

'Arguably the best large independent firm in Scotland’, Burness Paull LLP provides exceptional depth and breadth of expertise, operating at the forefront of the market’s most significant restructurings and insolvencies. The senior ranks were considerably bolstered when both Allana Sweeney and Sophia Harrison were promoted to partner in August 2022, with Sweeney having considerable experience of law firm insolvencies and barrister Harrison playing a leading role in the firm’s largest insolvency disputes and cross-border schemes of arrangement. ‘Outstanding practitionerMichael Thomson leads the practice and is a go-to adviser on big-ticket UK-wide insolvencies, while Gary Moffat is a renowned insolvency litigation specialist in the Scottish market.

Practice head(s):

Michael Thomson


‘The team are extremely capable and knowledgeable about their specialisms, building confidence that the matters they deal with will be properly handled.’

‘They all are extremely capable and approachable and happy to discuss matters to come to the correct course of action.’

‘Michael Thomson and Allana Sweeney have built a strong team that is very responsive. They are excellent lawyers able to manage complex transactions efficiently and deliver for clients. They are a pleasure to work with.’

‘Michael Thomson is very visible and hands-on. He is pragmatic and co-operative with all parties in order to get to the right solution on any assignment.’

‘Allana Sweeney is excellent and really knows her stuff. She can see the issues and is very collaborative in finding solutions.’

‘Led by partners , Michael Thomson and Allana Sweeney, this team is talented, hard working and genuinely focussed on the client. They deliver positive outcomes while retaining a positive attitude throughout what can often be stressful negotiations.’

‘Michael Thomson is bright and highly engaging. He really listens to what the clients want, never over complicates and delivers.

‘Allana Sweeney is an exceptional lawyer with a fantastic eye for detail and very strong on the technical side, but never loses sight of what the client needs.’

Key clients

WM Morrison Supermarkets

Macquarie Bank

The Insolvency Service



Grant Thornton

Fedrigoni Group

Lossie Seafoods

CMS Enviro Systems Ltd

Bones Restaurant Group

Work highlights

  • Acted in advising Morrisons on its acquisition of the business and assets of McColl’s Retail Group (and various subsidiaries) by way of a pre-pack administration sale.
  • Acted for Interpath Ltd, as administrators of Newcastle Glassworks Limited, Newcastle Glassworks Management Limited and Bricks K5 Capital Ltd.
  • Acting for the Fedrigoni Group, the Milan-headquartered Italian paper manufacturing conglomerate, in relation to its purchase of certain assets out of the administration of the Arjowiggins Group UK.

Finance > Investment funds Tier 1

Burness Paull LLP offers clients end-to-end funds advice encompassing structuring, formation and lifetime work, with an up-tick in the amount of tail-end structuring including GP-led secondaries and follow-on funds. Paula Kennedy commands a fantastic reputation in the market for private funds structures involving Scottish limited partnerships, spanning fund and feeder vehicles, carried interest partnerships and acquisition structures. Andrew Christie, whose expertise has a particular emphasis on security structures, regularly handles complex international structures with global clients. Ruaridh Cole is a key member of the team and regularly works with the European Investment Fund, as well as ground-breaking schemes in relation to pensions liabilities for local authorities.

Practice head(s):

Paula Kennedy

Other key lawyers:


‘Always responsive and oriented to solving problems.’

‘Ruaridh Cole takes ownership of issues and ensures they are completed.’

‘The team are incredibly responsive, helpful and they really go the extra mile.’

‘They are our go-to firm in Scotland.’

‘Paula Kennedy really goes above and beyond to assist. She is a pleasure to work with.’

‘No better Scots law funds team.’

‘Andrew Christie is exceptional.’

‘Commercially minded, well-informed about both a client’s business and the wider market, personable and a smooth extension of the in-house team.’

Key clients

European Investment Fund


Stafford Capital Partners Limited


L Catterton

EIG Global Energy Partners

Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson

Livingbridge EP LLP

Kirkland & Ellis


Work highlights

  • Advised L Catterton on a series of new alternative investment vehicles for their latest flagship funds which are their largest private equity vehicles to date.
  • Advising EIG Partners on fund formation and transactional work.
  • Advised Stafford Capital Partners Limited on various secondary market transactions in the infrastructure sector.

Public sector > Local government Tier 1

Burness Paull LLP advises local authorities, public agencies and organisations on a wide range of local government matters, and is particularly well suited to advise on public infrastructure and corporate governance issues. Headed by Graeme Palmer, a seasoned local government specialist with expertise in governance, public procurement and subsidy control law, the team also includes Richard Lockhart, former general counsel of the Scottish Futures Trust, as well as senior associate Emma Maxwell, who advises various local government sector clients on legal structures, corporate governance and charity law matters.

Practice head(s):

Graeme Palmer

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Glasgow City Council

East Dunbartonshire Council

Fife Cultural Trust

Perth & Kinross Council

Renfrewshire Council

Fife Sports & Leisure Trust

South Lanarkshire Council

Aberdeen City Council

High Life Highland

Fusion Assets

Work highlights

  • Advised Fusion Assets on the procurement aspects of a joint venture to be established for the development of industrial units; including advice on tender documentation and the requirements of the regulations applicable to such joint ventures.
  • Acted for GB Grove Limited in an appeal against refusal of planning permission in principle by Stirling Council for proposed roadside services comprising a petrol filling station, amenity building and EV charging points.
  • Acting for Perth & Kinross Council on two DBDA projects with hub East Central Scotland, Perth High School and Blair Recreation Centre.

Real estate > Commercial property: Edinburgh and Glasgow Tier 1

Drawing on its expertise in investment, development, regeneration, finance and corporate occupier mandates, Burness Paull LLP is active across the full remit of real estate assets. The practice is led from Glasgow by Scott Peterkin, who has a particular focus on property development work within the housebuilding sector. Also renowned for his development acumen is Richard Rennie, who draws on his dual qualification in England and Scotland to further assist with investment mandates. Among other standout partners are Nick Naddell, an individual with investment, forward funding and landlord and tenant expertise, and commercial leasing specialist Graeme Bradshaw, a regular advisor to occupiers, developers, and investors in the retail and leisure sectors.

Practice head(s):

Scott Peterkin

Other key lawyers:

Richard Rennie; Nick Naddell; Peter Chambers; Steven McKinlay; Graeme Bradshaw


‘Incredibly proactive.’

‘Graeme Bradshaw is a breath of fresh air. He is commercially minded with an ability to cut through and simplify complex matters.’

‘Excellent partner availability.’

‘Richard Rennie is efficient with solid commercial advice.’

‘Burness Paull are true market leaders in terms of their knowledge and experience. They have a strength in depth that covers all markets, and their advice adds real value to our transactions.’

‘Scott Peterkin’s integrity and personal commitment to his clients is central to his consistent success in achieving positive results in negotiations. He is outcome-driven and strikes an exceptional balance between strategic and detailed approaches.’

Key clients

Heimstaden Bostad

Wm Morris Supermarkets Ltd

Westbrook Partners

CA Ventures

Meadowbank Consortium

Supermarket Income REIT


Buccleuch, Cruden

David Lloyd Leisure Limited

Impact Healthcare REIT

Tracey Investments Limited


Work highlights

  • Advised Heimstaden Bostad on a build-to-rent development valued at £124m.
  • Advised Wm Morrison Supermarkets Limited on its £190m acquisition of the McColl’s business and assets, including 1,160 properties operated by McColl’s throughout the UK.
  • Advised Westbrook Partners in the forward purchase of an industrial portfolio (Urban and City Gateway) from Chancerygate, valued at £172m.

Real estate > Commercial property: elsewhere in Scotland Tier 1

Burness Paull LLP has particular accomplishment in development, regeneration, investment, corporate occupier and finance affairs, with the Aberdeen-based team especially active within the energy, BTR, healthcare, housebuilding, retail, leisure and hospitality sectors. The main contacts include head of the firm’s housebuilding group Richard Goodfellow, an expert in residential and commercial development schemes, and John Strachan, a regular advisor to funders and developers on development transactions and affordable housing projects, respectively.

Practice head(s):

Scott Peterkin

Other key lawyers:


‘The team is particularly knowledgeable of Scottish property law and helpful in guiding English lawyers through the intricacies of buying property in Scotland.’

‘Yvonne Byrne is pragmatic and a good communicator.’

Key clients

Oceaneering International


John Clark Motor Group

Mains of Taymouth Ltd

Verdant Leisure

Pure Leisure

University of St Andrews

Air Products plc

Forum Energy Technologies (UK) Limited

Highland Fuels Limited

Scanbio Limited

Uppermill Farms


First Endeavour LLP

Levelling Up Real Estate

Bancon Homes


Snowdrop Developments

Henry Boot Developments

TGI Fridays

Work highlights

  • Advising University of St. Andrews and St Andrews West Properties Limited on their joint venture for the development of land for facilities, student accommodation, commercial uses, care homes and residential development known.
  • Advising John Clark Motor Group on various developments, including a new Jaguar Landrover flagship facility in Stirling, a dealership at Baird Avenue (Dundee), the refurbishment of Land Rover Newbridge, and a new Volvo dealership at Newbridge.
  • Acting for CBRE in respect of their 10-year lease of their new Aberdeen HQ within the Marischal Square development.

Real estate > Property litigation Tier 1

Burness Paull LLP is a notable player in the Scottish property litigation market and is a regular fixture on landlord and tenant issues, including commercial lease disputes and dilapidations claims, as well as land purchase and land access disputes. Commercial litigator and accredited mediator Alan McMillan heads the team, which has considerable experience in the renewable energy, technology and telecommunications sectors. Director Stephen Farrell has particular expertise in the latter space having acted for various operators under the Communications Code.

Practice head(s):

Alan McMillan

Other key lawyers:

Steven Guild; Stephen Farrell


‘Burness Paull are market leading in Scotland for property litigation. They have in-depth knowledge and are always seeking the best results for clients.’

‘Alan McMillan’s reputation precedes him.’

Key clients

Cornerstone Telecommunications Infrastructure Limited

Taylor Wimpey

Mars Pension Trustees Limited

Quale Homes

Britannia Invest A/S

Scotco/Euro Garages


NFU Mutual


Neos Networks

Work highlights

  • Advised Vodafone on a mixture of different commercial property disputes including commercial rent disputes and leasing disputes relating to retail stores.
  • Acted for Cornerstone Telecommunications Infrastructure Limited in an Electronic Communications Code case against Marks & Spencer – the first such case in Scotland about a commercial, city centre, rooftop mobile phone mast.
  • Acted for a private client in a dispute involving an easement whereby a neighbouring landowner sought to establish rights for use and access to the land.

TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > Intellectual property Tier 1

Burness Paull LLP is renowned in the Scottish market for its ‘dedicated contentious IP practice with unmatched depth of knowledge’, as well as a formidable transactional offering which excels in key sectors from technology and financial services to life sciences and food and drink. Colin Hulme leads the contentious offering, overseeing a particularly broad span of work including patent, trade mark, copyright, confidential information and trade secret disputes. On the transactional side Colin Miller leads the team, his practice continuing to focus on IP licensing, collaboration and due diligence, supported by the vastly experienced David Goodbrand, who offers considerable expertise in the fintech space. Below partner level, senior associate Megan Briggs and associate Rebecca Ablett bolster the contentious offering, both regularly acting for clients in the Court of Session on patent, software and copyright disputes.

Practice head(s):

Colin Hulme; Colin Miller


‘The team always provides full and timely instructions.’

‘Colin Hulme has significant experience in trade mark matters and has a pragmatic attitude.’

‘Colin Miller provides excellent advice on intellectual property matters in a variety of research contracts.’

‘Responsive, helpful, and knowledgeable.’

‘Burness Paull LLP has gained a well-deserved reputation as one of the leading dispute teams in Scotland. Their ability to reach suitable resolutions in some very difficult IP and copyright disputes which my company were victims of is a clear indication of their qualities.’

‘Burness Paull’s ability to enforce IP rights in a way which deters others either through their innovative approach or media publicity is hugely valuable.’ 

‘Colin Hulme has a depth of knowledge, experience and skill in IP work which proves valuable beyond measure in protecting copyright and IP interests.’

‘Rebecca Ablett is a credit to Burness Paull, displaying the same stellar qualities which Colin Hulme possesses.’

Key clients

Harris Tweed Authority

Sky UK Limited

PPL PRS Limited


Exact Sciences Corporation


Two Rivers Media



RUA Lifesciences

Work highlights

  • Continuing to perform a general counsel role for the Harris Tweed Authority, involving advising on the strategic direction of the development of the Harris Tweed portfolio of registered marks as well as enforcement of those marks.
  • Acting for Two Rivers Media on their commissioning agreements, carrying out a review of contracts and flagging the key risks to the client. Productions advised on include the new channel four series “Escape to the Chateau”. This included advice on ownership and licensing of copyright in the production materials and film rights.
  • Advising Norcliffe on its multi-million pound investment in Aureum Diagnostics, a spin-out company from the University of Strathclyde which has been developing rapid cost-effective electrochemical sensors for the diagnosis of Covid and other life-threatening conditions such as sepsis, heart disease and certain cancers.

TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > IT and telecoms Tier 1

Burness Paull LLP's cross-departmental IT and technology practice receives instructions on the full spectrum of technology-related contracting, transactional and contentious matters from an impressive roster of blue-chip domestic and international corporations alongside public sector clients, including energy providers. Its expertise extends into the fintech space, which constitutes a key area of focus for the group. This is not least due to the expertise of practice head Callum Sinclair in this area; he is particularly active for clients in the financial, public and utilities sectors. David Goodbrand takes point on data privacy matters and is recommended for his expertise in digital transformation, outsourcing and cloud transactions. The team strengthened its expertise in media-related IT projects with the arrival of Fraser Mackinven in March 2023; he was previously working in-house.

Practice head(s):

Callum Sinclair

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Sony Playstation


Access Group



Cairn / Capricorn Energy

Snappy Shopper

Hymans Robertson

Edinburgh Fringe

Scottish Futures Trust

Work highlights

  • Advising ScottishPower UK plc on its telecommunications services agreement, assisting the client during the entire lifecycle of the project, from contractual advice in the procurement stage and managing the incumbent (Vodafone) to negotiating the agreement with the chosen bidder, BT.
  • Advising Arnold Clark on a transformational EV infrastructure deal.
  • Advising Calnex Solutions plc on a number of its key IT and commercial agreements, helping to facilitate continued rapid rate of growth and strong profitability.

TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > Media and entertainment Tier 1

Burness Paull LLP‘s team in Glasgow is the first port of call to a number of high-profile media organisations and individuals, owing to its wide-ranging expertise in commercial and contentious mandates. In addition to its prolific rights management and enforcement practice, the group is experienced in media law disputes and corporate finance transactions; the latter is an area of particular expertise for team head Grant Stevenson, who has handled a multitude of high-profile acquisitions and investments, many of which are cross-border in nature, for leading Scottish media entities. IP head and litigator Colin Hulme attracts major broadcasters and rights management organisations for his content protection and rights management expertise, where he is often supported by senior associate Megan Briggs. Kirsteen MacDonald recently founded Mac Media Law, though continues to be instructed by the team as a consultant.

Practice head(s):

Grant Stevenson

Other key lawyers:

Colin Hulme; Megan Briggs; Giuseppe Pia; Fraser MacKinven


‘A very responsive firm which provides a full and prompt service.’

‘Exceptional quality of support staff, which makes more of a difference to clients than law firms necessarily realise.’

‘Flexible and innovative.’

‘Giuseppe Pia has an excellent grasp of current issues in the media, especially TV Production.’

Key clients

STV Group plc

Neptune Street Film Ltd

Comcast Corporation

Sky Limited

PPL PRS Limited


Rockstar Games

BBC Scotland


Pixsy Inc

Two Rivers Media Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising STV Group on the acquisition and investment into Mighty Productions Limited, their revolving credit facility and funding proposal for the production of the new “Blue Lights” TV series, and on a tripartite agreement to develop and co-produce exclusively with Tod Productions.
  • Managing Sky’s enforcement programme across Scotland. This involves raising copyright infringement proceedings to prevent unauthorised broadcasts of Sky’s sporting events in licensed premises throughout Scotland.
  • Advising BBC Scotland on all media law matters including contempt, defamation, privacy and contentious copyright.

Corporate and commercial > EU and competition Tier 2

The competition team at Burness Paull LLP is extremely well regarded in the Scottish market, advising major clients across the spectrum of UK, EU and international competition law, with a particular strength in the fields of merger control and subsidy control practices. One of those heading the practice from Glasgow is Colin Miller, who has extensive experience in dawn raids, abuse of dominant position and cartel investigations, particularly in the transport, utilities and logistics sectors. Co-head Graeme Palmer is an EU procurement law specialist, regularly representing public sector clients on complex issues of compliance, shared services and collaboration, with director Ruth McNaught also building a solid reputation for advisory and contentious procurement work. The firm’s membership of Lex Mundi is another bonus for clients whose competition matters have a cross-border nature.

Practice head(s):

Colin Miller; Graeme Palmer

Other key lawyers:


‘Strong all round competition counsel in Colin Miller.’

‘Particularly strong on how competition law impacts IP and commercial agreements.’

‘Extremely strong commercial IP expertise, they really understand the agreements on which they give competition advice.’

Key clients


Independent Television News (ITN)

Elite Sports Group

Highland Spring

Scottish Enterprise

Electricite de France Renewables

Exact Sciences Corporation


Dunwoody Air Services


Work highlights

  • Acting for Elite in connection with the CMA investigation into an alleged price-fixing cartel under the Competition Act 1998, relating to an alleged anti-competitive agreement or concerted practice regarding the price at which Rangers-branded replica football kit was sold in the United Kingdom.
  • Providing competition law advice to Highland Spring in connection with its ongoing distribution arrangements to supermarkets and other major retail outlets in the UK. This involves advising on the extent to which its agreements benefit from automatic exemption from the competition rules and in particular the Verticals Regulation which exempts distribution agreements, provided they meet certain conditions.
  • Acting for The Carbon and Energy Fund Limited in connection with its procurement of an innovation partnership for the delivery of geothermal energy solutions in the form of warm water to a number of NHS Trust hospital sites in the UK.

Crime, fraud and licensing > Crime: fraud Tier 2

The corporate crime team at Burness Paull LLP offers a deep bench of dedicated specialists in key areas of financial crime, providing contentious advice on regulatory investigations and on the non-contentious side, advising on compliance issues covering everything from whistleblowing and fraud to anti-bribery and corruption. The practice, which has developed a strong niche advising on sanctions arising from the Ukraine/Russia conflict, is led by the highly experienced Lynne Gray, whose particular expertise in the offshore energy industry is utilised when advising on crisis response management including dawn raids and international sanctions issues. She is heavily supported by director Lynne Moss, who has a formidable track record on a diverse range of regulatory and financial crime matters, from anti-bribery and corruption to exports and sanctions.

Practice head(s):

Lynne Gray

Other key lawyers:

Work highlights

  • Advising a global energy services company in relation to an audit by HMRC into its compliance with UK export control and sanctions regimes.
  • Advising a technology company in relation to bribery, corruption and whistle-blowing allegations.
  • Advising a global food and drink company of issues relating to Russian sanctions and modern slavery.

Dispute resolution > Commercial litigation Tier 2

Burness Paull LLPis at the forefront of all wisdom in Scotland when it comes to commercial litigation’, acting on high-end disputes for domestic and international clients across the automotive, telecoms, energy, financial services and transport sectors. In the firm’s Glasgow office, practice leader Gary Moffat has ‘a wealth of knowledge in insolvency and financial services litigation’, in addition to fraud cases and telecoms-related disputes, while Jody Crockett heads the English law dispute resolution team. The Edinburgh office is home to the ‘meticulousJoanna Fulton, who specialises in product liability claims, and Alan McMillan, whose ‘reputation precedes him’. The Aberdeen-based Neil Smith handles energy and marine disputes, and is another key contact in the group. Associate Andrew McDonald recently joined the team from Davidson Chalmers Stewart; he is praised for his 'huge ability above his years', and for providing 'thoughtful, considered advice.'

Practice head(s):

Gary Moffat

Other key lawyers:


‘Gary Moffat has a wealth of knowledge in insolvency and financial services litigation and uses that knowledge to identify commercial solutions for his clients. He is incredibly strong when it comes to identifying strategy.’

‘Sophia Harrison is very client focused. She takes time to get to know her clients and understand their business needs and objectives.’

‘Joanna Fulton is meticulous. She has excellent attention to detail, which is invaluable when it comes to managing litigation projects.’

‘Burness Paull is the front of all wisdom in Scotland when it comes to commercial litigation. Forward-thinking and always looking for the best results for clients.’

‘Alan McMillan’s reputation precedes him.’

‘Burness Paull is our go-to Scottish counsel. It fields an exceptionally strong disputes teams, which is adept at handling high-value and complex disputes. They have excellent knowledge of Scots law and are able to field a skilled team to match the needs of the case regardless of the subject matter.’

‘Highly commercial approach, delivering excellent results with a pragmatic focus.’

‘Andrew Forsyth is excellent and provides expert guidance on complex matters.’

Key clients


The Republic of Cyprus

Sky Television

The Insolvency Service

Elite Sports Group Limited

Cornerstone Telecommunications Infrastructure Limited

Neos Networks

Galbraith Trawlers Limited

Ventgrove Limited

Harris Tweed Authority

Financial Services Compensation Scheme

Work highlights

  • Represented Galbraith Trawlers Limited in a commercial dispute in the marine sector, securing a victory against the Home Office in Campbeltown Sheriff Court’s first hybrid trial with witnesses giving evidence remotely from around the world.
  • Representing the interests of the Republic of Cyprus in issues arising from the deaths of eight seamen following the capsize and sinking of the commercial vessel, MV Cemfjord, in the Pentland Firth in the north of Scotland in early 2015.
  • Acted for The Insolvency Service, an executive agency of the UK Government’s Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Society, on a variety of commercial litigation cases.

Employment > Health and safety Tier 2

Working in close collaboration with the firm’s dispute resolution and shipping practices, Burness Paull LLP‘s health and safety and crisis response team has substantial energy sector expertise, while handling matters in the construction, healthcare and marine sectors constitutes another area of strength. Aberdeen-based team head Lynne Gray is frequently instructed by corporate clients to assist with regulatory prosecutions and investigations by the police, the HSE and the Offshore Major Accident Regulator (OMAR), including those arising from offshore helicopter accidents. Director Lynne Moss‘ expertise spans fatal accident inquiries and compliance.

Practice head(s):

Lynne Gray

Other key lawyers:


‘The team has provided timely and effective support to our business over a number of years in relation to the management of safety investigations.’

‘Lynne Gray is business-minded and understands the internal pressures associated with conducting a health and safety investigation efficiently in a large organisation. She has provided us with a steady, guiding hand when things have gone wrong.’

‘Lynne is very knowledgeable, approachable and has vast experience of dealing with the HSE.’

‘Lynne Moss is knowledgeable and approachable, ensuring a seamless service is provided to her clients.’

Key clients

Repsol Sinopec


Apache North Sea

Royal Rosyth Dockyard


Sunderland Marine

The Republic of Cyprus

Work highlights

  • Represented Rosyth Royal Dockyard in a fatal accident inquiry.
  • Advising an offshore energy company in the defence of a criminal prosecution for health and safety failings at an offshore installation.
  • Advising a global medical technology company on regulatory matters and a potential enforcement action following an investigation by Police Scotland into adverse reactions to products by multiple patients.

Employment > Pensions Tier 2

Burness Paull LLP‘s strength lies in assisting overseas and UK corporates with the pension aspects of M&A, private equity investments and refinancings; corporate head Sarah Phillips is an essential contact in this space. Elsewhere, the group is well placed to guide trustee clients through projects aimed at de-risking defined benefit pension schemes alongside Guaranteed Minimum Pension (GMP) equalisation and governance issues, among others. Liam Young handles both corporate transactions and trustee advisory work. The practice is led by the Glasgow-based Margaret Meehan, who covers the full spectrum of pensions law.

Practice head(s):

Margaret Meehan

Other key lawyers:


‘Margaret Meehan and Liam Young are an incredible pensions double act. They combine intellectual rigour with formidable strategic thinking and are commercially astute.’

‘Margaret Meehan and Liam Young excel in all areas of pensions law.’

‘Responsive team with expertise in pensions law.’

‘Great responsiveness and ability to seamlessly fit their advice into our M&A process.’

‘Lovely team, always a pleasure to work with.’

‘Margaret Meehan is hugely experienced, sensible, articulate and concise.’

‘Excellent depth and experience across this team. Very highly recommended.’

‘Sarah Phillips and Margaret Meehan are professional, responsive, and provide excellent commercial advice to make the decisions around the complex issues of pensions understandable and accessible.’

Key clients

The Pension SuperFund

Trustee of the Aegon UK Staff Retirement and Death Benefit Scheme

PAI Partners SAS

Scottish Widows

Subsea 7

FirstBus (North) Limited

Mississippi Lime UK Limited

Phoenix Group

Trustees of the Aberdeen Harbour Board Retirement Benefits Scheme

Lewis Mathys Emmerson LLP

Work highlights

  • Advised The Pension SuperFund on structuring and documenting its capital buffer fund.
  • Advised the trustee of the Aegon UK Staff Retirement and Death Benefit Scheme on GMP rectification and equalisation matters.
  • Advised PAI Partners on the purchase of PepsiCo, Inc.’s European juice businesses (including Tropicana and Naked) following the acquisition of juice brands in North America in mid-2021.

Insurance > Professional negligence Tier 2

Burness Paull LLP acts for corporate entities and professional services firms, particularly across the construction and financial services sectors. The team advises on both the pursuit and defence of professional negligence claims, covering the full spectrum of professional liability issues with particular expertise in regulatory matters. Ashley Jones leads the team and handles high-value claims against solicitors, accountants and financial services professionals.

Practice head(s):

Ashley Jones

Private client > Charities and not-for-profit Tier 2

Led by Graeme Palmer, the charities team at Burness Paull LLP acts for household names as well as grassroots organisations and newly established charities. The practice is noted for its strength in providing corporate governance advice and has recently been increasingly active in sector-specific education, social housing and renewable energy work. ‘Extremely knowledgeable‘ senior associate Emma Maxwell advises on corporate, commercial and charity law matters, while Emma Manson is a key contact for sector-specific commercial property law and dispute resolution.

Practice head(s):

Graeme Palmer

Other key lawyers:


‘I honestly cannot speak highly enough of them.’

‘Thorough in their approach at all times, extremely professional services. Deadlines are not missed, which is critical to the charity and ease of business. Diverse range of expertise available and extremely experienced how this applies to the charity practice.’

‘The team at Burness Paull is extremely approachable and no wrong door approach to get advice. The strength and diversity of the team allows quick responses and solutions.’

‘Recently, we have worked mostly with Emma Maxwell, who is always easy to talk to, knowledgeable and generally a pleasure to work with.’

‘Emma Maxwell provides focused advice and detailed knowledge of the third sector, on charity regulation and governance in a friendly and easily understood way.’

‘The charities and not-for-profit team at Burness Paull has extensive knowledge and experience. We have worked with them over many years and cannot fault their service.’

‘Emma Maxwell is extremely knowledgeable and approachable. She is highly skilled in being able to explain technical jargon to those who need to know their legal responsibilities as charity trustees.’

‘They have a client-centred and collaborative approach and understand the challenges faced by third sector organisations like ours. They have gone above and beyond what I might have expected on several occasions.’

Key clients

FRP Advisory Trading Limited

Crossdykes Community Services Limited

Sanctuary Scotland Housing Association Ltd

Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO)

National Youth Orchestras of Scotland (NYOS)

Scottish Football Benevolent Trust

Changeworks Resources for Life Ltd

Development Trusts Association Scotland

Link Group Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for Crossdykes Community Services Limited and its charitable parent company, Crossdykes Community Benefits Limited, in connection with establishing the Crossdykes Windfarm community investment project.
  • Worked with the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) to prepare an updated suite of template documents for various common charitable structures and accompanying guidance published on their website. The templates are accessed and used by many of SCVO’s members, including companies limited by guarantee, Scottish charitable incorporated organisations (SCIOs) and unincorporated associations.
  • Acting for National Youth Orchestras of Scotland (NYOS) on various matters, including governance, general contracts (such as funding agreements) and employment.

Private client > Contentious trusts and probate Tier 2

With the arrivals of private client expert Euan Fleming from Gilson Gray and tax specialist Christine Yuill from Pinsent Masons LLP in 2022, the private client practice at Burness Paull LLP has recently been on a growth path. The group is jointly led by ‘outstanding’ litigator Ashley Jones and dual accredited trust and private client tax law specialist Claire Macpherson; this setup enables the team to advise beneficiaries, executors, high-net-worth individuals and families on the full spectrum of private wealth disputes, including contentious wills, taxation and trust administrations.

Practice head(s):

Claire Macpherson; Ashley Jones

Other key lawyers:


‘Expertise in an approachable manner.’

‘Efficient, prompt and clear.’

‘Well organised proactive team with the various necessary specialisations. Communication is swift and clear with sensible practical advice based on likely outcomes to control the downside of any action.’

‘Ashley Jones and Claire Macpherson dealt with our work and were both outstanding in efficiency, knowledge and advice. We clearly mattered to them as individuals and were NOT just another case. I would have no hesitation in recommending them.’

Work highlights

  • Advised on a rare case in which the complex issue of domicile has been litigated in the Scottish courts.
  • Advised on a complex cross-border dispute in relation to the estate of an overseas domiciliary raising numerous contentious issues on applicable law.
  • Advised on a professional negligence action against the client’s former solicitors and financial advisers in relation to inheritance tax and tax planning advice.

Private client > Family Tier 2

Burness Paull LLP's family law practice was set up by accredited family law specialist and mediator Richard Smith, who now heads the practice, and Jennifer Wilkie, who has particular strength in divorce and pre-nuptial agreements with international elements, upon joining the firm from Brodies LLP in February 2022. The team handles a wide range of divorce and asset protection matters, including cross-border instructions. Other key members include senior associate and qualified trauma-informed lawyer David Coutts, who is dual accredited in family and child law, and solicitor Nilah Ulhaq, who regularly represents clients in the Court of Session.

Practice head(s):

Richard Smith


‘Richard Smith is an incredibly experienced family law practitioner. He’s bright and no nonsense. He fights his client’s corner ferociously where appropriate; he is pragmatic and thinks outside the box.’

‘Jennifer Wilkie is an excellent lawyer.’

‘The team was very dedicated and showed great attention to detail right from the start. With their wealth of experience in the field, I knew I was in extremely capable hands, and they achieved an excellent result.’

‘Richard Smith’s approach was methodical, analytical, compassionate and empathetic. He provided guidance and reassurance at every step of the way. Nilah Ulhaq was also extremely capable, highly efficient, reassuring and compassionate. They always updated me immediately with any new developments and explained everything thoroughly. They filled me with the utmost confidence.’

‘Jennifer Wilkie is a true example of a contemporary lawyer: not only is she highly knowledgeable, with excellent communicative and interpersonal skills, but also compassionate, assertive and creative.’

‘I have always admired Richard Smith for his calm good sense and overall competence. He and Nilah Ulhaq make a good team.’

‘Richard Smith – without doubt one of the best family lawyers in Scotland. He has a fantastic reputation. He can manage complex cases. He is all over the detail without losing sight of the bigger picture. Jennifer Wilkie is fantastic. She has a great focus on the detail, and her preparation is second to none. David Coutts is a great all-rounder in terms of matrimonial finance and children cases.’

‘Nilah Ulhaq is very impressive and will be one to watch in the years ahead. She is far more able than her years of experience would suggest. She works closely with Richard and has been a pleasure to work with. Really very good.’

Work highlights

Private client > Personal tax, trusts and executries Tier 2

Burness Paull LLP assists high-net-worth individuals, entrepreneurs and business owners with a wide range of private wealth and tax matters. With particular expertise in estate planning vehicles, including family investment companies, the team also advises on succession planning and cross-border issues. Colin McKenzie leads the team, which includes Fiona Clarke, dual accredited private tax and trusts law specialist Claire Macpherson and associate Amanda Armstrong. In 2022, the firm strengthened its trust law capabilities with the arrival of Euan Fleming from Gilson Gray.

Practice head(s):

Colin McKenzie


‘A solid team with a good depth of personal tax and significant experience in trusts.’

‘Clients will value the overall technical competence combined with the personable nature of the team.’

‘Experts in their field and able to apply their knowledge to clients’ circumstances to give practical, commercial advice. I have also seen examples where they have worked with overseas affiliates to give non-UK tax advice to ensure the client has one point of contact without having to deal with lots of different advisors. As a full-service law firm, they are able to draw on other areas of the business when implementing planning.’

‘I find Colin McKenzie easy to work with, and we are able to work together to give the best overall advice to the client in a seamless way.’

‘Deep knowledge of this area of Scots law and a strong teamwork approach.’ 

‘Amanda Armstrong and the rest of the team have carried out a lot of work on my mother and aunt’s estates in the past four years and they have been diligent, helpful and proactive throughout.’

‘Claire Macpherson: Available, responsive and knowledgeable.’

‘Fiona Clarke has not only an abundance of technical expertise but also an excellent manner when it comes to client engagement.’

Key clients

CALA Homes

Champion Technologies Limited

Esson Properties Limited


Malcolm Allan Housebuilders

Nor-Sea Foods Limited

Prosource.IT (UK) Ltd.

Stewart Milne Group

Visitor Centres Limited (trading as Landmark Forest Adventure Park)

Worley Services UK Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising high-net-worth spouses with assets of over £100m and a blended family on succession planning, including multiple family trusts and cross-border issues.
  • Advising a high-net-worth Monegasque domiciliary married to a Scottish domiciliary on inheritance tax planning.
  • Advising the parents of a child beneficiary of a high-value personal injury trust with a shortened life expectancy on the family’s affairs.

Projects, energy and natural resources > Energy (excluding oil and gas) Tier 2

The 'responsive and pragmatic' team at Burness Paull LLP is led by Bob Ruddiman and regularly acts as lead counsel for prominent clients in the UK on both major transactions and development work. Peter Ward has built a solid reputation among major renewables companies, utilities and lenders for his capabilities advising on highly complex matters concerning grid connection, off-take agreements and power purchase agreements (PPAs), as well as corporate and regulatory mandates. Neil Bruce specialises in the property aspects of renewable energy projects, leading the real estate team across a broad range of renewables areas including wind, solar, waste and energy storage, while banking and funds director Sophie Coffey is an authority on renewables finance.

Practice head(s):

Bob Ruddiman

Other key lawyers:


‘They are responsive and pragmatic, using their market knowledge as well as legal expertise to deliver solutions that are valuable to clients.’

‘In addition to high-quality legal advice, they are responsive and personable, making them very easy to work with.’

‘Their key strength is in their depth and sector specialism.’

‘Burness Paull are a renewable energy firm who intimately understand the sector and the market. Their lawyers are well experienced with projects in this asset class and the unique challenges and risk allocation they bring.’

‘Neil Bruce has extensive knowledge of the real estate market in Scotland, in particular, the relevant intricacies from the perspective of renewable energy project development. This expertise is highly valued by clients.’

‘Sophie Coffey is a very experienced with Scottish renewable energy projects. She is knowledgeable, easy to work with and can sensibly benchmark positions across similar projects.’

‘The team has a wide breadth of experience across the sector with very deep knowledge across energy real estate, energy finance and regulatory. The attentiveness and excellent client care are second to none in this market.’

‘The depth of the team is key, with a range of partners and associates who are able to pick up where others have left off. Their strengths in this people management and collaboration stand out in the field due to their consistent engagement with the sector as a whole, and the individual clients.’

Key clients

EDF Energy Renewables

Green Investment Group

Statkraft UK

Ventient Energy

Invenergy Wind Europe

Brockwell Energy


Fred Olsen Renewables

BayWa r.e. UK

Brookfield Renewables

Ocean Winds


Magnora ASA

Work highlights

  • Advising Ocean Winds in relation to its joint venture negotiations with Mainstream Renewable Power with regard to their 50/50 joint venture to develop a 1.8GW floating offshore wind farm off the Shetland Islands.
  • Acting as lead advisor to Scottish Enterprise in relation to the provision of an additional senior debt investment into the Meygen project, the world’s largest tidal energy project in construction.
  • Acting for leading renewable energy developers, including BayWa r.e. UK, Brockwell Energy, EDF Renewables, Orsted, Invenergy, Statkraft and Ventient Energy, as lead counsel on various aspects of project development, ranging from early-stage land and property issues to complex regulatory and offtake arrangements.

Projects, energy and natural resources > Oil and gas Tier 2

Burness Paull LLP draws experience from specialists across a broad range of disciplines to offer a full-service oil and gas offering, encompassing regulatory, corporate finance, dispute resolution, employment and health and safety, also being active at the forefront of the transition to net-zero. The team is led by Bob Ruddiman, who has ‘excellent upstream experience and market knowledge unrivalled in the local market’, and regularly represents energy majors, independents, utilities, and private equity houses across multiple jurisdictions. Consultant Brian Hemming has over three decades of experience advising on M&A deals, joint ventures and project agreements; director David Smith left in June 2022 for an in-house role at Energy Legal Solutions.

Practice head(s):

Bob Ruddiman

Other key lawyers:


‘The practice is unique in that it combines solid legal work with pragmatic business solutions where needed. This is refreshingly different from many practices which approach from a ‘legal’ perspective only.’

‘Bob Ruddiman provides really practical business advice and a good broader view of the business needs.’

‘Bob Ruddiman is highly experienced and incredibly useful from a strategic point of view. Bob is ideal for issues that require gravitas, and particularly helpful for issues at board level.’

‘A team with a broad focus and experience. Team head Bob Ruddiman has excellent upstream experience and market knowledge that is unrivalled in the local market.’

‘The team has restructured to bring together its traditional M&A practice (which had a substantial oil and gas focus), its upstream practice and its renewables practices under a single “energy” practice. This seems to have allowed it to operate on a leaner basis, reacting and pivoting to where the opportunities are without carrying the costs of true specialist teams.’

‘Bob Ruddiman is extremely personable, quickly able to understand issues and come up with practical solutions, often with reference to his deep experience.’

‘Burness Paull’s oil and gas practice has a wide breadth of expertise and always provides advice with rapid response time.’

‘Brian Hemming is knowledgeable and vastly experienced.’

Key clients

Ancala Midstream

Tailwind Energy

Kellas Midstream

Savannah Petroleum

i3 Energy

Anasuria Hibiscus

National Oilwell Varco

Harbour Energy


NZTC (Net Zero Technology Centre)

Work highlights

  • Advised Savannah Energy on its readmission to the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange following the completion of its $407m acquisition of ExxonMobil’s upstream and midstream asset portfolio in Chad and Cameroon.
  • Advised i3 Energy plc on its secondary placing of existing shares by two of its principal shareholders for an aggregate consideration of £16.2m.
  • Advising a client in respect of the acquisition and conversion of a drill ship to become a low emission FPSO for deployment in the redevelopment of a significant UKCS oilfield and to acquire an equity interest in that oilfield.

Projects, energy and natural resources > Projects Tier 2

Burness Paull LLP is especially well regarded for its skill regarding public sector projects, where in addition to significant projects for NHS Lothian and hub West, the firm has been sought after by the Scottish Futures Trust to advise on template drafting and project structures, recently developing standard form documentation in relation to public electric vehicle charging infrastructure. Gavin Paton is a key figure, regularly handling secondary market sales and purchases on project finance deals; Andrew Little was promoted to partner in August 2022 and is an accredited specialist in construction law, while director Chris Horsley has extensive expertise in projects, energy and commercial contracts. James Forbes is adept at handling large capital infrastructure projects and is active across a number of sectors including education, waste, roads and healthcare. Former team head Chris MacKay retired in January 2023.

Practice head(s):

Gavin Paton; Chris Horsley; Andrew Little

Other key lawyers:


‘We have worked with the Burness team for a number of years, and their expertise and knowledge of our business makes their contribution invaluable.’

‘The key experience we rely on is dispute Resolution, and the Burness team are particularly strong in developing strategies with us to minimise the commercial impact to our business.’

‘Experience and knowledge of our business are the key attributes that we have sought from Burness.’

‘James Forbes’ understanding of our business goals has been a significant benefit to us.’

‘Chris Horsley’s experience and guidance on dealing with shareholders and creditors cannot be underestimated.’

Key clients

NHS Lothian

Perth & Kinross Council

Highlands and Islands Enterprise

hub West Scotland Limited

Albany Infrastructure Management

Scottish Futures Trust Limited

Scot Roads Partnership Project Limited

Scottish Enterprise

University of St Andrews

Galliford Try Construction (UK) Limited / FM

Graham Construction

Ancala Water Services

Van Oord

Highland Spring Limited

Fraserburgh Harbour Commissioners

Port of Cromarty Firth

Welsh Government

Wilmington Trust (London) Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting for long-standing client Scottish Futures Trust, national infrastructure centre of expertise, on developing standard form documentation (including contracts between Local Authorities wishing to collaborate on projects and between Local Authorities and Private Sector Contractors) for its Public Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure funding programme.
  • Advising Port of Cromarty Firth on the £31m Phase 4 development of Invergordon Service Base and Phase 5 to invest around £150m plan in developing additional infrastructure to effectively double the size of its existing capacity to meet the huge rise in renewable energy needs.
  • Advising hub West Scotland on a phased Design and Build Development Agreement (DBDA) project to develop a new North East Health Hub on a site near Parkhead, Glasgow.

Public sector > Education Tier 2

Burness Paull LLP acts for a wide range of education sector clients, including governmental bodies, local authorities and higher education institutions, both Scottish and international. Much of its advisory work revolves around transactional matters, administrative and public law as well as employment law.  Hazel Moffat is highly regarded for her expertise in public law and regulatory matters, while Scott Peterkin advises on transactional matters and real estate law.

Other key lawyers:


‘Their experience of the public sector and education is invaluable.’

‘They are good to work with and provide clear, easy-to-understand advice at all times and go above and beyond.’

There are many strengths that make this practice excellent to work with: the partner we deal with is contactable at all times and if on holiday, they make sure another partner in the firm is fully briefed; communication is good; and the partners are friendly and very approachable.

Key clients

Universities Scotland

Learning Curve (NE) Group Limited

University of St Andrews

Robert Gordon’s College

North East Scotland College

Scottish Funding Council

University of the West of Scotland

Harlow College

The UNITE UK student Accommodation Fund

Association of Certified Chartered Accountants

Work highlights

  • Providing Harlow College with general employment advice, advice on immigration and nationality in respect of staff and students, data protection advice, general pensions advice specific to schemes operating within the FE sector and advice in relation to disputes and TUPE transfers.
  • Advising on high-value infrastructure projects for Hub West Scotland Limited, a private sector development company, who works in partnership with the education sector in the west of Scotland.
  • Advising the University of the West of Scotland on spin-outs of commercial ventures, including contract, commercial and intellectual property law.

Public sector > Health Tier 2

The healthcare team at Burness Paull LLP acts for public and private sector clients, including NHS entities, on transactional, corporate and construction law matters. Chris Horsley and Fiona Nicolson now co-lead the practice following the departure of former practice head Chris Mackay in January 2023. Horsley assists clients with major projects, while the dual qualified Nicolson specialises in English and Scots IP and commercial law. Joanna Fulton routinely handles high-profile medtech product litigation cases, which reflects the team's growing profile in sector-specific product liability.

Practice head(s):

Chris Horsley; Fiona Nicolson

Other key lawyers:


‘What I think stands out about Burness is the excellence of its individuals.’

It is a proud Scottish independent firm and projects a clear message about itself.

‘I work with Joanna Fulton and she is my go-to Scottish lawyer on pharmaceutical and medical device issues. She is bright, considered, hard-working and conscientious and very good at putting a team in place and managing it. She has great contacts with other lawyers, which is key when working on significant litigation. Joanna has also now built up significant experience in medical device claims.’

Key clients

NHS Lothian

Hub West Scotland Limited

American Healthcare REIT, Inc

Smith & Nephew

Hamberley Care Homes


Cello Health


Sanctuary Group

Impact Healthcare

Work highlights

  • Providing Scots law advice in the £200m acquisition of a UK care home operator.
  • Advising hub West Scotland on multiple health centres in the Greater Glasgow area.
  • Acting for Scottish Enterprise on a range of transactions in the healthcare and life sciences sectors.

Public sector > Parliamentary and public affairs Tier 2

Praised for its ‘wealth of experience‘ in the public sector, the parliamentary and public law practice at Burness Paull LLP is regularly instructed by local authorities and Scottish governmental bodies to advise on parliamentary issues, judicial reviews and legislative drafting. Hazel Moffat leads the team and has significant expertise in statutory interpretation and drafting; she is assisted by senior solicitor Louise McErlean.

Practice head(s):

Hazel Moffat

Other key lawyers:


‘The team at Burness Paull has a wealth of experience in working with a range of public bodies. They also have experience and knowledge of a wide breadth of regulatory law that applies to us as an organisation and employer, from equality law to data protection and freedom of information. We trust them to provide us with excellent advice.’

‘They are approachable, reliable, friendly, efficient, knowledgeable and inspire confidence. They have great values. Standouts include senior solicitor Louise McErlean.’

‘Although a relatively new team, they bring together expertise from different firms and have quickly developed into a strong and trusted team.’

‘Louise McErlean previously worked at a large commercial firm and brings that style of work and enthusiasm to her new team.’

Key clients

First Division Association

Scottish Public Services Ombudsman

Audit Scotland

Scottish Funding Council

Scottish Legal Complaints Commission

Odfjell Technology (UK) Ltd

British Soft Drinks Association

Highlands and Islands Enterprise

Scottish Enterprise

British Property Federation and Associated Landlords

Independent Monitoring Authority (IMA)

Work highlights

  • Advised the Association of Scotland’s Self Caterers (ASSC) on the legality of draft secondary legislation proposed by the Scottish Government, which would bring in the first licensing regime of its kind of short term lets in Europe. The political aim of the legislation was to control the rise of AirBnB type properties in tourism hotspots across Scotland.
  • Advised the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) on a range of administrative and public law matters, including on the interpretation of UK legislation governing the use of statistical data obtained from the HE sector, and on data sharing in the context of European Social Fund monitoring.
  • Advising Arnold Clark Group on managing a major cyber attack, which brought down its entire network and systems in December 2022. As it is a ransomware attack, the firm has been managing interactions with Scottish Police, the UK cyber crime centre, insurance support teams and various external cyber support consultants to mitigate legal and regulatory risk.

Real estate > Construction Tier 2

Burness Paull LLP‘s expertise spans the renewable energy sector, from waste management to wind and solar projects, in addition to housing and commercial developments. Gavin Paton, who handles student accommodation and build-to-rent (BTR) schemes delivered through various procurement routes, and James Forbes, an expert in renewable energy projects, are essential contacts in the non-contentious space. The ports and harbour sector is an area of particular strength for Andrew Little, who was promoted to partner in August 2022.

Other key lawyers:

James Forbes; Gavin Paton; Chris Mackay; Andrew Little; Caroline Maciver; Mark Kirke


‘Collaboration is a key standout for me. Great partnership within the team across a range of projects.’

‘Approachable team that easily translates technical wording for the layman. Always at the end of the phone for any discussions.’

‘Andrew Little is readily available, knows what he’s talking about at all times, and is down-to-earth.’

‘A team of highly respected individuals who are great at getting into the details of a matter whilst still maintaining sight of the bigger picture.’

‘Qualified and dedicated personnel who work well together. Excellent use is made of IT systems for both meetings and distributing documents.’

‘They provide clear and unambiguous instructions as to the requirements of expert reports. Personnel are open to discussion to explore alternative views and respond quickly to requests for information and clarification as to requirements.’

Key clients

hub West

Port of Cromarty Firth

Heimstaden Bostad

Urbanite (Glasgow) Limited

Van Oord UK Limited

Fraserburgh Harbour Commissioners

Glen Grant Limited

Galliford Try

Graham Construction


Work highlights

  • Advised hub West Scotland on various infrastructure projects over the past decade.
  • Advised Port of Cromarty Firth on the £31m development of Invergordon Service Base, which involved the design and construction of a new quayside and laydown area.
  • Advised Pencloe Wind Energy Limited on the construction aspects of Pencloe Wind Farm, a proposed development of 19 turbines and associated infrastructure with an anticipated generating capacity of 85.5 MW.

Real estate > Social housing Tier 2

With a specialism in sales, acquisitions and developments, Burness Paull LLP‘s social housing group is a regular port of call to developers alongside social and affordable housing providers, where it often works closely with the firm’s public law and regulatory colleagues. Typical instructions include governance, finance, construction, transactional and procurement matters. Commercial real estate expert Peter Chambers (Edinburgh) heads up the practice, which includes newly promoted partner Louise Chambers and senior associate David Antonelli, both of whom further handle the sale and development of land.

Practice head(s):

Peter Chambers


‘The team 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 is a recognised industry expert in the property and land acquisition sector.’

‘Peter Chambers 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.’

‘David Antonelli has extensive expertise in property and site acquisitions, construction contracts, certificate of title provision and security charging. He is attentive, reliable, helpful and a pleasure to work with because of the calm and confident way in which he operates.’

‘Leading housebuilding firm in Scotland. They provide a comprehensive service with detailed market knowledge.’

‘Louise Chambers is extremely personable and never ruffled. She is dogged and works very hard to get transactions completed.’

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

Work highlights

  • Advised Link Group Limited on a financing transaction, which involved reviewing and certifying title to the properties to be allocated under the security documentation.
  • Advised Buccleuch Property and Cruden Homes (East) on the redevelopment of the major Edinburgh City Centre Fountainbridge site, which involved the acquisition, development and funding of the site.
  • Advised Hillcrest Homes (Scotlland) Limited on the purchase of a development site at Straik Road, Westhill with linked development agreement for the construction of 63 affordable units.

TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > Sport Tier 2

Burness Paull LLP’s sports practice draws on the firm’s wider immigration, employment, property and IP expertise to provide clients, including leading clubs, individuals and governing bodies, with commercial and contentious advice. The team is led by the Edinburgh-based director Stephen Farrell, who is a dual-qualified (Scotland and England) commercial litigator with considerable experience in transferrable arbitrations. Also noted for their contentious capabilities are the Aberdeen-based Neil Smith, and senior associate Megan Briggs, who often handles sport-related trademark disputes. The immigration-focused Jamie Kerr is a go-to for clubs and players facing complex visa issues. All named individuals are based in Glasgow unless noted otherwise.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Farrell

Other key lawyers:


‘Stephen Farrell has developed an excellent track record of acting in football disputes. He is able, direct and commercially-focused.’

‘A leading practice in Scotland. They are highly visible and engaged in the sector.’

‘Stephen Farrell is conscientious and always keen to support.’

Key clients

Scottish FA

Scottish Rugby Union plc

The Scottish Professional Football League

Aberdeen FC

Sir Alex Ferguson/ACF Sports Promotions

Sky Limited

Elite Sports Group Limited

Queens Park FC

Hibernian FC


Work highlights

  • Acted for Elite Sports Group Ltd in their multi-million pound dispute with Rangers FC regarding their kit.
  • Acted for the Scottish Professional Football League enforcing their intellectual property rights.

Scotland > Transport Tier 2

An 'all-round excellent team' of transport specialists, Burness Paull LLP offers a ‘broad range of experience’ acting on high-value, complex and niche projects across the gamut of key transport sectors, including ports, roads and bridges, shipping, aviation and logistics. With Chris MacKay retiring in January 2023, Andrew Little, who was promoted to partner in August 2022, now leads the team; he brings strong expertise in ports and harbours.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Little

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Forsyth


‘Burness Paull has a deep knowledge of the industry and an unbeatable experience in court.’

‘Andrew Little is a great lawyer, very easy going and accessible, always ready to provide first-class advice.’

‘An all-round excellent team with a broad range of experience. Able to provide concise, clear advice which dovetails sound legal knowledge with a commercial pragmatism which, as a client, is entirely what we look for in a law firm.’ 

‘Whilst they are clearly very busy, the service remains exceptionally good.’

‘Andrew Forsyth is an excellent lawyer – he obviously has a wealth of legal knowledge, but is able to understand and appreciate the commercial realities that we face. That overriding pragmatism is a theme that carries down throughout his team and is highly appreciated by us as an organisation.’

‘Rather than focusing on the potential minutiae of a legal point, Andrew Forsyth and his team appreciate that we, as an organisation, also have to consider the wider perspective.’

‘They are always a pleasure to work with and can be thoroughly relied upon to put forward our position to the best of their ability.’

Key clients

Port of Cromarty Firth

Fraserburgh Harbour Commissioners

Van Oord UK Limited

Highland Spring Limited

The Republic of Cyprus

Plug AS/Plug Shore Power Ltd

South Lanarkshire Council

Lonham and its insured Colin Lawson Transport

CalMac Ferries

Scottish Futures Trust

Work highlights

  • Acted for Port of Cromarty Forth in connection with the £31m Phase 4 Development of Invergordon Service Base, and c. £150m Phase 5 plans to expand capabilities to cater for exceptional demand from the renewables sector.
  • Advised the German infrastructure investor, DWS, on the Scottish aspects of its £595m takeover of Stagecoach, which was listed on the main market of the London Stock Exchange.
  • Acted for Van Oord UK Limited in relation to its involvement in the £400m Aberdeen Harbour Expansion Project as soft dredging sub-contractor to the project’s main contractor, Dragados UK Limited, including seven adjudications and several related Court of Session actions, including a claim for payment, adjudication enforcement and recovery of documents.

Insurance > Personal injury: defender Tier 3

Burness Paull LLP's dispute resolution department focuses on work in the energy, maritime, construction and utilities industries, regularly handling industrial disease and product-related claims. Lead Andrew Forsyth in Edinburgh is described as ‘thorough and experienced’ and is sought out by large corporates, marine insurers and self-insured vessel operators for advice on personal injury litigation, the defence of occupational disease claims and employers’ liability claims.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Forsyth

Other key lawyers:

Neil Smith; Lynne Moss


‘Extremely proactive. We always feel like it’s a personal service, and they are on top of the case. Extremely detailed preparation and ready to give recommendations based on sound justifications.’

‘Andrew Forsyth is not only great at handling cases but extremely engaged in updating us with litigation developments.’

‘The team has good technical and institutional knowledge, and they are always prepared to listen to their client’s needs.’

‘Burness Paull has a solid team, particularly in the marine and offshore fields.’

‘Andrew Forsyth is thorough and experienced. A pleasure to deal with.’

‘The team has knowledge of marine law. They know the area of law well. They also know their client’s business and maintain a commercial view with their advice and don’t just focus on the legal position.’

‘An all-round excellent team with a broad range of experience. Able to provide concise, clear advice, which dovetails sound legal knowledge with commercial pragmatism; exceptionally good service.’

‘Andrew Forsyth is practical in his approach, his response is swift and commercial, and he gives clear advice.’

Key clients


Subsea 7

North of England P&I Association

Thomas Miller Claims Management

Resolute Management


Stena Drilling

Sunderland Marine


Standard Club

Work highlights

  • Representing a vessel-owning company in relation to a seven-figure damages claim following a serious accident at sea.
  • Acting in the defence of a catastrophic workplace injury claim involving paralysis and amputation.
  • Representing a utilities company on its range of industrial disease claims in Scotland, including for asbestos, noise and vibration exposure.

Real estate > Planning Tier 3

Under the leadership of solicitor advocate Alasdair Sutherland, Burness Paull LLP has particular expertise in contentious planning matters; its workload ranges from planning appeals, including those against the refusal of planning permissions, to judicial reviews and SEPA objections. On the non-contentious side, the team provides assistance with residential and mixed-use developments as well as with infrastructure projects. Much of the team's recent work stems from the housebuilding and renewable energy sectors.

Practice head(s):

Alasdair Sutherland

Other key lawyers:

Emma Dewar; Steven Stewart


‘Personable and knowledgeable team. They anticipate any issues before they arise and deal with them before they become a problem. Each discipline is represented well by articulate members. A joy to work with.’

‘Alastair Sutherland is straightforward and knowledgeable. He guides us through the many planning issues that we have.’ John Sinclair – the most commercially astute solicitor that i have worked with which makes our life easy!’

‘Accessible and available with sound advice given.’

‘Alasdair Sutherland is always on hand with trustworthy and reliable advice.’

‘Responsive service with excellent variety and depth of planning knowledge.’

‘Proactive and willing to provide informal views where necessary.’

‘Emma Dewar works diligently and offers sound professional planning advice.’

‘Alistair Sutherland is outstanding. He has considerable experience and knowledge of both planning law but also how the systems work and how to interact with the planning officers of various planning authorities.’

Key clients

Robertson Group

DDR (UK) Limited

Carmichael Homes

Destiny Scotland Limited

TJ Morris Limited

Ogilvie Homes Limited

Ashley Vintners (Strathclyde) Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for Ogilvie Homes Limited in a successful Court of Session appeal by West Lothian Council against the Scottish Ministers’ decision to grant planning permission to Ogilvie for a housing development at Hens Nest Road, East Whitburn.
  • Advised DDR (UK) Limited on a planning appeal against Fife Council’s refusal of permission for a mixed-use development at the Prestonhill Quarry site near Inverkeithing, Fife.
  • Advised TJ Morris Limited on their appeal against the refusal of planning permission for the erection of a Home Bargains retail unit with an outdoor garden centre at Dunlin Drive, Dunfermline.

Private client > Agriculture and estates Tier 4

Burness Paull LLP’s practice was bolstered by the arrival of rural business specialist Linda Tinson and her team from Ledingham Chalmers LLP in spring 2023. Tinson now heads the practice and covers both traditional and novel areas of agricultural law, including conveyancing matters, succession planning and natural capital issues. She joined the firm together with Jim Drysdale, now a consultant, and senior associate Lorna McKay, an accredited agricultural specialist noted for her transactional and conveyancer capabilities. The core team also includes director Colin Brown and associate Alan Gibson, who routinely assist agriculture, farming and rural business sector clients with property matters.

Practice head(s):

Linda Tinson


‘They are always positive, precise and friendly.’

‘We are extremely grateful to Alan Gibson for all his work and undivided attention he has given to us. He is extremely good at his job. His attention to detail is great and his interpretation of contracts is superb. He goes above and beyond – unbelievable dedication to the job.’

Work highlights

The firm: Proudly based in Scotland, Burness Paull is a full-service, independent law firm working with leading organisations across the UK and internationally. Burness Paull is the exclusive UK member of Lex Mundi – the world’s leading network of independent law firms – and has worked in over 60 jurisdictions in the last three years. Top Scottish deal making firm since 2017.

Principal areas of work
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.

Energy: Burness Paull’s energy practice is built on our deep experience of advising on the legal and commercial issues of global oil and gas and renewable energy projects. We bring experience from both sides of the fence, as advisors in private practice able to count upon experienced former in-house professionals from operators, developers and service providers. The firm’s energy lawyers have advised on high-value deals from Norway to Nigeria and have worked in over 100 jurisdictions.

Property: The firm’s tier one-ranked real estate team is one of the largest in Scotland, with specialist expertise in retail, leisure and hospitality, investment, housebuilding, development, 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.

Construction: 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.

Planning: The firm’s planning team, works 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.

Banking: 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.

Funds: 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 IP Transactions & Advisory Firm of the Year at the Managing IP Awards in 2022.

Health and safety: The firm’s health and safety practice provides strategic advice across energy, food and drink, shipping, marine and subsea, aviation, manufacturing and construction, and pharmaceuticals. It supports clients through every stage of H&S litigation, from emergency healthcare 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.

Employment: Burness Paull’s award-winning employment practice is the largest dedicated team in Scotland, advising some of the  best-known employers across 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.

Pensions: 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 and 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.

Immigration: Burness Paull’s immigration team is the market leader in Scotland, acting for public and private sector clients and individuals. The highly specialised team advises on the full spectrum of immigration issues, including the sponsoring of foreign workers and international migrants, relocation to the UK for investment or business start-up purposes, settlement applications, complex family migration cases, and immigration litigation.

Public law and regulatory: Burness Paull has one of the strongest, dedicated teams of lawyers who focus purely on matters relating to government, the public sector and their relationship to business and society. The team acts for a wide range of private sector companies in respect of their interactions with state bodies and have represented a number of key individuals and groups across all manner of public law challenges, including statutory appeals, judicial review, tribunals, disciplinary proceedings, inquiries, investigations and procurement challenges.

Family and divorce: Burness Paull employs Scotland’s leading family law experts who advise on a range of matters, including divorce and separation agreements, child-related issues arising between separated couples, cohabitation agreements and separation, pre- and post-nuptial agreements, international and cross-border issues, and adoption.

Rural Business: Burness Paull’s Rural Business team cover a range of services including transactional business across all rural property types, traditional conveyancing matters, succession planning, business structuring, partnership reorganisation and agricultural holdings.


Department Name Email Telephone
Chair Peter Lawson peter.lawson@burnesspaull.com
Managing Partner Tamar Tammes tamar.tammes@burnesspaull.com
Banking and Funds Paula Kennedy paul.kennedy@burnesspaull.com
Construction and Projects Mark Kirke mark.kirke@burnesspaull.com
Corporate Finance Mark Ellis mark.ellis@burnesspaull.com
Dispute Resolution Gary Moffat gary.moffat@burnesspaull.com
Employment Mandy Laurie mandy.laurie@burnesspaull.com
Energy Bob Ruddiman bob.ruddiman@burnesspaull.com
Health, Safety and Environmental Lynne Gray lynne.gray@burnesspaull.com
Pensions Sarah Phillips sarah.phillips@burnesspaull.com
Planning Alasdair Sutherland alasdair.sutherland@burnesspaull.com
Private Capital Colin McKenzie colin.mckenzie@burnesspaull.com
Real Estate Scott Peterkin scott/peterkin@burnesspaull.com
Public Law Hazel Moffat hazel.moffat@burnesspaull.com
Tax Ronnie Brown ronnie.brown@burnesspaull.com
Technology and Commercial Callum Sinclair callum.sinclair@burnesspaull.com
Family Law Richard Smith richard.smith@burnesspaull.com
Immigration Grace McGill grace.mcgill@burnesspaull.com
Rural Business Linda Tinson linda.tinson@burnesspaull.com
Number of UK partners : 88
Number of other UK fee-earners : 255
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