Firm Profile > Burness Paull LLP > Glasgow, Scotland

Burness Paull LLP
120 BOTHWELL STREET
GLASGOW
G2 7JL
Scotland

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

The corporate finance team at Burness Paull LLP continues to feature across a wide range of high-profile and transformative transactions. It handles complex M&A matters for a broad spread of clients, from growing start-ups and owner-managed businesses to larger corporates, advising on cross-border deals, equity investments and joint ventures. Corporate finance head Mark Ellis has noted expertise in private equity; Peter Lawson is firm chair and has an active M&A practice, often leading on international deals; while corporate head Chris Gotts is a leading capital markets lawyer in Scotland. In April 2020, David Davidson joined from CMS, while in February 2021, Paul Scullion and Catriona Macallan were promoted to partner.

Practice head(s):

Mark Ellis

Other key lawyers:

Peter Lawson; Robert Burns; Chris Gotts; Grant Stevenson; Walter Clark; Catriona Llanwarne; David Davidson; Paul Scullion; Catriona Macallan

Testimonials

‘Paul Scullion is very commercial and deals with legal issues efficiently’. 

‘The team at Burness Paull are excellent to deal with and always provide sound and commercial advice across a range of issues’.

‘The team are easy to deal with and make themselves available quickly to help deal with issues as and when they arise’.

‘I have dealt with Grant Stevenson for a number of years and value his commercial advice highly’.

‘Grant Stevenson has a wide range of experience and so is able to provide an excellent overview of the wider developments within the PE market in the UK, which is very helpful. ’

‘The commercial team has strength in depth and is good at engaging you with the best lawyer to deal with your particular issue’.

‘Good at maintaining contact and communication’. 

‘Walter Clark brings a commercial efficiency to corporate matters and is pragmatic and effective in deal negotiations and completions’.

Key clients

Standard Life Aberdeen plc

James Fisher and Sons plc

Scottish Enterprise

National Oilwell Group

ScottishPower

BlueGem Capital Partners

Walker Precision Engineering Group

i3 Energy plc

Kings Park Capital

STV plc

Employment Tier 1

Burness Paull LLP's extensive offering spans the full life cycle of employment law and HR with a sub-specialism in industrial relations and trade union recognition, while the practice also regularly deals with senior executive issues. Sectorally, the group stands out for its oil and gas sector expertise -  an area of particular expertise for Aberdeen-based Sean Saluja - but it also has a strong profile for food and drink, financial services, sport, media and retail-related work. Mandy Laurie heads up the team and, while handling the full range of employment law matters, has a particular focus on employment tribunal work, large-scale restructures and senior executive terminations. Jennifer Skeoch is another key contact for employment tribunals, while David Morgan is rated for his trade union and industrial relations expertise.

Practice head(s):

Mandy Laurie

Other key lawyers:

David Morgan; Sean SalujaJennifer Skeoch; Morag Moffett; Ronald Mackay; Tricia Walker; Morag Hutchison

Testimonials

‘The team at Burness Paull is extremely approachable and due to our close working relationship they have a great understanding of our industry and the challenges we face. No question is too insignificant and they immediately put you at ease, particularly given the unique challenges we have faced due to the pandemic and the fact we have had to adapt our working practices in a short space of time.’

‘Jennifer Skeoch has worked with our team for many years now and we have developed a fantastic working relationship. She has guided us through some of the biggest challenges the department has ever faced and always maintains a cool calm and collected approach.’

‘Sean Saluja has the perfect temperament for his role. He exudes calm confidence that reassures and makes him a trusted partner as soon as one instructs him.

Tricia Walker is an excellent lawyer who will represent clients in a pragmatic and determined manner.

All give pragmatic advice – no sitting on the fence. They clearly explain the issues that need to be considered and give clear advice as to way forward.

‘All members are responsive and are able to explain complex matters using simple language followed by pragmatic advice. Responsiveness and straightforward advice sits very well with our way of working and is not always available by lawyers in general. Which is why we are very happy that we have partnered with Burness Paull to allow us to deal with all people issues successfully and in fact fits really well with ‘to be proud of ‘mantra.’

‘During the first lockdown and the introduction of the furlough scheme the team held weekly webinars which were invaluable. The team were on top of the advice/ guidance as it was being filtered out from Government and even when they did not have all the answers, their guidance was pragmatic and practical.’

‘Mandy Laurie is one of the most commercial employment lawyers I have had the pleasure of working with. She gets to the crux of an issue quickly and always finds pragmatic business-focused solutions to matters.’

Key clients

Whyte & Mackay

ITN (Independent Television News)

General Electric (GE)

SSE plc.

Highland Spring

Scottish Football Association

Petrofac

A. G. Barr p.l.c.

Diageo

Everton FC

Employment > Health and safety Tier 1

Led by Lynne Gray in Aberdeen, Burness Paull LLP is best known for its oil and gas sector work - with consultant and onshore and offshore oil and gas industry expert Rona Jamieson as another key individual in this space - while the team has also seen an increase in care sector instructions. Reflecting this industry focus, the team is particularly active for well-known international energy companies and vessel operators alongside care home operators but its client portfolio also includes players from other sectors such as transport, engineering and property. Gray handles a wide range of regulatory investigations and enforcement.

Practice head(s):

Lynne Gray

Other key lawyers:

Rona Jamieson; Lynne Moss; Andrew Forsyth

Testimonials

‘Responsive. Clear focus on issue ensuring easy understanding and application of advice.’

‘Burness Paull has a reputation for excellence based on genuine expertise in the field of health and safety, as well as acute commercial awareness.’

‘Lynne Gray was made a partner two years ago, and heads up the health and safety team. She is astute, approachable and utterly professional.’

‘Lynne Gray was amazingly helpful, very clear and detailed in her advice and it was like we had worked together before. Her knowledge was flawless and helped me make some quick decisions.’

‘Both Lynne Gray and Lynne Moss are a pleasure to work with. Both provide comprehensive advice on new and evolving laws and guidance.’

‘This is an area of law where people’s lives and welfare are involved, so you can never settle for second best. The team here has an unparalleled depth and breadth of experience. Their advice is not just technically sharp, but also practical.’

‘Rona Jamieson has terrific expertise, but just as important, exceptional judgement. She has the ability to create calm in crisis situations. Her number is on my speed-dial.’

‘Lynne Gray is a trusted adviser who has gone above and beyond to understand our business. She goes to great lengths to tailor her advice to ensure it is easily understandable for our senior management.’

Key clients

Repsol Sinopec

Maersk Oil

Apache

Wood

Spirit Energy

Marathon Oil

Babcock International Group

Arnold Clark

Rever Offshore

Employment > Immigration Tier 1

Burness Paull LLP's practice has corporate and business immigration at its core, but also handles personal visa applications. With a strong presence in Aberdeen, the team is well placed to advise oil and gas sector clients on offshore scenarios, while other energy companies are also among the clients alongside financial services and technology sector players. Typical instructions range from post-Brexit transfers of EEA national workers and other overseas recruitment issues to sponsor licences and skilled worker visas. The team was significantly boosted by the recent acquisition of highly-rated boutique McGill & Co, led by Grace McGill, who now leads the practice. Her team has joined forces with the existing group of specialists at Burness, which includes Jamie Kerr, whose expertise extends to immigration issues faced by inward investors, sportspeople and religious workers, and senior associate Nikki Weir who also handles family migration matters.

Practice head(s):

Grace McGill

Other key lawyers:

Jamie Kerr; Ronald Mackay; Nikki Weir

Testimonials

‘I have found everyone to be very professional, approachable and very responsive. Billing department are flexible with payments if required.’

‘The team is extremely credible – the information and advice provided by them is clear and easy to understand. Makes the whole process less stressful.’

‘Jamie Kerr and Nikki Weir are the individuals within Burness Paull that I have dealt with. My experience with them has always been outstanding.’

Jamie Kerr with his vast knowledge and experience of the immigration laws is second to none and it shows by the way things are explained and is exactly the confidence one would like to see when receiving complicated but critical advice.

Nikki Weir is very thorough, organised and detail-oriented. Easy to work with and goes above and beyond by keeping you up-to-date with information and sharing insights. This keeps the whole process free of any anxiety.

‘Nikki Weir is always available to talk to. She has been realistic, honest and empathetic to our complex situation.’

‘Grace McGill embodies effectiveness and poise. She is also – and this is extremely important – a really personable solicitor. She makes difficult things seem easy and she is an expert at de-stressing stressful endeavours.’

‘Grace McGill is outstanding – an expert in international family law aspects of immigration. She is calm, measured and composed in her advice and delivery.’

Key clients

Maersk Drilling UK Limited

User Testing Limited

Principle Power Inc

Hey Summit Ltd

SSE plc

Bluegem Capital Partners LLP

Finance > Banking and finance Tier 1

Burness Paull LLP acts for lenders and borrowers and often takes the lead role when counselling Scottish corporates on high-profile financings. Its client base includes City and US law firms, London-based private equity houses and international banks. The full-service banking team is based in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow, and is headed up by Paula Kennedy. Jonathan Heaney specialises in corporate lending and real estate finance work, and John Kennedy is recommended for leveraged finance transactions in the oil and gas market. Dawn Reoch, who joined from CMS in May 2020, takes the lead on high-value international transactions.

With support from its international network, CMS handles cross-border transactions for borrowers and banks, covering all aspects of the debt finance market. Project finance specialist Gordon Hay heads up the practice and is particularly active in energy finance work. Caryn Miller and Stephen Phillips are both highly regarded in the market, with Miller focusing on corporate lending, acquisition finance and real estate finance mandates; and Phillips handling derivatives and securitisation issues. Jenny Allan specialises in innovative project finance deals and often advises on overseas energy projects.

Practice head(s):

Paula Kennedy

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘The Burness Paull team had real stamina in supporting what became a longer  than anticipated progress. They kept going, no matter how many, twists and turns our project hit, and we got there’.

‘Solid, straight-talking advice and guidance that is focused on achieving the outcome’.

‘Burness Paull’s banking and finance team in Scotland is excellent, providing high quality, reliable advice’.

‘Always available, quick to respond and able to advise with confidence on any recent developments in the banking industry’.

‘I have worked with Dawn Reoch for close on ten years and have always found her to be exceptional.’

‘Highly skilled and qualified, with strong level of technology usage and expertise within the firm’.

‘We regularly work together and the team at Burness Paull is adept at functioning as an extension of our team to ensure the delivery of a seamless client service’.

Key clients

Santander UK plc

Ideagen plc

Tailwind Energy Ltd

Maven Capital Partners

Clydesdale Bank plc

ASCO Group

Three Hills Capital Partners

Lonsdale Capital Partners

Corrboard Bioenergy

KCA Deutag (Alpha)

Bancon Group

Royal Bank of Scotland plc

Bank of Scotland plc

Stewart Milne Group

i3 Energy plc

Bluegem Capital Partners plc

AgFe (Debt Fund)

The Harbro Group

Springfield Properties

Magnesium Capital

HSBC

BNP Paribas

Practice head(s):

Gordon Hay

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘The team are approachable, knowledgeable, and bring solutions, not problems’.

‘A really hard-working team determined to put the hours in for the client to get the transaction completed’.

‘Market knowledge is impressive’.

‘Very proactive in keeping up to date with our business and the people within it’.

‘They collaborate very well with their colleagues across different service lines and ensure excellent communication amongst all parties’.

‘Alan Fulton stands out as he has built excellent relationships with our team, and understands what our business needs’.

‘Alan Fulton is always very practical and ensures efficient decision making’.

‘Alan Fulton is an exceptional solicitor who makes the client feel comfortable and in very safe hands’.

Key clients

Barclays Bank plc

Royal Bank of Scotland

Close Brothers

Big Society Capital Limited

M Squared Lasers Limited

International Swaps and Derivatives Association Inc. (ISDA)

Clydesdale Bank PLC

Triodos Bank UK Limited

Santander Bank UK plc

Close Leasing Limited

HSBC UK Bank plc

Finance > Insolvency and corporate recovery Tier 1

Under the leadership of Michael Thomson, Burness Paull LLP continues to operate at the top of the market in relation to contentious and non-contentious restructuring and insolvency matters. Thomson is ‘commercial and proactive about securing the right outcome for the client’. The practice acts for high-profile banks and insolvency practitioners, and also handles the Scots law aspects of issues for larger London and international firms. Gary Moffat is a veteran insolvency litigator and acts in high-value and high-profile contentious insolvency matters. Allana Sweeney joined as a legal director from Shepherd and Wedderburn in May 2021.

Practice head(s):

Michael Thomson

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘There is a good breadth of knowledge at every level in the team’.

‘Gary Mofatt combines strong technical knowledge with a keen eye for the commercial issues at play’.

‘Gary Mofatt’s case analysis is always spot on; he knows what the client wants to achieve and focuses on putting together a strategy that meets those objectives’.

‘Michael Thomson is committed, personable and professional, quick to react and focuses on the key issues’.

‘Very accessible and responsive, professional and pleasant to deal with, capabilities extend across numerous service lines’.

‘Michael Thomson is very good; he is now one of the best operators in the Scottish corporate insolvency scene’.

‘Michael Thomson is a standout partner and is always on hand to brain storm issues before spending time on detailed analysis and well thought through advice’.

‘They have a real depth of experience and are great to work with’.

Key clients

Pizza Express

Zizzi

M&Co

Mamas & Papas

Edinburgh Woollen Mill

An ad hoc committee of secured creditors of Intu, led by Aberdeen Investment Managers Limited and M&G Investment Management

Virgin Money

The Financial Services Compensation Scheme

Arcadia Group

Deloitte

Finance > Investment funds Tier 1

Burness Paull LLP fields a full-service funds practice, providing end-to-end support for national and international private investment companies. Primarily active on the borrower side, the team handles primary investments, secondary deals and co-investment transactions across a range of asset classes and jurisdictions. Newly appointed practice head Paula Kennedy has considerable experience in advising investors on alternative investment funds, while Andrew Christie is experienced in cross-border transactions; veteran funds lawyer Alan Soppitt is also recommended. Ruaridh Cole was promoted to partner in November 2020.

Practice head(s):

Paula Kennedy

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘They are close to the client, offering very personal and bespoke services’.

‘Ruaridh Cole, who just made partner, is great to work with’.

‘Burness Paull go above and beyond to understand and serve the specific needs of their clients’.

‘They are diligent, agile and very pro-active, and offer a great customer experience’.

‘Ruaridh Cole is experienced in advising on complex investments in VC and PE funds in UK and Europe, and has a deep understanding of latest market trends’.

‘Ruaridh Cole is pragmatic, very responsive and a real pleasure to work with’.

‘They are the only firm we recommend to assist with the establishment of Scottish carried interest/co-invest vehicles’.

‘We treat them like an extension of our own team and trust them to deliver a quality service to our clients’.

Key clients

European Investment Fund

Greystar European Partners

Livingbridge EP LLP

Vitruvian Partners

Schroder Adveq

EIG Global Energy Partners

Hg Capital

The Pension SuperFund

Kirkland & Ellis

Proskauer Rose

Real estate > Commercial property: Edinburgh and Glasgow Tier 1

Burness Paull LLP’s real estate team play a key role in shaping policy and driving change in the Scots market, as evidenced by its involvement with a number of industry bodies, including the Scottish Property Federation (SPF). The practice is well versed in high-profile development and regeneration matters, and is experienced in the corporate occupier, build-to-rent, telecoms, residential, retail, and leisure and hospitality sectors. The Aberdeen-based John Strachan heads the team and is ably supported by veteran commercial real estate partner Graeme Bradshaw, who is recommended for commercial leasing matters. Richard Rennie focuses on property investment and Nick Naddell handles cross-border mandates for blue chip retailers.

Practice head(s):

John Strachan

Other key lawyers:

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

Testimonials

‘The team are extremely professional and experienced, which enables transactions to take place easily and to our expectations. There is good collaboration to discuss client requirements and availability of meeting times makes things so much easier to deal with’.

‘They work as a highly effective team, with good co-ordination within the real estate practice area and involving other specialist areas when required’.

‘The Burness team is always very responsive, provide sensible commercial advice and assist in getting the deal done to the client’s desired deadline’.

‘Steven McKinlay offers clear considered leadership to challenging RE issues and provides solutions that are focused on the client’s strategic objectives.’

‘Steven McKinlay is attentive to the matters and intervenes as necessary in support of his associates. He takes a sensible commercial view which is what is needed when real estate is only part of a larger deal to be done.’

Key clients

Barratt Homes

CALA Homes

Cemex UK Operations Limited

Crosslane Group

CSG (Chris Stewart Group)

Flavourly Limited

Glasgow City Council

Impact Healthcare REIT plc

IWG/ Regus

LSPIM/ Regional REIT (London & Scottish)

On Tower

Pizza Express (Restaurants Limited)

Verdant Leisure

Viva Italia Limited (Tony Macaroni Group)

Vodafone

YUM! (III) UK Limited

Taylor Wimpey

Real estate > Commercial property: elsewhere in Scotland Tier 1

Burness Paull LLP handles acquisitions and disposals for high-net-worth individuals, private equity-backed buyers, institutional investors and discretionary fund managers. The team continues to be active in high-profile development and regeneration work, and is well versed in the corporate occupier and BTR spheres. Other areas of focus include insolvency, lease management and English commercial property work. John Strachan heads the property division and is active in the Aberdeen market, focusing on both residential and commercial developments. Fellow Aberdeen partner Richard Goodfellow has noted experience in the housebuilding sector.

Practice head(s):

John Strachan

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

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

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

‘I trust all of the team to give valid and quality work and advice’.

‘I always receive a very hands-on approach from Burness Paull’.

‘They are committed to providing a professional and personal service’.

Key clients

Barratt Homes

CALA Homes

Cemex UK Operations Limited

Crosslane Group

CSG (Chris Stewart Group)

Flavourly Limited

Glasgow City Council

Impact Healthcare REIT plc

IWG/ Regus

LSPIM/ Regional REIT (London & Scottish)

On Tower

Pizza Express (Restaurants Limited)

Verdant Leisure

Viva Italia Limited (Tony Macaroni Group)

Vodafone

YUM! (III) UK Limited

Taylor Wimpey

Real estate > Property litigation Tier 1

Burness Paull LLP has carved out a strong practice dealing with high-profile litigation and has also been increasingly active in arbitration and, to a lesser extent, mediation. This is not least thanks to Alan McMillan’s expertise acting as arbitrator; he heads the group and has a focus on commercial property. His practice handles the gamut of property-related disputes with a specialism in dilapidations - where the team acts for both tenants and landlords -, telecoms disputes - where operators make up its client base and are routinely advised by senior associate Stephen Farrell - contractual property disputes and lease terminations. Representing clients in challenges against local authorities and public bodies constitutes another key area of expertise.

Practice head(s):

Alan McMillan

Other key lawyers:

Steven Guild; Stephen Farrell

Testimonials

‘The team can handle anything that is thrown at them and do so with a can-do attitude. I’ve been instructing them for the best part of 20 years, I trust them and I’ve always been really impressed.’

‘Alan McMillan is very personable, knowledgeable, organised and commercially aware and goes the extra mile to deliver a very professional service. He has an impressive profile and is one of the best property litigators in Scotland.’

Key clients

Cornerstone Telecommunications Infrastructure Limited

Dana Petroleum

Taylor Wimpey

Mars

University of St Andrews

Britannia Invest A/S

Scotco (KFC)

Vodafone

NFU Mutual

NCR

Baxters

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

Praised as ‘arguably the strongest and most experienced IP team in Scotland’, Burness Paull LLP has carved out a reputation from both a contentious and contentious perspective. Overseeing the contentious offering, Colin Hulme - who is an ‘authoritative voice on IP protection in Scotland’ - acts in a large proportion of all actions raised in the Scottish Intellectual Property Court, handling a spread of trade mark, copyright, confidential information and trade secrets disputes. From a non-contentious viewpoint, the key names are Colin Miller and David Goodbrand, who are specialists in matters concerning IP commercialisation, strategy and protection, data transfers, sponsorship deals and media rights. Callum Sinclair’s skill-set emphasises IP work with a technology focus, including the IP aspects of tech-related M&A and investment transactions.

Practice head(s):

Colin Hulme; Colin Miller; David Goodbrand

Other key lawyers:

Callum Sinclair; Megan Briggs

Testimonials

‘Colin Hulme has been outstanding. He is a quick study, and while my case is quite technical in nature, he has clearly spent the time to familiarize himself with the technical issues at play.’

‘Team always underpinned by a great team ethos and friendly/helpful approach to working with clients. Responsive and receptive to the level of support/input required and working seamlessly with inhouse team.’

‘David Goodbrand is great to work with. Great understanding of client’s requirements and provides commercially focused, pragmatic advice.’

‘Colin Miller is excellent and I can recommend highly. He’s great with clients, I know he will put them at ease and listen to what they want and also – importantly think commercially for them.’

‘Burness Paull have arguably the strongest and most experienced IP team in Scotland.’

‘Colin Miller is a pleasure to deal with and provides honest pragmatic advice.’

‘Colin Hulme is the authoritative voice on IP protection in Scotland.’

Key clients

PicRights

Harris Tweed Authority

AstraZeneca Group

Highland Spring

ScottishPower

Sky

Take Two/Rockstar Games

Standard Life Aberdeen

Scottish Rugby Union

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

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

Exhibiting ‘excellent knowledge across a range of commercial disciplines’, Burness Paull LLP provides clients with deep expertise in contracting and advisory work, IT disputes, as well as IT-related transactional work. Leveraging the firm’s membership of Lex Mundi, a significant proportion of the group's matters contain complex cross-border components. Particularly active in the financial services, public and utilities sectors, the department is fronted by Callum Sinclair, who shines in high-value technology, sourcing and enterprise cloud deals. Elsewhere, David Goodbrand emphasises financial services and fintech work, advising clients on a variety of digital transformation, data migration, outsourcing and cloud deals, whereas contentious IT specialist Colin Hulme handles software and technology agreement disputes.

Practice head(s):

Callum Sinclair

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘The team members that I have worked with have all been knowledgeable in their key area of focus, accommodating of the changing nature of contract negotiations on a key project, willing to go the extra mile to assist and generally wonderful to work with.’

‘They brought expert knowledge to the project. Their negotiation skills were very good with a great mix of legal expertise but also business savvy. You can always rely on them to meet a deadline and their communication, sometimes daily, was excellent.’

‘Competent and commercial. Good reach internationally despite relative small size (on global terms).’

‘The team at Burness Paull has invested considerably in understanding our growing business, taking a longer-term view where other firms would not have done so. The people in the team are universally highly capable and also human and empathetic enough to understand the pressures my team is under.’

‘David Goodbrand is highly responsive and very adaptable. He has invested in understanding our business and risk posture such that his advice is always pragmatic and well-formed.’

‘Callum Sinclair is incredibly passionate about technology, broader than just being a lawyer. He is very knowledgeable in the developments in his field of expertise which he is more than willing to share to ensure that we are kept up to date.’

‘The team has excellent knowledge across a range of commercial disciplines, and has strength and depth to be able to provide the appropriate resource as and when required.’

‘Callum Sinclair is a very pragmatic individual to deal with, and always provides clear and considered advice.’

Key clients

Scottish Futures Trust / Scotland 5G Centre

Calnex Solutions plc

Vodafone / Cornerstone

ZPG Group (uSwitch, Zoopla)

Cazoo

Greensill Capital

Financial Services Compensation Scheme

Nucleus Financial

Energia Group

AG Barr

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

Burness Paull LLP is retained by a stellar roster of high-profile individuals and large media organisations on critical media and entertainment issues. In addition to its expertise in pre- and post-broadcasting programme legal advice, reporting restrictions and content rights management, the group also demonstrates ‘great expertise in the area of media litigation and dispute resolution’, most notably through its enviable track record in media rights enforcement programmes - a key area of expertise for Colin Hulme. Practice head Grant Stevenson primarily assists media clients with corporate, finance and commercial matters, whereas highly regarded director Kirsteen MacDonald focuses on sophisticated reputation management and defamation issues.

Practice head(s):

Grant Stevenson

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘The team are extremely knowledgeable. Of course, knowledgeable about the law and court procedures, but also about different employment sectors and practices and able to read across to the implications of our particular case.’

‘Great attitude towards diversity and sympathy for those affected by the case. Very efficient and personable and really willing to take the strain and effort off us as clients. Very helpful and a massive relief to all concerned.’

‘Great expertise in the area of media litigation and dispute resolution. Very effective and useful advice.’

‘Straight talking support from Kirsteen MacDonald. Effective advice, taking an approach which was not immediately obvious to us, but which resolved the issue at hand directly.’

Key clients

STV Group plc

Comcast Corporation

Sky Limited

PRS for Music

PPL

PicRights

Rockstar Games

Independent Television News Ltd

BBC Scotland

Hachette (part of the Lagardère global publishing group)

Corporate and commercial > Corporate and commercial: elsewhere in Scotland Tier 2

Burness Paull LLP’s Aberdeen office handles a range of corporate M&A matters, including international deals, equity investments and joint ventures. The practice is particularly active in the energy and tech sectors, and also handles equity capital markets work. The team is led from Edinburgh by Mark Ellis; a key name in Aberdeen is Jamie Stark, who has 25 years’ experience in the oil and gas services sector. Director Arran Mackenzie is recommended for private equity and transactional work. Another key director is Ralph McIntosh, who focuses on corporate finance, investments and reorganisations.

Practice head(s):

Mark Ellis

Other key lawyers:

Jamie Stark; Arran Mackenzie; Helen Dickson; Alasdair Freeman; Ralph McIntosh

Testimonials

‘The team at Burness Paull is extremely talented in each of their respective fields, but still maintain a very personal and dedicated approach to our business needs’.

‘The level of trust that I have with Alasdair Freeman allows me to place great reliance on him and his team being able to successfully deliver on all aspects of our corporate legal work’.

‘Ralph McIntosh was excellent; he managed to get our transaction done and avoided us getting blown off course’.

‘Ralph McIntosh combines people skills, legal ability and pragmatism’.

‘Burness Paull’s team have an incredibly in depth knowledge of the oil and gas industry’.

‘They are what I would describe as “lawyer’s lawyers” – they give you the advice you need quickly and in a clear and concise manner’.

‘Helen Dickson is pragmatic and always available for any corporate queries’.

Key clients

Neo Energy Group

FrontRow Energy

James Fisher and Sons PLC

Transocean

Kellas Group

RAB Microfluidics Research & Development Company Ltd

National Oilwell Varco

Maven Capital

Rever Offshore

Weatherford

Corporate and commercial > Corporate tax Tier 2

The tax team at Burness Paull LLP offers a broad range of expertise, with corporate finance-related tax matters, and private equity and management incentives being key areas of focus. The team also handles real estate-related tax matters across all asset classes, including LBTT and SDLT. It often acts for family and owner-managed businesses (OMBs) on employment tax issues, and also caters to the personal tax matters of individuals. Head of practice Ronnie Brown often advises London firms and is well versed in transactional tax matters. Claire Macpherson was promoted to partner at the start of 2021.

Practice head(s):

Ronnie Brown

Other key lawyers:

Gary Chapman; John Finnick; Robert Burns

Testimonials

‘Ronnie Brown is approachable and able to describe difficult tax matters well’.

‘Responsive and commercially focused’.

‘I have built up an excellent relationship with Ronnie Brown, one of their senior partners, over the last 25 years; his team is very good’.

Key clients

Management of Total Mobile Limited

Management of Connexas

Murgitroyd Group PLC

London & Scottish Investments

i3 Energy plc

Calnex PLC

Scottish Power PLC

Sword Charteris Limited

Corporate and commercial > EU and competition Tier 2

Burness Paull LLP’s broad bench was bolstered in July 2020 with the arrival of Hazel Moffat from DLA Piper. Moffat is a dispute resolution specialist, who brings considerable public law experience to the practice. The team is jointly headed by Colin Miller and Graeme Palmer, who is well known for procurement and state subsidy law matters. The practice handles merger control in a range of sectors, including food and drink, oil and gas, tech and the public sector.

Practice head(s):

Colin Miller; Graeme Palmer

Other key lawyers:

David Goodbrand; Stephen Phillips; Michael Bryceland; Hazel Moffat

Testimonials

‘Colin Miller is charming; insightful; responsive and I would strongly recommend him’.

‘Excellent lawyers, prompt service and integrity, together with a collaborative approach’.

‘Colin Miller is highly experienced, with a City background and international experience, and very commercial approach’.

Key clients

Highland Spring

Independent News Television (ITN)

Tillicoultry Quarries

Roxburghe Hotel Golf & Spa

Student Loans Company

Scottish Television (STV)

The Weir Group plc

EDF Energy Renewables

Scottish Enterprise

Ingen (UK)

Crime, fraud and licensing > Crime: fraud Tier 2

Covering the full spectrum of matters related to financial crime, Burness Paull LLP’s corporate crime team advises on anti-bribery measures, corporate crime investigations, international sanctions and export control as well as on allegations of corruption and fraud. It also assists with interviews with the police and other regulators, dawn raids and with non-contentious compliance matters. With team head Lynne Gray based in Aberdeen, the practice is best known for its specialism in the oil and gas sector, while engineering, retail and public sector players are also part of its client portfolio. Gray is particularly well versed in handling instructions pertaining to health and safety and corruption.

Practice head(s):

Lynne Gray

Other key lawyers:

Rona Jamieson; Lynne Moss

Testimonials

‘Burness Paull is a ‘go to’ practice for legal advice in relation to O&G sanctions, ant-bribery & corruption review and advice. Highly responsive to support fast-turn around commercial decisions. Their compliance knowledge is excellent and provides significant reassurance to the end client.’

‘Lynne Gray and Lynne Moss provided reassurance that they understood our requirements and provided excellent and timely advice. Approachable and highly professional.’

‘Burness Paull has a breadth of skills and capabilities which provide us with all that we need.’

‘Lynne Gray is proactive in her approach, is good to work with and provides us with a great service.’

‘The team is keen to share any learnings that they have come across and also to highlight any changes in the law that may require to be addressed. I find this team to be very proactive in their approach to ensure that they clients are well informed.’

‘Lynne Gray is very knowledgeable in her field and I appreciate her guidance and counsel greatly. Lynne challenges in a constructive manner to ensure that all risks are considered and managed.’

Dispute resolution > Commercial litigation Tier 2

Burness Paull LLP has recently been particularly active for well-known names in the energy, telecoms and automotive sectors, while also handling work across various other sectors, and has handled a number of multijurisdictional disputes before Scottish and English courts. Team head Gary Moffat is best known for his restructuring and insolvency litigation expertise alongside experience dealing with disputes involving fraud. In April 2020, the team's  professional liability capabilities were strengthened with the arrival of Ashley Mawby from BTO Solicitors LLP.

Practice head(s):

Gary Moffat

Other key lawyers:

Neil Smith; Colin Hulme; Alan McMillan; Jody Crockett; Joanna Fulton; Ashley Mawby

Testimonials

‘The team at Burness Paull is made up of a number of partners all of whom have particular specialisms as well as having a strong background in litigation. This is quite unusual in Scotland where you will often find that the litigation teams are made up of individuals who specialise in litigation and rely on their colleagues in other departments for input on specialist issues. This is particularly noticeable in areas such as insolvency and property where the teams who deal with this work are specialists in their own right.’

‘Gary Moffat is the partner at Burness Paull that I deal with most regularly. He combines strong technical knowledge with a keen eye for the commercial issues at play. His case analysis is always spot-on. He knows what the client wants to achieve and focuses on putting together a strategy aimed at achieving that. What also makes Gary stand out is the breadth of knowledge at every level in his team. He clearly puts time and effort into training his team and this means that work can be delegated appropriately without any drop in quality.

‘We have found the firm to be proactive and have kept the same high level of professionalism during the last year which has been extremely hard on all businesses.

‘They have been stand-out as we are in the middle of a difficult case and require to speak to them beyond the boundaries of 9-5 and they have accommodated this with no complaints.

‘Great partner and associate support – responsive and receptive to client needs. Commercially focused advice based on sound legal analysis.’

‘Neil Smith – top notch and very commercial; also very quick in analysis; pinpoints issues immediately.’

‘Very proactive and commercial; highly client-focused on seeking the right business result; honest and frank assessment of case prospects.’

‘Very good communication and the ability to explain things clearly. Always take the time to receive your call and discuss each question/concern.’

Key clients

Vodafone

The Insolvency Service

Pension Protection Fund

Total

Sky TV

EnQuest

Elite/Hummel Sports

Cornerstone Telecommunications Infrastructure Limited

Dana Petroleum

Ramu Ramasamy and Palianiyapan Ramasamy

Scottish Arbitration Centre

Employment > Pensions Tier 2

Burness Paull LLP is particularly rated for its strength in the transactional space, advising clients on the pensions aspects of M&A, private equity investments, refinancings and restructurings. Team head Sarah Phillips is a key figure in this space, acting for an extensive roster of trustees and national and international companies with a specialism in the financial services sector; she shares this sector expertise with director Deborah Adam. Other regular work includes advice on pension scheme liabilities and scheme administration.

Practice head(s):

Sarah Phillips

Other key lawyers:

Margaret Meehan; Deborah Adam

Testimonials

‘The Burness Paull team is very good, thorough and diligent.’

‘Margaret Meehan is cool, calm and collected.’

‘What makes their service a bit different is the level of understanding they have accumulated as well as the close and flexible personal attention they give us. They are proactive with suggestions for improvement.’

‘I consider Deborah Adam and Sarah Phillips to be stand-out in their professionalism and dedication. They have built an excellent rapport with the trustee which is not always an easy thing to do!’

‘A strong team able to effectively manage service and delivery of advice in all circumstances.’

‘Margaret Meehan carries a deep understanding of our client structure and needs and uses this to help tailor her approach and advice to specific questions as they arise.’

‘Professional, courteous and can-do attitude with clear, helpful and prompt advice. A great partner.’

‘Sarah Phillips is excellent – very clear in a complex area, understands the commercial points and communicates well engendering trust.’

Key clients

Aegon UK

The Pension SuperFund

JCB Finance Limited Pension Scheme

Santander UK

Nucleus Financial Group

John Menzies plc

Phoenix Life & Standard Life

Lloyds Banking Group

Devro Limited (UK) Pension Scheme

Ulster Bank

The Glenmorangie Company Ltd Pension Scheme

Ahlstrom Pension Scheme

Insurance > Professional negligence Tier 2

Burness Paull LLP has a notable track record in handling professional negligence claims in the construction and financial services sectors, particularly for construction professionals. Expanding the group's capabilities in August 2020, the arrival of Ashley Mawby  brought a well of experience in claims related to solicitors, accountants, engineers, architects and surveyors. Working alongside Mawby is construction expert Chris MacKay, whose personal practice features niche expertise in matters arising from public sector projects.

Practice head(s):

Ashley Mawby

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Key strengths are knowledge, dedication and and attention to detail of the lawyers.’

Key clients

GMB Union

Fife Council

Fraserburgh Harbour Commissioners

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

Particularly well-versed in the corporate and commercial considerations of third sector clients, Burness Paull LLP specialises in developing corporate legal structures. In recent years, its work has had a strong focus on assisting clients with innovative partnership models, charity mergers, consortium structures, community renewables shared ownership projects, as well as the establishment of Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisations (SCIOs). Following the retirement of former group head Stephen Phillips in August 2020, the department is now overseen by Graeme Palmer, whose personal practice places a special emphasis on the representation of education and renewable energy clients. Rhona McAdam and senior associate Emma Maxwell are other key members of the team.

Practice head(s):

Graeme Palmer

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Pancreatic Cancer Scotland

United Kingdom Sepsis Trust Limited

First Port for Social Entrepreneurs Scotland

Cornerstone

South of Scotland Community Housing Trust

Sustrans

Private client > Personal tax, trusts and executries Tier 2

Instructed by a diverse roster of family businesses and high-net-worth individuals, Burness Paull LLP handles domestic tax, estate and succession planning issues and also attracts plaudits for its 'knowledge of residency and domicile issues'. Headed up by the 'superb' Colin McKenzie, the group now utilises ScotWill - a new client-facing app created to attract new clients and streamline communications. Under the stewardship of McKenzie, it also continues to expand: inheritance tax and capital gains tax expert Claire Macpherson, who heads up the group’s Central Belt coverage, and trusts and estates specialist Fiona Clarke were both promoted to the partnership in February 2021.

Practice head(s):

Colin McKenzie

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘I deal regularly with Colin McKenzie, always available and approachable with an in-depth knowledge of our mutual clients.’

‘This practice has an ever-growing and strong private client team, their knowledge of residency and domicile issues is excellent, cross-border issues are becoming increasingly complex and they have the team in place to deal with this.’

‘A strong team that relates to individuals with specific issues that can be very complex, the knowledge of the team is important and on cross border issues there are few that I would turn to with Claire Macpherson being my first port of call.’

‘Colin MacKenzie is superb. He has a commercial approach and is able to give clear, practical and firm advice. He is able to draw on support from related disciplines and is clearly able to work effectively with people – from clients through to other professionals.’

‘Fiona Clarke has a fantastic manner with clients, providing guidance and advice at a level of complexity that matches their understanding.’

‘The top members of the team have real knowledge of and interest in tax and trust law. This matters – It means that their clients are likely to be made aware of planning opportunities as they arise. Their expertise in the use of corporate planning vehicles for IHT and succession purposes is regarded as second to none by the market.’

‘One of the stand out teams in the Private Client Legal community in Scotland. Good geographical coverage with bases and private client practitioners in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen. We work together extensively on complex estate planning matters that involve Trusts and Family Investment Companies. Good experience of cross-border issues.’

‘Claire Macpherson is highly skilled and tenacious. She gets to the solution quickly. She is also highly personable and has the ability to make clients relax.’

Key clients

CHAP (Holdings)

Esson Properties

Halliburton

Malcolm Allan Housebuilders

National Oilwell Varco

Petrofac Group

Scotia Homes

Stena Drilling

Transocean Group

Wood Plc

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

Burness Paull LLP is well regarded for handling high-profile projects in Scotland, including the financing, acquisition and development of onshore windfarms. It has considerable experience in innovative new technologies, such as battery storage, floating offshore wind, and carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS). Chris Gotts heads up the practice. Peter Ward acts for renewables companies, utilities and lenders, with a focus on regulatory matters. Managing partner Tamar Tammes has over 20 years of experience in the renewables sector. Neil Bruce handles the property aspects of energy projects. Chris Horsley was promoted to director.

Practice head(s):

Chris Gotts

Other key lawyers:

Peter Ward; Tamar Tammes; Neil Bruce; Chris Horsley; Alasdair Sutherland; Sophie Coffey

Testimonials

‘The firm’s commitment to the client is second to none.’

‘Neil Bruce is really good at client care.’

‘Thorough knowledge of land issues in the renewables sector.’

‘Neil Bruce is absolutely committed to a shared client relationship and really looks after the real estate contacts.’

‘Burness Paull are our go-to partner law firm for all renewable energy project related matters that involve Scots law.’

‘Their experience, built over a number of years working in this sector, sets them apart.’

‘They are commercial, solutions-focused and collaborative.’

Key clients

EDF Energy Renewables

Intergen (UK)

Statkraft UK

Ventient Energy

Brockwell Energy

Gore Street Energy Storage Fund

Fred Olsen Renewables

BayWa r.e. UK

Brookfield Renewables

Celtic Renewables

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

Burness Paull LLP has a well-established reputation in the UK offshore sector, which dates back to the firm's inception. It has a strong track record acting for high-profile clients in both the upstream and service sectors, and is highly active in domestic and international transactions, with particular experience of the Egyptian market. Brian Hemming, who heads up the practice, is recommended for acquisitions and disposals, projects and upstream joint venture agreements. The team was bolstered in May 2021, with the arrival of Bob Ruddiman from Pinsent Masons LLP. Bruce McLeod has moved in the other direction.

The oil and gas team at Pinsent Masons LLP is well regarded for its M&A and equity capital markets expertise, and it advises on a large number of UKCS deals, as well as transactions across Africa, Asia Pacific and the Middle East. In addition, other work involves competition, employment, dispute resolution, anti-bribery and anti-corruption, as well as advice to regulatory bodies on industry initiatives. The global oil and gas team is now led by Rosalie Chadwick, following the departure of Bob Ruddiman to Burness Paull LLP. Chadwick is recommended for domestic and international corporate finance transactions. Shirley Allen handles transactional and decommissioning work, while Neil Hehir assists clients with supply chain contracts. The team was recently joined by the hugely experienced Bruce McLeod, who can draw on more than 25 years' experience at Burness Paull LLP and BP.

Practice head(s):

Brian Hemming

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Experts in oil and gas, with an excellent customer focus and pragmatic solutions.’

‘Brian Hemming is extremely knowledgeable, pragmatic and personable.’

‘Easy to work with and they find common ground to solve any issues.’

‘The team has considerable knowledge and experience of oil and gas, having worked both in-house and externally across many companies in the industry.’

‘They work with us in a manner which makes the interface between our company and their external legal support as seamless as possible.’

‘Burness Paull’s team has excellent knowledge of the oil and gas sector and associated practices, which extends beyond the purely legal in to the commercial and technical spaces.’

Key clients

Chrysaor

Dragon Oil

Tailwind Energy

Kellas Midstream

Neptune Energy

Anasuria Hibiscus

Wintershall Dea

Savanah Energy

i3 Energy

Spirit Energy

Practice head(s):

Rosalie Chadwick

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Very skilled in a wide range of oil and gas topics, including supply chain, banking and upstream asset issues.’

‘Shirley Allen is a top oil and gas lawyer and delivers high quality deals.’

‘What makes this practice unique is the knowledge and experience of the team.’

‘The individuals that worked with us stand out because of their knowledge and control of the legal practice that we required.’

‘A team of industry top tier professionals; hugely experienced and capable.’

Rosalie Chadwick is dedicated, extremely knowledgeable and provides balanced advice in a manner that is easily understood by non-lawyers.’

‘Pragmatic and responsive.’

Key clients

Total E&P UK Limited

Transocean

Shell UK Limited

Jersey Oil & Gas Plc

Ithaca Energy

Solo Oil plc

Energetical Limited

BP

Suncor Energy Services Inc

Talisman Energy

Aker Solution

Wood PLC

Repsol Group

Projects, energy and natural resources > Projects Tier 2

Burness Paull LLP has a strong track record in project finance transactions in the domestic market and it also excels in IT and communications-related projects. Also notable is that the firm's recent work covered the development of healthcare infrastructure and the expansion of Scottish ports, as well as updating education facilities and transport connectivity. In addition, the firm was also prominent in a number of high-value disputes. Practice head Chris MacKay is a name to note for public sector projects and construction disputes. In addition, other key individuals include Caroline Maciver and Chris Horsley, who were recently promoted to partner and director respectively. Horsley is experienced in PFI and PPP infrastructure projects. Stephen Phillips retired in 2020.

Practice head(s):

Chris Mackay

Other key lawyers:

Gillian Harkness; Chris Horsley; Fenella Mason; Caroline Maciver

Testimonials

‘Fenella Mason has a clear understanding of the relevant issues and is able to work efficiently with us.’

Key clients

NHS Lothian

Falkirk Council

Highlands and Islands Enterprise

hub West Scotland Limited

Hub Community Foundation

Scottish Futures Trust Limited

Scot Roads Partnership Project Limited

Scottish Enterprise

University of St Andrews

Scrabster Harbour Trust

Galliford Try Construction (UK) Limited

John Graham Construction Limited

Ancala Water Services

Hampden Park Limited

Highland Spring

Public sector > Health Tier 2

Burness Paull LLP has a strong profile for large-scale healthcare project developments, advising health boards, government and public agencies alongside private sector developers on procurement exercises, construction matters, sector-specific investments and various contractual arrangements. Investment trusts, care home providers and operators also receive regular assistance with property, regulatory, corporate and transactional issues. Its contentious capabilities are typically played out in the context of construction disputes and medical device claims but the team has recently also handled judicial reviews in the pharmaceutical sector. Construction and projects expert Chris MacKay is the main contact.

Practice head(s):

Chris Mackay

Other key lawyers:

Joanna Fulton

Testimonials

‘Since the pandemic the firm has made great use of technology to maintain relationships. They are also very flexible when discussing payments – my organisation prefers cost certainty and they provide this.’

‘They are able to provide insights into how to protect our investments more robustly based on their experiences. Really proactive in offering solutions in advance of anticipated problems.’

‘Burness provides a well-geared team in terms of experience from partner through to solicitor. The team offers excellent relevant advice at competitive rates making them stand out as value for money. They are a pleasure to work with.’

‘The Burness Paull team provides an excellent level of service, always conscious of the commercial aims of our transactions whilst keeping the legal aspects water-tight. We are a high-volume user of their legal services and this enables them to be efficient and focused on our needs.’

Key clients

NHS Lothian

hub West Scotland Limited

Hamberley Care Homes

AstraZeneca AB

Medtronic

Smith & Nephew Orthopaedics Limited

Wellcome Trust

Scottish Enterprise

Cytosystems

Aedifica S.A.

Public sector > Local government Tier 2

At Burness Paull LLP, recent months have seen a number of internal changes: following the retirement of Stephen Phillips in August 2020, public procurement specialist Graeme Palmer took over the practice, which received a significant boost with the arrivals of public law and regulatory specialist Fiona Killen from Anderson Strathern in October 2020 and Hazel Moffat from DLA Piper in July 2020, Moffat has particular strength in the contentious space, handling judicial reviews, public inquiries and contentious procurement matters. This set-up makes the team an attractive partner for local authorities, public agencies and arm's-length external organisations requiring assistance in procurement exercises, project investments, governance structures and contractual arrangements alongside property and corporate matters. Much of its contentious work is construction-related.

Practice head(s):

Graeme Palmer

Other key lawyers:

Fiona KillenHazel Moffat; Steven McKinlay

Testimonials

The team gets a good review from my HR colleagues.

Key clients

Glasgow City Council

Sustrans

Fife Cultural Trust

Perth & Kinross Council

Renfrewshire Council

Falkirk Council

South Lanarkshire Council

East Renfrewshire Council

North Ayrshire Council

Guild Homes Tayside Limited

Public sector > Parliamentary and public affairs Tier 2

With the arrivals of Hazel Moffat, previously at DLA Piper, and Fiona Killen from Anderson Strathern in June 2020 and October 2020 respectively, Burness Paull LLP's team now combines the expertise of two extremely well-known figures, which makes it an attractive partner for public, third and private sector clients requiring assistance with statutory interpretation, EU law, Brexit-related matters and education sector governance.

Practice head(s):

Hazel Moffat

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Fiona Killen has been known to me as a first-class public lawyer for over a decade. She is unflappable; extremely knowledgeable; and gives her clients 110%. Rated by public bodies, her peers, her opponents and the court, she is one of the leading public lawyers of her generation.’

‘The firm has just established a practice in this area, led by Fiona Killen. Early indications are very promising. They have resourced this practice well, and I would expect it very rapidly to become one of the key firms in this area.’

‘Responsive and communicative. They are good at keeping to deadlines and the quality of advice is good. The firm is keen to showcase its added value offering and are prepared to take on board feedback.’

Key clients

Various current and former members of the First Division Association (civil service trade union)

Scottish further education college

 

Guild Homes (Tayside) Limited;

Scottish Enterprise

Scottish Enterprise

Highlands and Islands Enterprise

Kellas Midstream

Sanctuary Scotland Housing Association Limited

Cornerstone Telecommunications Infrastructure Limited

Real estate > Construction Tier 2

Burness Paull LLP continues to act for a large number of contractors, local authorities, developers and investors requiring assistance with large-scale projects and developments. Recently, this has concerned the healthcare, residential, commercial and education sectors in particular but thanks to the firm's solid projects practice, the group also receives instructions on harbour and energy developments. While its non-contentious work frequently lies at the interface with procurement law, much of its contentious work typically pertains to design and construction defects alongside contract breaches. Team head Fenella Mason is a key contact for the latter; an area that was given additional weight with the partner promotion of Caroline Maciver in February 2021.

Practice head(s):

Fenella Mason

Other key lawyers:

Gavin Paton; Chris Mackay; James Forbes; Caroline Maciver

Testimonials

‘Strong team with detailed experience.’

‘Fenella Mason is a first rate adviser; Caroline MacIver has been operating at partner level for a number of years and her promotion is more than just recognition of here fine ability and understanding of the sector.’

‘Burness Paull are a thoroughly professional outfit – smart, responsive, diligent and confidence-inspiring. Their follow-up and engagement is excellent, keeping us up to date and informed with matters they are working on.’

‘Fenella Mason is insightful and assured, inspiring confidence in her clients that matters are being dealt appropriately at all times. Always friendly, always measured.’

Caroline Maciver gets on top of the detail and project manages excellently.’

‘Chris MacKay has an exceptional legal mind, and is keen to interrogate all possible angles of a case. Drafting is second to none with extreme clarity and always presented to the same high quality no matter the timescales. Makes even the most complicated matter look simple. True class leader.

Full service offering within the construction team, coupled with being both subject matter experts and commercially astute make the Burness team a practically unmatched proposition. Exceptional level of value adds also!

All very good lawyers who we continue to work with and who provide efficient and helpful legal support on our Scottish construction issues.’

Key clients

Galliford Try Construction (UK) Limited

John Graham Construction Limited

EDF Energy

Amey plc

Morgan Sindall Investments Limited

Mercury Engineering

Ferrovial Lagan

Outotec

Van Oord

Scottish Futures Trust

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

Burness Paull LLP's multidisciplinary sports team is noted for its frequent representation of large football clubs and sports governing bodies in complex sports-related issues. In particular, it receives a flow of mandates relating to disciplinary rules, governance matters and sporting-related litigation. Neil Smith leads the group, which includes senior associate Stephen Farrell, who is an experienced commercial litigator and arbitration expert with extensive experience in sporting-related disputes. Other areas of focus include IP issues, health and safety matters, brand protection work and property transactions.

Following the recruitment of counsel Neeraj Thomas from Burness Paull LLP in 2019, CMS' sports practice has grown substantially, with expertise encompassing a broad range of pure sports law instructions and wider issues facing the sports sector. Most notably, Thomas acts as the lead adviser to the Scottish FA, which he assists with myriad disciplinary and regulatory matters. Other areas of focus for the multi-disciplinary group, which works on a cross-departmental basis, is high-profile sponsorship agreements, real estate deals, contentious issues and commercial contracts.

Practice head(s):

Neil Smith

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Always on hand, there when you need them, the Burness Paull team build strong relationships with their client base. to have that in house legal feel, as though we are part of the same Club, they are our extended family.’

‘A well regarded firm, who are developing a strength in sports representation.’

‘Stephen Farrell is excellent, smart, switched-on; he provides clear, focused advice with an understanding of client expectations.’

Key clients

Scottish FA

Scottish Rugby Union plc

Scottish Squash Limited

Scottish Professional Football League

Aberdeen FC

Sir Alex Ferguson/ACF Sports Promotions

PicRights

LBJ Sports Apparel Limited (“Elite”)

Sky Limited

Practice head(s):

Neeraj Thomas

Testimonials

‘Neeraj Thomas is excellent, very reliable on all issues re. Scottish football.’

Key clients

The Scottish Football Association Limited

UEFA

WME IMG LLC (Ultimate owner of IMG sports agency)

Scottish Golf

Northridge Law

The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers

Gleneagles Hotel Ltd

The former Joint Administrators of Rangers Football Club

Unilever UK Central Resources Limited and Unilever Group

Attis Fitness Limited

Game4Padel Limited

Hunterfit (UK) Limited

Places for People Leisure

Raeburn Place Foundation and Raeburn Place Development Limited

Scotland > Transport Tier 2

Burness Paull LLP handles a broad spectrum of transport sector work but has recently been particularly active in the ports and harbours sector, which is not least a reflection of team head Chris MacKay's expertise in this space. Recent instructions from port authorities and operators include project contractual and procurement support alongside operational and corporate matters, while the team is also well placed to advise on maritime incidents. Handling contentious and non-contentious planning, construction, transactional and health and safety matters in the road and rail space constitute other key elements of the practice.

Practice head(s):

Chris Mackay

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Forsyth; Chris Horsley

Testimonials

‘Very good lawyers who we continue to work with and who provide efficient and helpful legal support.’

‘Overall team engagement was of a very high standard in dealing with a complex issue.’

‘Andrew Forsyth provided sound advice and showed great diligence.’

‘The team coordinate well with each other and thus offer their clients good professional advice and value for money. They have a wide range of expertise which assists in the handling of contractual matters, from the preparation of contract to claims, in a cost-effective manner. I have experience of other practices in Scotland and believe that they are one of the best, and always prepared to go the extra mile.’

‘A detailed knowledge of the law in this area, together with their ability to talk to and deal with clients.’

Key clients

Scot Roads Partnership Project Limited (a joint venture consisting of Uberior, Amey, Cintra and Meridiam)

Improvement Service

Oban Community Harbour Development Association

John Clark Motor Group

Port of Cromarty Firth

Scrabster Harbour Trust

Highland Spring

Fraserburgh Harbour Commissioners

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

Patentes de Talgo

Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles

Macdonald Hotels

Crime, fraud and licensing > Licensing Tier 3

Advising restaurants, pubs and hotels, Burness Paull LLP focuses on liquor and premises licensing and routinely handles matters at the intersection with planning and property and, recently, with restructuring and insolvency. Alasdair Sutherland is the main contact.

Practice head(s):

Alasdair Sutherland

Testimonials

‘They have a good depth of specialists; expertise in most fields is covered.’

‘Alasdair Sutherland was very attentive and researched our issue in depth, giving us confidence that we had commitment from the team.’

Key clients

Hard Rock Café

Aberdeen Douglas Hotel Limited/RKM Group Limited

The Chester Hotel Limited

Brown Forman

Castlebrook Holdings

MacLellans (Think On) Ltd

Visitor Centres Limited

Insurance > Personal injury: defender Tier 3

As opposed to receiving large volumes of claims through panel appointments, Burness Paull LLP is aligned to industry insurers, allowing it to selectively target high-value international cases. Led by Andrew Forsyth, the team places a special emphasis on offshore and marine claims, in which it represents a variety of global vessel owners, P&I clubs and marine insurers. Forsyth also regularly defends clients in occupational disease claims, including asbestos, noise and vibration cases. Another notable practitioner in this area is Lynne Moss, who was promoted to director in February 2021.

According to a client, Anderson Strathern 'does not only behave defensively, but takes the initiative when appropriate to advance the client's interests'. It is noted for its representation of the Scottish Prison Service in personal injury claims and fatal accident inquiries. Also notable is that Robert Carr and Sarah Philips (an ‘outstandingly bright and conscientious solicitor’) act for other clients in a range of employer’s, public and motor liability, indemnity, and occupational disease matters. Former group lead Jonathan Guy departed in November 2020 after being appointed to the Sheriffdom of Glasgow and Strathkelvin.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Forsyth

Other key lawyers:

Lynne Moss; Fiona Davidson

Testimonials

‘The standout features of this firm are their extensive knowledge of the offshore industry giving them and exceptional ability to understand working conditions and processes in the North Sea, and their ability to handle complex cases in particular where difficult psychiatric and other medical conditions are involved. They are knowledgeable, organised and efficient. It is a pleasure to work with them.’

‘Lynne Moss is very knowledgeable. She has an excellent rapport with her insurer clients who clearly respect her ability, her hard work and appreciate her advice. She is a first-rate lawyer who knows how to conduct a vigorous defence.’

‘The point of difference with this team is their ability to listen to what the client wants and to adapt their processes to achieve this objective.’

‘We work closely with the partner, Andrew Forsyth, who is always listening to the needs of his client and ensuring that the service his practice provides is what is required by the client.’

‘Burness Paull have been working for us for a few years now and their strengths and key capabilities are first class. Their attention to detail is second to none. They provide a bespoke service in respect of historic disease claims, which is far superior to any previous solicitors that we have used.’

‘Andrew Forsyth is knowledgeable in his field and always takes the time to explain anything that I’m not sure about. He treats me with respect and nothing is to much trouble for him. He always goes above and beyond, which is fantastic, and this makes both him and the company far superior to competitors.’

Key clients

Subsea 7

Resolute Management Limited

Cruden Homes

Student Loans Company Limited

Kier

Rever Offshore

Randall & Quilter Investment Holdings

City of Edinburgh Council

Practice head(s):

Robert Carr; Catriona Watt; Gillian Jamieson; Katrina Lumsdaine

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Anderson Strathern has a well-deserved reputation as a leading firm in this area in Scotland. Its practice covers all aspects of personal injury work, with regular appearances in the Court of Session, the All-Scotland Personal Injury Court and Sheriff Courts.’

‘Sarah Phillips is a stand-out performer in this area. She is highly experienced, knowledgeable in the law, thorough and well-organised. She is a pleasure to work with and respected by opponents.’

‘Good strong team, wide range of work for different clients including public sector. Uniformly professional and impressive individuals involved.’

‘The defender PI team works in close co-operation and constant communication about cases’ developments. They do not behave only defensively, but take the initiative when appropriate to advance the client’s interests.’

‘Sarah Philips is an outstandingly bright and conscientious solicitor who does not miss a beat.’

‘I worked with Sarah Phillips. Her instructions and were always clear and to the point as were all communications. She clearly knows her stuff and knows what she is doing. I would highly recommend Sarah.’

‘This is a team involved in defending personal injury claims which has strength in depth with a number of high quality solicitors engaged in this work.’

Key clients

Co-operative Insurance now Soteria Insurance Ltd.

The Scottish Government (in particular: Transport Scotland and the Crown Office)

The Scottish Prison Service

Scottish Water

Risk Management Authority

Scottish Midland Co-operative Society

Scottish Courts and Tribunal Service

Ineos

HSE

Public sector > Education Tier 3

Embedded in the firm's UK-wide offering, Pinsent Masons LLP's Scottish team is best known for its expertise advising universities and other higher education sector players on the procurement and establishment of large technology and data projects alongside student accommodation projects. Led by TMT specialist Chris Martin, its IP offering includes advice with R&D contracts and collaboration agreements. Advising on funding, real estate and corporate structuring issues are other key elements of the practice.

Burness Paull LLP is adept at advising further education clients, including a number of universities, on construction, contractual and transactional matters, which frequently arise from project developments, while also providing assistance with joint ventures, data protection, governance and disputes. Other clients include independent schools, education sector trusts and councils. Construction and projects specialist Chris MacKay heads the team.

Practice head(s):

Chris Martin

Other key lawyers:

Joanne McIntosh; Chris Owens

Testimonials

‘It is the quality of the advice and the reputation of the lawyers that we work with, which is important to me. We have received an excellent service from Pinsent Masons where they have considered the current marketplace along with our existing and our future requirements in the advice they have given and the recommendations they have made. They have been a big and valued contributor to our project.’

‘Chris Owens has been phenomenal in supporting our project. He has been helpful, knowledgeable and commercially pragmatic in the advice he has provided and I would have no hesitation in personally referring him for future work.’

‘Chris Martin has a great grasp of the university’s needs and provides proactive support.’

‘They have an excellent higher education practice.’

Key clients

University of Edinburgh

Heriot Watt University

Edinburgh Business School

Jisc

Higher Education Statistics Agency

University of Aberdeen

Roslin Institute

APUC (Advanced Procurement for Universities and Colleges)

Kingston Student Living LLP

University of Southampton

Practice head(s):

Chris Mackay

Other key lawyers:

Hazel Moffat; Fiona Killen; James Forbes

Testimonials

‘A super strong team at Burness Paull with a fast growing reputation in public sector work.’

‘Can pull together a broad team of talented individuals from other practice areas to support the clients needs.’

‘The team is diverse and passionate and a real delight to work with.’

Key clients

University of St Andrews

The Governors of the Donaldson Trust

Robert Gordon’s College

Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow

North East Scotland College

City of Edinburgh Council

Falkirk Council

Albyn School

Renfrewshire Council

Hub West Scotland Limited

Oil & Gas Technology Centre

Real estate > Planning Tier 3

With Alasdair Sutherland, former planning advocate at the Scottish Bar, heading up the team at Burness Paull LLP, it is well placed to handle contentious planning matters, particularly judicial review and statutory appeals, but it is also experienced in the non-contentious space, advising on planning applications, Section 75 agreements and compulsory purchase orders. Much of its works stems from the housebuilding sector with many developers among its clients but the practice has also been active in the energy sector, handling renewable energy projects in particular.

Practice head(s):

Alasdair Sutherland

Testimonials

‘Experienced and knowledgeable. Available when required and undertake work we need in tight timescales.’

‘Alasdair Sutherland is a very experienced legal planning professional which always makes things smoother for clients when trying to navigate through the planning system. His ability to be clear and concise in all advice is both helpful and beneficial to our company.’

‘Experienced team with friendly but commercial approach.’

‘Alasdair Sutherland is exceptional. Very savvy and very quick on legal points and analysis.’

‘Clear advice, prompt and approachable.’

‘The Burness team is very proactive and independent. I feel confident in giving them instructions and knowing that they will get on with work without me having to chase them every day. No matter what the deadline, they always get the job done.’

‘Alistair Sutherland has great technical knowledge and an ability to translate that into pragmatic arguments. Planning is a very scientific and policy-led area and I feel confident that Alistair understands and can work with the specialist reports and information required for many planning matters.’

‘The planning team is excellent in terms of legal planning knowledge, tactical advice and project management. I have worked with them on two very different projects this year and they have been very good in both. One project had a large amount of data that required to be shared around the team. They managed that well, and provided helpful prompts when deadlines for responses were coming up. That is helpful when team members have multiple calls on their time and attention.’

Key clients

Taylor Wimpey

Barratt Homes

Cruden Homes

Guild Homes

Scotia Homes

Avant

Malthus Uniteam (Algeco)

ScottishPower Renewables

Brockwell Energy

Brookfield

Real estate > Social housing Tier 3

As a reflection of practice head Peter Chambers' key areas of expertise, much of Burness Paull LLP's work for social and affordable housing providers pertains to site acquisitions and developments, such as planning, construction, funding and property matters.

Practice head(s):

Peter Chambers

Other key lawyers:

Scott Peterkin

Testimonials

‘The firm has an excellent reputation for delivering a high level of service and for the in-depth knowledge and experience they have of the Scottish housing sector and environment, over a range of areas from regulation and governance to funding and finance.’

‘Their in -depth knowledge and experience and how that is translated into first-class legal advice. The high level of consistent expert service.’

‘Burness Paull deliver. They don’t promise – they simply deliver.’

‘They understand what I need. They listen and understand.’

‘The Burness team is very proactive and independent. I feel confident in giving them instructions and knowing that they will get on with work without me having to chase them every day. No matter what the deadline, they always get the job done.’

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

Private client > Agriculture and estates Tier 4

Burness Paull LLP's team, which is led by commercial property specialist Peter Smith, predominantly acts for wealthy individuals and companies in the sale of estates and farmland, both for commercial or natural capital purposes. It also advises on diversification, particularly in relation to renewables and other commercial developments. Providing key support in this area is Colin Brown.

Practice head(s):

Peter Smith

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Very strong technically and commercially.’

‘Peter Smith has strong client management skills – technical expertise with commercial clarity.’

‘Solid and reliable work and knowledge in the agricultural field.’

‘No-nonsense practical approach. Colin Brown provides a safe pair of hands.’

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 Scottish Copyright Firm of the Year at the Managing IP Awards in 2019.

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

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

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.

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