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Shepherd and Wedderburn

Work 0131 228 9900
Fax 0131 228 1222
551970 EDINBURGH-53

Barbara Bolton

Work 0131 473 5218
Shepherd and Wedderburn

Work Department

Commercial, Finance and Insolvency Disputes


Barbara is a partner with over 12 years’ experience in commercial dispute resolution, with a particular focus on specialist corporate litigation, pensions litigation and high-value, complex contractual claims. She regularly advises in relation to shareholder related disputes, including breach of warranty claims under share purchase agreements and disputes related to share issues. She acted for the Petitioner in the first successful minority shareholder application in the UK under the Companies Act 2006, seeking permission for the shareholder to bring an action against a director on behalf of the company. Barbara handles contentious corporate litigation including petitions for the restoration of companies, and has advised in relation to a range of director-related litigation, including recovery of directors’ loans, claims against former directors for breach of contract and fraud and enforcement of personal guarantees. In pensions litigation Barbara has played a key role in the development of novel legal arguments that have resulted in the Scottish courts taking a more pragmatic approach to scheme amendments. These decisions led to the resolution of a raft of other claims, securing positive outcomes for Barbara’s client as well as developing the law and practice generally in this area.


Trained Brodies LLP; admitted as attorney in New York 2000; solicitor in Scotland 2006; England and Wales 2008. Associate Shearman & Sterling LLP, New York 1999- 2002; researcher, Human Rights Watch, New York 2002-2003; trainee, Brodies LLP 2004-2005, partner (from 2013); Tods Murray LLP 2006-2014; partner, Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP 2014 to date.


Spanish – competent.


New York State Bar; New York Eastern District (Federal Court); Law Society of Scotland; Law Society of England and Wales; accredited specialist, commercial litigation, WS Society; member Fraud Advisory Panel; trustee of OneKind, a UK animal protection charity based in Edinburgh (since 2012).


Lochaber High School; University of Glasgow (1997 LLB Hons); University of New York (1999 LLM); University of Edinburgh (2004 Dip LP).

Scotland: Dispute resolution

Commercial litigation

Within: Commercial litigation

Shepherd and Wedderburn's practice is characterised by its size, prominence in complex disputes and breadth of expertise across all forms of dispute resolution. Iain Drummond, a seasoned expert in construction/engineering and projects disputes, appears regularly at the Court of Session as a solicitor advocate, and also has an active adjudication and mediation practice. John MacKenzie and senior associate Kevin Clancy are also solicitor advocates. Alastair Frood leads the banking and finance litigation practice, and also undertakes matters involving professional negligence, insurance litigation and charity-related disputes (among other areas); Frood's experience includes multi-party mediations, expert determination and Sheriff Court/Court of Session proceedings. Also recommended for banking and finance litigation is team head Gillian Carty, who is also a particularly strong choice for insolvency litigation (she is a licensed insolvency practitioner and accredited by the Law Society of Scotland as an accredited specialist in insolvency law). Illustrative of the firm's work, in 2017, MacKenzie represented Ernst & Young as the liquidator of three offshore companies in a professional negligence claim over a $300m suspected fraud. Barbara Bolton and others defended Mercer Limited against four separate pension scheme claims, while Patricia Hawthorn was the lead partner acting for Neart na Gaoithe Offshore Wind in judicial review proceedings brought by the RSPB. Elaine Brailsford and David Anderson are recommended.

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Scotland: Insurance

Professional negligence

Within: Professional negligence

Shepherd and Wedderburn is active in the full range of professional negligence matters for defenders and pursuers, with particular expertise in professional indemnity matters pertaining to accountancy. John MacKenzie¬†represented Ernst & Young as the pursuer against KPMG, the auditor responsible for signing off the accounts of three offshore companies of which the client was the liquidator, in relation to a major suspected fraud in the Isle of Man ‚Äď a claim that was settled at mediation. The team is led by Alastair Frood, who is an experienced commercial litigator.¬†Iain Drummond¬†specialises in professional indemnity matters arising out of the construction and engineering sectors, and has extensive experience as a mediator. Barbara Bolton¬†is qualified in Scotland, England and New York, and handles a number of complex, cross-border professional negligence claims.

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