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Shepherd and Wedderburn

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

Neil Maclean

Work 0131 473 5181
Shepherd and Wedderburn

Work Department

Employment law


Neil is a partner with the firm and heads our employment practice group. He is accredited by the Law Society of Scotland as a specialist in employment law and has been practising in this area exclusively since 1997. Neil has, over the years, advised a number of significant commercial clients, including Cairn Energy PLC, Heineken UK Limited, Seven Energy (UK) Ltd, United Biscuits (UK) Ltd, IndigoVision Group, ShawCor, Baillie Gifford, Beam Global and Oceaneering. Additionally, he has particular experience in the education sector, where he has advised The University of Edinburgh and the Medical Research Council for many years.  Neil has also recently been appointed to advise The University of Glasgow.  Neil is a good strategic thinker who delivers pragmatic and commercial advice and is outcome-focused. Neil is also listed as a leader in his field within legal directories, which remark that he is ‘extremely sharp and knowledgeable’, as well as an ‘excellent communicator’.  Admitted in Scotland.


Trained Brechin Tindal Oatts; qualified 1997; joined Anderson Strathern 1997; partner Anderson Strathern 2002-09; partner Shepherd and Wedderburn 2009 to date


Basic French


Law Society of Scotland; Employment Lawyers Association; European Employment Lawyers Association; Industrial Law Society; World Services Group – Employment Practice Group; Employment Law Group


Park Mains High School; Glasgow University (1994 LLB Hons; 1995 Dip LP)


Cycling, skiing, golf and hockey

Scotland: Human resources


Within: Employment

Shepherd and Wedderburn advises a variety of blue-chip corporates and university sector clients on all aspects of contentious and non-contentious employment law. The group has been appointed as the employment adviser to the University of Glasgow, and is on the University of Edinburgh’s panel. The practice is led by the ‘highly valuedNeil Maclean , who clients rate as ‘an expert in his field and adept at guiding clients robustly but supportively’. Katie Russell is representing BMI Regional in various disputes with former employees, defending claims brought in the Aberdeen and Nottingham employment tribunals. The group advised FRP Advisory on a number of matters, including the employment aspects of the pre-pack administration and sale of the defunct law firm, Pagan Osborne, to Thorntons LLP.  'The professional, approachable and extremely competent’ Andrew Holehouse is also recommended.

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Scotland: Private client

Charities and not-for-profit

Within: Charities and not-for-profit

Shepherd and Wedderburn provides a full service to charity clients, most notably in the education sector, including a number of universities and independent schools, which it advises on employment and pensions matters, in addition to more traditional corporate charity work. Constitution and governance expert Malcolm Rust and Christopher McGill (who is ‘very knowledgeable’ in the area of estates and legacies) lead the practice. Rust’s highlights included advising the founders on the establishment of the Chaffinch Trust and the trustees of a major educational trust on the creation of a new charitable entity, which included a new and less restrictive constitution, to allow for the transfer of assets and an easier amendment process. The ‘excellentNeil Maclean often advises charities on employment law.

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Scotland: Public sector


Within: Education

Shepherd and Wedderburn’s education practice includes ‘very pragmatic’ employment practice head Neil Maclean, who has vast experience advising Scottish universities, colleges and independent schools on employment matters and business support. He is providing ongoing HR and employment support for Skills Development Scotland, in relation to its organisational restructure, and the TUPE and employment implications of the client’s assumption of responsibility for various employability services for the Scottish government.  Project specialist Rhona Harper is currently advising South Ayrshire Council on its £23m Queen Margaret Academy procurement project, which is structured under a Design, Build, Finance and Maintain contract over a 25-year period. Ed Mustard advised the trustees of the University of Edinburgh on its £420m staff benefits scheme on all aspects of pension law, in addition to other projects relating to GDPR compliance.

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Scotland: Real estate

Social housing

Within: Social housing

Shepherd and Wedderburn acts for local authority and housing association clients in a wide range of matters by drawing upon its strengths across a number of disciplines, including projects, construction, litigation and pensions. Its first-rate reputation in real estate sees it regularly advise RSLs on related social housing matters; Elaine Hunter recently assisted Southside Housing Association with a number of matters, including the acquisition of a development site at Paisley Road West in the south of Glasgow. On the contentious front, practice head Stephen Humphreys (who has more than 25 years of experience of the social housing sector) is representing Kingdom Housing Association in ongoing actions to recover heritable property. Neil Maclean advises social housing clients on employment law issues, while Rhona Harper is an expert on procurement.

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