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Shepherd and Wedderburn

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

John MacKenzie

Work 0131 473 5437
Shepherd and Wedderburn

Work Department

Commercial and International Disputes


John is a partner, head of the firm’s UK-wide commercial litigation practice and an experienced solicitor advocate. He deals with a range of commercial litigation and has particular expertise in intellectual property and IT matters. He has rights of audience before the Scottish and English courts, appearing regularly before the Court of Session and the Scottish Appeal Court, and is one of the few solicitor advocates to have appeared before the General Court of the Court of Justice of the European Union. John advises on IP infringement issues and in particular online brand protection for clients from a variety of sectors, UK-wide, including energy and utilities, banking, IT and manufacturing. He has considerable experience in leading and managing high value claims backed by third party litigation funders. He sits on the Lord President’s Consultative Committee on Commercial Actions. He sits on the ADR Committee of the International Trademark Association and on the Lord President’s Consultative Committee on Commercial Actions in Scotland.


Trained McGrigor Donald; qualified 1992; admitted as a solicitor in Scotland 1992; admitted as a solicitor in England and Wales 2005; admitted as a solicitor advocate in Scotland 2000; admitted as a solicitor advocate in England and Wales 2006; accredited as a specialist in intellectual property law by the Law Society of Scotland; partner Shepherd and Wedderburn 2010; written pleadings (Tottel Publishing).


Johnstone High School; Edinburgh University (1990 LLB (Hons); 1991 DipLP).

London: Corporate and commercial

EU and competition

Within: EU and competition

The ‚Äėdown-to-earth‚Äô practice at¬†Shepherd and Wedderburn¬†delivers ‚Äėhigh quality specialist advice‚Äô and ‚Äėhands-on attention from partners‚Äô, with a client roster which includes Teva, BT, Skyscanner and Heineken.¬† The firm‚Äôs competition team is now led by¬†Gordon Moir¬†following¬†John Schmidt's departure to¬†Arnold & Porter. Moir and solicitor advocate¬†John MacKenzie¬†continued to act for the European Competitive Telecoms Association on its intervention on behalf of the EC in the case of Orange Polska v EC. Consultant¬†Annemaree McDonough¬†is noted for her experience in regulatory matters in the telecoms sector, while¬†Guy Harvey¬†and¬†Claire Stockford¬†are important team members on the contentious competition side.

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Scotland: Dispute resolution

Commercial litigation

Within: Leading individuals

John Mackenzie - Shepherd and Wedderburn

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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Scotland: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

IT and telecoms

Within: IT and telecoms

Shepherd and Wedderburn¬†‚Äėcompares favourably with City firms‚Äô and is noted for its ‚Äėstrong commercial acumen‚Äô in relation to IT and outsourcing mandates. The practice is co-led by Gordon Moir, who specialises in regulatory support in the TMT sector, and Paul Carlyle, whose focus is IT investment in the financial service industry. Moir is acting for European Competitive Telecoms Association (on behalf of the European Commission) in relation to an appeal brought by Orange Polska against the Commission‚Äôs decision to fine the company for abuse of its dominant position. Joanna Boag-Thomson¬†advised Water Plus on a major IT infrastructure procurement project. She is also advising Satellite Solutions Worldwide on the negotiation of its distributor arrangements with Euro Broadband Retail in relation to its expansion into markets in Sweden, Norway, Poland, France, Ireland and the UK. John MacKenzie¬†represented Calsoft in relation to a claim raised by Bayonette in the Technology and Construction Court in London concerning alleged breaches of a contract to provide residential virtual consumer premise equipment and router software to the claimant; an action that was settled by negotiation. Associates Alison Rochester¬†and Ashley McLean¬†are noted for their ‚Äėclear communication skills‚Äô.

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Intellectual property

Within: Intellectual property

Shepherd and Wedderburn is noted for ‚Äėsensible, efficient advice‚Äô, which is provided by individuals who demonstrate that they ‚Äėknow the practical realities of business as well as the legal necessities‚Äô. Joanna Boag-Thomson, who leads on patent and technology licensing, media and brand activation, is advising the Pernod Ricard group subsidiary, Chivas Brothers, on a number of matters, including the development of the La Distillerie Generale brand in France, which required distribution and co-branding agreements. She is also assisting Winduna on licensing agreements with Oxford University Press in relation to its production of an animated series based on the Winnie the Witch books. Paul Carlyle¬†leads the media and technology team and assists the National Trust for Scotland with the protection of its trade mark portfolio. John MacKenzie¬†is representing RSVP Design in trade mark infringement proceedings that the client raised against Future Factory, in the Court of Session, relating to its colourblind trade mark. ‚ÄėExtremely professional‚Äô associate Ashley McLean¬†is also recommended.

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