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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: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

IT and telecoms

Within: IT and telecoms

Shepherd and Wedderburn’s team acts for clients including BT, Vodafone and AT&T. Gordon Moir focuses on regulatory and anti-trust support issues; he is acting for the European Competitive Telecommunications Association in defending a challenge brought by Orange Polska pertaining to a substantial fine imposed for abuse of dominance. Paul Carlyle heads the media and technology team. Joanna Boag-Thomson, who has significant experience in outsourcing matters, advised Skills Development Scotland on the procurement options pertaining to its multi-sourced IT/IS solution, and assisted VServ with a virtual betting services agreement with Vermantia concerning a virtual football game. John MacKenzie has significant experience in commercial litigation in the IT sector.

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Scotland: Dispute resolution

Commercial litigation

Within: Leading individuals

John Mackenzie - Shepherd and Wedderburn

Within: Commercial litigation

Shepherd and Wedderburn has a ‘top-drawer’ commercial litigation practice that covers a broad range of areas, including professional negligence, construction and commercial disputes, as well as niche areas such as pensions litigation. Its heavyweight team features three solicitor advocates: John MacKenzie, Iain Drummond and Kevin Clancy all have a wealth of experience in Court of Session litigation. In 2016, Elaine Brailsford (‘a strong lawyer with good interpersonal skills’) acted for Tor in a $65m damages claim against Chinese state-owned entity China National Star Petroleum for breach of a contract to repair and manage an oil rig. In another key matter, Barbara Bolton (who is ‘particularly good at managing clients and their expectations’) is representing UK Asset Resolution as the pursuer in a number of professional negligence actions against a firm of solicitors and a firm of surveyors in connection with buy-to-let mortgages arranged before the 2008 financial crisis. Gillian Carty leads the team, whose other clients include Ernst & Young, Capital Document Solutions and TROUW (UK).

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Debt recovery

Within: Debt recovery

Shepherd and Wedderburn’s debt and asset recovery group, which is drawn from the firm’s wider litigation practice, is primarily active in matters related to the financial services, real estate and housing sectors. Work for social landlords includes the recovery of rent and factoring charges, as well as property repossessions. Other clients include fund managers, institutional investors, liquidators and administrators, banks and building societies. Elaine Brailsford, who has more than two decades of experience in this space, leads the team, which includes Gillian Carty, Alastair Frood and John MacKenzie.

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Scotland: Real estate


Within: Environment

Shepherd and Wedderburn handles a wide range of matters, including the environmental aspects of planning and consenting, compliance and regulatory work, as well as investigations into and prosecutions of alleged breaches of environmental law. A significant proportion of the work is connected to the renewable energy sector; Patricia Hawthorn, John MacKenzie and others are representing Neart na Gaoithe Offshore Wind in judicial review proceedings brought by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), challenging the decision by the Scottish Ministers to grant consent for the development of four offshore wind farms located in the Forth and Tay. In another matter, Colin Innes is leading the advice to ScottishPower Renewables UK on the development of numerous onshore wind projects, which includes handling associated wildlife, habitats legislation and roads matters. Real estate partner Jamie Grant, who joined from MacRoberts LLP, is particularly well known for his expertise in soil contamination amtters. Scott McCallum, who handles contentious and non-contentious matters UK-wide, acted for DONG Energy in a six-month investigation into the recently-consented 1.8GW Hornsea Two offshore wind farm, which included a review of its potential impacts on environmentally protected sites and species. Richard Leslie is another key contact.

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Scotland: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

Intellectual property

Within: Intellectual property

Shepherd and Wedderburn’s ‘very knowledgeable and reliable’ team ‘goes the extra mile for clients’ and is ‘pleasant to work with’. The team is experienced in handling licensing, copyright and commercial IP transactions while also acting in trade mark and patent infringement matters. The recommended Joanna Boag-Thomson advised Scottish Enterprise (SE) and Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) on IP licence negotiations with Silent Herdsman. In other work, John MacKenzie represented Brand IP Licensing in an oral hearing before the General Court (EGC) with regards to Facebook’s opposition to the client’s EU trade mark application to register the word mark ‘Lovebook’ over particular classes of goods and services for online dating. Paul Carlyle is another name to note.

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