Firm Profile > Shoosmiths > Edinburgh, Scotland


Debt recovery Tier 1

Shoosmiths' extensive roster of lenders, debt purchasers and corporates is testimony for its wide-ranging debt and asset recovery expertise. Following Rod Macphail's retirement in May 2019, litigator Andrew Foyle took over the practice providing full-service debt recovery support, including insolvency recoveries, and putting particular focus on mortgage recoveries.

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Good rounded knowledge of the sector and is able to deal with volume work through a good infrastructure.

I can’t thank the team at Shoosmiths enough for all the extra work they do to provide information and answer any questions we have. They continually exceed expectations and go above and beyond for myself and the team. They are always happy to answer any difficult queries and provide an excellent service.

Andrew Foyle has been in this sector for a long time and has an excellent knowledge base and they work with volume-based clients, which is indicative of how Andrew manages his team.

Andrew Foyle is a stand-out candidate. He is very approachable and has a fantastic breadth of knowledge on a number of matters. He is always very positive in meetings and provides a great service when called upon.

Key clients

Aldermore Bank plc

Aggregate Industries

Arrow Global Group

Bibby Financial Services Group

Breedon Aggregates

Cabot Credit Management

Calor Gas Limited

Close Brothers Asset Finance

Close Brothers Invoice Finance

Close Brothers Motor Finance

Creation Consumer Finance /BNP Paribas

Darcey Quigley & Co.

Davenham Asset Finance


First Response Finance

Fishers Services Limited

Grafton Merchanting GB Ltd

Hays Specialist Recruitment

Hillhouse Quarry Group

Honda Finance Europe Ltd

HSBC Bank plc

Iwoca Limited

Leaseplan UK Ltd

Leeds Building Society

MKM Building Supplies

Opus Energy

Peel Land & Property

PPL PRS Limited

Premium Credit Limited

Royal Bank of Scotland plc

Santander UK plc

Scottish & Southern Energy

Screwfix Direct

Secure Trust Bank

Secure Trust Bank plc

Speedyhire plc

Tarmac Group

The Land Trust

Vauxhall Finance

Wella UK/ Coty

Social housing Tier 2

Working in close conjunction with various other departments, Shoosmiths is well placed to assist developer RSL clients and government-backed property funds with social housing projects, most notably in the mid-market rent model. Recent instructions included acquisitions, planning, construction and tax matters. Commercial and residential development transactions specialist Janette Speed heads the practice, which was augmented with the addition of planning expert Fraser Mitchell from Shepherd and Wedderburn in June 2019.

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Very experienced rounded team. Good attention to detail.

Very approachable, friendly, explain what can sometimes be complicated transactions made easy, provide best advice.

Very approachable and able to communicate complex legal matters in a way which can help clients gain a better understanding.

Good communication and knowledge sharing within the team which allows other members to assist clients if their main point of contact is unavailable.

The Shoosmiths team understands the subtle differences that exist between the various HAs and their requirements, and is able to adapt contract styles and content to give us flexibility to conclude contracts in a way that works within the context of our group requirements.

Key clients

Port of Leith Housing Association

Kingdom Housing Association Limited

Persevere Developments Limited

PfP Capital Fund

Manor Estates Housing Association Limited

Bellway Homes

Mactaggart and Mickel

Balfour Beatty Homes


Robertson Partnership Homes

Commercial property: Edinburgh and Glasgow Tier 3

Shoosmiths recently expanded its Scottish footprint with the opening of a Glasgow office. The real estate team was bolstered by the arrival of partners Barry McKeown and Fraser Mitchell from gunnercooke LLP and Shepherd and Wedderburn respectively. Another name to note is Sheelagh Cooley, who was promoted to partner. Stephen Dougherty, who leads the group, acts for retail clients and also handles development, investment and general landlord and tenant work. The practice also handles residential development, hospitality and leisure, property finance, social housing, student development, public sector and telecommunications work.

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‘Barry McKeown is extremely well experienced, in depth knowledge of the market, and how he can always find a way through a deal.’

‘Shoosmiths stands apart from other practices as they constantly push and pull with land owners to drive the deal to a conclusion.’

Key clients



Intelligent Land Solutions limited

Whiteburn Projects Limited

Ediston Land Limited


Wireless and Infrastructure Group

Rocco Forte

Civil Nuclear Constabulary

NATS Limited

Carriden Developments Limited

Balloch Farm Limited

Mactaggart and Mickel Homes

Bellway Scotland East Division

Perseus Land Limited

Marstons Developments

PfP Capital Fund

Clinton Cards



Leonardo MW Limited

Straiton Park Limited

Euro Car Parks


Coleby Investments Limited

Highland Properties Limited

Bellway Homes Scotland

Watkin Jones Group

Frontier Estates


Paladin Ventures Limited

North Berwick Golf Club

Dunbar Golf Club

Port of Leith Housing Association


British Car Auctions

Hitachi Rail Europe Limited

Edinburgh Woollen Mill/Peacocks

Robertson Living Limited

Robertson Homes Limited

AAIM Bishopbriggs Unit Trust

Robertson Property Limited

Sigma Capital Group plc

Fortus Properties limited

ARP Properties limited

Johnstone House Properties Limited

Dyers House Properties Limited

HRP Properties Limited

Robertson Group Limited

Balfour Beatty Group Limited


Euro Garages



Estee Lauder

The Works

Ann Summers


Topps Tiles

American Golf


MKM Building Supplies




Russell & Bromley

Krispy Kreme

Kingdom of Sweets


Bob & Berts

Keepmoat Homes Limited

Arbuthnot Specialist Finance Limited

Urbanite (Glasgow) Limited

Forus Investments Limited



Ultimate Bridging Finance

Abbey Properties Cambridgeshire Limited


Dunkeld House Hotel LLP

ETEL Group of companies

Corporate and commercial: Edinburgh and Glasgow Tier 3

Shoosmiths advises on M&A, private equity investments, venture capital, fundraisings, restructurings, while also handling general transactional and governance matters. Alison Gilson, who heads the team, is well regarded for her expertise in the healthcare, transport and technology sectors.

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‘Creative thinking to complex situations in finding solutions in negotiations’.

‘Great people from partners down to paralegals and support’.

‘Commercial mind-set, allied with a strong technical skillset’.

‘Fast and responsive’.

‘Very personable, clearly are able to build good client relationships, they think long rather than short term’.

‘Technically good at their role but understand when they need to bring in their specialists and know precisely who would have the technical skills but also who would be able to work well with the client’.    

‘For me there is no doubting their M&A expertise, however it is their unparalleled healthcare sector knowledge and their unrelenting drive for customer satisfaction that makes Shoosmiths stand out from the crowd’.

‘Practical problem solving solutions’.

Key clients

Extreme E Limited

Christopher Berry & Rachel Berry

Carewatch Care Services Limited

John Smith & Sons Group Limited

Engine B Limited

MV Commercial Limited

LeapFrog Investments Group Limited

Kortext Limited

Webrecruit Holdings Limited

Quorum Network Resources Limited

Banking and finance Tier 4

Shoosmiths extended its Scottish footprint in 2019 with the opening of a new Glasgow office. Also notable is that Sheelagh Cooley, who made partner, now heads up the team. The practice is adept at handling leveraged and acquisition finance, cross-border opinions and security work, and real estate finance in a range of sectors. Fiona Cameron joined as partner from Brodies LLP.

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‘The Scottish Shoosmiths banking and finance team is extremely helpful and diligent’.

‘Very pragmatic and business-relevant advice given consistently’.          

‘Liana Di Ciacca and Sheelagh Cooley are our go-to Scottish banking partners’.

‘A pleasure to work with, they are available as needed for high-quality, consistent, reliable advice’. ‘Helpful and approachable, offering a first-class service at a reasonable cost’.

‘Sheelagh Cooley is very knowledgeable and approachable’.

‘The team has a fully collegiate approach, you can tell they communicate well with each other on cases and that means communication with me as the client is smooth’.

‘Sheelagh Cooley provides excellent legal work and advice but with a friendly delivery and a great sense of humour’.

Key clients

Crown Street (Manchester) Limited


Close Brothers Invoice Finance

Santander UK plc

Svenska Handelsbanken publ

Arbuthnot Specialist Finance Limited

Mount Group Student Natex Limited

PfP Capital Fund

Urbanite (Glasgow) Ltd

Insolvency and corporate recovery Tier 4

Shoosmiths’ insolvency practice draws on expertise from across a range of practice areas at the firm including corporate, recoveries services, employment, and real estate. It handles cross-border insolvencies, restructuring and litigation. Team head Stuart Clubb is a solicitor advocate. Kim Pattullo, who joined from Addleshaw Goddard as head of employment, advises businesses on employment-related insolvency matters.

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‘Very approachable team who are always at the end of the phone’. 

‘No legal problem is an issue as they provide a safe pair of hands and also reassure me on the right road to take’. 

‘They have a very joined-up way of working, ensuring the right person is put on the job’.       

‘Stuart Clubb provides prompt turn-around, concise advice with no caveats, just clear legal advice with good knowledge on commercial realities that need to be considered’.

‘Strong insolvency knowledge’.

‘Stuart Clubb is a great client partner who co-ordinates work within his team’. 

‘Stuart Clubb is a great people person and very approachable and friendly’.

‘Very user-friendly, good legal skills combined with good commercial sense’.

Key clients


Grant Thornton

Campbell Dallas

Middlebrooks Business Recovery & Advice


Johnston Carmichael

French Duncan


Commercial litigation Tier 5

Shoosmiths is best known for its capabilities in insolvency and financial services-related disputes but the team led by solicitor advocate Stuart Clubb also handles various other types of commercial contract and shareholders disputes, including debt recovery litigation.

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‘Excellent team – good breadth of knowledge and personable. Talent at all levels.’

‘Stuart Clubb stands out – he is an excellent lawyer. He has great technical ability, cares about his cases, but is very personable.’

‘Andrew Foyle is a seasoned veteran of banking disputes, responsive and very user-friendly.’


Key clients

Boots UK Limited

The Royal Bank of Scotland Plc

Poundland Limited


British Gas

Grant Thornton UK LLP

Calor Gas Limited

Grafton Merchanting GB Limited

Screwfix Direct Ltd

PRS for Music

Employment Tier 5

Shoosmiths  ecently has been building up its employment credentials in Scotland, with two key hires during 2020 - Kim Pattullo , who joined as Scotland practice head in January from Addleshaw Goddard, and Michael McLaughlin, who joined from DWF during the summer; both led the practice at their previous firms.


‘Kim Pattullo has helped an support my company in all types of employment issues. This has ranged from advice on new employment legislation and good practice measures to support at tribunals and emergency employment issue support.’

‘Excellently responsive service. Advice is provided quickly, accurately and in easily digestible language. Approachable and friendly lawyers with a sound knowledge base.’

‘Shoosmiths’ key strengths are that their team understand our business model and their advice is legally and commercially sound. In my experience they highlight the pros and cons of each approach so that HR/the business are aware before progressing with matters. In addition during most of the experience i have had with them i felt they did not sit on the fence and gave very direct advice and guidance.’

‘Kim Pattullo is a sound, calm and very knowledgeable lawyer, who not only understands employment law and business, but who is also able to navigate through the complexities of personalities in the workplace to help get to the right employment solution. She is also pleasant and supportive to work with.’

‘Kenny Scott provides a calm, pragmatic and sensible approach to employment matters covering all bases. Knowledgeable and supportive and his attention to detail and ability to respond quickly is excellent.’

‘Eilidh Wood provides an excellent service – approachable, friendly but highly professional. Her understanding of the law is evident, and she is able to apply to cases accurately.’

‘I have had a lot of dealings with Kenny Scott over the past few years – he has been exceptional with his speed, depth of knowledge and a subject matter expert on things like restructures, absence management and dismissals/terminations.’

Key clients

Leapfrog Investments


Kuehne + Nagel

Securigroup Limited

British Association of Social Workers

Quorum Network Resources Limited

Aramark Defence Services Limited

Abbey UK Travel Limited

Flexenable Limited

South East > Dispute resolution > Commercial litigation: Hampshire Tier 1

Shoosmiths' Southampton litigation team continues to develop its specialisms in the automotive, IT and technology sectors on both the supplier and customer side. Jonathan Smart, who leads the practice, is an expert in high value IT project disputes arising from outsourcing and framework agreements, while Paula Swain is a specialist consumer finance litigator. The Solent-based team also have a growing niche practice in high value international civil fraud and conspiracy cases.

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It is a large enough team to cope with big cases, but small enough to be able to give the personal touch.

Shelley White consistently provides excellent service, high quality advice and good value for money.

Luke Coleborn is a very capable solicitor who looks to explore the case from every angle.

Jonathan Smart and the team are very responsive and generally communicate in a way that facilitates a good working relationship.

Key clients

Volkswagen Group



British American Tobacco


Dixons Carphone Warehouse


Peugeot Citroen




Thomas Cook


Estee Lauder

Guide Dogs





The White Company



Jordans Ryvita

Shoosmiths is a law firm operating in all UK jurisdictions from a network of 13 locations. Clients include companies on every part of the business growth cycle, from start-up ventures to market leaders, financial institutions and major public organisations. We offer clients strength and depth in all the core disciplines, together with key specialisms and a range of sector strengths. What sets us apart is the way we deliver those services – clients tell us that we get the “people bit” right, never take a client for granted, and invest in the relationships which are at the heart of great service.

As a client of Shoosmiths, you will find us quick to relate to your commercial goals, and adept at advising you on the most direct way of achieving them.

Our lawyers tailor their approach to each client’s business, delivering high quality legal advice backed by clear and open communication, cost transparency and business sense.

Shoosmiths works with individuals and companies investing in the UK, in addition to UK-based clients operating in global markets (the latter via our membership of the World Services Group, an international network of professional services firms).

Types of work undertaken: Real estate is a core strength and the firm is known for having some of the best commercial property lawyers in Scotland. It has a strong track record in residential and commercial development, affordable housing as well as retail property. The firm has established teams specialising in debt recovery and insolvency, corporate, finance, employment, dispute resolution and a growing private client team acting for individuals.

Banking and finance: the firm advises a variety of clients on corporate and property finance aspects including property, project, acquisition and development finance. The team handles preparation of standard form documentation and bespoke loan agreements, security documents and related deeds for both lenders and borrowers.

Corporate and commercial: Shoosmiths’ corporate team has a successful track record advising companies through the business life cycle from start-ups to mergers and acquisitions, development funding, disposals and other exits. The firm also advises on all types and aspects of commercial work, from drawing up standard contracts to detailed negotiations on one-off deals.

Debt recovery: Shoosmiths has one of the largest recovery teams in Scotland offering a full range of ‘end to end’ finance recovery services. Nationally the firm is recognised as a leading player in the legal debt recovery market, operational in all UK jurisdictions and FCA-authorised.

Employment: experienced lawyers provide a service that should avoid or minimise the risk of employers facing expensive claims. Typical work for clients ranges from advising on the correct content of employment contracts and policies, through to ensuring appropriate procedures are followed when the need arises.

Public sector: Shoosmiths combines its decades of experience of advising the public sector with the skills of business lawyers – negotiating, advising and providing strategic support on complex projects for commercial operators and public bodies.

Real estate: independently ranked as a top-20 UK law firm for real estate, the firm advises developers, investors, lenders, owners and tenants of all types of commercial property. The team operates as a part of a national real estate practice which has over 230 lawyers. Experience covers acquisition, disposal, funding and leasing of retail, industrial, leisure, residential and office property.

Social housing: the social housing sector has undergone rapid and radical evolution in recent years, and Shoosmiths has played a full part in that evolution, developing an in-depth understanding of the culture in which clients operate. It can advise on strategy and restructuring.

Hotels and leisure: the team in Edinburgh mirrors Shoosmiths’ national strength with lawyers from multiple disciplines advising companies developing and running a variety of leisure facilities.

Retail: Shoosmiths advises retailers on their trading operations from online sales to property portfolio management, recognising that uninterrupted trading is a core goal for clients in this sector.

Personal Advisory: the team advises individuals on wealth protection, wills and probate, powers of attorney, Court of Protection issues, family law, conveyancing, medical negligence and serious injury claims.

Department Name Email Telephone
Chief executive Simon Boss
Chairman Peter Duff
Banking and finance Stuart Murray
Banking and finance Sheelagh Cooley
Banking litigation Andrew Foyle
Commercial litigation Stuart Clubb
Conveyancing Jill Andrew
Corporate Alison Gilson
Corporate Stuart Murray
Debt recovery/restructuring and insolvency Andrew Foyle
Employment Kenny Scott
Hotels and leisure Janette Speed
Intellectual property Stuart Murray
Public sector Janette Speed
Real estate Steve Dougherty
Real estate Janette Speed
Real estate Robin Mitchell
Residential development Janette Speed
Retail Steve Dougherty
Retail Robin Mitchell
Social housing Janette Speed
Photo Name Position Profile
 Fiona Cameron photo Fiona Cameron Fiona is a partner in the Banking and Finance team, based in…
 Stuart Clubb  photo Stuart Clubb Stuart is an experienced commercial litigator and leads the dispute resolution team…
 Sheelagh Cooley photo Sheelagh Cooley Sheelagh is a Partner in the Real Estate Division who specialises in…
 Liana Di Ciacca photo Liana Di Ciacca Liana is a senior associate in the banking and finance team based…
 Steve Dougherty  photo Steve Dougherty Steve Dougherty is highly experienced in the field of commercial Real Estate. He…
 Andrew Foyle  photo Andrew Foyle Andrew is a Partner in our litigation and recoveries team based in…
 Alison Gilson  photo Alison Gilson Alison is a Corporate Partner and leads the Corporate team in Edinburgh. …
 Rod Macphail photo Rod Macphail Rod heads up the Recoveries Services Group in Scotland. Rod provides advice to…
 Barry McKeown photo Barry McKeown Barry is an experienced real estate lawyer who drives deals acting as…
 Robin Mitchell  photo Robin Mitchell Robin has particular expertise in landlord and tenant matters. He advises a…
 Fraser Mitchell  photo Fraser Mitchell Fraser leads Shoosmiths’ Planning and Environment team in Scotland. He has extensive…
 Stuart Murray photo Stuart Murray Stuart works with institutions in a wide range of sectors and works…
 Janette Speed  photo Janette Speed Janette advises on a full range of residential and commercial development transactions…
Number of UK partners : 195
Number of other UK fee-earners : 1071

Our mission

At Shoosmiths, we are building a diverse workforce that reflects all backgrounds and talents, and a workplace that is supportive and inclusive, recognises and nurtures talent, and has a strong sense of community between colleagues.

We pride ourselves on not being overly hierarchical and pretentious; we want Shoosmiths to be a place where you can be yourself and do your best work. We also understand what this means; maintaining a positive, open culture, understanding the impact that work has on home life and vice versa, and promoting physical and mental health.

Our approach

Communication, consistency, and collaboration are very much the Shoosmiths way of achieving results; this applies to our diversity and inclusion ambitions as well. In practice this means that we consult with our colleagues on initiatives, e.g. through working groups, networks, and employee surveys, seek to maintain a consistent employee experience across Shoosmiths’ offices, and work closely with clients to ensure we meet their needs and identify areas of mutual interest.

We believe talent can come from anywhere, so we actively support initiatives that attract and support people into the legal profession who may not traditionally have had access. We work with external organisations to ensure we are reaching the widest audience possible, as well as on initiatives which contribute to our inclusive working environment.

The Lex 100 Verdict

Shoosmiths balances an 'impressive portfolio of clients with a great work/life balance'. The firm's network of offices across the UK allows trainees to 'experience regional life without ever compromising on work quality'. A 'friendly yet forward-thinking culture' prevails and there are 'great opportunities for progression' thanks to the firm's ambitious trajectory. 'If you are struggling to meet a deadline, your supervisor will try and find a solution', likewise there is 'no pressure of facetime – partners are genuinely concerned if you're working later than you should be'. Consequently, Shoosmiths has nabbed a Lex 100 Winner award for work/life balance. Some trainees feel that the salary is 'fairly average compared with the firm's competitors', in particular when considering the 'size and success of the firm over the past few years'. But 'you don't have to walk far to find a friendly face' at Shoosmiths; 'someone will always ask how you are or how your day is going'. When asked for their best moments so far, trainee responses ranged from 'being involved with the development of the firm's employee networks – LGBT+ and BAME' to 'leading a telephone negotiation with a solicitor on the other side of a transaction only one month into my first seat'. Conversely, 'quiet periods without much to do' and 'having to spend a number of hours in a deeds storage room' were singled out as the worst moments. On the plus side, there are a number of client secondments on offer which afford trainees the opportunity 'to see client priorities from the other side and to understand more how decisions are made internally'. For a firm in which 'every employee lives the firm's values and collaborates to give clients the best possible service', consider Shoosmiths.