Firm Profile > Shoosmiths > Edinburgh, Scotland


Debt recovery Tier 1

Providing full-service debt recovery support, Shoosmiths frequently works in close co-operation with its litigation team to assist clients with financial services, commercial business to business and insolvency sector recoveries. The 'excellentRod Macphail heads up the 'strong and very experienced' team.

Practice head(s):

Rod Macphail

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Foyle; Stuart Clubb


Unique offering in the Scottish market place.

They know their stuff.’

Andrew Foyle is very client-focused, hugely experienced and user-friendly.

Competent, thorough and innovative.

They are very proactive in providing alternative solutions.

The team takes a robust but practical approach to all claims.

All in all a complete and very satisfactory service.

High success rates.

Deals with requests quickly and efficiently.

Key clients

Aldermore Bank

Alex M Adamson

Arrow Global

Bibby Financial Services

Breedon Aggregates

Cabot Credit Management

Close Asset Finance

DM Hall

First Response Finance

Hays Specialist Recruitment


Scottish & Southern Energy

Commercial property: Edinburgh and Glasgow Tier 3

Retail property work remains a key cornerstone of Shoosmiths' practice; it is particularly noted for its niche expertise in the shopping centre and retail park space and has expanded its work for retail landlords. The team also works closely with the firm's Birmingham and Manchester offices to handle cross-border mandates. Stephen Dougherty leads the group, which also includes retail expert Robin Mitchell.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Dougherty

Other key lawyers:


‘Shoosmiths distinguishes itself through a high level of competency and experience in a number of interrelated fields. The property lawyers work well with other professionals in the best interest of the client and all partners and associates are easily accessible.’

‘The team understands the need for pragmatic advice to get the deal done.’

‘Shoosmiths not only provides the legal advice clients require but will go the extra mile to find the best solution.’

Key clients

Leftfield Properties



Estee Lauder





Euro Garages


Deltic Group

One Stop Stores (Tesco)


Krispy Kreme


Russell & Bromley

DPSK (Dominos Pizza)

Clinton Cards


Revolution Bars

BBs Coffee & Muffins

Bob & Berts

Social housing Tier 3

Led by Janette Speed, the 'proactive and commercially very savvy' team at Shoosmiths is best known for advising RSLs and government-backed property funds on residential and commercial development work including associated site acquisitions and sales across Scotland.

Practice head(s):

Janette Speed


Good at anticipating hurdles and allowing time for key legal issues to be addressed.’

Janette Speed is able to provide detailed documentation at very short notice when required.

Key clients

Port of Leith Housing Association

Kingdom Housing Association

Persevere Developments

Manor Estates Housing Association

PfP Capital Fund

Dunedin Canmore Housing Association

Bellway Homes

Banking and finance Tier 4

The team at Shoosmiths acts for a number of UK clearing banks and also counts challenger banks, peer-to-peer and other alternative lenders and corporate borrowers as key clients. Recent highlights include complex structured real estate finance work across a wide range of sectors, leveraged and acquisition finance mandates, and cross-border opinion and security work. Legal director Stuart Murray leads the group, which includes associate Sheelagh Cooley, who heads up the real estate finance group; and senior associate Liana Di Ciacca, who recently joined from CMS.

Practice head(s):

Stuart Murray; Sheelagh Cooley

Other key lawyers:


‘The banking experts at Shoosmiths are straightforward to work with and provide a practical, efficient, and pragmatic service.’

‘The team is always up to date with every issue, which makes clients feel very appreciated.’

‘The team at Shoosmiths is always available to assist and advise whenever needed with a partner-led commercial mind.’

‘Senior associate Sheelagh Cooley and Liana Di Ciacca always provide advice from a commercial viewpoint, which is a key quality on most corporate transactions. They are both very personable and professional individuals who are always a pleasure to deal with.’

‘Liana Di Ciacca is exceptionally efficient and provides clear, practical, strategic advice that is simple to understand.’

Key clients

Origin Homes Manchester 1 Limited (part of the Select Property Group (Holdings) Limited group)

Origin Homes Manchester 2 Limited (part of the Select Property Group (Holdings) Limited group)

Santander UK plc

Santander Consumer UK plc

Clydesdale Bank plc

Close Brothers Invoice Finance

Svenska Handelsbanken publ


Amicus Finance plc

Assetz Capital

Commercial litigation Tier 4

As well as its commercial litigation expertise, the team at Shoosmiths routinely acts in insolvency and banking-related litigation. The 'outstandingStuart Clubb heads the team.

Practice head(s):

Stuart Clubb

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Foyle

Key clients

Boots UK

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS)


British Gas

Calor Gas

Grafton Merchanting GB

Screwfix Direct

Volkswagen Financial Services


Corporate and commercial: Edinburgh and Glasgow Tier 4

Shoosmiths's corporate and commercial team, which is led by Alison Gilson, is known for its advice on mergers and acquisitions. It is also experienced in assisting with private equity investments, fundraising deals and wider corporate and commercial matters.

Practice head(s):

Alison Gilson

Other key lawyers:

Jen Paton


The corporate lawyers at Shoosmiths are experienced, collegiate in their thinking, friendly, proactive and practical in their counsel.

The team is responsive and commercial and keeps things simple and effective. The drafting is always clear and easy to understand.

At Shoosmiths there is a very level and professional approach to getting the transaction done, but with a finely judged sense of when to push and when to move on.

Alison Gilson is a very impressive , measured and practical lawyer. She doesn’t panic under pressure and has a sharp mind.

Alison Gilson and Jen Paton (senior associate) both try to identify potential issues early on in any deal and explain them to the client and the adviser in straightforward terms to see if it is worth progressing or stopping straight away.

Key clients

Carewatch Care Services Limited

MV Commercial Limited

M-Squared Lasers Limited

LeapFrog Investments Group Limited

John Smith & Sons Group Limited

August Equity

Progress to Excellence Holdings Limited

Kortext Limited

Bob & Berts Group Limited

Sea-Cargo Aberdeen Limited

Barter & Trade International BTI

Twenty7tec Group Limited

Quorum Network Resources Limited

Webrecruit Holdings Limited

Entrotec Limited

Insolvency and corporate recovery Tier 4

Shoosmiths' insolvency sector recoveries unit, led by Rod Macphail, specialises in pre- and post-litigation collections, portfolio management and strategic advice, and book debt recoveries for insolvency practitioners. The group also regularly assists lenders, businesses and individuals with the appointment of administrators, liquidators and trustees in sequestration. Stuart Clubb heads up the general insolvency group and has notable expertise in insolvency litigation, and Andrew Foyle is also a solicitor advocate.

Practice head(s):

Stuart Clubb

Other key lawyers:

Rod Mcphail; Andrew Foyle

Key clients


Grant Thornton

Campbell Dallas

Middlebrooks Business Recovery & Advice


Johnston Carmichael

French Duncan

MLM Solutions

Condies Business Recovery & Insolvency Ltd

Leonard Curtis

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
 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. …
Mr Rod MacPhail photo Mr Rod MacPhail Rod heads up the Recoveries Services Group in Scotland. Rod provides advice to…
 Robin Mitchell  photo Robin Mitchell Robin has particular expertise in landlord and tenant matters. He advises a…
 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

The Lex 100 Verdict

'There are a range of personalities' at Shoosmiths, 'as no one size fits all at this firm'. The 'friendly culture and people' were unanimously rated the best thing about the firm, rendering Shoosmiths 'a really enjoyable place to train'. Applicants chose the firm for its 'open and relaxed atmosphere', with a few paralegals staying on because they 'loved the culture and knew it was for [them]', earning Shoosmiths a Lex 100 Winner medal for living up to expectations. The training contract 'offers excellent quality of work and client exposure' and for one trainee 'feels like a genuine meritocracy as you are rewarded for hard work and showing potential'. One respondent commented: 'our firm is supportive in practice, I have never been put under pressure at Shoosmiths to reach billing targets'. However, some newbies were frustrated by the 'difference in pay between offices' and felt 'remuneration could be better'. Shoosmiths offers 'fantastic client secondment opportunities' at 'Volkswagen Group and leading supermarkets', with one recruit travelling outside of the EU on client secondment. These invaluable experiences are 'great for commercial awareness and a real learning experience'. On the flip side, some feel that 'there is too much focus on client secondments' and that there can be 'stress around seat moves' which is made worse by 'a lack of communication'. 'Administrative tasks and court runs in litigation' frustrated applicants, while 'being asked to be the advocate for a client in court' and 'running the completion of a large real estate transaction alone' were fond highlights. If you're looking for a supportive, rewarding trainee programme in a 'diverse firm' which offers newbies the 'opportunity to grow', consider Shoosmiths.