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Scotland: Corporate and commercial

Corporate and commercial: Edinburgh and Glasgow
Corporate and commercial: Edinburgh and Glasgow - ranked: tier 4


Shoosmiths¬†has ‚Äėscaled up to form a competitive offering in the marketplace‚Äė, making it a strong choice for Scottish and cross-border transactions. Its team works equally effectively on a standalone basis and as part of a wider UK group. Practice head Alison Gilson¬†is ‚Äėalways client-focused and has a knack of not over-complicating the issues‚Äė, while associate¬†Jen Paton¬†is ‚Äėvery proactive‚Äė and ‚Äėgets the job done with a minimum of fuss‚Äė. Stuart Murray¬†has more than 20 years of experience advising on business acquisitions and disposals, joint ventures and MBOs, among other matters. In 2017, Gilson and Paton acted for Bob & Berts Group Limited in a ¬£2m investment into the company by the Business Growth Fund. Paton and Gilson also advised Murray Hennessy (the former CEO of on an investment ‚Äď alongside Mayfair Equity Partners ‚Äď in Talon Outdoor, and also on his appointment as non-executive chairman.

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Scotland: Dispute resolution

Commercial litigation
Commercial litigation - ranked: tier 4


In addition to undertaking general commercial litigation, Shoosmiths demonstrates strong capabilities in specialist contentious matters connected with banking, insolvency, health and safety, and real estate. IT supply contract disputes are a particular area of strength for the first-rate team, which is led by Stuart Clubb, and includes Rod Macphail and Andrew Foyle. Clubb and Foyle are solicitor advocates, giving them rights of audience at all court levels in Scotland, and also at the Supreme Court. Ben Zielinski, who was promoted to senior associate in 2017, is another key individual. In 2017, Clubb and Zielinski defended Regus Caledonia Limited at the Inner House of the Court of Session in a widely-commented case relating to the recovery of the costs of repair works to commercial premises that had been sub-leased to the client. Clubb is currently handling a professional negligence lawsuit against a law firm on behalf of a financial services company. Other clients that instruct the firm for complex disputes include British Gas, KPMG and Screwfix Direct.

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Debt recovery
Debt recovery - ranked: tier 1


The team at Shoosmiths is 'easy to deal with' and 'adds value' through 'timely and relevant feedback, good advice and high success rates'. Practice head Rod Macphail 'deserves particular praise'; 'he operates a very tight ship, employs staff who know exactly what's required and always makes himself available if detailed advice is needed'. A hallmark of the practice is the size and depth of its offering; Andrew Foyle is one of two solicitor advocates in the group with full rights of audience at the Court of Session and Supreme Court, along with Stuart Clubb. In addition, the team benefits from the experience of recoveries managers Rhona Cuthbert and David Smith, as well as recoveries team leader Gail Peterson. Noted for its pan-UK operation, the group provides the full spectrum of advice on recoveries related to asset finance, commercial and corporate secured and unsecured lending, consumer secured and unsecured lending, mortgage shortfalls, commercial business to business and insolvency-related matters. In a recent highlight, Foyle successfully acted for the Royal Bank of Scotland as the pursuer in a defended action for possession of a residential property owned by a customer; the action was defended by the customer on the basis of an alleged failure by the client to comply with the pre-action requirements under the Homeowner and Debtor Protection (Scotland) Act 2010. D & C Fawcett, Paragon Car Finance and Thomas Cook Airlines are recent client wins. Associate Peter McGladrigan is recommended.

Leading individuals

Rod Macphail - Shoosmiths

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Scotland: Finance

Insolvency and corporate recovery
Insolvency and corporate recovery - ranked: tier 4


Rod Macphail leads Shoosmiths' insolvency sector recoveries unit, which covers all stages of the debt recovery process, from pre-litigation to post-litigation and enforcement. The firm also counts on the experience of practitioners in other areas to advise on insolvency issues, particularly those in real estate and corporate. Stuart Clubb, Stuart Murray, Andrew Foyle and associate Peter McGladrigan acted for the liquidators in the winding-up of Yolo For Men Limited in 2017. In an ongoing case, Foyle and McGladrigan are representing a retail bank in a circa £100,000 claim brought by a company over money deposited into a bank account, which was allegedly held on trust for the client by a (now insolvent) customer. In addition to acting for insolvency practitioners and lenders, other clients include distressed businesses and individuals.  Real estate partner Janette Speed is another key figure.

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Scotland: Real estate

Commercial property: Edinburgh and Glasgow
Commercial property: Edinburgh and Glasgow - ranked: tier 3


Commercial property: retail - ranked: tier 3


Shoosmiths, which has Stephen Dougherty at the helm as practice head, provides 'a reliable and steady service'. In addition to assisting clients with investment acquisitions and disposals (including portfolio transactions), it has seen significant growth in property finance mandates. Edinburgh office head Janette Speed, who is particularly knowledgeable about the student accommodation sector, has been instrumental in the firm seeing a major uptick in residential development work; clients in this space include Mactaggart and Mickel, Bellway, Balfour Beatty and Wheatley Group. In 2017, Speed and associate Shona White acted for student accommodation provider Watkin Jones in the disposal of a development site at Pittodrie Street in Aberdeen. Another pillar of the practice is commercial leasing, where the firm has a particularly strong profile among retail and office occupiers. Speed, senior associate John Dunlop and others assisted Roomzzz with negotiating a pre-let with TH Real Estate (the landlord) of a 73 room aparthotel at the Edinburgh St James development. Also experienced in landlord and tenant matters is Robin Mitchell. Senior associate Sheelagh Cooley specialises in real estate finance. Senior associate Gillian Wood joined from Shepherd and Wedderburn in 2017.

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Social housing
Social housing - ranked: tier 3


A core area of strength at Shoosmiths is its advice to RSLs on real estate development projects (including the associated site acquisitions and sales) in Edinburgh, Fife and Glasgow. Janette Speed and senior associate Gillian Wood are acting for Port of Leith Housing Association in its acquisition of development sites at Granton Harbour and Brunswick Road (both in Edinburgh). Kingdom Housing Association, Dunedin Canmore and Wheatley Group are other notable clients on development matters. Elsewhere, the firm also advises RSLs on other matters; Karen Harvie has expertise in employment and governance issues. Solicitor advocate Andrew Foyle undertakes recoveries work and is also knowledgeable about insolvency-related issues. Commercial litigator Stuart Clubb and corporate partner Stuart Murray are also recommended. Laura Bloxham departed for Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP in 2017.

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Further information on Shoosmiths LLP

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