Stronachs LLP > Aberdeen, Scotland > Firm Profile

Stronachs LLP
AB10 1YL

Corporate and commercial > Corporate and commercial: elsewhere in Scotland Tier 2

With offices in Aberdeen and Inverness, Stronachs LLP has a strong presence in North East Scotland and a client base that is representative of thriving local industries, such as energy, transport, technology, and food and drink. The practice is well versed in M&A, cross-border transactions and private equity matters, and acts for a range of businesses, from SMEs to large corporates. Head of corporate Ross Gardner advises on corporate and commercial matters, and is particularly experienced in acting for OMBs.

Practice head(s):

Ross Gardner

Other key lawyers:

Neil Forbes; Ross Linn; Malcolm Donald; David Rennie; Jamie Hunter


‘Really strong team, all based locally in Aberdeen in the heart of the oil and gas market’.

‘They have the ability to provide quality advice across a wide spectrum of upstream oil and gas issues as well as supply chain matters’.

‘The quality of the advice and ability to support our organisation has been fantastic’.

‘Stronachs provide a complete package of business, domestic and personal legal services from employee issues to company acquisitions and everything in between’.

‘David Rennie is a helpful and knowledgeable senior partner’.

‘Malcolm Donald is one of the most helpful and flexible members of the Stronachs team’.

Key clients

Global Energy Group

Envoy & Partners Limited

Dana Petroleum Limited

Azinor Catalyst Limited

Xodus Group Limited

Peterson (UK) Limited

Omega Well Intervention Limited

Sulmara Subsea International Limited

Petrofac Facilities Management Limited

BritNRG Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising the shareholders of Flowline Specialists Limited in the sale of the entire issued share capital of the company to Motive Offshore Group.
  • Acting for ECOG Holdings Ltd in relation to a private equity investment from Par Equity, Castle View International Holdings and Scottish Enterprise.
  • Acting for the selling shareholders of Enpro Subsea Limited in the sale of the entire issued share capital to Hunting PLC.

Private client > Personal tax, trusts and executries Tier 3

Providing ‘strong leadership’, Jaclyn Russell heads up the practice at Stronachs LLP, demonstrating ‘great client handling skills, listening to the client's requirements and offering proactive and pragmatic advice’ in a variety of areas spanning estate and succession planning work and complex executries, as well as other related issues affecting high-net-worth clients with business and farming interests. Russell stands out for her ability to ‘deal with complex legal and tax issues and explaining those calmly to a layman’.

Practice head(s):

Jaclyn Russell

Other key lawyers:

Kirsten Anderson


‘Jaclyn Russell is very knowledgeable, conscientious and quick to respond. She gave me good advice and was easy to talk to when I was going through a difficult time.’

‘Jaclyn stands out for me as being able to deal with complex legal and tax issues and explaining those calmly to a laymen.’ 

‘Jaclyn Russell has excellent demeanour with clients, extremely personable and very good technically. Very responsive to client matters and requests for help from other professionals.’ 

‘Kirsten Anderson is very responsive and personable.’

‘The key strength of Stronachs is their commitment to providing excellent client service. Delivering proactive advice and working as a team to provide a seamless service helps more than exceed client expectations.’

‘The individuals are accessible, pro-active and re-assuring. They are also driven to deliver high service levels which clients both appreciate and require.’

‘Jaclyn Russell is a very capable individual. She is assured and composed but very down to earth and approachable.’ 

‘Jaclyn Russell provides a strong leadership for the team and is able to handle the most complex of client circumstances.’

Work highlights

  • Advising multiple generations of a prominent Scottish family-owned and run company on multi-generational business and estate succession planning issues, including trust creation and management.
  • Advising the beneficiary of a trust on a multimillion pound entitlement, including Inheritance Tax planning and mitigation measures such as the establishment of a Family Investment Company and associated trusts.
  • Acting in the complex estate administration of a high-net-worth individual, whose spouse is domiciled outside of the UK, including assisting with a domicile election, saving roughly £1m of inheritance tax.

Projects, energy and natural resources > Oil and gas Tier 3

Stronachs LLP is highly reputed in upstream acquisitions and disposals that involve domestic and international markets. It also handles midstream matters for clients, including the ownership of pipelines and terminals, as well as operational and contractual issues. The practice is led by Ewan Neilson, who is dual-qualified to practise in Scotland and England and Wales. James Downie is recommended for decommissioning work.

Practice head(s):

Ewan Neilson

Other key lawyers:

James Downie; James Muir; Malcolm Donald


‘Impressive breadth and depth of knowledge and understanding of oil and gas projects.’

‘Primarily we work with James Muir, who provides a consistent high standard of legal support to the project.’

‘James Muir is always accessible and continually delivers quality work against tight project deadlines.’

‘James Downie provides quick and pragmatic advice and knows the oil and gas industry well.’ 

‘James Muir is very quick to understand the issues being faced and is always willing to discuss with the project team to determine the best approach and path forward.’

‘Really strong team all based locally in Aberdeen in heart of oil and gas market.’

‘Stronachs adapted to our needs in the pandemic and provide flexible secondment support on terms that worked for us as a client.’

‘Small practice, but some real practical oil and gas experience from the firm’s long involvement in oil and gas.’

Key clients

Black Sea Oil & Gas S.A.

Dana Petroleum Limited

Eland Oil & Gas Limited


Ithaca Energy (UK) Limited

Premier Oil UK Limited

RockRose Energy

Well-Safe Solutions Limited

Enpro Subsea Limited

Intervention Group Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting for Eland Oil & Gas PLC on the disposal to Seplat.
  • Advised Enpro Subsea on its sale to Hunting PLC by means of a share acquisition.

Real estate > Commercial property: elsewhere in Scotland Tier 3

Boutique firm Stronachs LLP acts for both public and private sector clients across the country. Its client base includes domestic and international businesses, private individuals, developers and investors. The practice is led from Aberdeen by Duncan Campbell, who is particularly experienced in the industrial sector. The team handles acquisitions and disposals, commercial leases and licensing matters.

Practice head(s):

Duncan Campbell

Other key lawyers:

Ross Linn; Emma Stephen; Liz Stewart


‘The practice is smaller and more locally based, however this works to their advantage with good communication between their teams, as well as with clients and contacts’.

‘Emma Stephen is stand out – fast, efficient and very knowledgeable – a pleasure to deal with’.

‘Their property team has a wide range of skills and is very knowledgeable in all aspects of the property sector’.

‘Excellent knowledge of the property and development sectors’.

‘Quick turnaround of questions and legal paperwork, and good communication throughout deals’.

‘Stronachs are unique in ability to handle all of our legal needs from our diverse range of companies’.

‘Emma Stephen is meticulous and timely with her work; she goes beyond the call of duty to deliver’.

Key clients

Global Energy Group

Strathdee Properties Limited

Peterson (UK) Limited

Spex Services Limited

Xodos Group Limited

DOF Subsea UK Limited

Dispute resolution > Commercial litigation Tier 4

As an Aberdeen-headquartered firm, Stronachs LLP has energy and construction sector disputes at its core, but its client portfolio also covers other sectors such as property and farming. The team continues to receive an increasing number of cross-border instructions and, while predominately acting for businesses, also represents individuals. Robert McDiarmid heads the team and, besides commercial litigation, is also experienced in arbitration and mediation.

Practice head(s):

Robert McDiarmid

Other key lawyers:

Colin Sandilands 


‘Good management, responsive and knowledgeable.’

‘Stronachs has a relatively small team but has considerable in-house capability and is a pleasure to work with. I have found them very flexible and capable to work with and always available to assist or prompt where required.’

‘Colin Sandilands is a talented litigator with an ability to really grasp the details of a case. Also a pleasure to work with – very client focused.’

‘Robert McDiarmid is commercial and smart.’

‘They are very clear in what they can and cannot do on your behalf. They are simply very clever in their knowledge of law.’

‘Robert McDiarmid is a very reassuring and pragmatic advisor who tells it like it is.’

‘The team is approachable, commercial, professional and knowledgeable. They are proactive but not trying to up-sell unnecessarily as some other firms might do.’

‘Colin Sandilands is approachable and professional but down to earth so very good to deal with, we consider he offers practical advice which is in the best interests of our company.’

Key clients

Weatherford International PLC

Eland Oil & Gas PLC

G F Bisset (Inverbervie) Limited

Mr Cameron Anderson, Mrs Emily Anderson and Subsea Tooling Services UK Limited

Andover Development Company Limited

Marshall Errock Construction Limited

Newcastle Consortium Supporters Limited

Loch Ness Hotels Limited

Park Farms (A Partnership)

Marine Diesel Services (Scotland) Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising Weatherford Trading and Development GmbH on a multijurisdictional commercial dispute involving multiple litigations in Scotland and the US.
  • Advising and representing Newcastle Consortium Supporters Limited in respect of well-publicised claims against the English Premier League relating to the refusal of sanction for a takeover of Newcastle United Football Club by a Saudi-Arabia led consortium.
  • Advising Eland Oil & Gas PLC on the court and litigation aspects of, and representing the company, in a court-sanctioned scheme of arrangement in the London City takeover process of Eland Oil & Gas plc worth in excess of £382m.

Stronachs LLP is one of the largest, independently managed law firms based in the North and North East of Scotland, with offices in Aberdeen and Inverness.

The firm:  The firm is a full service law firm and whilst the majority of its activity involves servicing its commercial clients, a substantial part of its business remains the provision of services to individuals including private client, property and family law services.  The firm’s full service approach is not detrimental to the expertise it has in many areas of practice and the firm continues to service clients with varied and complex needs. The firm is committed to finding practical, cost effective solutions to legal issues, with the achievement of the client’s commercial or personal objective paramount and the legal process simply a means of achieving that.  The firm is renowned for acting for business owners in their business and personal affairs.

Types of work undertaken:  The firm advises its commercial clients across a variety of sectors and has significant experience and expertise in areas including energy (renewables and oil and gas), food and drink, fishing, agriculture/rural, property development, construction and technology.  The firm’s corporate team acts in mergers and acquisitions (where it is well known for acting for owner-managed businesses) and a broad range of other corporate transactions including re-organisations, start-ups, equity investments and joint ventures. The firm’s restructuring group advises clients on a broad range of insolvency matters.  Its energy team acts for clients in the upstream, midstream and renewables sectors in the UK and overseas. The firm’s commercial property team has expertise covering everything from acquisitions, commercial leasing, sales development and construction work.  The dispute resolution team advises on a broad range of matters from international arbitration, contractual disputes and intellectual property disputes to straightforward debt collection.  The team includes a solicitor advocate entitled to plead cases at the Court of Session.  The firm’s rural team advises clients on a wide range of rural and agricultural matters including farm acquisitions and disposals. The firm has a highly regarded private client team which provides a full range of private client services primarily for high-net worth individual and individuals with businesses, land and/or farming interests.

The firm has a diverse client base ranging from FTSE 100-listed companies to owner-managed private companies and also high-net-worth private individuals.  Examples of companies for whom the firm acts includes Global Energy Group, RockRose Energy, Walker’s Shortbread Ltd, Black Sea Oil and Gas SRL, Envoy & Partners Limited, Peterson (UK) Limited and Dana Petroleum plc.

The firm has considerable experience of international work, particularly through its energy related clients.  The firm has advised on transactions in Australia, Trinidad, Singapore, the Middle East, Poland, Norway, Mexico, the US and Romania.

Other offices: Inverness

Managing Partner Neil Forbesneil.forbes@stronachs.com01224 845847
Partner, Head of Agricultural David Marshalldavid.marshall@stronachs.com01224 845945
Partner, Head of Commercial Property Duncan Campbellduncan.campbell@stronachs.com01224 845893
Partner, Head of Corporate Ross Gardnerross.gardner@stronachs.com01224 845879
Partner, Head of Dispute Resolution Robert McDiarmidrobert.mcdiarmid@stronachs.com01224 845951
Partner, Head of Employment David Chalmersdavid.chalmers@stronachs.com01224 845817
Partner, Head of Energy (oil : gas) James Downiejames.downie@stronachs.com01224 845813
Partner, Head of Private Client (Tax, Trusts & Executries) Jaclyn Russelljaclyn.russell@stronachs.com01224 845858
Kirsten Anderson  photo Kirsten Anderson Kirsten is a Senior Associate who advises on all aspects of Private…
Callum Armstrong  photo Callum Armstrong Callum is an Associate who has more than 6 years’ experience in corporate law, advising both…
Duncan Campbell  photo Duncan Campbell Partner and head of commercial property with over 20 years’ experience. Experienced…
David Chalmers  photo David Chalmers Partner in the Employment Team with more than 25 years’ experience of…
Malcolm Donald  photo Malcolm Donald Malcolm is a partner and has extensive experience in corporate and energy…
James Downie  photo James Downie Partner specialising in energy issues including acquisition and disposal of exploration and…
Anya Duncan  photo Anya Duncan Partner in the Employment Team with more than 16 years’ experience of…
Neil Forbes  photo Neil Forbes Neil is a partner in the Firm’s corporate team with over 25…
Ross Gardner  photo Ross Gardner Partner in the Corporate Department since joining Stronachs in November 2015, Ross…
Jamie Hunter  photo Jamie Hunter Jamie has more than 9 years’ experience in corporate law, advising domestic…
Deborah Law  photo Deborah Law Deborah is a Partner and has more than 10 years’ experience in…
Paula Lukins  photo Paula Lukins Paula is an Associate in the Private Client department and provides advise…
David Marshall  photo David Marshall David is a Partner with considerable experience working within the rural and renewable energy…
Robert McDiarmid  photo Robert McDiarmid Robert is a Partner and Head of the Dispute Resolution Team. Robert advises…
James Muir  photo James Muir Partner in the Energy team with more than 13 years’ experience.  Focus…
Ewan Neilson  photo Ewan Neilson Consultant and specialist in energy work and corporate/corporate finance and included within…
Annika Neukirch  photo Annika Neukirch Annika is an Associate in the Employment Team with experience of providing advice…
Karen Oliver  photo Karen Oliver Karen is a Senior Associate in the Private Client department and advises clients…
David Rennie  photo David Rennie Consultant, with over 40 years’ corporate experience.  Specialising in acquisitions/disposals, equity investment…
Jaclyn Russell  photo Jaclyn Russell Jaclyn is a Partner in the Private Client team. She advises a…
Michelle Sharp  photo Michelle Sharp Michelle is a Senior Associate and has more than 10 years experience…
Emma Stephen  photo Emma Stephen Partner, experienced in dealing with a wide variety of commercial property work, including…
Liz Stewart  photo Liz Stewart Partner in commercial property team.  Liz has over 18 years’ experience in…
Number of UK partners : 16
Number of other UK fee-earners : 37
Chartered Insitute of Arbitrators
Employment Lawyers Association (UK)
Energy Institute
Law Society of England and Wales
Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP)


Stronachs LLP promote an inclusive culture where diversity is valued. We are committed to promoting equal opportunities in employment and ensuring that everyone receives equal treatment regardless of age, disability, gender reassignment, marital or civil partner status, pregnancy or maternity, race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation.


  • Our Third Sector committee work with and support local organisations through AVCO
  • We are on the panel of Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO)
  • We offer a programme of work experience accessible by schools in the community
  • We partner with schools in the community to provide an insight into our organisation
  • Many of our partners and staff volunteer to sit on the Board of a variety of charities
  • We have close links with local universities, providing tutoring, support and sponsorship of annual law review
  • We support and sponsor many local initiatives/clubs/events


Stronachs engages with staff to decide upon a chosen cause and makes a firm commitment to fundraise and provide support. An internal committee meet with the charity representatives and coordinate numerous fundraising events with proactive support from the firm. Stronachs are very proud of what has been achieved over the decades and the charity partnerships that have been forged.


The firm is committed to implementing the following environmental objectives:-

  • Reduce the carbon footprint of the firm
  • Reduce the amount of waste going to landfill Seek ways to incorporate environmental opportunities within our daily work
  • Aspire to best environmental practice
  • Reduce energy use within the firm’s offices
  • Source goods and services from local suppliers