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Thorntons Law LLP

49 BONNYGATE, CUPAR, KY15 4BY, SCOTLAND

Scotland: Corporate and commercial

Corporate and commercial: Elsewhere in Scotland
Corporate and commercial: Elsewhere in Scotland - ranked: tier 3

Thorntons Law LLP

Thorntons Law LLP's particular expertise lies in the healthcare sector, where it has an impressive client roster of dental practices, pharmacies, veterinary practices and GP practices. Michael Royden's corporate team also acts in the high-growth technology sector and acts for universities spinning out companies, as well as angel investment syndicates.

Practice head(s):Michael Royden

Other key lawyers:Alistair Lang; Chris Byrne

Testimonials

'The team is genuinely engaged in a collective effort to provide the best possible levels of service for their clients.'

'Thorntons has managed to develop a culture that encourages all team members to work towards a common goal which as a client is very gratifying and very unusual.'

'I have worked with Chris Byrne for a number of years from when he was an associate through to being a partner and the highest compliment that I can pay him is that throughout his professionalism and demeanour have not changed. I was fully expecting that when he was made partner that our account would be passed primarily to an associate, but that has not been the case - Chris has maintained direct control of the work that is undertaken on our behalf, which has provided significant comfort to the management team.'

Key Clients

D.C. Thomson & Co. Group

Don & Low Limited

Walter Davidson & Sons

Design Dundee Limited (V&A Dundee)

Intelligent Growth Solutions Limited

Cyberhawk Innovations Limited

St Andrews Links Trust

EOS Technology Investment Syndicate

CGLMC Limited (Carnoustie Golf Links)

James Hutton Institute

Galedin Limited

Caledonian Dental Practice Limited

Deans Pharmaceuticals Ltd

Work highlights

  • Acted for St Andrews Brewing Company Holdings Limited in an over-subscribed crowdfunding transaction.
  • Advised Caresourcer Limited in relation to the equity investment of £8.5m by Legal & General Partnership Holdings Limited and Accelerated Digital Ventures.
  • Represented Instastock Limited in relation to a private equity investment of £400,000 into the company.
  • Advised on the sale of a privately owned dental practice to UK dental corporate Portman Healthcare.

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Scotland: Human resources

Employment
Employment - ranked: tier 4

Thorntons Law LLP

Best known for its education sector expertise, Thorntons Law LLP acts for an extensive roster of higher education institutions and research centres but the practice also represents local authorities and housing associations alongside healthcare, manufacturing and and leisure sector clients, among others. Its predominately employer-focused work frequently involves discrimination and whistleblowing cases, industrial actions, TUPE matters, collective redundancies and holiday pay litigation as well as corporate governance and regulatory issues. 'Safe pair of hands' Noele McClelland heads the 'impressive' team which includes new arrival Chris Phillips; he joined the firm in April 2018 from Loch Employment Law and mainly acts for employers.

Practice head(s):Noele McClelland

Other key lawyers:Debbie Fellows; Chris Phillips

Testimonials

'Always takes the time to understand the client's business in order to provide tailored commercial advice.'

'The team always takes a pragmatic, common sense approach and gives the full picture of options and risks.'

'Debbie Fellows provides first-class advice and possesses a talent of cutting straight to the heart of the problem in order to find the correct solution.'

'Its assistance is consistently of a very high standard.'

'Prompt, professional service.'

'Chris Phillips provides timely, accurate information.'

Key Clients

Robert Gordon University

University of Stirling

Glasgow School of Art

University of Abertay

Caledonia Housing Association

Don & Low

University of Strathclyde

Perth College

Scot JCB

A.M. Phillip

Work highlights

  • Provided strategic advice to Don & Low on restructuring certain areas of this major manufacturing business including associated redundancy issues.
  • Advised Perth College on a senior management restructure and associated grievances regarding bullying and harassment.
  • Advised A.M. Phillip Limited on the sale of a large proportion of its business and the associated employment matters concerning the transfer of several sites to a new operator and one site closure.
  • Continued advice to Colleges Scotland on national bargaining and industrial relations issues.
  • Advised the University of Abertay on a significant restructure of its academic schools, moving from five to four academic schools, and the implications for employees.

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Scotland: Insurance

Personal injury: pursuer
Personal injury: pursuer - ranked: tier 2

Thorntons Law LLP

Aided by two solicitor-advocates, Thorntons Law LLP‚Äôs large team has notable abilities in pursuing claims for workers who have sustained life-changing injuries. Gordon McBean¬†specialises in high value brain injuries, while ‚Äėhighly skilled‚Äô associate Kathleen-Erin Lawson¬†leads the industrial disease team. Solicitor advocate Michelle Adam¬†has a wealth of experience acting for clients suffering from injuries caused by workplace accidents or clinical negligence.

Practice head(s):Gordon McBean; Clare Macpherson

Other key lawyers:Kathleen-Erin Lawson; Michelle Adam

Testimonials

'Thorntons have a very driven and customer focused team. They are a pleasure to work with and always communicate well. '

'The team's strengths include clarity and details of instruction, feedback on reports, attention to detail and reliability when settling fees.' 

'Michelle Adam is a good lawyer and excellent with clients.'

'Clare Macpherson is good to work with and knows her stuff. '

'Gordon McBean has excellent legal knowledge, is focused on delivering good client care and is always easy to contact and plan with.'

Work highlights

  • Represented agricultural worker who was badly injured when a cow charged him, and achieved a greatly increased settlement offer for him.
  • Represented a Chinese national involved in a serious road traffic accident in Scotland resulting in multiple and complex injuries, and negotiated a high level of compensation.
  • Acted for young crew member who suffered life-changing and mutilating injuries aboard works vessel.
  • Representing young man who has suffered a devastating and mutilating near-amputation injury to his hand whilst working with a band saw.
Leading individuals

Michelle Adam - Thorntons Law LLP

Rising stars

Kathleen-Erin Lawson - Thorntons Law LLP

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Scotland: Private client

Agriculture and estates
Agriculture and estates - ranked: tier 2

Thorntons Law LLP

Thorntons Law LLP's 'technically astute' team advises land owners and lenders such as major banks on a range of complex acquisitions and other matters, including agricultural tenancies, purchase and sale of properties, renewables projects and succession planning. Land and rural business head Kenneth Mackay leads the team, working with partners across Perth, Forfar and Cupar. Associate Neil Darling joined the team from Wright, Johnston & Mackenzie LLP in early 2019, bringing his experience of advising on forestry acquisitions and sales throughout the UK. Former partner Linsey Barclay-Smith left to join Morton Fraser in late 2018.

Practice head(s):Kenneth Mackay

Other key lawyers:Neil Darling

Testimonials

"Thorntons have an excellent team of lawyers who we instruct to deal with property matters on our behalf. The whole team are extremely knowledgeable in their field, they are personable and they present in a way that is easy to understand when dealing with often complex structures/purchases."

Key Clients

Scottish and Southern Energy

Scottish Water

Work highlights

  • Advised on the purchase of a significant sporting estate for the now largest landowner in Scotland.
  • Provided legal advice for complex security structure to assist farming family acquisition of new farm supported by guarantees against borrowings on existing farmland assets.

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Family
Family - ranked: tier 3

Thorntons Law LLP

Thorntons Law LLP's family law team handles a high volume of difficult divorce and cohabitation matters, involving complex tax considerations, investigations into the financial affairs of partners, and disputes over matrimonial property. The team also regularly represents clients pursuing or defending contact and relocation orders, and demonstrates particular expertise managing such cases where clients have suffered abuse during the course of their relationship.

Practice head(s):Sandra Sutherland; Gordon McBean

Work highlights

  • Represented an elderly client in a complex financial provision matter against her estranged husband.
  • Advising and representing a client in a cross-border matter to gain child contact, where the client’s children had been taken away by his wife.
  • Represented a client in an unusual case involving cohabiting financial settlement claims.
  • Handled an unusual financial family law matter involving establishing marriage status in connection with tax demands.
  • Helping a client facing the potential relocation of their child to another country.
Rising stars

Angela Wipat - Thorntons Law LLP

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Scotland: Public sector

Education
Education - ranked: tier 2

Thorntons Law LLP

Thorntons Law LLP provides education sector clients with wide-ranging advice on various commercial and governance issues, academic and disciplinary appeals alongside government policy and funding matters as well as assistance with regulatory compliance, brand management and student affairs. IP expert Lesley Larg heads the 'focused' team, which includes IP lawyer Loretta Maxfield and corporate and commercial expert Robbie Francis, who were both promoted to the partnership in January 2019.

Practice head(s):Lesley Larg

Other key lawyers:Noele McClelland; Robbie Francis; Loretta Maxfield

Testimonials

'Always acts in the best interest of the client.'

'Excellent service.'

Key Clients

University of Abertay Dundee

University of Stirling

University of Strathclyde

University of the Highlands and Islands

Glasgow Caledonian University

Glasgow School of Art

Robert Gordon University

University of St Andrews

The James Hutton Institute

Dundee and Angus College

Perth College

Colleges Scotland

High School of Dundee

Work highlights

  • Advised the client on the drafting of the university’s new governing order.
  • The team advised the college on a senior management restructure and associated grievances regarding bullying and harassment.
  • Advising the university on two complex race, religion and age discrimination claims involving unrepresented claimants.

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Health
Health - ranked: tier 3

Thorntons Law LLP

Providing corporate and commercial advice to dental practices, GPs, pharmacy businesses and care homes is the core strength of Thorntons Law LLP but the 'dedicated, professional and experienced' team jointly led by 'excellent' corporate lawyer Michael Royden and commercial property expert Ewan Miller is also well versed in assisting dental corporates with NHS dental regulation matters. 'Outstanding' associate Kim Campbell is particularly active in the dental sector.

Practice head(s):Michael Royden; Ewan Miller

Other key lawyers:Kim Campbell

Testimonials

'The team knows the sector very well.'

'The team works well together and keeps the client informed.'

'Kim Campbell is especially approachable and professional.'

'Acts with efficiency and professionalism.'

'They know what they're talking about and explain complex legal speak in plain language.'

'Michael Royden is very knowledgeable and experienced and completely unflappable.'

Key Clients

Galedin

Caledonian Dental Care

Walter Davidson & Sons

Deans Pharmaceuticals

Work highlights

  • Represented the shareholders of Galedin in the sale of Galedin to VetPartners UK.
  • Represented the owners Michael San and John Cockburn in the sale of Scotland’s largest privately owned dental practice to one of the UK’s leading dental corporates, Portman Healthcare.
  • Instructed by one of Scotland’s largest independent pharmacy owners, Walter Davidson & Sons, to assist with the acquisition of a pharmacy business in the Broughty Ferry area of Dundee.
  • Assisted the owners Alastair and Aileen McCulloch with the sale of Dunblane Dental Practice to an associate dental practitioner.
  • Acted for Deans Pharmaceuticals in its multi-million pound acquisition of Welch Chemists.
Rising stars

Kim Campbell - Thorntons Law LLP

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Scotland: Real estate

Commercial property: Elsewhere in Scotland
Commercial property: Elsewhere in Scotland - ranked: tier 3

Thorntons Law LLP

Thorntons Law LLP’s commercial property team includes specialists in construction and project management issues. The group assists clients across the UK from its offices in Tayside, Fife, Angus, Edinburgh and Perth. With a notably strong presence in the education and healthcare sectors, the practice has recently expanded its work in the leisure and hospitality space, handling multiple hotel acquisitions. Housebuilding expert Graham Wilson and practice head Ewan Miller are the key names to note in Dundee.

Practice head(s):Ewan Miller

Other key lawyers:Graham Wilson

Key Clients

Leopard Guernsey RSC Witham Penzance Propco Limited

Lethendy Estates Limited

Schuh Limited

The Firm of Messrs Donald Laird

Robert Adam and Sons

Angus Housing Association

Hillcrest Housing Association Ltd

Caledonia Housing Association Ltd

An East Coast Port Authority

Work highlights

  • Instructed by Angus Housing Association to handle the purchase of land in three phases with separate building contracts for each phase from a national house builder for 54 new build affordable housing units on a greenfield site in Monifieth.
  • Assisting Hillcrest Housing Association with the purchase of a brownfield site in Aberdeen from a national house builder for the construction of 130 new affordable housing units.
  • Handled lease work for an East coast port authority as landlord to a distribution company.

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Social housing
Social housing - ranked: tier 3

Thorntons Law LLP

The team at Thorntons Law LLP is led by Graham Wilson and has a strong focus on assisting registered social landlords with site acquisitions and funding arrangements.

Practice head(s):Graham Wilson

Other key lawyers:Chris Allan

Key Clients

Hillcrest Housing Association

Caledonia Housing Association

Angus Housing Association

Abertay Housing Association

Kingdom Housing Association

Ore Valley Housing Association

Work highlights

  • Represented the client in its £12.5m investment in 80 new affordable homes in Dundee.  
  • Advised the client on its acquisition of the land required for 130 new affordable homes in Aberdeen with an overall development value of £18m.
  • Advised the client on its project to deliver ten new affordable homes in Arbroath, involving an overall spend of £1.35m.
  • Represented the client in its £7.5m investment in 58 new affordable homes in Dundee.
  • Represented the client in its purchase of six new affordable homes in Carnoustie from a local developer.

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Scotland: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

IT and telecoms
IT and telecoms - ranked: tier 2

Thorntons Law LLP

The practitioners at Thorntons Law LLP act for a range of software and cloud companies, IT service providers, universities, and corporate and institutional buyers at a national and international level. Liam McMonagle heads up the team and has a key focus on information security and data protection compliance, a growing area of work for the firm. Other noteworthy individuals include Lesley Larg, who acts for clients in the online publishing, games and online innovation sectors; commercial expert Alastair Lang and newly promoted partner Loretta Maxfield, who is based in Dundee.

Practice head(s):Liam McMonagle

Other key lawyers:Lesley Larg; Alistair Lang; Loretta Maxfield

Testimonials

'Liam McMonagle is very pragmatic and knowledgeable, and is able to respond within tight timescales.'

Key Clients

ThinkAnalytics (UK) Limited

ECS Group

Postcode Lottery Limited

University of Strathclyde

brightsolid Online Technology Limited

University of Abertay

Cyborn Limited

SkillsScorecard Pty (trading as Performance Leader)

BTL Group

Sportsmate International (UK) Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised ThinkAnalytics on the supply of recommendation software to the BBC as part of its personalisation programme.
  • Advised Instastock, trading as Pixey, on the drafting and negotiating of a software development contract and the incorporation of AI technology.
  • Advised Cyberhawk on the renewal of SSE’s licence to use its iHawk solution to manage its extensive portfolio of transmission towers, power lines and wind turbines.

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Intellectual property
Intellectual property - ranked: tier 2

Thorntons Law LLP

The Dundee-based IP team at Thorntons Law LLP covers the full spectrum of mandates including novel issues relating to new technologies, plant variety rights and music copyright. The group, which is led by Lesley Larg, recently saw the promotion of Loretta Maxfield to the partnership;  Maxfield heads up the firm's data protection sub-team. Other key names include Liam McMonagle, who focuses on the television, gambling and education sectors; and Alastair Lang, who handles technology and SME-related work.

Practice head(s):Lesley Larg

Other key lawyers:Liam McMonagle; Alistair Lang; Loretta Maxfield

Testimonials

'Liam McMonagle is very pragmatic and knowledgeable, and able to respond within tight timescales.'

Key Clients

ThinkAnaytlics

Cyborn Limited

University of Stirling

Hillcrest Housing Association Limited

The James Hutton Institute

Robert Gordon University

Design Dundee Limited (V&A Dundee)

Postcode Lottery Limited

St Andrews Links Trust

DF Concerts Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised St Andrews Links Trust Group on all aspects of the global management and exploitation of its key brands, and international partnership and licensing arrangements.
  • Representing the University of St Andrews in a high-profile dispute against Student Gowns relating to the defendant’s use of the university's trade mark to sell the client’s distinctive red gowns worn by its undergraduates.
  • Advised Robert Gordon University on IP licences granted to a university spin-out involved in medication.

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Media and entertainment
Media and entertainment - ranked: tier 2

Thorntons Law LLP

Thorntons Law LLP acts for media organisations, public and private sector bodies, music producers and games developers, advising on matters relating to defamation claims, licensing, copyright and intellectual property infringements. The team advised ThinkAnalytics on its collaboration with the BBC to incorporate its personalization software into BBC iPlayer. Lesley Larg , who represents a range of clients including games companies, music promoters and newspaper publishers, advises the V&A Museum in Dundee on all aspects of its development.

Practice head(s):Lesley Larg; Liam McMonagle; Alistair Lang; Scott Milne; Loretta Maxfield

Key Clients

Carnoustie Golf Links Management Committee

Ged Grimes

Design Dundee Limited

DC Thomson & Co Ltd

St Andrews Links Trust

People’s Postcode Lottery

Runrig Touring Limited

ThinkAnalytics Limited

Design Dundee Limited (V&A) Museum Dundee

All 4 Games Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised ThinkAnalytics on its collaboration with the BBC to develop the BBC iPlayer.
  • Advised Carnoustie Golf Links Management Committee, the host of the 2018 Golf Open Championships, in negotiating a contract with a video games developer for a new virtual betting game featuring Carnoustie Golf Links
  • Negotiated a project agreement between Simple Minds musician Ged Grimes and a US games company, involving copyright ownership and licensing, as well as complex points around royalties and licences.
  • Acting for Design Dundee Limited, the company responsible for the creation, management and running of the V&A Dundee.

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