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Thorntons Law LLP

WHITEHALL HOUSE, 33 YEAMAN SHORE, DUNDEE, DD1 4BJ, SCOTLAND
Tel:
Work 01382 229111
Email:
Web:
www.thorntons-law.co.uk

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 fields a 14-strong corporate team, of which four members are partners seasoned with corporate transactional experience; Michael Royden, Chris Allan, Alistair Lang and Chris Byrne (who became a partner in 2017) are names to note. Royden leads the group, which is spread across offices in Dundee, Perth and St Andrews. According to the firm’s clients, ‘it offers a more personal approach than many others‘. The team acts for an impressive spread of clients, which includes global oil and gas companies with operations in Aberdeen, London-based high-growth companies and universities located in the North of Scotland. A particular sweet spot of the practice is in the healthcare sector, where the team handles corporate matters involving veterinary practices and GP practices, pharmacies and dental practices. Elsewhere, the firm demonstrates strong capabilities acting for golf sector clients – where names include St Andrews Link Trust and Carnoustie Golf Links – and companies in the computer games sector. In 2017, Royden acted for Walter Davidson & Sons (one of the largest independent pharmacy groups in Scotland) in its acquisition of Garelochhead Pharmacy. Lang and others assisted Intelligent Growth Solutions with a £3m series C Enterprise Investment Scheme equity fundraise. Robbie Francis is a highly regarded associate.

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Scotland: Dispute resolution

Commercial litigation
Commercial litigation - ranked: tier 4

Thorntons Law LLP

Thorntons Law LLP's dedicated commercial litigation team, which is spread between its network of offices in Scotland, is ably supported by practitioners in other disciplines (such as commercial property, corporate and intellectual property). Led by Gillian Buchanan (Dundee), the team acts for clients UK-wide in their most important, business-critical matters. Scott Milne (Dundee/Edinburgh) and John Kydd (Dundee) represented D Geddes (Contractor) Limited at the Commercial Court of the Court of Session in proceedings arising from the provision of allegedly negligent advice to the client by an independent health and safety consultancy company. In another highlight, Kydd, Michelle Adam and associate Lauren Rae worked with the corporate team to advise a minority shareholder in a company on counteracting unfairly prejudicial conduct by a director. Ronnie Murphy (Dundee/St Andrews), Graham Harding (Perth), Anne McKeown (Forfar/Montrose) and Clare Macpherson (Edinburgh) are also recommended.

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Scotland: Human resources

Employment
Employment - ranked: tier 4

Thorntons Law LLP

Thorntons Law LLP is well regarded for its extensive employment work in the education sector, for which it is noted as providing ‘good value and great responsiveness’ to clients. ‘First-class employment lawyer’, Noelle McClelland, leads the team which includes the ‘exceptionally practical and focused’ Jamie Kerr and Debbie Fellows, who has particular experience in tribunal representations. The group is advising Perth College in respect of a senior level management restructure and continues to advise the University of Abertay on various matters pertaining to a proposed faculty reorganisation. The team also advises and represents a number of clients in the manufacturing and leisure industries, in addition to various housing associations.

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Immigration
Immigration - ranked: tier 2

Thorntons Law LLP

Thorntons Law LLP advises businesses and individuals on the spectrum of immigration, asylum and nationality law, and substantial corporate immigration experience and regularly handles complex Tier 1 visa applications, in addition to a niche in applications pertaining to religious organisations. The ‘exceptional, practical and solution focused’ Jamie Kerr leads the team, which includes the associate specialising in asylum and human rights, {Nicola Weir}. Kerr is advising on indefinite leave to remain in the UK for a client and his family. The firm is on the Scottish Enterprise panel, and was instructed by TalentScotland to assist technology start-up, Bird.i, with applications and sponsorships for two employees, under a Tier 2 visa. The firm is also advising a number of universities on the implications of Brexit for EEA students and staff.

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Scotland: Insurance

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

Thorntons Law LLP

With bases in Edinburgh and Dundee, Thorntons Law LLP is ‘an excellent and highly respected firm’ in the personal injury arena. The practice is jointly head by Clare Macpherson and Gordon McBean who have extensive experience in pursuing personal injury claims and stand out for their ‘clarity and attention to detail’. ‘Determined’ Michelle Adam specialises in road traffic accidents. ‘Friendly and professional’ associate Richard Poole is also recommended.

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Scotland: Private client

Agriculture and estates
Agriculture and estates - ranked: tier 2

Thorntons Law LLP

Thorntons Law LLP handles the full range of matters faced by rural businesses, including estate and farm purchases, sales, leases, security work and renewables projects. The team is led by Kenneth Mackay, who has extensive experience in rural property law, advising a mixture of private individuals, small, medium and large agricultural businesses and local authorities. Linsey Barclay-Smith, whose practice includes rural property, renewable energy and public sector work, is noted for her ability to ‘manage and delegate work to ensure prompt service’. Christopher Lindley has ‘an excellent all round knowledge of agricultural law and its application’ and leads on agricultural security matters.

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Family
Family - ranked: tier 4

Thorntons Law LLP

Thorntons Law LLP is regularly instructed in matters across the spectrum of family law, including divorce, separation, child and cohabitation disputes, civil partnership dissolutions and nuptial agreements. After the retirement of Stephen Brand in May 2018, Amanda Wilson leads the practice and is ‘a very highly regarded, natural successor’; she specialises in collaborative dispute resolution. Graham Harding is a child law expert, and regularly called upon as a child welfare reporter and Curator ad litem in permanence and adoption cases at Perth Sheriff Court. Associate Lynne Sturrock is another key contact.

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Scotland: Public sector

Education
Education - ranked: tier 2

Thorntons Law LLP

Thorntons Law LLP draws on its ‘good business acumen and sector knowledge’ to advise Scottish universities, HE and FE institutions on a diversity of commercial operations, governance issues, academic and disciplinary appeals, guidance on government policy and funding, strategy and political considerations, regulatory compliance and collaborations with international partners. The team is led by IP expert Lesley Larg, who also has a wealth of experience in governance issues. Other key figures include Liam McMonagle, who focuses on technology transfers, commercialisation and procurement, and corporate specialist Michael Royden, who advises clients on structural change, institutional mergers and shared services projects. The group is currently advising Abertay University on the implementation of the Higher Education Governance Act, which includes guidance on the provisions of the act and attendance at University Court in connection with the proposed changes. It is also assisting Glasgow Caledonian University on a collaboration with an east African health organisation partner for the delivery of healthcare qualifications.

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Health
Health - ranked: tier 3

Thorntons Law LLP

The ‘professional’ team at Thorntons Law LLP provides ‘an all-encompassing service’ to clients in the dental sector, building on ‘excellent industry knowledge’. Practice head Michael Royden ‘understands the unique situations that arise within dentistry’ and is particularly noted for his expertise in limited companies, and agreements between dentists. Alongside Ewan Miller, Royden is assisting Armitage Dental Group with its disposal of one of its major Scottish dental practices. The duo also assisted Dr Omid Mowlawi on his acquisition of Roslin Dental Practice in Midlothian, involving complex leasing matters. With extensive experience advising pharmacies Miller was instructed by Walter Davidson & Sons to conduct due diligence on its acquisition of Garelochhead, as well as the negotiation of the business purchase agreement, and ancillary advice on the license transfer and filings with the General Pharmaceutical Council.

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Scotland: Real estate

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

Thorntons Law LLP

In 2017, Thorntons Law LLP further entrenched its foothold in the Scottish market, by acquiring the business of Pagan Osborne, which had offices in places like Cupar, Anstruther and St Andrews. Its varied portfolio of work enables it to draw work from a wide range of client, including housebuilders/developers, housing associations, banks and building societies, and educational establishments. In addition to handling purely Scottish real estate matters, it also adds value on cross-border transactions, with Hugo Allan and associate Janice Napier being dual-qualified in English and Scottish law. The team provides the full scope of advice on investment purchases and sales, landlord and tenant work, secured lending, and commercial and residential development (including subsequent plot sales). Practice head Janet McIntyre, who divides time between St Andrews and Kirkcaldy, is particularly experienced in acting for clients in the licensed trade and hospitality sector in a wide range of matters. In a particularly high-profile deal, Ewan Miller and others are acting for the University of Strathclyde in the £32m disposal of its Jordanhill campus in Glasgow to CALA Homes; this matter represents the disposal of one of Scotland's largest residential development sites. In 2017, Miller and others worked alongside KPMG, as the administrators of the McEwens of Perth business, in the sale of the department store building to English department chain Beales. Graham Wilson advised Angus Housing Association Limited on the £8.5m acquisition of land (with a building contract for 71 new build housing units) on a greenfield site in Arbroath from Persimmon Homes. Craig Nicol and Bruce Renfrew are also recommended.

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Scotland: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

IT and telecoms
IT and telecoms - ranked: tier 3

Thorntons Law LLP

‘A truly valued strategic partner’, Thorntons Law LLP’s ‘fantastic team’ has ‘a broad range of knowledge and a wealth of experience’ in the IT and outsourcing space. It is led by ‘thoroughly professional’ Liam McMonagle, who has a particular focus on information security and data protection compliance. Alastair Lang is a specialist commercial legal advisor who works predominantly with IT companies in relation to corporate structures, governance, growth and exit strategies. Associate Gemma Kelly is recommended for IT disputes and pre-action matters.

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Intellectual property
Intellectual property - ranked: tier 2

Thorntons Law LLP

Thorntons Law LLP always ‘offers valuable advice’, and draws on ‘a wide breadth of knowledge’ of IP law. The team is led by Lesley Larg, who handles IP matters for a range of research institutions and universities, including the University of St Andrews, which she advised on international brand strategy and other aspects of its trade mark portfolio. She also assisted Glasgow Caledonian University with an IP assignation and revenue sharing agreement with a US spin-out company related to an app developed by academics at the university, relation to a US spin-out company for an app developed by academics at the university. In another highlight, Larg is representing Design Dundee in a complex a tri-partite agreement in connection with the opening exhibition at the V&A museum in Dundee. ‘Thorough and pragmatic’ commercial lawyer Liam McMonagle successfully secured a UK registered word mark for the People’s Postcode Lottery. Associate Gemma Kelly, who focuses on contentious IP, is recommended for being able to provide ‘excellent advice and support’.

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Media and entertainment
Media and entertainment - ranked: tier 2

Thorntons Law LLP

Thorntons Law LLP’s team works across all forms of media, including newspapers, television, television production, gaming, music, the arts, and online platforms. The group also stands out for the content-risk service it provides to journalists and editors in advance of print and broadcast deadlines. Practice head Lesley Larg handles newspaper clearance work and advice on new product lines for DC Thomson & Company. She is currently advising Jacks Hoose Music, Ged Grimes and the band Simple Minds on copyright ownership and licensing issues around music the clients are developing for a US-produced game. Alastair Lang assisted Mark Beaumont MB Broadcasting and Media with sponsorship contracts with a range of third parties, as well as a global production agreement with Moonsport in connection with the client’s round-the-world cycling challenge. Scott Milne continues to advise brightsolid Newspaper Archive on its acquisition of content from Johnson Press and Independent London News.

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