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BTO Solicitors LLP

Work 0131 222 2939
Fax 0131 222 2949
Edinburgh, Glasgow

Graeme Kelly

Work 0131 222 2939
BTO Solicitors LLP

Work Department

Commercial property and Real Estate.



Graeme has more than 25 years’ experience working in the commercial real estate and property markets. In recent years his main focus has been advising investors in the acquisition and disposal of office and industrial developments, and on legal issues arising in the management of investment portfolios, but traditionally Graeme’s particular specialism has been in advising developers, particularly in the development, operation and financing of hotels and other leisure and licensed premises. His clients include investment funds, as well as national hotel brands and smaller independent developers and occupiers.


Partner, BTO Solicitors LLP (Nov. 2018-present); Partner, DWF LLP (July 2012-October 2015); Partner, Biggart Baillie (1996-2012); Associate, Thorntons Solicitors (1990-1996).


English and learning German.


Law Society of Scotland.


University of Dundee, LLB Hons (1980-1985).


Watching football and playing golf.

Scotland: Crime, fraud and licensing


Within: Licensing

BTO Solicitors LLP¬†‚Äôs practice is led by Nicolas McBride, who stands out for ‚Äėalways providing excellent service and solid, reliable advice and guidance‚Äô. The firm‚Äôs clients include a number of major hotel brands, and it undertakes all liquor and houses in multiple occupation (HMO) licensing for Shearings. It also advises a range of pubs, clubs and restaurant, as well as handling contentious licensing applications. A highlight on the transactional side, the team advised Jewel Trustees on licensing transfers related to the sale of two major Scottish hotels. It also advised Gourmet Burger Kitchen on an application for road consent and pavement license for outdoor drinking areas during the Edinburgh Festival, in addition to performing a detailed assessment of the possible implications of a drinks promotion. Jane Steel and Graeme Kelly are also key contacts.

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Scotland: Real estate

Commercial property: Edinburgh and Glasgow

Within: Commercial property: Edinburgh and Glasgow

The experience of BTO Solicitors LLP's team has made it a go-to for commercial developers, housebuilders, retailers, charities, large estates and UK/overseas investors, among other clients. The group, which is jointly led by chairman Alan Borthwick and David Gibson, advises on the full spectrum of real estate matters, with support from practitioners active in areas such as banking and finance, construction and private client/tax. In 2017, Graeme Kelly, Peter Graham and others acted for Wirefox Management in the circa £16m acquisition of Silvan House in Edinburgh, and in its £43m acquisition of the multi-let office Capella Building in Glasgow. Showcasing the firm's work in development matters, Gibson is advising independent whisky company Isle of Arran Distillers on the development of a new distillery and warehouse. Another notable individual Scott Buchan assisted Calmont Group with negotiating a development agreement with Maven Capital over the refurbishment and conversion of Douglas House in Bothwell Street (Glasgow) to an Accor-branded hotel. Jane Steel acts for retail sector brand names, such as Superdry, Adidas and Maplin. Senior associate Jennifer Whitelaw is another notable individual.

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Property litigation

Within: Property litigation

BTO Solicitors LLP, which fields six solicitor advocates, undertakes a comprehensive range of property disputes for insurance companies, property developers, property managers, registered social landlords and housebuilders, among others. David Young was the lead adviser to ELB Securities Limited (the owner of commercial premises on Buchanan Street in Glasgow) on a case which is the leading authority on the status of property disclaimed by the Crown during a time when a company has been struck off the register of companies. Bill Speirs, Jilly Petrie and others are acting for a large insurance company in a claim by William Grant & Sons, which arose from the collapse of the roofs of its warehouses as a result of heavy snowfalls in 2009 and 2010. Grant Hunter and Graeme Kelly are advising Pendragon Plc on a compensation claim at the Lands Tribunal, which relates to a CPO by Glasgow City Council to build a link road though the client's commercial premises in the east end of Glasgow. Mark Morton leads the team, which also includes consultant Robin Macpherson and Angus Crawford. Associates Mark McCluskie, Michael Collins and Jamie Reekie are also recommended. Tony Jones QC departed for Brodies LLP.

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