Firm Profile > Blackadders LLP > Dundee, Scotland

Blackadders LLP

Agriculture and estates Tier 2

At Blackadders LLP, Petra Grunenberg heads the team, which is spread across Edinburgh, Perth, Dundee and Aberdeen. The practice handles a wide range of work including land purchases and sales, renewable projects, agricultural tenancies, partnership issues and forestry sales, as well as banking matters. Ellen Eunson, who made partner in 2018, focuses on work in the Aberdeen region and further north, while well-regarded associate Hazel Anderson supports Grunenberg in Dundee.

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‘The team at Blackadders work collaboratively across a range of disciplines to provide clear, well informed advice to clients.’

‘The practice has put together a young team with strong industry experience keen to develop their business and reputation in the sector.’

‘The team always provides an excellent service. They have a wealth of agricultural and legal knowledge within the team, they are always on hand to support, and are personable as well as professional to the highest standard. I would happily recommend Blackadders to anyone, they represent excellent value for money without any compromise.’

‘They demonstrate a strong presence in the agricultural industry. The team is very settled, with minimal change in staff. The team specialises in agriculture and estates business as opposed to trying to deal in all industries.’

‘Very friendly team, easy to talk to and explanations are simple and easy to understand.’

‘Fees are very competitive and lower than many city-based firms which clients appreciate.’

‘Blackadders are experts in the agricultural industry, something that the farming community very much appreciate in their legal advisers. They have a depth of knowledge and approachable staff.’

‘Ellen Eunson has a breadth of experience and is excellent at communicating sometimes difficult legal concepts or processes to clients in clear, straightforward terms. Petra Grunenberg has established a very strong reputation in the agricultural sector. Together with Hazel Anderson they have a broad knowledge of the sector and are efficient in delivering the services provided.’

‘The team appreciates the agricultural sector is built around family businesses and while proactive in addressing matters such as succession planning. they have a clear understanding of the family dynamics surrounding this.’

Petra Grunenberg is extremely knowledgeable in her field, you can always rely on Petra’s advice and candour, Petra heads up a great team of solicitors.’

‘Hazel Anderson is organised and efficient but also very personable and can put one at ease in a stressful situation, has practical as well as professional knowledge of the agricultural sector, always delivers.’

‘Hazel Anderson offers me very clear and concise advice and has led me through the sale of my farm and subsequent buying of another house with huge confidence. She has been very thorough and patient in dealing with some very complicated issues in both the sale of farm and purchase of house. Hazel is very easy to communicate with and always available to give any advice when required.’

‘Hazel Anderson is exceptionally hardworking and diligent in dealing with matters. She is practical and experienced in rural and agricultural matters which serves farming clients well. I would be happy to recommend Hazel to other farming and land owning clients.’ 

Commercial property: elsewhere in Scotland Tier 2

The real estate team at Blackadders LLP handles a broad range of commercial property matters, including sales and purchases, leasing, property finance, property development and property disputes. The practice generates mandates in the retail, leisure, healthcare and renewable energy sectors. Group head Emma Gray acts on high-value development transactions. Neil Robb joined the team as partner as part of the firm’s merger with Plenderleath Runcie.

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Key clients

Salvation Army Trading Company Limited

Tayforth Properties Ltd

Morris Leslie Group

A. & J. Stephen Limited

James Hay Pension Trustees Limited

Hotel Management International

Tayforth Properties

Corporate and commercial: elsewhere in Scotland Tier 3

In 2019, Blackadders LLP’s Aberdeen corporate team was strengthened by the acquisition of local firm Plenderleath Runcie, a deal which added partner John Plenderleath to the team. Dundee-based corporate and commercial head Campbell Clark is recommended for his expertise and experience in the growing area of employee ownership. The team advises on the full gamut of corporate and commercial matters including M&A, cross-border transactions, joint ventures corporate fundraisings and commercial agreements. It is also experienced in the niche area of timeshare and vacation ownership. Other sector strengths include technology, life sciences, healthcare and leisure.

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‘Always someone in the team able to pick up my business requirements and continue from the last point rather than having to repeat myself again’. 

‘Very efficient response times and reactive to my business needs’.        

‘Extremely responsive to queries, great attention to detail and really understand my business’.

‘They were always available and responsive, had an extremely positive “can do” attitude and were excellent at working out solutions to problems that arose during the process’.

‘Nothing was too much trouble for them and, as individuals, they were a delight to work with’.

‘Campbell Clark is very easy to work with, very personable, commercial in his approach and excellent at supporting his client through a complex transaction’.

‘Susan McFadyen is highly responsive, efficient and helpful in looking for solutions to problems encountered. Her eye for detail and persistence ran rings around the lawyer on the other side’.       

‘In-depth knowledge of the employee ownership transition process enables Blackadders to offer and deliver a fixed-price service on an agreed timescale’.             

Key clients

4J Studios Limited

Lippert Components Inc.

The Insights Group Limited

Vascular Flow Technologies Limited

RCI Europe

Waracle Limited

Snappy Shopper Limited

A Proctor Group Limited

Avian Communications Limited

Norco Group Limited

Strathmore Foods Limited

Family Tier 3

Blackadders LLP regularly helps its clients to resolve issues of financial provision, asset division, and child residence and contact in the event of divorce or separation through mediation, collaborative practice, and other firms of alternative dispute resolution. The firm has worked on a number of cases concerning attempts by one parent to relocate within Scotland or the UK in such a way to distances that would make contact difficult. Craig Samson, who leads the team out of Dundee, has a track record of work on financial claims for both pursuers and defenders. In Aberdeen, Gareth Masson handles civil court matters concerning children, including those relating to adoption and permanency orders. Associate Joanne Murray has advised on cross-border disputes.

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‘The team operates in a number of different Scottish towns and cities and as a result can offer the benefits of being local and (in particular) having an Edinburgh team capable of managing actions in the Court of Session. There is a depth of personnel available to cover the work.’

‘Gareth Masson is efficient, effective and unfazed by difficult litigation. ‘

Employment Tier 4

Blackadders LLP is well equipped to guide employers and employees through employment tribunal proceedings - frequently these concern pay-related, unfair dismissal and discrimination claims, among others -, but the team also provides transactional employment assistance and advice on various HR matters. Simon Allison heads up the team from Dundee; he has a focus on manufacturing and construction sector work and has developed a niche in advising GP practices. Jack Boyle, who was promoted to director in April 2019, is another key member of the team and noted for his expertise in contentious employment work.

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Very competent team of legal experts in the field of employment law, indeed the wider human resources remit. With positive and “can do” personalities, they wisely steer their clients to best solutions. They are consummate professionals who are very highly regarded and they also participate in community payback through many fundraising activities.

A well integrated team who clearly communicates very effectively to the benefit of clients. Accessibility is far superior to other teams I have worked with and they definitely go the extra mile for their clients. A fantastic team that delivers great results.

Committed individuals capable of understanding client needs and working tirelessly to deliver results.

Simon Allison has a proficient, professional and considerate manner and is someone who can easily adapt to the audience he is dealing with and put them at ease. His expert knowledge is evident and this commands respect.

Key clients

National Express Group PLC

The Insights Group Limited

Robertson Group

Ogilvie Group

Dover Corp

Lippert Components, Inc

Norco Group Limited

Guthrie Brothers (Craigo) Limited

Furniture Plus Limited

C.J. Lang & Son Limited

Dundee Science Centre

Dundee Contemporary Arts

TSG France

Al-Maktoum College

4J Studios Limited

Waracle Limited

Insolvency and corporate recovery Tier 4

Blackadders LLP handles a mix of contentious and non-contentious corporate and personal insolvency work. It also advises clients on post-insolvency issues. Practice head Ryan McKay is noted for his experience of contentious insolvency matters, as well as related areas, such as property litigation, agricultural disputes, commercial disputes and debt recovery cases.

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William Duncan (Business Recovery) Ltd

Campbell Dallas


Dunedin Advisory

Personal tax, trusts and executries Tier 4

Blackadders LLP has recently expanded its offering with the 2019 acquisitions of Morisons' private client team in Glasgow and Aberdeen's Plenderleath Runcie. Managing partner Johnston Clark leads the private client team from Dundee; he is personally authorised by the FCA as chief executive of the firm's wealth management sister LLP. The team works with a range of individuals, families, trustees, executors, businesses and local authorities - with key clients including The Salvation Army, Glasgow City Council and The V&A of Dundee - advising on matters relating to wills, powers of attorney, trusts, tax and executries. Laura McDowall has a particular specialism in incapacity and mental disability law.

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‘The firm is long established with an excellent reputation, offers a broad range of services and has a well connected international network and very good relations with other professional bodies in main operating bases.’

‘The team is very well led.’

‘Douglas Sneddon – nothing is too complex, nor too simple, for him to attend to in ensuring the lay person fully appreciates the relevant issues.’

‘Laura McDowall has been particularly impressive in navigating a way through what has been a very difficult process for me, in such a persistent way, that I feel has been cost-efficient and obtained a very good outcome for me.’

Key clients

South Lanarkshire Council

The Salvation Army

The Great Scottish Tapestry

The V&A of Dundee

Guildry Incorporation of Dundee

The City of Dundee Burgesses

Balnacraig School

Glasgow City Council

Dundee City Council

Walter Craig Charitable Trust and W S Philips’ Trust

Blackadders can trace its roots back to 1773, and is the result of several amalgamations and acquisitions.

The firm: Blackadders employs over 250 staff. The firm’s legal expertise, professional support staff and technical resources combine to create a first-class legal service capability for both business and individual clients.

Blackadders’ private client practice advises on wills, executries, trusts and tax planning services. Blackadders is not only a leading private client law firm in Scotland but a leading Independent Financial Adviser and Advisory Investment Manager.

Blackadders has transformed the executry/probate function within its private client department by implementing a FloSuite IT solution which automates and manages its day-to-day operations. Since going live with the FloSuite executry solution, the firm’s own ROI study has recorded a range of clear business benefits, including efficiency gains of around 50% in the processing of executries.

The firm’s business lawyers are known for their straight talking and for the delivery of agreed outcomes. They have the attitude and experience to help clients achieve their business objectives by providing responsive, clear and strategic commercial advice. The underlying aim in handling all business work is to safeguard the clients’ financial future. This is achieved by spending time learning about each client and understanding how they wish to take their business forward.

Types of work undertaken: The firm’s emphasis is on maintaining long-term, mutually beneficial relationships with clients and this has resulted in a substantial portfolio of private individuals, SMEs and large corporate clients. The firm focuses on the following principal areas of work:

Business: the firm’s specialist team is expert in all areas of commercial and corporate work, especially corporate finance, corporate financial planning, dispute resolution, licensing, and intellectual property and technology.

Employment: the award-winning employment team is highly rated and is recognised for its expertise. The team offers the full range of services spanning the entire employer/employee relationship, from recruitment through to retirement.

Private client: the team of experienced private client lawyers and client care specialists advises on a full range of issues such as wills, trusts, executries, powers of attorney and inheritance tax planning. The team works to ensure each client’s financial wellbeing is maximised, using specific wealth planning strategies tailored to fit individuals, family trusts or other private groups’ needs.

Family/matrimonial: the family law team’s knowledge and experience combine to ensure that clients feel supported during a potentially difficult time in their lives. The team focuses on child law, separation and divorce, and collaborative mediation.

Property: the property services division includes residential, rural, commercial, property, conveyancing and estate agency.

Offices:  Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Perth, Arbroath and Forfar

Department Name Email Telephone
Managing partner Johnston Clark 01382 229222
Chairman Peter Duff 0141 248 1888
Conveyancing Karen Fulton 0141 248 1888
Estate agency Karen Fulton 0141 248 1888
Private client Johnston Clark 01382 229222
Family law Craig Samson 01382 229222
Commercial property Emma Gray 01382 229222
Commercial Campbell Clark 01382 229222
Corporate Campbell Clark 01382 229222
Employment Simon Allison 01382 229222
Litigation Ryan McKay 01224 588913
Agriculture Petra Grunenberg 01382 229222
Photo Name Position Profile
 Simon Allison  photo Simon Allison Partner and head of Blackadders’ employment unit. Main area of work is…
 Campbell Clark  photo Campbell Clark Campbell is a partner in the firm’s business division, leading the corporate/commercial…
 Johnston Clark  photo Johnston Clark Johnston is a director and panel member of The Legal Defence Union,…
 Kirk Dailly  photo Kirk Dailly Kirk is a partner in the firm’s corporate and commercial team. With…
 Emma Gray  photo Emma Gray Emma joined Blackadders in 2013 to head up the commercial property team…
 Petra Grunenberg  photo Petra Grunenberg Head of rural land and business team. Partner dealing with all aspects…
 Stuart King photo Stuart King Partner
 Laura McDowall  photo Laura McDowall Partner in the private client department specialising in adults with incapacity, including…
 Susan McFadyen  photo Susan McFadyen Partner
 Craig Samson  photo Craig Samson Partner, head of family law.
 Douglas Sneddon  photo Douglas Sneddon Partner in private client division specialising in executries where he is the…
Number of UK partners : 27
Number of other UK fee-earners : 110