Firm Profile > Blackadders LLP > Dundee, Scotland

Blackadders LLP

Agriculture and estates Tier 2

Blackadders LLP represents estates, family partnerships and major lenders on land acquisitions and sales, renewable energy projects, succession planning and inheritance tax matters, as well as complex leasing and subleasing matters. Rural land and business head Petra Grunenberg’s broad expertise includes option agreements and development sales, agricultural tenancies and partnership agreements. Recently promoted partner Ellen Eunson is a key contact for land transactions, while Gail Clarke focuses on forestry and renewables.

Practice head(s):

Petra Grunenberg

Other key lawyers:

Commercial property: elsewhere in Scotland Tier 2

Blackadders LLP's real estate expertise spans sales and purchases, leasing matters, property investments, property finance work, property developments, renewable energy projects and property disputes. Group head Emma Gray handles the full spectrum of commercial property issues with key experience in the retail and leisure sectors. The firm's recent merger with Plenderleath Runcie brought Neil Robb into the team, who has notable expertise acting for developers; Dundee-based Stuart King was also recently promoted to the partnership.

Practice head(s):

Emma Gray

Other key lawyers:


‘Blackadders is knowledgeable, approachable and always available to help.’

‘The service provided by Blackadders is always professional, highly competent, timely and efficient. Each team member in the commercial property department is very approachable and offers clear and reliable advice, guidance and support which is well communicated and expertly executed.’

‘Emma Gray is very knowledgeable and experienced when it comes to dealing with property attractions. She is very good at cutting through issues, identifying key risks and giving guidance where required.’

‘Emma Gray is highly professional and knowledgeable. She has excellent awareness and a helpful, friendly and understanding approach. She is extremely pro-active throughout any transaction and I would not hesitate to recommend her and the Blackadders team to both small and large clients alike.’

Key clients

James Hay Pension Trustees Limited

Salvation Army Trading Company Limited

Morris Leslie Group

Hotel Management International Limited

A & J Stephen Limited

Tayforth Properties

Salvation Army Trustee Company

Corporate and commercial: elsewhere in Scotland Tier 3

Blackadders LLP has continued to develop significant expertise and a growing track record in the niche area of employee ownership transactions, while maintaining substantial strength in timeshare and vacation ownership. The corporate team is particularly active in the healthcare, technology, hospitality and leisure and life sciences sectors, where it has proven its capabilities for cross-border work. The team is led out of Dundee by 'truly outstanding' corporate and commercial head Campbell Clark, who acts for private and public companies, high growth companies and investors.

Practice head(s):

Campbell Clark

Other key lawyers:

Susan McFadyen; Kirk Dailly; Ruth Weir; Sarah Winter


The corporate team at Blackadders is personable and invests the time and effort to really understand the client’s business.

Blackadders stands out even amongst the most accessible, knowledgeable, results oriented, and reasonable firms.

The team at Blackadders has great breadth and depth throughout the full corporate lifecycle. Clients receive superb attention and turnaround times always exceed expectations.

Susan McFadyen’s knowledge and experience shines through in the speed she understands what clients are after. she and Ruth Weir are good at putting this in plain English, reflecting risks to facilitate decisions.

Campbell Clark is truly outstanding. He embodies the problem-solving approach and positive attitude that clients expect from counsel. Every good team has a capable leader and Campbell’s ability to form a team with the skill set required to provide service for specific tasks and finalise any project.

Campbell Clark is one of the most diligent and focused corporate lawyers in the UK. His attention to detail and the breadth of his capability never fails to impress. Campbell and his team’s ability to understand the intricacies and complexities of their individual clients’ businesses is essential to the success of their relationships.

Key clients

4J Studios Limited

A Proctor Group Limited

Avian Communications Limited

Norco Group Limited

RCI Europe

Strathmore Foods Limited

Lippert Components Inc.

The Insights Group Limited

Vascular Flow Technologies Limited

Waracle Limited

Family Tier 3

Blackadders LLP's broad practice acts on a wide range of divorce, cohabitation and separation claims that often invoke disputes over child maintenance, residence and contact as well as complex investigations into assets. The team also handles wrongful retention cases and defends child protection orders and permanency orders, as well as being involved in some unusual cases in which divorce proceedings are pursued in different courts or across multiple jurisdictions. 'Charismatic and efficient' practice head Craig Samson is regularly instructed by local authorities to act as safeguarder to vulnerable children.

Practice head(s):

Craig Samson


‘A depth of experience and skills within the team ensures we have access to a specialist as required.’

‘Craig Samson is a good technical lawyer with excellent soft skills in mediation and collaborative practice’

‘Craig Samson is charismatic, efficient, and technically knowledgeable. He has wide experience of conducting litigations of all sorts in the Sheriff Court and is well known for his presentational abilities. He builds strong relationships with clients, who come to rely on his practical advice.’

Employment Tier 4

Simon Allison's 'very active and responsive' team at Blackadders LLP regularly works in close conjunction with its corporate team to advise on TUPE matters, executive service agreements and severance agreements arising from acquisitions and disposals, while also handling a wide range of contentious matters; these frequently pertain to claims of unpaid holiday, unfair dismissal and discrimination, where the team acts for employers and employees. In October 2018, the 'extremely knowledgeable and supportiveDonna Reynolds, who has a particular focus on discrimination law, joined from CCW Business Lawyers, now Wright, Johnston & Mackenzie LLP.

Practice head(s):

Simon Allison

Other key lawyers:


The team is very responsive and provides balanced and pragmatic advice.

‘Excellent team work.’

It’s a cohesive and professional unit. When one of them is not there, the cover is excellent.

They put themselves in the shoes of the client which enables them to give good practical advice – not just the straight legal view.

Strong team.

Key clients

Canongate Books

Balnacraig School

CJ Lang & Son

Robertson Homes

National Express Group

New Park Medical Practice

Dundee Contemporary Arts

Fairmont St Andrews

Traverse Theatre

Insolvency and corporate recovery Tier 4

Blackadders LLP's insolvency client base spans distressed companies, directors and stakeholders, lenders, investors, servicers and secondary debt investors, as well as financial advisers, turnaround specialists and insolvency practitioners. Under the leadership of Ryan McKay, the team handles a wide range of issues including administrations, bankruptcys, business restructurings, liquidations, partnership insolvencys, receiverships and voluntary arrangements.

Practice head(s):

Ryan McKay

Other key lawyers:

Stephanie Carr; Richard Godden


Blackadders fields an experienced and commercial team.

Stephanie Carr is very experienced in insolvency matters, particularly when it comes to personal insolvency. She is personable and client-friendly.

Personal tax, trusts and executries Tier 4

Blackadders LLP has particular expertise advising clients on inheritance tax and lifetime planning, including setting up liferent trusts, managing assets held in multiple jurisdictions and liaising with HMRC about negligently valued property. More broadly the team represents executors and beneficiaries in contentious disputes with co-executors or sole executors, while also administering the financial and property affairs of incapable clients in the capacity of financial attorney.

Practice head(s):

Johnston Clark

Other key lawyers:

Laura McDowall


“The knowledge and accessibility of Johnston Clark, Scott Williamson and Douglas Sneddon is of great value.”

Key clients

Edinburgh City Council

The Salvation Army

The Great Scottish Tapestry

V&A 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

Dovetail Enterprises

Office of the Public Guardian

Property litigation Tier 4

Experienced in the agricultural, commercial and residential property sectors, Blackadders LLP is experienced in assisting clients with lease enforcements, dilapidation claims and agricultural disputes. With the latter constituting an increasingly significant portion of the practice's workload, the team frequently acts for farming clients in disputes involving servitude rights, way leaves and third-party property rights. In other work, the team led by 'excellent litigatorRyan McKay also handles property disputes arising from insolvency proceedings.

Practice head(s):

Ryan McKay

Other key lawyers:

Stephanie Carr; Richard Godden


Ability to address complex matters at a reasonable price-point.

Ryan McKay’s attention to detail on niche legal matters sets him out from his peers.

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

The firm: Blackadders employs over 220 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.

Wealth management: the firm’s independent wealth management team has years of experience advising private individuals and corporate clients, offering tailored financial advice ranging from insurance, investments and taxation issues to retirement and inheritance tax planning.

Other offices: Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Perth, Arbroath and Forfar

Department Name Email Telephone
Managing partner Johnston Clark 01382 229222
Chairman Scott Williamson 01382 229222
Conveyancing Lindsay Darroch 01382 229222
Estate agency Lindsay Darroch 01382 229222
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 Managing partner of Blackadders LLP; chief executive of Blackadders wealth management; partner…
 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…
 Joanne Grimmond  photo Joanne Grimmond Partner in Blackadders’ property division with responsibility for estate agency and conveyancing.…
 Petra Grunenberg  photo Petra Grunenberg Head of rural land and business team. Partner dealing with all aspects…
 Laura McDowall  photo Laura McDowall Partner in the private client department specialising in adults with incapacity, including…
 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…
 Scott Williamson  photo Scott Williamson Partner, private client – wills, trusts (Law Society-accredited specialist), administration of estates,…
Number of UK partners : 25
Number of other UK fee-earners : 80