Blackadders LLP > Glasgow, Scotland > Firm Profile

Blackadders LLP
53 Bothwell Street
G2 6TS

Real estate > Commercial property: elsewhere in Scotland Tier 2

The commercial property team at Blackadders LLP continues to see an uptick in deals in the oil and gas sector in Aberdeen. Clients include landowners, occupiers and administrators, and it is well versed in acquisitions, disposals and the management of large-scale investment portfolios. Emma Gray heads the practice from Dundee, and is experienced in high-value development transactions, with a focus on the office, retail and leisure sectors. In Aberdeen, Neil Robb acts for property developers and builders, and is recommended for development, leasing and finance work.

Practice head(s):

Emma Gray

Other key lawyers:

Neil Robb; Stuart King


‘The service that Emma Gray has provided us with can only be described as exceptional’.

‘Emma Gray is a fantastic communicator, always on the ball’.

‘A very personal service with experienced and responsive staff that do what they can to get the best for their client in a timely and cost-effective manner’.

‘Easy to work with and very user-friendly in their style’.

Key clients

Eldor UK Limited

Kaefer Limited

Glendola (Leisure) Holdings Ltd

Sonomatic Limited

A. & J. Stephen Limited

Morris Leslie Group

James Hay Pension Trustees Limited

Gamma Telecom Limited

Insights Learning & Development

Alliance Trust Savings

Loch Rannoch Estate Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Glendola Leisure (Holdings) Limited on Scottish side of refinancing a property portfolio.
  • Advised Loch Rannoch Estate Limited in the acquisition of a hotel and estate in the Scottish Highlands.
  • Acting in purchase of ground at Spoutwells, Scone for large scale housing development (700 homes).

Corporate and commercial > Corporate and commercial: elsewhere in Scotland Tier 3

Under the leadership of Campbell Clark, Blackadders LLP continues to be active in the Dundee and Aberdeen markets, handling a range of corporate matters. With considerable experience in the tech industry, the firm also advises clients in the healthcare, and food and drink sectors. M&A transactions, IP and contractual arrangements are key areas of focus for the practice, which is also experienced in employee ownership transitions.

Practice head(s):

Campbell Clark

Other key lawyers:

John Plenderleath; Susan McFadyen; Kirk Dailly; Ruth Weir; Sarah Winter


‘Very experienced in employee ownership transactions’.

‘Always quick to respond and deliver on schedule’.

‘They fielded a wide-ranging team with specific and appropriate expertise and made successful introductions to a network of regionally based professionals to fully meet our requirements’.

‘Blackadders provided that rather over-used cliché of a “one-stop shop” with value efficiency’.

‘Stand-out service from the lead partner for our project, Susan McFadyen’.

‘Susan McFadyen delivered immediate responses both personally and across her team’.

‘Susan McFadyen provided solid and pragmatic guidance to risk throughout due diligence and in the negotiation of agreements’.

‘They are fast to adapt and also do really well explaining things in layman’s terms’.

Key clients

4J Studios Limited

The Insights Group Limited

RCI Europe

Lippert Components Inc.

Vascular Flow Technologies Limited

Waracle Limited

Altar Group Limited

A Proctor Group Limited

Strathmore Foods Limited

Norco Group Limited

Loch Rannoch Estate Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Forster Farms Limited on the acquisition by the JLEN infrastructure fund of a stake in the Peacehill Gas anaerobic digestion plant established at the Company’s farm, in a deal valued at £11m.
  • Advised the shareholders of Tariffcom Limited on the sale of shares to Radius Payment Solutions Limited.
  • Advised Islander Aircraft Limited on its transition to employee ownership.

Private client > Agriculture and estates Tier 3

Blackadders LLP has earned a strong reputation for advising clients on land purchases and sales, agricultural tenancies and succession advice; in recent times the firm has increased its focus on forestry work, debt reorganisation and secured lending matters, as well as renewable developments. Led by Petra Grunenberg, the group typically acts for landowners, tenants, developers, property investors and lending institutions. Ellen Eunson continues to win new clients in Aberdeen and the Northern regions of Scotland while director Hazel Anderson regularly provides key transactional support to Grunenberg in Dundee. In October 2020, the group welcomed Philip Buchan from Anderson Strathern.

Practice head(s):

Petra Grunenberg

Other key lawyers:


‘This practice has an in-depth knowledge of the agricultural sector which allows it to move forward quickly and efficiently with any business that we give it. They are prepared to work with our teams and do so well giving ourselves and our customers the confidence that deals are completed on time.’

‘They have proved to be practical, unflappable and have the ability to always find a solution to problems that arise.’

‘Blackadders are a knowledgeable team who give clear and practical advice on complicated legal matters. The team have excellent in-depth knowledge of agriculture and rural matters.’

‘Hazel Anderson has been very helpful dealing with a number of complex finance security cases.

‘Ellen Eunson is excellent at communicating legal processes to clients.’

‘Petra Grunenberg has never disappointed with good solid advice and a wealth of knowledge in many situations.’

‘I have been dealing with Petra Grunenberg for just over three years and throughout this time I have found her to be highly professional with wide knowledge in her field. She is also extremely approachable and clearly has her client’s interest as her priority.’

‘Great knowledge and expertise in the agricultural sector. Fast and efficient communication which is a novelty in this sector as I have found dealing with other companies. The advice given has been accurate and clear and not tied up in legal jargon.’

Private client > Family Tier 3

Headed up by Craig Samson, cited by clients as ‘personable, intelligent, and committed to securing the best result possible for his clients’, Blackadders LLP stands out for its 'ability to adapt to each client's needs'. This ethos is applied to a wide variety of family issues, namely complicated financial claims on separation and divorce. ‘Knowledgeable and efficient, with good client management skills when dealing with tricky and emotive issues’, Gareth Masson principally focuses on cases involving children, particularly adoptions, permanency orders, and relocations. He also receives instructions concerning cohabitation claims.

Practice head(s):

Craig Samson

Other key lawyers:

Gareth Masson; Joanne Murray


‘What makes this firm stand out is their ability to adapt to each client’s needs. The downfall of many other firms is the “one size fits all” attitude. My needs were always met in every possible way and I cannot fault any of their processes. My lasting impression of Blackadders is one of genuine care for their clients.’

‘Kindness and understanding is what makes this firm stand out and clients will remember that for years after. I for one, will never forget and be forever grateful.’

‘Clients are put front and centre with this firm, and I feel within the community they are well known for this. I had my solicitor and this firm recommended for family law. The firm used technology well during the global pandemic. ’

‘I found Gareth Masson to be highly knowledgeable in his sector but also easy to communicate with, understanding and incredibly dedicated. In his work for me and my daughter he has changed our lives and allowed us to move on from a negative situation. ’

‘Craig Samson is one of the leading family lawyers outside Edinburgh. A ‘big hitter’ who also does lots of his own advocacy.’

‘Craig Samson is a highly experienced family lawyer. He has excellent client care skills and in-depth legal expertise.’

‘Gareth Masson is knowledgeable and efficient, with good client management skills when dealing with tricky and emotive issues.’

‘Gareth Masson is extremely hardworking and tenacious.’

Private client > Personal tax, trusts and executries Tier 3

Blackadders LLP undertakes the full spectrum of tax issues, trusts and executries for a range of local authorities, individuals, families, trustees, executors, charities and businesses. ‘Great team leaderJohnston Clark excels in business succession planning issues, particularly for farming families, while Laura McDowall handles incapacity and mental disability law issues, and Gillian Brown -  who is ‘calm, efficient, confident and extremely knowledgeable ’ - routinely assists clients with the establishment and administration of personal injury trusts. In January 2021, the department welcomed former BTO Solicitors LLP practice head Lynn Melville.

Practice head(s):

Johnston Clark

Other key lawyers:


‘An excellent all-round wealth management team with good financial results during a difficult period.’ 

‘Johnston Clark is a great team leader who has advanced the firm in terms of diversity and presence throughout Scotland. Douglas Sneddon oozes confidentiality and understanding, ideal for his speciality in probate.’

‘Gillian Brown is calm, efficient, confident, extremely knowledgeable about all aspects of her work and achieves an amazing balance between professionalism and friendliness.’

‘Blackadders has obviously made great strides in recent years and has mastered integrating new teams with different skills.’

‘Efficient and effective team. Great communicators, even more noticeable because work this year has been affected by the Pandemic and people having to work from home.’

‘Friendly, knowledgeable, thorough.’

‘My dealings with this department of Blackadders relate solely to their work setting up Personal Injury Trusts. This is a niche area and they are among the leading specialists in this area in Scotland.’

‘Gillian Brown is extremely knowledgeable and has been very professional in her dealings with my clients.’

Key clients

Edradour Housing Association

Perth & Kinross Council

Office of the Public Guardian (Scotland)

The Nine Incorporated Trades of Dundee

Guildry Incorporation of Dundee

Pirie Rankin Charitable Trust

Dundee Disabled Childrens Association

Glasgow City Council

Dundee City Council

Walter Craig Charitable Trust

Dundee City Council

Angus Council

Aberdeenshire Council

The City of Dundee Burgess Charity

The V&A of Dundee

Work highlights

  • Handled the administration of trust estate including substantial land interests, with a value of £5m, following the death of a liferenter.
  • Advised on the administration of executry with estate of £5.7m including a large ongoing farming business, 600 acres of land, farmhouses, agricultural buildings, farming equipment, residential cottages and a share portfolio.
  • Advised a client – returning to Scotland with assets in Scotland, Japan and settlor interest trust in Jersey – on inheritance tax, capital gains tax, income tax and domicile issues.

Corporate and commercial > Corporate and commercial: Edinburgh and Glasgow Tier 4

Blackadders LLP boosted its corporate credentials in 2019 with the acquisition of the Glasgow business of Morisons. The practice is well known for its M&A work in the healthcare sector and has undertaken a large number of pharmacy transactions in recent years. Areas of expertise include funding, IP and contractual arrangements. Glasgow’s Peter Duff heads the team alongside Dundee-based Campbell Clark.

Practice head(s):

Peter Duff; Campbell Clark (Dundee)

Other key lawyers:

Lucy Gannon


‘The team have always represented me well, they are always available and respond quickly.

‘Peter Duff delegates responsibility appropriately and with continued success’.

‘The team at Blackadders know their clients well and represent them appropriately’.

Key clients

Exizent Ltd

M & D Green Dispensing Chemist

Ethigen Ltd

Codebase Ltd

H & K Willis Limited

Pufferfish Limited

MGF Healthcare Limited

Symbiosis Pharmaceutical Services Limited

Class 4 Kids Ltd

Eden Mill St Andrews Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advised MGF Healthcare Limited on the acquisition of A G Bannerman Limited, comprising five retail pharmacies across Scotland.
  • Advised the shareholders of McLeod & Higgins (Roofing Contractors) Limited, comprising various manufacturing businesses of the Rowan Group , on the sale of the group to James Donaldson Group.
  • Advised Class 4 Kids Ltd, which is a provider of a booking management software platform for children’s clubs, on its recent round of investment by a group of existing and new investors.

Employment Tier 4

With offices across Scotland, Blackadders LLP receives regular instructions from employers and employees requiring assistance with employment tribunal proceedings involving unfair dismissal, discrimination and harassment claims - director Jack Boyle is a key contact in this space-, while employers also retain the practice to advise on TUPE, collective redundancy processes and HR matters. Simon Allison heads the team from Dundee and frequently acts for manufacturing, construction and transport sector clients.

Practice head(s):

Simon Allison

Other key lawyers:

Donna Reynolds; Jack Boyle


‘Our work has been with Simon Allison and Jack Boyle and their responsiveness and humour has been particularly important to me.

‘A key strength of the entire team and what sets them apart from other firm, is their outstanding ability to translate complex employment law to a more accessible and understandable format.

‘Over the years of working with the team, I have worked most closely with Simon Allison and Jack Boyle and have found their professional guidance to be excellent and invaluable.

What strikes me most is the sense of team spirit, they support each other and their is a connectedness that enables anyone of them to support me and my organisation equally effectively.

‘I have worked with a variety of employment lawyers throughout my career and Blackadders consistently stand out as the team who deliver on time, consistently, creatively. It’s why I return time and time again, they do exactly what it says on the tin. They are competitively priced and extremely good value for the excellent advice, guidance and customer service they provide. They are, as a collective, professional, focused, innovative, progressive and good fun! They take care to ensure the client is making informed decisions on all aspects of employment law and advice and work hard to ensure solutions are found that are robust and legally sound.’

‘Donna Reynold has both been approachable, readily available and highly knowledgeable in all aspects of employment law. She has helped us with some tricky situations in the past year.’

‘Simon Allison, Jack Boyle and the Blackadders team are truly unique. As well as being leaders in their field, and first-rate lawyers, they are exceptionally personable and approachable people. Their legal advice can be relied upon for its accuracy, honesty and consideration, and this engenders great trust as well as the comfort that comes from knowing you have been advised by the best.’

‘Blackadders’ employment team is extremely efficient and innovative with its approach.’

Key clients

Dell Corporation Limited

National Express plc

CR Smith Glaziers (Dunfermline) Limited

The Ogilvie Group

The Fairmont, St Andrews

St Andrews Brewing Company Limited

Leisure and Culture Dundee

CoorsTek Limited

The Insights Group Limited

Dover Fueling Solutions Limited

TDKMicronas Limited

Abbeyford Leisure Limited

Business Gateway Fife

CJ Lang & Son Limited

The Al Maktoum College

Dundee Contemporary Arts Cinema

Waracle Limited

TSG France

R T Stuart Limited

Pitlochry Festival Theatre

Work highlights

  • Acted for Tranent Medical Practice and successfully resisted an employment tribunal claim by a salaried GP for associative direct discrimination and associative harassment.
  • Acted for Norco Group Limited and successfully resisted a long-running, high-value whistleblowing claim within Birmingham Tribunal Office and currently resisting an application by the ex-employee within London Employment Appeal Tribunal.
  • Advised Loch Rannoch Estate Limited on the successful acquisition of a hotel and leisure resort, including  advice on TUPE and the associated due diligence, more specifically on employee pensions, insurances, bonuses and contractual terms.

Finance > Insolvency and corporate recovery Tier 4

Blackadders LLP handles contentious and non-contentious insolvency matters for corporates and individuals. Areas of focus include administrations, liquidations, receiverships, CVAs, sequestrations and trust deeds. Ryan McKay leads the team and has considerable experience in property litigation, agricultural disputes, commercial disputes, insolvencies and debt recovery issues. Stephanie Carr is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Ryan McKay

Other key lawyers:

Stephanie Carr; Richard Godden


‘An excellent firm, strong commercially and they provide excellent advice’.

‘Stephanie Carr has a strong practical and commercial understanding of the issues being faced by insolvency practitioners in their business’.

‘Stephanie Carr is a pleasure to work with and understands clearly what an insolvency practitioner needs from their solicitor when it comes to advising upon asset realisation strategies’.

‘Stephanie Carr  is very experienced and personable’.

‘Stephanie Carr has very significant experience working in insolvency litigation’.

‘I always receive clear, concise advice when dealing with the team and as such have a confidence that the advice provided can be fully relied upon’.

‘Stephanie Carr is an excellent example of a lawyer who makes herself available to clients; she understands the demands on insolvency practitioners and is able to offer pragmatic and commercial solutions’.

‘Stephanie Carr is my go to solicitor for advice and action when dealing with personal insolvency related matters’.

Key clients

William Duncan (Business Recovery) Ltd

Azets (formerly Campbell Dallas)

180 Advisory Solutions



Johnston Carmichael

FRP Advisory

Grant Thornton

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 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 and Arbroath

Managing partner Johnston 229222
Chairman Peter 248 1888
Conveyancing Karen 248 1888
Estate agency Karen 248 1888
Private client Johnston 229222
Family law Craig 229222
Commercial property Emma 229222
Commercial Campbell 229222
Corporate Campbell 229222
Employment Simon 229222
Litigation Ryan 588913
Agriculture Petra 229222
Employment Donna 222 8000
Number of UK partners : 29
Number of other UK fee-earners : 114