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Brodies LLP

Work 0131 228 3777
Fax 0131 228 3878
Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow

Neil Collar

Work 0131 656 0125
Brodies LLP

Work Department

Planning, renewable energy, oil and gas (onshore).


Partner. Accredited specialist in planning law. Consistently rated as one of Scotland’s leading planning lawyers. Well known for both advisory and advocacy work. Over 20 years’ experience in housing, renewable energy, transport/infrastructure, waste, minerals and retail.


Trained Brodies LLP; qualified 1992; partner Brodies LLP 1998. Publications of note include: ‘Planning’ (W Green/Sweet & Maxwell, 4th ed published 2016); ‘Planning and Human Rights’ (W Green 2001).


Law Society of Scotland and sits on its planning law committee; legal associate of Royal Town Planning Institute; editorial board for Scottish Planning and Environmental Law; Scottish Renewables planning group; UK onshore oil and gas mineral planning group.


Douglas Academy, Milngavie; Glasgow University; Liverpool University; (1988 LLB Hons; 1990 LLM; 1990 Dip LP).


Playing the saxophone.

Scotland: Projects, energy and natural resources

Energy (excluding oil and gas)

Within: Energy (excluding oil and gas)

Brodies LLP’s team handles a diverse workload spanning the independent power, low carbon and district heating, transport fuels and renewable energy sectors. In the power space, its team undertakes a significant amount of work for independent power producers, advising on complex issues such as power purchase agreement (PPA) offtakes, project finance, equipment supply, consents and construction. Other clients in this area include landowners, funders and investors. The group also has a strong track record in district heating network (DHN) schemes, combined heat and power (CHP) schemes and transport fuels projects. In a recent highlight, Roger Cotton advised River Clyde Homes on the Broomhill gas district heating and Cartsdyke Court biomass district heating projects in Glasgow, which involved the provision of district heating systems to more than 650 properties and energy efficiency works. Renewable energy work spans a wide range of sub-specialisms, including onshore and offshore wind, solar, biomass, tidal and hydro. A multi-disciplinary team involving Keith Patterson, Sarah-Jane McArthur, Michael Stoneham and Alix Bearhop acted for 2020 Renewables/Velocita in the development and project finance aspects of a portfolio of Scottish wind farms at Airies in Dumfries & Galloway and Sorbie in North Ayrshire. Kirsty Macpherson advises on the real estate aspects of alternative energy projects, while Neil Collar handles planning matters. Associates Ali Rimell and Claire Reid are also recommended.

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Scotland: Real estate


Within: Environment

Brodies LLP provides environmental law support on oil and gas, renewable energy, infrastructure and real estate transactions. The group also handles environmental prosecutions and civil litigation, and advises on regulatory issues, environmental aspects of planning matters, and waste, contaminated land, water and air pollution issues. Practice head Phil Hunter has more than 17 years of experience in the environment law arena. Paul Marshall is leading a team, which includes Duncan MacLean and Greg May, advising Transocean on possible civil and criminal liabilities for any pollution caused by the running aground of a semi-submersible rig on the Western Isles due to a storm. In another matter, Jackie McGuire defended Renfrewshire Council against a challenge brought by a developer to proposed plans to expand Braehead Shopping Centre, which involved a review of compliance with various EU environmental directives and environmental impact regulations. Other key figures include Neil Collar, Sarah-Jane McArthur and associate Niall McLean. Kenneth Ross retired from private practice in March 2017.

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Within: Leading individuals

Neil Collar - Brodies LLP

Within: Planning

One of the leading planning law firms in Scotland’, Brodies LLP attracts praise for its ‘very thorough knowledge of planning law’, ‘clear advice’ and its ability to ‘keep clients and other consultants informed of legislation changes’. The ‘hugely experiencedNeil Collar leads the team, which provides strategic planning advice on projects and also features heavily in large planning inquiries and appeals. The group acts for a wide-ranging client base, including housing, transport, minerals and renewable energy. Onshore oil and gas and aquaculture are growth areas of the practice. A particular strong suit is drafting section 75 planning obligations, including new statutory provisions on continuing liability and modification and discharge. In a recent highlight, Collar represented Park of Keir Partnership (a partnership between Judy Murray, Colin Montgomerie and the King Group) at a public inquiry into the proposed ‘Murray legacy’ project in Dunblane. The pair also assisted APG Asset Management with the planning aspects of the mixed-use St James Quarter regeneration project in Edinburgh. Brookfield, Meygen and Infinis are other clients. Also recommended is ‘experienced inquiry advocateKaren Hamilton, whose ‘public sector background provides her with a helpful insight into the local authority perspective’. Associates Alison Polson and Lee Murphy together have more than 40 years of planning law experience. Kevin Graham is another name to note.

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Legal Developments by:
Brodies LLP

  • Scottish planning obligations: modification and discharge – the story so far

    Planning obligations 1 (formerly agreements), which restrict or regulate the use or development of land, perform a crucial function within the planning system. In Scotland in particular, where the community infrastructure levy has not been adopted, the planning obligation continues to be the primary mechanism for the delivery of much needed local and regional infrastructure through developer contributions, often involving very significant sums. 

    - Brodies LLP

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