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Turcan Connell

Work 0131 228 8111
Fax 0131 228 8118
723300 EDINBURGH-43
Edinburgh, Glasgow, London

Scotland: Corporate and commercial

Corporate and commercial: Edinburgh and Glasgow
Corporate and commercial: Edinburgh and Glasgow - ranked: tier 4

Turcan Connell

The team at Turcan Connell is best known for advising entrepreneurs and family businesses on exits by way of trade sales, management buyouts or employee buyouts. It has focused on developing its expertise in investment matters, recently acting for Par Equity Limited. Mike Kane heads the team, which was recently bolstered by the arrival of senior associate Callum Murray from Morton Fraser.

Practice head(s):Mike Kane

Other key lawyers:Jack Gardiner


'Turcan Connell stands out for its breadth of skills under one roof and unique knowledge of certain buyout techniques.'

'Mike Kane is fantastic. He is calm in all storms, with a great mind for insights that are really useful and save lots of time and money.'

Key Clients

Grant Asset Management

Par Equity

The Wee Hotel Company

SV Realty Limited

Dayforce Europe (Ceridian)

Lyon and Turnbull Ltd

Smith Anderson Group

Macphie of Glenbervie Ltd

Headon Developments Ltd

Tidewater Inc

Work highlights

  • Acted as lead adviser to the shareholders of Sanquhar Tile Services Limited, a rural manufacturing business, on its disposal to a portfolio company owned by Warren Buffett.
  • Advised Shetland Charitable Trust on its £17.5m disposal of an investment company, Shetland Leasing and Property Developments Limited, to Shetland Islands Council.
  • Advised new client Par Equity LLP as lead investor on a significant fundraising for its portfolio company, co-investing with other institutions.
  • Advised SV Realty Limited, the UK arm of an Indian Family office investment company, on its first property investment in Scotland.

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Scotland: Private client

Agriculture and estates
Agriculture and estates - ranked: tier 1

Turcan Connell

Turcan Connell receives a high volume of instructions from land owners selling mixed estates comprising agricultural, residential and commercial assets, involving factors such as the transfer of entitlements and access rights. On the purchaser side, the team acts for high net worth individuals and investment funds looking to expand their portfolio. The firm has further expertise advising farmers and estate owners on the development of clean energy initiatives, including biomass schemes, onshore wind and solar PV. Jon Robertson’s broad caseload includes estate sales and purchases, agricultural tenancies and work for renewables clients.

Practice head(s):Jon Robertson


'One can have complete confidence that the Turcan Connell team are totally up to speed with both current and proposed legislation.'

'Jon Robertson and Louise Johnstone play an essential part in complex agricultural tenancy matters.'

'Other law firms have large teams of property professionals with a good working knowledge of rural property matters, but the private client agriculture and estates practice of Turcan Connell is unique for its large team of true experts in this oft misunderstood, specialist, field.'

'Manner, tone, and quality of service are much more important than the individual - something often forgotten in the professional services sector. The Turcan Connell team don't forget.'

Work highlights

  • Represented client in complex multi-lot estate sale.
  • Advising major agri-businesses in £20m anaerobic digestion 'gas to grid' project.
  • Advised on sale of large rural estate with title and RHI complications.
  • Advised on multiple forestry acquisitions for forestry investment fund with substantial war-chest.
Leading individuals

Jon Robertson - Turcan Connell

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Charities and not-for-profit
Charities and not-for-profit - ranked: tier 1

Turcan Connell

Turcan Connell's 'calm and pragmatic' team advises charities, philanthropists and grant-giving bodies on governance and audits, OSCR and GDPR compliance, the establishment of new charitable bodies and changes to the structure of trusts, with a particular focus on education, heritage and arts and culture. 'Reassuring and informed' practice head Gavin McEwan recently took forward the first-ever charity appeal to the First-tier Tribunal for Scotland. Newly promoted associate Debbie McIlwraith Cameron has notable expertise with data protection, training charitable clients including the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh on the impact of GDPR.

Practice head(s):Simon Mackintosh; Gavin McEwan

Other key lawyers:Debbie McIlwraith Cameron


'Turcan Connell's experience of advising charities is what makes them really special. They understand the issues we are facing, and can make very practical suggestions based on their work with so many similar organisations.'

'The team have a good understanding of the charity sector and are very open and welcoming and well connected in the sector. They are held in high regard and well respected in their field. '

'Gavin McEwan is the finest lawyer I've ever worked with. Rather than waiting for problems to arise, he anticipates them, and has solutions to suggest immediately.'

'Debbie McIllraith Cameron is a knowledgeable friend to the sector who helps open doors, build confidence and is a role model to other young women in her field and beyond.'

Key Clients

New Lanark

Artists Collective

Royal British Legion Scotland

Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh

Queen Elizabeth Castle of Mey Trust

Royal Scottish Academy / RSA Foundation

National Trust for Scotland

Royal Caledonian Education Trust

Shetland Charitable Trust Patrons of Spittal’s Hospital

Work highlights

  • Represented New Lanark in the first charity appeal ever to be taken to the First-tier Tribunal for Scotland, General Regulatory Chamber.
  • Advised Artists Collective on the governance and commercial property aspects of the creation of a new public gallery space in Edinburgh.
  • Providing advice to the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh on governance and constitutional issues, disputes around recognition of members and fellows, and the charity law aspects of the refinancing of a hotel project carried out by the client.  
  • Advised the Royal Caledonian Education Trust on a revision of an Act of Parliament and the creation of new governance arrangements.
Leading individuals

Gavin McEwan - Turcan Connell

Simon Mackintosh - Turcan Connell

Rising stars

Debbie McIlwraith Cameron - Turcan Connell

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Contentious trusts and probate
Contentious trusts and probate - ranked: tier 2

Turcan Connell

Turcan Connell's team acts for executors, beneficiaries and trustees, handling disputes arising from payments or assets owed to clients, inheritance tax implications, alleged breach of contract and complex undue influence matters, including seeking reduction of a will on the basis of lack of capacity and forgery. 'Patient and  personable' practice head Peter Littlefield takes a 'common sense approach' to advising clients on tax and estate planning, including post-death tax planning, while associate Paul Forrester Smith specialises in contentious matters.

Practice head(s):Peter Littlefield; David Ogilvy

Other key lawyers:Paul Forrester Smith


"Peter Littlefield has a very common sense approach and is alive to reputational concerns. His approach achieves results with his opponents so that cases can be resolved quickly and without huge legal fees. "

"Peter Littlefield is superb. He removes all emotion from arguments, sticks to the facts, and is forceful when necessary. " 

'Turcan Connell is excellent at explaining the differences between Scottish law and England & Wales, the solicitors are very approachable and they provide excellent advice.'

'Peter Littlefield provides excellent legal advice - he is patient and very personable.'

Work highlights

  • Pursued a claim for the residuary beneficiary of an estate for loss relief following the client's missed opportunity to claim inheritance tax relief due to the executor's failure to advise them to do so.
  • Acting for the executor and beneficiary of an estate, seeking to return the estate to the position it was in prior to gifts being made in excess of £1m by the other executor and beneficiary, despite the fact they lacked the power to do so.
  • Acting for several national charities which are the residuary beneficiaries of an estate, seeking to recover the sale proceeds from a property that was subject to a specific legacy.
Leading individuals

Peter Littlefield - Turcan Connell

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Family - ranked: tier 2

Turcan Connell

Turcan Connell's practice has a strong track record of advising high net worth individuals in divorce proceedings involving complex elements such as the division of shared company assets, child custody and disputes over the date of separation. The team, which is led by managing partner Gillian Crandles, also advises on child abductions, relocations and abuse claims that often span multiple jurisdictions, as well as helping clients to set up prenuptial agreements. Solicitor-advocate Noel Ferry litigated several complex cohabitant claims last year in response to increased demand in this area, and 'skilled litigator' Lindsey Ogilvie was promoted to partner in 2018. Long-serving partner Alasdair Loudon retired in early 2019 after establishing the practice more than 18 years ago.

Practice head(s):Gillian Crandles

Other key lawyers:Noel Ferry; Lindsey Ogilvie


'The Turcan Connell team is one of the leading family law teams in Scotland.'

'Turcan Connell's family law practice was very different from my preconceptions and fears. No grandstanding, just excellent legal knowledge and quiet confidence. No aggressive behaviours, only conciliation and collaboration to reach a reasonable and managed solution.'

'The team is unique in that they have not just a few individuals that are strong in knowledge and capability but the whole team have strengths and work well together to deliver a service that is needed by their clients.'

'Gillian Crandles combines an in-depth knowledge of the law with an excellent client manner and real commitment to getting the best result for her clients.'

'Gillian Crandles is without peer as a family law solicitor; she has a finely tuned ability to quickly make a comprehensive assessment of a client's needs and concerns while still making them feel completely at the centre of her attention. She instilled a quiet but infectious confidence in me that the problems I described could be resolved with dignity. She leads her team with a caring style and a high level of professionalism.'

Leading individuals

Gillian Crandles - Turcan Connell

Noel Ferry - Turcan Connell

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Personal tax, trusts and executries
Personal tax, trusts and executries - ranked: tier 1

Turcan Connell

Turcan Connell’s 'professional and reliable' team covers the full range of matters for high net worth individuals, trusts, beneficiaries and charities, with a particular emphasis on advising business owners and land owners on tax and succession issues, and notable strength securing business property relief and agricultural property relief from HM Revenue & Customs. The team also regularly advises clients on multi-jurisdictional matters, such as tax structuring, and helps offshore trusts adapt to the legislation introduced in 2018 altering the tax obligations of UK beneficiaries. Firm chairman Alexander Garden has 'unrivalled knowledge' of private client taxation and sits as a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Taxation.

Practice head(s):Simon Mackintosh; Ian Clark; Alexander Garden; Kenny MacDonald

Other key lawyers:Alexander Garden; Graeme Gass; Peter Littlefield; Tom Duguid


'Substantial expertise in relation to personal taxation, and high value trusts and executries.'

'Dedicated to their specialist sector and real experts in their chosen field.'

'Turcan Connell are very strong in advising on charity law, charity taxation and compliance. Some of projects involve collaboration with partners across the UK and Turcan Connell are very well placed to advise on both Scottish and English law.'

'Peter Littlefield is technically very good and his client handling skills are absolutely first class.'

'Tom Duguid's command of a wide range of legal sectors is extremely impressive - the quality of his work and advice is of a very high standard.'

Work highlights

  • Provided tax and succession advice to several new and longstanding non-domiciled clients with net worth ranging from £12m to £450m.
  • Provided tax and succession advice to several new and longstanding high net worth clients.
Leading individuals

Alexander Garden - Turcan Connell

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Scotland: Projects, energy and natural resources

Energy (excluding oil and gas)
Energy (excluding oil and gas) - ranked: tier 5

Turcan Connell

Turcan Connell stands out for its landed estate and agricultural expertise, and fields a multidisciplinary team, which acts on issues arising from renewable energy projects including business law, land, property and tax matters. Recent work highlights include battery storage projects, wind matters, solar issues and energy-from-waste schemes, which it handles for landowners, developers and funders. Jonathan Robertson leads the team as part of the land and property group.

Practice head(s):Jonathan Robertson

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