Firm Profile > Turcan Connell > Edinburgh, Scotland

Turcan Connell

Agriculture and estates Tier 1

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.’

Charities and not-for-profit Tier 1

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:


‘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

Personal tax, trusts and executries Tier 1

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.’

Contentious trusts and probate Tier 2

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:


“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.’

Family Tier 2

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:


‘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.’

Corporate and commercial: Edinburgh and Glasgow Tier 4

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

Energy (excluding oil and gas) Tier 5

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

Turcan Connell is one of the UK’s premier private client firms with offices in Edinburgh, Glasgow and London.

The firm: Turcan Connell commands a unique position in UK professional services by providing clients with an integrated range of legal services alongside a complete range of tax services. Its success is due to the firm’s continued focus on meeting the needs of individuals, families, charities, entrepreneurs and family business owners.

Types of work undertaken:Tax and succession: with ten tax and succession partners and 21 other tax and succession lawyers, Turcan Connell’s breadth and depth of experience creates clear blue water between it and other firms. The firm has over 8,000 clients and administers some 3,000 trusts. It acts for a wide range of clients, including families with inherited assets, entrepreneurs, senior executives and owners of family businesses.

Land and property: the land and property team is the largest rural property team in Scotland. It has six land and property partners and 27 other lawyers dealing exclusively in property work. The team’s expertise in Scottish agricultural and property law has resulted in the continuing transfer of major land-owning clients from other law firms. Clients include the owners of country estates, historic houses, national institutions and land-owning charities. The team handles large estate transactions, development land sales, agricultural law and crafting community transactions. It has particular expertise in renewable energy, rural planning, environmental law and in all aspects of land reform.

Charities: Turcan Connell’s charity group is one of the largest in the UK. It advises more than 400 charities, from national institutions and heritage charities to grant-giving trusts and private foundations. As well as acting for large charities, the firm helps small charities through Turcan Connell Charity Office, an administration service designed to help grant-making foundations reduce their overhead costs.

Divorce and family law: the team is now widely recognised as the leading family law practice in Scotland for high-net-worth divorce cases. The team handles all aspects of separation, divorce, dissolution of civil partnerships, cohabitation and issues arising from relationship breakdown, whether of a financial nature or concerning the care of children. With partner-level expertise in Scottish and English law, it acts in many cross-jurisdictional divorces and specialises in collaborative law and divorces involving business valuations and share schemes.

Entrepreneurs and family businesses: the firm’s entrepreneurs and family businesses team is an interdisciplinary team of professionals drawn from across Turcan Connell, each of whom has significant experience in advising individual family members and their business interests, taking a proactive approach to clients’ businesses and identifying appropriate legal solutions to manage risk at an early stage.

Employment and dispute resolution: the employment law practice provides employment advice and representation for private clients, charities and rural employers. The team has represented many of Scotland’s most senior business figures. Its solicitors provide clients with focused and practical dispute resolution advice on a wide range of contentious and potentially contentious issues. The dispute resolution team aims to avoid litigation where possible and has detailed knowledge and experience of alternative methods of dispute resolution, such as mediation and arbitration.

TC Family Office: the firm’s flagship wealth management service, which combines tax and succession advice with financial planning and investment management services through associated company Tcam Asset Management.

Department Name Email Telephone
Managing partner Ian Clark
Chairman Simon Mackintosh
Private client/trusts Simon Mackintosh
Private client/trusts Robin Fulton
Private client/trusts Ian Clark
Private client/trusts Tom Duguid
Charity law Simon Mackintosh
Charity law Gavin McEwan
Agriculture and estates Jonathan Robertson
Agriculture and estates Adam Gillingham
Agriculture and estates Grierson Dunlop
Family Alasdair Loudon
Family Gillian Crandles
Family Noel Ferry
Employment/litigation David Ogilvy
Business law Mike Kane
Photo Name Position Profile
 Ian Clark  photo Ian Clark
 Gillian Crandles  photo Gillian Crandles
 Tom Duguid  photo Tom Duguid
 Grierson Robert Dunlop  photo Grierson Robert Dunlop
 Alexander Garden  photo Alexander Garden
 Louise Johnston  photo Louise Johnston
 Mike Kane  photo Mike Kane
 Peter Littlefield  photo Peter Littlefield
 Paul Macaulay  photo Paul Macaulay
 Simon Mackintosh  photo Simon Mackintosh
 Don Macleod  photo Don Macleod
 Gavin McEwan  photo Gavin McEwan
 Lindsey Ogilvie  photo Lindsey Ogilvie
 David Ogilvy  photo David Ogilvy
 Jon Robertson  photo Jon Robertson
 Chris Sheldon  photo Chris Sheldon
 Donald Simpson  photo Donald Simpson
Miss Alix Storrie  photo Miss Alix Storrie
 Niall Stringer  photo Niall Stringer
Number of UK partners : 22
Number of other UK fee-earners : 94



Turcan Connell’s Family Law team “is now widely recognised as the leading Family Law Practice in Scotland” according to Chambers. The team’s results and reputation have seen it enjoy top band listing in both Chambers and Legal 500 for many years.

The team is led by Gillian Crandles, the firm’s Managing Partner, who brings extensive experience to the firm.

Dual-qualified in Scotland and in England & Wales, she is regularly instructed by professionals, entrepreneurs, land and estate owners and those in the public domain, who value her sensitive approach to highly private matters.

Dealing with complex high-net-worth cases, she has comprehensive expertise in business valuations, partnership issues and farming. Gillian also has a particular interest in and knowledge of cases with an international element, including disputes regarding children and in respect of jurisdiction for financial claims. Gillian is an accredited specialist in family law, a collaborative lawyer and a family law arbitrator. She is a fellow of the highly esteemed International Academy of Family Lawyers.

Gillian has been praised by Chambers and Legal 500, saying: “She is technically skilled at navigating the complexities which arise from cross-border matters and maintains a pragmatic approach…”; “absolutely brilliant, excellent with clients and tenacious” and “in the very top category of family lawyers in Scotland”.

The team, based across Edinburgh and Glasgow, also includes partners Noel Ferry and Lindsey Ogilvie, both of whom are Solicitor Advocates.

Noel is a trained Collaborative Lawyer specialising in all areas of family law but is particularly noted for acting in high value cases for high net worth individuals, for example, celebrities, sports personalities, entrepreneurs, business owners, directors, professionals and executives.

He has successively been ranked by the Legal 500 for his experience in high net worth divorces, prenuptial agreements and child relocation cases and has been described as providing “outstanding service”, being “absolutely committed to the case” and having “exemplary” knowledge.

Noel has also acted for clients with complex family trusts as well as difficult cohabitation claims on separation and death under the Family Law (Scotland) Act 2006. He has assisted in many professional negligence cases involving family lawyers, and has been asked for his expert opinion on several cases of potential negligence.

Lindsey has a wide-ranging experience of contentious and non-contentious cases and handles a range of issues in the Sheriff Courts throughout Scotland and in the Court of Session. Lately she has acted in cases involving farming partnerships, business valuation disputes and valuable international cohabitation claims.

She acts on behalf of clients negotiating high value and complex financial provision following separation negotiating or litigating as appropriate.

Lindsey is recognised particularly for the sympathetic and fair approach that she takes to child-related matters including residence disputes within the UK and those involving relocation to other jurisdictions.

She is an accredited specialist in family law and in October 2017 was appointed a Solicitor Advocate giving her extended rights of audience in the Court of Session and recognising her expertise and skill in advocacy. With Noel gaining the same rights in 2018 the team is the only in Scotland to be able to offer such strength, depth and choice in representation to our clients.