Davidson Chalmers Stewart > Edinburgh, Scotland > Firm Profile

Davidson Chalmers Stewart
12 HOPE STREET
EDINBURGH
EH2 4DB
Scotland

Real estate > Environment Tier 2

Handling waste management issues constitutes a core strength of Davidson Chalmers Stewart‘s team, not least due to the expertise of practice head Laura Tainsh. Recent contentious instructions include Scottish Landfill Tax tribunal cases and enforcement actions, whereas in the non-contentious sphere, the group provides advice on contaminated land in addition to transactional, regulatory, compliance and contractual matters.

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Testimonials

‘An experienced, knowledgeable and friendly team. They work together well to scope out the project brief and take onboard client input.’

‘Where issues do occur they will discuss promptly with the client and agree a way forward. Where required this may involve gaining input from other members of the team.’

‘We value Laura Tainsh for her environmental and waste management expertise.’

Key clients

Saica Natur UK

W.H. Malcolm Limited

Suez Group

Tartan Leisure Limited

Pelagia UK

Bakkafrost

Scottish Water

Brewster Bros Ltd

Patersons of Greenoakhill

Renewable Power Systems Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advised Pelagia UK on the interpretation of complex regulatory issues relating to emissions to air from industrial processes in relation to the company’s processing operation at its plant in Aberdeen.
  • Advised Brewster Bros. Limited on a transaction involving the lease of sites to be developed for quarrying and aggregates, including all permitting requirements.
  • Advised the Malcolm group on all regulatory and environmental matters, including negotiation with the regulator.

Real estate > Property litigation Tier 2

Davidson Chalmers Stewart is noted for its involvement in landlord and tenant disputes, including dilapidations claims and repair disputes, in addition to matters at the intersection with construction and planning, such as planning appeals. Commercial litigator and experienced arbitrator Sheila Webster heads up the practice, which further handles judicial reviews and contractual disputes arising from project developments; the former is an area of particular expertise for hotel and leisure sector specialist, Magnus Miller.

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Testimonials

‘A highly experienced, thoughtful, intelligent and sophisticated law practice. They are always available for the client and provide detailed advice. They are both commercial and professional, and always keep the bigger picture in mind.’

‘Very strong commercially and with a real focus on our business. They don’t litigate for litigation’s sake; they look at all angles.’

‘Sheila Webster is very knowledgeable and always provides advice with a focus on our business first and litigation second.’

Key clients

Radisson Hotel Group

Chris Stewart Group

CGW Snooker LLP

Rock DCM

Muir Group

Natural Assets Investments Limited

Woodland Renewables Limited

Patersons of Greenoakhill Limited

Crosslane Group

Esk Properties Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting for Radisson Hotel Group in a dispute with the landlords of a hotel on the Royal Mile, Edinburgh.
  • Instructed by Woodland Renewables Limited to raise a summary application in the Fort William Sheriff Court.
  • Instructed by Rock DCM as the lead respondent in opposition by an application by Royal London to the Lands Tribunal, seeking to reduce title conditions applying to Argyll Chambers in Glasgow, a well-known building in Glasgow city centre, regarding shared maintenance costs.

Private client > Agriculture and estates Tier 3

Davidson Chalmers Stewart has particular strength in farm diversification projects and is regularly instructed by farmers, investors, landowners and commercial food producers. Andy Drane leads the team, which also advises on business management,  regulatory compliance and contentious matters. The team has recently seen increased activity in work related to carbon sequestering and carbon credits. Director Louise Jones handles lending matters, while director Henrietta Macpherson has particular expertise in sporting matters. Andrew McDonald left for Burness Paull LLP in July 2023.

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Testimonials

‘DCS has a very sound grasp of the sector, including the various issues and opportunities around it. The firm’s knowledge and network, particularly in renewable energy, helps their clients’ decision making.’

‘Andy Drane is exceptional in the time he gives to understand the client’s needs and to anticipate upcoming challenges.’

‘Excellent knowledge of the sector. Swift and attentive on all aspects and agreements.’

‘Andy Drane and his team are always on hand and ready to help.’

Key clients

Alex Brewster & Sons Limited

AFP Assets Limited

Cambusmore Estates Ltd

Charlesfield Farms Limited

John P Gray & Son

McMaster Consortium of Farmers

RT Overseas Settlement

Woodland Renewables Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised a large family farming partnership on the dissolution of its business and the distribution of farm assets to former partners. This included addressing contentious inter-partner issues without the need to resort to litigation.
  • Advising a landowner in negotiating legal contracts for the creation of a 400MW battery storage scheme for the storage of electricity generated from renewable sources. This included the restructuring of various family trusts and arrangements to secure income streams into the future.
  • Advising Cambusmore Estates Ltd on the sale of Cambusmore Estate. This includes the sale of fishing and sporting rights, the transfer of various renewable energy option agreements and the transfer of a carbon credit forestry planting scheme.

Public sector > Health Tier 3

Davidson Chalmers Stewart is best known for its general medical and dental practice work with an emphasis on related transactional, corporate and commercial issues, most notably sales and acquisitions. Practice co-head Andy Drane has particular experience advising primary care medical operators on property law and regulatory issues, while co-head Craig Stirling leads on corporate and commercial work.

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Testimonials

‘The support and camaraderie are important to me. I get on well with the team and we have great teamwork to achieve the ultimate goal.’

‘Their specialisms – very experienced in the healthcare sector and they know the issues that the sector is facing.’

‘Their knowledge and professionalism. Andy Drane in particular is very well known in the sector.’

Key clients

AcalisCare

Clyde Munro Group Limited

Portman Dental Group

Gavin Caves Orthodontics Limited

Goldenacre Dental Practice

Neilston Medical Centre (Greater Glasgow & Clyde Health Board)

Meadows Dental Clinic

Kelso Medical Practice (Borders Health Board)

Newbyres Medical Group (Lothian Health Board)

Riverside Highland Medical Group

Work highlights

  • Acted for international care home operator AcalisCare on its acquisition of the Balhousie Care Group, Scotland’s largest care home group. This was the largest acquisition of its kind in the residential care sector in Scotland in 2022.
  • Acted for Clyde Munro, who continues to be the most active dental corporate in Scotland, on ten practice acquisitions over the last twelve months.
  • Consulted by approximately two thirds of all GP practices in Scotland requiring assistance with the implementation of the Scottish Government flagship sustainability loan policy.

Real estate > Commercial property: Edinburgh and Glasgow Tier 3

At Davidson Chalmers Stewart, the workload comprises development, investment and commercial leasing mandates; the group have observed a notable uptick in work pertaining to the housebuilding and healthcare sectors. With the experienced Andrew Chalmers at the helm, the team counts UK and international investment funds, developers and leisure operators to its client roster. Gavin Maclean is noted for his expertise in the fields of retail and leisure, while Bruce Lancaster‘s capabilities further encompass forward funding agreements. Andy Tyler joined as partner coming from Burness Paull LLP in August 2023.

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Testimonials

‘The commercial property team are incredibly supportive. I always get the right advice and with no ambiguity.’

‘I have found them to offer a personable service, providing partner level support which has allowed our business to deal with situations in an efficient and professional manner.’

‘Andrew Chalmers and Gavin McLean are very hands on. I have no hesitation in recommending the team and look forward to many more years successfully delivering projects together.’

‘A very approachable team who get back quickly to issues and spend time explaining anything that is difficult to understand.’

‘They are proactive and very easy to approach. I find them flexible and straightforward.’

Key clients

Chris Stewart Group

Muir Group

Peel Group

Suez Group

Tartan Leisure Limited

Thermo Fisher Inc

Law Society of Scotland

Black Sheep Coffee

Computacentre plc

Balhousie Care Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Acalis Care/Selba Care Limited on the acquisition of the entire portfolio of Balhousie Care Limited (24 nursing/care homes).
  • Advised Tartan Leisure Limited on the £60m site acquisition at Ratho (Edinburgh) for an artificial surf park.
  • Advised Clyde Munro Dental Group on acquiring 10 dental practices in 12 months.

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

Offering clients ‘commercially aware and completely genuine’ corporate advice, the team at Davidson Chalmers Stewart has an excellent reputation in the Scottish and UK market, particularly for M&A work in the healthcare and renewables sectors. Practice head Craig Stirling’s practice focuses primarily on complex M&A and private equity transactions. Stephen Smith departed to set up private practice, Harty & Smith, in August 2023.

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Testimonials

‘DCS’s corporate team are the most talented group of lawyers you can work with. They bring a combination of technical capability, experience, interpersonal skills and work ethic that which adds value to every situation in which you work with them.’

‘Quite simply, DCS delivers a fantastic quality product.’

‘This team always put a client’s needs first, are happy to lead or take instruction where appropriate, and seamlessly become part of the team. They collectively have a level of understanding of business and commercial reality that is unparalleled.’

‘The multidisciplinary team at Davidson Chalmers Stewart provide complete legal support tailored specifically to a client’s needs.’

‘DCS are approachable, straightforward and frank in their dealings.’

‘My key point of contact is Craig Stirling, who has been my go-to person for over a decade, and I very much like the fact that he remains accessible and receptive no matter the nature of our enquiry.’

‘DCS is a “family” firm and that reflects in their service delivery – something many aspire to but often fail to achieve.’

Key clients

AcalisCare

Tartan Leisure

Palm Capital

Kelvin Capital

Castlelake LP

The Green Tribe Fund

Clyde Munro Group

Emerson Electric

Chris Stewart Group

Muir Homes

Work highlights

  • Acted for AcalisCare (an international care home operator) on its funding and acquisition of the Balhousie Care Group (Scotland’s largest care home group with almost 1,000 residents in 26 care facilities).
  • Acted for Tartan Leisure on all aspects of Scotland’s first, inland, artificial surf park, with associated leisure and accommodation facilities.
  • Acted for Palm Capital and Castlelake Limited Partners in connection with the sale of a BVI registered company owning a large office block in Edinburgh to a buyer registered in the Bahamas.

Dispute resolution > Commercial litigation Tier 4

The ‘personable and approachable’ team at Davidson Chalmers Stewart handles a wide range of contractual disputes in addition to professional negligence claims, and is noted for its expertise in the healthcare sector, advising on medical and dental practice issues, partnership litigation and sector-specific contract disputes. Sheila Webster leads the team and has demonstrable experience in property litigation, while Magnus Miller handles real estate disputes and insolvency proceedings. Ewan McIntyre joined as partner coming from a consulting firm in May 2023.

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Testimonials

‘Sheila Webster is down to earth, approachable and gives good ‘common sense’ advice.’

‘The team I work with is relatively small but of a high quality with an ability to deliver results for clients without sugarcoating advice.’

‘There was simply no nonsense. We approached them with a problem, they listened, they thought about it and they came up with a solution. The solution worked. We were delighted with them.’

‘Jane Dickers was absolutely fantastic.’

‘Sheila Webster is very knowledgeable and able to explain the matter simply and clearly and with a real understanding of our business.’

‘The team is personable and approachable.’

‘Sheila Webster is very experienced and easy to deal with.’

Key clients

Springfield Properties plc

Natural Assets Investments Limited

Patersons of Greenoakhill Limited

Radisson Hotels UK Limited

Alba Energy Limited

Chik Commodities PVT Limited/York Holdings PVT Limited

Saica Natur UK Limited

Cambusmore Estates Limited and Kenneth Greenland

Corriedoon Limited

Caley Cruisers Limited/Jamie Hogan

Work highlights

  • Acting for Natural Assets Investments Limited on two cases currently in the Commercial Court of the Court of Session and relating to a £27m claim under guarantee obligations for works to the funicular railway at the ski resort in the Cairngorms.
  • Advised Allan Watt in a £3m breach of warranty claim arising from a share purchase agreement, relating to valuations of fishing businesses (linked to fishing quotas) and the settlement of the earlier litigation.
  • Representing Patersons of Greenoakhill Limited in its appeal to the Upper Tribunal regarding Revenue Scotland’s assessments applying the standard, rather than the lower rate of Scottish Landfill Tax to returns.

Projects, energy and natural resources > Energy (excluding oil and gas) Tier 4

The renewable energy team at Davidson Chalmers Stewart consistently demonstrates considerable ‘breadth and depth of knowledge’ when advising on renewables development and redevelopment, disposal of renewables projects and investment into alternative energy businesses. The team has experience in advising on a variety of related issues, including on the property elements of renewable projects, such as for onshore wind, solar, hydro and battery storage. Nicola Scott heads up the commercial property team and regularly advises on the property and financing aspects of renewables projects. In Autumn 2023, Steven McAllister left the firm.

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Testimonials

‘Breadth and depth of knowledge, provided by solicitors with direct industry experience.’

‘Nicola Scott is fantastic. She is across the details and delivers strategic, creative and complete advice in pursing client objectives, all with a real personal touch.’

‘Excellent team with good depth of knowledge, especially on environmental matters.’

‘They are quick to respond and provide clear and concise answers / options to questions, issues and opportunities.’

‘Working with DCS is a pleasure. Each of the staff members are easy to work with, helpful, insightful and offer great advice.’

Key clients

Abo Wind AG

Alba Energy Limited

Blain Farming

Fife Council

Kelvin Capital

Peel NRE

Ripple Energy Limited

Suez Recycling and Recovery UK Limited

The Farm Energy Company Limited

WKN GmbH

Work highlights

  • Advised Peel NRE in respect of successful application to the Scottish Land Court for a scheme for development for their 17 turbine onshore wind farm development in Shetland.
  • Advised venture capital firm Kelvin Capital in the latest equity funding round into QED, a Scottish company which has developed a Subhub tidal platform designed to enable tidal energy to be deployed over large distances.
  • Advising WKN GmbH on all ongoing development matters in connection with Sallachy Wind Farm; a nine-turbine (49.9MW) onshore wind project in the north of Scotland.

Real estate > Construction Tier 4

With director Simone Young, a transactional expert, heading up Davidson Chalmers Stewart‘s construction practice, the team is well-equipped to handle non-contentious matters. Clients, including developers and commercial tenants, instruct the team to assist with residential, mixed-use and refurbishment projects, as well as associated transactions, leases and loan facilities. It further draws on the firm’s wider dispute resolution group to provide a contentious offering.

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Key clients

Tartan Leisure Limited

Lateral City Limited

Chris Stewart Group

Royal Bank of Scotland plc

Peveril Securities Limited

Scarborough Hermiston Limited

Artfarm Property Limited

Pegasus Fire Protection Company Limited

AC Whillans Racing

Black Sheep Coffee Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Tartan Leisure Limited in connection with the design and construction of an inland, artificial surf wavegarden with associated leisure and accommodation facilities in a disused quarry in West Lothian.
  • Advised Peveril Securities Limited on the design and construction of a mixed-use development at Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow.
  • Advised Artfarm Property Limited in connection with the extensive refurbishment of an existing category B listed hotel, mews and dairy buildings at Braemar, to include the construction of a new build leisure complex and restaurant.

Real estate > Planning Tier 4

With the Edinburgh-based director Jacqueline Cook at the helm, Davidson Chalmers Stewart is capable within both the non-contentious and contentious planning spheres. The team is geared to support on renewable energy projects, including those pertaining to onshore wind, as well as residential and mixed-use developments, which often involve planning agreements, obligations and appeals, among other contentious matters.

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Testimonials

‘Jacqueline Cook is always very enthusiastic and knowledgeable. She is not afraid to provide honest advice, even if this does not meet what the client hoped to hear.’

‘Responsive and engaged.

‘This is a firm that has a strong reputation in the planning field, and rightly so.’

‘I found working with Jacqueline Cook to be a fantastic experience. She is informed, supportive, businesslike but approachable.’

Key clients

Peel NRE

Tartan Leisure Ltd

Chris Stewart Group

WKN GmbH

AcalisCare

JW Muir Group PLC (incl Muir Homes Ltd, Hermiston Securities Ltd)

Lochay Homes Ltd

M & J Ballantyne

RT Overseas Settlement

Ogilvie Homes Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Ogilvie on its successful appeal to the Court of Session against the Scottish Ministers’ repeated refusal of their housing proposals.
  • Advice to Peel Group on all its renewable energy projects in Scotland, including contract negotiation with third parties to ensure the satisfaction of pre-commencement planning conditions to enable development to begin.
  • Continuing to advise Tartan Leisure Limited on its leisure scheme that will deliver Scotland’s first artificial, inland surfing lagoon. This includes planning advice on consenting strategy, applications, EIA and planning obligations.

The firm: Davidson Chalmers Stewart is an independent, commercial law firm, focused on the needs of business clients across Scotland. Operating from offices in Edinburgh and Glasgow, the firm is recognised for providing clear, practical and commercial advice to a broad range of clients from start-ups and established SMEs to listed companies.

In a market dominated by a handful of large firms, Davidson Chalmers Stewart is well known for its unwavering commitment to client service with a partner-led approach. The firm’s expert teams focus on finding pragmatic solutions, combined with transparent pricing, to help clients achieve their business objectives.

The firm regularly advises on the Scottish aspects of UK and multinational deals, including inward investment, often working in partnership with advisors from other jurisdictions.

With a worldwide reach through partners in the Globalaw legal network (www.globalaw.net), clients can access a range of international advice through known and trusted law firms.

Principal areas of work
Agriculture and rural business: Advising landowners, estates, farmers, developers and tenants in the acquisition, disposal, use and diversification of rural businesses and landholdings.

Commercial real estate: Working with investors, landlords, tenants and developers of all sizes across all sectors of the Scottish market.

Construction: Providing specialist advice to developers, funders, investors, contractors and professional teams on contentious and non-contentious matters.

Corporate: A full range of corporate and commercial legal services across all business sectors including mergers and acquisitions and MBOs/MBIs; private equity; IPOs, takeovers and other listed company work; corporate reorganisations and restructurings; regulatory and compliance; general advisory.

Data protection and information law: Providing contentious and non-contentious data protection, freedom of information and cyber security advice to a diverse range of clients.

Dispute resolution: Offering a wide range of commercial litigation and mediation services with a particularly strong reputation for outstanding service in property litigation.

Environment and waste: Providing advice to clients in a variety of sectors on a range of environmental compliance, consenting, operational and enforcement issues including defending prosecutions.

Health: Delivering specialist advice to clients across the healthcare sector, with particular strengths in advising GP, dental and veterinary practices as well as care homes.

Planning: Providing a full range of advice for all types of commercial development including roads and compulsory purchase.

Regulatory law: Assisting and representing clients through investigations/ prosecutions by a range of regulating bodies including Police Scotland, FSS, FCA, HSE, SEPA, ICO, the Care Inspectorate and professional regulators.

Renewable energy: Advising landowners, operators and communities on wind energy, hydro, solar PV, biomass, anaerobic digestion and energy from waste.

Residential development: Advising on all aspects of land purchase and sale, including planning, and associated environmental and infrastructure issues. This area has a dedicated plot sales team.

Department Name Email Telephone
Managing partner Andrew Chalmers andrew.chalmers@dcslegal.com 0131 625 9191
Commercial real estate Andrew Chalmers andrew.chalmers@dcslegal.com 0131 625 9191
Commercial real estate Gavin Maclean gavin.maclean@dcslegal.com 0131 625 9191
Corporate and commercial Craig Stirling craig.stirling@dcslegal.com 0131 625 9191
Dispute resolution Sheila Webster sheila.webster@dcslegal.com 0131 625 9191
Environment and waste Laura Tainsh laura.tainsh@dcslegal.com 0131 625 9191
Planning Jacqueline Cook jacqueline.cook@dcslegal.com 0131 625 9191
Residential development Caroline Court caroline.court@dcslegal.com 0131 625 9191
Residential development Bruce Lancaster bruce.lancaster@dcslegal.com 0131 625 9191
Construction Simone Young simone.young@dcslegal.com 0131 625 9191
Health Craig Stirling craig.stirling@dcslegal.com 0131 625 9191
Health Andy Drane andy.drane@dcslegal.com 0131 625 9191
Agriculture and estates Louise Jones louise.jones@dcslegal.com 0131 625 9191
Projects Andy Drane andy.drane@dcslegal.com 0131 625 9191
Commercial real estate Nicola Scott nicola.scott@dcslegal.com 07535 593 219
Photo Name Position Profile
Arveen Arabshahi photo Arveen Arabshahi Arveen is a partner in Davidson Chalmers Stewart’s Corporate team.  He advises…
Andrew Chalmers photo Andrew Chalmers Managing Partner of Davidson Chalmers Stewart and head of the commercial property…
Caroline Court photo Caroline Court Partner in the commercial property department and head of residential development. Many…
Andy Drane photo Andy Drane One of the lead partners in the Davidson Chalmers Stewart specialist healthcare…
Stuart Duncan photo Stuart Duncan Partner in the corporate department. Extensive experience from many years of dealing…
Lizzy Enayati photo Lizzy Enayati Qualified as a Solicitor in 2006 and joined Davidson Chalmers Stewart in…
Bruce Lancaster photo Bruce Lancaster Partner within the firm’s commercial property department, with particular emphasis on development…
Stephanie Mackenzie photo Stephanie Mackenzie Director in the Residential Development team.  Deals with acqusitions of sites for…
Gavin Maclean photo Gavin Maclean Accredited by the Law Society of Scotland in 2005 as a specialist…
Henrietta Macpherson photo Henrietta Macpherson Director in Enviromental, Waste and Renewables team. with focus on rual business. …
Craig Stirling photo Craig Stirling Partner and head of the firm’s corporate department, dealing with a wide…
Laura Tainsh photo Laura Tainsh Partner in the environmental, waste and renewables team. Deals with a wide…
Andy Tyler photo Andy Tyler Partner in the real estate team. He has substantial experience across the…
Sheila Webster photo Sheila Webster Head of dispute resolution, with responsibility for the development of the dispute…
Simone Young photo Simone Young Heads up Davidson Chalmers Stewart’s construction team and has, since qualifying as…
Number of UK partners : 18
Number of other UK fee-earners : 37