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CMS

6 QUEENS ROAD, ABERDEEN, AB15 4ZT, SCOTLAND
Tel:
Work 01224 622002
Fax:
Fax 01224 622066
Email:
Web:
www.cms-cmck.com
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Scotland

Transport
Transport - ranked: tier 2

CMS (Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow)

CMS has a strong emphasis on road and railway work and advises its clients on procurement, construction, traffic order, regulatory and haulage matters, among others, as well as handling shipping and aviation work. The team advised the City of Edinburgh Council on the delivery of the Edinburgh tram project, including compulsory land acquisitions and traffic regulation issues, while Eleanor Lane assisted Edinburgh Trams with its operating agreement. In other work, Lane advised Caledonian Maritime Assets (CMAL) on the contracts for the MV Loch Seaforth, the new ferry operating between Ullapool and Stornoway. The firm also acted for Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) on its procurement of a rail system for the Glasgow subway modernisation project and assisted St James Edinburgh with road matters pertaining to its redevelopment of the St James Quarter including traffic regulation orders. Ann Faulds heads the planning and transport team. Trudi Craggs left for an in-house role.

Leading individuals

Ann Faulds - CMS

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Scotland: Corporate and commercial

Corporate and commercial: Edinburgh and Glasgow
Corporate and commercial: Edinburgh and Glasgow - ranked: tier 1

CMS (Edinburgh, Glasgow)

CMS has a first-rate reputation in big-ticket transactions spanning energy, financial services, TMT and leisure, among other sectors. In the life sciences arena, Kenneth Rose, Stuart MacLean and others acted for Össur UK Holding in its £27.5m takeover of Touch Bionics. The group’s core practice is complemented by strengths in ancillary disciplines, such as tax and employment, as well as additional expertise across the firm’s wider network. In 2016, Wendy Colquhoun led the advice of a multidisciplinary team in Standard Life’s acquisition of AXA Portfolio Services from the AXA Group. In another matter, Graeme Bruce led a cross-office team (which included recently promoted partner Jack Letson) in the advice to AIM-listed InterBulk Group regarding its £95.3m cash acquisition by Den Hartogh Holding. Ian Macleod Distillers, Prestonfield Investments and Clyde Blowers Capital are other notable clients. Practice head Colin Lawrie, an expert in unregulated private equity and real estate funds, advises on fund formation, investments into funds and debt financing. Senior associate James Woodward is ‘very easy to deal with’. Also recommended are David Davidson, Laurence Ward and Michael McAuley.

Leading individuals

Graeme Bruce - CMS

Next generation lawyers

Jack Letson - CMS

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Corporate and commercial: Elsewhere in Scotland
Corporate and commercial: Elsewhere in Scotland - ranked: tier 1

CMS (Aberdeen)

CMS combines strong transactional experience in areas such as energy (oil and gas, and renewables) and consumer products (including food and drink) with expertise in related specialised issues, including competition and planning issues. Reflecting the firm’s outstanding track record in big-ticket corporate and private equity matters, in 2016 Helen Machin and senior associate Niall Polson acted for NBGI in the merger between Centurion Group and ATR Group, a transaction involving the merger of two private equity backed groups. In another matter, Frank Fowlie was the lead adviser to LDC, Epi-V and the management team of Darcy Technology in the sale of Darcy to Halliburton. Other notable clients include Norvestor VII LP, ConocoPhillips and Graphite Capital. Also recommended in the team are Norman Wisely, a go-to for domestic and international upstream and midstream oil and gas transactions, recently promoted partner Graeme Clubley and Lorna Dawson. Judith Aldersey-Williams advises UK and international clients on a wide ambit of commercial contracts in the energy industry, as well as regulatory and competition issues.

Leading individuals

Frank Fowlie - CMS

Next generation lawyers

Niall Polson - CMS

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EU and competition
EU and competition - ranked: tier 2

CMS (Edinburgh, Aberdeen)

CMS acts for Scottish clients and non-Scottish entities with operations in Scotland in a wide range of matters. Senior associate Lynsey Brown is particularly experienced in EU state aid and public procurement work. Other core pillars of the firm’s practice include compliance advice, investigations and litigation, as well as merger control. Aberdeen-based Judith Aldersey-Williams, who has more than 25 years’ experience in competition and regulatory matters, focuses on acting for clients in the energy sector, particularly in oil and gas. Elsewhere, the firm draws work from clients in other sectors, including utilities, financial services, life sciences and infrastructure. Graeme Young leads the practice. Clients include SSE Plc, Standard Life, University of Glasgow and Clydesdale Bank.

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Scotland: Crime, fraud and licensing

Crime: fraud
Crime: fraud - ranked: tier 2

CMS (Edinburgh)

Core strengths of CMS include assisting clients with anti-bribery matters, including self-reporting assistance, and assisting clients with banking and insolvency-related issues. The team also advises public and private sector clients during internal investigations pertaining to fraud and embezzlement – with a particular focus on the financial services and energy sectors – and assists companies with recovery proceedings. Working in conjunction with the firm’s corporate recovery and employment teams, Sian Aitken and Graeme MacLeod are well versed in dealing with claims by banks and insolvency practitioners arising from directors’ and officers’ misfeasance. The team advised a client on cyber fraud matters and defended another company in deceit and conspiracy claims. Dispute resolution team head Colin Hutton, who is experienced in advising companies on self-reporting, and Gemma Lampert are names to note.

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Scotland: Dispute resolution

Commercial litigation
Commercial litigation - ranked: tier 1

CMS (Edinburgh, Aberdeen)

CMSconsistently performs to an exceptional standard’. Led by Colin Hutton, who provides ‘exceptional tactical advice to clients’, the disputes practice acts for a range of domestic, UK and international clients, including banks, developers, insurance companies and public bodies, with particular strength in energy and financial services disputes, although it also handles a broader workload encompassing areas such as life sciences and telecommunications. In 2016, Alison Gow acted for SSE in a Court of Session appeal of a judicial review related to the Stronelairg wind farm. Enquest, Schlumberger and Nucana Biomed are other key clients. Other key figures include Harriet Munro, Mark Kirke and Shona Frame, who specialise in construction disputes; Graeme MacLeod, Rob Wilson, Gemma Lampert, Valerie Allan and Jan Burgess; and Emma Boffey, who is ‘extremely diligent and a pleasure to work with’.

Leading individuals

Colin Hutton - CMS

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Scotland: Finance

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 1

CMS (Aberdeen, Edinburgh)

CMS’ has an outstanding reputation in leading on the most complex transactions for borrowers and lenders. An Aberdeen-based team including Fiona Henderson and Tabasam Faqir worked alongside Dawn Reoch, who is regarded by clients as ‘one of the best banking lawyers in Scotland’, to assist Coherent with the Scottish and English financing aspects of its $942m acquisition of ROFIN-SINAR Technologies and its subsidiaries. In another highlight, Stephen Phillips was the lead adviser to Ethos Energy on the £40m refinancing of its debt with a club of four banks. On the lender side, Caryn Penley and others acted for Barclays Bank in making available a facility to enable Lorimer Care Homes to restructure its debt, and then acquire Gate Healthcare. Santander, Lloyds Bank and Royal Bank of Scotland are other notable clients. Alan Fulton covers a variety of matters, including leveraged and acquisition finance transactions, as well as real estate and asset finance deals. Gordon Hay is knowledgeable about financing of renewable energy or oil and gas matters. Other recommended figures are real estate finance expert Darren Craig and recently promoted partner Jenny Allan.

Leading individuals

Caryn Penley - CMS

Next generation lawyers

Dawn Reoch - CMS

Tabasam Faqir - CMS

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Insolvency and corporate recovery
Insolvency and corporate recovery - ranked: tier 2

CMS (Edinburgh)

CMS handles all aspects of corporate recovery, restructuring and insolvency for clients from a wide variety of sectors, with particular expertise in the energy and financial services industries. In addition to drawing on its core insolvency expertise, the firm’s full-service capabilities mean it is also able to advise clients on ancillary areas connected with insolvencies, such as employment and shipping law. In the oil and gas arena, Sian Aitken and Frank Fowlie jointly led a multidisciplinary team that handled First Oil’s restructuring and entry into administration (acting for First Oil prior to the administration, and then for KPMG as administrator). Another highlight involved advising the administrators of Iona Energy on a company voluntary arrangement (CVA). The firm has also recently handled insolvencies of oil and gas service companies. Greig Williamson specialises in restructuring matters, where he acts for clearing banks, corporates and equity houses. Senior associate Jennifer Antonelli is also recommended.

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Unit trusts, OEICs and investment trusts
Unit trusts, OEICs and investment trusts - ranked: tier 1

CMS (Edinburgh)

A notable hallmark of CMS’ first-rate practice is its breadth; the ‘highly responsiveKaragh Gilliatt is an expert in retail funds (particularly those with a real estate element), and recently advised various UCITS managers, including Baillie Gifford and T. Bailey Fund Services, on aspects of the implementation of UCITS V. Other key individuals are Colin Lawrie, who specialises in private funds (particularly private equity funds) and Scottish limited partnerships, and Wendy Colquhoun, who is a go-to expert in retail and listed funds. Investment trust specialist Scott Burns and retail funds expert Aidan Campbell are also recommended. In addition to handling the formation and management aspects of funds, the team provides regulatory advice (including on the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD) and packaged retail and insurance-based investment products (PRIIPs)), and also handles a wide range of funds-related corporate transactions. Gilliatt was the lead adviser to Lloyds Banking Group on a complex fund merger involving the client’s Clerical Medical ranges and certain funds in the Scottish Widows Unit Trust Managers range. Other clients include F&C Asset Management, Virgin Money Unit Trust Managers, Prestonfield Investments and Franklin Templeton.

Next generation lawyers

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Scotland: Human resources

Employment
Employment - ranked: tier 2

CMS (Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow)

CMSprovides clear and business-oriented advice’ on contractual employment matters, restructuring projects and remuneration arrangements, with a sweet spot in the energy, financial services and higher education sectors. As a highlight for the latter, Edinburgh partner Finlay McKay advised Oriam - the new national sports centre in Edinburgh - on trade union matters, including the drafting of a recognition agreement to determine recognition and representation of UNISON within Oriam. Financial services highlights included advising Standard Life on employment law aspects of the investment company’s acquisition of Elevate from AXA. In Aberdeen, the ‘very knowledgableAlison Woods (who heads the human capital group) advised energy company SSE on Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) regulation issues with regards to the future closure of Lerwick power station. On the contentious side, the team is experienced in industrial disputes and discrimination claims. McKay defended Stirling Council in an equal pay claim raised by the council’s social work department employees. The ‘very responsive, pragmatic and hardworkingGillian MacLellan is also recommended. Robert Davies joined London-based employment boutique Walbrook Law LLP.

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Health and safety
Health and safety - ranked: tier 3

CMS (Aberdeen, Edinburgh)

Primarily acting for energy sector players, the ‘strong’ team at CMS is well versed in advising clients on regulatory compliance, prosecutions, investigations and corporate governance issues. ‘Very thorough’ Aberdeen-based practice head Jan Burgessshows great attention to detail’ and assisted the American oil and gas operator ConocoPhillips with an investigation following the release of oil from one of its North Sea installations. Other clients include key names from the transport, construction, renewable energy and manufacturing industries.

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Immigration
Immigration - ranked: tier 3

CMS (Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Glasgow)

CMS frequently assists its clients – often from the oil and gas industry as well as the university sector – with visa applications for senior executive appointments, sponsor licence applications and Tier 2 visa extensions. Finlay McKay advised the Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh on the rejected application for citizenship submitted by a professor. He also advised the University of Dundee on visa issues for foreign nationals to enter China to carry out short-term work assignments. Other recent work includes assisting with obtaining a licence to sponsor migrant workers, and advising a client on its dealings with an employee who had lost their right to work in the UK.

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Pensions
Pensions - ranked: tier 3

CMS (Edinburgh)

CMS is regularly called on to advise on matters at the intersection of pension and corporate law, where the team often works in conjunction with the firm’s corporate practice. Practice head Alistair Hill assisted Standard Life with pension law aspects following the client’s acquisition and integration of AXA’s Elevate fund platform business. As well as its financial services expertise, the team’s client base also includes energy, life sciences and education-sector players. Hill advised Stena Line on the establishment of a new contracted-out pension scheme for use as a possible merger vehicle for the merger of five large occupational pension schemes. He also assisted David Brown Systems with pension aspects of its cross-border merger with Santasalo, which involved transferring pension scheme trustees and the establishment of a new defined benefit pension scheme. Other clients include the University of Glasgow, SSE, Royal Blind School and Scotia Gas Networks Pension Scheme.

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Scotland: Insurance

Personal injury: defender
Personal injury: defender - ranked: tier 3

CMS (Aberdeen, Edinburgh)

CMS’s ‘robust’ team acts for a blue-chip energy and chemical sector client base on workplace accident, industrial disease and product liability matters. Team head Colin Hutton defended Imperial Chemical Industries against an asbestos claim at the Court of Session. ‘Very experienced’ senior associate Craig Watt, who ‘defends his clients forcefully’, assisted an energy client with matters arising from an employee’s injury at work following an explosion. Insurance company Chubb is another key client.

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Professional negligence
Professional negligence - ranked: tier 2

CMS (Edinburgh)

CMS’s ‘very good’ team has a strong professional indemnity insurer client base but also acts for solicitors, accountants, and financial services and trust fund professionals. Architects, engineers and surveyors appreciate the team’s expertise in dealing with construction and property sector-related claims. Harriet Munro, who ‘has good links to London insurers’ and heads the team with Graeme MacLeod, defended a number of public relations marketing consultants and their professional indemnity insurers against a loss of profit claim. MacLeod defended a firm of charted building services engineers and its insurers against a high-value professional negligence claim pertaining to the development of a property. He also defended a law firm and its insurers against claims of providing negligent advice on a transaction.

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Scotland: Private client

Charities and not-for-profit
Charities and not-for-profit - ranked: tier 4

CMS (Glasgow)

CMS is praised for its ‘attention to detail’ and ‘understanding and knowledge of third sector organisations’. The team is well versed in handling regulatory, corporate, funding, construction and IP issues on behalf of educational, cultural and research establishments. The team advised the National Museum of Scotland on a number of IP-related matters, including agreements on loaning and touring of its collections. Other clients include Newlands Junior College and National Galleries of Scotland. Key contact Graeme Bruceprovides practical solutions to difficult problems’, and Chris Rae demonstrates ‘great clarity of thought and expression’.

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Scotland: Projects, energy and natural resources

Energy (excluding oil and gas)
Energy (excluding oil and gas) - ranked: tier 1

CMS (Edinburgh, Glasgow)

CMS attracts praise for its ‘superb range and depth of expertise, which inspires confidence that one is working with an industry-leading team’. ‘Right up there in the renewable energy sector’, the practice handles a wide variety of energy projects, including onshore and offshore wind, biogas, and solar; it also has an extensive track record in electricity transmission upgrades and public sector energy efficiency initiatives. The multi-disciplinary team is led by Donald Cumming, who advises on complex commercial, corporate and regulatory matters for major utilities, public sector bodies and financial institutions. He is ably assisted by the ‘commendably well-organised and supportedTimothy Pitt, who combines real estate and energy sector expertise in onshore wind farm developments, as well as wave and tidal projects. Other recommended individuals include Gordon Hay, who advises banks and borrowers on energy finance; construction expert Mark Kirke; and planning specialist Robin Hutchison. David McGowan worked with Hutchison and others advising EDF Energy Renewables on its acquisition and development of the 177MW Dorenell wind farm project. Another highlight involved assisting Inch Cape Offshore with planning-related challenges associated with a 213-turbine offshore wind farm. Fiona Scott and Ailsa Ritchie are leading a team advising FCC Environment on the design, financing, construction and operation of a £450m energy-from-waste facility at Millerhill, Edinburgh.

Leading individuals
Next generation lawyers

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Oil and gas
Oil and gas - ranked: tier 1

CMS (Aberdeen, Edinburgh)

CMS’s team comprises ‘true industry leaders in their field’, covering every facet of the oil and gas industry from a UK and international standpoint for some of the world’s largest companies, including BP, Shell, Transocean and ConocoPhillips. Scotland team head Norman Wisely has substantial experience of UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) and international sales and acquisitions of onshore/offshore oil and gas assets, oil and gas share transactions, and decommissioning and licensing matters. Judith Aldersey-Williams has extensive knowledge of a wide variety of sector-specific commercial contracts, including joint operating agreements, gas sales agreements and supply and service contracts. In an illustration of its track record of advice to multinational oil and gas clients, a team including recently promoted partner Graeme Clubley and ‘rising star’ Paula Kidd assisted BP with the restructuring of the Eastern Trough Area project. Elsewhere, lead partner Frank Fowlie, Frances Reilly and Clubley were part of a team acting for First Oil on the sale of two subsidiaries to Zennor Petroleum and the related restructuring of its business, including its entry into administration. Lorna Dawson, David McGowan and Valerie Allan are other names to note. Managing partner Stephen Millar maintains relationships with clients such as BP and Eni. Rob Wilson heads the energy disputes practice.

Leading individuals
Next generation lawyers

Frances Reilly - CMS

Paula Kidd - CMS

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Projects
Projects - ranked: tier 1

CMS (Glasgow, Edinburgh)

CMS has an outstanding track record acting for public sector bodies, private sector bidders and funders in high-value and high-profile projects involving all models of infrastructure delivery, including PFI/PPP, non-profit distributing (NPD) and hub projects (across all five hub territories in Scotland). Practice head Ailsa Ritchie recently led a team acting for Nord LB as the senior funders in four design build finance maintain (DBFM) school projects in the hub South West Scotland territory, and also handled the restructuring of the Greenfaulds High Street project ahead of new Eurostat guidance on PPP projects. In another highlight, a team including Eleanor Lane, Lynsey Brown and senior associate Amy Norton assisted Strathclyde Partnership for Transport with the procurement of rolling stock, a new signalling system, a new control system and a depot (among other assets) for the Glasgow Subway Modernisation Project. Also recommended are Amanda Methven, who has more than 16 years of infrastructure and PPP projects experience in sectors such as health, transport and waste water; Michael McAuley, who specialises in acting for public authorities in large-scale and complex procurements; Shona Frame, who is recommended for disputes arising from PFI/PPP projects; and Christine Worthington, who regularly handles the construction aspects of PPP/PFI contracts. Fiona Scott, Davinia Cowden and Jenny Walker are experienced senior associates in the team.

Leading individuals
Next generation lawyers

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Scotland: Public sector

Education
Education - ranked: tier 1

CMS (Glasgow)

CMS’s ‘client-friendly and commercially minded’ team has ‘excellent knowledge of the university sector’ and is praised as ‘providing an outstanding service in a timely manner’. Recent highlights include acting for longstanding client the University of Glasgow on all aspects of its multimillion-pound campus redevelopment project. Darina Kerr, who has ‘excellent knowledge of the real estate sector’, acted for the Glasgow School of Art on its acquisition of the former Stow College from Glasgow Kelvin College, while ‘effective communicatorCarina Healy, who is also noted for ‘her outstanding knowledge of the life sciences sector alongside an immensely pragmatic approach and excellent inter-personal skills’, advised the University of Aberdeen on the creation of Islexa Limited, a new university spin-out which is developing a novel technology to produce laboratory grown islets (the organoids responsible for insulin production). This included assistance with the negotiation of the licence and management agreement with Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult. Team head Laurence Ward advised the University of Dundee on the procurement of a cloud-based integrated business solution.

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Health
Health - ranked: tier 1

CMS (Edinburgh, Glasgow)

CMS provides ‘timely advice’ to blue-chip and public sector clients, including financing and developing major health and social care projects, and health procurement matters. Team head Amanda Methven assisted hub East Central Scotland with the development of a specialist pharmaceutical production facility at the Ninewells Hospital in Dundee, and advised the same client on a project to redevelop the NHS Forth Valley Stirling Community Hospital site to provide a new primary care centre. Michael McAuley advised NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde on the procurement of two primary care facilities under the hub West Scotland initiative, while Methven advised Canmore Consortium as one of the final two bidders to deliver a new acute and community hospital on Orkney for NHS Orkney. In another highlight, the ‘very experiencedAilsa Ritchie advised NHS Grampian on a NPD project to deliver the new Baird Family Hospital and Anchor Centre projects on the Foresterhill hospital site in Aberdeen, which will deliver a new woman’s hospital, maternity facilities and a cancer centre with a value of £110m.

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Local government
Local government - ranked: tier 1

CMS (Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen)

CMS has ‘a very good understanding of the public sector’ and ‘provides excellent service, always meeting the deadline, no matter how challenging’. The team, which is jointly led by Ann Faulds and Ailsa Ritchie, has considerable clout in assisting local authority clients with large-scale infrastructure projects across a range of sectors including waste, education and housing, which includes commercial, planning and procurement work, among other aspects, as well as handling regulatory and contentious work. Ritchie assisted Glasgow City Council with the procurement of 450 houses for private sale and 200 units for direct sale to the Glasgow Housing Association as part of the council’s regeneration programme. The team also provided advice to Dumfries and Galloway Council on its existing PFI contract for the treatment of waste, which requires certain amendments in light of the Scottish government’s introduction of the Zero Waste Regulations; and advised South Lanarkshire Council on all legal aspects pertaining to its residual waste project, which will see more than 95% of the council’s residual waste being diverted from landfill. Trudi Craggs departed for an in-house position.

Leading individuals

Ann Faulds - CMS

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Parliamentary and public affairs
Parliamentary and public affairs - ranked: tier 2

CMS (Edinburgh)

CMS handles a broad spectrum of contentious and non-contentious public law matters, with particular expertise in the transport and renewable energy sectors. Notably, Eleanor Lane advised Renfrewshire Council on its Glasgow Airport Investment Area, Clyde Waterfront regeneration and Renfrew Riverside projects, which are being promoted as part of the £1bn Glasgow City Region City Deal. In another highlight, she assisted Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) with its approximately £300m procurement of a railway system for the Glasgow Subway Modernisation project, which included the drafting of project documents and negotiations with bidders. Team head Ann Faulds assisted the National Galleries of Scotland with the promotion of a private bill in the Scottish parliament pertaining to the client’s proposal to extend its complex at the Mound in Edinburgh. The bill would allow the City of Edinburgh Council to dispose of the relevant land and overcome a statutory restriction preventing construction in Princes Street Gardens. Trudi Craggs departed for an in-house position.

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Scotland: Real estate

Commercial property: Edinburgh and Glasgow
Commercial property: Edinburgh and Glasgow - ranked: tier 1

CMS (Edinburgh, Glasgow)

Commercial property: leisure and hospitality - ranked: tier 2

CMS (Glasgow)

Commercial property: retail occupiers - ranked: tier 3

CMS (Edinburgh, Aberdeen)

CMS is a regular fixture on the most significant and high-value real estate projects in Scotland. The firm has a strong track record acting for a wide variety of clients, including energy companies, hotels and leisure sector companies, retail landlords, institutional investors, public sector bodies and universities. In a recent highlight, practice head Allan Wernham, Stuart Tait and recently promoted partner Kirsten Partridge acted for TH Real Estate on the flagship St James redevelopment scheme, while Darina Kerr (who ‘never fails to give excellent advice and options both on the immediate matter at hand and on more strategic considerations’) and Lorri Pollock handled the Glasgow School of Art’s purchase of the former Stow College. Other clients of the practice include Aviva Investors, Ziggurat Student Accommodation Providers, Scottish Enterprise, EDF Energy and the University of Glasgow. Brian Donald routinely handles the real estate aspects of renewable energy developments, including transactions involving wind farm sites, and Margaret McLean focuses on purpose-built student accommodation, with extensive experience acting for student residence developers. Paul Carter excels in advising institutional investors on investment and development matters. Timothy Pitt is also highly regarded, as are senior associates Mike McColl and Gary Georgeson.

Leading individuals

Iain Doran - CMS

Stuart Tait - CMS

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Commercial property: Elsewhere in Scotland
Commercial property: Elsewhere in Scotland - ranked: tier 3

CMS (Aberdeen)

Key figures at CMS include Paul Carter, who splits his time between the Glasgow and Aberdeen offices and advises institutional investors on investment and development matters; and senior associate Carol Nisbet, who handles a broad cross-section of mandates involving leasing, secured lending, investment acquisitions and disposals. Nisbet has particular strength in property transactions related to the oil and gas sectors; in 2016, Nisbet led the advice to the Oil & Gas Technology Centre as the tenant on a high-profile letting in Aberdeen, and also acted for Subsea 7 in the disposal of its office premises and leisure facility at the West Campus site in Westhill. Nisbet also handles a significant amount of work for clients in the renewable energy sector. Other highlights included acting for Lloyds Register on the development and leasing aspects of its new premises at Prime Four Business Park.

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Construction
Construction - ranked: tier 2

CMS (Glasgow)

CMS has ‘demonstrable breadth and depth of expertise in contentious and non-contentious areas’, making it a strong choice for prestigious Scottish, UK and international projects. The group’s construction expertise spans the renewable energy, healthcare, education, utilities, infrastructure, and transport sectors. It also handles office and shopping centre developments, among others. The group is able to call upon the expertise of practitioners in various ancillary disciplines, such as projects and environment, and also leverage the wider network, to provide a full-service offering to clients including Laing O’Rourke, Galliford Try, Balfour Beatty, Standard Life Investments and Interserve. Ian McCann is leading the construction advice to Edinburgh St James on the redevelopment of the St James Quarter. In another highlight, Christine Worthington advised SSE on the construction aspects of its £355m disposal of a stake in the 350MW Clyde wind farm. The firm also has an outstanding reputation in high-profile construction disputes; key figures include Mark Kirke and Shona Frame, whose expertise includes remediation and bond claims, and PFI projects involving defects at operational phase. Recommended senior associates include Jane Fender-Allison and Madeleine Young, all of whom focus on contentious construction issues. Clients also single out non-contentious practitioners Christopher Dickson, Gwen Napier and Claudia Russell. Lindy Patterson QC has left the firm.

Leading individuals

Mark Kirke - CMS

Shona Frame - CMS

Next generation lawyers

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Environment
Environment - ranked: tier 3

CMS (Edinburgh)

CMS is noted for the breadth and depth of its expertise, which covers the environmental law spectrum. Its Edinburgh team handles standalone mandates, and also works with members of the London office on transactional, advisory and contentious matters. Particular areas of strength include acting for international clients in the waste management, chemicals and energy sectors. Robin Hutchison, senior associate Joanna Waddell and others have been assisting Hargreaves Services with environmental issues associated with a large-scale energy-from-waste development at Earls Gate Park, and the Westfield mixed-use development. Senior associate Mark McMurray is working with Hutchison to advise Inch Cape Offshore Limited on an appeal concerning the RSPB’s opposition to the proposed Inch Cape offshore wind farm.

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Planning
Planning - ranked: tier 2

CMS (Glasgow, Edinburgh)

The team at CMS combines extensive knowledge of all areas of the planning process with a breadth of expertise in projects spanning a number of sectors, including mining and minerals, waste, retail and housing. Practice head Ann Faulds has a wealth of experience in transport consenting projects in Scotland, and also acts for public and private sector clients in projects across a number of other sectors. Robin Hutchison, who has a particular specialism in energy and infrastructure projects, is advising Pilot Offshore Renewables on all consenting aspects of the Kincardine Offshore Wind Farm development. In another matter, Hutchison, who is ‘very good at articulating and negotiating his points’, is the lead adviser to Inch Cape Offshore Limited on consenting matters associated with the Inch Cape offshore wind farm. Senior associate Mark McMurray handled all planning and compulsory purchase matters in relation to the Edinburgh St James redevelopment for TH Real Estate. Senior associate Joanna Waddell is particularly knowledgeable about the environmental aspects of planning, and is working with Hutchison to advise Orkney Council on the Scottish government’s proposals to designate large areas of Orkney waters as Special Protection Areas under the Wild Birds Directive. Trudi Craggs departed the firm to become a Reporter at the Scottish government’s Planning and Environmental Appeals Division.

Leading individuals

Ann Faulds - CMS

Next generation lawyers

Mark McMurray - CMS

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Property litigation
Property litigation - ranked: tier 2

CMS (Edinburgh)

The ‘thoroughly professional team’ at CMS is headed by Alison Gow, who has more than 20 years of experience in this space and attracts praise for her ‘very good tactical instincts’; she is ‘a committed litigator with seemingly boundless energy’. Gow’s workload covers areas such as contentious landlord and tenant, wayleave and servitude disputes, and boundary encroachments cases. Gow and Danielle McLaughlin represented the trustees of The Tonsley 2 Trust in a dilapidations claim against former tenant Scottish Enterprise. Another name to note is Colin Hutton, who is dual-qualified in Scottish and English law, and specialises in energy disputes involving transmission and distribution networks. Marc Armstrong is ‘very bright, understands the law and has a pragmatic approach to problems’. Harriet Munro is recommended for real estate professional negligence claims.

Leading individuals

Alison Gow - CMS

Next generation lawyers

Danielle McLaughlin - CMS

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Social housing
Social housing - ranked: tier 3

CMS (Glasgow)

The team at CMS is led by Ailsa Ritchie and has assisted clients with various phases of the Scottish government’s flagship National Housing Trust (NHT) initiative since its inception in 2010. Senior associate Lynsey Brown’s knowledge of the NHT is complemented by her expertise in other initiatives, such as the Custom and Self Build Scheme and Local Authority Mortgage Scheme. Lorri Pollock, who focuses on real estate and property issues, is another name to note. City of Edinburgh Council, Capita Asset Services and The Royal Bank of Scotland are all clients. Craig McGinn departed for an in-house role at SMS Plc.

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Scotland: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

IT and telecoms
IT and telecoms - ranked: tier 1

CMS (Glasgow)

CMS’s ‘excellent’ team scores highly for its ‘very responsive’ approach and its ‘very good market knowledge’, particularly with regard to the financial services, public and education sectors. Laurence Ward continues to advise Clydesdale Bank on its app banking product, which involved assisting with IT contracts and a governance review. In the education sector, he assisted the University of Dundee with a software procurement project. Alan Nelson (a ‘robust and extremely knowledgeable negotiator’ who is ‘very approachable and always goes the extra mile for clients’) advised new client Ingenico on contractual matters. NHS National Services Scotland (NSS) is another client.

Leading individuals

Alan Nelson - CMS

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Intellectual property
Intellectual property - ranked: tier 2

CMS (Edinburgh, Glasgow)

The ‘very good and responsive’ team at CMS provides ‘a client-friendly service’ and acts for clients in the higher education, life sciences, sports, natural resources and entertainment sectors. Team head Laurence Ward advised the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SEC) on sponsorship agreements with A.G. Barr, Bacardi-Martini, Clydesdale Bank and Sony Europe, as well as amendments to its ticketing agreement with Ticketmaster and a supply and pouring rights agreement with Heineken. The ‘personable and pragmaticCarina Healy is ‘an effective communicator’ who is noted for her ‘experience in technology transfer matters’; she scores highly with clients for ‘working incredibly hard to ensure tight deadlines are met’. Healy advised the Stratified Medicine Scotland Innovation Centre on IP aspects arising from its new strategic research collaboration with AstraZeneca, and the University of Glasgow on its licensing arrangements with animal health company Merial. In another highlight, she assisted the University of Aberdeen with the drafting of an IP assignation agreement with Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult following the client’s creation of a spin-out company, which is developing a novel technology to produce laboratory grown islets (the organoids responsible for insulin production).

Leading individuals

Carina Healy - CMS

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Further information on CMS

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United Arab Emirates

Offices in Dubai and Dubai

Albania

Offices in Tirana

Angola

Austria

Offices in Vienna

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Offices in Brussels, Antwerp, Brussels, Brussels, and Brussels

Bosnia and Herzegovina

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China

Offices in Beijing, Beijing, and Shanghai

Croatia

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Czech Republic

Offices in Prague

Germany

Offices in Hamburg, Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Berlin, Leipzig, Dusseldorf, Cologne, Munich, and Munich

Algeria

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Spain

Offices in Madrid, Malaga, Seville, Madrid, and Barcelona

France

Offices in Paris, Strasbourg, and Lyon

Hong Kong

Offices in Hong Kong and Hong Kong

Hungary

Offices in Budapest

Latin America: International firms

Italy

Offices in Rome and Milan

Lebanon

Offices in Beirut

London

Offices in London EC4N and London EC3A

Luxembourg

Offices in Luxembourg

Morocco

Offices in Casablanca

Montenegro

Offices in Podgorica

Netherlands

Offices in Utrecht and Amsterdam

North West

Offices in Manchester

Poland

Offices in Warsaw and Poznan

Portugal

Offices in Lisbon

Romania

Offices in Bucharest

Russia

Offices in Moscow

Scotland

Offices in Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Aberdeen

South East

Offices in Reading

Singapore

Offices in Singapore, Singapore, and Singapore

Slovenia

Offices in Ljubljana

South West

Offices in Bristol

Switzerland

Offices in Zurich and Geneva

Ukraine

Offices in Kiev and Kiev

Yorkshire and the Humber

Offices in Sheffield S2 and Sheffield S2

Serbia

Offices in Belgrade

Legal Developments by:
CMS

  • Access to justice: protective costs orders in planning challenges

    Third parties and competing developers have no rights of appeal to the Secretary of State against planning decisions. Disappointed applicants can appeal to the Secretary of State and can have the merits of the application reconsidered. The only remedy available to a disappointed third party is a challenge by way of judicial review in the High Court on a point of law. The sense of frustration and disempowerment this creates has not been helped by the increasing complexity of the planning process and the use of consultation to legitimise decisions that many perceive may already have been taken.
    - CMS Group

Legal Developments in the UK

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to