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Transport - ranked: tier 2


Dentons has significant expertise in major infrastructure projects, with a niche in rail mandates. The group is also called upon to advise transport companies on EU competition and regulatory matters in relation to franchise and framework agreements. The group is the sole legal advisor to Network Rail in Scotland and assists the client with a multitude of issues, including the Edinburgh to Glasgow Improvement Programme, where it handled the project alliance agreement; and on all aspect of the client’s relationship with LS Buchanan, in relation to a major retail extension scheme which will be erected over the South Cutting adjacent to Queen Street Station in Glasgow. The group was also instructed by Strathclyde Partnership for Transport to negotiate the terms of an asset protection agreement with hotel developers on a site that passed above the Glasgow railway underground network. The key practitioners are construction specialist Mark Macaulay, procurement focused David McGowan and practice head Euan Wilson.

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Scotland: Corporate and commercial

Corporate and commercial: Edinburgh and Glasgow
Corporate and commercial: Edinburgh and Glasgow - ranked: tier 2


Dentons¬†established a presence in Scotland following a merger with Scottish firm Maclay Murray & Spens LLP in October 2017. In addition to being embedded in the Scottish and wider UK market, the combined entity has a notable international reach as well. A significant proportion of the firm‚Äôs work has a cross-border component; in 2017,¬†Brian Moore, director Donald Smith¬†and others were part of a team which assisted Aberdeen Asset Management with its ¬£11bn merger with Standard Life . Moore and Smith were also among the advisers to QUIZ Plc on its ¬£200m AIM IPO. Other key figures include Derek McCombe¬†and senior associate Kimberley Goh, (she is ‚Äėvery good at taking the lead and coordinating all aspects of a transaction‚Äė) who advised US-headquartered group Kaiam Corporation on the sale of Kaiam Laser Limited to II-VI Incorporated. The firm also handled mandates for Highland Distillers, Argenta and Johnson Controls. Guy Norfolk¬†(who splits his practice between London and Edinburgh), Claire Armstrong¬†and Owen McLennan¬†are increasingly active in transactional and advisory matters in the fintech sector. Michael Livingston, Iain Sutherland, and Bill Fowler¬†are other seasoned practitioners.¬†David McGrory¬†is ‚Äėcommercially aware and realistic‚Äė.

Leading individuals

Brian Moore - Dentons

Next generation lawyers

Derek McCombe - Dentons

Owen McLennan - Dentons

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Corporate and commercial: elsewhere in Scotland
Corporate and commercial: elsewhere in Scotland - ranked: tier 3


Dentons¬†merged with Scottish firm Maclay Murray & Spens LLP in October 2017; in the oil and gas sector, the combined entity‚Äôs practice benefits from the synergies between¬†Dentons‚Äė pre-existing¬†offering to operators/licence holders and the latter firm‚Äôs historical strengths in acting for supply chain clients. Gordon Hobkirk¬†leads the team in Aberdeen, which also has a strong client following in food and drink, financial services, retail and renewable energy.¬† In 2017, Hobkirk and associate Nicola Rae¬†acted for three special purpose vehicles (SPVs) set up by Muirden Energy in the disposal of the business and assets of the SPVs to a third party purchaser. Motion Software Limited, Hutcheson Services Limited and Grieg Seafood Shetland Limited are among a number of recent client wins. Bill Fowler¬†divides time between Edinburgh and Aberdeen.

Dentons¬†merged with Scottish firm Maclay Murray & Spens LLP in October 2017; in the oil and gas sector, the combined entity‚Äôs practice benefits from the synergies between¬†Dentons‚Äė pre-existing¬†offering to operators/licence holders and the latter firm‚Äôs historical strengths in acting for supply chain clients. Gordon Hobkirk¬†leads the team in Aberdeen, which also has a strong client following in food and drink, financial services, retail and renewable energy.¬† In 2017, Hobkirk and associate Nicola Rae¬†acted for three special purpose vehicles (SPVs) set up by Muirden Energy in the disposal of the business and assets of the SPVs to a third party purchaser. Motion Software Limited, Hutcheson Services Limited and Grieg Seafood Shetland Limited are among a number of recent client wins. Bill Fowler¬†divides time between Edinburgh and Aberdeen.

Next generation lawyers

Nicola Rae - Dentons

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Corporate tax
Corporate tax - ranked: tier 1


Dentons' first-rate credentials in the corporate tax arena are underlined by its ability to deliver advice through a combination of chartered tax advisers, accountants and lawyers. Gwen Souter, who has previous experience of serving as a director at Deloitte, is knowledgeable about international taxation and she assists clients with M&A-related tax issues, among other matters. Lorna McCaa, who is both a senior lawyer and chartered tax adviser, is a go-to for advice on employee incentives. Alastair MacLeod is primarily based in London, but spends a significant portion of time in Edinburgh. In 2017, Souter and MacLeod were among the advisers to PRS REIT Plc on its admission to the specialist fund segment of the London Stock Exchange, and also worked with the corporate team on the launch of Downing Strategic Micro-Cap Investment Trust Plc. Another highlight saw McCaa assist Highland Distillers with the tax aspects of its acquisition of the Glenrothes premium Scotch single malt whisky brand and stocks of Glenrothes whisky from Berry Bros & Rudd.

Leading individuals

Gwen Souter - Dentons

Next generation lawyers

Lorna McCaa - Dentons

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EU and competition
EU and competition - ranked: tier 1


Dentons advises clients on the full spectrum of UK and EU contentious and non-contentious competition law issues. Led by Michael Dean, the team handles matters centred on merger control, state aid, procurement, market investigations and cartel proceedings, among other areas. Senior associate Melanie Martin primarily handles non-contentious competition law matters for clients from a wide range of sectors, with a particular specialism in the financial services industry. Another senior associate Jennifer Marshall is experienced in follow-on damages litigation. Catriona Munro, Dean and Martin assisted Aberdeen Asset Management with the merger control aspects of its merger with Standard Life Plc. Munro is also part of a team which is defending Highlands and Islands Enterprise (both before the European Commission and the Scottish courts) against allegations that it unlawfully provided state aid. In addition to handling competition law concerns, the team has expertise in European law and regulatory matters (particularly in the energy and water sectors), and in export controls, trade law and bribery law. Directors David McGowan and Carolyn Burns are recommended.

Leading individuals

Catriona Munro - Dentons

Michael Dean - Dentons

Next generation lawyers

Jennifer Marshall - Dentons

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Scotland: Crime, fraud and licensing

Crime: fraud
Crime: fraud - ranked: tier 2


Dentons¬†¬†represents corporations and individuals facing allegations of corporate criminal activity ‚Äď with ‚Äėa strong portfolio of international clients‚Äô. The firm is currently representing Fast Aid Medical in a regulatory investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) into alleged fraudulent misrepresentations made in a local authority procurement scheme. It is also defending Scotch Whiskey Auctions against a Court of Session action alleging unfair prejudice and fraud towards a minority shareholder. James McMillan¬†and Michael Dean¬†are noted for having ‚Äėbuilt up a leading reputation in Scotland‚Äô and are particularly recommended for being ‚Äėwell-versed in the regulatory culture in both the UK and Scotland‚Äô.

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Crime: general
Crime: general - ranked: tier 3


Dentons handles the gamut of criminal matters for a number of senior corporate executives and sporting professionals. Douglas Blyth  recently acted for Hibernian FC player, Martin Boyle, in connection with a road traffic prosecution. Blyth is handling a separate case involving a professional footballer facing breach of the peace charges. Eleanor Kerr’s highlights included representing the executors of an estate before the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service in connection to the alleged murder of the deceased. Michael Dean is also recommended for his extensive criminal defence experience.

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Scotland: Dispute resolution

Commercial litigation
Commercial litigation - ranked: tier 2


Dentons entered the Scottish market by merging with Maclay Murray & Spens LLP in October 2017. In addition to having a sizeable reach in Scotland, the Scottish group operates as part of a wider UK team of dispute resolution specialists. Tim Edward , Douglas Blyth and Malcolm Gunnyeon jointly head up the practice out of the Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen offices respectively. Edward is accredited by the Law Society of Scotland as a specialist in professional negligence matters, while Gunnyeon assists clients with oil and gas litigation, contentious health and safety and insolvency-related cases. Blyth, who has a particularly first-rate reputation in insolvency litigation, and recently promoted director Craig Kennedy acted for Hooley Limited in the landmark Court of Session case of Hooley Limited v The Victoria Jute Company Limited, which confirmed that the principle of modified universalism should be recognised by Scottish law. Edward is representing Highlands and Islands Enterprise as the defender in Court of Session proceedings brought by LC Services over an alleged breach of state aid rules. Gareth Hale focuses on property litigation, while legal director Susan Snedden heads up the contentious IP and TMT practice. The firm is also active in cases involving media law, corporate crime and public law. Ewan Easton has retired from private practice.

Leading individuals

Tim Edward - Dentons

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Debt recovery
Debt recovery - ranked: tier 2


Dentons' practice covers a wide ambit of matters in the commercial and consumer sectors, including utilities recoveries, motor finance and general commercial debt recovery cases, as well as debts arising from employment contracts and property-related debts. A notable strength of the firm is that it has a team in Aberdeen that is experienced in assisting oil and gas sector clients with recovering outstanding debts internationally. Frank Johnstone in Glasgow is the overall head of the practice, which is equally strong in handling bespoke and volume recoveries at all stages from pre-litigation to enforcement. Also recommended is solicitor advocate Douglas Blyth, who represents pursuers and defenders at the Sheriff Court and Court of Session in a range of commercial debt recovery matters. A recent highlight saw Blyth and senior associate Marianne Griffin successfully represent car park operator Indigo Park Services UK Limited in the highly-publicised, landmark case of Indigo Park Services UK Limited v Conor Watson, which arose from student nurses accruing unpaid parking fines at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee. Blyth is also working with members of the London office to advise RBS Invoice Finance on recovering debts under an asset-based finance facility. Julie Devlin is another key figure in the team, as is Craig Kennedy, who is particularly strong in debt and asset recovery cases where there is an insolvency-related component. Clydesdale Bank, RCI Financial Services and Network Rail are among the firm's many clients.

Leading individuals

Frank Johnstone - Dentons

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Scotland: Finance

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 1


Dentons now has a major banking practice in Scotland, following its combination with Maclay Murray & Spens LLP in October 2017. Led by Susan Kelly, the team acts for some of the largest corporate borrowers in Scotland in financing transactions across a wide variety of sectors, with particular strengths in food and drink, financial services and energy. It also generates a significant amount of lender-side work, with the firm having longstanding relationships with clients such as The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), Santander and Clydesdale Bank. As part of a wider global network, the Scotland-based team has a strong capability in cross-border transactions; this is particularly the case in funds finance, an area where recently promoted partner James Wilson and Kelly are leading experts. Outside of funds finance, Stuart Fitzsimmons and Anna Crosby acted as the lead counsel to Norwegian defence and maritime company Kongberg Gruppen ASA in the refinancing of a circa £200m revolving facility involving SEB Bank, Danske Bank, Nordea Bank and JP Morgan. Fitzsimmons and senior associate Johanne Lewin also assisted RBS, Lloyds Bank Plc, Nationwide and Blackrock with providing financing to Wheatley Housing Group. A notable asset-based lending transaction involved Wilson acting for First Milk Limited in the provision of a £76m asset-based lending facility by Wells Fargo in 2017. Ainsley Reid joined Morton Fraser.

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Scotland: Human resources

Employment - ranked: tier 3


The industry-respected Amanda Jones heads Dentons’ practice, which advises major corporates across a variety of sectors on the range of employment matters. Highlights for the group included representing West Lothian Council in relation to multiple Employment Tribunal claims alleging underpaid holiday pay over a number of years. Glasgow’s Mark Hamilton conducted a major due diligence exercise for Quiz in relation to comprehensive supply chain transparency and Modern Slavery Act compliance, also ensuring that executive director service agreements were fit for purpose. Hamilton also advised a major building support services company on the exit of a senior employee, board member and former shareholder after the employee raised substantial whistle-blower allegations.

Leading individuals

Amanda Jones - Dentons

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Health and safety
Health and safety - ranked: tier 3


Dentons‚Äô team possesses ‚Äėfirst class industry knowledge and great attention to detail‚Äô. Malcolm Gunnyeon leads the practice and, alongside senior associate James McMillan, is noted as ‚Äėvery sharp‚Äô. The group‚Äôs main areas of expertise are the food and drink, oil and gas and rail transportation sectors, and the firm has a mixture of high-profile public and private industry clients. Recent highlights included representing the Educational Institute of Scotland in police and HSE investigations and a subsequent fatal accident inquiry, into the collapse of a changing room wall at an Edinburgh school, which killed a student ‚Äď leading to no adverse comment in relation to any of the teachers involved. It also provided detailed and wide-ranging advice to Menzies Distribution on its health and safety obligations pertaining to contract workers it engages to supplement its existing team.

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Immigration - ranked: tier 3


‚ÄėExcellent on all counts‚Äô, Dentons¬†has particular expertise in advising clients on issues arising from sponsorship, including duty compliance and licence applications. The group recently advised an SPFL club on the time-sensitive sponsorship of a migrant player in a transaction that needed to be completed within the transfer window. It also assisted the new UK subsidiary of a global HR and payroll solutions company with a number of immigration mandates, including applying for sponsor licences and reviewing HR processes. The group also advises an independent investment manager on the likely impact of Brexit on employees who are EEA nationals or have EEA national spouses.¬† Senior associate¬†Alison Weatherhead¬†leads the practice in Scotland, and has extensive experience in business immigration.¬†Elsie Turner¬†is also recommended for her ability to convey ‚Äėon the spot advice thoroughly yet effortlessly‚Äô.

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Pensions - ranked: tier 2


Dentons has a strong focus on pension scheme de-risking and deal support, but recent work also includes advising schemes on data protection compliance and Equality Act compliance in relation to public sector pensions. The team is led by David Knox, who has expertise in scheme de-risking, restructuring, outsourcing and non-profit sector pensions. The group is currently advising W.L. Gore & Associates on various UK pension law compliance matters and the Dalriada pension trustees on a novel de-risk to protect scheme members which was agreed with a new owner, to underpin its investment in a global fund manager based in Scotland.

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Scotland: Insurance

Professional negligence
Professional negligence - ranked: tier 3


Dentons' department possesses ‚Äėa depth of knowledge that is difficult to replicate‚Äô, and represents a mixture of both claimants and defenders, with particular expertise in claims in the financial services. Its clients include major insurers, including Zurich and Aviva, in addition to individuals and insured businesses. The practice is led by Tim Edward, who is ‚Äėan astute litigator, with a keen grasp of the strategic issues‚Äô. ‚ÄėExcellent‚Äô senior associate Bruce McCombie¬†predominately represents professionals defending claims of negligence. In a recent highlight, the group successfully defended Pagan Osborne against a claim raised by a former customer in relation to its role in the executory of her late husband‚Äôs estate, leading to a full discharge of all claims. It is currently acting for Charles Taylor Insurance Services in defending a claim by liquidators of AGRPA for allegedly negligent advice on a Portfolio Solutions Bond sold under its name.

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Scotland: Private client

Personal tax, trusts and executries
Personal tax, trusts and executries - ranked: tier 3


Dentons ' team, which transferred from legacy firm, Maclay, Murray & Spens LLP, is led by Eleanor Kerr who took over from Andrew Biggart (now a consultant at the firm). The group’s primary focuses are wills, trusts, tax planning, contentious and non-contentious probate, matters concerning adults with incapacity, personal injury and charitable trusts. Alexis Graham, whose clients include a number of entrepreneurs and other high-net-worth individuals, is advising the estate of a deceased client who had a considerable shareholding, in a matter involving business property relief, a large number of lifetime gifts and complex family dynamics.

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Scotland: Projects, energy and natural resources

Energy (excluding oil and gas)
Energy (excluding oil and gas) - ranked: tier 3


Dentons merged with Maclay Murray & Spens LLP in 2017, with the combined entity now benefiting from both firms' strengths in the area of energy regulation. In addition, the merger means there is now additional resource to assist clients with small to mid-scale projects (particularly in relation to onshore wind, hydro and gas peaking/gas CHP distributed generation). Led by David Cruickshank, the team acts for a wide range of participants in the renewable and alternative energy market, including developers, contractors, landowners, funders, regulators and regulated companies. A highlight in 2017 involved acting for UK Green Investment Bank in its £2.3bn sale by the UK government to Macquarie. In addition, director Carolyn Burns, Cruickshank, Mark Hamilton, senior associate Paul Young and director David McGowan advised Aggreko on its successful joint bid with National Grid to provide a new energy solution for the Shetland Islands. Bill Fowler is knowledgeable about marine renewables, onshore wind and energy from waste/renewable heat projects. Other notable partners are Stuart Fitzsimmons, who advises lenders and developers on renewable energy financing transactions, and real estate partner Allan Cairns. Stewart Maciver and senior associate Gareth Tenner are also recommended.

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Oil and gas
Oil and gas - ranked: tier 2


Dentons, which merged with Maclay Murray & Spens LLP in 2017, added the latter firm's historically strong supply chain offering to its own pre-existing capability acting for operators/licence holders. Bill Fowler leads the team, which is a key part of a larger UK-wide group, and is particularly strong in decommissioning and drilling projects, and also in oil and gas disputes. Fowler and others recently assisted Peel Gas & Oil Limited with the negotiations over a lease with a participant in the onshore UK oil and gas industry; the lease involved bespoke provisions to cater for industry-specific regulatory requirements and the allocation of risks/liabilities associated with an onshore shale/fracking project. Kirsti Olson is the chair of Oil & Gas UK's Decommissioning Work Group, which is in the final stages of producing the first LOGIC standard form contract to be used for decommissioning projects in the North Sea. On the contentious side, Malcolm Gunnyeon and senior associate Florinda Soldani are acting for Completion Products Limited (a manufacturer of downhole cable and control line protection systems) in a cross-border dispute with an Omani company; court proceedings are currently pending at the Omani Supreme Court. Gunnyeon also has experience of handling commercial and contractual disputes for clients such as Stork Technical Services (RBG) Limited and Weatherford. Nicola Rae is also recommended. Decom North Sea (the UK decommissioning industry body), KCA Deutag Drilling Limited, Schlumberger Oilfield UK Plc and DOF Subsea are other clients of the team. Jill Reid has left the firm to set up her own consultancy.

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Projects - ranked: tier 2


Dentons' team has particularly notable experience of¬†investments into and divestments of projects, as well as financing and restructurings; its work spans areas such as PFI/PPP, NPD, hub, BSF and energy. Key clients in this space include 3i, Dalmore Capital and Sir Robert McAlpine.¬† In a sign of its strengths in the primary projects market, the firm was recently instructed by Choice Housing to assist it with its bid for the ‚ā¨300m Irish Social Housing PPP Programme. It also acted for Aviva Public Private Finance Limited as the senior debt provider to hub East Central in hub DBFM programmes in Perth and Arbroath. Another facet of the practice involves advising on operational change and asset management matters in the projects sector. Euan Wilson, who leads the team, has more than 20 years of experience of the projects sector. Stewart Maciver¬†has more than 15 years of experience.¬†Andrew Orr¬†has been advising Amey on various projects, as part of a ¬£400m ten-year partnership contract with the Education Authority in Belfast to manage and modernise the entire education estate under the Authority's control. Orr is also advising the same client on the operational aspects of a ¬£120m PFI contract with the Authority.

Leading individuals

Andrew Orr - Dentons

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Scotland: Public sector

Education - ranked: tier 3


Dentons stands out for its ability to provide support services to a range of HE institutions relating to construction projects, employment and the commercialisation of intellectual property. Highlights for Amanda Jones included advising the Educational Institute of Scotland and its members on voluntary severance packages offered by Fife College and Glasgow Caledonian University by settlement agreements. Morag Campbell assisted the Glasgow School of Art with setting up a new creative campus in the Highlands of Scotland, including funding matters and lease documentation. Alyson Bryce is currently handling the delivery of IP Protect, an intellectual property advisory service, for the University and College Union. Practice head, Mark Macaulay acted for Glasgow Academy in relation to the refurbishment of the old Newlands Bowling Club into a new nursery and kindergarten for the school.

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Scotland: Real estate

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


Commercial property: retail - ranked: tier 1


Dentons expanded its coverage of the UK market, when it merged with Scottish firm Maclay Murray & Spens LLP in 2017. A sizeable number of the Scottish team are dual-qualified in English law and Scottish law, and a significant proportion of the work it handles is written under English law. Colin Keenan has a notable English and Scottish practice, with particular experience of transactions involving shopping centres (acquisitions, disposals and asset management). Simon Etchells advises English and Scottish clients on projects UK-wide involving cinemas, mixed-use and industrial developments. Barry McKeown is at the forefront of the team's advice to clients such as Sigma Capital Group and Gatehouse Bank on the delivery of new PRS housing units across the UK. Also recommended is Allan Cairns, who assisted Alpha Real Capital with the Scottish property aspects of a circa £125m sale and leaseback transaction involving 109 care homes across the UK, including 15 in Scotland.  Gordon Aitken (who co-heads the practice with Etchells) led a team, which included director Susan Gillon and senior associate Sheena Mackintosh, in the advice to Lime Property Fund on its circa £52.8m acquisition of the EcoCampus at Hamilton International Park. The firm has a strong track record in the retail sector; in 2017, a highlight involved acting for Long Row Properties Limited in its £25m acquisition of Debenhams department store in Nottingham. Elsewhere, McKeown and Gillian Downie are key figures in the specialist housebuilder unit which generates work from clients such as Barratt Homes, Taylor Wimpey and Persimmon Homes.

Leading individuals

Gordon Aitken - Dentons

Next generation lawyers

Allan Cairns - Dentons

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


Dentons' team acts for clients based in Aberdeen, and the north and north east of Scotland, with its work involving sectors that are the core of the local economy, such as retail, renewable energy, hotels and agriculture. In the housebuilding space, David Rose acts for some of the largest and most active housebuilders - such as Barratt, Taylor Wimpey and Persimmon's north Scotland business - and lenders to north east Scotland developers. In addition, as part of a much larger operation, the team is highly active in matters throughout the UK, such as property portfolio transactions. Rose, who has overseen the growth of the firm's Aberdeen-based practice since his arrival from Brodies LLP in 2015, made partner in June 2017. He is supported by Edinburgh-based partners Allan Cairns and Alan Stewart, who commit a significant proportion of time to the Aberdeen practice. In 2017, a highlight involved acting for McLaren (Aberdeen) Limited and McLaren Developments (Aberdeen) Limited in the sale of a portfolio of six student accommodation developments to Hines UK Limited. Another matter involved advising Craig Garbill Renewables LLP on the sale of a wind turbine to Wind Energy Renewables LLP.

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Construction - ranked: tier 2


Dentons moved into the Scottish market by merging with Maclay Murray & Spens LLP in 2017, expanding the scope of its construction offering across the UK. The firm's Scottish team is a strong performer in contentious and non-contentious matters, as is reflected by it consistently featuring in sophisticated, high-end projects, and by its list of high calibre clients. On the non-contentious side, it is particularly active in employer-led development work, particularly in areas such as real estate, energy (renewable energy and oil and gas) and transport. Mark Macaulay is leading a team in the advice to London Luton Airport Operations Limited on the procurement and construction issues associated with the expansion of the airport. The firm is also equally highly regarded in contentious construction matters; Kirsti Olson, who is dual-qualified in Scotland and England/Wales, is particularly knowledgeable about contentious construction matters related to transport, energy and PFI/PPP projects. David Scott recently departed the firm.

Leading individuals

Mark Macaulay - Dentons

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Environment - ranked: tier 2


At Dentons, associate Pamela Coulthard (who heads up the Scottish environment practice) has expertise in the regulatory aspects of oil and gas decommissioning and onshore hydraulic fracturing, waste, contaminated land and the interplay between insolvency law and environmental law. Coulthard is assisting Network Rail with air quality issues (including local air quality management) relating to a city centre train station. Coulthard is also advising Ian Craig Haulage Limited on the replacement of a historic environmental agreement, which it had with a waste management company, with  an environmental insurance policy. In addition, Coulthard and others advise on the environmental liability and compliance issues associated with corporate acquisitions and disposals.

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Planning - ranked: tier 3


Dentons' practice, which is led by director Gillian Simpson, is highly active in advising developers of residential and mixed-use developments on projects across Scotland. Simpson is acting for a consortium - consisting of CALA Homes (West) Limited, Lynch Homes and Abbey Developments (Jackton) Limited - in the negotiation of the section 75 obligation, and in relation to other planning matters, for a proposed development encompassing 1200 new homes and associated infrastructure in East Kilbride. Simpson and Fiona Gordon are also assisting Avant Homes (Scotland) Limited with planning issues associated with a large residential development at Mydub Farm in Denny. In addition to undertaking standalone work, the team supports other practices in transactional matters; a recent highlight involved working with the property team to assist Multi Let Global Investments with the acquisition (and related financing) of Morgan Stanley's Scottish headquarters building in Glasgow. The group's capabilities in contentious planning matters, such as appeals and judicial reviews, round off the practice.

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Property litigation
Property litigation - ranked: tier 1


Dentons, which entered the Scottish marketplace by merging with Maclay Murray & Spens in 2017, has seen its Scotland-based team become increasingly active in advising the firm's clients from further afield across the UK. The group, which is led by Gareth Hale, has recently attracted work from names such as J Sainsbury Plc and Argos. Its expertise in reputationally-significant cases spans a wide variety of issues, such as contested lease terminations, dilapidations and disputes arising from the termination of land option contracts. Hale and senior associate Sarah McCormick are representing CIP Property (AIPT) Limited at the Inner House of the Court of Session in a landmark case concerning the anti-money laundering obligations of financial institutions/other regulated entities, or their nominees, in property transactions. Another legally-significant case saw Hale and McCormick act for The Brucefield Estate Trustee Company Limited as the landlord in proceedings against former tenant Computacenter (UK) Limited; this widely-publicised case concerned the operation of tacit relocation. In addition to acting for landlords, the firm also advises corporate tenants, including TK Maxx, The Disney Store and John Menzies Plc. Ewan Easton has retired from private practice.

Next generation lawyers

Gareth Hale - Dentons

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Scotland: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

IT and telecoms
IT and telecoms - ranked: tier 3


Dentons is marked out by its contentious IT practice, which focuses on dispute resolution in technology-related matters. The non-contentious team has expertise in IT outsourcing, hosted and online services as well as system procurement and implementation. Team leader Alison Bryce advised Ecometrica on its proprietary Service as a Software (SaaS) agreement and on various data protection compliance issues. Ross Nicol advised The Restaurant Group on all of its IT requirements, including the negotiation of an agreement with Get Grab, which enables pre-ordering of food and drink at airports.

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Intellectual property
Intellectual property - ranked: tier 2


Dentons‚Äô full-service IP practice has particular strength in matters pertaining to the food and drink industry, life sciences and branding, for which it is able to ‚Äėquickly identify key issues in complex situations‚Äô. Practice head Alison Bryce¬†advises UK and international clients on all non-contentious IP matters, such as licensing deals, portfolio acquisitions, investments and joint ventures. She recently assisted Kings Landing with its acquisition of the IP portfolio of Jaeger and QUIZ on all IP and commercial contract aspects of its ¬£200m Alternative Investment Market (AIM) listing. The ‚Äėapproachable‚Äô Ross Nicol¬†advised Stagecoach Group on branding issues arising from its partnership with South Gloucestershire Bus and Coach Company. Alongside Corinne Ward¬†and the ‚Äėknowledgeable‚Äô Susan Snedden, he advised STV Productions on various matters, including content-related IP and data protection issues and matters concerning a proposed appointment of a new distributor.

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Media and entertainment
Media and entertainment - ranked: tier 2


Building on the media and entertainment practice at legacy firm Maclay Murray & Spens LLP, Dentons also draws on its international office network to advise multinational corporations on the spectrum of matters relating to film, television, digital, gaming, e-sports, music, publishing and advertising. It also has a strong track record in reputation management. Practice leader Ewan Easton successfully represented BBC Scotland in an application to the High Court to reinstate trial reportage that was posted on twitter, for which consent was subsequently withdrawn by the presiding judge. He is also advising Edinburgh International Festival on contractual agreements with live performing artists, which required a particular focus on broadcasting and copyright issues. Ross Nicol and Susan Snedden are also recommended for their expertise in the intersection between IP and media law.

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Further information on Dentons

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  • Legal aspects of documenting shipping finance transactions in the United Arab Emirates

    The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is strategically placed between Europe and the Far East. The UAE has been ranked among the top 15 maritime nations by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development and the UAE Government is working on plans to transform the shipping industry into one of the country’s major economic sectors.
    - SNR Denton

Legal Developments in the UK

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
  • Gulbenkian Andonain discuss NEW Tier 1 Start-Up Visa and the NEW Tier 1 Innovator Visa

    The document entitled "Statement of Changes to Immigration Rules" which was released by the House of Commons on the 7th March 2019, outlined and advised us on a number of changes that will come into place that will affect the Tier 1 Investor Visa amongst other visa programmes and schemes. The latest article on our website discusses both of these new UK business visa routes. Our immigration lawyers London are already up to date on all of the required information for both the NEW Tier 1 Start-Up Visa and the NEW Tier 1 Innovator Visa .
  • Upcoming Changes to the UK Tier 1 Investor Visa

    According to the new document from the House of Commons on March 7th 2019 titled ‚ÄúStatement of Changes to Immigration Rules‚ÄĚ, a number of changes will come into place that affecting the Tier 1 UK Investor Visa programme amongst other visa programmes and schemes. Read about them in our latest¬† article .¬†
  • Brexit and non-EU Immigration

    There is no doubt that the UK has to date benefited immensely from visa-free EU immigration to the extent that visa conditions and caps on non-EU migrant have undermined and overshadowed the ability of this group to play a prominent role in British industry and commerce and in its expanding and overburdened NHS service. It is the view of  Gulbenkian Andonian  however, that after  Brexit, there should be a noticeable change in those skilled non-EU migrants contributing to British society in a meaningful way. 
  • Gulbenkian Andonian Solicitors discuss Post Brexit scenarios - EU Nationals and Salient Immigration

    From 1 January 2021 everyone except for British and Irish citizens will be subject to immigration control in the UK.   Gulbenkian Andonian solicitors has already published an article on this topic of post- Brexit immigration and has discussed the case of EU nationals and family members after Brexit, you can find that article here as one of many in our blog .

    Tescoadmitted wrongdoing over its accounting scandal in order to obtain a deferredprosecution agreement and avoid a conviction. But with everyone charged overthe scandal having been cleared, Aziz Rahman examines whether the deferredprosecution agreement process needs revising.

    With Standard Bank having become the first organisation to conclude a DPA, Aziz Rahman explains why gaining one is only the start of the challenge.

    The sacking of Nissan’s high-profile chairman may have beenproof that nobody is infallible. But Nicola Sharp argues that it should also beseen as an indicator that no company can be considered safe from wrongdoing.
  • Applying for A Sole Representative Visa

    Regardless of the Brexit outcome, the United Kingdom will remain one of the world most powerful economies. With a market of 65 million people and close ties with Europe, many overseas-based organisations look to establishing a subsidiary or branch office in Britain.

    Aziz Rahman considers the Ericsson bribery investigation and outlines how best to respond if you are investigated by more than one law enforcement agency
  • Have Changes to The Spouse/Civil Partnership Minimum Income Threshold Made A Difference?

    The plight of those denied a UK Spouse/CivilPartnership Visa or a Spouse/Civil Partnership Visa extension continues to feature in the headlines.   In August 2018, the Guardian reported on one young woman, driven to attempt suicide after her fiancé, an Albanian national, was not permitted to enter the country.   The Home Office ruled Paige Smith, a British Citizen, did not meet the £18,600 income threshold.   It later transpired the Home Office lost a crucial payslip proving that Ms Smith met the criteria, a document the department had been sent four times by a Solicitor and Ms Smith’s MP.   The appeal Judge took ten minutes to rule the Visa should have been approved; however, the couple still had to wait two months for the Home Office to declare it would not appeal the decision.