Firm Profile > Dentons > Glasgow , Scotland

G2 1AL

Commercial property: Edinburgh and Glasgow Tier 1

Dentons has recently expanded its UK coverage while maintaining its cross-border capabilities and expertise in English law. In recent highlights, the group handled a series of transactions involving shopping centres, UK-wide projects involving cinemas, mixed-use and industrial developments, and the delivery of new PRS housing units across the UK through its specialist housebuilding unit. Also notable is the team's established strength in the retail sector. Gordon Aitken and Simon Etchells jointly lead the department from the Glasgow office; Allan Cairns is a key contact in the Edinburgh office.

Corporate tax Tier 1

Dentons' tax team in Scotland has specialist skills across the full gamut of issues, including planning and structuring for corporate deals and reorganisations, real estate tax, cross-border M&A tax issues, financial services tax, and tax planning for high net worth individuals. Practice head Gwen Souter sits in Glasgow is especially renowned for her expertise in international taxation and the structuring of M&A transactions, while Lorna McCaa leads on much of the firm's key work.

EU and competition Tier 1

The competition department at Dentons is best known for work on contentious matters including dawn raids, anti-bribery work and modern slavery issues. Michael Dean leads the group from Glasgow and is regularly involved in significant merger control, leniency applications, compliance programmes, vertical supply chain issues and retailing matters. Contentious specialist Catriona Munro has a particularly strong track record in the cartel space, regulatory issues, State aid and private damages claims,  both on the plaintiff and defendant side. Jennifer Marshall left the Edinburgh office to join Highlands and Islands Airport as in-house counsel.

Banking and finance Tier 2

Dentons' work is spread between its borrower and lender client base, which includes clients at a national and international level and spans a variety of sectors; the team has also recently focused on growing its lender side work. The practice covers all aspects of banking and finance mandates including fund financings, securitisations, loan portfolio transfers and corporate borrowing. Susan Kelly heads up the UK banking and finance group and Stuart Fitzsimmons leads the Glasgow and Aberdeen practices. James Wilson specialises in property, fund and corporate finance mandates.

Commercial litigation Tier 2

Dentons' 'strong' team is well equipped to represent clients in various domestic and cross-border disputes arising from business transactions and shareholder relations. Its expertise also covers insolvency-related matters. The 'very good' Edinburgh-based Tim Edward, Glasgow partner Douglas Blyth and Aberdeen-based Malcolm Gunnyeon are the main contacts. In 2018, Rona Hutchison left the firm to change career and Ewan Easton retired from private practice.

Construction Tier 2

Noted for its broad offering, Dentons receives regular instructions on various contentious and non-contentious construction matters from developers and building contractors alongside transport, infrastructure and energy sector clients. Mark Macaulay heads the 'very good' team. David Scott retired in April 2018.

Corporate and commercial: Edinburgh and Glasgow Tier 2

The corporate and commercial group at Dentons is especially strong in the food and drink, financial services, industrial and retail sectors, where it acts for clients including C&C and KKR. Brian Moore's team is led out of Edinburgh and advises Scottish clients operating internationally on cross-border transactions and investments. Donald Smith was recently promoted to the partnership, while the group also has a strong bench at senior associate level, including Owen McLennan in Edinburgh and Kimberley Goh in Glasgow.

Crime: fraud Tier 2

'Delivering great results', Dentons' 'capable and highly experienced' team advises various national and international clients on fraud and embezzlement matters alongside issues pertaining to insolvency and bankruptcy scenarios. 'Hard working and experienced' consul and counter fraud specialist Craig Kennedy heads the team, which lost senior associate and regulatory expert James McMillan to Al Tamimi & Company in August 2018.

Environment Tier 2

Senior associate Pamela Coulthard heads the Scottish environment practice at Dentons, which is experienced in providing regulatory and compliance advice alongside transactional support.

Intellectual property Tier 2

The TMT team at Dentons is particularly strong in the food and drink and life sciences sectors, and recently made new client gains in the public sector and manufacturing industry. The group handles the full range of IP issues spanning trade mark and patent matters, IP litigation and copyright issues. Practice head Alison Bryce is a key name for non-contentious work including licensing deals, IP acquisitions, investments and joint venture; Ross Nicol also handles the IP aspects of transactions, e-commerce issues and data protection work.

Investment funds Tier 2

The practice at Dentons regularly advises its blue-chip client roster on issues relating to fund financing, regulatory matters, corporate structures and disputes. The firm has notable expertise in handling corporate and banking structures with fund involvement; it leverages the firm's knowledge of tax, insurance and trust law. Claire Armstrong is based in Edinburgh and leads the Scotland asset management offering.

Oil and gas Tier 2

Dentons' practice has particular expertise handling decommissioning work through the expertise of Edinburgh-based Kirsti Olson, drilling matters, and contentious mandates. Corporate expert Gordon Hobkirk also contributes to the practice with litigator Malcolm Gunnyeon; both are based in Aberdeen. The Aberdeen team also recently hired senior oil and gas specialist counsel Kenny Paton from Webber Wentzel; he has substantial experience in the North Sea and internationally.

Projects Tier 2

In the primary projects market, Dentons is noted for its involvement in the hub programme, and has also been active in the secondary market, a key area of strength for Edinburgh-based practice head Euan Wilson. The group has recently advised on numerous investments, divestitures, refinancings and restructurings relating to PFI, PPP, New Product Development (NPD), hub, Building Schools for the Future (BSF) and energy sector projects. Andrew Orr is a key name for project finance work.

Property litigation Tier 2

Dentons handles various contentious matters for institutional landlords and corporate tenants, including contractual and property transaction-related matters, dilapidation and damages claims as well as rent review and lease termination disputes. Team head Gareth Hale is also an accredited mediator.

Transport Tier 2

As sole legal advisor to Network Rail, Dentons' strength lies in handling major rail sector infrastructure projects, which includes advice on regulatory, competition law and procurement matters pertaining to franchise and framework agreements. Euan Wilson, who co-heads the practice with construction specialist Mark MacAulay, is the main contact for project finance.

Commercial property: elsewhere in Scotland Tier 3

The Scottish commercial property team at Dentons fields a dedicated housebuilding unit, which advises major clients on project work, strategic options, consortium agreements, joint ventures and site acquisitions. Also notable is the group's strength in the renewable energy space, where practice head David Rose and members of the banking, corporate and real estate departments assist clients with acquisitions and disposals, leasings and joint venture arrangements.

Debt recovery Tier 3

Dentons provides commercial and compliance advice on volume debt and asset recovery in the debt purchase, banking and asset finance, utilities, oil and gas and general commercial sectors. Litigators Frank Johnstone and Douglas Blyth are the main contacts; Johnstone enjoys an 'excellent reputation in the market'.

Employment Tier 3

Dentons' 'responsive and approachable' team has a strong profile for insolvency-related and corporate employment work, which frequently involves other UK jurisdictions, but the team's expertise also expands to various other HR matters including executive contracts and data protection issues. In litigation, handling equal and holiday pay claims, discrimination and unfair dismissal matters alongside whistleblowing allegations are particular areas of expertise. The 'very professionalMark Hamilton is the main contact for Scotland following Amanda Jones' appointment as the firm's global woman's advancement director in October 2018. The 'very experienced' Alison Weatherhead was appointed counsel in March 2018 and advises on the full spectrum um employment law, while in April 2018, director Alan Delaney moved to Morton Fraser.

Energy (excluding oil and gas) Tier 3

Dentons' 2017 merger with Maclay Murray & Spens LLP expanded its presence in the Scottish market and allowed the Scottish offices to leverage the significant resources of the global network. The group has also grown its client base adding several global clients to its well-established domestic client base; it was recently appointed by the Scottish government to advise on the implementation of its energy efficiency programme. David Cruickshank leads the renewables practice and is a member of the firm's international cross-practice energy transition initiative.

IT and telecoms Tier 3

Dentons' Scottish IT practice handles outsourcing matters, system procurements and implementations, e-commerce and data protection advice, and issues pertaining to hosted services. The group also leverages the firm's global network to advise on international matters. Alison Bryce leads the team, which also includes non-contentious IT specialist Ross Nicol and senior associate Julie Brown, who has experience in website compliance and e-commerce issues.

Media and entertainment Tier 3

Dentons' media and entertainment practice advises broadcasters and organisations in the arts and culture sector on intellectual property matters, copyright infringement, data protection, defamation risks and other contentious issues, such as production rights and censorship. In the non-contentious space, the team drafts agreements for cultural bodies and helps clients with reputation management. Partner Susan Snedden is well known for litigating in IP disputes on behalf of major broadcasters. Practice head Ewan Easton has a track record of advising BBC Scotland on their reporting rights and duties.

Pensions Tier 3

Having a 'breadth of expertise' in scheme de-risking and corporate support work, Dentons routinely advises on funding matters, equality compliance and buy-outs alongside pension law matters arising from mergers and acquisitions. The 'very pragmatic' team also handles contentious work and is led by the 'dynamic and engagingDavid Knox, who divides his time between Edinburgh and London.

Personal tax, trusts and executries Tier 3

Dentons, which during 2018 recruited BTO Solicitors LLP's private client head Roddy Harrison, primarily acts for executors in estate administrations and for trustees in the winding up of trusts and restructuring matters, where tax expenses are a central consideration. The team has strength advising on all forms of tax and tax mitigation options, including inheritance tax, entrepreneurs’ relief and business property relief, as well as the impact of the legislative changes to inheritance tax in 2017 that increased the threshold for tax-free assets. Eleanor Kerr advises a number of high net worth clients on succession, asset protection and the tax-efficient structuring of wills.

Corporate and commercial: elsewhere in Scotland Tier 4

Dentons' Aberdeen corporate team is active in the food and drink, financial services, industrial and retail sectors under the leadership of Gordon Hobkirk. The team's junior ranks were recently bolstered by the promotion to senior associate of Nicola Rae, while the oil and gas offering was significantly enhanced by the arrival of counsel Kenny Paton who was previously with Webber Wentzel in South Africa.

Health and safety Tier 4

With particular expertise in the food and drink, retail, oil and gas and rail transportation sectors, Malcolm Gunnyeon's 'pragmatic' team at Dentons provides its clients with health and safety compliance advice and represents them in investigations.

Planning Tier 4

Primarily acting for developers as well as commercial and housebuilder clients, Dentons is regularly instructed to assist with planning agreements, compulsory purchase issues and judicial reviews, and provide strategic development advice. Stephen Ashworth and Roy Pinnock co-head the team from London following Gillian Simpson's retirement in March 2019.

Professional negligence Tier 4

Dentons acts for both pursuers and defenders on a variety of claims concerning solicitors and financial services experts. The practice, which benefits from its appointment to the Law Society of Scotland’s Pursuers’ Advisory Panel, is led by Tim Edward, who advises some of the leading insurers in the market.