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Transport - ranked: 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.

Practice head(s):Euan Wilson; Mark Macaulay

Other key lawyers:Barry Edgar; Malcolm Gunnyeon

Key Clients

Network Rail

Port of Cairnryan

Traffic Commissioner for Scotland

Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT)

Work highlights

  • Represented Network Rail on alliance negotiations with the bidders for the South Eastern franchise.
  • Advising Network Rail on the Crewe area project connecting the West Coast mainline with HS2.
  • Acting for the client in a construction dispute regarding the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route, Scotland's largest road scheme.

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Scotland: Corporate and commercial

Corporate and commercial: Edinburgh and Glasgow
Corporate and commercial: Edinburgh and Glasgow - ranked: 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. The group also has a strong bench at senior associate level, including Edinburgh-based duo Donald Smith and Owen McLennan, and Kimberley Goh, who is based in Glasgow.

Practice head(s):Brian Moore

Other key lawyers:Iain Sutherland; Derek McCombe; David McGrory; Claire Armstrong; Owen McLennan; Donald Smith; Kimberly Goh


'Dentons' truly diverse team works in a highly collaborative manner to deliver a great client experience.'

'Iain Sutherland provides excellent partner-led personable no-nonsense advice.'

'The team provides commercial, dedicated and sensible advice.'

'Response times are excellent and partner availability is second to none.'

'Donald Smith delivers outstanding service and really sets the bar in terms of proactive client support.'

'The strong team is able to pull on UK-wide Dentons expertise where required.'

Key Clients

Scottish Equity Partners

Clyde Blowers Capital


John Menzies

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co Partners LLP (KKR)

Stagecoach Group

Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group

FreeAgent Holdings Limited

The Edrington Group Limited

C&C Group

Castle Water

LEBC Holdings

SIMEC Atlantis

Work highlights

  • Advised Environmental Capital Fund LP (ECF) on the sale of Indigo Pipelines Limited to infrastructure asset manager Arjun Infrastructure Partners.
  • Acted for the Edinburgh Woollen Mill group on its acquisition of the Berwin & Berwin brand from the Berwin Group.
  • Advised C&C on its purchase from Conviviality Brands Limited of the entire issued share capital of Matthew Clark Limited and Bibendum PLB Limited together with their subsidiary businesses including Catalyst, Peppermint, Elastic and Walker & Wodehouse.
  • Acted for the majority shareholders of Glasgow-based IoT (internet of things) company Stream Technologies Limited on its sale to Softbank-backed leading global chip-maker ARM Limited.
Leading individuals

Brian Moore - Dentons

Next Generation Partners

Derek McCombe - Dentons

Rising stars

Owen McLennan - Dentons

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Corporate and commercial: Elsewhere in Scotland
Corporate and commercial: Elsewhere in Scotland - ranked: 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.

Practice head(s):Brian Moore (Edinburgh)

Other key lawyers:Gordon Hobkirk; Nicola Rae

Key Clients

Stork Technical Services (RBG) Limited

Muirden Energy LLP/Duncan Farms

Aberdeen Sports Village

Streamline Shipping Group Limited

The European Marine Energy Group

Decom North Sea

Grieg Seafood Shetland Limited )

The Deeside Water Company Limited

Fearnley Procter Group Limited

Hutcheon Services Limited

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Corporate tax
Corporate tax - ranked: 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.

Practice head(s):Gwen Souter

Other key lawyers:Lorna McCaa; Alastair MacLeod


'The team at Dentons has deep technical knowledge combined with commercial perspective and an ability to convey complex issues to clients.'

'Lorna McCaa is able to cut through complex technical issues to identify those that really matter to the client.'

'Easy to get on with. Engaging, direct and pragmatic. No sitting on the fence.'

Key Clients

M&G Real Estate

Standard Life Aberdeen plc

Scottish Equity Partners LLP

The PRS REIT plc

J Sainsbury plc

The Edrington Group Limited

John Menzies plc

FreeAgent Holdings Limited

Dalmore Capital Limited

Hurricane Energy plc

Gatehouse Bank

H.M. Government

Work highlights

  • Advised the Prudential Assurance Company Limited on acquiring a 50% share of a heritable and leasehold interest in Edinburgh Fort Retail Park and Kinnaird Retail Park via a joint venture.
  • Advised the PRS REIT on a partial restructuring of its real estate portfolio to raise £200m of new debt facilities.
  • FreeAgent Holdings appointed the firm to oversee its £53m recommended cash takeover by a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Royal Bank of Scotland.
  • Represented Aberdeen Asian Smaller Companies Trust in the conversion of up to £50m convertible unsecured loan stock.
Leading individuals

Gwen Souter - Dentons

Next Generation Partners

Lorna McCaa - Dentons

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EU and competition
EU and competition - ranked: 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.

Practice head(s):Michael Dean

Other key lawyers:Catriona Munro; David McGowan; Carolyn Burns; Melanie Martin


'Dentons fields a very capable competition cartel litigation team with loads of experience.'

'The sheer width and depth of the legal knowledge and experience within the competition practice, together with its ability to listen and establish all of the facts, enables it to provide comprehensive, well-reasoned, top-quality legal advice.'

'The competition law team at Dentons has excellent practical experience in its field of law.'

'Catriona Munro has a cool, calm head combined with a sensible, pragmatic approach.'

'Michael Dean is extremely knowledgeable and experienced. He is very supportive and pursues his clients' interests with vigour and passion. He makes himself accessible and is quick to respond to any communication with well-considered advice.'

Key Clients

Standard Life Aberdeen PLC

British Polythene Industries Ltd (RPC Group plc)

Stagecoach Group PLC

Network Rail

C&C Group PLC

Aggreko PLC

UK Government Department for International Development

Nynas Petroleum

Baxters Food Group Limited

John Menzies PLC

Edinburgh Airport Limited

London Luton Airport Limited

Strathclyde Passenger Transport

AO Retail Ltd

Beaconsfield Footwear (Hotter Shoes)

FW Evans Cycles (in Administration)


The Range

JCT 600 Ltd

Sytner Group Ltd

Aprirose (formerly QHotels)

Moorfields (Administrators for Toys 'R' Us – now in liquidation)

Avis Budget Group Inc.

World Fuels Services


Clyde Blowers Capital

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG)

Environmental Capital Fund/Indigo Pipelines Limited

Department of Education

East of England Co-op Ltd

Edinburgh Woollen Mill

Central England Co-op Limited

Spar UK Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising the Environmental Capital Fund on the sale of Indigo Pipelines.
  • Defending Highlands and Islands Enterprise against allegations that the client made illegal grants of state aid to a particular beneficiary.
  • Acted for Kenman Holdings Limited, which submitted a bid for a contract for the operation of Lews Castle, following its exclusion from the procurement.
  • Advised Triple Point in respect of the regulatory aspects of its investments in the UK gas peaking sector.
  • Advising a group of 15 merchants in a claim for damages against MasterCard and Visa, in respect of multi-lateral interchange fees.
Leading individuals

Catriona Munro - Dentons

Michael Dean - Dentons

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Scotland: Crime, fraud and licensing

Crime: fraud
Crime: fraud - ranked: 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.

Practice head(s):Craig Kennedy


'The team regularly appears in high-profile and complex cases.'

'The group has particular experience in fraud and other related issues arising from insolvency.'

'Craig Kennedy is the kind of lawyer clients under pressure want on their side; he is proactive and gives concise and focused advice.'

Key Clients

The Edrington Group

CVR Global

Baxters Food Group

Scotch Whisky Auctions


Hunter Boot


Henderson & Jones


Work highlights

  • Acted for Hooley in a fraud investigation.
  • Acting for Scotch Whisky Auctions in defence of allegations of unfair prejudice and fraud which have arisen from the implementation of a share buy back scheme.

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Scotland: Dispute resolution

Commercial litigation
Commercial litigation - ranked: 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.

Practice head(s):Tim Edward; Douglas Blyth; Malcolm Gunnyeon

Other key lawyers:Gareth Hale


'Always listens to the client and provides good balanced advice.'

Key Clients

DuPont Teijin Films UK

CVR Global

Network Rail

The Official Receiver

LOC Group

Highlands and Islands Enterprise

Rieuneau Avocats



Rangers FC Group

Work highlights

  • Acting for a group of 14 retailers, headquartered in Scotland and elsewhere, in a claim for damages against MasterCard and Visa pertaining to multi-lateral interchange fees.
  • Defending Highland and Islands Enterprise against claims of allegedly unlawful state aid granted for the development of Nigg Energy Park; LC Services is the claimant.
  • Instructed by Rangers FC Group to pursue the recovery of a multi-million pound claim in the insolvency of RFC 2012 (the former Rangers Football Club); the claim relates to sums said to be due to the original entity (once owned by Craig Whyte) used to acquire The Rangers Football Club from former owner David Murray.
  • Acted for the farming partnership of JH&W Lamont in a contractual dispute concerning the entitlement of the client, as the granter of an option, to obtain a discharge upon expiry of the option.
  • Defending Scotch Whisky Auctions in Court of Session proceedings raised by Michael Kerrigan for unfair prejudice to a minority shareholder under s994 of the Companies Act 2006.
Leading individuals

Tim Edward - Dentons

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Debt recovery
Debt recovery - ranked: 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'.

Practice head(s):Frank Johnstone; Douglas Blyth

Key Clients

RCI Financial Services

Clydesdale Bank

Link Financial

Shawbrook Bank

Startline Motor Finance

Network Rail Infrastructure

Toyota Financial Services UK

FCA Automotive Services UK



Agricultural Mortgage Corporation

Ison Harrison

Work highlights

  • Acting for the landlords of a commercial property against its tenants seeking to recover arrears of rental payments.
  • Acting for a Jersey law firm in respect of the recovery of legal fees from a former client based in Scotland.
  • Representing Castle Water in litigation matters throughout Scotland and England to recover outstanding water and sewerage charges.
  • Representing a client in debt recovery matters throughout Scotland and England to recover outstanding maintenance fees from several timeshare resorts.
Leading individuals

Frank Johnstone - Dentons

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Scotland: Finance

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: 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.

Practice head(s):Susan Kelly; Stuart Fitzsimmons

Other key lawyers:James Wilson


'Susan Kelly has a fantastic reputation in the sector. Her level of experience and expertise is second to none. She is someone who remains calm and is not prone to grandstanding.'

'One of the key things at Dentons is the efficiency of the service provided. The heavy lifting is taken on by the banking team, not the client.'

Key Clients


Card Factory

Rothesay Life

Tenaga Nasional Berhad

Bank of Scotland

Close Leasing Limited

Atom Bank

Edrington Group

Work highlights

  • Advising Card Factory on the £200m refinancing of its banking facilities with a syndicate of banks.
  • Instructed by Rothesay Life to handle the Scottish aspects of its acquisition of a £860m portfolio of loans owned by UK Asset Resolution.
  • Advising Tenaga Nasional Berhad on the refinancing of a portfolio of 53 UK wind farms across Scotland and England.
  • Assisting Magi No4 Jersey Unit Trust with the financing of the acquisition of 122 Waterloo Street, Glasgow.
Leading individuals

Susan Kelly - Dentons

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Investment funds
Investment funds - ranked: 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.

Practice head(s):Claire Armstrong

Other key lawyers:Tim Edward; Owen McLennan


'The breadth of the team and practice areas and the lawyers' ability to draw on different skill sets and expertise is fantastic.'

'The thing that sets Dentons apart is the effort put in to understand clients' individual businesses and complexities with regular informal meetings. The low staff turnover drives a consistent approach with a deep understanding of the matters at hand.'

'The finance experts at Dentons are always there at the end of a phone and able to deal with issues in a constructive way.'

Key Clients

M&G Real Estate

Gatehouse Bank

Target Global Advisors Limited

Aberdeen Standard Asia Focus PLC




Sigma Capital

Work highlights

  • Acted for Gatehouse on the reorganisation of two funds, which manage real estate lettings, including the removal of the existing letting agent and appointment of a new one.
  • Acted on the establishment of a new fund for Target Global Advisors.
  • Handling the issuance of £37m of debt securities for Aberdeen Asian Smaller Companies Investment Trust (now Aberdeen Standard Asia Focus) on the premium debt segment of the London Stock Exchange's main market.
  • Instructed by Tortoise Investment LLC to advise on its acquisition of Ecofin, an FCA-regulated specialist investor in sustainable infrastructure.

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Scotland: Human resources

Employment - ranked: 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 professional' Mark 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.

Practice head(s):Mark Hamilton

Other key lawyers:Alison Weatherhead 

Key Clients

The Official Receiver

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co Partners

TUI Holidays

Barclays Bank

Menzies Aviation

The Edrington Group

DuPont Teijin Films

W. L. Gore UK

Martin Currie Investment Management

MB Aerospace

Educational Institute of Scotland

Work highlights

  • Advised the Official Receiver as liquidator and PwC as special managers on various employment aspects concerning the liquidation of Carillion, including the transfer of employees out of the liquidated companies.
  • Advised Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co Partners on TUPE, redundancy and international employment law matters pertaining to its acquisition of Unilever's global spreads business.
  • Advised GfK on the UK employment aspects of the client's sale of four global divisions in its custom research business, including TUPE, restructuring and collective redundancy matters.
  • Providing assistance to LGT Capital Partners with general HR matters, and advising on complex recruitment arrangements for consultants who carry out regulated activities in the UK, but are based abroad.
  • Responded to proceedings brought against Falkirk Football and Athletic Club by the Scottish Premier Football League involving allegations of inducing breaches of the employment contracts between another club and those managers.
Next Generation Partners

Alison Weatherhead - Dentons

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Health and safety
Health and safety - ranked: 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.

Practice head(s):Malcolm Gunnyeon


'Very good understanding of applicable regulations.'

'Malcolm Gunnyeon displays all the qualities that one would want when faced with a potential problem; he is calm and has a great breadth of knowledge and experience.'

'Malcolm Gunnyeon has a fearsome intellect.'

Key Clients

The Edrington Group

John Lewis & Partners

Baxters Food Group

Avis Budget

HC One

The Action Group


Menzies Distribution

Zenith Bank (UK)

Holland & Barrett Retail

Work highlights

  • Representing Holland & Barrett Retail in relation to statutory investigations arising out of a major fire at one of its Scottish locations.
  • Advising Stork Technical Services on various health and safety issues affecting the client's business.

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Pensions - ranked: 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 engaging' David Knox, who divides his time between Edinburgh and London.

Practice head(s):David Knox


'Excellent collaboration and communication within different areas of expertise and hierarchy across the firm.'

'Good communication with the client.'

Key Clients

Babcock & Wilcox UK

Barnado's Pension Scheme Members

Barry Callebaut Belgium

Emmaus UK


W.L. Gore

Highland Distillers


MSA Trustees

Work highlights

  • Successful defence (before the UK Supreme Court) for representative beneficiaries of the Barnardo's Pension Scheme, whose employer wanted to save many millions of pounds by switching the basis of pension increases from Retail Prices Index to Consumer Prices Index.
  • Acted for Emtelle UK in the buy-out and wind-up of its pension scheme.
  • Advised WL Gore on the funding, guarantees and closure of its pension scheme.
  • Advised the Edrington Group employers (Highland Distillers was purchased by the Erdington Group) on pension funding and de-risking of schemes affected by the sale of Cutty Sark and Famous Grouse assets.
  • Advised the Mining Safety Applications trustees on the buy-out and wind-up of a complex historic scheme.

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Scotland: Insurance

Professional negligence
Professional negligence - ranked: 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.

Practice head(s):Tim Edward

Key Clients

Zurich Insurance

Aviva Insurance

Rieuneau Avocats

Cousin Biotech SA

Beazley Insurance

Work highlights

  • Acting for Beazley Insurance and its insured Priority Investigations in defending a potential claim for defective service of proceedings.
  • Successfully defended a claim by a solicitor against Scottish law firm Pagan Osborne arising from its role in the executry of her late husband’s estate.

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Scotland: Private client

Personal tax, trusts and executries
Personal tax, trusts and executries - ranked: 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.

Practice head(s):Eleanor Kerr

Other key lawyers:Roddy Harrison


"A high calibre team, with particular strength in estate planning." 

"The team is very professional and specialist in their field." 

"Eleanor Kerr and Alexis Graham stand out, not only for their technical knowledge and expertise but also for the manner in which this is put across at client meetings." 

"Eleanor Kerr is hugely experienced and explains complex matters to clients in a very easy manner which relaxes clients and helps them to understand their options and come to logical conclusions."

Work highlights

  • Appointed by executors in £29m complex estate administration.
  • Advised different generations of the same family with combined wealth of £29m on complex estate planning including the creation of family investment companies.
  • Continuing advice to Scottish businessman in respect of family trusts valued at £20m.
  • Complex estate planning provided to clients with net wealth in region of £37million.
  • Appointed by executors in £10m complex estate administration.

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Scotland: Projects, energy and natural resources

Energy (excluding oil and gas)
Energy (excluding oil and gas) - ranked: 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.

Practice head(s):David Cruickshank

Other key lawyers:Allan Cairns; Bill Fowler; Paul Young


'The expertise and in-depth industry knowledge Dentons demonstrates is vital to ensuring a smooth and successful transaction. Clients could not commend them highly enough.'

Key Clients

Aggreko Plc

Blue Transmission

Canadian Solar

Close Brothers

European Energy Efficiency Fund

Green Investment Group

SIMEC Atlantis Energy

Scottish Government

Tenaga Nasional Bhd

Triple Point LLP

Work highlights

  • Advised Aggreko on all aspects of its partnership with Gold Fields to introduce solar, battery and conventional gas power generation at the Granny Smith gold mine in Western Australia.
  • Instructed by Triple Point to advise on its investment into the UK gas peaking sector, successfully closing on 3 further gas peaking generation projects.
  • Assisting the Scottish government with the options for a national delivery mechanism for Scotland's energy efficiency programme.
  • Acted for the European Energy Efficiency Fund on its first debt financing in the UK.

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Oil and gas
Oil and gas - ranked: 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.

Practice head(s):Kenny Paton

Other key lawyers:Malcolm Gunnyeon; Gordon Hobkirk; Kirsti Olson

Key Clients

Completion Products

Decom North Sea

DOF Subsea Limited

KCA Deutag Drilling

Safetec UK Limited

Stork TS UK Limited

Work highlights

  • Instructed by Completion Products to recover sums due from an Omani customer relating to the supply of down-hole equipment.
  • Assisted Safetec UK with recovering $250,000 owed by a Chinese company relating to the development of a safety system for an offshore support vessel.
  • Acting for Stork TS UK in a £6m tax covenant and tax warranty claim arising from its purchase of RBG (Holdings).
  • Advising O&G UK on its decommission work including producing the first Logic standard form contract to be used for decommissioning projects in the North Sea.

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Projects - ranked: 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.

Practice head(s):Euan Wilson

Other key lawyers:Andrew Orr; Stewart MacIver

Key Clients


Dalmore Capital

Sir Robert McAlpine

Aviva Public Private Finance

Network Rail

Infrastructure Managers Limited

Robertson Capital Projects

Green Investment Bank /GIG

Morgan Sindall Investments


Blue Transmission

Envac UK

ISS Mediclean

Lloyds Bank

Transport for London

UPM Kymmene UK

Triple Point

Alpha Real Capital



Strathclyde Partnership for Transport

Choice Housing

Tenaga Nasional Berhad

HM Govt/Official Receiver

Work highlights

  • Acting for Semperian on its £136m refinancing of the Thameside Prison Project.
  • Appointed by Network Rail to advise on the Crewe Area Works project, an infrastructure project facilitating the connection between HS2 and the West Coast Main Line.
  • Assisted Envac UK with its involvement in the Barking Riverside London Development.
  • Advising Amey on a £400m strategic 10-year partnership contract with the Education Authority in Belfast to service, manage and modernise the entire education estate under the Authority's control.
  • Acting for Choice Housing, as part of a consortium with Macquarie and John Sisk and Son, on a €300m Irish social housing PPP programme.
Leading individuals

Andrew Orr - Dentons

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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 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.

Practice head(s):Gordon Aitken; Simon Etchells

Other key lawyers:Allan Cairns

Leading individuals

Gordon Aitken - Dentons

Next Generation Partners

Allan Cairns - Dentons

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Commercial property: Elsewhere in Scotland
Commercial property: Elsewhere in Scotland - ranked: 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.

Practice head(s):David Rose


'Dentons' partners are helpful, professional, proactive and reactive where appropriate and necessary.'

'David Rose is exceptional. He is helpful, patient and diligent in securing a site option agreement, even with a difficult client.'

Key Clients

Persimmon Homes Limited

PAL Trustees Limited

RQ Capital Limited

Agile Energy Recovery Limited

Santander UK plc

Bank of Scotland plc

Hughes Electrical Limited

Muirden Energy LLP

Kilmac Properties Limited

Duncan Farms

Barclays Bank UK plc

Work highlights

  • Advised Persimmon Homes on its purchase of a site at Moodiesburn, Lanarkshire for the development of 62 residential units.
  • Instructed by Speirs Wharf Development and RQ Capital to handle the sale of a development site in the West End of Glasgow.
  • Advised Santander UK on the phased acquisition of a site at Portstown, Inverurie.

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Construction - ranked: 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.

Practice head(s):Mark Macaulay

Other key lawyers:Kirsti Olson


'Kirsti Olson is always well prepared and never on the back foot; she is an excellent communicator and fights like a terrier.'

Key Clients

Official Receiver of Carillion

McLaughlin & Harvey Construction

Network Rail Infrastructure

Galliford Try Construction (UK)

Taylor Wimpey UK

Halcrow Group

M&G Real Estate



Work highlights

  • Acted across the UK throughout 2018 for the Official Receiver of Carillion, assisting with its strategy to resolve Carillion's existing disputes and claims. This included advice on managing construction and infrastructure projects including UK Government projects and transitioning projects to new providers.
  • Acted for the developer FORE Partnership in negotiating the construction documents for the Glasgow city centre office development, known as Cadworks, which is designed to be the most sustainable building in Scotland.
  • Advising McLaughlin & Harvey on its construction contract for the development of the Barclays super campus at Buchanan Wharf, Glasgow.
  • Advising Robertson Properties on its development of two adjacent sites at Abbey Park, St Andrews. One site is to be developed as a 90-bed hotel and the other site is to be developed as a 100-bed student accommodation.
  • Representing Port of Cairnryan (part of the P&O Ferries Group) in proceedings raised in the Court of Session against the engineering company Mouchel (now owned by WSP) arising out of the design and construction of a new floating linkspan.
Leading individuals

Mark Macaulay - Dentons

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Environment - ranked: 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.

Practice head(s):Pamela Coulthard

Key Clients

Avis Budget Group


European Energy Efficiency Fund (EEEF)

Nynas UK

The Edrington Group

Ho Bee Land

Peel Gas and Oil

Hugh King & Co

Jinmyung FricTech

Work highlights

  • Advising Network Rail on potential environmental liabilities associated with a fire which occurred trackside on Network Rail land.
  • Advising the client on environmental compliance and fire safety matters.
  • Advised Nynas UK on potential environmental liabilities associated with its ongoing operations at a refinery in Dundee.
  • Advised the shareholders of Hugh King & Co, producer of dried mortar and render products and a supplier of sports sand, on the sale of the company to Scottish quarry firm Tillicoultry Quarries.
Rising stars

Pamela Coulthard - Dentons

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Planning - ranked: 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.

Practice head(s):Stephen Ashworth; Roy Pinnock

Other key lawyers:Fiona Gordon

Key Clients

Avant (Homes) Scotland

Robertson Regeneration

Union Square Developments

The Prudential/ M&G Real Estate

Persimmon Homes

Barratt Homes

Aberdeen Standard Investments

Peel Retail Developments

CALA Homes/ Lynch Homes

JD Wetherspoon

Work highlights

  • Advising a consortium of developers on policy and planning procedure issues pertaining to the development of the East Kilbride Community Growth Area.
  • Represented the landowner and developer of an existing mixed-use development on its extension proposals.
  • Representing The Prudential Assurance Company on planning matters relating to the development of The Haymarket site, Edinburgh.
  • Advising J D Wetherspoon on a judicial review challenge affecting its hotel development site in Jamaica Street, Glasgow.
  • Assisting the client with negotiating a section 75 agreement for a new housing development at Philipshill, South Lanarkshire.

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Property litigation
Property litigation - ranked: 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.

Practice head(s):Gareth Hale

Key Clients


Aviva Investors


Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS)

Network Rail Infrastructure


TSB Bank

Work highlights

  • Acted for JH&W Lamont in Inner House proceedings concerning the operation of option agreements over land.  
  • Acted for Hammerson in a lease dispute with the cinema tenant Cine-UK at Union Square Shopping Centre Aberdeen.
  • Acting for the Officer Receiver in all property litigation issues arising out of the liquidation of the Carillion group of companies.
  • Successfully defended Persimmon Homes in a contractual dispute with a plot purchaser before the Edinburgh Sheriff Court.
  • Acted for the purchasers of a residential property in a dispute in which the client sought to reduce the transaction (and recover the sale price and damages) owing to a misrepresentations of the seller as to the flooding history of the property.
Next Generation Partners

Gareth Hale - Dentons

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Scotland: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

IT and telecoms
IT and telecoms - ranked: 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.

Practice head(s):Alison Bryce

Other key lawyers:Ross Nicol; Julie Brown


'The group at Dentons is very much part of the combined team, working to achieve a common outcome for the client.'

'Ross Nicol does a fantastic job both bringing breadth and depth of expertise to an assignment, and working in a flexible manner, with a pragmatic approach, to achieve the best outcome for the client.'

Key Clients

Sainsbury's Bank

Menzies Distribution


MUFG Bank Ltd/MUFG Securities EMEA

Finsbury Food Group

Aon UK Limited

PCF Group

Stream Technologies Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised the majority shareholders on the sale of Glasgow-based Internet of Things company Stream Technologies to global chip-maker Arm.
  • Handling the review and negotiation of MUFG's business as usual IT contracts including software licensings, SaaS agreements, reseller arrangements and market data licensing.
  • Assisted with the IT aspects of PCF Group's acquisition of Azule, a provider of specialist funding and leasing services in the broadcast and media industries.
Rising stars

Julie Brown - Dentons

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Intellectual property
Intellectual property - ranked: 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.

Practice head(s):Alison Bryce

Other key lawyers:Ross Nicol


'The team at Dentons is professional, knowledgeable and well regarded with a diverse but well positioned client base.'

'The individuals are very approachable and down to earth.'

Key Clients

Finsbury Food Group plc

The Restaurant Group plc

The Edrington Group

Optos plc (part of Nikon)

National Theatre of Scotland

Edinburgh Woollen Mill

Hunter Boot Limited

British Polythene Industries

Global Alliance for Livestock Vaccines

Collins Debden

Work highlights

  • Advised Finsbury Food Group on the terms of a trade mark and copyright licence with an international household brand.
  • Assisted Edrington Distillers with the IP aspects of the sale of its Scotch whisky, Cutty Sark, to La Martiniquaise-Bardinet.
  • Acted for BDD Pharma on an agreement to license OralogiK, its timed drug delivery technology, to Novartis Pharma for the development of a new product.
  • Assisted the National Theatre of Scotland with the IP issues relating to its production of My Left Right Foot, which was performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

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Media and entertainment
Media and entertainment - ranked: 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.

Practice head(s):Ewan Easton

Other key lawyers:Susan Snedden

Key Clients

BBC Scotland

STV Productions

Edinburgh International Festival

STV Group plc

National Theatre for Scotland

Network Rail Infrastructure Limited

Dine Scotland Limited

Work highlights

  • Instructed to make an application to the court to reinstate consent on the basis that tweeting from the courtroom by the BBC was crucial in ensuring that initial reportage of the proceedings came from a responsible source.

  • Drafting contracts for agreements with artists performing live shows at the Edinburgh International Festival.

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Further information on Dentons

Please choose from this list to view details of what we say about Dentons in other jurisdictions.

United Arab Emirates

Offices in Abu Dhabi and DUBAI


Offices in Sydney and Perth


Offices in Baku


Offices in Brussels and Brussels


Offices in Shanghai, Jilin, Wuhan, Chengdu, Ji'nan, Chongqing, Beijing, Guangzhou, and Hangzhou


Offices in Montreal, Toronto, Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, and Ottawa

Czech Republic

Offices in Prague


Offices in Berlin, Frankfurt, Munich, and Dusseldorf


Offices in Cairo


Offices in Barcelona and Madrid


Offices in Paris


Offices in Tbilisi


Offices in Guatemala City

Hong Kong

Offices in Hong Kong

Costa Rica

Offices in San Jose


Offices in Budapest


Offices in Milan and Rome


Offices in Amman


Offices in Astana and Almaty


Offices in London


Offices in Luxembourg


Offices in Casablanca


Offices in Port Louis


Offices in Mexico City


Offices in Amsterdam


Offices in Managua


Offices in Muscat

Papua New Guinea

Offices in Port Moresby


Offices in Warsaw


Offices in Panama City


Offices in Doha


Offices in Bucharest


Offices in Moscow and St Petersburg


Offices in Aberdeen, Glasgow, and Edinburgh

South East

Offices in Milton Keynes and Watford


Offices in Bratislava

Saudi Arabia

Offices in Riyadh


Offices in Istanbul


Offices in Kiev

United States

Offices in San Francisco, New York, Rancho Sante Fe, Orange County, San Diego, Washington DC, St Louis, New York, Kansas City, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington DC, Atlanta, Albany, Los Angeles, Denver, San Diego, San Francisco, Dallas, Phoenix, Short Hills, Silicon Valley, Downtown, Atlanta, Boston, Miami, New Orleans, McLean, Houston, Mclean, and Honolulu


Offices in Tashkent and Tashkent


Offices in Caracas

Legal Developments by:

  • 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
  • Court of Justice rules on source of income for Derivative Residence applications

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  • End of the ‚Äėcentre of life test‚Äô in Surinder Singh cases?

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  • Terms of employment as a sole representative

    In this article we examine the working arrangements of sole representatives, looking at the terms and conditions of employment that the Home Office will expect a sole representative to have in order to qualify as a representative of an overseas business.  
  • Can Sole Representatives Be Shareholders?

    The Immigration Rules require that an applicant for a¬† sole representative visa ¬†is not ‚Äúa¬† majority shareholder in the overseas business‚ÄĚ.
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    As a Sponsor, you may be required to pay the Immigration Skills Charge (ISC) each time you sponsor a migrant in the  Tier 2 General  or  Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) Long-term Staff  subcategory.
  • 5 FAQS about paragraph 320(11)

    In applications for entry clearance where the applicant has a negative immigration history in the UK, the application may be refused under the general grounds for refusal, which are found in part 9 of the Immigration Rules. Where an applicant has ¬†‚Äėpreviously contrived in a significant way to frustrate the intentions of the Immigration Rules‚Äô,¬† the application could be refused under paragraph 320(11). In this post we look at five frequently asked questions about paragraph 320(11).¬†
  • Multiple nationality and multiple citizenship (including dual nationality and dual citizenship)

    British nationality law permits multiple nationality and multiple citizenship, including dual nationality and dual citizenship.
  • Applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the Exceptional Talent or Promise Category

    The  Exceptional Talent  and Exceptional Promise categories are for individuals who are recognised leaders or emerging leaders in their field of expertise. There are a number of endorsing bodies for lots of different fields of work, including  artists and musicians ,  architects ,  digital experts ,  scientists  and  academics . While there isn’t an endorsing body for every expert, the growing list means that many individuals could enjoy the flexibility that this category has to offer. 

    Syedur Rahmanconsiders the factors that determine when civil proceedings can go ahead before,or at the same time as, criminal proceedings relating to the same circumstances.
  • Rights of appeal after the Immigration Act 2014

    The Immigration Act 2014 (‚Äúthe 2014 Act‚ÄĚ) reduced the circumstances in which the refusal of an immigration application will give rise to a right of appeal.¬†The¬† explanatory notes ¬†to the 2014 Act state that the Act was intended to restructure rights of appeal to the Immigration Tribunal. Previously, a right of appeal to the Immigration Tribunal existed against any of the 14 different immigration decisions listed in s.82 of the¬† Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 ¬†(‚Äúthe 2002 Act‚ÄĚ). As explained below, whether or not the refusal of an immigration application currently generates a right of appeal depends on the subject matter of the application rather than its categorisation.