Firm Profile > Dentons > Aberdeen, Scotland

AB11 6DA

Commercial property: Edinburgh and Glasgow Tier 1

Dentons is well-placed to advise clients on national and international real estate deals; its work in Scotland is often written under English law. In addition, the firm has a number of Scotland-based dual-qualified fee earners. The Scottish practice is noted for its experience of the shopping centre, retail, energy, and leisure and hospitality spaces. Glasgow-based partner Gordon Aitken, who is a co-head of the team, has over 30 years of real estate experience. He is notably adept at handling institutional investment and funding. Allan Cairns, who is based in Edinburgh, handles investment acquisitions and disposals, leasing and development work, secured lending and the property aspects of corporate transactions.

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‘Excellent service from the partner down to the junior lawyers who work on the account. They always come up with deliverable solutions for any problems we have.’

‘Very commercial and respond quickly and solve problems.’

‘They are very dedicated to providing a very high quality service for us as a valued client.’

‘The Dentons real estate team are a pleasure to work with. They are commercial, practical and provide very prompt advice.’


Key clients

M & G Real Estate

Aviva Investors

Hammerson Plc

Doosan Babcock Limited

Aberdeen Standard

Peel Retail Developments Limited

The Light Cinemas Limited

The Student Hotel

Inmark Asset Management Co. Limited

Malin Marine Limited

Corporate tax Tier 1

Dentons' Scottish tax practice handles a broad range of matters, including planning and structuring for corporate deals and reorganisations, value-added tax, financial services tax and employment tax. Team head Gwen Souter, who is a chartered accountant, is adept at providing international tax advice to listed companies, privately held businesses and multinational groups. Lorna McCaa is recommended for corporate and real estate tax advice, and cross-border deals.

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Key clients

M&G Real Estate (various funds)

Hyundai Asset Management

Scottish Equity Partners LLP

The PRS REIT plc

J Sainsbury plc

The Edrington Group Limited

John Menzies plc

FreeAgent Holdings Limited

Hansa Trust plc

Hurricane Energy plc

EU and competition Tier 1

The competition team at Dentons stands out for its contentious expertise in areas such as dawn raids, anti-bribery work and modern slavery issues. Other areas of focus include merger control, compliance, public procurement and state aid. Practice head Michael Dean is experienced in the full gamut of EU and UK competition law proceedings. Catriona Munro is recommended for cartels work, contentious competition law and regulatory issues.

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‘The team are all excellent – incredibly skilled and knowledgeable, very articulate drafters, great attention to detail by all, and operate very well under pressure and tight deadlines without quality slipping.’

‘The team seeks to understand how my business works and they feel like an extension of my own team when working together on complex and evolving matters. I believe they always have the best interests of my business as their focus.’

‘The knowledge held by David McGowan is superior and he is a clear expert in his field, while being engaging and willing to share his experience to help others grow.’

Key clients

Standard Life Aberdeen PLC

Daimler AG

AL-KO Kober Holding Limited

Stagecoach Group PLC

Network Rail

C&C Group PLC

Aggreko PLC

UK Government (Department for International Development; Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

Baxters Food Group Limited

Alexander Dennis Ltd

Spectis Robotics Limited

Banking and finance Tier 2

Dentons is noted for its track record in domestic and international mandates spanning areas such as acquisition finance, project and infrastructure finance, real estate finance and asset finance. It is also well regarded for its securitisation work, and is also known for its expertise in derivatives, debt capital markets and financial regulatory matters. The team is led by Susan Kelly, who is adept at advising both lender and borrower clients, and is continuing to develop her debt fund practice. Stuart Fitzsimmons is recommended for asset-based lending, renewable energy financing work and real estate finance transactions.

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‘Very professional. Things are done in a timely manner and to a high standard. They are helpful when it comes to providing advice / guidance and they understand the local Scottish market.’

‘Stuart Fitzsimmons is very knowledgeable particularly with regards to banking law and the risks / mitigants associated with this. I have been very pleased with my dealings with Stuart to date and have enjoyed working with him and feel the service provided was very good.’


Key clients

Devro plc

Sigma Capital Group plc


Santander UK

Close Leasing Limited

Atom Bank

Edrington Group

Hyundai Asset Management Co.

Rothesay Life plc

Tenaga Nasional Berhad

Ingenious Renewable Energy Enterprise Limited

KPS Capital Partners

Sigma Capital Group plc

Ingenious Renewable Energy Enterprise Limited

Alvarium RE Limited

Corporate and commercial: Edinburgh and Glasgow Tier 2

Dentons’ corporate offering focuses on large domestic and international transactional mandates including public and private M&A, private equity, venture capital and capital markets work. The practice is noted for its expertise in the food and drink, financial services, industrial and retail sectors. Brian Moore heads the team and is supported by Derek McCombe, who is adept at handling corporate finance transactions and restructurings. Senior associate Owen McLennan is recommended for corporate transactional and funds work.

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‘Iain Sutherland provides excellent partner-led, personable, no-nonsense advice’.

‘A truly diverse team who all work in a highly collaborative manner to deliver a great client experience’.

‘They have an in-depth understanding of our business and its needs and can provide top quality advice on time and to budget every time’.

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

‘Their range of specialist skills is exceptional; from M&A and deal structuring, to employment, contracts and IP, they have a strength and depth which is excellent’.

‘The whole team is extremely personable and professional and will always go the extra mile to get a job over the line’.

‘Donald Smith has delivered outstanding service and really sets the bar in terms of pro-active client support’.

‘They are proactive and commercial in their approach’.

Key clients

Scottish Equity Partners

Clyde Blowers Capital

QUIZ plc

John Menzies plc

The Edrington Group Limited

Stagecoach Group plc

Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group

DexKo Global Inc.

Hansa Trust plc

SIMEC Atlantis Energy Limited

Environment Tier 2

Embedded in the firm's UK-wide environment practice, Dentons' Scotland team is headed by senior associate Pamela Coulthard, who covers the full range of environmental law with a specialism in regulatory issues surrounding oil and gas decommissioning, onshore fracturing, contaminated land and environmental insurance. Lately, the practice has been particularly active in the retail, oil and gas and government sectors but it also handles work for national and international clients from other sectors. Alongside its traditionally strong corporate and real estate support work, the practice has been able to increase its stand-alone work, including instructions pertaining to oil and gas, environmental liability, compliance, producer responsibility, energy efficiency and waste matters.

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Key clients

Amazon EU Sarl

Network Rail Infrastructure Limited

Total S.A

Sports Direct PLC

European Energy Efficiency Fund (EEEF)

Royal Mail Group

The Edrington Group

Lidl Stiftung & Co. KG

Peel L&P Gas and Oil

Highland Distillers Limited

Slip Holdings Pty Ltd

Insolvency and corporate recovery Tier 2

Dentons' restructuring team generates significant mandates on the ground in Scotland, under the leadership of Douglas Blyth and Derek McCombe. Its varied workload covers restructurings, insolvencies and advice to directors and purchasers of distressed companies. Blyth is recommended for his contentious insolvency expertise. McCombe is sought out by banks and insolvency practitioners.

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‘Douglas Blyth is a very bright and commercially savvy solicitor with a broad range of litigation experience and a strong understanding of the Scottish market.’

‘Very knowledgeable and practical team. They listen to what you want to achieve, and are able to give legal advice with that in mind. Good under pressure, and able to think strategically in the midst of litigation.’

‘Douglas Blythe is commercially astute and able to spot opportunities and angles that others often miss. Great lawyer, and the kind of person you want in the room with you during difficult negotiations.’

Intellectual property Tier 2

Dentons utilises its global network of offices to support its IP offering, which includes assisting with IP due diligence in relation to M&A deals. The Scottish team works closely with its counterparts across the UK to advise on trade mark and patent prosecutions. Alison Bryce heads up the team and focuses on all non-contentious IP matters. Ross Nicol is experienced in a broad spectrum of sectors including the life sciences, financial services, art, food and drink, and technology industries.

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‘The team are readily available, engaging, directive, and more importantly pragmatic which as a small organisation is imperative’. 

‘They understand us – our organisation, challenges, and requirements – and therefore engagement is seamless, open and productive’.

‘Alison Bryce is a very engaged, understanding, supportive and friendly face’.

‘They are very approachable and genuinely seem to like and understand our business’.          

‘Ross Nicol is very approachable, technically excellent and commercially minded; he is a safe pair of hands’.

‘Alison Bryce is just terrific, she is full of infectious enthusiasm and not at all scared to get her sleeves rolled up to help get a transaction done’.        

‘Alison Bryce has given me outstanding advice for many years, and continues to do so even as her role has become more senior, wider in scope and busier than ever’. 

‘Alison’s strengths are her ability to move to accurate and detailed advice quickly and efficiently, whilst still making any interaction a genuinely pleasant experience’. 

Key clients

The Edrington Group Limited

The John Lewis Partnership (including Waitrose Limited)

The Restaurant Group plc

Finsbury Foods Limited

Edinburgh Woollen Mill Limited

Nairn’s Oatcakes Limited

STV Group plc

Arnold Clark

Aggreko plc

Motorsport Network LLC

Marsden Group Inc

Investment funds Tier 2

Dentons' team is noted for its strong capabilities in relation to private funds and listed funds. Its experience includes fund formation, fund financing, standalone regulatory issues and fund redomiciliations. It is also knowledgeable about matters that are specific to fund managers' businesses and provides support on issues such as governance, compliance and financial crime. Claire Armstrong leads the team.

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‘Professional, responsive and knowledgeable.’


Key clients

Hansa Trust PLC

Gatehouse Bank

Target Global

Projects Tier 2

Dentons is well known for its involvement in large-scale PFI and non-profit-distributing (NPD) project acquisitions, and also disputes and restructurings. It acts for public and private sector clients, lenders and investors, both domestically and internationally. Team head Euan Wilson is experienced in secondary market PFI/PPP transactions. Andrew Orr is recommended for project finance matters.

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‘Excellent ability to work under high pressure, very organised and able to lead the issues under their responsibility at all times.’


‘Impressed with the indepth knowledge of the team.’

‘Andy Orr had excellent project knowledge and understanding.

Key clients


Dalmore Capital

Sir Robert McAlpine

Aviva Public Private Finance

Network Rail

Infrastructure Managers Limited

Robertson Capital Projects

Morgan Sindall Investments


Blue Transmission

Envac UK

ISS Mediclean

Transport for London

Choice Housing

Oaklee Housing

Department for Education

Bouygues / Axione

Property litigation Tier 2

Dentons regularly acts for institutional landlords, corporate tenants and housebuilders across a wide range of sectors, including retail, property investment, agriculture, higher education, manufacturing and energy, in lease disputes and dilapidation claims, among other matters. Alongside its litigation capabilities, the team led by accredited mediator Gareth Hale also has a good track record in alternative dispute resolution.

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Impressively knowledgeable and connected in their advice.

We have worked closely with Dentons for a number of years on projects of varying complexity. The diversity of the team to deliver helpful, accurate and concise advice, no matter the subject matter is a strength that allows the projects to be brought to a satisfactory conclusion within timescales set, which, on occasion can be challenging in itself.

The team provides a comprehensive and clear breakdown of the potential elements which could potentially slow down the programme, with advice on a suggested course of action. This is updated at appropriate stages with a clear list of instructions required by the client.

The team was extremely knowledgeable, professional and showed the correct amount of tenacity which reassured you that you were in very good hands.

In many cases, the contract deadlines are tight and in all cases the individuals ensure they respond quickly, on many occasions outside standard office hours. In many cases this involves repeated calls to the client when the client is unavailable. The key standout is their availability to take calls and give advice at short notice.

They are a talented team of lawyers that conduct litigation in a proper and reasonable way.

The Dentons’ property litigation team works hand-in-glove with their real estate colleagues to deliver pragmatic advice and commercial resolutions to its roster of heavyweight corporate landlords and tenants.

The practice has both width and depth of experience in numerous areas of real estate litigation. They have acted on a number of matters for us that resulted in a successful outcome. All matters, no matter how small or large, are tackled with the same enthusiasm and professionalism. The size of the team allows them to manage numerous projects simultaneously. We have often found their varied experience to be a key differentiator within their peer group.

A very knowledgeable team who worked hard to keep everyone up to date and involved in the case.

Gareth Hale seems never to be out of contact!

Gareth is not only extremely likeable but determined and insightful when dealing with litigation matters. His standing, reputation and contacts in the market have helped on numerous occasions to forge a path to successful resolutions. Coupled to that, Gareth has a sharp, inquisitive and tenacious attitude to all matters.

On more complex matters we have worked closely with Gareth Hale: Gareth is approachable and always in a position to give good and accurate advice to bring matters to a satisfactory conclusion.

Gareth Hale is sharp, commercial and quick to spot an advantage.

From the outset Gareth Hale impressed with the speed with which he grasped the issues, his knowledge of the law and the practice of the Lands Tribunal, and his accessibility to and his communication with us. He was sympathetic to our concerns about fees and readily agreed a reasonable capped basis of charging. Our objective had always been to try to agree a resolution of the tribunal application without a contested hearing. In achieving that outcome Gareth showed himself to be a skilled, shrewd and determined negotiator.

Gareth Hale heads up the team in Scotland and is extremely capable and hard working – he will move heaven and earth to deliver.

It was a pleasure to deal with Gareth Hale. What has stood out for me is the fact that, although this matter will almost certainly have ranked very low in comparison with other commercial legal work in which he and his department are normally engaged and were no doubt engaged at the time, there was never any hint that he regarded us as any less important than other clients. If he was not available when we called he would quickly come back. From the outset this inspired complete confidence in him. What I particularly valued was his personal commitment to our case. I have to say that it had occurred to me when we instructed him that this was something that he might well delegate as I suspect many others in his position would have done.

Gareth Hale was extremely easy to communicate with and explained all options and potential routes to take in detail. Every step was carefully considered by him to make sure we got the best results possible.

Key clients

Hammerson plc

M&G Real Estate

Sainsbury’s Supermarkets Limited

Universities Superannuation Scheme

Network Rail Infrastructure Limited

Aviva Investors

Doosan Babcock Limited

Redevco B.V.

The Department of Work and Pensions

Taylor Wimpey plc

Transport Tier 2

Acting as Network Rail's exclusive legal service provider, Dentons has a fine reputation for its rail sector offering, which includes the full range of contentious and non-contentious operational and business-crucial matters. Project finance and infrastructure expert Euan Wilson and construction specialist Mark Macaulay jointly head the practice from Edinburgh and Glasgow respectively.

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Key clients

Network Rail

Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT)


Commercial litigation Tier 3

With Glasgow-based solicitor advocate Douglas Blyth, who handles a wide range of corporate and contractual disputes, and Aberdeen-based Malcolm Gunnyeon, who has a specialism in the oil and gas sector, jointly heading the practice, Dentons is well placed to act for clients across Scotland. It is equally well versed to handle cross-border disputes, acting for clients spanning various sectors. Recently, the team has been particularly active handling business disputes alongside public law, insolvency, tax, real estate and construction-related litigation.

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This team is unique in Scotland in having significant amounts of European law and competition law experience. They are uniquely placed to provide advice in relation to such matters in Scotland.

Excellent teamwork, strategic advice, superb risk analysis and excellent coordination.

What makes this practice unique is the investment placed by the team in you as a client and a deep understanding of their client’s needs – they have a proactive, pragmatic, solutions-based approach to legal issues.

The team is always available and provides strong advice on which route to take. They have a very strong skill-set and often identify issues which other firms have missed.

I have worked with Douglas Blyth on a number of litigations. He has exceptional attention to detail. He is rightly highly regarded for dealing with high-value, complex, commercial litigation. He is very good at breaking down complex legal concepts in a way that clients can understand.

Douglas Blyth has sound commercial awareness which sets him apart from his peers.

Douglas Blyth is incredibly sharp, highly perceptive and very personable; unlike his competitors he is focused on solutions (rather than problems) and makes himself readily available to provide sound advice.

Douglas Blyth is technically very strong with a very engaging and understanding personality. This mix is ideally suited to dispute resolution.

Key clients

Highland and Islands Enterprise

Stagecoach South Western Trains Limited

Standard Life Aberdeen Plc

Network Rail Infrastructure Limited

Baxters Food Group Limited

The Government of the United Kingdom



The Panel on Takeovers and Mergers

The Royal Bank of Scotland

HC-One Oval Limited

First Milk Limited

CVR Global LLP

Glencairn Scotch Whiskey Company Limited

Kenman Holdings Ltd

Sainsburys Supermarkets UK Ltd

Construction Tier 3

Dentons provides full-service contentious and non-contentious construction law advice which makes for an attractive offering for developers and contractors alongside transport, infrastructure and energy sector players. Construction procurement expert Mark Macaulay heads the team from Glasgow, which includes Edinburgh-based and contentious construction law expert Kirsti Olson. Recently, much of its work arose from housing, office and leisure infrastructure projects.

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High level of partner involvement and oversight of the matters. Concise and commercial advice.

I have found Kirsti Olson to be very approachable and hands-on as compared to other partners I have worked with. I have been particularly impressed by her ability to condense complex issues into clear and concise explanations and to cut through the noise of a dispute to recommend sensible next steps.

Key clients

Honeywell S.L.

P&O Ferries

Galliford Try Construction (UK) Limited

Halcrow Group Limited

Taylor Wimpey UK Limited

The Student Hotel B.V.

M&G plc

Hammerson plc

Barry Callebaut Manufacturing UK Limited

Wilson Bowden

Employment Tier 3

Dentons handles a wide range of contentious and non-contentious employment law, including transactional matters, discrimination claims, balloting and industrial actions, pay-related and national minimum wage issues alongside TUPE and outsourcing. Its financial services sector expertise was further strengthened by the arrival of counsel Sarah Jackman from Clydesdale Bank in June 2019. Mark Hamilton, who advises on all aspects of employment law, heads the team, which includes TUPE specialist Alison Weatherhead; she was promoted to partner in May 2019.

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Being a global firm, it enables a wealth of knowledge and understanding of issues that arise for a global organisation like ours.

Strong team.

Always keeping up to speed with current issues and reacting swiftly with advice and providing information to assist in decision making.

Great approach to key topics such as Inclusion and Diversity and current topics such as #MeToo. Forward thinking and happy to challenge the status quo.

Highly experienced and specialist in their own specific practices. Always willing to help connect with other subject matter experts when required.

Alison Weatherhead has provided advice to me over a number of years. Alison understands the needs of the business and will always work with you to provide a balanced resolution. Her no-nonsense approach means she is a pleasure to work with.

Alison Weatherhead is particularly noteworthy as an excellent commercially minded lawyer – she is someone you want to have on your side.

Key clients

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. Partners LLP

Aggreko Plc

Scot JCB Limited

John Lewis Plc

The Edrington Group

Scottish Equity Partners

Ceridian Europe Limited

Virgin Atlantic Airways Limited


Martin Currie Investment Management Ltd

MB Aerospace

Energy (excluding oil and gas) Tier 3

Dentons’ Scottish team works on domestic and international matters in conjunction with its global network of offices. It is noted for its experience of advising on small and mid-scale projects for developers and funders, particularly in the onshore wind, hydro, solar, marine and energy from waste (Efw) spaces. Practice head David Cruickshank, who focuses on renewables and alternative energy, is a member of the firm’s cross-practice energy transition programme.

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Key clients

Aggreko PLC

Blue Transmission

Canadian Solar

European Marine Energy Centre

European Energy Efficiency Fund

Goldwind Global

Hero Future Energies

Ingenious Renewables


National Grid

IT and telecoms Tier 3

Dentons handles the full gamut of IT matters, including outsourcings, data protection issues, technology licensing work, online service mandates, business-critical system procurements and new technology commercialisation projects. Its international presence makes the firm well-placed to advise on international matters, as well as Scots law issues. Alison Bryce heads up the team, which also includes senior associate Julie Brown.

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‘The team are commercially focused and are excellent at applying the right level of review required depending on the complexity and associated risks of the contract’.

‘The team operate out of their Glasgow office which does provide efficiency on costs, and the team are very good at keeping to quotes and are transparent where additional work is required’.

‘Ross Nicol and Julie Brown are excellent’.

‘Ross Nicol is very approachable, technically excellent and commercially minded; he is a safe pair of hands’.

‘Julie Brown is an experienced adviser who is very diligent, skilled and reliable’.

‘The level of detail is excellent and they always present their case well whilst understanding our needs of managing the relationship with the customer’.

‘Alison Bryce has been instrumental in our contract negotiations and does an excellent job of explaining things in plain English and always making her and her team available when we need to talk’.

Key clients

Nexant Inc.

Artos Systems Limited

Scottish Whisky Experience (The Scotch Whisky Heritage Centre Ltd)

MUFG Securities EMEA plc

STV Group plc

Ascensos Limited

Aggreko plc

Bank of Tokyo

The John Lewis Partnership (including Waitrose Limited)

The Marsden Group Inc.

Media and entertainment Tier 3

The team at Dentons 'puts clients first and can genuinely provide support in all areas of law’. The practice, jointly led by Gareth Hale and Ross Nicol, focuses on reputation management and has been engaged for a number of high-profile defamation disputes in recent months. The practice is closely integrated with the international firm’s global media and entertainment practice, which delivers a full service offering in the film and television, gaming, e-sports, music, publishing and advertising sectors. Senior associate Sarah McCormick is ‘keen and committed’; she specialises in pre- and post-publication advice to broadcasters.

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‘The firm can genuinely provide support in all areas of law. It commands respect. It puts the clients first and isn’t guilty of the hard sell.’

‘Sarah McCormick is keen and committed.’

Key clients

BBC Scotland

Edinburgh International Festival

STV Group plc/ STV Productions

National Theatre of Scotland

A&E Networks


Essence Digital

Legendary Pictures

Lions Gate Entertainment


ole! Media

Discovery/ Scripps Networks Interactive

Turner Broadcasting System

Motorsport Network LLC

Professional negligence Tier 4

The litigation-heavy professional negligence practice at Dentons acts for both claimants and defendants across a range of sectors, including insurance. Senior associate Sarah Wardell acts in claims against solicitors, tax advisers and medical professionals.

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‘Good communication between team members. Commercially driven advice with risk analysis. Strategic thinking.’

Key clients

Zurich Insurance plc

Cousin Biotech SAS

Beazley Insurance

Photo Name Position Profile
 Malcolm Gunnyeon  photo Malcolm Gunnyeon Malcolm leads the Dispute Resolution team in our Aberdeen office. His principal…

Our Inclusion & Diversity commitment is a global one and a key part of our strategy to be the most inclusive firm.  Accountability is driven through the Global and Regional Boards, with our Global CEO, Elliott Portnoy, leading the Global I&D Leadership Council with leaders from across our regions to shape the global I&D strategy.  This includes global policy development and co-ordination of our women’s and LGBT networks across the firm.  In 2019, we ran The Big Inclusion Project, a collaboration of 12 cross-regional teams of lawyers and business services professionals working together to identify and solution inclusion topics.  2020 was our Year of the Ally and also saw the launch of our Accelerating Race strategy to advance our progress on race diversity and inclusion.

We start with inclusion as we believe that inclusion will help drive greater diversity, whereas diversity is not enough on its own.   Our I&D strategy is organised around the three key pillars of Talent – to attract, retain and progress the best people;  Culture – to be the most inclusive firm; and Clients – to collaborate with our clients on I&D and progress priorities together.

In terms of breadth and reach we have a broad commitment to I&D, rather than a single focus, with programmes on gender, ethnicity, LGBT and social mobility.  Many of our people are engaged in these efforts via our diversity networks – Inspire, our gender network; Black Professionals Network; Fusion – our Asian professionals network;  Parents and Carer’s; and Glow – our LGBT network.

The Lex 100 Verdict

International and 'incredibly ambitious' Dentons attracts prospective trainees looking for a 'polycentric culture' and a 'strong regional practice where you are given London-quality work, without having to do the hours'. Trainees comment that the firm is 'incredibly ambitious and looking for junior lawyers who were willing to get stuck in'. A trainee adds that 'the potential growth opportunities are incredible; they are as ambitious as I am'. Described as 'far-reaching and multi-cultural', the firm practises a 'broad spectrum of law, which allows for the opportunity to test the waters' in different areas during the training contract. Its regional strength in Scotland and in Milton Keynes is applauded. The quality of training is also highly regarded with trainees adding that 'the firm puts a lot of effort into specific trainee training and making sure you are up to date with industry developments'. Complaints of long hours, outdated offices, slow implementation of agile working, plus competition over international secondment places, are alleviated by the changes being carried out at the firm and its 'ambition'. A trainee adds, 'I don't ever feel like I'm stagnating as there's a constant push to continue to win work from bigger and better clients'; another highlights the 'friendliness of colleagues at every level, people seem like they really enjoy being here'. For prospective trainees looking to work on international matters either from London or UK-wide regional offices, with a smaller intake size and a high degree of training and quality of work, Dentons is worth a closer look.

Dentons secures final victory for ICT on European patent infringement case against ESSITY

Global law firm Dentons is pleased to announce that the Paris Court of Appeal, the Higher Regional Court of Karlsruhe and the Barcelona Provincial Court have all issued final decisions dismissing Essity’s claims of patent infringement in regards to Industrie Cartarie Tronchetti’s (ICT) three ply toilet paper. With Dentons’ counsel, ICT successfully demonstrated beyond a doubt that its branded and private label products are produced based on its own proprietary process, and patented under European patent 2 353 859. 

Dentons has been advising Industrie Cartarie Tronchetti S.p.A since 2016. Based in Lucca, ICT is a leader in the category of high quality tissue paper products for domestic use, and has subsidiaries in Italy, Spain, Germany, France and Poland.

The Paris decision, which is the most recent, ends a long-running patent infringement litigation with Essity and affirms ICT can continue to produce and distribute absorbent paper based on its own proprietary technology. The three courts in France, Germany, and Spain have confirmed ICT’s argument that it is using its own novel technology, also patented. Essity’s claims of infringement were based on a patent originally filed by Georgia Pacific, and subsequently becoming Essity’s.

Dentons partner David Masson served as lead partner and represented ICT in France. Dentons partner Dr. Constantin Rehaag represented ICT in Germany, and PwC partner Alejandra Matas Brancós represented the client in Spain, with the support of Dentons partner Juan Ignacio Alonso.

David Masson, lead lawyer on the case, commented: “It has been very interesting to understand ICT’s own technology and work closely with different teams, including ICT’s R&D department, which has been part of all strategic and technical decisions throughout the case”.

Constantin Rehaag, who represented the client in the German court hearings and coordinated the work with the client’s patent attorneys, said: “This is an outstanding success of a great team formed by the client, who provided us with invaluable technological insight, the team of patent attorneys and, finally, by the Dentons teams in France, Spain and Germany.”

The patent litigation began in 2016 when Essity sued ICT in France, Germany and Spain for the alleged infringement of its patent related to the technical solution for the bonding of three layers of tissue for paper products such as high quality, soft and bulky, toilet paper.

In France, Essity claimed that ICT had breached the French part of its European patent 1 081 284 and that the toilet paper marketed as Foxy Soie Plus, and also certain other private labels produced by ICT France, had infringed on their patent. Essity demanded that all production operations be halted. The rolls of toilet paper were carefully analyzed and there were no findings of infringement. The two French courts - in first instance and appeal - rejected the claims and ordered Essity to pay compensation for the legal fees to ICT Italy and ICT France.

In Germany, the case was first taken to the Mannheim District Court, which is well reputed in patent matters. The lawsuit mainly focused on the complex questions regarding the construing of the claims of Essity’s patent. The court ruled in favour of ICT, and Essity filed an appeal. In August 2019, the Higher Regional Court of Karlsruhe also ruled that the German subsidiary of ICT did not infringe the German part of the patent 1 081 284.

In Spain, after a first decision in favor of Essity in the lower court, the Barcelona Provincial Court clearly stated in a written appeal that ICT’s products - and in particular, Foxy Seda, Foxy Bouquet, certain three-ply private label products - did not infringe the Spanish part of the patent 1 081 284.

About ICT

Industrie Cartarie Tronchetti (ICT) was founded in 1976 in Italy, in the Lucca province, to operate in the tissue sector, producing high quality paper exclusively from virgin fibre. The first production facility was opened in 1978 in Piano della Rocca, Lucca, and over the years new plants and facilities have been set up in Piano della Rocca, Diecimo and Piano di Coreglia. The Foxy brand, one of the leading brands in the European market, was launched in 1982. ICT is an example of excellence in the paper industry, in full harmony with the tradition of the Lucca region, where the most important Italian papermaking hub is located, on a par with those of Green Bay (USA) and Fuji (Japan). In Lucca in particular, great expertise has been nurtured in the field of paper for household use, and the city is in fact known as the world tissue capital. Today, ICT SpA boasts an annual production capacity of about 160,000 tonnes.

About Dentons

Dentons is the world's largest law firm, connecting talent to the world's challenges and opportunities in more than 75 countries. Dentons' legal and business solutions benefit from deep roots in our communities and award-winning advancements in client service, including Nextlaw, Dentons’ innovation and strategic advisory services. Dentons' polycentric and purpose-driven approach, commitment to inclusion and diversity, and world-class talent challenge the status quo to advance client and community interests in the New Dynamic.

Dentons advises Snam on US$10.1 billion consortium investment in ADNOC Gas Pipelines

Global law firm Dentons advised Italian-based multinational energy infrastructure operator Snam in relation to its agreement, in consortium with several international investment funds, to purchase a 49 percent share of ADNOC Gas Pipelines from The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC). ADNOC Gas Pipelines is valued at approximately US$20.7 billion (US$10.1 billion for 49%).

The transaction is one of the most important in the global energy infrastructure sector, as well as Snam’s first acquisition outside Europe.  ADNOC Gas Pipelines holds the tariff-based rights for the 38 pipelines that connect ADNOC’s upstream activities to Abu Dhabi’s consumption points and the export and interconnection terminals to neighboring Emirates.

The transaction was financed by a pool of international banks for approximately $8 billion, plus an equity contribution from each of the consortium members.  In addition to Snam, the other consortium members included Global Infrastructure Partners, Brookfield Asset Management, GIC, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, and NH Investment & Securities.

Dentons acted with a cross-border team from Italy and UAE, coordinated by partner Sara Biglieri in Milan.  Partners Luca Pocobelli (Rome) and Mhairi Main Garcia (Dubai), counsel Claudio Segna (Milan), senior associate Craig Hughson (Abu Dhabi) and associate Stephanie Hawes (Dubai) advised on corporate and M&A aspects. Partners Alessandro Fosco Fagotto (Milan) and Stephen Knight (Abu Dhabi), counsel Franco Gialloreti, senior associate Tommaso Zanirato and junior associate Giulia Caselli Maldonado (all Milan) advised on financing aspects. Partner Michele Carpagnano (Rome) and associate Giulia Giordano (Rome) advised on the competition and antitrust aspects.

Snam’s internal legal team was led by General Counsel, Marco Reggiani - assisted by Michela Schizzi, Senior Vice President Regulated Assets Legal Affairs - and included senior legal counsels Rosanna Pallotta and Claudia Jolanda Fanelli.  The legal aspects related to the financing were handled, together with Marco Reggiani, by Gloria Bertini, Head of Finance and Capital Market Legal Affairs and Roberta Di Mauro, legal counsel.

Dentons advises Investitionsbank Berlin (IBB) on the establishment of the EU Malaria Fund

The EU Malaria Fund was initiated by the kENUP Foundation, a not-for-profit organization promoting research-based innovation with public and societal benefit. The fund is managed by the IBB Group. The target volume of the fund amounts to €280 million, with a first closing of €70 million on June 3, 2020. A Dentons team from Berlin, Frankfurt, Dusseldorf and Munich provided comprehensive advice to IBB Group on the establishment of the EU Malaria Fund. This included the development of the legal and tax conception of the fund, regulatory advice, corporate law support on the setup of the fund, and the negotiation of the financing agreements with the EIB, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and other investors. Berlin-based partner Dirk-Reiner Voss and Frankfurt-based partner Arne Klüwer jointly led the Dentons team, with support from partners Stephan Busch, Matthias Santelmann and senior associates Holger Hölkemeier and Bernd Düsterbeck in Berlin; counsel Verena Etzel and Oda Elmoutaouakil in Frankfurt; partner Axel Schlieter in Dusseldorf, and partner Richard Fagerer in Munich. About Dentons Dentons is the world's largest law firm, connecting talent to the world's challenges and opportunities in more than 75 countries. Dentons' legal and business solutions benefit from deep roots in our communities and award-winning advancements in client service, including Nextlaw, Dentons’ innovation and strategic advisory services. Dentons' polycentric and purpose-driven approach, commitment to inclusion and diversity, and world-class talent challenge the status quo to advance client and community interests in the New Dynamic.

Dentons advises on ACS Group’s €500 million NEU-CP Program

Dentons, the world’s largest law firm, has advised Spanish-based multinational construction group, Actividades de Construcción y Servicios, S.A. (ACS), on the renewal of its €500 million Negotiable European Commercial Paper (NEU-CP) Program. The NEU-CP program is registered with the Central Bank of France, with the involvement of BNP Paribas, BRED Banque Populaire, Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank, ING Bank N.V. and Natixis, as dealers for the Notes. Headquartered in Madrid, the ACS Group is a worldwide leader in construction and services. It is currently the only non-financial issuer with a NEU-CP Program registered with the Central Bank of France. Dentons’ Capital Markets group in Madrid advised ACS on all aspects of the transaction. Partner Ignacio Corujo led and coordinated the transaction with the support of junior associate Ana Artola. Ignacio Corujo joined Dentons in January this year to establish and lead the Capital Markets group in Spain. In addition to this most recent deal for ACS, he has closed several high-value debt capital markets deals since his move, including most notably, Grupo Cajamar’s €1 billion issuance of mortgage bonds, as well as Sacyr’s renewal of its €500 million EMTN Program. About Dentons Dentons is the world's largest law firm, connecting talent to the world's challenges and opportunities in more than 75 countries. Dentons' legal and business solutions benefit from deep roots in our communities and award-winning advancements in client service, including Nextlaw, Dentons’ innovation and strategic advisory services. Dentons' polycentric and purpose-driven approach, commitment to inclusion and diversity, and world-class talent challenge the status quo to advance client and community interests in the New Dynamic.  

Dentons advises UniCredit on a €450 million secured sustainability-linked financing for Gunvor Gro

Global law firm Dentons has advised UniCredit Bank AG as Mandated Lead Arranger, (Sustainability) Coordinator, Bookrunner, Facility Agent and Security Agent as well as the lenders on a €450 million secured sustainability-linked borrowing base facility agreement with Gunvor Group. Gunvor Group will use the funds to cover the working capital requirements of its Ingolstadt refinery. The innovative financing model is tied to the borrower's achievement of predetermined ESG key performance indicators (Sustainability KPIs) and provides for a sustainability discount or premium in case the company overachieves or underperforms the predefined targets. An independent sustainability auditor will report on the performance of the Sustainability KPIs on an annual basis. The ESG-based scoring of certain key performance indicators provides a unique way for borrowers and lenders to communicate their commitment to sustainability and incentivizes sustainable corporate measures. Participating banks included DZ Bank, KfW IPEX-Bank, Raiffeisen Bank International, Erste Group Bank, Commerzbank, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, CA Indosuez (Switzerland), Bank of China and First Abu Dhabi Bank. Gunvor Group is one of the world’s largest independent commodities trading houses by turnover, creating logistics solutions that safely and efficiently move physical energy from where it is sourced and stored to where it is demanded. With strategic investments in industrial infrastructure – refineries, pipelines, storage and terminals – Gunvor Group further generates sustainable value across the global supply chain for its customers. UniCredit is one of the pioneers in sustainable loans in the German market. Düsseldorf finance partner Dr. Axel Schlieter fully advised the bank on the drafting and negotiation of the loan agreement. The Dentons team further comprised Julia Heitmann (senior associate, Banking and Finance, Düsseldorf) and Eike Hinrich Pradt (associate, Banking and Finance, Frankfurt). Axel Schlieter is a core member of Dentons’ Sustainable Finance group in Europe and is regularly involved around the topics of issuance of green bonds and on sustainable financing. Advisors to UniCredit: Dentons (Düsseldorf): Dr. Axel Schlieter, (lead partner), Julia Heitmann (senior associate, both banking and finance, Düsseldorf), Eike Hinrich Pradt (associate, banking and finance, Frankfurt am Main) UniCredit inhouse lawyers: Carina Engelhardt, Alexander Strigin, Christian Hentrich About Dentons Dentons is the world's largest law firm, connecting talent to the world's challenges and opportunities in more than 75 countries. Dentons' legal and business solutions benefit from deep roots in our communities and award-winning advancements in client service, including Nextlaw, Dentons’ innovation and strategic advisory services. Dentons' polycentric and purpose-driven approach, commitment to inclusion and diversity, and world-class talent challenge the status quo to advance client and community interests in the New Dynamic.

Dentons advises Qair on refinancing of the acquisition of Rzepin and Linowo wind farms in Poland

Dentons’ Banking and Finance practice team advised Qair SAS, Qair International and Qair Polska Sp.z o.o. in connection with the refinancing of two wind farms under operation, Rzepin (58 MW) and Linowo (48 MW). The financing institutions are BNP Paribas and EBRD. The two wind farms are part of Qair’s larger portfolio of almost 200 MW of renewable energy sources, which also includes 93 MW of new capacity from three wind farms – Udanin (50 MW), Parzeczew (9 MW) and Września (9 MW) – and 25 MW of solar photovoltaic. The project was supervised by Mateusz Toczyski, Head of the Europe and Co-Head of the Global Banking and Finance practice, and led by Tomasz Zwoliński, counsel, with assistance from lawyers Klaudia Szymańska-Rutkowska, Katarzyna Mazur, Katarzyna Kaptur and Jakub Walawski. Supporting the Warsaw team were counsel Surbhi Malhotra-Trenkel in Munich and partners Jean-Marc Allix and Olivier Genevois, and associates Djésia Meziani, Philippine de Fouchier and Hugo Casasnovas in Paris. Dentons’ London team consisting of partner Matthew Sapte and associate Annreika Ray advised on the hedging documentation. “We are very pleased and honored to have had this opportunity to assist Qair in yet another wind power project the company has undertaken in Poland,” said Mateusz Toczyski. “We would like to congratulate Qair on this financing and to wish every success with further developments and investments in Poland and elsewhere in the world,” added Tomasz Zwoliński. About Dentons Dentons is the world's largest law firm, connecting talent to the world's challenges and opportunities in more than 75 countries. Dentons' legal and business solutions benefit from deep roots in our communities and award-winning advancements in client service, including Nextlaw, Dentons’ innovation and strategic advisory services. Dentons' polycentric and purpose-driven approach, commitment to inclusion and diversity, and world-class talent challenge the status quo to advance client and community interests in the New Dynamic.

Dentons advises Sev.en Energy on aacquisition of US-based Blackhawk Mining

Dentons has advised international energy group Sev.en Energy on its strategic acquisition of US-based metallurgical coal producer Blackhawk Mining, LLC. C. The transaction comes on the heels of Sev.en Energy’s acquisition of a 17% ownership interest in Corsa Coal in May 2020, further reinforcing its access to the metallurgical coal mining industry in the US market. Blackhawk Mining is one of the largest metallurgical coal producers in the US. With annual production capacity of seven to eight million tonnes of metallurgical coal among its five underground and open pit mining complexes in West Virginia and Kentucky, Blackhawk Mining is an important supplier of metallurgical coal both locally and internationally. It also owns three thermal coal mine complexes producing three to four million tonnes per annum. In 2019, Blackhawk Mining had $1bn revenues and $120m EBITDA.   Commenting on the acquisition, Dentons partner Petr Zákoucký, said: “Having worked for Sev.en Energy for many years, I am inspired by their sustained dynamism, and by this bold strategic move, even during these difficult market conditions. We were delighted to have opportunity to play our role in this success.”   Alan Svoboda, Executive Director of Sev.en Energy who leads the Group’s international expansion added: “Once again, the Dentons team exceeded our expectations and delivered the transaction within a tight time frame of less than a month, nailing both the complexity of the deal and challenges created by the current worldwide pandemic. What was really outstanding was the dedication and flexibility that the entire team showed.”   Dentons’ cross-border team was composed of partners Petr Zákoucký (Prague, Energy/M&A), Ilan Katz (New York, M&A), Lee Smith (New York, Finance), Christopher Van Bever (Lexington, Mining) and John Rhine (Evansville, Mining) Robert E. Richards (Chicago, Insolvency), Managing Associate Gregory DiBella (New York, M&A) and Associate Barbora Obračajová (Prague, Energy). Alvarez & Marsal advised Sev.en Energy on financial due diligence and Weir on technical due diligence.   About Sev.en Energy Sev.en Energy owns significant coal and energy production assets in the Czech Republic, the United Kingdom, Australia and the USA. It is the largest private operator of coalmines and conventional power plants in the Czech Republic, and employs more than 3,500 people. In 2019, Sev.en Energy acquired additional power generation assets from Swiss energy group Alpiq and a 50% stake in the multinational energy company – InterGen N.V., which is one of the leading independent power generators with gas-fired power plants in the UK and coal-fired power plants and coal mines in Australia. When pro-forma aggregated with the financial results of InterGen and Alpiq CZ, Sev.en Energy group combined revenues in 2019 were EUR 1,4 billion and EBITDA of EUR 319 million.   About Dentons Dentons is the world's largest law firm, connecting talent to the world's challenges and opportunities in more than 75 countries. Dentons' legal and business solutions benefit from deep roots in our communities and award-winning advancements in client service, including Nextlaw, Dentons’ innovation and strategic advisory services. Dentons' polycentric and purpose-driven approach, commitment to inclusion and diversity, and world-class talent challenge the status quo to advance client and community interests in the New Dynamic.

Dentons supports German subsidiaries of the Recylex Group in restructuring

Global law firm Dentons is assisting Weser-Metall GmbH and Harz-Metall GmbH, both subsidiaries of the French-German Recylex Group, with their restructuring through ‘self-administration’ proceedings. In addition, Dentons restructuring lawyers Andreas Ziegenhagen and Dirk Schoene and their team are advising the German management of the Recylex Group within the scope of its self-administration. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the dramatic decline in metal prices, the German subsidiaries of Recylex have each applied for protective shield proceedings under German insolvency law. The aim of the protective shield is to allow the companies to continue their individual restructuring measures and to return to economic stability after the pandemic - if necessary, in a new shareholder structure. Weser-Metall produces about 100,000 tons of lead per year at its headquarters in Nordenham (Lower Saxony), making it the third largest lead smelter and the second largest lead recycler in Europe. Harz-Metall has its headquarters in Oker in the Harz Mountains and is one of the leading European recycling companies for lead and zinc contaminated waste. The Recylex group has a total of eleven operating units and two administrative sites in France and Germany. In addition to the companies supported by Dentons, two other companies in the group, Norzinco GmbH and PPM Pure Metals GmbH, have also submitted applications for protective shield, whilethree other German subsidiaries requested self-administration under creditor protection. The Group's French companies are not affected. Andreas Ziegenhagen, Head of the Europe and German Restructuring practice, said: "With the filing for protective shield proceedings, we are making use of the most restructuring-friendly court proceedings in the interest of all stakeholders of the companies”. Advisor to Harz Metall / Weser Metall / German management of Recylex: Dentons (Berlin): Andreas Ziegenhagen (Partner, Restructuring, Berlin/Frankfurt), Dirk Schoene (Partner), Dr. Jan Seelinger (Counsel), Dr. Benjamin Kurzberg (Counsel), Judith Schmid (Senior Associate), Dr. Jakob Pickartz (Senior Associate), all Restructuring and Insolvency About Dentons Dentons is the world's largest law firm, connecting talent to the world's challenges and opportunities in more than 75 countries. Dentons' legal and business solutions benefit from deep roots in our communities and award-winning advancements in client service, including Nextlaw, Dentons’ innovation and strategic advisory services. Dentons' polycentric and purpose-driven approach, commitment to inclusion and diversity, and world-class talent challenge the status quo to advance client and community interests in the New Dynamic.