Firm Profile > Dentons > Aberdeen, Scotland

Dentons
THE CAPITOL
431 UNION STREET
ABERDEEN
AB11 6DA
Scotland

Commercial property: Edinburgh and Glasgow Tier 1

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

Corporate tax Tier 1

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

Testimonials

‘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

EU and competition Tier 1

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

Testimonials

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)

Notcutts

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

KKR

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

Banking and finance Tier 2

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

Testimonials

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

Devro

Card Factory

Rothesay Life

Tenaga Nasional Berhad

Bank of Scotland

Close Leasing Limited

Atom Bank

Edrington Group

Commercial litigation Tier 2

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

Testimonials

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

Hammerson

Aviva

Rangers FC Group

Construction Tier 2

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

Testimonials

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

Hammerson

Helical

Corporate and commercial: Edinburgh and Glasgow Tier 2

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

Testimonials

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

QUIZ

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

Crime: fraud Tier 2

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

Testimonials

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

Biffin

Hunter Boot

Aggreko

Henderson & Jones

Hooley

Environment Tier 2

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

Key clients

Avis Budget Group

Total

European Energy Efficiency Fund (EEEF)

Nynas UK

The Edrington Group

Ho Bee Land

Peel Gas and Oil

Hugh King & Co

Jinmyung FricTech

Intellectual property Tier 2

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

Testimonials

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

Investment funds Tier 2

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

Testimonials

‘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

Natixis

HPH

Tortoise

Sigma Capital

Oil and gas Tier 2

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

Key clients

Completion Products

Decom North Sea

DOF Subsea Limited

KCA Deutag Drilling

Safetec UK Limited

Stork TS UK Limited

Projects Tier 2

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

Key clients

3i

Dalmore Capital

Sir Robert McAlpine

Aviva Public Private Finance

Network Rail

Infrastructure Managers Limited

Robertson Capital Projects

Green Investment Bank /GIG

Morgan Sindall Investments

Semperian

Blue Transmission

Envac UK

ISS Mediclean

Lloyds Bank

Transport for London

UPM Kymmene UK

Triple Point

Alpha Real Capital

Aggreko

Amey

Strathclyde Partnership for Transport

Choice Housing

Tenaga Nasional Berhad

HM Govt/Official Receiver

Property litigation Tier 2

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

Key clients

Hammerson

Aviva Investors

Sainsbury’s

Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS)

Network Rail Infrastructure

Persimmon

TSB Bank

Transport Tier 2

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

Key clients

Network Rail

Port of Cairnryan

Traffic Commissioner for Scotland

Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT)

Commercial property: elsewhere in Scotland Tier 3

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

Testimonials

‘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

Debt recovery Tier 3

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

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

Aviva

Hammerson

Agricultural Mortgage Corporation

Ison Harrison

Employment Tier 3

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

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

Energy (excluding oil and gas) Tier 3

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

Testimonials

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

IT and telecoms Tier 3

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

Testimonials

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

Stagecoach

MUFG Bank Ltd/MUFG Securities EMEA

Finsbury Food Group

Aon UK Limited

PCF Group

Stream Technologies Limited

Media and entertainment Tier 3

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

Key clients

BBC Scotland

STV Productions

Edinburgh International Festival

STV Group plc

National Theatre for Scotland

Network Rail Infrastructure Limited

Dine Scotland Limited

Pensions Tier 3

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

Testimonials

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

Emtelle

W.L. Gore

Highland Distillers

Leisureworks

MSA Trustees

Personal tax, trusts and executries Tier 3

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

Testimonials

“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.”

Corporate and commercial: elsewhere in Scotland Tier 4

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

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

Health and safety Tier 4

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

Testimonials

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

Aggreko

Menzies Distribution

Zenith Bank (UK)

Holland & Barrett Retail

Planning Tier 4

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

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

Professional negligence Tier 4

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

Key clients

Zurich Insurance

Aviva Insurance

Rieuneau Avocats

Cousin Biotech SA

Beazley Insurance

Photo Name Position Profile
 Malcolm Gunnyeon  photo Malcolm Gunnyeon
 Gordon Hobkirk  photo Gordon Hobkirk
 David Rose  photo David Rose