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DLA Piper Scotland LLP

Work 02073 490 296
Fax 0131 242 5555

Scotland: Corporate and commercial

Corporate and commercial: Edinburgh and Glasgow
Corporate and commercial: Edinburgh and Glasgow - ranked: tier 3

DLA Piper Scotland LLP

DLA Piper Scotland LLP‚Äės practice, which is led by Simon Rae, covers a broad spread of UK and international transactions, such as M&A, joint ventures, restructurings, and public and private fundraisings. A particular area of strength of the firm is in private equity deals, where the firm acts for clients such as Scottish Equity Partners, Proprium Capital and Vespa Capital. In a particularly high-profile matter, in 2017, McRae was the lead adviser to the vendors and to BrewDog Plc on the ¬£213m acquisition of shares of and investment in BrewDog by TSG Consumer Partners. Rae, who has a particularly strong reputation handling deals involving the energy and technology industries, also worked with legal director Andrew Wardrop¬†and others to advise longstanding client¬†Energy Ventures on the institutional buyout of Aquaterra Energy Limited. Rae and Wardrop also coordinated and worked with other offices in the firm‚Äôs network to handle the global reorganisation of Marsh & McLennan.

Leading individuals

Simon Rae - DLA Piper Scotland LLP

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Scotland: Dispute resolution

Commercial litigation
Commercial litigation - ranked: tier 2

DLA Piper Scotland LLP

DLA Piper Scotland LLP excels in strategically important, high-value commercial litigation, which is reflected by the fact that its work for well-known names such as Emirates Airlines, Ineos and the FA Premier League. Alistair Drummond and senior associate Jennifer Talbot are acting for Consort Healthcare (Fife) Limited as the pursuer in a £20m Court of Session action against the contractors and independent tester over the construction of new facilities at the Victoria Hospital, Fife. Drummond and Talbot are also assisting The Coal Authority with litigation connected with subsidence damage caused by mine workings at Kirkcaldy in Fife. Another strong suit of the practice is public law litigation, which includes representing applicants and respondents in judicial review proceedings, and also in procurement litigation; Hazel Moffat, and legal directors Joanna Clark and James McGachie, are all active in this space. Moffat and McGachie are part of a cross-office team which is acting as external advisers to the Magnox Inquiry relating to the failed £7bn contract to decommission 12 nuclear power sites. The team is also increasingly sought-after to advise clients on privacy law and potential data breaches, as well as the enforcement/claims implications of such breaches.

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Scotland: Finance

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 2

DLA Piper Scotland LLP

DLA Piper Scotland LLP has a stand out project finance capability, and it is particularly active in the infrastructure and renewable energy sectors, where it undertakes transactions on a Scotland and wider UK basis. In 2017, Stuart McMillan, legal director +[Michael Urquhart] and senior associate +[Christine White] advised Equitix on the refinancing of multiple solar park acquisitions in the UK; this involved project financings under a hybrid scheme combining institutional and bank debt. David Morton has experience of acquisition and leveraged finance, corporate lending and real estate finance. A recent highlight involved Morton and senior associate William Reid acting for Clydesdale Bank in the provision of financing to Laing Glasgow (Holdings Limited) to enable it to acquire competitor business Laing The Jeweller Limited. Morton and Reid also assisted City & Country Edinburgh Limited with obtaining the financing for the redevelopment of Donaldsons School in Edinburgh into luxury residential accommodation. Ares Management, Barclays Bank, Galliford Try and Svenska Handelsbanken are other notable clients.

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Scotland: Human resources

Employment - ranked: tier 5

DLA Piper Scotland LLP

DLA Piper Scotland LLP¬†draws on its extensive corporate and commercial expertise to advise a range of major companies on the gamut of contentious and non-contentious employment work. The team advises Heineken on all employment matters ‚Äď notably its takeover of Punch Taverns, on which it conducted due diligence and proposed transitional arrangements and the TUPE transfer. It continues to assist Adtalem Global Education with a program to transfer over 700 students and staff from St. Maarten, affected by Hurricane Irma, to a temporary campus in the UK. The UK-wide team also supports Sodexo on day-to-day employment issues, transactions and employment litigation. The practice is led by Kate Hodgkiss, who alongside Julie Simpson¬† is noted as having ‚Äėdemonstrated an in-depth knowledge of employment law and practice‚Äô and providing ‚Äėdown-to-earth and practical advice‚Äô. Also recommended is the ‚Äėexceptional‚Äô Euan Bruce.

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Health and safety
Health and safety - ranked: tier 4

DLA Piper Scotland LLP

DLA Piper Scotland LLP handles contentious and regulatory compliance health and safety work for a mixture of major insured public and private sector clients. Practice head, Alastair Drummond, is advising Airbus Helicopters on a number of matters, including disclosures and attendant civil claims in preparation for a fatal accident inquiry into the high-profile Clutha police helicopter crash in 2013. The group is also advising and representing Sodexo and its insurers, SLS, in connection with fatal accident inquiries arising from its operation of HMP Addiewell, which has so far led to no further actions raised against the client. Senior associate Jennifer Talbot is recommended for vast expertise in health and safety, environmental and regulatory compliance matters; and experience that spans judicial reviews, fatal accident inquiries, criminal prosecutions and reparation actions.

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Scotland: Projects, energy and natural resources

Energy (excluding oil and gas)
Energy (excluding oil and gas) - ranked: tier 5

DLA Piper

DLA Piper has the breadth of expertise in Scotland (and, where appropriate, the wider global network) to advise clients on the most complex aspects of anaerobic digestion plants, wind energy, ESCO arrangements and photovoltaic projects. Stuart McMillan leads the team, which has a particularly strong project finance offering, and whose work has previously included advising funders, such as Barclays Bank and The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, and borrowers on UK renewables projects. Like McMillan, legal director Michael Urquhart has a wealth of project finance experience. Elsewhere, Sandy Telfer and legal director Michael Greig are recommended for their planning law knowledge, while construction expert Jonathan Gaskell is another key figure. As part of an international firm, the Scottish team's work extends beyond Scotland, and includes projects with a cross-border flavour.

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Projects - ranked: tier 3

DLA Piper

DLA Piper has an excellent reputation in energy and infrastructure projects in the UK and Ireland, and further afield, where it advises sponsors, funders and public sector organisations. Lillian Mackenzie, who has a wealth of experience in PFI/PPP (including NPD) projects in Scotland, has been increasingly active in matters outside of Scotland; she is the lead adviser to Velindre NHS Trust on a DBFM project for a new cancer centre in South East Wales; this is a pathfinder project under the Welsh government's Mutual Investment Model programme. Mackenzie is also leading the advice to the Welsh government on the development of its standard form suite of documents for the programme. Another key figure who is at the forefront of the Scottish and international projects practice is Sharon Fitzgerald, who recently advised the Zimbabwean Ministry of Finance and associated Joint Venture Unit on the development of new PPP regulations. Fitzgerald is currently assisting the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan with various matters, including framework agreements for irrigation and hydropower projects. Stuart McMillan advises banks and borrowers on project finance transactions relating to PFI/PPP and renewable energy.

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Scotland: Public sector

Parliamentary and public affairs
Parliamentary and public affairs - ranked: tier 1

DLA Piper Scotland LLP

DLA Piper Scotland LLP‚Äôs ‚Äėhardworking, diligent and knowledgeable‚Äô team advises corporations, in addition to regulatory authorities, government departments and commissioners, on the full range of public and parliamentary issues. Hazel Moffat¬†leads the team and has considerable experience in drafting interpretation and opposition bills going through the Scottish and UK Parliaments.¬† She is currently advising The Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy on its involvement in the Magnox Inquiry, which is looking into the award of the Magnox decommissioning contract by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) and its subsequent termination. She continues to advise Heineken in relation to the potential implications of the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015, in addition to representing the client before government in order to address policy issues and drafting errors in the statutory Pubs Code before it goes live. Legal director James McGachie¬†is also recommended for his expertise in information law.

Leading individuals

Hazel Moffat - DLA Piper Scotland LLP

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Scotland: Real estate

Commercial property: Edinburgh and Glasgow
Commercial property: Edinburgh and Glasgow - ranked: tier 2

DLA Piper Scotland LLP

Commercial property: leisure and hospitality - ranked: tier 1

DLA Piper Scotland LLP

Commercial property: retail - ranked: tier 3

DLA Piper Scotland LLP

DLA Piper Scotland LLP is a strong choice for big-ticket investment acquisitions, disposals and development deals in Scotland. Its team also has a strong track record in commercial leasing and portfolio management matters. Further, its prominence in the market enables it to attract a sizeable portfolio of cross-border property work from blue-chip clients. In a particularly high-profile transaction, team head Drew Wallace (who has more than 30 years of commercial property experience), Lisa Kerr, Carolyne Hair and Edwin Truesdale worked with the property team in England to advise Heineken on the property aspects of its £403m acquisition of more than 1800 pubs from Punch Taverns across the UK. Another standout mandate saw Wallace, Stephen Dick, Guy Irving and others act for New Waverley 20 Limited in the circa £100m Government Property Unit letting of more than 180,000 square feet of office space at New Waverley; this was the largest office letting in Edinburgh for 20 years. Another name to note is Steve Edgecombe, who has a particularly strong reputation in the hospitality and leisure arena (particularly the hotels sector). Edgecombe leads on the firm's UK-wide relationships for Travelodge and Places for People, and also the international relationships for clients such as Hilton Hotels and Qatar Airways. Edgecombe was the lead adviser to Proprium and C&C Group on their £300m acquisition of shares in Admiral Pubs. Other clients of the firm include Aggregate Industries, Timpsons, AXA and Hansteen. Sheila Irvine is also recommended.

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Construction - ranked: tier 4

DLA Piper Scotland LLP

At DLA Piper Scotland LLP, legal director Jonathan Gaskell (who is dual-qualified in English and Scottish law) advises clients on the contentious and non-contentious aspects of construction projects, including those connected with the development of student accommodation, rail infrastructure, roads and shopping centres. Gaskell's recent work included assisting Merseytravel with construction law issues associated with new depot facilities on the Merseyrail network, and advising Artisan Real Estate Investors on the construction of a new circa 190,000 square feet office development at the New Waverley development in Edinburgh. St Enoch Trustee Company Limited, Ark Data Centres and Sodexo are other clients in this area.

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Planning - ranked: tier 2

DLA Piper Scotland LLP

DLA Piper Scotland LLP's Sandy Telfer is a leading expert in the planning aspects of energy-related developments, particularly onshore unconventional gas developments. Telfer, Alistair Drummond, legal director Michael Greig and others are acting for INEOS in a judicial review application arising from the Scottish Government's ban on onshore unconventional gas. In a cross-border energy-related matter, Telfer and Greig are also working with members of the Birmingham office to assist the same client with appeals over the non-determination of two planning applications for exploratory gas development in Rotherham and Derbyshire. Wind farm developments are another area of energy-related planning activity for the firm. In the housing sector, Telfer, Greig and others have a wealth of experience acting for housebuilders and planning authorities in development plan examinations, appeals and court challenges. Greig represented Hallam Land Management and Commercial Estates Group at a housing appeal over a development at Cambusbarron in Stirling. Greig is also acting for Royal Bank of Scotland in relation to a proposed housing development at Millburn Tower, adjacent to its Edinburgh headquarters. Another standout highlight involved representing Aberdeenshire Council at the Supreme Court over the Aberdeen City and Shire Strategic Transport Fund.

Leading individuals

Sandy Telfer - DLA Piper Scotland LLP

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Property litigation
Property litigation - ranked: tier 3

DLA Piper Scotland LLP

The experience of DLA Piper Scotland LLP's team in complex and strategically significant property disputes - across all forms of dispute resolution - is complemented by its ability to leverage cross-practice and cross-office support where required. Led by Alistair Drummond, the team acts for a broad base of Scottish, UK and international clients; names include Dreamvale Properties Limited, Heineken, Asda and The Edinburgh Woollen Mill. Drummond and senior Jennifer Talbot recently assisted The Coal Authority with raising a first-of-its-kind action for declarator over mining work in Kirkcaldy, which has caused subsidence in the area. Drummond and Talbot are also acting for Consort Healthcare (Fife) Limited in Court of Session proceedings against the contractors and independent tester in relation to defects to the pipework and heating system within the new facilities at Victoria Hospital in Fife. Drummond co-heads the practice with Hazel Moffat.

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Scotland: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

IT and telecoms
IT and telecoms - ranked: tier 1

DLA Piper Scotland LLP

DLA Piper Scotland LLP¬†is noted for its work on major IT, outsourcing and data projects across a range of sectors. Practice head John McKinlay¬†is described as ‚Äėvery good‚Äô,¬†while¬†Ross McKean¬†represented Goldman Sachs in negotiations with Google in relation to its global Data Processing and Security Terms. The group currently leads on competitive procurement for Viridian Group, which involves parallel negotiations with a number of significant software vendors in relation to a payment procurement system. It is also assisting Scottish Water with the re-procurement of its core IT and telecoms infrastructure. Legal director Ishbel MacPherson¬†has particular expertise in technology transfer matters. Senior associate John McGonagle¬†is recommended for his experience in complex IT outsourcing deals.

Leading individuals

John McKinlay - DLA Piper Scotland LLP

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Intellectual property
Intellectual property - ranked: tier 2

DLA Piper Scotland LLP

DLA Piper Scotland LLP is marked out by its transactional and advisory IP practice, but it also handles contentious matters for a variety of corporates. Highlights for practice head, John McKinlay, include advising Merlin Entertainments, which instructs the firm on all of its IP matters, on image rights for Madame Tussauds; licensing issues for CBeebies Hotel; IP licenses for theme park attractions such as Peppa Pig World; and multiple branding, advertising clearance and commercial IP issues. The firm is also sole legal adviser to Heineken UK and assisted it with a range of e-commerce deals and commercial contracts involving the use of IP rights, in addition to the management of its trade mark portfolio, including opposition and infringement claims. In another highlight, Alastair Drummond is representing the Football Association Premier League in interdictions against Scottish businesses showing the overseas broadcast of English Premier League matches on the basis of copyright infringement. Other clients include Skyscanner and Underbelly.

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Legal Developments by:
DLA Piper LLP (US)

  • Sentencing guidelines for corporate manslaughter

    In February 2010 the Sentencing Guidelines Council (the SGC) issued definitive guidelines to courts on imposing appropriate sentences for corporate manslaughter and health and safety offences causing death. The SGC states that fines imposed on companies found guilty of corporate manslaughter should not fall below £500,000, while fines in respect of health and safety offences that are a significant cause of death should be at least £100,000. Crucially, the SGC declined to provide for a fixed link between the imposed fine and the turnover or profitability of the offending company.‚Ä©
    - DLA Piper UK LLP

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