Firm / Organisation

Burness Paull

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Chairman: Peter Lawson
Managing Partner: Tamar Tammes
Number of partners:
Number of other fee earners: 278

The Firm
Burness Paull is one of Scotland’s leading independent commercial law firms.
With 73 partners, over 540 people, and offices in Scotland’s three largest cities: Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow, the firm is deeply resourced in every sector important to its clients in Scotland, the UK and internationally — financial, energy, technology, property and infrastructure, food and drink.
Burness Paull is the exclusive member firm in Scotland for Lex Mundi — the world’s leading network of independent law firms — and has worked in over 60 jurisdictions in the last three years.
In 2019 it topped the corporate legal deals table in Scotland for the fourth year running.

Principal Areas of Work

With 60 dedicated corporate finance lawyers, the firm has the largest specialist deals teams in Scotland. With its Band 1 ranking in Chambers UK, the firm has continued to prove its market leading position in Scotland and expand its global reach — with a significant proportion of work done worldwide for UK based clients as well as international investors acquiring companies and equity stakes in the UK.

Combining oil and gas and renewables practice areas, the team is led by partners with senior in-house legal and commercial management experience with major operators — a differentiator from the firm’s peers. The firm advises on work for E&P companies globally and been involved in renewable energy projects from on and off-shore wind to solar, biomass, CHP, waste to energy, and waste management.

The tier one-ranked property team is one of the largest in Scotland, with specialist expertise in retail, leisure/hospitality, investment, housebuilding, developer, renewables, public sector, agriculture and estates and real estate finance. Combined with planning, it has delivered a number of innovative projects and has a depth of experience in acquisitions, disposals, finance and development, including investment portfolios and UK-wide financing.

With one of the largest construction law teams in Scotland, the firm offers a truly integrated service in both contentious and non-contentious matters. The team provides advice across the whole spectrum of construction and engineering, from offshore engineering contracts, and major public sector infrastructure projects through to traditional mixed-use commercial developments.

The planning team is the largest and strongest in Scotland, working across private and public sectors on a full spectrum of developments: conventional energy, renewable energy, regeneration, retail and residential. Its work includes planning appraisals, representation on development plans, community consultations, submission of applications, discussions with planning authorities and consultees, negotiation of planning agreements, preparation and submission of appeals and reviews, appearances at public inquiries and hearings and compulsory purchase orders.

The banking team is recognised for its exceptional track record of leading complex transactions and the delivery of practical solutions and advice. It acts for international and domestic financial institutions, private equity houses and corporate borrowers. Many of the team have City or in-house experience and all have exemplary credentials in a range of financings including oil and gas, renewables, acquisition, asset backed and real estate as well as restructurings and securitisations.

The firm’s 20+ strong team is Scotland’s leading private funds practice. Its client base is made up of City and international law firms and domestic, European and North American fund managers. While the team has built its market-leading reputation on the sponsor side, the last three years have seen the growth and development of a significant investor side practice.

Commercial Dispute Resolution:
The dispute resolution team is one of the strongest commercial litigation teams in Scotland. It handles high-value, complex cases for international businesses, global conglomerates, government agencies and high-profile individuals. Each of the team’s partners are specialists in their respective fields of intellectual property, property litigation, product liability, insolvency, reputation management, and marine and offshore. The IP team was named Scottish Patent Contentious Firm of the Year and also Scottish Copyright Firm of the Year at the Managing IP Awards in 2019.

Health & Safety:
The firm’s top-ranking practice provides strategic advice across offshore oil and gas, food and drink, shipping, marine and subsea, aviation, manufacturing and construction, healthcare and pharmaceuticals. It supports clients through every stage of H&S litigation, from emergency response and incident investigation through to representation at inquiries or criminal prosecutions. The team also advises on financial crime, and is highly experienced in representing clients in FAIs.

The award-winning employment practice is the largest dedicated team in Scotland, advising some of the country’s best-known employers throughout the UK. The market-leading contentious employment litigation practice includes a number of highly-experienced litigators and solicitor advocates, and is fully capable of advising in relation to English employment law matters.

The firm’s impressive pensions practice advises on M&A, corporate restructuring, alternative funding arrangements and insolvency. It also advises trustees and local authorities on all aspects of running pension funds, and insurance companies on the pension products they provide to the market. Comprising lawyers dualqualified in English and Scots law, the firm has the only pensions team with a full-time presence in Aberdeen.

Technology & Commercial:
The firm’s commercial team has market-leading expertise across a range of specialist tech areas, including outsourcing, procurement, complex commercial contracts, and the use of information. The team includes commercial lawyers with specialisms in IT, IP, information law, FinTech and financial services regulation.

Corporate Finance:
Mark Ellis
Commercial: Callum Sinclair
Banking & Funds: Alan Soppitt
Private Capital: Colin McKenzie
Exploration & Production: Brian Hemming
Health, Safety & Environmental: Rona Jamieson
Employment: Mandy Laurie
Dispute Resolution: Gary Moffat
Property: John Strachan
Construction & Projects: Fenella Mason
Planning: Alasdair Sutherland
Pensions: Sarah Phillips
Public Sector: Stephen Phillips
Renewables: Chris Gotts
Tax: Ronnie Brown