LegalScot An independent publication from www.canongate.org
The reality of making Scottish justice digital
Why lawyers are a target for hackers
Robots in wigs
Could machines make better lawyers than humans?
Distributed with The Times Scotland 10 November 2016
How disagreements can be resolved online
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Legal Scot LegalScot is an independent publication by Canongate Communications Contents
2 BRIEFING 4 DIGITAL JUSTICE 6 SECURITY 7 LEGAL AWARDS 9 LEADERSHIP 10 COVER STORY 11 TECHNOLOGY 14 DATA 15 M&A 17 LEGAL 500
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10 November 2016
Concern in business and academia over UK’s stance By Christine O’Neil Was there a time before Brexit? The conversation about the UK’s future relationship with the EU, triggered by the vote on 23 June, sometimes feels all-consuming. This is understandable given how little is known about what the future holds. With greater certainty about the path ahead we might be able to put Brexit in greater perspective and give more attention to ‘business as usual’. Meantime, we continue to speculate about how the issues raised by the referendum result will be resolved. As ever, those issues look more complex when viewed through a Scottish lens, with the EU vote bound into the ongoing debate about Scotland’s constitutional future. At the highest level of debate is the question of whether Scotland could negotiate a bespoke ‘deal’ with the EU to retain greater access to the single market than the rest of the UK. The desire for tariff-free trade is a major driver for the Scottish Government but the key focus has been free movement of people. While it would be unwise to suggest that Scottish voters are more ‘pro’ immigration than counterparts elsewhere in the UK, there is no doubt that the Scottish economy has specific needs when it comes to EU national workers. They arise in agricultural industries but also in the wider rural economy where population densities can be low – making it harder for employers to recruit. Most EU lawyers agree that it will be very difficult for Scotland to achieve a ‘special relationship’ with Europe but this has not deterred the Scottish Government from pursuing talks with leaders of other EU nations and, most recently, announcing a Scottish trade hub in Berlin. Questions have also been raised about the involvement of Scotland
The Scottish higher education sector is highly dependent on the UK’s membership of the EU, says Christine O’Neill
in the Brexit process. Litigation is ongoing in the English and Northern Ireland courts on whether the right to trigger article 50 is a matter for the royal prerogative or needs an Act of the UK Parliament. If legislation is required, the next
question is whether the Sewel convention applies – requiring Westminster to seek Holyrood’s consent to that legislation. In pure legal terms a refusal to give consent would not prevent Westminster passing the necessary legislation but it would be politically difficult. For clients these constitutional niceties are much less important than the
lack of clarity about what Brexit will mean in practice for them and their businesses. The Scottish higher education sector, for example, is highly dependent on the UK’s membership of the EU – for funding and for access to very mobile academic teaching and research staff and students. While commitments have been given about continued access in the short term, the medium and long term future remains a concern. For Scottish industries – including the highly-successful Scotch whisky industry and other food and drink manufacturers – there is serious
concern about future trading relationships. While lawyers can advise on the implications of a harder or softer Brexit, for many clients that advice has limited value in the absence of a clear view of the UK Government’s negotiating stance. Christine O’Neill is an expert in constitutional law and Chairman of Brodies LLP. For more information, contact Christine on 0131 656 0286 or at christine. firstname.lastname@example.org. For the latest legal updates on Brexit, visit http://www. brodies.com/news/brexit.
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Fighting the cost of insurance fraud By William Peakin Scotland faces an increase in the incidence of fraudulent claims against insurance companies, according to a leading lawyer. The introduction of referral fees for claims management companies introducing litigants to legal firms and the reduction in liability for costs if a claim is lost is increasing the incentive for such claims, said Gordon Keyden, a partner at Clyde & Co. “Scotland has not, historically, been a hot bed for the kind of low-level, highvolume fraudulent claim which has affected England and Wales,” he said. “But certainly, as a company, that is one of the areas that we are focussing on because unfortunately, as a result of certain changes, I foresee an increase in this area.” Cumulatively, low-level, high-volume fraudulent claims are a
big cost for insurers; ultimately resulting in higher premiums for consumers and businesses. Recently appointed partner Katie Carmichael leads the firm’s dedicated fraud team. Keyden was looking ahead as the global law firm marks the first year of its merger with leading Scottish firm Simpson & Marwick. The merger provided Clyde & Co with a presence in Scotland, enhancing its position as the UK’s leading insurance sector law firm and benefitting from Simpson & Marwick’s pre-eminent insurance disputes practice. Clyde & Co now provides prop-
erty and casualty insurers with an unrivalled and comprehensive service across both England and Scotland, particularly in casualty, healthcare, health and safety, regulatory and professional lines.
‘We are beginning to see the benefits of the merger’
“We are really beginning to see the benefits of the merger,” said Keyden. “Increasingly, insurance companies are looking for effective advice and advocacy across jurisdictions in the UK, Europe and globally, and from Scotland we can offer that expertise and expertise, as well as acting as thought leaders on legislation.” The Scotland team combines the skills of individual practitioners with good geographical spread north of the border and the strength in depth offered by a global law firm, he said. Clyde & Co hires the best people in its chosen core sectors. It is a capability borne out by the number of its specialists ranked in Chambers UK’s 2017 guide. “Another strength we offer against our competitors,” added Keyden,” is our in-house advocacy skills and resource.”
10 November 2016
High value and complex litigation a test for court
Female solicitors continue to be relatively under-represented in senior positions, says Law Society President Eilidh Wiseman
By Jonathan Barne Rubber ducks and plenty of hot water. Well, perhaps not. But the Court of Session’s Commercial Court broke new ground this year by “hot-tubbing” expert evidence. This involved seven of the world’s leading tunnelling and geological experts sitting in court discussing why a tunnel in the Scottish highlands had collapsed during the operation of the Glendoe hydroelectric scheme. The Glendoe litigation was one of the most high-value and complex litigations ever to be seen in the Scottish Courts. It was a good example of the Commercial Court’s desire to develop its expertise and to innovate, the key objective always being the efficient disposal of cases. This reflects the underlying culture of the Commercial Court, which demands that case preparation is front-loaded so that by the time an action is raised, there is little scope for faffing around. The wider context is also important. The reforms introduced by the Courts Reform (Scotland) Act 2014 begin to bite. These include the requirement that only actions worth over £100,000 can be raised in the Court of Session. That is unlikely to alter the profile of cases raised in the Court of Session, which tend to involve major engineering and construction disputes, the oil and gas industry, insolvency, contractual interpretation and property matters. However, with lower value commercial cases being litigated in the sheriff courts, the Commercial Court in Edinburgh should have greater availability to progress actions expeditiously. Similarly, it is to be hoped that the sheriff courts, some of which have their own specialist commercial courts, can develop their own expertise in commercial cases. With the inclusion of the Expenses and Funding of Civil Litigation Bill in the Scottish Government’s upcoming legislative programme for 2016-17, the next phase of court reform begins. While detail is lacking at this stage, commercial litigators will be interested in the expressed intention to allow damages-based agreements to be enforceable by litigators. This is a type of “no win no fee” agreement under which a lawyer’s fee is calculated as a percentage of the client’s damages, if the case is won. For commercial litigators, the indication is that damages-based agreements will be allowed on a “no win lower fee” fee basis, meaning the solicitor for the unsuccessful party will never be entirely out-of-pocket. As always, though, the devil will be in the detail. Jonathan Barne is an advocate at Axiom Advocates. www.axiomadvocates.com
Pay gap persists as women solicitors overtake men By Eilidh Wiseman As the legal landscape continues to shift, it is vital that we respond to the needs of today’s legal profession, the clients we serve and the solicitors of tomorrow. Solicitors have an important role to play in our society. Every day, whether as part of a high street firm or a multinational operation, they help people with some of the most significant events in their lives – from buying a new home, securing a contract, dealing with difficult family or employment disputes to representing a client in court. The legal sector contributes more than £1bn and 20,000 high quality jobs to the Scottish economy and in our annual plan for 2016/17, which takes effect in this month, we have identified key areas of work to provide the support and services our members need to ensure the sector can continue
to thrive both at home and in jurisdictions further afield. The profession itself is changing in important ways. Figures published last year by the Society showed that, for the first time, there were more female solicitors than male, at 51% - a trend that is likely to continue, with 64% of solicitors admitted to the profession during the year, being female. That so many women see their future in the law is encouraging, though the changing profile of the profession presents its own challenges. For instance, a significant gender pay gap exists and female solicitors continue to be relatively under-represented in senior positions. As part of our equality and diver-
sity work, we have carried out in-depth research and published an equality toolkit and 10 equality standards for employers to adopt. In addition, our recent digital campaign ‘let’s talk
progression’ has generated discussion among our members on how best to tackle this issue.As well as promoting equality among solicitors, we want to ensure the profession reflects the diversity of our society. It’s important the route to qualification as a solicitor is accessible to men and women from all backgrounds and not solely those who have the financial means. We were therefore delighted to launch the Lawscot Foundation in September. The foundation, a registered char-
ity, will offer financial assistance and mentoring support for students from less advantaged backgrounds to help them during their studies. In September, we also launched a student associate initiative as part of our five-year Leading Legal Excellence strategy. Student associates are the first affiliate category for the Society, which will let them become involved with their professional body at an early stage and
encourage them to build networks and experience. No review of 2016 would be complete without considering the referendum decision to leave the European Union. The UK vote to leave – notwithstanding the preference in Scotland to remain – has brought uncertainty for all of us. Despite more clarity on when Brexit is likely to happen, there remain more questions than answers about the likely impact on our professional and personal lives. We will closely monitor the UK Government’s negotiations with the EU and will work to ensure the interests of our members are featured, including residence and employment status and recognition of practice rights, as decisions are taken on the country’s new relationship with Europe. Eilidh Wiseman is the President of the Law Society of Scotland. Women in law, P9
Early stage tech investment fuels business By William Peakin Independent Scottish independent law firm Wright, Johnston & Mackenzie’s Corporate team have been ranked in the Chambers and Legal 500 for several years running and offer a breadth and depth of experience across the field of corporate and commercial work. During the last 12 months the corporate team has acted in several notable transactions including the LSE listed Macfarlane Group PLC’s acquisition of One Packaging Ltd. This represents Macfarlane Group PLC’s third acquisition in two years and WJM has acted for the company in all three deals. WJM also acted in the open offer on the
LSE on behalf of Pinnacle Technology Group PLC and were the advisors to Texas based Power Feed Thru Systems LLC in their acquisition of a Scottish based down hole technology company. Ken Long, a corporate partner at WJM widely regarded for his technology expertise says the firm is seeing significant levels of activity in the technology industry in Scotland. “We are advising a considerable number of technology companies as well as investors in technology, particularly early stage technology. “We have acted in more than 20 investments in Scottish technology companies, including Vert Rotors, Qikserve and My1login, on behalf of Equity
Gap Limited, one of the most prolific angel syndicate investors in Scotland in the last 12 months. We have also acted for a Texan based investment syndicate called Aero–Den LP, when it co–invested with Equity Gap in Vert Rotors.” The firm were also involved in the recent £5m funding round on behalf of Scotrenewables Tidal Power Limited, designers and manufacturers of the world’s most powerful tidal turbine, which is now installed on its moorings in Orkney. This second generation technology device has been hailed as a potential ‘game changer’ by Business, Innovation and Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse. Ken Long said: “The ability to generate tidal power represents a huge
opportunity not just in Scotland but across the world. We have been advising Scotrenewables since 2006 and it’s a shining example of what can be achieved with connections, collaboration and partners willing to invest in early stage technology. We are proud to support Scotland’s technology sector and we believe the potential exists for Scotland to produce many more success stories like this in the future.” Wright, Johnston & Mackenzie, is a full service independent Scottish law firm with 23 Partners and 53 fee earners across its offices in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness. For more information visit www.wjm.co.uk or call 0141 248 3434.
legalscot Digital justice
10 November 2016
Will the First Minister click ‘OK’ to a digital justice system?
Pleading by text? If only it was that simple...
Court officials have been tasked with ‘clear sky thinking’ to design a digital justice system By William Peakin It’s not going to happen any time soon; accused are not going to be able to enter a plea by text, as a Scottish Daily Mail headline predicted earlier this year. There is, then, no immediate pressure on the Unicode Technical Committee to add ‘guilty’ and ‘not guilty’ emoticons to the list of emoji used to convey meaning digitally. But the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service is in the process of developing a prototype digital justice system which it will unveil early next year. It has its roots in comments made by senior members of Scotland’s judiciary. In 2014, Lord Carloway, Lord President of the Court of Session and Lord Justice General, said: “There must be change because the system of criminal justice which exists in Scotland is one which remains to a large extent geared to the values and conditions of the Victorian age. “What is needed is clear sky thinking on how best to prove or disprove fact efficiently and in the interests of justice in the modern age, given the advances in technology which have occurred over the last twenty years since the world wide web hit our consciousness.” Earlier this year, Lady Dorrian,
the Lord Justice Clerk, added: “The increased use of modern technology has magnified the expectations placed on public services. In society generally people and organisations communicate and transact business instantly and electronically yet the Scottish court system remains relatively unchanged. “Rather than modernising, our system has been one that clings to paper, postal-based practices and face-to-face meetings when speedier and more convenient alternatives are reasonably and readily available. “If people and businesses communicate instantly by email, Skype or Facebook, they will expect public services to do likewise. They will increasingly fail to understand, or have sympathy with, any system that still relies on extensive documentation, sent by post, in triplicate or worse, and by the
‘If people communicate instantly by email, Skype or Facebook, they will expect public services to do likewise’
requirement to appear in person for the handling of routine matters.” Digital technology exists already in the Scottish judicial system. There is increased use of video conferencing, people can pay some fines online, an integrated civil case management system was introduced last month and an online jury portal is being developed. But officials regard these steps, modernising though they might be, as merely digitising existing processes. They argue that a truly digital justice system does not start with the technology, but with redesigning the process – which has far-reaching implications for the law, the legal profession and the public. The Courts and Tribunal Service
team working on the digital prototype take their lead from two reports; the Evidence and Procedure Review, published in 2015 and its successor review, ‘Next Steps’, published in February this year. The first looked at the evidence of children and vulnerable witnesses: “Scotland needs to move to the forefront of law and practice in relation to children and vulnerable witnesses.” It also looked at witness statements in general: “We need to rethink what constitutes the best evidence at trial – and this may mean a transformation in the way the evidence of witnesses in general is captured and presented.” The second went further: “Summary criminal procedure should be redesigned taking full advantage of modern technology and putting stronger case management at its core [and] a new
10 November 2016 approach should be implemented for children and vulnerable witnesses giving evidence.” As an official put it: “The summary justice system is still dogged by churn; repeated hearings, delays, a waste of time and money. Why not look at what technology could do to completely transform it?” Initial work was carried out by the Courts and Tribunals Service, but it is now being led by the Scottish Government’s Justice Board, whose membership is made up of representatives from the NHS, the police, prison service, Legal Aid Board, the Children’s Report Administration and the Government. With the Evidence and Procedure review now in its third phase, the Board has commissioned a project to: l Redesign summary criminal court procedures, looking at all procedural aspects of the process from complaint through to sentencing with a view to taking full advantage of digital technology to administer justice quickly, efficiently and fairly; l Develop proposals for further measures to ensure that the evidence of children and vulnerable witnesses is taken in a way that both protects them from further trauma and allows for them to give the best quality of evidence. The potential benefits of a digital case management system compared with the existing court process have been mapped out, but officials caution that they represent an ‘ideal world” scenario. They show the scope for improvement in the system; if only first appearances from police custody were heard in court, and the rest online, it could save 57,000 hearings a year; 89,000 so-called intermediate diets, designed to resolve issues before trial, could be saved; and ultimately the number
of trials could be cut from 52,000 to 9,000, requiring 360,000 fewer witnesses to be cited a year. “A rigorous case management process and adoption of the culture of agreeing evidence may lead to an approximately 80% reduction in the number of trial diets being allocated,” according to a project briefing paper. “The basis for this reduction being that case management would weed out trials that don’t proceed with evidence being led. Of those trials that do proceed more witness evidence should be agreed pre-trial meaning fewer witnesses would be required and those that are required may require shorter questioning.” The project team is looking at
‘digital enablers’, including: l Digital evidence (the antiquated nature of the existing process is illustrated by the fact that in the case of police crime scene photographs, they are first printed off, then handed to the Crown, which then scans them and prints them off again before placing them under a camera in court so they can be displayed on a screen); l A Digital Evidence and Information Vault, to allow efficient storage, disclosure and sharing of digital evidence (another indicator of the existing system’s problems; the Courts and Tribunals Service recently bought some of the last VHS recorders to be made, because evidence is still stored on VHS tape); l A Digital Case Management System, which will replace existing court systems to facilitate digital case management and communication between prosecution, defence and court professionals; l Digital presentation in court (which does, in fact, comes close to the Daily Mail’s prediction; complaints could be served, responses received
‘Our system has been one that clings to paper, postal-based practices and faceto-face meetings when speedier and more convenient alternatives are reasonably and readily available’
and sentences/fines issued – all by email). “We are building a prototype,” said an official, “which would mean major changes in legal procedure and the role of the judiciary in managing cases, with implications for fiscal and defence agents and raise questions about fairness and transparency. This is a prototype that may not take off. It may be too radical a departure from the way we do criminal justice. It may be too expensive. It might just shift existing inefficiencies elsewhere in the system. But we have been asked to do clear sky thinking because the world is changing and we can’t just carry on as normal, we have to ask if we had a blank sheet of paper, what could a digital justice system look like?” The team aims to publish its report early next year and then it will be for the Scottish Government to decide whether to proceed with adopting a digital justice system which, it is thought, could take three to four years to implement.
Options for a digital summary procedurE l Electronic service of complaint l Lodge plea (G or NG) online l Digitally managed timetabling l Digital sentencing for lesser offences l Digital submission of evidence & case documents l Automated information to witnesses l Digital public record Issues l Engagement of clients in online procedures l Unrepresented accused l Timely handling of custody cases l Implications of judicial case management l Transparency of process
10 November 2016
The data held on a law firm’s server is a digital treasure trove
Are law firms sleepwalking into a cyber-security nightmare? Legal practices hold a disproportionate amount of valuable data, making them attractive to cyber criminals By Mark Leiser The high-profile hack of Mossack Fonseca last year brought the collective frailty of the network infrastructure of members of the legal profession to the forefront. While the fallout from the Panama Papers might have stolen the headlines, malicious attacks on the network infrastructures of solicitors and law practices are becoming a regular occurrence. With firms holding a disproportionate amount of valuable and confidential data, hackers know that the profession is notoriously understaffed, under-resourced, and under-trained when it comes to protecting their firms’ digital data. Furthermore, law firms suffer from a certain information asymmetry; data is often gathered ubiquitously and invisibly in a way few solicitors understand. Why are law firms sleepwalking into a cyber-security nightmare? First, they hold a disproportionate amount of valuable information compared with other small-and-medium enterprises of a similar size. The Law Society of England and Wales has said “law firms are particularly attractive sources of information”. While banks and financial institutions hold millions of account details, they have significant security measures in place to mitigate
against intrusion and, in most cases, cover any loss. In a world where information is power, details about an upcoming corporate merger or takeover can yield far greater return than copying a customer list or stealing customer details ever would. Knowledge of a forthcoming patent application yet to be submitted to the UKIPO could result in losses of hundreds of millions of pounds of revenue. Hackers broke into the com-
puter networks at some of most prestigious American Merger and Acquisition law firms (Cravath Swaine & Moore LLP and Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP), with the FBI investigating whether the valuable information stolen was used for insider trading. Secondly, the very nature of a law firm ensures that they act as a conduit for information that one might not want in the public domain. Normally, less stringent security and undertrained staff make law firms an attractive target. Many cyber-attacks against come about as a result of the targeting of a third-party organisation that the firm represents. A typical law firm will hold data relating to litigation strategies, confidential information relation to the business operations of a client, valuable information relating to intellectual property rights and a host of other sensitive and confidential data. The data held on a law firm’s server is a digital treasure trove to which hackers are attracted because of its intrinsic value. Third, law firms are notoriously under-staffed and under-trained when
it comes to cyber-security. Small firms and sole practitioners have limited resources and capabilities to maintain a secure network. Simply having a web presence is enough; making sure your name is out there and high-up the Google Page search rankings. Little to no thought is put into securing that web presence or implementing best practices for securing client data. Laptops aren’t encrypted, phones are not password protected, staff are not aware of the tricks of the hacking trade and are vulnerable to social engineering and other ‘cognitive hacks’. The last of which is becoming the most prevalent tool of the trade for the hacker. This is why I recommend a more practical approach to securing a firm’s data than traditional passive network defences. Historically cyber-security has focused on securing the firm’s network and its infrastructure. Catch phrases like “We need a firewall!” and “invested millions in network security…” mean nothing if humans are
‘We are prone to trust others and when someone sounds convincing, we tend to make a lot of poor decisions’
susceptible to social engineering by a malicious hacker. Verizon’s 2015 annual data breach report highlighted an ominous fact: the great majority of hacks, estimated to be 90%, succeed because of human error. Ultimately, the sole practitioner is the firm’s best defence, but it is also the law practice’s weakest link. Social engineering is when
someone maliciously takes advantage of the cognitive vulnerabilities humans have when making judgements. We are prone to trust others and when someone sounds convincing, we tend to make a lot of poor decisions. Our systematic errors become even more exacerbated when under pressure. So when a fake email from a law firm’s managing partner was sent to the finance manager at a large law firm asking them to pay funds to a bank account that in reality belonged to a social engineering hacker, you can imagine what happened next. Or a quick phone call to the law firm from a hacker pretending to be from BT asking them to reset their box in order to allow testing on the line: “That’s great! We are all working 100% now. Do you mind reading me the numbers on the back of your wireless router please for my files?” Intrusion complete. Social engineering as a means of cyber-attack is gaining traction among the hacking community. Thus recognising social engineering, through staff training, for example, is an important facet of cyber-security. Law firms must begin to understand that they are the target because they are more vulnerable and because of the valuable data that they hold. High value information
secured behind hundreds of millions of pounds’ worth of network security is routinely sent to law firms that have inadequate protection. Law firms that rely simply on passive forms of network defences are doomed. Identify the node in your office that is likely to be seen as the weakest link by hackers and get them trained in cyber-security now. Today. Do not wait. This person is not likely to be a senior partner. It’s going to be the law student working on placement or a trainee, or the freckle-faced IT guy that has sysadmin privileges over your network. Prioritise security as a require-
ment among your business partners and agents that handle information on your behalf. Ask questions of your cloud providers and your web ‘guy’. Is he running regular updates on your web software? Solicitors and law firms are far more of a target than they realise, especially as we move to 100% digitisation and cloud-based storage (the Internet has no boundaries, neither do hackers). It is not just the legal consequences of failing to keep information secure; there is a real chance of business loss. Large companies can afford to take the hit, but smaller firms face irrecoverable losses. There is also reputational loss. Mossack Fonseca held details on 72 former and current world leaders. It is not known how many of these left the firm after the hack, but it is a safe bet that it would be exponentially harder for them to land client 73. Mark Leiser is a cyber law lecturer at Strathclyde University.
10 November 2016
A call for innovation and creativity Top lawyers are poised to celebrate at the Scottish Legal Awards The national awards programme for Scottish law is now in its 14th year of celebrating excellence in Scottish legal services and as the deadline for entries approaches, a buzz of anticipation is mounting. The Scott + Co Scottish Legal Awards are among the most applauded awards in the country, so it is easy to see why over 40 Scottish firms regularly enter, hoping to see their success recognised and rewarded. From sector specialists in employment, litigation and family law to team-wide accolades in innovation, client care and community contribution, the 18 categories promise to reflect
achievements across the industry. Kirsten Speirs, Director of KDMedia which operates the Scottish Legal Awards, commented: “The Scottish Legal Awards have long established kudos and credibility thanks to the quality and experience of the judging panel which comprises of 12 experts from law and business. Awards are only truly respected when they are tough to win and decided by a wide range of experienced professionals. With an enormous potential to raise the profile of successful firms and to deliver hard working teams a major confidence boost, these awards should be on every legal professional’s to do list.” This year’s awards, which are
media partnered by The Times, see 18 categories reflecting the full breadth
Celebrating excellence in Scottish legal services of the profession and organisers have made a rallying call for examples of innovative and creative practice in 2016 to come forward before the deadline in two weeks’ time. A number of firm-wide awards are up for grabs including Best Community Contribution, sponsored by Frasia Wright Associates and Employer of the Year which will be presented
to innovative and flexible business practices. Team awards will be given to specialists’ departments operating in Residential Property, Family Law, Litigation and Employment law. Individual awards will also be presented to the Lawyer of the Year, sponsored by the Law Society of Scotland, Managing Partner of the Year and Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year. The
ultimate prize, Firm of the Year, will be presented to the firm which stands out as having delivered exceptional results in business performance and growth. The judging day debate takes place in December under the watchful chairmanship of Shonaig Macpherson CBE, FRSE, DUniv - a former private practice lawyer and non-executive adviser to a wide range of corporations.
THE 2017 CATEGORIES IN FULL l Firm of the Year l Lawyer of the Year sponsored by The Law Society of Scotland The awards are supporting
l Lifetime Achievement Award sponsored by The Times l Chairman/Managing Partner of the Year sponsored by Scott + Co l Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year l Excellence in Client Care sponsored by BARR Printers l Community Contribution Award sponsored by Frasia Wright Associates
OPEN FOR ENTRIES
l Employment Team of the Year
DEADLINE 25TH NOVEMBER 2016, 12NOON
l Family Law Team of the Year sponsored by Wolffe
For categories, criteria and to book your table please visit www.thelegalawards.com @Legalawards
l Litigation Team of the Year l Paralegal of the Year l Pro Bono Award sponsored by LawWorks Scotland
Scottish Legal Awards
l Residential Property Team of the Year l Rising Star of the Year l Support Team of the Year l In House Legal Team of the year l Employer of the Year l Innovation in Practice Entries can be submitted online at www.thelegalawards.com and the deadline for entries is Friday 25 November 2016. The awards take place on Thursday 30 March 2017 at the Edinburgh Assembly Rooms and with the event selling out in the last four years, early booking is recommended. ED9358_2017 Legal Awards Open for Entries Ad 147x170.indd 1
10 November 2016
Recognising that diversity is good Promoting a culture that rewards performance and does not see gender as a barrier to promotion By Joyce Cullen The benefits of equality of opportunity in the workplace rightly continue to be the subject of discussion, since it is now well recognised that recruiting the most talented people, regardless of gender, is good for business. Recent research by the Peterson Institute for International Economics reinforces our understanding that the presence of women in corporate leadership roles boosts business performance; a 30% increase in female representation was said to correlate to a 15% increase in profitability for a typical firm. A separate study by the independent researcher MSCI also found that companies with strong female leadership generated a higher return on equity. Of course, many of those involved
in managing legal firms have long understood this and have actively encouraged gender diversity in order to recruit and retain the very best people. Flexible working arrangements, shared parental leave, alternative promotion paths, such as the role of managing associate, which recognises that partnership is not necessarily the favoured option for talented ambitious lawyers, are all part of the mix. At Brodies, commitment to a diverse workforce is woven into the fabric of the firm. Even looking back to the 1990s, when my three children were very young and the technology allowing homeworking after hours was in its infancy, I felt supported and valued. And we continue to make progress – through a meritocratic culture that recognises that diversity is good for clients, the firm and the profession. Currently, women make up 31% of our partners, 68% of our solicitors and 42% of our senior management team. The great talent coming through our ranks makes me confident that these numbers will continue to move in the right direction. In the wider world of business, women supporting each other through organisations such as
‘We believe that diversity makes our firm stronger and enhances the service we deliver to the diverse range of clients we represent’ the Two Percent Club, sharing experiences in leadership roles and committing to “lift as they climb” also makes a significant contribution. However, demographics will not take care of diversity without encouragement. That requires women and men in leadership positions to embrace and promote a culture that rewards performance and does not see
gender as a barrier to promotion. Of course, gender diversity is only one piece of the puzzle. Organisations also need to encourage and promote the most talented people from all backgrounds. Currently, 27% of Brodies’ people were among the first generation of their family to study at university and 76% attended state schools. Since 2007 we have been members of PRIME, a pioneering initiative by the UK’s leading law firms to give access to quality work experience and continuing support to young people from less privileged backgrounds. Students from schools that would not typically include aspiring lawyers, spend time shadowing, visiting court and university and spending time with clients. We are delighted that several of our PRIME candidates have gone on to study law at university. At Brodies we believe that diversity makes our firm stronger and enhances the service we deliver to the diverse range of clients we represent. It’s not only the right thing to do but it also makes sound business sense. Joyce Cullen is a litigation partner at Brodies LLP.
Joyce Cullen: Commitment to a diverse workforce is woven into the fabric of the firm
Profile: Susan Hoyle Profile: Vikki Melville Based in Edinburgh, Vikki Melville is a partner in the casualty division of global law firm Clyde & Co, which merged with Scottish law firm Simpson & Marwick in October 2015. She trained at Morton Fraser, qualifying in 2001 before joining Simpson & Marwick in 2003. Vikki has since worked her way to becoming a prominent legal advisor to the insurance industry, representing some of the UK’s biggest insurers and self-insured organisations. Vikki has followed her ambitions of becoming a recognised leader in her field, specialising in defending personal injury claims, general insurance and health and safety matters. She has particular knowledge and expertise in road traffic safety law and employer’s liability claims, which collectively form the majority of her case load. Vikki represents her clients in both the Sheriff
Courts and the Court of Session. One of Vikki’s current instructions is to represent a large local insured company which was subject to intense scrutiny and a HSE investigation following the outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease in Edinburgh in 2012. Previously in her career she has successfully defended a test case for QBE. This involved an attempt by a factory owner’s insurers to recover a contribution from QBE’s insured, where the overall liability avoided amounted to around £12m. Ranked as an expert in both the leading industry legal directories, Chambers & Partners notes Vikki’s abilities from both a “customer and technical point of view.” She is widely praised by her clients for being “extremely good at client care” believing her strengths lie in her “tenacity, professionalism and
patience in dealing with her clients.” Vikki’s market leading position in the sector is evident by her role as the sole Scottish panel solicitor for a number of major national and international clients. These include: Motor Insurer’s Bureau, Esure and First Group. At the coalface of legal change, Vikki takes a keen interest in Scottish Government reforms and legislative processes. She has contributed to a number of working party consultation responses and has met with the Scottish Government to discuss various consultations in relation to civil justice reform, expenses reform and in relation to the ongoing Damages Bill. Continuing her leading role in the Scottish legal industry, Vikki also acts as a Council member of the Law Society of Scotland having been elected in 2014. www.clydeco.com
Susan Hoyle at Wright, Johnston & Mackenzie LLP is one of Scotland’s most experienced tax lawyers and advises clients on a wide range of corporate, commercial and property transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, reconstructions, and investments. For a number of years Susan has been notably ranked in Chambers and Legal 500 for Corporate Tax as well as Employee Share Schemes, and is widely recognised as a leading lawyer in her field. Susan and her multi-disciplinary team at WJM have a wealth of experience in setting up share schemes and other cash based plans that deliver fair and tax efficient incentives for employers and employees. The team also have significant experience acting for owners of private companies who wish to transfer their business to employee ownership as a means to exit and secure the future of the business. Susan’s outstanding corporate tax expertise means both employers and employees benefit from advice on the best application of
the tax and non-tax benefits available when structuring incentive packages or transitions to employee ownership. Susan also heads up Family Business Solutions (FBS), the specialist consultancy arm of WJM. FBS has been providing independent, impartial expert advice to help families and their businesses for over twenty years and are widely regarded as one of the leading specialist family business consultancies in the UK. Susan assists business families navigate all the inter-linked issues that need to be addressed during transition from one generation to the next, providing advice on governance issues, such as Board composition and how to regulate the relationship among the Board, the owners and the wider family. Wright, Johnston & Mackenzie LLP, is a full service independent Scottish law firm with 23 Partners and 53 fee earners across its offices in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness. For more information visit www.wjm. co.uk or call 0141 248 3434
10 legalscot Cover story
10 November 2016
‘Alexa, guilty or not guilty?’
With an Amazon Echo expert able to predict legal outcomes, could computers one day replace judges? By William Peakin “Think of the legal field in, say, 2060. Most of the legal work will be done by machines, and the question is: ‘How can I prepare my students for that?’” Law professor. “There are so many factors to bear in mind when you come to sentence a person…I can imagine cases where the computer will be able to assess the facts and perhaps suggest, or recommend, an appropriate sentence.” Retired sheriff. “Case management and e-discovery may achieve a level of automation, but at the heart of litigation is the principle that two reasonable people can differ – how do you code for that? I don’t see lawyers being replaced wholesale in any near-time scenario – legal analytics tools will take out the drudgery, allowing lawyers to focus more on areas where their judgement and experience can really bring to bear.” Lawyer and data scientist, US legal analytics firm.* In 1963, Reed C Lawlor, a patent lawyer in Los Angeles and chairman of the American Bar Association’s electronic data retrieval committee, published a paper, ‘What Computers can do: Analysis and Prediction of Judicial Decisions’. He wrote: “Computer technology is the cornerstone of the second Industrial Revolution. Will computers revolutionise the practise of law and the administration of justice, as they will almost everything else?” Lawlor added: “Given a chance, computers can help find the law, they can help analyse the law and they can help lawyers and lower court judges predict or anticipate decisions.” Despite his prescience in predicting, along with a few others, the transformative nature of computers, Lawlor’s anticipation of their impending importance in law now seems way off the mark. But, more than 50 years later, here we are; last month a team of computer and legal scientists, including a natural language expert who is working on the software in Amazon’s Echo device, published a paper about predicting the judicial decisions of the European Court of Human Rights. They concluded: “We believe that building a text-based predictive system of judicial decisions can offer lawyers and judges a useful assisting tool. The system may be used to rapidly identify
cases and extract patterns that correlate with certain outcomes.” In essence, they established that artificial intelligence (AI) software can find patterns in complex decisions and can be used to predict the outcome of trials; software that is able to weigh up legal evidence and moral questions of right and wrong, devised by computer scientists, can predict with “reasonable accuracy” the result real life cases. The AI ‘judge’ reached the same verdicts as judges at the European court in “almost four in five cases”. Of course, the first thought prompted by this is; it failed in more than 20% of cases; that does not augur well for advocates of artificial intelligence being - in time - a more accurate and efficient arbiter of right and wrong in law. Indeed, Amazon’s Dr Nikolaos Aletras, who led the University College London study, said: “We don’t see AI replacing judges or lawyers, but we think they’d find it useful for rapidly identifying patterns in cases that lead to certain outcomes. It could also be a valuable tool for highlighting which cases are most likely to be violations of the European Convention on Human Rights.” While it is unlikely that our courts will echo to the sound of Amazon’s device being asked “Alexa, guilty or not guilty” anytime soon, artificial intelligence is now routinely deployed in the legal sphere by big name technology companies such as IBM, Microsoft and Lexis Nexis, to support legal professionals. According to publicity for IBM’s
legal software: “Cognitive computing is already helping doctors, scientists, economists and investors - and now it’s going to law school. We live in a world increasingly run by algorithms. They drive the lion’s share of all equity trades and automate complex hedges and derivatives. Algorithms are critical to most of the things we now call smart, like cars and phones and [power] grids. And now they’re getting around to lawyers.” Timely then, that the issue is being debated. ‘Robots in Wigs?’ is an Economic and Social Research Council funded event held as part of its Festival of Social Science, taking place this week. In addition to an online gallery that showcases the views of different legal stakeholders on digitalisation and the future of legal services, it includes a poster exhibition at Edinburgh University’s Business School. And last night, there was a panel discussion. It featured Burkhard Scha-
fer, professor of computational legal theory at Edinburgh University’s Law School, Sandy Finlayson, chairman of the Converge Challenge for young entrepreneurs, Eric Goldman, director of Santa Clara University’s High Tech Law Institute, Dr Oscar Javier Solorio Perez, an intellectual property law expert, and Callum Murray, a Royal Society of Edinburgh Enterprise Fellow exploring the commercialisation of machine learning and intelligent analysis of legal data (see panel on facing page). Led by Dr Sophie Flemig, of the
‘We live in a world increasingly run by algorithms. They drive the lion’s share of all equity trades and automate complex hedges and derivatives. Algorithms are critical to most of the things we now call smart, like cars and phones. And now they’re getting around to lawyers’
Business School’s Centre for Service Excellence (CenSE), Robots in Wigs is part of her wider research of legal services, focussing on the opportunities for, and barriers to, co-production; the active involvement of legal service users in different settings. “The current legal system, indeed the idea of legal representation itself, is to an extent anathema to the co-production ethos of equal partnership,” said Flemig. “Lawyers are hired because of their expert status, pre-supposing a necessary imbalance in knowledge and decision-making ability. Yet, the success of legal outcomes – from criminal to family and trade law – crucially depends on the subsequent attitudes and actions of services users. This has wider implications for the structure of legal services, the lawyer-client relationship, and the court and tribunal systems.” Flemig is looking at how the digitalisation of legal services is affecting services users and their experience: “Will they become more empowered? Will legal services become cheaper, more equitable and accessible? Or is digitalisation creating further barriers for vulnerable service users to accessing high quality legal services? And what changes will this entail for the profession and the courts? As a CenSE fellow, Flemig is exploring these themes over the next three years, creating links across the university’s business and law schools, along with three PhD student colleagues. They plan to develop an interdisciplinary research portfolio on digitalisation and the future of legal services. “Sophie wants to integrate the debate about law and technology and take it beyond the core legal and tech audiences,” said Professor Schafer about last night’s event, “and explore the opportunities of where, apart from mere technological ‘do-ability’, the greatest benefits from these developments might be.” For Schafer, there are important
caveats in terms of using artificial intelligence in law: “In medicine, if we prescribe something and it cures you, we don’t necessarily need to know why. In a legal context, we are not satisfied by predicting correctly or getting the right result; we also want the reasons. They are an important aspect of our acceptance of legal rulings; that we can understand them, that they are made intelligently for us. And that is something that machine learning is not necessarily good at. “It definitely has the potential to inform lay people that they may not need a lawyer, that things are not as bad as first thought. The danger is that you underestimate the complexity of your difficulty and you wait too long to ask a real expert. “The other concern is that the ‘right’ answer is not necessarily the best; a really good, professional lawyer might find the analogy to a case that no one has thought of before; the audacious move where it looks as though you are in a spot, all the precedent seems to go against you, but ‘here is a case that you might just be able to make stick’. “Creative problem solving; finding something that has been overlooked because it was not obviously the right answer. You still get something from a good lawyer that might be overlooked by AI. “By a machine giving the ‘right answer’, it makes it difficult to find the unusual answer that could be the one that you actually need. There are, of course, some tasks that are straight forward, that perhaps computers could undertake, the kind of repetitive tasks that computers are good at; making a claim in the small claims court, for example. “But even here, there is a consequence; these simple legal tasks are the ones given to a young lawyer to learn the ropes, to progress and become more senior. What happens if alter the height of the low level rung. The other question to ask is, if you speak to your lawyer, that information is protected by privilege; what is the legal status of information that someone provides to a computer? “And there are lessons to be learnt from the financial sector, where algorithmic trading by computers can produce a self-reinforcing sequence of events that can have catastrophic results.”
*Quotes from the Festival of Social Sciences ‘Robots in Wigs? Our Legal Services’ Future’ http://bit.ly/2flnnAP
10 November 2016
Understanding, enabling and empowering: how machine learning could help the rule of law By Callum Murray The rule of law and access to justice are a prerequisite for any civil society. The process of engaging with ‘the law’ has changed little over the last few centuries. Aside from a few exceptions, we find most law firms operating with 19th century business models and 20th century technology whilst tackling 21st century problems based within a complex, expensive and paper driven environment. Connectivity, open data and computational capability provide significant opportunities to create a more efficient, inclusive and accessible civil justice system. The benefits, efficiencies and opportunities offered to the legal sector should or could be transformational. Are the legal sector / judiciary ready to adopt or accept a change in their working practises? Without market acceptance, can machine learning, natural language processing / parallel processing techniques make a discernible impact for stakeholders in the legal sector? In recent times we’ve seen governments’ intentions and budgets align with the concept of technology embedded within court systems. In contrast, digital signatures are yet to become commonly accepted by law firms more than ten years on from legislative beginnings. What role can technology play in preserving and enhancing the legal profession?
‘Robots in Wigs?’ is an Economic and Social Research Council funded event held in Edinburgh as part of the Festival of Social Science
Machine learning is without question being adopted and deployed by larger multinational firms to assist with due diligence, discovery and contract review. How far can the implementation of machine learning and other analysis techniques penetrate within such a mostly conservative and risk averse sector? A recent Solicitors Regulation Authority report found that three out of five people in the UK find professional legal advice unaffordable and the legal system too complicated with a lack of available information around process. Will machine learning based applications step in to assist with basic information gathering, triage analysis and provision of relevant linked data? Arguably, the limiting factor of how intelligent any one system can become is not the algorithms or tech but the availability and specialism of data sets available to train upon. Much (almost all) of the UK’s judgement data currently sits behind paywalls or is inaccessible due to licensing and indexing regulations.
ENABLING Machine learning will inevitably
become more widespread in the legal sector by making bottom line savings to law firms. The full extent of the role it will play more broadly is yet unclear; undertaking administrative duties, assisting with case preparation, aiding decision making or ultimately being intelligent enough to deliver justice, outcomes and deciding appeals. Deciding a legal case is not primarily a reasoning problem but a decision making one. A judicial decision (an action) is not the derivation of some fact about the case. Legal decision making can be understood as a form of practical reasoning. Are we, or indeed should we be able to implement systems to assist with the delivery of unbiased human judgement? Will the ‘early adoption’ use cases of machine learning lead to broader acceptance of new and yet unfamiliar technology as worthwhile and enabling? Further work is likely required to inform influencers in the legal sector what machine learning / AI is capable of and that it’s more likely to preserve and enhance the rule of law rather than cause a break down in the fabric of society.
empowering The future of economies will be driven by competitive advantage gained through extracting value from data. This suggestion is particularly relevant when considered in the context of the legal sector which generates revenue by providing access to knowledge and experience which isn’t easily affordable or accessible. Legal data should be considered as a vital part of national infrastructure, the operating system underpinning our country. It should be accessible, linked and importantly open. By combining elements of open innovation, open data and machine learning, there is unbound potential to empower people to make decisions around both legal and commercial situations before escalation to court process. Against a backdrop of decreasing legal aid budgets and volume of party litigants rising, perhaps conditions are favourable for the legal sector & judiciary to embrace machine learning technology and its potential for positive impact. Callum Murray is the founder and chief executive of Amiqus Resolution which aims to improve access to civil justice by building products to resolve complex legal and financial problems. Callum is an RSE Enterprise Fellow & member of the Young Academy of Scotland, hosted by the University of Edinburgh. His fellowship focus is commercialising machine learning and intelligent analysis of legal data.
12 legalscot technology
10 November 2016
Relate’s new family separation platform is based on eBay’s approach to dispute resolution
Proceed to checkout Online dispute resolution platforms are improving access to justice and offering solutions to disputes By Andrew Alexander The science fiction writer, William Gibson, observed that the future is already here, it’s just not evenly distributed. In many ways, this is the current state of technology and the justice system. There are many exciting developments taking place, though there are many areas barely touched by the progress of technology: forms that still need to be filled out by hand; bundles of papers that still need to be brought to court; and parties, victims, witnesses, jurors that still have to appear in person to progress or resolve cases. This is beginning to change, and from a range of different sources, the government, the judiciary, the courts, the legal profession and the wider technology sector. As a government response, a digital strategy has been published which will see the development of information on justice issues at mygov.scot, moving over time from static content to interactive help. For courts, a new portal will launch later this month, allowing legal professionals and members of the public
to lodge and track low value civil claims. A court videoconferencing pilot has taken place and the Criminal Evidence and Procedure Review is considering proposals around using pre-recorded evidence from witnesses rather than requiring attendance in person. The outcome of these developments is intended to help people assess legal problems, allow court action to be brought online and move large parts of the court process to phone or online. Across the UK, a number of developments in the private sector are also looking to improve access to justice. Similar to platforms like Kickstarter, there are now platforms available from which people can look to crowdfund legal actions. Some platforms provide free initial advice online for a small monthly fee (and a discount if more detailed legal work is required). And some platforms offer online dispute resolution services, for instance, through the complaints processes of companies, local authorities and other organisations. One particularly interesting project in England and Wales, currently in beta stage, is the Relate Rechtwijzer, which offers help with family separation. It has been developed in partnership with a Silicon Valley-based team who helped build the online dispute resolution systems for eBay and PayPal, and is based on
the Rechtwijzer platform developed in the Netherlands, in partnership with the Dutch Legal Aid Board. As a concept, it separates out the steps towards successful resolution, offering the opportunity for a mediated solution or more formal adjudication. Some of the stages of the Rechtwijzer in the Netherlands are available without charge, and others with, aiming overall to be more cost-effective than traditional dispute resolution. A platform that offers effective and affordable legal help to the public has great potential to improve access to justice. In the same way that telephone banking or NHS 24 offer self-help services that remove the need for face-to-face provision.
“Technology can transform the profession and step-change the provision of access to justice across Scotland”
The development of online dispute resolution platforms, though, is not without difficulty. Digital poverty is prevalent across Scotland, and there will be some people who do not have the facilities or capability to access these new online platforms. Even for those looking to access these services, systems need to be intelligently designed to identify vulnerable clients or complex cases for which online selfhelp or mediation-focused solutions may not be appropriate. There are risks, particularly in a justice system that faces financial constraints alongside other public services, that a two-tier justice system is created or even one where there is no ability to access face-to-face advice and support. There may also be regulatory issues around the role of lawyers as these new platforms digitally unbundle legal services and the consumer protections available to people if these systems provide inadequate help. These challenges are not insurmountable, the potential of new technology to improve access to justice is substantial, and the experience of other industries – such as how automated advice develops in financial services – will be instructive. The Law Society’s recent technology survey of members highlighted the opportunities from new technology: 78% agreed or strongly agreed that technology is enabling the profession to become more efficient and the same
percentage that technology is creating ideas for new models of firm and process innovation. As an emerging area, 36% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that technology is reducing costs by replacing salaried humans with machine-read or Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems. The potential of legal artificial intelligence was a theme emerging from the recent Law Society and Legal Hackers Scotland hackathon on access to justice, Tech4Justice 2016. AI systems are already being used in some areas, such as assisting with electronic disclosure of documents in England and Wales, or through platforms such as Ross AI, based on IBM’s Watson architecture. A number of teams participating looked at the ways in which legal AI or intelligent ‘chatbots’ could help people through legal processes such as bringing civil money claims. Overall, the huge progress that small, cross-disciplinary teams made over the course of a weekend in developing new solutions showed that innovation need not require huge IT budgets. It’s an area that we’ll be exploring more at the Law Society in the coming year and we firmly believe that technology can transform the profession and step-change the provision of access to justice across Scotland. Andrew Alexander is Head of Policy at the Law Society of Scotland
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14 legalscot Data
10 November 2016
200 pages of small print that could bring down some big prey Commissioner Věra Jourová says citizens and businesses will profit from clear rules that are fit for the digital age
Europe’s new data protection regulation has the potential to do serious damage. But will it actually provide any real safeguards? By Simon Montford Recently I gave a talk about the Internet of Things (IoT), at the Technology and Cybercrime Conference organised by the Law Society of Scotland. I referred to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which led to me being asked to write this piece. I should state I’m not an expert in the vagaries of data protection; if your organisation utilises data owned by third parties I strongly suggest you seek legal advice. The GDPR is a European Commission initiative that aims to strengthen and unify data protection on behalf of EU citizens. Adopted in April, it will take effect on 25 May 2018, replacing the Data Protection Directive of 1995. Unlike an EU directive, it doesn’t require any enabling legislation, and apparently comprises over 200 pages of small print. Highlights include the “right to be forgotten”, data breach notification and accountability, and data portability. Penalties for infringement will be severe, bordering on draconian, and it will be trained on organisations that do not conform adequately. Any entity is game, including academic institutions, charities, startups, and familyowned businesses. It has the potential to do some serious damage! With all guns blazing, it has the firepower to bring down even the largest of prey, because penalties could be as high as €20m, or 2% of global turnover, whichever is the higher. To put that into perspective the maximum fine in the UK under current legislation is £500k. Had the GDPR been in force when TalkTalk was hacked, they would have been hit with a fine of tens of millions. Had it been Google, the tech giant would have been forced to hand over around $30bn! Furthermore, breaches will need to be reported within 72 hours, or a fine may be levied of up to €20m, and that’s not all. Those affected may be allowed to sue for compensation, so if the fines and lawsuits don’t prove fatal, the reputational damage almost certainly will. If you’re thinking of setting up a division or subsidiary to shield your organisation from liability, forget about it. The EU can go after any and all ‘connected parties’. Think about that for a moment. Hackers with a gripe could destroy an organisation with a single hack. Another reason I believe the GDPR is ill-conceived is that it won’t pre-
John Zai, CEO of Cocoon Networks, will attend the EIE
vent cyber criminals from stealing, exploiting and generally misusing our data, and I doubt it will be capable of clipping the wings of tech titans like Facebook, Google and Microsoft who, according to privacy advocates, are running amok with private data belonging to European citizens. According to Vera Jourová, Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, “citizens and businesses will profit from clear rules that are fit for the digital age, that give strong protection and at the same time create opportunities and encourage innovation.” It will mostly scare the bejesus out of startup and medium sized businesses that leverage data to build useful products that delight their customers. In the case of entrepreneurs, it may even prevent them from obtaining growth capital because they may find it difficult to guarantee to investors that they will never fall foul. Most entrepreneurs, business owners, academics and third sector workers are not evil, but they sometimes make mistakes. It is these entities I feel most concern for – particularly scrappy startups, and high-growth medium-sized “gazelles” that need the freedom to move fast and break things. One area of the tech industry that’s experiencing incredible growth is artificial intelligence (AI). Data is the
‘It will mostly scare the bejesus out of startup and medium sized businesses that leverage data to build useful products that delight their customers’
life-blood of companies operating in this space, because they need it to teach their AI to solve all kinds of highly complex problems faced by mankind, from health and ageing to climate change. As for the tech elite, it will probably be business as usual. They have all the necessary resources at their disposal to comply when it suits, but ‘work’ the system when it doesn’t. One of the main reasons companies like those I mentioned will remain unscathed is that we have become so dependent on their products that we will continue to agree to whatever consents are required. EU citizens will continue to do what they always have done, hitting the ‘I Agree’ button every time they login, or downloading a new app blindly hoping that Evil Corp will behave responsibly. Forgive my cynicism, but like many I’m conflicted. I wish the aforementioned top-tier tech companies well. They do behave ethically and responsibly, and like billions of other people, I am a regularly user of products such as Gmail, Amazon Prime, and Facebook. Making insane amounts of money from willing participants isn’t a crime, but the power has shifted too far in their favour. Over half the world’s rentable cloud storage is controlled by just four corporations, with Amazon alone commanding more than 30%,
and Facebook could be deemed a monopoly. Today’s web has become far too centralised, but legislation isn’t the answer. We, the people, must take back control by building a new kind of web where data is reallocated, and redistributed. This will solve many of the issues that currently plague ‘Web 2.0’. Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the Web, promised us a decentralised, democratic, consensus-based web, but we got Facebook, Google and Twitter. Take a look at Blockchain, Tor, BitTorrent, MaidSafe, and Ethereum. These are the tools that will become agents of change. The name for this new kind of internet is ‘Web 3.0’, and it will herald the dawn of a new era. Get ready, because things are about to get very interesting indeed.
Simon Montford is a London-born entrepreneur who co-founded the first web-based online auction platform (icollector.com) as well as one of the UK’s first digital media agencies. After a successful exit, he obtained an MBA and became an entrepreneur in residence in the Artificial Intelligence Institute at Edinburgh University. After several years travelling between Edinburgh and San Francisco, followed by a brief stint in London, he is now back in Scotland working as an IoT consultant.
10 November 2016
M&A market goes soft Expect a prolonged period of uncertainty as it adapts to ‘the new normal’ By Colin Lawrie Given the current economic uncertainties that are lingering over the UK, it’s perhaps no great surprise that the current mergers and acquisition (M&A) market in Scotland can best be described as being ‘soft’. While it would be fair to say that there are no signs of Brexit or other wider economic concerns impacting on deals that were already in motion, there’s a clear sluggishness across the market in terms of new transactions coming on-line. What we are instead experiencing at present is more of a wait and see mentality developing with people taking longer to convince themselves that significant transactions, including strategic ones, are the right thing to do within the current climate. This situation is very similar in many ways to what followed the liquidity crisis of 2008 and I suspect we are likely to experience a prolonged period of uncertainty mixed with cautious
progress as the market adapts to what has become ‘the new normal.’ As was the case eight years ago, those who are able to adjust most quickly in this environment will be the ones which are most likely to capitalise on the opportunities that arise. Despite the challenges that are emerging there are some bright spark sectors which are remaining active. This includes food anf drink, an increasingly important industry sector for the Scottish economy, where we’re seeing continued interest, often driven by private equity funds seeking good mid-size deals or through trade to trade deals. Ian Macleod Distillers, which we advised on its acquisition of the Fifebased Spencerfield Spirit Company, which produces Edinburgh Gin as well as the Pig’s Nose, Sheep Dip and The Feathery whiskies, is a great example of a recent high-profile food and drink sector deal in Scotland. Renewable energy is another sector which continues to thrive in terms of M&A activity, following recent UK Government cuts in wind farm subsidies. Across the broader renewables sector there is an on-going trend for consolidation and rationalisation of asset portfolios. An example of this came earlier this
Fife-based Spencerfield Spirit Company, which makes Edinburgh Gin: ‘A great example of a recent high profile food and drink sector deal in Scotland’
‘Those able to adjust quickly will be the ones most likely to capitalise on the opportunities’
year when we advised our client SSE PLC on the signing of agreements for the disposal of 49.9% of its Clyde Wind Farm to Greencoat UK Wind PLC and a partnership between the Greater Manchester Pension Fund and London Pensions Fund Authority. The disposal of SSE’s stake in this wind farm marked a key milestone in its established programme of asset disposals, announced in March 2014, taking SSE beyond its £1bn target and releasing further capital to support future investment. While Aberdeen remains a challenging environment, there are encouraging signs of its resilience both to adapt
to the long term prospects of a lower oil price and to diversify away from over-reliance on North Sea related activity. In the meantime, however, deal completions at the oilfield service end of the sector are likely to be limited to investment in businesses which can be restructured or can make operational improvements to deliver lasting and sustainable value. While some of these companies will continue to focus on survival going forward while, for others, there will be opportunities. Colin Lawrie is a Partner and Head of Corporate in Scotland at CMS.
the legal 500
10 November 2016
The Legal 500 forecast: bright spots with a cloud of uncertainty Transactional activity was vibrant, particularly in technology companies, but, says The Legal 500, political uncertainty might deter inward investment The UK economy as a whole is growing, but the overall pace slowed in 2015; GDP growth fell to 2.2% in 2015 from 2.9% in 2014 (at the time of writing, the Bank of England’s current forecast for 2016 is 2.2%). This is attributable to a combination of headwinds, such as a slowdown in emerging markets (and global growth generally), as well as financial markets volatility. Scotland lags behind the rest of the UK in terms of economic growth. A major drag has been the fall in oil prices, which has not only impacted the industry itself, but also other sectors that are exposed to it. In a similar vein, service providers to operators needed to adopt their own cost-cutting measures. In September 2015, industry body Oil & Gas UK estimated that 65,000 jobs had been lost in the sector since the start of 2014. As companies went into redundancy mode, this meant that there was no longer a clamour for office space in Aberdeen, and housebuilding activity also slowed. Notwithstanding the above, it is anticipated that from 2016-2020, construction growth for Scotland as a whole will mainly be driven by housebuilding as many large-scale projects come to an end. As with the rest of the UK, services are a major driver of activity in Scotland, particularly in sectors such as food and drink, hotels and leisure, and financial services. There are other bright spots, most notably in Edinburgh and Glasgow. The commercial property sector was particularly buoy-
Agriculture and estates Odell Milne Brodies LLP John Mitchell Anderson Strathern Banking and finance Chris Dun Maclay Murray & Spens LLP Jonathan Heaney Burness Paull Susan Kelly Maclay Murray & Spens LLP Andrew Kinnes Shepherd and Wedderburn Colin McHale Dickson Minto WS Caryn Penley CMS Stephen Phillips CMS Bruce Stephen Brodies LLP Michael Stoneham Brodies LLP
The rise of companies such as FanDuel and Skyscanner is a shining light for Scotland ant in the former in 2015; the private rented space was active, there was a marked uptick in student accommodation developments, and housebuilding activity was strong. In addition, corporate and commercial transactional activity was vibrant, particularly in early-stage/high-growth and technology companies. The notable rise of companies such as FanDuel and Skyscanner is a shining light for Scotland. Similarly, Glasgow has seen an upswing in activity. A looming cloud on the horizon,
however, is the uncertainty over Brexit, and particularly whether a wider UK vote to leave the EU will lead to a renewed bid for Scottish independence. There are particular concerns that this uncertainty might deter inward investment into Scotland. In the renewable energy arena,
Scott Wilson Burness Paull Commercial litigation Laura Cameron Pinsent Masons LLP Joyce Cullen Brodies LLP Rod McKenzie Harper Macleod LLP Philip Rodney Burness Paull Construction Neil Kelly MacRoberts LLP Fenella Mason Burness Paull LLP Brandon Nolan Pinsent Masons LLP Lindy Patterson QC CMS Contentious trusts and probate Chris McGill Shepherd and Wedderburn Corporate and commercial: Edinburgh and Glasgow George Boyle Shepherd and Wedderburn Graeme Bruce CMS Peter Lawson Burness Paull LLP Colin MacNeill Dickson Minto WS Barry McCaig Pinsent Masons LLP Bruce Minto Dickson Minto WS Paul Pignatelli DWF Simon Rae DLA Piper Scotland LLP Shuna Stirling Brodies LLP Andrew Todd Dickson Minto WS
statistics published in December 2015 show that Scotland generates most of its power from ‘clean energy’ sources. The Scottish Government has pledged that all of Scotland’s electricity will be provided by renewable energy by 2020. This position is at odds with the UK Government’s apparent reduction in its commitment to green energy policies. Industry body Scottish Renewables has expressed its concerns about subsidy cuts; the long-term impact remains to be seen. In 2015, however, legislative changes meant that there was a particular increase in activity as developers looked to secure subsidies before they are withdrawn. In 2015, McClure Naismith LLP went into administration, while Clyde & Co LLP entered the Scottish market following its merger with Simpson & Marwick LLP. These developments reflect an ongoing trend of consolida-
Julian Voge Brodies LLP Corporate tax Isobel d’Inverno Brodies LLP Gwen Souter Maclay Murray & Spens LLP Crime: general John Scott QC Capital Defence Lawyers EU and competition Michael Dean Maclay Murray & Spens LLP Gordon Downie Shepherd and Wedderburn Catriona Munro Maclay Murray & Spens LLP Christine O’Neill Brodies LLP Employment Joan Cradden Brodies LLP Stephen Miller Clyde & Co LLP Diane Nicol Pinsent Masons LLP Alun Thomas Anderson Strathern Energy (excluding oil and gas) Ian McCarlie Pinsent Masons LLP James Saunders Shepherd and Wedderburn Environment
tion in the Scottish legal market in the post financial crisis era. Noted for its UK and international network of offices, Pinsent Masons LLP’s merger with McGrigors in 2012 has enabled it build a sizeable, heavyweight Scotland presence. Another international law firm, CMS, merged with Dundas & Wilson in 2014, enhancing its offering in energy and financial services. Shepherd and Wedderburn’s acquisition of Tods Murray in 2014 (following the latter’s administration) bolstered its strengths in areas such as banking, renewable energy (acting for landowners and developers) and private client. Like Shepherd and Wedderburn, Maclay Murray & Spens LLP and Dickson Minto WS are other Scotlandheadquartered firms with offices in London; the latter is well regarded
Jennifer Ballantyne Pinsent Masons LLP Patricia Hawthorn Shepherd and Wedderburn Family Shaun George Brodies LLP Rachael Kelsey SKO Alasdair Loudon Turcan Connell Health Catriona Watt Anderson Strathern Health and safety Clare Bone BTO Solicitors LLP Rona Jamieson Burness Paull LLP Immigration Grace McGill McGill & Co Insolvency and corporate recovery Yvonne Brady Shepherd and Wedderburn Rachel Grant Brodies LLP Paul Hally Shepherd and Wedderburn Gordon Hollerin Harper Macleod LLP Michael Hughes Maclay Murray & Spens LLP Claire Massie Pinsent Masons LLP Colin McIntosh Brodies LLP
for banking and finance, as well as corporate and commercial work. Brodies LLP and Burness Paull LLP are among the largest of the independent, indigenous Scottish firms and have an outstanding reputation across a wide range of disciplines. Both firms have offices in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow. Turcan Connell has a particularly strong reputation in the private client sphere. Harper Macleod LLP is not only active in the Central Belt, but also has a noteworthy presence in the Highlands and Islands market. Firms such as Aberdein Considine, Blackadders LLP, Ledingham Chalmers LLP, Stronachs LLP and Thorntons Law LLP are also noted. Below and overleaf we detail the top people and firms in Scotland’s legal sector, based on The Legal 500 and Chambers UK.
Insurance Robert Carr Anderson Strathern Graeme Watson Clyde & Co LLP Intellectual property Joanna Boag-Thomson Shepherd and Wedderburn Gill Grassie Brodies LLP Carina Healy CMS Colin Hulme Burness Paull LLP Local government Ann Faulds CMS Oil and gas Bruce McLeod Burness Paull Clare Munro Brodies LLP Bob Ruddiman Pinsent Masons LLP Parliamentary and public affairs Fiona Killen Anderson Strathern Hazel Moffat DLA Piper Scotland LLP Christine O’Neill Brodies LLP Pensions Andrew Holehouse Shepherd and Wedderburn Ruth Tobias Pinsent Masons LLP Personal tax, trusts and executries
Alexander Garden Turcan Connell Planning Neil Collar Brodies LLP Elaine Farquharson-Black Burness Paull Ann Faulds CMS Colin Innes Shepherd and Wedderburn Professional negligence Derek Allan BTO Solicitors LLP Tim Edward Maclay Murray & Spens LLP Projects Drysdale Graham Pinsent Masons LLP Rhona Harper Shepherd and Wedderburn Michael McAuley CMS Andrew Orr MacRoberts LLP Michael Watson Pinsent Masons LLP Social housing Andrew Cowan T C Young Len Freedman T C Young Sport Bruce Caldow Harper Macleod LLP Transport Ann Faulds CMS Ed Watt HBJ Gateley
18 legalscot the legal 500
Leading companies CORPORATE AND COMMERCIAL Edinburgh and Glasgow 1 Brodies LLP Edinburgh, Glasgow Burness Paull LLP Edinburgh, Glasgow CMS Edinburgh, Glasgow Dickson Minto WS Edinburgh Pinsent Masons LLP Glasgow, Edinburgh Shepherd and Wedderburn Edinburgh, Glasgow 2 Anderson Strathern Edinburgh DLA Piper Scotland LLP Edinburgh DWF Edinburgh HBJ Gateley Edinburgh Harper Macleod LLP Glasgow Maclay Murray & Spens LLP Edinburgh, Glasgow MacRoberts LLP Glasgow, Edinburgh Morton Fraser Edinburgh 3 BTO Solicitors LLP Glasgow Bellwether Green Glasgow Davidson Chalmers LLP Edinburgh Gillespie Macandrew LLP Edinburgh Kergan Stewart LLP Glasgow Lindsays Edinburgh MBM Commercial Edinburgh Macdonald Henderson Glasgow Shoosmiths Edinburgh Wright, Johnston & Mackenzie LLP Glasgow Elsewhere in Scotland 1 Burness Paull Aberdeen CMS Aberdeen Pinsent Masons LLP Aberdeen 2 Blackwood Partners LLP Aberdeen Brodies LLP Aberdeen Ledingham Chalmers LLP Aberdeen, Inverness Maclay Murray & Spens LLP Aberdeen Stronachs LLP Aberdeen 3 Aberdein Considine Aberdeen Blackadders LLP Dundee Harper Macleod LLP Inverness Thorntons Law LLP Dundee 4 Bond Dickinson LLP Aberdeen The Commercial Law Practice LLP Aberdeen Corporate tax 1 Brodies LLP Edinburgh Maclay Murray & Spens LLP Glasgow 2 Burness Paull LLP Edinburgh MacRoberts LLP Edinburgh Pinsent Masons LLP Glasgow Shepherd and Wedderburn Edinburgh EU and competition 1 Brodies LLP Edinburgh Maclay Murray & Spens LLP Glasgow 2 Burness Paull LLP Edinburgh CMS Edinburgh Aberdeen Shepherd and Wedderburn Edinburgh, Glasgow 3 DWF Glasgow Harper Macleod LLP Glasgow MacRoberts LLP Glasgow Pinsent Masons LLP Edinburgh
CRIME, FRAUD AND LICENSING Crime: fraud 1 Brodies LLP Edinburgh Burness Paull Aberdeen, Glasgow
Livingstone Brown Glasgow Pinsent Masons LLP Glasgow, Edinburgh 2 CMS Edinburgh Central Court Lawyers Livingston MTM Defence Lawyers Falkirk Crime: general 1 Beltrami & Co Ltd Glasgow Capital Defence Lawyers Edinburgh Livingstone Brown Glasgow MTM Defence Lawyers Falkirk 2 Bridge Litigation UK Glasgow Central Court Lawyers Livingston George More & Co Edinburgh McCusker, McElroy & Gallanagh Paisley, Johnstone Wilson McLeod Edinburgh Licensing 1 Brunton Miller Glasgow Lindsays Glasgow Hill Brown Licensing Glasgow TLT Glasgow 2 BTO Solicitors LLP Glasgow, Edinburgh Harper Macleod LLP Glasgow Morton Fraser Edinburgh Pinsent Masons LLP Glasgow Shepherd and Wedderburn Edinburgh 3 Anderson Strathern Edinburgh Burness Paull Aberdeen, Glasgow
DISPUTE RESOLUTION Commercial litigation 1 Brodies LLP Edinburgh Burness Paull Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen CMS Edinburgh, Aberdeen Pinsent Masons LLP Glasgow, Edinburgh Shepherd and Wedderburn Edinburgh 2 Anderson Strathern Edinburgh HBJ Gateley Edinburgh Maclay Murray & Spens LLP Edinburgh, Glasgow Morton Fraser Edinburgh 3 BTO Solicitors LLP Edinburgh Balfour+Manson LLP Edinburgh DLA Piper Scotland LLP Edinburgh Harper Macleod LLP Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness MacRoberts LLP Edinburgh 4 Clyde & Co LLP Edinburgh DWF Edinburgh Gilson Gray Glasgow, Edinburgh Ledingham Chalmers LLP Aberdeen, Edinburgh Lindsays Edinburgh, Glasgow MBM Commercial Edinburgh Stronachs LLP Aberdeen, Inverness 5 Aberdein Considine Edinburgh, Aberdeen Davidson Chalmers LLP Edinburgh Halliday Campbell WS Edinburgh TLT Glasgow Debt recovery 1 Aberdein Considine Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow Brodies LLP Glasgow Harper Macleod LLP Glasgow Morton Fraser Edinburgh Shoosmiths Edinburgh 2 Ascent Legal Scotland Glasgow BTO Solicitors LLP Glasgow TLT Glasgow 3 Anderson Strathern Edinburgh HBJ Gateley Glasgow Maclay Murray & Spens LLP Glasgow MacRoberts LLP Glasgow Shepherd and Wedderburn Edinburgh 4
10 November 2016 Blacklocks Edinburgh
FINANCE Banking and finance 1 Brodies LLP Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen Burness Paull LLP Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen CMS Aberdeen, Edinburgh Dickson Minto WS Edinburgh Maclay Murray & Spens LLP Edinburgh, Aberdeen Pinsent Masons LLP Edinburgh, Aberdeen Shepherd and Wedderburn Edinburgh 2 HBJ Gateley Edinburgh Harper Macleod LLP Glasgow MacRoberts LLP Edinburgh Morton Fraser Edinburgh 3 DLA Piper Scotland LLP Edinburgh DWF Edinburgh Lindsays Edinburgh, Glasgow Blackwood Partners LLP Aberdeen Ledingham Chalmers LLP Aberdeen, Inverness 4 Stronachs LLP Aberdeen Insolvency and corporate recovery 1 Brodies LLP Glasgow, Edinburgh Burness Paull Glasgow Pinsent Masons LLP Glasgow Shepherd and Wedderburn Edinburgh 2 Anderson Strathern Edinburgh CMS Glasgow HBJ Gateley Edinburgh Maclay Murray & Spens LLP Glasgow Morton Fraser Edinburgh 3 BBM Solicitors Edinburgh DLA Piper Scotland LLP Edinburgh Harper Macleod LLP Glasgow MacRoberts LLP Glasgow, Edinburgh 4 BTO Solicitors LLP Glasgow, Edinburgh Blackadders LLP Aberdeen DWF Glasgow, Edinburgh Gillespie Macandrew LLP Edinburgh Ledingham Chalmers LLP Aberdeen Lindsays Edinburgh Shoosmiths Edinburgh TLT Glasgow Unit trusts, OEICs and investment trusts 1 Brodies LLP Edinburgh Burness Paull LLP Edinburgh CMS Edinburgh Dickson Minto WS Edinburgh 2 Maclay Murray & Spens LLP Edinburgh Shepherd and Wedderburn Edinburgh
HUMAN RESOURCES Employment 1 Brodies LLP Edinburgh, Glasgow Burness Paull LLP Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow Pinsent Masons LLP Edinburgh, Glasgow 2 Anderson Strathern Edinburgh, Glasgow CMS Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow Clyde & Co LLP Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh Morton Fraser Edinburgh 3 BTO Solicitors LLP Glasgow Balfour+Manson LLP Edinburgh HBJ Gateley Edinburgh Harper Macleod LLP Glasgow
Ledingham Chalmers LLP Inverness, Aberdeen Maclay Murray & Spens LLP Edinburgh, Glasgow MacRoberts LLP Glasgow, Edinburgh Shepherd and Wedderburn Glasgow, Edinburgh Stronachs LLP Aberdeen Thorntons Law LLP Dundee, Perth 4 Blackadders LLP Dundee DLA Piper Scotland LLP Edinburgh DWF Glasgow Davidson Chalmers LLP Edinburgh Lindsays Dundee Morisons LLP Edinburgh, Glasgow Shoosmiths Edinburgh Turcan Connell Edinburgh Weightmans LLP Glasgow Health and safety 1 BLM Glasgow BTO Solicitors LLP Glasgow Burness Paull Aberdeen, Glasgow Clyde & Co LLP Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow Pinsent Masons LLP Aberdeen, Glasgow, Edinburgh 2 Anderson Strathern Edinburgh Brodies LLP Edinburgh, Glasgow 3 DLA Piper Scotland LLP Edinburgh MacRoberts LLP Glasgow Morton Fraser Edinburgh Weightmans LLP Glasgow Immigration 1 McGill & Co Edinburgh, Glasgow Morton Fraser Glasgow, Edinburgh 2 CMS Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Glasgow Drummond Miller LLP Edinburgh, Glasgow Maclay Murray & Spens LLP Edinburgh, Glasgow Pinsent Masons LLP Edinburgh, Glasgow Thorntons Law LLP Edinburgh, Dundee Weightmans LLP Glasgow Pensions 1 Burness Paull LLP Edinburgh Pinsent Masons LLP Glasgow Shepherd and Wedderburn Edinburgh 2 Brodies LLP Edinburgh, Glasgow CMS Edinburgh DWF Glasgow Maclay Murray & Spens LLP Glasgow, Edinburgh MacRoberts LLP Glasgow 3 Anderson Strathern Glasgow
INSURANCE Medical negligence: defender 1 BTO Solicitors LLP Edinburgh, Glasgow Clyde & Co LLP Edinburgh 2 Brodies LLP Edinburgh Medical negligence: pursuer 1 Anderson Strathern Edinburgh Balfour+Manson LLP Edinburgh Digby Brown LLP Edinburgh Drummond Miller LLP Edinburgh 2 Brodies LLP Glasgow Harper Macleod LLP Glasgow 3 Morton Fraser Edinburgh Shoosmiths Edinburgh Personal injury: defender 1 BLM Glasgow, Edinburgh BTO Solicitors LLP Glasgow Brodies LLP Edinburgh, Glasgow Clyde & Co LLP Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow 2
Burness Paull LLP Edinburgh, Aberdeen Harper Macleod LLP Glasgow 3 Anderson Strathern Edinburgh CMS Aberdeen, Edinburgh DAC Beachcroft Scotland Glasgow DWF Glasgow Kennedys Scotland Edinburgh, Glasgow Ledingham Chalmers LLP Edinburgh, Aberdeen Morton Fraser Edinburgh Weightmans LLP Glasgow Personal injury: pursuer 1 Digby Brown LLP Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee, Glenrothes, Aberdeen, Ayr 2 Balfour+Manson LLP Edinburgh, Aberdeen Brodies LLP Edinburgh, Glasgow Irwin Mitchell Scotland Edinburgh, Glasgow Thompsons Edinburgh, Glasgow 3 Lawford Kidd Edinburgh Thorntons Law LLP Dundee, Edinburgh 4 Allan McDougall Solicitors Edinburgh Anderson Strathern Edinburgh Drummond Miller LLP Edinburgh Harper Macleod LLP Glasgow Slater and Gordon Edinburgh Professional negligence 1 BTO Solicitors LLP Glasgow Brodies LLP Edinburgh, Glasgow CMS Edinburgh Clyde & Co LLP Edinburgh Shepherd and Wedderburn Edinburgh, Glasgow 2 Burness Paull LLP Edinburgh, Glasgow Harper Macleod LLP Glasgow, Edinburgh 3 BLM Glasgow Balfour+Manson LLP Edinburgh DWF Glasgow HBJ Gateley Edinburgh, Glasgow Maclay Murray & Spens LLP Edinburgh, Glasgow TLT Edinburgh, Glasgow
PRIVATE CLIENT Agriculture and estates 1 Anderson Strathern Edinburgh Brodies LLP Edinburgh, Aberdeen Turcan Connell Edinburgh 2 Gillespie Macandrew LLP Edinburgh Lindsays Edinburgh 3 Blackadders LLP Dundee Davidson Chalmers LLP Edinburgh Harper Macleod LLP Glasgow, Inverness Ledingham Chalmers LLP Aberdeen, Stirling, Inverness Morton Fraser Edinburgh Shepherd and Wedderburn Edinburgh, Glasgow Stronachs LLP Aberdeen, Inverness Thorntons Law LLP Edinburgh, Perth Charities and not-for-profit 1 Brodies LLP Edinburgh Burness Paull Glasgow Turcan Connell Edinburgh 2 Gillespie Macandrew LLP Edinburgh Lindsays Edinburgh Shepherd and Wedderburn Edinburgh 3 Anderson Strathern Edinburgh BTO Solicitors LLP Glasgow Balfour+Manson LLP Edinburgh MacRoberts LLP Edinburgh Morton Fraser Edinburgh T C Young Glasgow 4
CMS Glasgow Harper Macleod LLP Glasgow Maclay Murray & Spens LLP Glasgow Wright, Johnston & Mackenzie LLP Glasgow Contentious trusts and probate 1 Morton Fraser Edinburgh Turcan Connell Edinburgh 2 Anderson Strathern Edinburgh Brodies LLP Glasgow Gillespie Macandrew LLP Edinburgh Murray Beith Murray Edinburgh Shepherd and Wedderburn Edinburgh Family 1 Brodies LLP Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Glasgow SKO Edinburgh Turcan Connell Edinburgh 2 BTO Solicitors LLP Edinburgh, Glasgow Balfour+Manson LLP Edinburgh Morton Fraser Edinburgh, Glasgow 3 Aberdein Considine Aberdeen, Perth, Sterling Anderson Strathern Edinburgh BLM Glasgow Blackadders LLP Dundee Digby Brown LLP Edinburgh Family Law Matters Scotland LLP Glasgow HBJ Gateley Edinburgh Harper Macleod LLP Glasgow Lindsays Glasgow, Dundee MTM Family Law Glasgow MacRoberts LLP Glasgow Patience and Buchan Aberdeen Shoosmiths Edinburgh T C Young Edinburgh, Glasgow Thorntons Law LLP Dundee, Perth, St Andrews, Arbroath Personal tax, trusts and executries 1 Turcan Connell Edinburgh 2 Anderson Strathern Edinburgh Brodies LLP Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow Shepherd and Wedderburn Edinburgh 3 Gillespie Macandrew LLP Edinburgh, Perth HBJ Gateley Edinburgh, Glasgow Lindsays Arbroath, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow Maclay Murray & Spens LLP Glasgow MacRoberts LLP Glasgow Morton Fraser Edinburgh 4 Balfour+Manson LLP Edinburgh Harper Macleod LLP Glasgow, Edinburgh Murray Beith Murray Edinburgh Pagan Osborne Limited Cupar, Edinburgh, St Andrews Stronachs LLP Aberdeen Thorntons Law LLP Dundee 5 BTO Solicitors LLP Glasgow Blackadders LLP Dundee Shoosmiths Edinburgh Wright, Johnston & Mackenzie LLP Glasgow
PROJECTS, ENERGY AND NATURAL RESOURCES Energy (excluding oil and gas) 1 CMS Edinburgh, Glasgow Pinsent Masons LLP Aberdeen, Edinburgh Shepherd and Wedderburn Edinburgh, Glasgow 2 Anderson Strathern Edinburgh Brodies LLP Edinburgh HBJ Gateley Edinburgh, Glasgow,
Aberdeen Harper Macleod LLP Edinburgh, Glasgow Maclay Murray & Spens LLP Edinburgh 3 BTO Solicitors LLP Glasgow Burness Paull Glasgow, Aberdeen DWF Edinburgh Davidson Chalmers LLP Edinburgh Gillespie Macandrew LLP Edinburgh MacRoberts LLP Edinburgh 4 DLA Piper Scotland LLP Edinburgh Ledingham Chalmers LLP Aberdeen, Stirling Morton Fraser Edinburgh Turcan Connell Edinburgh Wright, Johnston & Mackenzie LLP Edinburgh Oil and gas 1 Brodies LLP Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow Burness Paull Aberdeen CMS Aberdeen, Edinburgh Pinsent Masons LLP Aberdeen 2 Maclay Murray & Spens LLP Aberdeen Stronachs LLP Aberdeen 3 HBJ Gateley Aberdeen Shepherd and Wedderburn Edinburgh Projects 1 CMS Glasgow, Edinburgh MacRoberts LLP Edinburgh, Glasgow Pinsent Masons LLP Edinburgh, Glasgow 2 Burness Paull LLP Edinburgh DLA Piper Scotland LLP Edinburgh 3 Brodies LLP Edinburgh, Aberdeen Harper Macleod LLP Glasgow Maclay Murray & Spens LLP Edinburgh Shepherd and Wedderburn Glasgow 4 Anderson Strathern Edinburgh DWF Edinburgh, Glasgow
PUBLIC SECTOR Education 1 Anderson Strathern Edinburgh Brodies LLP Edinburgh CMS Glasgow 2 Burness Paull LLP Edinburgh, Glasgow Maclay Murray & Spens LLP Glasgow, Edinburgh MacRoberts LLP Glasgow Pinsent Masons LLP Edinburgh, Glasgow Shepherd and Wedderburn Edinburgh Thorntons Law LLP Dundee 3 BTO Solicitors LLP Glasgow Clyde & Co LLP Edinburgh, Glasgow Harper Macleod LLP Edinburgh Ledingham Chalmers LLP Inverness, Aberdeen Morton Fraser Glasgow, Edinburgh Health 1 Anderson Strathern Edinburgh Brodies LLP Edinburgh CMS Edinburgh, Glasgow 2 Burness Paull LLP Edinburgh Davidson Chalmers LLP Edinburgh Harper Macleod LLP Edinburgh, Glasgow MacRoberts LLP Edinburgh Pinsent Masons LLP Glasgow Shepherd and Wedderburn Edinburgh, Glasgow Thorntons Law LLP Dundee
the legal 500
10 November 2016 Local government 1 Brodies LLP Edinburgh CMS Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen 2 Anderson Strathern Glasgow, Edinburgh Burness Paull Glasgow DWF Edinburgh, Glasgow Harper Macleod LLP Edinburgh, Glasgow MacRoberts LLP Edinburgh, Glasgow Morton Fraser Edinburgh Shepherd and Wedderburn Glasgow Parliamentary and public affairs 1 Anderson Strathern Edinburgh Brodies LLP Edinburgh DLA Piper Scotland LLP Edinburgh 2 CMS Edinburgh Harper Macleod LLP Glasgow MacRoberts LLP Glasgow Thompsons Glasgow
REAL ESTATE Commercial property: Edinburgh and Glasgow 1 Brodies LLP Edinburgh, Glasgow Burness Paull LLP Edinburgh, Glasgow CMS Edinburgh, Glasgow Maclay Murray & Spens LLP Glasgow Pinsent Masons LLP Edinburgh, Glasgow Shepherd and Wedderburn Edinburgh, Glasgow 2 Anderson Strathern Glasgow DLA Piper Scotland LLP Edinburgh HBJ Gateley Edinburgh Harper Macleod LLP Glasgow MacRoberts LLP Glasgow, Edinburgh
Morton Fraser Edinburgh 3 BTO Solicitors LLP Glasgow DWF Edinburgh, Glasgow Davidson Chalmers LLP Edinburgh Lindsays Edinburgh, Glasgow Shoosmiths Edinburgh 4 Aberdein Considine Glasgow Bellwether Green Glasgow Eversheds Edinburgh Gillespie Macandrew LLP Edinburgh Leslie Wolfson & Co Glasgow Morisons LLP Edinburgh TLT Glasgow Weightmans LLP Glasgow Wright, Johnston & Mackenzie LLP Glasgow Commercial property: Elsewhere in Scotland 1 Brodies LLP Aberdeen Burness Paull Aberdeen Pinsent Masons LLP Aberdeen 2 Blackadders LLP Dundee Ledingham Chalmers LLP Aberdeen, Inverness Stronachs LLP Aberdeen 3 Aberdein Considine Aberdeen Bond Dickinson LLP Aberdeen CMS Aberdeen MacRoberts LLP Dundee Maclay Murray & Spens LLP Aberdeen Raeburn Christie Clark & Wallace Aberdeen Thorntons Law LLP Dundee Commercial property: leisure and hospitality 1 BTO Solicitors LLP Glasgow Brodies LLP Edinburgh Burness Paull LLP Edinburgh DLA Piper Scotland LLP Edinburgh Shepherd and Wedderburn Edinburgh 2 Anderson Strathern Glasgow CMS Glasgow DWF Edinburgh
Harper Macleod LLP Glasgow Morton Fraser Edinburgh Pinsent Masons LLP Glasgow Wright, Johnston & Mackenzie LLP Glasgow Commercial property: retail occupiers 1 Brodies LLP Edinburgh DWF Edinburgh MacRoberts LLP Glasgow 2 Morton Fraser Edinburgh Pinsent Masons LLP Glasgow 3 Anderson Strathern Glasgow BTO Solicitors LLP Glasgow Burness Paull LLP Edinburgh Maclay Murray & Spens LLP Glasgow Shepherd and Wedderburn Edinburgh 4 CMS Edinburgh, Aberdeen DLA Piper Scotland LLP Edinburgh Shoosmiths Edinburgh Construction 1 Pinsent Masons LLP Edinburgh, Glasgow 2 Brodies LLP Edinburgh Burness Paull Glasgow, Edinburgh CMS Glasgow Maclay Murray & Spens LLP Glasgow, Edinburgh MacRoberts LLP Edinburgh, Glasgow Shepherd and Wedderburn Edinburgh 3 DLA Piper Scotland LLP Edinburgh HBJ Gateley Edinburgh Ledingham Chalmers LLP Aberdeen, Inverness Morton Fraser Edinburgh 4 Anderson Strathern Edinburgh BTO Solicitors LLP Glasgow DWF Glasgow, Edinburgh Davidson Chalmers LLP Edinburgh
Gillespie Macandrew LLP Edinburgh Harper Macleod LLP Glasgow Environment 1 Brodies LLP Edinburgh, Glasgow Pinsent Masons LLP Glasgow Shepherd and Wedderburn Glasgow 2 Anderson Strathern Edinburgh Burness Paull Glasgow Davidson Chalmers LLP Edinburgh Harper Macleod LLP Glasgow Ledingham Chalmers LLP Aberdeen, Stirling Maclay Murray & Spens LLP Glasgow, Edinburgh MacRoberts LLP Glasgow 3 CMS Edinburgh DWF Glasgow Environmental Law Chambers Ltd Glasgow Morton Fraser Edinburgh Planning 1 Brodies LLP Edinburgh, Glasgow Burness Paull Aberdeen, Edinburgh CMS Glasgow, Edinburgh Shepherd and Wedderburn Edinburgh, Glasgow 2 Anderson Strathern Edinburgh DLA Piper Scotland LLP Edinburgh MacRoberts LLP Edinburgh, Glasgow Morton Fraser Edinburgh Pinsent Masons LLP Glasgow 3 DWF Glasgow, Edinburgh Davidson Chalmers LLP Edinburgh Gillespie Macandrew LLP Edinburgh HBJ Gateley Edinburgh Harper Macleod LLP Glasgow Ledingham Chalmers LLP Aberdeen Maclay Murray & Spens LLP Edinburgh Wright, Johnston & Mackenzie
LLP Edinburgh Property litigation 1 Brodies LLP Glasgow, Edinburgh Burness Paull LLP Edinburgh Maclay Murray & Spens LLP Edinburgh Morton Fraser Edinburgh Pinsent Masons LLP Glasgow, Edinburgh Shepherd and Wedderburn Edinburgh 2 Anderson Strathern Edinburgh CMS Edinburgh DWF Edinburgh Davidson Chalmers LLP Edinburgh 3 BTO Solicitors LLP Glasgow DLA Piper Scotland LLP Edinburgh HBJ Gateley Edinburgh Harper Macleod LLP Glasgow MacRoberts LLP Edinburgh 4 Blackadders LLP Aberdeen Gillespie Macandrew LLP Edinburgh Lindsays Edinburgh TLT Glasgow Social housing 1 Harper Macleod LLP Glasgow T C Young Edinburgh, Glasgow 2 BTO Solicitors LLP Edinburgh HBJ Gateley Edinburgh 3 Anderson Strathern Edinburgh Burness Paull LLP Edinburgh, Glasgow CMS Glasgow Morton Fraser Edinburgh Shepherd and Wedderburn Edinburgh, Glasgow Shoosmiths Edinburgh
TECHNOLOGY, MEDIA AND TELECOMS
IT and telecoms 1 Brodies LLP Edinburgh CMS Glasgow DLA Piper Scotland LLP Edinburgh Pinsent Masons LLP Glasgow Shepherd and Wedderburn Edinburgh, Glasgow 2 Burness Paull LLP Edinburgh, Glasgow Harper Macleod LLP Glasgow, Edinburgh Maclay Murray & Spens LLP Glasgow, Edinburgh Thorntons Law LLP Dundee Intellectual property 1 Brodies LLP Edinburgh Burness Paull LLP Edinburgh, Glasgow Pinsent Masons LLP Edinburgh, Glasgow Shepherd and Wedderburn Edinburgh, Glasgow 2 CMS Edinburgh, Glasgow DLA Piper Scotland LLP Edinburgh, Glasgow Harper Macleod LLP Edinburgh Maclay Murray & Spens LLP Edinburgh, Glasgow 3 Anderson Strathern Edinburgh DWF Glasgow Lindsays Edinburgh MacRoberts LLP Glasgow Thorntons Law LLP Dundee 3 BTO Solicitors LLP Glasgow Bonaccord Edinburgh Morton Fraser Edinburgh Media and entertainment 1 Burness Paull Glasgow Pinsent Masons LLP Glasgow 2 Brodies LLP Edinburgh Thorntons Law LLP Dundee 3 Anderson Strathern Edinburgh Bannatyne Kirkwood France & Co Glasgow BTO Solicitors LLP Edinburgh
legalscot 19 Maclay Murray & Spens LLP Edinburgh Sport 1 Harper Macleod LLP Glasgow 2 BTO Solicitors LLP Glasgow Burness Paull Glasgow 3 Anderson Strathern Edinburgh DWF Glasgow, Edinburgh HBJ Gateley Edinburgh Morton Fraser Edinburgh Transport 1 Brodies LLP Edinburgh, Glasgow CMS Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow DLA Piper Scotland LLP Edinburgh HBJ Gateley Edinburgh 2 Burness Paull LLP Edinburgh, Glasgow Maclay Murray & Spens LLP Edinburgh, Glasgow MacRoberts LLP Edinburgh, Glasgow Pinsent Masons LLP Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen 3 Anderson Strathern Edinburgh DWF Glasgow, Edinburgh Mackinnons Aberdeen
Listings based on The Legal500. Rankings are based on feedback from 250,000 in-house peers and access to law firms deals and confidential matters, which are independently assessed by its researchers. www.legal500.com See Chambers UK listings In the next edition of LegalScot
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