Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.

Scottish law firms have found themselves involved in some major deals during the past year, showing that not all major work automatically heads south of the border.Many of the deals involving Edinburgh and Glasgow heavyweights were in IT and themedia. This summer Andersen Legal-tied firm Dundas & Wilson (D&W) was involved in a $1bn (£700m) deal when it completed the IT outsourcing deal between its regular client Bank of Scotland (BoS) and IBM – a landmark deal for the Scottish legal market. The project, thought to be the largest of its type in Europe, will give IBM full management responsibility for providing IT to the Bank of Scotland group for the next 10 years. About 500 BoS staff will join a 700-strong IBM workforce at a new IT centre in Sighthill, Edinburgh. This was Dundas & Wilson’s second IT outsourcing deal for BoS. Previously the firm advised the bank on a joint venture with the FI Group, which created the First Banking system, responsible for outsourcing the bank’s software building capacity. Many observers will probably claim that Dundas & Wilson owes its participation in such a large deal to its tie with worldwide giant Andersen Legal, established in 1997. But Dundas & Wilson head of technology Laurence Ward denies that the Andersen link was the main reason for getting involved in the deal.He says: “It helped to the degree that it gave us the resources to deal with a project of this size, which was far from a one-man-and-a-dog operation. But by far the most important factor was our long relationship with the bank and the jobs we had done for it in the past.” The firm also scored highly this year with a series of other deals centred on new technology – the highlight being a £70m deal on behalf of The Royal Bank of Scotland. This involved the launch of a new internet-based financial, utilities and telecoms joint venture with Scottish Power. D&W were not the only Caledonian firm claiming billion-pound deals. Tods Murray of Edinburgh was involved in such a deal, when its corporate department participated in Scotland’s largest share flotation last autumn. Thus the new name for Scottish Telecom, previously a subsidiary of Scottish Power, was floated on the London Stock Exchange with a valuation of more than £2bn. The firm’s role in taking the company to market was as Scottish legal advisers to the US investment bank Goldman Sachs International, which acted as sponsor, lead underwriter and global co-ordinator for the share issue.Head of the team, corporate partner Granger Brash, says: “The job was complex because the businesses, described generically as Scottish Telecom and including Demon Internet, were spread around several companies in the Scottish Power group. A reorganisation under one corporate umbrella had to be undertaken first.”An internet flotation also proved to be good business for McGrigor Donald, which in February was involved in the £130m flotation of Just2clicks.com. Just2clicks.com runs websites aimed at companies involved in the pulp and paper, electric power and road transport industries. If that deal involved the serious side of the internet, McGrigors was also involved in Barrysworld, which was set up in April when venture capitalists 3i Group plc invested £2m in a games website started by devotees of the video game Quake. Away from the computer screen, rich pickings were to be had in other areas of the media. Edinburgh firm Burness was involved in a £33.75m deal when it acted for Scotland’s leading dance radio station Beat 106 in its sale in July to wireless giant Capital Radio.In the world of bricks and mortar, private finance initiatives (PFIs) are as popular in Scotland as they are throughout the UK, and it is an area where Glasgow firm MacRoberts has been busy. Notable PFI deals that the firm has been involved in during the past year include the £50m Dalmuir Wastewater Project, for which it represented contractors Taylor Woodrow, and the on-going £250m Glasgow City Schools PFI, for which it is acting on behalf of the Miller/Halifax/Amey consortium. Michael Murray, head of the firm’s projects group, sees this as a growth area: “The Glasgow City Schools Project is going to encourage a lot of other local authorities to go down that route,” he says.

This premium content is reserved for
Law.com International Subscribers.


  • Customized news by region including UK, Asia, Europe, Latin America, Middle East, Africa, and North America
  • Cutting-edge research such as UK Top 100, China 45, and Asia 50
  • Get the inside track on the biggest breaking stories that delve deep into the issues behind the headlines
  • Comprehensive coverage of the dynamic legal market from people moves to the major international jurisdictions
  • Global view into how legal tech, business of law, in-house and regulatory environments are intersecting worldwide

Already a subscriber?


Law.com International Newsletters & Briefings

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

Sign up for an unlimited number of complementary newsletters, alerts, and International Briefings. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2020 American Lawyer Media International, LLC. All Rights Reserved.