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Aiming high: rising stars

13 August 12

Excellence abounds in this year's nominations of more junior lawyers tipped by their teams as ones to watch

It is always impressive when a relatively recently qualified lawyer shows they can take on high-profile and/or high-value transactions. Many of those put forward for this year’s Rising Stars feature have shown themselves capable of exactly that.

The Journal, in association with Frasia Wright Associates, is pleased to present this platform where firms can publicly show their recognition of such budding talent. As a guideline, we suggested nominations of those up to five years’ qualified, who already have successes under their belt that mark them out as potential high achievers – whether by way of personal success in particular transactions or cases, outstanding contribution to a particular team or department, or demonstrable commitment to the wider good of the profession.

It is often said that demonstrating excellence in quality of work and client care is the way for the profession to compete in the imminent new world of ABS. If our entrants in this feature are anything to go by, that is where those who represent the future of the profession have set their sights.

Terra Firma Chambers

t: 0131 260 5830

f: 0131 260 5645



Office locations: Edinburgh

Graham Dunlop, Advocate

Since calling to the Bar in 2009, Graham has been instructed regularly by local authorities and developers in a number of property and planning matters, including inquiries under the Electricity Act and CPO inquiries. He has appeared regularly in property disputes heard in court and under the Arbitration (Scotland) Act.

Mark Mohammed, Advocate

Mark was a solicitor for eight years in both private practice and local government, with experience of administrative law, licensing, statutory appeals, environmental law, reparation and mental health. Since calling to the Bar in 2011, Mark has been instructed in planning, property, construction, commercial, employment and personal injury matters.

Brodies LLP

t: 0131 228 3777

f: 0131 228 3878



Office locations: Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Brussels

Jill Young, Solicitor

Jill has played an important role in the rapid development of Brodies’ pensions team since joining in 2010, taking several projects from inception to completion, including a scheme closure, pensionable salary cap and the streamlining of group pensions. Clients commend her “practical approach” which has “helped their own decision making”.

Adel Cruickshank, Senior Solicitor

Adel Cruickshank is a key member of Brodies’ rapidly expanding oil & gas team. Her attention to detail and commercial awareness are a valuable asset. Adel has been involved in several £10m-plus deals, including one complex £212m purchase. She is currently on an in-house secondment requested by a major client.

DLA Piper Scotland LLP

t: 0870 111 111

f: 0131 242 5555



Office locations: Edinburgh, Glasgow and 75 offices throughout the UK and globally

Allana Sweeney, Solicitor – Restructuring Team

Since qualifying in 2008, Allana has rapidly developed an excellent reputation with clients as part of the firm’s leading restructuring team. Recent highlights include adopting the principal solicitor role (alongside the partner) on a £22m debt sale in a services business and £3m restructuring of a high-end retail business.

Harper Macleod LLP

t: 0141 221 8888

f: 0141 226 4198



Office locations: Glasgow, Edinburgh, Inverness

Alexis Miller, Solicitor

Alexis qualified in 2009 and is the youngest tutor on the family law elective at Strathclyde University, as well as being a board director of East Renfrewshire Women’s Aid. She has significant experience and technical knowledge of wide-ranging, high-net-worth matrimonial litigation, and extensive sheriff court appearances.

Stuart Kelly, Solicitor

A litigator, specialising in commercial disputes, Stuart co-ordinates HM’s pro bono relationship with the National Autistic Society and represents families affected by autism at tribunals across the country. A member of the Law Society’s Access to Justice Committee, he teaches on undergraduate and postgraduate law courses at Strathclyde University.

HBJ Gateley

t: 0131 222 9587

f: 0131 222 9800



Office locations: Edinburgh, Glasgow

Laura Falls, Associate

A corporate specialist, Laura advises on investments, business acquisitions and sales. Transactions include advising majority shareholders of Globalexpense Ltd on the disposal of the entire issued share capital to Concur Holdings, and acting for Factonomy Ltd in relation to an investment by Scottish Enterprise, Barwell plc and others.

Alexander Smiley, Senior Solicitor

Specialising in corporate recovery and restructuring, Alexander advises major UK banks on security reviews and enforcement strategies and acts for receivers and administrators in business and asset sales. Transactions include advising a clearing bank regarding a £30m commercial property group and working with administrators in selling a petrol station chain.


t: 0131 229 1212

f: 0131 229 5611



Office locations: Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee, Jedburgh, North Berwick, Arbroath

Clare Dunsmore, Solicitor, Commercial Property

A strong communicator, Clare has built robust client relationships, already advising many on a repeat basis. Notable deals include a multi-million pound investment disposal, a rare, complex property finance deal and the refinancing of a large property portfolio. Clare has also developed in-depth knowledge and expertise in the hospitality sector.

Alastair Smith, Associate, Corporate & Technology

Already promoted to associate, Alastair is extremely adept at advising on venture capital investment deals and multi-million pound sales for high technology companies. With two secondments under his belt in the higher education sector, he is an expert in commercialisation of research and procurement/merger transactions in this sector.

Macdonald Henderson

t: 0141 248 4957

f: 0141 248 8455



Office locations: Glasgow

Louise Hamilton, Solicitor

Louise has had pivotal roles in a number of the firm’s high-profile corporate transactions this year, most notably in advising shareholders of Semi Scenic UK on disposal of the company to US-based Ichor Systems. Outstanding commercial awareness, coupled with an ability to forge excellent relationship with clients and other advisers.

Amy Thomson, Solicitor

Joining Macdonald Henderson in 2010 with a corporate background, Amy moved into litigation and now frequently represents the interests of individual and commercial clients in court. Regularly advises in high-value recovery actions and with a diligent and pragmatic approach, Amy is carving out a reputation as an excellent commercially-focused lawyer.

Morton Fraser

t: 0131 247 1000

f: 0131 247 1007



Office locations: Edinburgh, Glasgow, London

Paul Flynn, Solicitor – Corporate

Paul is an integral part of the firm’s Corporate Division, its Food and Drink Sector Group and its Giving Something Back Forum. Consistently demonstrating wisdom and experience beyond his years of qualification, notable recent achievements include his crucial role in running the technically challenging private equity investment into Dukosi Ltd.

Paul Geoghegan, Senior Solicitor – Corporate

Paul is a senior solicitor in Morton Fraser’s Corporate Division. He plays a fundamental role in the Sports Law team, which he established in 2010. Paul has delivered training seminars, assisted a number of UK-wide sports clubs and organisations with legal problems, and blogs for the Metro’s Olympic website.

Richard Wilson, Solicitor – Agriculture & Rural

Richard is a solicitor in Morton Fraser’s Agriculture & Rural team, and advises both large institutional clients (the Scottish Government and Historic Scotland) and private landowners (Scottish Wildlife Trust) on the full range of rural property issues, including agricultural tenancies. He took part in the 2012 Young Scotland Programme.

Eilidh MacEwan, Solicitor – Litigation

Eilidh acts for a wide variety of clients in the public and private sectors. Having qualified in 2011, she has gained extensive experience in appearance work, including proofs and debates in sheriff courts as well as procedural hearings. She has a reputation for providing practical, commercially-minded solutions to clients.

Pinsent Masons

t: 0141 567 8400

f: 0141 567 8401


Office locations: London (HQ), Aberdeen, Belfast, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Manchester, Falklands, Doha, Dubai, Beijing, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore

Shirley Allen, Partner (Aberdeen)

Partner with extensive experience of energy work, six years in-house for an international services company before joining private practice. Shirley has advised clients in both upstream and services sectors of the UKCS, has provided training seminars for Oil & Gas UK, and has been guest lecturer at Robert Gordon University.

Gillian Frew, Partner (Edinburgh)

A partner specialising in energy and infrastructure finance, Gillian has significant experience advising lenders and borrowers, particularly in the context of oil and gas, renewables, healthcare, roads, education and accommodation. She has also acted on a number of PPP and PFI projects, funded by both debt and bond finance.

Wright, Johnston & Mackenzie LLP

t: 0141 248 3434

f: 0142 221 1226



Office locations: Glasgow, Edinburgh, Inverness

Jacqueline Mitchell – Renewable Energy (Glasgow)

Since joining the team in 2007, Jacqui has helped landowners and developers realise renewables projects. Her current clients include RWE npower Renewables, E.ON UK Renewables and Vento Ludens. She principally advises on heads of terms, option agreements and leases, and has seen a large number of transactions through to completion.

Melanie Kane – Planning, Edinburgh

Planning and environmental specialist, having practised exclusively in this area since 2008, Melanie acts for renewable energy developers, advising at pre-application stage, through the consenting process to appeal, and negotiating s 75 agreements. Sits on Scottish Renewables Planning Sub-Group and Chartered Institute of Waste Management Scotland’s Business Waste & Resource Management Group.

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