Government and Public Sector

Focused legal expertise concerning statutory powers; legal challenges; constitutional, governance and best practice; human rights; freedom of information; legislation; and procurement.

Public bodies are facing unprecedented scrutiny as they strive to respond to growing demand for greater accountability and the provision of better and more cost-effective services. Thanks to our strong sector experience and market-leading expertise, we understand these challenges.

Our specialists work regularly with government and other public sector organisations, offering the full spectrum of relevant legal expertise. This in-depth, practical knowledge means we understand and can anticipate our clients’ requirements and provide authoritative guidance and support in working to deliver the best solutions.

Many of our government and public sector team also act for private sector entities, including lenders, which means we have a comprehensive understanding of the key drivers, risks and outcomes typically sought by all sides engaged on public sector matters.

We offer advice on a wide range of matters of interest to our clients, including:

  • statutory powers and remit;
  • judicial review and legal challenges;
  • constitutional, governance and best practice;
  • human rights;
  • freedom of information;
  • legislation; and
  • procurement. 

We have built strong relationships with our public sector clients, who regard us as their trusted advisers, and we are consistently ranked highly as legal advisers to local government by the two leading legal directories, the Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC)

We acted for HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) in all its Missing Trader Intra-Community (MTIC) fraud case appeals in Scotland, with a cumulative value of over £40 million.

Scottish Government/UK Government Crown and Commercial Services

Appointed to all six lots of the Scottish Government Legal Framework and the UK Government Crown and Commercial Services (Scotland) Framework.

West Lothian Council

Advising the council on its City Deal Project – a strategically important project to unlock the provision of education and housing in the Winchburgh area in West Lothian.

The City of Edinburgh Council

Advising the council on a variety of planning, procurement and regeneration projects, including: procurement of its new Transport Infrastructure Framework Agreement; its £40 million Queensferry High School hub DBFM project; the UK’s biggest regeneration projects at St James Quarter, which is based on the Growth Accelerator Model (GAM); and on the procurement of housing through its 21st Century Homes programme.

In addition, we have been advising advising The City of Edinburgh Council on its inquiry into racism in schools.

NHS Highland

Designing and supporting the NHS Highland Healing Process.

West Dunbartonshire Council

Advising the council on procurement of UK’s first large-scale water source heat pump district heating system.

Scottish Enterprise

We continue to support Scottish Enterprise, a non-departmental public body of the Scottish Government, with all HR matters in the UK and across its international network.

Further and Higher Education

We act for three of Scotland’s four Ancient Universities – Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen – and represent the pensions trustees at the fourth, St Andrews. We also advise The Scottish Association for Marine Science, The Moredun Foundation, the pension trustees at Stirling University and a number of Scotland’s leading independent schools.

States of Jersey

Advising States of Jersey, the parliament and government of the British Crown dependency of Jersey, on the procurement of the Future Hospital Project.

Wheatley Housing Group

Advised Wheatley Housing Group in connection with the procurement of its new £400 million framework for the development of new build housing

NPD Projects

Advised the public sector on the procurement of the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service’s National Centre NPD Project, NHS Dumfries and Galloway on the New Infirmary NPD Project and Ayrshire College on its Kilmarnock Campus NPD Project.

Education Hub DBFM/DBDA and PPP projects

Advised on multiple hub DBFM and DBDA education projects across the South West hub Territory, West hub Territory, South East hub Territory and East Central hub Territory as well as Education PPP projects in the following local authority areas: Aberdeenshire, North Lanarkshire, South Lanarkshire, Dundee, East Renfrewshire, Fife, West Lothian, Edinburgh, Borders, North Ayrshire and Glasgow, acting for local authorities, developers and funders.

Scottish Prison Service

Advised the Scottish Prison Service in connection with the HMP Addiewell and HMP Kilmarnock PPP prison projects.

Outsourced leisure services

Advised Falkirk Council, Renfrewshire, Edinburgh, North Ayrshire and South Lanarkshire Councils on the outsourcing of their leisure services to charitable organisations.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde

Advised NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde in connection with its £600 million New South Glasgow Hospitals project.

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar

Advised Comhairle nan Eilean Siar in connection with the procurement of its Education Hybrid PPP Project, which utilised a bespoke procurement model.

Argyll & Bute Council

Acting for Argyll & Bute Council in its £80 million schools project. The council was working with Partnerships UK on a pathfinder project using an NPD model. The project won the Innovation Award at the Public Private Finance Awards 2006.

A leisure trust

Advising a leisure trust on a disability discrimination claim arising in the context of service provision as opposed to the employment relationship.


We successfully acted for HMRC in all its Missing Trader Intra-Community (MTIC) fraud cases appeals in Scotland, with a cumulative value of over £40 million.

Skills Development Scotland

Advised in respect of the employment implications arising from the procurement of IT services, a contract valued at £40 million. Also represented SDS in relation to several hundred equal pay claims, which required careful consideration of the interaction between equal pay legislation and TUPE.