Specialism Services


After months of intense campaigning and debate, the result is in. By 51.9% to 48.1%, the UK has voted to leave the EU. This is a momentous event. So what will happen now?

As we explained in our updates during the referendum campaign, it is by no means clear what this Leave vote will mean for our relationship with the EU. Much depends on politics. There is little doubt that leaving the EU will dramatically change the legislative, economic and political landscape over the weeks, months and years ahead.  

We will continue to work with clients who are considering the impact on their businesses. If you would like to receive further information on how the Leave vote, the ongoing negotiations or any other aspect of EU law or policy might affect your business or sector, please contact either Michael Dean or Catriona Munro.

Regular updates will be published here as the post-referendum picture becomes clearer so keep visiting us for further information.

Brexit Literature Library

Brexit - UK Energy

Intellectual property considerations post-Brexit


Our Education team advise FE and HE clients and their funders and other project partners across a wide range of issues. For example:

  • capital projects, such as campus and student accommodation developments
  • involvement in and support of research and commercialisation of technology and creative ventures
  • student discipline and appeals
  • mergers
  • corporate governance and constitutional and vires issues
  • HR support, tribunals and major change management project
  • funding and financing
  • shared services and joint ventures

To give you a flavour of our recent experience:

  • We have been involved in some of the largest capital projects in the sector, including:
    • advising on a turnkey contract for a joint venture development between University of Strathclyde and Scottish Enterprise in relation to a £65m Technology Innovations Centre and International Technological Renewable Energy Zone
    • advising University of West of Scotland (UWS) on its new £70m shared Craigie campus with Scottish Agricultural College in Ayr
    • a new £40m state of the art research facility for the University of Edinburgh in Midlothian
    • advising Coatbridge College on its £20m campus redevelopment
    • advising the funders of campus redevelopments for UWS, Dundee College and Glasgow George Watson College
    • carrying out diligence for a private sector investment in the Queen Margaret University student accommodation project
    • advising a bidder on its Irish Colleges PFI/PPP project
  • We have advised on mergers, for example:
    • the merger of 3 of Glasgow's colleges to form the new City of Glasgow College
    • the merger of University of Paisley with Bell College of Technology to form UWS, Scotland’s largest modern university
  • We have advised UWS on constitutional changes, including working with Scottish Government and the Privy Council on the Order of Council to effect these and obtaining appropriate OSCR and Privy Council consents; also on consequential updating of standing orders for Court and Senate.

For further information please contact Amanda Jones.

Fraud, Investigations and Business Crime

There is a seemingly endless list of frauds that present a clear and present danger to the worldwide business community. As technology develops, that list continues to grow. That before one stops to consider the myriad of legislative provisions that can impose significant liabilities on individuals and companies alike for breaching their terms.

As a full service law firm, MMS has the strength and depth of knowledge to assemble a multi-disciplinary team to advise clients on all of their fraud, regulatory and business crime needs.

We regularly advise clients on the complex issues which arise following fraud being uncovered, and ensure that the appropriate steps are taken to remove the risk and minimise business disruption.

We also have experience of advising on all aspects of the investigations and prosecutions which can follow a breach of EU, competition, bribery and corruption, environmental and health and safety legislation.

We are happy to act for individuals and corporations alike and have experience of acting for victims of fraud and those accused of perpetrating it.

As a member of Lex Mundi (a worldwide network of leading law firms), we have the ability to seamlessly handle even the most challenging cross-border investigations, prosecutions and disputes.

Our areas of expertise include:

Civil Fraud, Asset Tracing & Recovery

  • Fraud/Theft
  • Embezzlement
  • Cyber Crime
  • Asset Tracing/Recovery
  • Freezing Orders

For more information, click here.

Regulatory, Investigations & Enforcement

  • Bribery and Corruption
  • Cartels
  • Dawn Raids
  • Whistleblowing
  • Internal Investigations and Compliance

For more information, click here.

Business Crime & Statutory Offences

  • Health & Safety
  • Environmental Investigations and Prosecutions;
  • Corporate Manslaughter.

For more information, click here.

Local Government

Local Authorities face increasing challenges to deliver services that are both efficient and represent genuine value to stakeholders. The push to explore shared services and other joint working initiatives creates tremendous opportunities for efficiency but also presents some real challenges, not least in the employment field. Our employment team has acted for a large number of Scottish local authorities in recent years, providing highly specialised advice in key areas such as:

  • outsourcing
  • TUPE
  • employee relations
  • misconduct
  • absence management
  • diversity
  • discrimination
  • equal pay

We have also provided tailor-made training packages for senior management in many of these areas.

In addition to employment, we can assist you with:

  • advice on EU procurement and state aid rules
  • shared services and outsourcing/private sector partnering
  • setting up arms' length companies, trusts and community interest companies
  • pension schemes
  • tax increment financing (TIFs)

Our Local Government clients include: Glasgow City Council, Falkirk Council, West Lothian Council, Perth & Kinross Council, Shetland Islands Council, Aberdeenshire Council, Dumfries & Galloway Council, East Renfrewshire Council, West Dunbartonshire Council and South Ayrshire Council.

For further information please contact Amanda Jones.


Our Mining team provides a full range of legal services to our clients in the metals and mining sector. We advise on corporate and commercial matters, international equity capital markets, mergers and acquisitions, banking and finance, employment, dispute resolution and taxation in relation to mining projects from Australia, Africa and Europe to Central Asia, the Philippines and the Americas.

The core of our mining practice is assisting companies, sponsors, nominated advisers and brokers on flotations and secondary fundraisings on the London Stock Exchange's Main and AIM markets, on PLUS markets and on overseas stock exchanges, such as the ASX and TSX. Utilising our extensive contacts with finance houses in London, the world's leading centre for mining finance, we are well positioned to make introductions to assist companies in funding their projects.

For further information, please contact Allan Cairns.


There is an increasing demand for advice and services in the constitutional and administrative fields. Our Parliamentary Group brings together the firm's expertise in public and regulatory law, giving us a focussed approach and a consolidated competence in matters regarding the law making process at Holyrood, in Westminster and Brussels.

The Parliamentary Group can help you with:

  • monitoring and advising on law reform
  • analysing new policy initiatives and how they affect you
  • assisting on lobbying parliament
  • initiating private legislation
  • drafting legislation for MSPs and parliamentary committees
  • guidance on whether a matter is within the powers of the Scottish or Westminster Parliament, or on whether it complies with the law
  • advising on public petitions

For further information please contact Michael Dean or Catriona Munro.


We act for the majority of Police Forces in Scotland and for the Scottish Police Services Authority and the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland on a range of matters. Our unrivalled experience includes:

  • advice on employment issues concerning support staff and on the interpretation and application of specific police legislation
  • appearing on behalf of our clients at Employment and Employment Appeals Tribunals
  • representing Forces at medical appeal hearings in relation to the Police Pension Regulations
  • providing representation and assistance at Police Conduct hearings and Police Appeals Tribunal hearings
  • acting in matters of judicial review concerning Police Forces
  • Fatal Accident Inquiries
  • TUPE advice
  • Freedom of Information and Data Protection
  • shared services issues

For further information please contact Amanda Jones.


We are alive to the sensibilities and issues around regeneration projects in terms of the requirements of the participating bodies, such as local authorities, communities, private developers and others, all of which are interconnected but differ at various levels within the project. Our approach is to understand these differing approaches, including political and other dimensions to regeneration projects. We then tailor the structure and legal input to fit the particular scheme.

Our dedicated Regeneration team includes property, construction, procurement, planning, environmental, corporate, finance and tax specialists. Their experience of the issues which arise in regeneration projects will be invaluable to you.

"Maclay Murray and Spens have provided a wide spectrum of legal services for Riverside Inverclyde Urban Regeneration Company since its inception in late 2006. Throughout the period to date MMS have provided a first class service. As well as their professionalism and understanding of our role in regeneration they are particularly responsive and have demonstrated a repeated ability to meet our often tight timescales. Such is the level of service received from MMS we intend to continue to do more business with them and would encourage other regeneration organisations to do the same."
Garry Williamson, Implementation Manager, Riverside Inverclyde.

Our experience includes:

  • advising Clyde Gateway URC, a project with £140m of committed public funding and a further £1.5bn targeted private development
  • advising Riverside Inverclyde URC, a £400m regeneration project
  • advising Strathleven Regeneration Company Ltd since it was set up in April 2000 as a public/private partnership and forerunner of the current model of URC
  • advising Wilson Bowden plc in the redevelopment and regeneration of the former British Steel works at Ravenscraig, one of the biggest regeneration projects in Europe. Our experience of issues from the developer's perspective in this and other projects is of considerable value when advising public sector bodies on what the issues and sensitivities will be for their private sector partners.

For further information please contact Mark Macaulay.

Shared Services

The Scottish Government's call to develop national shared services solutions that benefit community planning partners across Scotland sets challenges but also offers real opportunities for continuous improvement in service delivery and focus of resources on front line services at a time of changing economic circumstances and increasing financial pressures.

When it comes to legal and operational models for sharing services the message from Government is "one size doesn't fit all" and organisations need to consider carefully which model or models would best meet their objectives and fit with their organisational structure.

Six basic structures can be identified to assist in highlighting the range of models that can be used:

Unitary: a single organisation consolidates and centralises a business service.

Lead Department: an organisation consolidates and centralises a business service that will be shared by other organisations.

Joint Initiative: an internal agreement between two or more organisations/departments is entered into to set up and operate shared services.

Strategic Partnership: an external contractual arrangement is entered into with a third party provider for a range of services.

Joint Venture: a joint venture legal entity between organisations or an organisation and a third party provider is set up.

Outsourcing: a third party takes full responsibility for managing and operating services. The third party can be another public sector organisation.

The legal considerations - in terms of TUPE and other employment law considerations, vires, procurement law issues, the governance and other contractual arrangements required, the data protection issues and so on - will vary depending on which model is chosen. Indeed, an understanding of these legal issues may be a factor in the choice of one model in preference to another.

Our Shared Services team advise clients considering sharing services and organisations who have already been at the forefront of this new model of public services delivery, including the Scottish Police Services Authority and Glasgow Community and Safety Services.

For further information, please contact Amanda Jones.