Double coup for Burness Paull as planning and insurance experts return to the firm
One of Scotland’s sharpest legal minds on planning law has joined Burness Paull LLP as head of the firm’s planning department.
Alasdair Sutherland is currently a practising Advocate at the Scottish Bar where he is regarded as a leading counsel for planning and environment. He was a solicitor in Burness Paull’s Dispute Resolution department immediately prior to his call to the Bar in 2014.
His broad range of experience includes dealing with a range of commercial and residential developments, onshore and offshore wind farms, ports and harbours, promoting and challenging development plans, and compulsory purchase, including claims for compensation.
During his time at the Bar, Alasdair has focussed on work in the planning and environmental sectors and has been involved in some of the most high-profile planning decisions in Scotland in recent years.
These include the ground-breaking case of Aberdeen City and Shire Strategic Development Planning Authority v Elsick Development Co Limited – where he took an appeal to the Supreme Court for the planning authority in relation to the authority’s Strategic Transport Fund. The case was of real significance for developers and local authorities throughout Scotland.
Most recently, Alasdair has successfully represented Aberdeen Football Club in resisting a challenge to the development of its new stadium at Kingsford, and Graham’s Dairies in overturning a decision of the Scottish Ministers in an important case for the housebuilding industry.
Alasdair has also held the position of standing junior counsel to the Scottish Government since 2017, and acted for Ministers in the high-profile challenge by INEOS to the Scottish Government’s policy on “fracking”.
Tamar Tammes, Managing Partner of Burness Paull, said: “As a progressive law firm we are always looking to buck trends and do things differently. Alasdair is a leading planning advocate at the Bar, and for him to return to Burness Paull as Head of Planning is hugely exciting.
“His qualities, intellect and versatility make him the outstanding choice to grow our already strong planning team, and his experience of both private practice and the Bar gives Alasdair a unique ability to add strategic value for our clients.
“Adding Alasdair to lead our practice gives the firm an offering in the planning sector that really differentiates us in the market, and having also recently made up Theresa Hunt to partner we are confident that we have a truly outstanding team that will deliver exceptional results.”
A rising star in insurance litigation and shipping law Andrew Forsyth has also been appointed to the partnership, taking the total number at the firm to 70.
Andrew, who previously worked at Burness Paull legacy firm Paull & Williamsons early in his career, joins from the insurance and risk division of Brodies where he built up substantial expertise in marine casualty and disease claims amongst wider general insurance litigation work.
Andrew has been involved in major personal injury cases following shipping accidents and historic asbestos claims, as well as non-contentious commercial shipping work including ship finance, charter-parties, ship arrest and cargo claims after obtaining a post graduate diploma in Maritime Law from Lloyds Maritime Academy.
Tamar added: “We will continue to focus on developing the firm’s range of specialisms as part of our strategic plan to achieve growth, and Andrew fits the bill perfectly due to his breadth of knowledge and skill in this field.
“Andrew has 14 years of experience in this sector and is a technically outstanding lawyer. Everyone who knows him speaks very highly of his character and work ethic, and his personable nature will be an excellent fit for us. We are certain that our clients will benefit from the expertise that he brings.
“Both of these new appointments are effectively returnees to the firm, which is a real testament to the strength of our culture and reputation as a great place to work.”
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