Dundas & Wilson LLP at a Glance


  • “High-value clients with headline-grabbing work”
  • Level of responsibility and quality of training
  • Firm’s “excellent” reputation


  • The pay
  • “Long hours during busy times”
  • No offices outside the UK

The Buzz

  • “Top of the Scottish market”
  • “Old fashioned”

About Dundas & Wilson LLP

Dundas & Wilson is one of the largest law firms in Scotland and among the 50 largest in Great Britain. The Edinburgh-based firm has established itself as a UK national player by building a strong presence in London. Dundas & Wilson serves a variety of clients across the UK and internationally, including major corporate and public sector organisations.

Big Four firm not just big in Scotland

Dundas & Wilson has more than 250 years of experience behind it, having been established in Edinburgh in 1759. The firm, which also has an office in Glasgow, didn't open its London office until 1992, but has since built up its presence in England both organically and through lateral hires.

Sector specialists

Dundas & Wilson focuses on four core sectors: financial services, energy and infrastructure, real estate, and government and public sector. With substantial experience in the financial sector in particular, the firm counts the Royal Bank of Scotland, Halifax Bank of Scotland and Clydesdale Bank among its clients. The firm's banking and project finance experience is also brought to bear on acquisition finance matters for oil and gas assets, and offshore engineering support services. The firm tackles water industry advisory matters, acting for water companies on all aspects of their operations. In real estate, the firm advises on an assortment of construction, environment, joint ventures, planning, property litigation and tax.

On the public sector side, the firm has advised the Environment Agency on numerous projects; acted for the Glasgow City Council in relation to a joint venture with Serco to provide IT and property services; counselled Transport Scotland on the Borders Railway Project; and advised the Scottish Exhibition Centre Ltd in connection with construction of an events arena and infrastructure for the Commonwealth Games, for which Glasgow will be the host city in 2014.

Do it like Dundas

Dundas & Wilson's corporate recovery team also keeps busy. Soon after American businessman Bernard Madoff's $50 billion investment fraud was exposed, Dundas' corporate recovery team were appointed to advise Grant Thornton in its role as joint provisional liquidator of Madoff Securities International. Dundas also advised Dunfermline Building Society, Scotland's largest mutual, in its takeover by Nationwide Building Society in 2009. Other major clients include British Airways, Clyde Blowers, Scottish and Southern Energy and American billionaire Donald Trump, who turned to the firm for advice on his application to build a Scottish golf resort.

Recent News

Increasing access to the profession

In September 2011, Dundas & Wilson joined 22 other UK law firms to launch a new programme whose goal is to provide greater access to the legal profession to students from less privileged backgrounds. Law firms that join PRIME commit to providing work experience to underprivileged state school children, experience that offers an insight into the range of legal careers available and the routes into those careers. The project, which is backed by the Law Societies of England and Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland, and the Sutton Trust, has set a goal of providing 2,500 work experience places by 2015.

Dundas & Wilson also participates in a national programme called the Schools LawWeb, a teacher-led initiative that introduces young people to the legal system. As part of the programme, lawyers visit local schools to share information about their work and help pupils understand what lawyers actually do.

Pump it up

Dundas & Wilson served as lead legal advisor for the industrial investment fund Clyde Blowers Capital in its agreement to sell Clyde Union Pumps group to SPX Corporation, a Fortune 500 company, for £750 million. The deal was announced in August 2011. The Clyde Blowers Capital private equity fund and its multinational investee company Clyde Union Pumps are both regular Dundas clients. In November 2010, the firm advised Clyde Blowers Capital on two transactions: the $18 million acquisition of S&N Pump Company, a Texas-based offshore drilling and production company; and the £24 million disposals by David Brown Gear Systems (which Clyde Blowers had acquired in 2008) of its Benzler and Radicon group of businesses to two Indian companies.

Market activity

In July 2011, Dundas & Wilson advised on the AIM debut of Smart Metering Systems group, the only independent provider of integrated smart metering technology and gas infrastructure services in Britain. The IPO netted the company £10 million. In a second market deal, Dundas advised InterBulk, an AIM-listed provider of intermodal logistics solutions, on its placement of 165 million shares at 11 pence per share, thereby raising gross proceeds of more than £18 million.

Environmental influence

In March 2011, Mark Brumwell, who leads the environmental law group at Dundas & Wilson, was elected chair of the UK Environmental Law Association (UKELA), a group of more than 1,200 members across the private, public and voluntary sectors, help shape the development and reform of UK environmental law.

Hope has real value

In November 2010, Dundas & Wilson won a Supreme Court victory for client North Lanarkshire Council in a property dispute over a pay-and-play golf course. Multi-Link Leisure Developments Limited had leased land near Cumbernauld from the Council for use as a pay-and-play golf course. The lease included an option for Multi-Link to buy the land based on its market value. Multi-Link tried to buy the land for just £500,000, its current value as a golf course, while Dundas & Wilson argued-successfully-that the price should reflect the "hope value" as well-that is, the land's potential for future development, which amounted to more than £5,000,000. The court unanimously agreed with Dundas.

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Dundas & Wilson LLP

Saltire Court
20 Castle Terrace
Edinburgh EH1 2EN
Phone: +44 (0)131 228 8000


  • Employer Type: Private
  • Managing partner: Donald Shaw
  • Total No. Attorneys 2012: 360

Major Office Locations

  • London, United Kingdom
  • Edinburgh, United Kingdom
  • Glasgow, United Kingdom