What you need to know about… Burness Paull

December 10, 2021

3 min read

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An intro to the firm

The 2012 merger between Burness and Paull & Williamsons brought about the formation of Burness Paull, which has since grown to become a leading Scottish commercial law firm. From its offices in each of Scotland’s three largest cities, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen, Burness Paull serves clients in eighty jurisdictions. The firm has a yearly trainee intake of around 30 across its three offices. Specialising in 10 core practice areas including corporate M&A, commercial property and dispute resolution, and with expertise in ten key industry sectors, Burness Paull’s client offering is full service, expert and international.

Its key strengths

In recent years, Burness Paull has established itself as a leader in Scotland’s corporate M&A market. With a Band 1 ranking in Chambers UK, the firm has the largest specialist deals team in Scotland, which advises on public and private M&A, equity investments, joint ventures and capital markets. Last year, the firm completed over 300 local and global deals with an aggregate value of over £30bn. This made it Scotland’s top deal-making law firm for the fifth year running.

One of the main drivers of the firm’s success is its strong industry sector expertise. As Scotland’s leading “in-market” law firm, Burness Paull has intimate knowledge of the sectors critical to the Scottish economy, most notably energy, technology and financial services. This enables it to provide the highly specialised legal advice that is known for its excellent client satisfaction and retention rates.

A Scottish firm with a global outlook, Burness Paull serves an international client base, and over 60% of its work is international. The firm prides itself on its ability to meet its clients’ legal and business needs, wherever in the world they may arise. Whether this means taking advantage of opportunities in oil and gas in Norway, or helping companies to make breakthroughs in stem cell technology in Israel, Burness Paull is always poised to capitalise on emerging opportunities for its clients.

With a focus on its flat organisational structure and commitment to trainee development, Burness Paull’s training can be described as varied, supportive and full of opportunities.

Training, training, training...

Burness Paull’s trainees complete four six-month seats in four different practice areas, with the opportunity to spend one of these seats on secondment to one of the firm’s clients. This affords the potential for varied exposure to different areas of the firm’s business, as well as a high level of responsibility and client exposure from the outset.

In addition to being challenged professionally throughout their training contracts, Burness Paull’s trainees are simultaneously supported to allow them to reach their full potential. Through social events, mental health support networks and diversity and inclusion initiatives, Burness Paull ensures that its trainees are supported and welcomed into the firm from their very first day.

This is furthered by the wealth of opportunities for personal and professional development afforded to trainees. Importantly, trainees are encouraged to get involved with the Burness Paull Foundation, a registered charity launched in 2016 that encompasses the firm’s charity work. Over the last five years, the Foundation has supported 112 different charities through Movember moustaches, swimathons and charity events, among other initiatives. The Foundation provides trainees with an excellent opportunity to make a difference in their community and get involved in the wider life of the firm.

Report written by Isobel Deane

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