I am delighted with last night’s announcement that Blackadders were the winners of the Scottish Business Insider Award for the “Best Newcomer” in the SME 300. The award marks what has been a very exciting time for the firm and follows on quickly from the announcement that we are to further expand in Glasgow, following our merger with Boyle Shaughnessy Solicitors.

It was a fantastic night at the Grand Central Hotel in Glasgow, which was hosted by the award winning journalist Nadine Dereza with an excellent after dinner speech by Sheriff Lindsay Wood

Lindsay Darroch
Partner – Head of Property

Announcement: Blackadders and Boyle Shaughnessy to Merge

Glasgow Merger 2
Pictured are Colin McCulloch (left) and Paul Devine (right) of Boyle Shaughnessy, with Johnston Clark, Managing Partner of Blackadders.

Leading law firm, Blackadders LLP and Glasgow-based Boyle Shaughnessy Solicitors are to merge on 1 April 2016.  The merged practice will have 25 partners and over 250 staff and will trade under the Blackadders banner.  Boyle Shaughnessy has particular expertise in the fields of private client, commercial and residential property. The firm will offer a full service capability for business and private clients, acting for thousands of private individuals and several national ‘household name’ businesses and charities.

Paul Devine and Colin McCulloch, Directors at Boyle Shaughnessy, will become partners with Blackadders.

Johnston Clark, managing partner, said: “We are delighted to be strengthening Blackadders by joining forces with Boyle Shaughnessy, a well-known and respected law firm in Glasgow.  This will give the firm a strong presence in the major centres of Scotland, offering a full range of services from our Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Perth and Glasgow offices.  Our growth into a national firm will create increased strength and depth of client service.”

Mr Clark said that the merger with Boyle Shaughnessy was motivated by a desire to establish a Blackadders office in the west coast of Scotland to service its existing client base and to develop new business within the region.

Paul Devine director at Boyle Shaughnessy commented “There is a clear fit between our cultures; we share with Blackadders partners a vision of the highest quality of advice and service to our clients. The merger allows us to provide a wider range of services to our existing and future clients, who we would normally have to refer on to others if we did not have the relevant expertise in-house. Joining with Blackadders gives us the ability to provide our clients with the complete legal service.”

This latest move follows the recent successful mergers between Blackadders and the Edinburgh practice of Colin Blaikie and the long-established Perth practice Condies.

Lindsay Darroch
Partner – Head of Property


As readers of previous blogs will know, I have advocated the Capital Gains Tax on sales for some considerable time as I feel that this is the best means of controlling the housing market and building up a property fund to assist during turbulent economic times.  I was very pleased to see that the National Institute for Economic and Social Research has issued a paper calling for the levying of a refined CGT on sale as a substitute for Stamp Duty and a means of controlling volatile house price rises.  The Institute goes on to advise that the current system is the worst of all worlds.

I hope the Government listens to this as I am more and more of the belief that a Capital Gains Tax on profit on the sale of all properties including sole or main residences would be a much fairer, transparent and economically beneficial tax rather than Stamp Duty which penalises a prospective purchaser – watch this space.

Lindsay Darroch
Partner – Head of Property


Is there a London house price bubble on the horizon? (Image: APIA Blog 2014)

I was interested and somewhat surprised to read a report from academics at Lancaster University advising that London is heading for a house price bubble by the end of 2016.  The academics used a phrase that I have not heard before describing the London market as “exuberant” and advising that the last time that the Greater London real house prices were identified to be in an exuberant phase was the fourth quarter of 2007.  Interestingly speaking to others who are actively involved in the London market they are actually concerned about a crash and the bubble bursting.  They cite the increase in Stamp Duty to crippling levels.

What impact does this have for the rest of us? In discussions with an expert on the Scottish Property scene he described his feelings for the Scottish Property market as like “corrugated iron” – lots of little ups and downs.  I personally have some real concerns that the general economic backdrop is not good and that the property market will soon be entering stormy waters caused by economic uncertainty, declining bank lending and also tax changes.  I think the Government needs to do all it can to support the property market and I will be the first one to report on an “exuberant” Scottish Property Market!

Lindsay Darroch
Partner – Head of Property


Recent figures released from Mortgages for Business show that applications made by limited companies for buy to let mortgages account for 43% of all new buy to let cases in January.  This is an increase on 38% in December.  This is a consequence of the changes proposed by the Chancellor both in relation to income tax changes and also in relation to the 3% surcharge which comes into effect on 1 April 2016.  The one caveat is that lending to limited companies is harder to achieve – it is usually at a higher rate with a lower loan to value and it is difficult to get interest only deals.  I am certainly seeing an increase in the property investors who are now looking at either transferring to or starting their property investment adventure using the vehicle of a limited company.

Lindsay Darroch
Partner – Head of Property

List Now, Pay Later: Blackadders Will List Your Property Without Any Upfront Costs

List Now Board

Blackadders will list your property for sale with no upfront costs. If you are considering selling your property and would like to take advantage of this offer, please contact a member of our estate agency team who will be delighted to help you.

Aberdeen:     01224 452750
Dundee:         01382 342222
Edinburgh:    0131 202 1868
Perth:             01738 500600
Arbroath:       01241 876620
Forfar:            01307 461234

Lindsay Darroch
Partner – Head of Property