Professional information

  • 2014: appointed silk
  • 2014: called to the English Bar (Middle Temple). Practising member of 4 New Square, London
  • 2009-2012: standing junior to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs
  • 2000: called to the Scottish Bar
  • BCL, Oxford University – First Class (Pirie-Reid scholar)
  • LLB (Hons), Glasgow University – First Class (J Bennett Miller Prize winner in senior honours)
Professional experience

Garry Borland QC specialises in commercial law, including disputes relating to commercial contracts, commercial property, company law and insolvency, construction and engineering, and energy. He also has significant experience in banking and financial services matters.

Garry is rated by Chambers UK Bar directory as a Band 1 silk for commercial litigation; for construction; and also for restructuring and insolvency work. He is the only Scottish silk rated by Who’s Who Legal for company law. It also rates him as a leading silk for construction. The Legal 500 rates Garry as a Band 1 silk for commercial litigation and also for construction.

Clients Garry has acted for include: ABB, Aegon, Aggreko, Aker, AMEC, Andritz, Balfour Beatty, Bank of Scotland, Barclays Bank, Bilfinger Berger, BlackRock, the BMA, Bouygues, BP, Cairn Energy, Carlsberg/Heineken, ConocoPhillips, DNB, Ferrovial, Galliford Try, Grant Thornton, HMRC, Iberdrola, Kier, KPMG, Laing O’Rourke, Lendlease, Lloyds Bank, Macquarie Bank, Martin Currie, Sir Robert McAlpine, Morgan Sindall, Ryder Cup Europe, Ryder System Inc., the Scottish Government, Scottish Power, SSE, Scottish Widows, Shepherd Construction, Spie Matthew Hall, Stora Enso, Tesco, Va Tech Wabag and the Wellcome Trust.

Notable cases

Commercial

  • APCOA Parking (UK) Limited v Crosslands Limited, [2021] CSOH 77. Acted for the successful defending party in relation to a dispute concerning long term agreement for lease arrangements.
  • Scanmudring A/S v James Fisher MFE Limited, 2019 SLT 295. Acted for the successful claimant in relation to a large contractual claim arising out of the abandonment of specialised subsea equipment.
  • David MacBrayne Limited v ATOS IT Services UK Limited, [2018] CSOH 32. Acted for the successful claimant relative to a wide-ranging dispute concerning the failure to deliver a major IT system.
  • Caithness Flagstone Limited v Ballyvesey Holdings Limited, [2020] SAC (Civ) 1. Acted for the successful claimant in relation to a dispute concerning the proper approach to the interpretation of commercial finance leases and related UCTA issues.

Company

  • Aggreko plc. Acted for the company in relation to the scheme of arrangement giving effect to the £2.3 billion takeover by TDR Capital and I Squared Capital.
  • Premier Oil plc v Fund III Investment 1 (Cayman) Limited, [2020] CSOH 39. Acted for a syndicate of international banks in relation to their successful defence of a contentious restructuring of US$3.8 billion of debt facilities of Premier Oil plc (which was to be effected by a scheme of arrangement).
  • Heart of Midlothian plc and another v Scottish Professional Football League Limited and others, 2020 arbitration. Acted for the respondent football clubs in their successful defence of the unfair prejudice proceedings arising out of the ending of the 2019/2020 Scottish football season due to Covid-19.
  • Scottish Equitable plc. Acted for the company in relation to the court proceedings regarding its capital reorganisation.

Construction

  • Hochtief Solutions AG v Maspero Elevatori SpA, 2021 SLT 528. Acted for the successful party in relation to this leading appellate case on the scope for challenging adjudicators’ awards.
  • Midlothian Council v Raeburn Drilling & Geotechnical Limited and another, 2019 SLT 1327. Acted for the defending party in its successful defence in this landmark time bar case.
  • Scot Roads Partnership Project Limited v The Scottish Ministers, [2019] CSOH 113. Acted for the claimant contractor in its £50 million claim arising out of the upgrade of a major motorway.
  • NKT Cables A/S v SP Power Systems Limited, 2017 SLT 494. Acted for the defending party in its successful defence in this leading case on the scope of natural justice and reasons challenges to adjudicators’ awards.

Insolvency

  • Acted for Macquarie Bank in various proceedings relating to the proper conduct of a major administration.
  • Instructed for the administrators in relation to the high profile administration of the Ferguson Marine shipbuilding business.
  • Acted for the government in relation to various aspects of the potential insolvency of a major group of companies with significant UK-wide interests.
  • Instructed for the supervisors of the CVA in the court proceedings concerning the House of Fraser CVA.
Directories
  • Chambers UK Bar – Recommended as leading silk in Commercial Dispute Resolution (Band 1); Construction (Band 1); and Restructuring/Insolvency (Band 1).
  • Legal 500 – Recommended as leading silk in Commercial Litigation (Tier 1) and Construction (Tier 1) .
  • Who’s Who Legal – Recommended in Company Law (the only Scottish silk to be ranked) and Construction
  • Chambers has described him as “Super bright”; “One of the most technically gifted advocates around”; and “hard to beat for cases that need a big brain”. “His eye for detail and clarity of delivery are superb“; “On his feet, he is exceptionally good”; “a standout advocate“; “he has a speed and accuracy of analysis that few can match“; “an excellent strategist”; “unrivalled in his ability to immerse himself in the complexity of cases”; “a very smart lawyer”; and “renowned for his depth of analysis, his grasp of complex technical issues and his attention to detail”. Chambers has said that he is “a very gifted oral advocatewhose style in court is “very forceful”, but also “very measured”. He has also been said to be a “first class advocate; “His authoritative and precise advocacy consistently impresses judges”; and “He has the respect of the court.” Chambers has described him as “incredibly bright and brilliant on his feet”; “utterly unflappable”; “very robust”; “such a skilled advocate”; and an “absolute go-to for senior instructions”. Most recently, he was noted as a “standout advocate”; “terrific”; and “very effective in court”.
  • Garry is one of just a few Scottish counsel who have featured in the review of the UK Bar in Who’s Who Legal where he has been described as “very much the star silk”; “an outstanding silk”; and “an outstanding advocate”.
  • The Legal 500 says that he “is widely recognised as one of the brightest commercial QCs in Scotland”. His key strengths are “his clarity of thought and his ability to convince those he is addressing of the strength and undeniable logic of whatever argument he is advancing”.
  • It also says that he “is the pre-eminent construction counsel in Scotland.  His attention to detail is second to none; he is thorough in terms of preparation; his legal arguments are always beautifully crafted; and his cross-examination is sublime.
Select publications
  • Fault in the Change of Position Defence 2006 JR 89
  • Duty of Care: Journey’s End? 2000 SLPQ 423
  • Contributor to Employment Tribunal Practice in Scotland, Leslie, 2nd edn, 1998 (on company and insolvency aspects)
  • Contractual Structures and Duty of Care: An Alternative Analysis, 1997 SLT (News) 232
  • Change of Position in Scots Law, 1996 SLT (News) 139
  • Remoteness of Loss in Contract, 1995 SLT (News) 239