Skip to content


CMS are delighted to support the 2023 Dealmakers Breakfast in Aberdeen.
In the hiatus since our last equivalent event in 2020 we have seen something of a
rollercoaster in terms of the transactions landscape in the North East – from a pausing of deal activity at the onset of Covid in 2020, to a resurgence in transactions during lock-down into 2021, and as we moved through energy security of supply concerns into 2022 in light of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Since then we’ve seen a slight pausing and slow-down in light of various recent changes to the UK taxation regime across the energy supply from oil and gas to renewables. It has been nothing if not eventful.


As a result of a combination of ongoing fiscal and political instability, the energy deals
landscape looks challenging into 2023 but for the North East there remains much to be
positive about – in terms of upstream and oil services sector deals, commodity prices remain high. In terms of wider energy many of our clients are more actively investing into energy transition and the drive to net zero than ever before and there remains significant capital to be deployed into 2023 and beyond – climate change and energy transition is a growing societal issue and Aberdeen and the North East is playing its own part in the evolution of the energy industry. For transactions in other sectors these too continue to look challenging particularly as a result of covid related disruption and the now very real impact of Brexit. However, the North East has always demonstrated resilience to challenges in the past and will continue to do so into the future.

As we enter our 30th year in the energy capital of Europe, CMS are very proud to be part of the local business community in Aberdeen and are here to provide sound, proactive and innovative legal advice to local, national and international businesses in the North East and further afield in a time where deals are still difficult to complete and taking well advised good decisions is extremely important.


We are delighted to continue to support all sizes of energy companies across renewables, hydrogen, CCS, wind, oilfield services, upstream, downstream and midstream segments and see scope for deal making across all areas in the next 12 months. We also are pleased to support the other key sectors across the North East including food, drink and agriculture as well as life sciences and those focussing on development of digital technologies and to play our part in the continued successful business traditions of the North East. There are a large number of vibrant and successful businesses in the North East and we are delighted to be here in Aberdeen to assist across our full range of commercial legal services.


Turning challenges into opportunities


On Tuesday 24th January, Scottish Business Insider is once again partnering with CMS Scotland to host the Deals and Dealmakers Business Breakfast.

Despite, or in some cases because of, the combined challenges of Brexit, the pandemic and the knock-on effects of the war in Ukraine, corporate deal-making has been on a roll recently.

Across Scotland, sectors are being consolidated as stronger players take advantage of acquisition opportunities, while particularly in the North East many companies are riding the wave of growth created by the nation’s net zero emission push and transition from fossil fuel dependency to renewable energy production.

This business breakfast discussion will delve deeper into the underlying trends, pulling out key insights on how deals are being done and how best to survive and thrive in these times of change.

Topics set to be tackled by our panel of experts include:


  • Assessing market opportunities for organic and acquisitive growth – how and when to agree a merger or buy a business.
  • How to balance the seemingly opposed demands of ESG targets and dealing with rising energy and supply chain costs.
  • Coping with staffing shortages, from a lack of entry-level graduates to difficulties finding boardroom leaders.
  • What the future holds – how political instability, economic volatility and the continuing pandemic are likely to continue to impact Scottish businesses.
Tuesday 24th January 2023
Ardoe House Hotel, Aberdeen
7.45am - 10.00am


Rona Dougall is an accomplished journalist and experienced television presenter based in Edinburgh. She began her career in the Radio Forth newsroom, before becoming Scotland Correspondent for Sky News. During her 16 years there she covered many headline stories, including the Dunblane massacre, the trial of the Lockerbie bomber at Camp Zeist in the Netherlands, the death of Princess Diana from Balmoral, the opening of the Scottish parliament and several Scottish elections.

Rona was also part of the British BAFTA award winning team which covered the terrorist attack at Glasgow airport. She has been the presenter of Scottish Television’s flagship politics and current affairs programme “ Scotland Tonight ” since it began in 2011. Rona chairs discussions with guests in the studio, as well as interviewing big names from the worlds of politics and showbusiness – from Donald Trump to Ricky Gervais.  She is also a guest presenter on BBC Radio Scotland

Keynote Speaker

Willie Watt, Chair, Scottish National Investment Bank


Willie retired in December 2019 from Martin Currie, a boutique public equities investment management firm, after 19 years as its Chief Executive and Chairman. Previously, Willie spent 16 years with the 3i Group, latterly as Managing Director responsible for the company’s Scottish and Irish businesses, focussing on venture capital, energy and midmarket buy-outs. Since 2016 he has been a member of the Advisory Board of Scottish Equity Partners, and a member of the Board of Directors and Audit committee of the National Galleries of Scotland until November 2022, he is a trustee of the National Galleries of Scotland Foundation. He was educated at the University of Aberdeen.


Frank Fowlie, Partner, CMS


Frank Fowlie is a Corporate partner in the Aberdeen office of CMS and a member of our Energy & Climate Change sector group.

Frank has extensive experience in all aspects of corporate work including mergers and acquisitions in particular relating to oil and gas service companies and upstream oil and gas companies. Frank has also advised on all corporate aspects of restructuring mandates for companies as well as acting in reductions of capital, schemes of arrangement and s.110 reorganisations.  Frank also understands the needs of clients having spent a year as corporate counsel for one of the firm’s multinational oil company clients.

Adam Maitland, Director, Hutcheon Mearns


Adam joined Hutcheon Mearns in 2017 to lead the corporate finance and strategic advisory offering.

Adam has over 15 years of corporate development and transaction related experience ranging from Corporate Finance and Investment Banking to in-house Corporate Development for a Private Equity backed Oilfield Services group of companies.

Prior to Hutcheon Mearns, Adam was part of PwC’s Energy Services Corporate Finance offering in the UK, prior to which he was in-house corporate development for a Private Equity backed Reservoir Group and responsible for developing, executing and delivering the group’s strategic plans.

Adam has advised on or supported international transactions with a total valuation of over £400m in the last 12 months across energy services, technology and wider industrials markets.

Maggie McGinlay, Chief Executive, Energy Transition Zone


Maggie is the chief executive of Energy Transition Zone (ETZ). She leads the implementation of the flagship
ETZ project located next to Aberdeen South Harbour which will be at the heart of a sustainable, integrated
energy transition cluster. Maggie is an expert in the energy sector and economic development and is a
member of the Scottish Government’s Advisory Council for Economic Transformation.

Prior to joining ETZ, she was deputy chief executive at Opportunity North East (ONE), with responsibility for
digital and energy. Maggie joined ONE from Scottish Enterprise, where she latterly led the economic
development agency’s work on energy.

Book Tickets

You can purchase individual tickets or tables of ten/twelve for this event.




Table of 10



Table of 12



Single tickets will be seated at the discretion of Insider Events. Single ticket holders from the same organisation will be seated at the same table unless otherwise advised.
For those organisations that book more than one table, Insider Events will try to ensure their tables are placed together.


For invoice enquiries, please contact [email protected] and [email protected]

In partnership with

Drop us a line

Event Enquiries

Laura Murray

0141 309 1491

[email protected]


Julie Ritchie

0141 309 3052

[email protected]

Sponsorship Oppertunities

Follow Business Insider Breakfast