He brings “significant” expertise advising on the interface between the public and private sectors in complex commercial contracts, particularly around originating, developing and delivering infrastructure models, programmes and projects, according to the organisation.
It added that his appointment reinforces Burness Paull’s focus on the strategic growth of its public law and regulatory division, which launched in 2020, and regularly represents national governments and regulatory bodies as well as many major Scottish, UK and international businesses on both contentious and non-contentious public law and regulatory matters.
Mr Lockhart was previously general counsel of the Scottish Futures Trust, which specialises in public sector infrastructure, and he was legal and commercial lead in its net-zero team.
Burness Paull chair Peter Lawson said: “The United Kingdom and Scotland have been through a period of significant constitutional development in recent years.
“There will continue to be a need for unprecedented government and state intervention in industry and private business as a response to the Covid-19 pandemic for some time, and many areas of law are under major review, including procurement, subsidy control and [General Data Protection Regulation].
“We need to ensure we have the best legal talent in place to support clients through business-critical public law issues in the face of major political, economic and environmental change.
“Richard’s deep experience and expertise in advising decision-makers across key sectors including energy and environment; health; education; urban regeneration and transport, perfectly complements the existing skills within the Burness Paull public law and regulatory division and the wider firm.
“In addition, the combination of talent and experience we have of advising on devolution and the Scottish independence and Brexit referendums allows us to offer a unique skillset to clients requiring legal and strategic advice on changes in legislation and policies.”
The appointment comes after Burness Paull in October said it had signed up to eco tech firm Pawprint, which says it helps businesses to unite, engage and support their employees in tackling climate change.