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Shepherd and Wedderburn

Work 0131 228 9900
Fax 0131 228 1222
551970 EDINBURGH-53

Richard Leslie

Work 0131 473 5436
Shepherd and Wedderburn

Work Department

Rural Business and Renewables


Richard is a partner in the real estate team and specialises in rural and renewables work. He advises on the purchase and sale of rural property including estates, farms, crofts and country houses, agricultural leases, wind farms, hydro-electric and telecommunication mast leases, mineral prospecting leases and all aspects of law relating to land out with urban areas. Richard prefers to meet clients on their own 'patch' to gain a greater understanding of their business and legal requirements. Richard has a particular interest in all aspects of environmental work including renewable energy projects, nature conservation and contaminated land issues and he has acted in over 25 wind farm projects and a number of hydro-electric schemes. In Chambers and Partners 2015 client feedback included: 'He was responsive, alert and gave good advice.'


Trained Anderson Strathern; assistant 1997-2002; assistant, Murray Beith Murray 2002-2005; Tods Murray LLP 2005-2014 (partner from 2010); partner Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP 2014 to date.


The Law Society of Scotland; Scottish convener, UK Environmental Law Association (UKELA).


University of Cape Town (1986 BA Hons); University of Glasgow (1994 LLB); University of Edinburgh (1995 Dip LP).

Scotland: Private client

Agriculture and estates

Within: Agriculture and estates

Shepherd and Wedderburn’s ‘very professional and proficient’ team frequently handles rural property leasing matters as well as advising on renewable energy, land reform and crofting issues. Richard Leslie advised the Woodland Trust on the purchase of two forests at Loch Arkaig from the Forestry Commission, and assisted Silvertide – a family-owned rural development and renewable energy investment business – with the sale of forests in Dumfriesshire. In another highlight, he advised a relocating English farmer on the purchase of Press Mains Farm, which comprises 1000 acres of arable land, an operational wind turbine and biomass boiler, and several holiday cottages. Team head Peter Misselbrook advised Invercauld Estate on the termination of an agricultural tenancy and the sale of five estate houses, while Hugh Smith assisted Sutherland Estates with voluntary land registration and crofting matters. Hamish Lean joined from Stronachs LLP.

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Scotland: Real estate


Within: Environment

Shepherd and Wedderburn handles a wide range of matters, including the environmental aspects of planning and consenting, compliance and regulatory work, as well as investigations into and prosecutions of alleged breaches of environmental law. A significant proportion of the work is connected to the renewable energy sector; Patricia Hawthorn, John MacKenzie and others are representing Neart na Gaoithe Offshore Wind in judicial review proceedings brought by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), challenging the decision by the Scottish Ministers to grant consent for the development of four offshore wind farms located in the Forth and Tay. In another matter, Colin Innes is leading the advice to ScottishPower Renewables UK on the development of numerous onshore wind projects, which includes handling associated wildlife, habitats legislation and roads matters. Real estate partner Jamie Grant, who joined from MacRoberts LLP, is particularly well known for his expertise in soil contamination amtters. Scott McCallum, who handles contentious and non-contentious matters UK-wide, acted for DONG Energy in a six-month investigation into the recently-consented 1.8GW Hornsea Two offshore wind farm, which included a review of its potential impacts on environmentally protected sites and species. Richard Leslie is another key contact.

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