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Shepherd and Wedderburn

Work 0141 566 9900
Fax 0141 565 1222

Rhona Harper

Work 0141 566 8547
Shepherd and Wedderburn

Work Department

Projects and Public Procurement


Rhona is a partner and expert in public sector procurement with extensive experience in projects, covering both infrastructure procurement and outsourcing across the UK. Rhona has advised sponsors, funders, public bodies and members of the supply chain. Projects range from specialist equipment procurement in the defence sector to accommodation in the education and health sectors. Rhona is head of Shepherd and Wedderburn’s government and public sector group and has an impressive client base which includes the NHS, Western Isles Council, the Ministry of Defence, Sir Robert McAlpine, Viridor Group, Bilfinger Berger Group, City of Edinburgh Council, the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service, Scottish Futures Trust and the Wheatley Housing Group. The team led by Rhona is Band 1 ranked and Chambers and Partners 2015 client feedback notes that ‘they provide great quality of service because they concentrate on doing a good job.’


Trained Glenrothes Development Corp 1992-94; assistant Shepherd and Wedderburn 1994-97; senior solicitor Addleshaw Booth & Co 1997-99; associate Shepherd and Wedderburn 1999-2000; partner 2000.


Law Society of Scotland; Law Society of England and Wales.


Strathaven Academy; Dundee University (1990 LLB Hons; DipLP 1991).


Walking, films and travel.

Scotland: Projects, energy and natural resources


Within: Leading individuals

Rhona Harper - Shepherd and Wedderburn

Within: Projects

Shepherd and Wedderburn covers a range of projects for public sector bodies, private sector bidders and funders. Projects involving district heating schemes are a notable growth area of the practice; Gareth Parry and practice head Rhona Harper are acting for West Dunbartonshire Council on the procurement of a water source heat pump district heating system at Queen’s Quay regeneration site in Glasgow. In another standout matter, Harper and Euan McLeod led a cross-practice team assisting City of Edinburgh Council with all legal aspects of the St James’ Quarter Growth Accelerator Model project; the team provided support on multiple issues, including state aid, construction, corporate and procurement. Stephen Colliston led the advice to Nord/LB on the £75m funding of the new East Lothian Community Hospital project. The team is also increasing its exposure to secondary market transactions and disputes associated with projects. Other key figures include Nigel Sievwright, who particularly specialises in health and education projects and handles operational issues such as latent defects. In 2016, John Gallacher joined from HBJ Gateley and Jamie Grant joined from MacRoberts LLP. Senior associate Euan Murray and associate Sarah Channin are also recommended.

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Scotland: Public sector


Within: Education

Shepherd and Wedderburn’s ‘very professional’ team is best known for providing education sector clients with employment, pensions, property and procurement advice, as well as assisting with governance, construction and corporate matters. Main contact Neil Maclean advised Skills Development Scotland on the TUPE and employment implications of taking over responsibility for various employability services from the Scottish government. Similarly, the University of Edinburgh instructed the team to assist with employment and HR-related issues, as well as property transactions, including recently advising on entering into a nominations agreement for student residential accommodation at St Leonards in Edinburgh. In a separate matter, Rhona Harper advised South Ayrshire Council on the procurement of a number of new schools, including Dailly Primary School, Tarbolton Community Campus and Ayr Academy.

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Local government

Within: Local government

The ‘highly responsive’ team at Shepherd and Wedderburn is ‘willing to go the extra mile for clients’ and ‘is particularly strong at project development and procurement work’, as demonstrated by its advice to the City of Edinburgh Council on the St James’ Quarter Growth Accelerator Model (GAM) project. This role included assisting with the documentation for council funding provision alongside planning and property matters. In other work, the team provided procurement support to the council pertaining to a housing project development at North Sighthill, Edinburgh. ‘Experienced and determined’ practice head Rhona Harper (who ‘demonstrates inherent understanding of the aims and needs of her public sector clients’) advised South Ayrshire Council, North Lanarkshire Council and Dumfries and Galloway Council – participants of hub South West Scotland – on the procurement of a number of new schools through the hub initiative. This includes the procurement of Dumfries Learning Town for Dumfries and Galloway Council and the procurement of Greenfaulds High School for North Lanarkshire Council. Other key figures include planning specialist Ewan MacLeod and construction law expert Euan McLeod.

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Scotland: Real estate

Social housing

Within: Social housing

Shepherd and Wedderburn handles the full range of contentious and non-contentious matters for RSLs and housing associations, drawing upon the expertise of practitioners in disciplines such as projects, litigation, real estate, construction and employment. Stephen Humphreys, who has more than 25 years of experience of the social housing sector, has a particular specialism in litigation (particularly contentious landlord and tenant matters). He acted alongside senior associate Siobhan Connelly for Kingdom Housing Association on obtaining a decree for recovery of possession against an anti-social tenant. In another contentious highlight, Colin Archibald and associate Kate Gillies are representing Wheatley Housing Group and Loretto Housing Association in a structural defects dispute with the contractor and structural engineer behind a redevelopment project in the early 2000s. Rhona Harper acts for RSLs and public sector bodies in the procurement and outsourcing aspects of social housing projects. Accredited employment law specialist Neil Maclean and real estate director Elaine Hunter are also recommended.

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