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Shepherd and Wedderburn

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

Hugh Smith

Work 0131 473 5293
Shepherd and Wedderburn

Work Department

Rural Business and Renewables


Hugh is a partner specialising in property. He has a broad based practice covering a range of areas but principally focused on renewable energy, rural property and the hotel and leisure sector. In the energy sector, Hugh advises in relation to onshore windfarms and hydro schemes acting in both cases for developers, landowners and funders. In the hotel and leisure sector he advises on acquisition, sale and licensing. Clients include The Balmoral Hotel, Crerar Hotels, Sainsbury’s Supermarkets, Sutherland Estates, Electricity Supply Nominees, Infinis, Brookfield Renewables, Gamesa, AES Wind Generation and Green Highland Renewables.


Trained MacRobert Son & Hutchinson; qualified 1978; assistant solicitor Biggart Baillie & Gifford 1978-80; assistant solicitor Shepherd and Wedderburn 1980-85; partner 1985 to date.


Law Society of Scotland; Secretary of Hunterston Estates Limited.


Fettes College; Dundee University (LLB).


Skiing, equestrianism, gardening.

Scotland: Crime, fraud and licensing


Within: Licensing

Shepherd and Wedderburn‚Äôs team predominantly handles licensing matters arising out of its real estate and construction practice. Its clients include several major players in the retail and leisure sectors, including major store, hotel and restaurant operators. Highlights for Hugh Smith included successfully advising Sainsbury‚Äôs on problematic licensing issues in relation to planning and building documentation, which impacted its ability to sell alcohol ‚Äď in addition to representing the client against an NHS objection to a planned increase in the capacity of a kiosk in one of its Edinburgh stores. On the transactional side, associate Lynn Simpson supported the real estate team in advising the Richmond Park Hotel on the premises license transfer in conjunction with the hotel‚Äôs sale. Elaine Brailsford¬†successfully achieved a major variation of a Premises License before the Licensing Board for a restaurant owned by MD Milne, despite the premises being located within a designated overprovision area.

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Scotland: Private client

Agriculture and estates

Within: Agriculture and estates

Shepherd and Wedderburn‚Äôs team stands out for its ability to ‚Äėspeak a language that agricultural clients understand‚Äô in its advice on a variety of complex rural matters that includes transactional work, in addition to business support and renewable energy projects. Peter Misselbrook¬†leads the practice and acts for a number of large estate owners and farmers, with a particular expertise on hunting matters. Misselbrook advised the Invercauld Estates on the sale of one of its grouse moors, in a transaction that involved an amendment and re-grant of the client‚Äôs sporting agreement and issues regarding access and overlapping historic estate titles. ‚ÄėKnowledgeable‚Äô Richard Leslie¬†advised the Lothian Family Trust on the sale of agricultural land in the Scottish Borders, which required contractual arrangements to safeguard a Roman road on the estate. Hugh Smith¬†is assisting Brookfield Renewable with securing Option Agreements over potential compensatory planting areas in order to comply with Scottish Forestry Commission obligations. The team expanded in April 2017 with the recruitment of¬†Hamish Lean¬†from Stronachs LLP, who is recommended for his ‚Äėstrength in finding practical solutions‚Äô.

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Scotland: Real estate

Commercial property: Edinburgh and Glasgow

Within: Commercial property: Edinburgh and Glasgow

Shepherd and Wedderburn's position at the premium end of the market sees it act for some of the largest and most active housebuilders, funds, banks, investors and retailers. In the retail sector, it advises British Land Plc on the asset management of Fort Kinnaird retail park in Edinburgh and Glasgow Fort, which are owned by Gibraltar Limited Partners and Hercules Unit Trust respectively.  Another area of strength is in the hotels and leisure sector; Jamie Grant and Hugh Smith head up the firm's offering in this space. Recent highlights in this area included advising BDL Select Operations Limited on the £5.4m sale of the Hilton Doubletree hotel in Dundee, and acting for BlackRock in the Scottish aspects of its £23m acquisition of the Stonegate pub portfolio. The firm's development work spans mixed-use and residential developments, retail sector schemes and offices, among others. Scott Ritchie recently acted for large-scale residential investor Get Living in its acquisition of a 7.5 acre site in Glasgow's Merchant City; this is one of the largest Build to Rent schemes in Scotland to date. Elaine Todd and others are advising Hermes Investment Management on the largest current speculative office development in Edinburgh, to be known as Capital Square. Mitchell co-heads the practice with Nick Ryden. James Dobie, Andrew Hall and Caroline Shand are among many other notable individuals.

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