Firm Profile > Harper Macleod LLP > Glasgow , Scotland
Harper Macleod LLP Offices
45 GORDON STREET
Harper Macleod LLP > The Legal 500 Rankings
Professional negligence Tier 1
Harper Macleod LLP’s pursuer-oriented practice has a remarkably broad client base including private individuals, public bodies, developers, lenders and private companies. The practice has expertise in major construction claims in the public and private sector, internal company disputes involving complex points of law such as liability in a multi-party action, enforcement proceedings against shareholders and lease agreements, and a wide variety of professional negligence matters involving surveyors, accountants, solicitors and IFAs, including fraud and loss of opportunity claims. E-Ming Fong recently succeeded in two separate claims for companies involving contractual disputes.
Social housing Tier 1
Acting for more than half of Scotland's registered social landlords, Harper Macleod LLP is recognised as one of the key legal advisors in the sector. The team provides full-service advice and also attracts various other players including local authorities, urban regeneration companies, lenders, private sector developers and joint venture bodies. 'Very experienced, practical and considered' public sector and housing team head Derek Hogg is the main contact for governance, regulatory and constitutional advice and the 'very experienced and knowledgeable' James McMorrow is best known for assisting clients with corporate, commercial, regulatory and public procurement issues. Partner Collette Miller is 'extremely knowledgeable' and 'can always be relied upon to meet even the tightest of deadlines'; she frequently assists with large-scale projects and transactions.
Sport Tier 1
Harper Macleod LLP acts for international federations, national governing bodies, major football clubs and public sector bodies in a range of mandates including disciplinary hearings, safeguarding matters, trade mark registrations, GDPR compliance and intellectual property infringement. The team also acts as sole legal adviser to national sport agency sportscotland. Bruce Caldow, who sits as chairman of the SFA Judicial Panel, advised on several high-profile cases of alleged misconduct in 2018. Carolyn Morgan heads the Scottish Gymnastics Conduct in Sport Panel, where she is tasked with overseeing complaints regarding conduct, safeguarding and regulation, appointing panel members and scrutinizing decisions.
Agriculture and estates Tier 2
Harper Macleod LLP’s team advises land owners, high net worth individuals and public sector bodies on land transactions, including the sale and purchase of crofting estates and crofts, while the firm also has particular expertise in the forestry sector, serving as sole legal advisor to the Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS). Rural head Graeme Nisbet handles acquisitions, disposals and leases for the FLS as well as farm and estate purchases for a range of other clients. Calum Macleod is an expert in crofting law and Land Reform and Community Ownership: he advises clients on renewable energy developments on croftland, and acts for a large number of community owned estates.
Commercial litigation Tier 2
Harper Macleod LLP's 'very approachable, professional and commercially minded' team is noted for its strong sports sector practice, receiving a steady flow of instructions from sports professional bodies, leading clubs and sports personalities. Other key areas of expertise include banking and finance, energy, real estate and construction-related commercial disputes but the team led by Sandy Hastie also acts in corporate and shareholder disputes.
The commercial property group at Harper Macleod LLP regularly works alongside the firm's planning, construction, banking and corporate departments to handle strategic and high-profile development work, and purchase, sale and lease matters. The team's expertise focuses on the development of land for developers, banks and owners; issues in the housing space, utilities and infrastructure mandates, and work in the healthcare, education, leisure, hospitality and public sectors. John Meehan leads the group, which also includes David Bell and Chris Noble, who are the key contacts for work in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors. Limor Wolfe was recently promoted to the partnership.
Harper Macleod LLP is best known for advising family-owned and owner-managed businesses, as well as early-stage and high-growth companies. The group handles the full range of corporate and M&A activity and also has notable expertise handling cross-border transactions, where it acts for foreign investors and Scottish businesses seeking investment or exit opportunities. Donald Munro heads the practice and Paula Skinner is also noted.
Debt recovery Tier 2
With particular strength in the public and housing sectors, Harper Macleod LLP frequently assists clients with the recovery of pension payments alongside rent and other arrears form tenants and factored owners but the team's client roster also includes various commercial entities and financial institutions; the latter receive regular assistance with unsecured debt recovery matters. Dawn McKenzie heads up the 'personable and approachable' team.
The energy practice at Harper Macleod LLP has recently grown its expertise in the UK secondary and investment markets, alongside its knowledge of the smart city and lighting project sector. Led by David Bone, the group has enhanced its strong position in the community energy space and is a key name for corporate transactional work. Omar Ali counts developers landowners and funders as clients. Steven Brown recently retired.
Intellectual property Tier 2
The Glasgow-based IP team at Harper Macleod LLP is recognised for its strength in sports-related IP work; it also handles matters in the life sciences sector and has notable cross-border expertise. The group assists with the full gamut of IP issues encompassing patents, trade marks, copyrights and design rights. Jamie Watt heads up the practice, which also includes sports expert Tom Thomas and food and drink sector specialist Scott Kerr.
Local government Tier 2
James McMorrow and the 'highly experienced' Jennifer Jack jointly head the 'solid' team at Harper Macleod LLP, which receives regular instructions from local authorities and other Scottish governmental agencies to assist with housing law, public procurement and state aid matters alongside contentious and non-contentious planning and environmental law issues. Other regular work includes judicial reviews and statutory appeals. The team is also rated for its strength in sporting events-related work.
Medical negligence: pursuer Tier 2
Harper Macleod LLP has a well-established reputation for advising on medical negligence claims involving children, including those relating to fetal abnormalities, delayed diagnosis and catastrophic injuries, and has additional expertise in pursuing wrongful death claims. The firm's referral network, HM Connect, has led to a substantial increase in instructions from other firms that see Harper Macleod as better placed to take claims forward. Personal injury and reparation head Elizabeth Mitchell and 'miracle-working' professional negligence head Heather Calderwood lead the team, while recently promoted senior associate Amy Dickson merits recognition for her complex caseload including claims relating to still born babies and failed hip replacements.
Harper Macleod LLP receives a steady flow of instructions from local authorities and other public sector bodies but it also acts for corporates and individuals. Its recent workload included a number of judicial reviews and statutory appeal cases, public procurement matters and regulatory and legislative issues arising from major sporting events. Derek Hogg, James McMorrow and 'complete star' Jennifer Jack jointly head the 'great' team.
Personal injury: defender Tier 2
Harper Macleod LLP acts for large insurers, public bodies and private individuals in claims pertaining to wrongful deaths, road traffic accidents and mesothelioma, as well as cases concerning public and occupiers’ liability. Thanks in part to a new referral scheme rolled out in 2018 the practice doubled its number of instructions, and saw a rise in work from clients requiring advice on technical aspects of claims prior to court action. Suzanne McGarrigle has particular experience in employers’ and public liability claims and industrial disease, drawing upon her team’s strong background in health and safety work.
Personal injury: pursuer Tier 2
Harper Macleod LLP handles a high volume of fatal claims and an increasing amount of claims relating to offshore accidents, with the firm seeing a 40% surge in instructions in 2018. Elizabeth Mitchell is regularly sought out by insurers to manage policyholders’ expectations when pursuing claims through their legal expense policy, while 'dedicated' senior associate Marina Harper takes charge of most fatal claims and heads up a team handling employers liability, public liability and serious road traffic accidents.
Banking and finance Tier 3
Harper Macleod LLP is particularly active in the Scottish SME lending market, but advises across the full market for lenders and borrowers including entrepreneurial companies, start-ups, SMEs and large corporates. The team has a substantial network across five Scottish offices including Inverness and Shetland bases. Recently, the firm has continued to expand its expertise in the corporate banking and transactional space in Edinburgh and the East of Scotland. Tony Cameron heads up the group, which also fields Jacqui Fraser, who leads the property finance team; and John Pringle, who counts several fintech lenders as clients. Limor Wolfe made partner in 2018.
Charities and not-for-profit Tier 3
Harper Macleod LLP's 'knowledgeable and responsive' team represents the interests of registered social landlords, often in major transactions for development purposes, and assists charities and trusts with constitutional matters, SCIO applications, compliance with OSCR regulations and governance reviews. Derek Hogg has substantial experience of advising charitable registered social landlords, while James McMorrow provides data protection advice to charities in light of GDPR.
Outside of the Central Belt, Harper Macleod LLP operates from its key bases in Inverness, Thurso and Lerwick. The team advises on rural, crofting and agricultural law through Calum MacLeod, who is based in Inverness and is a member of the energy and natural resources group. Other key practitioners include Ross Thomson, who handles property finance work; and department head John Meehan, who sits in the Glasgow office.
Construction Tier 3
Known for its experience in representing public sector clients, the 'proactive, knowledgeable and straightforward' team at Harper Macleod LLP is also well versed in providing private-sector developers with advice on various contentious and non-contentious matters pertaining to construction and engineering projects. Team head Michael Conroy is frequently instructed to draft and negotiate building and engineering contracts.
The corporate team at Harper Macleod LLP is best known for advising family-owned and owner-managed businesses of all sizes, as well as acquirers of such businesses. The firm also offers extensive experience in cross-border corporate transactions, acting for both overseas investors and Scottish businesses seeking investment or exit opportunities. The group recently boosted its ranks through the arrival of Fiona Neilson from Ledingham Chalmers LLP, the promotion to partner of Jill Fryer and the appointment of associate Amy Mackenzie .
Environment Tier 3
Harper Macleod LLP's strength lies in dealing with matters at the intersection of environmental and planning law. Based on this, the practice frequently advises clients - many of which are from the public sector - on contentious and non-contentious issues arising from development work and planning appeal proceedings. Peter Ferguson is the main contact.
EU and competition Tier 3
Harper Macleod LLP advises public and private sector clients on the full range of competition law issues, including public procurement and state aid. The team also regularly handles merger control, anti-competitive agreements and abuse of dominance claims. James McMorrow leads the group from Glasgow, working with practitioners spread across Glasgow and Edinburgh, as well as partner Jill Fryer in Inverness.
Family Tier 3
Harper Macleod LLP handles a wide range of financial provision matters, involving elements such as economic disadvantage claims, the division of shared company assets, awards of ailment, and parties living in multiple jurisdictions. The team also deals with cohabitation matters and disputes concerning residency, child support and adoption. 'Standout family lawyer' Jenny Smith, who is dual qualified in Scotland and England, advises clients on prenuptial agreements and cohabitation disputes, while senior associate Nadine Martin, who joined the firm in 2018, led the response by the Glasgow Bar Association to the Scottish Government's Consultation Paper on reform of the Children (Scotland) Act.
The restructuring and insolvency team at Harper Macleod LLP covers all areas of work ranging from complex bank-led restructurings and refinances to administrations. The group, which is jointly led by Gordon Hollerin and James Lloyd, has particular expertise in the sport sector; it recently advised on issues arising from voluntary liquidations and dissolutions. The practice has also recently expanded its alternative lender client roster.
IT and telecoms Tier 3
Harper Macleod LLP's practice provides full-service advice on IT and technology matters and also handles the IT aspects of wider transactional matters handled by other departments. The group is led from Glasgow by Tom Thomas and has significant experience in the public and third sectors, as well as the fintech, blockchain, life sciences, technology, telecoms and energy industries. Thomas regularly assists with technology contract work, Scott Kerr leads the food and drink group, and Jamie Watt has experience in competition-related issues.
Licensing Tier 3
Harper Macleod LLP has been particularly active assisting fuel distributors with various licensing matters but also receives regular instructions from food, leisure and hospitality sector players who require assistance with contentious and non-contentious alcohol, gambling, public entertainment and civic government licensing matters. Team head Andrew Hunter is noted for his expertise in insolvency-related licensing matters.
Harper Macleod LLP's team acts for trustees, executors and high net worth individuals in the administration of estates, the establishment and winding-up of trusts, including charitable trusts, and asset protection mandates, such as minimizing capital gains tax and obtaining business property relief to mitigate inheritance tax. The 'extremely approachable and empathetic' Pamela Niven heads up the practice, while, the 'utterly professional' Jacqueline Leslie has significant experience drafting wills, assuming power of attorney for vulnerable clients and advising on the legal and tax aspects of trust creation. Julie Doncaster handles all areas of the Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act and has a niche in establishing personal injury trusts and will trusts for disabled beneficiaries.
Projects Tier 3
Harper Macleod LLP has a strong presence in the hub initiative space, demonstrated by the firm's client roster, which includes hub North Scotland. The team, led from Edinburgh by Euan Pirie, also has substantial experience in student accommodation projects, and fields a specialist contentious PPP group. Senior associate Catriona Kemp handles project financing agreements and the corporate aspects of projects.
Property litigation Tier 3
Harper Macleod LLP's 'friendly' property litigation team, jointly led by Carolyn Morgan and Sandy Hastie, sits within the firm's dispute resolution practice and puts particular emphasis on commercial and private rented sector work, which leads to regular instructions from private and public sector clients, including registered social landlords, and private individuals on disputes arising from commercial lease interests and development contracts. Other areas of expertise include title boundaries, agricultural property, property factoring and conveyancing. The team frequently represents clients at the Lands Tribunal and also offers alternative dispute resolution strategies.
Transport Tier 3
Not least due to its local presence in the Highlands and Islands region, Harper Macleod LLP is well equipped to guide clients through a wide range of shipping and maritime sector matters which includes ports and harbours-related work. Recently, the team led by banking and finance expert Tony Cameron has been increasingly active in vessel finance work, acting for lenders and borrowers.
Employment Tier 4
Harper Macleod LLP routinely assists clients with commercial and transactions and restructuring-related employment law matters while the group led by the 'personable' Bruce Caldow also has a strong profile for contentious work, routinely defending clients against claims of discrimination and unfair dismissal, among others, at the Employment Tribunal; it also conducts investigations following whistleblowing complaints. With a strong presence in the sport sector, the team receives frequent instructions from various sports organisations but also acts for an extensive roster of public and third sector clients alongside corporates. Dawn Robertson moved to Rooney Nimmo in May 2018.
Planning Tier 4
The team at Harper Macleod LLP is co-led by Peter Ferguson, who handles advisory and transactional work, and 'highly experienced' main contact for planning litigation Jennifer Jack. Acting for a large third- and public-sector client roster, typical instructions include assistance with judicial reviews, public inquiries, appeal proceedings against refusal of planning permission, objections to planning applications and transactional support work.
Harper Macleod LLP > Firm Profile
Harper Macleod LLP is a leading full service Scottish independent law firm with offices in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Inverness, Elgin, Lerwick and Thurso. The firm provides services to businesses, organisations – public & private sector – and individuals. Recognised as Scotland’s firm of the year eight times, it is one of the country’s largest professional partnerships.
Principal areas of work
Harper Macleod delivers a full service offering principally for clients in the following industry sectors: banking and finance; energy and natural resources; food and drink; healthcare; insurance; life sciences; real estate and construction; retail; rural economy; public and third sector; sport; technology; and transport. It also provides a full range of private client services, including family law.
The firm delivers multi-disciplinary, full service teams from across all practice areas for each sector. Key areas of work include:
Banking & Finance
Advising both banks and borrowers, the team acts for many of the country’s main funders, including banks, mezzanine funders and alternative finance providers. It also advises non-funder clients on all banking and finance issues.
Energy & Natural Resources
An award-winning practice, the team specialises in renewable energy projects and minerals, advising developers, landowners, community groups, planning authorities and funders on all aspects of the energy supply chain.
Real Estate & Construction
One of Scotland’s largest property practices, the team advises clients across the private, public and third sectors and works with leading operators in the industry, including Scottish Government, investors, developers and their funders, main contractors, specialist subcontractors, purchasers and tenants.
Recognised as being among the most active dealmakers in Scotland, the team advises clients from entrepreneurs to multinationals and has particular experience advising many of Scotland’s leading family-owned, employee-owned and owner-managed businesses.
The firm has one of the largest teams of dispute resolution solicitors in Scotland, including one of the most prominent teams in the Commercial Court in Edinburgh. The firm has been involved in some of the most complex litigations in Scottish courts as well as notable Supreme Court cases.
The team acts for a broad range of clients across all sectors – from government agencies and public sector organisations, to multinational corporations, family-owned businesses and leading third sector employers.
Personal Injury & Reparation
The firm’s significant insurance practice both pursues and defends all aspects of claims for leading insurers and individual clients. The team also provides advice on complex insurance, litigation and risk matters for corporate clients.
The firm advises Scottish and UK public authorities as well as clients in the private sector who interact with the public sector. Clients include: central government departments; government agencies; NDPBs; local authorities; regulatory bodies; charities and community organisations; further and higher education institutions; and regeneration agencies. Harper Macleod also has one of Scotland’s leading housing practices, acting for many registered social landlords.
The team is recognised as Scotland’s leading sports law practice with experience of representing governing bodies, clubs, organisations and individuals. Harper Macleod are Official Legal Advisors to British Athletics and have previously been Official Legal Advisers to the Glasgow 2018 European Championships and the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.
Transport (including Shipping & Marine)
Advises businesses and organisations in areas including road, haulage and rail. Experience ranges from major road infrastructure projects to mergers and acquisitions. The firm also has extensive experience in shipping and marine transport.
The firm advises a wide range of stakeholders – from government and public sector bodies to multinational companies and lenders – on major projects and project finance. The specialist Infrastructure & Projects team is a leading practice in capital projects and also advises on high-value and public sector procurements.
Harper Macleod’s team provides a full service to clients in the sector, including on regulatory matters, and acts in the sale and acquisition of healthcare businesses involving major trade consolidators. The team also advises clients in the life sciences sector.
Food & Drink
The team’s clients range from start-ups and microbreweries to some of Scotland’s biggest producers and brands. Harper Macleod’s specialist licensing team is one of the country’s leading practices, acting for major operators across Scotland.
Advises clients from high street brands to online operators on everything from brand management to property advice. Harper Macleod has a particular specialism in franchising.
Advises rural businesses and organisations of all types and sizes, including some of the country’s leading rural sector bodies. Advice covers all areas of Scotland’s modern rural economy including: rural business; marine economy; agriculture, fishing & forestry; individuals and families.
Our family team advises individuals on all aspects of family law across Scotland, including a focus on modern family units and family creation. The team includes seven Law Society of Scotland accredited specialists, two of whom hold all three family law specialisms.
|Chairman||Professor Lorne D Crerar CBE|
|Chief Executive||Martin Darroch|
|Banking and finance||Tony Cameron|
|Banking litigation||Sandy Hastie|
|Debt & asset recovery||Andrew Hunter|
|Dispute resolution||Sandy Hastie|
|Energy and natural resources||David Bone|
|Estate agency||Gary Campbell|
|Infrastructure and projects||Euan Pirie|
|Intellectual property||Jamie Watt|
|Information technology||Tom Thomas|
|Medical negligence||Elizabeth Mitchell|
|Opinion||Professor Robert Rennie|
|Personal injury||Elizabeth Mitchell|
|Planning and environmental||Peter Ferguson|
|Professional negligence||Sandy Hastie|
|Public sector and housing||Derek Hogg|
|Real estate||John Meehan|
|Real estate litigation||Carolyn Morgan|
|Residential property||David McIndoe|
|Restructuring and corporate recovery||Gordon Hollerin|
|Rural (inc. agriculture & estates)||Graeme Nisbet|
|Wills, trusts and executries||Pamela Niven|
|Transport (inc. shipping & marine)||Chris Kerr|
|Gordon Hollerin||View Profile|
Staff FiguresNumber of UK partners : 68 Number of other UK fee-earners : 137
CLIENT: Nick Pollard, Director of Corporate Support Services, Kingdom Housing Association
COMPANY/FIRM: Harper Macleod
TESTIMONIAL: “In our view there is no doubt that our being assisted in this transaction by the team at Harper Macleod, which is renowned for its expertise in the Scottish market place, at a very early stage and then once engaged throughout the process to completion has made what was an intense experience one which has been delivered in extremely quick order. Based on our experience we are certain that Harper Macleod will continue to support future transactions in the sector and we have no hesitation in recommending them to our colleagues in the sector.”
CLIENT: David Turner, Chief Executive Officer, Webhelp TSC
COMPANY/FIRM: Harper Macleod
TESTIMONIAL: “Harper Macleod have, over the years, forged a number of relationships inside our company and know as much about our business and our plans as we do. We don’t think of Harper Macleod as being separate to our business – they are an extended part of our management team.”
CLIENT: Chris Horne, Managing Partner, Campbell Dallas
COMPANY/FIRM: Harper Macleod
TESTIMONIAL: “Harper Macleod assisted us in every aspect of the deal from property, employment and commercial advice. The team always appeared joined up and I always felt comfortable that we were in good hands. The mixture of legal and commercial advice made things better for us. My thanks to the team.”
CLIENT: Alan Brown, Director of Finance Corporate Services, Eildon Housing Association
COMPANY/FIRM: Harper Macleod
TESTIMONIAL: “This is a very significant deal for Eildon and we are delighted that it has progressed so smoothly. Having the experience of Harper Macleod on board was a great comfort to both our Board and Executive Team and we were very pleased with the advice that we received.”
CLIENT: Marie Brown, Operations Manager, Bellfield Brewery
COMPANY/FIRM: Harper Macleod
TESTIMONIAL: “We were extremely happy with the work done by the team at Harper Macleod as they guided us through the completion of this vital investment. Their professionalism and knowledge of crowdfunding meant that what could have been a trying process was carried out within a tight timescale. With their assistance, our business is now in a great position to push on to the next level.”
CLIENT: Jamie Graves, CEO, Inquisitive Systems Ltd
COMPANY/FIRM: Harper Macleod
TESTIMONIAL: “Working with Harper Macleod was a pleasure due to the fact that they brought a great deal of prior deal experience to the table. This meant that they could take a considered outlook on some of the critical business decisions that would result from the investment, as well as providing pragmatic insights to achieve a great result. We enjoy working with an integrated firm that allow us to trap into different specialities that will enhance our business as we grow post-investment.
Top Tier Firm Rankings
- Agriculture and estates
- Commercial litigation
- Commercial property: Edinburgh and Glasgow
- Corporate and commercial: Edinburgh and Glasgow
- Debt recovery
- Energy (excluding oil and gas)
- Intellectual property
- Local government
- Medical negligence: pursuer
- Parliamentary and public affairs
- Personal injury: defender
- Personal injury: pursuer
- Banking and finance
- Charities and not-for-profit
- Commercial property: elsewhere in Scotland
- Corporate and commercial: elsewhere in Scotland
- EU and competition
- Insolvency and corporate recovery
- IT and telecoms
- Personal tax, trusts and executries
- Property litigation