Firm Profile > Harper Macleod LLP > Glasgow, Scotland

Harper Macleod LLP
THE CA'D'ORO
45 GORDON STREET
GLASGOW
G1 3PE
Scotland

Professional negligence Tier 1

Harper Macleod LLP fields ‘a very strong team of commercial litigators working in the professional negligence area’, acting primarily for pursuers. The team is jointly headed up by the ‘absolutely exceptional' Sandy Hastie and David Kerr, who is ‘utterly unflappable and insightful’, particularly for financial and accountancy matters. Meanwhile, John McHugh specialises in assisting construction sector clients, E-Ming Fong primarily focuses on solicitors' negligence claims, and senior associate Andrew Mackenzie has carved out expertise in the banking and financial services sectors.

Practice head(s):

Sandy Hastie; David Kerr

Other key lawyers:

John McHugh; Andrew MacKenzie; E-Ming Fong; Fiona Pask; Laura McCorquodale

Testimonials

‘The team were thorough, well prepared for the discussions I had by telephone and video conference, and knowledgeable.’

‘A vastly experienced team that always delivers an assured service. They are a stand out in the marketplace. They are innovative in their use of technology to run cases and will always deliver clear advice to their clients about all aspects of their case.’

‘Sandy Hastie and Laura McCorquodale are both stars in the team. Sandy brings a huge amount of experience, and intelligence to all of his cases and is consistently impressive. Laura is a dynamic force who is great with clients, experienced in running big cases, and always proactive in managing clients’ expectations and understanding of the issues.’

‘Harper Macleod field a very strong team of commercial litigators working in the professional negligence area.’

‘Sandy Hastie is an absolutely exceptional solicitor. His knowledge of the case, his strategic thinking and work ethic are second to none.’

‘David Kerr is also a superb solicitor, especially in relation to financial or accountancy-related matters. He is utterly unflappable, insightful and gets the job done – a pleasure to deal with.’

‘The team at HM have a broad base of expertise but, in relation to professional negligence actions, their expertise is particularly well-founded. They act (in my experience at least) mainly for pursuers but the claims are very often at the more complicated and higher value end of the spectrum. They have particular expertise when it comes to actions involving the negligence of solicitors and accountants.’

‘David Kerr and his team in Glasgow are excellent. He is ably assisted by excellent lawyers like Andrew MacKenzie. They are involved in litigation at all levels of the court system, up to and including litigating in the UK Supreme Court. In Edinburgh, the team is genuinely excellent and is involved in most of the high-value cases in the Court of Session.’

Key clients

Centenary 6 Limited

Scottish Legal Complaints Commission

Montbank (Loanhead) Limited

Optical Express Group

Shetland Trust

Saga Group Plc

Shetland Islands Council

5 PM

Social housing Tier 1

Harper Macleod LLP is highly regarded in the social housing market with an extensive client roster of registered social landlords (RSLs) alongside various other players in the sector, such as local authorities, government bodies and private sector developers. Alongside its in-depth sector expertise, clients also benefit from the practice's multidisciplinary approach, enabling it to provide full-service advice on M&A and group restructuring, private placement deals, construction and regulatory matters, among other issues. While co-head Derek Hogg's emphasis lies on governance, regulatory and constitutional matters - a focus he shares with Collette Miller - co-head James McMorrow specialises in corporate, commercial, regulatory and public procurement.

Practice head(s):

Derek Hogg; James McMorrow

Other key lawyers:

David McIndoe; Collette Miller; Euan Pirie

Testimonials

‘Knowledge of the sector and the requirements in relation to governance, private finance and regulation is second to none. They meet deadlines and ensure delivery even at short notice. Good relationships developed with other lawyers when working on join deals and with the third party lawyers. Good understanding of the requirements’

‘Derek Hogg is excellent in his understanding of what is required, simplifying in laymen’s terms, providing a clear understanding on which to base decisions. Develops good relationships and is highly respected. Excellent knowledge of the sector.’

‘The team is unique because of its great experience, drive, determination, commitment, professionalism, friendliness and quality of the team and the individuals that make up the team. They were also one of the first in our sector to have introduced monthly detailed billing which makes it easier to follow/ monitor. The team is just brilliant to work with’

‘They are different from their competitors because they care about the service that they deliver to their clients. Top notch.’

‘The team at Harper Macleod has a vast array of experience between them, which covers acquisition and project conveyancing, governance and financial management, contractual and procurement, construction, estate management arrears recovery, employment law advice and general legal advice.

‘Very practical advice and sound knowledge of all aspects of social housing law and regulation.’

‘A unique and in-depth understanding of the Scottish social rented sector from providing advice and assistance to the Scottish Government Government to providing sage and practice advice to housing practitioners – they provide a very personable service, explaining in plain English the practical solutions that comply with the law.’

‘Harper MacLeod is among the most highly respected firms within the social housing sector; indeed, they run the one of the foremost housing conferences in Scotland each year. They are well respected by the banking sector and are involved in the drafting of guidance documents on behalf of the government which gives them a fantastic depth of knowledge across the sector.’

Key clients

Scottish Government (Shared Equity Framework)

Wheatley Housing Group

Link Group

Sanctuary Housing Association (including Sanctuary Scotland Housing Association and Sanctuary Homes (Scotland))

Cairn Housing Association

North Ayrshire Council

Hjaltland Housing Association

Caledonia Housing Association

West of Scotland Housing Association

GB Social Housing PLC

Scottish Borders Housing Association

Eildon Housing Association

Irvine Housing Association (Riverside Group)

Cunninghame Housing Association

Dunbritton Housing Association

Clyde Valley Housing Association

Grampian Housing Association

Port of Leith Housing Association

Sport Tier 1

Retained by a stellar and wide-ranging roster of international federations, national governing bodies, tournament organisers, sports clubs, prominent sportspeople and sports representatives, Harper Macleod LLP possesses an enviable reputation in the sports law arena. Spearheaded by Bruce Caldow, the team handles matters emanating from all kinds of sports, with particular strength in regulatory and constitutional issues, event staging, commercial contracts, litigation and dispute resolution, disciplinary issues, anti-doping work, licensing mandates, insurance work and child safeguarding mandates. Tom Thomas excels in work at the intersection of IP and sports law, including broadcasting and sponsorship instructions. Another key name is senior associate Kelly Fraser, who specialises in charity law and regulatory and compliance issues.

Practice head(s):

Bruce Caldow

Other key lawyers:

Tom Thomas; David Kerr; Carolyn Morgan; Kelly Fraser

Key clients

sportscotland

Scottish Rugby Union plc

UEFA

Glasgow City Council (host 2023 Cycling World Championships)

Commonwealth Games Scotland

Celtic plc

Tennis Scotland

Scottish Gymnastics

Scottish Swimming

Enduro Series

Agriculture and estates Tier 2

The rural economy team at Harper Macleod LLP handles a range of crofting, farming and land registration matters, but has also recently seen an uptick in community ownership and forestry-related transactions. The firm has acted for Forestry and Land Scotland for many years, but also continues to build its private forestry client base. The department is led by Graeme Nisbet, whose personal practice revolves around purchases, sales and general estate management issues, diversification strategies, agricultural tenancies, biomass plants, and sale and option agreements. Also adept in this space is Calum MacLeod, a crofting law expert with a reputation for handling renewable energy developments.

Practice head(s):

Graeme Nisbet

Other key lawyers:

Calum Macleod; Lynne Stevenson; Tom Gray

Testimonials

‘The firm’s geographical spread, including a presence in the North of Scotland, means that this firm is both local and national. This provides them with a unique ability to deal with the sensitivities and difficulties involved in agricultural estates issues. They have particular experience in handling large and complex agricultural disputes.’

‘A very professional attitude with exceptional knowledge of specific sectors, in my case, agricultural law.’

‘We have been very impressed with this law firm, specifically Tom Gray, who has performed beyond our expectations in negotiating on our behalf with a national company with massive resources at their disposal.’

‘Harper Macleod have an excellent multi-disciplinary team who work well together to deliver results for clients.’

‘Tom Gray has been extremely helpful with a recent complex commercial deal. He has provided excellent advice in an extremely pressured situation.’

‘Tom Gray was very professional throughout the full process from start to finish, in every way possible. Nothing was too much bother for Tom. He made himself available at all times, even out of hours I ever had any trouble contacting him.’

Key clients

Forestry and Land Scotland

NatureScot

Blackwood Community SCIO

Craignathro Farms limited

The Partnership of Tambowie Farm

Moll Estate

Tomkrasky Estate

HSBC Bank UK plc

Broadford and Strath Community Company

The Langholm Initiative

Charities and not-for-profit Tier 2

Harper Macleod LLP’s team is retained by a mix of UK-wide charities, social landlords, faith-based charities and trusts. It displays particular strengths in charity law issues, disciplinary matters, governance queries, charitable incorporations, as well as data protection and employment law matters. James McMorrow and Derek Hogg jointly lead the group, which also includes Jennifer Jack, who deals with a broad spectrum of judicial appeals and disputes. At associate level, Kelly Fraser focuses on data protection and information law issues, as well as incorporations and compliance matters.

Practice head(s):

James McMorrow; Derek Hogg

Other key lawyers:

Jennifer Jack; Kelly Fraser

Testimonials

‘There is a breadth of knowledge in this firm that is difficult to find elsewhere.’

‘Sound sector insight and understanding, able to support the client across a number of areas which are relevant to our context.’

‘For us, the depth of knowledge that the firm has is key. We know that they will be able to support is with any of a number of issues that we may have. The ability to provide us with specialist support from varied staff is very important to us.’

‘Some very experienced solicitors who are able to provide readily understandable advice that is practical and business-relevant.’

‘The partners that I have dealt with are excellent communicators and they provide legal advice that is business relevant. Quick turnaround on work. Patient when dealing which challenging transactions. Always polite and professional.’

Key clients

Kilravock Charity Trust

Bowls Scotland

ROHHAD Association

Grampian Housing Association Limited

Blackwood Homes and Care

retailTRUST

Inspiring Scotland

National Autistic Society

Wheatley Housing Group Limited

Caledonia Housing Association Limited

Dumfries and Galloway Housing Partnership

Greenpeace International, Greenpeace UK, Greenpeace Netherlands

Corporate and commercial: elsewhere in Scotland Tier 2

Harper Macleod LLP is well known in the market for its representation of OMBs, family-owned businesses and high-growth companies. Its broad experience includes M&A, MBOs, private equity and venture capital deals, angel investments and joint ventures. Christopher Kerr heads the Highlands, Islands and Moray practice, and splits his time between the Elgin, Inverness, Glasgow and Lerwick offices.

Practice head(s):

Christopher Kerr

Other key lawyers:

Jill Fryer; Fiona Neilson; Craig McKerracher; Stephen Chan; Amy Mackenzie

Testimonials

‘From the receptionist to the managing partner, everyone is professional, friendly and helpful’.

‘Christopher Kerr doesn’t just know the law, he thinks very commercially and he has a deep understanding of business’.

‘Christopher Kerr is incredibly responsive and understands the value of great service as well as great advice’.

‘Craig McKerracher went above and beyond to ensure the successful conclusion of our sale’.

‘It’s clear that Craig McKerracher is passionate about doing things the right way as opposed to the easy way’.

‘They went to extraordinary lengths in order to get our deal done to our satisfaction and on time’.

‘Christopher Kerr is constructive, challenging, collaborative, commercial and a problem solver’.

Key clients

Scottish National Investment Bank plc

Speedcast International Limited

Low & Bonar plc

M&Co Trading Limited

G & A Barnie Group Limited

Gael Force Group Limited

Portman Healthcare Limited

Aquaship (UK) Limited

Swansons Fruit Company Limited

B. Mundell Limited

Hardbanding Solutions (Europe) Ltd

A P Jess Ltd

PSG Marine & Logistics Limited

Clydesdale Bank plc

Wester Ross Fisheries Limited

Compass Building Services Limited

Ocean Farm Services Limited

Carbon Financial Holdings Limited

Forestry and Land Scotland

Debt recovery Tier 2

With six offices across Scotland, Harper Macleod LLP has an extensive national reach, an attractive asset for both private and public sector clients, with the latter constituting a particular focus for the team and including a large number of registered social landlords (RSLs). This housing and property sector expertise leads to regular instructions on actions for payment and recovery of possession alongside actions for rent arrears, rechargeable repairs and factoring arrears. In the private sector, clients include energy companies and SMEs. Following Dawn McKenzie's retirement in November 2020, Andrew Hunter, who handles both secured and unsecured debt recoveries, took over the lead.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Hunter

Testimonials

‘From the commencement of the relationship with Harper Macleod it has been a smooth and transparent process. The quality of the work and feedback we have received has been exactly what was sold to us. From partner to associate level we have been kept informed and where necessary provided with advice and guidance on areas where our knowledge would have not been sufficient to make an informed decision. The billing process is clear and accurate and on the rare instance where a query has arisen this has been addressed and resolved without hesitation.’

‘The Harper Macleod debt recovery team is not only extremely efficient and friendly, but they are industry experts too. I work with the team on a regular basis, which consists of partners, associates, trainees and paralegals, and I have absolutely no complaints about the experience I have received so far. Each member of the team shows their individual strengths when communicating with us, and when combined, make a great team, who can work together with a common aim.

‘The individuals that I communicate with are very self-aware and understand the impact that their advice can have on our business. The industry I work in is very complex and perhaps unknown, and we appreciate that each individual strives to ensure that they have a full knowledge of that industry to provide us with the best advice possible.’

‘The team is very helpful and knowledgeable. They take myself and the credit manager though all the legislation and the various options for each customer and keep us up-to-date. They also take into account all the various costs that may be incurred along the way.

‘I have regular contact with different people in Harper Macleod and the excellent quality of response is consistent across different solicitors, different issues and different specialisms.’

‘They understand our ethos and values.

‘They provide a very professional service at excellent rates and are always available to discuss any matters and have always given very sound advice on matters. They are very engaging and communication from their team is very proactive and timeous.’

We benefit from the strength in depth that Harper Macleod offers and I know that we generally engage the whole firm, rather than individuals, which is comforting.’

Key clients

Link Group Limited

Sanctuary Scotland Housing Association

Scottish Borders Housing Association

Accountant in Bankruptcy

Matthew Clark Wholesale Limited

John W Grant & Sons

Stirling Park LLP

Cairn Housing Association Limited

West of Scotland Housing Association

Irvine Housing Association

Williamsburgh Housing Association

Richmond Plumbing and Heating Merchants Limited

Cadder Housing Association Limited

Partick Works Limited

Complete Storage & Interiors limited

Caledonia Housing Association

Family Tier 2

Harper Macleod LLP‘s practice, spearheaded by the ‘highly experienced, diligent, knowledgeable and very approachable’ Amanda Masson, possesses a long track record in complex financial provision, child relocation and abduction, and insolvency-related cases, but has also made inroads into other areas. In particular, it is increasingly viewed as a key name for surrogacy, assisted fertility and adoption cases. Jenny Smith handles cohabitation agreement cases, pre- and post-nuptial agreements, and complex asset separation. Alexis Harper and Karen Gibbons, whose practice includes many separation cases involving allegations of abuse, are other names to note.

Practice head(s):

Amanda Masson

Other key lawyers:

Jenny Smith; Alexis Harper; Karen Gibbons; Rachael MacDonald

Testimonials

‘Harper Macleod stands out for its contribution to the social policy issues underlying the law. They are however far from mere theoreticians. They are effective family law litigators.’

‘Harper Macleod has a very strong family law offering in which there are several outstanding individuals.’

‘Amanda Masson is highly experienced, diligent, knowledgeable and very approachable. I have found her judgement to be excellent and she has excellent relations with her clients.’

‘Jenny Smith is also very experienced, a reassuringly calm presence for clients, and very well organised. She has an impressive understanding of the law.

‘Alexis Harper is extremely energetic in her clients’ interests, a good tactician in litigation, and a master of detail in the preparation of her cases. ’

Intellectual property Tier 2

The IP practice at Harper Macleod LLP offers the full range of IP services, standing out especially in the life sciences, music, publishing and sports sectors. The group is spearheaded by registered European Commission IP expert Jamie Watt, who principally focuses on trade mark issues and patent disputes and is recognised for his 'great depth of knowledge'. Providing key support to Watt is senior associate Laura McCorquodale, who specialises in complex IP matters emanating from the construction, engineering, and music sectors, primarily patent and copyright litigation.

Practice head(s):

Jamie Watt

Other key lawyers:

Scott Kerr; Laura McCorquodale

Testimonials

‘The team pays attention to client’s needs and provides efficient access to files and information from anywhere.’

‘Jamie Watt has a great depth of knowledge and an accurate sense of what is important to the client. he has been instrumental to several steps in the growth of our operations.’

‘Team is fantastic, approachable even at odd hours.’

‘I work extensively with Jamie Watt. His response time is unmatchable, very quick and effective in his work.’

Key clients

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland

Celtic Football Club

Reactec Limited

M&Co Trading Limited

The Musicians Union

The Forestry Commission / Forest Research

Assembly Festival Limited

NatureScot

Creative Scotland

Publishing Scotland

Licensing Tier 2

Harper Macleod LLP receives regular instructions from businesses across the food, leisure and hospitality sectors and has carved out a strong practice advising on petrol and filling station licensing. Providing assistance with alcohol and premises licenses are other key elements of the practice led by liquor licensing specialist Andrew Hunter, while civic government and public entertainment licensing complements this offering; this includes assistance in licensing appeals.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Hunter

Key clients

Lidl Great Britain Limited

Greene King Brewing & Retailing Limited (t/a Belhaven Pubs)

Motor Fuel Limited

Shell UK Oil Products

Hotel Chocolat Retail Limited

BP Oil UK Limited

Axcel Hospitality (Edinburgh) Limited

Newhall Mains (Rebecca Fraser)

Clyde & Co LLP

Martin McColl Limited

Local government Tier 2

Harper Macleod LLP's local government offering is split into a contentious arm, led by Jennifer Jack, and a transactional segment led by James McMorrow. In the former, local authorities and arm's-length external organisations routinely retain the group to assist with commercial actions, public procurement disputes and judicial reviews, while typical work in the non-contentious sphere includes corporate, commercial and funding matters alongside procurement and state aid advice on various projects.

Practice head(s):

James McMorrow; Jennifer Jack

Other key lawyers:

Tom Thomas; Euan Pirie; Jill Fryer

Testimonials

‘Jennifer Jack is extremely capable and exceptionally good at dealing with complexity, whether legal or practical. She really understands client needs. A highly talented lawyer.’

‘Jennifer Jack is a hugely experienced and a connected figure in this field. She is a real market leader in public sector, including litigating for public authorities.’

‘Jennifer Jack is highly recommended in this field. She is very prominent in the public sector advice and litigation area, and always inspires confidence. She understands the client dynamic within public sector work, and her insight is always valued.’

‘An approachable firm with a good awareness of wider issues facing local government, who gives clear and practical advice.’

‘James McMorrow is welcoming and accessible, who demonstrates a good knowledge of the range of legal areas within the public sector.’

‘The team has a strong public sector focus and demonstrates excellent knowledge and expertise in areas such as procurement and commercial contract negotiation and drafting.’

‘James McMorrow is highly skilled and approachable. He is able to accommodate the demands made on his time in dealing with a high-profile, high-value public sector project.’

Key clients

Glasgow City Council

City of Edinburgh Council

North Ayrshire Council

Inverclyde Council

Highland Council

Shetland Islands Council

Comhairle Nan Eilean Siar (Western Isles Council)

North Lanarkshire Council

East Renfrewshire Council

Dumfries & Galloway Council

Media and entertainment Tier 2

Led by Jamie Watt, Harper Macleod LLP's team handles a diverse range of issues affecting media and entertainment clients. It is particularly active in music law issues, sports broadcasting deals, commercial rights work and contracts in publishing, defamation cases, and IP enforcement. Notably, Tom Thomas advises public sector clients on film and television production and location agreements, while E-Ming Fong principally focuses on pre- and post-publication issues relating to reputation management. Other names to note are corporate lawyer Scott Kerr and David Kerr, who regularly represents media and entertainment clients in commercial litigation.

Practice head(s):

Jamie Watt

Other key lawyers:

E-Ming Fong; Tom Thomas

Key clients

The Musicians Union

Publishing Scotland

Creative Scotland

Plz Soccer Limited

Fly Events

Assembly Festival Limited

NatureScot

Rowen Events

Sandstone Press

Celtic Plc

Medical negligence: pursuer Tier 2

Sitting within the wider personal injury and reparation department, which is fronted by Elizabeth Mitchell, the clinical negligence team at Harper Macleod LLP handles manifold clinical negligence claims. The practice, which is presided over by Heather Calderwood, deals primarily with actions arising from wrongful life and stillborn births, foetal abnormalities, catastrophic injuries to children, A&E failures, misdiagnoses and failure to diagnose, as well as general surgery claims. Also well versed in such work is senior associate Amy Dickson, an ‘experienced litigator’ who is ‘hardworking and a pleasure to work with’.

Practice head(s):

Elizabeth Mitchell

Other key lawyers:

Heather Calderwood; Amy Dickson

Testimonials

‘The client focus is strong, with a clear sense of putting the client first. They have adapted to online working well since Covid. They have a strong identity as a team and I’m confident that any client will get robust advice and representation.’

‘Amy Dickson is good with clients, an experienced litigator, hardworking and a pleasure to work with.’

Personal injury: defender Tier 2

Harper Macleod LLP's practice, which is led by Elizabeth Mitchell, primarily advises large insurers, public bodies and private individuals on personal injury matters. It excels in claims concerning road traffic accidents, employer and public liability, clinical negligence, industrial disease and product liability. Suzanne McGarrigle displays 'admirable and tireless dedication in working to achieve the best possible outcome for her clients’. She specialises in industrial disease claims, including those relating to exposure to asbestos, silica, coal dust and noise. Senior associate Amy Dickson stands out for her knowledge of fraud claims.

Practice head(s):

Elizabeth Mitchell

Other key lawyers:

Suzanne McGarrigle; Heather Calderwood; Amy Dickson

Testimonials

‘Suzanne McGarrigle is very hardworking, dedicated and tenacious. She appears to have a good relationship with her clients who trust her judgement about matters. This is well deserved, given her extensive experience in this field.’ 

‘Suzanne McGarrigle has a terrific work ethic and focus on the client interest and brings a keen understanding of litigation.’

‘Suzanne McGarrigle has considerable experience in this field. She is very professional and competent in the field. She is quick to get to the heart of the issues raised by a case.’

‘Suzanne McGarrigle is the main focus with support and back-up from Amy Dickson. They provide helpful advice and ad hoc comment from a Scottish perspective, which is most welcome for those who have to work in all four jurisdictions, so have to stay nimble and updated.’

Key clients

Forestry and Land Scotland (previously known as Forestry Commission)

Covea Insurance

Direct Line Group and Direct Line Insurance Services Limited including Direct Line Insurance, Privilege Insurance, Churchill Insurance, NIG Insurance, UK Insurance and Green Flag

Acromas Insurance Company Limited

Admiral Insurance / EUI Limited, including Elephant Insurance and Diamond Insurance

Personal injury: pursuer Tier 2

Capitalising on the firm's full-service capabilities, Harper Macleod LLP's team handles conventionally low complexity claims as well as taking on many high-value actions. Under the leadership of Elizabeth Mitchell, the group routinely represents household insurance companies and individual consumers in claims related to fatal and catastrophic road traffic accidents, employer's liability accidents and public liability injuries, as well as disease work. Heather Calderwood specialises in wrongful death and fatal claims, some of which are raised in the Court of Session, while 'client-focused' senior associate Marina Harper is especially adept at dealing with serious injury work which emanates from direct clients.

Practice head(s):

Elizabeth Mitchell

Other key lawyers:

Heather Calderwood; Marina Harper; Amy Dickson

Testimonials

‘Heather Calderwood is one of the more efficient personal injury solicitors I have had the pleasure to work with. Talent, diligence and results.’

‘The team is very au fait with new trends, experts and arguments which arise in the field.’

‘Amy Dickson is very professional and can quickly focus on the relevant issues in a case.’

‘Client focus with knowledge of the law. Other strengths relate to preparation and the clarity of the advice.’

‘Marina Harper is client focused.’

Banking and finance Tier 3

The banking and finance team at Harper Macleod LLP is well placed to advise clients across Scotland, with offices in Inverness, Shetland, Elgin and the Central Belt. It has recently seen a number of instructions from large international banks relating to the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS). Tony Cameron heads up the team and acts for lenders and borrowers on general corporate banking work, acquisition, real estate and project financings; receivables issues and restructurings.

Practice head(s):

Tony Cameron

Other key lawyers:

Jacqui Fraser; John Pringle

Testimonials

‘Jacqui Fraser is great – responsive, a problem-solver and gets the deal done’.

‘Good depth within the firm, reasonable pricing, a good experience all round’.

‘Tony Cameron works with clients collaboratively, providing a range of solutions allowing clients to make informed decisions’.

‘They are good value for money, responsive and very personable. I would not hesitate to recommend them’.

‘Tony Cameron is excellent; he is very responsive, makes himself available day and night, and really felt like part of the wider team’.

‘A real genuine interest and engagement with the client and we know that the team really care’.

‘‘We like the combination of technical ability, commerciality and sector knowledge that the team brings to our clients’.

‘Tony Cameron has a wealth of experience and is very personable to work with and very commercial in his execution’.

Key clients

Bank of Scotland plc/Lloyds Banking Group

Allied Irish Bank

Clydesdale Bank plc

Santander UK plc

HSBC UK Bank plc

Cynergy Bank

Bayerische Landesbank

Thincats

Morrison Community Care Group

JST Ports and Logistics Ltd

Unity Trust Bank

M&Co Trading Limited

Speedcast International Limited

Aquaship

Ocean Farm Services Limited

Aberclay Limited

Commercial litigation Tier 3

Harper Macleod LLP remains a popular choice for corporate and shareholder litigation - a key area of expertise for Edinburgh-based team head Sandy Hastie - alongside disputes in the insolvency, IP, energy, sport and construction space. Its extensive government client base is testimony to the team's expertise in public sector commercial litigation, while, in the private sector, clients span private individuals, start-ups, major corporates and financial institutions. David Kerr heads the team in Glasgow and handles a wide range of commercial and public law litigation. He is supported by Andrew Mackenzie, who made partner in April 2021 and has particular expertise in banking litigation.

Practice head(s):

Sandy Hastie

Other key lawyers:

David Kerr; E-Ming Fong; John McHugh; Carolyn Morgan; Fiona Pask; Andrew Mackenzie

Testimonials

David Kerr offers logical and succinct responses to counter litigious adversaries.

A medium-sized law firm that can give a personal service. High competence levels.

Fiona Pask and Sandy Hastie are both excellent partners. Fiona in particular has a practice that is very broad but she has an expertise in shareholder/ director disputes and is absolutely steadfast in standing up for her clients at every turn.

An incredibly collaborative, thoughtful team which expertly combines the commercial demands of a case with the intellectual challenges. Excellent on the law and a fantastic team to work with. They really involve themselves in all aspects of the client’s case to understand the challenges, sensitivities, and desired outcome. Led by great partners who are very user-friendly.

They really work hard for the client, produce work of the highest quality. If you want to optimise the outcome in a particular dispute, this is the team to go to. Serious all-round capabilities with strength-in-depth and a real client-based and goal focused service.

Strategically clever and savvy, constantly looking to bring a wide range of innovative solutions to a particular case.

I found the team at Harper Macleod to be diligent, knowledgeable and easy to work with.

Key clients

Robert Kidd

Scottish Government

Greenpeace International

British Medical Association

Low & Bonar plc

Direct Line Insurance

Optical Express Group

Everwarm

Glasgow City Council

Forestry and Land Scotland

Commercial property: Edinburgh and Glasgow Tier 3

Harper Macleod LLP is particularly experienced in the SME market, where it advises clients with large property portfolios and on complex deals and structures. It has considerable experience in the agricultural and rural affairs, utility infrastructure and telecoms sectors. John Meehan heads the team and has noted expertise in general lease management, insolvency and distressed property matters, and property finance. Chris Noble acts for landlords and tenants on investment deals.

Practice head(s):

John Meehan

Other key lawyers:

David Bell; Chris Noble; Limor Wolfe; Caroline Summers; Ross Thomson

Testimonials

‘Good comprehensive experience and coverage throughout the team, well led and coordinated by John Meehan’.

‘John Meehan has a very calm and considered approach built off a wide number of commercial transactions’.

‘John Meehan’s background early in his career in commercial banking is a real asset in more complex transactions’.

‘John Meehan provided an excellent service within the timescales required’.

Key clients

James Keiller Group

Aberdeen Standard Investments

CBRE Global Investors

MCR Property Group

JD Sports Fashion Plc

Halfords Plc

Caffé Nero

Card Factory

Clyde Munro Dental

Queensway Group (Point A Hotels)

Persimmon Homes

Jacobite Cruises Limited

Cityfibre Limited

Scottish Government

Independent Vet Care Limited

M&Co

OakNorth Bank Plc

Springfield Real Estate Management Ltd

Scotia Homes

City Property Glasgow (Investments) LLP

Commercial property: elsewhere in Scotland Tier 3

With offices in Inverness, Thurso, Elgin and Lerwick, Harper Macleod LLP is geographically well placed to handle domestic matters outside of the Central Belt. With ancillary expertise in agricultural and rural affairs, utility infrastructure and telecoms, the real estate team handles a wide range of matters. Inverness-based Ross Thomson heads the team and handles transactional work and litigation, with notable experience in the healthcare sector.

Practice head(s):

Ross Thomson

Other key lawyers:

Calum MacLeod; John Meehan

Testimonials

‘Good quality service across a number of different deals’.

‘John Meehan has full knowledge and control of all matters and provides a personal service that is second to none’.

‘John Meehan stands out as he appears to be contactable 24 hours a day; he can cut to the chase on the deal and does not point score’.

‘The team at Harper Macleod in Inverness assisted us with our transaction in a highly professional manner’.

‘Communication with the team was excellent and we felt we could have practical discussions with the team around all aspects of the deal’.

‘We feel that going forward we have a highly collaborative relationship with the team, which we intend to make use of again in the future’.

‘Value for money in all aspects of legal advice within commercial real estate’.

Key clients

Whiterow Properties Limited

Saltire Business Parks Limited

Inceptum2 Solutions Limited

Myrekirk Developments Limited

G & A Barnie Group

Tulloch Homes Group

Upland Developments

James Keiller Investments

Hazledene Group

James Keiller Group

Meallmore Limited

Boyd Brothers Limited

Fairways Inverness Limited

Home Farms Partnership

Jacobite Cruises Limited

Parkland Developments Limited

James Evans & Sons Limited

Gael Force Group

Rathven Investments Limited

Independent Vetcare Limited

Handlesbanken

Clydesdale Bank Plc

HSBC Plc

Bank of Scotland Plc

Ashers Bakeries Limited

Ocean Kinetics

Compass Building & Construction Services Limited

Whinhurst Properties Limited

Ardent Property Group

Loch Ness Homes Limited

Clyde Munro Dental Group

Dicksons of Forres Limited

GF Job Limited

Craigton Foods Limited

Bolts Shetland Limited

Morrison Community Care Group Limited

St Giles Shopping Centre Holdings Limited

Cameron Paterson Homes Limited

Aceo Limited<p

Corporate and commercial: Edinburgh and Glasgow Tier 3

Harper Macleod LLP's corporate department is well known for M&A, equity investment deals, disposals, angel investments and joint ventures. It often acts in cross-border deals and is active in the healthcare, energy, automotive, food and drink, and IT sectors. Practice head Donald Munro is well versed in private company transactions, management buy-outs (MBOs), reorganisations and investment transactions. Paula Skinner has noted experience in advising entrepreneurial businesses, in particular high-growth scale-ups and investors.

Practice head(s):

Donald Munro

Other key lawyers:

Paula Skinner; Fiona Neilson; Christopher Kerr; James MacGregor; Stephen Chan; Craig McKerracher

Testimonials

‘I have a main senior point of contact through which all my business requests are directed’.

‘I explain my challenge and I get a very quick response and am connected to a relevant expert’.

‘Paula Skinner a partner in the business is very pragmatic with her advice and ensures she understands my objective clearly’.

‘I get the best advice relative to the outcome I am looking for’.

‘I can go and get advice and guidance without the fear of getting a price first’.

‘The partners were clearly experts in their field, their supporting teams were responsive and well-informed, and our engagement with them went without a hitch’.

‘The team at Harper MacLeod are so supportive and also work really well together to offer me the advice I need when completing transactions’.

‘They always offer ways of collaborating to make things better but also put me in touch with colleagues if there’s a particular area I need support on’.

Key clients

M&Co Trading Limited

Low & Bonar plc

Halfords

Clyde Munro Dental Group

Tchibo Coffee Service

Webhelp UK

Kent Foods Limited

Atmosclear Investments Limited

METKA-EGN

Optical Express

Energy (excluding oil and gas) Tier 3

Harper Macleod LLP advises both funders and borrowers on the financing and refinancing of a range of renewable energy projects. It often acts as local counsel to a number of English firms on cross-border matters. Well-known for its property and planning expertise, the firm also provides advice around construction, grid connection agreements and regulatory matters. Practice head David Bone is experienced in wind, solar and hydrogen projects. Omar Ali has considerable experience of advising investors in the secondary market.

Practice head(s):

David Bone

Other key lawyers:

Pamela Todd; Omar Ali

Testimonials

‘Because of its offices around Scotland, this team has unrivalled excellence across this area of the law.’

‘The Aberdeen team is particularly strong in this area but they are very ably supported by the teams in Edinburgh.’

‘Knowledgeable and experienced renewable energy property lawyers.’

‘Pamela Todd has a wealth of experience of onshore wind property matters.’

‘David Bone provides vast knowledge and experience in the renewables sector coupled with excellent client care.’

‘David Bone is able to provide tailored but practical solutions to situations that are often complex in nature.’

‘Excellent knowledge of the legislation and policy affecting our work and the ability to present this in a highly effective way.’

‘Responses are always speedy.’

Key clients

Fred. Olsen Renewables Limited

Octopus Energy

Maple Power Limited

Statkraft UK

Engie UK

Forestry & Land Scotland

Metka EGN Ltd

EnergieKontor UK Limited

Atmosclear Investments

Aberdeen Standard Investments

Equitix Fund

Natural Power

Alpha Real Capital

Local Energy Scotland

Environment Tier 3

With public and administrative specialist Jennifer Jack, Harper Macleod LLP's practice has a strong contentious arm, acting for public and third sector clients in environmental-related judicial reviews, appeals and inquiries, including proceedings associated with planning. This particular intersection between environmental and planning is also a key feature of its non-contentious work, led by Peter Ferguson, which extends to environmental licensing and transactional matters. This attracts developer clients in particular, most notably in the energy space.

Practice head(s):

Jennifer Jack; Peter Ferguson

Testimonials

‘We set Harper Macleod a demanding and unusual task within a very tight timescale. Not only did they rise to the challenge, but their advice and recommendations exceeded our expectations. I hugely appreciated their willingness to embrace our problem, provide coherent and comprehensive advice within a very challenging timescale. I have worked with many legal firms over my career but have but hugely impressed by the professionalism, wide ranging knowledge and culture of close client support employed by Harper Macleod. We enjoyed exceptional value for money when balancing the quality of advice received against the cost of that advice.’

‘Peter Ferguson has immense knowledge in his field and offers an exemplary quality of advice. He also took a proactive approach in offering advice in related crucial matters which I hadn’t considered. I hugely appreciated Peter’s approach, which was fundamental in resolving our problem. Peter retained an interest in the matter long after the conclusion of the work and provided me with ad hoc advice at no cost. This personal commitment is, in my experience, highly unusual, and was most beneficial. If I need advice in this field in future, I will certainly approach Peter exclusively given his exceptional quality of advice.’

Key clients

NatureScot (formerly Scottish Natural Heritage)

Greenpeace

Environmental Standards Scotland

Cairngorms National Park Authority

Dumfries and Galloway Council

Moray Council

City of Edinburgh Council

The Scottish Government (Marine Scotland)

Glasgow City Council

Scottish Forestry (formerly Forestry Commission Scotland)

Royal Zoological Society of Scotland

Fred Olsen Renewables

EnergieKontor

Aberdeen Standard Investments

Hillhouse Quarry Group

St Andrews University

Armstrong Waste Management

Lairg Wind Farm Limited

Octopus Energy

JLEN

Maple Power Limited

EU and competition Tier 3

Harper Macleod LLP has considerable experience in providing state aid advice to local councils across Scotland; it also acts for private sector clients on a broad range of competition matters. Specific areas of expertise include public procurement, merger control, anti-competitive agreements and abuse of dominance. James McMorrow heads the practice and is recommended for post-Brexit advice around the UK's new subsidy control regime.

Practice head(s):

James McMorrow

Other key lawyers:

Jill Fryer; Jennifer Jack; Jamie Watt

Testimonials

‘Jennifer Jack is extremely capable and exceptionally good at dealing with complexity, whether legal or practical’.

‘Jennifer Jack really understands clients’ needs and is a highly talented lawyer’.

‘Harper Macleod have always provided a good service and are able to tackle anything we ask for’.

Key clients

Glasgow City Council

City of Edinburgh Council

Highlands and Islands Enterprise

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (Western Isles Council)

Inverclyde Council

The Capital City Partnership

East Renfrewshire Council

Creative Scotland

Energy Saving Trust

Forestry and Land Scotland

Insolvency and corporate recovery Tier 3

The restructuring and insolvency team at Harper Macleod LLP is ‘very approachable and great to work with’. Its broad expertise includes bank-led restructures and refinances, administrations, CVAs and liquidations. The team is jointly led by Gordon Hollerin and James Lloyd; Hollerin counts banks and financial institutions, administrators and liquidators, directors and creditors among his clients, while Lloyd is a leading practitioner in personal insolvency.

Practice head(s):

Gordon Hollerin; James Lloyd

Other key lawyers:

John Pringle

Testimonials

‘Gordon Hollerin is undoubtedly one of the most experienced and knowledgeable individuals in the market’.

‘Gordon Hollerin is a stand out individual; he is vastly experienced, knowledgeable, commercially minded, and justifiably held in high regard by colleagues, peers and clients’.

‘The speed of response, commercial expertise and quality of advice stand out’.

‘The team at Harper MacLeod are very approachable and coupled with their knowledge and experience make them a great firm to work with’.

‘Key strengths include their commercial appreciation and straight forward advice’.

‘Gordon Hollerin is highly experienced and his advice is always pragmatic and practical’.

‘Very well respected from a restructuring and insolvency aspect’.

‘Gordon Hollerin in particular stands out as having a significant level of experience in dealing with both contentious and non-contentious assignments’.

Key clients

Accountant in Bankruptcy

KPMG LLP

RSM UK

BDO

FRP Advisory

Leonard Curtis Business Solutions Group

Campbell Dallas

Johnston Carmichael

Benedict Mackenzie

Lloyds Banking Group Business Support Unit

Clydesdale Bank Strategic Business Services

Allied Irish Bank Financial Solutions Group

IT and telecoms Tier 3

Harper Macleod LLP's team, which is presided over by Tom Thomas, advises key public sector bodies and companies on the adoption and procurement of large-scale ICT services. Additionally, it routinely handles outsourcing transactions, data protection issues, as well as IT-related disputes. Scott Kerr specialises in the food and drink, life sciences and technology sectors, dealing primarily with distribution, agency and franchise contracts. Jill Fryer, meanwhile, focuses on public procurement projects containing IT components.

Practice head(s):

Tom Thomas

Other key lawyers:

Scott Kerr; Jamie Watt; Jill Fryer

Testimonials

‘Good understanding of technology and innovation, the team keep themselves up to date with new products and services and the likely impact on our business.’

‘Tom Thomas has been available at anytime, always responded quickly and with detail and sensitive to the pressures that have ebbed and flowed throughout the works. Explained difficult clauses and topics in easy to understand ways, allowing myself to make confident decisions on big items that I would otherwise feel were above my ability to make.’

Key clients

Retail Trust

Historic Environment Scotland

Registers of Scotland

Webhelp

Community Energy Scotland

Oh Polly Ltd

Enduro Sports Organisation Limited

Blackwood Homes and Care

Scotnet.co.uk Limited

Tennis Scotland

UK Athletics Limited

Personal tax, trusts and executries Tier 3

At Harper Macleod LLP, the team is distinguished by ‘good geographical coverage with bases and private client practitioners in Glasgow, Edinburgh and the Highlands’. Headed up by Pamela Niven, the group principally focuses on domestic and foreign taxation issues, complex estate planning work, and trusts. Jacqueline Leslie excels in work concerning the range of liferent, discretionary, charitable and personal injury trusts. Developing the firm’s Highlands and Islands offering, Julie Doncaster, who has a crofting background, frequently advises rural clients on succession and inheritance tax planning mandates.

Practice head(s):

Pamela Niven

Other key lawyers:

Jacqueline Leslie; Julie Doncaster

Testimonials

‘My initial impression was of a friendly, professional firm.’

‘I would describe Jacqueline Leslie as ever diligent, totally professional, with a quiet reassuring manner, friendly and very approachable.’

‘Particularly impressive are (1) the team’s ability quickly to assess the client and their requirements in terms of substance of the legal issue and in terms of the type of approach, and pace, appropriate and (2) the fact that several members of the team are clued up on the piece of business and so if one person is absent another can move it forward rather than just doing a holding role.’

‘It was almost never necessary for the client to have to refer anything to a partner: dealing with the firm’s employees was all that was necessary given their excellent modus operandi.’

‘Maintaining total professionalism whilst adopting a friendly human face to interact with. By adopting an approachable stance assures clients of personal effective attention at all times.’

‘HM is a large, independent Scottish legal firm – the size of the organisation means that they have real depth of experience; they have been able to get results and deliver a significantly higher level of service than competitor firms at a very fair cost.’

‘Often, within large firms, the personal touch can be lost within big corporate machines. This is something that is often lost within large firms of their size, but not within HM. Whilst HM is a large firm, importantly, all the Private Client Team I have dealt with, provide a very personal service. I have found that at all levels within HM, their level of knowledge and service is second-to-none.’

‘Good geographical coverage with bases and private client practitioners in Glasgow, Edinburgh and the Highlands.’

Projects Tier 3

Harper Macleod LLP has a well-established reputation in PFI and PPP projects, and is particularly active in the domestic market. Team head Euan Pirie handles large construction and engineering projects, with particular experience of projects procured under the hub initiative. Senior associate Catriona Kemp is knowledgeable about all the aspects of infrastructure and other major projects, with a particular strength in related project finance transactions, as well as corporate law issues.

Practice head(s):

Euan Pirie

Other key lawyers:

Catriona Kemp

Testimonials

‘Euan Pirie is an impressive commercial lawyer.’

‘Euan Pirie strikes the right balance between demonstrating a thorough understanding of complex PFI contractual issues and being able to articulate them in a concise and user friendly manner.’

‘Euan Pirie is one of the most pragmatic lawyers I’ve worked with.’

‘They respond to requests within the agreed timeframes, they communicate effectively and timeously, with regular updates when necessary and treat their clients with respect.’

‘Euan Pirie is very instructive when providing legal advice.’

‘Euan Pirie has been our lead partner and our key contact from the outset and fully understands the needs and commercial positions of us as a client.’

‘They have the ability to draw in wider specialist support from across their organisation.’

‘My main dealings have been with Euan Pirie, who is able to cut through the legal jargon and help me understand what is required and why’.

Key clients

Ayrshire & Arran Health Board

FCC Construcción S.A

Forth Health Limited

Glasgow City Council

GT Equitix Inverness Limited

Hopefield Partnerships Limited

Lanarkshire Health Board

North Ayrshire Council

Stirling Council

West of Scotland Housing Association

Property litigation Tier 3

While commercial and residential landlord and tenant disputes, including dilapidation claims and lease terminations, make up a large portion of Harper Macleod LLP's workload, the team is also regularly called upon in disputes associated with agricultural properties and farmland and has seen an increase in disputes between neighbours pertaining to boundaries and title conditions. In other work, team head Carolyn Morgan has recently acted for a landowner in a lease agreement dispute under the Electronic Communications Code. Clients include commercial entities, public sector bodies and private individuals.

Practice head(s):

Carolyn Morgan

Other key lawyers:

Sandy Hastie; John McHugh; E-Ming Fong; Andrew Upton

Testimonials

‘Years of experience. Good team.’

‘E-Ming Fong and her team were very tenacious. Always on top, and very forward-thinking and sharp.’

‘Andrew Upton and E-Ming Fong are excellent lawyers. They demonstrate consistently high standards across the property litigation sector. Technically sound. Clearly in tune with the commercial demands of their clients. Very impressive indeed and entirely deserving of recognition at the highest level.’

‘The practice has an extensive and effective team of solicitors covering all disciplines of law. Their HM Connect Legal News provides a valuable and quick regular update on current legal issues, recent cases and legislation.’

‘E-Ming Fong is a highly effective litigator. Excellent at focusing on the issues in a dispute, problem-solving, and at communicating effectively with clients.’

Key clients

Forestry and Land Scotland

Scottish Government

NatureScot

Halfords Limited

Nero Holdings Limited (Caffe Nero)

William Hill Organization Limited

AIB Group (UK) plc (Allied Irish Bank UK)

National Car Parks Limited

Engie UK

London & Scottish Property Investments Management Limited

Construction Tier 4

Harper Macleod LLP has a busy practice advising contractors and employers, including a large number of public sector clients and housing associations, on D&B contracts for large school campus, housing, infrastructure and hub projects. The team, led by Michael Conroy, who handles a wide range of contentious and non-contentious construction matters, also provides assistance with associated procurement and funding issues. Working in conjunction with colleagues from the dispute resolution practice, the team is also well placed to handle disputes, mainly payment-related and those arising from defects, but focuses on dispute avoidance.

Practice head(s):

Michael Conroy

Other key lawyers:

Euan Pirie

Testimonials

‘The team is consistently impressive in their knowledge of the market place and their clients, and the commerciality of their advice to clients is second to none. They are one of a handful of go-to firms in the Scottish marketplace for this kind of work. In all areas, they are innovative in their use of technology when it comes to running disputes and managing court cases, including their instruction of counsel.’

‘Harper Macleod are a respected set of construction practitioners. They punch above their weight, and are always a force to be reckoned with.’

‘Michael Conroy is a hugely experienced construction practitioner, with experience in both contentious and non-contentious situations. He always exhibits sound judgment, and knows how to get a result for his client.’

‘Their in-depth knowledge of construction contracts and personable nature of the staff helps them stand out.’

‘Euan Pirie is diligent, knowledgeable and practical.’

‘The team knows its stuff and has come up with some practical and innovative solutions to tricky problems for us. Their advice is well thought through and anticipates potential problems well.’

‘Euan Pirie is an excellent partner- a good communicator with a commercial and pragmatic outlook. He is always happy to go the extra mile for clients.’

‘Euan Pirie is always accessible and approachable and understands where any questions I may have are coming from, so his advice is always on point.’

Key clients

Cairn Housing Association

Dumfries & Galloway Council

FCC Construcción S.A

Glasgow City Council

Hub North Scotland

North Ayrshire Council

RJT Excavations Limited

Shetland Islands Council

Stirling Council

West of Scotland Housing Association

Employment Tier 4

Harper Macleod LLP has a strong profile acting for public sector employers but also advises private and third sector employers as well as, to a lesser extent, senior executives. With Bruce Caldow heading up the team, it has a strong niche in sport sector work, and handles a wide range of advisory and employment tribunal matters. The former typically involves advice on business transfers and TUPE, restructurings and HR, while its contentious work also includes internal investigations.

Practice head(s):

Bruce Caldow

Other key lawyers:

Lorna Davis; Scott Milligan

Testimonials

‘Bruce Caldow was my primary source of contact and was absolutely the upfront person in the case. His knowledge, diligence and support were outstanding. He is a great communicator and knows when you need that confidence booster or pep talk when the going feels rough in litigation. This is something that I have not seen that often in my professional life.’

‘The team always goes the extra mile in terms of service provision and advice. The guidance and support is always on-point helping us reach the right commercial decisions for the business.’

‘Lorna Davis is outstanding and a true leader in the field of employment law. She has protected our company in many situations over the years and ensures we are compliant with all our employee matters.’

‘Scott Milligan provides excellent guidance to our organisation with complex employment matters. 

‘Lorna Davis and Bruce Caldow are both excellent. Lorna is someone with an exceptional commitment to her clients. She is also a determined and able tribunal advocate. She is determined and exactly the kind of person you would want to have at your side in a difficult legal situation. Bruce Caldow is well-respected and well-known in employment law in Scotland. He too has great commitment. I rate him highly, not only for his skills in litigation, but also as a mediator.’

‘They are very customer-centric and solution-focused and have helped me navigate some very complex and high risk people challenges. Their record in representing us and supporting us with some risky employment tribunal claims is excellent and we are able to make key decisions on whether to defend or settle with their support.’

‘The team are very responsive to our needs and make themselves available at short notice and sometimes in their own personal time.’

‘I was expertly professionally advised at all stages but more importantly I was supported on a personal level and a holistic view of my best interests taken as the case progressed.’

Key clients

Scottish Ministers (Scottish Government)

M&Co

Dumfries & Galloway Council

Forestry & Land Scotland

Webhelp

City of Edinburgh Council

East Lothian Council

Edinburgh Leisure

Celtic plc

Global Energy Group

Planning Tier 4

The team at Harper Macleod LLP is co-led by Peter Ferguson, the main contact for non-contentious work, and key contact for planning-related litigation Jennifer Jack. Its contentious work often pertains to controversial developments and planning inquiries, which is not least due to the team’s large public sector client base. While much of its work is contentious in nature, the team also provides assistance with compulsory purchase orders and planning permissions and regularly acts at the interface with environmental law. Recent work includes residential, infrastructure, leisure and energy projects; expertise in the last-mentioned sector also attracts developer clients.

Practice head(s):

Peter Ferguson; Jennifer Jack

Testimonials

‘We needed legal advice for a particularly difficult and unique problem. We had previously engaged other mainstream legal practices and were disappointed by their lack of willingness to fully embrace and understand the nature of the problem we had. Harper Macleod, however, provided us with a totally different approach. Whilst part of the problem was a constrained timeframe for our response, Harper Macleod took time to fully understand and research our brief which I believe set them apart from other firms who were quick to follow an inappropriate methodology.’

‘Jennifer Jack was our principal contact and from the first phone call to her, she stood out as highly knowledgeable in her field. The quality and accelerated nature of her initial response immediately assured me that I was engaging a firm and individual who was willing to go the extra mile and it gave me great comfort that it appeared Jennifer would be the knowledgeable solicitor we needed.

‘The team is very responsive and on top of matters.’

‘Jennifer Jack handled a threat of a judicial review very efficiently and managed to have the matter settled before extensive court costs were incurred.’

‘Peter Ferguson is very good. Calm, efficient, considered and intelligent.’

‘Jennifer Jack has unrivalled knowledge and expertise in public law, planning and environment. Easy to deal with and practical in her approach. She also has excellent involvement in ongoing legal education with her commitment to the Public Law Group over many years.’

Key clients

NatureScot (formerly Scottish Natural Heritage)

Environmental Standards Scotland

Cairngorms National Park Authority

Dumfries and Galloway Council

Moray Council

The Highland Council

City of Edinburgh Council

The Scottish Government (Marine Scotland)

Glasgow City Council

Scottish Forestry (formerly Forestry Commission Scotland)

Royal Zoological Society of Scotland

Fred Olsen Renewables

EnergieKontor

Aberdeen Standard Investments

Hillhouse Quarry Group

St Andrews University

MCR Property Group

Lairg Wind Farm Limited

Octopus Energy

JLEN/Foresight

Maple Power Limited

Metka EGN Ltd

Statkraft UK

Scotia Homes

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 & finance; energy & natural resources; food & drink; healthcare; insurance; real estate & 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.

Commercial Property – 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.

Corporate – Recognised as being among the most active dealmakers in Scotland, the team advises clients from entrepreneurs to multi-nationals and has particular experience advising many of Scotland’s leading family-owned, employee-owned and owner-managed businesses.

Dispute Resolution – 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.

Employment Law – 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.

Public Sector – 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 large registered social landlords.

Sport – The team is recognised as Scotland’s leading sports law practice with experience of representing governing bodies, clubs, organisations and individuals. Harper Macleod was Official Legal Adviser to the Glasgow 2018 European Championships and the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Transport (including Shipping & Marine) – Advises businesses and organisations in areas that include 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.

Major Projects  -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.

Healthcare – 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.

Retail – 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.

Rural Economy – 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.

Family Law – 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 five Law Society of Scotland accredited specialists, one of whom holds all three family law specialisms.

Department Name Email Telephone
Chairman Professor Lorne D Crerar CBE
Chief Executive Martin Darroch
Banking and finance Tony Cameron
Banking litigation Sandy Hastie
Construction Michael Conroy
Corporate/M&A Donald Munro
Debt & asset recovery Andrew Hunter
Dispute resolution Sandy Hastie
Employment Bruce Caldow
Energy and natural resources David Bone
Family/matrimonial Amanda Masson
Franchising David Kaye
Infrastructure and projects Euan Pirie
Insolvency James Lloyd
Intellectual property Jamie Watt
Information technology Tom Thomas
Licensing Andrew Hunter
Medical negligence Elizabeth Mitchell
Personal injury Elizabeth Mitchell
Planning and environmental Peter Ferguson
Professional negligence Sandy Hastie
Public sector and housing Derek Hogg
Commercial property John Meehan
Commercial property litigation Carolyn Morgan
Residential property David McIndoe
Restructuring and corporate recovery Gordon Hollerin
Rural (inc. agriculture & estates) Graeme Nisbet
Sport Bruce Caldow
Wills, trusts and executries Pamela Niven
Transport (inc. shipping & marine) Chris Kerr
Photo Name Position Profile
 Omar Ali photo Omar Ali Partner Omar has over 15 years’ experience in the energy sector acting…
 David Bell photo David Bell Partner David acts for both public and private sector organisations in relation…
 David Bone photo David Bone Senior Partner David has carried out the legal work for developers, landowners…
 Heather Calderwood photo Heather Calderwood Partner Heather has experience in a variety of civil litigation including road traffic, medical…
 Bruce Caldow photo Bruce Caldow Partner Bruce specialises in employment law and heads the firm’s employment law practice. …
 Tony Cameron photo Tony Cameron Partner Tony has significant experience in acting for both lenders and borrowers…
 Michael Conroy photo Michael Conroy Partner Michael is highly experienced in the drafting and negotiation of building…
 Lorna Davis  photo Lorna Davis Partner  Lorna is a Partner and Law Society of Scotland Accredited Specialist, based…
 Amy Dickson photo Amy Dickson Senior Associate Amy is an experienced Personal Injury solicitor and delivers advice and assistance…
Ms Julie Doncaster photo Ms Julie Doncaster Partner Julie Doncaster, Inverness & Highlands Lawyer, advises clients on wills, estate…
 Peter Ferguson photo Peter Ferguson Partner Peter specialises in planning and environmental law and he advises a…
 E-Ming Fong photo E-Ming Fong Partner E-Ming is a partner in our Dispute Resolution Department, specialising in…
 Kelly Fraser  photo Kelly Fraser Senior Associate Kelly provides advice and assistance to our public sector clients,…
 Tom Gray  photo Tom Gray Senior Associate  Tom specialises in real estate and has particular experience in…
 Alexis Harper  photo Alexis Harper Partner Alexis is a member of the Family Law Association and has experience in…
 Gordon Hollerin  photo Gordon Hollerin Partner Gordon has over 30 years’ restructuring, corporate recovery and insolvency experience.…
 Andrew Hunter photo Andrew Hunter Partner Andrew is the lead partner of the Licensing team and is accredited by…
 David Kaye photo David Kaye Partner David specialises in Business Law and franchising. He acts as Company…
 David Kerr  photo David Kerr Partner David heads Harper Macleod’s Dispute Resolution team in Glasgow, leading on…
 Chris Kerr  photo Chris Kerr Partner Chris was named as one of The Lawyer‘s Hot 100 lawyers in 2020 –…
 Jacqueline Leslie photo Jacqueline Leslie Partner Jacqueline specialises in Wills, inheritance tax planning and the administration of…
 James Lloyd photo James Lloyd Partner James heads the firm’s Insolvency team and has advised on corporate…
 James MacGregor  photo James MacGregor Partner James is a partner in our corporate team, whose practice regularly…
 Andrew MacKenzie  photo Andrew MacKenzie Partner Andrew deals with a wide variety of civil and commercial disputes…
 Amy Mackenzie photo Amy Mackenzie Senior Associate Amy specialises in advising family owned businesses and owner-managed businesses,…
 Amanda Masson  photo Amanda Masson Partner Amanda is highly experienced in all family law matters. She has…
 Suzanne McGarrigle photo Suzanne McGarrigle Partner Suzanne specialises in defender personal injury work, covering the full range…
 Craig McKerracher  photo Craig McKerracher Partner Craig is a Partner in our award winning Corporate team who…
 James McMorrow photo James McMorrow Partner James advises the firm’s public, housing and third sector clients in…
 John Meehan photo John Meehan Partner Clients come to John for his strategic advice on how to…
 Collette Miller photo Collette Miller Partner Collette provides advice and assistance to many Registered Social Landlords (RSLs),…
 Scott Milligan  photo Scott Milligan Partner Working from both our Edinburgh and Glasgow offices, Scott advises clients…
 Elizabeth Mitchell photo Elizabeth Mitchell Partner Elizabeth is an experienced commercial litigator, who has run cases in…
 Carolyn Morgan photo Carolyn Morgan Partner Carolyn is qualified to practise and represent clients in courts in…
 Donald Munro photo Donald Munro Partner Donald Munro predominantly deals with clients in the family owned/owner managed…
 Graeme Nisbet photo Graeme Nisbet Partner Graeme is Head of our Rural Team and Project Partner for…
 Pamela Niven photo Pamela Niven Partner Pamela has a wealth of experience in all aspects of private…
 John Pringle photo John Pringle Pringle John regularly acts for lenders and borrowers in a broad spectrum…
 Paula Skinner photo Paula Skinner Partner Paula is head of the entrepreneurial team at Harper Macleod that…
 Jenny Smith photo Jenny Smith Partner Jenny has experience of all aspects of family law, including divorce and separation,…
 Lynne Stevenson  photo Lynne Stevenson Senior Associate  Lynne specialises in real estate and is highly experienced in…
 Caroline Summers  photo Caroline Summers Partner  Caroline specialises in all aspects of commercial property work.  She has…
 Tom Thomas photo Tom Thomas Partner Tom specialises in intellectual property and technology related matters (including outsourcing)…
 Andrew Upton  photo Andrew Upton Partner Andrew advises clients across both public and private sectors in relation…
Number of UK partners : 72
Number of other UK fee-earners : 173

CLIENT: Hugh McNally, former owner and managing director of Windhoist Group.
COMPANY/FIRM: Harper Macleod
TESTIMONIAL: “Over a 9-month period, Paul Macdonald and Craig Ramsay were instrumental in helping me to sell my global wind turbine installation business to STAR Capital Their commercial and down-to-earth advice helped me to understand what was required in terms of the process. They were always available to me and went above and beyond to direct the deal towards completion, which included negotiating with a top 10 global law firm and project managing the various professional advisors across the UK, Ireland, Germany, Morocco, South Africa and Australia. Ultimately, they helped me achieve a very good exit and I was delighted with the service I received.”


CLIENT: Matthew Jones, Company Secretary for Low & Bonar
COMPANY/FIRM: Harper Macleod
TESTIMONIAL: “I am grateful to Harper Macleod for the work they undertook in guiding Low & Bonar through the complexities of Scottish law during this lengthy transaction, made more complex by the difficulties resulting from Covid-19 and people working from home. Harper Macleod ensured that the necessary approvals were obtained during these difficult times and without the deal timetable slipping.”


CLIENT: Andy McGeoch, CEO of M&Co
COMPANY/FIRM: Harper Macleod
TESTIMONIAL: “The resource and skill which Chris, Gordon and Tony were able to throw at this made all the difference. They have a terrific team of lawyers who, working as partners with us through many difficult days and nights, helped to deliver the outcome which saved so many of our stores and jobs throughout the UK.”


CLIENT: Pauline Barclay, Managing Director at City Property
COMPANY/FIRM: Harper Macleod
TESTIMONIAL: “We are delighted with the support we have received from the team at Harper Macleod who have worked in partnership with us, demonstrating real commitment to the successful conclusion of this key project.”


CLIENT: Greg Stevens, Investment Director at Abundance
COMPANY/FIRM: Harper Macleod
TESTIMONIAL: “Abundance was pleased with Harper Macleod’s work and intends to instruct them again in the future. The partners were responsive and combine the requisite attention to detail with a pragmatic approach whilst also taking the time to clearly explain points of law to their client.”


CLIENT: Paul Mitchell, Chairman of Genus Medical Partnership Ltd
COMPANY/FIRM: Harper Macleod
TESTIMONIAL: “Having worked with Paula Skinner and the team at Harper Macleod since opening my first IVF clinic almost 15 years ago, there was no question of who to turn to for assistance with our partnership with ERFS. As well as having built up extensive knowledge of the reproductive medicine market from a legal perspective, it always feels as if you have the full firm on hand no matter what is required in any transaction. Despite this deal taking place during lockdown the personal touch was still there, as it always has been.”


CLIENT: Gordon Cameron, Director of Property and New Business, Port of Leith Housing Association
COMPANY/FIRM: Harper Macleod
TESTIMONIAL: “The purchase of the Association’s maintenance contractor provided us with the opportunity to protect essential services for our tenants into the future. Having little experience of purchasing a commercial organisation, Harper Macleod provided us with an excellent service, encompassing a wide range of expertise including governance, regulatory compliance, risk management and robust due diligence. The team at HM were professional, patient and went the extra mile to ensure success of what proved to be a very complex deal.”


CLIENT: Alistair Brown, Co-founder of Bellfield Brewery
COMPANY/FIRM: Harper Macleod
TESTIMONIAL: “We have worked with Harper Macleod from nearly the start of our journey and over the years we have kept the team busy with a host of activities surrounding our growth. We have built a great relationship with Jo and the HM team over the years and always find them to provide wise counsel and deliver work on time. The HM team are diligent, competent and pragmatic.


CLIENT: Evelyn McDonald, CEO of Scottish EDGE
COMPANY/FIRM: Harper Macleod
TESTIMONIAL: “The team at Harper Macleod have been our trusted legal advisors since the outset of Scottish EDGE and the firm surpassed itself in terms of getting this deal done against a tight timescale. Jo Nisbet, Paula Skinner and the team have played an important role in the support we provide to all our winners and it’s great to have the firm on board as a Gold Partner for yet another year.”


We embrace all aspects of equality, diversity and inclusion and we fully meet our gender balance and equal pay requirements. In support of this, 66% of our workforce is female and 56% of our lawyers are female. We are also corporate members of Women in the Law UK, the networking organisation designed to encourage, inspire and support the next generation of lawyers and women in business, with our firm playing a significant role in assisting the group expand into Scotland.

We promote equality of opportunity and develop a diverse workforce which reflects the population of Scotland. For example, through our firm’s support for the creation and development of the Scottish Ethnic Minorities Lawyers Association (SEMLA). One of our Partners, Omar Ali, is on the steering group of SEMLA, which tackles the under-representation of ethnic minority lawyers in aspects of the Scottish legal profession and hosted a special virtual session at the very first ‘Celebrating Inclusion Event and Law Fair’ in October 2020.

We are signatories to the Faculty of Advocates’ Fair Instruction Policy which ensures that Advocates are instructed based on their skills, experience and ability and without discrimination on grounds of age, disability, gender, race, religion or belief or sexual orientation. Additionally, our HR Director is a member of the Law Society of Scotland’s Racial Inclusion Group, which seeks to better understand the experience of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic members within the legal profession.

Our firm is fully committed to the development of Scotland’s young workforce and since 2017 we have employed more than 40 modern apprentices across our offices. Historically, over 75% of our modern apprentices remain with us on a permanent position and have been further developed, equating to around 10% of our workforce.

We recruit many people from socially disadvantaged diverse areas through our modern apprenticeship program offering opportunity for employment and the opportunity to develop skills and to have resultant career development in business functions.

We signed up to the Social Mobility Pledge in 2015, and we are committed to creating opportunities that help people improve their lives and reach their full potential. We regularly work with organisations such as Career Ready, MCR Pathways and the Robertson Trust in addition to partnering with a wide range of schools in both low income and affluent areas to identify and publicise opportunities to help young people.

Our commitment to equality and diversity was recently evidenced at the Scottish Apprenticeship Awards in March 2021 where the firm won the Promoting Diversity – Large Employer of the Year Award.