We offer services to rural businesses of all sizes across a range of sectors.
Specialist advisers to the modern rural economy
Rural activity contributes more than £30 billion to the Scottish economy with the traditional sectors a small but still important part of that total.
The economy of rural Scotland is large and diverse, so are we. Harper Macleod has a unique footprint in Scotland, with offices in Inverness, Lerwick, Elgin and Thurso as well as our Central Belt bases in Glasgow and Edinburgh.
Our team advises Scottish based businesses on every aspect of their legal requirements and has particular expertise in providing commercial advice to many of Scotland’s family-owned, employee-owned and owner-managed businesses.
Our full-service offering allows us to advise far beyond the scope of the ‘traditional’ rural solicitor in key areas including:
Scottish Highlands and Islands Rural Economy Conference & Awards (The SHIREs)
Harper Macleod hosts the SHIREs conference and awards each year, a focal point for the increasingly diverse modern rural economy particularly across the Highlands, Islands and Moray.
The most recent SHIREs took place in November 2021, and you can watch a recording of the events here.
The virtual event was a thought-provoking insight into the challenges and opportunities facing businesses, organisations and individuals in rural Scotland. With a theme of ‘Our Land, Our Lives, Our Legacy’, and coming just days after COP26 closed in Glasgow, the climate crisis and the much vaunted ‘just transition’ to a greener economy were recurring factors in several of the sessions.
Rural economy throughout Harper Macleod
We offer services to rural businesses of all sizes for every aspect of their legal requirements and have particular expertise in providing commercial advice to many of Scotland’s family-owned, employee-owned and owner-managed businesses.
Our team has extensive knowledge of the law related to crofting, with lead Partner Calum MacLeod, a fluent Gaelic speaker, advising both crofters and landowners on all crofting law matters.
Agriculture, land & estates
Living and working in rural Scotland brings distinct challenges. When your livelihood is generated from the rural environment you need advisers who are not only specialists in the law relating to land and estates but who understand rural life.
Our agriculture and estates team is among the largest in the country and is fully immersed in rural affairs, with offices in Inverness, Elgin, Lerwick and Thurso, as well as Glasgow and Edinburgh.
Our team has extensive experience in the marine and maritime industries, as well as specialising in advising ports and harbours and those operating in the aquaculture sector. The team advises on the full range of services across the sector with the benefit of specialist legal, industry and local knowledge.
Our award-winning renewable energy team is one of the largest in Scotland, providing advice on all types of renewable energy projects, including onshore and offshore wind, hydro, marine, solar and renewable heat.
Individuals & families
Our team’s vast experience in the agricultural and rural sectors also applies to the delivery of personal legal services to our rural clients. Rural business clients often require personal tax advice, wills, trusts and succession planning alongside commercial advice. Our team of specialists from across the firm work together to ensure that the advice reflects our client’s best interests.
We also advise many family-owned businesses across Scotland and our team is here to help on any family related issues that arise.
Scotland’s natural capital
Scotland’s natural capital – our air, water, soil, flora and fauna – is estimated to be worth £230bn. These elements help us to produce the goods and services which are essential to our society and economy. Our report looks to cover as much of the discussion as possible, appreciating the fact there are both harmonious and conflicting views.Natural Capital report
Supporting people in Scottish Agriculture
Harper Macleod is proud to be a Corporate Supporter of RSABI. RSABI provides practical, emotional and financial support to all people involved in the Scottish agricultural industry. The service is available to those previously and currently involved in farming, crofting and occupations related to agriculture in Scotland.
“As a modern working estate it is hugely important that you work with people who understand the business and its aims, and Harper Macleod have always been very knowledgeable about what we do. As well as understanding the traditional operations of an estate, David Eason has also advised us on diversification issues which require advice from someone who understands the distinct challenges which come with managing estates.”
“Calum excels in his profession. His enthusiasm and patience are hugely valuable. His level of expertise is very impressive.” “Calum leads on agricultural and crofting matter and he has great depth of knowledge.”
“Tom Gray’s performance has been genuinely excellent and we can only imagine how hard he works behind the scenes to achieve this level of service to not only us but to his other clients as well. During the various legal proceedings in connection with the above sale of land, Tom consistently met deadlines, turned information and documents around fast and responded to third-party solicitors very quickly.”
“Calum Macleod is very easy to deal with and gives good advice in sometimes complex scenarios.”
“Tom Gray’s works is extremely thorough and his decisions and advice is well thought through. He is extremely knowledgeable in his field and you get the feeling that he is ambitious through the level of professionalism he delivers.”
“Tom Gray was outstanding and very professional, the job was completed with card and precision and I was very pleased with our service.”