Harper Macleod, one of Scotland's leading law firms, has been appointed by Forestry Commission Scotland (FCS) to provide legal services in relation to property management.
Harper Macleod will work with FCS on a wide range of issues, including property acquisitions and disposals, wind and renewable energy developments, leases, partnerships and general advice on all property matters, as well as private woodland work.
FCS advises Scottish Government ministers on implementing forestry policy and managing the national forest estate. Its mission is to protect and expand Scotland's forests and woodlands and increase their value to society and the environment.
The Commission manages a large proportion of Scotland's land, forests and woodland - including many potential sites for the development of wind energy and hydro electric installations - and Harper Macleod's specific expertise and experience makes it well-placed to help FCS meet its vitally important responsibilities.
The new contract has been awarded for a three-year period from March 2013 following a competitive tender process (with the option to extend for a further two years). Harper Macleod, Legal Advisers to the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, has acted for FCS in the same role since 2008.
FCS is a key part of the Year of Natural Scotland 2013 - which will celebrate Scotland's wealth of fantastic natural assets and promote it as one of the world's most stunning places - as well as being one of eight public bodies which make up Scotland's Environment and Rural Services network (SEARS).
Harper Macleod Chairman Professor Lorne Crerar said: "We are absolutely delighted to retain this prestigious contract in relation to property management for the Forestry Commission Scotland. This appointment emphasises the strength of our relationship and the esteem in which the firm's multi-disciplinary team is held. Both parties have grown stronger during the period of our association and in this, the Year of Natural Scotland, we look forward to continuing to help the Commission address the many challenges it faces in its ongoing mission to improve the utility of woodland for the people of Scotland and beyond."
Laurie Tyson, Head of Estates at Forestry Commission Scotland, said: "We are committed to increasing the value of the National Forest Estate to the people of Scotland and Harper Macleod has gained a good understanding of our business and been genuinely interested in our work. The firm provides a legal service which suits our needs as we move forward into what promises to be an exciting period for the organisation.”