Leading law firm Harper Macleod has announced a new Partner to be based in its Lerwick office as the firm continues its growth in Shetland into 2018.
Stewart MacGregor, who grew up in Shetland, took up his position at the start of January. He will principally carry out property work, including liquor licensing, and will also provide support to the firm's private client team on a range of personal legal matters such as Wills and Powers of Attorney.
Stewart's arrival comes after Chris Dowle stepped down as a Partner in the firm into a consultancy role at the end of 2017.
Paul Rutherford, Richard Donaldson, Stewart MacGregor, Jenni Gear and Robert Bell
While Chris continues to be available to provide clients with advice, Stewart joins fellow Partner Paul Rutherford and Property Director Robert Bell in leading what is the only full service law firm in Shetland – one that has flourished since Harper Macleod joined forces with the former firm Dowle, Smith and Rutherford in 2015. The firm now has a team of 12 based in the office at St Olaf's Hall in Lerwick.
Paul Rutherford said: "We are delighted to welcome Stewart to the firm and I'm sure he's going to be a big asset to our clients as we move forward. Over the past two years we've been able to develop the services we can offer and given the people of Shetland access to a much greater range of expertise and strength in depth. However, we're also still a local firm steeped in the community and that's why it's great to bring in someone such as Stewart who knows Shetland so well."
"Over the past year we've been able to recognise Richard Donaldson's increased profile in the firm and the community by promoting him to Associate level, and we've also been joined by solicitor Jenni Gear who has a brought a particular focus on family law matters. It's fantastic that Chris Dowle is very much still part of the firm and able to lend his knowledge where required, and we're looking forward to a further year of growth in 2018."
Since Harper Macleod established its presence in Lerwick the office has enhanced its reputation as the leading property law practice in Shetland by adding the full range of expertise Harper Macleod has to offer.
Numerous colleagues from across the firm's other Scottish offices have visited Shetland since Harper Macleod launched, including specialist advisers on Corporate, Banking & Finance, Construction, Employment law, Crofting, Family law, Public Sector, Energy & Natural Resources, Private Client, Real Estate, , Crofting and Dispute Resolution.
The firm has also refurbished the office in Lerwick, launched a website – www.estateagencyshetland.co.uk – and was a Supporter of Team Shetland for the 2017 NatWest Island Games.
Stewart MacGregor, who was most recently a Partner at Kippen Campbell LLP in Perth, said: "I've got a big connection with Shetland, that's why I decided to come back. I feel it's a fabulous opportunity to join such a well-regarded firm as Harper Macleod and help to grow the business even more over the coming years. The opportunity to return and be part of an exciting, expanding business in Shetland was too big a draw and feels like a very natural move."
"Everybody knows Harper Macleod and I've dealt with them almost daily for a number of years. They are a very well respected firm with excellent lawyers in their fields. These days, smaller firms lack the backup, infrastructure and support required, that only bigger firms can bring, so it's an exciting time to be joining one of the major Scottish firms."
Stewart originally moved to Shetland with his parents when he was 11. He attended Brae High School and lived in Mossbank, Brae and latterly Lerwick before leaving to pursue a career in law by studying at the University of Dundee.
He said: "My family moved up for the oil but I stayed and had my life here for more than 20 years, and my kids were born here. I previously worked for the local authority and did a number of other jobs and I believe that's given me a varied outlook on life and a type of experience you might not get if you follow one career your whole life. It's given me a practical grounding in how the rest of the world works and I look forward to bringing this to bear in my new role."