Rural solicitors with a different perspective

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.

Led by eight Partners, our land and estates team is among the largest in the country. The team is fully immersed in rural affairs, operating out of offices in Inverness and Thurso as well as Edinburgh and Glasgow. We act for more than 40 estate owners and whether you are seeking routine management advice, grappling with legislative changes and what they mean for you or even looking to restructure or diversify, we have the skills, strength and depth to address your specific legal needs.

Our core team also accesses a range of skills and expertise from across our full range of legal services, allowing us to advise far beyond the scope of the ‘traditional’ rural solicitor.

Along with personal legal services such as family law, trusts, estate planning and asset protection advice, our family-owned business specialists can advise on partnerships, family charters and constitutions, and potential exits.

Our rural property experience sees us regularly work with the leading banks and financial institutions on funding and refinancing land and estates.

When it comes to maximising opportunities to exploit natural resources, including wind, water and minerals, our market leading Energy & Natural Resources specialists are on hand.

From our market leading knowledge of the new Land Registration regime to our work with bodies including Scottish Natural Heritage - which gives us a unique insight into issues such as species licensing and wildlife crime - we have a perspective on land and estates matters which sets us apart.

We have offices across the country, in Inverness and Thurso as well as Edinburgh and Glasgow, and act for many estate owners throughout Scotland.

We are also recognised as a ‘Noted firm’ by leading directory Chambers UK Guide to the Legal Profession.

Key services

We provide the full range of legal advice in relation to:

  • Land and estates
  • Forestry and forestry management
  • Farming and agriculture
  • Crofting
  • Land registration

These include:

  • Land acquisitions and disposals
  • Land and estate management, including agricultural tenancies and sporting and fishing rights and access rights
  • Estate planning and asset protection
  • Land registration
  • Renewable energy
  • Minerals
  • Property litigation
  • Employment issues
  • Secured lending and refinancing

More information

Estate purchases and sale

We have advised on a range of estate acquisitions and disposals, from smaller estates and large farms to traditional sporting estates, including advice on purchase vehicles and funding, as required.

Estate management

We provide a wide range of estate management services, including routine day to day management, the grant, resumption and termination of agricultural tenancies, residential tenancies, crofting, sporting rights, access legislation, land registration, legislative change and employment advice.

Forestry

We have a wealth of experience in the purchase, management and sale of forestry plantations and estates and have advised on grant agreements, crop establishment and harvesting and forestry leases.  Since 2008 we have represented Forestry Commission Scotland on all Estates and Private Woodland matters.

Land registration

We have unrivalled expertise in land registration under the new regime. Professor Robert Rennie, one of our partners, is an architect of the 2012 Act and he and Frances Rooney, who heads up our Land Registration team, are in regular consultation with the Registers of Scotland, the Law Society of Scotland and other key stakeholders to proactively develop law and practice around land registration. Our dedicated team can allocate specific resources and skills to managing large-scale registrations of estate titles, and work with you and your agents to find the best solution to register land – or to deal with competing rights – in as cost efficient, quick and safe a way as possible.

Asset protection & estate planning

Effective estate planning can involve fairly complex tools, such as trusts, while other planning vehicles, like gift making, can be simple and straightforward. We can offer practical advice tailored to suit your particular circumstances.  Common issues include making sure your family business passes on to the right people, which can be one of the most difficult paths to navigate within any family. 

The Brief magazine - guide to personal legal services

The Brief magazine is your guide to personal legal services at Harper Macleod. The magazine aims to keep you in touch with current legal issues that are important to you - the law seldom stays the same for long and we believe that it's important for everyone to be kept advised on the changes that can affect both you and your families.

You can view and download the current edition by clicking here.

We hope you find the magazine useful and informative, and please don't hesitate to get in touch with a member of our team should you have any issues you'd like to discuss further with us.

The Brief Magazine

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