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Highland land still a draw for investors, says north law firm


By Calum MacLeod

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Brodies partner Karren Smith.
Brodies partner Karren Smith.

Developments on land and sea across the Highlands and Islands have meant a busy 12 months for law firm Brodies.

In the past 12 months, Brodies has worked with clients in the public and private sector, including Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Northlink Ferries and CalMac Ferries.

The firm is involved in significant work underway at some of the region's ports, including acting for Stornoway Port Authority in the development of its £45 million deep water terminal, which will strengthen transport links, support a range of diverse industries in the Western Isles, and increase capacity for cruise, energy and industrial projects, and see the creation of more than 200 jobs.

Brodies is also providing contractual support for the decommissioning of the Northern Producer rig, currently anchored at Kishorn Port, and advised Orbital Marine Energy on the development and launch of the world's most powerful tidal turbine, installed in Orkney waters.

In aquaculture, the firm acts for Scottish fish farming operators and finance providers for the sector, as well as those involved in growing Scotland's blue economy, including Skye-based seaweed farming start-up, Kelp Crofting.

Brodies' legal expertise has also been sought in the acquisition and development of land for various purposes.

Those include plans for a 50-lodge holiday park at Beaufort Castle, near Beauly, and the development of hundreds of homes across Inverness and various locations across the Highlands, for housebuilders including Tulloch Homes and Pat Munro.

Support also continues with transactions in the region's forestry and timber markets, particularly in relation to acquisitions and changes in land use, and the firm is advising landowners and operators on several windfarm extensions underway across the Highlands and the Northern Isles.

Over the past 12 months, Brodies has grown its team of Highlands and Islands-based colleagues to 15, which includes legal director Lisa Law and senior associate Sarah Lilley, to advise clients on personal and family law matters.

Brodies' partner Karren Smith, based at the firm's Highlands office in Dingwall, said: "The diverse scope of work that we have undertaken for our clients in the last 12 months is testament to the fact that the Highlands and Islands continues to be a region where investment is strong and clients are getting on with business, against the backdrop of an unprecedented year.

"Land continues to be a highly valuable asset for investors, who see opportunity in tourism, property, renewable energy and forestry, while we are reminded of the versatility of our region's ports through the range of commercial projects they are involved in.

"We've also seen a diverse mix of work across sectors, including projects that are ambitious and innovative in their development and approach. We expect to see these strong activity levels continue as new and existing long term infrastructure projects are rolled out and we remain committed to helping our clients to achieve their objectives in the coming year."


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