Member of the Week - Harper Macleod LLP
Harper Macleod has around 35 people, including eight Partners, based at their office at Cradlehall Business Park. However, their Inverness office is just one of Harper Macleod's offices in the Highlands and Islands and around the country. The firm is one of Scotland's largest professional services partnerships, with other offices in Elgin, Thurso, Lerwick, Glasgow and Edinburgh and a total headcount of around 400 people.
The firm's Chairman and founder, Professor Lorne Crerar, was also Chairman of Highlands and Islands Enterprise for the past eight years.
Harper Macleod is the largest Scottish law firm with a permanent presence in the city. It is also a leading Estate Agency across the Highlands, Moray and the Islands. As well as having more lawyers recognised as leaders in their field than any other firm based in the north, they also have the full strength of their colleagues from across the country to draw on. That means their people can concentrate on the things they are good at, which is good news for their clients.
Harper Macleod’s Inverness office has grown rapidly since it was established in 2004 and they provide a comprehensive range of legal advice to businesses, organisations and individuals throughout the Highlands and Islands. The firm's transformation over that time has matched that of the surrounding area at Cradlehall – what was an open space is now surrounded by other businesses, with the impressive Inverness UHI campus on their doorstep.
Harper Macleod is also one of the biggest independent Scottish firms left in the legal industry. The firm has been in existence for more than 30 years, starting from next to nothing to become what it is today.
The firm has always been renowned for their corporate and commercial advice, as well as advising clients in the public sector, however the personal legal services and estate agency offering is an increasingly significant part of what they do, and they’re better placed than ever to provide a full, one-stop service for their clients' business and personal legal needs.
Inverness Chamber spoke to Susan Breen, Property Manager at their Inverness office, managing the Estate Agency service. About her role, Susan said: “I have more than 30 years' experience buying and selling properties locally, and I'm also a Law Society of Scotland Accredited Paralegal in residential conveyancing. At Harper Macleod, we'll treat your home like our own. I guide people through the process of selling their homes – from preparing and putting property on the open market to negotiating an acceptable offer and completing the conveyancing process as seamlessly as possible. I also help out with the search for a new home, negotiate an acceptable purchase price, complete the conveyancing process and even get the joy of handing over the keys to a new home!
Outside of work, I've also been a volunteer at the Highland Hospice for seven years, in usual times working as a Ward Receptionist. I have also marshalled at the Loch Ness Marathons, concerts and other events in the area.”
Susan told us why Harper Macleod would like to be member of the week: “Harper Macleod is a proud member of the Inverness Chamber of Commerce. One of our Partners, Ross Thomson, is a former President of the Chamber and we have always involved ourselves in Chamber activities. We know the value of networking, and wherever we have operated our people have always immersed themselves in the community, business and otherwise.
As a firm we’ve always recognised the importance of getting out and about. As well as enabling you to make vital contacts, being an active member of the business community is the best way to get a grip on the issues, challenges and opportunities facing everyone. We want Highland businesses to succeed, it's good for them and it's good for us. That's a goal we share with the Chamber so it makes sense for us to be involved.”
Harper Macleod told us about more about their estate agency services: “As the country slowly comes out of lockdown we know that there will be many people looking to find a new home, and sell their current property. That's why we're determined to help get the Highlands moving.
We're one of the leading Estate Agency and Solicitors in the Highlands, Islands and Moray, as well as being one of Scotland's top law firms which means that we're the only people you'll need to make selling or buying your home a reality, and will be on your side from the day you put your home up for sale until everything is complete. You can put your feet up … and we'll do the rest.
We offer a great service for selling residential properties, including:
• No hidden costs or surprises – we will not charge commission
• Listings on Rightmove, Zoopla and PrimeLocation
• Exceptional digital marketing – including social, signage and photography
• Friendly, local experts driven to get the very best price for your home
• Free home valuations”
We asked Susan about Harper Macleod’s business plans over the next 12 months: “It's been a difficult time for everyone and to be honest it's hard to know exactly what the next year will hold. However, we're determined to play our part in helping the local community and economy bounce back from the coronavirus and lockdown, and hopefully be stronger than ever.
We're committed to the area and will continue to provide a combination of quality and value that has served us and those we work with so well until now. Basically, we're here to help and because we're one of the country's leading firms of solicitors, whatever someone wants to discuss with us, we have a specialist who genuinely understands what is required. That's a great resource for individuals, families and businesses in Inverness and further afield to access.”
Harper Macleod told ICC about their awards and commendations: “Harper Macleod has been named Scotland Law Firm of the Year eight times over the years. I was also delighted to be a past winner of Scotland's Paralegal of the Year at the Scottish Legal Awards.”
We asked Susan for her top-tip for other Chamber members to maximise their membership: “My tip is a simple one – get involved. You can only take out what you put in, and I think that going along to events and catching up with your fellow members is the best way to maximise your membership. You never know who you'll end up talking to, and whether you can do something to help them or vice versa.”
Harper Macleod LLP, Solicitors and Estate Agents
Alder House, Cradlehall Business Park
Tel: 01463 798777