Scottish law firm extends north Scotland reach with partner appointment for rural team

A renowned Highland rural law specialist has joined full-service law firm Ledingham Chalmers in Inverness.

Expanding its geographical reach for this discipline into Moray and the north of Scotland, Gary Webster joined as partner from another legal practice in the city today (April 6).

The Aberdeen-headquartered firm is the only practice in Scotland with offices in United Auctions’ Agricultural Centre in Stirling and the Thainstone Centre near Inverurie. It also has a base in Edinburgh.

This appointment is the third for the rural team across Scotland over the past 12 months.

In Stirling, Susan Black joined as a senior solicitor; while Lorna McKay came on board as senior associate.

Plus, Gary’s appointment comes at the same time as the firm announced two promotions in Aberdeen. Emma Somerville from the family law team is promoted to senior associate, while private client senior solicitor Dara Kinloch makes the move up to associate. Both promotions were effective as of April 1.

Mr Webster, a former Peterhead Academy pupil and graduate of the University of Aberdeen, has extensive experience in the agricultural and rural sectors with a strong background in areas including agricultural tenancies, crofting law and rural business restructuring and succession.

He's based in Inverness, but, when COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, will regularly travel throughout Moray and the Highlands and Islands to meet agricultural, crofting and estate clients.

He said: “Ledingham Chalmers has always been a firm with a great reputation. And I’m joining the team there at what is a crucial time for the rural sector. Beyond immediate challenges with coronavirus COVID-19, we’re looking ahead to what happens when we leave the EU.

“Specifically, farmers are losing subsidies; we don’t know yet what will replace, if anything, the common agricultural policy (CAP), or what import and export markets will look like.

“With that front of mind, and through approaches like restructuring and diversifying, we’re working with them to help create stronger businesses that are in the best possible position, whatever happens.”

Chairman and partner Jennifer Young said: “Gary’s experience, particularly in the crofting sector, is an excellent fit for our team, and I’m certain he will play an integral part in helping our clients strengthen and protect their businesses regardless of the economic and political backdrop.

“And well-deserved congratulations too to Emma and Dara for their promotions. Both lawyers have proven invaluable colleagues, and I’m sure will continue to make a significant contribution to our firm.”

Gary Webster

Gary Webster

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