Harper Macleod boss stands by the appointment of Hugh Neilson
Law firm Harper Macleod is standing by its recent appointment of former Sheriff Hugh Neilson despite his recent confession, published in the Sunday press, that he payed a prostitute for sexual favours. Neilson was appointed as a full-time litigation consultant by the law firm last month after resigning from the bench when he was discovered by police in a Glasgow brothel earlier this year. At that point Sheriff Neilson faced an investigation into his suitability for office by the Lord President and the Lord Justice Clerk, but his resignation brought the investigation to a close. However, further police investigations into prostitution in Glasgow were reported by the Sunday Mail last month in which it revealed that Neilson had admitted to police officers that he had paid for sex. Professor Lorne Crerar, managing partner at Harper Macleod, said: “It never occurred to us not to stand by Hugh on this matter. He is a highly respected and well regarded member of the profession and we are fortunate to have him on board as a consultant.” Just days after the Sunday Mail’s front page article Neilson was in Hamilton Sheriff Court appearing on behalf of a client. As he left court he told reporters: “I’m absolutely glad to be back at work. It was a bit strange at first being in front of the bench - it’s not something I’m used to.” Meanwhile the firm has also appointed former DLA Piper Scotland partner Fraser Hardie as a commercial property partner in its Edinburgh office. Fraser will specialise in real estate funding, joint ventures and property investment and his appointment comes hot on the heels of the promotion of solicitor Paul Greenhill to associate within the team. The group has also appointed three new assistants - Martin Barr, Ameeta Panesar and Helen Pemberton - working in the commercial property team.