About Us

We’re a team of professional experts, ready to deliver the services you need, when you need them.

Black Hay was established in the 1930s in Ayrshire. Using our experience we offer reliable legal advice on a wide range of legal matters. We also offer other complementary services, including estate agency and financial planning.

Over the years our long-standing partners and staff have built exceptional relationships with our clients, thanks to the robust advice we offer. Our existing clients know where they can get the best advice, and much of our new business comes from client referrals.

We pride ourselves on supporting our clients at every stage of their life. No matter where you are in life we can help you, so let us take some of the strain and provide advice and services that are tailored to you.

Choose Black Hay for estate agency

Black Hay Estate Agents has evolved to meet the changing property market, however we also chose to retain the unique benefits of traditional estate agency ensuring our clients receive a much more effective full estate agency service, delivering outstanding results.

Our local offices in Ayr and Prestwick serve the Ayrshire Property Market. As members of the SPC (Solicitors Property Centre) Network we actively sell homes and attract buyers from much further afield. We’ve successfully marketed and sold properties in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dumfries & Galloway, The Borders, Arran, Aberfeldy, Moffat and even as far North as Aberdeenshire and Sutherland. So, if you need us, we’re local or national.

We effectively market our clients homes across Scotland, and the UK, ensuring we attract potential buyers both locally and nationally. Online we use ESPC/SPC, Rightmove & OnTheMarket to give your home maximum coverage and we have the ESPC Weekly Property Guide Newspaper – Free for you to advertise in until Sold!

Our estate agency service is entirely independent of our solicitor services. You can choose to have your entire conveyancing and property sale conducted with us, or if you already have your own solicitor, we’ll be happy to deal only with the estate agency side. Either way we are Estate Agents and you’ll receive a professional and experienced estate agency service from your Property Experts!

Take advantage of our financial planning expertise

Our financial planning service provides you with independent, unbiased advice by delivering solutions which are best suited to your objectives. We provide solutions with an ongoing service to keep you on track. This could range from a detailed financial plan, through to retirement planning, investment advice, life assurance, or information on releasing equity from your property. Our initial discussion is without obligation or charge. From there we can then determine whether our services can deliver value for money to you.

If you’d like to find out more about us or any of the services we offer, contact us or visit one of our local offices in Ayr or Prestwick.

James Picken

A graduate of Glasgow University and a native of Ayrshire, James is a partner in the Prestwick Office specialising in Private Client work, including House purchase and sales, Wills and Powers of Attorney, the winding up of estates and the purchase, sale or lease of commercial property and businesses.

Happily married to Anne-Marie, he has two grown up children, both following in his footsteps into the legal profession and one – his son Robert – now also working with Black Hay. In his spare time he is a keen cyclist and plays badminton, tennis and golf and also enjoys the outdoors, in particular hill walking and skiing.

Malcolm MacInnes

Malcolm has been with Black Hay since leaving University in 1982. He is married to Audrey, has 2 grown-up children and 4 grandsons to keep him busy outwith the Office.

He specialises in Wills, Trusts and Estates, Powers of Attorney, House Purchase and Sale, and Commercial Conveyancing & Leasing.

In his spare time he is a Season Ticket Holder at Rugby Park (which doesn’t help his blood pressure), enjoys Folk Music, and tries to play his Bagpipes once in a while!

Gillian McBlane

Gillian left Glasgow University in 1993 and joined Black Hay in 2003. She has always specialised in Court work with particular emphasis on Family Law.

When not in the Office Gillian enjoys spending time with family and friends and tries to keep fit by walking and attempting to look coordinated at Zumba classes!

Keir Gilius

Keir joined Black Hay in March 2020 and became a Partner of the firm in July 2023.

Having trained at a national commercial law firm before going on to work in busy high street practices, Keir has experience in many different areas of civil litigation and dispute resolution and continues to represent private individuals and commercial clients in Courts and Tribunals across Ayrshire and beyond.

His particular areas of interest are family and child law and Keir is regularly instructed by parents, children and other family members in complex and sensitive family law matters. He is also regularly appointed by the Court to prepare Child Welfare Reports and to act as a Curator ad litem to children in Court proceedings. He shares his passion for family law with the next generation of lawyers by tutoring part-time at the University of Strathclyde and he is a regular volunteer with the Scottish Child Law Centre.

Away from the office, Keir enjoys playing and listening to traditional Scots and Gaelic music and loves exploring new places in Europe.

Brian Dunlop

A native of Troon, Brian attended Marr College and after graduating from Glasgow University has spent virtually all of his working life with Black Hay. He continues to live in Troon, is married to Mary and they have two sons and four grandsons.

His work covers house purchase and sale, Wills and Powers of Attorney and Estate administration. He also has a particular interest in Alcohol Licensing and represents a number of well-known businesses operating in the hospitality sector.

Away from the Office, Brian has been a lifelong supporter of Ayr United and is a season ticket holder at Somerset Park, attendance at which he sometimes sees as more of a duty than entertainment!.

Lynn Murdoch

Lynn is an Senior Associate Solicitor within our Private Client and Conveyancing Departments.

She specialises in all aspects of Private Client work including preparation of Wills, Trusts, Powers of Attorney, administration of Executries and succession planning. She has extensive experience in complex and high value estate work.

Lynn also has vast experience in residential conveyancing including purchase & sale and remortgage & transfer of title.

In her spare time Lynn likes keeping fit and hillwalking.

Mark Passant

After initially studying and working as a Civil Engineer, Mark returned to Glasgow University to study law. Mark completed his legal training at Maclay Murray & Spens before qualifying into the Commercial Property team at McGrigors. McGrigors subsequently merged with Pinsent Masons and he acquired over a decade’s experience at the leading international law firm.

Mark is able to advise on all property matters. He specialises in acquisitions, sales, leasing and refinancing of commercial property and has a particular expertise in complex titles having acted for a range of national housebuilders whilst at Pinsent Masons. Most notably he acted for CALA Homes for over a decade were he advised on transactions such as long term strategic options, conditional contracts and site assembly. In addition, he spent a thoroughly enjoyable 9 months helping and working in-house at CALA Homes whilst they acquired another major housebuilder.

Originally from Ayr, Mark continues to live locally with his wife and young family. In his spare time Mark enjoys golf, listening to music and running.

Stephen Neillie

Stephen joined Black Hay in 2018 having previously been a partner with both McMillan Kilpatrick Solicitors and then with The McKinstry Company Solicitors following the merger of those firms in 2013.

He specialises in all aspects of succession, estate planning, wills, trusts, powers of Attorney and Guardianships. He is a member of The Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners and the Chartered Insurance Institute.

In his spare time Stephen enjoys spending time with his family and two dogs. When they have had enough of him he enjoys playing the trumpet and cornet and climbing Munros.

Rebecca White

Rebecca graduated from the University of Glasgow in 2017 and joined Black Hay in 2021.

Rebecca specialises in Private Client matters including Wills and Powers of Attorney alongside residential conveyancing.

Outside of work Rebecca enjoys spending time with her friends, family and two spoiled cats and exploring new places in the Scottish countryside - weather dependent of course!

Rachel Frew

Rachel is a dedicated individual with a diverse background, from precognition agent to solicitor, she has worked with individuals from all walks of life. A passion for education led her first into Primary Teaching, thereafter, transitioning into the legal field undertaking the fast track LLB. Rachel first worked on complex human rights, asylum and immigration cases before moving into the public sector and working for the Scottish Government. Her varied background, legal and people skills give her an approachable and friendly manner which she now applies when assisting clients with Private Client matters as well as Conveyancing. Rachel carries her educational passion into her legal practice and she enjoys supporting students at all levels of their career.

In her spare time, Rachel loves socialising with friends and family as well as spending time with her cockapoo, on the beach.

Robert Picken

Having worked in finance for a number of years Robert elected to return to university to study law, following in his father’s footsteps. He obtained an LLB from Strathclyde University and a DPLP from the University of Glasgow prior to commencing his Traineeship with Black Hay in 2022. His training has primarily focused on residential conveyancing, private client, and licensing; practice areas in which he hopes to continue when fully qualified.

In his spare time Robert enjoys playing badminton, football and golf, following Celtic, listening to music, socialising and relaxing (ideally abroad) with his partner Nicole.

Alison Robertson

Alison’s been with Black Hay since 1990, having moved to Ayrshire from the Borders. She worked as Principal Secretary to our former Senior Partner for many years before undertaking her Paralegal training. Her area of work is residential conveyancing.

She has 3 children and a grandson and she lives in the countryside with her husband and dog. When not at work, Alison enjoys long dog walks, watching football and rugby, listening to an eclectic mix of music and attempting to finish writing several unfinished novels. Maybe one day!

Graeme Lumsden

Graeme has been an Estate Agent within the Property Industry for 30 Years, working within private/corporate/independent estate agency together with land & new homes, commercial and developer clients. Prior to entering Estate Agency Graeme's career path included Civil Engineering Technician, Interior Design and Police Officer!

He is acknowledged as one of the most experienced Estate Agents in the industry, developing Black Hay’s Estate Agency since his arrival in 2005. Clients benefit from his very active involvement in the entire home selling/buying process. What defines Graeme? ...he truly is “Your Estate Agent” ....from start, to finish!

Originally from Glasgow Graeme has been resident in Ayrshire & Galloway for over 10 years. He enjoys his daily country commute through the Galloway Forest, whatever the season! He occasionally escapes on the odd short break from Black Hay travelling by motorbike ...most often north to Wester Ross & Sutherland, to enjoy the tranquility of The Highlands.

Amongst various "celebrity" house sales Graeme has been involved in, he sold a property which Stan Laurel lived in - the "Laurel" from Hollywood's famous "Laurel & Hardy" Duo ....the nearest he will probably get to Hollywood!

Paula Haworth

Paula Haworth is our Senior Estate Agency Negotiator, having arrived at Black Hay over 10 Years ago.

Originally from Alloway/Ayr, a former Wellington School pupil, Paula ensures our clients are guided through the home selling process with the minimum of fuss, co-ordinating the process from the initial Home Report Survey to agreeing the Date of Entry. Selling your Home can be stressful however Paula combines her professionalism with sensitivity and a little humour, easing the way for everyone.

When not looking after clients Paula enjoys her rural country life, particularly the birds around her home which are easily amongst the best fed/looked after... it's no wonder they flock to her home with so much bird food available!

Paula achieved her long held dream almost 10 Years ago, passing her motorcycle test! Now an accomplished motorcyclist, she enjoys the freedom that 2 wheels brings ...and no phones ringing in her helmet!

Glenn Cunningham

Glenn has been with Black Hay since 2010 following a successful career as an Area Manager in Halifax Financial Services. He is married with two children, 1 grandson and a chocolate lab with attitude.

Glenn specialises in Investments and Pensions and continues to study, recently receiving Pensions accreditations. He is a Chartered Insurance Practitioner.

As a crocked, overly enthusiastic amateur footballer he continues to reflect on glory days but spends his time watching Ayr RFC where he has been a member for the last 18 years.

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