About Us

Our business was incorporated in May 2017 and founded by John Hillis. The other Directors joined the business shortly thereafter. 

The business is a specialist provider of property and project management services to acquiring authorities and developers of energy, utilities and infrastructure projects. 

Whilst we only act for the party seeking to develop and assemble the rights in land our team is a cross-section of the property and infrastructure industry and have an understanding from the landowner and occupier perspective. 

Meet Our Team

Land Information and GIS Team

Laura MillsBSC (HONS)
GIS professional with over 12 years’ experience. GIS and Data Manager at Blackhall and Powis, providing maps, plans and GIS support. Previously worked with SSE Renewables Developments UK Ltd. as GIS Analyst. Detail-oriented, highly organised and professionally certified in use of industry standard ArcGIS suite of software.
Phil MellorBSc MSc PhD
Geographer and GIS professional with 6 years’ experience in both the public and private sectors having previously achieved an MSc with distinction in Geographical Information Science. Phil also received a PhD for his research investigating the renewable energy potential of vacant and derelict land in Scotland. He is adept in spatial problem solving with a strong comprehension of ESRI ArcGIS software.
Peter BarnesGraduate GIS Analyst
Peter specialises in data analysis and GIS with 3 years’ experience working in the energy and utilities sector. He graduated with BSc Honours in Environmental Geography in 2017. His strong abilities in data management and problem solving mean he’s a great addition to our GIS team and to provide support Blackhall & Powis clients.
Marie TurnbullGraduate GIS Analyst
Marie Turnbull joined our Land Information and GIS team in 2021. Marie is a Geologist and GIS Professional and has recently completed a MSc at the University of Glasgow with a focus on geospatial analysis, GIS and remote sensing.

Land & Communities

John HillisMA MRICS MRTPI
Chartered Surveyor and Chartered Town Planner with over 12 years’ experience. Self-employed providing property advice to energy, utilities and infrastructure providers. Immediate past Head of Land and Communities at Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission Plc. Chairman of the Rural Professional Group Board of the RICS in Scotland. Commercially Endorsed Powerboat Skipper.
Catriona McLachlanBsc(Hons) MRTPI PIEMA
Catriona comes from a west coast farming and crofting family. She has been responsible for the delivery of land assembly strategies and robust land agreements across a variety of energy projects. With a background in Environmental Management, she has also delivered planning and environmental support for a number of energy developments. Catriona is a Chartered Town Planner, holds a Practitioner membership with IEMA and is working towards her MRICS qualification.
Nigel FraserBLE (HONS) MRICS
Chartered Surveyor, Land Agent and Estate Manager with over 20 years of experience. Formerly a partner within a national firm of property consultants. Particular expertise in renewable energy generation and rights over land. Partner in his families’ holiday business in Inverness-shire, a farmer, owner-operator of a micro hydro scheme, café, tea plantation and Chairman of a conservation organisation.
Iain WrightBSc(agri) PGdip(FBOM)
Iain started out life on a dairy farm in South West Scotland and is still involved in farming in the area. Iain’s agricultural background enables him to understand both our client’s and landowners requirements. With strong negotiation skills and experience in the Renewable Energy Sector Iain supports clients in project development and construction. He is also the owner of his own turbine, solar and biomass installations at his property in Wigtownshire.
Ralph Smith MRICSAssociate Director
Ralph is a Chartered Surveyor and RICS Registered Valuer with 7 years of experience in property consultancy. He has been involved in various renewable and infrastructure projects with particular emphasis on negotiating access rights, commercial terms, and Injurious Affection Claims. He has carried out a wide range of valuation work including rural, residential, and renewable assets. Ralph has also been involved in peatland restoration and the emerging market for carbon trading.
Bill Roberston
Bill RoberstonConsultant
Bill supports the Blackhall & Powis team as a consultant. Experienced in all aspects of land agency work through 27 years within Scottish and Southern Energy Estates and Wayleaves and a further 15 years in Private Practice. In addition to securing land rights for infrastructure projects Bill supports clients in the negotiation of Injurious Affection Claims. Called on by SHE Transmission to participate in Port Ann / Carradale Emergency in March 2013. Bill ensured the Emergency Team continued to have access to site by managing Landowners and Occupiers.
Rosie Calder
Rosie CalderLand Manager
Rosie is based in the Scottish Highlands working on projects across the UK in the offshore wind, onshore wind and grid sectors. With an undergraduate degree in geography and a career history including productive appointments with Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission plc. and the Scottish Agricultural College, Rosie starts her B&P career having successfully established her own family run bakery, delicatessen, and café in Beauly near Inverness: Café Biagiotti.
Nick RowesLand Manager
Nick works onsite supporting relationships with landowners and neighbours for our clients in construction. Before Nick moved to the east of Scotland he supported SPR, London Paramount, Network Rail, National Grid and SSEN across a number of their project managing relationships with landowners and stakeholders to agree and arrange access rights and consents. When he’s not in a portacabin or head to toe on hi-vis on site, Nick will be working on his true love The Indian Motorcycle Tour Co. organising guided motorcycle tours on Royal Enfields.

Project Management

Peter O'ConnellDirector of Project Management
An experienced project and programme leader with a proven track record over 25 years of leading the delivery of infrastructure, property and business change programmes for top-tier public and private sector organisations with focus on commercially viable partnerships and driving strategic vision. Director of Project Management at Blackhall & Powis providing property and project advice to energy, utilities and infrastructure providers.

Fisheries Liaison

Tommy Finn
Tommy FinnFisheries Liaison
Tommy Finn is responsible for leading the Fisheries Liaison service. Tommy is an experienced fishing vessel skipper having taken control of the family fishing vessel, Aquila, in 1980 following earlier years of self-employment in both the static and mobile fisheries environments. Key experience that Tommy can demonstrate in addition to his 45 years in the fishing industry includes:

– Director of the Scottish Fisherman’s Organisation, with a focus on quota management, policy and procedure development.
– As Chair of the Clyde Fisherman’s Association, regular engagement with a range of key stakeholders across aquaculture, renewables, Marine Scotland licensing and policy, marine spatial planning groups, regional inshore fisheries groups and the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and Islands.
– Having owned and skippered an offshore project protection vessel for ten years and being contracted during that time to various offshore projects around the UK and more recently, post-Brexit, to offshore renewable sites within the waters of European Maritime coastal states.
– In 1993, successfully trialling the first Decca differential GPS system fitted on a commercial vessel in the world, significantly enhancing location accuracy.
– Following the tragic sinking of a fishing vessel in 1991, together with Commander Dave Philips RN established a new “safe code of conduct” for submarines involved in the “Perisher” training course and indeed all submarines traversing through fishing grounds. Part of this work led to the commencement of subfax broadcasts on vhf radio which alerts all shipping to the movements of dived submarines in inshore waters and which are still broadcast daily. 

Business Support

Karen Carr
Karen CarrBusiness Operations Supervisor
With over 18 years administrative experience and 8 years as an office manager, Karen provides core services to the business and provides support to our clients. Supervising business operations including accounts, finance and marketing, Karen is more than capable of keeping our HQ and team in order.