Highland Titles’ Twitter Battle with Scottish Lawyers (result: home win)

Over the last 2 days Highland Titles – the company that sells ‘souvenir’ plots of land where you can title yourself a Laird, Lord, Lady of Glencoe became the focus of an onslaught of social media activity - a posse of very sharp lawyers had the scent of blood and went for them, it was quite incredible to watch it all unfold. Highland Titles was left quite bruised by the end. (if indeed it is the end)

Highland Titles is run by the Bevis family, although they apparently live in Scotland they run their businesses from the tax haven of Guernsey. The Company is run under the created ‘charity’ with the grand title of ‘The Highland Titles Charitable Trust for Scotland’, also set up by Bevis. The charity is only registered in Guersey so it bypasses the laws and transparancy of being regulated by being a Scottish Charity. So their accounts are not public.

Anyway on with the story…


It all began with some tweets from @loveandgarbage in response to the following ad Highland Titles put out as a general promotional tweet:
Love and Garbage blogger explains: “The other morning I was on twitter and saw a tweet from a twitter user called Highland Titles:

“Buy land in Scotland & you may style yourself as Lord or Lady of Glencoe! From £29.99.”

Now this raises immediate suspicions. and so I visited the website which was linked to from the tweet. For the Scottish property lawyer this is a mysterious hinterland that we rarely venture into. The site though was staggering.

It sells tiny plots of land, some of only a square foot in size.

ht2This set alarm bells ringing. Scots law, since the introduction of land registration under the Land registration (Scotland) ACt 1979 has not allowed ownership of souvenir plots to be sold. Section 4 (2)(b) of the 1979 Act prevented registration of a souvenir plot…” (from https://loveandgarbage.wordpress.com/2015/02/12/i-cant-believe-its-not-ownership-or-the-curious-tale-of-highland-titles-selling/)

— Here are the original tweets —

No you can’t. You’re talking bollocks @highland_titles Never heard of the rules prohibiting registration of souvenir plots?

I see your website says you get a personal right to the plot @highland_titles. You know that means you don’t own it?

—Malcolm Combe joins in – a well known Scottish Lawyer—

@loveandgarbage ah, that just means you can transfer a wee plot without registration AT ALL. Because that makes sense. ;) @highland_titles

@MalcolmCombe I guess @highland_titles are well up on the 2012 Act and the implications of the 2000 ACt for barony titles.

So basically your deal is pay us money to not become an owner of a bit of land in Scotland @highland_titles

Do you think people are idiots? @highland_titles

@loveandgarbage Indeed. Finger on the pulse when it comes to Scots law (as applied via the Channel Islands). @highland_titles

—then Highland Titles joins in—

Yes, the 2012 Act confirms the status of Souvenir plots – sold without registration http://tinyurl.com/ohu7mqk @loveandgarbage @MalcolmCombe

We sell land. If you do not understand how land can be sold in Scotland, ask a Scottish lawyer http://tinyurl.com/ohu7mqk @loveandgarbage

—- this was brilliant and set the hounds racing as they didn’t realise who they were talking to—-

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha. Ha. https://twitter.com/highland_titles/status/565108747258064896 … cc @loveandgarbage, who really should speak to a Scots lawyer to clear this up.

— so loveandgarbage asks themselves—

well @highland_titles . Hey, @loveandgarbage how do you sell land in Scotland?

Well @loveandgarbage as a Scottish conveyance I am aware that the sale of land requires missives of sale then a conveyance @highland_titles

– lovenadgarbbadge proceeded to tell Highland Titles about Scottish Land Law

And @loveandgarbage both require to be formally valid under the 1995 Act @highland_titles The conveyance is then sent for registration

– there were a good few more tweets from love and garbage about the law (see all at: Buy land in Scotland… style yourself as Lord or Lady of Glencoe! Or something.’ By Malcolm Coombe. A short Storify about Scots property law)

—basically it can all be summed up with this following tweet—

when I suggested earlier you were talking bollocks @highland_titles this is because, as a Scots conveyancer, I see you’re talking bollocks

—Highland Titles replies for not registering the land sold were—

If Souvenir plots had to be registered, the extra cost would be prohibitive http://tinyurl.com/ohu7mqk @loveandgarbage

Thank you for your opinion, Bill. We prefer to take the advice of an actual Scottish solicitor http://tinyurl.com/ohu7mqk @loveandgarbage

— to which Ian Smart gets invited into the discussion—

Hang on @highland_titles I’ll ask @ianssmart who is a former President of the Law society. Ian, is my analysis of land transfers accurate?

@loveandgarbage @highland_titles I am happy to confirm that it is.

— Highland Titles get asked to loop their solicitor in—

—Yet more Scottish Lawyers start to see this and respond—

@MalcolmCombe @loveandgarbage Need to be infeft in land to call oneself Laird thereof, and can’t be infeft in souvenir plot…

—Highland Lawyer also links to what the Lord Lyon has to say ‘http://www.lyon-court.com/lordlyon/776.html‘—

— sadly Highland Titles do not bring in their lawyer and proceed to block everyone in the conversation.—

You can read the full discussion at ‘Buy land in Scotland… style yourself as Lord or Lady of Glencoe! Or something.’ By Malcolm Coombe. A short Storify about Scots property law  There are some hysterical tweets from people that are well worth reading.
Coombe on Storify explains …
“Since the 17th century, ownership of land in Scotland has been tied to registration: put simply, if you are not registered as the owner of land, you are not the owner.”

(Malcolm Combe is a lecturer in law, former solicitor and an advisor to the Land Reform Review Group – oops!)

Highland Titles’ move was to block them all, this only set fuel to the fire ….


The world of twitter is where not just lawyers but bloggers, journalist and politicians hang out. This twitter ‘gubbing’ was reported on at The Common Space.

Highland Titles Scam

Highland Titles Scam

Read their article at:
https://commonspace.scot/articles/314/highland-titles-land-sales-demolished-on-twitter-as-legal-bollocks The Common Space is the blog of the Common Weal think tank, which is used by political activists who want to create a better Scotland and lobbies for new policies. So bit of a hit there. Among regular contributors are the likes of Caroline Leckie and Leslie Riddoch; a journalist who has written extensively about land reform in Scotland.


On our ScotClans Facebook page we reported on what was going on:

ht4See the full feed at:
Although a few comments got removed we think by Facebook after we exposed one of the pro Highland Titles posters was a fake profile and reported it the argument continued on the page – HT owner Peter Bevis waded in with the usual personal insults which’ if you have ever found a spare three days to read the comments on this article you will be familiar with.  However my favourite moment from this one is here:

ht5ROUND 4

Meanwhile in twitter land more and more people were joining in. Many of them lawyers involved in Property Law. It was going well and truly viral


More blogs appeared reporting the story…




Love and Garbage systematically takes apart the highland titles land ownership ‘bollocks’ (their words)


While all this was going on Andy Wightman was doing the maths. How much land did they own, how much money were they taking. The money taken was all through the Guernsey based company so did not touch Scotland.


His shocking conclusion was that if HT did indeed manage to sell all the land they had earmarked as souvenir plots then they would stand to rake in £479 MILLION! Now given that HT make a lot of noise about how they have donated a few thousand here and there to various local charities and that they have been busily upgrading footpaths and planting trees (the ones that cant quite manage to plant themselves) Andy quite rightly has asked just where the money is going.

Today is Friday the 13th, unlucky for some indeed. This story doesn’t look like its going to end here and no doubt we will see the usual suspects (and their fake profiles) adding comment below over time. HT have played fast and loose for too long and this time they have found themselves on the wrong side of A LOT of influential individuals. Twitter is a dangerous place to play these sorts of games, bloggers use twitter, lawyers use twitter and… politicians use twitter. It may alarm HT to know (if they are not already off the scale when it comes to alarms) that many of those twitter ‘trolls’ they blocked yesterday are not only followed, but read regularly, by senior people in the Scottish Government right up to and including the First Minister herself. The leader of a government that is just ending the consultation phase of a major land reform bill – talk about bad timing!

Today is also the anniversary of the Massacre of Glencoe – this dreadful event is why this place is so well known around the world and its been taken as an insult to many who bear the name MacDonald that companies have piggybacked on this event to peddle their wares. It could be that one of them may soon be left out in the cold.


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10 thoughts on “Highland Titles’ Twitter Battle with Scottish Lawyers (result: home win)

  1. rodgermoffet

    I completely forgot to mention that in the middle of the all the debate HT owner Bevis and his team also accused the National Trust for Scotland (an actual registered Scottish charitable trust) as being ‘well known scammers’ for having the temerity to sell stuff on their website. They also accused well known Eco group “Trees for Scotland’ as being a dubious private company and dismissed the Glencoe Heritage Trust (an actual charity based in Scotland) as being irrelevant.

    Nice people eh?

  2. Sir Malcolm MacGregor

    The lawyers have clarified that purchasing a souvenir plot of land in Scotland does not mean the purchaser owns the plot. It is still owned, in this case, by Highland Titles. The lawyers have also confirmed that purchasers of souvenir plots are emphatically not landowners.

    Separately, though connected, the titles aspect of this saga also lacks authenticity.

    First, only the Lyon Court can confer genuine titles in Scotland. No one else, and certainly not Highland Titles.

    Second, there can only be one laird or title per geographical location. Highland Titles uses Glencoe. The genuine laird, or chieftain, MacIain of Glencoe (Clan Donald), was murdered on this day in 1692, the day of the infamous massacre. The title belongs to him and his descendants, and no one else. To suggest, as Highland Titles does, that there can be thousands of lairds or Lords of Glencoe is false.

    Third, the actual place from which the title ‘of Glencoe’ is taken is in fact woodland at Duror, 10 miles away and has nothing to do with Glencoe geographically.

    Fourth, the title of ‘laird’ or indeed Lord/Lady is not, and never has been, associated with a souvenir plot of land. Neither Lyon Court nor anyone else would recognise such a claim in respect of souvenir plots. Lyon has said as much in correspondence.

    Highland Titles tend to work overseas where there is less knowledge of these matters. They rarely, if ever, operate in Scotland where they would be laughed out of court. Which is exactly what has has happened.

    Malcolm MacGregor of MacGregor
    Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs

  3. Richard

    While I bow (slightly) to Scottish conveyancers, and wouldn’t dream of argueing with any of them, I’m intrigued that no one has taken up the “charity”! Surely flogging off rights to go and stand on a square foot of ground in Scotland is pretty Scottish? Doesn’t OSCR require the charity to be registered in Scotland?

  4. Chas MacDonald

    Everything Malcolm and Rodger said.

    Richard, you are right, of course, about OSCR. Except that HT are not a Scottish charity, although they were peddling themselves as such, and were instructed by OSCR to cease and desist with such claims. That’s the sort of lying cheating dregs of humanity they are.

    The man who operates the Glencoe Heritage Trust, Alasdair Mac Donald, put his own future on the line by committing himself to the cause financially, as did his family. Several benefactors chipped in with big sums, and the majority of the money has now been repaid, with around £25k still to go. Alasdair is over 70 now, and has Parkinsons. Yet HT chose to deride him, imply he was a thief and pocket lining scammer, stealing the cultural heritage of the village for his own gain. His son had a very debilitating stroke in his early thirties. They are both cared for by Alasdair’s wife, herself a lovely lady, but no spring chicken any more – she won’t mind me saying that! I sat in church with her today at the commemoration service, and had lunch with her later.

    It’s such utterly disgraceful cruelty and inhumanity towards people doung their level best, in difficult circumstances, by Highland Titles that gets on my wick.

    Yesterday I made a proposal to be channelled to the SCSC, of which Sir Malcolm is Convener, to try to develop a fight back, which seeks to preserve the cultural heritage of such ordinary people as those above, being traduced in this filthy manner. I hope, if it arrives on his desk, Sir Malcolm will see it as a useful way forward, and at least one of a number of measures to thwart Bevis. He truly is a pitiful indictment on humanity.


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  6. Bob Thompson

    Bevis, eh? Those of us who watched MTV on cable back in the 90s remember a cartoon called “Beavis and Butthead”, which depicted the misbegotten lives of two brain-dead space cadets who somehow stumbled through life cluelessly. The erstwhile owner of Highland Titles is obviously a blood relative of the “famous” Bevis- in fact, may be one and the same. I have never seen such poor timing, gross ignorance of law, sheer stupidity at arguing with those who know much, much more about property lay than he will ever fathom, and childish enough to close off those who outed him for the cheat and blackguard that he appears to be.

    Here in the States, they used to tar-and-feather charlatans like this, and run them out of town (or lynch them, if the citizens were of such a mind). It would seem that Bevis the Butthead has received his tarring and feathering at the hands of the lawyers. To which I say, good on ya!

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  10. Sharon

    Bought one of these as a vanity souvenir from a display in a tourist shop in Edinburgh, thinking at least the money was going for land preservation and this was a clever way to raise funds for that purpose. Very disappointed to learn it is just lining some scammers’ pockets.


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