News In Focus
Eighteen solicitor advocates set up own chambers
A group of 18 solicitor advocates with criminal rights of audience have set up their own chambers similar to those that operate within the Faculty of Advocates.
Headed by senior counsel James Keegan QC, Fortis Chambers also comprises five senior solicitor advocates and 12 solicitor advocates. They offer representation in criminal trials at all levels of seriousness, and appeals, as well as offering to provide CPD and training events for solicitors and other professionals.
The senior solicitor advocate members are Robbie Burnett, Gordon Martin, Raymond McMenamin, Iain Paterson and Ian Bryce; and the solicitor advocates Michael Bell, Jim Stephenson, Stuart Carson, Sandra Walker, Neil Hay, Christopher Fyffe, Krista Johnston, David Allan, Gail Goodfellow, Carol Gowans, Richard Souter and Philip Templeton.
Bruce Beveridge, President of the Law Society of Scotland, said: “Solicitor advocates were first permitted to represent their clients in Scotland’s higher courts – the High Court of Judiciary and the Court of Session – in 1993. So it is fitting that the first chambers consisting solely of solicitor advocates should be established in this 20th anniversary year.
“There are now more than 300 solicitor advocates in Scotland representing clients in both criminal and civil cases. The increasing number of solicitor advocates is the mark of a success story in the provision of legal services for clients across Scotland and illustrates the ability of the legal profession to meet new challenges and adapt to an ever-changing environment. I wish Fortis Chambers every success with their new venture.”