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Nine new Scots QCs appointed

18 September 2019

Nine new Queen’s Counsel in Scotland have been appointed.

The three women and six men are: Isla Davie, advocate; C Euan Duthie, advocate; Matt Jackson, advocate; Neil Mackenzie, advocate; Fred Mackintosh, advocate; Michael Meehan, advocate; Claire Mitchell, advocate; Astrid Smart, advocate; and Liam Ewing, solicitor advocate.

Advocates and solicitors with rights of audience in the Supreme Courts are eligible to apply to the Lord Justice General, who then consults other judges, the Lord Advocate, the Dean of the Faculty of Advocates and the President of the Law Society of Scotland. Nominations are made to the First Minister, who then makes recommendations to the Queen for appointment.

According to the report by the independent observer of the process, Jessica Burns, also published today, only 14 advocates and one solicitor advocate applied for QC status in 2019, compared with 20 or more advocates and between two and eight solicitor advocates in each previous year since 2010.

The report states that of the six applicants not recommended for appointment, two already hold judicial office and therefore did not meet the criteria for this selection process, and four were unknown or virtually unknown to the senior judiciary and consequently their applications also lacked evidence of depth of experience to fit the criteria at the present time.

Ms Burns concludes: "I am satisfied that the criteria for appointment in the current year have been amply met whilst still reflecting a degree of diversity. Of the 15 applicants only four were women, but of these three were recommended for appointment, representing one third of those recommended for appointment. The one solicitor advocate who applied has been recommended for appointment this year." There were no applications from people from ethnic minority groups.

Click here to view the report.

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