Profile of In-house Lawyers Group committee member

Work history

Two years’ apprenticeship in Wright & Crawford in Paisley, followed by 33 years in the Procurator Fiscal Service as a depute procurator fiscal, senior depute procurator fiscal, assistant procurator fiscal, procurator fiscal and now area procurator fiscal. I have worked in Ayr, Glasgow, Hamilton, Dundee, Stirling and Alloa, and Fife (as well as two or three weeks in Stranraer and a day in Dunoon). I now appear to spend about 50% of my time in Edinburgh.

What’s the best thing about your job?

Decision-making. Being a member of the Procurator Fiscal Service demands constantly making decisions with the pressure of having to make sure that you get them right. I appreciate that not everyone enjoys this and that the majority of the legal profession provide advice for other people to make decisions. I suppose it is that sort of characteristic that makes people want to do my job.

What was your worst experience and what did you learn from it?

Like most people I tend to and indeed try to forget the painful experiences and remember only the good ones. My worst experiences have been at the hands of the media and part of me considers that it is a little bit sad that I should allow bad and sometimes malicious reporting to get to me, but I think that everybody who has to deal with the media has that experience at some time. I have learnt to live with it to some extent and there is no doubt that over the years

I have become much more proficient at dealing with the media.

What external bodies/ organisations are you involved with?

Apart from the Law Society of Scotland, I am a member of the Society of Solicitor Advocates and the Forensic Pathology Society.

What do you do at weekends?

Household shopping, golf and walking.

What are the benefits of being on the Society’s Council or committees?

Principally becoming engaged in work that I would not normally become engaged in. It also allows me to make better and further contacts with other members of the profession.

Who’s your hero and why?

At my age it is probably not a good idea having a hero. Since by this time I’ve realised that there are very few people who do not have feet of clay, I think I would simply say that I have now accepted that everyone has different talents from everybody else. Hero worship is a form of envy and it is not a good idea to have envy in your later life.

If you weren’t a lawyer what would you have been?

A sports commentator.

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