Twenty eight intending advocates, the second-largest group to set out on their devilling, have begun their nine-month training programme at the Faculty of Advocates.

They comprise the largest group since 1999, when 37 devils arrived for training. Many have successfully applied for one of the various scholarships offered by Faculty to increase equality and diversity in the profession and promote a diverse mix of candidates representative of the public they will serve on their call to the bar.

Welcoming the new devils, Ruth Crawford, Faculty treasurer, commented: “The size of this group again emphasises the strength of the Scottish bar in attracting new talent to the profession. We are encouraged by the enthusiasm, excitement and commitment to excellence they have all expressed as they start their devilling. I join the rest of Faculty in wishing each one of them success throughout their training.”

Hugh Olson, director of training and education, added: “In 2020 we had another large group of 26. It’s wonderful to see so many talented people want to become advocates. This year’s devils come from a variety of backgrounds – from a volunteer RNLI crewmember to a former concert pianist. Each of them, like their predecessors, brings different strengths to the training programme and to Faculty. They have all settled into the five-week foundation course, they have completed their first mock trial and are working on their first proofs now.”

The 28 are Jordanna Blockley, Emma Boffey, Michael Briggs, Iain Buchanan, Sheana Campbell, Scott Clair, Louise Cockburn, Megan Davidson, Neil Deacon, Jonathan Deans, Iain Halliday, Ayla Iridag, David James, John Laing, Sarah Loosemore, James McCrone, Terence Merck, Duncan Milne, Lynsey Morgan, Katharine Muir, Thomas Mulhall, Colin Neilson, Mark Nicholson, Gareth Reid, Alistair Sloan, Elaine Smith, Chris Stephen, and Kenneth Young.