Five new judges have been appointed to the Court of Session and High Court bench.
The Queen, on the recommendation of First Minister, has appointed Douglas Fairley QC, Anna Poole QC, Sean Smith QC, Sheriff Robert Weir QC, and Sheriff Peter Braid as Senators of the College of Justice, effective from various dates next year.
Mr Fairley practised as a solicitor for six years before calling to the bar in 1999, specialising in commercial and employment litigation. He has served as an employment judge in both Scotland and England, and as an advocate depute. He took silk in 2012 and has worked on a wide range of high-profile civil cases.
Ms Poole qualified as a solicitor (England & Wales) and then in Scotland, before calling to the Scots bar in 1998. She became a QC in 2012, after serving as First Standing Junior Counsel to the Scottish Government. She sat part time as UK First-tier Tribunal judge (Social Entitlement Chamber), and as arbitrator for Motor Insurers Bureau cases. In 2018, she was appointed a UK Upper Tribunal judge (Administrative Appeals Chamber), sitting in Edinburgh and London. She and Mr Fairley will take their places on the bench on 13 January 2020.
Mr Smith was a fellow and lecturer in law at Emmanuel College, Cambridge between 1991 and 1996. He was admitted to the Faculty of Advocates in 1999, and took silk in 2012. He has been Standing Junior Counsel, variously, to the Scottish Government, to HMRC, and to the Office of the Advocate General, and recently served as an advocate depute. He will join the bench from 17 February 2020.
Mr Weir was admitted to the Faculty of Advocates in July 1995. He served as an advocate depute, took silk in 2010, and was appointed a floating sheriff based at Hamilton Sheriff Court in April 2015. He has served as a temporary judge of the Court of Session since March 2017, and became a resident sheriff at Edinburgh Sheriff Court in April 2018, sitting as one of the specialist sheriffs in the All Scotland Personal Injury Court. He becomes a senator with effect from 6 April 2020.
Mr Braid's career was as a solicitor and solicitor advocate before he joined the shrieval bench. He became a partner in Morton Fraser in 1985 and a solicitor advocate in 1995, dealing predominantly with commercial litigation. He was appointed as a sheriff in 2005 and currently sits in Edinburgh. In 2015, he was appointed as one of the first appeal sheriffs in the Sheriff Appeal Court, and as a designated personal injury sheriff. He takes up his new appointment on 22 June 2020.