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Law Society pays tribute to Oliver Adair

05 June 2015 | tagged News release

The Law Society of Scotland has paid tribute to its former Council member and legal aid convener Oliver Adair who passed away earlier this week after a long fight with cancer.

"Ollie" Adair joined the Law Society Council in 1996 representing solicitors in Hamilton and Lanark. Throughout much of his time on Council, he headed up the legal aid negotiating team and led the Society's work on legal aid policy and reform.

He served continuously on Council until his retirement in 2012 when he sold his legal practice firm Adair & Bryden. Later that year, he joined the Law Society's staff team and continued to work on legal aid whilst improving engagement between the Society and its members.

Law Society President Christine McLintock said: "Ollie was a champion for legal aid and determined to ensure everyone had access to justice, irrespective of their status or wealth.

"As our legal aid convener, he campaigned tirelessly for a legal aid system that would always protect the most vulnerable in our society. He also argued for a system that paid solicitors fairly for their advice and hard work.

"Throughout his time, Ollie gained respect for being a skilled and canny negotiator. His many years as a criminal defence lawyer in Hamilton meant he brought practical experience from the front line along with a no-nonsense attitude, a good instinct and sound judgment.

"Despite all the challenges that remain, I have no doubt our legal aid system and the protections it offers are better because of Ollie Adair. Solicitors, their clients and society as a whole will benefit from his work for many years to come."

Law Society Chief Executive Lorna Jack said: "Whether as a Council member, committee convener or more recently as a member of our staff team, Ollie was at the heart of the Law Society for almost 20 years.

"Those of us who knew Ollie will remember him first and foremost as a kind and sincere man, with a wicked sense of humour and infectious laugh. Even during tense negotiations or a ferocious debate on legal aid strategy, he could turn the atmosphere around with his typical warmth and wit.

"Of course, he was also a proud husband and father and our thoughts and prayers go out to Ollie's wife Catriona and family who were such a source of support to him, particularly during this last difficult year. Like his family, all of us at the Law Society will miss Ollie and remember him with affection."


For further information please contact Val McEwan at or Sarah Sutton at

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