Head of new sheriff appeal court is appointed QC

20 Jan

The Sheriff Principal for Lothian and Borders, Mhairi Stephen, has been appointed as Queen's Counsel, it has been announced.

Sheriff Principal Stephen was nominated by Lord Gill, the Lord President, and the appointment was made by Her Majesty the Queen on the recommendation of former First Minister Alex Salmond.

Last November, Sheriff Principal Stephen was admitted to the Faculty, and she was also named President of the new Sheriff Appeal Court, which is to be established under the Courts Reform (Scotland) Act 2014.

As a solicitor and partner with Allan McDougall & Co from 1976 to 1997, Ms Stephen was engaged mainly in civil litigation. She represented bereaved families following the Piper Alpha disaster in both the Inquiry and subsequent negotiation of damages.

She was appointed a temporary sheriff in 1995, and became a resident sheriff in Edinburgh in 2000. She was a member of the Scottish Civil Courts Review from 2007-2009, and was appointed Sheriff Principal in 2011