In memoriam, Colin McEachran QC MBE

27 May

Faculty notes with sadness the passing of Colin McEachran QC MBE. 

Expressing his condolences Dean of Faculty Roddy Dunlop QC said: “Colin was in many ways a trailblazer at the Scottish bar, involved in many of the leading reparation cases of the last few decades. His wit and wisdom will be missed by his many friends at Faculty.” 

Mr McEachran, who passed away last weekend aged 82, studied law at the University of Glasgow, was admitted to Faculty in 1968 and took Silk in 1982. An Advocate Depute from 1974 to 1977, he was a member of the Scottish Legal Aid Board from 1990 to 1998 and served as President of the Pensions Appeal Tribunal for Scotland from 1995 until 2013. He held the position of Chair at Commonwealth Games Scotland (CGS) between 1995 and 1999, and received an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2018 for his services to target shooting and CGS.

 “Colin McEachran was one of the stalwarts of the Scottish Bar and rightly described as a ‘trailblazer’ by the Dean of Faculty,” said Andrew Smith QC. “Predominantly acting for Pursuers, he was a passionate, jovial advocate who was as quick on the draw as he was charming and tenacious. I had the pleasure of being his junior on several occasions and on a few occasions appearing against him. Even as an opponent - a worthy one - he was charming to deal with, and on one famous occasion, with the current Dean as my junior, we appeared against Colin in the House of Lords. Although we were successful, we were defending a judgment of the Inner House that he secured in a difficult case, representing as he did the family of a deceased individual who deserved the best crack at a claim. And they certainly got it in Colin. 

“He had a full life and was awarded an MBE for his extracurricular interests in ‘full bore’ target shooting. He was neither a fool nor a bore, but won a silver medal in the 1974 Commonwealth Games in Christchurch and retained a long term interest in the sport. And in court as much as on the range, his aim was good. He blazed the trail for what became the Ogden tables, despite the fierce resistance from the bench. And in many other hard miles, he did not give up and was proved right.  

“I had the pleasure of working with him until a few days prior to his death, as he agreed to be the Representative Party in a group litigation for Kenyan Tea Pickers in a litigation in Scotland. At the recent consultation, his humour and enthusiasm, and his passion were as lively as they were when he was in practice. A man who lived twenty lives in one, for those who did not know him you are the poorer for that and I hope that his qualities will continue to work their way through the Faculty,” said Mr Smith.