Faculty welcomes new members

Faculty_of_Advocates_crestFour new members have joined the Faculty of Advocates, against a backdrop of a vivid reminder of the importance of the rule of law.

The intrants – Stephen Donnelly, Brian Crook, Giles Reid and Faryma Bahrami – were admitted to membership of the Faculty and to the public office of advocate at ceremonies in Parliament House.

Earlier, First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, had hosted a memorial service at neighbouring St Giles’ Cathedral to mark the 20th anniversary of the massacre at Srebrenica during the Bosnian War. A reception following the service was held in Parliament Hall.

In welcoming the new members, James Wolffe QC, Dean of Faculty, said that admission to the public office of advocate implied dedication to the rule of law and to the protection of fundamental rights.

Mr Wolffe said: “The maintenance of those values depends on skilled advocates, willing and able to act for any person who is accused of a crime or whose civil rights are in dispute, and to do so fearlessly, independently and with professional and personal integrity.

“Today, there is an event in Parliament Hall which marks the 20th anniversary of the massacre at Srebrenica. The unspeakable wickedness of Srebrenica brought a dark end to a century which had also witnessed Nazi genocide and the Soviet gulags. If we ever needed to be reminded that the rule of law is precious and that its benefits should never be taken for granted, we should reflect on the consequences when the rule of law fails.

“By choosing to become an advocate, you have committed yourself to play your part – along with all of your colleagues in this Faculty – in securing that the people of this country will continue to enjoy freedom under the law.”

Lord Armstrong administered the oath of allegiance to the new members and admitted them, on behalf of the Supreme Courts of Scotland, to the public office of advocate.

He said: “The Faculty of Advocates is one of the great institutions of Scotland. It is founded on mutual trust and respect, and is greatly valued by the judiciary.

“Membership of the Faculty brings with it important responsibilities and dedication to the highest standards of professionalism and public service.

“But I hope it will also allow each of you to experience and enjoy the rewards of companionship, collegiality and friendship, which have been strong features of Faculty life down the generations.“

He added: “Pleading in court on behalf of others is a privilege not to be taken lightly. To speak for others, often in stressful situations, requires integrity, intelligence and hard work. Judges depend on those appearing in court to show the highest degree of preparation, skill and ethical conduct.”

Stephen Donnelly grew up in Glasgow and is a graduate of Glasgow University (Bachelor of Laws and Diploma in Legal Practice), Edinburgh University (Master of Science), Lincoln College Oxford (Bachelor of Civil Law) and Yale Law School (Master of Laws). He completed a traineeship with Simpson & Marwick, and prior to commencing devilling was a judicial assistant to the Justices of the UK Supreme Court.

Brian Crook, from Ayrshire, had pursued a career in advertising after graduating from St Andrews University with a Master of Arts in Modern History. Then, in 2011, he obtained a Bachelor of Laws at Glasgow University, followed the next year by the Diploma in Legal Practice. He completed a traineeship with Shepherd and Wedderburn before setting out on a career at the bar.

Giles Reid is from Edinburgh and attended Cambridge University where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in 2007 and a Master of Philosophy in 2009. He returned to the capital and obtained a Bachelor of Laws in 2011 and the Diploma in Legal Practice in 2012 at Edinburgh University. He completed a traineeship with Brodies LLP before commencing devilling.

Faryma Bahrami grew up in Glasgow. She graduated from Dundee University with a Bachelor of Laws in 2008 and the Diploma in Legal Practice in 2009, before obtaining a Master of Laws in International Law at Glasgow University in 2014. She completed a traineeship with the Glasgow solicitors,Peden & Patrick, and thereafter worked as Assistant Public Solicitor on St Helena, the British Overseas Territory in the South Atlantic.