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16/07/14 10:00

Appointment of new Sheriffs Principal

New Sheriffs Principal appointed

On 2 July 2014 Her Majesty the Queen, on the recommendation of the First Minister, has appointed Mr Duncan Law Murray as Sheriff Principal of North Strathclyde, Sheriff Ian Ralph Abercrombie QC, as Sheriff Principal of South Strathclyde, Dumfries and Galloway; and Sheriff Marysia Lewis as Sheriff Principal of Tayside, Central and Fife. First Minister Alex Salmond nominated those recommended for appointment on the basis of a report by the Independent Judicial Appointments Board for Scotland.

Duncan Murray graduated with an LLB Hons from the University of Aberdeen in 1980. He qualified as a solicitor with Robson Mclean and Paterson WS and became a partner in 1985. He joined Morton Fraser in 2002 and was Chief Executive of the firm. He served as President of the Law Society of Scotland 2004-2005 and was appointed part-time sheriff in 2006. He is currently a solicitor member of the Scottish Civil Justice Council.

Ian Abercrombie QC, Ian Abercrombie graduated with an LLB Hons from Edinburgh University in 1978. He was admitted to the Faculty of Advocates in 1981. He was a Curator of the Faculty Library (1981-1983), on the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland's Disciplinary Committee (1996-2009) and a member of a Scottish Law Commission Advisory Group (2000-2003). He was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1993 and sheriff in 2009. He is currently a judicial member of the Scottish Civil Justice Council.

Marysia Lewis graduated with an LLB from the University of Strathclyde in 1979. After her apprenticeship at Dunlop Gordon & Smythe (1979-81) she became a solicitor at Monklands District Council (1981-83) and City of Aberdeen District Council (1983-87) before moving to Ledingham Chalmers LLP (formerly Edmonds & Ledingham) firstly as solicitor and thereafter partner (1987-2008). She was appointed part-time sheriff in 2006 and sheriff in 2008.

The salary of a Sheriff Principal is £141,332 per annum.

The Judicial Appointments Board for Scotland was established by Ministers in 2002 and it became an independent advisory non-departmental public body on 1st June 2009. The board has statutory responsibilities under the Judiciary and Courts (Scotland) Act 2008. The board’s role is to recommend for appointment to the office of judge, sheriff principal, sheriff and part-time sheriff. The First Minister retains the statutory responsibility for making nominations to Her Majesty the Queen. The First Minister is required by statute to consult the Lord President of the Court of Session before making his nomination to Her Majesty.