Appointment of new Sheriffs Principal


Her Majesty The Queen, on the recommendation of the First Minister, has appointed two new Sheriffs Principal who will take up office shortly.

  • Sheriff James A Taylor will be appointed to the office of Sheriff Principal of Glasgow and Strathkelvin to succeed Sheriff Principal Edward F Bowen QC, who was recently appointed Sheriff Principal of Lothian and Borders.
  • Sheriff Brian A Lockhart will be appointed Sheriff Principal of South Strathclyde Dumfries and Galloway to succeed Sheriff Principal John C McInnes QC, who is to retire shortly.

Biographical details of the two appointees are as follows:

Sheriff James A Taylor (54)

Admitted as a solicitor in 1977 and as a solicitor advocate in 1993, James Taylor was a solicitor in private practice, first in Aberdeen and then in Glasgow where he was a partner in McGrigor Donald.

Appointed Sheriff of Lothian and Borders at Edinburgh in 1998, he transferred to Glasgow and Strathkelvin in 1999 where he was designated Commercial Sheriff. Other appointments include Law Society representative on the Court of Session Commercial Court Users Committee (1993-1998), Chairman of the Disciplinary Tribunal for the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (2000 to date) and member of the Advisory Committee to the Scottish Law Commission in relation to the review of the law on Interest on Debt and Damages.

Sheriff Brian A Lockhart (62)

Brian Lockhart was admitted as solicitor in 1964 and began his career as a qualified assistant with Robertson Chalmers & Auld, becoming a partner there in 1967.

In 1977 he was appointed temporary sheriff, serving in that capacity until 1979 when he was appointed as floating sheriff of North Strathclyde based at Paisley. In 1981 he became a resident sheriff at Glasgow where he has held office to date.

He is currently President of the Sheriffs' Association having first served as Secretary (1997-2002) then as Vice President (2002-2004). Other appointments include part-time member of the Parole Board for Scotland (1997-2003) and membership of the McInnes Review of Summary Criminal Justice (2000-2004).

The Judicial Appointments Board for Scotland was asked to consider applications and make recommendations to the First Minister to fill these two vacancies and a notice seeking applications was published in the national and legal press. The Board sifted applications and interviewed candidates before making its recommendations to the First Minister.

As provided for in statute, the First Minister consulted the Lord President, Scotland's most senior judge, before accepting the Board's recommendations and making his nominations to Her Majesty.