Advocate Deputes appointed


The Lord Advocate, Colin Boyd QC, today announced a number of changes to the Crown Counsel prosecution team.

John Beckett QC is to be appointed Principal Advocate Depute, having served as an Advocate Depute, Senior Advocate Depute, and most recently Assistant Principal Advocate Depute, since 2003.

Mr Beckett will take up this position on 1 January 2006, following the planned departure of the present Principal Advocate Depute, Alan Turnbull QC, who leaves Crown Office on 31 December 2005 to return to private practice at the Bar.

Dorothy Bain, a Senior Advocate Depute, has been appointed as Assistant Principal Advocate Depute, also effective from 1 January 2006.

Colin Boyd said:

"Alan Turnbull has served as Crown Counsel for almost ten years. Throughout this period he has shown enormous commitment and professionalism, and has impressed colleagues and observers alike with his outstanding advocacy skills. I would like to take this opportunity to pay personal tribute to the considerable contribution Alan has made in shaping the structure and working practices of the Advocate Depute team, and modernising the Crown's approach to the prosecution of serious crime. Alan has also prosecuted some of the most difficult and complex cases, including the Lockerbie trial and the cases of William Beggs, Nat Fraser and Luke Mitchell."While there is inevitably some sadness at the departure of such a talented prosecutor, there is also confidence that Alan leaves behind him a professional, dedicated team of Crown Counsel, who will be headed by John Beckett, an experienced and respected QC. I am also delighted that John will be succeeded as Assistant Principal Advocate Depute by Dorothy Bain, currently serving as a Senior Advocate Depute."

Further Advocate Depute appointments will be announced later this year.

New arrangements for the appointment and role of Advocate Deputes were announced in December 2002 in the document 'Modernising the Prosecution of Serious Crime - Appointment and Role of Advocate Deputes: The Way Forward'. These can be viewed at

Advocate Deputes are referred to collectively as Crown Counsel.

John Beckett QC will take up his appointment as Principal Advocate Depute on 1 January 2006. John was educated at the University of Edinburgh. He was called to the bar in 1993, has served as an Advocate Depute and a Senior Advocate Depute since 2003. He took Silk in 2005.

Dorothy Bain will take up her appointment as Assistant Principal Advocate Depute on 1 January 2005. Dorothy was educated at the University of Aberdeen. She was called to the bar in 1994 and has served as an Advocate Depute and Senior Advocate Depute since 2001.

The current team of Advocate Deputes is 24 strong, including practitioners from the Scottish Bar and Solicitor Advocates drawn from private practice and the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service.