Lord Advocate

Current role holder: Dorothy Bain QC

Last updated: 16 Aug 2021 - see all updates
Dorothy Bain QC

Dorothy Bain QC was appointed Lord Advocate in June 2021.

Responsibilities

The Lord Advocate, also known as Her Majesty’s Advocate, is the senior Scottish Law Officer. The following are the Lord Advocate’s main functions: 

  • head of the systems for the investigation and prosecution of crime and investigation of deaths
  • principal legal adviser to the Scottish Government
  • representing the Scottish Government in civil proceedings
  • representing the public interest in a range of statutory and common law contexts 

All prosecutions on indictment run in the name of the Lord Advocate. 

Read more information about the role and functions of the Lord Advocate.

Biography

Dorothy has extensive experience in both civil and criminal law. She qualified at the University of Aberdeen and began her career as an Advocate in 1994, taking silk in 2007. She has been instructed in cases at all levels, including the Court of Session (Inner and Outer House), Court of Criminal Appeal, High Court of Justiciary, United Kingdom Supreme Court and the European Court of Human Rights.

From 2002 to 2011 Dorothy served as an Advocate Depute in Crown Office. This culminated in her appointment as the Principal Advocate Depute in 2009; the first woman to be appointed to this post. As Principal Advocate Depute, Dorothy was Scotland’s most senior prosecutor, conducting many complex and high profile criminal prosecutions and appeals. In 2008, Dorothy reported on the prosecution of sexual crime in Scotland, which in turn resulted in the creation of the National Sex Crimes Unit.

Last updated: 16 Aug 2021 -