Lord Advocate

Current role holder: James Wolffe QC

James Wolffe  QC

James Wolffe QC is a leading Senior Counsel, and was appointed Lord Advocate in June 2016.


Her Majesty's Advocate, known as the Lord Advocate, is the chief legal officer of the Scottish Government and the Crown in Scotland for both civil and criminal matters that fall within the devolved powers of the Scottish Parliament.

He or she is the chief public prosecutor for Scotland and all prosecutions on indictment are conducted by the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, nominally in the Lord Advocate's name.

The Lord Advocate has four main functions:

  • head of the systems of prosecution 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 civil functions


He became an advocate in 1992 and was First Standing Junior Counsel to the Scottish Ministers from 2002 to 2007, the same year he was appointed Queen's Counsel. From 2007 to 2010 he served as an Advocate Depute.

Called to the bar of England and Wales in 2013, James was elected Dean of the Faculty of Advocates in 2014.