The Rt Hon Lady Dorrian

The second most senior judge and most senior woman judge in Scotland

(b. 1957)

Admitted 1991, Called 1991, Bencher 2018

Lady Dorrian is the Lord Justice Clerk of Scotland. She was born and brought up in Edinburgh and studied law at the University of Aberdeen. She was admitted to the Faculty of Advocates in 1981 and until 2002 worked for the UK Civil Service, holding posts at the Health and Safety Executive, the Scottish prosecutor’s office (known as the Crown Office), the Department of Energy, and the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board. She was called to the English Bar from Inner Temple in 1991, and appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1994.

Lady Dorrian’s first judicial appointment was in 2002 as a Temporary Judge of the Scottish Court of Session. In 2005 she was made a full-time Senator of the College of Justice and took the title of Lady Dorrian. In 2012 she was raised to the Inner House, the senior part of the Court of Session and the supreme Scottish civil court.

The post of Lord Justice Clerk, the second most senior in the Scottish judiciary, fell vacant in April 2016 following the promotion of its incumbent. The job went to Lady Dorrian, making her the most senior woman judge in Scotland, and its first Lord justice Clerk.