Before going to the Bar, Ian qualified as a community worker and worked for a number of years in the Community Education Service mainly with young people, unemployed teenagers and various community groups as well as the Adult Literacy Scheme. After graduating in law he did a general traineeship in private practice, and then joined the Procurator Fiscal Service where he remained for a number of years. Since calling at the Bar in 1992, he has specialised in family, child, employment and criminal law. His first six years were spent appearing mainly in criminal cases in both the Sheriff and High Courts. The focus of his work over the last seven years has been child and employment law in respect of conducting Children’s Referral proofs, adoptions and Employment Tribunals. He has over the years also appeared in a number of Fatal Accident Inquiries.
Ian is a member of the Equalities Panel of Advocates in recognition of his experience of conducting discrimination type cases. He has been involved in several important cases including:
- Gary Johnston (reported at Starrs v Ruxton 2000 JC 208) where it was held that the former temporary Sheriffs did not constitute an independent and impartial tribunal in terms of the European Convention of Human Rights, Art 6.
- Archibald v Fife Council  IRLR 652 which went to the House of Lords and made it clear that ‘positive discrimination’ should be read into the Disability Discrimination Act 1995.
- Quinn v Schwarzkopf  IRLR 602 which established that lack of knowledge does not prevent the employer from putting forward a defence of justification in respect of disability related discrimination.
- G v City of Edinburgh Council 2002 SLT 828 which discussed the rights of unmarried fathers in applications to free children for adoption.
Mobile: 07739 638995
Email: Ian Sharpe