Douglas Fairley QC

Westwater Advocates Welcomes Employment and Commercial Specialist Douglas Fairley QC Back to his Civil Practice


After a period as an Employment Judge followed by almost four years as an Advocate Depute, Douglas Fairley QC is returning to his civil practice with Westwater Advocates from 2 February 2015.

Douglas joined Westwater when he called to the Bar in 1999. In early 2010 he accepted an invitation to become a full time Employment Judge in the Edinburgh office of the Employment Tribunals.

Douglas explains: “Although I had been an Advocate for over a decade, my time as an Employment Judge gave me a different and valuable insight into how advocacy looks from the Bench. It also made me realise how much I enjoyed (and missed) being an Advocate. Prosecuting as an Advocate Depute for a while seemed to be the obvious way to address that!”

So, in May 2011 Douglas returned to practice as full-time Advocate Depute. In that role he appeared twice in the Supreme Court in London in Human Rights cases. Back in Scotland, he also fulfilled his ambition of prosecuting numerous criminal trials against some of the most formidable defence Counsel at the Scottish Bar.

He leaves Crown Office having taken silk in 2012 and having become a Senior Advocate Depute in 2013.

“In hindsight, the murder trials were the highlight” says Douglas, “They are very hard work, but for sharpening your skills as a court lawyer, there is simply no better experience.”

Stable Director Calum McNeill QC commented: “We are delighted to welcome Douglas back to his civil practice with Westwater Advocates. His return further strengthens the position of Westwater as a market leader in Employment and Commercial work.”