Ashley Edwards QC named as principal Crown counsel

01 Feb

THE Lord Advocate has appointed Ashley Edwards QC to be principal Crown counsel and lead the advocate depute team in the prosecution of serious crime.

Ms Edwards will report directly to Lord Advocate Dorothy Bain QC and Solicitor General for Scotland Ruth Charteris QC. This is the first time these three senior prosecutorial roles have been held simultaneously by women.

Lord Advocate Dorothy Bain QC said: “Ashley is an outstanding lawyer who is eminently qualified for this role. Since returning to Crown Office in the summer of last year I have been hugely impressed by the way she approaches the important work done by the Crown. I am confident she will build upon the contributions of Stephen O’Rourke, who so tragically died in December, and Alex Prentice who was PCC before him.”

“Faculty is delighted to note the appointment of Ashley as principal Crown counsel. With Susanne Tanner QC recently installed as assistant PCC, and with Dorothy Bain QC and Ruth Charteris QC as Lord Advocate and Solicitor General respectively, this is testament to the excellence of female practitioners at the Scottish Bar. Having the top three positions all occupied by women for the first time is a historic moment, to be celebrated as we approach International Women’s Day,” said Roddy Dunlop QC, Dean of the Faculty of Advocates.

Ms Edwards was previously deputy PCC and has been an advocate depute since 2008. She has extensive experience in dealing with a wide breadth of criminal law cases including those involving non-accidental injuries to children, deaths in custody, health and safety prosecutions and conduct of appeals.

“I wish Ashley every success in the challenges to come. Faculty looks forward to continuing to work with her, and the rest of Crown Office, in ensuring the continued and efficient administration of justice in Scotland,” said Mr Dunlop.

Richard Goddard QC has been promoted from assistant to deputy PCC. Susanne Tanner QC has been joined in the role of assistant PCC by Lisa Gillespie QC. Alex Prentice QC continues as senior trial counsel and director of advocate depute training. Gavin Anderson, Lorraine Glancy and John Keenan are to become senior advocate deputes.