Advocate put on trial by peers

A leading Scottish defence advocate is himself set to face trial – by his own peers.

Donald Findlay QC's career could be in jeopardy if he is found guilty.

Findlay allegedly made anti-Catholic sectarian comments following Rangers' victory over Celtic in the recent Scottish Cup Final.

He then resigned as vice-chairman of Rangers, after being caught singing sectarian songs.

The dean of the Faculty of Advocates, Nigel Emslie QC, has himself instigated the complaint against Findlay. Emslie has received 19 complaints.

The faculty's disciplinary tribunal is expected to handle the complaint within four weeks.

Tribunal chairman, Lord Jauncey, will determine Findlay's guilt on a charge of “serious and reprehensible misconduct, bringing the faculty into disrepute”.

The tribunal has only tried two cases in its 12-year existence.

The case has gone straight to tribunal, brought by the dean himself,revealing the gravity of the allegations.

If found guilty, Findlay could be suspended and fined up to u10,000 (Findlay is reputed to earn at least u1,500 per day). He could even face expulsion from the faculty, which would effectively end Findlay's career.

The dean could reduce, but not increase, any sentence. “Even if Mr Findlay accepts the complaint and pleads guilty to the charge it may well still go to trial,” says Faculty of Advocates spokesman, Quentin Jardine.