Monday, February 04, 2013

Hair Raising : QC Herbert Kerrigan takes legal action after remarks made at law class about integrity, toupe

HERBERT KERRIGAN QC, listed in Black Chambers as a Senior Counsel, is reported to have taken legal action against an employee of the Scottish Legal Aid Board (SLAB) after a SLAB employee, Robin Davidson allegedly made derogatory remarks about Kerrigan’s integrity and toupe in front of a class of law students.

Scotland’s Sunday Mail newspaper reported the story :

Top lawyer sues over alleged insult during a lecture at Edinburgh University

HERBERT KERRIGAN has taken action after fellow lawyer Robin Davidson allegedly made a derogatory remark about Kerrigan's integrity and toupe in front of a class of law students.

By Ciaran Donnelly

ONE of Scotland’s top QCs is suing a fellow lawyer over claims he defamed him in front of a class of law students.

A civil action on behalf of Herbert Kerrigan, 67, was lodged with the Court of Session in Edinburgh on December 17 against Scottish Legal Aid Board (SLAB) employee Robin Davidson.

Davidson, 44, who lives in ­Edinburgh’s Merchiston area, allegedly made a derogatory remark about Kerrigan’s integrity while he was ­lecturing as a guest at Edinburgh ­University’s School of Law.

In addition, he is alleged to have told students that the toupe-wearing QC is nicknamed “Two Wigs”. Kerrigan is also seeking damages from SLAB. SLAB bosses have already offered an apology to Kerrigan.

A source said: “Kerrigan was furious when he was told about the comment. Word got back to him through a ­student’s relative and he ­complained.” Kerrigan, who is also an ordained Church of Scotland minister, was called to the Bar in 1970 and took silk in 1992.

The QC is one of Scotland’s highest paid solicitors. In 2011- 2012, he was the sixth highest legal aid earner with fees of £254,200. He also practises at the English Bar and has been involved in many high-profile cases. They include the defence of former Scots fire fighter Kenneth Blair, who was jailed for 15 years in 2011 for a campaign of abuse against his family.

Defamation is Scotland’s legal term for what is known elsewhere as libel and slander. Individuals can bring an action to protect their reputation.

Davidson qualified as a solicitor in 1994. His father, William, also worked as a lawyer. Last night he said: “It is in the hands of my lawyers. It would be inappropriate to comment on anything.”

A spokesman for the SLAB refused to comment.

Kerrigan has instructed Edinburgh law firm Balfour Manson to act for him and didn’t respond to calls from the Sunday Mail.

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