The head of the Scottish Bar has announced his intention to resign after being caught talking on a train about his client, Alex Salmond, in a derogatory manner.
Gordon Jackson QC referred himself to the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission (SLCC) last month in the wake of the Sunday Times publishing a recording of his comments, taken by a fellow passenger.
All complaints about Scottish lawyers start at the SLCC. But, as with the Legal Ombudsman south of the border it only handles service issues itself; conduct matters are referred to the relevant professional body to investigate for possible disciplinary action.
This would lead to the Faculty of Advocates – the Scottish equivalent of the Bar Council – having to investigate its own dean (chair).
In a statement issued through the Faculty’s Twitter feed on Friday, Mr Jackson said: “I have intimated my decision to resign as Dean of the Faculty of Advocates, with effect from 30 June, at the latest.
“It would not, however, be appropriate for me to remain as Dean at a time when the Faculty was considering disciplinary proceedings regarding my conduct.
“Accordingly, if, before that date, the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission remits the recent complaint for consideration by the Faculty’s Complaints Committee, I will stand down as Dean immediately. I do not intend to make any further comment.”
On the recording, which was made during Mr Salmond’s trial, Mr Jackson was heard saying: “I don’t know much about senior politicians but he was quite an objectionable bully to work with in a way I don’t think Nicola [Sturgeon] is. I think he was a nasty person to work for… a nightmare to work for.”
He then appeared to say Mr Salmond could be seen as “a sex pest but he’s not charged with that”.
A jury in Edinburgh last month found Mr Salmond, the former leader of the SNP and first minister of Scotland, not guilty on 12 charges of sexual assault, while another was not proven.