Commissioners and staff


The Hon Lord Pentland

Lord Pentland was appointed as Chairman of the Scottish Law Commission with effect from 1 January 2014.

He was appointed as a Senator of the College of Justice in November 2008.  He was admitted to the Faculty of Advocates in 1982 and became a QC in 1995.  He served as an Advocate Depute (Crown Counsel prosecuting in the High Court) between 1991 and 1994.  In 1995 he was appointed Solicitor-General for Scotland and held this office until the General Election in 1997.  He then returned to practice at the Bar, specialising in commercial, public and media law.  Earlier in his career Lord Pentland was Standing Junior Counsel to the Department of the Environment in Scotland.  He also held appointments as a Chairman of the Police Appeals Tribunal and as a Chairman of the Appeal Committee of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland.  Between April 2001 and May 2002 he was Chairman of the Public Inquiry into limestone mining subsidence in the Gilmerton area of Edinburgh.  In 2010 Lord Pentland was appointed as a member of the Upper Tribunal (Tax and Chancery Chamber).  Until he took up his position with the Law Commission, he was an Intellectual Property Judge.

The Hon Lord Pentland photo

Kate Dowdalls QC

Kate Dowdalls QC was appointed a full-time Commissioner in July 2018.

She has been a Member of the Faculty of Advocates since 2000, following 15 years in private practice.  She took silk in 2013.  Throughout her career she has specialised in family law.  She has extensive experience in all aspects of child and family law and has litigated family cases in Sheriff Courts throughout Scotland and in the Court of Session, the Sheriff Appeal Court and UK Supreme Court.  She has appeared in cases at the forefront of development of family law, notably in the areas of cohabitation and adoption.  Kate is a regular contributor at conferences and seminars on matters of interest and concern to family lawyers.

Kate Dowdalls QC photo

Caroline Drummond

Caroline Drummond was appointed a full-time Commissioner in February 2015.

She was a partner in Burness Paull LLP for 27 years, specialising in property law, and representing a broad spectrum of clients from both the public and private sectors.  She sat on the Scottish Property Federation policy board, and is a recognised expert in the field of commercial property.

Caroline Drummond photo

David Johnston QC

David Johnston was appointed a part-time Commissioner in January 2015.

Mr Johnston practises at the Scottish Bar, where he specialises in public and commercial law. He was appointed a QC in 2005. From 1993-99 he was Regius Professor of Civil Law at the University of Cambridge. He is an honorary professor at Edinburgh Law School, appointed in 2000. His publications include Prescription and Limitation (2nd edition, 2012) and other books and articles on Roman law, Scots law and legal history.

David Johnston QC photo

Dr Andrew Steven

Dr Steven was appointed as a full-time Commissioner in August 2011.

He is a senior lecturer in law, and a former associate director of the Edinburgh Centre for Private Law, at the University of Edinburgh. His research interests are in property law, security rights and European private law.

Dr Andrew Steven photo

Chief Executive

Malcolm McMillan

Malcolm McMillan was appointed Chief Executive in April 2008.

He is a solicitor and a member of the Senior Civil Service, and is on secondment from the Government Legal Service for Scotland.  Prior to his appointment to the Commission he was the Divisional Solicitor for the Rural Affairs Division in the Scottish Government Legal Directorate, specialising in EU law, public law and legislation.  Malcolm's current interests focus on law reform and law reform methodology, on which he has published articles and made presentations to international conferences.  He is a member of the Executive Committee of the Commonwealth Association of Law Reform Agencies, and a member of the Commonwealth Secretariat's specialised consultancy pool for Rule of Law Projects.

Malcolm McMillan photo


Legal staff

Parliamentary Counsel
Gregor Clark CB*

Government Legal Service for Scotland
Andrew Crawley
Charles Garland*
Graham McGlashan
Lorraine Stirling*
Gillian Swanson

Legal Assistants
Paul Brogan
Kate Hendry
Alison Hetherington
Maryia Lahatskaya

Non-legal staff

Library and Information Services
Emma McLarty*

General Office 
Helen Stevenson, Office Manager*
Iain Ritchie
Gordon Speirs

Secretarial Services
Wilma MacAskill*
Joan Melville MBE

* Part-Time