Commissioners and staff


The Rt Hon Lady Paton

Lady Paton was appointed as Chair of the Scottish Law Commission with effect from 1 January 2019.  A two-year extension commenced on
1 January 2024.

Lady Paton serves as Chair on a part-time basis, for 60% of her time;  and otherwise serves as a Senator of the College of Justice for the remaining 40%.   Lady Paton is an appeal court judge in Scotland.  Having graduated MA LLB in 1974, she  became an advocate at the Scottish Bar in 1977, a QC in 1990, a judge in 2000, and an appeal court judge in 2007.  She is experienced in both civil and criminal law, and prosecuted crime in the High Court as an advocate-depute (1992-1995).  Lady Paton served on the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board (1995-1999) and the Parole Board (2003-2007).  Her publications include Gloag & Henderson, Law of Scotland (8th, 9th and 10th editions) and McEwan & Paton, Damages for Personal Injuries in Scotland (1st and 2nd editions). 

Lady Paton is the lead Commissioner on the homicide project and the damages project.

The Rt Hon Lady Paton photo

David Bartos

David Bartos was appointed a full-time Commissioner in April 2020.

Having graduated from the University of Edinburgh with a First Class Degree, he has practised as an Advocate since 1993, having specialised in landlord/tenant, property, insolvency and inheritance disputes. He was a chairperson of the Housing and Property Chamber of the First-tier Tribunal for Scotland from 2011 until his appointment as a Commissioner. 

He is a practising arbitrator, being a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators since 2007 having also acted as an arbitral-tribunal appointed expert on commercial leases.

He is co-author of the sixth edition of Bartos and Meston on the Succession (Scotland) Act, has co-authored two editions of Dundas and Bartos on the Arbitration (Scotland) Act 2010 and published articles on property issues and cryptocurrency.

David is the lead Commissioner on the aspects of leases project and on the recently completed automated vehicles project which was undertaken jointly with the Law Commission of England and Wales

David Bartos photo

Professor Gillian Black

Professor Gillian Black was appointed a part-time Commissioner in April 2020, and the appointment became a full-time one from 1 June 2023.

She is Professor of Scots Private Law at the University of Edinburgh, with teaching and research interests principally in family law, contract law, and privacy.  She also has a research interest in heraldry, and has published widely across these fields.

Before joining Edinburgh Law School as a Lecturer in 2005, Gillian qualified as a solicitor in 2002 with Shepherd & Wedderburn in Edinburgh, working in their Commercial Contracts division, and then spent 18 months as a teaching assistant in the School of Law at the University of Glasgow.  She completed her PhD on publicity rights in Scots law in 2009. She is a graduate of the Universities of Glasgow (LLB, DPLP) and Edinburgh (PhD).

Gillian is the lead Commissioner on the aspects of family law project.

Professor Gillian Black photo

Professor Frankie McCarthy

Professor Frankie McCarthy was appointed a full-time Commissioner in October 2019.

She is a Professor of Private Law at the University of Glasgow, where she has taught since 2007.  Her teaching and research interests are in property law and family law, and she has published widely in relation to both.  She was awarded her PhD for a thesis exploring the limits of Article 1 of the First Protocol to the European Convention on Human Rights.  She is a graduate of the Universities of Edinburgh (LLB, DPLP) and Glasgow (PhD) and was admitted as a Solicitor by the Law Society of Scotland in 2004.

Frankie is the lead Commissioner on the heritable securities project and the tenements project.

Professor Frankie McCarthy photo

Ann Stewart

Ann Stewart was appointed a part-time Commissioner in April 2024.

Ann Stewart has been a professional support lawyer at Shepherd and Wedderburn for the last 22 years. She is a founder member of the Property Standardisation Group, which produces standardised commercial property documents, and the lead author of a legal textbook, Conveyancing Practice in Scotland, soon to be in its ninth edition. She is also a member of the Law Society of Scotland’s Property Law Committee. In all of these roles Ann seeks to provide clear and practical guidance and support to property lawyers in Scotland.

Ann is the lead Commissioner on the execution of documents project.

Ann Stewart photo

Interim Chief Executive

Charles Garland

Charles Garland was appointed Interim Chief Executive in June 2021.

He is a solicitor and is on secondment from the Government Legal Service for Scotland.  He has worked at the Scottish Law Commission as a Project Manager since 2007, apart from a period of around 2 years from 2016 when he was mainly working as a solicitor at the Scottish Parliament.  He has worked on many law reform projects and was involved with the first two SLC bills for which the Delegated Powers and Law Reform Committee of the Scottish Parliament was the lead Committee.  In recent times he, along with fellow Project Managers, was deployed for short periods to assist with secondary legislation required for Brexit.  Prior to joining the Commission he had various Scottish Government legal roles, including advising the Scottish Prison Service and working in the legal secretariat to the Advocate General. 

Charles Garland photo


Legal staff

Government Legal Service for Scotland
Julie Bain*
Stephen Crilly
Mariel Kaney
Graham McGlashan
Alastair Smith*
Lorraine Stirling

Legal Assistants

Craig Dalziel
Alexander Enaholo
Adam Nimmo
Georgia McCuaig

Non-Legal staff

Library and Information Services
Emma McLarty*

Executive Assistants 
Wilma Campbell
Scott Macdonald

Administrative Assistant
Gordon Speirs

* Part-Time