Richard Keen QC appointed Advocate General for Scotland



Richard Keen QC
Richard Keen QC

The UK government has announced that Richard Keen QC has been appointed as the Advocate General for Scotland.

He becomes the most senior legal adviser to the UK government on Scots Law.

As a UK law officer, he will work with the Attorney General and Solicitor General for England and Wales to provide legal advice to the UK government on the full range of UK government policy and legislation and has particular statutory functions under the Scottish devolution settlement.

Mr Keen will also represent the UK government in courts and tribunals.

He will be supported by the Office of the Advocate General, which consists of lawyers and administrative staff with offices in Edinburgh and in London.

The Secretary of State for Scotland David Mundell said: “This is a key job for Scotland and Richard is exactly the right person to take it on.

“He is one of our most respected and experienced legal minds and will have a central role in supporting the UK government in Scotland, not least as we work to strengthen devolution to the Scottish Parliament.

Mr Keen said: “I am delighted to be appointed Advocate General for Scotland. It is a great honour to join the UK government and I look forward to working with my ministerial colleagues to support the work of the UK government in Scotland at this crucial point in our political and constitutional history.”

After being admitted to the Faculty in 1980 Mr Keen was a standing junior counsel to the DTI in Scotland from 1986 to 1993, and was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1993.

In 2007 he was elected Dean of the Faculty of Advocates, and served in that office until 2014.

In early November 2013 it was announced that Mr Keen would be appointed as the new chairman of the Scottish Conservative party.

Following this he stood down as Dean of Faculty. He is a member of the bar in England and Wales and a Bencher of the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple.

Mr Keen lives in Edinburgh and is married with 2 children, a son and daughter.

Responding to Mr Keen’s appointment, Christine McLintock, president of the Law Society of Scotland, said: “I would like to congratulate Richard Keen on his appointment as Advocate General for Scotland.

“Richard is highly respected for his legal knowledge and expertise and I have no doubt that he will bring his wealth of experience to this important role at a time of significant change and important debate about Scotland’s future.

“The role of Advocate General will be particularly significant in the coming years with the passage of the Scotland Bill, speculation over further devolution and the consultation over the proposed British Bill of Rights, all issues we set out in our priorities for the general election.

“We intend to continue to play a full role in the debate in Scotland’s constitutional future now the Scotland Bill has been published and will examine the bill’s proposals to ensure that they can work in practice for everyone living and working Scotland.”