SLN Spotlight: John Fotheringham

John Fotheringham

The latest SLN Spotlight falls on bto’s John Fotheringham. Described by Chambers UK as ”a guru for child support cases”, he has over 30 years’ experience in these spheres, representing clients in the Court of Session and in the sheriff courts throughout Scotland. 

What has been your best experience as a lawyer?

Winning three child support cases in a single day — two of them at the Tribunal and the third one by making the CSA run away.

What has been your worst experience as a lawyer?

Discovering, in the presence of a notoriously oppressive sheriff in the West of Scotland, in 1978, that perhaps I didn’t know quite as much I’d thought. It was a very uncomfortable afternoon, but I learned a lesson that day which has stayed with me for the 37 subsequent years, and counting.

Why did you choose the law?

I thought the law would be a route into politics which was the career I’d planned for myself. Then, during the class of Legislation I learned why people who like sausages and respect the law should never watch either of them being made.

Who or what has been the greatest influence in your life?

Wife, children and Eric Clive.

What advice would you give to anyone considering a career in the law?

First, look at what the law is becoming rather than what it has been. The practice of law will change beyond recognition in the next few years. Secondly, no matter how new you are, you’re a professional — never feel that you have to apologise for being there.

What would you want to be if you were not a lawyer?

A full-time professional musician. And yes, I can hear that laughter — you know who you are.

How do you relax after work?

see answer 4 (under deletion of Eric Clive) plus poetry and music.

What is your favourite holiday destination and why?

Orkney — the wildlife, the food, the history, the music, the land, the sky and the sea.