Current office bearers

The office bearers of The Stair Society for 2017-18 are as follows:

  1. The Hon Lord Stewart

    The Hon Lord Stewart


    Lord Stewart was elected as the Society's President in November 2013. He is a graduate of Oxford University and the University of Edinburgh and was called to the Bar in 1975. He was Standing Junior Counsel to the Department of the Environment in Scotland from 1983 to 1988. He was appointed Queen's Counsel in 1988. From 1989 to 2000 he served as a Temporary Sheriff. He was Keeper of the Advocates Library from 1995 to 2002, Chair of the Scottish Council of Law Reporting from 1997 to 2001 and Convener of the Faculty of Advocates Standing Committee on Human Rights from 1998 to 2004. From 2005 to 2008 he served as a Senior Advocate Depute and was Leading Counsel to the Billy Wright Inquiry, Northern Ireland, from 2008 to 2010. He was appointed a Judge of the Supreme Courts in November 2010. Lord Stewart is a longstanding member of the Society and was a member of Council from 1995 to 1999. He was editor of volumes 46 and 53 of the Society's publications (volumes 3 and 4 of the Faculty of Advocates Minute Book, covering the years 1751 to 1798) and has been a contributor to the Miscellany volumes. His other publications include articles on Scottish history and literature.

  2. Professor Hector MacQueen

    Professor Hector MacQueen

    Vice President

    Hector MacQueen was elected as the Society's Vice President in November 2017. He has been Professor of Private Law at the University of Edinburgh, where he took his LLB and PhD, since 1994. From 2010 to 2017, he served as a Scottish Law Commissioner. In the history of law, Professor MacQueen has worked mainly on the medieval period. His research and teaching focus on three major areas: the history of law, the private law of obligations, and intellectual property. His work is generally centred on Scots law, but emphasises the significance of the comparative and especially the European context for a full understanding of the ‘mixed’ Scottish system and its future as well as its past development. Professor MacQueen was the Society's Literary Director from 1998 to 2016.

  3. Thomas H Drysdale WS

    Thomas H Drysdale WS

    Chairman of Council

    Stair Society's Secretary and Treasurer 1998-2016. A retired solicitor, he graduated in law from the University of Edinburgh in 1964 and was a partner in Shepherd & Wedderburn WS from 1967-99 (managing partner 1988-94) and a partner in Olivers WS from 1999-2004; a Director of Edinburgh Solicitors' Property Centre 1976-89 (Chairman 1981-88) and Deputy Keeper of the Signet 1991-98. From 2003 until the end of 2013 he sat as a part time tribunal judge in social security appeals. He lives in East Lothian, where he takes an interest in matters relating to planning and the environment, and he is Vice Chairman of Gullane Area Community Council.

  4. Professor John Ford

    Professor John Ford

    Vice-Chairman of Council

    John Ford was elected Vice-Chairman of the Society in November 2015. A graduate of the Universities of Glasgow, Pennsylvania and Cambridge, he was appointed to the Chair of Civil Law at the University of Aberdeen in 2013 after teaching for more than twenty years at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. His field of research is legal history generally and more particularly the legal history of early modern Scotland. His central concern is with the history of legal thought, but he also works on the history of maritime law and on institutional history. He delivered the Society’s annual lecture in 2010, his subject being Four Models of Union, a study of how the operation of Scots law in a British and European setting was envisaged in the years leading up to the union of the parliaments in 1707.

  5. Dr Stephen Bogle

    Dr Stephen Bogle


    Stephen Bogle has been a Lecturer in Private Law at the University of Glasgow since 2014. He is a graduate of the Universities of Edinburgh and Strathclyde and qualified solicitor (non-practising). His principal research lies in the field of obligations with a particular interest in the intellectual history of legal thought.

  6. Graham Burnside WS

    Graham Burnside WS


    Graham Burnside graduated in law from the University of Edinburgh. After qualifying as a solicitor he worked in industry and for the EU before returning to Edinburgh and joining Tods Murray LLP. He has for a number of years headed their Banking & Finance department and in 2010 became the firm's Chairman. His interests include Islamic finance, on which he has published a number of articles. He joined the Council in 2013.

  7. Malcolm Combe

    Malcolm Combe


    Council member since 2013. A lecturer at the University of Aberdeen, who prior to that appointment practised as a solicitor in private practice from 2008-2011.

  8. Professor Gero Dolezalek

    Professor Gero Dolezalek


    Emeritus Professor of Civil Law, University of Aberdeen. Previously serving as law professor at the universities of Nijmegen / Netherlands (1985-1988), Cape Town / South Africa (1989-1995), Leipzig / Germany (1996-2005). In former years researcher at the Max-Planck-Institute for European Legal History, Frankfurt / Germany (1972-1988). Specialising in European legal history, and in particular in legal manuscripts from the 12th century onward. Author of "Scotland under Jus Commune. Census of manuscripts of legal literature in Scotland, mainly between 1500 and 1660". Edinburgh 2010 (The Stair Society, volumes 55-57).

  9. Dr Thomas Green

    Dr Thomas Green


    Thomas Green is an Honorary Research Fellow at the School of Law, University of Glasgow, and a former British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow at the School of Law, University of Edinburgh. Between 2006 to 2009 The Stair Society funded his doctorate in ecclesiastical history at the School of Divinity, University of Edinburgh. In 2014 his work on The Consistorial Decisions of the Commissaries of Edinburgh, 1564 to 1576/7 was published as Stair Society volume 61. He joined the Council in April 2016.

  10. Dr Kirsty J. Hood QC

    Dr Kirsty J. Hood QC


    Dr Kirsty J Hood is a practising Advocate. A graduate of the University of Glasgow, she called to the Bar in 2001, and took silk in 2015. She enjoys a varied civil practice, but her particular area of interest is private international law. She is the author of 'Conflict of Laws within the UK', the contributor of the ‘Cross-border Jurisdiction’ section in 'Scottish Family Law Service' and of the ‘Court of Session’ chapter of 'Greens Scottish Lawyer’s Factbook', and was a contributor to Wilkinson & Norrie, 'The Law Relating to Parent and Child in Scotland' (3rd edn.). She is currently the Clerk of Faculty, at the Faculty of Advocates. Dr Hood was elected to join the Council in 2016.

  11. David Johnston QC

    David Johnston QC


    David Johnston practises at the Scottish Bar, where he specialises in public law. He was appointed a QC in 2005. From 1993-99 he was Regius Professor of Civil Law at the University of Cambridge. Since 2000 he has been an honorary professor at Edinburgh Law School. His publications include The Roman Law of Trusts (1988), Roman Law in Context (1999), and Prescription and Limitation (2nd edition, 2012), as well as other books and articles on Roman law, Scots law and legal history. He was appointed a (part-time) Commissioner of the Scottish Law Commission in January 2015.

  12. Dr Chloë Kennedy

    Dr Chloë Kennedy


    Dr Chloë Kennedy is a lecturer in the School of Law at the University of Edinburgh, where she teaches criminal law and criminal law theory. Prior to this, she completed a PhD and Masters degree in Law at the University of Edinburgh and a Bachelor of Laws at the Universities of Glasgow and Sydney. She also spent a year working as a Legal Assistant at the Scottish Law Commission. Her main research interests are the history and theory of criminal law, especially cultural, religious and intellectual influences. She is also interested in the critical potential of legal history. She joined the Council in 2017.

  13. Ceit-Anna MacLeod

    Ceit-Anna MacLeod


    Ceit-Anna MacLeod is a practising member of the Scottish Bar, working mainly in the area of family and child law. She is a part-time tutor at the University of Edinburgh and a reporter for Session Cases. She joined the Council in April 2015.

  14. Professor Ernest Metzger

    Professor Ernest Metzger


    Ernest Metzger is Professor of Civil Law at the University of Glasgow. He was formerly Professor of Civil and Comparative Law at the University of Aberdeen. He is Editor-in-Chief of Roman Legal Tradition [], a periodical devoted to ancient, medieval and modern civil law. He is General Editor of the imprint Traditio Iuris Romani, and manages the portal He is a member of the State Bar of Texas and the Louisiana State Bar Association.

  15. Dr Andrew Simpson

    Dr Andrew Simpson


    Dr Andrew Simpson is a Lecturer in the School of Law at the University of Aberdeen. His research focuses on various aspects of the history of Scots law during the late medieval and early modern periods, including the ways in which lawyers conceptualised legal authority during the sixteenth century. He is also interested in modern Scots Private law, and has taught Property law and Succession law at Aberdeen. He joined the Council in 2015.

  16. Dr Adelyn Wilson

    Dr Adelyn Wilson


    Dr Adelyn Wilson joined the Council in 2014. She is a lecturer in the School of Law at the University of Aberdeen. Her principal research interest is Scottish legal literature in the seventeenth century. She is the Director of Aberdeen's Civil Law Centre and the European Society for Comparative Legal History's copy editor for their journal, Comparative Legal History. She was elected to the Council in 2013.

  17. Professor Mark Godfrey

    Professor Mark Godfrey

    Literary Director

    Mark Godfrey was appointed Literary Director in 2016, formerly having served as a member of Council from 1999 to 2011. He is Professor of Legal History at the University of Glasgow, where he teaches private law and Scottish legal history. Previously he was Editor of The Journal of Legal History from 2011 to 2015, and Secretary of the Scottish Legal History Group from 2004 to 2011. His research interests are in Scots law and late medieval and early modern Scottish legal history, especially the history of the courts, litigation and dispute settlement. A focus of his work has been the early history of the Court of Session and the College of Justice, and his book Civil Justice in Renaissance Scotland: the Origins of a Central Court was published by Brill in 2009.

  18. Alistair Burrow

    Alistair Burrow

    Secretary and Treasurer

    Alistair Burrow graduated from Glasgow University M.A. Hons in Medieval and Modern History and then LL.B., qualified as a solicitor in Scotland in 1978, and retired in 2012 after a career in corporate and commercial law mostly in Glasgow and latterly with Tods Murray LLP. He was a Law Society registered Specialist in Insolvency Law. He was Clerk of The Incorporation of Hammermen of Glasgow for 23 years and Deacon in 2011-2012. He is a Vice President and chair of the trustee board of The Boys' Brigade, Treasurer and a director of Archaeology Scotland, chair of trustees of The Scottish Youth Football Development Trust, a director of The Merchants' House of Glasgow, and a trustee of The Muirhead Trust and of The Brown Forbes Memorial Fund.

  19. Professor W A J Watson

    Professor W A J Watson

    Secretary for the USA

    Alan Watson is Distinguished Research Professor and Ernest P. Rogers Professor of Law Emeritus at the University of Georgia School of Law. Educated at Glasgow and Oxford Universities, he has taught at the universities of Oxford, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Pennsylvania and Georgia. Holding a number of honorary doctorates, he is a noted scholar of Roman law, comparative law, legal history, and law and religion. He is a former Literary Director of the Stair Society and delivered the Society's annual lecture in 2001.

  20. Professor Takeshi Tsunoda

    Professor Takeshi Tsunoda

    Secretary for Japan

    A graduate of Osaka University, Takeshi Tsunoda is Professor of Law in Kansai University. He is a noted scholar of legal philosophy with a particular interest in Scotland.

  21. Dr Karen Baston

    Dr Karen Baston

    Publicity and Engagement Manager

    Dr Karen Baston's research interests include eighteenth-century Scottish lawyers' libraries and Session Papers as well as general social history. She is the author of 'Charles Areskine's Library: Lawyers and Their Books at the Dawn of the Scottish Enlightenment' (Brill, 2016). She manages the Stair Society webpages and was member of Council from 2013-2016. Email: