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New Sheriff Principal for Tayside, Central and Fife


Aug 4, 2023

Gillian Wade KC has been installed as the new Sheriff Principal for Tayside, Central and Fife.

The ceremony at Perth Sheriff Court was attended by the Provost of Perth Xander McDade, and Lord Lieutenant Stephen Leckie along with representatives of partner organisations Police Scotland, Perth Prison and the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service.

SP Wade succeeds SP Marysia Lewis, with the sheriffdom being unique in having four surviving Sheriffs Principal past and present.  A number of former and current Judicial Office holders were also present, including two predecessors in the role. Retired Sheriff Principal Dunlop KC joined the outgoing and incoming incumbents of the post. 

SP Wade is a graduate of the University of Glasgow. Having qualified in both Scottish and English law and became a partner in firms in Glasgow and London with a particular interest in media law and defamation. She was admitted to the Faculty of Advocates in 1998 practising in the field of civil law and appearing in the Outer and Inner House of the Court of Session and the House of Lords. She was appointed as Legal Convenor of the Mental Health Tribunal for Scotland in 2004.

In 2008 SP Wade was appointed as a full time Advocate Depute and served as a Senior Advocate depute from 2011 until 2014, during which time she conducted a number of high profile criminal appeals and prosecutions and was appointed head of the National Sexual Crimes Unit. She took silk in 2013.

In 2015 she became a full time sheriff in Tayside, Central and Fife and has been a resident sheriff in Perth since 2016. In 2018 she was appointed as a part time judge of the Court of Session and regularly presides over High Court trials. In 2022 she was appointed to the Sheriff Appeal Court.

SP Wade is a designated commercial sheriff and held positions as Chair of the third sector group Relationships Scotland Tayside and Fife, Sheriff member, Criminal Courts Rules Council, and Vice President of the Sheriffs and Summary Sheriffs Association.

SP Wade said: “It’s a great honour to be installed as Sheriff Principal for Tayside, Central and Fife and it will be a privilege to serve in a sheriffdom with which I have such an affinity. I recognise the challenges ahead as we work together to clear the backlogs created by the pandemic and embrace new ways of working. Tayside Central and Fife is served by an outstanding team of able and dedicated sheriffs, clerks and support staff. I look forward to working with them and our justice partners to ensure that the sheriffdom continues to offer a modern and efficient court system and meets the needs of all court users. I relish the opportunity to contribute to delivery of justice at this important time.