Richard Keen QC, Axiom Advocates elected Dean of the Faculty of Advocates
28 November 2007
Richard Keen QC has today (November 27) been elected Dean of the Faculty of Advocates.
Mr Keen (53) takes up the office of Dean following a ballot of the Faculty's 730 members.
Educated at Dollar Academy and Edinburgh University, Mr Keen was called to the Bar in 1980 and appointed as Queen Counsel QC status in 1993. He was elected Treasurer of the Faculty in 2006. He succeeds Mr Roy Martin QC who retired from the post earlier this month after three years in office. There will now be a fresh election to appoint a new Treasurer.
Richard Keen is presently appearing for the family of Henri Paul at the coroner's inquest into the deaths of Diana Princess of Wales and Mr Dodi Al Fayed.
As a Junior Counsel, his area of practice covered commercial litigation and insurance work. From 1986 to 1993 he was Standing Counsel to the Department of Trade and Industry.
In 1989 he was instructed in the Inquiry into the Piper Alpha disaster. Subsequently he was engaged in the litigations which ultimately resolved the claims arising out of the disaster.
Since his appointment as QC in 1993 his principal area of practice has been commercial litigation, extending to banking, insurance, engineering, construction and offshore energy. His advisory work has included a number of major financial restructurings recently including British Energy.
In 2000 Mr Keen led the defence of Lamin Fhimah at the trial in the Netherlands relating to the Pan Am/Lockerbie bombing. Fhimah was acquitted. Mr Keen is listed by the Legal 500 as a leading Counsel in the areas of commercial litigation, construction litigation and media law.
Mr Keen said today: "It is a great privilege to be elected as Dean of the Faculty of Advocates. With that privilege comes responsibility - responsibility in particular for leading an independent and effective Bar which continues to meet the needs of those who require its services and the aspirations of those who provide them.
"If things are to remain the same then some things will require to change."
Faculty Vice-Dean Valerie Stacey was the other contender in the contest. Mr Keen will be formally introduced as Dean tomorrow at the Advocates Library in Parliament House, Edinburgh.
The Faculty, which was established in 1532, is an independent body for lawyers who have been admitted to appear in the high courts of Scotland.
The Dean of Faculty is elected by the whole membership and is assisted by four other office bearers - the Vice-Dean, Treasurer, Clerk and Keeper of the Advocates Library - all of whom are elected by the membership.
The office-bearers, including the Dean, remain in practice as advocates and receive no remuneration. The office-bearers are assisted in their work by an elected Faculty Council.
The Faculty comprises Scotland's 463 practising advocates and QCs as well as many of the country's judges, sheriffs and academics. Total numbers now stand at 736 and practising members handle the most complex criminal and civil cases in the country.
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