The Honourable
Lord Fairley
Senator of the College of Justice
Assumed office
Nominated byNicola Sturgeon
As First Minister
Appointed byElizabeth II
Personal details
Alma materGlasgow

John Douglas Fairley, Lord Fairley is a Senator of the College of Justice and a QC in Scotland. He was appointed as a Senator in November 2019.[1]


He was educated at Hutchesons' Grammar School and the University of Glasgow School of Law. He graduated in 1989 with a first class Honours LL.B and the John McCormick prize. Between 1992 and 1998 he was a solicitor. He became an advocate in 1999 and Queen's Counsel in 2012.

He served as an Employment Judge between 2010 and 2011 and as an  Advocate Depute from 2011 to 2015.

In 2016 he defended criminal proceedings against one of the former Administrators of Rangers football club.

In 2018, he made the news in representing Transport Initiatives Edinburgh in the Edinburgh Tram Inquiry, with his remarks reported by the BBC and the Times.[2][3] He also received some public attention for his work as advocate for Rangers Group.[citation needed]

Lord Fairley was formally installed as a Senator on 9 January 2020 in a ceremony in Court One of Parliament House, Edinburgh.[4]

In September 2020, he was nominated by the Lord President to be a part-time Judge of the Employment Appeal Tribunal.


  1. ^ "Five New Court of Session Judges Named". Law Society of Scotland. 21 November 2019. Retrieved 9 January 2020.
  2. ^ "Edinburgh Tram Inquiry: Contract was 'poor deal for council'". BBC. 23 May 2018. Retrieved 16 January 2020.
  3. ^ Wade, Mike (24 May 2018). "'Ridiculous' tram agreement held Edinburgh to ransom, inquiry told". The Times. Retrieved 16 January 2020.
  4. ^ "TARDIS has landed, with Lord Fairley". Faculty of Advocates. Retrieved 16 January 2020.