ICAS Council

Council terms of reference

  • To ensure the objects of the Royal Charters are achieved in a manner consistent with regulatory body status
  • To determine strategies and tactics necessary to achieve the objects and to monitor their efficiency
  • To ensure the effective management and direction of the Institute's affairs
  • To establish the boards and committees specified in the Royal Charters and other such bodies as the Council considers necessary to enable it to discharge effectively its duties under Charter and statute
  • Generally, to ensure that high standards of corporate governance are observed at all times

Register of Interests

Council Members of ICAS should declare any interests that may influence or may be perceived to influence a member's ability to act impartially or objectively in carrying out Council business.

The disclosure of interests is required in accordance with the Code of Conduct for Council Members.

Council Members' Register of Interests

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Council profiles

Sobhan Afzal, CA

Sobhan Afzal is currently a senior auditor at Audit Scotland. Sobhan began his career at Audit Scotland as a trainee auditor in 2013, having graduated from Strathclyde University with a degree in accounting and finance in the same year. Sobhan completed the ICAS qualification and was admitted to membership in 2017.  

Sobhan has been involved in financial audits and performance audits across all sectors of the Scottish public sector during his time at Audit Scotland. This include audits of charities, pension funds and government agencies. More recently, Sobhan's role has involved leading on the delivery of audits within the health and local government sectors.


Dr Rimla Akhtar, MBE CA

Dr Rimla Akhtar MBE is that rare individual who has lived global business and elite sport.  In 2014, she became the first Muslim and Asian woman on the FA Council in addition to her role on the Inclusion Advisory Board at the FA and in 2015 was awarded an MBE for her contribution to equality and diversity in sport.  She holds a portfolio of additional strategic and boardroom roles, including as an Independent Director of the Sports Ground Safety Authority and Council member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland.

Rimla has over 18 years’ experience in the sports industry across the UK, Middle East and Asia. She is a developer, communicator and strategist best known for her work as an Inclusion and Diversity specialist in sport, which led to her being ranked 14th in the 2018 Forbes global list of the Most Powerful Women in Sport.

Whilst carving out a successful career in the city at leading global professional services firm Pricewaterhouse Coopers, Rimla also captained Britain in Futsal competitions. She is Founder of the leading global sport development consultancy, RimJhim Consulting, and, as Chair of the Muslim Women’s Sport Foundation until December 2018, she led the organisation to one with a distinct reputation nationally and internationally for its extensive work in the field of women’s sport. She is also co-founder of the global Muslim Women in Sport Network.

As a unique individual within the sports industry, she now shares her time between writing, speaking, mentoring, practical and strategic consultancy and campaigns. She independently advises and leads projects with governments, advocacy organisations, national and international sports bodies and community groups. Rimla is a sought-after speaker and commentator who communicates with quiet humility, practicality and passion.


Clive Bellingham, CA

Clive Bellingham CA Clive is a Partner at PwC, where his leadership roles take him to all parts of the world. As a member of PwC’s Global Board, Clive contributes to the governance and oversight of a network that covers more than 150 countries. He is part of the global leadership team for the pharmaceutical and life sciences industries. He is also a global relationship partner for a number of multinational clients.

Clive joined PwC in Glasgow in 1984 after qualifying as a CA with Bird Simpson & Co in Dundee. Since then he has worked for PwC in Scotland, Saudi Arabia and Switzerland, where Clive has been resident since 1987.

Having benefited from a wide range of influences and experiences during his career, Clive is an advocate of diversity in business. In 2016 he joined the board of Advance, a non-profit association set up by leading Swiss-based companies to increase the representation of women at the executive level.


Eleanor Bentley, CA

Eleanor’s most recent experience is as a member of the Executive Committee of Petrofac, a FTSE listed company, providing assurance to the Board on corporate governance matters. Prior to that, she was employed as Senior Vice President Finance for one of Petrofac’s global divisions. She has extensive experience of financial and risk management in multi-national public companies.

Eleanor trained as a Chartered Accountant with KPMG in Aberdeen and initially worked for a private homebuilding and construction company before moving into the oil and gas industry in 1997. Since joining the industry, she has gained experience in a variety of senior positions with both operators and service companies in the sector.

In March 2018, Eleanor left Petrofac to pursue a portfolio career and she was elected to ICAS Council in April 2018.  She is an ambassador and former Board member of The Foyer, Aberdeen. She is a Patron of the Scottish Ballet and a mentor for the ICAS Foundation.


David Brownlow, CA

David Brownlow CA David is General Manager, Finance at Hannover Re UK Life Branch. He has extensive experience across the insurance industry with Aviva, Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty, PruProtect and BGL.

He is a Chartered Insurer and a member of the Personal Finance Society. At ICAS, David is a member of the Policy Leadership Board and the London & Home Counties Area Committee.


Stephanie Bruce, CA

Stephanie-BruceStephanie is a Partner with PwC and leads the financial services practice across Scotland.

Stephanie specialises in services to insurers, banks, investment managers and their funds, including audit, risk, projects and controls services.

Stephanie qualified in 1993 and subsequently worked across UK and European clients, working in financial services. In London, Stephanie then worked for several years on treasury operations, both UK and global.

Stephanie has been appointed as the Chair of the Audit Committee during 2015.


Alison Cornwell, CA

Alison Cornwell is CFO of Vue International plc, one of the world’s leading cinema operators, spanning 10 countries, over 200 sites and almost 2000 screens.

Alison qualified as a CA with C&L Glasgow in 1990 and spent 5 years in corporate finance in London before joining Disney’s International TV business where she was head of finance responsible for TV distribution, Disney Channel and a portfolio of equity investments across EMEA, Asia Pacific, Latin America and Canada.

In 2005 Alison was appointed CFO of a private equity backed international TV broadcasting business which was successfully sold to NBC Universal at the end of 2007. Following this Alison was appointed CFO of the Goldman Sachs backed international film distribution company Alliance Films. After a number of corporate acquisitions, Alison led the exit process and sale of the business in 2013.

Alison has held a number of non-executive positions; She was appointed to the Board of Governors of the British Film Institute in 2013 and also chairs its Audit Committee. In 2016 Alison also joined the board of CMI, a Scottish charity which runs the Edinburgh International Film Festival.


Colin Crosby, CA

Colin Crosby CA Colin Crosby qualified as a CA in 1979. He practised law as a Partner until 1987 then joined the fledging Aberdeen Asset Management.

In 2006 the business within AAM where Colin was CEO was sold to Brewin Dolphin and he joined that company becoming a consultant in 2009. Since 2009 he has successfully built a portfolio of non-executive positions in transport, IT, tourism, economic development education and investment management.

He has also been active in the 3rd sector, with a housing association, a school board and as a member of the McFadden committee the precursor to OSCR.


Bernard Dunn, CA

Bernard Dunn CA is client director and Head of Office for T L Dallas in Glasgow and provides insurance and risk management advice to a wide network of corporate clients, including owner-managed, family and VC-backed companies. He also leads T L Dallas’s insurance due-diligence service in the UK.

He has advised family businesses for over 30 years on their risk and insurance programmes, and indeed T L Dallas Group was founded in 1919, and is now in its 4th generation, as one of the UK's leading independent insurance brokers.

Outwith the “day job”, and family, Bernard’s other interests include: Former chair, and current area committee member of ICAS, Chair of trustees of the Ethiopia Medical Project charity, Member of Employee Ownership Scotland Leadership Group (EOS), Volunteer on hospital radio for Hospital Broadcasting Service Glasgow (HBS).


Robert Grome, CA

Robert was a Financial Services Partner with PwC Hong Kong from 1992-2014, including nearly 4 years in Singapore, where he now resides. Robert led the Firm’s Asset Management practice in Asia Pacific and dealt extensively with Private Equity and Hedge funds as well as the more traditional large fund managers. He sat on PwC’s Global Leadership Team for the Asset Management Industry for nearly 18 years.

Since retiring from PwC in the summer of 2014 Robert has taken on the role of Chairman of the Board of a Hong Kong-based Hedge Fund and a strategic advisory role with a Scottish based Investor Communication Firm who have set up in Asia. His main Advisory role today is however with the Asian Asset Management business of Prudential plc, in particular concerning strategic decision making around expansion into new markets and products as well as technological change impacting the asset management industry.  

Robert’s interests outside of work include travel, the education of his three young children (one of whom is autistic) and sports. In addition, he is an avid reader of newspapers and books on history, economics and geo-political matters, especially as it impacts Asia.


Annie Graham, CA

Annie started at EY in Glasgow as a summer intern in 1997, joining the firm a year later and qualifying as a chartered accountant with ICAS in 2002.

She became the youngest EY partner in 2008 and was named ‘Accountant of the Year’ in the Scottish Accountancy Awards. A year later, Accountancy Age featured her as one of its rising stars.

As head of assurance for EY Scotland, she has worked with a range of clients, from FTSE 100 through to private and PE-backed entrepreneurial businesses across a range of industries.

She joined the ICAS council in 2016.


Jason Harvie, CA

Jason Harvie is a mathematics graduate from the University of St Andrews, Jason qualified as a CA in 2012 having trained with energy investment bank Simmons & Company. After building up experience across a broad range of M&A transactions, Jason subsequently moved into a generalist investment role with then Aberdeen Asset Management.

In his current role, Jason is an Investment Manager on the Private Equity desk focused specifically on direct co-investments.

Jason is also Chair of the London Area Network.


Alan Horn, CPA, CA

Alan HornAlan resides in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and is President and Chief Executive Officer of Rogers Telecommunications Limited and certain private companies that control Rogers Communications Inc (“RCI”), a Canadian communications and media company listed on the Toronto and New York stock exchanges. Mr. Horn served as Chairman of the Board of RCI from March 2006 to December 2017. Mr. Horn also served as Interim President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company from October 2016 to April 2017 and from October 2008 to March 2009.

Mr. Horn was a director of Rogers Bank from April 2013 to January 2018. Mr. Horn served as Vice President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer of RCI from September 1996 to March 2006. He is also a director of Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited and Fairfax India Holdings Corporation. Mr. Horn, a Chartered Professional Accountant and Chartered Accountant, is a member of the Advisory Committee of the Rogers Control Trust. Mr. Horn received a B.Sc. with First Class Honours in Mathematics from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland.


Mark Hoskyns-Abrahall, FCA

Mark Hoskyns-Abrahall Mark is PwC's Office Senior Partner in Edinburgh having been with the firm for over 25 years. Mark studied Civil Engineering at the University of Edinburgh.

He joined Deloitte Haskins & Sells in London qualifying as an ACA in 1992. He moved to Edinburgh in 1993. He was admitted to the Partnership in 2004. In 2009 he moved to Glasgow for 5 years, before returning to Edinburgh in 2013, becoming Office Senior Partner in 2014. Mark is an audit partner and his clients cover a wide range of sectors and sizes. Mark joined ICAS in 2001. He has sat on the Qualifications Board for a number of years, became it Chair in 2015, and so is also a member of Council and the Oversight Board.


Indy Hothi, CA

Indy Hothi CAIndy Hothi is an economist and strategy consultant with EY in London. His role involves advising public and private sector organisations on the economic, social and fiscal impact of their organisations.

He has worked with clients across a number of industries including the Premier League and Rugby World Cup. Through his passion for social and humanitarian causes, Indy is a trustee of a charity which provides humanitarian aid in disaster areas and civil conflict zones.

Indy is also co-founder of social enterprise, ‘Hothi & Othi’ which supports emerging artists from developing countries by showcasing their work in established galleries around the world.


Philip Johnson, CA

Philip was, at the time of his retirement from Deloitte on 31 May 2007, a senior partner in the UK firm, having been a partner for 30 years. He specialised in providing advisory and assurance services to a number of significant publicly listed and private company audit clients and professional firms.

Between 1988 and 1993 and 1999 and 2004, Philip was a member of the Deloitte UK Board of Partners and was the first chairman of the firm’s Audit Committee from July 2002 to August 2004 when he stepped down from the Board.

During the two years 2002 to 2004, Philip had the primary responsibility for integrating the clients, partners and staff of Arthur Andersen UK (AA) into Deloitte and converting Deloitte into Deloitte LLP. He was responsible for dealing with all regulatory and legal issues relating to both the integration of AA and the subsequent conversion to an LLP.

Philip was head of Quality and Risk Management for the UK audit practice of Deloitte from 2003 until his retirement from the firm in 2007. This role involved him being responsible for all aspects of quality in the audit practice, caused him to be involved in many of the firm’s major audit decisions and be the interface between the firm and the UK and US audit regulators.

Philip represented the UK auditing profession at Accountancy Europe, formally the European Federation of Accountants (FEE), from 2006 to 2012 and was responsible for audit matters within Accountancy Europe. This role caused him to be heavily involved with the European Commission and the European Parliament in a number of areas relating to the implementation of the Statutory Audit Directive and the development of the Corporate Governance, Financial Reporting and Audit Policy legislation which was initiated following the 2007 financial crisis. He was also a member of the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board Consultative Advisory Group (IAASB CAG) and the International Ethics Standards Board Consultative Advisory Group (IESBA CAG) during this time.  Between December 2010 and December 2012 he was the President of Accountancy Europe, having been elected to the position by the 45 Member Bodies in 33 countries across Europe. Philip stepped down as President of Accountancy Europe in December 2012 upon completion of his term of office.

Philip was a non-executive director of Yorkshire Building Society from June 2007 until April 2015 where he also chaired the Audit Committee. He was also an advisor to the board of Addleshaw Goddard from June 2007 until June 2009 whereupon he became a board member and chaired the firm’s Audit Committee. He stepped down from Addleshaw Goddard in April 2011. From January 2008 until December 2016, Philip was a member of the Audit Committee of Wellcome Trust.

Currently, Philip is a member of the Standing Advisory Group of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, the PCAOB, in the United States. He is a director of Lakeland Limited, chairs the board of governors of Cheadle Hulme School, is a governor of The Manchester College, the chairman of the Policy Leadership Board of ICAS, a trustee of the Rugby Football Foundation and a member of the Audit Committee of the Rugby Football Union.


Suzy Kerton, CA

Suzy Kerton qualified as a CA with Baker Tilly in 2012 and completed a secondment to the Buenos Aires office in Argentina shortly after qualifying. She became CFO of a cloud accounting software company at just 26 years of age which set her in good stead when starting her own cloud-based accountancy practice.

After a brief spell as Financial Accountant at the Cabinet Office, she embarked on a Full-Time MBA at Imperial College Business School. It was during the MBA that Suzy, with her business partner Latha, started Anything International Limited, an accountancy practice offering a full range of accountancy services to start ups and small businesses from year-end accounts and VAT returns to R&D tax credits and SEIS compliance.  Suzy is passionate about helping businesses understand their finances and making their accounting processes easy and efficient.

Suzy is also Chair of the Members in Practice Advisory Board and is part of the London Area Network. Beyond accountant life Suzy plays basketball and tennis, she speaks Spanish and Portuguese and loves to travel.


Nick Lander, CA

Nick co-founded Volvere plc (AIM: VLE) in 2002 to invest in turnaround opportunities. Volvere typically acquires controlling equity stakes in distressed businesses, works closely with management to improve performance and ultimately achieve an exit. He is responsible for operating activities of group companies (typically as Chairman or NED), group financial management, control and reporting, regulatory compliance, and for assisting with the identification of targets and due diligence. He joined the ICAS Council in 2018.

Previous experience includes COO of DDL Limited (an FSA regulated private equity fund), Non-executive Director of Directex Realisations plc (AIM: DXR), an AIM-listed shell with a number of legacy issues following a period of asset disposals and Corporate Development Director, Clyde Blowers PLC. He qualified with PwC in 1990.


Peter Mitchell, CA

Peter Mitchell

Peter qualified with Ernst & Whinney (now EY) in Edinburgh in 1979. After qualifying he spent 14 years with Scottish & Newcastle plc in a variety of Head Office roles and finally with T&R Theakston in Yorkshire. During this time he lectured to ICAS students in Internal Audit and was part of the TPC part-time education team.

After leaving Scottish & Newcastle in 1994 he was Finance Director for a European Biotechnology company and the European Finance Director for a global records management business. Since returning to Scotland from London in 2002, he has been a part-time Finance Director for a number of SME’s across various business sectors and is now Non-Executive Chairman of Highland Homecarers Ltd. He has served for more than 10 years on the Highland Area Committee of ICAS and is the current Chair, and he represents the Highlands on ICAS Council and as Chair of the Constitutional Panel.

Peter is married, is a keen golfer and follower of football and rugby.


Laura Morrison, CA

Laura Morrison CALaura is a Senior Manager with EY in London specialising in international tax advisory services for clients in the Energy sector. She is an Accountancy graduate from Heriot-Watt University, graduating in 2009 and joining EY’s Edinburgh office in Corporate Tax. +She completed her training contract with EY in Edinburgh and after a secondment to EY’s New York office, transferred to Aberdeen to join the Oil & Gas tax team.

Laura is currently undertaking an internal secondment to EY’s Tax Technology and Transformation (TTT) team in London, focussing on the impact of technology on the delivery of tax services.


Catriona Paisey, CA

Catriona PaiseyCatriona is a Professor of Accounting at the University of Glasgow. She trained with KPMG in Aberdeen and entered academia shortly after qualifying.

She has now worked in the Scottish university sector for 26 years. She teaches financial reporting and accounting ethics, and researches aspects of the accountancy profession including accounting education, accounting careers, professional discipline, ethics and accounting history.


Bruce Pritchard, BA, CA, FioD

Bruce is the Chief Operating Officer - International and Chief Financial Officer of Prometic Life Sciences (PLI), a global biopharmaceutical company.  An accountant by training, he has spent over two decades working in the life sciences and pharmaceutical industry. He has more than fourteen years’ experience with PLI and has held a number of senior global positions across the organisation.

As well as being a chartered accountant, Bruce also brought to the role many years of experience in general management and operations. Prior to joining Prometic, Bruce worked as a senior director for CV Therapeutics, a NASDAQ listed biopharmaceutical company, with a market capitalisation of over US$1 Billion.

Bruce is a graduate of Heriot-Watt University where he gained a BA in Accountancy and Computer Science. He is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland and a Fellow of the Institute of Directors.


Jim Robertson, CA

Jim Robertson is a non-executive director in the Scottish Government and deputy chair of the Government's Audit and Assurance Committee. He was global head of oil & gas tax in Shell for 11 years and is a Senior Fellow of ITIC, a nonprofit research & education foundation based in Washington DC. In that role, he delivers capacity-building programs to tax officials in developing countries together with the IMF, OECD and UN.

Jim qualified with PwC in 1981 and joined Shell the same year. He had nine different tax and finance roles in Shell and lived in London, The Hague, Kuala Lumpur, Aberdeen and Houston. He was a founder member of Shell’s Finance Social Investment Network which connected staff to voluntary organizations in need of finance skills and experience. In Shell Finance he had global responsibility for promoting professional qualifications and for communications on diversity & inclusion.

He is a member of the UN Subcommittee on Extractive Industries Taxation Issues for Developing Countries and the conference committee of the Norwegian Petroleum Association.

Jim chairs the academic board of the Advanced Diploma in International Tax of the UK Chartered Institute of Taxation. He was the inaugural chair of the Scottish Tax Policy Forum, a joint venture between ICAS and the Chartered Institute of Taxation, and is a member of the ICAS Scottish Taxes Committee.


Karen Scholes, CA

Karen is a director and shareholder of Scholes CA, the Orkney based accountancy firm started by her late father. Karen has a hands-on approach to management within the firm, working closely with colleagues to ensure they deliver the highest standards of professional support to their growing number of clients.

Karen is Chair of the ICAS Members in Practice Advisory Board (MiPAB) and is keen to increase and enhance the engagement ICAS has with its members and generally raise the profile of the accounting profession.

Karen was a finalist in the 2005 Association of Scottish Businesswomen Awards and is particularly passionate about supporting the next generation of entrepreneurs, she enjoys nurturing young people in business through her work with Young Enterprise Orkney.

Outside of accountancy, and when time allows, Karen enjoys the arts – amateur dramatics are a particular favourite, along with fitness, walking and travelling.


Rt. Hon. Lord Wallace of Tankerness, PC QC FRSE

Lord WallaceLord (Jim) Wallace has 35 years of Parliamentary service as an MP, MSP and Peer. In the 1990s, he was Parliamentary Adviser to ICAS. He held ministerial office as Deputy First Minister of Scotland, Justice Minister and Enterprise & Lifelong Learning Minister. An advocate and QC, he was Advocate General for Scotland and Deputy Leader of the House of Lords in the UK Coalition Government.

He was appointed a Privy Counsellor in 2000. In 2018, he was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

Jim stood down as Leader of the Lib Dem Peers in 2016 but continues to be an active member of the Lords, retaining an interest in human rights and constitutional issues. He chairs the Regulation Board of ICAS. He also chairs the Trustee Board of the international charity, Reprieve. For recreation, he sings in St Magnus Cathedral Choir and occasionally is found on a golf course.


Derek Treanor, CA

Derek Treanor trained as a CA in Glasgow with Taylor & Ireland, spending time at Touche Ross (Deloitte) and currently works in Risk Management within Financial Services (CYBG) where he is Head of Business Risk - leading a great team focused on SME lending - giving great insight on the challenges and opportunities evident in this volatile market.

Derek is a member of the Glasgow & West Area Committee and also a member of the Audit Committee.


John Watson, CA

John Watson

John joined Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) as an Operating Principal in 2013 and Chief Commercial Officer of their investment, Edinburgh Airport Limited, leading the revenue and capital projects teams. John works with a number of investments worldwide and is CEO of Crosswind Developments Ltd.

Prior to joining GIP, he was Managing Director of Lloyds Banking Group’s $50bn SME Lending business during the banking liquidity crisis. John was also a founding Board Director of the Business Growth Fund plc, after ICAS qualification with PwC Corporate Finance, John joined 3i plc. He has subsequently held a number of executive and non-executive positions globally.

With over 25 years of experience, he has a BEng Mechanical Design Engineering and an MSc IT from the University of Glasgow. John is Vice President of Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce, a Trustee of Entrepreneurial Scotland Foundation, Non-Executive Director of Scottish Event Campus (SEC), Non-Executive Director of Institute of Directors,  and a member of the ICAS Governing Council.

Public interest members profiles

Colin McClatchie

Colin is Chairman of Prescient, his mentoring company; Vice President of Scottish Opera; a Trustee of the Royal Society of Edinburgh Foundation; and a member of the Global Irish Network.

Colin worked in the newspaper industry for more than 40 years with Thomson Regional and Mirror Group Newspapers and latterly as Managing Director (Scotland and Ireland) News International Newspapers Limited. He has been a Non-Executive Director of Scottish Enterprise, Dunfermline Press Group, Beattie Media, The Kemsley Agency and was Chairman of Scottish Opera (7 years), St Columba’s School Kilmacolm, Glasgow UNESCO City of Music and the Institute of Directors Scotland.

He is a Life-Vice President of the Newspaper Press Fund and a former Chairman of Saints and Sinners.


Ana Stewart

After graduating in 1991 Ana founded i-design, a consultancy aimed at servicing the emerging digital creative industry. The business grew over the next decade into a global innovator in self-service software-based solutions for financial institutions including Barclays and RBS. In 2004, she launched a second business atmAd, an aggregated ATM-based digital media channel enabling advertisers to reach consumers with targeted offers across retail locations including Tesco, ASDA and Sainsbury's.

As CEO, she led the AIM listing of the company on the London Stock Exchange in 2007. Over the next five years, the organisation expanded into Europe and North America with its software delivering over 1.6 billion transactions per annum. In 2013, she sold i-design to NASDAQ listed Cardtronics, the world's largest ATM services provider, joining their executive leadership team before leaving the organisation last year.

Ana recently joined the Board of the Scottish FA as an independent non-executive director, becoming the first female board member in the organisation's 144-year history.


Dame Lin Homer

Lin HomerLin is a Public Interest Member of ICAS.

She is a qualified lawyer and has had a distinguished career as a leader of large, complex operational and political organisations in local and central government, including Suffolk County Council, Birmingham City Council, the Home Office, the Department for Transport and latterly, until 2016, as Chief Executive and First Permanent Secretary at HMRC.

Lin is also a Trustee of the Centre for Ageing Better. Lin is also a non-executive board member of Nuffield Health, Harwich Haven Authority and Community Action Suffolk. A board member of The Stefanou Foundation and a member of the University of Birmingham Council.


Lord Wallace of Tankerness PC QC FRSE

Lord(Jim) Wallace has 35 years of Parliamentary service as an MP, MSP and Peer. In the 1990s, he was Parliamentary Adviser to ICAS.

He held ministerial office as Deputy First Minister of Scotland, Justice Minister and Enterprise & Lifelong Learning Minister. An advocate and QC, he was Advocate General for Scotland and Deputy Leader of the House of Lords in the UK Coalition Government. He was appointed a Privy Counsellor in 2000. In 2018, he was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

Jim stood down as Leader of the Lib Dem Peers in 2016 but continues to be an active member of the Lords, retaining an interest in human rights and constitutional issues. He chairs the Regulation Board of ICAS. He also chairs the Trustee Board of the international charity, Reprieve.

For recreation, he sings in St Magnus Cathedral Choir and occasionally is found on a golf course.

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