23 February 2021
Our Reference: DMK/LL/STE039-0003
Clerks, Convener (and Committee Members)
Dear Clerks, Convener (and Committee Members),
Given the urgency and importance of this matter, we are copying this to the committee.
Pacific House 70 Wellington Street Glasgow G2 6UA
T: 0141 307 2311 F: 0141 307 6857
DX GW 149 Glasgow http://www.lemac.co.uk
firstname.lastname@example.org Direct Dial: 0141 307 2323
Thank you for your emails, first of all indicating proposed redactions and secondly confirming what the redactions were.
This comes as a significant surprise and concern, given that clear agreement was reached on publication of our client’s submissions which are now widely reported and in the public domain.
Our client is alarmed at the interference of Crown Office in a Parliamentary Inquiry, particularly given Lady Dorrian’s judgment last week in which she clarified her previous Order and which indicated that the publication of submissions were largely matters for the Committee. Our client’s submissions took full account of that judgment.
Our client’s final submission makes clear his concerns on the role of the Crown office in this matter already. Today’s intervention only serves to reinforce those concerns.
Neither we nor our client have any knowledge of what representations were made by Crown Office and on what basis they were made. We have not been contacted by the Crown, nor has our client on this matter.
Our client’s submission was carefully reviewed by us and by counsel before submission.
There is no legal basis for the redactions that we are aware of which you now propose having gone through that extremely careful exercise.
This is our client’s submission and he is entitled to have it published. If any aspect of it is removed, it compromises his oral evidence. We have asked on numerous occasions for assurances on these issues from the committee. After publication of his submissions yesterday we concluded not unreasonably that the issue was resolved, partly to our client’s satisfaction and certainly to allow him to fulfil his oath.
Your email potentially – and fundamentally – changes that. We therefore require to see URGENTLY the legal basis for the proposed redactions in order that we can properly advise our client and make further representations. These could have a material bearing on whether he is able to attend tomorrow.
As matters stand, we have advised him that the apparent intervention from the crown suggests that there has to be a material risk to him in speaking to his submission. He cannot be placed in legal jeopardy.
Levy & McRae is a trading name of Levy & McRae Solicitors LLP, a Limited Liability Partnership, registered in Scotland with Registered No SO305445. It is authorised and regulated by the Law Society of Scotland. A list of the members and their professional qualifications is open to inspection at the registered office, Pacific House, 70 Wellington Street, Glasgow, G2 6UA. We use the word partner of Levy & McRae Solicitors LLP to refer to a member of Levy & McRae Solicitors or an employee or a consultant with equivalent standing and qualifications.
http://www.legal.netlink.net ASSOCIATED OFFICES WORLDWIDE
Accordingly, please send to us now the legal basis for the redactions. On the face of it, our preliminary view is that the committee may well require to obtain further legal advice on the issue.
Please respond in writing and as soon as possible. In order that we can properly advise our client, we require to see the legal basis for these material changes by return.
David McKie Levy & McRae