Two new personal injury specialist sheriffs appointed

Two sheriffs have been appointed as specialists to hear cases in the All-Scotland Sheriff Personal Injury Court.

Sheriff Robert Fife and Sheriff Robert Weir QC have been designated by Sheriff Principal Mhairi Stephen QC, Sheriff Principal of Lothian and Borders, as specialists in actions of damages for personal injury. 

The creation of the all-Scotland jurisdiction PI court, located at Edinburgh Sheriff Court, was among a raft of significant reforms to the Scottish legal system which came into effect in 2015. 

The other sheriffs designated as specialist sheriffs in the All-Scotland Sheriff Personal Injury Court are: Sheriff Peter Braid, Sheriff Gordon Liddle, Sheriff Kenneth McGowan and Sheriff Fiona Reith QC. 

Notes to editors 

The All-Scotland Sheriff Personal Injury Court has jurisdiction in PI cases exceeding £5,000 a workplace-related PI actions exceeding £1,000, and any workplace-related PI case under £1,000 remitted to the all-Scotland court. 

PI actions can still be lodged in local courts, but court rules have been made to allow civil jury trials in the Sheriff Personal Injury Court at Edinburgh. 

A key element of the court is the quick and efficient disposal of motions by electronic means, allowing for email intimation and submission of motions and interlocutors. It also provides clerks of court with a quasi-judicial function to consider and grant motions of a common and straightforward nature. 

The designation of the specialist sheriffs follows a direction from the Lord President under section 34 of the Courts Reform (Scotland) Act 2014, determining that actions of damages for, or arising from, personal injuries or the death of a person from personal injuries are a category of case that is considered to be suited to being dealt with by sheriffs that specialise in that category of case. 

The Sheriff Principal designated the two sheriffs of the Sheriffdom of Lothian and Borders as specialists under the powers conferred on her by section 35(2) of the Courts Reform (Scotland) Act 2014.