Law and Ethics
Designatory Letters: 
BL Edin 1961, WS, Fellowship 1999

(Contributed by R McHardy)

Jock Macfie WS, Clerk to the college from 1978 to 2002, died on 18 July 2006 at the age of 68. To those less familiar with the workings of the College, the Clerk is usually noticed as the person in a black gown, who enters with the Council at College meetings, hands out the Diplomas of Membership or Fellowship and supervises the signing of the Roll by New Fellows. In fact the Clerk is the College's legal adviser and has an important role in considering the legal implications of decisions taken by Council and in the preparation of new Laws in the Laws Committee.

Jock was a keen rugby player in his younger days, holding a place in the Edinburgh Academicals first team for some years. He performed his National Service in the KOSB and then qualified in Law, later becoming a partner in the firms of Bennett & Robertson and Gillespie Macandrew. In 1978 he succeeded his father Alexander Macfie as Clerk; he held the position until 2002, giving a period of more than 53 years in which father and son had served the College. He was elected to Fellowship in 1999.

He was well respected in the Legal world and established a particular reputation as a court lawyer, noted for his clear and forthright advice. In the Laws Committee he was particularly concerned with the amendments to the Laws brought forward over his years in office. Approachable and knowledgeable, in committee discussions he gave carefully considered advice quietly but left no doubt of what was possible or feasible and what was not.

Outside his professional career he was an enthusiastic gardener and allotment holder, and a skilled fisherman. He leaves a widow, two daughters and four grandchildren.