Bryan Douglas, 1951-2006



Born: 15 July, 1951, in St Andrews. Died: 24 August, 2006, in Oban, aged 55.

BRYAN Douglas was a big man in every sense of the word, not just in stature.

As one of his clients once put it on being introduced to Bryan for the first time: "Bryan Douglas? He's more like Castle Douglas."

He was a larger-than-life character, warm, approachable and a loyal friend for whom nothing was too much trouble.

He took great pride in being a member of the Faculty of Advocates and even after ill health forced him to withdraw from practice at the end of 1995 he was a frequent visitor to Parliament House.

He was always available to offer advice and support to colleagues who had fallen upon hard times or suffered ill health. When his fellow advocate Raymond Fraser died, it was Bryan who organised the funeral.

After a sponsored concert of traditional music at the Eden Court Theatre in 2004, Bryan was on hand at the reception afterwards to make sure all the participants were happy and that the faculty's interest was properly represented.

Bryan was born in St Andrews and attended Perth Academy before taking his MA at Aberdeen University followed by his LLB at Edinburgh in 1974.

He worked at Bonar Mackenzie and Garden Haig before starting his own law practice in Leith Walk where he joined forces with Raymond Connor.

Bryan was particularly skilled at court work, so it came as no great surprise when he decided to pursue a career as an advocate in 1985, devilling to RD Mackay, QC, and Edgar Prais.

With his open personality and common-sense approach to the law he quickly established a busy criminal practice, appearing in major trials throughout Scotland on the High Court circuit. He also made regular appearances in the Appeal Court and was able to form a rapport with the Bench who appreciated his concise and focused approach to cases.

He enjoyed some amusing courtroom jousts with his old sparring partner John Morris, on one occasion seeking bail for a client charged with attempted murder. "I understand the victim's condition has stabilised," Bryan informed the bail judge. "That is so M' Lord," confirmed Mr Morris, appearing for the Crown, "he's dead."

While his legal practice was an important part of Bryan's life he was far too rounded a personality to be limited by the law's confines.

He was an enthusiastic piper and if anyone was built to wear the kilt and play the pipes it was Bryan. His stalwart presence leading the march to Murrayfield as the prelude to a Scotland international was a stirring sight.

The fact that his son Bruce established himself as a regular in Scotland's front row made the occasions even more memorable, and with his wife Drena, Bryan was a regular visitor to all the Six Nations venues.

He was a member of the Royal Scottish Pipers' Society from 1979 and became pipe major in the late 1980s. On several occasions he took his pipes to India with his colleague Davie Watson.

Bryan was a regular on the Highland Games circuit, judging piping and dancing competitions, and his sudden death took place in Oban where he had travelled to judge the Highland dancing at the Argyllshire Gathering.

He was, of course, a great family man and he and Drena took great pleasure in watching Gregor, Bruce, Andrew and Iain, grow up and make their way in life.

Bryan was a big personality who will be sorely missed by his many friends in the law and in the rugby and piping worlds.



Help wanted!

We would welcome biographical details for this person.

Click to contribute

Please note that if you employ Spam Assassin, or similar email blockers, then you must ensure that you can receive emails from


This page was last updated on 11 October 2021

Click here to 
Print this page

Biography finder





























Index of first names