I qualified as a lawyer the year that ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ topped the UK charts and 'Jaws’ was
the top grossing movie. I practised as a litigator, specialising in product liability cases. For 20
years I held law firm leadership roles, latterly as chair of Burness Paull.
Since retiring from legal practice in 2018, I’ve held various positions. I chair Lar Housing Trust
and the Scottish Jewish Heritage Centre as well as sitting on a number of boards including the
Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and Dunedin Consort. Recently, I was appointed as a senior
adviser to Saxton Bampfylde, the executive search and leadership advisory firm.
I have written for various publications, most notably The Times, The Press & Journal, The Herald
and The Lawyer, although I’m probably most proud of my contributions to CAR magazine.
The Future of Glasgow
In March this year, The Times published an essay that I had written under the headline “It’s time
to admit that Glasgow is a dump – but we can reboot it.” It provoked a lot of response online and
on the letters page. Perhaps surprisingly (and depressingly) the vast majority of the comments
supported my assessment that the city was in a state of decay and decline and that it lacked
vision and effective leadership.
But my inner Pollyanna tells me that if we confront the current malaise, we have the opportunity
to initiate a renaissance in our city.
As with my essay, the principal purpose of this talk is not to indulge in a moanfest, but rather to
confront the issues, throw out some ideas as to how we might return Glasgow to its glory days
and stimulate constructive discussion.