ONE of Scotland's leading former advocates has died suddenly in western France after contracting a suspected virus.

Robert Henderson, QC, who retired from the Scottish bar several years ago before buying a mansion in Niort, was admitted to hospital on Thursday. He died on Sunday.

Mr Henderson, originally from Kirkwall, studied law at Glasgow University and became an advocate in 1963 and a QC in 1982. He was an honorary sheriff substitute at Stirling, Dumbarton and Clackmannan in 1968 and served as counsel to the Department of Trade between 1974 and 1977.

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Mr Henderson was also involved in several miner's appeals following the strike and arrests in Scotland.

Judge Lord McCluskey, who was a close friend of the advocate, said it was a tragedy that his life had been cut so short.

He added: "He loved Edinburgh and he had many happy years in Gullane and playing golf at Muirfield. I remember sitting with him until the wee sma' hours hearing his trenchant views about people, politics and events that he felt so strongly about. But, caustic or dismissive, he was free of malice."

The 75-year-old is survived by his wife Carolyn.