THE Faculty of Advocates last night declared that former Lord Advocate Elish Angiolini was "eminently qualified" to be one of its members.

The five-centuries-old institution formally dismissed concerns, from one prominent silk, that the woman who was Scotland’s top prosecutor spring was not well enough trained to join its ranks.

Ian Hamilton, QC -- best known for his part in “repatriating” the Stone of Destiny after a daring raid of Westminster Abbey in 1950 -- launched a bitter attack on Dame Elish earlier this month.

Mr Hamilton said the prosecutor, who trained as a solicitor, should not have the right to appear before Scotland’s most senior courts without having the basic training of an advocate.

A spokesman for the faculty last night responded: “Dame Elish has practiced as an advocate since 2008, principally in her role as Lord Advocate.

“Having retired from her role as Lord Advocate, she intends to enter private practice at the Scottish Bar. She is eminently qualified to do so.

“The Dean has received no representations to the contrary from any member of the Faculty of Advocates, with the exception of a copy of an inaccurate letter circulated by Ian Hamilton, QC, in which he was under the misapprehension that Dame Elish had only just been admitted to the Faculty -- an error of fact which he has subsequently acknowledged.”

Dame Elish is understood to have been upset by Mr Hamilton, especially after he claimed she had “raised a public suspicion” that she acted on behalf of a “foreign newspaper” -- by which he meant the News of the World -- when prosecuting Gail Sheridan.

Charges were dropped against Ms Sheridan during the trial that eventually saw her politician husband, Tommy, convicted of perjury.

Dame Elish, insiders stressed last night, had played no role in the prosecution of the Sheridans.

The former Lord Advocate is currently lecturing in Florida.

She has been member of the Terra Firma chambers since joined the faculty in 2008.

Its counsel specialise in administrative, commercial and planning law.

The chambers had no comment.