LAW chiefs have voiced frustration at delays to a professional misconduct hearing involving former SNP MP Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh.

Ms Ahmed-Sheikh, who is Alex Salmond's business partner in his controversial TV career, is the subject of a disciplinary action by the Law Society of Scotland.

But the Scottish Solicitors' Discipline Tribunal (SSDT) has now raised concerns over ongoing hold-ups, while Ms Ahmed-Sheikh's lawyer warned the hearing itself could last up to two weeks due to "lengthy" submissions.

The tribunal relates to the defunct law firm Hamilton Burns, in which Ms Ahmed-Sheikh was a solicitor and partner before entering politics. Nial Mickel, an ex-partner in the firm, is also a subject of the action.

Ms Ahmed-Sheikh has hired Dorothy Bain, one of Scotland top QCs, to defend her.

The Law Society launched an investigation last May into the administration of a trust fund set up Hamilton Burns. This was then passed to the SSDT in December.

But tribunal chairman Nicholas Whyte has raised concerns over the slow progress of the case since then, with "much longer than normal" allowed for preparations.

At a procedural hearing in Edinburgh yesterday, he said: "The tribunal have a concern at the delay, which may have been inevitable, but the delay which has already taken place in this case."

Law Society lawyer Grant Knight said there was a "concern" that it was now 28 weeks since the initial complaint was lodged.

He also hinted at his frustration with Ms Bain, who led the prosecution of serial killer Peter Tobin in 2007, for submitting new information late in the process.

He added: "With all due respect to my colleagues, things are getting raised at the very last day of the adjustment period and so on and so forth."

Ms Ahmed-Sheikh, 47, and Mr Mickel, 49, set up Hamilton Burns WS as a partnership in 2001 and it became a limited company in 2014.

Ms Ahmed-Sheikh left the day-to-day running of the firm after being elected to represent Ochil and South Perthshire for the SNP in 2015, but retained a minority equity stake.

The firm went into administration last year owing £600,000, including £210,000 in tax.

Mr Whyte said a further procedural hearing will now take place on November 20 in Edinburgh, before a full, five-day hearing in Perth on January 14.