SCOTTISH law firm Holmes Mackillop has promoted commercial litigation lawyer Craig Donnelly to the role of director.

Mr Donnelly, who joined the firm as senior associate exactly a year ago, brings a “wealth of experience in litigation and dispute resolution” to the post.

Holmes Mackillop noted that Mr Donnelly has taken an “unusual” approach to his legal career, after beginning his career as a recovery officer for HM Revenue & Customs. He took the Law Society of Scotland examination route to qualifying as a solicitor while working for a legal firm as a pre-diploma trainee, rather than studying for a law degree.

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Mr Donnelly said: “Like many people, when I left school, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do but I got a taste for litigation during my time at HM Revenue & Customs.

“I moved into private practice and was encouraged by the partner I worked for to qualify as a solicitor. Pursuing the alternative route to qualification allowed me to work whilst studying for the exams. It’s similar to an apprenticeship and offers a way to create greater diversity in the legal profession.”

Holmes Mackillop said Mr Donnelly will continue to act for a range of clients, including individuals, companies, and institutions, such as charitable bodies, in his new role. He has become one of nine directors who sit on the firm’s board.

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Mr Donnelly said: “My appointment is an expression of confidence in my abilities as a litigator and demonstrates the company’s commitment to this area of the law.

“Growing the team is a priority. We have just recruited a junior litigation solicitor and we’ll be expanding further to deal with the growing demand for our services.”