James Reid, Baron Reid

James Scott Cumberland Reid, Baron Reid CH PC QC FRSE (30 July 1890, Drem, East Lothian 29 March 1975) was a Scottish Unionist politician and judge. His reputation is as one of the most outstanding judges of the 20th century.

Educated at Edinburgh Academy and Jesus College, Cambridge, he was admitted as an advocate in 1914. He was commissioned into the 8th Royal Scots in World War I and was seconded to the Machine Gun Corps in 1916, reaching the rank of Major. He resigned his commission in 1921. He was appointed a King's Counsel in 1932.

He was Member of Parliament (MP) for Stirling and Falkirk from October 1931 until his defeat in November 1935, and for Glasgow Hillhead from June 1937 until September 1948.

He served as Solicitor General for Scotland from June 1936[1] until June 1941, and as Lord Advocate from June 1941[2] until July 1945, and was appointed a Privy Counsellor in 1941. From 1945 to 1948 he was Dean of the Faculty of Advocates. In 1948 he was appointed as a Lord of Appeal in Ordinary and received a Law Life Peerage as Baron Reid, of Drem in East Lothian. He sat as a Lord of Appeal in Ordinary until 1975. He was one of very few men to be appointed a Law Lord straight from the Bar, without any intervening judicial experience.

Reid was appointed a Companion of Honour in 1967.

Cases decided


  1. The London Gazette: no. 34301. p. 4225. 3 July 1936. Retrieved 8 January 2016.
  2. The Edinburgh Gazette: no. 15820. p. 305. 13 June 1941. Retrieved 8 January 2016.
  3. Knuller (Publishing, Printing and Promotions) Ltd. v. DPP [1973] A.C. 435 at 456, 56 Cr.App.R. 633 at 637

External links

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Hugh Murnin
Member of Parliament for Stirling and Falkirk
Succeeded by
Joseph Westwood
Preceded by
Sir Robert Stevenson Horne
Member of Parliament for Glasgow Hillhead
Succeeded by
Tam Galbraith
Legal offices
Preceded by
Albert Russell
Solicitor General for Scotland
Succeeded by
Sir David King Murray
Preceded by
Thomas Mackay Cooper
Lord Advocate
Succeeded by
George Reid Thomson
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