Advisory Council on Messengers-at-Arms and Sheriff Officers

Statutory basis

The Advisory Council on Messengers-at-Arms and Sheriff Officers was established under Section 76(1) of the Debtors (Scotland) Act 1987.


  • to advise the Court of Session on the making of Acts of Sederunt under section 75 of the 1987 Act; and
  • generally to keep under review all matters relating to officers of court.


The criteria for membership of the Council are set out in section 76 of the Debtors (Scotland) Act 1987. The Lord Lyon holds office ex officio. The Lord Presidents appoints: a judge of the Court of Session (who shall act as chairman); two sheriffs principal; two officers of court; two solicitors; and such other persons as the Lord President considers appropriate. A further member is appointed by the Scottish Ministers. Members hold office for three years and are eligible for reappointment provided that they retain the qualifications for membership, where appropriate.

Current members

The current members of the Council are:

  • The Hon. Lady Poole (Chair)
  • Sheriff Principal Sean Murphy KC
  • Sheriff Principal Nigel Ross
  • Ged Mulvey - Money Advice Scotland 
  • Walter Drummond-Murray - Scottish Government
  • The Lord Lyon King of Arms
  • Mr. David Walker - Officer of Court
  • Alex Irvine  - Officer of Court
  • Fergus Thomson, Solicitor
  • Tom Hempleman, Solicitor
  • Secretary to the Council : Edward McHugh, solicitor

Annual Report

Section 51 of the Bankruptcy and Diligence etc. (Scotland) Act 2007, as amended and which came into force on 31 January 2011, provides that the Advisory Council must prepare a report on its activities during the whole of each financial year.

ACMASO Annual Report 2022-2023
ACMASO Annual Report 2021-2022
ACMASO Annual Report 2020-2021
ACMASO Annual Report 2019-2020
ACMASO Annual Report 2018-2019
ACMASO Annual Report 2017-2018
ACMASO Annual Report 2016-2017
ACMASO Annual Report 2015-2016
ACMASO Annual Report 2014-2015
ACMASO Annual Report 2013-2014
ACMASO Annual Report 2012-2013
ACMASO Annual Report 2011-2012


  • Edward McHugh, Deputy Legal Secretary to the Lord President


Responses to consultation on whether current training period requirement remain appropriate, or the periods should be reduced.

Responses to Consultation 2023

Responses to consultation on whether the requirement that, when seeking commission as a sheriff officer, the applicant must advertise in newspapers should be replaced with the requirement to undergo standard Disclosure procedure.

Consultation response

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