The UK government’s most senior adviser on Scottish law has denied professional misconduct after he was convicted of a firearms offence.
The Advocate General for Scotland Richard Keen QC was fined £1,000 in 2017 after admitting failing to secure a shotgun stored in his home.
As a result of the offence Lord Keen is facing a Bar Tribunals and Adjudication Service (BTAS) hearing.
But the life peer denies professional misconduct.
Police investigating a break-in at Lord Keen’s Edinburgh home in 2016 found the 12 bore Stephen Grant shotgun in a basement out of its secure cabinet.
The former chairman of the Scottish Conservative Party had taken the weapon out to clean it but then forgot to return it to its secure location.
Put public at risk
At the BTAS hearing, Tom Forster QC, representing the Bar standards board, said the allegation was not about Lord Keen’s integrity or honesty but his “carelessness” with the shotgun which put the public at risk.
“The gun was being kept in a residential property in an urban area therefore there was a heightened obligation to Lord Keen to ensure it was kept securely,” he said.
“There is no real substantial reason than ‘I forgot’.
“It simply just won’t do in these circumstances.”
Lord Keen has featured in a number of high-profile cases, including representing the prime minister at the emergency Supreme Court hearing in September regarding the suspension of Parliament.
The 65-year-old faces allegations of behaving in a way that was “likely to diminish the trust and confidence which the public places in a barrister or in the profession” but denies any suggestion of professional misconduct.