Our leadership and structure

COPFS provides Scotland’s independent prosecution service and is headed by the Lord Advocate, Solicitor General and Crown Agent. COPFS is governed by an Executive Board.

COPFS is organised into three distinct functions. Each function specialises in a specific part of our work. Serious Casework and Local Court handle specific types of crime. Operational Support handles essential business tasks.

Our leaders

Law Officers

Together, the Lord Advocate and Solicitor General are known as the Law Officers.

The Law Officers set the strategic priorities, objectives and prosecution policy for COPFS.

Lord Advocate

The Lord Advocate is the ministerial head of COPFS, leading the system of criminal prosecutions and the investigation of deaths. All prosecutions on indictment run in the Lord Advocate’s name. The Lord Advocate also has a number of statutory functions, including in relation to extradition and mutual legal assistance with other jurisdictions.

The Lord Advocate is a Minister of the Scottish Government, but decisions by the Lord Advocate about criminal prosecutions and the investigation of deaths are taken independently of any other person.

The Lord Advocate was appointed by the Queen on the recommendation of the First Minister, with the agreement of the Scottish Parliament.

The current Lord Advocate is Dorothy Bain KC who was appointed in June 2021.

Photo of Lord Advocate, Dorothy Bain
Lord Advocate Dorothy Bain KC

Solicitor General

The Solicitor General is the Lord Advocate’s deputy. They assist the Lord Advocate to carry out their functions. They are also a Minister of the Scottish Government.

The Solicitor General was appointed by the Queen on the recommendation of the First Minister, with the agreement of the Scottish Parliament.

The current Solicitor General is Ruth Charteris KC who was appointed in June 2021

Solicitor General Ruth Charteris KC

Crown Agent

The Crown Agent is the principal legal advisor to the Lord Advocate on prosecution matters and the Chief Executive of COPFS.

The Crown Agent is accountable to the Law Officers for the delivery of efficient and effective prosecution of crime and investigation of deaths, in accordance with their priorities and prosecution polices. The Crown Agent is the Accountable Officer for COPFS and, as such, answerable to the Scottish Parliament for the regularity and propriety of COPFS’ finance and the stewardship of public monies.

The current Crown Agent is John Logue, who was appointed in 2022 as interim Crown Agent, and then appointed to the permanent role in December 2023. John Logue has been a prosecutor in Scotland for nearly 30 years, having started as a trainee solicitor with the COPFS in 1994.

Crown Agent John Logue


Executive board

The Executive Board provides strategic leadership to COPFS and is collectively responsible for delivering COPFS’s vision, aim and objectives.

The Executive Board's role is the provision of advice, challenge, support and assurance to the Crown Agent. The Board focuses on a range of areas including:

  • performance and outcomes
  • people and capability
  • finance and risk
  • organisational efficiency
  • corporate wellbeing

The Board is chaired by the Crown Agent and includes senior members of staff and non-executive directors.

Reporting to the Board are committees focusing on resource management, business improvement, operational performance, and audit and risk.

Publication of board minutes and associated papers

We publish the minutes of our Executive Board and committee meetings. 

You can view meeting minutes in our publications area. 

Executive Board membership 

The current members of the COPFS Executive Board are: 

  • John T Logue, Crown Agent
  • Lindsey Miller, Deputy Crown Agent, Operational Support
  • Stephen McGowan, Deputy Crown Agent, Litigation
  • Jennifer Harrower, Deputy Crown Agent, Local Court
  • Kenny Donnelly, Deputy Crown Agent, Specialist Casework
  • Ruth McQuaid, Deputy Crown Agent, High Court
  • Keith Dargie, Head of Business Services
  • Marlene Anderson, Director of Finance and Procurement
  • Sarah Carter, Director of Human Resources
  • Annie Gunner Logan, Non executive director
  • Vanessa Davies, Non executive director
  • David Watt, Non executive director

Our functions

  • High Court
  • Specialist Casework
  • Local Court
  • Operational Support

High Court

The High Court function investigates and prosecutes the most serious crimes. These include murder, sexual offences, and cold cases.

Specialist Casework

Teams in Specialist Casework investigate and prosecute cases that need special knowledge or experience. Examples include environmental crime, organised crime, the investigation of sudden or unexplained deaths, and appeals.

Serious Casework also includes High Court teams. The most serious crimes in Scotland are dealt with by the High Court. These include murder, sexual offences, and cold cases.

Local Court

The Local Court function prosecutes cases in Justice of the Peace and Sheriff Courts.

Local Court teams work in offices across Scotland. Offices are grouped into six Sheriffdoms:

  • Glasgow and Strathkelvin
  • Grampian, Highland and Islands
  • Lothian and Borders
  • North Strathclyde
  • South Strathclyde, Dumfries and Galloway
  • Tayside, Central and Fife

A specialist national team in Local Court makes initial decisions in all summary crimes reported to COPFS.

Operational Support

Teams in Operational Support complete essential business tasks. The function's work is divided into two areas. Policy and Engagement includes Media Relations, Policy and our Enquiry Point. The Business Services teams include Finance, HR, and IT.

Corporate structure

You can view our detailed corporate structure online. As of June 2023, this is our anticipated structure from September 2023 onwards. Changes will be taking place to move to this structure during Summer 2023.

  1. Corporate Structure


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