McBride: A friend to journalists

MANY a journalist had ‘reason to thank their lucky stars’ to have the telephone number of Paul McBride QC in their contacts book, according to The Scotsman’s law correspondent, John Robertson.

Writing on page four of yesterday’s edition of the paper, Robertson’s was among several tributes to the eminent Scots lawyer, who was found dead in a hotel room in Pakistan on Sunday.

And, wrote Robertston: “Many a journalist had reason to thank their lucky stars for having McBride’s number in their contacts list.”

He explained: “He was always prepared to offer some reasoned and sensible comment, given with great clarity and the assuredness born of knowing his subjects.

“In recent years, Paul McBride had become far better known for his out-of-court persona than as a lawyer, which is a great pity because he was among the elite of the Scottish legal world.

“Dabbling in politics and being closely involved in one half of the Old Firm, McBride was rarely out of the headlines, but it’s just as true that he was rarely out of court.

“McBride was an outstanding performer, whether before a jury or a bench of appeal judges, and, most importantly, he commanded respect among his peers and the judiciary. It had been said that, latterly, he displayed a touch of arrogance, but it was all part of his act and his banter.

“And he loved to banter with people. Yes, he could dish it out, but he could take it in return and it was never, never malicious.”