Sellar read history at Oxford University graduating as Bachelor of Arts before gaining a law degree (LLB) from the University of Edinburgh. He qualified as a solicitor in 1966 joining, in 1968, the Faculty of Law at Edinburgh University, where he has been elected an Honorary Fellow.
Sellar has written about the Lordship of the Isles and on the origins of many Highland families, including the Campbells, MacDonalds, MacDougalls, MacLeods, Lamonts, Maclachlans, MacNeills and Nicolsons. He has served as a Member of the Ancient Monuments Board for Scotland, on the Councils of the Scottish Genealogy Society and the Heraldry Society of Scotland, and as Vice-President of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. He held the office of Bute Pursuivant of Arms from 2001 until his appointment in 2008 as Lord Lyon King of Arms.
A Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland (FSA Scot) and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society (FRHistS), Sellar was appointed Member of the Royal Victorian Order (MVO) in the 2014 New Year Honours in anticipation of his retirement from the office of Lord Lyon.
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