Paul McBride QC (13 November 1964 – 4 March 2012) was a leading Scottish criminal lawyer based in Edinburgh. He was a board member of the Scottish Legal Aid Board, and a former vice chairman of the Faculty of Advocates Criminal Bar Association. He died suddenly on a trip to Pakistan.
McBride, an only child from a working-class family, attended the private Catholic school St Aloysius' College, Glasgow and thereafter studied law at the University of Strathclyde from the age of 16. He graduated with an LLB aged 19, and joined a solicitors firm in Ayrshire. After completing his two-year traineeship with the firm he devilled with a practising advocate for 9 months, and was admitted advocate in 1988. He was appointed Queen's Counsel in 2000 aged 36, one of the youngest ever in the UK.
McBride was very well known for his intelligence, his skilful advancement of the merits of Scottish Law as well as his courage. He often represented high-profile clients in controversial criminal cases. He led the legal teams which won the acquittal of human rights lawyer Aamer Anwar of contempt of court in July 2008, and Gail Sheridan of perjury in HM Advocate v Sheridan and Sheridan. When he was appointed to the latter case the Daily Record called it a "legal dream team".
Later, McBride represented Celtic F.C. on a number of legal and disciplinary matters. He issued statements to the press about incidents that involved Celtic and defended Celtic's staff in court including touchline bans for their manager, drink driving charges, charges of child neglect and speaking out about football officials.
In April 2011, McBride branded the SFA "the laughing stock of world football", and "not merely dysfunctional and dishonest, but biased". This statement came after an SFA disciplinary hearing involving three members of Rangers staff. McBride later apologised for the remarks after the SFA threatened legal action and made a formal complaint to the Faculty of Advocates.
McBride was a fan of football club Celtic and was considered to be one of the club's "highest profile supporters". McBride was gay and had been in a civil partnership with his partner Gary Murphy since 2007.
On 6 November 2011, McBride resigned from the Scottish Conservative Party hours after the election of leader Ruth Davidson, describing the party as "divided and dysfunctional" and "a bunch of unreconstructed morons".
In April 2011, McBride, Neil Lennon and Trish Godman, public figures all connected with Celtic, were sent parcel bombs. The device sent to McBride was intercepted by Royal Mail at a depot in Kilwinning. This resulted in the trial of two men, HM Advocate v Muirhead and McKenzie, in which McBride was due to appear as a witness, but died before he was called.
On 4 March 2012 McBride died in his sleep while in Pakistan. He was visiting Pakistan on business with fellow lawyer Aamer Anwar. His body was discovered in a hotel room in the city Lahore by Anwar, who said later that McBride had been unwell during the trip. A post-mortem examination carried out on McBride has found that there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding his death. The post-mortem was carried out at the Mayo Hospital in Lahore, Pakistan. He was buried in St Conval's, Barrhead.
- There are conflicting versions of his age and year of birth, the Guardian, Herald, and Daily Telegraph gives it as 1963, the Scotsman, BBC and Daily Record as 1964.
- "Board members and Senior Staff". Scottish Legal Aid Board. Retrieved 27 August 2009.
- Richard Wilson (13 April 2011). "Quality control". Herald Scotland. Retrieved 4 March 2012.
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- Cramb, Auslan (5 March 2012). "Bomb plot lawyer Paul McBride QC found dead in Pakistan". Telegraph Media Group Limited 2012. Retrieved 5 March 2012.
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- "Lawyer Paul McBride blasts SFA's Rangers verdict". BBC. 12 April 2011. Retrieved 14 April 2011.
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- "Paul McBride QC will not face SFA legal action". BBC. 20 April 2011. Retrieved 20 April 2011.
- "Hundreds attend funeral for lawyer Paul McBride". BBC. 12 March 2012. Retrieved 12 March 2012.
- "Celtic manager Neil Lennon pays tribute to friend Paul McBride as efforts continue to bring QC's body home". Daily Record. 6 March 2012. Retrieved 12 March 2012.
- "QC Paul McBride switches allegiance to Conservatives over party's 'smears and fears'". Scotland on Sunday. 26 April 2009. Retrieved 8 October 2009.
- "BBC News – QC Paul McBride leaves Tories after two years". BBC. 6 November 2011. Retrieved 4 March 2012.
- "Neil Lennon parcel bomb 'cowardly act'". BBC. 20 April 2011. Retrieved 20 April 2011.
- "Top Scottish lawyer Paul McBride found dead in hotel room in Pakistan". Daily Record. 4 March 2012. Retrieved 4 March 2012.