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Thursday, November 4, 1999 Published at 17:06 GMT

UK: Scotland

Song row lawyer fined

Donald Findlay is a flamboyant figure in court

The lawyer who sang a sectarian song after an Old Firm Scottish Cup final has been fined £3,500 for professional misconduct.

Donald Finlay QC has been disciplined by the Faculty of Advocates for his actions after Rangers beat Celtic 1-0 to clinch the treble last season.

He resigned his position as vice-chairman of Rangers after being caught on video singing the song at a celebration party.

After the fine was announced, Mr Findlay said: "I again wish to tender an unreserved apology to anyone who wa offended by my conduct on that occasion.

"I can only re-affirm that it was not my intention to offend anyone."

[ image: He was caught on camera at the party]
He was caught on camera at the party
Publication of the pictures provoked a number of complaints to the Faculty of Advocates.

Almost at once, Mr. Findlay accepted his conduct had been unacceptable and a serious misjudgement.

The Dean of the Faculty Nigel Emslie QC said that the flamboyant lawyer had let many people down including himself, and that the effect on his personal and professional life had been profound.

He added that Mr Findlay had acknowledged his behaviour was "unbecoming and likely to bring the faculty into disrepute".

Mr Emslie said that the fine, the second highest imposed on a member, reflected the serious view taken of the affair.

Confidence in abilities

However the dean said he had confidence in Mr Findlay's ability to act for clients, regardless of their religion.

In a recent BBC Scotland interview, Mr Findlay said he considered commiting suicide after being filmed singing the song.

[ image: Mr Findlay said he considered suicide]
Mr Findlay said he considered suicide
He told how it had taken a "tremendous toll" on his life.

The controversy also cost him an honorary degree in recognition of his time as Rector of St Andrews University.

Secretary and Registrar of the University David Corner said: "The Academic Council could not act, with regard to this matter, like a jury striving for a shared judgement.

"It, like any other section of the Scottish population, was inevitably divided on this issue."

Mr Findlay had held the position of Rector at the University since 1994 and is only the third this century to remain in the post longer than the normal three year term.

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