Tributes are being paid to principal crown counsel Stephen O’Rourke QC, who has died suddenly at the age of 45.
O’Rourke called to the Bar in 2002 and was appointed as QC in 2017.
Ranked as a leading silk for commercial litigation, he was elected keeper of the library at the Faculty of Advocates in February and took up his appointment as principal crown counsel in October.
Lord Advocate Dorothy Bain QC said: “It was with deep sorrow that I heard the tragic news that our dear colleague and friend Stephen O’Rourke QC has died suddenly.
“Stephen made a lasting impression on everyone he met and his loss will be sorely felt by his family, friends, colleagues and the many, many people who were privileged to have known him.
“I was delighted when he agreed to become principal crown counsel earlier this year and was very grateful for the depth of knowledge, enthusiasm, integrity and leadership he brought to Crown Office in that role.
“My thoughts are with all those who held Stephen dear while we all come to terms with this profound loss.”
O’Rourke specialised in public and commercial litigation, property law, professional negligence, inquiries and regulatory matters. He was dual-qualified, an arbitrator and a mediator.
Roddy Dunlop QC, Dean of the Faculty of Advocates, said: “Stephen was an inspiration to many and a friend to all. I am, as I know many will be, utterly distraught that we have lost him.
“I grow increasingly concerned at the isolating effect and impact on wellbeing created by the ongoing (and understandable) dictats and restrictions caused by this damned virus.
“I would please ask all to remember that support is available for anyone who is struggling. Do not suffer in silence.”
Other tributes were posted online from across Scotland’s legal and political spectrum.
A Police Scotland spokesperson “Officers were called to Moray Place in Edinburgh around 11.45am on Wednesday, 8 December, 2021. Upon arrival, the body of a man was found.
“The death is not being treated as suspicious and a report has been submitted to the Procurator Fiscal.”