Professor Lorne Crerar CBE FRSE is one of the two founding partners of the firm and is the firm’s Chairman. Lorne is the firm’s Senior Partner in the Banking & Finance and Sports Sector Groups and is an active member of the Public Sector Group. He is responsible for the creation and implementation of the firm’s ongoing strategic policy.
Lorne has wide experience of the operations of the public sector and has been appointed by The Scottish Government to undertake a number of independent reviews. He was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the Birthday 2019 Honours List for his contribution to “economic and community development” in Scotland. Earlier that year he also received the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award at the Scottish Legal Awards.
In 2021 he was elected as a Fellow of the RSE, Scotland’s prestigious National Academy, joining the RSE’s roll of around 1,600 leading thinkers and practitioners from Scotland and beyond.
He was the only representative from a commercial law firm on the panel which supported the Independent Review of Legal Services in Scotland, chaired by Esther Roberton, which in October 2018 delivered a report recommending a new system of regulation for the Scottish legal profession.
His report on Phase 2 of the Enterprise and Skills Review in 2017 led to the creation of a new Strategic Board for Enterprise and Skills in Scotland, and saw him appointed as Chairman of the Implementation Board set up to deliver on its aims. Lorne is a member of the Strategic Board.
In 2017 he was also appointed as co-chair of a new National Council of Rural Advisers, which delivered a report to the Scottish Government creating a blueprint for Scotland’s rural economy which has been adopted by Scottish Government. Lorne was appointed to the Rural Economic Action Group tasked with developing Scotland’s Rural Economic Policy.
His Independent Review of Regulation, Audit, Inspection and Complaints handling of public services in Scotland – “The Crerar Review” – saw almost all of his 44 key recommendations enshrined in statute – The Public Sector Reform Scotland Act 2010.
In June 2004, he was appointed a non-executive Director of the Scottish Government with responsibility for the Justice Department.
Lorne was appointed Chairman of Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) in 2012, after first being appointed to the Board in April 2008, and stepped down in early 2020 after two terms in the position.
He was invited to lecture at the University of Glasgow in 1981 on matters relating to Banking Law, Business Law and Commercial Contract Law. Lorne was appointed to the chair in Banking Law and took up the part-time post of Professor of Banking Law in 1997, becoming Professor Emeritus when he stepped down from that role in 2015. He was elected to the role and status of Fellow of the Institute of Bankers in Scotland in June 1999 and his book, “The Law of Banking in Scotland”, was published by Butterworths in 1997 and 2007 (2nd edition).
Lorne was appointed Independent Reviewer of the Lending Code in June 2010, reported in November and his adopted proposals were implemented on 1 April 2011.
A former Deputy Chairman of Scottish Enterprise Glasgow and Convener of the Standards Commission, he was a Chairman of the Housing Improvement Task Force. He is the architect of the Home Report system which changed the process for buying and selling domestic property in Scotland.
A rugby player and referee in his day, Lorne is a former Chairman of the European Rugby Cup Tournament (EPCR) and was also a Judicial Officer at four Rugby World Cups and part of the judicial team at the inaugural Rugby 7s tournament at the 2016 Rio Olympics. For over 20 years he was Chairman of the Discipline Panels for the SRU, European Rugby Cup and 6Nations, standing down from these roles at the end of season 2016/17. He was an IRB “elite judge” and was also the Judicial Officer for the Rugby World Cup Finals in both 2015 and 2011.
In July 2017, the Scottish Rugby Board awarded Lorne ‘Emeritus’ status on the Scottish Rugby Discipline Panel – the first time anyone had been granted that honour – in recognition of his ‘tremendous service to the game’. UK legal directory, Chambers UK, ranks Lorne as an “Eminent Practitioner” in Sports Law, where he has been described as “visionary solicitor” and “highly regarded in the Scottish sport sector”. In 2022, he was appointed chair of the new Scottish Rugby Union, prior to which he was asked to conduct a governance review of Scottish rugby.
He is a Trustee of Scotland’s largest independent grant-making trust, The Robertson Trust. In 2018, he was the independent member of the selection panel that appointed the Chief Constable for Police Scotland.
In 2022, he was selected to chair the strategic board of the new national public energy agency Heat & Energy Efficiency Scotland.
Chair of the firm Lorne Crerar is acclaimed as a "visionary solicitor" by market commentators, who also note his "particularly prominent" reputation in advising on legal issues arising in rugby. He is held in considerably high esteem for his expertise in disciplinary matters.
Chair of the firm and founding partner, Lorne Crerar, is known for his deep experience and expertise across the full range of sports disciplinary issues. Sources say: "He is very easy to work with. He leads his organisation in a quiet, unassuming way that creates a very pleasant working partnership."
Professor Lorne Crerar is particularly well known for his rugby disciplinary expertise, occupying the position of chairman of the European Rugby Cup and Judicial and Appeals Officer for the 2015 Rugby World Cup. Sources say that he is "really measured and calm" and a lawyer "you get a sense of assuredness"