Brodies calls for police action after gun threats

Edinburgh-based Brodies called in the police over safety concerns for its staff after the head of Scottish pressure group Scotland Against Crooked Lawyers, Stuart Usher, told a Channel 4 documentary that he was tempted to use a shotgun against lawyers at the firm

In March 2002, Usher launched a 45m claim against Brodies because he believed it mismanaged his family’s estate, which was once worth 365m. However, last month, Usher abandoned the court action.

Brodies contacted the police last autumn after the Cutting Edge programme Fall of the House of Usher, featuring the Scottish aristocrat’s campaign to recover his family fortune, was televised. Usher told the documentary that he was prepared to borrow a gun to “go and nail a few lawyers in Edinburgh – the ones that did us in particular”. Days later, the police raided Usher’s house and confiscated his 12-bore shotgun and shotgun certificate.

Usher appealed against a report by the Lothian & Borders Police recommending that his certificate be revoked. On 24 March, the Jedburgh Sheriff Court adjourned proceedings until 19 May to allow further documents to be lodged.

A Brodies spokesperson said: “It’s a matter for the sheriff to decide if Mr Usher is a fit person to keep his shotguns. This process is out of our hands.”

Usher said: “Brodies did this to divert attention from the real issue. When I complained to the Law Society they found against me and accused me of being paranoid. Since then, the legal establishment has tried to marginalise me as unstable and off my rocker.”