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Professor Peter Watson wins University of Strathclyde leadership award



The University of Strathclyde has awarded Professor Peter Watson with an executive leadership award.


Established in 2019 by Professor Sir Jim MacDonald, Principal and Vice Chancellor, the Strathclyde Executive Leadership Award (STELAR) acknowledges excellence in leadership across the university’s global alumni community.


Peter Watson, who owns Scottish-based law firm PBW Law and is now a Visiting Professor at the University of Strathclyde, graduated in 1975, where he studied Economics and Psychology. After this he went on to study Law at the University of Edinburgh, followed by postgraduate studies at both the University of Oslo and the University of Dundee.


Professor Peter Watson has played a critical role in many high-profile cases throughout his career, such as the Piper Alpha Disaster Group, the Braer Tanker Disaster Group, the Lockerbie Air Disaster Group, the RAF Chinook crash on the Mull of Kintyre, the inquiry into the death of rally champion Colin McRae, the Shirley McKie fingerprint inquiry, and representing the families of the Dunblane Primary school massacre.  


He is currently involved in the Sheku Bayoh Public Inquiry, representing the Scottish Police Federation and individual officers, as well as the Scottish Covid Inquiry, where he is representing the Scottish Police Federation and families who lost loved ones in Care Homes. He was also recently elected President of the British Academy of Forensic Sciences (BAFS), and is an adviser to Inside Justice.


Professor Peter Watson was one of the first lawyers in Scotland to qualify as a solicitor advocate and has been involved in litigation in 12 countries outside of the UK. In 2008 he was named Solicitor of the Year.


Professor Peter Watson said: “I am honoured and very grateful to receive the STELAR award. When I graduated from Strathclyde I could never have imagined everything that lay ahead.


“It seems like a long time ago now, but the time I spent at Strathclyde was not only a great experience academically, but it also provided an important foundation for everything else that has followed in my life.


“Studying economics, in particular, taught me the importance of measurable outcomes, analysing how do we know this is working, together with the understanding that a journey of a thousand miles does not begin with the first step but by knowing your destination. These lessons still play an important role in how I run my firm.”


The University of Strathclyde recognises and celebrates the achievements of outstanding alumni through two types of award; the Strathclyde Alumnus and Alumna of the Year trophies, and the Strathclyde Executive Leadership Award (STELAR) medals.


Pictured: Professor Peter Watson and Professor Sir Jim MacDonald, Principal and Vice Chancellor of the University of Strathclyde

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