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Len Murray (The Glasgow Lawyer)
Len Murray was born in Glasgow a long time ago, he says, certainly long before Traffic Wardens were ever invented.
After studying Modern Languages, History and Law at Glasgow University he qualified as a solicitor. He remained in practice in Glasgow until 2003 when he retired. He says he had not a bad career. He was once described by a High Court Judge as "the most respected of his generation." He was the first ever media spokesman for the Law Society of Scotland; he tutored at Glasgow and Strathclyde Universities; he lectured at Tulliallan Police College for 16 years; he served on the Central Committee of the Law Society of Scotland for some eight years and was the Committee's Vice - Chairman for two. He also had spells as a Temporary Sheriff and as a part - time Chairman of Employment Tribunals. He is now an Ambassador for Glasgow Caledonian University.
He was legal adviser News and Current Affairs for Scottish Television and the Independent Television Network in Scotland before he retired.
Throughout his career he was associated with headline cases for household names and people like Paul McCartney, Billy Connolly, Rod Stewart, David Sole of Starsky and Hutch fame, Tommy Docherty, Jock Wallace and the legendary Jock Stein were among his clients.
He is now equally known as one of the country's top after-dinner speakers and currently holds the title of Scottish Wit of the Year 2012. He is also a former winner of the prestigious Wag of the Year award.
His autobiography, called The Pleader, was published by Mainstream a few years ago to very good reviews, most of which, some suspect, he wrote himself.
Len is also regarded as one of the country's foremost speakers on Robert Burns and his Immortal Memory has been described as "legendary". He is Dean of the Guild of Robert Burns Speakers and has spoken at over 300 Burns Suppers right across the world on five continents from Edmonton and Calgary in North West Canada to Melbourne in South East Australia. He is a member of the Burns Federation and is Honorary President of Greenock Burns Club, the oldest Burns Club in the world.
In January 2009 the Scottish Parliament held its first ever Burns Supper with various dignitaries from all over the World attending. Len was invited by the Presiding Officer to propose the Immortal Memory at that historic event.
In sporting matters he played football for Glasgow University and as a schoolboy once represented Scotland at tennis though he was never asked back! He confines himself now to the golf course and the bowling rinks where he has been outstandingly unsuccessful.
SOME RECENT PLAUDITS
''You turned a very dull 'after dinner' into an absolute hoot. Someone on our table had heard you speak somewhere before and promised us you were worth the wait and he was absolutely right - there was barely a dry eye and a side that wasn't splitting. Would definitely recommend you and hope I am lucky enough to be in one of your audiences in the future''.
Tracy Cross, Solicitor, Warwickshire Law Society.
''You were absolutely brilliant, very very funny and they thoroughly enjoyed your speech and company. Apparently the Chief Minister kept wiping his eyes with his napkin he found you so funny and he stayed until 11.45pm which is rare as he usually dashes of at 11pm but the event was so good, he stayed on. What can I say but a big thank you and look forward to working with you again soon''.
Ian Walker, London.
''Just a note to thank you for suggesting Len Murray for our event yesterday. He was wonderful- a lovely man and an excellent presentation - which was very well received by entire audience''.
Corrinne Weatherup, Event-Ful Consultancy, Belfast
''It is always such a pleasure to hear you speak, I never tire from listening to you.''
Lesley Fraser-Taylor, Charity Manager, Radio Forth.
''I should like to thank you very much for providing us with a superb speech at this year's Association Dinner.''
Dominic Wheatley, Chairman, Guernsey International Insurance Association, Guernsey.
''The Society were extremely grateful that you were able to fit us in after the extravagance of the do you were at the previous evening!''
Heather E Driscoll, Secretary, the Society of Scottish Lawyers in London.
"Len Murray certainly lived up to his reputation. He had us reaching for our napkins to wipe the tears of laughter away"
The Perth Guildryman
"No disrespect to X or Y [previous speakers] but Len was perfect and just added that special 'something' to the night."
Graeme Waddell, Business Director, Rolls Royce Ltd.
"Lots of great feedback for you this morning - everyone seems to have thoroughly enjoyed your view on life - and thank you so much for such an entertaining half an hour!"
Alan Higgins, Secretary, The Energy Institute, Aberdeen.
"I really can't thank you enough for your presence and presentation yesterday. What a response I received from the members! A major major success!"
Bill Rodger, President, East Kilbride Probus Club.
"This evening went extremely well and Len was superb and was very well received. I would have no hesitation in recommending him.."
Derek Millar, Insurance Institute of Guernsey.
"Your own contribution was magnificent."
Rev. John Harris, Bearsden Cross Church.
"Len Murray addressed our annual dinner and stole the show with a classy and impeccably timed oration....a truly talented pleader ....the case for the defence is well and truly proven beyond reasonable doubt!"
Gregor Kelly, Vice President, Society of Advocates in Aberdeen
"Your hilarious speech went down a storm. The feedback from our members has been tremendous."
Iain Monk, Scottish Civil Service Celtic Supporters' Club
"You were absolutely fabulous and from the texts and messages received it is clear everyone was of the same opinion."
Elizabeth J W Mackinnon, President, Society of Advocates in Aberdeen.
2. Burns Events
"I'm delighted that he is here. He has got wit and style and stature and it has been a delight, Len, to have had you in this position this evening."
Scotland's First Minister Jack McConnell on West Sound Radio.
"I am writing to pass on my personal thanks for your splendid delivery of the Immortal Memory during the Scottish Parliament's Burns Supper.. It was always my intention to use the Parliament's Burns Supper to showcase the best of Scottish talent to both national and international guests and your knowledge of Burns and Scottish history certainly helped to achieve this. Once again many thanks for making the Parliament's Burns Supper such a successful and memorable night."
Alex. Fergusson. MSP, Presiding Officer, The Scottish Parliament.
"I have attended many Burns Suppers where Len Murray has been a speaker but never before when he has chaired the event. I thought he was outstanding in this role and the authority of his style of chairmanship coupled with his encyclopaedic knowledge of the works of Burns held everyone's attention throughout the evening. It was a masterly performance and he brilliantly linked the speakers, musicians, singers and performers with an effortless continuity."
Sir William Rae, Chief Constable Strathclyde Police.
"I am writing to thank you for your fantastic contribution to my Burns Supper. Your Immortal Memory was a masterpiece - intelligent and articulate with many fascinating and stimulating insights into the life of Burns. I know that everyone enjoyed your contribution immensely."
The Rt Hon the Lord Provost of Glasgow.
"I have received so many favourable comments from those who attended, such as "best ever!" and "spell-binding speaker" and "great evening", that I am quite confident that the evening was a great success and that you are a major reason for that. To have the rapt attention of 800 men after they've enjoyed a four course dinner with wine and free bottles of Glenmorangie is no mean feat. But you accomplished it just as though it were an everyday occurrence."
Jim Hope-Ross, First Vice President, Calgary Burns Club, Alberta, Canada.
"A fabulous Immortal Memory by Len Murray."
Albert G Bisset, President, St Andrew's Society of New York
"And what a night it was; brilliant, unbelievable, best I've ever been at; I could listen to him all night. Just a few of the positive comments we heard........Len had the audience eating out of his hand - an unforgettable speech."
Andrew Cooper, Mauchline Burns Club.
"I have attended Burns Suppers for 40 years now and have listened to many good speakers. I must admit you are at the top of the tree, the best I have heard in all of this time. With your depth of voice, delivery skills and timing, you could have held the audience in the palm of your hand even if you were only reading out the telephone directory. Many thanks Len, it was a pleasure to meet you and a joy to listen too."
Andrew Welsh, Bathgate Golf Club
"It was genuinely, the most memorable, engaging Immortal Memory I have ever heard."
Raymond O'Hare, Director, Microsoft Scotland.
"Your Immortal Memory was superb and lived up to all expectations. The feedback was fantastic."
Gerard Graham, Captain, Old Course Ranfurly Golf Club
"Delighted to hear Len Murray's galvanising toast to the Immortal Memory. What a speech!"
Mrs Amelia Willmer, Perth, Western Australia
"Your Immortal Memory was the best that I have ever heard."
Alan McGuiggan, General Manager, Prestonfield House Hotel, Edinburgh.
"Opinion was unanimous that your thoughtful and sparkling Immortal Memory set the tone for the evening and was the highlight of a night to remember."
David Smith, Hon Secy The Burns Howff Club
"You were a star and left quite a mark on our little town!"
Glen Benroth, Community services Manager, Corangamite Shire, Victoria, Australia.
"Len has been visiting Australia to attend several Burns functions and his Immortal Memory was one of the best I've ever heard."
Trevor Powell, Adelaide, Australia.
"You held the audience, and it was standing room only, in the palm of your hand. You could have heard a pin drop as you delivered your address to this audience of not only the Scottish community of South Australia but also the international students of the University of Adelaide. They were spell bound as you delivered your message with a wonderful combination of both passion and dedication"
Rosemary McKay, Vice-President of the Australian Institute of International Affairs, SA Executive Member: Scottish Associations of South Australia Director: Royal Caledonian Society of South Australia Director: Robert Burns Society of the Pacific Rim
"What can I say? Well I'll repeat some of the things I nodded my head to when people were saying them to me - "I could listen to Len forever", "it's the way he leans in to you, you're just eager for more", "I learnt so much, and yet was thoroughly entertained", "stunning". Seriously, huge thanks for your contribution; I enjoyed knowing there was such a safe, professional pair of hands or gravelly voice beside me!"
Guy Norfolk, President, Society of Scottish Lawyers in London.
"Thanks for delivering such a quality Immortal Memory."
William G Lawson, President, Calgary Burns Club.
Video of Len Murray (The Glasgow Lawyer)
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Len Murray at The Lord Provost's Burns Supper 2008
Find out how to book Len Murray (The Glasgow Lawyer) as the after dinner speaker for your next event by calling Speak Out on 0131 440 9226 or clicking here.
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