The former Queen's Counsel, who will take the title Lord Reed, beat the previous holder, Lord Devlin, who was several months older when installed in 1948. Lord Reed studied at Edinburgh University, where he gained a first class honours degree in 1978 before undertaking a PhD in comparative administrative law at Oxford. He was a solicitor in Edinburgh and became an expert in human rights and European law.
He became a QC three years ago and in 1996 was appointed Advocate Depute. He featured prominently for the Crown in the failed Glasgow ice-cream war appeals of Thomas "TC" Campbell and Joseph Steel.
Lord Reed said he hoped his new role would allow him and his daughters, aged eight and nine, to use more often their season ticket for Celtic Park.