Skip to Main Content | Skip to Secondary Navigation | Go to site help

Messengers-at-Arms & Sheriff Officers, Edinburgh

Thomas Hannah & Company — judicial officers in Scotland

Thomas Hannah & Co. is a firm of Messengers-at-Arms and Sheriff Officers based in Edinburgh, Scotland. Serving all six Scottish Sheriffdoms, we provide legal support services to clients throughout Scotland, the UK and Europe. If you are looking for an experienced, reliable team providing a service that is not only professional but personal, too — then we’ll be pleased to hear from you.

On our web site you may

  • discover more about our services, which include citation, process serving, diligence, repossession, tracing and other value added activities;
  • learn about our company, our experience and management, and the benefits of instructing us;
  • find our head office location and contact details.

Ready to issue instructions? Need more information? Contact us by phone, fax, email or even post!
Or download our brochure (PDF, 1.1MB): Download

New! Service of actions for divorce. We now offer assistance with service of Sheriff Court writs raised by private individuals under the simplified “do it yourself” procedure for divorce. Details

Scottish officers of court

Messengers-at-Arms and Sheriff Officers are Officers of Court and have a key role in the administration of justice in Scotland. In particular, they carry out diligence; that is, enforcing the repayment of debts through legal processes. Diligence processes include arrestment, attachment and inhibition. Introduction of the Bankruptcy and Diligence etc. (Scotland) Act 2007 modernised and improved the law relating to diligence and enforcement methods, striking a fair balance between the differing needs of creditors and debtors.


A Messenger-at-Arms is an officer of the Court of Session, which is the supreme civil court in Scotland. A Messenger-at-Arms may travel anywhere in Scotland to serve documents and enforce orders of the supreme court.

Sheriff Officers

A Sheriff Officer is an officer of the regional civil court. Scotland is divided into six regions called Sheriffdoms, each of which has a Sheriff Principal who is responsible for the conduct of the courts. Within these Sheriffdoms there is a total of forty-nine local Sheriff Court districts. Unlike a Messenger-at-Arms, a Sheriff Officer may only operate in the geographical area for which he holds a commission.

Internationally, the generic term Judicial Officers is often used to describe individuals who carry out the functions performed in Scotland by Messengers-at-Arms and Sheriff Officers, as in the International Union of Judicial Officers (Union internationale des huissiers de justice).