Lord Gill will take over as Lord President from Lord Hamilton, who retires next week.
Lord Gill graduated from the universities of Glasgow and Edinburgh, and lectured in the Capital before being admitted to the Faculty of Advocates in 1967. He became a QC in 1981 and a judge in 1994.
First Minister Alex Salmond said: “His commitment to reform and modernisation is clear and under his leadership I am confident there will be substantial improvements to the justice system.
“He is an individual of great stature and integrity, and in leading Scotland’s judiciary will enjoy the respect and confidence of those around him.”
The Queen also appointed Lord Boyd QC, Michael Jones QC and David Burns QC as senators of the College of Justice.