Law Society of Northern Ireland

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The Law Society of Northern Ireland
Law Society of Northern Ireland Logo.jpg
Formation 10 January 1922
Type Professional organisation
Headquarters 96 Victoria Street, Belfast
Region served
Northern Ireland
Ian Huddleston

The Incorporated Law Society of Northern Ireland, commonly known as the Law Society of Northern Ireland, is a professional body established by Royal Charter granted on 10 July 1922 and whose powers and duties are to regulate the solicitors' profession in Northern Ireland with the aim of protecting the public.

Under the Solicitors (Northern Ireland) Order 1976, the Law Society acts as the regulatory authority governing the education, accounts, discipline and professional conduct of solicitors in order to maintain the independence, ethical standards, professional competence and quality of services offered to the public.[1]

Governance and role[edit]

The Society operates through an elected Council of thirty members, all practising solicitors who serve on a voluntary basis. The Society employs qualified solicitors and chartered accountants to carry out the administrative role of the Society. The Society's role is to regulate and to provide a service for its members.

Regulation of solicitors includes the annual issue of a Practising Certificate to each solicitor.[2] This certificate entitles the solicitor to hold himself or herself out as a solicitor entitled to practice in Northern Ireland. The Society has a dedicated department, which handles complaints by clients against solicitors.[3]

Over the years the Society has contributed to draft legislation and frequently comments on proposed changes to the law including the impact of the changes on solicitors, their clients and the community. It has defended legal aid as a key part of democracy[4] and, in 2015, attempted to new legal aid rules quashed by the High Court.[5]

In 2010, the Society welcomed the devolution of policing and justice powers to the Northern Ireland Assembly. Since then the Society's Presidential and Chief Executive team has met regularly with the Minister for Justice, David Ford MLA and the Department of Justice in relation to a number of pressing issues affecting the solicitor profession and their clients.

Presidential team[edit]

The Law Society Presidential and Chief Executive team consists of the President, Senior Vice President, Junior President and Chief Executive.

The Presidential and Chief Executive team for 2017/2018 were appointed on Wednesday 29 November 2017. The new Presidential team are as follows:[6]

  • President — Eileen Ewing
  • Senior Vice President — Ian Huddleston
  • Junior Vice President — Suzanne Rice
  • Chief Executive and Registrar  — Alan Hunter

Chief executive and senior management team[edit]

The Chief Executive of the Law Society is Mr Alan Hunter who is supported by a senior management team.[7]

Past Presidents[edit]

  • 2005 — Attracta Wilson
  • 2006 — Rory McShane
  • 2007 — James Cooper
  • 2008 — Donald Eakin
  • 2009 — Barry Finlay
  • 2010 — Norville Connolly
  • 2011 — Brian Speers
  • 2012 — Imelda McMillan
  • 2013 — Michael Robinson
  • 2014 — Richard Palmer
  • 2015 — Arleen Elliott
  • 2016 — John Guerin
  • 2017 — Ian Huddleston
  • 2018 — Eileen Ewing


External links[edit]