The Law Society Presidential and Chief Executive team consists of the President, Senior Vice President, Junior President and Chief Executive.
The Presidential team for 2012/13 were appointed on Wednesday 28th November 2012. The new Presidential team are as follows:
PRESIDENT - MR MICHAEL ROBINSON
A native of Belfast Mr Robinson is a partner with Cunningham and Dickey solicitors in Belfast City Centre.
Educated at Annadale Grammar School he obtained his primary Law Degree at Queen's University in Belfast his vocational training at the Institute of Professional Legal Studies. Following completion of his vocational training he began work in the practice of Harrison, Leitch & Logan based in Belfast where he trained and specialised in defence litigation.
In 1986 he was invited to join Cunningham & Dickey in Belfast City Centre where he has remained, becoming a partner in 1989.
Michael continues to practise in public liability and employer’s liability defence litigation as well as the broad range of services offered in general practice including high-value matrimonial/civil partnership property matters, plaintiff clinical negligence litigation and commercial and residential property matters.
He has unique experience of defending public bodies and their staff in unlawful death investigations and criminal and civil proceedings consequent thereon.
In 2005, he was elected to serve on the Council of the Law Society of Northern Ireland. Since becoming a Council Member he has been proactive in the Society’s work serving as chair to a variety of committees.
Most recently he has been Chairman of the Law Society Client Complaints Committee and was instrumental in drafting the Solicitors (Client Communication) Practice Regulations 2008 and the client retainer letters and in house complaints procedures mandated under those Regulations.
In 2005 Michael undertook the Law Society/National Institute for Trial Advocacy, Advanced Advocacy Course and this year completed the Law Society Mediation course delivered by the outgoing Senior Vice President, Brian Speers and his colleagues.
Outside of his work Michael is Registrar at The Cathedral Church of St. Anne, Belfast and has a great interest in the performing arts. He has served as Board Member and Chairman of "Kabosh" an award-winning independent theatre company and is currently a Board Member and Director of Ulster Youth Orchestra which is the national youth orchestra in this Jurisdiction.
SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT - MRS IMELDA MCMILLAN
Imelda McMillan was educated at Sacred Heart Grammar School in Newry and studied law at Queens University, Belfast. After graduating in 1987 she spent two years in community work in West Belfast as a project co-ordinator. Subsequently, in 1989, she became a trainee solicitor to Garrett O`Reilly of O`Reilly Stewart Solicitors, Belfast. She graduated from the Institute of Professional Legal Studies in 1991.
In 2000, Imelda became a Partner in O`Reilly Stewart and is currently the Staff Partner, responsible for all personnel matters within the firm. She is Head of the Property Department and specialises in Reconstruction of Title, house building developments, apartment schemes including site acquisitions and all aspects of property law.
She was Chairperson of the Non-contentious Business Committee and is a long-standing Council member of the Law Society, having previously served on the Home Charter Committee, the Library Committee and the Family Committee. She is currently a member of the Clients Complaints Committee and the Access to Justice Committee.
Imelda is married, with two children and lives in Jordanstown. She is actively involved in her church, serving on the Finance Committee and is an ardent fundraiser for a number of Northern Ireland charities, previously raising £10,000 for the Friends of Montgomery House.
JUNIOR VICE PRESIDENT - MR RICHARD PALMER
Richard Palmer was educated at The Royal Belfast Academical Institution and then at Queen’s University Belfast. Having graduated in Law in 1987 he undertook his vocational training at the Institute of Professional Legal Studies.
He then joined the Firm of Peden & Reid in Belfast where he was Apprenticed to Niall Browne and in which Firm both his Grandfather Robert Coulter and Father George Palmer were at different times Senior Partner and both of whom also served as President of the Law Society in 1960 and 1996 respectively.
In 1994 Richard became a Partner in Peden & Reid where he undertakes Private Client, Property (both Residential and Commercial) and Corporate work.
In 1999, having served on the Association’s Committee for some seven years, Richard became Chairman of the Belfast Solicitors’ Association and was subsequently elected to the Council of the Law Society in 2003.
He has sat or currently sits on the Home Charter, Family Law, Education, Professional Indemnity Insurance & Risk Management and Conveyancing & Property Committees of the Society and previously chaired the Financial Services Committee.
He was recently a Member of the Society’s Education Review Working Group which completed a review of vocational training for Solicitors and is currently the Chair of the Professional Ethics & Guidance Committee which is the Society’s main Regulatory Committee.
Richard is married with three children and lives in Belfast. When not working he is a keen golfer and is an active Member of Instonian’s Hockey Club where he still plays regularly and where he is involved in the administration of the Club’s successful Youth Section.
CHIEF EXECUTIVE - ALAN HUNTER
Alan Hunter, a solicitor educated at Queen’s University Belfast, was appointed Chief Executive of the Law Society of Northern Ireland in October 2007.
Previously he held a series of key positions in the Senior Civil Service including the Director of Legal Aid, Director of Judicial Services and Chief Executive of the Northern Ireland Judicial Appointments Commission.
Working with Presidents and the Council of the Law Society of Northern Ireland he has led the development and delivery of an engagement strategy with members and key interested parties including members of the Northern Ireland Assembly and others in civic society.
He has also been involved in overseeing the return of the Law Society to the new Law Society House situated in the heart of the legal quarter in Belfast city centre.