30 November 2023
Building for the future a key priority for new Law Society President
The new President of the Law Society of Northern Ireland has said that one of his key priorities in 2024 will be to continue the work of shaping the solicitor profession fit for the future.
Darren Toombs was speaking following his appointment as President following Law Society’s Annual General Meeting held in Belfast on Wednesday 29th November 2023.
Commenting the new President said:
“It is an honour and privilege to become President of the Law Society of Northern Ireland especially at a time of great change facing the whole legal sector in Northern Ireland.
Whilst there are many challenges ahead, I believe that there are many more opportunities to build a more diverse, accessible, and welcoming solicitor profession fit for purpose and responsive to the needs of local business and our community.
This means listening and engaging more proactively with our stakeholders, decision makers and most importantly our members to identify how best we can better support them moving forward.
Our future is very much about investing in the next generation and as someone who has been passionate about the education and training of solicitors, I am committed to identifying ways to improve access to the legal profession and supporting those wishing to become a solicitor.
As a practising solicitor, I am all too aware of invaluable contribution that solicitors, my friends and colleagues, make to the economy as employers and as businesses.
Solicitors remain at the very heart of every aspect of Northern Ireland life, their contribution is often unseen and unheard, yet they provide an important role supporting business and our community.
During my Presidency I will continue to champion the excellence of our profession at home and abroad as well as promoting the importance of maintaining the network of solicitor firms, large and small, across Northern Ireland, who provide advice and access to justice to the local community and to business”.
About Darren Toombs
A native of Warrenpoint Darren was educated at Abbey CBS in Newry and graduated with an Honour’s degree in law and accountancy from Queen’s University Belfast in 1998.
He was admitted to the Roll of solicitors in 2000 and in 2003 joined Carson McDowell Solicitors as a solicitor in their Litigation Department before heading up their Debt Recovery and Departmental Enforcement Teams and being instrumental in building the firms Insolvency and Restructuring Team.
In 2015, he was elected to the Council of the Law Society of Northern Ireland and has served on a range of Council Committees including the Business Committee, Professional Conduct Committee, the Contentious Business Committee, the Future of the Profession Committee and the Education Committee as its Chair.
New Presidential and Chief Executive Team
The new President will be supported by
Brian Archer, Senior Vice President,
Colin Mitchell, Junior Vice President and
David A. Lavery, Chief Executive of the Law Society of Northern Ireland.
The President has chosen the Boom Foundation as his charity of the year.
The Boom Foundation was set up by Leona Rankin in April 2013 having lost her fiancé to Sarcoma, a rare form of soft tissue and bone cancer, only 6 weeks before their wedding day. The lack of support that existing in Northern Ireland during her fiancé’s illness fueled her determination to put a support network in place for those suffering from this ‘forgotten cancer’.
The Boom Foundation remains the only charity in Northern Ireland dedicated to supporting patients suffering from sarcoma cancer. There are over 100 new patients diagnosed with sarcoma each year in NI, many of whom are children. In its first year (April 2013 - April 2014), the charity was registered with the NI Charity Commission and had raised over £100,000 through voluntary donations. To date, the charity has raised almost £500,000 through voluntary donations and its fundraising efforts.
In October 2013, the Boom Foundation joined forces with Sarcoma UK (a registered charity in England and Wales), which has allowed them to enhance their understanding surrounding the diagnoses and treatment of sarcoma as well as ensuring that research is continually supported through their own endeavours.
Most importantly, Boom has been able to offer support to sarcoma sufferers throughout their illness for the first time in NI.
New Presidential Team 2023
Brian Archer, Senior Vice President
Colin Mitchell, Junior Vice President