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17 February 2011

President of Society Appointed Visting Professor of Law


Brian Speers, President of the Law Society of Northern Ireland and managing partner with CMG solicitors in Belfast has been appointed visiting professor to the Graduate School for Professional Legal Education at the Magee campus.

For more than a decade, Professor Speers has been widely acknowledged as   pioneering the use of mediation as an alternative form of dispute resolution in Northern Ireland and abroad.

As President of the Law Society he has been focussing on encouraging solicitors to consider mediation as an alternative means to resolve disputes. 

Commenting on his appointment, Professor Speers said:

“In Northern Ireland and indeed globally there is a growing awareness that mediation, in appropriate cases, presents a highly effective and cost efficient way to resolve business and personal disputes.

It has practical applications in business, employment,  family and neighbourhood disputes, offering an effective process for resolving disputes with the best possible outcome for the parties involved.

It can meet the needs of both parties, saving time, expense and the stress associated with court proceedings and, because both sides are involved in the process and are part of the outcome, there is generally greater compliance.

People looking for disputes to be resolved expect their advisers to present the most appropriate, cost effective and practical option – which in many cases will involve bringing cases to court. 

However there are many different ways to resolve disputes so we need to look imaginatively at all the options and seek to come up with innovative ways to resolve issues which may involve improving dialogue and understanding between the parties.

It is important to ensure that young people entering the solicitors’  profession are equipped with the necessary skills to mediate.

I am therefore delighted to have been appointed to a Visiting Professorship at the University of Ulster,  Graduate School for Professional Legal Education and I look forward to drawing on my knowledge of mediation in helping to shape future law professionals.” 

Welcoming the appointmentAlan Hunter, Chief Executive said:

“We are delighted that the President’s work in mediation and in leading the Society’s review on legal education have been recognised by the University of Ulster with the announcement that he is to receive a visting professorship in Law. Undoubtedly his wealth of knowledge and experience in legal matters will benefit the students attending the University”.

Dr Paul Mageean, Director of Studies of the Graduate School for Professional Legal Education said:

“Professor Speers brings an ideal combination of qualities to the Graduate School. With his extensive experience, and unique understanding of mediation gained at every level, he will make a valuable contribution to our teaching and research.”




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