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Presidential and Chief Executive Team

Presidential and Chief Executive Team

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 for 2022-23 were appointed on Wednesday 30th November 2022 and will remain in place until Wednesday 29th November 2023.

The members of the Presidential Team are as follows:


PRESIDENT - BRIAN ARCHER

Brian Archer graduated from Queens University Belfast with an Honours degree in law in 1991 and qualified as a Solicitor in 1994.

Following this he worked as an Assistant Solicitor for Francis Keenan Solicitor in Belfast from 1994 -2001 specialising in Criminal Law representing clients before the Magistrates and Crown Courts.

In 2001 he set up his own firm in partnership with two other colleagues and in 2016 the set up practice on his own account as Archer Solicitors in Belfast.

Brian qualified as an Advanced Advocate in 2001 and was appointed to the Law Society’s Children Order panel and NIGALA Children Order panel in 2010.

In 2007 Brian was appointed a Deputy District Judge and he continues to sit throughout the Jurisdiction in Magistrates, Youth Courts, and Family Proceedings Courts.

Over the last 20 years Brian has been involved in Legal Education as a Teaching Assistant at the Institute of Professional Legal Studies and has been a Law Society Council member for over 10 years chairing several committees.

Outside his legal practice Brian has been involved in several charities namely the Sexual Abuse Counselling Service Nexus for which he was appointed Chair of their Board of Directors from 2016 -2018.

Brian is presently a trustee of the Include Youth charity.

He is married with two grown up children.

Brian took up his post as President of the Law Society of Northern Ireland on Wednesday 30th November 2022.


 

 

SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT - BRIGID NAPIER

Brigid Napier graduated from Queen’s University Belfast in 1985 and joined her father in the family practice of Napier & Sons, a firm established by her grandfather in 1930. Since its inception, the firm has been renowned for its expertise in Insolvency and Brigid proudly accepted this mantel, becoming one of only 3 solicitors in the jurisdiction to be licensed as an Insolvency Practitioner.

She is currently a Director in Napier Solicitors and advises on all aspects of Personal and Corporate Insolvency and is regularly appointed as a Trustee in Bankruptcy or Liquidator in complex insolvencies. Brigid’s daily work as a practising solicitor with over 30 years’ experience involves working at the coalface with individuals and businesses in crisis.

One of Brigid’s key goals is to give back to the profession and to encourage and inspire her peers as well the next generation of lawyers. From an early stage in her career, Brigid participated in the Young Solicitors Association, and was a popular speaker at the Institute of Professional Legal Studies. 

She is particularly proactive in promoting women in the law and was proud to take part in the Law Society’s mentoring programme. In recognition of her dedication to this cause, Brigid was honoured to receive the “Best in Professional Services Award” from Women in Business Northern Ireland. She also undertook bespoke training with the Institute of Leadership and Management and attained Advanced Coaching status.   

Brigid was elected to the Council of the Law Society of Northern Ireland in 2017 and has since served as a member of several regulatory committees, including the Professional Conduct Committee and as Chair of the Professional Liability Committee.

She was President during the Society’s Centenary Celebrations which took place in 2022 and has been instrumental in promoting diversity and inclusion within the legal profession.

Brigid sits on the Board of Leukaemia & Lymphoma NI which was her President’s Charity of the Year.


JUNIOR VICE PRESIDENT – DARREN TOOMBS

Darren Toombs grew up in Warrenpoint, 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 accepted an apprenticeship with MacElhatton & Company Solicitors in Belfast, graduated from the IPLS QUB in 2000, and was admitted to the Roll in that same Millennium year.

In 2003, Darren moved to the Litigation Department within Carson McDowell Solicitors where, for the next 15 years, he headed up the Debt Recovery Team and the firm’s Departmental Enforcement Team, for bodies such as The Planning Service, The Roads Service and Translink.

Following the opening of an opportunity within the firm, he moved to working within the Insolvency sphere, quickly gaining a sound reputation litigating for Trustees, Administrators and Liquidators. On that insolvency litigation foundation, he has built a full Insolvency and Restructuring Team within the firm over the past 7 years.

Darren has been recognised as a leader in his field in the areas of Debt Recovery and Insolvency and Restructuring in the Chambers and in the Legal 500 Directories over the years. His team is recognised as one of Northern Ireland’s leading teams in its specialism.

He has been active in a number of professional bodies over the course of his career including the NIYSA where he was Vice Chair in 2005.

Darren was co - opted onto the Education Committee of Law Society of Northern Ireland in 2006. 

In 2015 he was elected to the Council of the Law Society of Northern Ireland. Since then he has served as a member of a range of Council Committees, becoming chair of its ​Education Committee as well as the PCC Committee.

He also serves as a nominee of the Society on the Council of Legal Education at the IPLS.

Darren was an active hockey and Gaelic football player from childhood and has a passion for road cycling and racing.

One of Darren’s proudest moments representing the Society, was participating in the 110-mile cycling leg, of the “renowned” Ironlaw triathlon relay race victory, against the Law Society of Ireland team in 2019.