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Presidential and Chief Executive Team

Presidential and Chief Executive Team 2019

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

The Presidential team for 2018/19 were appointed on Wednesday 28th November 2018. The new Presidential team are as follows:

PRESIDENT - SUZANNE RICE

Suzanne Rice read Law and French at Queens University Belfast before attending the Institute of Professional Legal Studies in Belfast where she completed her apprenticeship with Con O’Hagan Solicitors in Lurgan, County Armagh. After qualifying as a Solicitor in 2003, Suzanne continued her practice in Belfast where she now specialises in all aspects of Family Law and most notably Divorce and Children’s Law.

Suzanne currently works for McKeown and Company Solicitors in Belfast which is a young and dynamic law Firm specialising in Criminal Law, Family Law and Plaintiff Litigation based in the City Centre.

Suzanne is an Advanced Advocate Solicitor and is on the Northern Ireland Guardian Ad Litem Panel as well as the Law Society of Northern Ireland’s Family Law Committee.

In 2009 Suzanne qualified as a Collaborative Divorce Solicitor and she became a Council Member of the Law Society of Northern Ireland in November 2013 when she has sat on the following Committees: Access to Justice, Family Law, Financial Services and Client Complaints. She currently represents the Profession in ongoing Government initiatives towards improving children’s law services.

Her expertise and knowledge in this area has been instrumental in assisting change and development to the practice of children’s law and she continues to advise on consultations and Steering Groups in this field.

As well as representing both parents and children, Suzanne also acts on behalf of international Governments in child abduction cases and she has recently acted on behalf of the American, Australian, Dutch, Irish, Turkish and Moroccan authorities before the High Court of Justice in Northern Ireland.

In 2010 Suzanne became legal Advisor to the Family Care Society in Adoption Matters and she is currently a board member of the Children’s Law Centre Management Board.

SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT - EILEEN EWING

Eileen Ewing was born in Oxford, England. She began her career at Patterson Taylor and Company in Belfast in 1970 as a clerical officer.

Throughout the early 1970’s, Eileen progressed to running the practice dealing with and supporting the solicitors within the practice.

The wealth of knowledge and experience gained throughout these years coupled with her growing interest in family and criminal law prompted her to apply to the Law Society of Northern Ireland in 1981 to undertake the combined course.

Eileen qualified and was admitted to the Roll of Solicitors in 1988. Following her admission, she worked with Richard Monteith Solicitors based in Belfast.

In 1990 Eileen moved practices to Holmes and Moffitt solicitors where she practiced matrimonial, conveyancing and criminal law for fifteen years representing and acting for clients in the Crown Court, litigation and family matters.

In 2005 Eileen joined Thompson Crooks Solicitors where she continues to practice today.

Eileen has been a member of the Children’s Order and Guardian Ad Litem Panel and contributed to the introduction of Collaborative Law in Northern Ireland. Eileen was also one of the founder members of Condico Solicitors for Children which was formerly The Family Solicitors for Children Association,

She was the Chairperson of the Parents Advice Centre NI for 4 years and is on the Board of Governor at Movilla High School in Newtownards.

In 2009, Eileen stood for Council of the Law Society of Northern Ireland and was elected to same where she has served as Chair of the Family, Criminal Law and Client Complaints Committees.

Eileen is married with one son. During her free time, she is a keen seamstress and cook.

She is involved with a number of local charities and participated in ‘Strictly Legal’ in 2014 in aid of Tinylife along with a number of other charitable events.

JUNIOR VICE PRESIDENT - ROWAN WHITE

Born in Belfast in 1953, Rowan grew up in Helen’s Bay, County Down and was educated at Sullivan Upper School, Holywood, Campbell College, Belfast and Cambridge University. He graduated with an honours degree in law in 1974 and returned to Belfast to take up an apprenticeship with Crawford & Lockhart, Martin H. Turnbull & Co. He remained with that firm after he was admitted to the Roll of Solicitors in Northern Ireland in 1977 but moved to its affiliated practice in Ballymena, J.& A. Caruth & Bamber, in January 1979.

Rowan returned to Belfast in September 1983 to join Norman Wilson & Co, becoming a partner in 1985. Although that firm had by then been in existence for more than eighty years, he was, remarkably, only its third principal in all that time. He was instrumental in its merger with leading Irish law firm Arthur Cox in 1996.

Rowan was a partner in Arthur Cox’s Belfast practice from 1996 until April 2018, when he took up a consultancy role. His practice covers all areas of commercial property, including acquisitions, disposals and leases for local, national and international clients, as well as property development and finance and corporate support work. Over the years, he has been involved in many of the biggest and most complex property transactions in Northern Ireland.

Rowan has been active in a number of professional bodies over the course of his career. He was Chairman of Antrim & Ballymena Solicitors’ Association in 1983 and of The Belfast Solicitors’ Association in 1991/92. He was a founder member and the first Chair of The Northern Ireland Commercial Property Lawyers’ Association when it was established in 2006.

Elected to the Council of the Law Society of Northern Ireland in November 2015, Rowan has chaired its Client Complaints, Education and Home Charter Committees, as well as serving on numerous other committees and sub-committees. He also serves as a nominee of the Society on the Council of Legal Education.

Rowan has three grown-up children, the second of whom, David, is a corporate lawyer in the Belfast office of Arthur Cox. Rowan and his wife Florence enjoy travelling, history and walking.

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.

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