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.
and Chief Executive for 2021-22 was appointed on Wednesday 24th November 2021
and will remain in place until Wednesday 30th November 2022.
The members of the
Presidential Team are as follows:
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
took up this mantel, becoming one of only 3 solicitors in the jurisdiction to
be licenced 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 was involved 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
Brigid cherishes her client relationships and
values integrity, loyalty, and professionalism. She also understands the
highs and lows, and the trials and tribulations of private practice in the SME
sector as well the personal sacrifices which many have to make for career
This insight has informed her contribution to the
work of the Law Society as both an advocate for members and a regulator.
She 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
In her free time, Brigid has a passion for travel
with recent, pre-pandemic trips to Argentina and India, aimed at expanding her
horizon and learning more about other cultures. Closer to home, Brigid
enjoys hosting and entertaining friends and colleagues as well as exploring the
sights and sounds of Northern Ireland, relishing long walks in Portstewart or
the Mourne mountains.
Brigid sits on the Board of Leukaemia &
Lymphoma NI which is her President’s Charity of the Year.
was appointed President on Wednesday
24th November 2021 and will remain in place until Wednesday 30th November 2022.
SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT - ROWAN WHITE
White graduated with an honours degree in law from the University of Cambridge
in 1974 and returned to Belfast to take up an apprenticeship with Crawford&
Lockhart, Martin H. Turnbull & Co.
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.
that firm had by then been in existence for more than eighty years, he was,
remarkably, only its third principal in all that time. Rowan was
instrumental in its merger with leading Irish law firm Arthur Cox in 1996 and
was a partner in Arthur Cox’s Belfast practice from 1996 until April 2018, when
he took up a consultancy role.
practice covers all areas of commercial property and, over the years, he has
been involved in many of the biggest and most complex property transactions in
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.
to the Council of the Law Society of Northern Ireland in November 2015, Rowan
has chaired its Business, Client Complaints, Education and Professional
Liability Committees, as well as serving on numerous other committees and
sub-committees. He was elected President in November 2019 and, along with the
other members of the Presidential team, was re-elected in November 2020 to
provide continuity through the pandemic.
also serves as a nominee of the Society on the Council of Legal Education.
JUNIOR VICE PRESIDENT - BRIAN ARCHER
Archer graduated from Queens University Belfast with a honours degree in law in
1991 and qualified as a Solicitor in 1994.
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.
2001 he setup his own firm in partnership with two other colleagues and in 2016
he setup practice on his own as Archer Solicitors in Belfast.
qualified as an Advanced Advocate in 2001 and was appointed to the Law
Society’s Children Order and NIGALA Children Order Panel in 2010.
2007 Brian was appointed a Deputy District Judge and he continues to sit throughout
the Jurisdiction in Magistrates, Youth Courts and Family Proceedings Courts.
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 a number of committees.
his legal practice Brian has been involved in a number of charities namely the
Sexual Abuse Counselling Service Nexus for
which he was appointed Chair of their Board of Directors from 2016 -2018.
is presently a trustee of the Include Youth charity.
is married with two grown up children.
TREASURER - BRIAN H. SPEERS
Brian Speers is Treasurer of the LSNI and was President of
the Society in 2010/2011.
He is managing partner in CMG Cunningham Dickey Solicitors
where he practices in housing development work for some of the leading
housebuilders in Northern Ireland. This work involves site acquisitions,
planning and financing.
He has been a passionate advocate for mediation in civil and
commercial matters and devised and delivers the Mediation training course
through the IPLS at Queens University Belfast. He is Chair of the Law
Society Mediation Service.
In April 2019 at their Conference in Livingston, Zambia
Brian was elected as President of the Commonwealth Lawyers Association
(CLA). His term in office was extended in September 2021 until March
2023. As CLA President Brian represents practitioners in the 54 nations
of the Commonwealth with a particular emphasis on upholding the rule of law.
In April 2021 Brian was appointed as the inaugural Chair of
the Commonwealth Games Ethics Commission a post he will hold for 4 years.
CHIEF EXECUTIVE - DAVID A.
David Lavery was appointed Chief Executive of the
Law Society of Northern Ireland in September 2019.
Mr Lavery also previously served as Chief Executive
of the Northern Ireland Courts and Tribunals Service and as Deputy Permanent
Secretary of the Northern Ireland Department of Justice.
He also served as Principal Private Secretary to
the First Minister from 1998-2001.
Mr Lavery holds an LL.B from Queen’s University,
Belfast and an LL.M from Harvard Law School and he spent the earlier part of
his career in private practice.
He was a Knox Fellow at Harvard and an Associate at
Harvard’s Centre for International Affairs. He is an Eisenhower Fellow and a
Visiting Professor at Ulster University.
Mr Lavery is a Member of the Northern Ireland Human
In 2008 he was made a Companion of the Order of the
Rowan White, Senior Vice President
Brian Archer, Junior Vice President
David A. Lavery CB, Chief Executive