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 new Presidential and Chief Executive team for 2019 were appointed on Wednesday 27th November 2019. The new Presidential team are as follows:
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.
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, including acquisitions,
disposals and leases for local, national and international clients, as well as
property development, finance and corporate support work.
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.
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 and Education and Committees, as well as serving on
numerous other committees and sub-committees.
also serves as a nominee of the Society on the Council of Legal Education.
SENIOR VICE 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 were 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.
JUNIOR 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 then she has been practising
as a solicitor in the area of Insolvency and Commercial Litigation for over 30
years and is a Licensed Insolvency Practitioner and a Notary Public.
Brigid is the only Northern Ireland
lawyer who has been ranked for three consecutive years in Band One for Personal
Insolvency in the UK by Chambers & Partners.
She currently advises on all
aspects of Personal and Corporate Insolvency and is regularly appointed Trustee
in Bankruptcy and as a Liquidator in Members’ Voluntary Liquidations, Creditors
Voluntary Liquidations and by the Insolvency Service in Compulsory
She also advises on alternatives to
bankruptcy and liquidation for clients facing Personal and Corporate Insolvency
and on directors’ responsibilities, disqualification and personal liability.
Brigid has received the “Best in
Professional Services Award” from Women in Business Northern Ireland and was
awarded Advanced Coaching status by the Institute of Leadership and
In 2017, she was elected to the
Council of the Law Society of Northern Ireland where she has served as a member
of a number of regulatory committees, including Professional Indemnity
Insurance, Financial Services and Professional Ethics and Home Charter.
She also sits on the Board of Law Society NI
Financial Advice Ltd and Leukaemia & Lymphoma NI.
Brigid interests include
travel and art.
CHIEF EXECUTIVE - DAVID A. LAVERY CB
David Lavery comes to the Law Society of Northern Ireland with an exceptionally
strong record of service in the justice system including holding the position of Deputy
Permanent Secretary and Director of Access to Justice in the Department of
Mr Lavery also previously served as Chief Executive of the
Northern Ireland Courts and Tribunals Service between 2001 and 2012.
also served as Principal Private Secretary to the First Minister from
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 served as an
Associate at Harvard’s Centre for International Affairs. He is also an
Eisenhower Fellow and is currently a Visiting Professor at Ulster
In 2008 he was made a Companion of the Order of the Bath.
He took up the role as Chief Executive of the Law Society of Northern Ireland on Monday 2nd September 2019.
Suzanne Rice, Senior Vice President
Brigid Napier, Junior Vice President
David A. Lavery CB, Chief Executive