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Presidential Team

Presidential Team

The Law Society Presidential Team consists of the President, Senior Vice President, Junior Vice President and Treasurer, supported by the Chief Executive.

The Presidential Team for 2023-24 were appointed on 29th November 2023 and will remain in place until 27th November 2024.

The members of the Presidential Team are as follows:


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 and has served on a range of Council Committees.

In recent years Darren has been a member of the Society’s Professional Conduct Committee, the Contentious Business Committee and the Future of the Profession Committee. He currently chairs the Society’s Education Committee and its Business 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.

He became President of the Law Society of Northern Ireland on Wednesday 29th November 2023.

His chosen charity of the year is the Boom Foundation.


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.

He became President of the Law Society of Northern Ireland on Wednesday 30th November 2022.


Colin grew up in Lisburn but now lives in Fintona.

He attended RBAI and graduated with an honour's degree in Law from the University of Dundee in 1997.

Colin was an apprentice in McCartan Turkington Breen . There he became a Partner in 2006 and Senior Partner in 2020.

Throughout his career he has specialised in litigation and licensing.

Colin is a former chair of the Belfast Solicitors’ Association and is currently a member of the County Court Rules Committee.

In 2017 he was elected to Council of the Law Society of Northern Ireland.

He has been a member of various committees, including Client Complaints, Library and Publications, Education Committees. He is the current chair of the Contentious Business Committee. 


David Lavery was appointed Chief Executive of the Law Society of Northern Ireland in September 2019.

David 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.

David holds an LL.B from Queen’s University, Belfast and an LL.M from Harvard Law School. 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 Rights Commission.

In 2008 he was made a Companion of the Order of the Bath.


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