The Law Society of Ireland is governed by a Council, comprising elected and nominated members of the solicitors’ profession. It also delegates statutory functions to a range of Committees.
Aims of the Council
The purpose of the Council is identified in the Charter of 1852 to act “for the better rule and government of the Society, and for the better direction and management of the concerns thereof”. The statutory functions of the Society, as set out in the Solicitors Acts 1954 to 2015, are exercised by the Council or by Committees to which the Council delegates those statutory functions. The Council represents the Society and its members both in the interests of the public and of the solicitors’ profession generally.
Law Society Council: a visual guide
The Law Society has produced a helpful infographic to explain the make-up and work of the Council. Click on the image to view the full version.
Under its legislative framework, the Council of the Society is empowered to elect a President and Vice-Presidents from among the Council members elected in the annual national election. This is done at the Council meeting immediately following the Annual General Meeting in November of each year. Officers serve for a period of one year.
The Council comprises 31 elected members, four provincial delegates and 13 nominated members from the Law Society of Northern Ireland, the Dublin Solicitors Bar Association and the Southern Law Association. Past Presidents are entitled to attend Council meetings for three years following their year of Presidency.
Fifty per cent of the elected Council are required to retire annually and elections are held to fill the vacancies arising, with successful candidates serving for a two-year period. The nominated members of the Council are appointed on an annual basis.
Profiles of Council members for the 2023/24 Council Year are currently being updated.
Council of the Law Society - for the year ending 8 November 2024
President: Barry MacCarthy
Senior: Eamon Harrington
Junior: Martin Lawlor
Stuart Gilhooly SC
Richard Hammond SC
Áine Hynes SC
Bill Holohan SC
Michele O’Boyle SC
Brendan J. Twomey
Keith Walsh SC
Michelle Ní Longáin
Leinster: Sonya M. Lanigan
Munster: Shane McCarthy
Ulster: Garry Clarke
Connaught: David Higgins
Dublin Solicitors Bar Association Representatives
Southern Law Association Representatives
Law Society of Northern Ireland Representatives (from 29 November 2023)