Meet your Candidates

View candidate canvassing literature, where provided, for the 2023 Council Election.


Please note: the views below are the individual views of the Council Election candidates and may not represent the views of the Law Society.

Voting closed

Polling for the 2023 Council election closed on 2 November 2023.

National election candidates

All members of the Law Society are eligible to vote in the national election. There are 22 candidates, and those candidates who have provided an election message are listed below. Just click on their name to view more details.

In 499 words I’m standing for this election:

  1. To canvas and build support for an Irish class-action regime in the profession’s but equally in the public interest.  Campaign pledge no. 1 is to publish, within two years, a statement of principles with broad support across the legal community (including Ireland's judiciary) on the best type of class-action regime for Ireland.  Why is Ireland possibly the sole country in Europe and the Common Law world where consumers have no true or effective means to vindicate their rights in law economically?  The Law Society needs to lead on this because we need a system without excesses of US-style class action regimes like, in Europe, the UK and The Netherlands.
  2. For justified and proportionate regulatory cost reductions for both small and large firms and in-house counsel.  Decline of the local firm, diminished accessibility to justice, and rise of the lay litigant - these are not unconnected phenomena.  Route one for public access to justice in this country is and must remain the local Irish solicitor.  Campaign pledge no. 2 is to have in your inbox within 6 months of election empirical evidence-based assessment on both costs and market effects of increased regulation over the last decade, for large and small practices nationwide.  
  3. To unite and represent the profession in common cause with the public interest without small firm/big firm, in-house/outhouse, Irish firm/U.S. & UK firm tradeoff, at perhaps a tipping point.  Even as the number of firms shrinks nationwide, large U.S. and UK firms are successfully entering and expanding.  Expect disruptive as well as procompetitive effects.  For a level-playing field, a large well-trained talent pool is vital.  Already, 80% of solicitors consider recruitment a most challenging issue.  Try competing for graduates with mega-firms that, in one case at least, has average annual equity partner profits of $2.8 million - emigration not required.  Campaign pledge no. 3 is to reach out to these firms, to embrace the opportunity, including fostering with them greater links to the American Bar Association and, full disclosure, I'm Irish ambassador for the ABA’s Antitrust Division here.

Solicitors of Ireland Unite!

A recently retired High Court judge says our legal system is “broken.”  Our own recent B&A survey shows small firms in crisis and a pan-profession wellness and mental-health challenge.

Can we fix it?  Let’s try.  By boosting your practice and/or your firm’s while, for in house colleagues, augmenting your importance to and standing in the business.  By advocating for a class action certification system that allows for local community collective damages.  By fighting for lower costs.  By working together. 

I've proposed two motions already for our forthcoming AGM to get started asap.  Learn more about this campaign (and me) on LinkedIn @Phil Andrews S.C. where I’ll post more information on: (i) my platform, #accessforall; (ii) my practice, #eucompetitionregulatorylaw; (iii) my person, #orangeismyfavouritecolour; and (iv) my passion project, #theruleoflaw.

Drop by anytime.


Dear Colleagues

I am seeking re-election to the Council of the Law Society and once again I would be most appreciative of your support.

I was first elected to the Council in 2013 and have been re-elected on every occasion since. For the last ten years, I have served on the Guidance & Ethics Committee, as its Vice Chair from 2017 – 2019 and as Chair from 2019 – 2022. During my tenure as Chair, I oversaw a comprehensive review and update to the Guide to Professional Conduct, which was launched to the Profession in September 2022. The Guide is a valuable source of guidance on professional conduct for all solicitors, in addition to being the primary source material used for teaching ethics to trainee solicitors.

I am also a member of the Education Committee and the Gazette Editorial Board, having previously served on the Human Rights & Equality Committee and the Inhouse & Public sector Committee.

I have delivered CPD presentations throughout the Country on a variety of topics, most notably on the updated Guide to Professional Conduct, and my Top 10 Registration & Conveyancing FAQs. I have had the privilege during these presentations to meet colleagues from all areas of practice, which has enabled me to recognise the many and varied issues facing the profession, and the concerns of individual solicitors from all sectors.

My career to date has progressed from rural to urban, small firm to large and private sector to in-house/ public sector: I practised initially in County Monaghan for almost 10 years before re-locating to Dublin in 2015 where I joined a mid-tier and then a large firm. Since 2019, I have worked in the Property Registration Authority, now Tailte Éireann.

During my time in Monaghan, I was very active in the local bar association and was founder of the annual CPD day prior to the Law Society setting up similar cluster events across the country.

I am an ally and supporter of diversity and inclusion in our firms and lives. I am also a mentor on the Law Society’s Women in Leadership Mentor programme since 2015, an initiative developed for women to support women in practice.

I am very grateful to every colleague who previously voted for me and would be grateful for your continued support.

Yours sincerely

Justine Carty

A Chairde

My name is Niamh Counihan and I am seeking your vote for election to the Law Society Council.

Originally from Adare, Co Limerick, I graduated from University College Cork. I trained and qualified in Matheson and subsequently worked for 15 years in Commercial Litigation. I am a partner in Matheson's in-house legal team, advising on its legal and regulatory affairs, and I am also the firm's Pro Bono partner.

Regulatory Challenges

My experience gives me an insight into the increasing regulatory and legislative challenges which we and our clients must navigate. As an active member of the Society's Business Law Committee since 2016, I am very familiar with these challenges, and on Council I will continue to contribute my knowledge and expertise to help shape best practice and build on the progress made to date.

Proactively Shaping Our Future

We must continue to proactively shape our profession's development. In doing so, we should recognise and provide for the diverse needs of our members across Ireland, be they in-house counsel, in firms large or small, sole practitioners, public sector solicitors or independent law centres. Making the Society more accessible, inclusive, representative and responsive to all members, of all ages and years of experience, must remain a priority.

A continued focus on wellbeing is key to attracting and retaining talent, and to fostering effective succession planning in a diverse and inclusive profession that serves the communities in which we live and work. As a parent of young children who works full-time and who strives to make GAA training, I do understand the challenges of balancing client and family / carer commitments.

Access to Justice

Universal access to justice and legal services is essential to the rule of law and the functioning of society. Collaborating on pro bono initiatives with peers in other law firms, independent law centres and NGOs has highlighted to me that pro bono legal services, while valuable, are not - and nor can they be - a substitute for properly funded systems of civil / criminal legal aid. Properly funded aid schemes are essential to support our profession in providing legal representation, preventing geographical legal deserts and avoiding a two-tier legal system.

If elected I will:

  • be a strong, fresh voice representing our profession;
  • help shape and navigate the impact of regulation;
  • further develop the future of our profession;
  • work to make our Society more accessible and inclusive to all members;
  • prioritise our members' wellbeing; and
  • champion access to justice and legal services for all.

Respecting the values of our profession and the promotion of the best interests of our members and the public interest should be a focus for all of us. I would like the opportunity to do that on your behalf on the Council of the Law Society.

If you would like to speak to me directly, please feel free to contact me.

Is mise le meas


Niamh Counihan

Matheson LLP

Dear Colleague,

I would like to ask for your vote in the upcoming Law Society Council Elections. In return I will commit to continuing to use my best endeavours to look after the interests of the solicitor members of the Society, ensuring that the Society keeps its representative role at the forefront of its objectives.

What I offer:


I have over 38 years of experience in small, medium and large practices, as an assistant, an associate and almost 32 years as a partner. I have also acted as Managing Partner in one of my previous partnerships. With that varied experience at all levels of the profession I am well placed to understand the issues of concern to our members.


As I had previously committed to, I want to continue to help the Law Society to tackle the key issues, and to avail of the opportunities facing our profession. This includes the challenges posed by increased regulation, AML/KYC, the LSRA, PIAB issues, increased competition, PI insurance, and the increasing costs associated with carrying on business. As a former Chairman of one of the Regulation of Practice Committees (2013 to 2020), a current Council member, and current vice-Chairman of the Education Committee, I feel I am well placed to do so.


I would continue to embrace and encourage the Council to implement the results of the various surveys of solicitors carried out recently – and ensure the focus of the Council and the Society is on how best to serve its members interest. 

“The Law Society is our Society”.

I propose to continue working to ensure the core emphasis of the Law Society is on its role as representing its members and their interests.

To best serve its members, I have promoted the concept of the Society providing targeted supports to all its members, from the day of qualification until retirement. For relatively newly qualified members, that would entail support in the transition from trainee to qualified solicitor. For others it would be training in practice and business development, communication and marketing, and other soft skills. For solicitors nearing retirement, it would involve advice on succession planning, sale of practices or indeed advice and assistance on closing practices.


We need to publicly portray our profession as an effective, necessary, relevant body, one which sits at the core of not just our judicial system, but all elements of business and broader society.

Thank you



  • Banking and Finance Partner at RDJ

  • Experienced Practitioner with exposure at all levels of practice

  • Served on Council as a S.L.A Representative for 5 years and as an elected member for 10 years

  • Served on the Society's Regulation of Practice Committee from 2010 to 2020

  • Currently Vice-Chair of the Education Committee

  • Former President of the Southern Law Association

This is my first time to contest a Law Society Council election and I would be very grateful if you would consider voting for me.

Who am I?

I am a solicitor of twenty-five year’s experience. I work in my own firm in Blessington, Co. Wicklow, with a team of seven, having trained and worked in two mid-size firms in Dublin. I deal with many areas of law, particularly Family Law, Conveyancing and Litigation. I am a member of the Law Society Family & Child Law Committee for five years and the current Chair of that Committee. I have been on the Legal Aid Private Practitioners Circuit and District Court Panel (PPP) for more than twenty years and I remain on that panel today.

I am familiar with the pressure of practising and the challenges of the day to day running my own practice.

I have a particular interest in Family Law, and therefore joined the Family Law Committee. The Committee has a large agenda, not least of all the Family Courts Bill, currently making its way through the Dáil. This legislation will have a monumental effect on every practice around the Country, as it will change how family law is managed through the Courts. It must be followed and scrutinised for the benefit of both practitioners and the general public. This will be an important time to have experienced Family Law practitioners on Council.

Why vote for me?

I want to highlight and effect change in the following areas:

  • The Civil Legal Aid System, particularly the PPP system fee structure is inadequate and I want to see a system that will pay a practitioner for the level of work and expertise they put into a case, rather than a flat fee.

  • The Criminal Legal Aid System needs a proper overhaul to give fair fees for the level of expert work done.

  • The nature of our job, as businesspeople, is an extremely hectic one, which has been helped by technology, but which has also seen an increase in stress levels. I want to find ways for The Law Society to support its members further in every aspect of practice, from legal knowledge and from the business side.

  • Small to medium sized firms must be well represented on Council.

  • Highlight Family Law as an essential part of legal practice.

  • I intend to listen to my colleagues about what they want their Law Society to do for them and to bring those issues to Council, as our representative body.

If elected I will bring a fresh and informed voice to Council and I will work hard for the profession.  Thank you for taking the time to read this and I hope I can count on your vote.  Every vote counts, but above all please vote.

Peter Doyle.

I thank you for your support in previous elections and once more ask for one of your votes.

Track record

Council member since 2011

Committee member since 1986

  • Currently: Finance Committee, Audit Subcommittee (Chair), Skillnets Committee

  • Previously: LLP Task Force, Legal Services Regulation Act Task Force, Regulatory Insurance Task Force, Negative Interest Task Force, Business Law Committee (Chair), Complaints and Client Relations Committee (Chair), Education Committee, Gazette Editorial Board

Law Society representative on external bodies

  • Company Law Review Group 2000-2006, (currently CLRG Chair)

  • Irish Takeover Panel 2012-2018

  • Published Accounts Awards Committee 1998-2001

Leading lobbyist for legislation for LLPs

Action to date

Participation in:

  • working groups to advocate, develop and introduce LLPs for solicitors

  • development of costs documents to implement s 150 of the LSR Act 2015

  • drafting of documentation to introduce incorporated practices for solicitors

  • composition of procedural rules for conduct of complaints.

Lecturer to the PPC and Diploma Courses and to bar associations on company law, corporate governance, LLPs, and EU sanctions compliance

Your vote

I will continue:

  • working for the benefit of all members of the profession

  • promoting collegiality in our profession, among solicitors in firms of all sizes and in in-house and public service positions

  • aiming to keep high standards in our profession and to see off EU and local pressure for a loosening of standards required for engagement in legal work.

Thank you for reading this.  I am grateful for your support in previous elections and would again ask for your vote.

Dear Colleagues,

I am standing for election to the Law Society Council because I want all solicitors to be equipped and supported fully to ensure that they can maximise their potential as successful professionals.

My focus, if elected, will be on professional education and wellness in the profession.

Professional Education

Professional education is undergoing significant change with the migration to a single PPC. While the flexibility of the new PPC is to be applauded, if elected, I will represent the views of members who want to ensure that consistent, high quality, and relevant training is delivered to all trainee solicitors regardless of physical location or the resources of the firms to which they are indentured. This, in my view, is critical to ensuring equality of opportunity for young solicitors and is in all of our best interests as professionals.

Wellness in the profession

Life as a solicitor and the personal stresses of running a practice can be challenging and demanding, and the Law Society has recognised that it has a key and important role to play in supporting the well-being of its members. In my practice as an employment solicitor, I have seen first-hand the impact that workplace stress can have on individuals, and the positive and supportive steps that can be taken by organisations to address it. If elected, I will work to support the Law Society’s ambition in developing initiatives that provide real support to the wellness and mental health of its members.    

About me

I am married to Frances (also a practicing solicitor), and father to Isabelle, Harry and Teddy. I qualified as a solicitor in 2013 having trained with ByrneWallace. I joined McCann FitzGerald LLP in 2017, where I am a partner in the employment, pensions and incentives group.

I have always believed that contributing to the profession is an important part of our role as solicitors, and I have a strong record of involvement with the Law Society:

  • I am a current member of the Law Society’s Employment and Equality Law Committee.

  • I am a keen supporter of the education centre, having delivered many tutorials and lectures to trainees, and supported candidates for the Law Society’s LLM (Employment Law) Programme as their thesis supervisor.

  • As a trainee and young solicitor, I was a member of the editorial committee of the Hibernian Law Journal and am proud to have been Editor-in-Chief of its twelfth volume.

  • I was also a member of the Law Society’s Younger Members Committee and worked closely with the Chairperson to develop the Law Society’s guide to Guide to Flexible Working, which the Committee had identified as a key issue in promoting greater gender balance in the profession.

I am committed to serving all solicitors with energy and enthusiasm, and it would be my privilege to represent you on the Law Society Council.

I would be grateful for your support and vote.

Yours sincerely,

Dónal Hamilton

Friends and Colleagues,

Please vote for me, Richard Hammond, in the forthcoming Law Society Council Elections, as I seek re-election.  As a partner with my spouse Joyce in a small practice in provincial Ireland, cash-flow, administrative and regulatory burdens, and client-pressure, are issues, which like many of you, I encounter every day of my legal life.

Over the past twelve years I have worked energetically on Council and at many of its committees to ensure that these issues are to the fore of the Society’s outlook.  I have helped to shape the Society’s approach to many difficult topics ranging from the Legal Services Regulation Act, to minimising instability in the professional indemnity insurance market, to new education structures for trainee solicitors, to adapting to the commencement of the Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act. 

In that time, I have also contributed to the profession through serving as:

  • Chairperson of the Education Committee (current), working to maintain and further enhance the high quality and varied educational offerings for solicitors and trainee solicitors, increasing the amount of CPD that may be undertaken online, and developing new educational buildings at Blackhall Place to future-proof the Society’s educational capacity.

  • Chairperson of the Professional Indemnity Insurance Committee (former), working to minimise instability in insurance market for the benefit of the profession and our clients.

  • Chairperson of the Mental Health & Capacity Task Force (former), providing guidance to the profession on how to practice safely under the new regime.

  • Chairperson of the Probate, Administration, and Trusts Committee (former), assisting colleagues in practice, preparing submissions for government, and constantly highlighting the under-resourcing of the Probate Office.

  • Chairperson of the Regulatory Defence Costs Insurance Working Group (former), which produced a substantial report on how the Society can better support solicitors in regulatory difficulty with the LSRA.

  • President of the Southern Law Association (former), representing and assisting solicitors in Cork, city and county.

  • Lecturer and Tutor on the Professional Practice Courses for trainee solicitors and speaker at CPD seminars.

Having initially worked in a medium-sized commercial Dublin firm and for the past sixteen years being a partner in a small firm in North Cork, I understand the breadth of different issues that impact on firms of various sizes.  I wish to continue representing you on the Council so that we as a united profession can tackle the significant issues arising including:

  • The opportunities and challenges arising from the Society’s Dignity Matters report;

  • Intensified technologisation of the State agencies with which solicitors interact;

  • An increasingly heavy administrative and regulatory burden on all firms;

  • The erosion of our sense of being professionals and a loss of collegiality.

I believe that the Council needs hard-working members from a variety of backgrounds to ensure that it continues to improve its understanding of members’ needs allowing it to better represent the profession.  Vote for me please so that I may continue to work hard on your behalf as a member of the Council.

Why me? – Colleagues urged me to run four years ago.

  • 4 years ago, colleagues urged me to run saying I would add value to Council. You be the judge.

  • I get stuck in if there is a job to be done. 40 years in practice has proved that.

  • When COVID19 started, I sent weekly emails to thousands of colleagues with sometimes useful/interesting/entertaining information, all of which keep up contact/communication with colleagues. At the (flattering) request of many colleagues, that lasted 31 months, 2020 / 2022!

  • I think that I’ve never missed a meeting of Council, (even getting up at 3 AM to attend the most recent Council meeting by dialing in online from California).

  • I am happy to share my experience/knowledge with colleagues to help them prosper.

  • A lot of my and other worthy candidates (unseen) work is done at Committee level. Feel free to ask about that.

My contribution to the profession generally.

You may know me as/from:

  • Partner in a small firm with Cork & Dublin offices.

  • Regular speaker at CPD events / contributor to the Gazette.

  • Someone who helps colleagues in difficulty, both financial and regulatory, (including arguing cases on behalf of colleagues (without barristers) all the way to the Supreme Court).

  • Helping colleagues in mediations, arbitrations, (regulatory and professional negligence matters in particular).

My contribution to the Law School and the Law Society.

  • Law School Tutor & Consultant for @ 35 years.

  • Member ADR Committee.

  • Member Guidance & Ethics Committee.

  • Member Curriculum Development Unit.

  • Chair Professional Indemnity Insurance Committee. As Chair, with Vice Chair Sonia McEntee & Secretary Sorcha Hayes a lot of challenging work has been done improving the PII renewal position for colleagues. Watch this space:-

I think I have a bucketload of varied and shared legal experiences that give me an edge over other candidates.

  • As readers of my 31 months’ worth of 2020 – 2022 weekly emails know; I am committed to gender equality and diversity within the profession and to encouraging / fostering the participation of younger members.

  • Prior management/board/executive experiences that bring an added perspective and value to Council:

    • Former member of the Residential Tenancies Board Disputes Committee, and Tribunal Chair, (2004-2010),

    • Current Member Charity Appeals Tribunal, (2017 on),

    • Current Member Personal Insolvency Practitioners Complaints Panel, (2017 0n),

    • Former Chair, Hon Secretary & Treasurer, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, Irish Branch.

    • Former Member of the Council of The Mediators Institute of Ireland, & Director of Marketing.

    • Committee Member Irish Professional Mediators Organisation.

You can ask me whatever is on your mind or ask for help at any time – I’ll be there for you.

I hope this will persuade you to give me your vote. Any questions? – Just call or email me. With thanks for reading this and with thanks in advance of possibly getting your vote,


Bill Holohan,

| 087 29 20 983 |

Law Society Council Member

O’Donovan, Murphy & Partners LLP Solicitors

The Quay, Bantry, Co. Cork

E-mail Tele (027) 50808

I am: -

  • A family law and litigation Solicitor from West Cork with over 20 years’ experience, having practised in a city practice and currently working in a busy general rural practice.

  • A Notary Public.

  • The Secretary of the West Cork Bar Association for the last 8 years.

  • A Member of the Law Society Council for the past 6 years.

  • Vice Chair of the Law Society’s Child & Family Law Committee, having served on that committee for 6 years.

  • A Member of the Law Society’s Regulation of Practice Committee.

  • Law Society Representative on the Circuit Court Rules Committee.

My plans are: -

  • To be re-elected as a Member of the Law Society Council to ensure a balance of representation.

  • To listen to colleagues’ concerns about the profession and the changes which are having an impact on our practices and fee income and to bring their concerns to Council.

  • To ensure the Law Society will assist, guide and support colleagues in managing and adapting to the changes occurring in our profession, including regulatory, technological, and procedural matters affecting our practices.

  • To advocate that the Law Society:-

    • provides accredited courses for legal book-keepers and legal support staff;

    • engages with the profession on ways to encourage young solicitors to consider careers with smaller practices;

    • supports colleagues with all aspects of succession planning and winding down of small practices.

  • To continue to support:-

    • the campaign for increases in Legal Aid rates and seek reform of the Civil Legal Aid Scheme for solicitors on the Family Law Private Practitioners Panel.

    • the work of my colleagues on the Family Law Committee to review the Family Courts Bill 2022 and the impact it will have on access to justice for those living in rural areas.

I am acutely aware of the challenges and pressures faced by both my rural and urban colleagues in their practices, through my extensive experience of working in general practice, being a Director of the Solicitors’ Benevolent Association and through the Law Society Regulation of Practice Committee and Child and Family Law Committee. 

I want to be an effective representative for you. To be able to do so, I would like to hear from you with your concerns and suggestions as to how we as a profession can deal with the challenges which are currently impacting on all of us. I firmly believe that the Law Society must be able to facilitate change, and support and assist its members nationwide. I am happy to give my time and I am truly grateful for the opportunity to assist colleagues, who for whatever reason, have faced difficulties in their professional career or personal lives.

Thank you.

Siún Hurley

October, 2023

Reddy Charlton LLP

Solicitors need help!

Law Society must be robust and proactive

We need a robust, proactive and hard-working Council to deal with:

  • accelerating change, affecting what we do and how we do it;

  • the huge stresses of modern professional life;

  • ensuring that the law is a healthy, balanced and inclusive career;

  • chronic underfunding of legal services (an essential of a functioning democracy).

Record of Service –DSBA and Society

I have served on, and chaired, committees of the DSBA and the Law Society for more than 25 years.

  • Law Society Council: 10 years on Council (missed only one meeting: I was in Australia, pre-Zoom!).

  • Chair, Business Law Committee: We rolled out precedents and tools to assist the profession deal with the new Companies Act.

  • Chair, Legal Services Regulation Task Force: Our group produced a wealth of precedents, guidance and education on the new regulatory regime, especially in relation to costs.

  • LLPs: Prepared partnership precedents and support for the conversion to LLP status.

Finance Committee

I have been vice–chair and chair for the past 5 years.

My focus has been that the prudent management of the Society’s finances should ensure that:-

  • the services that solicitors need are adequately funded;

  • the Society is resourced to vigorously represent the profession;

  • best practice is applied to secure value for our money.

I have spoken at CPDs for the Law Society and Bar Associations all over the country. The sharing of knowledge and expertise is an important way of supporting our colleagues and a key element of the collegiality of our profession.

Learning from what is happening abroad
I have been appointed as representative of the Law Society to the CCBE (the organisation representing European lawyers) and now the IBA. My work in these organisations is directed to identifying issues and solutions of concern and interest to my fellow solicitors.

Current Responsibilities

  • Chair, Finance Committee

  • Member, Administrative Sub-committee (effectively, the remuneration committee)

  • Society’s Representative, Private Law Committee of CCBE ( the organisation of European Bars) –outgoing

  • Society’s Representative, Council of International Bar Association

Also a Beekeeper!
I have kept bees for most of my life. This has drawn me into projects supporting bio-diversity and advancing wider knowledge of bees and the environment.

Your vote
I would like to continue my work to help you deal with the severe challenges and the opportunities that face us all, and would ask you for your vote to allow me to do so.


Dear Colleagues,

I am running as a candidate in this year’s Council Elections and respectfully ask for your vote.

Why choose me?

  • I am a member of the Law Society’s Litigation Committee where I have actively participated in tackling many of the difficult issues faced by solicitors in their daily practices across the country.

  • I have a proven track record in working with rapidly expanding organisations. I am a voluntary Board member of the charity Tuath Housing and have had the privilege of assisting in its extraordinary work. In the face of the dire housing crisis, we have responded with unprecedented growth and built homes for thousands of the most vulnerable families nationwide. Over the next 3 years we will deliver a further 5000 homes in the battle against homelessness. I can bring the learnings and efficiency of this tremendous organisation to the Law Society.

  • I have acted as the principal of my own practice for many years as well as being a partner in one of the largest law firms in Ireland. I have first-hand experience therefore of the demands currently facing solicitors in offices of all sizes.

What will I do if elected?

  • The demands of our profession are hugely stressful and our members often suffer alone. 8 out of 10 solicitors recently surveyed said that well-being and mental health issues arising from difficulties in practice were either “challenging” or “extremely challenging”. This shocking, although not unsurprising statistic, demands a radical response. I fully intend to add to the Society’s drive in this regard with the expansion of training schemes and psychological services to our members.

  • Gender inequality and discrimination remain live issues within our profession. While women make up the majority of our membership, men continue to dominate partner positions in law firms. In addition, our Society needs to do a lot more to embrace all sections of our increasingly diverse population. I fully intend to work to accelerate the Society’s initiatives and ensure that our profession is reflective of all the clients we serve.

  • Access to justice in Ireland remains out of reach for many. There are disturbing inadequacies in Irish society that are regrettably reflected in our broken civil legal aid system. Solicitors are on the front line of legal services and together we have the power to deliver upon the constitutional protections that should be afforded to everyone, and not simply to those who can afford it. I believe civil legal aid needs radical reform and that the Society has a huge role to play in this change.

  • Professional indemnity cover remains an annual worry for many practitioners. The Society as a whole needs to tackle the arbitrary and opaque fashion in which our insurance quotes appear and the extraordinary anxiety this places on practitioners.

  • I will ensure that our voice is fully heard in the multitude of issues that confront our members. The collegial and commercial power that our profession now commands needs to be channelled more efficiently into the future.

Vote Gary Lee for diversity and inclusion.

A strong voice for minorities and the most vulnerable in society.             

Dear Colleague,

I seek your vote for re-election to the Council of the Law Society on which I have served for the past 4 years. I have been an active member of Council and have never missed a Council meeting.

I am a Solicitor in the Office of the General Solicitor for Minors and Wards of Court and have spent most of my career acting for clients with disabilities, those with mental health difficulties and other vulnerable people.

As Solicitors our work can be very demanding and stressful, I believe that the wellbeing of our members is of paramount importance. We need to look after ourselves and each other, to that end I continue to be a strong supporter of the Law Society’s Psychological Services.

I am:

  • Chairperson of the Law Society’s Human Rights and Equality Committee

  • The Law Society/Bar of Ireland Joint-Nominee on the CCBE (Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe) Human Rights Committee

  • A member of the Law Society’s In-house and Public Sector Committee

My experience includes:

  • Former Managing Solicitor of Ballymun Community Law Centre

  • Former member of the Law Society’s Taskforce on Mental Health Law and Capacity Law and the Law Society’s Complaints & Client Relations Committee

  • Immediate past Chairperson of the Disability Federation of Ireland

  • Chairperson of Mental Health Tribunals since 2006

  • Appointed by Government to a number of bodies including the National Disability Strategy Implementation Group, the Disability Stakeholders Group, the Government Value for Money review of Disability Services working group and the Personalised Budgets Taskforce

I am passionate about promoting access to justice and retain close links to Independent Law Centres. I am grateful to Sinead Lucey of FLAC and Frank Murphy of Ballymun Community Law Centre for nominating me as a candidate in this election.

If re-elected I will continue to bring a strong human rights voice to the table drawn from my experience in vindicating the rights of those most in need and continue to push for supports for solicitors in dealing with vulnerable and marginalized clients.

Thank you.

Gary Lee

Law Society Council Elections 2023

Dear Colleague,

I am asking for your support in the Law Society Council election. I have served as a Council Member since 2012 and have an excellent attendance record at Council meetings, where my contributions regularly highlight the working-day difficulties of solicitors. I have been an active and committed member on a number of Law Society Committees and Taskforces, including currently serving as Chairperson of a Working Group examining all aspects of the functioning of the Regulation of Practice Committee (ROPC). In my role as a member of the ROPC, I have been able to utilise my experience with other regulatory boards to bring about very positive changes in this area so as to ensure that fair procedures, natural justice and best practices in regulatory law are central to the manner in which the ROPC functions.

Additionally, I served as the inaugural Chairperson (and current member) of the Practice Support Taskforce, which was established to consider the needs of smaller firms, to assist in making these practices more sustainable and successful commercially and to support these smaller practices with various Law Society initiatives.

In addition to this role, I serve as a member of the Criminal Law Committee where I am fully committed to the restoration of the unfair cuts to the Criminal Legal Aid Scheme and to the reversal of other changes in these schemes which greatly impact solicitors practicing in this area. I also serve as a member of the Mental Health Law & Capacity Task Force where one of the key areas that I am involved in at the moment is working towards resolving the difficulties with the new Enduring Powers of Attorney system.   I also serve as a member (and former Chairperson) of the Human Rights and Equality Committee.

My experience in practice includes 17 years working as a sole practitioner in a rural practice and subsequently merging my firm with a medium-sized Cork practice. Hence, I am acutely aware of the issues facing sole practitioners and those in smaller firms. This experience, combined with my membership of Council, has given me a very broad and in-depth knowledge of the issues and challenges facing solicitors today. I believe that the Law Society must work hard for all of us to meet the ever-increasing burdens of running our firms and serving our clients.

Whether working in a small or big firm, rural or urban or whether in private practice or in-house, I believe that the Law Society must assist the profession in fostering the spirit of collegiality, solidarity, decency and friendship so that it is clear to all that our greatest resource is each other.

I very much want to continue to work on your behalf on the Law Society Council and am committed to representing members’ interest to the best of my ability.  To enable me to do so, I ask you for your support and your vote. 

Yours sincerely

Shane McCarthy

12 October 2023

Law Society Council Election 2023/24

Dear Colleague

I am asking for your vote in the upcoming Council Elections.

At the time I was last for election, the focus of my letter was the LSRA complaints process, and the fact that there is no allowance for any kind of gate-keeping for complaints submitted. This has led to the unfortunate situation that solicitors are required to engage in a detailed manner potentially prior to any real complaint being articulated. Coupled with the efforts that the LSRA make to ensure it is easy for complaints to be made, changes should allow the LSRA deal with real complaints in a more timely manner, and dispose of those that should be disposed of at the earliest opportunity.

The consultation in respect of licensed conveyancers had also opened, but there is still no report. The impact of such a change, particularly on practices around the country, cannot be underestimated. It is important we maintain focus on the extent and impact of regulation in this area, as well as real protection of the public interest and client funds.

Technology continues to bring more and more change. The e-conveyancing project requires reinvigoration, the profession simply must lead on this issue. Solicitors are consistently blamed for delays and disruption in the conveyancing process. If you come across unusual requests or those which appear to fall outside the Certificate of Title system, please contact the conveyancing committee secretary, it will get attention.

For the past year, I have chaired the Practice Support Task Force - tasked with gathering information on the challenges faced in daily practice by practitioners and how they can be addressed. One of our major concerns is continued accessibility to legal advice at local level. We see this arising in the context of location of the majority of legal professionals in the city areas. I am currently vice-chair of the PII committee, chair of PR, and member the conveyancing committee, e-conveyancing taskforce & Skillnets Steering Group. I also co-facilitate a Balint peer support group which started two years ago.

If elected, and as we look forward, my key objectives in the coming years will continue to be:-

  • Work to represent the role of smaller practices in all business that comes before the Council;

  • Continue to work on improving the services available, and the image of the profession;

  • Promote well-being and collegiality.

We have a responsibility to engage on issues affecting us. Whether practice size, location, regulation or wider management is of concern, it’s more important than ever that the Council represents the very broad interests of the profession. I would be honoured to continue to represent you in the coming years. I thank Flor McCarthy and Clodagh O’Hagan for nominating me this time.

Voting is entirely online for the first time this year. Please check at an early stage that you can access the voting area.

Sonia McEntee

Dear Colleague,

 Thank you for taking the time to read this letter. It has been my privilege to serve as a Council Member of the Law Society for the past four years.

 Why I am seeking election

As the owner of a general practice in Dublin City, I am very aware of the challenges we face as a profession. I am particularly concerned about the increasing demands professional practice places on us, especially in respect of the change in Solicitors Accounts Regulations and the forthcoming insurance renewal. At the same time we are facing changes brought about through the commencement of Personal Injury Guidelines, Assisted Decision Making and Capacity Act.

Commitment to the profession:

Council Member of the Law Society 2019-2023

Serving member of Guidance and Ethics Committee of the Law Society since 2012 and co-author of the new edition of Solicitors Guide to Professional Conduct;

President Dublin Solicitors’ Bar Association 2022-2023;

Co-author of Civil Procedure in the Circuit Court and Practical Probate with Karl Dowling BL;

Lecturer and tutor in the Law School, mostly on the topic of ethics;

Frequently asked to contribute to CPD events for Law Society and Bar Associations around the country;

Doctoral candidate at Northumbria University

 Commitment to Service:

Practitioners are facing an uncertain future with Professional Indemnity Insurance difficulties, changes to regulation, personal injury guidelines, hollowing out of the legal aid fees through inflation and increased costs. During the past year I have made representations on many matters including legal aid and EPAs. If re-elected, I would be delighted to continue my service on the Law Society Council and re-double my efforts so as to ensure that the voice of the hard-pressed practitioner is represented at the Council table.

Susan Martin

Re: Law Society Council Election 2023/2025

Candidate: Michele O’Boyle

Dear Colleague,

I am standing for re-election to the Law Society Council and, I am seeking your support.

I was appointed President of the Law Society in 2019/2020 and, at that time, I undertook to discharge my responsibility to the Profession to the best of my ability. 

None of us could have anticipated what lay ahead and how the world would change in March 2020.

It was without doubt the most difficult period in living memory for Society and for the legal profession.

During my term of office as your ‘Covid President’ I did my level best to navigate the uncharted waters that I found myself in.

I worked relentlessly to provide much-needed guidance and support to the profession across all areas of Law and, hopefully, through my daily communications, I provided reassurance and valuable support to you and your practice during that time.

Thankfully, we are safely out the other end however, the Law Society and the profession is currently undergoing significant change.

I would appreciate the opportunity to continue to lead that change on your behalf with my Council Colleagues and, to continue to have a meaningful input into the future of our profession in the challenging times that undoubtedly lie ahead. To do so…….. I need your vote.

Every vote is important and, if you have not already cast your vote, I would be grateful if you would kindly give special consideration to voting for me.

Many thanks.

Yours sincerely

Michele O’Boyle


Poll closes 5pm Thursday 2nd of November 2023

Who am I

  • Solicitor for 18 years, most of which was spent in Swords, County Dublin

  • Proud Mayo woman

  • Principal of firm until recently when I transferred my firm to facilitate a move back to Mayo

  • Mother

  • Qualified mediator

  • Currently Consultant solicitor

  • Mentor on the Law Society’s ‘Women in Leadership Programme’

  • Volunteer with FLAC

What I stand for?

  • Accountability

  • Integrity

  • Professionalism

  • Progression

  • Collegial support

Why vote for me?

Fresh pair of eyes with great enthusiasm to take the baton from previous council members to continue to work on the roadmap for the future of the profession.  This roadmap must consider the challenges highlighted in the recent solicitors’ survey which are facing certain pockets of the profession most notably those in smaller practices, urban and rural.  Having run my own practice, I have an understanding of the increased regulation, cybersecurity, succession planning, recruitment and retention of talent and the insurance demands on the smaller office.

I am concerned about some of the findings from the recent survey where almost 90% of trainee solicitors are working in Dublin and Cork.  If work is not done to assist the smaller practice, then I believe in the very near future it will be incredibly difficult if not impossible for the public to do the ordinary legal business of buying or selling a property, probate or family law in their local town.  This would not be good for competition and as such would not be in the public interest.  Therefore, urgent action is needed.

I know from experience how difficult it is to run a compliant firm which provides excellent service to the client whilst still managing to make a profit. 

I also know how difficult it is to reach out and find a compatible firm to merge with.   I have first-hand experience of the complexities involved.   I am interested in exploring the possibilities around a confidential hub where practitioners can speak openly about growth, retirement and succession planning.  This is certainly an aspect of practice that needs to be improved on which will benefit all stakeholders.

I am progressive in my approach and understand the importance of technology use in modern practice.  If elected I would advocate for more training for smaller firms on the use and benefits of technology. 

I would assist in lobbying for an improvement in the legal aid programme both for the criminal and civil legal aid system as the current system is not fit for purpose.

The survey has highlighted the need for education and training on the issue of bullying, harassment and sexual harassment in the workplace and this is a topic which I would like to work on if elected.

I would like to continue the great work around the assistance programme with regard to solicitors’ wellbeing.  It has been a very positive and important support for practitioners.

If elected I will continue to fly the flag for the small firm and work on ways to make us more relevant in the changing times we are facing.


They say that time flies when you are enjoying yourself, and I would have to admit that my participation on the Law Society Council since 2009, has been amongst the most enjoyable and memorable time of my career, to date.

With changes coming that are inevitable, the next few years are likely to challenge us even more, which is why I seek to remain involved at Council level and for that, I NEED YOUR VOTE!

I have always been genuinely overwhelmed by the level of response that I have received when seeking support at election time and I like to think that I have made and will continue to make a valuable contribution to the work of Council.

I have chaired and participated in many of the Law Society Committees and Working Groups and Task Forces, while on Council. This work is both rewarding and inspiring. There is always something new to learn.

One of my proudest achievements to date has been my involvement in designing, and hopefully soon delivering, the Practice Management Standard, to be known as Legal Services Excellence. It was my privilege to chair the Working Group, and to now participate in the Steering Group as we see Legal Services Excellence become a reality for the Profession. We are, understandably, bereft without our friend and colleague, Attracta O’Regan as we near completion, but such was her energy and enthusiasm for this project, we are confident that all of her guidance and help will inform and support us, as we reach the finish line.

As I have said many times before, I am totally committed to working with the Profession and for the Profession. In my role as Principal here at Pearts I am privileged to work for and on behalf of so many of our rural and city-based colleagues and through that work I have come to understand only too well the difficulties being faced by so many Solicitors at the moment.

I believe in the need for good communication and if re-elected I would continue to foster better communication between the Profession and The Law Society. 

So, thank you for taking the time to read this letter. I hope that I can count on your vote and in return you can be assured of a Council member who is available to listen and will always turn up, to represent you, as I have proudly done, for the past fourteen years.

With kind regards,

Valerie Peart

REMEMBER: Voting is electronic this year, so once polling opens on 20th October, log on to the Council Elections page of the Law Society Website and there you will be able to cast your all-important VOTE.


  • Proven track record
  • Will continue to work hard on your behalf

Dear Colleague,

I am writing to ask for your vote in this year’s Law Society of Ireland election.



  • Producing initial and updated Section 150 guidance and precedents

  • Representing colleagues, promoting collegiality and inclusiveness

  • Advocating reform of the family law system and access to justice

  • Former Chair of the Taskforce on Section 150 Cost Provisions in the Legal Services Regulation Act 2015. Introduced guidelines and precedents to assist colleagues including July 2021 update of precedents for profession.

  • Former Chair of the Child and Family Law Committee -contributed to numerous submissions to government to improve the system of family law in Ireland

  • In 2014 as DSBA President through intensive lobbying, by working with local colleagues and with the Law Society we successfully prevented the impending closure of the Dublin District Courts in Balbriggan, Dun Laoghaire, Swords & Tallaght. This is one of the few times that threatened court closures were averted.


Priorities for the next 2 years ‐

Stronger Representation and Reform

  • Encouraging the Law Society to concentrate more on representing solicitors, encouraging diversity in the profession and promoting the importance of the work done by solicitors

Focus on collegiality, we must help each other and deal with challenges together.

Legal Services Regulatory Authority

  • Lobbying to control the costs of the new authority (which will be passed onto solicitors) as well as finding a better way to deal with vexatious complaints

  • Advocating for limited liability not just for partnerships but for sole practitioners

Backround- from Ballinrobe, County Mayo, attended UCG, qualified in 2001, appointed SC 2021. Managing partner of 7 solicitor firm where I practice in the area of family law, offices in Dublin 2 and Dublin 12. Thank you in advance for taking the time to vote and for your support.

Yours sincerely,


Keith Walsh 01 455 4723

Keith Walsh Solicitors LLP

Provincial election candidates

Members of the Law Society based in Munster are eligible to vote in the provincial election. To view a candidate's election message, just click on their name below.

Dear Law Society Members,

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for taking the time to consider me as a candidate for the upcoming Munster Provincial election. This is my first time putting myself forward and I am excited about taking on this challenge. I would aim to bring some new energy and ideas to the Council if elected. I would also like to thank my nominating Solicitors for giving me their ongoing backing and support.

Regarding my legal background, I worked in the area of compliance and risk for some years and then completed my apprenticeship in a mid-size private practice firm in Cork, qualifying as a Solicitor in 2016. I remained in private practice for 5 years specialising in private client, conveyancing and employment law. I moved to an in-house role at Eli Lilly Cork in 2021 onboarding from home during the pandemic.

I currently work as a Legal Counsel in the R&D/commercial space in Lilly. Having the benefit of working as a Solicitor in both private practice and in-house, in a big office, working from home and in a hybrid workspace over the past few years I have been able to gain a valuable perspective on today’s working environment and every day issues experienced by legal professionals practising across Munster and beyond.

I have also been on the Board of the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) since 2022. This Board is responsible for setting the WRC’s strategy and annual work programme and I have gained invaluable experience in this role which I believe would be of benefit to the Law Society of Ireland Council should I be successfully elected.

Having practised across the private practice / in-house spectrum and from being on the Board of the WRC I have garnered a practical understanding of employment related matters facing legal professionals in today’s workplace from working to fee targets, the challenges of finding work-life balance, the right to dis-connect, bullying in the workplace, workplace investigations and redundancies. I have hands on experience in remedying these issues which would stand me in good stead in representing the concerns of solicitors both in-house and in private practice at Council level.

I believe it would benefit today’s Council to have a balance of members that better reflect the many different types of legal professionals working in Ireland today from large or small firms, in-house roles in public or private sectors and urban and rural areas.

I would also like to actively work for the better direction and governance of the Irish law society at Council level and to assist in the shaping and development of the law society’s 5-year strategy and the future of the solicitors’ profession. I would expect that my experience with the WRC will assist me in providing a valuable contribution in this regard. I would aim to be an active representative for Solicitors if I was successfully elected.

I would really appreciate your vote. Thank you and best wishes to the other candidates.


Law Society Council Elections 2023

Dear Colleague,

I am asking for your support in the Law Society Council election. I have served as a Council Member since 2012 and have an excellent attendance record at Council meetings, where my contributions regularly highlight the working-day difficulties of solicitors. I have been an active and committed member on a number of Law Society Committees and Taskforces, including currently serving as Chairperson of a Working Group examining all aspects of the functioning of the Regulation of Practice Committee (ROPC). In my role as a member of the ROPC, I have been able to utilise my experience with other regulatory boards to bring about very positive changes in this area so as to ensure that fair procedures, natural justice and best practices in regulatory law are central to the manner in which the ROPC functions.

Additionally, I served as the inaugural Chairperson (and current member) of the Practice Support Taskforce, which was established to consider the needs of smaller firms, to assist in making these practices more sustainable and successful commercially and to support these smaller practices with various Law Society initiatives.

In addition to this role, I serve as a member of the Criminal Law Committee where I am fully committed to the restoration of the unfair cuts to the Criminal Legal Aid Scheme and to the reversal of other changes in these schemes which greatly impact solicitors practicing in this area. I also serve as a member of the Mental Health Law & Capacity Task Force where one of the key areas that I am involved in at the moment is working towards resolving the difficulties with the new Enduring Powers of Attorney system.   I also serve as a member (and former Chairperson) of the Human Rights and Equality Committee.

My experience in practice includes 17 years working as a sole practitioner in a rural practice and subsequently merging my firm with a medium-sized Cork practice. Hence, I am acutely aware of the issues facing sole practitioners and those in smaller firms. This experience, combined with my membership of Council, has given me a very broad and in-depth knowledge of the issues and challenges facing solicitors today. I believe that the Law Society must work hard for all of us to meet the ever-increasing burdens of running our firms and serving our clients.

Whether working in a small or big firm, rural or urban or whether in private practice or in-house, I believe that the Law Society must assist the profession in fostering the spirit of collegiality, solidarity, decency and friendship so that it is clear to all that our greatest resource is each other.

I very much want to continue to work on your behalf on the Law Society Council and am committed to representing members’ interest to the best of my ability.  To enable me to do so, I ask you for your support and your vote. 

Yours sincerely

Shane McCarthy