The Law Society has announced the appointment of Tipperary-based solicitor Maura Derivan as President of the Law Society for the year 2022/2023, with effect from Friday 11 November.
Maura Derivan is a managing partner in the firm Derivan Sexton & Company.
She becomes the 152nd President of the Law Society and is the sixth woman to serve in the role. This is the second time in history that the serving and incoming President are both women.
Maura Derivan will serve a one-year term as president of the 23,000-strong Irish solicitors’ profession until November 2023.
“I am honoured to serve as President of the Law Society and to lead the Irish solicitors’ profession for the next 12 months. As only the sixth woman to hold the office of the President of the Law Society, I recognise the importance of diversity, inclusion and representation. I am committed to serving the profession for my term as president,” she said.
Access to justice
Access to justice will be a significant focus of Maura’s presidential year.
“Democracy is founded on access to justice, which is the basis of fundamental human rights.
“The Law Society has always called for prioritising access to justice for all in society. We have highlighted the need for urgent investment in resources and personnel in the Courts Service. Most importantly, we have called for increased access and investment in legal aid; however, there is still significant improvement needed in this and other areas of the civil legal system to improve access to justice in the public interest. To have a properly functioning civil society, we all must be able to access justice when we need it,” she said.
Throughout her tenure, the new president will also prioritise the importance of professional standards, and courtesy in the legal profession for all lawyers.
“As I enter my term as President of the Law Society, I will support, encourage and nurture the collegiality and synergies between the legal professions, clients and stakeholders. By working together, we can champion the solicitors’ profession and provide a high standard of service to our clients, stakeholders and members of the public at all times, which is a vehicle to improve access to justice for all.”
“In addition, I will continue to build on the great work of the Law Society in the areas of gender equality, diversity and inclusion, which are at the core of the profession’s values, and fundamental to its future.”
Maura Derivan is the managing partner in the firm Derivan Sexton & Company, Carrick-on-Suir, Co Tipperary, where she specialises in the areas of personal-injuries litigation, medical negligence, and judicial review.
She attended school in Mount Anville, Dublin, and studied law in University College Dublin where she obtained a Bachelor of Civil Law degree.
She trained in Mason Hayes & Curran and qualified as a solicitor. She then joined Orpen Franks where she became a junior partner specialising in litigation and commercial litigation.
Maura has been a member of the Council of the Law Society since 2006. She has served on many senior committees, including the Co-ordination Committee, Finance Committee, Administrative Sub-Committee of Finance, and the Law Society’s Practice Management Standard Working Group.
She has served as chair of a division of the Regulation of Practice Committee, the PR Committee, and the Negative Interest Task Force.
In 2018, she was the proposer of a motion brought to the Council of the Law Society to adopt a gender, diversity and inclusion policy in respect of the Law Society. Arising from the motion, the Law Society established its Gender Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Task Force.
Maura is married to solicitor Patrick Derivan who also practises in the firm. It has had several notable successes in the field of personal injuries and commercial law, resulting in the development of significant case law and also obtaining judicial decision, which required amending legislation to be implemented, arising from judicial-review challenges.