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Irish lawyers in England form fraternal association
Irish-born and Newcastle-based solicitor Seamus Kelly, co-founder of Association of Irish Lawyers in England (AILIE)

04 Apr 2024 / Britain Print

Irish lawyers in England form fraternal association

An Association of Irish Lawyers in England (AILIE) has been established to bring together lawyers from Ireland who now live and practise in England.

The recently-formed non-profit was established in 2023 by solicitors Seamus Kelly and Tamlin Bolton in response to the lack of a dedicated, connected community for Irish lawyers outside London.

While the London Irish Lawyers Association (LILA) already exists as a professional network in the capital, AILIE aims to connect those working in law firms in cities such as Manchester, Leeds and Newcastle.

Seamus (main picture) hails from Derry and has lived in England in 2011. He is a solicitor advocate based in Newcastle and he specialises in legal costs.


Membership of AILIE is free and open to anyone from Ireland, north or south, or with a close connection to Ireland. The organisation aims to provide mentoring and support in a professional and friendly environment.

Joint co-founder Seamus Kelly explained: “It can be quite daunting when you make the move across to England especially if you do it alone. We want to provide a community for those making the move.

“Similarly, there are many who made the move years ago and just miss home – whether it be the accents, the food or the craic.

“The Irish have a long history of thriving communities wherever we go, and we want to help facilitate this within the legal community in England.

We are excited to bring people together, make meaningful connections and have fun.”

Missing home

Joint co-founder Tamlin Bolton (small picture) told the England and Wales Law Society Gazette: “We feel this sense of missing home, and needing to find elements of it here to not feel like we were missing out.”

Originally from Limerick, experienced clinical-negligence solicitor Tamlin Bolton moved to England in 2003 to attend university.

She is now based in York where her legal work includes representing injured claimants in large group actions, public inquires, and inquests.


“It is important to us that people coming here to work or study in the legal profession have that connection to home, and that we don’t lose touch with our culture and heritage.”

Bolton continued: “A lot of us will also have faced those lingering elements of societal prejudice and the feeling you don’t quite fit in, or are not fully accepted.

“This is the chance to talk a little bit of law, but also to come together and share a little bit of home away from home,” she said.

AILIE is open to students, lawyers in practice, legal staff, and academics.

An inaugural event will be held later this year.

Email info@ailie.org.uk for further information.

Gazette Desk
Gazette.ie is the daily legal news site of the Law Society of Ireland