Law Society of Ireland announces election of new President for 2017-18

The Law Society of Ireland has announced the election of solicitor Michael Quinlan as its 147th President, continuing a 176 year tradition since the election of the first President, Josias Dunn, in 1841.

  • Michael Quinlan becomes the 147th President of the Law Society of Ireland
  • New President has been 16 years on Law Society Council, most recently held roles: Senior Vice President and Chair of the Legal Services Regulation Bill Task Force.
  • Takes on role during a time of rapid change from Brexit, technological disruption and the early implementation phase of the Legal Services Regulatory Authority.

Michael Quinlan - President of Law Society

The election of the President was finalised at the Law Society’s Council Meeting on 3 November 2017.

“It is a great honour to accept the Office of President of the Law Society of Ireland for the coming 12 months. To be leading a profession of over 10,000 practising solicitors is a personal privilege, however this is also time of great challenge as well,” said Mr Quinlan following his election.

“When I qualified in 1981 there were about 1,800 solicitors on the Roll, and slightly over half of them were practising at the time. The past 36 years have seen dramatic change in Ireland and particularly within the profession.”

In his comments to the Council Meeting, Mr Quinlan outlined a number of key challenges and agenda priorities he envisioned over the coming year, namely:

  • The continuing impact of Brexit on the legal profession.
  • The Legal Services Regulatory Authority becoming fully operational.
  • The ongoing challenges with resourcing and funding of the Probate Office.

Within the legal profession itself, he outlined that he will also be looking at issues such as:

  • Technological disruption of the legal sector.
  • The appalling delay in the restoration of the cuts in criminal legal aid payments.
  • The two-speed business environment that exists between urban and rural practice which has become ever more apparent since the recession.
  • The increasing need for legal professions at all levels to focus more on a healthy work/life balance, particularly looking at mental health issues.

“The solicitors’ profession is one that is focussed on fighting for the legal rights of clients and law reform in the public interest. I congratulate the outgoing President, Stuart Gilhooly, on his sterling work as President over the last 12 months, he has certainly left a legacy of which he can be proud.”

Mr Quinlan will also follow in the footsteps of his mother Moya Quinlan who was the first female President of the Law Society in 1980-81.

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