Law Society of Ireland names Maura Derivan as its 152nd president
Derivan is only the sixth woman to be elevated to the post, replacing Michelle Ní Longáin
The Law Society of Ireland has named Maura Derivan as its 152nd president, but only the sixth woman to hold the role.
Derivan replaces outgoing president and ByrneWallace employment law partner Michelle Ní Longáin, making it only the second time in history that a woman has succeeded a woman in the post. Derivan, who is managing partner at Tipperary firm Derivan Sexton & Company, will serve a one-year term effective from today. Derivan says access to justice will be one of her key areas of focus during her presidency.
She said: “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.”
Derivan’s legal practice focuses on personal injuries litigation, medical negligence and judicial review. She started her career at Mason Hayes & Curran before moving on to Orpen Franks where she specialised in litigation.
She has been a member of the Council of the Law Society since 2006 and has served on a number of its committees, including the Co-ordination and Finance Committees. She was also instrumental in leading the Law Society to adopt a gender, diversity and inclusion policy back in 2018, resulting in its Gender Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Task Force.
Derivan said: “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,” adding that she will continue to build on the society’s diversity work.
The Law Society of Ireland has roughly 23,000 solicitors on its books.
Last month, Lubna Shuja became the first Asian and first Muslim president of the Law Society of England and Wales.
In the run up to the Women and Diversity in Law Awards, which will take place in London on 21 March, The Global Legal Post has been publishing judges' reflections on their careers and how best to promote DE&I in the legal profession. Click on the links below to find out more:
'Who are you with the most unpronounceable name?' Zepz's GC on her life and career in a changing profession
‘Take every opportunity as if this is your breakthrough moment’: a barrister’s journey from Tower Hamlets via the Magic Circle
'I was trying to over-compensate for being different': Baker McKenzie's global marketing director on the importance of inclusion
‘Tiny changes can have a massive butterfly effect’: Clifford Chance's UK inclusion head on her D&I story
‘Everyone’s been excluded': Accenture Legal's global diversity head on the power of empathy