News and Recent Work ByrneWallace LLP partner Michelle Ní Longáin appointed 151st President of the Law Society of Ireland
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ByrneWallace LLP partner Michelle Ní Longáin appointed 151st President of the Law Society of Ireland

Friday, 05 November 2021

ByrneWallace LLP is delighted to congratulate our colleague Michelle Ní Longáin, on her appointment as President of the Law Society of Ireland for the year 2021/2022. Michelle becomes the fifth woman in the history of the Society to serve as president which comes into effect from Friday, 5 November 2021.

Michelle, who has over 25 years’ experience practicing employment and equality law in Ireland, Northern Ireland and England, has been a partner with ByrneWallace LLP since joining in 1999. She currently heads the firm’s Public Sector Group and is a partner in the Employment Law Team where she specialises in advising public and private sector clients, primarily employers, on complex areas of employment, equality and administrative law.

A member of the Council of the Law Society of Ireland since 2004, Michelle has chaired the Society’s Education and Finance committees, Audit Subcommittee and Gender Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Task Force. She was also a member of the Council of the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland from 2007 to 2013.

Michelle’s experience of practising in three jurisdictions and her membership of the Councils of two professional regulatory bodies and many of their committees has helped to inform her advice to clients, particularly in the public and regulatory sector. 

Commenting on Michelle’s appointment, ByrneWallace LLP Managing Partner Feargal Brennan said, “On behalf of my colleagues at ByrneWallace LLP, I would like to congratulate Michelle on her appointment as President of the Law Society of Ireland and wish Michelle every success in the year ahead.

“For many years Michelle has made an outstanding contribution to the ongoing development of the legal profession in Ireland, in particular in the areas of gender equality, diversity and inclusion. Michelle has demonstrated her commitment to driving excellence and her passion to champion and address many important issues within the profession.”

Commenting on the announcement Michelle Ní Longáin added, “It is a privilege to serve as President of the Law Society, and as the fifth woman to lead the Irish solicitors’ profession, this too is a privilege. I am particularly mindful of the importance of representation for our future female legal leaders and look forward to building upon the progress made in this area by my predecessors.”

Outlining core priorities for her term in office, Michelle highlighted a focus on continuing to progress gender equality, diversity and inclusion in the solicitors’ profession.

“Looking ahead, we know that the future of this profession is more diverse and more inclusive at all career stages. A key priority for me over the coming year is promoting gender equality, diversity, inclusion and increased access to the profession, including at leadership levels. I believe that this is very important to ensure that there are more diverse voices in the room.

“As chairperson of the Law Society’s Gender Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Task Force, I have worked with my colleagues to position diversity as a cornerstone of the profession. Significant progress has been made in recent years and I am committed to driving this agenda forward during the next 12 months.” 

Michelle also intends to prioritise wellbeing, climate justice and leadership. 

“Health and wellbeing is another key area I am committed to enhancing during my term. It is vital that our members are empowered to access available supports that will help to protect their personal mental health and wellbeing.

“How the Law Society responds to the urgent priority of climate justice will also be an important focus of mine during the year ahead. We will focus on supporting our members to help them become more sustainable in their practices. 

“Society and the economy have been dealing with extensive challenges during the past 18 months. Leading the profession through these challenges, business recovery and what follows will be a priority for me.”

While serving her one-year term as president, Michelle will continue to practice as a solicitor with ByrneWallace LLP and fulfil her ongoing senior leadership roles within the firm.   

Photo: Courtesy of The Law Society of Ireland. 
Photographer: Cian Redmond.