Belfast lawyer Peter Madden, managing partner at Madden & Finucane Solicitors, has been elected president of the Solicitors’ Criminal Bar Association at its recent AGM.

Mr Madden was elected unopposed to the top post, alongside Noel Phoenix as chairman, Matt Higgins as treasurer and Eoghan McKenna as secretary.

The other new committee members are Pearse MacDermott as PRO, Gerard McNamara as research officer, and Sarah McKeown and Feargal McElhatton as ordinary members.

Mr Phoenix, addressing the AGM, thanked the outgoing chairman Sean McCann for his work on behalf of the Association.

He said his priorities over the coming months would include pressuring the Legal Services Agency and Law Society of Northern Ireland to address the “urgent issue” of registration to obtain legal aid.

The Association hopes to meet with the LSA chief executive and the Law Society presidential team, and to set up regular monitoring meetings with the LSA to inform members of the latest developments.

Mr Madden told Irish Legal News: “The Criminal Bar Association, which represents solicitors throughout the jurisdiction, is facing a difficult period ahead with increasing workloads involving new and complex legislation. It is a challenge that the Association will not shirk.

“We look forward to engaging positively with all those individuals and agencies involved in the justice system. Cooperation is the key to making that system run smoothly and we will play our part in that cooperation.”

Irish Legal News