Lady Chief Justice Appointment

In a decision that has won support from a number of our Claimant solicitor members in Northern Ireland, Her Majesty the Queen has approved the appointment of The Honourable Mrs Justice Keegan as Lady Chief Justice of Northern Ireland. She will be sworn into office at the start of September 2021 at a ceremony in the Royal Courts of Justice.

Mrs Justice Keegan was appointed as a High Court Judge in October 2015. She was the trial judge in the Northern Irish High Court judgements of McCauley v Brennan [2017] NIQB 41 and Weir v O’Neill [2017] NIQB 44, both involving credit hire.

Prior to becoming a judge, Mrs Justice Keegan, a Queen’s University alumni, graduating with LLB Honours in 1993, was called to the Bar of Northern Ireland in 1994 and became a Queen’s Counsel in 2006.

During her career at the Bar Mrs Justice Keegan served as Vice Chair of the Bar of Northern Ireland, Chair of the Young Bar, Chair of the Family Bar Association, Chair of the Bar Charity Committee and she was a long standing member of the Bar Professional Conduct Committee.

Mrs Justice Keegan was appointed as Judge in Residence at Queen’s University Belfast in November 2015 and currently remains in this post. She was also appointed as a member of the Judicial Studies Board (JSB) in April 2016 and is a current member of the Board. In April 2020 she was assigned as the Senior Family Judge and subsequently appointed Chair of the shadow Family Justice Board.

Mrs Justice Keegan was appointed as a Coroner in July 2017 and was Presiding Coroner for Northern Ireland from September 2017 to September 2020.

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