Dame Brenda King, Attorney General for Northern Ireland
Brenda King studied law at the Queen’s University of Belfast and was admitted to practice as a solicitor in Northern Ireland.
After qualifying as a solicitor she undertook postgraduate studies at the University of South Carolina, specialising in constitutional law, public international law and international relations. She then completed a Masters in Public International Law and European Law at the University of Cambridge before returning to practice as a solicitor in Belfast.
After a period in private practice, and then as a legal adviser with the Northern Ireland Office, she joined the Office of the Legislative Counsel, the office responsible for drafting bills of the Northern Ireland Assembly, in 1991. She held a number of positions in that office before being appointed to lead the office as First Legislative Counsel in 2012. Between 1997 and 1998 she served as a legal adviser at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. She has completed programmes of study at the US Federal Executive Office and at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
From 2017 to 2019 she was President of the Commonwealth Association of Legislative Counsel, working with lawyers and law officers across 92 jurisdictions to improve the quality of, and access to, legislation.
Brenda has over 25 years’ experience of advising on and drafting primary legislation for Northern Ireland and other jurisdictions and providing advice to the Northern Ireland Executive on complex constitutional and administrative law issues, particularly those relating to the devolution settlement. She was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the Bath (DCB) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2021 for services to constitutional law while First Legislative Counsel for Northern Ireland.
Ian Wimpress, Solicitor to the Attorney General
Ian Wimpress graduated in law from Queen's University Belfast in 1979 and was admitted as a solicitor in 1981.
He trained with D H Smyth & Co, Solicitors in Newtownards and entered government practice in the Crown Solicitor's Office in 1982 where he initially was engaged mainly in County Court litigation and later in High Court litigation. He subsequently specialised in judicial review, employment law and Parole Commissioners casework.
During the 1980s he was a part time lecturer in County Court Practice for the Law Society of Northern Ireland.
In 2004 he was appointed as a fee paid Chairman of the Industrial Tribunals and the Fair Employment Tribunal.
In 2010 he was appointed as Director of Litigation in the Departmental Solicitor's Office
In 2012 he was appointed as Solicitor to the Attorney General for Northern Ireland.