John Guerin, former President of the Law Society of Northern Ireland has been appointed as Head of both the Belfast and Derry offices for insurance risk and commercial law firm BLM.
John’s appointment is part of a wider leadership restructure in Ireland and Northern Ireland with high profile legal expert Cormac Fitzpatrick promoted to BLM’s strategy setting Executive Board.
Cormac also has overall leadership of the firm’s Irish offices working closely with the Operations Board, Managing Partner, Vivienne Williams and Senior Partner, Matthew Harrington. The new leadership team follows the appointment in April of Partners Sinead Connolly and Olivia Treston as Joint Heads of Office for Dublin.
BLM has seen significant business growth in its Northern Ireland office since a merger with Campbell Fitzpatrick Solicitors in 2014. The firm has continued this momentum throughout 2020, with more than 110 people now employed in total across the island of Ireland. The firm has plans to increase headcount further with a recruitment drive to bolster its offering.
The firm, which specialises in commercial and insurance risk law has seen specific growth in areas including; health and safety, regulatory, fraud prevention and large loss and complex litigation.
John Guerin, Head of Office for BLM NI commented on his appointment and the new leadership team:
“Our clients’ needs are complex and have been compounded by the evolving environment in which we are all operating. I am honoured to be leading such a dedicated team that have our clients’ full confidence.”
Across the island of Ireland and in the UK, BLM is also advancing its digital transformation strategy (a key element of BLM’s long-term strategic aims) with an accelerated move towards becoming paperless within its Belfast and Derry Offices. This strategy, which has been expedited in recent months by COVID-19, has augmented BLM’s journey towards more agile and virtual ways of working whilst at the same time retaining local links across the areas in which it operates.
In addition to leadership appointments, BLM has appointed two newly qualified solicitors this month. Eimear Cathcart, who trained in BLM’s Belfast office and Niamh Fielding who trained in BLM’s Derry office have both accepted offers to join the firm as full time solicitors. Both Eimear and Niamh will work within the firm’s defence litigation department, specialising in all aspects of defence litigation including motor, employers’ liability, public liability and insurance company recoveries.
Cormac Fitzpatrick added:
“As BLM and the wider law and business sectors adapt to the current challenges of the pandemic, our innovations and new leadership team position us strongly to deliver great outcomes for clients in the coming months and years.
“Undoubtedly there have been operational challenges, however, our talented workforce has embraced our digital transformation strategy and we are confident that we will maintain momentum and our exceptional service provision across the island of Ireland in the period ahead.”