Northern Irish Bar adds third woman to ranks of QCs

The Northern Irish Bar will welcome its third female QC in September this year.

Margaret-Ann Dinsmore, a specialist in personal injury litigation, planning law and family law, is the one of 13 barristers nominated for appointment to the Northern Irish Bar later this year.

She is also the Northern Ireland Commissioner for rights to trade union members and Northern Ireland Commissioner for the protection against unlawful industrial action.

The list of future QCs, nominated by the Lord Chief Justice Sir Brian Ray last month, includes Eugene Grant, chair of the Bar of Northern Ireland, who specialises in criminal litigation, and vice-chair Brian Fee, who specialises in personal injury.

Grant dismissed rumours that there were fewer applications this year because prominent junior counsel who act for insurance companies could not afford to apply. He said there was a very large number of applications from both civil and criminal lawyers.

Mark Horner, described as an extremely busy junior with a large personal injury practice, Ben Stephens, a leading defence lawyer, and Mark Orr, a prominent chancery lawyer, have also been nominated, as have James Gallagher, John Orr, Michael Long, Michael Stitt, Carl Simpson, Gordon Kerr and Billy McCrory.

The barristers will be officially called to the Bar on 5 September, at the start of the new term.