Northern Ireland’s new Attorney General sworn in

Brenda King succeeds John Larkin, who stepped down in June after 10 years in post

Northern Ireland’s new Attorney General has been sworn in today at the Royal Courts of Justice in Belfast.

Brenda King formally took office as chief legal adviser to the Stormont Executive at a ceremony overseen by Lord Chief Justice Sir Declan Morgan.

Ms King succeeds John Larkin QC, who stepped down in June after serving in the post for 10 years.

After taking the oath she said: “I’m honoured to take up this role and looking forward to continuing to provide legal advice.”


Ms King’s legal career has involved roles as First Legislative Counsel in the Executive and as a former President of the Commonwealth Association of Legislative Counsel.

Educated at Queen’s University in Belfast, the University of South Carolina and Cambridge University, she started in private practice as a solicitor and also spent time in the diplomatic service.

With over 25 years experience drafting legislation in Northern Ireland and other jurisdictions, she was appointed Attorney General by the First and Deputy First Ministers.

Ms King’s new role involves responsibility for protecting the public interest in legal matters, and being the Executive’s most senior representative in the courts. She can also participate in proceedings at the Assembly.

Only a handful of people were able to attend the swearing-in due to Covid-19 restrictions. But Sir Declan told those present that Ms King is “extremely well-qualified” for the role.

“She obviously had enormous experience in terms of her legislative background in Northern Ireland,” the Lord Chief Justice said.