I was educated at Methodist College Belfast and graduated from Queen's University, Belfast with an Honours Degree in Law in 1984. I then attended the Institute of Professional Legal Studies obtaining a Certificate in Professional Legal Studies.
I qualified as a Solicitor in 1985, I joined the well-reputed Johnsons Solicitors of Belfast. After gaining extensive experience in a wide range of legal matters from general property matters, such as the buying and selling of houses to the administration of estates, I moved quickly into dealing with personal injury actions and Commercial Court cases.
I was approached by Thompsons Solicitors in Newtownards and for the purposes of career advancement moved to the firm in 1987 where I was made partner two years later. I was responsible for all court matters including personal injury claims, commercial and business disputes some matrimonial and various property transactions and clinical negligence cases. I gained extensive experience and expertise.
I have continued to develop further expertise in property matters, commercial matters, personal injury cases and commercial disputes. I have increased my experience in matrimonial law. I have been appointed to Court Committees that regulate court procedure in both the High Court and County Court in Northern Ireland.
I also hold a Law Society Certificate in Advanced Advocacy, with which I appear and represent clients at many Courts within the province. I am also a member of the Advocacy Working Party of the Law Society of Northern Ireland and was until recently an elected member of the Council of the Law Society of Northern Ireland. I also teach Trainee Solicitors and qualified Solicitors in various aspects of Law and Trial techniques and continuing professional development.