Brenda King has been appointed as Attorney General for Northern Ireland on a temporary basis, it has been announced.
Ms King, who is currently First Legislative Council within the Executive Office, will replace outgoing Attorney General John Larkin who is to leave his post at the end of the month.
Ms King will take on the role until a new Attorney General is appointed.
First Minister Arlene Foster said: “I am pleased to announce that Brenda King, First Legislative Counsel, will perform the functions of the Attorney General on an interim basis from next month.
"I would like to thank Ms King for agreeing to take on this important role and look forward to working with her in this capacity over the coming months.”
Deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill added: “I would like to express my appreciation to Ms King for taking on the discharging of the functions of the Attorney General on an interim basis.
"This will ensure that the duties of the post can continue to be properly carried out during the period of time required to appoint a successor to the role. I wish her well in the role, it is encouraging to see more women in senior positions in public life.”
Mr Larkin had been Northern Ireland's chief legal officer for the past decade following the devolution of policing and justice powers to Stormont.
Under the Justice (Northern Ireland) Act 2002 the First Minister and deputy First Minister have a duty to make arrangements for the discharge of the functions of the Attorney General during any vacancy in that office.
Ms Brenda King is First Legislative Counsel for Northern Ireland. She has over 25 years of experience of drafting legislation for Northern Ireland and other jurisdictions and providing detailed legal advice on complex issues relating to constitutional law and legislation. She currently leads the Office of the Legislative Counsel which is responsible for drafting Assembly bills.
Ms King was educated at the Queen’s University of Belfast, the University of South Carolina and Cambridge University.
She began her career as a solicitor in a legal aid practice in Belfast and has also served as a diplomat, dealing principally with EU law and public international law.
She was President of the Commonwealth Association of Legislative Counsel from 2017-2019, a voluntary role to which she was elected, which involved working with lawyers in 92 jurisdictions to improve the quality of legislation worldwide.