Brian Garrett

Prominent Belfast solicitor Brian Garrett, one of the founding partners of commercial law firm Elliot Duffy Garrett, has passed away at the age of 86.

Born in Belfast in 1937, Mr Garrett was educated at Methodist College and Queen’s University Belfast before qualifying as a solicitor in 1966.

In 1973, along with James Elliott and Gerard Duffy, he co-founded Elliott Duffy Garrett — which celebrated its 50th year in business in April.

In addition to his legal practice, Mr Garrett was chairman of the Northern Ireland Labour Party from 1972–74 and a visiting Fellow at the Center for International Affairs at Harvard University from 1977–78.

He served as a member of the Northern Ireland Standing Advisory Commission on Human Rights, and on various committees of the Law Society of Northern Ireland.

In a statement, Elliott Duffy Garrett said: “We are sad to hear of the passing of one of our founding partners and enduring friend, Brian Garrett.

“In the early 1970s Brian had a vision to create a cross-community commercial legal practice in Belfast. Together with James Elliott and Gerard Duffy he achieved that when they commenced practice as Elliott Duffy Garrett.

“Brian was a man of great intellect and social conscience who inspired and supported successive partners of the firm up to and in many ways continuing after his retirement in 2000. He was truly a guest of honour at our event to celebrate 50 years of practice earlier this year which, although physically very frail, he was determined to attend.

“Brian was a true force of nature and had a wide range of interests as a lawyer, arbitrator, lecturer, journalist, and director. It is impossible in a short note to do justice to his many achievements and interests, save to say that he was always wise, compassionate, funny and great company.

“Our partners and staff extend sympathies to Brian’s daughters, Naomi and Olivia, son Conor, their families and his devoted sister, Janet.”

The Law Society of Northern Ireland said it “offers its condolences to his family, colleagues, and friends”.

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