Legal 50

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he Irish Post’s Legal50 recognises the outstanding success, dedication and accomplishments of Irish leaders in the legal industry across Britain.

Britain’s top Irish law professionals in 2013

Among those being acknowledged here for their contribution, excellence and achievements are senior solicitors, barristers, judges, industry experts and academics who all share an affinity to Ireland. From fighting miscarriages of justice in Britain’s highest courts to being at the forefront of some of the most complex and ground-breaking cases, Irish legal professionals have proved themselves time and again to be of the uppermost calibre.








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James Barnes PARTNER, HERBERT SMITH FREEHILLS Born in Lisburn, Co. Antrim, James graduated from Queens University Belfast with an honors Law degree in 1976. He moved to England in

1978 to qualify as a lawyer, intending to get a few years’ experience before returning to Ireland. “35 years on I and haven’t quite made it back

yet!” he says. He specialises in commercial property, particularly inner city regeneration and infrastructure projects including

Hugh Beattie PARTNER, MCCANN FITZGERALD Hugh Beattie obtained his BCL from University College Dublin and is now lead partner in the London office of McCann FitzGerald. Hugh

holds an unmatched level of expertise in debt capital markets, restructuring, secured lending and enforcement, financial

services regulation, securitisation and corporate treasury. McCann Fitzgerald can proudly boast that Hugh has, at one time or another

acted for or advised almost every bank and investment firm that have dealt in the Irish market. Recent work includes acting as lead Irish counsel to Irish Nationwide Building Society.

Alan Burke PARTNER, WHITE & CASE Alan holds a Bachelor of Civil Law from University College Dublin. He moved to London in 1996 and qualified as a solicitor in England and

Wales in 1999 and is highly rated as a deal executioner in The Legal 500. A partner in the White & Case’s London office since 2008, Alan has a

wide range of experience in corporate transactions. In a recent representation he advised Saudi Aramco on a US $1.3billion merger.

Greg Campbell PARTNER, MISHCON DE REYA Born a few miles north of Belfast, Greg Campbell is a partner in the Employment Department with a practice that covers both contentious

and non-contentious employment law. Greg has particular expertise in the financial services sector where he has been involved

in numerous bonus disputes and regulatory issues. He is a member of the Employment Lawyers Association and the European Employment

However, her work as cohead of Linklaters global retail sector has taken her further afield than London, and she has been crucial in

expanding the firm’s business in Brazil. Specialising in public and private M&A transactions and joint ventures, Aedamar’s recent

Alan Davis PARTNER, PINSENT MASONS A senior competition partner at Pinsent Masons, Alan’s expertise spans a broad range of British and EU competition law, including merger

control, joint ventures, anti-competitive agreements and practices including cartels. Alan has specialist experience of the banking,

insurance, financial services, air transport, construction and manufacturing sectors. He is published regularly and speaks at competition law

of London law firm her client list reads like a who’s who of the city’s top firms including City Credit Suisse, RBS, Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch

and Rothschilds. A personal career highlight was negotiating a discrimination claim over £5million. Caroline is also actively

Patrick Doris PARTNER, GIBSON DUNN & CRUTCHER Patrick is a partner in the Dispute Resolution Group of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher’s London office, where he specialises in commercial litiga-

tion, competition law, regulatory disputes and complex investigations. Before entering private practice, Patrick taught EU law at the

University of Warwick. First generation Irish, Patrick’s parents come from Andersonstown in Belfast and Ardboe, Co. Tyrone. His

advised on high profile and trail blazing finance transactions including the establishment of one of the first internet-only banks.

involved in The London Irish Construction Network. A keen runner and fitness enthusiast she completed the Larne half marathon in June.

father, raised in west Belfast has an All-Ireland winners’ medal in football with Derry minors and Patrick has been capped for Ireland at water polo at senior and junior level.

Kathleen Garrett PARTNER, ARTHUR COX University College Dublin alumnus, Kathleen Garrett trained with Arthur Cox and has been a partner in the firm since 1998. Kathleen has

experience includes advising HSBC on the sale of its banking and insurance operations in Panama, Colombia, Peru, Paraguay, Uruguay, El Salvador, Costa Rica and Honduras.

and industry events. He holds a BCL and Diploma in European Law from University College Dublin and spends most weekends in Oxfordshire. Alan enjoys all kinds of music, travel and sport.

Caroline Doran PARTNER, ROYDS SOLICITORS Commercial lawyer Caroline studied at Victoria College, Belfast before reading Law at Durham University. As an employment partner of a City

Having grown up in Dun Laoghaire, Alan values the spare time he has away from work to spend with his wife Pinel, daughter Indya and twin boys, Aran and Joshua.

Lawyers Association. As both Greg and his wife’s parents are still in the North of Ireland they regularly travel back home for family holidays.

Aedamar Comiskey PARTNER, LINKLATERS Aedamar completed her degree in Law at University College Dublin and is now a corporate partner at Linklaters in London.

Canary Wharf, the Olympic Village and HS1. A career highlight was travelling on one of the first Eurostar trains knowing he was travelling over land acquired by the legal team he had led.

Having initially trained in corporate recovery, Kathleen is an expert in debt restructuring, but her role today sees her heading up

the London office of the top tier firm. Recent work involves acting for Barclays Bank PLC providing acquisition finance in relation to Belfast’s Titanic Quarter.

Conor Gearty DIRECTOR OF THE INSTITUTE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS AND PROFESSOR OF HUMAN RIGHTS LAW, LSE An author, academic and barrister, Conor grew up in Granard, Co. Longford. He graduated in Law from University College Dublin

before attending Wolfson College, Cambridge in 1980 to study for a Master’s Degree and then a PhD. A fellow of Emmanuel

College Cambridge, in 1990 Conor moved to the School of Law at King’s College London where he became a professor in 1995. Today, Conor teaches

at LSE in human rights, civil liberties, terrorism and human rights law. This year he became Director of LSE’s Institute of Public Affairs.

MSB Solicitors act for clients nationwide and have served the needs of the Irish community throughout England and Wales for the last 25 years. We provide a full range of services to individuals and businesses. We are LEXCEL accredited. The Lexcel practice management standard is only awarded to solicitors who meet the highest management and customer care standards. Less than 15 per cent of law firms have attained this standard. We act for many private companies, family businesses and entrepreneurs providing advice on all aspects of corporate work including sales and disposals, corporate finance, shareholder and joint venture arrangements. We also have particular expertise in the technology sector. We can help you buy or sell a business, house, commercial property or land at a fixed fee agreed in advance. Our Residential Development and Plot Sales team deal with the acquisition of residential development sites, planning agreements

and conditions, adoption agreements and all aspects of residential site set up. We will review any existing contract, document, will or estate planning and ensure it meets your current needs. We look after our clients’ interests when outside events turn their lives upside down, such as Revenue investigations, litigation or family breakdown. We have recently partnered with AXA Insurance to provide unique, affordable management liability insurance cover for the directors, officers and senior management of UK limited companies. An annual premium of £1,500 provides up to £500,000 liability cover! Sean Sexton of MSB has recently been recognised for his expertise by inclusion in the Irish Legal 50.

Contact MSB Solicitors

Telephone: 0151 281 9040 Email:

Micheál Grace PARTNER, MASON HAYES CURRAN Last summer Micheál Grace moved to Britain to oversee the London branch of Mason Hayes & Curran. Originally from the village of Oola in

Co. Limerick, he is a member of Mason Hayes and Curran’s Projects and Energy Group, he advises institutional and private clients in particular

regarding financing renewable energy projects and wind farms. A graduate of University College Cork, Micheál was a

Peter Griffin FOUNDING PARTNER, HAGE AARONSON As a founding partner of Hage Aaronson, Peter has 21 years’ experience in handling international commercial disputes and investment related

disputes, largely focusing on emerging markets. His specialties include international arbitration, international cross border

investments, mergers and acquisitions as well as international financings. After attending Clongowes in Co. Kildare, one of Ireland’s

leading boys’ schools, he studied law at the Sorbonne in Paris and at King’s College London.

Patrick Harte BARRISTER, TEMPLE GARDENS Patrick joined chambers in 2008 where he now practices solely in crime. He manages a busy Crown Court practice, dealing with cases involving

robbery, theft, burglary, fraud, conspiracy to supply, offences of violence, road traffic and public order offences. He is a founding

committee member and current co-chairperson of the London Irish Lawyers Association which holds seminars, workshops and

Chris Johnson PARTNER, COMMUNITY LAW PARTNERSHIP The Community Law Partnership is a progressive firm of solicitors specialising in the law relating to Housing and Public Law. A founding

partner in 1999, Chris Johnson heads up the Travellers Advice Team at Community Law Partnership. His work takes him all over

the country to represent Gypsies and Travellers, as well as lecturing, training, writing and campaigning on issues affecting Gypsies’ and

resenting aviation and space insurers, airlines and manufacturers. Born in Belfast to parents Joseph and Bernadette Kavanagh, Giles

was educated at St Malachy’s College and St John’s College, Cambridge. When not spending time with his three children Tierney, Conall

Mary Kaye PARTNER, SGH MARTINEAU Based in Birmingham, Mary was born and educated in Limerick. Today, she leads the family law team and is head of the

private capital group at SGH Martineau, where she is known as “the name to note”. She is a highly respected family law

practitioner who joined SGH Martineau LLP as a Partner in 2006. Mary came to Britain in 1977 but still visits family in

negligence. Siobhán is passionate about helping vulnerable claimants recover compensation. Her cases include brain injuries arising

from medical treatment and road traffic accidents, mismanagement of vascular conditions and severe orthopaedic injuries.

Joanna Kennedy CEO, ZACCHAEUS 2000 Joanna is the Chief Executive of Z2K, a forward thinking London-based charity whose goal is addressing poverty issues caused by unfairness

in the law, legal and benefits system. An expert in her field, Joanna blogs regularly on topics such as the ethics of

volunteering and has appeared on BBC News to discuss the benefit caps system being piloted in certain London Boroughs.

and venture capital work. He spent eight years in the US and one of his career highlights involved acting for a client who, over a five year

period, acquired, then sold, then re-acquired the same media business, making a significant profit along the way. “I am looking forward to

Andy Kerman SENIOR PARTNER, KERMAN & CO Both founding partners at Kerman & Co have Irish roots. Andy’s mother is from Wexford. Both he and Daniel O’Connell founded the firm in

1998. Prior to this, he and Daniel had worked together as partners in Forsyte Kerman a firm founded by Andy’s father, Isidore Kerman, in 1927.

Andy completed his law degree at King’s College London and was admitted as a solicitor in 1971. During a long career in the law he has advised heads

A graduate of the University of East Anglia, Siobhán offers support to the London Irish Centre and has sat on their welfare committee. She is also a trustee for a local brain injury charity.

Joanna is third generation Irish. Theatre-mad, she is also chair of the Board of the Unicorn Theatre and in her own words she is “depressingly, a passionate fan of QPR”.

Stephen Keogh PARTNER, WILLIAM FRY As partner and head of William Fry’s London office, Dublin-born Stephen is an accomplished lawyer specialising in private equity

and Erin, he enjoys a round of golf. Giles is recognised by the leading legal directories as a leader in his field. He is a past chairman of The Royal Aeronautical Society’s Air Law Group Committee.

Ireland several times a year. She enjoys driving around the country and as a selfconfessed foodie enjoys seeking out the best culinary experiences she can find.

Siobhán Kelly PARTNER, BINDMANS LLP Qualified in 2001, Siobhán made partner at Bindman LLP in 2010. She is highly sought after for her work in personal injury and clinical

social events throughout the year. Whilst Patrick’s practice is based mainly in London and the South Eastern Circuit, he also accepts instructions nationwide and in the North of Ireland.

Travellers’ rights. Chris’ late mother came from Co. Leitrim and he is an avid news hound and reader of The Irish Post.

Giles Kavanagh PARTNER, HOLMAN FENWICK WILLAN In a London office equipped with a team of 250 lawyers, Giles heads the dynamic global aerospace team specialising in advising and rep-

founding editor of the UCC Cork Online Law Review. An avid sports fan, he also holds a season ticket at Fulham Football Club.

the day they decide to sell it again!” he jokes. In his spare time Stephen enjoys a wide range of hobbies including music, sport and reading.

of state, entrepreneurs and people from all walks of life in Britain and abroad on a wide range of contentious and non contentious matters both in relation to their business and personal affairs.

“The High Street is OK for shopping, but business banking calls for a specialist.” As a family owned business, we prefer to deal with a bank that focuses on owner managed businesses. We’re long-standing clients of our bank and they’ve been very supportive as our business has grown. Like us, they’re specialists who know what they’re doing. Mick Crossan, Chairman, Powerday

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*Telephone lines open from 8am-8pm Monday to Friday, excluding bank holidays in England and Wales. Calls may be recorded and monitored for security and training purposes. BT landline calls to 0845 numbers will cost no more than 5 pence per minute. Charges from other service providers may vary and calls from mobiles usually cost more. Allied Irish Bank (GB) and Allied Irish Bank (GB) Savings Direct are trade marks used under licence by AIB Group (UK) p.l.c. (a wholly owned subsidiary of Allied Irish Banks, p.l.c.), incorporated in Northern Ireland. Registered Office 4 Queens Square, Belfast BT1 3DJ. Registered Number NI 18800. Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.


Lord Brian Kerr JUSTICE OF THE SUPREME COURT Lord Chief Justice Sir Brian Kerr needs no introduction. Northern Ireland’s most senior judge is a former pupil of St Colman’s College in

Newry. He studied Law at Queen’s University before being called to the bar in Northern Ireland in 1970 and the English Bar four years

later. He was appointed a High Court Judge in the North of Ireland in 1993, the same year he was knighted. Lord Kerr became the last

Valerie Lawlor PARTNER, MCCANN FITZGERALD The second McCann partner to feature on our prestigious Legal50 list, Valerie obtained her Bachelor of Civil Law from University College

Dublin. Valerie’s senior role at McCann now sees her advise generally on corporate and commercial matters but is often called upon for her

expertise in the energy sector. She has advised significant energy industry participants on market projects, transactions and

regulatory issues. Valerie is part of the company’s London operation in Old Broad Street. McCann FitzGerald was the first major Irish law firm to establish offices in London in 1986.

Sinéad Mac Lua SENIOR LAWYER, BANK OF IRELAND GROUP LEGAL SERVICES Sinéad Mac Lua trained as a lawyer in London with Harris Rosenblatt & Kramer where, after 15 years, she became a partner. In 2003 Sinéad

joined Bank of Ireland’s Group Legal Services team in London where she is a Senior Lawyer. Sinéad’s career has concentrated on dispute

resolution work in banking, property, professional negligence matters as well as fraud, insolvency and multiparty claims. Serving on the

Chris MaGrath PARTNER, MAGRATH LLP This Trinity College Dublin graduate is now senior partner at MaGrath LLP where he acts as head of the Immigration and Employment

Law Departments. Born in Bangor, Chris attended secondary school in Belfast. He qualified as a solicitor in 1975 and upon moving to

Britain, he opened his first law firm on Kilburn High Road in 1977. As a dualqualified practising solicitor, and US attorney, Chris has

She began her career in a City law firm before qualifying as a solicitor in 1995 and moving into media litigation. Sinead has advised

a broad range of clients across the media industry including book, magazine and newspaper publishers, sports organisations, television and

Tony McDaid PRACTICE DIRECTOR, NO5 CHAMBERS Tony is the longest serving member of No5 Chambers’ administration team having joined in 1980. He qualified as a member of the Institute

of Barristers Clerks in 1988 and was appointed Senior Clerk in 1992 before being promoted to the post of Practice Director in 1994.

Sitting on the Professional Practice Committee of the Bar Council, he is also a council member of the Birmingham Law Society,

of Britain’s largest financial institutions. She has extensive experience and advises on a range of matters relating to all aspects of mortgage and

property litigation. Olibhia also acts as treasurer for the London Irish Lawyers Association. Originally from south west Donegal,

Ronan Maguire DIRECTOR & FOUNDING PARTNER, MAGUIRES Manchester firm Maguires was founded in 2008 by Ronan Maguire. His career has included high profile cases including a recent

successful appeal to overturn a murder conviction. Ronan’s first job was as a criminal litigation clerk in his native Enniskillen in 1993.

He qualified as a solicitor in 1997 and has over 20 years’ experience in criminal law. He grew up on a farm, as one of seven children, in the small

Law in Chester but his parents hail from Co. Mayo and Roscommon. Andrew is heavily involved in the Irish community in

Manchester. He started his own firm McHale & Co in 2001 and since then he has been involved in litigation to Supreme Court level and

Michael McKee PARTNER, DLA PIPER With over 20 years’ experience in the financial services sector, Michael is a respected partner in the DLA Piper’s Financial Services

Regulatory team. Based in London, Belfastborn Michael attended Queen’s University. He is wellknown for his intellectual

understanding of the law having come top of his year in both his undergraduate degree and his LL.M. at Cambridge University.

a personal career highlight was making Partner last year. In her spare time she enjoys travelling, hiking in Donegal and spending time with her family and friends. She is also a keen rugby fan.

village of Kinawley and says that being born two weeks after Bloody Sunday may have something to do with his interest in justice. Maguire Solicitors have just recently acquired a base in London.

Andrew McHale FOUNDING PARTNER, MCHALE & CO Andrew qualified as a solicitor in 1996, specialising in Civil Litigation and Advocacy. He studied at both Sheffield University and the College of

film companies and high profile individuals. She joined Random House in 2006 as senior publishing lawyer and became Group Legal Director in 2011.

serving as chair of its International Committee. He is an executive member of the West Midlands Irish Business Group. Tony has three children and enjoys travel, food and wine.

Olibhia McGinley PARTNER, TTKW Olibhia is a partner in TTKW’s dispute resolution department specialising in professional negligence actions on behalf of clients that include some

Advisory Committee of the Irish Youth Foundation, she is also a member of the Women's Irish Network, Irish Heritage and attends events hosted by the All Parliamentary Group on the Irish in Britain.

over 20 years of cross border experience in corporate and private UK and US immigration. Away from work, Chris is an enthusiastic supporter of the Ireland rugby team and Manchester City.

Sinead Martin GROUP LEGAL DIRECTOR, THE RANDOM HOUSE GROUP Sinead graduated in Law from the University of Nottingham in 1991 and from the College of Law two years later.

appointed Law Lord and, at 61, the youngest person to become a member of the House on taking his seat in 2009, receiving an honorary doctorate from Queen’s University the same year.

has acted in high profile criminal cases for sports professionals. Andrew writes a regular column in The Irish Post business section.

Now based in Kent, Michael returns to Ireland several times a year. He is a fan of Irish folk music and has a love of Irish poetry – in particular the work of Belfast poet Louis Macneice.

Nicola McLaughlin SENIOR PARTNER, KEOGHS LLP Nicola joined Bolton-based Keoghs in 1986, becoming a partner just three years later. Nicola joined the liability fraud team last year, but

brings nearly 30 years’ experience in defendant personal injury litigation including handling complex and catastrophic liability

cases to the table. During her career, she has dealt with some high profile fraud cases and has assisted clients in forming strategies to combat

Gráinne Mellon BARRISTER, 36 BEDFORD ROW As a 2013 co-chair of the London Irish Lawyers Association, Gráinne specialises in public and employment law.

Expert in human rights law and committed to her pro bono work, she makes time to volunteer for The Women’s Equality Network, Liberty, the

Free Representation Unit and Bail for Immigration Detainees. Gráinne graduated from Trinity College Dublin and has a Masters in Public International

Law from the London School of Economics where she was also awarded the 11 KBW Award for Human Rights Law. Before coming to the bar Grainne clerked in the International Criminal Court.

Oonagh Murphy PRINCIPAL SOLICITOR, EMERALD LAW Emerald Law Solicitors was founded in 2009 by Co. Armagh native Oonagh Murphy. The general practice law firm, based in Liverpool

city centre, is a family run practice comprising of four Irish solicitors who are supported by an excellent team of Liverpudlian staff.

A honours graduate of Law with Economics from the University of Ulster, Jordanstown, Oonagh – who is a big GAA fan – worked in

Clare Murray MANAGING PARTNER, CM MURRAY & CO Named a ‘super lawyer’ in a 2013 list published by Thomson Reuters, Clare has achieved a huge degree of achievement to date.

As founder of CM Murray LLP, she specialises in employment and partnership law. Her areas of expertise

include handling sensitive HR issues in the City, including difficult boardroom disputes and discrimination issues. Clare’s father hails from

1988, and subsequently in England and Wales in 1991. He co-founded Kerman & Co with Andy Kerman. Daniel trained with William Fry in

Dublin before moving to London in 1988. Daniel is a sporting enthusiast, playing played rugby for both Clanwilliam RFC and Bective

Michael O’Kane PARTNER, PETERS & PETERS A leading criminal cartel lawyer, Michael heads up the Business Crime team at Peters & Peters. After joining the firm in

2002, Michael became a partner in 2004. Before, he was a senior specialist prosecutor at the Crown Prosecution Service

Headquarters. There he was a key member of a team prosecuting serious and high profile fraud and terrorism including the Stansted

the Bar last year Maeve is best known for her tireless pro bono work with survivor advocacy group Justice for Magdalenes, which aims to

secure compensation for survivors of Ireland’s Magdalene Laundries. Educated in University College Dublin, she moved

Mary O’Rourke QC BARRISTER, DEANS COURT CHAMBERS A highly respected and sought-after specialist in professional discipline, clinical negligence and employment law, Mary is

ranked by Chambers & Partners and in the Legal 500. She showed early promise, winning Professional Discipline Junior of the Year

in the Chambers & Partners Bar Awards of 2008 before taking silk in 2009 having been called to the bar in 1981. She divides her time between

and trusts work and charity law in 1994. Cliona read law at University College Dublin. She qualified as a solicitor in Ireland in

1977 and subsequently sat examinations with the Irish Taxation Institute. Cliona is founder and president of the Irish Solicitors Bar

Ronan O’Sullivan PARTNER, PAUL HASTINGS A Trinity College graduate Ronan attended Oxford where he achieved first class honours. Since 2010, he has been the chair of the London

office of international law firm Paul Hastings and vice chair of the firm’s global Corporate Department. His practice focus is capital

markets and corporate finance. Born and raised in Dublin, Ronan’s pastimes are all sport related – most

stateside in 2010 to study at Harvard Law School. This year, she was selected as the Jordan Publishing Family Law Awards 2013 Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year. She enjoys playing the fiddle in her spare time.

Belfast, London and Manchester. She is on the GB Executive Board of Cooperation Ireland. A selfconfessed “sports nut”, Mary is a Manchester United season ticket holder.

Cliona O’Tuama FOUNDER, CLIONA O’TUAMA SOLICITOR Known as one of the leading experts on British-Irish tax planning, Cliona O’Tuama set up her own private law firm specialising in probate, tax

Rangers RFC and has a keen interest in horse racing. He has recently become publican, acquiring Temple Bar which he hopes will provide a sporting venue for the legal profession in the Temple area.

Airport Afghan hijacking. Michael’s mother is from Fermanagh, his father from Co. Derry. Born in London, Michael enjoys spending holidays in Co. Donegal.

Maeve O’Rourke BARRISTER, FOUR PAPER BUILDINGS Despite being one of the youngest entrants on our Legal 50 list, Killiney, Co. Dublin-born Maeve O’Rourke has an enviable CV. Called to

the property department in Wilson Nesbitt Solicitors, Belfast, before moving to Liverpool in 2006 to undertake the Legal Practice Course in the College of Law Chester.

Newbliss, Co. Monaghan while her mother’s family are originally from Clones. When she has the chance, to escape the office she enjoys running, going to the theatre and reading.

Daniel O’Connell MANAGING PARTNER, KERMAN & CO Daniel ‘Donal’ O’Connell was born in Tipperary Town. He studied law at University College Dublin, was admitted as a solicitor in Ireland in

fraud in employers’ and public liability cases. Nicola is a member of the Forum of Insurance Lawyers (FOIL) Rehabilitation Special Interest Group and the Law Society.

Association, which hosts an annual charity Autumn Ball. The charity event has raised over £450,000 for good causes and groups helping children and young people.

especially to cricket, the sport he has represented Ireland at school and university level. He now lives in North Norfolk with his wife Aly and their two children.

Gareth Peirce SENIOR PARTNER, BIRNBERG PEIRCE & PARTNERS Gareth Peirce has been described as a veteran of Irish republican legal battles. In her 30 plus years as a lawyer she has represented

the Guildford Four and the Birmingham Six; the family of Jean Charles de Menezes, and famously thwarted Home Secretary Teresa May’s

efforts to deport her client Abu Qatada. Senior partner at Birnberg Peirce and Partners, Gareth is best known for her work

John Reid MANAGING PARTNER, O’ROURKE REID John holds a BCL Degree and a Diploma in European Law from University College Dublin. Originally admitted as a

solicitor in England and Wales and later in the North of Ireland, John is a founding partner of O’Rourke Reid – a busy law firm whose core

values of integrity, professionalism, originality and passion to succeed are mirrored in John’s own career which has seen him

gain over 26 years’ experience of defendant litigation at all levels. Reid O’Rourke recently sponsored a successful networking event with the British Irish Chamber of Commerce.

Michael Rowe PARTNER, SLAUGHTER AND MAY Educated in two world famous universities – Trinity College Dublin and Christchurch College, Oxford – Michael is involved in

competition practice including merger control cases, as well as cartel investigations. As head of Slaughter & May’s Competition Litigation

practice he has advised global companies such as Unilever, Ingram Micro, BHP Billiton and Thermo Fisher in EU Merger Regulation

Eileen Schofield PARTNER, SCHOFIELD & ASSOCIATES Eileen qualified as a solicitor in 2000 and set up her own practice in 2009 where she advises companies on all aspects of employment law.

She has recently set up a HR division, providing day to day advice to SMEs. Eileen also flies the flag for business with Irish connections and

was the founder member of the West Midlands Irish Business Group. She has just been elected to the position of President of the

has extensive experience in the field of criminal defence, specialising in the area of criminal fraud prosecutions. Sean’s roots are in Inagh, Co.

Clare and his mother’s family came from Mullinavat, Co. Kilkenny. Sean now spends his holidays in Ireland and as a keen golfer he tries to

James Stewart PARTNER, PENNINGTONS MANCHES Hailing from Strabane, Co. Tyrone, family law expert James Stewart is skilled in complex financial cases. Practising as a solicitor in

England and Wales since 1990, and later in the North of Ireland, James has acted in a number of landmark family law cases. He is a member of

the Times Law Panel, an advisory body of Britain’s most prominent lawyers, and is an active member of the peace building charity,

damages for his clients and his career successes have included some groundbreaking Court of Appeal decisions.

Brendan qualified as a solicitor in 1984, joined Stephensons in 1989 and later became a partner in 1991.

Peter Walker PARTNER, A&L GOODBODY In 1999, Dubliner Peter Walker was made a solicitor by the Law Society of Ireland. A promising young talent, he joined A&L Goodbody and

over time proved himself a key player, becoming partner in 2007. Today Peter leverages his skills and experience in the banking and financial

services department in A&L Goodbody’s fast-paced London office. His principal practice areas are asset backed finance

of Ireland. Currently head of Matheson’s London Office, Stanley is a long-standing and respected figure in the corporate market. He advises

on mergers and acquisitions, venture capital, management buyouts and in transactions for private and public limited companies. His illustrious

Nigel Wilson PARTNER, DAVIS POLK Nigel studied Law at Trinity College Dublin before relocating to Britain where he is a valuable member of Davis Polk’s Corporate

Department in London. Over the past 15 years, he has practiced in both London and New York, representing corporate clients and financial

institutions in US domestic and cross-border mergers, acquisitions and capital markets transactions and has been active in the formation

He is a member of the Solicitors Regulation Authority’s Personal Injury Accreditation Scheme and specialises in high value accident claims, including brain damage.

debt capital markets, private equity finance, general banking and restructurings. Peter enjoys the cultural scene in the capital with Tate Britain is one of his favourite galleries.

Stanley Watson PARTNER, MATHESON Born in Dublin, Stanley was educated in Rathgar and went on to study at University College Dublin and the Incorporated Law Society

coincide his time in there with the Waterford Golf Club Open. He is a fervent Everton supporter. Everton, he says were “the Irish club in this city when my father arrived here in 1947.”

Co-operation Ireland, being recently appointed to the GB Executive Board. James was a boarder at Coleraine Academical Institution and has undertaken a fundraising climb of Mount Kilimanjaro.

Brendan Treanor PARTNER, STEPHENSONS A partner with Lancashire firm Stephensons, over the years Brendan has successfully recovered many millions of pounds in

reviews. Michael is ranked as a leader in Competition/ European law by Chambers 2013. A fan of languages he speaks French and continues to improve his Spanish.

Birmingham Law Society for 2014. Born in Britain, her parents are originally from Co. Roscommon. A talented Irish dancer and musician, she was part of family band The Michaelites.

Sean Sexton FOUNDING PARTNER, MSB SOLICITORS Born in Liverpool, Sean graduated from Durham University and qualified as a solicitor in 1984. He was the founding partner of MSB and

and advocacy in high-profile cases involving miscarriages of justice. Gareth was educated at Cheltenham Ladies’ College, the University of Oxford and the London School of Economics.

client list includes AIB, Alchemy Partners and Electra Partners and Legal & General Ventures. No wonder, the expression “There are not enough hours in the day” is one he uses often.

and operation of Davis Polk’s Global Technology Group. Professional highlights include working with international companies such as Aer Lingus, BSkyB, Getty Images, Kerry Group and Ocado.


Tel: 0151 281 9040

Dedication is key to success Serving the Irish community for over 25 years, Liverpool-based solicitors MSB have found the secret to continued expansion in uncertain times


iverpool-based MSB Solicitors, a law firm who act for clients across Britain, have been in business since 1988, serving the needs of the Irish community nationwide for the last 25 years. Sean Sexton, the founding partner, gives the background to the company’s success. “We’ve had 25 years of steady growth,” he says. “Within the company that has been organic, in that trainees we recruited many years ago are now partners and imbued with the firm’s ethos. That continuity of staff has led to the retention of clients and long term relationships.” For Sean there’s a simple formula to MSB’s on-going success. “We have a dedicated team, who know our clients well and are at the very top of their field of expertise,” he says. “As well as bringing on our own trainees, we’ve recruited partners from large regional firm backgrounds — we now offer a full service to our business clients.” “People often ask me, ‘What do you actually do?’. Well, it’s always hard to explain everything you do but our business could be summed up with the three letters ‘R. T. E.’ “Review... of any contract, document, will, estate planning and updates where required. Transactions... we can deal with any transaction whether it be buying or selling

We opened our flagship city office... when other companies were downsizing Sean Sexton, Founding Partner

a business, house, commercial property, land at a fixed fee agreed in advance. Events... we look after our clients’ interests when outside events turn their lives upside down, such as revenue investigations, litigation or family breakdown.” MSB have made a substantial investment in IT and new technology. “I can remember seeing my very first fax come through,” says Sean. “Now of course we have complex legal software and instant interactive communication with our clients.” MSB has steadily expanded its office space as well. “We opened our flagship city office three years ago to expand our commercial work at a time when other companies were down-sizing,” says Sean. “We have been LEXCEL accredited since 2009. The Lexcel practice management standard is only awarded to solicitors who meet the highest management and customer care standards. He adds: “Lexcel accredited practices undergo rigorous independent assessment every year to ensure they meet required standards of excellence in areas such as client care, case management and risk management. Less than 15 per cent of law firms have attained this standard.” MSB has also been awarded ABS status. “This means we can now partner with other professionals whose services sit well

with ours — insurance brokers, insolvency practitioners and surveyors” explains Sean. MSB has recently partnered with AXA Insurance to provide unique, affordable management liability as well as directors and officers liability insurance cover for British companies, their directors and officers, as well as clubs and associations. “In essence this means that if you face an unexpected Revenue, Environment Agency, HSE investigation or employment tribunal, at least you will not have to worry about the legal costs of defending your position,” says Sean. “This really is a unique selling point for us. The product is brand new and offers important protection for companies and equally importantly, their directors and senior management. Risk is ever present in all businesses now and people need to protect themselves and their businesses. “If a company is charged with, for instance, corporate manslaughter, it is highly likely that individual members of senior management will be charged too.” Sean has particular experience in dealing with HMRC, Environment Agency and VOSA investigations and prosecutions, and is particularly successful when consulted at the outset of the investigation in preventing such investigations turning into prosecutions. His over-riding philosophy is to try to win the case in the interview room, not the courtroom. Sean has many years’ experience of defending individuals who are prosecuted for serious and complex fraud throughout Britain and has been a member of the Specialist Fraud Panel since 2003. His clients are not just based in England but include many from the North of Ireland. Sean has this month also been recognised in The Irish Post’s Legal50 as one of the leading Irish lawyers practising in Britain. Away from the office Sean enjoys supporting Everton Football Club and playing golf. “My father Michael Joe, from Clare, was a lifelong Everton supporter,” he says. “He came to England in 1947 to work on the construction sites. Back then Everton was the big Irish team, and I’ve remained a staunch supporter. My mother is from Kilkenny and we still go home for our holidays to her father’s home place near Mullinavat.”

Notable cases

Sean has represented clients for many years on a nationwide basis who face disqualification from driving, either as a result of speeding, other motoring offences or drink driving. Sean was the first lawyer to be called“the loophole lawyer” by the media. In 1991, Sean achieved national prominence as a solicitor when he discovered a loophole in drink driving legislation. Sean was also instructed by the parents

of James Bulger in 1993 following James’ abduction and murder by two 10-year-old boys in a case which attracted worldwide media attention. Sean dealt with the media on behalf of James’ parents, was instrumental in setting up the James Bulger Memorial Trust and since then has represented James’ mother, Denise, throughout the tortuous process of the various appeals made by James’ killers. This culminated in Sean being one of the handful of solicitors who has personally addressed the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. The representations made by him culminated in the Government introducing the right for victims of crime to make victim impact statements prior to sentencing.

Our aim is to provide business owners with constructive, practical and cost effective advice Neil Kelly

Sean has represented numerous clients in high profile cases subsequently. In 2011, Sean successfully represented the director of a pharmaceutical wholesale company in what was described as the largest pharmaceutical fraud ever prosecuted in the European Union.



he Residential Development and Plot Sales team is headed by Neil Kelly and comprises a team who deal with

the acquisition of residential development sites, planning agreements and conditions, adoption agreements and all aspects of residential site set up. “I’m basically head of the commercial real estate section at MSB,” Neil says. “It’s obviously a very big part of our business, particularly with property coming back into the picture. Liverpool certainly seems back in fashion to invest in, so obviously we can use our expertise across the board, whether its hotels or student accommodation.” He added: “MSB has a designated team of experienced solicitors and legal executives who act on behalf of developers in connection with their plot sales.” The company provides an efficient and cost effective service to clients who include Urban Splash, Stewart Milne Homes and numerous other developers. The team is also recommended to purchasers by developers including Redrow, Bellway, Lovells and Morris Homes.

Business sales and purchases

MSB acts for many private companies, family businesses and entrepreneurs providing advice on all aspects of corporate work including sales and disposals, corporate finance and shareholder and joint venture arrangements. They also have particular expertise in the technology sector. “Our aim is to provide business owners with constructive, practical and cost effective advice,” Neil says. Neil, whose grandparents are from Co. Cavan, qualified as a solicitor in 1989. He provides advice on all aspects of corporate work including sales and disposals, corporate finance, shareholder and joint venture arrangements. He joined MSB in 2010 and has advised clients for over 20 years having trained and spent many years working as a partner in the corporate department at Weightmans and latterly at the commercial law firm CFK Legal. Away from the office his interests are running, music and Everton Football Club. “No, it’s not a prerequisite of working here that you have to support Everton,” jokes Neil. “We even have a few Liverpool supporters working for us!” Wavertree MSB House, 20-22 Tapton Way, Wavertree Business Village, Liverpool L13 1DA

Contact MSB Telephone: 0151 281 9040 Email:

Allerton 17 Allerton Road, Allerton, Liverpool L18 1LG City Centre Silkhouse Court, Tithebarn Street, Liverpool L2 2LZ

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