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A&L Goodbody continued to be highly active in merger clearance work, with practice head Vincent Power advising UDG Healthcare on the Irish and EU aspects of the sale of its pharmaceutical distribution business to McKesson. Alan McCarthy and Anna-Marie Curran’s varied caseload includes market investigations and advice on state aid issues.

Richard Ryan now leads Arthur Cox’s practice, following the retirement of John Meade and Pat O’Brien. Recent work for Ryan, who ‘cuts through the jargon’, includes representing Irish Cement in an investigation by the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) into the bagged cement sector, as well as advising Paddy Power on the merger control aspects of its tie-up with Betfair.

At Mason Hayes & Curran, practice head Niall Collinsknows and works well with regulators’. He advised McKesson on the merger control aspects of its acquisition of the pharmaceutical distribution business of UDG Healthcare. Maureen O’Neill is assisting the government with the competition and state aid aspects of its delivery of high speed broadband.

Matheson features strongly in sectors such as financial services, insurance, TMT, and transport. The team is advising ITV on obtaining three Irish competition and regulatory clearances concerning its acquisition of UTV Ireland’s television business. Helen Kelly’s practice encompasses the most significant state aid matters.

McCann FitzGerald has ‘excellent industry knowledge’, having advised on significant mergers in the retail and TMT sectors, among others. Commercial litigator Rosaleen Byrne – of whom clients say, ‘nothing fazes her’ – has been defending Readymix/Cemex Ireland in cartel litigation before the Supreme Court. Practice head Philip Andrews is ‘top class’. Damian Collins retired.

William Fry’s ‘broad team’ includes practice head Cormac Little and Claire Waterson, who are ‘very knowledgeable and have a good relationship with the regulatory authorities’. Waterson advised the Commission for Communications Regulation on an appeal by Vodafone over two decisions regarding mobile termination rates. State aid expert Sheila Tormey shows ‘excellent attention to detail’.

At Eversheds Sutherland, practice head Sean Ryan provides ‘very clear advice’ on merger clearances and recently advised System Dynamics on its acquisition by Deloitte. The team also assists with dawn raids.

LK Shields Solicitors’ team is led by Marco Hickey, whose ‘huge amount of international experience is useful for both local and international acquisitions’. Hickey is acting for Newstalk 106 in a state aid complaint relating to government funding of RTÉ.

Philip Lee’s team is led by founding partner Philip Lee, who is well known for advising public bodies on the competition and state aid aspects of procurement matters. The team also handles competition litigation and merger clearance work for clients such as Ryanair.

Hayes Solicitors provides general competition advice to public and regulatory bodies such as the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland. The ‘prompt and responsiveDavid Phelan and litigator Joseph O’Malley are key contacts.

At Ronan Daly Jermyn, Diarmaid Gavin advises on merger controls, dawn raids and state aid. Recent work includes advising Musgrave Group on its acquisition of CJ O’Laughlin & Sons. Finola McCarthy leads on procurement work.

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Legal Developments in Ireland

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