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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In Europe, Middle East and Africa, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for seven consecutive years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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Ireland > EU and competition > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


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Who Represents Who

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A&L Goodbody takes the lead in most of the significant merger control, investigations, state aid and follow-on damages claims in Ireland. In one example of work practice head Vincent Power, who has ‘great judgement’, advised a multinational pharmaceutical company on a five-day European Commission dawn raid into alleged breaches of Article 102. The sizeable team also includes Alan McCarthy, Micaela Diver, and Anna-Marie Curran, with the latter ‘particularly skilled in handling EU procurement matters’.

McCann FitzGerald is ‘top of the pile due to its length and breadth of experience in Ireland and also in Brussels’. Practice head Philip Andrews, who ‘has a very commercial approach to problem resolution’, acted for the Voluntary Health Insurance Board on the competition aspects of its acquisition of Swiftcare. In the contentious space Catherine Derrig and Rosaleen Byrne have ‘impeccable credentials’ and are defending various truck manufacturers in substantial follow-on damages claims. Another name to note is ‘practical’ senior associate Laura Treacy.

William Fry’s team has ‘a friendly approach while providing hawk-like legal analyses’. The team ‘knows Irish merger control inside out, particularly in relation to financial services’ and in one key deal ‘very flexible’ practice head Cormac Little advised Tesco Ireland on the competition aspects of its acquisition of Tesco Mobile Ireland. In the contentious space the ‘excellentSheila Tormey and procurement specialist Claire Waterson were active in sectors such as telecoms regulation and truck manufacturing. Senior associate Sarah Lynam is ‘one to watch’.

Arthur Cox impresses with its ‘business knowledge’, and handled investigations in a variety of sectors including private motor insurance, bagged cement, and concert and event ticketing. Practice head Richard Ryan, who is ‘a strategic thinker’, advised on the competition aspects of a number of significant mergers, and also assisted RTÉ with the formation of a joint venture with the Gaelic Athletic Association. State aid specialist Florence Loric is ‘quick to understand very complex aspects of electricity markets’.

At Mason Hayes & Curran, practice head Niall Collins, who has ‘excellent technical knowledge’, is advising Fane Valley on the competition element of its joint venture for the acquisition of Slaney Foods. Collins was also busy in the contentious space where his work included defending CNH Industrial and others in a follow-on damages action. Senior associate Tara Kelly joined from Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP. Maureen O’Neill left the firm.

Matheson is particularly noted for its expertise in the telecoms sector, where ‘tenacious’ practice head Helen Kelly is ‘very strong in relation to regulatory matters’. The media sector is another specialty and Kelly advises News UK on the competition aspects of its acquisition of Wireless Group. Contentious work included representing the Irish Brokers Association in relation to the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission’s (CCPC) investigation into the motor insurance sector. Newly promoted partner Kate McKenna is ‘extremely knowledgeable and technically excellent’.

Eversheds Sutherland was highly active in the merger filings space, where work included acting for Pimco Funds Ireland on the sale of its interest in several significant commercial property assets. The team also handles dawn raids and other contentious work. Sean Ryan heads the practice.

LK Shields Solicitors has expertise in sectors such as energy, media and manufacturing; ‘very responsive’ practice head Marco Hickey acted for Bemis Company on the competition aspects of its acquisition of the medical device packaging operations of SteriPack Group. Hickey also assisted Scania with the European Commission’s investigation into truck manufacturing.

Philip Lee is probably best known for its state aid expertise, with name partner Philip Lee able to provide ‘innovative solutions to problems’. The team was bolstered by the hire of new department head Ronan Dunne, who joined from McCann FitzGerald. The ‘professional and extremely affable’ Dunne and Lee provided ongoing state aid advice to the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland concerning finance granted to projects in the energy sector.

Beauchamps’ ‘growing presence’ in this practice area manifested itself in the hire of new practice head Dorit McCann, who joined from Carson McDowell. McCann ‘knows the regulators inside-out, has a wealth of experience in cross-border mergers and holds her own with the best of competition litigators’.

ByrneWallace enters the rankings following the arrival of Joanne Finn and her team from Eugene F. Collins. Recent work for the ‘intellectually impressive’ Finn includes merger control, procurement and state aid advice.

At Ronan Daly Jermyn’s Cork office, the ‘calm and thoroughDiarmaid Gavin is ‘very knowledgeable on merger control matters’. Finola McCarthy leads on procurement work.

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