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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 > Healthcare and life sciences > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


Index of tables

  1. Healthcare and life sciences
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next Generation Partners

Next Generation Partners

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Cliona Christle and David Widger lead the team at A&L Goodbody; clients range from hospitals and clinicians to large listed corporations and emergent biopharmaceutical companies. Christle leads the healthcare side of the practice; she is acting for Baxter in a product liability claim relating to the swine flu vaccination. In the life sciences sector, Widger, Ronan Lyons and New York-based Alan Casey were active in M&A transactions and corporate restructurings, advising Prothena Corporation on an innovative collaboration agreement with Celgene and Nabriva Therapeutics on its redomiciliation from Austria to Ireland.

At Arthur Cox, Colin Kavanagh is active on the life sciences side; his recent highlights include advising medical device manufacturer CR Bard on the Irish aspects of its acquisition by Becton Dickinson. In the healthcare space, product liability specialist Isabel Foley is defending TÜV Rheinland LGA Products against claims that it inadequately conducted assessments of the product conformity of breast implants, and Joanelle O’Cleirigh is acting for clients such as the Irish Blood Transfusion Service on a range of matters. Senior associate Ciara Farrell is noted for her regulatory and compliance expertise.

The team at Byrne Wallace is noted for 'its superior level of knowledge, appreciation and understanding of the pharmaceutical industry'. Colin Sainsbury, who is able to 'sort through the complexities of cross-border transactions and to navigate the nuances of Irish corporate law', leads the life sciences side of the practice; he recently advised Amryt Pharma on an in-licence agreement for novel gene therapy treatment from University College Dublin. Newly promoted partner Brendan Gavin and 'stand-out' senior associate Catherine Dowling are also noted. On the healthcare side, Sinead Kearney ('a true innovator and very effective advocate'); Olive Doyle ('a thoughtful, expert practitioner'); and Marie Kinsella are key contacts.

Mason Hayes & Curran's team is 'direct, knowledgeable, flexible and can always be relied on'. On the healthcare side, Kevin Power handles high-profile clinical negligence litigation; he also represented Allergan in product liability litigation. Martin Kelleher leads the life sciences practice; his recent highlights include advising Sam McCauley Chemists on the sale of the company and its 32 subsidiaries. The 'responsive and helpful' David Mangan, who acted for KCK in Mainstay Medical's 2018 placing, and senior associate Conall Geraghty ('excellent at handling difficult negotiations') are also noted.

Matheson is 'the go-to practice for complex, high-profile and sensitive cases', with 'an agile team with exceptionally strong insight into clients' needs'. Tom Hayes leads the healthcare and life sciences group; he and 'legal supernova' Rebecca Ryan, who is praised for her 'innovation' and 'warm intelligence', specialise in defending clinical practitioners against medical negligence claims, as well as handling product liability litigation. Michael Finn focuses on the regulation and commercialisation of medical products and devices and on disputes in the life sciences and medical technology sectors, including contentious IP matters.

William Fry represents a number of leading global pharmaceutical companies and is noted for its strength in large-scale litigation in the life sciences sector, particularly patent litigation. Laura Scott leads the life sciences side of the practice; she recently acted for a global pharmaceutical company in Commercial Court patent revocation proceedings. On the healthcare side, Fiona Barry and Sinead Keavey represented a medical professionals' organisation in a series of clinical negligence cases, in addition to acting for medical practitioners in fitness to practise inquiries.

The team at DAC Beachcroft Dublin is noted for its 'knowledge, conscientiousness and commitment to the client'. Key areas of work include defending medical sector clients (ranging from doctors to cosmetic clinics and pharmacies) against clinical negligence claims, representing insurers in professional liability cases, and providing regulatory advice to professional associations. Consultant Niamh McKeever leads the practice; she is singled out for her 'expertise and wise counsel'. Gary Rice is also highly active in this area.

Tony McGovern heads the life sciences practice at Eversheds Sutherland; he advised on a number of high-profile transactions in the sector, including acting for an inhaled treatments developer on the acquisition of the nebuliser division business and assets of a German company. The team also handles matters including development agreements and clinical trials. Aisling Gannon leads the healthcare side of the practice, advising private hospitals, nursing homes, primary care centres and public sector bodies on contentious and non-contentious matters.

The team at Hayes Solicitors is known for its expertise in clinical negligence defence, as well as its strong record in professional discipline work in the healthcare sector. Practice head Mary Hough specialises in high-value catastrophic injury claims; other recommended lawyers are Caroline Crowley, Louise O’Rourke and Kevin Dunne, who heads the healthcare regulatory team. The Medical Protection Society, the State Claims Agency and Dental Protection are key clients.

Kennedys' team is 'always available for discussion, minus the legal jargon, with a common-sense approach to cases' and has 'a wide breadth of talent that extends in a meaningful way to a number of jurisdictions'. Practice head Joanne O’Sullivan, who is qualified in the UK and Ireland, is known for her expertise in medical negligence defence and inquest cases; she is 'keen to strategise well in advance of trial to ensure the best results possible for her clients'. Senior associate Grace Keegan, who joined from Matheson, is praised for her 'client-specific, clear and concise advice'.

McCann FitzGerald's strengths in the life sciences sector lie in product liability and IP matters. Practice head Roddy Bourke is acting for German pharmaceutical company Grunenthal in a matter concerning claims relating to the thalidomide drug and is acting for GlaxoSmithKline in a series of claims stemming from the swine flu vaccination. IP expert Fiona O’Beirne is acting for originator pharmaceutical group Gilead in two Commercial Court actions brought against generics companies. David Lydon and newly promoted partner Shane O’Brien are also noted.

Ronan Daly Jermyn's healthcare and life sciences team stands out for its 'breadth and depth of practice' and 'knowledge of the sector and stakeholders'. In the healthcare space, Galway-based Padraic Brennan and Imelda Tierney, who are 'highly specialised and impressive', are noted for their work defending public and private hospitals against medical negligence claims, particularly in catastrophic birth injury cases. Cork-based Gillian Keating leads the life sciences side of the practice; Diarmaid Gavin advised Genesis Automation on an equity investment by a specialist investor in European healthcare; and Galway-based JP Gilmartin 'can bring an excellent efficiency to transactions'.

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Legal Developments in Ireland

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