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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


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At A&L Goodbody, Cliona Christle is ‘a really capable pair of hands with a great ability to look at matters in an innovative way’; Christle is representing the State Claims Agency in the defence of High Court claims arising out of the historic practice of symphysiotomy. The practice has a significant following in the life sciences sector and in one highlight acted for SK Biotek on the purchase of Bristol-Myers Squibb’s pharmaceutical ingredients manufacturing plant. Corporate specialist David Widger is the other main contact.

Arthur Cox’s ‘very wide and complete practice’ is led on the life sciences side by Colin Kavanagh, who advised Bristol-Myers Squibb on the sale of its pharmaceutical ingredients manufacturing plant to SK Biotek. In the healthcare litigation space, the team focuses on product liability work: Joanelle O’Cleirigh is advising the Irish Blood Transfusion Service on issues arising from defects in a device used to measure haemoglobin levels, and ‘superb tacticianIsabel Foley is defending various medical devices manufacturers in personal injury claims.

ByrneWallace wins praise for its ‘depth of industry knowledge’, with life sciences practice head Colin Sainsbury singled out for his knowledge of the pharmaceutical sector. Sainsbury, who ‘outlines options clearly’, advises Q3 Medical Devices on a number of commercial and clinical trial agreements. Also on the life sciences side, senior associates Catherine Dowling and Brendan Gavin are ‘thorough, diligent and timely’. Sinéad Kearney leads on healthcare and childcare matters and regularly represents the Health Service Executive (HSE) in contentious matters.

Mason Hayes & Curran’s healthcare team is ‘tactically on top of the game’, with former surgeon Kevin Powerskilled at giving very complex regulatory advice in a very understandable, commercial manner’. Power successfully obtained a €7.1m settlement on behalf of a client who suffered a catastrophic brain injury. Martin Kelleher leads on life sciences work and advised Sigmoid Pharma on a development, licensing and supply agreement for a new pharmaceutical product. John Gleeson left the firm in 2018.

At Matheson, the ‘pragmatic and knowledgeableMichael Finn and

Robert O’Shea, who has ‘deep experience in working with US companies’, handle a range of corporate, IP and litigation-related mandates in the life sciences sector; Finn is defending MBR Optical Systems in an investigation regarding an alleged failure of its medical device to identify blood donors with low haemoglobin levels. In the healthcare space, Tom Hayes and Rebecca Ryan are defending clinical practitioners and their indemnity bodies in medical malpractice and negligence claims.

William Fry is probably best known for its expertise in patent litigation in the pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device fields. Laura Scott, who is ‘on top of the technical detail’, is acting for Boehringer Ingelheim in the defence of patent proceedings brought by Teva Pharmaceutical Industries. The ‘straightforward and clearFiona Barry and the ‘efficientSinead Keavey focus on healthcare litigation for clients such as Royal College of Surgeons. Scott and corporate specialist David Carthy head the practice.

Eversheds Sutherland is particularly recognised in the healthcare sector, where Aisling Gannon’s ‘expertise is second to none’; Gannon provides contentious and non-contentious advice to a range of hospitals, nursing homes, primary care centres and public sector clients. Tony McGovern leads on life sciences work and is assisting Integumen with its listing on AIM.

Hayes Solicitors has ‘one of the best healthcare practices in the country’, with the team able to ‘manage complex litigation in a systematic and methodical way’. Ciarán O’Rorke represented the State Claims Agency in a precedent-setting decision on legal costs following a catastrophic birth injuries claim. The Medical Protection Society is another key client. Practice head Mary Hough is ‘outstanding’ and Caroline Crowley is ‘highly skilled’.

McCann FitzGerald’s expertise in the life sciences sector includes an ‘excellent’ IP team, where litigator Fiona O’Beirne is the main contact, and also considerable depth in the product liability space; Roddy Bourke and David Hurley are defending DePuy International against a multitude of claims arising from an allegedly faulty hip replacement device. The practice also handled a number of significant corporate transactions for clients such as Cardinal Health.

Ronan Daly Jermyn has ‘huge expertise’ in the area of medical negligence claims, with Galway-based Padraic Brennan, Imelda Tierney and Cork-based Fergal Dennehy able to provide ‘excellent pre-trial briefs, which hone in on the crucial issues’. Corporate specialist Gillian Keating, who is also based in Cork, leads on life sciences work. The team advised Bon Secours Health System on its acquisition of Barringtons Hospital in Limerick.

Kennedys’ healthcare offering was strengthened by a number of hires including the UK- and Ireland-qualified Joanne O’Sullivan, who joined from the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust. The ‘proactive and robust’ O’Sullivan was active in the defence of medical negligence claims for private healthcare providers.

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