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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 > Insurance > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


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A&L Goodbody is highly active on high-end non-contentious mandates, including Laura Mulleady handling Carlyle Cardinal Ireland's acquisition of AA Ireland and its subsidiaries from AA Corporation and practice head James Grennan assisting XL Group with its re-domiciliation to Bermuda. Contentious specialist Liam Kennedy focuses on crisis management.

Arthur Cox’s team has ‘a strong and quiet style’ and handles the full range of corporate, regulatory and transactional insurance work. In one highlight, Elizabeth Bothwell acted for Barclays on the sale of Barclays Insurance (Dublin) and Barclays Assurance (Dublin) to Monument Re. David O’Donohoe and Joanelle O’Cleirigh are ‘very professional’ litigators.

Matheson is a popular choice for ‘more complicated’ litigation, with ‘excellent negotiatorSharon Daly and ‘technically excellentApril McClements active in a range of high-value claims for the likes of AIB and Aviva. On the non-contentious side, Darren Maher advised Harcourt Life on the acquisition of AXA Life Europe’s offshore bond business.

At McCann FitzGerald, the ‘very service-orientatedDarragh Murphy handles regulatory and transactional work for key clients such as MetLife Group. On the contentious side, David Hurley represents the State Claims Agency in defending tortious proceedings, and Roddy Bourke has significant experience in advising on D&O policies for insurer and insured.

At William Fry, practice head John Larkin, whose ‘industry knowledge is second to none’, has ‘built a strong team around him’ that includes Eoin Caulfield and associate Niall Campbell. The team advised Fairfax Financial Holdings and others on the acquisition of Allied World Assurance. In the disputes space, Fiona Barry defends medical negligence claims.

DAC Beachcroft Dublin’s ‘efficient and focused’ team handles a strong contentious caseload for clients such as Zurich Insurance. The ‘decisiveJames Colville was highly active in the personal injury insurance fraud space, and Noreen Howard defended a number of clinical negligence claims. Katie da Gama heads the practice.

At Dillon Eustace, Kieran Cowhey and John O’Riordan’s ‘perseverance and resilience’ secured a favourable result for the Motor Insurers’ Bureau of Ireland in a Supreme Court case arising from the collapse of Setanta Insurance Company. Andrew Bates is ‘very strong on new regulatory developments’.

At Eversheds Sutherland, medical negligence specialist Aisling Gannon, who has ‘superb industry knowledge’, and Jim Trueick and Stephen Barry, who focuses on professional indemnity (PI) work, are the names to note for contentious matters. Non-contentious head Peter Fahy specialises in bulk annuity and captive annuity transactions.

Mason Hayes & Curran’s wide-ranging claims practice excels in sectors such as construction, education and health. Names to note include the ‘insightfulAilbhe Gilvarry, the ‘very determined and consistentRachel Kavanagh, and senior associate Deirdre Munnelly. Fionán Breathnach joined Simmons & Simmons' newly opened Dublin office in March 2018.

Ronan Daly Jermyn acts for the majority of insurers in the Irish market including RSA Insurance and QBE. PI is a particular area of expertise, although the team also advises on most other insurance lines. In Cork, managing partner Richard Martin, Fergus Long and John Buckley are all noted for their ‘attention to detail and experience’.

BLM is ‘a market leader in insurance litigation’, with the sizeable team defending a high volume of personal injury claims for clients such as Aviva Insurance. Practice head Gavin Campbellleads by example’, Rhona McGrathis well respected in the courts’, and Nessa O’Roartydisplays excellent judgement’. ‘Detailed and thorough’ associate Garrett Cormican joined from Beale & Company.

Beale & Company provides ‘a professional, practical and personable’ service for PI claims, and has a particular focus on defending architects, engineers and solicitors. Tara Cosgrove, Sarah Conroy and Niamh Loughran ‘all have strong technical ability’.

Insurance boutique Corrigan & Corrigan provides defence litigation services to the insurance industry, private clients and the public sector. Name partner Michael Corrigan heads the practice.

At Eugene F. Collins, ‘creative and insightful’ practice head Garrett Miller has ‘an in-depth knowledge of insurance legislation’ and advises clients such as Automobile Association Ireland on non-contentious issues. Terry Leggett and Margaret Austin were active for insurers and insureds in the professional negligence space.

Hayes Solicitors’ ‘excellent general liability’ team is prominent in the healthcare sector, where it defended a high volume of claims for the State Claims Agency. ‘Leading practitionerMary Hough heads the team.

At Holmes O'Malley Sexton, Limerick-based head of practice Robert Kennedy focuses on defending personal injury claims with a particular emphasis on catastrophic injury cases. The team is also active in the PI space.

Kennedys further developed its offering with the hire of healthcare specialist Joanne O’Sullivan. Other key figures are the ‘very capable’ Daniel Scanlon, whose caseload takes in niche areas such as defamation and data privacy, and PI specialist Noel Devins.

LK Shields Solicitors’ strength in PI work incorporates a specialty in defending solicitors. The practice was also highly active in negligence claims arising in the real estate sector. Practice head Michael Kavanagh, Shane Neville and Ciarán Markey are key contacts.

At Maples and Calder, practice head Peter Lennon has particular expertise in the defence of insurance brokerage professional negligence claims. The team handles work for a number of major insurers, including Aviva Europe.

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