Firm Profile > Eugene F. Collins > Dublin, Ireland

Eugene F. Collins

Banking and finance Tier 2

Eugene F. Collins is noted for its strength in real estate finance, and has been highly active advising on projects in the residential and social housing, student accommodation, and hotels and leisure sectors. Other areas of expertise include corporate finance, derivatives, loan sales and purchases, and debt restructuring, and the team has seen an increasing amount of project finance work in the renewable energy sector. Practice head Libby Garvey has extensive experience advising on loan sale transactions and lending to alternative investment funds.


Libby Garvey is the key person for our firm’s transactions. She is supported by a strong team, including standout associate Sarah Breen, who has shown the capability to lead transactions successfully.

Key clients

Bank of Ireland

Allied Irish Banks

National Asset Management Agency

KBC Bank Ireland

Finance Ireland Credit Solutions Designated Activity Company

Westmont Hospitality Group

Applegreen and Petrogas Group

Kepak Group

Ardan Advisory/Mercantile Group

Tifco Group

O’Callaghan Hotels Group

Magnet Group

Prim Ed Publishing

Karshan Group

Danske Bank

Home Building Finance Ireland

Commercial, corporate and M&A Tier 2

Eugene F. Collins' 'very practical team' has developed a niche expertise in the hotels and leisure sector, where it has advised on several high-profile recent transactions, and is also strong in retail, energy, pharmaceuticals and financial services. The team's client base includes multinational and major domestic companies, as well as start-ups, which it advises on the full range of corporate matters, including M&A, management buyouts, reorganisations, private equity and foreign direct investment, and shareholders' agreements. 'Problem-solving' and 'positive' team head Deborah Kelly has particular expertise in the life sciences and energy sectors; Leonora Malone has extensive experience in M&A, restructuring and cross-border transactions; Gerard Coll handles domestic and cross-border M&A; and Nicola McGrath specialises in private equity investments.


Eugene F. Collins understand and concentrate their focus on the key aspects of the deal that are important to us as clients.

I find the team very approachable and understanding, and very practical in guiding us through the process. I always felt very comfortable picking up the phone to any of the team and walking through complex legal documents in layman’s terms.

All my experiences with Eugene F. Collins, and particularly with Deborah Kelly and solicitor Niall Marren, have been superb. They are not only extremely responsive but they bring a problem-solving, value-adding approach to every assignment, no matter the size. In addition they have great resilience to see a project through to completion.

Deborah Kelly’s positive, can-do attitude, attention to detail and commercial approach to matters has been the driving force in getting the deal over the line. She gives excellent and clear advice which is value adding and she is always available to clients and advisers alike. There are no issues which can’t be resolved when Deborah is on the team – she is problem solving and thinks outside the box.

Key clients

Johnson & Johnson


Marks & Spencer

BMW Ireland


Mercantile Group


New Look

Applegreen PLC

BOC Gases

Inditex (includes Zara, Massimo Dutti, Bershka and Pull & Bear)

Rosderra Irish Meat Group

Arkphire Ireland

Seroba Life Sciences


Dispute resolution Tier 2

Eugene F. Collins is active in litigation across a wide range of areas, including financial services litigation, product liability claims and an increasing number of high-profile property disputes. The team also has expertise in professional negligence litigation, with additional experience in professional regulation. Maura Connolly, who is strong in employment and regulatory matters, leads the practice jointly with the 'star' Caoilfhionn Ní Chuanacháin, whose areas of expertise include professional negligence claims and cross-border financial services and funds litigation. Other key contacts are Ronan O’Neill, who specialises in banking litigation and medical regulatory matters; the 'very approachable and calm' David Cantrell; and Rachel Shanley, who focuses on media and defamation cases.


The practice has a broad base of experience.’

The firm has an approachable and collaborative style that encourages open and frank discussions at all times. They possess excellent litigation skills. The one item that stands out is client management – they are available, open and willing to listen to the client and actively engage the in-house counsel as part of the overall strategy.

Caoilfhionn Ní Chuanacháin stands out for commerciality and the ability to take a pragmatic approach to issues. Caoilfhionn is also fantastic at cutting through the issues to get to the point and in bringing the client through the process. More than anything she is available and you know that you are in a safe pair of hands when she is representing you.

Maura Connolly is always on top of the brief and ensures a high standard of service level is maintained across the team.’

They have a depth of Commercial Court experience and ready access to the extensive expertise of their other departments to assist when necessary. They take the time to understand my business as a whole and not just the piece of litigation in front of them.

I would single Caoilfhionn Ní Chuanacháin out as a star. She never fails to impress. She is client focused and will always go above and beyond to ensure the best possible outcome.

A very effective team which is very responsive to client needs and effective at securing practical and commercial solutions for its clients.

Caoilfhionn Ní Chuanacháin is an excellent litigator – aggressive in protecting her client’s interests yet practical in seeking to secure cost-effective results.

Straight talking, easy to deal with, listen to the client.

Can-do approach, take views of client on board, excellent knowledge.

Extremely pleasant and easy to deal with, even on tricky and complicated issues. Extremely consistent, responsive and sound in their advice but still highly cognisant of commercial drivers. An all-round safe pair of hands.

David Cantrell is very approachable and calm. He thinks through and sticks with our agreed strategy despite the many moving elements.’

Eugene F Collins are unique as litigators in that they achieve great results while carefully managing litigation risk. One of the most impressive features about EFC is that they know when and on what terms to settle cases. I really trust their advice and their experience.

Strong team, very responsive and good commercial acumen.

Pragmatic and commercial. Accessible. Willing to go the extra mile.

Very approachable, excellent skills, pragmatic approach to difficult issues.

Key clients

Grant Thornton

JD Sports

Vodafone Retail (Ireland) Limited

BMW (Automotive (Ireland) and BMW (AG))

Health Products Regulatory Authority

Danske Bank A/S

Takeda Pharmaceutical Ireland

KBC Bank

Bank of Ireland

Marks and Spencer

Joint Official Liquidators of DD Growth Premium Master Fund (In Liquidation)

Sky UK Limited

Bank of Scotland Plc

ACC Loan Management Limited

Capita Asset Services

Zurich Bank

Investec Bank

KBC Bank Ireland

Danske Bank A/S

Bank of Ireland

Bank of Ireland (UK) Limited

Allied Irish Banks, plc

IBRC Limited (In Special Liquidation)

Red Flag Consulting Limited

Whirlpool SSC Limited

Employment Tier 2

Eugene F. Collins' employment practice acts for employers and senior executives on both contentious and advisory matters. The firm works on issues at the cutting edge of employment law, including representing Karshan Midlands in a case related to the status of workers in the "gig economy"; advising Tifco Group on zero-hours contracts; and representing PwC in a legal action brought under the Data Protection Act. The practice is headed by the 'extremely effective' Maura Connolly. David Cantrell heads the immigration group. Tríona Sugrue is now with A&L Goodbody.


‘The employment law team in Eugene F. Collins offers highly practical and effective advice to its clients and there is no doubt but that its clients are receiving a very high-quality service.  Eugene F. Collins is clearly very knowledgeable of all the legal complexities in respect to employment law but is also very adept at advising on the difficult correspondence which in my opinion is an area in which solicitors firms can often struggle.’

‘I find that the team have a very practical and organised approach to employment matters. The team work with a very solid understanding of both employment law in theory and the practical application of these principles.’

‘The two individuals I would recommend are Maura Connolly and Kate Field. Maura Connolly is extremely effective in dealing with large and sometimes difficult clients by, at the same time, keeping them happy whilst also ensuring that they pursue the best course of action available to them. Kate Field is highly astute, pragmatic, knowledgeable and is able to communicate extremely well with clients. She exercises excellent judgement and is a very accomplished employment lawyer who gives her clients a very well rounded and effective service.’

‘The Employment law department is very well-organised and administered. For counsel, it provides excellent client-centred instructions and supports. Briefs well-organised and issues well identified. The employment team has a wide range of expertise and knowledge and works really well together. This department is second-to none to work with in litigation and advice.’

Key clients

Marks & Spencer



Johnson & Johnson

Tifco Group

Clear Channel

Investec Bank


Harvey Norman

Information technology Tier 2

Eugene F. Collins advises Irish and international clients on outsourcing, regulatory compliance, contracts and licensing agreements, and the technology aspects of M&A transactions, with a particular emphasis on advising companies in the retail, agrifood, pharmaceutical and life sciences, and telecoms sectors. Practice head David Hackett advises on privacy and data protection, as well as service and connection agreements, software development and licensing, while senior associate Jane Farren has expertise in IP and e-commerce matters.

Key clients

BMW Automotive Ireland and BMW Financial Services Ireland

Financial Risk Solutions

SYSCO Software Solutions

Johnson & Johnson Corporation

McGee Pharma International

Harvey Norman Trading (Ireland) Limited

Harvey Norman Holdings (Australia) Limited

Kylemore Abbey Trust


Hickey & Co Limited

Social Talent Limited N

Kepak Group

Dawn Farm Foods Limited

Rosderra Limited

P J Rigney Distillery and International Brands Limited

The Juice Plus+ Company, LLC

The Farm Channel

Atlantic Therapeutics Group Limited

Society for Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI)

Trojan Battery

Marks & Spencer

New Look




Cilag GMBH International

British Sky Broadcasting Group plc

Vodafone Ireland

Virgin Media

Ask 4 Broadband

AA Ireland

Tifco Hotel Group

Irish Hospice Foundation

FCR Media

Aerospace Software Developments

Aylien Limited

Collinson Insurances

Insolvency and corporate restructuring Tier 2

Eugene F. Collins, which has 'a reputation for good, practical and commercial advice', handles contentious and non-contentious matters. The practice is led by Doug Smith, a 'great legal thinker' who has advised a wide variety of clients. The team's cross-border work includes advising the Nova Scotia Department of Energy and Mines on the liquidation of an Irish renewable energy company, as well as acting for the liquidators of an insolvent Cayman Islands hedge fund. Róisín Peart, formerly a senior associate with the firm, joined Dillon Eustace as a professional support lawyer in 2019.


‘Eugene F. Collins have been well known in the field of insolvency and corporate restructuring in Dublin for many years. Certainly in the top tier of restructuring advisors in Ireland with a strong track record and a reputation for good, practical and commercial advice.’

‘Eugene F Collins is unique in that it provides the most carefully considered legal advice in the industry. They pride themselves on giving good, well reasoned advice. Eugene F Collins simply do not get things wrong.’

‘Their overall team has great sector knowledge and in many areas including M&A, Property and Restructuring they are well respected in the market.’

‘Doug Smith is a very knowledgeable insolvency solicitor. Approachable, practical and commercial with a wealth of experience to draw on.’

‘Partners and senior associates always respond quickly. It would be very unusual for me to have to chase a Eugene F Collins lawyer for a reply to a query. Mark Walsh has always been great and Doug Smith always has time for you.’

‘Doug Smith is a great legal thinker. He considers every aspect of a case and anticipates any problems before they arise. He has a wide and deep knowledge of insolvency law.’

‘Reliable & attentive.’

Key clients




Ernst & Young

Grant Thornton


RSM Ireland

Duff & Phelps

McStay Luby

Kirby Healy

Ferris & Associates

Insurance Tier 2

'Extremely professional, diligent and knowledgable', Eugene F. Collins' insurance team is split into regulatory and contentious practices. Garrett Miller, 'a technical expert in this area of the law', leads the overall team, while David Cantrell and Terry Leggett specialise in litigation. In addition to providing ongoing advice to companies including ECCU Assurance DAC and Crédit Agricole Creditor Insurances Ireland, the firm is handling long-running litigation including its defence of Red Flag Consulting against businessman Denis O'Brien. Caoilfhionn Ní Chuanacháin specialises in dispute resolution.


‘Their level of engagement is exceptional with hands on approach being adopted by the team. They are cognisant of speaking and relaying messages in layman’s terms. They are extremely professional, diligent and knowledgeable who have always responded in a timely manner. Their team has expanded to include multiple associates, which ensures there is a point of contact at all times to discuss a case or matter.’

‘Garrett Miller’s professionalism, knowledge, accessibility and pragmatism are key strengths that we very much appreciate. He adopts a pragmatic approach and is outcome oriented whilst understanding our objectives as a regulated entity. It is reassuring and comforting that we can pick up a phone and speak with Garrett or any of his colleagues regarding any aspect of our questions and queries.’

‘Garrett Miller is ultra professional and is a technical expert in this area of the law. Garrett is very thorough and every response is well thought through. Garrett is very pleasant to deal with and always approachable.’

‘EFC have an intimate knowledge, understanding and history of our singular business model that they utilise to great effect in providing the excellent legal advice and service.’

Key clients

Sure Insurance

Collinson Insurance

AXA Corporate Solutions


Credit Agricole Creditor Insurance

Vodafone Ireland

BMW Ireland

ECCU Assurance Company

Real estate Tier 2

Th real estate team at Eugene F. Collins in Dublin is particularly active in private rental sector acquisitions, investments, and in the hospitality sector. It has been particularly sought after to advise on hotel sales and acquisitions across Ireland.  Practice head Sean Twomey has expertise in property and construction, as well as commercial lending and development finance Kathi Ó Riain is also noted.


‘It is a small team but they are specialists in their sector.

This team is excellent value for money. We get advice with big firm quality at more reasonable rates. The team are very commercial and get to know their clients well.

EFC is a full service firm with the full range of disciplines we require to cover all our corporate, property and litigation needs. Most importantly the partnership and the partners still maintains a total focus on the client rather than their individual service lines only.

Kathi O’Riain – exceptional in specialising in acting for occupiers.

Kathi O’Riain is a practical, efficient and highly commercial partner.

EFC partners and staff are strong technically but also have a commitment to the deal and anticipating and responding to our needs as they develop. Partners are always accessible at short notice.

Key clients

Aviva Life & Pensions Ireland DAC


Tifco Group

Marks & Spencer



Shell Ireland

Rosderra Meats

Sigma Retail

Bartra Capital

Inditex Group

JD Sports

Goldman Sachs

Bank of Ireland


Gonville Limited (Fitzwilliam Hotel Group)



Catella Real Estate AG

Oaktree Capital


Westmont Hospitality Group

Jerry Conlon

MNK Property

Construction Tier 3

Eugene F. Collins is increasingly active advising on large-scale construction projects, particularly social housing, student accommodation and commercial office developments. The team also has a strong client base in the retail and hotel sectors. Areas of expertise include the planning, environmental and property law aspects of construction projects, as well as construction-related litigation, arbitration and adjudication. 'Strong' practice head Margaret Austin handles contentious and non-contentious matters for clients including high-profile developers, financial institutions, insurance companies and approved housing bodies.


‘Strong, in-depth knowledge of construction law and the construction business in general’

‘Margaret Austin is a strong leader of a team covering complex construction cases, involving Commercial Court, High Court and ADR matters. The team has a good, positive and pragmatic approach to dispute resolution.’ 

Intellectual property Tier 3

'Commercial, knowledgable, and fun to work with', Eugene F. Collins advises on all areas of IP. A particular highlight was its work for BSkyB in copyright enforcement proceedings related to sports broadcasting, which related to unauthorised streaming, a complex and novel area of copyright law.  Additionally, the team manage trade mark portfolios for clients including Johnson & Johnson and The Juice+ Plus Company. The practice is headed by David Hackett who brings a 'positive, problem solving outlook', and works alongside the firm's corporate and property law teams.


‘They are commercial, knowledgeable and fun to work with.’

‘Attention to detail, speed of response and commercial awareness give them a substantial edge over competitors.’

‘I have known David Hackett for many years – especially for his IP work and he brings a positive, problem solving outlook whilst being a pleasure to deal with. He doesn’t make a drama out of a crisis and is good value for money in a market that is often very expensive.’

Key clients

Johnson & Johnson

McGee Pharma

Harvey Norman Trading


Kylemore Abbey Trust

Marks & Spencer

British Sky Broadcasting Group


Media and entertainment Tier 3

Eugene F. Collins is noted for its 'host of household name media clients'. The team has significant experience in defamation actions and is also active in advertising matters, including advising on misleading advertising, passing off and trade mark infringement. The practice also offers pre-publication advice. Rachel Shanley, who stands out for her 'depth of knowledge allied to practical application', specialises in defamation and media-related litigation, while the 'positive, problem-solving' David Hackett handles IP matters, particularly in relation to advertising.


They have a very broad practice in respect of rights owners and users. They are holistic in their approach which fits well with such a converged group of sectors.

David Hackett brings a positive, problem-solving outlook whilst being a pleasure to deal with. He has rounded enough experience that he can approach matters with creativity.

It is no coincidence that Eugene F. Collins have a host of household name media clients. Attention to detail, speed of response and commercial awareness give them a substantial edge.

Rachel Shanley has depth of knowledge allied to practical application.

Associates Jonathan Lynch and David Heneghan are top-notch.

Key clients

FCR Media Limited

Sky Ireland Limited (formerly BskyB)

Gibney Communications Limited

Planning and environment Tier 3

The planning and environment department at Eugene F. Collins is led by the 'measured, focused and insightful' Margaret AustinThe team is actively involved in litigation, health and safety matters and environmental due diligence relating to M&A across the medical, technology and food and drink industries. Siobhan Kenny recently joined the practice.


‘The team is insightful, pro-active and efficient’.

‘Margaret Austin is measured, focused and insightful’.

The firm: Eugene F Collins is a full service law firm. Established over 120 years ago, the firm has 22 partners and over 100 legal professionals and support staff. Eugene F Collins advises many of Ireland’s leading corporates and international organisations across a  breadth of industry sectors.

Eugene F Collins provides a comprehensive legal service focused on delivering commercial and pragmatic solutions to clients. The firm’s global scope is strengthened through international law firm partnerships.

Eugene F Collins has built its business and reputation on the fundamental principle of seeking at all times to give a first-class legal service to clients.

Main areas of practice:

The banking team has a wealth of experience in all aspects of banking and finance transactions. The team acts for leading banks, financial institutions and corporate borrowers, providing a full range of banking services.

The corporate practice handles a full range of corporate transactional and advisory work for public and private companies and individuals across a broad spectrum of industry sectors and often on a multi-jurisdictional basis. The team specialises in M&A, transfers of business, joint ventures, capital raising and investments.

Corporate Recovery: 
The corporate recovery group advises on all aspects of corporate insolvency. The firm is consistently involved in high-profile insolvency matters, having one of the top insolvency practices in the jurisdiction.

Capital Markets: 
The capital markets group advises on the full range of capital market and corporate finance activities, including issuances of bonds, commercial paper programmes, medium-term note issues and private placements, and all aspects of financial regulation.

Dispute Resolution: 
The dispute resolution team is well known for its experience in alternative forms of resolution, including arbitration and mediation. The firm has acted in some of the largest and highest profile cases to come before the Irish courts.

Employment & Employee Benefits: 
The employment and employee benefits group guides clients to ensure effective human resources management and to meet the challenges presented by EU and domestic legislative developments.

Environmental, Waste & Planning: 
The planning and environmental team provides advice on all aspects of planning and environmental law, from the initial planning application stage of a project to construction, including regulatory compliance advice, oral hearings and dispute resolution.

EU, Competition & Regulated Markets: 
The EU, competition and regulated markets group works closely with clients to help them navigate the Irish and European competition and regulatory regimes. This involves interaction with the Irish Competition Authority, the European Commission and other antitrust and regulatory authorities.

The immigration group is the preferred local counsel of many US and EMEA law firms and corporations, providing a seamless service to multi-jurisdictional clients.

Information Technology/Intellectual Property:
The intellectual property group advises on a broad range of IP matters and has extensive experience in the telecoms sector, advising a number of international IT companies with interests in Ireland.

Inward Investment: 
The inward investment group is comprised of specialists from many practice areas within the firm, ensuring clients are receiving advice on all requirements in entering the Irish market.

The media group has long-standing expertise in the media sector representing a number of large broadcasting organisations, media groups and publishers.

Property & Construction: 
The property team advises on all aspects of commercial and domestic property transactions and management. The team act for developers, private investors, lending institutions, banks, landlords and property professionals.

Department Name Email Telephone
Banking Libby Garvey
Commercial, Corporate and M&A Nicola McGrath
Commercial, Corporate and M&A Deborah Kelly
Commercial, Corporate and M&A Leonora Malone
Commercial, Corporate and M&A Eileen Grace
Commercial, Corporate and M&A Gerard Coll
Commercial, Corporate and M&A John Olden
Corporate recovery Doug Smith
Dispute Resolution Ronan O'Neill
Data protection and privacy David Hackett
Dispute Resolution Caoilfhionn Ní Chuanacháin
Dispute Resolution Ronan O'Neill
Dispute Resolution Terry Leggett
Dispute Resolution Paul Dempsey
Dispute Resolution, Employment and employee benefits Maura Connolly
Construction, Environmental & Planning Margaret Austin
EU, competition, regulated markets Eoghan Ó hArgáin
Immigration David Cantrell
Commercial, Corporate and M&A Gavin Doherty
Information technology David Hackett
Information technology Jane Farren
Insurance Garrett Miller
Intellectual property David Hackett
Intellectual property Ronan O'Neill
Inward investment Gerard Coll
Inward investment John Olden
Media/broadcasting Rachel Shanley
Property and construction Mark Walsh
Property and construction Kathi Ó Riain
Property and construction Mark Walsh
Property and construction Justine Territt
Property and construction Seán Twomey
Photo Name Position Profile
 Kathi Ó Riain  photo Kathi Ó Riain
Ms Margaret Austin  photo Ms Margaret Austin
Mr David Cantrell  photo Mr David Cantrell
Mr Gerard Coll  photo Mr Gerard Coll
Ms Maura Connolly  photo Ms Maura Connolly
 Paul Dempsey  photo Paul Dempsey
 Gavin Doherty  photo Gavin Doherty
 Libby Garvey  photo Libby Garvey
Ms Eileen Grace  photo Ms Eileen Grace
Mr David Hackett  photo Mr David Hackett
Ms Deborah Kelly  photo Ms Deborah Kelly
Mr Terry Leggett  photo Mr Terry Leggett
Ms Leonora Malone  photo Ms Leonora Malone
Ms Nicola McGrath  photo Ms Nicola McGrath
Mr Garrett Miller  photo Mr Garrett Miller
Ms Caoilfhionn Ní Chuanacháin  photo Ms Caoilfhionn Ní Chuanacháin
Mr Ronan O’Neill  photo Mr Ronan O’Neill
Mr John Olden  photo Mr John Olden
Ms Rachel Shanley  photo Ms Rachel Shanley
Mr Doug Smith  photo Mr Doug Smith
Ms Justine Territt  photo Ms Justine Territt
Mr Sean Twomey  photo Mr Sean Twomey
Mr Mark Walsh  photo Mr Mark Walsh
Number of lawyers : 76
Terralex Network
IBA (International Bar Association)
Contact : Mark Walsh (managing partner)

We are committed to being a responsible business and responsible citizens. Our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities and initiatives reflect our core values of professionalism, integrity, teamwork, people and communication.

Fundraising and volunteering

We are committed to improving our local community. Every two years we partner with a different charity as selected by our employees. We support these charities throughout the two-year period through fundraising and volunteering events which our staff organise.


We support the Trinity Access Programme Pathways to Law. The programme focuses on inspiring students from under-represented groups who are interested in law. In addition to mentoring law students, we provide financial support to the programme.

Pro bono

As lawyers, we believe that providing our skills, knowledge and training on a pro bono or reduced fees basis is central to how we can make a difference in the community. We support a number of charities and not for profit organisations, by providing our services on a pro bono, reduced fee or free hours basis.

We are also conscious of the need for experienced practitioners to participate in committees and working groups to improve the law and knowledge of the law in Ireland. Members of the firm participate voluntarily on committees in the Law Society and the Dublin Solicitors Bar Association and other groups working to support the quality of legal knowledge in Ireland.


We are committed to conducting our business in a sustainable manner and have implemented a number of green initiatives, such as: waste management, recycling and energy usage.

Diversity & inclusion

We value the many differences that make each of us unique and know that these differences help to advance our success. Eugene F Collins is committed to providing a workplace in which all employees’ and partners’ individuality is valued and cultural differences are respected. This commitment extends to every employee, partner, client and business partner.

Eugene F Collins is a full-service Irish law firm based in Dublin. Our global scope is created through international law firm partnerships.

Eugene F Collins is a member of the TerraLex global network comprising of 155 top independent law firms with more than 15,000 attorneys located in 210 countries. The firm is also members of the Cicero international network of law firms and active members of the International Bar Association, regularly attending their events and strengthening relationships with law firms in other jurisdictions.