Ireland 2015 – GC Powerlist
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Ireland 2015

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Adrian Kelly

General Counsel | Airsynergy

‘We think it’s going to have a massive global impact’, Adrian Kelly says on the Airsynergy business. ‘We’re now doubling power output in wind turbines. We’ve found the business case...

Aideen O’Reilly

Head of Legal | National Asset Management Agency (NAMA)

One of Ireland’s leading public sector lawyers, Aideen O’Reilly is a respected expert in her field, having spoken publicly on areas such as fraud and asset recovery. During the course...

Alan Daly

Group Head of Legal | Electricity Supply Board

Ireland’s Electricity Supply Board has handled multiple significant strategic transactions during the four years Alan Daly has headed its legal function. These have included Carrington Power’s 2012 award-winning refinancing. The...

Andrew O’Flanaghan

Chief Legal Officer | National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA)

Heading NTMA’s legal, control and compliance functions, US- and Ireland-qualified Andrew O’Flanagan has been at the epicentre of the agency’s efforts to turn around the nation’s credit reputation following the...

Anna-Marie Curry

Head of Legal | Bord na Móna

As head of legal at Bord na Móna, Ireland’s leading environmentally-responsible integrated utility service provider, Anna-Marie Curry leads a team of lawyers providing national and international legal support. On a...

Anne-Marie Dempsey

Senior legal counsel | Horizon Pharma


Senior legal counsel at Horizon Pharma since May 2015, Anne-Marie Dempsey is praised highly for her superior understanding of the pharmaceutical industry. Formerly Shire Pharma’s pioneer lawyer outside the UK...

Antoine Mac Donncha

Head of Legal Unit | Department of Finance

‘I have been very privileged to have been a heart of key elements to the recovery of the Irish economy’, Antoine Mac Donncha says. ‘I am enormously proud of the...

Becky Crawley

Regional Counsel - Ireland, Demand | Diageo Plc

As Diageo’s regional counsel, Becky Crawley’s role extends far beyond the purely legal. Crawley prides herself on her strategic business planning and in 2014 was a finalist of the Diageo...

Brian Connolly

Director of Legal Services - Local Country Compliance | Accenture

Throughout over a decade at Accenture, Brian Connolly has taken on a variety of managerial roles and led the Irish legal function through a period of substantial growth in the...

Brian Marshall

Group General Counsel | Smurfit Kappa

With over 20 years’ experience at Smurfit Kappa, and 15 as its GC, sources praise Brian Marshall’s deep commercial understanding and his close integration with the business. A member of...

Caire Madden

Head of Legal Services | Gas Networks Ireland

A former Commission for Energy Regulation analyst, Claire Madden is a respected industry expert, known for her flawless technical knowledge and ability to ‘see the bigger picture’. Heading all legal...

Cameron Goodwin

General Counsel | Lab49

‘I’m working with people who are very academically gifted in their field of expertise’, Cameron Goodwin says. ‘It is very refreshing and satisfying to be part of a global team...

Caoive Collins

General Counsel | Project Management Group

Construction specialist Caoive Collins, Project Management Group’s general counsel, prides himself on being a facilitator to capital project delivery. PM Group is currently operating across 35 countries worldwide, spanning a...

Caroline Bergin

General Counsel | Greenstar Recycling

With almost 25 years’ in-house experience, Caroline Bergin has been involved in some of the nation’s most significant infrastructure transactions. Over four years in her previous role as NTR’s general...

Caroline Dee-Brown

General Counsel | Commission for Communications Regulation

During her five-year tenure as general counsel for the Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg), Caroline Dee-Brown has been a key decision maker in the newly founded company. ComReg is divided into...

Catharine Ennis

Chief Legal Officer | SMBC Aviation Capital

As an executive director of Dublin-based aircraft leasing giant SMBC Aviation Capital, Catharine Ennis supported one of the largest deals in Irish corporate history. This occurred in 2012 when Japan’s...

Catherine May

Legal Director EMEA & Company Secretary | Dell Financial Services

With over 10 years’ international financial services experience, Catherine May has supported leading European institutions through periods of seismic regulatory change. In her current role heading all legal and company...

Cian Crosbie

General Counsel | Valentia Technologies

In just two years, Cian Crosbie has established comprehensive legal, compliance and company secretarial functions for Valentia’s global business. Heading a large cross-functional team he is involved at all stages...

Clare Egan

General Legal Counsel - Ireland | CEMEX

During her time at the iconic Mexican brand, Clare Egan has supported CEMEX through its delisting and the sale of large components of the business across several jurisdictions. Her fitness...

Colm Callaly

Head of Legal - Europe and LatAM | Pioneer Investments

As Pioneer Investments’ European and Latin American legal head, Irish Barrister and New York qualified Attorney, Colm Callaly has shown diligence and talent in a variety of areas, alongside a...

Colman McCabe

Vice President and Chief Counsel - EMEA | Hewlett-Packard International Bank


With particular strength in international leasing, Colman McCabe heads all legal support across Hewlett-Packard International Bank’s EMEA business, taking a central role in executive decision-making. A former Lincolns Solicitors partner,...

Conall McLoughlin

General Counsel | Galetech Energy Developments Ltd

Possibly Ireland’s youngest GC, McLoughlin was passionate about his sector from an early stage in his career, and moved to CEMEX soon after qualifying. ‘I’ve always had a big interest...

Darren McMahon

Vice President - Head of Legal (Ireland) | State Street International (Ireland)

A strong communicator with ‘commercial nous’, Darren McMahon has exceptional funds and asset management experience. After almost 20 years in-house, he has impressive industry credentials, having worked at the likes...

David Boyle

General Counsel | Irish Life

As GC to Ireland’s leading life and pensions’ company and Irish Law Times’ editor for 15 years, David Boyle is a respected and high profile figure in the national legal...

David Dobbyn

EMEA Regional Counsel | Xilinx

Chairing the new American Chamber of Commerce Ireland’s general counsel forum, David Dobbyn is respected across Ireland’s in-house legal community for his ‘progressive’ and ‘dynamic’ approach. Global technology business Xilinx...

David Hodnett

General Counsel | The Commission for Aviation Regulation

David Hodnett has held the position of general counsel at The Commission for Aviation Regulation since May 2014. His position on the senior management team gives him a key input...

David Johnston

Group Company Secretary | C&C Group plc (C&C)

A well-known and highly respected corporate counsel, David Johnston has held senior legal roles across a variety of industries. As group company secretary, he provides broad compliance and legal support...

David McMunn

Head of Legal and Compliance | UTV Ireland

David McMunn is highly respected in Ireland’s media and digital sectors, with an impressive track record across a range of in-house roles. As UTV’s first in-house counsel, McMunn is in...

Davina Saint

Head of Legal Ireland | BNP Paribas Ireland

‘It is all about deal delivery, innovation, lateral thinking’. As the first in-house lawyer to join BNP Parabis Ireland, Davina Saint built a highly regarded seven-lawyer function, supporting Dublin, London,...

Deirdre Nagle

Senior Solicitor | Eirgrid

Deirdre Nagle has been central to some of EirGrid’s most significant regional projects of recent years, through her management of the wayleave process. During her five years with the national...

Deirdre Pepper

General Counsel Europe & Ireland Country Counsel | Citibank Europe plc


During her seven years as Citibank’s European legal head, Deirdre Pepper led some of the most sophisticated transactions in the region. Joining the company in the wake of the global...

Denise Farnsworth

Head of Legal, Data Privacy and Compliance Officer, Ireland | Microsoft

A US-qualified lawyer, Denise Farnsworth has exceptional industry experience, following a decade and a half at technology giant, Microsoft, and six years in Apple’s legal department. Arriving at Microsoft in...

Diarmaid Cunningham

General Counsel, EVP & Company Secretary | Icon PLC

Market-leading contract research organisation ICON operates across the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device industries. A well-known figure in Irish legal circles, sources particularly highlight Diarmaid Cunningham’s role in developing a...

Didier Patry

Chief IP Counsel, EMEA | Eaton

‘Simply one of the best IP lawyers working in-house’, Didier Patry is recommended by sources for his role in billion-dollar cross-border transactions. ‘I have learned to be a business enabler’,...

Donal Moriarty

Executive Counsel | Aer Lingus

In the novel role of executive counsel, Donal Moriarty covers all legal, company secretarial and public relations concerns in executive-level decision-making. With such diverse legal and commercial concerns under his...

Donall King

Head of Legal Affairs | Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland

A former chief state solicitor and veteran public sector lawyer, Donall King’s rare litigation experience includes complex judicial reviews and European and Irish constitutional issues. A respected voice in the...

Eadaoin Rock

General Counsel | Central Bank of Ireland


Eadaoin Rock’s recent promotion to GC follows five years as the function’s deputy head. A leading regulatory specialist in Ireland’s financial services sector, Rock has helped the national bank navigate...

Ed Riley

General Counsel | Avolon Aerospace

‘The aircraft leasing industry is truly global’, Ed Riley says, adding: ‘Avolon has a “can-do” culture and is continually looking to innovate wherever possible’. Widely respected across Ireland’s legal community,...

Edward Traynor

Group General Counsel and Company Secretary | Paddy Power

Formerly Vodafone Ireland’s legal head, Edward Traynor joined Paddy Power, the biggest gambling operator in the Ireland market, in 2015. Praised for his exceptional knowledge of Ireland’s telecommunications sector, Traynor...

Eleanor Daly

General Counsel | FEXCO

Irish financial services specialist FEXCO handles some of the most sophisticated transactions emanating from the local market, spanning Europe, Asia Pacific, the US and the Middle East. ‘An exemplary in-house...

Elizabeth Davis

General Counsel | PwC Ireland

During a short tenure as PwC’s Ireland GC and leadership team member, Elizabeth Davis has already been instrumental to the management of a variety of commercial and risk issues. With...

Emma Kearney

General Counsel Ireland & Expansion Markets, Legal Director, EMEA | Yahoo!

Emma Kearney heads all Ireland legal support and plays a central role in EMEA operations for Yahoo, the internet industry giant. With an ever-increasing legal and geographic remit, she has...

Emmet O’Grady

Head of Legal - Online | Paddy Power

Heading international legal support for – Ireland’s largest ecommerce business – Emmet O’Grady supports a highly regulated industry within the constantly-evolving online arena. During four years in the role,...

Feidhlimidh Wrafter

Head of Legal & Compliance | Western Union

Heading up global leader Western Union’s Irish legal and compliance functions, Feidhlimidh Wrafter stands apart in his exceptional regulatory knowledge and cross-border experience. Sources particularly note his development of European-wide...

Gabrielle Ryan

Group Legal Services Head | Bank of Ireland


Heading all national and international legal support for Ireland’s primary banking institution, Gabrielle Ryan is one of the nation’s leading financial services lawyers. She has played a central role in...

Gavin Denn

General Counsel | Invention Investment Ireland

New York-licensed Irish lawyer Gavin Denn, currently general counsel of Invention Investment Ireland, is known for his extensive international IP expertise. After over 15 years working in-house experience, he is...

Gemma Neylon

General Counsel | OpenJaw Technologies

Providing innovative technological solutions within the travel industry, OpenJaw Technologies’ client portfolio includes British Airways, Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, TravelSky and AIRMILES. An accomplished IP lawyer and trade mark...

Helen Dooley

Group General Counsel | AIB Corporate Banking


A seasoned in-house lawyer, Helen stands apart from her peers in her capacity to build exceptional in-house functions, according to sources. Managing around 150 lawyers at the Ireland Big Four...

Hugh Hannigan

Editorial Legal Counsel | News UK & Ireland

‘One principle challenge is to effectively engage with journalists and editorial staff to ensure their hard work translates into published content’, Hugh Hannigan says. ‘It’s a very stimulating role, and...

Hugh O’Reilly

Head of legal | An Post

An Post’s highly respected legal head, Hugh O’Reilly has supported the state-owned postal provider during a transformational period of its history. He is praised both for his change management capabilities...

Jean O’Driscoll

General Counsel | Amentum Capital Limited

A pre-eminent aviation lawyer, Jean O’Driscoll has over 10 years’ in-house experience and a reputation which proceeds her in the market. With previous roles as Greenstone Aviation’s GC and RBS...

Jenny Fisher

Head of Legal Services | Irish Water

Jenny Fisher has deep experience in procurement and infrastructure across the health, education, waste and roads sectors in both Ireland and the UK. Her expertise have been put to good...

Jim Harper

General Counsel Ireland & Company Secretary | Zurich Ireland

‘I’ve been here six and a half years and I’m still learning’, says Jim Harper, Ireland GC to one of the world’s largest insurers. ‘Being able to provide technical legal...

Joanne Ross

Head of Legal & Regulation | Bord Gais Energy

One of Ireland’s most widely known and respected in-house counsel, Joanne Ross has headed national utility Bord Gais Energy since 2011. With previous roles at Coca-Cola and Lagan Technologies, Ross...

Joe May

Head of Legal | VHI Healthcare

During his eight-year tenure as legal head to Ireland’s largest health insurer, Joe May has supported the state-owned body through considerable organisational change. Praised for his handling of ongoing European...

John Elliott

General Counsel - Ireland | SEI

With broad private practice experience gained in the City, followed by over ten years in-house in Ireland’s increasingly regulated financial services sector, John Elliott has a well-rounded and practised background...

John O’Halloran

Vice President and Associate General Counsel - Head of Legal for Western & Central Europe | MetLife (Group)

Managing 25 lawyers across 12 jurisdictions, John O’Halloran heads all legal support across Western and Central European business operations for the US’s largest insurer. Sources point to his role in significant...

Laura Doherty

Head of Legal & Compliance (Dublin) | Barclays Insurance


Barclays Insurance’s legal and compliance head, PCF-approved Laura Doherty wears several hats at once, as the company’s money laundering reporting officer, company secretary and data protection officer. Her wide remit gives...

Linda NiChualladh

Regulatory and Competition Counsel | An Post

‘Linda has the ability remove barriers when it comes to the development of new products or routes to new markets’, in the view of one source. ‘She gives relevant commercial...

Margaret Ahearn

Senior Legal Counsel | Hewlett Packard International Bank plc


‘The biggest challenge we face, and continue to face, is the speed with which the industry is changing’, Margaret Ahearn says. ‘Financial solutions fit for today may be archaic next...

Margaret Smith

General Counsel | CarTrawler

‘I have a very dynamic and wide-ranging role’ Margaret Smith, CarTrawler’s GC says. ‘I’m constantly expanding the boundaries of my experience’. Valued for her efficiency and ‘common sense’ approach, Margaret...

Marie Daly

Head of Legal & Regulatory Affairs | IBEC

Marie Daly, IBEC’s legal and regulatory head affairs, helped shape one of the most significant recent laws affecting Ireland’s business community. As a member of the Company Law Review Group,...

Marie Griffin

General Counsel - Ireland | AIG

Marie Griffin has been involved in some of AIG’s most pivotal cross-border transactions of recent years, including the ground-breaking merger into the UK, which was the first of its kind...

Mark Hughes

Head of Regulatory | Hutchison 3G Ireland Limited

‘An industry expert’ ‘combining excellent legal and regulatory knowledge with a clear understanding of the business’, Mark Hughes ‘commands respect and admiration’. With ‘exceptional’ understanding of Ireland’s telecommunications industry, Hughes...

Marlene Connolly

Group Counsel & Legal Director | Websense International Technology

As acting global general counsel, Marlene Connolly played a pivotal role in Websense’s billion-dollar merger with Raytheon Cyber Products completed in 2015. Connolly previously established the cyber defence leader’s Irish...

Michael Byrne

Director / Deputy Head Legal Department | Depfa Bank


His ability to protect the client and work through all the different issues is very impressive and a rare quality these days’, says one private practice admirer. ‘We have been...

Michael Shanley

General Counsel | Panda Group

‘In-house legal departments have become a lot more popular in this jurisdiction over the past few years – it’s a growth industry in Ireland’. Just two years into his first...

Michelle Feely

Head of Business & Legal Affairs | Telegael

Michelle Feely’s wide-ranging experience in IP, media and entertainment law, make her invaluable to Telegael’s global business. As head of business and legal affairs, she oversees all legal and commercial...

Michelle Geraghty

EMEA legal counsel | Afilias

With broad commercial experience gained across Ireland and Australia, Michelle Geraghty is a veteran in-house lawyer with impressive transactional and organisational experience. During her time at Ion Trading, she supported...

Natalia Faura

EMEA Regional Lead - Legal | LinkedIn

As regional legal head and part of LinkedIn’s EMEA leadership team, Natalia Faura is valued by colleagues and outside counsel for her energy, pragmatism and commitment. ‘Being an entrepreneurial and...

Nikki Conran

General Counsel - Northern, Central & Eastern Europe | Schneider Electric

‘Forward-thinking’ and ‘a goal-oriented team player’, Nikki Conran has impressed private practice lawyers and in-house colleagues alike throughout a three-decade in-house career. With past senior roles at the likes of...

Noel Gaughran

Head of Legal - Litigation, Legal Risk & Legal Policy | Ulster Bank


Noel Gaughran has drawn attention both inside and outside his organisation with his handling of high-stakes litigation since the 2008 crash. In the view of some sources, Gaughran has been...

Orla Dunlea

International Legal Counsel & Company Secretary | Endo Pharmaceuticals


The highly praised Orla Dunlea, Endo Pharmaceuticals’ international legal counsel and company secretary, has impressed peers and clients alike with her navigation of major global deals. With a legal career...

Orla Gillen

Vice President, Legal & Associate General Counsel | AWAS

For over five years, Orla Gillen has been an important legal voice in 30-year-old aviation company, AWAS, headquartered in Dublin. With specialist industry knowledge in legal and business terms, Gillen...

Orla Joyce

Head of Legal | Heineken Ireland

‘There was a time when businesses constantly bought external legal advice’, Orla Joyce says. ‘I think Irish companies are now increasingly recognising the value of an in-house counsel. It’s not...

Padraic Roche

General Counsel & Company Secretary | Malin

‘In terms of challenges, it’s about being able to deal with the issues which come across your desk – for example crisis management’, Padraic Roche says. ‘As head of legal...

Patricia O’Shea

Group Head of Legal & Secretariat | Dublin Airport Authority

Heading all legal and company secretarial functions at Dublin Airport Authority, Patricia O’Shea has supported the Authority in significant litigation and takes a central role in strategic planning. Sources particularly...

Patrick Wilkinson

General Counsel - Ireland | Northern Trust

Dubbed by some as among Ireland’s most high-powered and ‘resilient’ corporate counsel, Patrick Wilkinson faced considerable challenges early in his in-house career. A year after joining Barings’ Ireland from private...

Paul Dalton

Head of Legal & Compliance | New Ireland Assurance Company

A qualified barrister, Paul Dalton heads all legal and compliance support at New Ireland Assurance Company; Ireland’s first wholly-owned life assurance business, with €15bn worth of funds currently under management....

Peter Gallagher

Head of Legal | Irish Bank Resolution Corporation Limited


In a relatively short space of time at Irish Bank Resolution Corporation, Peter Gallagher has dealt with situations which were previously unheard of, in the jurisdiction. Sources particularly point to...

Peter McCarthy

Head of Legal for Operations and B2B | Virgin Media

During his six-year tenure at the national telecommunications leader Peter McCarthy has led many of its defining projects and transactions. Most recently, he negotiated Virgin Media (then UPC)’s ground-breaking agreement...

Peter O’Neill

Associate general counsel, commercial | Facebook

‘Facebook has a relatively young and dynamic workforce, which is refreshing after working in a law firm, where there’s more of a hierarchical structure’. One of the founding members of...

Richard O’Sullivan

Head of Legal Services | Health Information and Quality Authority

Richard O’Sullivan is praised by industry and private practice sources, for his innovative approach in the face of austerity. ‘When I started in my role as Head of Legal Services...

Robert Owens

Head of Corporates & Institutions Legal Ireland | Danske Bank Corporates & Institutions


With sterling financial services experience across legal and compliance, Robert Owens works closely with Danske Bank’s Danish head office in cross-border initiatives. He has also led negotiations with some of...

Rory Sullivan

Legal Director, Ireland | Pfizer

‘A skilful and pragmatic lawyer’, Rory Sullivan excels in complex global IP transactions, and has lead significant joint ventures at both Pfizer and 3Com. ‘I really enjoy the breadth of...

Rory Williams

Group Chief Legal Officer | Ervia

Leading an 18-strong team, Rory Williams is facilitating one of the most significant changes to Ireland’s public utilities in recent times. Newly-created government body Ervia brings Gas Networks Ireland and...

Sarah Clarkin

Senior Vice-President - Legal | Aircastle

During her ten-year tenure at Aircastle, where she is SVP-legal, company director Sarah Clarkin has been instrumental in the company’s exponential growth to manage total assets of $6.1bn with a...

Sarah Gallagher

Legal Director Ireland | Tesco

Previously director of commercial legal services at telecommunications provider Eircom, Sarah Gallagher took up her current role at Tesco Ireland in August 2012. Her place on the leadership team puts...

Seán Hooper

Compliance Officer | Aon Insurance Managers


A highly experienced legal and compliance professional, Seán Hooper has implemented comprehensive compliance and risk management frameworks at leading global financial services providers. With employers Santander and Airvod, he is...

Sinead Gillen

General Counsel | Dairygold Co-Operative Society

Dairygold Co-Operative Society is Ireland’s largest farmer-owned dairy business. As general counsel, Sinead Gillen oversees its multitudinous operations across Ireland, the UK, France, Germany and Spain. The privately-held company generates...

Suzanne Tucker

General Counsel | EY Ireland

As EY’s Ireland GC, Suzanne Tucker is at the heart of its national strategic planning and is widely praised for her contribution to its corporate governance framework. The big four...

Syl O’Byrne

General Counsel | Carne Group

With considerable experience both in-house and in private practice, Syl O’Byrne established both Carne Groups’ and Daiwa Securities’ (now Sumitomo Mitsui) legal functions from scratch. He was also Credit Suisse’s...

Sylvia Fagan

Head of Legal | ding*

A unique mobile top-up concept, home-grown start-up ding* (formerly ezetop) has taken off globally in a short space of time. Its founder Mark Roden was named EY’s Entrepreneur of the...

Sylvia McNeece

Head of Legal and Corporate Services | Pensions Authority

At the helm of all legal and corporate services, Sylvia McNeece has led the award-winning legal function at the Pensions Authority for over a decade and plays a central in...

Tara Glynn

Head of Legal & Company Secretary | Rabobank Ireland


Rabobank’s award-winning Ireland legal head, Tara Glynn has been particularly recognised for her litigation expertise. Heading legal and company secretarial, Glynn has made significant changes to internal processes, in efforts...

Thomas Schmid

EVP, General Counsel & MD | Intrepid Aviation Management, LLC

With almost 20 years’ aviation experience, Thomas Schmid has a long track record in major cross-border leasing transactions. In his current role, he leads legal and corporate affairs and also...

Tom Maher

General Counsel & Company Secretary | Mainstay Medical Limited

With an illustrious career spanning private practice and in-house, the ‘ambidextrous’ Tom Maher has been GC at internationally listed public companies, and partner at major corporate firms. ‘A leading expert...

Tom O’Brien

Executive director and general counsel | Brandon Point Industries

Tom O’Brien joined multinational life sciences investment business Brandon Point Industries in September 2015. As GC and executive director, he plays a central role in the senior management team and...

Yvonne Cunnane

Head of Data Protection and Privacy | Facebook

Providing all Facebook’s privacy support outside the US, Yvonne Cunnane is at the cutting edge of a niche area in a state of flux. Legal challenge to Facebook’s European privacy...

For 28 years, The Legal 500 has been analysing the capabilities of law firms across the world. The GC Powerlist (formerly the Corporate Counsel 100) is the latest publication from The Legal 500, turning its attention to the in-house function, and recognising those corporate counsel who are driving the legal business forward. The latest edition is the GC Powerlist: Ireland, which identifies an array of the most influential and innovative in-house counsel working in the region.

The GC Powerlist is a series of publications, highlighting the most influential in-house lawyers in business today.

We have canvassed opinions from law firm partners and in-house counsel across Ireland, to identify corporate counsel that have been instrumental in changing or forming opinions within their company or industry; developing brilliant technical solutions to complex issues; creating innovative structures to ensure that the in-house function is driving the business forward; or providing a business working model that other corporate counsel should follow. Our team of experienced researchers assessed the nominations, speaking both to general counsel and nominating lawyers to finalise each jurisdictional list. GC Powerlist: Ireland features not just information on why that individual has made the list, but also comment from the law firms about how they feel individual corporate counsel have helped shape innovation in the legal industry.

If you have feedback on the GC Powerlist: Ireland, or wish to nominate other in-house individuals (either in Ireland or global), please do get in touch at

We hope that this listing will stimulate debate around the role of the in-house lawyer and help corporate counsel with possible improvements and efficiencies in running their departments.

David Burgess

Publishing Director

McCann FitzGerald

McCann FitzGerald logo

McCann FitzGerald is delighted to support the inaugural GC Powerlist for Ireland. I would like, on behalf of all the partners at McCann FitzGerald, to congratulate the corporate counsel that have been selected for this prestigious publication.

Having come through some turbulent years, indicators as we head into the final quarter of 2015 point towards a positive story for Ireland. According to the latest IBEC quarterly report, a trio of external boosts to the Irish economy – the ECB’s QE programme, lower energy prices and a weak euro – all point to a continuation of Ireland’s strong economic growth performance in 2015.

Surging exports and investment, which led to growth of 4.8% last year, are continuing their strong performance and unemployment levels are at their lowest in eight years. Leading indicators in the first half of the year suggest that business investment growth in both services and manufacturing has continued its strong expansion.

The Companies Act 2014 came into effect on 1 June 2015, with the intention of making it easier for companies to do business in Ireland, whether domestically or by using Ireland as a regional or a global base. Lawyers, both in-house and in practice, are working hard to guide businesses and assist them in taking advantage of these and other regulatory and legal changes.

These positive developments, coupled with ever changing and disruptive technology, mean the legal industry is constantly evolving in order to meet client and business demands. Given the recent developments in both the economy and the corporate legal landscape there is now, more than ever, a higher demand for strong and innovative corporate counsel in Ireland, with the role of in-house lawyers continuing to grow.

In-house legal teams are being called on to take a leading role in advising businesses, and have an expanding influence in areas such as risk management and business strategy. They are seen as thought leaders and experts within their industries, with the insights to drive and create business opportunities and influence decisions at the highest levels.

Private practice lawyers have a strong role to play when advising corporate counsel, and it is important that they have an understanding of the economic and business landscape that their clients are operating in. They need to be on hand to offer expert counsel within their area of expertise, and work closely with their in-house counterparts to navigate through the changing business, regulatory and legal environment. There are a wealth of opportunities for private and in-house legal teams to collaborate, allowing them to give the most expert advice to their business, and ultimately to drive further growth.

McCann FitzGerald is excited by both the positive economic outlook for Ireland and the evolving role of corporate counsel. As a firm we seek to enable your progress through the provision of strategic legal counsel on the major business and commercial issues of our time delivered through a culture of high performance and high integrity. We look forward to developing further our partnerships and collaborations with corporate counsel as Ireland continues its economic recovery. These partnerships enable business to utilise the insight that McCann FitzGerald has derived from working with clients across a range of industries for many decades.

On behalf of all the partners at McCann FitzGerald, I wish to extend our warmest congratulations to all that have been included in the inaugural GC Powerlist for Ireland. Recipients of this accolade come from a broad and varied range of sectors, from banking and financial services to retail chains and consumer brands. This prestigious recognition highlights the hard work, strength and innovation displayed by corporate counsel across Ireland, and also emphasises the increasingly important and expanding role of corporate counsel in today’s business environment.

GC Powerlist: Austria 2024

In the heart of the picturesque city of Vienna, The Legal 500 joined forces with Cerha Hempel to celebrate Austria’s top in-house counsel at our annual GC Powerlist: Austria 2024 event.

Sara Maggi, deputy editor for The Legal 500 GC Powerlist Series, warmly welcomed attendees and shared key insights from the research process. She emphasised the crucial role of in-house lawyers in enhancing organisational resilience through open communication, fostering relationships with other business departments, and implementing legal tech tools and AI across Austria-based legal departments.

Following Sara’s remarks, Clemens Hasenauer, managing partner at Cerha Hempel, congratulated everyone and discussed the key challenges facing general counsel in Austria. He highlighted the importance of such events for the legal community to meet and exchange ideas.

Next, Sandra Krebs, country legal director and ethics and compliance officer at Coca-Cola HBC, addressed the audience on the legal complexities confronting Austria-based in-house counsel. She stressed the importance of recognition by legal directories, as in-house lawyers become integral business partners and enablers for their companies.

The evening concluded with a vibrant networking session, fostering enriching dialogues and new connections, honouring legal excellence and fostering solidarity.

Our heartfelt gratitude extends to all who contributed to our research and to our sponsor, Cerha Hempel, whose support made this event possible. We look forward to returning to Vienna in 2025!