Ireland 2022 – GC Powerlist

Ireland 2022

Āine O’Connor

Head counsel | Sky Ireland

Telecommunication services

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#GCPowerlist Ireland 2022

Alan Daly

Group head of legal | Electricity Supply Board (ESB)

Energy and utilities

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#GCPowerlist Ireland 2022

Alan Johnston

Chief counsel, global retail markets, Europe and South America | Liberty Mutual Insurance

Financials

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#GCPowerlist Ireland 2022

Alex Potlog

Legal director, UK & Ireland | AbbVie

Healthcare

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#GCPowerlist Ireland 2022

Alicia Foley

Associate corporate counsel – real estate legal, EMEA & India | Google Ireland

Information technology

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#GCPowerlist Ireland 2022

Editor Message

With Covid-19 restrictions recently being lifted in Ireland, general counsel in the country face an unprecedented challenge. This year’s publication further highlights how imperative the role of general counsel is in a business, as they manoeuvre the unfamiliar environment of hybrid working. It is one thing to ensure that employees adapt to a full-time remote working environment; it is quite another to get the right balance between remote and office working. In this transitional period, corporate bodies are often put in the situation where they have no other choice but to rely on reasonable assumption, as there are no clearly established rules regarding hybrid work. Ireland’s in-house lawyers have been proactive in guiding their organisations and its employees in the right direction by taking a reasonable approach.

Ireland is the European hub to thousands of multinational companies. In this regard, general counsel in Ireland have effectively mastered their skills to work across multiple jurisdictions including the Americas, EMEA, and Asia. Notably during the pandemic, they took the key role in navigating their companies around manifold Covid-related legislation and government guidelines of various countries in the following sectors: travel restrictions, health and safety, and data privacy to name just a few. With the successful internal management by Ireland’s finest in-house lawyers, Ireland is one of the few countries in the world that managed to grow during the Covid-19 crisis.

The pandemic put general counsel in a position to make strategic decisions for their company’s business. On top of their responsibilities as a legal advisor and navigator during the pandemic, in-house lawyers also became a business partner for their company’s decision-making bodies. ‘We took strategic decisions based on our legal expertise in response to the covid crisis and to be honest, nobody else within companies or in governments had that kind of expertise. Prior to the pandemic, general counsel had already been in the position of decision making but this time, it became more overt and more declared’, reported one individual.

I would like to extend the warmest thanks to every single in-house counsel who participated in this edition of the GC Powerlist: Ireland 2022. This edition identifies the most impressive counsel who have utilised their legal knowledge strategically to provide business insight in these challenging times for their company’s success. I am extremely pleased to present the list of the most agile, innovative, and exceptional in-house lawyers in Ireland.

Yoonsong Choi
Research analyst:
GC Powerlist Series

Editor |

Sponsor Message

Matheson

Matheson logo

Matheson is honoured to once again partner with The Legal 500 and the GC Powerlist 2022 to recognise Ireland’s leading corporate counsel and acknowledge the vital contribution made by general counsel to the strategic direction and growth of their organisations and the industry sectors in which they operate.  We offer our sincere congratulations to all of those who have been included on this year’s list.

Being included in the GC Powerlist is a recognition of the technical and legal excellence of general counsel who are operating in an increasingly complex and fast-moving legal and business environment, one which has been made even more challenging over the past two years by the global pandemic.

In recognising Ireland’s leading in-house corporate counsel, The Legal 500 is again delivering a comprehensive analysis of the excellence we see across the Irish legal industry, highlighting the success of general counsel in shaping and delivering key strategic business priorities and developing innovative technical solutions to complex legal and commercial issues as well as emphasising the increasingly important and expanding role of corporate counsel in today’s business environment.

In addition to their role in managing legal affairs, general counsel have traditionally been the ethical and regulatory advisor for their organisations. They continue to play a key role in helping organisations to prepare for, respond to, and mitigate obstacles which they may face in achieving their strategic goals. In addition to these responsibilities, the challenges that emerged throughout 2020 and 2021 saw general counsel across all industries successfully focus on a wide range of key initiatives, including an even greater emphasis on employee health and wellbeing, safety at work, environmental, social and governance (ESG), diversity and inclusion, and the adoption of new technology. At Matheson we have been pleased to have the opportunity to partner with a number of our general counsel clients to initiate collaborative events between our respective organisations to celebrate and enhance our commitment to shared values.

As Ireland’s largest law firm, Ireland’s top performing M&A firm for 2021, and Ireland’s number one funds law practice for the eleventh year in a row, Matheson is also focused on delivering and achieving excellence.  We continue to grow and expand, and are proud to have become the first organisation in Ireland to retain the Irish Centre for Diversity’s ‘Investors in Diversity’ Gold Standard Award. Earlier this year, we became the first Irish law firm to collaborate with The Legal 500 for the inaugural EMEA Green Guide, reflecting not only our client advisory work but also our commitment to keep ESG at the very core business.

Our focus is to service the legal needs of internationally focussed companies and financial institutions doing business in and from Ireland.  Our clients include the majority of the Fortune 100 companies.  We advise seven of the top ten global technology brands, seven of the world’s ten largest asset managers, and over half of the world’s 50 largest banks.

The 775 people who work across our 30 practice groups and six offices around the world witness at first hand the challenges faced and successes achieved by general counsel in multiple organisations across Ireland, the UK, Europe and the United States.

This year marks the second year in our three-year sponsorship of Ireland’s GC Powerlist, and it is my pleasure on behalf of the partners at Matheson, to congratulate all of the individuals who have been included on this year’s list.  We look forward to celebrating this year’s winners, and to continuing to support future participants.

 

Michael Jackson

Managing Partner

Matheson