We use cookies to collect and analyse information on site performance and usage to improve and customise your experience, where applicable. View our Cookies Policy. Click Accept and continue to use our website or Manage to review and update your preferences.

Irish solicitor to lead European Council legal unit
Emer Finnegan

15 Mar 2023 / EU Print

Irish solicitor is to lead European Council legal unit

Irish solicitor Emer Finnegan has been appointed to lead the legal service for the European Council and the Council of the European Union.

Prior to joining the Legal Service, Finnegan worked as a référendaire in the General Court in Luxembourg, and as a solicitor in Brussels and Dublin.

She studied Law and French at University College Galway, and European Law at the College of Europe in Bruges, Belgium.

The Legal Service assists the European Council, the Council and its preparatory bodies in ensuring the legality and the drafting quality of legal acts.

It gives impartial opinions on any question of a legal nature. The Legal Service also represents the European Council and the Council in proceedings before the Court of Justice of the European Union.

Emer Finnegan replaces Ms Thérèse Blanchet, who became Secretary-General of the Council on 1 November 2022.

She will take up her new position as director-general of the Council Legal Service and as legal counsel of the European Council and the Council from 1 April 2023.


Finnegan has been a director in the Council Legal Service since December 2015. Since October 2018, she has been the director responsible for legal issues in the competitiveness, environment and transport, telecom and energy councils.

She joined the Legal Service in 1999 and has provided legal advice in many policy areas, including justice and home affairs, and external relations.

Gazette Desk
Gazette.ie is the daily legal news site of the Law Society of Ireland