A campaign to promote Ireland as an international legal centre received a soft launch in front of a carefully selected audience of leading American lawyers in the Irish Embassy in Washington DC on 15 March 2019.
The event was part of the traditional St Patrick’s Day celebrations in the US capital that included, as always, a visit by the Taoiseach to the White House and Capitol Hill.
This year, among the Irish Government’s policy objectives is the promotion of a project initiated by the Bar and the solicitors’ profession to encourage the international legal world to use Irish law and Irish legal services in contracts, transactions and dispute resolution.
This policy was adopted by the Cabinet in early January of this year. It was initiated in a submission to Government last year, on which the Law Society, the Bar of Ireland and some of the largest Irish law firms collaborated.
In late February, Attorney General Seamus Woulfe invited a Law Society delegation to accompany him to Washington DC for the launch of this campaign.
A number of events were organised by the Irish Embassy, to which leading Irish American lawyers were invited so that they could be introduced to this initiative.
The Law Society delegation comprised president Patrick Dorgan, director general Ken Murphy, and Council member Liam Kennedy, who had done a great deal of drafting work on the original submission to Government.
The Bar was represented by its chair Micheál P O’Higgins SC, its director Ciara Murphy, and a number of members of the Bar Council.
A key figure in the Irish delegation was Chief Justice Frank Clarke, who has been a passionate advocate of this initiative.