Senior Partner at Holohan Solicitors
My Inter Cert English teacher caught me writing out an agreement to loan a friend a book and said – "Holohan, if that is what turns you on, become a lawyer". A UCC five night ‘Law for the Layman’ course irreversibly whetted my appetite and rewrote my DNA. The rest is history!
While apprenticed, I picked up an LLB degree and became an alumnus of the Academy of International Law. Since then, I have become a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, a Fellow of the Centre of International Law, a Trademark Agent, a Registered EU Trademark Practitioner, an Accredited Mediator with both the CEDR and CIArb and finally, a Notary Public.
When I became a Notary Public, Pat Dorgan, Junior Vice President of the Law Society, teased me saying that, with all that behind me, it would be great when I finally got my first client!
Within two years of leaving Blackhall Place I was back there as a tutor, and later as a Consultant & Examiner. I am currently studying for an LLM in Advanced Legal Practice in the area of Insolvency Law with the Law Society and the University of Northumbria, while also writing a book on ‘COMI: The Centre of Main Interest and the EU Insolvency Regulation’.
Some of the other books I have written include “Bankruptcy Law & Practice” co-authored with Mark Sanfey SC, ‘Lawyers Professional Negligence and Insurance’ co-authored with my now partner David Curran, ‘Buying & Selling Insolvent Companies and Businesses in Ireland’ co-authored with Ted Harding BL and Ger O’Mahoney FCA and ‘Consolidated Bankruptcy & Personal Insolvency Legislation co-authored with Keith Farry BL.
I practice as a Solicitor and Notary Public, both in Cork and Dublin and, every few years, have been fortunate to be able to take up fresh challenges and opportunities as a solicitor.
I started in general practice and then moved in defence personal injury followed by a few years in debt collection & enforcement. I progressed into corporate insolvency work, then into bankruptcy work, then mainly professional negligence claims, and now mainly personal insolvency. Also, after 25 years of litigation, I had a road to Damascus conversion eight years ago and now favour mediation.
I encourage all solicitors to get involved in professional associations. I was a founder member of the Irish Society of Insolvency Practitioners, and later a council member. I am currently the Honorary Secretary of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators Branch in Ireland, a council member of the Mediators Institute of Ireland and a member of the Law Society ADR Committee. I have been an Executive Committee Member of the Irish Maritime Law Association since I qualified in 1983.
I describe myself these days as a Limerick born, largely Dublin-based, Cork resident with friends in the North. I left college 36 years ago and I have been working in legal practice ever since. I have been blessed with (non-monetary) good fortune and have been lucky enough to find my best friend, my wife and the mother of my three sons, (all the same person).
I also have three great partners who equally allow me aspire to be a maverick. One partner, John Lane, is mainly based in Cork. Laura Duffy is mainly based in Dublin and David Curran lives in Newry and commutes mainly to Dublin. None of us studied in Dublin despite working extensively in Dublin. Like the radio advertising for Shaws used to say, we are “almost nationwide”...
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