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Darragh Ryan

Associate Solicitor at MacSweeney and Company Jason O'Sullivan

Background

I am a Galway native and a law graduate of the National University of Ireland, Galway. In those impressionable teenage years, I was always convinced that I would like to study law and carve out a career in that area.

I commenced my legal studies at the National University of Ireland, Galway and graduated with a Bachelor of Laws degree (LL.B).

Career

I commenced my traineeship in 2007 just before the economic downturn really took hold. I completed my traineeship in a Galway based firm and qualified in 2010. I worked for a few years, thereafter, in the same firm where I practised, mainly, in the area of civil litigation in particular defence litigation. Whilst times were challenging economically (both nationally and internationally) the experience and skills garnered from the academic, and practical experience, persuaded me that I could transfer that skillset into another area namely the insurance sector.

I took up employment with an international insurer who has a domestic base here in Ireland. My legal background and experience stood me in great stead in particular with the likes of contract/policy disputes, negotiations, client engagements/retainers and working generally in a sector which was so multi-faceted and where there were so many competing interests i.e. from competitors, brokers etc. However, I was delighted to join the firm of MacSweeney & Company Solicitors, a couple of years ago.

I practice, now, exclusively in the areas of litigation and dispute resolution, with a particular interest in insurance defence litigation. MacSweeney & Company are soundly embedded locally and nationally, and have strong practices in complementary areas such as employment law and health and safety, where we advise several insurers, self-insured entities, multi-nationals and SMEs. My experience of working in the insurance sector has really benefited me I feel, and the experience from my time there has given me a unique insight.

Advice

  • A career in law can open many doors. Be dynamic and proactive;
  • Make the most of the opportunities that prevail be it in poor economic circumstances nationally or otherwise;
  • Whilst I have a preference to practice law, and always will, the skills and knowledge you gain both academically and practically can be transferred into other areas/industries;
  • Be a good colleague and be approachable. People tend to reciprocate and that is important as different people have different stress levels and coping mechanisms. A problem shared is a problem halved;
  • Customer/client service is key and referral business can be a good barometer of this.

Other Stories

For other career success stories, see Career Spotlight.