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Aim and Objectives
This annual conference, presented by the In-house and Public Sector Committee in collaboration with Law Society Finuas Skillnet Network is aimed at solicitors employed in-house in the private and public sectors. A select group of eminent speakers/panellists and industry experts will speak about change and upheaval in the role of in-house counsel.
The event will hold two interactive panel discussions – panel members, from both the private and public sector and including large and small departments, will share their personal observations and insights based on their career experiences and provide guidance and practical tips.
The morning key note speaker, Ciarán Fenton, will share his insights on building relationships. The afternoon key note speaker, Sinéad Gaynor, will share her insights on communicating effectively in times of change. Both speakers will share experiences they have developed from working with a wide range of organisations: public sector and private, in different industries, of different sizes.
Ken Murphy, Director General of the Law Society, will open the event. Light lunch is included.
Mark Cockerill, Director of Legal Services, eir. Chairperson of the In-house and Public Sector Committee
Mark Cockerill is currently Director of Legal Services at eir, Ireland’s largest communications company. Since initially training in private practice, with a focus on corporate and commercial law, Mark worked as Legal Counsel at Meteor and Senior Legal Counsel at Telefónica Ireland. A graduate of Trinity College Dublin (LLM) and Nottingham Trent University (LLB), Mark has lectured in Company and Contract Law for nearly fifteen years and also lectures on the Law Society’s Diploma in In-House Practice.
Anna-Marie Curry, Company Secretary/General Counsel, Bord na Mona
Anna-Marie Curry is Company Secretary and General Counsel for Bord na Móna plc and Vice Chair of the In House and Public Sector Committee. Anna-Marie joined Bord na Móna in 2007 as Head of Legal and was appointed to the role of Company Secretary and General Counsel on 1 April 2017. Prior to joining Bord na Móna Anna-Marie trained and practiced as a corporate solicitor with Arthur Cox in Dublin. Anna-Marie holds a B.A and LL.B. from National University of Ireland, Galway and a Masters of Law (LL.M.) from the University of Edinburgh
Ciaran Fenton, Consultant
Board purpose, strategy & behaviour (PSB) consultant, specialising in legal services, Ciarán Fenton helps leaders be what they can and should be. He specialises in facilitating directors on main, operating boards and executive committees to improve their effectiveness by agreeing with each other to make small changes in their behaviour. In aggregate, these small changes have a big impact on outcomes. He has worked with scores of individuals and organisations and especially legal teams including at BT, HSBC, Capita, Serco, Dentsu, Henry Boot, Radiant Law, Latham & Watkins, Shearman & Sterling and Free Drinks using his tried and tested model - The Fenton Model® - an innovative approach to self-management that provides senior leaders with the thinking and tools to achieve a small change in their own behaviour and that of each member of their senior leadership team. During his early career he held senior business leadership roles at Hachette, ITN, Pearson, and The Guardian Media Group in which he was involved in extensive change programmes. Ciarán is a mentor at London Business School, a faculty member on Paul Gilbert’s LBCambridge2 in-house counsel programme, a Senior Adviser with the Blueprint for Better Business charity and a regular speaker, writer and pamphleteer on board behaviour issues. Pamphlets include The GC-CEO Relationship post Global Financial Crash: Flourish or Flounder and The 7 Deadly Sins of Nascent NEDs. He holds a business degree, B.Comm. (Hons.) from The National University of Ireland, Cork and he lives in Brighton. He is married to the writer Marian Garvey and they have two children.
Pádraic Ó Máille is a business speaker, author and executive coach. He works with forward thinking people and organisations who are committed to bringing themselves and their organisation to a higher level. He is the author of ‘The Midas Power,’ ‘Rocking Horse Sh*t’ and ‘Fully Charged.’ He is a B.Comm graduate of NUI Galway where he is was acclaimed in 2017 as being amongst the top 50 most influential graduates of the faculty. He is the creator of SMÁCHT, a business philosophy and methodology that suggests success in any aspect of life can be achieved by practicing a few simple disciplines daily. SMÁCHT is actively practiced by hundreds of people from the business, legal, political and sporting communities. Pádraic draws on a wealth of business and life experience to deliver high-impact messages with great energy, charisma and humour.
Patrick Ambrose, Chief Legal Officer, DLL Ireland DAC
Patrick Ambrose is Chief Legal Officer at DLL (a subsidiary of Rabobank) supporting both local treasury and global corporate functions. He is a frequent contributor to legal and business publications and is author of two books: ‘The Inside Job: Working as an In-house Lawyer’ [OakTreePress, 2013], and ‘Advertising Law and Regulation in Ireland’ [Bloomsbury Professional, 2015]. He is a member of In-house Committee of the Law Society of Ireland and Country Representative for the Association of Corporate Counsel.
Helen Martin, Director of Regulation, Charities Regulator
Helen joined the Charities Regulator as Director of Regulation in March 2017. Helen is a solicitor and previously worked in the Office of the Attorney General. Helen also worked in the private sector for over 10 years and during that time worked as a senior associate in the Regulatory and Competition law unit of a large firm and as an in-house legal and regulatory adviser for two telecommunications companies. Helen holds a Barrister at Law Degree, a Bachelor of Civil Law Degree, a Postgraduate Diploma in Business Studies and a Postgraduate Diploma in EC Competition Law.
Seana Cunningham, Director of Enforcement and Anti Money Laundering, Central Bank
Seana Cunningham qualified as a solicitor in 1998 and worked as a commercial litigation solicitor for over 10 years in private practice. She joined the Central Bank of Ireland in 2011 and held a number of positions in the Central Bank, including Deputy Head of the Anti-Money Laundering division and Head of the Enforcement Advisory division, before taking up her current position as Director of Enforcement and Anti-Money Laundering in January 2018.
Ronan Lennon, General Counsel, Clanwilliam Group
Ronan Lennon, Clanwilliam Group. Ronan is the General Counsel at Clanwilliam group, a rapidly expanding global healthcare services and technology business headquartered in Dublin. Ronan is responsible for the group’s legal strategy worldwide. Ronan advises all companies within the group on a wide variety of disciplines, including mergers and acquisitions, corporate reorganisations, data protection, commercial contracts and employment. Since joining the rapidly expanding portfolio at Clanwilliam group in 2017, Ronan has established a growing legal department and has advised Clanwilliam Group in connection with the acquisition of 9 companies over 4 different jurisdictions. Prior to moving in-house, he was a corporate and commercial solicitor at Eversheds Sutherland Ireland providing advices to a wide range of clients and various private equity firms. Ronan is a graduate of the National University College Galway and holds an LLM in Corporate Governance and Public Policy from Queens University, Belfast. Ronan was one of the youngest solicitors recognised in the Legal 500 GC Powerlist for Ireland 2017.
Jenny Fisher – Head of Corporate Affairs at Premier Lotteries Ireland DAC, Operator of the National Lottery
Jenny Fisher joined PLI in November 2015 as Head of Legal & Regulatory Affairs and Company Secretary; her role has since evolved to incorporate internal audit, security & compliance and public affairs. Prior to joining PLI, Jenny was Head of Legal Services in Irish Water from the inception of the new utility. Before transitioning to in-house roles, Jenny was a partner at Arthur Cox solicitors, specialising in the delivery of infrastructure and public private partnerships.
Alan Stewart, Chief Legal Officer, National Asset Management Agency
Alan Stewart is the Chief Legal Officer in NAMA with responsibility for the NAMA legal team, which includes 36 solicitors. The team is an independent advisor to the NAMA Board, CEO and to NAMA business divisions across the full spectrum of legal issues affecting NAMA and its operations. It also provides advice and support in the areas of Company Secretarial, Procurement, Data Protection and FOI. Alan has worked with the NAMA legal team since 2010, prior to which he worked as an in house solicitor with ACC Bank plc. Before moving in house, Alan worked for a number of years as an associate in the Commercial Property department in Matheson, followed by a period working as a legal advisor with a large Australian law firm.
Tommy Reilly, In-House Counsel, Kingspan
Tommy Reilly is the In-House Counsel for Kingspan Group Plc for over 7 years. Kingspan is the global leader in high performance insulation and building envelope solutions. He is a graduate of University College Dublin (BBLS) and has training in private practice. Elected member to the Council of the Law Society of Ireland in 2017, he is a member of the Law Society of Ireland In-house and Public Sector Committee and Human Rights Committee.
Grainne McLaughlin, General Counsel and Company Secretary, Coillte
Grainne McLaughlin, General Counsel & Company Secretary, Coillte. Grainne joined Coillte as General Counsel & Company Secretary in February 2018. Immediately prior to joining Coillte she was a Senior Legal Consultant to the Department of Communications, Climate Action and the Environment. She also worked in house in the private sector for 15 years. During that time she was Vice President of Legal Services at Virgin Media until 2016. Grainne completed her law degree in UCD and originally qualified as a Corporate Finance lawyer in William Fry. She has also completed the Diploma in Corporate Governance at UCD Smurfit Business School in recent years.
Robert Heron, General Counsel, Dunnes Stores
Robert Heron was a partner in Matheson from 1995 to 2013 and is a former Chair of the Business Law Committee of the Law Society.
*Law Society Finuas Skillnet members