New and notable appointments at Matheson, Káno Communications, and McCann FitzGerald LLP

Appointments | Thu 25 Nov | Author – Business & Finance
Pictured (L-R): New appointments at Matheson – Davinia Brennan, Caroline Kearns, Rory O’Keeffe and Niamh Mulholland

This week sees new and notable appointments at Matheson, Káno Communications, and McCann FitzGerald LLP

Davinia Brennan, Caroline Kearns, Niamh Mulholland, Rory O’Keeffe, Partners,

Matheson, Ireland’s largest law firm, is delighted to announce a number of senior appointments in its Corporate practice area. Davinia Brennan and Rory O’Keeffe have joined as partners in the Technology & Innovation Group, while Caroline Kearns and Niamh Mulholland have joined the Financial Institutions Group as partner and consultant respectively.

Michael Jackson, Managing Partner of Matheson, said: “We are delighted to welcome these four senior legal practitioners to partnership at Matheson.  Their domestic and international experience and their deep sectoral knowledge will further strengthen our market leading IT, data privacy and regulatory offerings.  These are sectors which continue to experience rapid transformational change and our lawyers work closely with many of the world’s leading companies in delivering transactions, solutions and products to meet changing customer and business demands.

The appointments also reflect our continued commitment to deliver excellent advice which is informed by sectoral expertise.  Caroline, Niamh, Davinia and Rory will work as part of one of the largest corporate departments in any Irish law firm, advising on some of the most complex and high-profile legal transactions on the market.  We also look forward to their contributions to our Pro Bono programme and to our Impactful Business Programme which is designed to deliver and support meaningful, sustainable and measurable change across our community of colleagues, clients and society.”

In addition to the eight new partners appointed earlier this year, 2021 has also seen Matheson appoint 40 newly-qualified solicitors at the firm.  41% of the partnership at Matheson is female, and over 50% of partner appointments over the past three years have been female.

Davinia Brennan

Davinia joins Matheson as a partner in its Technology and Innovation Group.  She has over 10 years’ expertise in data protection; privacy; information technology and; e-commerce law.  Davinia advises international and domestic companies on all aspects of compliance with data protection and privacy law, including; handling data subject access requests; data breach incidents; regulatory investigations and; international data transfers.  She also advises online businesses on evolving regulatory and consumer protection law obligations.

Davinia has presented and published widely on a range of technology related legal matters, in particular on data protection, intellectual property and information technology law.  She is also a member of the editorial board of the PDP Data Protection Ireland Journal.  Prior to joining Matheson, Davinia worked with another of Ireland’s corporate law firms, A&L Goodbody, where she specialised in these areas.

Caroline Kearns

Caroline joins as a partner in the Financial Institutions Group in Matheson’s Corporate and M&A Department.  She has extensive experience advising on a broad range of international and domestic corporate transactions including; mergers and acquisitions; joint ventures; private equity; equity capital markets and; corporate reorganisations, with a particular focus on Financial Institutions and Insurance.  Her clients include many of the world’s leading financial institutions and insurance market players.

Caroline regularly acts for many of Europe’s leading Warranty and Indemnity underwriters, advising on the underwriting of high value international M&A transactions, as well as domestic Irish transactions, across all sectors.  She also counsels corporate clients on a broad range of governance and business-related matters, including directors’ duties and responsibilities and general compliance matters.

Caroline trained and qualified as a solicitor in Matheson and, prior to re-joining as a partner, had spent over 10 years working with leading global law firms including Norton Rose Fulbright in London and, most recently, DLA Piper.

Niamh Mulholland

Niamh joins Matheson as a consultant in the firm’s Financial Institutions Group, having previously led the Asset Management Regulatory practice of KPMG, where she led the Irish Asset Management Regulatory practice providing advice to Irish and International Investment Banking, Investment Firm and Investment Fund clients, through authorisation, regulatory change projects, supervisory engagements, Risk Mitigation Programmes and Skilled Person Independent Reviews.

Niamh advises Irish and International Investment Banking, Investment Firm and Investment Fund clients, through authorisation, regulatory change projects, supervisory engagements, Risk Mitigation Programmes and Skilled Peron / Independent Reviews.  Her work involves assisting clients with ‘own initiative’ reviews and change programmes as well as responses to supervisory inspections.

She previously worked at the Central Bank of Ireland where she acted as the ESMA Board of Supervisors internal co-ordinator, was a member of a number of ESMA Standing Committees and was involved in the negotiations to enact the EU Market Abuse Regulation, MiFID II/MiFIR and PRIIPs.

Rory O’Keeffe

Rory has been appointed as partner in Matheson’s Technology and Innovation Group.  He has extensive experience in a broad range of international and domestic technology and business transformation deals.

Rory brings together significant in-house and practical experience in advising on technology and commercial legal issues.  A technology and outsourcing lawyer, he has a particular specialism in cloud, digital and business transformation, AI, Robotics, IoT, cybersecurity, system integration and complex technology contracting.

He re-joins Matheson having spent over 10 years as Senior Legal Counsel in Accenture in London, where he advised on a number of complex, high value, fast-paced, innovative, multi-jurisdictional deals.  Rory supported industries in health, public services, communications and media telecommunications, financial services, utilities, and products.

Rory is a committee member of the Society of Computers and Law, with a particular interest in the work of the Inclusion and Diversity group and regularly presents on topics such as Cybersecurity, and Artificial Intelligence.

Claire Egan, Kathryn Moley, Gavin Hegarty, Senior Account Manager, Account Manager, Digital Executive, respectively,
Káno Communications

Multi-award-winning public relations agency Káno Communications (formerly Weber Shandwick Ireland) has announced an expansion to its team, with three new hires joining the firm to support its growing client portfolio.

Káno Communications is one of Ireland’s leading PR firms, specialising in corporate, healthcare, issue management, public affairs, brand and digital communications services.

Claire Egan has over 15 years’ experience in the communications industry, working in the media, publishing, sport and higher education sectors.  She joins Káno Communications as a Senior Account Manager from Dublin City University, where she worked as part of the University’s Communications Unit, specifically working on strategic research initiatives and flagship events. She previously spent six years as Director of Communications and Marketing with the Camogie Association. She is a four-time, All-Ireland Ladies Football winner with Mayo.

Kathryn Moley joins the agency as an Account Manager having worked in the PR sector for over six years. With extensive experience working with Irish and global organisations in the technology, healthcare, and education sector, the Dundalk native joins the Káno Communications corporate team from MKC Communications.

Gavin Hegarty joins as Digital Executive and will work across the firm’s brand and corporate clients.  He has experience in digital production and international marketing. He joins Káno Communications following a successful marketing manager role with Digicel Caribbean Ltd.

Káno Communications Managing Director Siobhán Molloy says, “I’m delighted to welcome Claire, Kathryn and Gavin to our growing team at Káno. Their combined experience and expertise will add huge value to new and existing clients as we continue to grow the business. The communications challenges that businesses, state agencies and brands face are becoming ever more complex and having expert and trusted advisors to navigate these challenges is more important than ever.”

Founded over 30 years ago as Financial & Corporate Communications (FCC) the firm became part of Weber Shandwick in 2000 and following a management buyout 2020, the agency is now a partner to Weber Shandwick. It rebranded to Káno Communications in mid-2021.

Stephen Holst, Managing Partner,
McCann FitzGerald LLP

Premier Irish law firm, McCann FitzGerald LLP, today announces the appointment of Stephen Holst as its incoming Managing Partner. Stephen will succeed Barry Devereux after his second term ends in April 2022. Stephen Holst is currently a Partner in both the Employment, Pensions and Incentives and Disputes Groups of the firm.

Commenting on Stephen’s appointment to the role, Catherine Deane, Chair, McCann FitzGerald LLP says; “We are delighted to announce Stephen Holst as our incoming Managing Partner. Stephen is an experienced strategic adviser who operates at the highest level in client organisations, guiding them on the people aspects of their significant corporate transactions, organisational change and most critical disputes.

Stephen Holst

Stephen Holst, Managing Partner, McCann FitzGerald LLP

“Understanding we live in a different world, with a changing business and operating environment, Stephen has the expertise, ambition and vision to guide the firm forward. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Barry Devereux for his outstanding contribution to the firm as Managing Partner over the past seven years. He has led the firm with great skill, foresight and expertise through a period of significant transformation in the Irish legal landscape, bringing about many positive changes in the way we deliver legal services to our clients and navigating the firm through the immense challenges brought about by the pandemic.”

Speaking on his appointment, Stephen Holst, Partner, says; “I am honoured to have been elected as the next Managing Partner of McCann FitzGerald LLP, and the trust of my peers makes this appointment particularly special. Through my career to-date, my experience is rooted in dealing with people and organisations – experience which I believe is hugely valuable for the responsibilities of this role and the challenges that undoubtedly lie ahead.

“I have a number of priorities for my time as Managing Partner, and the focus remains on our clients and our people, who are at the heart of our success. Despite the considerable changes occurring around us, our goal remains to build on our relationships of deep trust and recognise that, in a changing world, excellence and our culture underpins everything that we do. McCann FitzGerald is Ireland’s leading law firm, and one that I will endeavour to guide forward to greater success and growth during my tenure as Managing Partner.”

Barry Devereux, outgoing Managing Partner, says; “I am really privileged to have held the role of Managing Partner at McCann FitzGerald for two terms. During the last seven years, our firm has grown considerably, adapting to the unprecedented changes in the legal landscape. I know Stephen will continue to position the firm strongly as a dynamic, innovative and ambitious firm and I wish him the very best in this important role.”