Partner, Technology and Intellectual Property
- BCL, University College, Dublin
- Admitted as a Solicitor (Ireland) 1995
- Admitted as a Solicitor (Northern Ireland) 1996
- Licensed as a foreign legal consultant (New York) 1999
- Irish and European Trade Mark Agent
- Associated Institute of Taxation in Ireland Exams Part I and II
Would you believe I tossed a coin for my legal career? Completing the CAO form I couldn't decide between Law and Commerce. I had a real interest in Economics, having been a runner-up in the Young Scientist Competition with an Economics project. But I had done some work experience in a law office and liked it. It was a gamble to decide, and Law won!
"What I really enjoy about the job is seeing an idea develop, go through the rounds of funding and evolve into a serious company."
After graduation I spent a year tutoring tort law in UCD. I subsequently joined Arthur Cox as a trainee solicitor. I took up a job with the Litigation Group and was involved in one of the first internet litigation cases to shut down a server for trademark infringement. This really sparked my interest in the whole Intellectual Property /Technology area. I then moved to New York for over three years to head up the Arthur Cox New York office. My work was mainly inward investment oriented, involving technology start-ups for US multinationals setting up in Ireland. The majority of these were software and electronics companies.
I returned to Dublin to the Technology Group, where I am now a Partner. My work involves US technology companies with operations here and Irish start-ups and other emerging categories. What I really enjoy about the job is seeing an idea develop, go through the rounds of funding and evolve into a serious company. What I like best about the area is that even though the way of doing business by technology companies is becoming standardised worldwide, no two technology companies are ever the same. Each has its own peculiarities. And that means for me that every day is different.
Achieving a work/life balance has taken me to the Olympic Games in Sydney where I represented Ireland in the discus. It was a very serious commitment and involved a four year plan including relocating to New York in the months prior to Sydney. My laptop ensured I was able to continue my legal work remotely. To compete in the Olympics was in every sense an awesome experience. I have been competitive in the discus since university days and continue to compete at local and international events. It is a real community, and often training is with your rivals. During my time in the US, I became New York State Champion. A very fun offshoot of being a discus enthusiast is all the other strange and wonderful throwing competitions out there - everything from throwing the brick to tossing the caber in Highland Games. A long way you could say from that first toss of the coin...