Saturday 24 February 2018

Death of lawyer and business consultant James Osborne

Lawyer James Osborne opened A&L Goodbody’s New York office in 1979
Lawyer James Osborne opened A&L Goodbody’s New York office in 1979
Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

Former INM chairman and well known lawyer and business consultant James Osborne has died.

The former A&L Goodbody managing partner had followed a glittering legal career, going on to become among the country's most sought after non-executive directors, serving on the boards of numerous publicly listed and private companies. Mr Osborne died suddenly on Thursday. He was 68.

He is survived by his partner, Patricia Devine, the journalist and model, and their young daughter and by Mr Osborne's two adult children from an earlier marriage, and other family and friends.

Mr Osborne attended Campbell College, Belfast, and Trinity College Dublin before joining A&L Goodbody in 1973.

He opened the firm's New York office in 1979 and become managing partner in 1982 aged just 32, a post he held until 1994.

He subsequently worked as a consultant with A&L Goodbody in Dublin, where he retained an office, and has served as a director and chairman to a swathe of Irish companies - notably including Ryanair which he advised on its stock market flotation in London, New York, and Dublin before serving on the board for more than two decades.

While he was personable and good humoured, he was sought out by businesses for the quality and directness of his advice. He served on boards including Bank of Ireland, Golden Vale, Adare, Carrolls Holdings and was chairman of Centric Health, Monaghan Mushrooms and Easons.

He was a former chairman of the board of Independent News & Media (INM) but served less than a year in the role before being voted off the board - a high profile turn of events Mr Osborne greeted with characteristic humour.

Outside of business he was chairman of the Irish Heritage Trust and active in horse racing, sailing and in sport and his death will be felt by a wide circle of Irish life.

Irish Independent

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