INTERNATIONAL law firm Bird & Bird intends to have around six partners in its Dublin office by the end of this year, plus a team of supporting associates, as it looks to build a significant Irish presence.
Yesterday the law firm named Anna Morgan, the former head of legal affairs at the Data Protection Commission, as one of two partners at its new Dublin office alongside Deirdre Kilroy who joins from Matheson.
The senior appointments of specialist and experienced data privacy, intellectual property and technology lawyers by a new entrant are likely to be closely watched in the legal industry here.
Bird & Bird partner Stuart Cairns, co-head of the international Projects & Procurement group, as well as Francine Cunningham, director of the Regulatory and Public Affairs practice in Brussels, will also spend significant periods of time in the new Irish office in George’s Dock which will officially open on June 13.
While the new office is part of a global firm it will provide Irish law advice in Ireland and is targeting further recruitment of Irish qualified solicitors, according to Sally Shorthose, a London-based partner with Bird & Bird who specialises in life sciences and healthcare who will help oversee the roll-out here.
Before joining Bird & Bird, Anna Morgan was a deputy commissioner and head of legal affairs at the Data Protection Commission (DPC). Her move from the regulator to private practice was approved by the DPC subject to conditions aimed at avoiding potential conflicts.
At Matheson, Deirdre Kilroy was a partner in the technology and innovation team with experience in technology, data privacy and intellectual property law, particularly for clients in the data and technology, life sciences and pharmaceuticals sectors.
Bird & Bird said the Dublin office’s offering will be advising clients whose businesses are being changed by technology or the digital world, and those leading that change.
The partners in Dublin will work closely with the firm’s international leadership including Sally Shorthose and Roger Bickerstaff (technology and communications).
Bird & Bird CEO Christian Bartsch said the firms’ clients are at the cutting edge of technology and the digital world.
“Deirdre and Anna’s extensive expertise in data protection, IP and technology will be a key strength that will set Bird & Bird’s Irish office apart from the outset and shape our future in Ireland,” he said.
“Their unique skills will ensure that along with our renowned legal expertise, we will be in a better position to offer our clients in Ireland practical advice to navigate the complex landscape of privacy and data protection and the implications of IP and new technologies.”