Hogan Lovells hires Birchal’s Irish legal chief to bolster Dublin regulatory practice

Eimear O’Brien, who also previously worked for Hogan Lovells in London, rejoins as a partner

Eimear O’Brien Image courtesy of Hogan Lovells

Hogan Lovells has hired Birchal Ireland’s chief legal officer Eimear O’Brien to strengthen the firm’s global regulatory practice.

O’Brien rejoins as a partner in the firm’s 18-month old Dublin office, having previously worked for Hogan Lovells in its London financial services practice between 2015 and 2017. Her experience spans a range of financial regulatory issues, including fintech and banking regulation and retail financial services. 

Eoin O Connor, the firm’s Dublin office managing partner, said: “Eimear’s knowledge of the central bank’s approach to non-contentious and investigatory matters will be helpful in guiding and advising clients on interactions with the regulator. Her appointment will enable us to further capitalise on opportunities with clients seeking EU regulatory advice and foster relationships with a number of fintech start-ups and unicorns.”

O’Brien had been with Australian equity crowdfunding business Birchal’s Irish unit since February, having previously been a legal director at DLA Piper where she headed up and helped establish its Irish financial services regulation practice. She also spent just over two years at the Central Bank of Ireland, where she was legal and policy manager for its enforcement advisory devision, as well as stints at Matheson and Berwin Leighton Paisner either side of her previous spell at Hogan Lovells.

The firm said it has also hired financial regulatory associate Bill Laffan from Walkers to further expand its Dublin office. Hogan Lovells opened in Dublin in March 2021, adding financial regulatory lawyer O Connor in October last year, who also joined from Walkers where he was head of regulatory for Ireland.

A number of international firms have been strengthening their Irish businesses in the wake of Brexit. Last month, Dentons announced the hiring of veteran Dublin disputes lawyer Karyn Harty from McCann FitzGerald to head up its Irish litigation practice. That followed a trio of Dublin hires earlier in the year from Allen & Overy, Shearman & Sterling and Gilbert + Tobin across the firm’s M&A and energy practices. Meantime in June, Eversheds Sutherland expanded its Irish business through a tie-up with Dublin boutique Kenny Solicitors, broadening its commercial litigation and real estate coverage.

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