Law Experts Examine Ireland’s Legal Landscape

Law students gather for fifth annual UCD Student Legal Convention

Technology and Law, Human Rights in Ireland and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), were high on the agenda at the fifth annual UCD Student Legal Convention held last week. Over 100 law students from universities across Ireland gathered in UCD to hear from some of the leading academic and legal voices in Ireland on our nation's position in the ever changing legal world. The student led event, which is supported by A&L Goodbody, was chaired by RTÉ presenter Vivienne Traynor.   

Opening the Convention, Managing Partner of A&L Goodbody Julian Yarr commented: "Ireland and its legal profession are changing due to the shift in our political and economic landscape, both at home and abroad. And today's lawyers need to be able to adapt and adjust to rapidly changing environments. We see technology as being a material change for the future, augmenting the skills of lawyers in the coming years. The UCD Student Legal Convention, which we are delighted to support again this year, brings together some of the country's top legal professionals to discuss the developing legal landscape and I hope that the students, our future business and legal leaders, will be inspired by the convention and by the exciting challenges that lie ahead."

Notable topics discussed at the event included Citizenship of the EU and the 8th Amendment Referendum, as well as the impacts of Brexit. Discussing Ireland as a destination for FDI, Colm O'Reilly, Director, Grow Cap Finance said, "Our strong history and stable state put us in a very good position for FDI. We have a good educated workforce with a global view. However if some of London’s financial work moves to mainland Europe, it will be further away from us geographically it and will have a big impact on us."  

Professor Elizabeth Corcoran BL outlined the opportunities that Brexit may bring for commercial litigation, "This is an exciting time to be a lawyer. While London has traditionally been the epicentre of legal disputes and England the choice of jurisdiction for many companies, we are seeing a change. Due to future legal uncertainties, many companies are refusing to issue proceedings in London. Our international law firms are skilled and experienced in international disputes and they need to capitalise on this work, as other nations are setting up English speaking commercial courts."

Meanwhile, during a discussion on Technology and Law, Charlie Carroll, Corporate and M&A Partner, A&L Goodbody, outlined how the firm is exploring ways to use technology to deliver their legal services, both in how they interact with clients, and use AI in applying law. "A key focus for us is to develop the expertise in technology. We are looking at how we map out the legal process for client, how to break that down to reduce waste, and improve turnaround times and consistency."

Other speakers on the day included Jason Milne, A&L Goodbody; Dr Fiona de Londras – Deputy Head, Birmingham School of Law; Anastasia Crickley – Chairperson, UN Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination; Nick Henderson – CEO, Irish Refugee Council; Liam Herrick – Executive Director, ICCL; Raymond Byrne – Full Time Commissioner, Law Reform Commission; Lory Kehoe – Director & EMEA Blockchain Lab Leader, Consulting, Deloitte; and Anna Scally – Head of Technology & Media, KPMG. 

Date Published: 28 February 2018