4 May 2021
McCann FitzGerald Appoints Six New Partners
Premier Irish law firm McCann FitzGerald today announced the appointment of six new partners – Laura Deignan (Aviation Finance), Stephen Fuller (Corporate/M&A), Niall McDowell (Corporate Banking), John Neeson (Corporate/M&A), David O’Dea (Restructuring and Insolvency) and Orlaith Sheehy (Public Procurement) – bringing the total number of partners at the all-equity partnership to 80.
Laura Deignan has been involved in a variety of instructions, including multiple aircraft portfolio acquisitions and disposals and cross-border leasing transactions, and acts for many leading aircraft lessors, financiers and airlines on all aspects of aircraft financing and leasing. Stephen Fuller has a particular focus on M&A in the insurance sector, having been involved in a number of significant transactions in recent years. In addition, he has acted for a number of the firm’s domestic and international clients on M&A, joint venture and corporate restructuring transactions in the healthcare and renewable energy sectors. Niall McDowell has acted for lenders, including Bank of Ireland, AIB, Oaktree and Activate Capital, and also for major developers such as Marlet, Lioncor, GSA and Bartra on some of the highest profile development financings in Ireland over the last number of years.
John Neeson has a particular focus on M&A, private equity and venture capital transactions in the technology and renewable energy sectors. He works on all forms of private equity and venture capital financing, from the funding of start-ups to the equity and debt financing of buyouts and all stages in between.
David O’Dea specialises in corporate restructuring and insolvency matters and regularly acts for international and local corporates on complex schemes of arrangement, including, most recently, Nordic Aviation Capital DAC on its landmark Irish scheme of arrangement. Orlaith Sheehy is a public procurement specialist and has been involved in handling a number of legal challenges to procurement processes. She has a deep understanding of the complexities that can arise in public procurement processes, enabling her to guide public tenderers in avoiding these risks, as well as to assist tenderers in protecting their legal rights.
Barry Devereux, Managing Partner of McCann FitzGerald, said: “We are delighted to announce the appointment of such high-quality partners. This past year has been one of extraordinary volatility for so many of our clients and these appointments will ensure that we can continue to provide a first-class service to them as they look forward to a brighter future.”
About our new Partners
Laura Deignan – Partner, Aviation and Asset Finance Group, Dublin
Laura specialises in aircraft finance and leasing transactions. She acts for many leading aircraft lessors, financiers and airlines on all aspects of aircraft financing and leasing. These include secured lending, portfolio sales and acquisitions, cross boarder leasing transactions and the establishment of leasing and financing platforms in Ireland.
She also advises in relation to airline restructurings, aircraft repossessions and the registration and operation of aircraft in Ireland.
Prior to becoming a partner, Laura spent time on secondment with a global operating lessor and a year on secondment with a leading global law firm in New York.
Stephen Fuller – Partner, Corporate Group, Dublin
Stephen has extensive experience in advising across a broad range of corporate activities including mergers and acquisitions (M&A), joint ventures, corporate reorganisations, private equity transactions and commercial contracts. Stephen has a strong general corporate advisory practice, advising a variety of State and public sector entities on all aspects of company law, including on compliance and corporate governance issues.
Niall McDowell – Partner, Corporate Banking Group, Dublin
Niall advises lenders (bank and non-bank) and borrowers on all aspects of secured and unsecured financing with particular expertise in real estate and development financing, including forward-sale and forward-funding transactions.
John Neeson - Partner, Corporate Group, Dublin
John advises on a broad range of corporate matters, including mergers and acquisitions, private equity, venture capital and joint ventures. He is especially experienced with M&A and equity fundraisings in the technology and renewable sectors.
John regularly advises private equity sponsors and financial institutions in relation to acquisitions, disposals and restructurings, with a particular expertise in advising management teams in private equity transactions.
John is the co-head of the Start-Up team in McCann FitzGerald and has been a driving force in developing the Start Strong programme.
David O’Dea – Partner, Restructuring and Insolvency Group, Dublin
David specialises in corporate restructuring and insolvency matters. He regularly acts for international and local corporates on complex schemes of arrangement. He also regularly acts for insolvency office-holders (Examiners, Receivers and Liquidators), financial institutions, directors and shareholders and is experienced in both contentious and non-contentious corporate recovery and turnaround matters.
Prior to joining our Restructuring and Insolvency team in December 2014, David spent a number of years working with the insolvency and restructuring team of a top-tier Australian-based commercial law firm.
David co-authored an article entitled ‘Ireland – an international restructuring destination’ published by the International Corporate Rescue journal in May 2019.
Orlaith Sheehy – Partner, Public Procurement, Dublin
Orlaith advises primarily on public procurement law issues. Orlaith has experience in both contentious and non-contentious aspects of tender processes, together with invaluable insight into the political environment in which public sector and semi-state bodies operate. Orlaith regularly works with clients to run procurement processes from start to finish, from preparing the contract notice and prequalification documents, to assisting in post-award issues.
Orlaith has a deep understanding of the pitfalls which can arise in public procurement processes, enabling her to guide public purchasers in avoiding these risks, as well as to assist tenderers in protecting their legal rights.