Judith leads McCann FitzGerald LLP’s derivatives practice and is based in its Dublin office. Her practice encompasses OTC and exchange-traded derivatives, repos, securities lending and related collateral arrangements, advising buy-side and sell-side market participants and market infrastructure providers on related trading, clearing, settlement and custody and the regulatory environment in which it takes place.  More generally, she has broad experience in financial and treasury services and structured finance, advising on related transactional and regulatory issues.

Judith’s transactional and advisory practices are enhanced by her work as Irish counsel to various industry associations.  Having been to the forefront of Irish financial industry innovations throughout her career, Judith has been delighted to work on ISDA’s ongoing EU law documentation initiative, which resulted in publication of Irish law versions of the ISDA 2002 Master Agreement and regulatory and non-regulatory variation margin, and regulatory initial margin, documentation, all supported by legal opinions issued by McCann FitzGerald LLP.

Judith is an active member of relevant international and local industry bodies; she is a former president, secretary and journal editor of the Irish Association of Corporate Treasurers, was a member of the Committee on Collective Investment Governance established by the Central Bank of Ireland and of the European Commission’s Legal Certainty Group for so long as they were active and was vice-chair of the Irish Funds Derivatives and Middle Office Working Group (now reconstituted as a Middle Office Working Group). In 2021 she was appointed as a member of the Panel of Recognised International Market Experts in Finance (P.R.I.M.E. Finance Foundation), a carefully vetted international group of legal and financial experts, following her nomination by existing Panel members.

Judith’s thought leadership extends to fintech issues; she led the McCann FitzGerald LLP team that worked with ISDA and R3 on a whitepaper on “Private International Law Aspects of Smart Derivatives Contracts Utilizing Distributed Ledger Technology: Irish Law” and was involved in drafting the suite of ISDA Legal Guidelines for Smart Derivatives Contracts and the ISDA Clause Library.

Judith studied law at Trinity College Dublin.

Key highlights include advising:

  • International Swaps and Derivatives Association, Inc., as provider of all netting, collateral, e-contract and other opinions made available to its members as to matters of Irish law on its documentation and advising on related issues.
  • International Capital Market Association and International Securities Lending Association as Irish counsel providing the industry opinion for Ireland on the GMRAs and the GMSLAs.
  • Members of the banking associations constituting the Deutsche Kreditwirtschaft, as provider of all the industry netting, collateral and clearing opinions for Ireland on the German banking industry’s netting, collateral and clearing documentation.
  • Allied Irish Banks, p.l.c. on its LIBOR transition project.
  • Central Bank of Ireland on matters including the legal aspects of the collateral framework for supplying liquidity to banks in respect of both Eurosystem monetary policy operations and non-Eurosystem liquidity arrangements.
  • On a successful application for designation by the Minister for Finance of a UK system as eligible for certain settlement finality protections.
  • Various market participants on close-out netting and collateral issues relating to agreements, entities and/or transaction types not within scope of industry opinions, facilitating positive netting and collateral conclusions.
  • Various market participants on their regulatory obligations, and the implementation of related documentation solutions, relating to the transaction of derivatives including applicable margin requirements for uncleared derivatives.
  • On the provision of cryptocurrency trading services in Ireland.
  • Various institutions as provider of opinions on the enforceability in solvent and insolvent circumstances of bespoke netting, collateral, clearing and prime brokerage arrangements.