Bird & Bird appoints leading data protection, IP and technology specialists to join new Irish office

International law firm Bird & Bird today appoints leading Irish data protection, IP and technology specialists, Deirdre Kilroy and Anna Morgan as the first two partners to join its new office in Dublin. The office will be based in George’s Dock, close to Dublin’s tech hub Grand Canal Dock, and will officially open on the 13th of June.

The appointments of Deirdre Kilroy and Anna Morgan will grow the firm’s strong offering in Ireland in the areas of data protection, intellectual property, and technology and communications.

Deirdre Kilroy joins from Irish firm Matheson where she was a partner in the Technology and Innovation team. She has more than 20 years’ experience in technology, data privacy and intellectual property law, particularly for clients in the data and technology, life sciences and pharmaceuticals sectors. She will be a valuable addition to Bird & Bird’s highly regarded technology and communications and intellectual property practices, supporting the firm’s strategy to represent clients in these sectors within each of the firm’s international offices.

Anna Morgan joins from the Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC)* where she was a Deputy Commissioner and the Head of Legal Affairs for the past five years. Before that, she worked in private practice for 10 years, specialising in data protection and commercial and regulatory litigation. Anna is a well-known expert in data protection, and is a regular speaker at international conferences, as well as lecturing on the topic. She was the lead rapporteur for the EDPB’s Guidelines on Transparency under the GDPR and also led the DPC’s work on children’s data protection issues. Her arrival will be a significant addition to the firm’s international Privacy & Data Protection team, boosting the practice both in Ireland and across the firm’s international network.

Working closely with existing Bird & Bird partners around the network, this specialist set up will provide clients with a holistic offering – combining leading local Irish knowledge with the global expertise of the firm’s international team.

Alongside Deirdre and Anna, Roger Bickerstaff (Technology & Communications) and Sally Shorthose (Life Sciences & Healthcare) will work closely with the new team on the ground to fully immerse them in the international Bird & Bird network and to support the projected rapid growth of the office. 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 Dublin office, unlocking the international expertise of the firm for Irish clients.

Christian Bartsch, CEO of Bird & Bird, says: “I’d like to take this opportunity to welcome Deirdre and Anna to Bird & Bird. Our 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. 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.

“Our people are at the heart of why we love working at Bird & Bird and we are all excited to have the opportunity to work with colleagues across the Dublin office - to enhance our culture and realise the full potential of our unique client offering and market-leading advice.”

Deirdre comments: “I am looking forward to helping clients doing business in Ireland unlock the expertise and knowledge flowing through the global Bird & Bird team of lawyers. Innovative businesses in Ireland are experiencing rapid growth. Our role at the firm will be key in supporting the wide-ranging needs of our clients in this digitally driven and ever-changing regulatory environment.”

Anna adds: “I’m delighted to be joining a renowned international law firm and working with colleagues within Bird & Bird’s respected global network. Practitioners at Bird & Bird are well known for their industry leading knowledge as well as their expertise and full-service approach to advising and supporting their clients. The strength of the firm’s global brand will continue to enhance its offering in Ireland.”

As Dublin plays host to the European headquarters or significant operations of some of the world’s most innovative companies and largest technology and life sciences companies, the office opening is a natural next step for Bird & Bird.

Bird & Bird is focused on working with clients with innovation at the heart of their business. The firm’s lawyers are trusted advisors to clients on every continent of the globe. The Dublin office’s offering will be in line with the firm’s overarching vision of advising clients being changed by technology or the digital world and those leading that change. It will initially focus on the areas of privacy & data protection, technology, life sciences, intellectual property and corporate law.

* Pursuant to Clause 20 of the Civil Service Code of Standards and Behaviour, an application was made by Anna Morgan to the DPC for approval to take up the appointment with Bird & Bird, with approval granted by the DPC subject to the imposition upon her of a range of conditions in connection with her appointment.

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