Matheson Nurtures Fresh Legal Talent

14th October 2019

Posted In: So In Demand

Matheson is pleased to announce that three Maynooth University law students have been awarded prizes for their contributions on the specialised Funds Law course, which is led by an all-female Matheson team as part of the Maynooth University LLM in International Business Law.

Tai Ogunde from Drogheda and Aidan Leahy from Mullingar have both been awarded a six-month internship in Matheson’s Asset Management and Investment Funds Department based on their results and a competitive interview process.  Sofia Vdovichenko from Dublin has been awarded a legal writing prize, having received the highest grade for her written assignment forming part of the course assessment.

Speaking at a special event to honour the award recipients and their families at Maynooth University’s campus, Head of Investment Funds at Matheson Tara Doyle said, “Matheson is delighted to acknowledge the achievements of Tai, Aidan and Sofia on the Funds Law course, and to offer the opportunity to Maynooth University students to work with us in a thriving sector of Ireland’s economy, the investment funds industry.  Ireland is an international leader in financial services and continues to stand out as a leading international fund domicile.  It is increasingly important that Ireland exhibits its strengths internationally, particularly in a post-Brexit world in which many UK-based financial services companies are moving some of their operations abroad.  Designing third level programmes that ensure a supply of talented graduates with relevant, specialist skills is a key element in ensuring Ireland’s ongoing competitiveness in the international financial services arena.”

Matheson first partnered with Maynooth University Department of Law in 2013 to deliver the first specialised funds law course to be taught at an Irish university.  Each week, Maynooth University LLM students leave the University campus to attend lectures in Matheson’s offices, giving them unique exposure to a leading international law firm. Liz Grace, WMB Gender Diversity Ambassador and Partner at Matheson, who created and wrote the Funds Law course says:

“We know that a skilled workforce is a key factor for international companies considering locating in Ireland. Equipping graduates with specialist skills is essential to Ireland’s success in continuing to attract foreign direct investment and, of course, hand in hand with that is the generation of exciting employment opportunities at home for our talented graduates,” she said.

“Moving forward, trying to increase the number of female-led financial services courses and student outreach initiatives is important, if we are to help to progress beyond the idea that finance and financial services are typically male fields. Having a more diverse pool of experts mentoring and equipping our graduates for moving forward successfully beyond the campus and into their careers is essential if we are to establish gender diversity as a competitive advantage for the Irish international financial services sector.”

Professor Michael Doherty, Head of Maynooth University Department of Law, which celebrates its tenth anniversary this year, said: “‘We are delighted to have continued our fantastic partnership with Matheson on this unique course. The experience gained by all the students, including the three award recipients, is invaluable. The innovative nature of the course is a model for what can be achieved when industry and academia engage in such a collaborative way, with benefits not only for those directly involved, but also for the wider economy, and the entire third level education system.”

Michael Jackson, Managing Partner at Matheson, commented:  “Education is the first step towards excellence. Matheson’s collaboration with Maynooth University allows us to help expose the students on the course to an area of law in which Ireland continues to excel. It also allows us to introduce them to an internationally focused professional environment. We also benefit by learning how business can better interact with academia to produce the leaders of the future and by gaining a greater understanding of the factors which motivate today’s excellent graduates.”

Brónagh Maher, a Professional Support Lawyer at Matheson who co-ordinated and lectured on the course this year, states that: “It was a pleasure to teach Tai, Aidan and Sofia and I am proud of their achievements on the course.  The innovative partnership of academia and practice represented by the Funds Law course affords students an invaluable opportunity to gain a real insight into the Irish funds industry and to gain specialist legal knowledge in an area with excellent employment prospects.  Research shows that a skilled workforce is a key factor in attracting foreign direct investment and this course provides students with the essential specialist skills required by international companies choosing to locate in Ireland.”

Pictured (l-r): Brónagh Maher, Tara Doyle, Tai Ogunde (front), Liz Grace & Michael Doherty.