Innovative Course Prepares Skilled Graduates to Share in the Success of the Irish Funds Industry

Tuesday, May 21, 2019 - 12:00

Maynooth University and leading Irish law firm Matheson have continued their successful partnership in delivering an innovative learning opportunity based on a thriving area of the Irish economy in the form of the Funds Law module, which is offered on the LLM in International Business Law. 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 top international law firm.

The Irish funds industry directly employs over 16,000 people in Ireland across 10 different counties. Ireland is recognised internationally as one of the world's leading jurisdictions for funds, and is responsible for administering over 40% of the world’s alternative investment funds. The world’s major fund service providers have established a presence in Ireland, and the value of assets under administration in this country has surpassed the €4 trillion mark. Matheson acts for funds with 30% Irish market share of assets under management.

An understanding of the European Union architecture which underpins Irish funds regulation, the factors involved in Ireland’s emergence as a global leader in the funds space and its status as an international distribution hub are included within the subject matter covered on this course.

Through the collaborative effort of Matheson and Maynooth University, this partnership between industry and academia seeks to directly link education and employment opportunity in a vibrant sector of business sector in Ireland today. Matheson has set up a six month internship in the firm for the best student in the course, offering experiential learning to complement the student’s academic exposure to funds law.

Tara Doyle, Head of Asset Management and Investment Funds at Matheson, says:

“Ireland is an international leader in financial services and continues to thrive 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.”

Liz Grace, Partner at Matheson, who created and wrote the Funds Law course says:
“Six years on from writing the Funds Law course, I am absolutely delighted to see it go from strength to strength. It has been our great pleasure at Matheson to continue the collaboration with Professor Doherty and Maynooth University. Partnerships between academia and industry such as this are vital to pass complex regulatory knowledge to our third level students, and to continue to develop the skills base necessary to ensure Ireland's continued success in international financial services."

Brónagh Maher, a Professional Support Lawyer at Matheson who led the course this year, states that:

“This innovative partnership of academia and practice 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