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Matheson and Maynooth University Join Forces in Unique Student Initiative

AUTHOR(S): Elizabeth Grace, Michael Jackson
PRACTICE AREA GROUP: Asset Management and Investment Funds
DATE: 19.05.2015

Pictured: Elizabeth Grace, Matheson. Michael Doherty,  Maynooth University, Simon Harris TD, Minister of State and Megan O' Conor, Matheson.

Maynooth University has partnered with leading Irish law firm Matheson to create the first-ever specialised Funds Law course available at an Irish university to educate graduates for accelerated entry into Ireland’s growing International Financial Services Sector.  A delegation from Matheson and Maynooth met today with Minister of State at the Department of Finance with Special Responsibility for International Financial Services Simon Harris to brief him on the employment potential of its specialised Funds Law course.  

Welcoming the initiative Simon Harris TD, Minister of State with special responsibility for International Financial Services, noted that; “Talent is critical to Ireland’s continued success as a leading European Financial Services’ Centre.  Education is thus central to the Government’s recently published International Financial Services Strategy, IFS 2020.  This innovation in the area of Funds Law, bringing practitioner experience to bear in the development of a highly specialised training offering, is an excellent example of the closer links between industry and higher education that IFS 2020 seeks to foster.  I wish graduates of this course every success into the future.”

Matheson Partner and founder of the course, Liz Grace said: “Ireland is recognised as a centre for excellence and innovation in investment funds and a key objective of the Government’s IFS 2020 strategy is to drive Ireland’s continuous improvement and competitiveness in international financial services. Partnerships such as this between academia and industry are vital to develop our graduates’ expertise into the future, to support our graduates’ employment prospects and to grow the skills necessary to continue the success of Ireland’s international financial services sector.” 

A unique feature of the course is that Matheson directly employs the most talented graduates from the course, fast-tracking them into the sector. Matheson currently has two full-time employees from the first year of the course, Andrew Norry and Megan O’Connor, both having initially been awarded six month internships at the law firm. Andrew has now been chosen by Matheson for a secondment in London with one of Europe's largest asset managers.

Professor Michael Doherty, Head of the Law Department, Maynooth University said:  “This collaboration with Matheson is hugely important for us. The funds law course moves beyond the traditional legal curriculum to open students experience to much broader areas of legal practise that are at the centre of Ireland’s economic development and also areas where Ireland is a global player.” 

With respect to this being first-ever specialised Funds Law course to be taught at an Irish university Professor Doherty emphasised that: “It is the innovative nature of the course that is important to Maynooth University and the global nature of the subject - Irish funds law is an area of law in particular that has gained huge significance not just here in Ireland but across the globe, and Ireland needs graduates who have a much broader focus and exposure to practises that go beyond the traditional university experience.  The funds law course provides a focus on an area of real importance for our economy and society, so that’s why this is the kind of exciting new course for students which ticks all those boxes.”

Explaining his students’ interest in the course Professor Doherty said:  “An innovative feature with the funds law course is that it is taught in Matheson’s offices, giving the students an added dimension beyond a more traditional approach, and bringing them into the heart of a top international Irish law firm. I know that the students regard this as a significant value proposition which is unique.”

Highlighting the importance of the course for Matheson, Michael Jackson, Head of Matheson’s Asset Management and Investment Funds Group said:  "Education is the first step towards excellence. We are delighted that Matheson's collaboration with Maynooth University allows us to help expose students to an area of law in which Ireland continues to excel and 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."

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