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Darren Maher "thinks outside the box".

European Legal 500


Darren Maher is a partner and Co-Head of the Firm's Corporate Department and Head of the Financial Institutions Group at Matheson. He has advised a wide range of leading domestic and international financial institutions on all aspects of financial services law and regulation including establishment and authorisation, development and distribution of products, compliance, corporate governance and re-organisations including cross-border mergers, schemes of arrangement, portfolio transfers and mergers and acquisitions.

Darren is a member of the firm’s Brexit Advisory Group and is advising a significant number of the world’s leading financial services firms on their plans to establish a regulated subsidiary in Ireland in order to maintain access to the EU single market following the United Kingdom’s exit from the EU.

Darren frequently publishes articles in financial services publications and is co-author of the Irish chapter of PLC's Cross-border Insurance and Reinsurance Handbook, Law Business Research’s Insurance and Reinsurance Law Review, and co-contributor to ICLG’s Guide to Insurance and Reinsurance.

Darren lectures at the Law Society of Ireland and the Insurance Institute of Ireland.

Experience Highlights

Darren’s recent experience includes advising:

  • The Minister for Finance on the €1.3 billion sale of Irish Life Assurance plc to Great-West Lifeco.
  • Allied Irish Banks plc on the sale of Ark Life Assurance plc to Guardian Financial Services.
  • BNY Mellon on a cross-border merger of the Bank of New York Mellon (Ireland) Limited with the Bank of New York Mellon SA/NV, a Belgian registered bank, as part of an internal reorganisation within the BNY Mellon group.
  • Aviva Group on the restructure of the non-life insurance business of Aviva Ireland. This is one of the largest restructurings of an Irish insurance business carried out in recent years and involved in excess of 1 million policyholders of the Aviva Group.
  • QBE Group on the merger of its Irish, UK and Belgian reinsurance companies by way of a cross-border merger.
  • Swiss Life Assurance et Patrimoine S.A., a French authorised insurer, on its acquisition of a portfolio of life insurance policies issued to French resident policyholders from UBS International Life Limited.
  • Handelsbanken Life & Pension on the transfer of its life insurance business to Handelsbanken Liv in Sweden.
  • Allied Irish Banks plc on its life insurance distribution agreement with Irish Life Assurance plc.

"Darren Maher – very reasonable and pragmatic with deep understanding of the relevant laws and regulations. Distinguished by his encyclopaedic knowledge, spiced with capability of getting all necessary information and connections in insurance business."
Insurance: The European Legal 500 2024

"Darren Maher – regulatory knowledge and connection to the market. "
Insurance: The European Legal 500 2024

"Darren Maher is a truly exceptional lawyer. Darren is an extremely talented communicator with an invaluable ability to distil complex matters for his clients. Darren is a great listener and is able to understand difficult problems rapidly with little background and then instantly advise us on how to manage these problems. Every conversation with Darren Maher adds value to our business."
Insurance: The European Legal 500 2024

Darren Maher is included in The Legal 500 Hall of Fame: Insurance

"Darren Maher is second to none. His knowledge and experience of the Irish insurance market is exceptional and always keeps a breast of the most recent developments in the sector."
Insurance: The European Legal 500 2023

"Darren Maher is an exceptional lawyer. He has a rare combination of deep specialist knowledge and broad commercial and legal perspectives. This allows him to advise on complex issues and bring together threads from more than one area of expertise."
Insurance: The European Legal 500 2023

"Matheson’s partners’ insights have proven invaluable to us on many occasions. In particular, Darren Maher has an outstanding grasp of regulatory matters and provides incisive, commercially-minded, and pragmatic advices, which are invariably proven right over time."
Insurance: The European Legal 500 2023

"Darren Maher has exceptional commercial and regulatory knowledge, and provides highly pragmatic advices."
Insurance: The European Legal 500 2023

"He is excellent, a superb negotiator."
Insurance: The European Legal 500 2023

"Darren Maher is top class. His negotiation skills and expertise really contributed to the success of the transaction for us. Eoin Shiel is excellent also and really got to grips with the transaction and had in depth expertise and knowledge."
Insurance: The European Legal 500 2022

Darren Maher "is lead partner and is simply top in his field. Kieran has an extremely good working knowledge of new laws and regulations."
Insurance: The European Legal 500 2022

"Darren Maher – is a leader in the field. I trust his advice and more importantly value his pragmatism. He understands that firms do not want a recital of the law but practical advice that can be implemented in the real world."
Insurance: The European Legal 500 2022

"Darren Maher, head of the firm’s financial institutions group, is one of the best informed and connected insurance specialists in Ireland. He has encyclopaedic knowledge and deep understanding of the relevant laws and regulations, and his advice is always pragmatic and commercial. A quality act and genuine safe pair of hands."
Insurance: The European Legal 500 2022

Darren Maher "excellent knowledge of the insurance supervisory framework."
Insurance: Chambers Europe 2022

"Darren Maher's negotiation ability is a standout for us. His knowledge of the sector is second to none, and it is communicated in a very practical manner."
Insurance: Chambers Europe 2022

Darren Maher "has a fantastic way of dealing with all of the various stakeholders."
Insurance: Chambers Europe 2021

Darren Maher is "excellent at navigating through the nuances, knowing his audience and adjusting his advice in order to get things over the line."
Insurance: Chambers Europe 2021

Darren Maher "can tell us the options available, which option has worked for others and which is our best chance of success."
Insurance: Chambers Europe 2021

‘Darren Maher is very well connected with the financial regulators in Ireland and has good relationships across different EU jurisdictions. He provides well-reasoned regulatory advice.’
Insurance: The European Legal 500 2021

Clients enthuse that Darren Maher's "knowledge of the law and the sector is second-to-none." Another source lauds him as "an absolute expert in his field," adding: "He doesn't just know the regulations, but really gets how to implement them from a business perspective."
Insurance: Chambers Europe 2020

Darren Maher is "dedicated" and "excellent to work with",
Insurance: The European Legal 500 2019

Darren Maher is "very knowledgeable and customer-focused” and has “a wealth of experience, is a good communicator and is very quick".
Insurance: Chambers Europe 2019


University College Dublin and DePaul College of Law, US (BCL International)