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Gráinne "has provided excellent service" and is "very efficient, precise and fast".

Chambers Europe 2018


Gráinne Callanan leads Matheson’s Cork office and is a partner in the Financial Institutions Group. Gráinne advises a wide range of leading domestic and international financial institutions doing business in and from Ireland including life and non-life (re)insurance companies, captive insurers and intermediaries on corporate transactions, regulatory and compliance and corporate governance. Gráinne has extensive expertise in the areas of new authorisations, portfolio transfers, cross-border mergers, corporate restructurings, distribution arrangements and health insurance. She has advised on a wide range of innovative transactions in the insurance market in recent times and has taken a leading role advising clients on a number of significant acquisitions of closed books of life insurance businesses.

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

Gráinne is also a member of the Cork Financial Services Forum.

Experience Highlights 

Gráinne has advised:

  • On a significant number of authorisations for insurers and intermediaries  as a result of Brexit contingency plans.
  • AXIS Speciality Europe SE in relation to a cross border merger with Belgische Maatschappij Voor Luchtvaart Verzekeringen NV Compagnie Belge D’Assurances Aviation SA (“Aviabel”), a Belgian authorised non-life insurance undertaking.
  • A large domestic bank on its key non-life distribution arrangements, which include its arrangements with AXA in respect of home, motor and payment protection insurance.
  • LCCG on the consolidated transfer of three of its life assurance portfolios to Harcourt Life Ireland dac as part of its internal re-organisation.  This was the first ever consolidated transfer of insurance business approved by the Irish High Court.
  • Utmost Ireland dac, an Irish authorised insurer, on the acquisition of a close book life-insurance portfolio from Athora Ireland dac and management of the related Schemes in Jersey and Guernsey.
  • DubliMont dac on the disposal of its closed book insurance business to a Finnish entity.
  • Laguna Life on its acquisition of a life insurance portfolio from MetLife dac.
  • National Grid Insurance Company Ireland, an Irish authorised insurer, on the transfer of its insurance business to Zurich Insurance plc.
"Gráinne Callanan – passionate about successful delivery. Incredible stamina and tenacity. 100% record of success, even under the seemingly impossible circumstances of one particular insurance business transformation. All backed up with exceptional technical knowledge and experience. She has the ability to identify and exhaust all possible counter arguments and to foresee and forestall them before they amount to real issues."
Insurance: The Legal 500 2024

"Gráinne Callanan has handled several S.13 IPTs for our company and she has done so in a highly-effective and professional way, ensuring that all legal requirements are addressed, every step of the way. Gráinne has an intuitive understanding of our business and the importance of these portfolio transfers to us, and she expertly managed each portfolio transfer for us in a clear and logical manner, unfailingly making herself available to us to answer any and all queries that we have had in a courteous and friendly way. Nothing phased Gráinne and she provided a calm, authoritative presence to guide us through the whole process."
Insurance: The Legal 500 2024

"I deal mainly with Grainne Callanan and have done so for a number of years. Grainne is very knowledgeable and has extensive experience of the end-to-end regulatory experience for insurance. She brings that knowledge and experience to bear in a very practical and client-focused manner, which has always yielded excellent results."
Insurance: The Legal 500 2024

"Gráinne Callanan is an expert in Insurance Regulation and a pleasure to deal with. Gráinne always gets to the crux of the issue and navigates a way through. This approach is a real asset to the firm and distinguishes Matheson from its peers in Ireland. Gráinne consistently goes the extra mile for her clients with no fuss or ceremony. Her goal is always to get to the best possible solution for the client."

Insurance: The Legal 500 2023

"Gráinne Callanan always provides practical, real-world advice."
Insurance: Chambers Europe 2023

"providing excellent regulatory guidance on key principles" and "Gráinne Callanan is calm and methodical."
Chambers Europe 2022

Gráinne Callanan has a "practical understanding"
Chambers Europe 2021

Gráinne Callanan "knows how the regulator will react"
Chambers Europe 2021

Sources have stated that Gráinne Callanan and her team "have a very personable approach", and "they really take their time to build relationships with you and make the legal experience enjoyable", ensuring the client is "very comfortable" if they ever have a question.
European Legal 500 2021

Gráinne Callanan is recommended.
European Legal 500 2020

Gráinne Callanan is recommended.
European Legal 500 2019

Gráinne is very "knowledgeable on that side of the Irish regulatory landscape, a very good communicator".
Chambers Europe 2019

Gráinne Callanan is recognised in the Influential Women in Re/Insurance Report
Intelligent Insurer 2018

Gráinne "has provided excellent service" and is "very efficient, precise and fast".
Chambers Europe 2018


University College Cork (BCL, Law and German)

University College Cork (LLM)

IPMA Certified Project Management Associate (Diploma in Project Management)

Law Society of Ireland