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Client Choice Award Winner for Litigation (Ireland)

International Law Office Client Choice Awards 2018


Karen Reynolds is a partner in the Commercial Litigation and Dispute Resolution Department at Matheson, and head of the firm's Regulatory Investigations team.  Our Regulatory Investigations team works closely with technical experts from our non-contentious practice areas, including the Financial Institutions, Asset Management, Finance and Capital Markets, Corporate and Technology and Innovation groups to ensure a seamless service which understands and meets our clients' regulatory requirements and priorities.

Karen advises clients on their interactions with regulators, from supervisory engagement to regulatory investigations and enforcement actions.  She advises international and domestic clients on contentious regulatory matters, often involving a number of regulators and jurisdictions.  Her clients include financial institutions, fintechs, banks, service providers, investment managers, private equity firms, credit firms, and other regulated entities and persons.  She has significant experience in handling regulatory investigations, providing strategic risk management counsel and conducting internal investigations (domestically and cross-border).  She has substantial experience in assisting regulated firms and individuals navigate highly complex and sensitive matters to secure the optimum outcome.

Karen is an accomplished litigator, and has acted in a number of test-cases and precedent setting commercial court disputes.  She has a reputation for expertly guiding clients through all manner of commercial and financial services disputes, including in the Commercial Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.  Karen has substantial experience in corporate restructuring and insolvency law matters, having had a lead role in some of the most high profile corporate rescue transactions of the last ten years.  Karen's practice also encompasses compliance and governance related matters, white collar crime and corporate offences, anti-corruption and bribery legislation and document disclosure issues.

Karen is a member of the Law Society of Ireland, admitted in 2009.  She was named as a “Highly Regarded Individual” in the 2022 edition of the IFLR 1000, with “attention to detail, work ethic and her constant drive to get the best result for her clients”.

Experience Highlights
  • Acting for various financial institutions in regulatory investigation and enforcement proceedings (including the Central Bank of Ireland, the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement, the Financial Services and Pensions Ombudsman, the Charities Regulator). 
  • Acting for an investment holding company in connection with Commercial Court proceedings arising from a shareholder dispute, including in relation to appeals to the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.
  • Acting for one of the largest international banks in defending multi-million dollar claims made in multiple fund and related investor Commercial Court proceedings arising out of the fraud of Bernard L Madoff Investment Securities.
  • Acting for financial services providers in relation to administrative sanctions investigations under the Central Bank’s enhanced regulatory enforcement regime.
  • Acting for an entity regulated under the Central Bank Act in relation to a large scale remediation project and advising in relation to Central Bank investigation and enforcement action thereafter.
  • Advising global custodians of regulated and non-regulated funds in connection with their obligations relating to their custody of securities and other assets under Irish law.
  • Advising a global payment technology solutions company in connection with a dispute arising from a joint venture arrangement with a financial institution.
  • Acting for a company in relation to proceedings arising from a dispute in relation to the interpretation of a share option agreement and ancillary contractual arrangements.
  • Advising a pharma company in relation to take-down notices and enforcement of foreign judgments in Ireland.
  • Advising an international investment management company in relation to its hostile takeover and restructuring of an international oil and gas exploration company headquartered in Dublin.
  • Advising a financial institution and an insolvency practitioner in connection with defending Commercial Court proceedings arising out of high-profile receivership and financial restructuring of the Crosbie group of media companies.
  • Advising the petitioner in relation to the first successful examinership of companies in the construction industry, including in relation to cross border issues, security, enforcement, recognition of judgments and insolvency measures, and, in relation to an appeal to the Supreme Court.
  • Acting for a financial institution in a landmark solicitor’s negligence case and successful mediation of High Court proceedings.
  • Acting for a financial institution in multi-jurisdictional litigation in connection with the acquisition and development debt relating to the high profile residential and commercial development known as Clancy Quay.
  • Advised the National Asset Management Agency (“NAMA”) in securing judgments in the first ever proceedings taken by NAMA against borrowers and guarantors in connection with loans acquired from participating institutions.
  • Advising financial institutions in relation to restructuring options and consensual work outs for trading corporate borrowers, including debt for equity swaps and other consensual debt restructurings using formal insolvency processes.
  • Advising financial institutions in connection with commercial court cases, mediations and settlements involving defaulting borrowers and guarantee claims as well as professional negligence claims.
  • Advising Macquarie Asset Management in relation to its agreement to acquire the Beacon Hospital in Dublin, subject to customary regulatory approvals. 

"Karen Reynolds is very impressive. She is extremely knowledgeable, astute and an excellent communicator who builds close relationships with her clients and provides sensible and pragmatic advice in a crystal clear manner."
White Collar Crime: The European Legal 500 2024

"Karen Reynolds – she is an excellent communicator with a specific ability to succinctly and clearly break down complex legal issues and challenges. It’s a great pleasure to work with her, as she is extremely attentive to details and constantly instils confidence in the process of finding the best result."
Insurance: The European Legal 500 2024

"Karen Reynolds – very commercial, solutions-focused."
Insurance: The European Legal 500 2024

"Karen Reynolds and her team have been supporting us through a particularly sensitive and bitterly-contested dispute, that we have been pulled into (through no fault of our own) between two third parties. Karen stepped into the breach on this one, and was able to cut through the “white noise” and ascertain exactly what was going in a calm and professional manner, all whilst taking a firm and no-nonsense approach to engagements with the third parties’ solicitors, in what must have been a very trying dispute to “unwind”. We are now approaching the “endgame” with a successful resolution in sight. Karen is a very effective litigator who can be relied upon to comprehensively and resolutely safeguard her client’s interests."
Dispute Resolution: The European Legal 500 2024

“She has very broad knowledge and experience.”
Dispute Resolution: Chambers Europe 2024

"Karen is an excellent litigator whose exhaustive attention to detail and tactical nous is of enormous benefit."
Dispute Resolution: Chambers Europe 2024

"Karen Reynolds' commercial awareness sets her apart, and her knowledge of regulatory disputes is a huge asset."
Dispute Resolution: Chambers Europe 2023

"Karen Reynolds is adept at explaining complicated legal issues to senior management in a clear and concise manner which aides decision making."
White Collar Crime: The European Legal 500 2022

“Both Julie Murphy O’Connor and Karen Reynolds are exceptional. They are both so responsive and efficient. I am very impressed with their commerciality and work product. Their whole team are also very easy to deal with.”
Dispute Resolution: The European Legal 500 2022

"We instructed Matheson in connection with a complex fraud claim against a former senior executive/country manager. Karen Reynolds was the lead partner. She was excellent. An excellent communicator including a great ability to distil complex areas of law in a concise and clear way. She demonstrated a great ability to instil confidence in Board members and senior executives. As a result, Karen’s advice was greatly valued in this complex sensitive matter and her involvement and wise counsel was the determining factor in reaching a satisfactory conclusion. Also, from the General Counsel’s point of view, she was a pleasure to work with"
White Collar Crime: The European Legal 500 2021

Karen Reynolds is "extremely hard working, very motivated. She’s bright, extremely bright".
Dispute Resolution: Chambers Europe 2019

"Karen Reynolds is at the absolute top of her profession."
Dispute Resolution: Chambers Europe 2018

"Karen Reynolds is very on the ball."
Dispute Resolution: Chambers Europe 2018

Client Choice Award Winner for Litigation (Ireland)
International Law Office Client Choice Award 2018

“Karen is always looking to see if there are alternative solutions or different angles from which a problem can be solved; her attention to detail is excellent.”
International Law Office 2018

“Karen is very quick on the uptake; she gets to know the brief quickly and demonstrates a good knowledge of complex matters in a short space of time.”
International Law Office 2018

“She is commercially astute; she makes her clients feel that their company is in very good hands.”
International Law Office 2018

“She builds excellent client relationships; she makes sure that she understands what her client’s objectives are and she delivers on them.”
International Law Office 2018

“We come into contact with many lawyers in the course of our business.  I have found Karen to be one of the best lawyers we have used.  Her attention to detail, work ethic and her constant drive to get the best result for her clients sets her apart.”
Restructuring and insolvency: IFLR1000 2018

“Karen has an in-depth knowledge of our business as she has taken the time over the last number of years to keep up to speed with us. She is an efficient and effective and cost conscious lawyer who delivers in a timely manner what is requested of her. She has high standards and is professional in her approach to our company and industry sector
Restructuring and insolvency: IFLR1000 2018


University College Dublin, BCL

Trinity College Dublin, LLM