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Karen is a partner in the Commercial Real Estate Group at Matheson.  She specialises in all types of property development and investment transactions (both loan and asset based) including syndicate investments using corporate, funds and other structures.  Karen has extensive experience in the site assembly, financing, structuring, letting and disposal of retail developments and mixed schemes on behalf of landlords and developers including multi-family, private rented sector 'PRS' development and the build-to-rent 'BTR' sector. She advises tenants taking space in all types of commercial property including retail, office and industrial.

She has worked on some of the largest property transactions in the country including Project Jewel – Ireland’s largest real estate transaction – where she acted for the purchaser of a portfolio of prime retail assets including Dundrum Town Centre.

Prior to joining Matheson, Karen was a partner at another Irish law firm for over a decade.  She is a frequent speaker and writer on commercial property and tax related issues. She lectures in build-to-rent schemes at the Law Society of Ireland.  She is consistently ranked as a leading lawyer by legal directories.

Experience Highlights
  • Advising Hammerson and Allianz Real Estate on the purchase of Project Jewel - Ireland's largest real estate transaction comprising a portfolio of prime retail assets including Dundrum Town Centre - and its subsequent loan to ownership conversion.
  • Advising the vendor on the sale of phase two of the Carrickmines Retail Park in Dublin - the No.1 retail investment deal of Q4 2018. 
  • Acting for a US Investor on the purchase of Central Park, Sandyford (multi-family units and retail/offices).
  • Advising Value Retail on the expansion of Kildare Village (Ireland’s premium outlet shopping destination) and the grant of licences to brands.
  • Acting for the purchaser of a portfolio of data centres in Ireland and the subsequent letting and asset management of the data centres.
  • Advising on large scale financings for domestic and international lenders (retail, PRS, offices and mixed developments).
  • Acting in the acquisition and structuring of retail/mixed schemes and PRS schemes for landlords/developers and leasing those schemes.
  • Advising Macquarie Asset Management in relation to its agreement to acquire the Beacon Hospital in Dublin, subject to customary regulatory approvals. 
‘Karen Shiel is an excellent lawyer. She is really client centric and anticipates potential issues before they are raised as issues. She has also a very hands-on approach and has really good attention to detail. ’ 
Real Estate: The Legal 500 2024

According to Legal 500 EMEA 2020, Karen is "extremely hard working and provides well thought out advice."

Chambers Europe 2019 rates her advice as "good and insightful, commercial and pragmatic."

According to Chambers Europe 2018, clients appreciate that Karen is "very friendly and approachable, so I can talk the transaction through with her". "She really goes the extra mile" enthuses another client.

In Chambers Europe 2017, according to clients, Karen is “exceptionally good on the client service end and extremely accommodating.”

In Legal 500 EMEA 2017, Karen is ‘highly rated’ having advised Hammerson and Allianz Real Estate on the €1.85bn acquisition of the Project Jewel loan portfolio from NAMA.

Sources say "She gives you the pros, the cons, and a recommendation. Her level of knowledge is superb." Chambers Europe 2016.



Admitted as a solicitor in Ireland 

University College Dublin, LLM (European Law) 

University College Dublin, BCL