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Kate is a partner in the Competition and Regulation Group.  Prior to joining Matheson, Kate worked at a Magic Circle law firm in London.

Kate’s EU competition practice spans the areas of merger control, behavioural competition issues (including abuse of dominance, cartels and other restrictive arrangements), State aid, sectoral regulation and public procurement. As part of Kate’s regulatory practice, she advises clients on compliance with telecommunications, broadcasting and postal regulation as well as representing life sciences companies on regulatory and pricing matters arising during the life cycle of medicinal products.

Kate’s clients are leaders across a broad range of industries and Kate has particular expertise in the communications, Life Sciences and financial services sectors. Kate has advised on numerous notable regulatory processes and court cases. With her extensive experience of regulators and courts at Irish and EU level, clients turn to Kate for expert advice on defending their interests and for practical solutions which achieve their commercial objectives.

Kate contributes articles to leading international legal publications and speaks regularly on EU law issues including as a lecturer on Law Society courses.

Experience Highlights

Recent matters on which Kate has led and advised include: 

Telecoms and Media

  • Advising on regulatory approvals for numerous Irish telecoms and media M&A deals, including Three Ireland / 02 Ireland, Asterion / NBI, AMP / Speed Fibre Group and transactions involving eir.
  • Advising Mediahuis (formerly INM plc) on numerous newsprint M&A deals, including the only ever Phase 2 media merger review.
  • Advising Daily Mail on numerous newsprint M&A deals subject to Irish media merger and competition approval and on general competition law issues.
  • Advising on numerous High Court challenges of telecoms regulatory decisions by the Irish regulator, ComReg, including acting for Three Ireland, Sky Ireland and Vodafone Ireland.

Competition Approval / Merger Control

  • Advising Bank of Ireland on obtaining competition approval for its acquisition of the assets of KBC Ireland, subject to remedies, following a Phase 2 process before the Irish Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC)
  • Advising AIB on obtaining competition approval for the formation, in cooperation with its competitors, of the Yippay payments joint venture, subject to remedies following a Phase 2 CCPC process.
  • Advising Orpea on obtaining competition approval, subject to remedies at Phase 1, for a series of acquisitions of nursing home businesses across Ireland.

Competition Investigations

  • Advising on inspections by the EU Commission and the CCPC in Ireland, including attending a 2017 EU inspection of an insurance business, a recent Irish inspection of a private home, and advising on identifying and mitigating risk after these inspections.
  • Advising Brokers Ireland on the CCPC investigation into the private motor insurance sector, which lasted from 2016 to 2021 and involved witness summonses and extensive information requests.

Competition Litigation

  • Acting in defence of a follow-on action for damages arising from the European Commission's decision in the 'Trucks' case.

State Aid

  • Advising the Irish Government on the obtaining State aid approval for its Renewable energy subsidy schemes.
  • Advising on making State aid complaints and defending numerous high-profile State aid investigations by the EU Commission.

Other experience highlights:

  • Advising Macquarie Asset Management in relation to its agreement to acquire the Beacon Hospital in Dublin, subject to customary regulatory approvals. 

"I regard Kate McKenna and Simon Shinkwin particularly highly. I always feel like I have their full attention and like my work matters to them."
Telecoms: The European Legal 500 2024

"Kate McKenna is excellent. Knowledge is excellent, but also applies it in a very practical way that can be applied within the business."
EU and Competition: The European Legal 500 2024

"Kate McKenna is a stand out partner. Her availability, knowledge set and experience is matchless within the competition law sphere."
EU and Competition: The European Legal 500 2023

"Kate McKenna is technically and strategically strong. Client friendly, collaborative and very impressive."
EU and Competition: The European Legal 500 2023

"The two stand out partners that I work with are Niall Collins and Kate McKenna. They are both multi jurisdictional but Kate is particularly excellent at media filings."
EU and Competition: The Legal 500 2023

"Kate McKenna is a master of her practice area and is equally comfortable giving technical and strategic advice.’"
Telecoms: The European Legal 500 2023

"Kate McKenna is both knowledgeable and client-focused in providing regular updates and advice."
Competition: Chambers Europe 2023

"She is very capable, always well informed and able to draw multiple complex strands together. We feel we can rely on her not to let any ball drop."
Competition: Chambers Europe 2023

"She offers excellent customer service, understanding our challenges and needs. She demonstrates high standards, is open-minded, attentive and reliable and creates a secure, trusted environment."
Competition: Chambers Europe 2023

"Kate McKenna has a really impressive ability to successfully navigate complex and sensitive issues."
Telecoms: The European Legal 500 2022

"Kate McKenna is an excellent lawyer and relationship partner. She is reliable and always responsive. She approaches all queries in a pragmatic and commercially focused manner."
Telecoms: The European Legal 500 2022

"Kate McKenna combines exceptional communications skills with, in my experience, unparalleled depth of legal knowledge and experience in EU and competition law. Kate honed in on the key issues, both legal and commercial, that needed to be addressed and dealt with those in a clear, succinct manner, and identified an innovative solution. In over three decades of managing commercial transactions, I have yet to identify a lawyer in the area of EU and competition law in whom I would have greater confidence than Kate".
EU and Competition: The European Legal 500 2022

“Kate McKenna has an excellent understanding of the local market and challenges faced by innovative pharmaceutical companies.”
EU and Competition: The European Legal 500 2022

"Always responsive and aware of the specifics of our sector."
EU and Competition: Chambers Europe 2022

"Kate McKenna supports an exceptional knowledge of European and state aid law. Kate has a pragmatic view that extends beyond the legislation into a deep understanding of the practicalities of delivering public sector policy".
EU and Competition: The European Legal 500 2021

"Kate McKenna is a remarkably erudite lawyer second guessing collateral issues".
EU and Competition: The European Legal 5000 2021

"Kate McKenna is excellent in her field".
EU and Competition: The European Legal 500 2021

"Kate McKenna and her team are approachable and provide practical advice. Kate is responsive and efficient".
EU and Competition: The European Legal 500 2021

Kate McKenna is "incredibly thorough and very technical".
Competition: Chambers Europe 2021

A client reports that Kate McKenna "has an amazing ability to distil very complex legal advice into comprehensible language." "She is quick to grasp the key issues and is calm and practical," says another source.
Chambers Europe 2020

Kate McKenna is "clear and concise". 
EU and Competition: The European Legal 500 2019

Kate McKenna is named a next generation lawyer.
EU and Competition: The European Legal 500 2019

Kate McKenna is "imaginative in the manner that she goes about her work".
Competition: Chambers Europe2019 

Kate McKenna is "excellent, she is deeply intelligent".
Competition: Chambers Europe2019

Kate McKenna has a "great legal mind, is very pleasant to work with and always adds value".
Competition: Chambers Europe 2019

"Kate McKenna is phenomenal. She is a highly experienced competition lawyer."
Competition: Chambers Europe 2018

ate McKenna is "extremely knowledgeable and technically excellent".
EU and Competition: The European Legal 500 2018

Kate McKenna has "commercial pragmatism and ability to create a way through a heavily regulated area."
Competition: Chambers Europe 2018

Her clients have noted her to be a 'flexible and dedicated' provider of  'tailored advice'
Competition: Chambers Europe 2017


Trinity College Dublin (Law Degree)