Skip to main content

Trinity College Dublin, The University of Dublin

Trinity Menu Trinity Search

Trinity Law School Law and Contempoary Challenges Webinar Conversations Spring 2021.

Webinar Dates: 20 April, 27 April, 4 May, 11 May.

This April and May, Trinity Law School will conduct a series of conversations with leading practitioners that address the most pressing contemporary challenges for communities in Ireland and around the world. Each conversation will be moderated by Professor Yvonne Scannell. The webinars will run from Tuesday 20 April to Tuesday 11 May. Attendance is free but registration is essential.

Webinar 1 - 100 Day of Brexit. Tuesday 20 April, 6pm.

100 days after the end of the transition period, Brexit’s implications for trade are becoming clearer: between the UK and Ireland; and between Great Britain and Northern Ireland. From Amazon customers to exporters and importers of food produce, all have experienced significant difficulties in the early months of 2021. Indirect taxes (such as custom duties and VAT) and food standards represent the barriers to trade that are causing this reorientation. In this conversation, Caoimhín and Matthew will explore the recent changes and assess whether they are mere teething troubles or harbingers of a fundamental reorientation of trading relationships.

Webinar Recording

Webinar 2 - Assessing the Future of Irish Defamation Law. Tuesday 27 April, 6pm.

The Defamation 2009 Act is now 11 years old and has been for some years the focus of a public consultation process considering possible reforms of the legislation. Albeit that this has been interrupted by the Covid Pandemic, successive governments have promised that reform of Irish defamation law is imminent. In this seminar, Eoin McCullough, SC, and Kenan Furlong, partner in A& L Goodbody and Professor Neville Cox of Trinity College Dublin consider possible areas for reform of Irish defamation law including the possible abolition of juries, limitations on the amount of damages that can be awarded, specific reforms in relation to defamatory statements made on social media platforms and desirable procedural changes to the law.

Webinar Recording

Webinar 3 - The Gig Economy. Tuesday 4 May, 6pm.

The gig economy presents fundamental challenges and opportunities for innovation in the employment law landscape. The recent judgment of the UK Supreme Court in the Uber drivers case (Uber v Aslam [2021] UKSC 5) has, amongst other developments, cast the spotlight on the adaptability of employment law in the context of the gig economy. In Ireland, whilst our legislative regime differs significantly from that applied in Uber, the same key questions arise. In this presentation, Dr. Desmond Ryan will explore his research work, drawing on international perspectives, on how Irish law can respond to the challenges posed by the gig economy. In conversation with Nuala Clayton, Partner at William Fry, Dr. Ryan will identify a number of emerging questions concerning employment status, rights protection and working conditions that are shaping EU and Irish law, and on the likely future direction of developments in this area.

Webinar Recording

Webinar 4 - Time to Get SEARious – the proposed Senior Executive Accountability Regime. Tuesday 11 May, 6pm.

In 2018, the Central Bank published a highly critical Report on Behaviour and Culture in the Irish Retail Banks arising from the Tracker Mortgage Scandal. In this, it proposed a Senior Executive Accountability Regime (SEAR) to make individuals performing senior executive functions in regulated financial services providers more accountable for their actions. Two and a half years later, the fines arising from the Scandal are still being meted out, most recently in the form of a €37.8 million fine for Ulster Bank, but the legislation to enable SEAR has yet to be introduced. Blanaid and Sean will consider some of the challenges in implementing and enforcing SEAR and discuss issues such as individual decision making, collective responsibility, deterrence, and sanctions.

Webinar Recording


Sean Barton

Mr Sean Barton is a partner in McCann FitzGerald and a specialist in administrative and public law, with a deep understanding of public sector processes and corporate governance and legal risk management issues. He advises public bodies on their functions and compliance obligations under the public office and official languages legislation. He also acts for these bodies in the defence of judicial review proceedings and in investigations and enforcement actions. As an adviser to several public authorities, including the Irish courts’ rule-making authorities, Seán has worked on the preparation of primary and delegated legislation and on the development of procedural rules. Seán acts regularly in substantial domestic and international commercial disputes, both in litigation before the Irish courts and in arbitrations under various institutional rules. He is frequently involved in Commercial Court litigation, especially in the regulatory sphere. He has been involved in a number of expert groups interested in legal and procedural reform, reviewing matters such as judicial review procedure, restatements, and the implementation of EU measures in Irish court practice. He has acted as Irish rapporteur for several EC Commission-led reviews on the operation of EU cross-border judicial co-operation measures.

Mr Matthew Broadstock

Mr Matthew Broadstock is a partner in the Tax practice of Matheson specialising in Indirect Taxes. Matthew advises in relation to Value Added Tax (both at an Irish and EU level), Customs and Excise queries and Relevant Contracts Tax. Matthew advises a broad spectrum of Irish and international clients across various industries on contentious and non-contentious issues. Matthew also has a lot of experience advising a large number of significant clients in the technology and pharmaceutical industries. Matthew also has significant experience advising upon the VAT treatment of multi-jurisdictional supply chains. In this regard Matthew has also coordinated a number of large cross-jurisdictional projects regarding indirect taxes. Matthew is a qualified solicitor and a member of the Law Society of Ireland as well as being a non-practicing member of the Bar Council of England and Wales and a member of the Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn and a qualified solicitor in England and Wales

Prof Blanaid Clarke

Prof Blanaid Clarke holds the McCann FitzGerald Chair in Corporate Law. Her research interests include corporate governance and financial services law. She is Deputy Chairman of the Irish Banking Culture Board and the Irish representative on the OECD’s Corporate Governance Committee. She is also a member of ESMAs Takeover Bids Network and a Vice President of the Academic Board of the European Banking Institute. Previously, she was a member of the Irish Central Bank Commission, the European Commission’s Informal Expert Group on Company Law and its Reflection Group on the Future of EU Company Law.

Ms Nuala Clayton

Ms Nuala Clayton is a Partner in the Employment & Benefits Group in William Fry. Nuala's expertise encompasses contentious and non-contentious employment advices with a particular specialism in employment litigation and health and safety law. Nuala advises a range of multinationals, public and private sector employers advising on a variety of employment and health and safety matters. Nuala has significant experience acting for clients both before the Workplace Relations Commission, the Labour Court and the Superior Courts. Nuala is a committee member of both the Employment Law Association of Ireland and the Health and Safety Lawyers' Association of Ireland.

Prof Neville Cox

Neville Cox is a Professor in the Law School of Trinity College Dublin where he was formerly the university’s Dean of Graduate Students. He lectures in a number of topics including defamation law, Islamic law and Medical law and Ethics. He is the author of numerous books, book chapters and law review articles. He is the co-author of Defamation Law and Practice (Clarus Press) 1st ed 2014, 2nd ed 2021.

Mr Keenan Furlong

Kenan is a partner in A&L Goodbody's Litigation and Dispute Resolution Department, leading both their White Collar Crime Group and their Corporate Reputation team. His corporate reputation practice involves advising on reputational issues, including crisis communications and defamation cases. He has particular expertise in internet-based defamation law. He has presented to the Irish Government on draft legislation, has lectured at several Irish universities (including in Trinity College), and has chaired international conferences in Buenos Aires, Sydney, Washington, Panama, Vienna, Istanbul, Rome, Dubai and Kraków.

Mr Eoin McCullough SC

Eoin McCullough is a Senior Counsel at the Irish bar. He practices in multiple different areas but has a specialisation in defamation law and has appeared in some of the most high profile defamation cases over the past 20 years both in Ireland and before the European Court of Human Rights and CJEU including Data Protection Commissioner v Facebook and Schrems (2020), Scallon v Independent Newspapers (2020) McDonagh v Sunday Newspapers (2018) and Gilchrist v Sunday Newspapers (2017). He has presented and lectured at numerous legal conferences and is the co-author of Defamation Law and Practice (Clarus Press) 1st ed 2014, 2nd ed 2021.

Prof Caoimhín Mac Maoláin

Prof Caoimhín Mac Maoláin is an Associate Professor in the School of Law, having previously held a Jean Monnet Chair in EU Law at Exeter University. He teaches modules in European Union Law, International Trade Law and Food Law. Caoimhín has published extensively in the areas of EU Law and Food Law. He is the author of Irish Food Law (Hart, 2019) and Food Law: European, Domestic and International Frameworks (Hart, 2015). His recent work focuses on public health and food law..


Prof Des Ryan

Prof Des Ryan is an Associate Professor in the School of Law. His principal areas of research interest are in Employment Law and Tort Law. He has published widely in journals including The Cambridge Law Journal, the Civil Justice Quarterly, Legal Studies, The Conveyancer and Property Lawyer, the Dublin University Law Journal, the Irish Employment Law Journal and the Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly.

Prof Yvonne Scannell

Prof Yvonne Scannell is an Emeritus Professor in the School of Law. One of Europe’s foremost experts on environmental and planning law, she is currently a Judge of the European Nuclear Energy Tribunal at the OCED in Paris.