The recent announcement of the launch of the Matheson Impactful Business Programme (IBP), an initiative which integrates our existing activities under the four pillars of D&I, CSR, Environmental Sustainability and the Arts into a single overarching programme for driving sustainable change and giving back to our communities, has received positive feedback from colleagues and clients.  Thank you to all who volunteered to assist with the work of the IBP.  I know from the updates received to date that there are some very positive projects underway and in planning stages and that there will be ample opportunity for everyone to utilise their talents and play their part in making our IBP an effective and inclusive programme.

Pro Bono

Our commitment to pro bono work forms an important part of our IBP initiatives.  Last November Matheson was a founding signatory to Ireland's Pro Bono Pledge, the first collaborative effort of its kind in Ireland in relation to pro bono legal work.  Since signing the pledge, much work has been undertaken to assess how best to restructure and reorganise Matheson's pro bono offering so that we can deliver on the commitments we have made.  I am very pleased to announce today that the firm has appointed Niamh Counihan as Pro Bono Partner.  Niamh has agreed to dedicate 50% of her professional time specifically to pro bono legal activities, with the other 50% continuing to be dedicated to her responsibilities as our Director of Legal and Regulatory Affairs.

As Pro Bono Partner, Niamh is responsible for working with management to refine Matheson's pro bono strategy and for leading the pro bono initiatives and collaborative projects that engage our lawyers and our clients in supporting the communities in which we work and live.  Niamh brings her outstanding ability as a lawyer and her extensive legal knowledge to this role, and I know that she is greatly looking forward to working with many of you as part of pro bono at Matheson.


The appointment of a dedicated Pro Bono Partner underlines our commitment to putting our firm values into action.  We are already progressing with a number of exciting pro bono initiatives which support Environmental Sustainability, CSR and D&I to benefit our communities.  For example, Matheson this month became a signatory to The Open Community Cairde Allies Partner Pledge.  The Open Community is a collaborative national support organisation for Ireland's Community Sponsorship Programme for Refugees.  Matheson lawyers will collaborate with The Open Community to support communities assisting refugee families, by providing legal services to those refugees and their families.  We are proud to continue and further develop our long standing partnership with The Irish Rule of Law International by providing pro bono services that enhance and promote the rule of law and access to justice, and to collaborate with the Public Interest Law Alliance in providing legal advice and assistance to not for profit organisations working with groups and individuals who cannot afford to pay for or access legal services.

We look forward to sharing with you more about how our contribution supports and promotes the unmet legal needs of those in our community who could not otherwise access legal services.  We would welcome any pro bono ideas or suggestions that you might have to facilitate access to justice.

In the meantime, if you would like to hear more about our pro bono initiatives, please read more here.  Alternatively, you can contact Niamh or your usual Matheson contact.  They would be delighted to hear from you.

Diversity and Inclusion

I am delighted to announce that since the launch of our IBP initiative the annual European 100 report published by The Lawyer magazine has ranked Matheson as the fifth most gender diverse law firm in Europe.  This is an improvement of two places on our previous ranking of seventh and we continue to be ranked as the most gender diverse Irish headquartered law firm.  We continue to focus on our commitments to increasing diversity within the firm and, again, would welcome suggestions as to how we can further this aim.

Finally, Matheson's annual Diversity & Inclusion Conference in partnership with Trinity College Dublin (TCD) will take place in September.  The key themes for this year's conference are: the business case for well-being; and hidden disabilities.  The conference will bring together some of the most forward thinking experts and progressive businesses and organisations operating at a local, national and international level across a wide variety of sectors.  We will bring you more detail over the coming weeks.