Major international legal symposium for Westport

The Western Development Commission (WDC ) is the key instigator in bringing the inaugural US/Ireland Legal Symposium to Westport next month. Supported by Mayo County Council the initiative dovetails with Government plans for trade, tourism and investment. Up to 300 Irish and American business people and legal sector representatives are expected at Knockranny House Hotel from May 11 to 13. The event boasts an outstanding line up of speakers led by Taoiseach Enda Kenny who is guest speaker at the gala dinner. The event will be chaired by Deirdre Somers, chief executive of the Irish Stock Exchange (ISE ) and speakers include Mr Justice Peter Kelly of the Commercial Court and Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor of the Ohio Supreme Court.

This international symposium will be hosted by the Brehon Law Society of Philadelphia and is supported by the WDC, Mayo County Council, the National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG ), and Temple University Beasley School of Law in Philadelphia.

This event qualifies for 9.5 general CPD hours. Attendees will include Irish and American lawyers, business consultants and businesses operating in Ireland, the United States, and the United Kingdom. Delegates will also include representatives from the banking and financial services sector, accountants and tax professionals, venture capitalists, State bodies, government departments and local authorities.

“The Government’s investment strategy refers to Ireland’s positive reputation internationally as a location for doing business and the importance of engaging with the Diaspora as a means of growing necessary global links,” said Joanne Grehan, regional development executive at the WDC. “Our work on, promoting Ireland’s Western Region as a great place to live, work, and do business, has given the WDC an opportunity to tap into international Diaspora communities. This symposium is the result of our ongoing engagement with organisations and high profile individuals in the US and is strongly aligned with our role in driving the regional economy.”

Joseph T Kelley, president of the Brehon Law Society of Philadelphia added: “The theme of this year’s symposium is ‘Doing Business in the US / Ireland / Europe – Critical Legal Issues for US and Irish Companies’. The programme will address topics which are essential for international business exchange between both countries and will include import/export regulations, legal trends in the US and Ireland, and how to navigate cross border legal risks in intellectual property.”

Sessions include corporate law and distressed debt acquisitions, key tax issues, employment law, commercial litigation, alternative dispute resolution, government relations, corporate governance, intellectual property law, and accessing capital. The focus is strongly on interaction and networking.

“We see this opportunity to welcome the brightest of Irish and American legal minds to Westport as an important step in reinforcing positive messages about Ireland and Mayo in helping to support Government objectives to drive jobs, indigenous exports, tourism, and foreign direct investment,” said Mayo county manager Peter Hynes.

US legal groups are no strangers to Ireland as part of their quest for continuing legal education. However, most trips have typically focused on Dublin. The US/Ireland Symposium is the first event of its kind to draw lawyers from across the United States and throughout Ireland to an event in Ireland’s western region.

Registration and sponsorship information is available at


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