HomeJudith Lawless

Expert resume of Judith Lawless

Former Partner in the Finance Group of Irish law firm, McCann FitzGerald LLP, specialising in derivatives

Prior to her retirement in 2024, Judith Lawless led McCann FitzGerald LLP’s derivatives practice and was based in its Dublin office. Her expertise encompasses OTC and exchange-traded derivatives, repos, securities lending and related collateral arrangements, advising buy-side and sell-side market participants and market infrastructure providers on related trading, clearing, settlement and custody and the regulatory environment in which it takes place.

Judith’s transactional and advisory expertise is enhanced by her experience, prior to her retirement from McCann FitzGerald LLP, as Irish counsel to ISDA and other industry associations (including, among others, ICMA, ISLA and various German banking associations), providing opinions on matters including the enforceability of close-out netting provisions and collateral arrangements in respect of many industry-standard derivatives, collateral, repo and securities lending transaction documents.

Judith has been to the forefront of Irish financial industry innovations throughout her career, a highlight being her work on ISDA’s ongoing EU law documentation initiative, which resulted in publication of Irish law versions of the ISDA 2002 Master Agreement and regulatory and non-regulatory variation margin, and regulatory initial margin, documentation, all supported by legal opinions issued by McCann FitzGerald LLP.

Judith has been an active member of relevant international and local industry bodies; she is a former president, secretary and journal editor of the Irish Association of Corporate Treasurers, was a member of the European Commission’s Legal Certainty Group and of the Committee on Collective Investment Governance established by the Central Bank of Ireland and was vice-chair of the Irish Funds Derivatives and Middle Office Working Group.

Judith’s thought leadership extends to fintech issues; she led the McCann FitzGerald LLP team that worked with ISDA and R3 on a whitepaper on “Private International Law Aspects of Smart Derivatives Contracts Utilizing Distributed Ledger Technology: Irish Law” and was involved in drafting the suite of ISDA Legal Guidelines for Smart Derivatives Contracts, five out of seven of which reference Judith as a substantive contributor, and the ISDA Clause Library.

Judith studied law at Trinity College Dublin.