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Michael Murphy, Partner, Holmes O’Malley Sexton, was recently invited by Alex Kennedy, chairperson of the Society of Young Solicitors to chair their Annual Conference at the Strand Hotel, Limerick, 11th to 13th October 2019. He was joined by several different speakers who gave a variety of different perspectives on “Sustainability and the Environment from a Solicitor’s Perspective.” The conference was proudly sponsored by Brightwater.

Michael commented:

“The environmental challenge is far from straightforward, drawing upon issues as diverse as the often populist nature of the movement, the urban and rural dichotomy, the role of the European Union, the impact of globalisation and capitalism and, at its crux, the necessity to strike a balance between economic and environmental sustainability.”

Michael also addressed the current prominence that environmental awareness and sustainability has in the media and addressed the need for young solicitors to take the opportunity to be leaders in driving change towards a more sustainable future within the legal profession.

The topics addressed during the conference were:

  • “Why the time is now for Sustainable Business: an overview of the key trends in sustainable business, the factors driving it and how organisations are responding” by Ali Sheridan, founder of SUST, a social enterprise designed to help organisations and individuals gain sustainability skills.
  • “Insight into the Friends of the Irish Environment case” by Eoin McCullough SC, lead counsel for Friends of the Irish Environment CLG in their landmark legal challenge against the Irish government on climate change.
  • “Sustainable Finance and the emergence of green loans and bonds in the lending sector” by David O’Shea, Senior Associate at Dillon Eustace Solicitors.
  • “The Growing Complexity of Environmental Law” by Dr Owen McIntyre, Professor and Director of Research at the School of Law, University College Cork.

The conference was a resounding success and everyone involved from the Society of Young Solicitors in planning and organising the event, along with the speakers, should be commended. The environmental themed conference accomplished its objective by reflecting the fundamental ethos of the Society whilst simultaneously looking to the future and preparing its members for the challenges that will undoubtedly lie ahead. As a prevalent and extremely topical conversation being had both within Ireland and all over the world in this present time, it was a conference to which Holmes O’Malley Sexton were delighted to contribute.