John O'Connor


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John is a Partner in William Fry’s Technology Group, the most experienced technology law team in the Irish market. He specialises in complex and large scale technology and outsourcing transactions including systems integration and implementation arrangements, licensing, IT and business process outsourcings and cloud services.

John is also a specialist in the area of privacy, data protection and cyber security law and advises on general compliance, data transfers, hosting, issue management and best practice. He has gained particular experience of advising technology, life sciences and financial services organisations on major outsourcings and on ‘big data’ projects including the procurement and deployment of FinTech. He is a highly experienced lawyer and prior to joining William Fry led the Technology and Data Protection practices of another leading Irish law firm.

Recent work includes advising:

  • several of the world’s largest technology and social media organisations on systems implementations, licensing, cloud services and data protection matters;
  • several global life sciences companies on the arrangements that underpin clinical trials, contract manufacturing arrangements, data analytics projects and public sector tenders;
  • one of Ireland’s main clearing banks on several outsourcings and technology procurements; 
  • on the largest and most complex outsourcings in the Irish market to date. 

John is Chair of the Irish division of The Society for Computers and Law, the leading organisation in the UK and Ireland for technology lawyers. He is a member of the Irish Government Data Forum, which was established in 2015 to consider data protection and digital technology and to assist with the formulation of best practice. John is also co-chair of the IAPP Dublin, Ireland KnowledgeNet Chapter. John is also a member of the FinTech Strategy Committee of the Fintech & Payments Association of Ireland. 

John is a frequent public speaker and has been widely published in legal and business journals in Ireland, the US and the UK. Publications which he has authored include: The Privacy, Data Protection and Cybersecurity Law Review 2nd edition - Irish Chapter (2015); PLC Outsourcing Handbook - Irish Chapter 2013/14/15; and International Comparative Legal Guide to Data Protection in Ireland 2014/15.

John stands out for his advice to key clients on non-contentious data protection matters. "He has great knowledge and the ability to apply it," says one client, further noting: "I can get on the phone to talk through complex issues with him and he is able to answer there and then."  Chambers Europe 2021

"John O’Connor is very responsive, thoughtful and committed to client care. He invests in understanding his clients’ needs deeply and as such provides really well calibrated advice. He’s also very reactive – adapting to developing needs." Legal 500 EMEA 2021

“John is a stellar lawyer. I rely on him hugely for GDPR matters but also general blockchain advice,” says a satisfied client. “He’s ex-City and very strong,” adds another source. Chambers FinTech 2020

John is recognised by 'Who's Who Legal 2019' as a Thought Leader in Data and separately as as an expert in Data Privacy & Protection, Information Technology and Telecoms & Media.  

John  is a respected practitioner, advising on large-scale technology and outsourcing mandates, as well as assisting with cybersecurity, data protection and privacy issues. Clients appreciate "his breadth of knowledge and his definitiveness." Chambers Europe 2019

John is recognised in Best Lawyers 2019 under 'The Best Lawyers in Ireland' for work in  Technology Law.

Sources praise John O'Connor's technical proficiency, observing that he is "very good to deal with." His expertise lies in technology and outsourcing transactions, encompassing systems integration, implementation arrangements and licensing matters. Chambers Europe 2018

John O’Connor is "practical and diligent". Legal 500 EMEA 2018

According to sources in Chambers Europe 2017, John has significant experience of advising technology, life sciences and financial services organisations on an array of technology-related matters. Clients say that he is "incredible to work with."

John is ranked as a Leading Individual in Legal 500 EMEA 2017 in the Irish IT market.


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