Corporate Governance, Compliance & Board Evaluations

The Corporate Governance Code for Credit Institutions & Insurance Undertakings was published by the Central Bank of Ireland in November 2010. The Code applies to all Irish banks, building societies, insurance companies (both life and non-life but excluding captives), and reinsurance companies (excluding special purpose reinsurance vehicles) since 1 January 2011.

Institutions were given a transitional period of 30 June 2011 to implement any necessary changes to their systems and structures, with an extension to 31 December 2011 where changes to the board were necessary. Institutions which are considered by the Central Bank to be a “Major Institution” will be subject to more onerous requirements than other financial institutions.

Our team can assist you with putting appropriate documentation and procedures in place to comply with the Code, including:

  • Policy documents regarding conflicts of interest of board members;
  • Formal letters of appointment for directors;
  • Formal board reviews on an annual basis;
  • Terms of reference for the board and all sub-committees of the board;
  • Formal remuneration policy;
  • Formal list of matters reserved specifically to the Board for decision; and
  • Annual statement of compliance with the Code for inclusion in the Annual Report
We have advised a wide range of financial institutions on both the implementation and ongoing compliance with the Central Bank of Ireland’s requirements. We have also conducted board reviews and produced various reports on matters of corporate governance.

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The William Fry insurance team is consistently rated "Band 1" and a leader in its field by publications including Chambers Europe, Legal 500, IFLR, “Who’s Who of Insurance and Reinsurance Lawyers” and “World’s Leading Insurance and Reinsurance Lawyers”.

Members of the team including John LarkinEoin Caulfield and Owen O'Sullivan are individually ranked as "Leading Individuals" and as "Band 1".

The team prides itself on service excellence and a commercial and solution-oriented approach to its work.


  • William Fry have "industry leading knowledge in the insurance practice." One client notes that they "have worked with multiple attorneys and departments within William Fry and have found that all of those attorneys possess in-depth knowledge of the Irish regulatory market and provide advice from a practical point of view." Another client adds that the team "respond in a timely and thorough manner and provide valuable insights. They also raise considerations that we may not have thought of." Legal 500 2020
  • One client describes the team as "very receptive and responsive," as well as "easy to engage, straightforward and practical." Another source enthuses that the "client service is exceptional," adding: "They understand our business, and the sector generally. That depth of understanding and practical experience with other organisations means they have previously faced many of the challenges we face." Chambers Europe 2020
  • Interviewees single out the firm for its pragmatism, citing a "very commercial approach and strong focus on business needs". Another interviewee echoes a similar sentiment: "we were very impressed by their responsiveness and their ability to grasp the commercial reality of their client's situation". Chambers Europe 2019 
  • Interviewees appreciate that the team delivered "unequivocal advice with confidence, which allowed us to get on with our business." The team has "an eye for detail," reports one client, while another adds that the lawyers are "very thorough and focused." Chambers Europe, 2018 
  • Clients agree that the lawyers are "excellent: they provide a quick turnaround and are very pragmatic." Another source praises the team's "good knowledge and service,"  adding: "They are well known for insurance matters."  Chambers Europe 2017 
  • William Fry’s team provides ‘excellent partner access and practical advice’. Legal 500 EMEA, 2017
  • "This firm has been a great cultural fit for us. There is no pomp and circumstance - the lawyers are very knowledgeable and hard-working but don't have the arrogance you can sometimes experience elsewhere." Another client noted that William Fry are "A leading firm in the area of insurance and corporate transactions, matching up against anyone else I could recommend." Chambers Europe, 2016
  • "Excellent on all fronts." Legal 500 EMEA, 2016 


John Larkin

  • John has been described by clients as having "industry leading knowledge and a wealth of practical experience in Irish and European insurance matters. John’s calm demeanour, understanding of how theory relates to practice and ability to understand and translate clients’ issues are particularly valuable." Another client adds that John has "been exceptional in helping us navigate through complex Brexit-related issues." Legal 500 2020
  • "Larkin is extremely knowledgeable and helps us navigate through complicated regulatory matters." reports one interviewee. Chambers Europe 2020
  • One client describes John as "knowledgeable, personable, and available. An excellent business partner and adviser." Chambers Europe 2019
  • John is an "incredible lawyer," market commentators enthuse, highlighting the depth of his knowledge in this area. Another interviewee reports that he "really pays attention to detail." Chambers Europe 2018
  • John Larkin, whose "industry knowledge is second to none", has "built a strong team around him". Legal 500 EMEA 2018
  • John Larkin remains a market-leading practitioner in non-contentious insurance matters. Sources praise his outstanding reputation, with one client opining: "He is probably the standout figure in the industry." Chambers Europe, 2017 
  • John Larkin is "widely known as a leader in the market" offering "excellent experience, particularly in the context of anticipating regulatory involvement"Chambers Europe, 2016 
  • The team, led by John Larkin, is ‘diligent and detailed’Legal 500 EMEA, 2016

Eoin Caulfield

  • Eoin has been described by clients as "very knowledgeable, hard-working, pragmatic and solution-oriented." Chambers Europe 2020
  • Eoin is revered throughout the market for his expertise assisting prominent insurers and reinsurers. Interviewees praise his "excellent knowledge" when advising clients on regulatory and transactional instructions. Chambers Europe 2019 
  • Clients hold Eoin in high esteem for his presence on insurance matters. They report that he is "very responsive, flexible and commercial." Chambers Europe 2018 
  • Eoin Caulfield enjoys a superb reputation as a pre-eminent practitioner in corporate and transactional insurance mandates. Clients say: "He is a reinsurance expert with a good overview of the Irish market. He is very efficient, affable and always available when needed.Chambers Europe, 2017 
  • Eoin "demonstrated exceptional expertise and a pragmatic approach. He dealt with sensitive issues skilfully to advance our interests without getting into a row or generating disputes." Chambers Europe, 2016 
  • "Eoin Caulfield has a fantastic understanding of liability". Legal 500 EMEA, 2016 

Owen O'Sullivan

  • Owen garners widespread praise for his expertise in shareholder disputes and regulatory enforcement actions. "He is surgical in his approach; he can pick a case apart to find the strengths and weaknesses," says one impressed interviewee. Another source notes: "He understands all of the issues involved in going to court and is good at explaining those issues." Chambers Europe 2020
  • Owen has been ranked has a 'Leading Individual' in Legal 500 2020, where one client mentioned he is a "great tactical thinker."
  • Sources describe him as "an excellent litigator" and a "very polished operator." Chambers Europe 2019 
  • Market commentators describe Owen O'Sullivan as "deadly efficient, thorough, cool and analytical" in his approach to commercial litigation. Chambers Global 2018
  • Owen O’Sullivan is ‘an excellent legal thinker’. Legal 500 2018
  • Owen O'Sullivan receives plaudits from a range of market commentators, describing him as an "excellent corporate litigator" and "a very astute operator"who has "very tactical and good commercial judgement." Chambers Global 2017
  • Owen O'Sullivan is a litigator and dispute resolution specialist with an exceptional reputation, including sound knowledge and experience of insurance disputes who is "quickly able to make decisions on how to handle certain situations, taking into account all stakeholders that may be affected." Interviewees praise him as a "very astute guy with really reliable intuition in court."  Chambers Europe 2016

Key Contacts

Eoin Caulfield Partner

Ian Murray Partner

John Larkin Consultant