Fionán Breathnach

Partner – Country Head - Ireland


T +3531 266 1111
M +353 87 705 3994

General Experience

Fionán leads the firm’s Irish office. He has extensive experience in advising asset managers and fund promoters on the structuring and establishment of Irish domiciled funds, including UCITS and AIFs. Funds have ranged from retail funds to funds tailored for sophisticated investors and pursuing hedge, private equity, master/feeder and real asset strategies. He also advises service providers within the investment funds sector on the establishment of operations in Ireland and in relation to their ongoing businesses. Clients in this area include AIFMs, UCITS management companies, MiFID firms, fund administrators and depositaries.

Fionán also advises domestic and international institutions in the broader financial services sector on all Irish and European financial services regulatory matters, including credit institutions, insurance undertakings, investment firms and payments institutions. He advises these clients on issues such as licensing applications, corporate governance, conduct of business, capital requirements, anti-money laundering, fintech and acquisitions/disposals of businesses. He has also represented a number of clients in administrative sanctions procedures initiated by the Central Bank of Ireland.

He has served on many industry committees over the years, has spoken at numerous investment funds and regulatory conferences and lectured for 10 years on the Law Society of Ireland’s Diploma in Finance Law on the topic of “Insider Dealing and Market Manipulation”.

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Recent Work
  • establishing and ongoing representation of numerous Irish domiciled UCITS and AIF fund ranges
  • advising on all AIFMD aspects of the establishment and IPO of the only REIT in Ireland focusing on the residential sector
  • advising on the first UCITS fund to invest in China A shares providing for daily liquidity under the RQFII programme
  • representing, in its successful licence application to the Cental Bank of Ireland, the first e-money institution to be authorised in Ireland
  • representing clients in dealing with the Central Bank of Ireland in administrative sanctions procedures.

Fionán qualified as a solicitor in Ireland in 1995 and has worked in the financial services sector since, with a particular focus on asset management and investment funds. Having also worked as in-house counsel in the investment funds sector, in 2003 Fionán established the investment funds and financial regulation practice of another leading domestic Irish law firm and led that practice for 14 years.