Former Partner, McCann FitzGerald Solicitors

William Earley

Chair, Common Purpose Ireland

William has been a trustee of Common Purpose Ireland since its foundation and became Chair in September 2015.

William practised as a solicitor in the field of company and commercial law in Dublin for nearly 40 years, 32 of them as a partner in McCann FitzGerald. He founded the firm’s London office in 1986 and was head partner there until 1990. He served as Managing Partner of the firm from 1993 to 1997.

During his legal career he advised some of Ireland’s leading businesses, financial and cultural institutions, including GPA Group Limited, Allied Irish Banks, p.l.c, the National Gallery of Ireland and the Chester Beatty Library, as well as advising many businesses in connection with foreign direct investment in Ireland.

With a career-long interest in intellectual property and information technology he founded the firm’s Technology and Innovation Group in 1997 and served as partner (and latterly consultant) in that Group and in the Intellectual Property Group until his retirement in March 2012.

William now concentrates on serving as director or in other advisory roles in the voluntary sector, the arts and technology with an emphasis on contributing his experience to improving corporate governance. He also likes to leave time for music (especially opera), theatre, golf, travel, painting and the study of art history.