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Ronan O'Reilly, MCIArb

Ronan O'Reilly

Ronan O'Reilly is the Vice-Chair of  the CIArb Young Members Group. Ronan is also an Associate of the White & Case Dispute Resolution Group in London.

In this interview, he talks about his career path and his role as Vice-Chair of the Global YMG.

You joined CIArb in 2015. Could you tell us about your career so far and your route to membership?
I qualified as an associate in the Litigation / International Arbitration team at White & Case LLP, London in 2014.

As a newly qualified associate, I regularly attended CIArb events and seminars where I met lots of other young enthusiastic practitioners.

In 2015, I decided to get more involved in the CIArb by becoming a member and volunteering to join the sub-committee tasked with organising the YMG centenary conference in Paris.

Despite all the hard work, I really enjoyed being part of the team planning the Paris conference and felt very proud of the success that the conference had. The experience led me to apply to the YMG Global Steering Committee.

How has the Institute contributed to your career development in the field of arbitration?

The Institute’s conferences and training help me to keep on top of the most recent developments and debates in international arbitration.

The Institute has also helped me build my network in the arbitration community and the YMG, in particular, has provided me with a platform to raise my profile, which has led to a number of speaking opportunities around the world. 

What do you enjoy most about working in the field of dispute resolution?
I really enjoy the diversity of work.

Every case throws up new and complex legal issues which makes the field more challenging but also more interesting. It’s quite exiting when you find an authority that supports your client’s case or when a new argument suddenly occurs to you.

I also really enjoy learning about my clients’ businesses and the sectors in which they operate. 

As Vice-Chair of the Global YMG Steering Committee, what do you think the YMG’s most notable recent achievements have been?
For me, last year’s YMG annual conference in London hosted by White & Case London was one of our most notable achievements.

We were fortunate to have some outstanding speakers, including a keynote address from Gary Born who spoke about the lack of a level playing field in the selection of tribunal members.

In addition, I think this year’s global conference series, which is exploring the theme of “synergy and divergence between the common law and civil law systems in international arbitration” in different regions, has created a fascinating global debate that is contributing to the development of international arbitration. 

What advice do you have for young members trying to build a career in the field of arbitration?
My advice would be to get involved in your local arbitration community by attending events and meeting other young practitioners which will help you grow your network.

Also, don’t be shy about sharing your ideas and opinions. For example, try to speak at a conference or publish an article on a topic that interests you, which will give you more confidence and help get your name out there. 

What are your interests and hobbies outside the arbitration world?
I’m a keen (fair-weather) tennis player. I recently took up rock climbing (bouldering) which I find extremely scary but fun. I also love cinema and literature.