Karen Killalea is a Partner and Head of Employment at Maples Group Ireland. She has over 20 years of experience in advising employers on employment law, disputes, change, compliance and HR best practice.
Our conversation starts with Karen’s thirst for adventure which developed early and she put into action during her college years. We learn about the benefit of not having a set plan, living by one’s wits and of breaking into a new educational and work culture. From London to Italy to Dublin, Karen charts her early years in legal practice and how she was drawn to employment law.
The discussion reveals that employment law has evolved to incorporate a set of complex issues that are really a staging ground for so many issues of our time – from the focus on diversity, equity and inclusion to empowering people and setting new standards in the aftermath of Covid. We look at the evolution of the regulatory backdrop as well as the changing complexity of the workplace. This gives rise to an intellectually stimulating and challenging legal backdrop in which empathy and an appreciation for human behavior is key. This is also an area that is getting increasingly more sensitive and high profile, so a fascinating time to be in practice.
We move then to discuss some of the Karen’s other adventures from skiing to cycling to traveling the world.
This podcast is brought to you with the kind support of the Maples Group. The Maples Group through its leading international law firm, Maples and Calder, advises global financial, institutional, business and private clients on the laws of the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Ireland, Jersey, and Luxembourg. With offices in key jurisdictions around the world, the Maples Group has specific strengths in areas of corporate commercial, finance, investment funds, litigation and trusts. In Ireland, the law firm provides full service and specialty Irish legal services and is the leading international law firm in the jurisdiction.
The Maples Group firmly believes that embracing diversity and inclusion fosters a better culture of sound decision making leading to enhanced results and better all-round performance. Its Diversity & Inclusion Steering Group has responsibility for measurable progress in the promotion of diversity and inclusion across the Group.
Among other targeted strategies to promote Diversity and Inclusion, the Maples Group offers scholarship programmes, employee training seminars, formal mentoring programmes, extensive leadership development retreats and ongoing professional coaching to attract, retain and advance a diverse workforce, to promote equitable and inclusive workplace practices and to foster both employee engagement and a positive working culture.
In addition to partnering with industry specific working groups, such as Women in ETFs and 100 Women in Finance, the Maples Group was recently one of the first law firms in Ireland to sign up to the Ireland for Finance, Women in Finance Charter. The Charter is an industry-led, government-supported measure to encourage gender diversity in the financial services industry in Ireland. As a signatory to the Charter, the Group has committed to progress gender diversity and is participating in voluntary reporting.