What's your name?
What’s your current job?
Partner in the Construction and Engineering Group at Matheson.
How long have you held the position?
I’ve been with Matheson’s for 4 ½ years and promoted to partner the last year.
What is your professional background?
I originally qualified as a barrister and solicitor in British Columbia, Canada. I subsequently qualified as a solicitor in England and Wales, Hong Kong and Ireland. I am also qualified as a Registered Architect in Ireland.
You are speaking at the forthcoming 2020 CIF Southern Construction Summit. What is the focus of your talk?
As the development of PRS projects is a growing area and we anticipate that it will continue to grow, I will be focusing on the contract structures which we typically see in procuring these developments.
What in your opinion are the key opportunities for growth and development in the southern region?
I see improved public transport, sustainable transport, excellent land based connectivity and access to high quality Port infrastructure (air and sea) as the key opportunities to grow and develop the southern region. An investment in such infrastructure will continue to attract world class talent to the region, but the housing needs of such a workforce must be able to be met. This, in turn gives rise to opportunities in the development of housing including private rental schemes (PRS).
There are a number of plans and strategies for the region including the IDA’s Metropolitan Area Strategic Plans for Waterford, Cork and Limerick, the Cork Metropolitan Area Transport Strategy, Limerick 2030 and the Sustainable Cork Programme, however continued advocacy from the region’s key stakeholders is needed to ensure these key projects are actually delivered. In that respect, it is encouraging to see Budget 2021 increasing capital spending on projects that will be realised in the medium term. The announcement this week that the Land Development Agency and Cork City Council are working together to spearhead the plan to regenerate the Cork docklands area is also encouraging.
Cork and the Munster region are known as a great location to do business. Cork is set to become the fastest-growing city in the State over the next 20 years, and we at Matheson see significant continued potential in the region for ongoing private sector investment. Matheson expects more of the world’s leading multinational and internationally focused domestic companies to establish in the Cork region adding to the many that are already well established here. These are some of the numerous reasons why Matheson was the first of the largest Irish law firms to establish an office in the Munster region in addition to our Dublin, London, New York, San Francisco and Palo Alto offices. Due to the great work by the Matheson Cork team in fostering growth and strengthening our existing ties with the business community in the southern region, we are expanding and continuing to grow the Cork office. To facilitate the ongoing and future growth of the firm in the region, we are relocating to Penrose Dock in the Cork city centre in 2021.
How do you see the southern region changing over the next decade in terms of key infrastructure?
Cork is well placed to be named European Green Capital at some point over the next decade. We expect that we will see planned connected public transport, cycleways and green spaces to be delivered as part of this goal. I also see the southern region leading in the renewable energy space.
There has been a succession of exciting announcements for the southern region: Simply Blue’s Emerald Project off the coast of Kinsale; the purchase of Crosshaven Boatyard by Green Rebel Marine; and, the 22 solar energy projects and two wind energy projects in the Munster region under the Government’s first Renewable Electricity Support Scheme.
Rollout of the National Broadband Plan is also a key piece of infrastructure which will allow a move toward flexible / hybrid working combined with the enhanced work / life balance offered by the southern region to fuel growth and development in the region.
Kimberley will be speaking at the 2020 virtual Southern Construct Summit on November 19
For more information see www.southernconstruct.ie