Conor Houlihan

Partner | Dublin
Banking and Capital Markets

Conor Houlihan is a partner and head of the Banking & Capital Markets team, which has grown to become one of the larger finance practices within any Irish law firm.

Conor joined Dillon Eustace in 1998.  His practice covers a broad range of finance work including debt capital markets, securitisation and structured finance, as well as a variety of cross-border financing work for borrowers and lenders (bank and non-bank) across real estate finance, acquisition and leveraged finance, distressed assets, fund finance and asset finance.

Conor has extensive experience of advising on the acquisition, financing and management of non-performing loans and other distressed investments in a number of jurisdictions.  His clients include many of the world’s largest financial institutions, hedge funds, private equity funds and distressed funds. 

Conor is also regularly involved on behalf of issuers, investors, arrangers, managers, trustees and others in a variety of securitisation, structured finance and debt capital markets transactions – including receivables, mortgage and reinsurance securitisations, non-performing loan (NPL) acquisitions/repackagings, CDOs/CLOs, covered bonds, medium-term note and commercial paper programmes and other debt offerings. 

Conor managed the Dillon Eustace Tokyo representative office from 2002 to 2004 and continues to have a significant Asia-focused structured finance practice.

Conor is regularly published and quoted in local and international publications on banking and finance law.  He has also spoken at numerous industry events and seminars in Europe, the US and Asia, and has appeared on CNBC television’s Squawk Box programme.

According to clients Conor Houlihan is "extremely good at getting to the nub of complex issues." – Chambers Global

Practice head Conor Houlihan is ‘very strong technically and an excellent negotiator’ and ‘practical and easy to deal with’ – The Legal 500

Conor Houlihan is an “excellent commercially focussed lawyer, accessible and committed to getting the deal done." – IFLR 1000

Conor Houlihan

Partner | Dublin
Banking and Capital Markets

Conor's representative transactions include advising:

  • Advising a consortium of global financial institutions and private equity funds on a programme to acquire and finance US$5 billion of consumer loans from the first - and one of the largest - marketplace lending platforms in the U.S.;
  • Leading a multi-disciplinary team advising NAMA on the acquisition of bank assets in each tranche of assets acquired since its inception and advising on subsequent portfolio sales including two of the top five real estate loan transactions in Europe in 2016, namely projects Emerald/Ruby and Gem (combined OPB in excess of EUR6.6 billion);
  • Representing purchasers and funding banks in over 30 large real estate loan portfolio transactions since 2012, when the loan sale market commenced in Ireland with our representation of Lone Star in relation to its due diligence, acquisition and financing of the “Project Kildare” portfolio of Irish real estate-backed loans (nominal value of EUR675 million approx.) from EBS/AIB;
  • Acting for a global asset manager in connection to the participation by a number of funds under its management, as part of a consortium, in the €1.123 billion purchase of Common Stock in Bank of Ireland (representing 34.96% of the total issued ordinary stock of Bank of Ireland).
  • Acting as lead counsel to FBD Insurance plc, the only publicly traded insurer in Ireland, and its parent (FBD Holdings PLC, an ISE and LSE quoted company), in the issuance of EUR70,000,000 convertible subordinated bonds, which were structured under Irish law to qualify as tier 2 capital under Solvency II and listed on the Irish Stock Exchange;
  • Acting for N&W Global Vending (a major European food vending company) and its Irish parent in relation to the issuance of EUR300,000,000 of senior secured notes and EUR100,000,000 of second lien notes, which are listed on the Irish Stock Exchange; 
  • Acting for Goldman Sachs Bank U.S.A. in connection with a private placement of US$790 million of 9.5% senior notes due 2022 issued by Concordia International Corp and a subsequent further placement of US$350,000,000 of senior secured notes;
  • Acting for AIG Inc. in connection with the listing of various debt securities on the Irish Stock Exchange, assessment for Eurosystem eligibility and certain liability management exercises in respect of certain of such securities;
  • Advising a UK bank and a direct lending fund on their financing of the development of a new luxury, 40-bedroom hotel;
  • Acting for a leading investment bank on its refinancing of the Treasury Building in Central Dublin;
  • Acting for a Danish credit fund manager on the DKK 2 billion issuance of asset-backed notes issued, under Irish law by an Irish special purpose vehicle and listed on the Irish Stock Exchange, to fund development loans;
  • Acting for JP Morgan Securities as structuring advisor in connection with an Irish special purpose reinsurance vehicle to securitise catastrophe and aviation risk for the world’s leading global reinsurer; 
  • Acting for Citigroup Global Markets in relation to the world’s first rated securitisation of trade loans;
  • Acting for Irish special purpose vehicles and an international private equity fund and investors in connection with the purchase and financing (and related joint venture arrangements) of EUR2,600,000,000 (face amount) of sub-performing and nonperforming commercial real estate loans and CMBS backed by sub-performing and non-performing commercial real estate loans (secured by approximately 450 properties in the UK, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and Spain).
  • Advising SGAM Banque and SGAM Alternative Investments in connection with a $200 million securitisation of structured finance assets and a €200 million market value collateralised fund obligation
  • Advising numerous leading private equity groups on the financing and structuring of investments, particularly in Japan and China.
  • Advising Japan’s biggest private equity firm on its US$2.4 billion acquisition of a Japanese bank.

Related Practice Areas

Banking and Capital Markets


University of Limerick

The Law Society of Ireland