Celebrating the completion of the first Matheson Doctoral Scholarship

Matheson Sponsors of PhD Scholarship

Celebrating with Elizabeth Corcoran the completion of her Matheson-sponsored Doctoral Scholarship was Michael Jackson, Managing Partner, Professor Joe McMahon, Dean of Law and current Matheson Scholar, Alexandru Soptica.

We congratulate Elizabeth Corcoran on completing the first Matheson-sponsored UCD doctoral programme in innovative legal research. Elizabeth’s highly topical thesis examined fiduciary duties in the financial services sector and provides essential insights for Ireland’s growing commercial law practice.

In 2012, leading Irish law firm Matheson commenced a 12-year agreement to sponsor the internationally renowned UCD School of Law doctoral programme. The sponsorship comprises three 4-year PhD scholarships and covers tuition fees and an annual bursary.

Scholarship applications are sought for research topics that cover financial services law, company law and corporate governance.

The second scholarship, for the 2016-2020 programme, has been awarded to Alexandru Gabriel Soptica. His research will explore EU competition law.

Michael Jackson, Managing Partner at Matheson, said: “As the only English speaking common law country in a post-Brexit EU, we believe that Ireland will play an increasingly important role in international business. To enable us to do that successfully, it is essential that we constantly review our laws and legal system to ensure that they provide the certainty required to enable business to grow and to contribute to the economy and the broader community and society. For that we must have a supply of industry-leading talent, particularly in the field of commercial law.

We are proud to partner with a respected academic institution like UCD. It underscores our own commitment to nurturing upcoming legal talent and supporting a new generation of graduates. Matheson’s sponsorship of the UCD School of Law’s doctoral programme is an investment in seminal legal research that will greatly improve Ireland’s leadership position in business and law.

On behalf of everyone at Matheson, I would like to congratulate and thank Elizabeth Corcoran for her PhD which contributes to commercial law in Ireland, and to welcome Alexandru Soptica to the programme.”

Headquartered in Dublin with offices in London, New York and Palo Alto, more than 600 people work across Matheson’s four offices, including 73 partners and tax principals and over 350 legal and tax professionals. The firm’s primary focus is on serving the Irish legal needs of internationally focused companies and financial institutions doing business in and from Ireland. The doctoral programme sponsorship closely aligns with Matheson’s core values of developing and nurturing in Ireland’s legal talent.

Professor Joe McMahon, Dean of the UCD Sutherland School of Law, said: “The Sutherland School of Law is extremely appreciative of this scholarship, provided by Matheson, in recognition of the importance of doctoral research in the broad field of Commercial Law.  Their generous scholarship has allowed Elizabeth Corcoran to undertake a valuable thesis on Fiduciary Duties in the Financial Services Sector. Furthermore, the continuing support offered by Matheson has meant that the Sutherland School has now welcomed a new doctoral scholar, Alexandru Soptica who will undertake research in the all-important EU Competition Law area. 

The Sutherland School of Law firmly believes that the support we receive from the legal profession for students, from undergraduate to doctoral level, plays an important part in shaping the future of the profession in this country, thus we are extremely grateful to Matheson for this significant contribution.”

Commenting on her doctoral scholarship, Elizabeth Corcoran said: "Matheson must be congratulated on their pioneering doctoral scholarships as few are afforded the opportunity to immerse themselves in a novel area of law that intrigues and excites them with generous financial support to rely on. This support has allowed me to develop an expertise in the area of equity and financial services regulation which has greatly enhanced my academic writing, lecturing opportunities, and my practice at the Bar.”


As he begins his four-year programme, Alexandru Soptica said: “This opportunity has made a significant impact on my future career prospects. Embarking on a PhD degree provides me with the necessary skills and professional network to work internationally and on projects of global significance. I see this scholarship as a gift and a responsibility - a gift, as an opportunity for my own personal development; and a responsibility, to provide value to society by using this opportunity to drive innovation and knowledge in competition law."