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Deirdre McBennett
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Deirdre McBennett is a Partner in the ByrneWallace LLP Banking and Finance Team, with over twenty years’ banking experience.

Deirdre acts for a wide range of domestic and international financial institutions and alternative lenders, semi-state bodies, corporate borrowers and approved housing bodies. She advises on corporate debt financing, senior and mezzanine debt structures, acquisition finance, project finance and commercial and residential development finance, as well as debt and corporate restructuring.

She works across a broad range of sectors but specialises in the social housing sector, where she advises on financing for social and affordable housing portfolio acquisitions, acting for some of Ireland’s largest approved housing bodies ("AHBs"), including Clúid Housing, Oaklee Housing, Circle Voluntary Housing Association and Tuath Housing.

In 2020, Deirdre led the ByrneWallace LLP Banking and Finance team advising Clúid Housing Association on the transaction which won Finance Dublin – Loans & Financing (Social & Affordable Housing) Deal of the Year 2021, being the first large-scale direct financing to an AHB by an international institutional investor, Legal & General Assurance Society Limited, one of Europe’s largest institutional asset managers and a major global investor. 

Key Experience

Recent significant deals include advising:

  • Clúid Housing, Ireland’s largest Approved Housing Body (AHB), in a landmark international institutional funding deal of €54m by LGIM Real Assets (Legal & General) for large-scale social housing portfolio acquisitions utilising the Capital Advance Leasing Facility (CALF) and Payment and Availability (P&A) funding supports available to AHBs from the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, through local authorities.
  • Oaklee Housing another of the largest AHBs in Ireland (as lead adviser in the ByrneWallace LLP cross-disciplinary team) on a significant and pathfinder deal involving a €50m debt financing deal with German-based Norddeutsche Landesbank (NORD/LB).  The deal involved funding to an SPV structure for a social housing property portfolio acquisition project, utilising the CALF and P&A funding supports through local authorities.
  • In an independent assurance role for ACCLM/RaboBank Ireland on the tracker based investigation run by the Central Bank.
  • The board of Ulster Bank Ireland DAC on part of the Central Bank tracker examination project.
  • Fáilte Ireland in relation to the documenting and securing of Grants Scheme for Large Tourism Projects.



  • Diploma in Property Tax, Law Society of Ireland, 2003
  • Qualified as a Solicitor, Law Society of Ireland, 2001
  • Bachelor of Business & Legal Studies (BBLS), University College Dublin,1995



  • Dublin Solicitors Bar Association
  • Law Society of Ireland



"Deirdre McBennett is consistently excellent. Wide breadth of experience and provides excellent advice across all of our banking activities. She and her team go above and beyond to keep a positive client relationship while keeping costs reasonable." - Legal 500, 2024

Deirdre McBennett is very commercial and technically very strong. - Legal 500, 2020

One source describes Deirdre McBennett as "very knowledgeable" and adds: "Her client service and follow-up is great." - Chambers Europe, 2019

She has a strong track record advising domestic and institutional banks and non-bank lenders, as well as corporate borrowers. - Chambers Europe, 2019

Deirdre McBennett has a broad banking and corporate finance practice, with expertise in syndicated loans, secured lending and acquisition finance. Clients appreciate that she "avoids legal jargon" and describe her as "very knowledgeable, straightforward and to the point."- Chambers Europe, 2018

Deirdre McBennett acts for clients on secured and unsecured lending transactions, syndicated loans, debt restructuring and acquisition finance. McBennett also assists clients with real estate finance, senior and mezzanine debt structuring and the disposal and acquisition of loans. - Chambers Europe, 2017

Deirdre McBennett has impressive experience of real estate, development and hotel financings. Sources say: "She was able to have a commercial conversation with us, and negotiated well. She understood what our position would be before negotiating and came back with practical solutions."- Chambers Europe, 2016

Deirdre McBennett led the banking team assisting iCON Infrastructure with the acquisition of part of Bord Gáis Éireann. Clients enjoy working with her, saying: "She is very personable and good at building relationships."- Chambers and Partners Global, 2015

Deirdre McBennett provides "high quality work" according to clients.  She specialises in secured corporate lending, with particular experience in asset-based lending, restructuring and real estate finance.- Chambers Global, 2014

Interviewees appreciate Deirdre McBennett's interpersonal skills and flexibility. "She is proactive and efficient, and gives us useful updates without being asked," says a source. - Chambers Global, 2013

Deirdre McBennett's practice covers structured finance, tax-based lending and investment deals. She has a broad client base and notable expertise in acting for clients from the Hotel to the leisure sector.- Chambers & Partners, 2012

Partner Deirdre McBennett's broad practice covers retail banking and acquisition and development finance. She is valued for prompt and effective advice - Chambers & Partners, 2011