Top Irish diplomat joins Brussels law office

Former EU ambassador to the US David O’Sullivan joins legal firm Steptoe & Johnson

The former Irish secretary-general of the European Commission David O'Sullivan has moved into the private sector to join the Brussels office of legal firm Steptoe & Johnson.

Mr O’Sullivan, who retired from the commission a few months ago after serving as EU ambassador to the US, brings to a consultancy role years of experience in trade policy and US-EU relations, not least in the negotiations over the WTO Doha round and in responding to the Trump turn against the latter and European trade. But he will also be advising clients on a range of regulatory and compliance issues.

He will not be involved in lobbying or advocacy work.

In a long career in the commission since he left the Irish diplomatic service, Mr O'Sullivan also served as head of the cabinet of commission president Romano Prodi, secretary general of the commission, director general for trade, and helped establish the EU's own diplomatic service, the EEAS, as its first chief operating officer.


He is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin and of the College of Europe, Bruges.

Steptoe & Johnson is an international legal firm with more than 500 lawyers and other professional staff offices in in Beijing, Brussels, Chicago, London, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Washington.

Patrick Smyth

Patrick Smyth

Patrick Smyth is former Europe editor of The Irish Times