Lawyer James Hickey will take over as chief executive of the Irish Film Board from Simon Perry, whose contract ran out at the end of 2010.

Hickey is currently a partner at Ireland’s largest law firm Matheson Ormsby Prentice, where he heads up the media and entertainment law group. His film work includes John Carney’s Once, Lance Daly’s Kisses, Neil Jordan’s Breakfast on Pluto and Jim Sheridan’s In The Name Of The Father.

He was formerly the chairman of the Projects Arts Centre and the Abbey Theatre.

Hickey will take up the position in June, working on a consultative basis with the board until then.

Chairman of the IFB James Morris said he was “delighted that someone of the calibre and experience of James Hickey has agreed to serve as the chief executive of The Irish Film Board for the next five year period.”

“We are working in a very different environment to the one we faced five years ago and we see this appointment as an important step in the ongoing review of the Board’s functions in order to ensure that the organisation meets the needs of Irish film makers and the industry as a whole for the next 5 years,” added Morris.