Legal Business Blogs

Doubling in Dublin: Expansive Kennedys moves Irish outpost to accommodate growth

Following a wave of expansion in Latin America, insurance specialist Kennedys is to more than double its office space in Dublin in a decision the firm says was made before the UK’s vote to leave the EU.

The new space will be located in Dublin 2, in a river-side location which is 13,300sq ft., more than double the size of the current office. Kennedys is currently located in Ulysses House in Dublin 1.

The firm has had a presence in the Irish capital since 2011, following a merger with long-standing referral firm O’Hare O’Connor Walshe.

The office currently has almost 50 staff, including nine partners covering dispute resolution, insurance, marine, financial lines/professional indemnity, casualty, and commercial services including insolvency, real estate and funds services.

Already this year the Dublin office has hired a number of partners including insurance disputes specialist Daniel Scanlon from Maples & Calder and insurance liability expert Marian Brennan from Corrigan & Corrigan.

Dublin is becoming an increasingly attractive location to law firms who are looking to capitalise on the post-Brexit market. Last month Legal Business revealed that Pinsent Masons was eyeing up a Dublin base, to complement its existing offering in Belfast and provide a full UK and Ireland presence for the firm.

Since the firm’s merger with McGrigors in 2012, Pinsents’ international strategy has largely revolved around launching sector-focused Greenfield sites, with partners from local firms.

Similarly it is understood that a number of UK firms are considering a Dublin base following Britain’s decision to leave the EU, with financial services and funds being two areas becoming especially lucrative following the Brexit vote.

In a separate move, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Eversheds have made up the bulk of UK admissions to the Irish bar so far in 2016, as the number soared to over 300 after the Brexit vote.

Freshfields has registered approximately 130 lawyers so far this year, while Eversheds has had about 100 lawyers admitted. Although the Irish Law society would not comment on specific firms, it did reveal that there has been a total of 319 admissions in 2016 – up from the figure of 186 before the vote.

According to the Irish Law Society, since the referendum, it has received approximately 30 initial queries per day from UK solicitors.