Emerald Ambitions

Ireland Emerald Ambitions

Barry Devereux, managing partner of Irish leader McCann FitzGerald, is not letting the bad Irish weather dampen his spirits. ‘The Irish market is buoyant and there are a lot of things going on. The economy is growing, markets are good and debt is relatively inexpensive. The climate is good for deal-making. Brexit is the reality, but it will undoubtedly provide opportunities across the financial services market in Dublin. It has given a fillip to the market in terms of the interest in real estate, and people looking for accommodation and office space. Dublin is doing very well.’

Dublin’s legal market continues to boom. The impact of Brexit undoubtedly dented the transactional market in the last six months of 2016, but the shock has, for the most part, subsided and many practice areas are busy. Real estate has enjoyed a particular resurgence after the painful post-bailout year, while corporate and finance lawyers are always in high demand. But the Irish market is also enjoying a boom in more niche areas, including data protection and intellectual property, particularly with the incoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and legal works in the fields of fintech, regulatory investigations and online gaming. Continue reading “Emerald Ambitions”

A new hope for Cyprus’s recession-battered lawyers

Years struggling with spiralling debt and a run on the banks brought Cyprus to its knees. But the island’s lawyers are upbeat once more

Crisis is an overused term, worn out by endless repetition. For most European economies, it has meant a period of low or stagnant growth over the last decade and, in some cases, a year or two of negative GDP eventually followed by a welcome recovery. For Cyprus, however, the word has had even greater potency: between 2008 and 2015, GDP per capita declined by roughly 30%. On top of the global 2008-09 recession, Cyprus had its own domestic banking crisis in 2012-13, precipitated by the eurozone collapse. This led to a downgrade of its bond credit rating to junk status and a €10bn bailout programme from the troika of the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

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Holding steady – A turbulent Middle East market separates the committed from the faint-hearted

The Middle East has lost some of its lustre, but many are hanging on for expected rewards

Emerging markets are by nature volatile, frequently impacted by events such as political instability, civil unrest, corruption and other economic forces. The extremes of growth and decline could hardly be more apparent than in the Middle East, where the collapse in oil prices has prompted a great deal of soul searching.

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In the game – Israeli law firms embrace risks to secure the tech icons of tomorrow

Israeli law firms focused on start-ups and early-stage growth companies embrace risk in the hope of landing the next big thing

Every Thursday at 6pm, Yair Geva, co-head of Herzog Fox & Neeman (HFN)’s high-tech department, drinks a beer on the rooftop of a client’s office in central Tel Aviv. The weekly drink, which started seven years ago when he returned to Israel from New York, is a routine that is borne out of professional commitment and friendship. In the start-up and high-tech world, the two often go hand in hand.

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Making ripples – Turbulent times ahead for the Swiss legal market

An evolving Swiss legal market is embracing consolidation and lateral recruitment as firms thrive amid a buoyant deals climate. Will turbulent global conditions disturb the calm?

Switzerland is changing. Among the country’s traditionally-minded law firms, conservatism is in decline, fuelled by a greater appetite for domestic mergers, increased lawyer mobility between firms and a belated focus on alternative legal service provision. Accordingly, Swiss lawyers are much like the swans on Lake Geneva: smooth and serene on the surface, all the while paddling furiously underneath. An energetic response to the fresh demands of an evolving legal services landscape is paying dividends for some.

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Hunting El Dorado – Iberian firms keep their eyes on prizes at home and abroad

Iberian firms have experienced startling growth in Latin America in recent years. But in the quest for adventure, have they kept home fires burning?

A year ago, Spanish leader Garrigues unveiled its fifth office in Latin America, adding Chilean firm Avendaño Merino to its existing outposts in Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Peru. And, as the most expansive Iberian practice in the region, there is undoubtedly pressure to prove the strategy effective. Fortunately, Garrigues has seen startling 81% revenue growth to €18.6m in the region in the last 12 months and expects to generate €30m from Latin America in 2017.

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The year offshore in review – The Iron Islands

Trump, Brexit and the Panama papers ensured a turbulent 2016 for the ten largest offshore firms. But our annual survey of leading players underlines the resilience of those leading the pack

Despite a year of pronounced headwinds, our annual focus on the ten largest offshore firms reveals that 2016 activity levels remained robust with an increasing focus on Asia and continued strength in dispute resolution. However, among the leadership of these firms there is little doubt that Brexit has had an inevitable effect on performance.

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The right platform – trying to find a long-term approach for Africa

Given the fall in commodities prices in 2016, the spotlight has turned on the long-term sustainability of Africa for international law firms. Have the global players hedged their bets enough?

‘There is no African law firm that does infrastructure the way we do; it’s front and centre of our strategy. There is a real gap in the market for a sector-based law firm.’

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The Russia report: A new thaw?

Diving commodity prices and currency devaluation have put Russia and the CIS on ice, but Asian investment and economic sovereignty are reheating the legal market

If the mood of a city can be gauged by the bustle of its shops and restaurants, then law firms active in Russia and much of the wider CIS region should not be especially fearful. Björn Paulsen, co-head of German firm Noerr’s Moscow office, says despite the recent devaluation of the rouble coming amid prolonged economic turbulence, few tables are empty in the Russian capital’s top eateries. ‘The crisis has already reached the bottom and now the market is on the rise again,’ he says.

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Standing apart – the offshore fallout from the Panama Papers

The Panama Papers scandal brought another bout of unwanted attention to offshore jurisdictions. But law firms note the attention has helped distinguish one centre from another

On April Fool’s Day this year, Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca & Co notified its clients that it had sustained an email hack. It instantly became the world’s best-known law firm following the leak of 11.5 million documents, cherry-picked by global media outlets, that revealed confidential client information. The Panama Papers made news and so did offshore law firms. Again.

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