Ireland – Céad míle fáilte

Ireland – Céad míle fáilte

Shanghai’s location at the estuary of the Yangtze River attracts rainfall for a third of the year. Lawyers from the region will feel at home in Ireland then, a country not renowned for its weather. Earlier this year, law firm A&L Goodbody officially launched its pioneering Chinese Lawyer Exchange Programme, signing agreements with 15 Chinese law firms and universities, such as Beijing’s King & Wood Mallesons and Shanghai’s East China University of Political Science and Law. The programme will provide six-month placements at the firm’s Dublin office as well as in-house experience with clients such as Pfizer, Bank of Ireland and Telefónica O2. Such is the initiative that Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny applauded the firm for its ‘enterprise’ and ‘courage’.

The purpose of the project is to promote inbound and outbound investment between the two countries. Foreign direct investment (FDI) into Ireland has long been a bright spot for the Irish economy, with headline multinationals such as Microsoft and Google choosing Ireland to base their European operations during the 1990s. More recently, however, there has been a surge in momentum. Continue reading “Ireland – Céad míle fáilte”

Nerves of steel: Ireland

Nerves of steel: Ireland

As little as five years ago, the consensus was that Ireland was a mature legal market. In a failed experiment, UK firm Masons (legacy firm of Pinsent Masons) had packed in its projects and construction boutique after a mere six years, citing fierce market competition.

Certainly, despite the construction boom, the Irish legal market was an unlikely place for an international firm to launch: it already had its Big Five — Ireland’s Magic Circle — plus several more entrepreneurial firms sitting below them getting ready to pounce. With a population of less than five million, it was inconceivable that a newcomer could threaten their domination. Who would want to move into such a tightly held monopoly? Nobody seemed surprised when Masons moved out in 2004.

Continue reading “Nerves of steel: Ireland”