Ireland is breathing a little easier again. With more than five years of economic turbulence battering both businesses and reputations, the nation has finally managed to hoist itself out of recession. Having officially exited its €67.5bn bailout programme in December 2013 – a move described by finance minister Michael Noonan as Ireland being ‘handed back her purse’ – this summer also saw the Central Statistics Office announce economic growth of 2.7% for the first quarter of 2014.
While the situation is still deemed perilous in many parts, with a mammoth public deficit, a woeful property market and high unemployment, a sense of confidence is returning to Ireland’s legal elite. And such is the battle-hardened resilience of the young lawyers that made partner around the time the economy crumbled – including those at Arthur Cox, McCann FitzGerald, A&L Goodbody, William Fry, Matheson and others – that a crop of up-and-coming individuals are emerging as the next generation of stars to define Ireland’s legal market in the years ahead.