The hatches have been firmly battened down. Last year’s Legal Business report found Ireland had been resilient in weathering the storm of 2020, with the impact wrought by the Covid-19 pandemic on the economy far below the average for the eurozone. There were, however, still clouds on the horizon: a looming second wave of the pandemic and a no-deal Brexit, both potentially disastrous for the Irish economy.
Since then, resilient seems like an understatement when describing the Irish market. Reports from the Central Statistics Office show that the economy grew by 3.4% in 2020 – the only EU member state to do so – despite a series of lockdowns that were among the most stringent in the world, introduced in March, October and December 2020. Continue reading “Ireland focus: Riding it out”
Legal Business’ recent analysis of Ireland’s legal market warned against underestimating the resilience of the Irish, so Mason Hayes & Curran’s less-than-catastrophic 6% dip in turnover for a financial year defined by Covid-19 should come as little surprise.
Revenues at the full-service Irish firm fell to €80m as it acknowledged a substantial hit to both transactional and contentious workflows. In a statement, managing partner Declan Black (pictured) chalked up the fall in disputes work to ‘significantly reduced court hearings’. Overall however, he was ‘satisfied’ with the results and noted ‘professional services were comparatively insulated from the worst effects of the pandemic.’ Continue reading “Reality bites as Mason Hayes posts 6% revenue drop in bellwether for Irish firms”
Dentons is to enter one of the few European jurisdictions missing from its sprawling international network by launching an outpost in Dublin.
Law firms’ strategies in the Middle East and Asia continue to diverge, meanwhile, with Winston & Strawn concluding its five-year spell in Dubai as Cooley confirmed its third office launch in less than a year by opening in Singapore. Continue reading “International roundup: Dentons enters Ireland and Cooley steps into Singapore as Winston leaves the Middle East”
Simon Davis has had quite a start to his one-year term as the 175th president of the Law Society of England and Wales. Taking office just a few weeks before Boris Johnson was appointed Prime Minister in July, the Clifford Chance (CC) litigation partner faced the reality of a nation that was heading for a cliff-edge exit from the EU, with major potential disruption for its legal industry.
With the new Conservative government promising to deliver Brexit on 31 October – ‘do or die’ – and the path to a withdrawal agreement with the bloc getting narrower by the day, the prospect of a disorderly exit has rapidly become a realistic possibility. Continue reading “Dealing with no deal – Can top law firms cope with a chaotic Brexit?”
Pinsent Masons has kicked off 2019 in expansionist mode, opening a new office in Frankfurt, right after finishing 2018 with three partner hires for its Irish base.
Three years after opening in Düsseldorf, Pinsents announced at the beginning of January it had hired six partners from a range of independent and international firms to spearhead the new German branch. Continue reading “Third German office and trio of Dublin hires the latest moves in Pinsents’ international odyssey”
DLA Piper has made good on a long-pondered office in Dublin as the firm eyes increased business in Ireland post-Brexit.
The firm said today (15 May) it was opening an office in Dublin with the hire of William Fry corporate partner David Carthy, who heads that firms foreign direct investment and life sciences and healthcare groups. He will lead DLA’s Dublin office, for which an opening date has not been confirmed. Continue reading “DLA becomes latest firm to make post-Brexit Dublin move after lengthy consideration”
‘A dense population in extreme distress inhabits an island’ – that is how Disraeli began to define the Irish Question in the Commons in 1844. Without much hyperbole, it also defines the current state of the UK. Over halfway through the two-year time limit prescribed by article 50, but with no Brexit deal in sight, the Irish Question still resonates: now less about a united independent Ireland, rather more about an independent but divided Britain.
The Irish Republic, whose economy and culture are closer to the UK than any other, is the only EU member state that also shares a land border. Resolving this 310-mile conundrum – maintaining the open border guaranteed by the Good Friday Agreement while finessing its position in the EU single market and customs union – has become a fault line between the government in London and EU leaders. The Irish taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, has ruled out tripartite talks on the issue and rejected Theresa May’s suggestion that customs arrangements on the US-Canada border could provide a post-Brexit model. Continue reading “The Brexit countdown – The Irish question”
While there hasn’t been the anticipated rush of City firms into alternative European financial centres since the UK voted for Brexit, Simmons & Simmons has become the third international firm to plan a launch in Dublin since last June as the referendum result continues to boost the Irish capital as a professional service hub.
Mason Hayes & Curran’s head of investment funds and financial regulation Fionán Breathnach will leave the Irish firm to lead the Simmons’ new office as it follows Covington & Burling and Pinsent Masons to make moves to launch practices in Dublin. Continue reading “Simmons & Simmons becomes third international firm to launch in Ireland since Brexit vote with key local hire”
A slowdown in domestic transactional activity has hit the leading Irish independents, but they remain bullish about the landscape post-Brexit
Despite the possibility of seeing an increase in work and clients post-Brexit, domestic transactional activity has slowed in the Irish market, affecting the top domestic firms.
Continue reading “Market report: Ireland – Quiet tiger”
National firm DWF has secured a merger in Northern Ireland with Belfast firm C&H Jefferson as the 20-partner firm prepares to join on 1 December. Continue reading “‘Rapidly changing’: DWF enters Northern Ireland market through Belfast merger”