New figures from the Law Society of Ireland have revealed that in the first six months of 2016, a record-breaking 186 solicitors from the UK have been admitted to practice in Ireland.
Independent firms dominate the Irish legal market but a slowdown in inversion-style deals threatens a robust post-crisis recovery.
‘The Irish economy is very small, open and independent, which is to a large extent very dependent on international capital,’ says Brian O’Gorman, managing partner of Arthur Cox. ‘One of the things that helped Ireland recover from the financial crisis and beyond was the willingness of international private equity and in particular major US private equity to invest in Ireland.’
Our inaugural GC Powerlist: Ireland launch brought together Dublin’s legal elite to celebrate the achievements of 100 of the country’s finest in-house counsel.
The latest addition to our GC Powerlist series was launched on 7 October, highlighting the most influential in-house counsel in Ireland. The inaugural GC Powerlist: Ireland was released at a reception for those included in the publication, hosted at sponsor McCann FitzGerald’s Dublin office.
MARKET VIEW – LITIGATION
John O’Riordan of Dillon Eustace explains what advisers should bear in mind
There has been a significant increase in recent years in the number of claims relating to the alleged mis-selling of financial products to consumers in Ireland. These claims have been varied in their nature but essentially they have a common theme, the sale of an unsuitable financial product to a customer, on the basis of incorrect and/or misleading advice.
Baker & McKenzie has become the latest law firm to open a legal services office in Belfast as greater differentiation between high and low value work appears within mandates.
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.