William Fry


2 Grand Canal Square
Dublin 2
DO2 A342

+353 1 639 5000

+353 1 639 5333

Key contacts:

Chairman: Liam McCabe
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Managing Partner: Owen O'Sullivan
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Quick facts:

Number of partners: 78
Number of fee earners: 350+
Other offices: Cork, London, New York, San Francisco, Silicon Valley

We are ranked by international directories, clients and market commentators alike as being a leader in our main areas of work: Corporate & M&A, Banking & Finance, Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Asset Management & Investment Funds, Real Estate, Insurance, Tax, Projects & Construction, Employment & Benefits and Technology. 

As one of Ireland’s largest law firms, William Fry offers unrivalled legal and tax expertise across the full breadth of the business sector. The Firm advises leading Irish and international companies, covering both the public and private sector. It operates a large international practice and regularly acts in cases involving other jurisdictions, including the UK, the US, Asia, the Netherlands, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Poland and Eastern Europe.

Our head office is in Dublin. We also have offices in Cork, London, New York, Silicon Valley and and a global law firm network to service our clients at home and abroad.  Our capability is enhanced by our alliance with Tughans, Northern Ireland’s largest law firm, through which we provide an all island solution.

The Firm's priorities are focused on the need to achieve results for clients. Continued investment in people, technology and research maintain the Firm's ability to provide practical and prompt solutions, while devoting exacting attention to detail.

During the research period the firm has been active in banking and finance, capital markets, corporate and M&A, project development, and restructuring and insolvency.

In asset finance the firm has been active in aviation, working on behalf of lenders and arrangers as well as advising a liquidator in a liquidation and an examiner in an examinership. It advised on transactions such as loan facilities, and also on refinancing and acquisitions.

In banking and finance it acted on behalf of the lender on term loan facilities, refinancing, investment financing, debt restructuring, revolving credit. It also advised purchasers and borrowers on junior and senior financing facilities.

In capital markets it worked on SPVs, securities programmes, auto loan securitisations, fixed-rate notes, bond issues, property-backed bonds, and placing of shares. It advised issuers, purchasers and joint bookrunners.

In corporate and M&A the firm advised mostly acquirers and also sellers on mergers, acquisitions, buyouts, and share capital sales. It was active in various industries, including technology, finance, and energy.

In investment funds it advised clients on various operation such as establishment, migration, notes issues and acquisitions of UCITS ETF platform, ETFs, and UCITS ICAV umbrellas.

In financial services regulatory the firm advised clients on establishment of entities, compliance and other regulatory matters related to work in banking, financial services, cryptocurrencies, and insurance.

In project development the firm advised developers and also contractors on projects implementation, public procurement and construction contracts in a number of industries including infrastructure, telecommunications, energy, and education.

In project finance it advised developers, constructors, and receivers on financing and refinancing of projects in renewable energy, energy, TMT infrastructure, transport, and social infrastructure.

In restructuring and insolvency it advised examiners, stakeholders, liquidators, and distressed companies on US Chapter 11 proceedings, examinerships, restructurings, and liquidations.

Recent hires for the firm include David O'Shea, an asset finance senior associate from Dillon Eustace; Roisin McCaughe an associate in asset finance from Mondelez International; Matthew Cahill, a partner in banking hired from Gunner Cooke; Ian Murray, a partner in financial services regulatory and insurance hired from Scor Global Life Reinsurance; Matthew Cahill, a partner in capital markets hired from Gunnercooke; and, Ronan Shanahan, a corporate partner hired from Arthur Cox.

The only departure we saw for this research period is Shane O'Donnell who joined Dentons.

Deal highlights: 31st edition (2020/2021) 

  • Apollo Global Management $ 6.34 billion acquisition of the Tech Data Corporation
  • Ardagh Packaging Finance $2.415 billion and €790 million bond issues
  • International Consolidated Airlines Group $763.5 million and $241.1 million bond issues
  • KWCI €180 million term loan financing
  • LähiTapiola Rahoitus €405 million auto loan securitization
  • Norwegian Air International examinership
  • Outsourcing €317.8million acquisition of CPL
  • Pollen Street Capital €250 million property-backed bonds
  • Smurfit Kappa Group €230 million bond issue
  • Uniphar €320 million refinancing

Client feedback: 31st edition (2020/2021)

Asset finance

"Fiachra and the team worked tirelessly through the weekend to deliver my latest shareholders agreement both on time and on budget."

"Mary Ward is very knowledgeable and expert in legal matters but always takes a pragmatic and commercial view. Accordingly her advice is tempered to the commercial realities at play. She understands our and our counterparties' business requirements and concerns. She is also very responsive. "

"They have a very team-oriented approach to everything. Their partners are true 'colleagues' with one another and that shows when matters involve multiple legal disciplines from William Fry."

"Very strong technical knowledge delivered with a great commercial approach."

Bank lending : Borrower side

"Detailed knowledge of the company, and the interdependencies. Good knowledge of the Irish banking market. Excellent access to the banking legal partner "

"Responsive, excellent subject-matter knowledge, can distil complex legal matters for business understanding."

"Very commercial in decision-making. Very responsive in taking calls/emails. Thorough in all areas and give a very good experience. Service since the deal closed has also been excellent."

Bank lending : Lender side

"Provide strong assessment and advice on key issues relating to the security aspects of the transaction."

Bank lending : Sponsor side

"Experienced, hard-working, trusted, professional and pulled in our direction to get a very tricky deal done."

Banking and finance

"I work with Ciaran Herlihy, one of the partners in William Fry's banking team. Ciaran combines strong legal knowledge with practical solutions. Ciaran and his team are also incredibly responsive."

"The firm have excellent real estate debt experience both on the lender and borrower side,"

Capital markets

"Proactive and willing to share insightful comments backed by experience."

Capital markets : Equity

"To date, William Fry's advice on areas of corporate law and tax has been full, timely and proactive. The partner coverage in both is good and based on a solid understanding of the company's aims and market. The support below partner has been good for both corporate and banking transactions."

Capital markets : Structured finance and securitisation

"Creative, reliable, knowledgeable."

"Focused and helpful."

"We have dealt primarily with Matthew Cahill and have found him to be very commercial and to have a wealth of experience in the area. Matthew quickly understood our objectives and was able to suggest innovative solutions. "

"We primarily use Matthew Cahill who has unparalleled expertise in (amongst other things) debt capital markets, repackaging and securitisation. Matthew consistently provides extremely clear, precise and commercial advice that is invaluable in allowing us to complete business objectives with confidence that any applicable legal regime is being adhered to. Matthew is technically excellent but also extremely commercial and, as well as advising on applicable law, will present solutions to the problems that we encounter. "

Financial restructuring

"Responsive. Technically excellent. Good spread of resources."

Financial services regulatory

"Clear concise advice."

"Good diverse team that operated well under Covid conditions. On-time delivery and good balance in the advice."

"Highly specialized in the area of EMI and PI licences derived from PSD2. Very experienced with the Central Bank of Ireland and presenting applications in an optimized format. Broad range of similar clients to benchmark against and apply best practice. Turnaround times for work are very impressive and quality consistently high. "

"Quick and constructive problem-solving. Proactive. Clear advice provided."

"The firm prides themselves on speed of turnaround which for me is a huge plus. Being in a dynamic industry the speed of legal advice is a key input as all other factors are perishable. We have experience of slow turnaround which has cost us in the past. William Fry always deliver on deadlines and actively set them for themselves. Their approach is very personal and they have always followed up to make sure I was happy after the service was delivered. I don't feel like another number on their books. Their advice is pragmatic while really understanding the situation and the context."

"The team are very responsive, knowledgeable, deliver concise advice that is readily useable, very safe pair of hands to steer our application."

"Their subject-matter expertise was invaluable in helping the firm to achieve its required Irish authorisation before the end of the Brexit transition period. Catherine Carrigy is a stand-out senior associate, giving pragmatic and commercial advice based on past experience. "

"They are extremely responsive, providing sound legal advice with sufficient knowledge and experience to be able to provide accurate benchmarking."

"WF is very well organised and responsive. Very swift in providing feedback and always clear when sharing the knowledge. WF always provides a bigger picture context which helps in educating clients and making effective and compliant business decisions."


"Responsive, creative, practical and dynamic."

"The insolvency team is young, hard-working and progressive. They are picking up a significant volume of referrals in the market."

"Timely advice, good commercial awareness. "

Investment funds

"Excellent client relationship management skills with a high level of skill and knowledge in Irish funds law."

"The funds team at William Fry are knowledgeable and approachable. They take the time to understand your specific business requirements and work very hard to deliver informed, timely and commercial advice."

Investment funds: Registered funds

"Incredibly responsive and proactive both in highlighting and addressing legal points that needed to be considered. Excellent standard of drafting and very useful knowledge of the Irish financial industry. They also provide a dedicated and consistent team so easy to build a strong relationship. "

"The William Fry team is fantastic. Very responsive, thorough in their work, and well-connected to specialist counsel when needed. They are also a personable group to work with. "


"Attention to detail. Timely delivery of service. Easy to deal with. Relevant expertise. Excellent people."

"Practical approach to DDQ and transaction document production. Timely and efficient turnaround of key deliverables."

"Very proactive, providing excellent advice on tax nominee structures and investor and shareholder agreements."

Project development

"Efficient, timely and concise information and advice."

"Providing timely documents for review and comment and guiding the client team in acceptance or otherwise of clauses. "

"Responsive, commercially focused, very client-oriented. Their breadth of capabilities and overall relationship management is strong."

"Understanding of subject matter, responsiveness, value/quality of input."

"William Fry are always available when required and provide excellent legal advice on all construction-related legal issues."

Project development : Infrastructure

"Adopting a collaborative and commercial approach while providing technical legal advice. Communicating the balance of risk to aid decision-making."

"Expertise in industry giving solid advice."

"Knowledge base and experience."


"Good communicators with clear concise advice for the most commercially and legally efficient process to undertake."

"Strong all-round firm with ability to involve colleagues from a wide variety of disciplines as required."

"The authenticity is something which I really admire. No nonsense or arrogance. I really feel like they are partnering with me on the job (in an objective way) and that gives great momentum to working through the various issues that arise. I instruct them so often as their technical expertise is second to none."

Restructuring : Corporate

"Great team with strength in-depth, knowledgeable, helped by offering opinions and options and very responsive and proactive."

Restructuring and insolvency

"As counsel, it is important that instructing solicitors provide clear, concise and accurate instructions which concisely identify the factual and legal issues in the case. William Fry always successfully manage to do so. Their instructions are well thought out and their attention to detail is impeccable. Their attention to detail is impressive and every issue that arises is always fully thought through and properly analysed. Another positive feature of the team is that even when under pressure, they never lose their cool but always maintain a calm and controlled approach to whatever problem or issue may arise. One of the outstanding stars in this regard is Ruairi Rynn. He is one of the very best solicitors I have ever had the pleasure of working with. He is hard-working, conscientious and technically knowledgeable and pays huge attention to detail. Knowing that he is briefing me, I can have full confidence that my instructions will be of the highest caliber. Ruairi's associate, Rebecca Martyn is also a first-class solicitor and she is quickly developing all of the same positive attributes. The corporate department of William Fry is also really excellent and has a team of individuals with some of the best understanding of company law in the country. I have regularly worked with them not only in restructuring cases but also in relation to purely advisory matters. Mark Talbot warrants particular mention. He brings an excellent mix of technical knowledge, calmness and good humour to every case on which we work. I would rate him as one of the very best corporate lawyers in the country."

"Attention to detail, strong technical knowledge, strong recommendations which have led to successful outcomes in complex legal matters."

"Excellent! Outstanding expertise and assistance. Very good understanding of client expectations."

"In-depth knowledge and wise strategic counsel."

"Responsive. Attentive. High-quality advice. Will ask the difficult questions to ensure their advice is correct."

"William Fry provide excellent advice in a measured and concise manner. They know the client's expectations and risks. "

Project development

"Show immense background and detailed current knowledge and insight into the construction industry and funding."

"Very responsive and, more importantly, very informed and professional."

Bryan Bourke

"Brilliant all-round adviser. Not afraid to bring in other expert advice from within the firm."

Bryanna Ryan

"Engaging. Positive mindset. Functionally very competent."

"Functionally very strong. If she is not sure of something, she checks in with the senior partner. Very approachable. Builds strong relationships with the client based on mutual respect and deep levels of trust. You can have a business conversation with her that she can then subsequently reflect brilliantly in the legals. I have seen Bryanna really grow and develop over the last few years. She is now prepared to take more of a leadership role and when required defers to the senior partner, but she is much more comfortable playing that role now."

Cassandra Byrne

"Great knowledge and has an ability to clearly refine issues and provide clear advice."

"Very professional, knowledgeable, enthusiastic and always available at short notice to address any issue."

"Excellent knowledge base."

Catherine Carrigy

"Quick and focused responses. Very proactive with proposed solutions. Provided very clear advice."

"Knowledgeable, proactive. Couldn’t do enough to be helpful. Happy and friendly and responded to questions at all times, day or night, and at weekends."

Catherine Williams

"Assisted and supported the administrative aspects of the application."

Ciaran Herlihy

"Ciaran combines strong legal knowledge with practical and commercial solutions."

Craig Sowman

"Excellent lawyer with good technical insolvency knowledge."

"Strong communicator with expert knowledge in his field."

"Technically superb. Very calm. Responsive even when working on high-profile competing mandates. Brilliant at getting down to the key issues and working a path from there to conclusion."

"Very commercial, calm and thorough. "

"Expertise, responsiveness, clarity of advice."

"Responsive. Good relationship management. Top-quality advice. Client-focused."

Fergus Doorly

"Very responsive and commercial."

"Hard-working, knowledgeable, and incredibly pleasant to deal with."

"He is an excellent strategist, manages clients well and understands the big picture. He is very calm under pressure."

"Responsive, knowledgeable and has good commercial awareness,"

"Seen as a leader in his field, with extensive experience in dealing with complex restructuring assignments."

"Very experienced. Technically and commercially strong."

"Excellent technical knowledge. Has a good knowledge of cross-border restructuring issues and takes an extremely commercial approach. Very user-friendly."
Fergus is a class act. He has a deep knowledge of the law and a clear understanding of the client’s needs and expectations. Fergus is wise and calm even in the most contentious cases. He is the lawyer for difficult insolvency assignments."

"Responsive and approachable, with depth of experience."

Fiachra Cork

"Hard work. Openness. Honesty. Directness."

"Fiachra is always available to me and acts as the point of contact for William Fry. He is able to qualify my query and direct me to the appropriate person if he doesn't handle it himself. He constantly ensures that my project is scoped, deadlined and delivered by his team. He genuinely cares about upholding the William Fry values of speed of turnaround and getting the job done to a high level. I feel like my legal needs are all covered by working with Fiachra – he will get it done for me."

Jarleth Heneghan

"Good understanding of the subject matter and ability to arrive at robust solutions in support of our interests."

"Accessible. Brings expertise and efficiency and offers clear information."

"Very easy to work with. Very responsive. Provides clarity on all points. Explains complex legal issues simply."

"Very professional, knowledgeable, enthusiastic and always available at short notice to address any issue."

"Collaboration. Legal knowledge. Commercial applications."

"Sector knowledge."

John Larkin

"John’s years of experience in dealing with the CBI and advising on regulatory authorisation applications made his appointment a no-brainer."

"Timely and reasoned advice. Well connected in the right places."

Laura Houlihan

"Personable, knowledgeable, experienced in banking. Met deadlines."

Liam McCabe

"Brilliant knowledge and experience of the construction industry. Very strong in front of executive leadership team members. Holds the tension to get to the correct outcomes, but if the business requirement is compelling to do something different he is capable of switching and finding creative solutions."

"Exceptionally strong functionally. Understands our business and finds innovative solutions to meet our needs."

"Commercially focused, extensive industry sector and general market knowledge. High-quality output."

"Outstanding in-depth knowledge of the industry and those involved. Provides excellent insight on all matters construction."

"Remarkably knowledgeable and up to date on the industry and trends."

Lisa Carty

"Lisa is extremely responsive and always provides clear, concise advice that is practical."

Lisa McCarthy

"Very knowledgeable, commercially-driven, highly responsive. Very good advice and problem solving."

Lorena Dunne

"Lorena has an excellent knowledge of Irish funds law and regulation, reinforced by her participation in industry bodies. She is very hardworking, approachable, and dedicated to delivering client solutions that are both technically and commercially acceptable."

"Lorena is very knowledgeable in Irish funds law and regulation. She is up to date with industry interpretations and practices. As with the rest of the William Fry team, Lorena is a pleasure to deal with and puts in a huge effort into delivering results for her clients."

"Lorena is an excellent attorney with a great depth of knowledge on UCITS matters. She has trained a great team of associates and together they delivery thorough and timely legal advice."

Louise McNabola

"Very approachable and knowledgeable, with ability to present complex matters in simple terms."

"Very fast in ramping up on company and product knowledge. Grasps issues immediately and turns around advice very fast. In-depth knowledge of EMI/PI for CBI application."

Mark Talbot

"Mark is our key point of contact at William Fry. His advice is measured, appropriate and practical, whoever at the company it is directed to. A pleasure to work with him."

"Brilliant corporate lawyer with a fantastic, forensic mind."

Mary Ward

"Attentive, personable, knowledgeable, practical."

"Clear explanation of detailed legal points."

"Responsive, commercially aware, legally astute."

Matthew Cahill

"Extensive experience in the sector. Astute commercial attitude while remaining personal. Good mix."

"Good experience and industry knowledge."

"Matthew has become our go-to contact when we are confronted with difficult issues. He understands our business objectives and is always able to provide us with practical and commercial solutions."

"Superb technical knowledge. Focused on providing solutions. Extremely responsive and available. Creative."

"Very experienced and helpful lawyer."

Myra Garrett

"Highly competent. Very helpful. Very responsive."

Nicola Doran

"Nicola is a highly experienced funds lawyer with particular expertise in fund mergers and regulatory implementation. She is bright, responsive and always provides high-quality work. She is also proactive and will raise issues before they arise. Highly recommended as a valuable and dependable resource."

Padraic Kinsella

"Great ability to simplify complex legal structures and documents and put it in commercial context."

"Very responsive. Great communication. Excellent subject matter knowledge. Can distil complex legal matters for business understanding."

"Provides good and reasoned advice."

"Extremely client focused, good at finding commercial solutions."

Ruairi Rynn

"Commercially focused with clear communications style and expert sector knowledge."

"Technically strong, good to work with and very efficient."

"Good relationship management/networking. Top-quality advice. Very open to building a work-giving relationship."

"Strong delivery, always accessible. Very reliable and experienced professional."

Shane Kelleher

"Shane is a fantastic regulatory lawyer, who continues to provide us with excellent support and guidance, managing our licence application with the Central Bank of Ireland. His knowledge of the regulation and his experience with licences and authorisations has really helped us. On top of all of that, he is very easy to deal with and is always available."

"He is extremely knowledgeable and a pleasure to deal with."

"Shane is a very experienced and knowledgeable lawyer with a great understanding of the industry, which helps to “translate” law to business/industry needs. Always askes the right questions, aiming to provide the best feedback."

Siobhan Carlin

"Good sector experience and understanding of our business. Genuinely interested in the success of our business. Brings continuous improvement to the process and has the ability to work with other law firms."

"Excellent knowledge of the sector. Very proactive and delivers a full service. Approachable and warm, with a can-do attitude. Commercial, offering solutions rather then just stating the problem."

Ted McGrath

"A deep knowledge of the tax issues that a REIT might face, and the ability to distil complex risks into clear directions."

Vincent Coyne

"Vincent is excellent at client relationship management, very knowledgeable in the Irish funds law and enthusiastic in finding commercial solutions to his clients’ requirements."

"Vincent is very knowledgeable in Irish funds law, as you might expect, and he excels at client relationship management, understanding the impact of legislation and regulation on the nuances of his clients’ businesses, delivering solutions with his team in an approachable and dedicated manner."

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