Ireland

Reviews

Practice area

IFLR1000 Reviews

Overview

Solicitor’s governing body: Law Society of Ireland

Competition authority: Competition and Consumer Protection Commission

Financial regulator: Central Bank of Ireland

IFLR1000 ranking categories for this jurisdiction: Banking; Capital markets: Debt; Capital markets: Equity; Financial services regulatory; Investment funds; M&A; Project finance; Restructuring and insolvency

Jurisdiction overview

The Republic of Ireland is one of two countries which form the island of Ireland. While, after around 800 years of foreign rule, the Republic gained independence from the UK in 1922; Northern Ireland has remained part of the sovereign state, albeit with devolved powers through the Northern Ireland Assembly.

The Republic has a common law legal system which derives from the constitution enacted in 1937. As an EU member state, it has adopted all the trading bloc’s treaties and recognises most of its legislation as Irish law.

As part of its EU membership, the Republic permits EEA qualified lawyers to practice the law of their jurisdiction in Ireland on the condition they do so under their name and have adequate indemnity insurance. Lawyers with EU qualifications may requalify to practice domestic law by working in the country for a continuous three year period or through the traditional route of bar examination.

Foreign firms are free to establish an office in Ireland and advise on their home law or international law, needing only to comply with the usual formalities for a foreigner opening a business in the Republic. EEA based firms can advise on local law if working in association with a local firm or lawyer. 

Despite the limited restrictions on foreign firms opening in the Republic, the make-up of the legal market, which is largely concentrated in Dublin, is predominantly domestic. Those international firms that have entered the jurisdiction, include Eversheds, which has had a presence in the country for some time; Dechert; and off-shore firms, Maples and Calder and Walkers. Among the domestic advisers, there a number of venerable firms, but five in particular have historically vied for the roles on the country’s most significant financial and corporate mandates.

Today those firms, A&L Goodbody, Arthur Cox, Matheson, McCann FitzGerald and William Fry, have more competition from local and international counterparts in certain areas. Of the other Irish firms with a commercial focus, one that is certainly pushing hard to join the elite, unquestionably with a degree of success in both the corporate and finance areas, is Mason Hayes & Curran. In the funds space, Dillon Eustace has one of the country’s leading practices, as does offshore outfit Maples and Calder. Another firm heralding from the Caymans, Walkers, which has a far more focussed offering than Maples in Ireland, has also made inroads into the funds market and has a good asset finance practice.

Several firms with offices in Dublin, which were in the past only recognised for specific work, have developed more consistency across a number of practices recently. Dillon Eustace and Maples and Calder are both good examples of this trend. The former has enhanced its ancillary practices in addition to the core funds group to service its financial services clients, and the latter has built a strong corporate practice to complement its finance team.

The type of work on offer for firms in the Republic is diverse and the leading firms reflect this with full-service offerings. In terms of reliability, funds work - unaffected by the crisis as it was, with all the assets involved located abroad - has become the mainstay of many a Dublin adviser. Corporate work, including financing, represents another good revenue stream thanks to the country’s favourable environment for business. 

The country is home to the European headquarters of some of the world’s biggest companies, Facebook, Amazon and Apple included. Principally this is driven by the country’s business-friendly approach and enticing tax regime, which includes a relaxed transfer pricing system and low corporation tax on profits. This, in particular, has encouraged high levels of FDI and, before the crisis, helped transform the Republic into one of the wealthiest countries in Europe.

Ben Naylor - Editor

Financial and corporate
A&L Goodbody

A&L Goodbody is active across all areas of financial and corporate work. It is one of the leading law firms in Ireland with expertise in most sectors.

In banking and finance, the firm has been active in advising lenders and borrowers on acquisition financing in real estate, aviation and asset financing, and sales of loan portfolios. Notable highlights include advising AIB on loan portfolio sales and ICG in new financing arrangements with lenders.

Its project finance team has advised the lenders on refinancing a waste to energy project and financing the development of Capital Docks.

The firm has been active in both the equity and debt areas of the capital markets. In the former, the firm has been advising international companies on IPOs on Nasdaq, the LSE and the ISE. In debt capital markets, the firm has been active in various securitisation transactions, including RMBS, ABS and CLO mandates advising the issuers, sponsors and bookrunners. It also acted on number of firsts, which included advising ING Capital in first Irish AFIC-backed financing and advising First Citizen Finance on the first public and rated Irish auto loan securitisation in Ireland.

While mostly confidential, the firm’s work includes regulatory advice in relation to mergers and acquisitions, advising the likes of Euronext and Bank of Ireland.

The firm’s funds work has incorporated the launch of UCITs and QIAFs along with the establishment of ICAVs and unit trusts. It advised APG Asset Management in its joint venture with Hines to establish ICAVs, and a subsequent property acquisition.

During the research period, the M&A team has been engaged in number of cross border transactions across various sectors, including pharmaceuticals and energy, acting for a mixture of buyers and sellers. One of its notable mandates was advising NJJ on its acquisition of Eir.  

The firm’s project development mandates are largely wind farm related, advising developers. It is acting on PPP projects for transport and social infrastructure, including working on DIT Campus Grangegorman project, advising the project company on public procurement procedures.

The projects team expanded its practice with five new lawyers including Conor Owens who joins the firm as partner from Maples and Calder. Elsewhere, David Berkery joined the banking and finance practice - he specialises in aviation finance.

Some of the firm’s key clients are NAMA, Bank of Ireland, and Allied Irish Banks.

Client feedback

"A&L Goodbody provides comprehensive legal advice and services across wide range of practice areas. Strengths include the quality of the lawyers equipped with technical legal knowledge and practical experience including breadth of areas, good technical advice and pragmatic approach. On the opposite end, I do find the firm to be under-resourced in certain areas." – Banking, investment funds, restructuring and insolvency

"Excellent firm to work with. Highly experienced practitioners with relevant market experience and knowledge." – Banking, capital markets, project development, restructuring

"The firm has an excellent technical knowledge all-round. They provide superb and pragmatic legal advice and are great at producing stats and Management Information using their own AI system with bespoke design features. Richard Grey is an expert transaction lawyer who knows documents inside out. Adrian Burke is a top advisor and knows his clients well and always delivers. Dario Dagostino is a valuable regulatory lawyer with unique insight and commercial approach." – Banking, capital markets, regulatory 

"Highly professional, responsive and extremely knowledgeable with the right amount of tenacity to push us in proper directions. They also have experience working with multi-national companies and are familiar with their unique issues." – Banking, capital markets, M&A, restructuring

"I have mainly worked with A&L Goodbody on equity capital markets, where they have a very strong practice, good market knowledge and expertise. Their corporate M&A practice is also very good." – Capital markets, M&A

"Recent experience working with A&L Goodbody has been really positive. They are particularly good at combining deep technical expertise with practical and commercial advice that we can act on. When you work with them, they really give you the feeling of solidarity. They are both flexible and responsive to changing needs. Although not a significant weakness, the firm at times does have difficulty providing us with the right partners or associates with the expertise relevant to the work involving several practice areas. Again, not a significant weakness as it is common with law firms.” – Banking, regulatory 

"The firm's work on our projects are deeply rooted in a fine understanding of our objectives, timelines and delivery. The firm's outstanding qualities are market knowledge, and client focus. I have not found any weaknesses." – Banking, capital markets, investment funds, M&A, regulatory, restructuring and insolvency

"Very responsive firm providing practical and commercial advices. Fee earners are top class and experts in their respective fields. Very competitive fees when viewed against strength of expertise and quick turn around." – Banking, capital markets, investment funds, project finance, regulatory, restructuring and insolvency

"We have engaged A&L Goodbody for a number of transactions over the last year. They have always provided high quality advice that are user-friendly and commercial in its approach. The work product is always well produced and provided on time. We have not had any issues around billing." – Banking

"We worked together on the biggest capital markets deal in Ireland last year, and have rehired them on a second ongoing equity capital markets transaction. The firm is knowledgeable in the subject matter and proactive in their execution of their responsibilities, showing leadership on Irish law issues for our mutual client as required. First rate work." – Banking, capital markets

Adrian Burke 

"Superb intellect, pragmatic, commercial, wide sectoral knowledge and technically excellent. Highly regarded."  

Charlie Carroll

"He provided most of the advice on our equity transaction. He was knowledgeable in the subject matter and proactive in his execution of his responsibilities showing leadership on Irish law issues for our mutual client as required. First rate work."

Matthew Cole

"Excellent practitioner."

Dario Dagostino

"He provides pragmatic and commercial advice which is comprehensible. He and his team are very much solution oriented. He gives a great sense of confidence and security in what can often be quite stressful and pressurised situations."

Catherine Duffy

"She always navigates us through complex documents. The private placement was a new source of funding for our business and involved a new suite of legal agreements in which we had no experience. We also had to sign up to an inter-creditor agreement. She was instrumental in providing us with a commercial understanding of these documents, identifying issues at an early stage and providing practical and commercial analysis, feedback and strategies for addressing these issues. She is a highly experienced and knowledgeable legal practitioner. She is always very calm, accessible and conveys complex legal matters in an understandable manner."

Richard Grey 

"Superb transaction lawyer. Knows the market intimately, great negotiator and draftsman." 

Ronan Lyons

"Highly professional, responsive and extremely knowledgeable with the right amount of tenacity to push us in proper directions. He also has experience working with multi-national companies and is familiar with their unique issues." 

Gillian McDonald 

"Top Property lawyer with great attention to detail." 

Niamh McMahon

"Ability to focus on key issues. Great communication for lenders and formulation of workarounds where necessary."

Peter Murray

"He is extremely capable. He has a deep knowledge of his practice area and combines that with very practical and commercial advice that we can act on. He is flexible, responsive and his level headedness in commercial negotiations is a real asset."

Peter Walker

"He gets involved in all of our transactions and is a good relationship partner. He ensures that all transactions are staffed by the appropriate team members while also remaining involved himself."

Erc Walsh

"Works with Peter Murray on financial matters and is a very capable lawyer." 

David Widger

"Very strong lawyer."

Charlie Carroll, Ciarán Rogers and Mairead Sherlock

"Completely immersive in client's needs."

Séamus Ó Cróinín, Richard Grey and Peter Walker

"Expert in their fields. Very approachable, cost effective and accessible with clear and commercial advices. First class in terms of approach and advices."

Arthur Cox

Arthur Cox is one of the largest and leading firms in Ireland, and active across all areas. 

In banking and finance the firm has been primarily active for lenders and borrowers. During the research period, the firm advised the likes of NAMA, AIB and UBS Investment bank in providing loans. On the borrower’s side, notable transactions include the refinancing of facilities and acquisition financing of Planet Payment by Fintrax.

In project finance the firm has been active in the renewables sector particularly on wind farm projects, where it has adivised both the lenders and developers on financings. 

Its capital markets equity work comprises placement of shares, IPOs, listing of holding companies, and convertible bond offerings for a mix of sponsors, issuers and underwriters. A particular highlight saw the firm advise Bank of Ireland in the establishment of new holding company and its subsequent listing on the ISE. 

In debt capital market, the firm has been particularly active on notes issues, advising the likes of Citigroup and Morgan Stanley among others. It also advised the Bank of Ireland and Mespil Securities in a securitisation of acquisition finance loans.

Most of the firm’s financial services regulatory work is confidential but it can be said that the firm has been advising clients on Brexit relocation issues.

In the funds space, the firm has been advising investment firms and private equity firms on various matters including the establishment of UCITs and non UCITS funds. It has also been active in the establishment and relocation of firms to Ireland.

In M&A, the firm has been active across several sectors, namely food, pharmaceuticals, and financial services. The firm’s deals included advising the likes of Eir on its acqusition by NJJIn one of the firm’s particularly interesting mandates, it acted for the selling shareholders on the sale of Irish Stock Exchange to Euronext.

The firm’s restructuring and insolvency practice has advised the likes of Oaktree, Sigma Retail, Bain Capital and the Central Bank of Ireland, acting as creditors or receivers. On the debtors sidethe firm completed the restructuring of Avaya Group’s debt and its subsequent exit from Chapter 11 proceedings.

The firm saw some changes to the team this period. In investment funds practice, Adrian Mulryan has left the firm while Tara O’Reilly, Cormac Commins and Ian Dillion joined the team from William Fry. The firm’s finance partner Hillary Callnan left the firm alongside William Johnston, who retried late last year. In the corporate area, the firm lost two partners in Ray Hurley and Eugene McCague. However, the latter is still with Arthur Cox having taken on the role of consultant. 

The firm’s key clients includes NAMA, Central Bank of Ireland and UBS.

Client feedback

"Arthur Cox have been our trusted advisor for many years. We get a very focused and dedicated response, and there is good consistency of people working on our account. When it comes to fees rate, we generally get a quote in advance for any substantive work in order to manage costs as best as possible." – M&A, restructuring

"Arthur Cox specifically the corporate team led by Maura McLaughlin is simply fantastic. I have worked with the team in a FTSE 100 Company during a large merger and worked with the team in a private corporation on complex commercial transactions. They are a fantastic commercially oriented legal partner for any large or small firm. They can deal with complex cross-border transactions in a seamless manner via furnishing commercially oriented legal advice and support in a timely advice while providing value for money." – Banking, capital markets, M&A, restructuring

"Arthur Cox are trusted advisors. They understand and are committed to our organisational needs. They consistently display the ability to distill complex legal issues, assess risk and provide commercial advice. They never fail to deliver what we need and in the time frame that we need it." – Banking, capital markets, M&A, regulatory, restructuring

"Arthur Cox provides top-notch, stellar service. They have extensive industry knowledge while providing timely and on-point advice. I can't relay any material weaknesses, as they are by far the best law firm with whom I deal with on a regular basis." – Investment funds

"Excellent quality work from a well-resourced experienced team capable of delivering transactions on time." – Banking

"Excellent work that is prompt and thorough, appropriate level of attorney for specific task, pleasant, good communicators and flexible in work hours and billing matters." – Banking, capital markets, M&A, restructuring

"I have never worked with a law firm that is better than Arthur Cox. In particular, Kevin Murphy is a standout with a keen business sense and strong legal mind. His ability to clearly explain the Irish and EU investment management landscape in a way that a US counsel can understand is truly compelling. As noted, however, his advice goes beyond simply legal matters; Kevin knows the business landscape and provides vital insight for a US firm seeking to navigate the investment management business landscape in Europe." – Investment funds

"Knowledgeable and responsive lawyer with broad experience." – Project development, regulatory

"Strong and capable on the pure legal aspects, good team in place that are very hard working and accommodating, and quick to respond to any requests." – Banking, M&A

"The firm has provided the highest level of service - they have simply exceeded expectations. Knowledgeable, pragmatic and highly responsive." – Banking

Ciarán Bolger

"He has deep knowledge of our company and the food sector in general. He is always available and is adept at problem solving when issues arise."

Kathleen Garrett

"Very client focused and knowledgeable."

Stephen Hegarty

"I have always found Stephen to be very responsive and technically strong in his advices."

Cian McCourt

"He exemplifies what a relationship partner should be. In addition to being highly attuned and responsive to the substantive legal issues we are facing, he invests significant time in understanding our business and anticipated legal and business needs."

Maura McLaughlin

"Excellent. Client-focused, smart, good communication, good work product and experienced."

"Strong on legal aspects and good at providing advice on legal negotiation. Good to work with."

"She understands our business needs, can adapt to shifting priorities and always provides solid, practical advice at critical times."

"She is a fantastic, commercially oriented and a pragmatic lawyer. Her experience, commercial awareness and knowledge are extensive."

Kevin Murphy

"He is a fantastic lawyer. He has tremendous legal acumen while offering practical, concise and relevant advice."

"He is a standout with a keen business sense and strong legal mind. His ability to clearly explain the Irish and EU investment management landscape in a way that a US counsel can understand is truly compelling. As noted, however, his advice goes beyond simply legal matters; Kevin knows the business landscape and provides vital insight for a US firm seeking to navigate the investment management business landscape in Europe."

Pádraig Ó Ríordáin

"He is our most trusted advisor."  

Ultan Shannon

"He is a seasoned partner who provides clear commercial legal advice and delivers transactions on time."

Dechert

The Irish branch of the international law firm has built a reputation for investment funds work. 

During the research period, the firm advised US and UK asset managers on the establishment of Irish UCITs and sub funds. 

Recent staffing changes include the addition of two partners - Jeff Mackey from Dillon Eustace and Mark Dillon from Deacons.

Publishable key clients include John Hancock Worldwide Investors, GQG Partners, and Manulife.

Dillon Eustace

Dillon Eustace is active across financial and corporate work, with its core strength in investment funds work. Among Irish firms, it acts for the highest number of unique asset managers and domiciled funds in Ireland. 

In banking and finance the firm has been active in real estate area advising on financing acquisitions. While it mostly advises funds on financing transactions it has also picked up mandates for domestic and international banks in cross border transactions.

Its capital market team has notable expertise in debt work where it has recently advised on issuance of notes, where it acted for issuers, and RMBS securitisation mandates for investors. Notable highlights includes advising the issuers on the issuance of profit participating notes listed on the ISE.

During the research period, the firm picked up number of new funds clients and advised them on the establishment of new funds in Ireland.

In M&A the firm has been predominantly active in the health sector advising Centric Health on acquisition and disposal transactions. It also has expertise on cross border transactions advising the shareholders on mergers and divestment transactions.

In restructuring and insolvency the firm has represented clients both in in-court and out-of-court proceedings. The firm mostly has mostly been engaged by receivers and liquidators. 

The likes of Credit Suisse and Danske Bank has joined the firm’s client lists that already includes names such as NAMA, Pimco and Lone star. 

Client feedback

"Dillon Eustace permanently assisted our company regarding Irish corporate law matters. In 2017, our company entered in two significant multi-million credit facility transactions. Our needs were perfectly satisfied. Dillon Eustace provides carefully tailored legal assistance to their clients." – Banking, restructuring 

"Easy to work with, user friendly, competent and understated." – M&A, restructuring

"They are very responsive, accurate, and approachable; it is good value for money." – Banking, capital markets, restructuring 

"Very competent firm with flexibility and good communication." – Banking, project development, project finance

"Very strong in providing clear and defined solutions to issues that arise on various banking transactions." – Banking

"We have developed a strong relationship with Dillon Eustace over the years. They are responsive on a timely basis to our requests and provide considered opinions." – Investment funds, regulatory

"We have worked with Dillon Eustace for close to three years on real estate debt financing transactions. The level of service is excellent. The team we work with there, which is headed up by Kate Curneen, is very strong, both on the banking and the property side. They adopt a commercial, client focused approach. They are very responsive to client needs particularly where there are very tight turnaround times and are very knowledgeable on trickier legal points. It is very reassuring to have them on a transaction. Kate Curneen is excellent; we rate her very highly. She has a calm, reassuring manner and is exceptionally responsive and committed to the successful outcome of transactions. She is very pragmatic, very solutions driven. Her commercial acumen and knowledge of the market are impressive. We find Dillon Eustace at least on par with any top firm we have dealt with in the Republic of Ireland, and they offer much better value for money." – Banking

John-Hugh Colleran

"Technically very good and always available."

"Available on short notice with concise and accurate solutions on Banking & Finance practices." 

Kate Curneen

"Very strong."

"Very good. Nothing is too much trouble and everything is done correctly."

"She is excellent and we rate her very highly. She has a calm, reassuring manner and is exceptionally responsive and committed to the successful outcome of transactions. She is very pragmatic and solutions driven. Her commerciality and knowledge of the market are impressive."

Conor Keaveny

"He is our main legal advisor on our credit facility transactions. We felt confident about his knowledge of the regulation and satisfied by his very quick reaction to our needs."

Brian Kelliher

"He is responsive on a timely basis to our requests and provide thoughtful opinions."

Sean Murray and Lorcan Tiernan

"They guide us when the questions regarding corporate issues or potential tax obligations are raised."

Hayes Solicitors

Hayes Solicitors offers financial and corporate services to domestic and international clients with its work often coming from UK clients. During the research period, the firm has been active in banking and finance work advising on a mix of acquisition financing and secured lending transactions. Publishable highlight incudes advising Allied Irish Banks opposite borrowers and obligors on the amendments and renegotiation of existing mezzanine debt provided by MML Partners.

Key clients include Allied Irish Bank and the Governor of Delaware.

LK Shields

LK Shields is active across all areas covered by the rankings. During the research period, the firm’s M&A department has been busiest, advising a mix of private equity and public companies on deals spread across a range of sectors. 

In the healthcare sector the firm acted on the acquisition of Knightsbridge Care Village and Carechoice representing the buyers on both transactions. Other highlights saw the firm advise the shareholders on the sale of Oasis Group in a secondary buyout by Montagu Private Equity.

Jeanne Kelly joined the firm from Mason Hayes & Curran to boost its IT practice.

Client feedback

"Excellent pragmatic advice which cuts to the commercial issues at play." – Banking, M&A, restructuring 

"I have found LK Shields to be an excellent firm. They are hugely attentive with an excellent ability to turn documents around quickly. In addition, they have a strong bias towards constructive problem solving which was essential in getting our deal over the line. I'd particularly mention the partner we dealt with, Jennifer McGuire, in this regard." – M&A

"Very strong in both the corporate and employment law areas." – Banking, M&A

"We have found LK Shields to be highly responsive and commercial in their approach. Their lawyers are approachable and client focused and generally a pleasure to deal with. We feel that they have a good understanding of our business and needs." – M&A, restructuring and insolvency

Susan Battye

"Commercially focused and concise advice provided on often short deadlines."

James Byrne

"He was an excellent support throughout the process."

Richard Curran

"Practical, informed and responsive. Good at feeling the temperature of the room so he knows when a quick answer is needed against an extremely detailed one."

Gerry Halpenny

"He is very hands-on and approachable; he gets to the key focus points quickly and is very solution-orientated."

"Excellent lawyer who is completely on top of his game."

Jennifer McGuire

"Very responsive and works well with Gerry Halpenny so that we feel that we have two partners on hand who know our business well."

"Very commercial and always instructive."

"Her advice through the process of our deal was hugely constructive and was a key part of the reason that the deal completed in a timely fashion. She provided practical solutions as issues arose, and she made sure that there was a rapid turnaround of documents. Her communication skills are excellent, and I would recommend her without hesitation."

Maples Group

Maples and Calder has a strong practice across financial and corporate area with greater prominence in funds. The firm is also reputable for its work in structured finance and securitisation.

In banking and finance, the firm has been mostly active on aviation finance advising on financing, novation and leasing transactions for the likes of DAE and Avolon. It also acted on one of the largest loan portfolio sales of 2017, acting for the buyer.

In debt capital markets work the firm has been active in the issuance of CLOs advising the likes of Spire and CVC. In the equity space the firm has advised Draper Espirit and J&E Davy and Credit Suisse on ESM and AIM admissions.

In M&A the firm has been active in the technology sector advising buyers, such as on the MBO of Version 1 by Volpi Capital. It also advised on the acquisition of CIT group by Avolon, making it the third largest leasing company in the world.  

In funds space the firm has acted on the establishment of number of UCITs, AIFM and ICAVs for investment firms. During the research period, the firm has advised the likes of Bain Capital and Innocap. 

In restructuring and insolvency the firm has largely acted for the liquidators, however, it has also acted on behalf of creditors in the appointment of receivers. The firm is acting on the liquidation of Treasury Holdings and Bloxham Stockbrokers.

The banking and finance practice has added Aaron McGarry as partner who joins the firm from Walkers. In the corporate area, the firm hired partner Nigel Wilson while Alan O’Sullivan joins the restructuring and insolvency team as its new partner.

Kieran Wallace, Bain Capital, Avolon and CVC Credit Partners are some of the firm’s notable clients.

Client feedback

"Commercial acumen and quick response." – Banking, restructuring and insolvency

"Excellent investment funds practice with several skilled individuals. The funds department works seamlessly with other departments at Maples and Calder too and ensures high quality service in all respects." – Capital markets, investment funds, regulatory

"The firm has extremely high standard of service. They provide thorough due diligence on all aspects of a transaction alongside excellent client service. We have worked with the firm's banking and property team on transactions with very challenging timelines, which the team were able to meet." – Banking

"They are extremely knowledgeable about Irish and UK M&A, takeover and securities laws. They are also highly responsive across multiple time zones and are well-connected to other professional service providers (e.g., accountants, solicitors, etc.). I find the lawyers personable with requisite expertise in both broad and specific practice areas." – Banking, capital markets, M&A

"The firm has an experienced insolvency partner at the helm in Robin McDonnell." – Insolvency

"Maples & Calder continuously provide us with pragmatic and commercially-focused legal advice that gives us confidence in our operation and development of our business while maintaining compliance with the local law and avoiding any unnecessary risk." – Banking, M&A, regulatory

"Maples and Calder's team in Dublin is exceptional. They provide strong relationship management via one main partner who then coordinates all of the individual specialist teams on our behalf. They take the time to be involved in all transactions at every level so that they are always up to speed with our company developments. This allows them to provide advice extremely quickly and without the need to get background information each time. The partners and associates are all strong team players and understand the importance of being commercial above all else. They always seem to know how one transaction may impact previous structures and come armed with solutions before the problems materialise. I cannot recommend Maples and Calder's Irish team highly enough." – Banking, capital markets, M&A, project finance

"Maples is one of the key law firms in Ireland. Their lawyers are very commercial, responsive and solution-orientated." – Capital markets, investment funds

"Solid performers and very pleasant to deal with. They're relatively a young law firm in Irish context and consequently tend to be less stuffy than their peers and more open to new ideas." – Capital markets

"Strong legal and regulatory knowledge." – Investment funds

"The level of service is excellent. Maples & Calder provide clear and effective advice in concise terms. Client accessibility is a key strength." – Restructuring and insolvency

"The team at Maples is outstanding and I have used them for many years. Their advice is always accurate, on-point, commercial and often provided within very tight time frames. Key individuals from my perspective are Peter Stapleton and Ian Conlon; I have worked with both for many years and highly rate them both." – Investment funds, regulatory

"Very diligent, responsive, hardworking and completes work to a high standard." – Banking

"Very strong commercially-minded advice with a good awareness of the Central Bank of Ireland's policy position on matters that are relevant to us." – Investment fund, regulatory, restructuring

"We are happy with the services provided. Business-oriented and skilled personnel with in-depth knowledge in the areas relevant to us." – Investment fund, regulatory 

"We work with a number of law firms in different jurisdictions. We have found Maples and Calder to offer the highest level of service. We value the level of professionalism, speed of response and depth of knowledge. Of particular value is the breadth of the organisation with good coverage in terms of personnel available to do the work needed to be undertaken and breadth of service. For example, their specialist funds registration team is an area of high value added for us." – Investment fund, regulatory

"Work undertaken on a specific transaction required immediate engagement with extremely tight deadlines. This was taken on effortlessly by the lead partner who managed the process and expectations of all parties. The wider team resources were fully implemented. Full transparency was provided on fees. For this transaction I did not encounter any particular weaknesses." – Banking, M&A

Elizabeth Bradley

"Very commercial approach adopted within extremely challenging timelines. Demonstrated commitment and transparency throughout the transaction ensuring all parties knew and understood the bank's position." 

Ian Conlon

"Commercial, practical and thorough understanding of our firm's business. He is also professional."

"Skilled with good knowledge of the regulatory framework."

"Concise and knowledgeable."

Karole Cuddihy

"He is an excellent lawyer and ably assists Robin on all of our insolvency cases. The strength in depth of the overall Maples and Calder team is one of the key reasons why we continue to refer some of our most difficult and complex corporate insolvency assignments to them." 

John Gallagher

"He is an excellent lawyer that understands the legal and business issues hedge fund managers face. His team is very responsive and always delivers high quality work on time."

Deirdre MacCarthy

"Positive interaction, very knowledgeable, very good character and advice."

Robin McDonnell

"Very experienced and well capable to punch his weight in the Irish Market."

"Robin is extremely practical and is adept at tailoring his advice to the individual circumstances in each case. He excels in identifying appropriate commercial solutions to difficult issues."

Deirdre McIlvenna

"She provides outstanding service to our company."

Nollaig Murphy

"He is very commercial and solution orientated."

Patrick Quinlan

"He understands our business and risk appetite and advises us accordingly. He is technically excellent, innovative and an efficient lawyer who plays a key role in ensuring the effectiveness of our growth strategy."

"Good relationship lawyer, and it is a pleasure to deal with him."

"He is an excellent M&A advisor and I cannot recommend his services highly enough. Always delivers a strong solution within an extremely short time and has the depth and breadth of knowledge that is required for a strong M&A advisor."

Peter Stapleton

"Professional, commercial, practical and thorough understanding of our firm's business."

"Excellent lawyer who is very knowledgeable and commercial."

Elizabeth Bradley and Sarah Francis

"Extremely diligent with really strong technical knowledge and excellent client service that is accessible and communicated clearly on technical points."

Brian Clarke and Alan O’Sullivan

"Commercial understanding."

Edward Miller and Patrick Quinlan

"Personable with requisite expertise in both broad and specific practice areas."

John Breslin, Ronan McNabb and Jordan O’Brien

"Exceptional work. It is impossible for me to criticise any of the team of lawyers in the Maples and Calder Dublin office. Every one of them shines in their specialty areas and appear to work together seamlessly to deliver value-adding solutions for our business."

Emma Conaty, Frances Hamilton and Niamh Murray

"All have provided the highest level of commitment and service, and I would recommend them highly to any contact."

Mason Hayes & Curran

Mayson Hayes & Curran is active in project financing and has expertise in banking and finance and M&A.

In banking and finance, the firm has been involved in financing numerous projects, especially in the renewable sectors, notably acting for the lenders onwind farms projects. It is active on acquisition, corporate and real estate finance where it has advised a mix of borrowers and lenders. The firm also advised a Chinese bank in the cross border financing of aircraft, which involved four different jurisdictions.

The firm is active in M&A area advising across various sectors including health and retail and acting for both sellers and buyers. One notable transaction happened in the communications sector where it advised Blue Face on its merger with Star2Star.

In capital markets, the firm advised KCK on its placement of shares. It is also engaged in an IPO advising the issuer. 

The firm suffered number of partner departures as Fionán Breathnach, Daniel Kiely, Ciaran Healy and Robert Henson left the firm. Corporate lawyer Robert Dickson joined the firm.

Allied Irish banks and Irish Residential Properties are some of the key clients the firm has advised. 

Matheson

Mathesons is a reputable Irish firm with expertise across all areas of financial and corporate work. It also has a strong capabilities in projects work. 

In banking and finance, the firm has been active in aviation and property finance advising the likes of BNP Paribas, Deutshe bank and CBD Leasing. One of the highlights was the firm’s leading role in advising Danske bank on the sale of its residential mortgages portfolio.

During the research period, the firm completed its advisory role to the lenders in financing Ireland’s largest PPP project in the education sector.

In capital markets, the firm has acted on placements of new shares and right issues, advising issuers. During the research period, the firm acted on the first listing of renewable energy infrastructure company on the ISE, where it advised the funds as investors. In debt capital markets, the firm has been active on securitisation transactions, predominantly engaged in CLO mandates as issuer’s counsel and listing agent. It has also seen fair share of ABS, RMBS and auto loan securitisation work, acting for the issuers and arrangers

The firm’s funds work has included a mixture of ETFs, funds and sub-funds using the ICAV structure. During the research period, it advised JPMorgan on the establishment of its first ICAV ETF in Europe.

In M&A, the firm has been active in advising private equity firms in acquisitions across pharmaceuticals, telecommunications and the food sectors. Recent highlight work include advising the acquirers on the public takeover of Innocoll Holdings and the acquisition of Netwatch Holdings.

In projects work the firm has been active on several PPP projects advising on tender procedures, including on the national broadband plan. 

The restructuring and insolvency team has acted on several cross border restructuring mandates. Publishable work includes representing FCR Media in its examinership process and advising the examiner on the restructuring of Gerry Barret companies.

The firm’s corporate team saw some staffing changes as Ciaran Healy joined the firm while Alan Chiswick departed to join Zurich Insurance.

Deutsche Bank, Tullow Oil, JPMorgan and Blackrock are some of the firm’s notable clients.

Client feedback

"A very strong corporate team with deep local knowledge. Standout corporate partners include Fergus Bolster and George Brady." – Banking, M&A, restructuring 

"Commercial, accurate, quick turn around and willing to give an opinion." – Banking

"Commercially focused team that work in a collaborative way." – Banking, M&A, restructuring and insolvency

"Efficient, helpful, knowledgeable and exceptionally reliable." – Banking, capital markets, restructuring 

"Excellent and strong team approach; collaborative thinking between the partner and associate, and client focused. We engaged them in a relatively small transaction yet they placed importance on it. They're professional yet friendly to deal with, and the partner delegated responsibility to the associate." – M&A

"Very quick and excellent services." – Project development  

"Excellent, good knowledge and sound advice." – Project finance

"As a Spanish company entering the Irish market, Matheson assisted us in our tender process, provided us with regulatory advice and other services that were relevant to our business." – Project development, regulatory 

"The firm’s main strength lies in the ability of Gerry Thornton as lead contact within the firm who can solve problems and provide rational advice." – Banking, capital markets, investment funds, project finance

"Matheson provides expert and commercial practical legal advice to us in all areas, particularly, insolvency, portfolio sales, general banking and real estate. All solicitors whom we deal with are exceptionally responsive, highly reliable and legal experts in their chosen fields. No recognised weaknesses identified in Matheson's service over the years." – Banking, capital markets, insolvency

"Matheson was highly professional and provided local expertise in distinct area of law pertaining to the rail industry. Conor Blennerhassett was extremely efficient and responsive, given our strict deadlines and timing for response assistance. We also found his expertise to be reliable and concise, considering the budgetary concerns and constrictions we had. I would highlight the firm’s greatest strength to be their thoroughness and quality of their work product combined with their responsive and strong client relationship, which we developed over the course of our project. The firm’s service costs are on the high end, however, that is the norm with any firm of this calibre." – Regulatory

"Outstanding service. Strong sector knowledge and commercial approach." – Banking, M&A

"Strengths: very professional, always understands our position and aligns with it. Weakness: some teams take longer than expected with their responses." – Banking, project development 

"They have an excellent technical and industry knowledge and are always welcoming. They try to understand my business so that they can advise from that perspective. In terms of weaknesses, sometimes attention to detail among the more inexperienced lawyers can arise but never on crucial aspects, as these will have been reviewed by more senior staff." – Capital markets, investment funds

"Very commercial firm with emphasis on client relationships." – Banking, regulatory, restructuring 

"Very professional. Ciaran Healy is excellent." – M&A 

Conor Blennerhassett

"Excellent and proactive."

"He was exceptional in providing concise and thorough legal services. His strengths included establishing a strong client relationship. He was positioned as a trusted advisor on a major project because of his strong commercial understanding of the particular project. He was highly responsive and very friendly and easy to work with regardless of our time zone differences."

Fergus Bolster

"Very responsive and pragmatic."

Garret Farrelly

"He is very professional with deep knowledge of the sector and provides prompt response."

"Strengths: Sector knowledge, country knowledge, responsiveness and accessibility."

"Professional, highly experienced and reliable."

Laura Gleeson

"Technically excellent and extremely responsive."

Ciaran Healy

"Excellent. Very professional, knowledgeable and helpful."

Eunan Hession

"Junior lawyer but very good and extremely responsive."

Stuart Kennedy

"Responsive, knowledgeable, unflappable and extremely helpful." 

Peter McKeever

"Highly skilled, commercial, knowledgeable and personable."

Donal O’Byrne

"Extremely conscientious and responsive. Not afraid to take a position." 

Tony O’Grady

"Strong lawyer who practically uses his depth of knowledge to provide sound commercial advice."

Chris Quinn

"Extremely knowledgeable and pragmatic."

Patrick Spicer

"He has great technical skills with strong network. He is also very commercial."

Gerry Thornton

"Excellent problem solving and commercially-minded solicitor."

McCann FitzGerald

McCann Fitzegerald is strong across all practice areas with notable expertise in projects work and restructuring and insolvency.

In banking and finance, the firm has been active in real estate and aviation finance advising lenders including AIB bank

In project work, the firm has been primarily advising the lenders acting on the likes Grangegorman Campus PPP and the redevelopment of Ringaskiddy facilities. On the borrowers side, it advised Greencoat Renewables on revolving credit facility to pay off its project finance debt. 

The firm’s capital markets team has acted for the issuers, and underwriters on IPOs, accelerated book buildings, and secondary share offerings. During the research period, the firm advised AIB on its IPO on the ISE and LSE and the subsequent establishment of its new listed holding company. In debt capital markets the firm has acted on bond issues, EMTN programmes, CLOs and ABS transactions, primarily advising issuers

In financial services regulation the firm advised Flender on the regulatory matters with regard to the peer-to-peer lending platform. It has provided its regulatory services to the likes of Irish Residential Properties, MetLife Group and Generali. 

The investment funds team has advised on the establishment of ICAVs and sub funds during the research period. The firm also acted on the change in management and restructuring of funds for the likes of Investcorp Credit Management

In M&A the firm has been equally active on the sellers and buyers’ sides, acting across various sectors such as insurance, technology and healthcare. Among the notable deals are a sales of shares for Trintech and an acquisition mandate for Cardinal Health.

In restructuring and insolvency the firm has acted for the likes of Deutsche Bank and NAMA. It has also been engaged in the restructuring of OCS, where it acts for the liquidators.

The firm has a new partner in Brendan Slattery who joined the projects team from Barry Doyle & Co.

Allied Irish Bank, Greencoat Renewable, Asia Aviation Capital and NAMA are some of the notable clients the firm advises.

Client feedback

"Excellent and highly professional in all areas at a competitive fee level." – Insolvency

"Excellent firm. They are very competent, knowledgeable, client driven, and are able to solve problems." – Banking, restructuring and insolvency

"Excellent technical knowledge of the law and an ability to apply it practically to the client's needs." – Banking, project development, project finance, regulatory

"Excellent. Very strong partners and great turnaround times." – Banking, capital markets, restructuring and insolvency

“We have used McCann Fitzgerald as our Irish legal counsel on our IPO that included subsequent placing of a holding company on top of our parent company. Prior to the listing, work included share consolidation, redemption of preference shares and promissory notes among others. During the process, the firm provided continuous expert advice in a timely manner. They placed the appropriately qualified people at all levels of the transactions, and I would recommend their services without hesitation." – Capital markets, M&A, regulatory, restructuring 

"Professional and excellent service, commercial approach, responsive and efficient." – Banking, M&A, restructuring 

"Very practical and commercially focused advice delivered in a clear, efficient and timely manner." – Regulatory, restructuring and insolvency

"Very responsive and knowledgeable. It is an absolute pleasure to deal with them." – Banking, project finance    

"Very responsive and client friendly." – Banking, insolvency

"We find McCann FitzGerald's work to be excellent. The service is very much partner-led, and we find them to be very responsive and on top of each brief, leading to efficient and well managed projects alongside smooth continued relationships with counter parties." – Banking, M&A

Catherine Deane

"She is one of the most eminent aviation lawyers. She leads all our aviation transactions and has excellent command of the details on each and is very proactive in making sure these move forward in a timely and efficient manner."

Stephen FitzSimons  

"Great understanding of clients’ needs and court process."

Josh Hogan

"Clear, precise and practical."

Aidan Lawlor

"Great commercial acumen with an innate understanding of the potential pitfalls in what can sometimes be a highly complex area."

Gill Lohan

"Recently made partner, Gill worked as senior associate over the past number of years. Cannot speak more highly of her. Great manner with clients while having deep understanding of her field."

Stuart McCarron

"Very personable with great understanding of the importance of managing our customers’ relationship. Commercial and knowledgeable with valuable insights to aid negotiation and determination to ensure the timely completion of transactions."

"Excellent lawyer. Very experienced, knowledgeable, responsive and proactive."   

Michael Murphy

"Excellent and highly professional."

Georgina O’Riordan

"Very strong lawyer. The firm have very strong bench strength in the sector in Ireland."

"Excellent knowledge and experience. Very comforting to know that the service one will receive will be based on extensive understanding of the industry and implementation of solutions when required."

Roy Parker 

"Extremely skilled technical lawyer"    

Lisa Smyth

"Very commercial and practical. Delivers concise and clear advice in a jargon freeway and good at meeting deadlines."

"Excellent, very responsive and technically good."

Tony Spratt and Mark White

"Excellent lawyers whom I would highly recommend."

Seán Barton, Colm Fanning and Peter Osborne

"Very commercially focused and responsive, delivering good client service."

Philip Lee

Philip lee is a commercial law firm with a strong reputation in project work and is active in the deals in the energy sector in general. It is also active in banking and finance and M&A.

In the energy sector the firm advised the Bank of Ireland on restructuring and due diligence work on the financing of two wind farm projects. It also acted for Allied Irish Bank as one of the investors in the Greencoat Renewables IPO. Elsewhere, it advised Port of Cork on the procurement procedures and financing structure on the redevelopment of port facilities at Ringaskiddy.

In M&A, the firm has been advising its clients on a mix of Irish and cross border mandates. It has a balanced portfolio of both buyers and sellers. On the sell side, one notable transaction saw the firm advise New Mountain Capital on the Irish aspect of its sale of Alexander Mann Group. On the buy side, the firm has picked up some work from the technology sector advising Microsoft and WiseTech on strategic acquisition of Irish companies. 

Staffing changes include the recruitment of two corporate partners Andrew Tzialli and Ronan Dunne from Sheridans and McCann Fitzgerald respectively. It also boosted its tax practice with the recruitment of Amanda-Jayne Comyn from Grant Thornton.

Key clients include Allied Irish Bank, Microsoft, Sigmoid Pharma and Bank of Ireland.

Client feedback

"Jonathan Kelly and Ita O'Sullivan of Philip Lee provided very informed, timely and commercial advice. They asked relevant questions when seeking more information and always delivered on time and within budget." – Banking, capital markets

"Philip Lee have consistently provided excellent thought leadership, service and responsiveness for our corporate law needs. In our recent multi-million transaction, they helped us work through a very complex restructuring process while simultaneously negotiating a full suite of detailed transaction documents - all under a very tight time frame." – Banking, M&A, investment funds, restructuring and insolvency

"Philip Lee typically demonstrates a tremendous amount of pragmatism, can-do mentality and commitment. The counter party's legal advisor was a large corporate law firm which generally moved slowly. The Philip Lee team did a very good job in focusing on the main issues at hand, unlocking stumbling blocks and moving the project along." – Capital markets

Sarah Irwin

"Excellent co-ordination of multiple complex work streams, steady guiding hand for complex diligence and disclosure."

Jonathan Kelly

"Very commercial and efficient lawyer. A real pleasure working with Jonathan, and we would be hopeful to use him again in the near future."

Andreas McConnell

"Deep client knowledge, creative problem solving and very responsive. Drives strong momentum in the legal process."

"He provided legal advice on a very intense fund raising and was involved in every step of the process, including attendance of daily calls etc. He did a tremendous job with extraordinary level of expertise and attention to detail."

Pinsent Masons

During the research period, Pinsent Masons acted on M&A and funds deals..

Publishable deal highlights include advising Redefine International on its sale of Leopard Portfolio, and advising Ludlum Consortium on its acquisition of Dundalk Town FC, an Irish Football Club. 

Although the firm’s funds work is confidential, it can be said that it has advised funds on regulatory matters in relation to Brexit and GDPR. It has also advised on the establishment of sub-funds and ICAVs.

The research period saw the firm recruit corporate partner Dennis Agnew from Byrne Wallace and funds Lawyer Gayle Bowen from Walkers.

Client feedback

"This is a new entrant in the Irish market, and they have arrived with a bang. They have resourced the team with experts in their field, are hungry to create meaningful relationships, and are cost effective while offering the highest standards of advice. We have used them for very high level strategic and technical advice on regulatory matters." – Investment funds, regulatory

Walkers

Walker’s strongest practices are asset finance, debt capital markets, where it has expertise in securitisation transactions, and investment funds.

In asset finance the firm advised CDPQ in its partnership with GECAS on establishing an aircraft financing platform. Elsewhere, the firm has also acted on number of acquisition finance deals, primarily advising international lenders on cross border mandates.

In debt capital markets the firm specialises in CLO transactions. It acted on Santander’s Red 1 Finance CLO, which was a hybrid securitisation incorporating CLO and CMBS structures. The firm has also advised on securitised bonds and notes issuances, acting as listing agent, and advisor to arrangers and issuers. 

In financial services regulatory the firm’s work is confidential but it is acting for well-established banks and financial services companies on regulatory matters.

During the research period, the restructuring and insolvency team has mostly acted for liquidators, and also been involved in corporate restructuring work. In one notable mandate, the firm is acting for NAMA on its bankruptcy proceedings against number of property developers.

The firm’s funds team has acted on the establishment of UCITS, while also advising on acquisition mandates for the likes of Cantor Fitzgerald 

During the research period, the firm’s M&A practice has advised international and domestic companies on joint ventures and acquisitions across the technology, insurance, aviation and real sectors. In one highlight deal, it acted on the for LRC group on the acquisition of Hilton Garden Inn.

The firm’s investment practice had some changes to the team as Paul Farrell and Gayle Bowen departed. Aaron McGarry also left the firm to join Maples and Calder. Joining the firm are Nicholas Blake-Knox and Sarah Maguire as partners in Investment funds practice and Matt Hedigan as counsel.

Key clients include Kieran Wallace, AIB bank, Unicredit and Bain.

Client feedback

"A very pragmatic approach with strong work ethic and quick response time. Dealt well with slightly unprofessional counter party approach." – M&A

"A young and energetic team with a clear appetite to grow the franchise in Ireland, manifesting in a practical and client-oriented approach to all situations. Responsive, thorough and most fundamentally commercial." – Banking, M&A 

"Always up-to-date on the latest issues and provides easy to absorb directions in a business and SMT-friendly manner." – Regulatory 

"Brendan O'Brien provided our company with first class legal insight during our recent acquisition in Ireland. He quickly grasped the issues at hand and was creative in finding acceptable solutions to both sides." – M&A 

"Brendan O'Brien provides a fantastic service. He is responsive and commercial. A pleasure to deal with." – Banking, M&A

"Brendan O'Brien was very professional and a pleasure to deal with. I found his support and advice to be commercially focused, and ultimately, the outcome was successful for our client. He is highly efficient and deals with matters without delay." – M&A

"Efficient in all areas." – M&A

"Excellent standard of service, highly responsive and a good understanding of the key issues that impact our business on each deal." – Banking, project finance

"Excellent, approachable and practical." – Banking, insolvency

"Extremely commercial and very well regarded in the region." – Banking, investment funds, M&A, regulatory 

"The firm provided fast and accurate response to all of our questions and requests. Those answers, provided to us, were to the point and did not require any further clarification." – Restructuring

"Good structuring and funds knowledge, very commercial and good technical knowledge." – Banking, capital markets

"High quality, diligent and reliable." – Investment funds

"Highly skilled and knowledgeable firm with attention to detail and exceptional client relationship management." – Investment funds 

"I worked with Brendan O'Brien in Walkers. I found him to be very responsive and solution driven. He was strong at highlighting the risks but was innovative in suggesting solutions. Brendan is a strong commercial focused lawyer whom I would recommend." – Banking, M&A, restructuring 

"I have been working with Nick Blake-Knox for 5 years. He is my go-to lawyer for Irish Funds legal matters. His expertise includes UCITS, AIFS, ETFs and new developments in Irish funds consultations and regulations." – Investment funds

"My greatest contact with Walkers over the years has been in the context of the CLO market. They are an incredibly efficient and have focused practice in this area that facilitate transaction execution while providing sound advice backed by the experience they have as one of the leading players in this field in Europe. Another key selling point is their in-house listing capability and corporate service provider function which is entirely joined up and seamless, providing a one-stop shop that only one other firm in Ireland can compete with in this respect." – Banking, capital markets, investment funds, regulatory 

"Overall, very reliable partner and trusted advisor. Very responsive, pragmatic and content driven. On the weak side, staff turnover has been a bit high over the past period." – Investment funds

"Responsive and knowledgeable." – Restructuring

"Responsive, professional and capable. Kerill O'Shaughnessy provides an excellent service for investment funds. He is clear, instructive and pragmatic." – Investment funds

"Strengths: very responsive, pragmatic and reasonably priced in the market. Weaknesses: rising fees, though this is not specific to this law firm and prevalent in the legal industry." – Investment funds

"Strengths: very clear and concise advice, quick response, dedicated team, continuous advice with excellent knowledge and expertise, and pragmatic approach. Weakness: Recent staff turnover in Irish markets similar to other firms, but they have now recruited new senior additions. However, relationships take time to adapt." – Investment funds

"The corporate law team helped us with the setup of Airborne Capital and were actively involved in the negotiations of the shareholder's agreement." – Banking 

"The firm has been a reliable local partner, and shepherded us through numerous regulatory changes (UCITS V, GDPR, CP 86, etc.). They are prompt and responsive. Partner knowledge level is high, and there is a reasonably deep bench of experienced practitioners beyond the primary relationship coverage. Overall, very favourable." – Investment funds 

"The firm provides a strong one stop shop service with good accessibility and good commercial understanding at a high level for complicated investment fund structures on an international level." – Capital markets, investment funds 

"The Walkers team are both responsive and knowledgeable which results in delivery of excellent service and finding pragmatic solutions to issues as they arise." – Restructuring 

"Their initial analysis and request for information was excellent. That saved a lot of time later on in the process. Very few iterations was required because they had a good understanding for our objectives and how to achieve those. As an economist, it is something difficult to explain in legal terms what you want to achieve, but Walkers did take the time to help and try to understand our point of view. Then it was easier to convert that into the legal framework." – Financial services regulatory 

"They have been right up-to-date with the current developments in the industry and regulations. They're very responsive and practical and are aware of the difficulties of practicing compliance officers." – Regulatory 

"Very competent and committed, always available and always delivers on time." – M&A

"Very focused and experienced top-tier Irish Law firm. One of the 'go-to' firms in Ireland leading the way in various sectors of the capital market space such as ILS and CLO's." – Capital markets 

"Very responsive and commercial lawyers." – Investment funds, regulatory 

"They are very responsive, friendly and easy to work with. They provide accurate and commercial advice." – Investment funds, regulatory 

"We are very satisfied with the service provided to us. Brendan O'Brien on the M&A team was excellent to deal with as he was very knowledgeable in the M&A/Corporate advisory areas and kept me informed throughout. I would highly rate him and would work with him again." – Banking, M&A

"Walkers, particularly Andrew Traynor and Matt Hedigan, steered us through a number of complex, fast paced senior financings last year and provided us with excellent support, practical advice and kept us all on track." – Banking, restructuring 

"Walkers are a professional firm, and Eoin O'Connor is a highly experienced regulatory lawyer. Eoin proved extremely helpful and dedicated in addressing all queries." – Banking, restructuring 

"Walkers are very professional in their work. They are clearly a Tier 1 firm and compare favourably with their counterparts." – Banking, restructuring 

"Walkers display in-depth capital markets and structured finance knowledge. They have a very strong grasp of commercial considerations in addition to technical legal matters. Their advice is clear, concise and comprehensive. We take great comfort in being represented by the Walkers team." – Banking, capital markets 

"Walkers has made 2 excellent hires in the last 18 months in Sarah Maguire and Nick Blake-Knox to complement existing partners such as Kerill O'Shaughnessy. We recently worked on the structuring of an ICAV QIAIF for a mutual U.S. client and found the service to be excellent and cost efficient. Sarah was knowledgeable, solutions oriented, and extremely responsive. She used her time efficiently to provide the right result within a reasonable budget. I would certainly use Walkers again for future projects. They will continue to hire quality lawyers to complement the growing team which will enable them to maximize their pipeline coming in from their Cayman and London offices, making them a top player in the market." – Investment funds 

"Walkers have advised us in our capacity as Trustee. I have worked with Walkers for a number of years on one very complex structure where the Trustee must consider not only legal views but consider the commercial aspect. Walkers are aware of this and have been clear on the legal advice they provide and have helped me as Trustee to consider the commercial aspects of the transactions. They have been efficient and responsive during transactions which is important to me as it aids me in providing an effective and efficient service to my clients. I have enjoyed working with them." – Banking, project finance, restructuring 

"Walkers have been exemplary in delivering our specific client requirements with a client first culture at its core. The Company relies on Walkers for guidance across a wide spectrum of current and developing issues which affect our operations in Ireland. We have yet to be unimpressed and continue to return to Walkers on a constant basis as their attention to detail in comparison to other service providers has to be admired." – Investment funds, M&A, project development, regulatory 

"Walkers know the market inside out. They are extremely proficient both from a technical and commercial aspect with respect to the transactions that we work together on. The work product is always of a very high standard. Also importantly, they are, without fail, a pleasure to work with." – Banking, capital markets 

"Walkers provides efficient legal services with a quick turnaround and hands-on approach with clear and complete information." – Investment funds, M&A, regulatory 

"We have been highly impressed by Walkers and our lead partner Kerill O'Shaughnessy. We specialise in the alternative UCITS space, which is by its nature fairly complex, and Walkers have shown a very high level of technical expertise while providing balanced counsel. Client service is excellent and they have shown themselves to be very commercial. I couldn't recommend them highly enough." – Investment funds 

"We rate Walkers very highly. The service and attention to detail are excellent and we very much appreciate the fact that they understand our business and go the extra mile with the provision of advice and guidance when new regulatory/legislative issues arise. They also provide excellent training for our people, completed with assessment to ensure attendees understand the topic and be able to apply it." – Regulatory 

"We work with Walkers on various listings, and the team is excellent and very responsive." – Capital markets 

Nicholas Blake-Knox

"Excellent technical ability. Able to consider law not in isolation but in a very commercial sense. Can provide advice and solutions to problems."    

Emily Davy 

"Great client service."

Michael Dyulgerov

"Great work in his support to Sarah in an efficient and effective manner."

Garry Ferguson

"Very personable and technically very good."

Emily Goodman

"Knowledgeable, solution focused, commercial and responsive."

"Very professional, responsive and knowledgeable."

Matt Hedigan

"Great client management and good technical knowledge."

Sarah Maguire

"She was great to work with and excelled in displaying superior industry knowledge, servicing the clients’ needs and meeting deadlines. She was always available and responsive in short order when needed." 

"Strengths: Diligent, hardworking, and detail-oriented."

"Very personable, commercial and knowledgeable."

"Her interaction and delivery on key matters in relation to the company's business has been key to our operations. We can only highlight strengths as there have been no weaknesses or gaps in her services in a particularly busy time in the regulatory environment, which we operate in both at a local and global level."

"Knowledgeable, responsive and efficient."

Shane Martin

"He is a knowledgeable, conscientious and personable lawyer. He is able to translate and interpret complex regulations into layman’s language and deliver on time."

"He has a portfolio of experience ranging from consultancy to working with the regulator, which I feel brings a special appreciation for the client as he sees and understands issues from different perspectives and presents a practical piece of advice."

"He is excellent, and his attention to detail is very reassuring. He has assisted us in several very challenging situations. Along with technical expertise, he also brings a calming personable touch that is very much appreciated."

Ian McNamee

"He provides comprehensible advices and meets his deadlines."

Brendan O’Brien

"He was our main contact and led the work. He was focused, pragmatic and dealt well with culture differences, expectations and a challenging target company we were acquiring. He is also personable."

"Highly skilled and commercial lawyer with depth of experience and practical skills. Very strong communication skills."

"He was very professional and a pleasure to deal with. I found his support and advice to be commercially focused, and ultimately, the outcome was successful for our client. He is highly efficient and deals with matters without delay."

"Efficient and helpful."

"Excellent. Very commercial, knowledgeable and well connected in the region. Willing to balance risks and reward when recommending the scope of work. Easy to work with and socially responsible."

"Immediate responses to our queries and always ready to listen to fully understand the situation."

"Strengths: Responsive, commercial and solution driven. Managed the process from start to finish and showed drive and initiative to guide the transaction to completion."

"Responsive and knowledgeable."

"He was very quick, responsive and had knowledge of the sector in which we were operating."

"He is a calm professional who always delivers a comprehensive service and always meets our deadlines, which are often at very short notice, without compromising quality."

"Excellent work, pleasant to work with and a clear focus on solving our problems."

"I was very impressed with his work and knowledge and would highly recommend him."

"Extremely experienced, capable and always available to help."

"Excellent commercial and pragmatic lawyer."

Eoin O’Connor

"He has built a strong regulatory practice but also possesses wider legal experience, which combined with a results-based work manner and great people skills gives full cover advice here in Ireland."

"He is a highly experienced regulatory lawyer. He proved extremely helpful and illustrated considerable financial experience in providing advice on Central Bank legislation."

Kerill O'Shaughnessy

"Very knowledgeable, experienced and responsive with good practical advice."

"Excellent, good value and hands-on clear information, and high integrity."

"He provides an excellent service for investment funds. He is clear, instructive and pragmatic." 

"He is excellent throughout. He has a very high level of technical expertise and provides balanced counsel."

"He provides immediate and precise advice on the establishment and structuring of complicated investment fund structures on a turnkey basis." 

"Top quality lawyer who is client focused."

Paddy Rath

"An excellent senior associate working under Noeleen Ruddy. He is efficient, well experienced in his field and commercially focused and has excellent deal management skills."

Noeleen Ruddy

"Excellent and understands our requirements. Very commercial, very responsive and always goes the extra mile for us." 

"She is the anchor of the Walkers’ CLO offering. She is one of the leading players in this field in Europe who provides sound advice backed by experience."

"She has a vast experience of the core products in her market and is always very responsive, professional and clear in her responses."

"She is technically very proficient and always understands the commercial imperatives of the transaction. As a result, she will always provide workable suggestions to issues rather than technical, but commercially impracticable answers. She is a delight to work with and is incredibly responsive."

"She is very personable. I would be happy to recommend her to other parties. She is a Tier 1 lawyer."

"She compares very favourably to her counterparts in other firms."

Jonathan Sheehan

"Technically very good and creative in providing solutions."

Andrew Traynor

"Top level service provided at all times. Supportive, commercial and balanced."

"He is an excellent lawyer who is a pleasure to deal with and very reliable. He really takes time to understand our business, risk appetite and works through complex problems in a smart and efficient way, uses plain English (important for us) and goes about his business with no airs and graces. He is refreshingly honest, and it is very reassuring to know that we are in safe hands."

"He is excellent, very approachable, responsive and knowledgeable. His in-depth understanding of the varying types of transactions that we are involved in and the various capacities in which we act makes him ideally placed to provide consistent excellent service."

"Along with Noeleen provides a brilliant service in advising on complex matters."

Jody Toner

"Strong knowledge of property and technical issues arising in the transaction."

William Fry

Although strong across all areas, the firm is particularly noteworthy for its corporate and acquisition finance work. Its equity capital markets, M&A and restructuring teams are among the best in Ireland.

In banking and finance the firm has acted on acquisition and development finance advising lenders, arrangers and borrowers. The firm’s highlight work includes the refinancing of Dundrum town centre and the financing of Link’s acquisition of Capita, where it acted for the borrower and agent respectively. The firm has also been active in aviation finance, acting on acquisition finance as both borrower and lender’s counsel 

In project finance, the firm has been active in the renewable energy, infrastructure and power sectors. The firm acted for EIB in the largest financing in the renewable energy generation in Ireland. Elsewhere, it has also been advising on several PPP projects such as the Dublin waste to energy project, where it advised Glanpower on the development finance.

The financial services regulatory team has been engaged in providing regulatory services in relation to Brexit, CIB investigations, and public procurement, advising the likes of state, foreign and domestic banks, and individuals at the centre of assessment procedures.

In the funds space, the firm acted on regulatory matters and the establishment of new funds. The firm has also been active in the ETF space, advising on regulatory matters, and the establishment of new ETFs. 

In M&A, the firm has advised on cross border transactions, advising buyers and sellers on deals in technology, insurance and the food sectors. One of the highlight transactions saw the firm advise Linde on its proposed merger with Praxair which will create the world’s largest supplier of industrial gas.

The restructuring and insolvency team has advised clients in several high-profile mandates acting on both in and out of court proceedings. It has also acted for liquidators and receivers during the restructuring process. 

The banking and finance practice hired Padraic Kinsella as partner. Going the other way, Tara O’Reilly, Cormac Commins and Ian Dillion left the firm to join Arthur Cox’s Funds practice. Its banking and finance practice suffered two partner losses in Orla Brennan (retirement) and Niamh Dennehy-Maher (career break).

Notable clients include Allied Irish Banks, Bank of Ireland, NAMA and KMPG.

Client feedback 

"We have been working with William Fry since we first established our UCITs fund platforms in Ireland in the mid-1990s. Over the past 12 months, William Fry have handled variety of different projects for us such as the launch of several new funds, applications to have the funds registered in the foreign jurisdiction and assistance with GDPR compliance among others. William Fry have depth in terms of knowledge and a wide variety of departments to facilitate the varying different projects on which we require assistance. The William Fry team are extremely responsive and skilled at focusing on the material issues at hand. They provide excellent service in a timely fashion that facilitates us to move projects forward easily and effectively. The day-to-day individuals with whom we interact and rate highly are James Phelan and Lorena Dunne (both Partners). The team always provide a first class service. James provides very thorough and sensible advice to us and has a keen eye for detail. He puts the interests of his clients before all else. He provides great stewardship to the William Fry team and provides pragmatic advice in a clear, timely and responsive manner. Lorena focuses on details and completes all tasks with energy and gusto until the end. Lorena is a capable second in command of the William Fry team to James Phelan." – Investment funds, regulatory, restructuring 

"An experienced team of lawyers providing clear, actionable advice backed up with great depth of knowledge." – Investment funds, regulatory 

"The firm provides excellent overall service. They are technical and have sector knowledge of the highest standard along with a straightforward approach to resolving issues. The firm has a positive attitude. The firm has a very strong fund service and client interaction. However, sometimes they can be too commercially focused on smaller transactions." – Banking, investment funds, regulatory 

"Excellent service with legal team fully conversant with client requirements and issues surrounding both client specifics and general market and regulatory environment. Strengths are numerous but outstanding leadership from Fergus Devine stands out the most." – Banking, project development, regulatory 

"Lorena Dunne (Funds) is an excellent partner who is very reactive, commercial and has a 'can do' attitude." – Banking, investment funds, project development 

"Responsive, comprehensive and thorough advice. William Fry are available with advice on tight deadlines when required." – Capital markets, M&A, regulatory, restructuring 

"Strengths: Comprehensive understanding of market regulatory requirements, concise and up-to-date regulatory advice, broad knowledge base and practical business understanding when providing advice. Weaknesses: Sometimes guidance is over detailed and could be simplified. Sometimes approach could be more pragmatic and precise." – Regulatory 

"Strengths: responsive, kept to budget and clear. Weaknesses: not always commercial and the interpretation of the law can be rigid sometimes." – Investment funds, regulatory 

"The insolvency team at William Fry provided outstanding advice and help to my company in a very difficult situation. The firm's strength lies in its people including Michael Quinn and Ruairi Rynne who were engaged, proactive and prompt in their advice. I saw no weakness in the practice." – Capital markets, restructuring and insolvency 

"The partner of the law firm has been very knowledgeable and responsive." – Investment funds

"The team that I primarily deal with are excellent. The team is partner driven, and I can always get access when needed. Their attention to detail is first class but they explain it in layman terms. They are very well regarded within the legal community, and this can be of huge assistance when negotiating and closing complicated deals." – Banking 

"Very professional firm with a good team in place. Their strength is their people and breadth of experience on various projects." – Banking, insolvency, M&A, project development, project finance 

"We have used Shane Kelleher and his team in relation to an application to the CBI for regulatory authorisation. Shane knows the regulator well and knows how to deal with them. The William Fry team has been diligent, responsive and available while also trying to ensure we work together in the most cost efficient and productive manner." – Regulatory 

"We have used William Fry Solicitors for many years, primarily for private equity, M&A, banking and general advisory work. We have been very satisfied with their advice. In recent years, I have made extensive use of their dispute resolution, mediation and regulatory services. This work has been led by Lisa Carty and has been outstanding." – Banking, capital markets, M&A, regulatory, restructuring 

"We use William Fry extensively for work on our range of investments funds (UCITS and QIAIF) and always find them very professional and competent. They respond quickly to requests, especially when they are time-critical, and are also very pro-active, initiating work that needs to be done (e.g. responding to changes in law and regulation). We are happy to leave them to negotiate terms on our behalf (e.g. recent GDPR agreements). The team has very good strength in depth, and there is always someone suitable available to respond to requests." – Investment funds, regulatory 

"William Fry (partners David Maughan and Mary Ward) provide unparalleled service on Irish law matters. Their advice is always on the spot, and they are always available. I only go to other firms if William Fry is conflicted from advising my client." – Banking, restructuring 

"William Fry are solid and trusted partners that have advised on our Dublin umbrella for many years. The team has deep experience and knowledge of the Irish funds industry." – Investment funds 

"William Fry are undoubtedly in the top tier of restructuring advisors in Ireland with a very strong team of experienced advisors. The firm has a reputation for high quality, practical and commercial advice. Of particular value on larger cases is their ability to draw on wider technical/sectoral experience from across the firm at short notice depending on the requirements of the case. Their other main strengths include the depth of their team from capable trainees to strong associates and very experienced partners and, unlike some other firms, their ability to turn around matters quickly and efficiently focusing on the key issues." – Restructuring and insolvency 

"William Fry has acted for me in two recent cases. In both cases, William Fry displayed excellent technical and legal expertise. In the litigation case, William Fry's insolvency team provided a great tactical awareness. They correctly predicted the likely position of the opposition which gave us a real strategic advantage. As an insolvency practitioner it is very reassuring to have the highest level of practical and legal advice when facing into litigation. William Fry's correspondence is precise and clear. They have a deep understanding of Irish insolvency law. They understand the expectations of their client while appreciating and clearly explaining the risks involved. They are at the very top of my list of firms." – Restructuring and insolvency 

"William Fry has been exemplary in its work. It has assigned experts to what has been a very technically demanding assignment. A very responsive and professional approach has been adopted consistently." – Capital markets, regulatory, restructuring 

Lisa Carty

"She is an excellent lawyer with outstanding negotiation skills. She and her team provide very balanced advice in frequently fraught circumstances."

Vincent Coyne

"He has a great breadth of knowledge, strong understanding of our areas of concern and keen commercial focus. He is prompt and responsive, and he is quick to identify solutions which have saved us time and costs. I frequently recommend his services to other investment firms."

"Work is of the highest standard with a 100% can-do attitude. Very good client interaction and at the same time excellent knowledge of the fund sector."

"He has worked with us for a number of years and uses his knowledge of our business very well to provide useful and relevant advice. His work is always is of a very high quality, and he can be relied on to deliver the right result in the appropriate time."

"Very responsive, pragmatic and knowledgeable. There is never any wasted time when dealing directly with him."

Louise Cunningham 

"Her attention to detail is her strength."

Fergus Devine

"Excellent. Can't think of any weakness affecting the given energy advice."

Fergus Doorly

"Precise and excellent industry knowledge with very strong strategic sense."   

"A very experienced restructuring advisor. Technically strong, responsive with a calm and methodical approach."

Lorena Dunne

"Excellent commercial lawyer with a real can-do attitude."

"Impressive individual, who is self-aware and asks good questions. Unlike many new partners, she is aware of her own weaknesses, which ultimately makes her a better lawyer than a typical smug partner." 

Brian Durcan

"He is definitely a lawyer with an enormous future."

Clodagh Ferguson

"She is a very professional and competent deputy for Vincent, but we also appreciate the lead work she does for us on certain ad hoc and recurring projects, where she delivers very high quality work."

David Fitzgibbon

"In-depth expertise and comprehensible explanation. He is commercial and practical in his application of the law."

Elaine Hanly

"Ms Hanley's perspective and experience on banking issues is unmatched."

Shane Kelleher

"He is highly responsive and knowledgeable with respect to the FinTech legal and regulatory space. He brings a forthright and challenging mind-set with a keen eye on the commercial aspects of each regulatory challenge."

"Diligent, responsive, efficient, knowledgeable and good regulator relations."

"He is an outstanding regulatory lawyer. He deals expertly with highly technical matters and is extremely responsive and pro-active. He is very highly respected by both our in-house legal team and the wider business."

Andrew Muckian

"He is excellent and extremely professional with dogged determination and great experience. He is very commercial when needed and never loses his cool. He is always supportive and humble."   

Laura Murdock

"Very thorough, responsive and personable. She has provided a streamlined and consistent service to the Department on an important piece of work."  

James Phelan

"He provides very thorough and sensible advice to us and has a keen eye for detail. He puts the interests of his clients before all else. He provides great stewardship to the William Fry team and provides pragmatic advice in a clear, timely and responsive manner."

Ruairi Rynn

"Another excellent solicitor who works really well with Rachel."  

"A very competent restructuring advisor with a wealth of experience to draw on. Commercial and technically strong yet approachable and adept at providing practical solutions."    

Craig Sowman

"An experienced insolvency solicitor. He is approachable, practical with extensive sectoral expertise."  

Rachel Stanton

"She is very hands on and commercially minded. She is extremely efficient and ensures everything is covered if ever she's unavailable. She is first rate and highly regarded by anyone who has met or interacted with her in terms of our business. She is efficient with great personality and always gets the job done on time and within budget."

"Provides good efficient service and has good manner."

Jacqueline Sweeney

"She is very responsive and efficient and a pleasure to work with."

Mark Talbot

"He is well prepared, responsive, knowledgeable and personable. I trust him to guide me through difficult legal problems and to negotiate effectively on my behalf."

Mary Ward

"Extremely knowledgeable with hands on approach to work and is very easy to work with."

Zara West

"Her correspondence and drafting is excellent. I really rate her service and think she will be a top insolvency solicitor for many years."