- How do the awards work?
- The Legal 500 United Kingdom Awards 2013
- The Legal 500 United States Awards 2014 - In-house winners
- The Legal 500 United States Awards 2014 - Law firm winners
- The Legal 500 Latin America Awards (coming soon)
- The Legal 500 Germany Awards (coming soon)
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Legal market overview
Ireland exited its three-year, €85bn EU-IMF bailout programme at the end of 2013. The country has undoubtedly strengthened its fiscal position – it has €20bn in the bank – but the mood within the legal community is one of cautious optimism rather than celebration.
The gradual economic recovery has been felt in legal practice. In 2012, the focus was on litigation, corporate restructuring, insolvency and professional indemnity. In 2013, the number of corporate insolvencies was down on the figures published for 2012, there were tentative signs of an upward trend in M&A activity, and the country continued to attract a significant flow of foreign direct investment. The government’s announcement of a programme of energy asset disposals has attracted considerable international interest, and the big players in the Irish legal market are expecting some significant transactions in the near future.
The Irish property market has also notably improved. In 2011, the total investment spend on Irish commercial property was €192m. In 2012, this rose to €600m, and the total spend in just the first six months of 2013 hit €610m. Following the government’s recent introduction of a legislative framework for real estate investment trusts, the first Irish REIT was launched in July 2013, and it is expected that more will be established to acquire property bargains before the next boom.
There was once a time when Ireland’s legal market was infamous for its slow, expensive and often uncommercial service, but those days are gone. Increased competition has made law firms hungry and ambitious, and client feedback is now awash with praise for business acumen, partner availability and value for money.
The legal landscape is dominated by the large, full-service firms – A&L Goodbody, Arthur Cox, Mason Hayes & Curran, Matheson, McCann FitzGerald and William Fry. Challenging their top-tier status are smaller but highly effective (and often international) firms which specialise in specific legal disciplines; standout examples are Dillon Eustace in investment funds, Walkers in capital markets, and Maples and Calder in an increasing number of its core practice areas, including corporate and commercial.
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The pharmacy sector has undergone considerable change in recent years, starting with the enactment of the Pharmacy Act in 2007. A common complaint is that pharmacists have come under increased pressure as a result of these regulatory changes and that greater administrative burdens have been imposed, for example in processing their claims under the various community drugs schemes operated by the State.
by Colin Hayes, Solicitor
by Frank O'Reilly, Partner
By Aoife Murphy, Partner and Robin Hayes, Associate
by Frank O'Reilly, Partner
On 23/06/11 the European Parliament adopted the new consumer Rights Directive which was proposed by the European Commission in 2008. This is the further step towards this Directive coming into effect. The transposition into national law is envisaged for the end of 2013.
Frequent viewers of the latest Hollywood films may be immune to it but Irish broadcasting bosses have traditionally never warmed to the idea of James Bond openly exhibiting the latest Aston Martin or BMW as part of the movie or the promotion of Absolut Vodka as part of the Sex and the City movie.
The Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act, 2010 (“the Act”) was introduced into law on 01/01/2011. It brought into Irish law the concept of civil partnerships for same sex couples as well as certain rights for cohabiting couples.
Duncan Grehan&Partners have recently been selected to contribute to a survey carried out in all EU Member States to ascertain the practicability of the regulation 805/2004/EC.
In recent times the closure of businesses has unfortunately, become common due to trading difficulties.
The Exempted Limited Partnership Law, 2014 (the New ELP Law ) has replaced the Exempted Limited Partnership Law (2013 Revision) (the Previous Law ). The New Law includes significant changes to the Cayman Islands' statutory framework regulating exempted limited partnerships ( ELPs ) that will increase the attractiveness of ELPs and will be appreciated by managers, investors and creditors alike. Private equity sponsors in particular will notice substantial improvements that are indicative of Cayman's continuing commitment to balanced and commercially sensible legislation. Read more...
RESTRUCTURING - COURT PROCEDURES
On 23 May 2014, the States of Jersey passed the Companies (Amendment No. 11) (Jersey) Law 201- (the Amendment Law ). This will now be sent to the UK Privy Council for consideration, then laid before the States of Jersey for a final time before coming into force. The latest information we have is that the Privy Council will be approving the law on 19 July 2014 and it may come into effect as soon as 4 August 2014.
The Hague, 4 July 2014 - BarentsKrans has appointed Joost Fanoy as a partner in the Antitrust & Public Procurement department, effective as of July 1, 2014. Joost specializes in European law in general with a particular focus on European and Dutch competition, public procurement and state aid law and is the head of the Antitrust and Public Procurement Practice Group. Joost is also a member of the Cartel damages team of BarentsKrans.
PineBridge Investments Middle East, a global multi-asset class investment manager with regional headquarters in Bahrain, and nearly 60 years of experience in emerging and developed markets, has acquired a 50% equity stake in Romatem, the leading physical therapy and rehabilitation services chain in Turkey.
Isbank issued 750 million USD notes under its GMTN programme established in 2013. The notes are listed on the Irish Stock Exchange and bear interest at the rate of 5 % with a maturity date 2021. Mr. Omer Collak (partner) and Mr. Baris Kencebay (head of tax practice) have acted for the joint lead managers Barclays, Citigroup, HSBC, National Bank of Abu Dhabi and The Royal Bank of Scotland.
Halkbank issued five-year term fixed interest rate US currency notes, with a total amount of USD 500 million with an interest rate of 4.765 % and an annual coupon rate of 4.750 %. The notes offered the lowest borrowing rate in the first five-month period of 2014, and total demand rose nearly nine-fold due to high investor interest. The note issuance drew great interest from international investors settled in the Middle East and Asia, as well as those investors based in the US and Europe. Mr Omer Collak (partner) and Mr Baris Kencebay (head of tax practice) have advised the joint lead managers.
Turkiye Finans issued the first ringgit sukuk originating from Turkey. The bank initially raised MYR 1 billion with a five-year commodity sukuk on June 30, with an annual return of 6 %. The sukuk under the programme will have tenure of one to 20 years. Funds raised will go towards general corporate purposes. The sukuk will be issued through TF Varlik Kiralama A.S., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Turkiye Finans. Malaysia's RAM Ratings has accorded the programme an indicative long-term rating of AA3. HSBC Amanah Malaysia and Standard Chartered Saadiq were the joint advisers. Mr Omer Collak (partner) and Mr Baris Kencebay (head of tax practice) have advised Turkiye Finans and the issuer TF Varlik Kiralama A.S.
Ziraat Bank, the largest state owned bank of Turkey, established GMTN programme on 21 May 2014, for the notes to be issued up to USD 2 billion listed on Irish Stock Exchange. The notes are unconditional, unsubordinated and unsecured obligations, and rank pari-passu with Ziraat Bank's other senior unsecured obligations.
Vakifbank issued EUR 500 million 5-year unsecured and unsubordinated notes under the first GMTN programme of Turkey established in 2013. The notes are listed on Irish Stock Exchange and bear interest at the rate of 3.5 % p.a. with a maturity date 17 June 2019. This is the very first EUR denominated RegS offering of a Turkish entity.