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Legal market overview

Ireland’s economic recovery continues to reaffirm its position as the poster child of European austerity. In September 2014, official government figures showed that the country’s economy grew by 7.7% in a year. Significantly, the European Commission expects real growth to hit 4.6% overall for 2014, a projection that would mark Ireland as the fastest-growing economy in the European Union.

The country’s robust economic performance has already translated into M&A deal flow. According to some figures, the total value of M&A deals for the first nine months of 2014 comfortably exceeded €100bn. The astonishing turnaround in investor appetite has been buoyed further by the expected US government clampdown on so-called ‘inversion transactions’, which is driving US companies to relocate their tax base to Ireland before the proposals become law.

The competition for top-tier corporate mandates in Ireland continues to intensify. The traditional ‘Big Five’ – A&L Goodbody, Arthur Cox, Matheson, McCann FitzGerald and William Fry – would have been the only contenders for complex work a decade ago, but there is no doubt that Mason Hayes & Curran has joined the full-service elite. In addition, the Dublin office of global funds heavyweight Maples and Calder continues to diversify into new practice areas. A handful of specialised firms also compete at the top level in their chosen disciplines: most notably, Dillon Eustace is a key name for financial services – Walkers Ireland has made a real play in this space too – and DAC Beachcroft Dublin has become a leading contender in insurance law.

Firms in the spotlight

Flynn O'Driscoll

Flynn O’Driscoll is a business law firm focused on achieving practical business solutions for its clients. It was founded by Pat Flynn in 2002 who was joined shortly thereafter by Alan O’Driscoll. Since its formation, its main areas of practice have been corporate and commercial advice, corporate finance and mergers and acquisitions and aviation and assets finance.

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