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A&L Goodbody continued to lead the way in US inversion transactions, with Ronan Lyons and New York resident partner Alan Casey advising Johnson Controls on its proposed $16.5bn merger with Tyco International. Insurance specialist Eithne FitzGerald assisted Aviva with divesting Aviva Health to Irish Life. David Widger heads the practice.

Arthur Cox provides ‘top-class service’ to clients such as Allergan, for which Geoff Moore acted on both its aborted merger with Pfizer, as well as the $40.5bn sale of its global generics business to Teva Pharmaceutical. Maura McLaughlin, who provides ‘clear, practical advice’, is also recommended along with chairman Ciarán Bolger and practice head John Menton.

Maples and Calder’s strength in the private equity sphere was again in evidence, with ‘excellent commercial lawyerColm Rafferty advising Cardinal Carlyle Ireland Fund on its investment in Abtran. Global head of corporate Edward Miller handled various international mandates, including assisting Avolon during its $7.6bn acquisition and take-private by Bohai Leasing.

Mason Hayes & Curran’s strong mix of public and private M&A included Justin McKenna acting for Activision Blizzard on its $5.9bn offer for King Digital Entertainment, and head of corporate David O’Donnell advising McKesson on its €408m acquisition of UDG Healthcare’s pharmaceutical distribution business. ‘Fantastic communicatorPhilip Nolan leads the commercial team.

Matheson’s ‘very knowledgeable, efficient and responsive’ team is led by Tim Scanlon, who, alongside George Brady, Fergus Bolster and Patrick Spicer advised Willis Group Holdings on its $18bn merger with Towers Watson. The team’s private equity successes included acting for TPG Capital on its $8bn sale of Par Pharmaceutical Holdings.

McCann FitzGerald’s ‘fast and efficient team’ handled various large domestic deals, including David Byers advising the Irish government on the €1.4bn sale of its stake in Aer Lingus to International Airlines Group. Practice head Alan Fuller assisted I Squared Capital with its buyout of Viridian, and David Lydon is also recommended.

William Fry’s ‘proactive and resourceful team’ was busy across sectors such as private equity, technology, pharmaceuticals and healthcare. ‘Outstanding legal strategistKen Casey and Adam Synnott advised International Airlines Group on its €1.4bn acquisition of Aer Lingus. Practice head Shane O’Donnell, ‘tremendous dealmakerEavan Saunders and Stephen Keogh have also been very active.

The ‘efficient and professional team’ at Beauchamps Solicitors is led by Shaun O’Shea, whose caseload included advising on transactions in the hotel and leisure sector for clients such as Choice Hotel Group and PREM Group, as well as investments by BDO Development Capital Fund. Máire Cunningham and Edward Evans are also recommended.

ByrneWallace’s expertise in private equity work includes transactions in ICT, medical technology and life sciences. Practice head Feargal Brennan advised Clavis Insight on a $20m equity investment from Accel-KKR. Cross-border work included Dennis Agnew acting for Marcegaglia Ireland on its merger with Marfin.

Eugene F. Collins has a busy practice in private sector M&A and clients regard it as being ‘good value for money’. Practice head Leonora Malone is ‘an excellent negotiator’, who helped Ardan Advisory during its merger with the Mercantile Group. ‘Impeccable adviserJohn Olden acted for Magnet Networks on the acquisition of Imagine Telecommunications Group’s business telephony division.

Eversheds Sutherland’s team ‘goes the extra mile’ and also impresses clients with its broad-ranging experience. Practice head Gerard Ryan, who is in ‘a class of his own for technology work’, advised Huawei Technologies on its purchase of Amartus’ software business, while life sciences specialist Tony McGovern acted for Venn Life Sciences Holdings on its acquisition of Kinesis Pharma.

At LK Shields Solicitors, recent work for the ‘intelligent and pragmatic’ team includes managing partner Emmet Scully acting for TravelSky on its acquisition of OpenJaw Technologies from GuestLogix. ‘Problem-solverGerry Halpenny advised Topaz Investments on divesting its fuel and service station business to Alimentation Couche-Tard.

At Dillon Eustace, practice head Lorcan Tiernan handled numerous transactions for Centric Health, including the purchase of eight general medical and dental practices.

Philip Lee’s developing mid-market practice recently hired public M&A specialist Ita O’Sullivan from William Fry. Practice head Andreas McConnell and recently promoted partner Eoghan Doyle are recommended for work with medical devices start-ups. Jonathan Kelly has been advising Ryanair on its largest ever share buyback.

Ronan Daly Jermyn’s team has been highly active in the technology space for clients such as Excelsys Technologies and also advised University of Limerick on a sponsored research agreement with Astellas Ireland. Cork-based Gillian Keating and Diarmaid Gavin head the team, which also has resources in Galway

Whitney Moore’ M&A experience includes medical devices, renewable energy, natural resources and manufacturing; the team regularly serves as local counsel alongside US and Canadian law firms on cross-border mandates. Practice head Therese Rochford advised SurModics on its €30m acquisition of Creagh Medical.

Flynn O’Driscoll gives ‘clear advice and guidance’. Recent work includes advising Saneca Pharmaceutical on the buyout of Suir Pharma Ireland from Mutares. David Ryan and Patrick Flynn have ‘an excellent, can-do attitude’; practice head Alan O’Driscoll and consultant John Darby are also recommended.

At Hayes Solicitors, managing partner David Phelan has ‘very good judgement’ and advises clients such as Primark on a range of corporate and commercial matters.

Holmes O’Malley Sexton shows the ability to ‘simplify rather than complicate legal issues’. Recent work includes a number of multimillion-euro M&A deals, as well as advising NVMdurance on a series A funding round. The ‘very solution-driven’ George Kennedy heads the practice from Dublin, with some colleagues being based in Limerick.

JW O’Donovan Solicitors has a strong domestic client base, which includes Laya Healthcare. Raymond Shanahan heads the team, which welcomed the return of John Sheehan, who re-joined from Musgrave Group.

Founding partner Michael Lavelle heads the team at Lavelle Solicitors, which includes Gríana O’Kelly, who shows ‘great attention to detail’, and consultant Paul McMahon. Clients include Enterprise Ireland Funding.

McDowell Purcell’s practice head and contracts expert Feilim O’Caoimh, who is praised by clients for ‘skilful commercial contract work’, has been advising on a major outsourcing. Energy sector M&A is another specialism within the team. Jonathan Lynch joined from Gore & Grimes.

At ‘specialist M&A boutiqueMcEvoy Partners, practice head Orlaith O’Brien handled various healthcare sector deals, including advising Bluespier International on the sale of its management solutions company to Clanwilliam Group. Corporate real estate is another area of strength.

Walkers recruited ‘consummate professionalBrendan O’Brien from McCann FitzGerald to head the practice. O’Brien’s caseload ranges from cross-border M&A to domestic management buyouts. Kardomagh Holdings and School Thing are clients.

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