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A&L Goodbody stands out for its ‘pre-eminent depth of resource’. The team includes David Main and David Francis, who are ‘very good at solving issues’, and Keavy Ryan, who focuses on the treatment of share incentives in M&A transactions. Eamon Brady has retired.

Arthur Cox’s broad-ranging client base includes public sector bodies and pensions scheme trustees. Recent work includes advising daa on a successor defined contribution scheme. Practice head Philip Smith has ‘a constructive approach’; he is qualified in Ireland and the UK.

Eversheds Sutherland’s ‘strong’ team is led by the ‘very articulatePeter Fahy, who advised Primark Pension Trustees on the merger of the two main Primark defined benefit schemes in Ireland. Other recommended practitioners are consultant Fiona Thornton, and Ian Devlin, who is ‘prompt and good at keeping in contact’.

Peggy Hughes heads the team at Mason Hayes & Curran and provides ‘advice that leans on extensive industry experience’. Stephen Gillick, who is ‘very knowledgeable on pensions legislation’, advised McKesson on pensions aspects of its acquisition of UDG Healthcare.

Matheson’s ‘very effective’ practice handles contentious and non-contentious matters for its strong international client base, including advising on the reorganisation of pension arrangements for existing and former staff in Ireland. Practice head Brian Buggy and Deirdre Cummins are ‘very good’.

McCann FitzGerald’s team earns praise for its ‘integrity and attention to detail’. Clients include VHI Healthcare pension schemes and trustees of Pfizer pension and employee share plans. Practice head Maureen Dolan shows ‘breadth and depth of knowledge’.

William Fry’s ‘outstanding’ team handled various corporate transactions, including advising International Airlines Group on the employee share scheme and pension aspects of its takeover of Aer Lingus. Key contacts include the ‘very experiencedMichael Wolfe and the ‘insightfulLiam Connellan, as well as Maura Roe, whom one client calls ‘the foremost expert in Ireland on shares and share options’.

At ByrneWallace, name partner Gary Byrne’s ‘pensions knowledge complements his experience with employment issues’. The team handles contentious and non-contentious work for the firm’s many public sector clients.

The ‘technically skilledJamie McConville leads the team at LK Shields Solicitors, which has been particularly busy with the winding up of various pension schemes. Litigator Amy Bradley is advising 700 members of the Retired Aviation Staff Association in their action against the government over reductions in their pensions.

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Legal Developments in Ireland for Pensions and employee benefits

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    There has been substantial growth in employment disputes in the last 12 months, where service providers and outsourcing arrangements are being changed. These disputes arises where an incumbent service provider (be it security, logistics, canteen providers, IT specialists etc) loses a contract to provide services and one of its competitors replaces it to provide the same service or a similar service in the future. The query arises as to whether such a change of service provider gives rise to the need to transfer the employees who did the work, by applying the Transfer Regulations 2003.
    - Hayes Solicitors

Legal Developments in Ireland

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