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TOP tier recommendations
Ireland: Banking and finance
Within Banking and finance, William Fry is a first tier firm,
William Fry typically handles senior transactions for major financial institutions and corporations. It acted for the lead investors, including Fairfax Financial Holdings and WL Ross, on the consortium’s acquisition of a 34.9% stake in Bank of Ireland for €1.1bn, a landmark deal for the country. Allied Irish Bank (AIB), Barclays and the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC) – which includes the former Anglo Irish Bank – are also clients of the practice, which is headed by Elaine Hanly. The ‘very commercial, efficient and knowledgeable’ Rachel Stanton is one of several experienced partners.
Ireland: Capital markets
Within Capital markets, William Fry is a first tier firm,
William Fry’s 16-partner practice is led by the ‘always excellent’ managing partner Myra Garrett for equity capital markets and by finance lawyer Elaine Hanly on the debt side. ‘Each lawyer has an absolute command of their speciality’ and is ‘a pleasure to work with’, including Owen O’Connell, Bryan Bourke and Martin Phelan. The firm acted for Barclays as security trustee of INEOS Finance plc’s $1.65bn bond issue.
Within Construction, William Fry is a second tier firm,
William Fry’s Liam McCabe and Jarleth Heneghan are ‘excellent in all aspects of their work: in particular, seeking out solutions which are agreeable to all parties’. Heneghan is leading the team’s advice to AIB and NAMA regarding one of the country’s largest developments, a mixed-use scheme at Dublin Docklands.
Ireland: Corporate and commercial
Within Corporate and commercial, William Fry is a first tier firm,
William Fry will ‘stay at the table for as long as it takes to close the deal’ and its lawyers are ‘very strong negotiators’. The team acted for investors including Fairfax Financial Holdings and WL Ross on the consortium’s €1.1bn acquisition of a 34.9% stake in Bank of Ireland, and advised State Street on its $550m purchase of Goldman Sachs’ hedge fund administration business. Bryan Bourke and David Cullen head the corporate and commercial practices, respectively.
Ireland: Dispute resolution
Within Dispute resolution, William Fry is a first tier firm,
William Fry is ‘top class’. The ‘determined and focused’ Garrett Breen is acting for Thema International Fund in $1.1bn proceedings against HSBC, which is the lead case in the Madoff litigation. Barry Cahir led the team in successfully defending NAMA in litigation and judicial review brought by Treasury Holdings. ‘Very bright’ practice head Owen O’Sullivan is ‘an insightful strategic thinker’.
Ireland: EU and competition
Within EU and competition, William Fry is a first tier firm,
William Fry provides ‘top-quality service’, and is representing Aughinish Alumina in two challenges before the European Court of Justice regarding state aid issues, and defending sports brand Asics against an abuse of dominant position claim in the High Court. Cormac Little ‘consistently gives precise and business-savvy advice’, and Claire Waterson has a growing reputation. However, the widely respected John Handoll left the firm and the Dublin market in 2012.
Within Employment, William Fry is a second tier firm,
William Fry is advising the state employment agency FÁS on the termination of a senior executive, and assisting TalkTalk with its widely reported redundancy programme. Practice head Boyce Shubotham is ‘tactically astute in all his dealings’, Maura Roe ‘remains calm and focused’, and Alicia Compton is ‘excellent’.
Ireland: Energy and natural resources
Within Energy and natural resources, William Fry is a first tier firm,
William Fry’s ‘outstanding team’ acts for clients including ESB, Bord Gáis, ConocoPhillips Oil Refinery, which is Ireland’s only oil refinery, and Auginish Alumina, Ireland’s largest combined heat-and-power (CHP) plant. Practice head Fergus Devine is ‘immensely capable and balanced, and has knowledge that extends well beyond his sector expertise’.
Ireland: Information technology
Within Information technology, William Fry is a first tier firm,
William Fry’s team is ‘excellent and helpful at all times’, and has ‘superb business acumen’. The firm recently advised NewBay Software on its acquisition by Research In Motion (RIM), the company behind BlackBerry technology, and Netflix is a recent client win. Practice head David Cullen is a leading individual with an enviable client list including Microsoft, IBM and Symantec.
Ireland: Insolvency and corporate restructuring
Within Insolvency and corporate restructuring, William Fry is a first tier firm,
William Fry is ‘a compelling choice for more complex cases’, and acted for regulator ComReg in the eircom examinership. It also acted for IBRC and receiver Kieran Wallace of KPMG on separate aspects of the Quinn Group insolvency. NAMA and AIB are also clients of the team, which has ‘a deep understanding of insolvency law and the practicalities facing insolvency practitioners’. ‘Veteran insolvency lawyer’ Michael Quinn heads the practice.
Within Insurance, William Fry is a first tier firm,
William Fry has ‘high industry knowledge and interaction’ and is the firm of choice for many transactions. The team acted for SunLife Assurance of Canada on the sale of its Irish reinsurance business to Berkshire Hathaway. On the contentious side, the firm is acting for Deutsche Bank and Davy, Ireland’s largest stockbroking firm. John Larkin is noted for his regulatory expertise.
Ireland: Intellectual property
Within Intellectual property, William Fry is a first tier firm,
William Fry’s Carol Plunkett is a star of the Irish IP fraternity and leads the firm’s contentious practice, which is defending Tesco in a trade mark infringement action brought by Aldi. David Cullen is ‘one of the best in the business’ and leads on the non-contentious side. Leo Moore ‘will always find interesting commercial angles in times of need’.
Ireland: Investment funds
Within Investment funds, William Fry is a first tier firm,
William Fry’s team advised Barclays Bank on the proposed merger of its French and Luxembourg UCITS funds with its Ireland-domiciled UCITS multi-manager platform. Other clients include BlackRock, State Street and BNY Mellon. Tara O’Reilly has ‘unrivalled expertise’ in exchange traded funds (ETF), and brings ‘both a legal and strategic aspect to her advice’, and Cormac Commins is ‘exceptional’.
Ireland: Media and telecoms
Within Media and telecoms, William Fry is a first tier firm,
William Fry’s advises BSkyB, ESPN and key client Associated Newspapers, as well as telecoms clients includig Tesco Mobile and TalkTalk. The firm also acted for ComReg in bringing High Court enforcement proceedings against Vodafone. The experienced Ken Casey heads the practice, following the departure of John Handoll.
Ireland: Pensions and employee benefits
Within Pensions and employee benefits, William Fry is a first tier firm,
William Fry provides the ‘highest quality of service’ under pensions head Michael Wolfe, who is praised for his independence of mind and ability to resolve divisions between trustees. Maura Roe heads the employee benefits practice, which provides high service levels. The firm recently handled complex restructuring issues for a defined benefit (DB) scheme for staff of The Irish Times. Liam Connellan joined the team from Eugene F. Collins.
Ireland: Planning and environment
Within Planning and environment, William Fry is a first tier firm,
‘Consistently best in class’, William Fry acts for the Environment Protection Agency, Tesco Ireland and the ESB, and is advising the latter on the environmental and project development aspects of its headquarters redevelopment in Dublin. Conor Linehan has ‘a very solid grasp of legislation and how it impacts on businesses’, and ‘leaves no stone unturned’.
Ireland: Projects and PPP
Within Projects and PPP, William Fry is a second tier firm,
William Fry is advising the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board on a new, state-of-the-art children’s hospital, which is estimated to be the largest capital spend project in the healthcare sector in a decade at approximately €650m. Liam McCabe heads the team, which also includes the ‘insightful’ and ‘extremely diligent’ Jarleth Heneghan.
Ireland: Public sector
Within Public sector, William Fry is a second tier firm,
William Fry draws on partners from across the firm to advise its public sector clients. IP and regulatory expert Carol Plunkett and projects specialist Liam McCabe are key contributors. Clients include ComReg, NAMA, FÁS, ESB, the Commission for Aviation Regulation, and the Data Protection Commissioner.
Ireland: Real estate
Within Real estate, William Fry is a first tier firm,
William Fry’s busy team acted for US investor Kennedy Wilson on its €40m purchase of the iconic Alliance Gasworks apartment building, which was the client’s first direct acquisition in Ireland, and advised Aer Lingus on the sale of its headquarters to Dublin Airport Authority. Lead partner Andrew Muckian is admired across the market, and Patricia Kenny is ‘precise’ and Edward Spain is ‘very good at plotting a road map’.
Within Tax, William Fry is a first tier firm,
William Fry, which has ‘comprehensive knowledge of Irish taxation’, provided tax advice to Conoco Phillips on the separation of its refining and production divisions, and advised State Street on its acquisition of Goldman Sachs’ hedge fund administration business. Sonya Manzor has ‘tremendous energy’ and ‘quick understanding’, and the experienced Martin Phelan is also recommended.
Further information on William Fry
Please choose from this list to view details of what we say about William Fry in other jurisdictions.
Offices in Dublin
- Banking and finance : Banking and finance
- Capital markets : Capital markets
- Construction : Construction
- Corporate and commercial : Corporate and commercial
- Dispute resolution : Dispute resolution
- EU and competition : EU and competition
- Employment : Employment
- Energy and natural resources : Energy and natural resources
- Information technology : Information technology
- Insolvency and corporate restructuring : Insolvency and corporate restructuring
- Insurance : Insurance
- Intellectual property : Intellectual property
- Investment funds : Investment funds
- Media and telecoms : Media and telecoms
- Pensions and employee benefits : Pensions and employee benefits
- Planning and environment : Planning and environment
- Projects and PPP : Projects and PPP
- Public sector : Public sector
- Real estate : Real estate
- Tax : Tax