The Legal 500

Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon
WILTON PARK HOUSE, WILTON PLACE, DUBLIN 2, IRELAND
Tel:
Work +353 1 611 0000
DX:
105 DUBLIN
Email:
Web:
www.whitneymoore.ie

Ann Lalor, partner

Partner Ann Lalor explains how WhitneyMoore is adapting to clients' changing needs.

What do you see as the main points that differentiate WhitneyMoore from your competitors?

WhitneyMoore is a commercially focused law firm with a culture of providing consistently high quality legal advice promptly, efficiently and cost effectively. We represent clients in all areas of legal practice and have earned a reputation as a firm that is accessible, pro-active and focused on exceptional client delivery. Our clients include public bodies, leading Irish and multinational corporations, voluntary organisations and financial institutions. The ethos of WhitneyMoore is to be available to our clients, to address their business needs and to utilise a solutions driven approach. The firm is large enough to have the experience and resources necessary to provide our clients with first rate legal advice, yet small enough to retain direct partner involvement in all matters. We believe that the combination of our ethos, our ability to give high quality legal advice and our policy of direct partner involvement in all matters sets us apart from our competitors.

How is WhitneyMoore’s Corporate sector growing? What are the drivers behind that?

Myself (Ann Lalor - partner) and Jamie Enright (associate) joined the firm in July 2016 in order to establish a specialised corporate banking practice within the firm. While the firm had been involved in numerous financing transactions over the years it did not have a stand alone corporate banking practice. It makes sense for the firm to invest in the development of a banking and finance practice given that the firm’s very strong corporate and property practices tie in so well with the area of banking and finance.

The banking and finance practice has been very active in acting for the main domestic banks in the context of secured lending transactions and we have also seen a significant amount of secured lending transactions via our corporate clients. A big driver behind activity in the banking and finance market that we are seeing directly reflected on our desks is the variety of lenders now active in Ireland. Domestic banks are competing with mezzanine and private funders at a level I have not seen before. This creates a fantastic opportunity for a greater range of banking and finance work but also the need for practitioners in the area of banking and finance to understand their practice area implicitly so that they can bring fresh thinking and flexibility to traditional banking structures. Our banking team have these capabilities and we are very much enjoying working on a broad range of transaction types.

What is the main change you’ve made in the firm that will benefit clients?

WhitneyMoore now offers specialised corporate banking advices. As I already mentioned, the firm was active in the financing space before we established the stand alone banking and finance practice, however, we can now offer a more streamlined and specialised service in that area of practice. Constant improvement of delivery of service to our clients is a focus of the firm. The team’s level of experience in the banking and finance area means that we understand the needs of our clients and how those needs can be met efficiently even where circumstances demand a non-standard approach.

Is technology changing the way you interact with your clients, and the services you can provide them?

Updates in technology certainly affect delivery of service. In the context of transactions, speed of delivery of service is regularly one of the greatest challenges. In my area, borrowers and lenders want transactions done quickly so that they can either start the next deal or, in the case of the borrower, go back to focusing on day-to-day business. The ability to stay in touch with all parties at all times by way of email and phone means we can react quickly to changes as they occur during the course of a transaction so as to avoid delays and missed deadlines. We are very deadline focused so our ability to deliver the right service on time is of huge importance.

In addition to technology improving our delivery of transactional services to our clients, the fact that we can inform our clients of legal updates and changes on an on-going basis by way of our website and e-zines means that we have been able enhance the firm’s services to clients. As a firm, we embrace moving forward with technology as it develops.

Can you give us a practical example of how you have helped a client to add value to their business?

In the area of banking and finance you are not doing your job correctly if you are not adding value to a client. In acting for a lender, I believe the focus should be to ensure that the lender actually gets to lend. There are many instances in transactions where a problem could de-rail lending and, as a lawyer, it is important to find a work-around so that the lending proceeds on terms that work for the lender and the borrower. In acting for a borrower, the focus should be on ensuring that the financing being put in place allows the borrower carry out the activity it is borrowing for but also that the borrower is not left in a situation of being so restricted by terms of lending that it cannot actually operate its business efficiently. We bring these points of focus to all transactions we do.

Are clients looking for stability and strategic direction from their law firms – where do you see the firm in three years’ time?

Certainly, clients are looking for stability and strategic direction from the law firms they instruct. Clients want to see on-going high quality services being provided in the core practice areas of corporate, real estate and litigation. However, clients also like to see the firms they instruct develop into other areas of practice so as to further improve upon the overall service delivered to them. Expansion of services provided by a firm can only be a good thing for its clients. This firm has demonstrated its enthusiasm to add new services by way of its establishment of our banking and finance practice and looks forward to expanding its overall offering further. The firm is ambitious to grow but does not intend to do so at rate that would result in loss of quality control. In three years’ time, I would see WhitneyMoore expanding as a firm by more than 15% of its current size, in both headcount and turnover.

Legal Developments in Ireland

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
  • New EU Consumer Rights Directive

    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.
  • New Product Placement Rules

    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 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.
  • European Enforcement Order Difficulties

    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.
  • ABANDONED COMPANIES – CONSEQUENCES / LIABILITY FOR DIRECTORS

    In recent times the closure of businesses has unfortunately, become common due to trading difficulties.
  • Dentists obliged to display fees from 1 June 2011

    Under a new Code of Practice recently published by the Dental Council, dentists in general practice must display their fees from 1 June 2011.
  • Court Orders 53% Rent Reduction on two Grafton Street Properties

    As the economy has declined and as the retail and services industries in particular suffer, debate continues on the issue of commercial rent reviews.
  • In Brief: Winter 2010

    IN THIS ISSUE... (1)  Pre-nuptial Agreements (2) The case of the purchaser who can’t complete (3) A word of caution on speed camera detector devices (4) Making a move – Bankruptcy tourists (5) New guidelines on Certificates of Compliance (6) Employment Law Association (7) The Lowdown on Downloading Music (8) The Fixed-Term Worker – a flexible solution for employers? (9) Changes introduced by the Planning and Development (Amendment) Act 2010 09 Landmark Jury Award against Kenmare Resources plc (10) ecent Demolition Order proves that no one is above the Law (11) Rent Reviews – Reform or Resistance? (12) Who owns your Social Networks Contacts? (13) Periodic Payments – A better way of compensation? (14) Guest Contributor Prof. John McMullen – Transfer of Undertakings (15) Mediation – A New Impetus (16) Firm News
  • European Enforcement Orders – Problems and Solutions

    Regulation (EC) No. 805/2004 (“the Regulation”) created a European Enforcement Order for uncontested claims within the European Community. The aim of the Regulation was to permit the free circulation of judgments without the requirement for intermediate proceedings in the jurisdiction of enforcement to recognise the foreign judgment and convert it into a domestically enforceable measure.
  • Upwards only rent reviews – a thing of the past

    On 28 February 2010 the much-hyped section 132 of the Land and Conveyancing Law Reform Act 2009 came into effect. This section effectively curtails upwards only rent review clauses.