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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In Europe, Middle East and Africa, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for seven consecutive years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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Ireland > Insolvency and corporate restructuring > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


Index of tables

  1. Insolvency and corporate restructuring
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next Generation Partners

Leading individuals: Hall of Fame

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Next Generation Partners

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Who Represents Who

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A&L Goodbody’s team is rated highly for its ‘technical and commercial knowledge, and fantastic negotiation and communication skills’; it ‘always provides outstanding work’ as well as ‘timely and value for money advice’. Apart from being involved in the largest liquidation in Irish history, advising the joint special liquidators of IBRC with Mark Traynor, practice head David Baxter and Marsha Coghlan recently acted for various lenders of two troubled high-profile companies very active in the wind energy sector that went through a successful examinership process.

The level of service is consistently high’ at Arthur Cox, where practice head William Day advised on several receiverships and also acted for Waltzfire on its investment in seven hotel-operating companies in examinership. In the contentious sphere, Day acted for receivers Goldman Sachs and Ken Tyrrell of PwC in injunction proceedings and counter proceedings. The ‘very practical and versatileJohn Donald and senior associate Philippa Mangan, who look ‘at the matter in a holistic’ manner, acted for a number of liquidators.

Apart from advising lenders such as Ulster Bank on loan enforcements in the real estate sector, Mason Hayes & Curran’s ‘available’ and ‘strong team’ also undertakes examinership work, with the ‘pragmaticJudith Riordan helping Regan Development defend a petition by Oaktree Capital against the appointment of an examiner. The ‘technically strong’ Gareth Steen is seen as a ‘go-to insolvency lawyer’. Maurice Phelan is the practice head.

Matheson is very strong in ‘dealing with complex issues in a commercial manner’. ‘Commercially savy’ practice head Tony O’Grady was highly active on examinership mandates; in one example, he successfully advised property developer Gerry Barrett in a highly contested examinership in the High Court and Court of Appeal concerning seven financially troubled companies. Brendan Colgan, who remains ‘calm under pressure’, acted on the first liquidation of a credit union in Irish history. The ‘energetic and focused’ Julie Murphy-O’Connor, who is ‘on top of every little detail’, completes the team and acted on a number of enforcement matters.

McCann FitzGerald’s ‘highly approachable’ team advises on significant restructurings, examinerships, receiverships and liquidations, where ‘each assignment is individually managed and given one-to-one personal attention’. Recent work highlights include practice head Michael Murphy acting for ACCLM and receiver Declan Taite seeking to set aside an improper share transfer, and Lisa Smyth advising examiner Michael McAteer on the successful implementation of a scheme of arrangement in Manley Construction. Jane Marshall retired from practice in October 2017.

Regarded as ‘highly innovative in the insolvency sector’, William Fry’s ‘extremely responsive’ team is a ‘go-to firm’ for restructuring work, particularly examinerships. Fergus Doorly has taken over as practice head following the appointment of Michael Quinn as a High Court judge. ‘Excellent adviser’ Ruairi Rynn, who ‘has terrific judgement’, and ‘exceptionally thorough’ Craig Sowman made partner.

Led by Barry Cahir, Beauchamps' team provides advice to liquidators, receivers and examiners on a wide range of contentious and non-contentious insolvency and debt restructuring cases. The firm gained several new clients including Bradley’s Pharmacy, which Cahir assisted with a large-scale restructuring preserving over 140 jobs. In another new instruction, Cahir advised FLI Group on an innovative restructuring transaction through provisional liquidation and subsequent securing of an investment.

Taking ‘a very proactive approach’, Byrne Wallace is praised for its ‘commerciality and responsiveness’; the team was engaged in a range of work including insolvency practitioner work, enforcement of debt, examinerships and receiverships. The firm also advised a number of secured creditors on various matters, including bankruptcy proceedings. Practice head John Fitzgerald and associate Sean Neville are a ‘highly experienced duo’ with ‘dynamic force’ that ‘work extremely well together’.

At Dillon Eustace, department head Jamie Ensor is particularly adept at dealing with liquidations, including a remarkable one where he first acted for a large Asian company on the successful winding up of an Irish registered company, and then for the court-appointed receiver in the cross-border asset recovery involving the obtaining of freezing orders. Other work includes examinerships and receiverships.

Eugene F. Collins’ ‘experienced and capable’ team advises on the full gambit of insolvency law, from examinerships and receiverships to liquidations and cross-border insolvencies. Practice head Doug Smith and senior associate Róisín Peart are ‘engaging and easy to work with’; among other mandates, they advised PwC as joint liquidator of Circle Oil.

Eversheds Sutherland is applauded for its ‘the good teamwork between partner and non-partner staff’, and is made up of practice head Norman Fitzgerald, Neil O’Mahony and senior associate Barbara Galvin. The firm counts domestic and international banks and financial institutions such as Nama and AIB among its clients for restructuring and loan portfolio enforcement work, and acts for accountancy practices concerning their appointment as receivers or liquidators.

Maples Group was active in a number of liquidations, including for Miles Kirby in the liquidation of McArthur, which arose from a contested application.. The team also acts for Pepper Asset Servicing and other receivers in enforcement proceedings and other litigious matters. Practice head Robin McDonnell successfully defended a company in a winding-up petition made against it. Alan O’Sullivan joined as a new partner from Hayes Solicitors.

Ronan Daly Jermyn’s ‘responsive’ and ‘approachable’ team ‘cuts to the chase’, with receivership work being a mainstay. In that regard, recently promoted partner Ricky Kelly defended the Property Registration Authority in proceedings seeking to prevent the registration of the purchase of various receivership properties. Cork-based Ashling Walsh heads the practice; previous practice head Emma Crowley departed in February 2018.

Walkers' practice head Gavin Smith advises insolvency practitioners, companies and creditors. In an example of the team's non-contentious restructuring work, Smith acted for Hatfield Philips International on the cross-border merger of ARRF into Zeus CMBS Finance using a novel cross-border merger court application. Smith is also active in the contentious sphere.

AMOSS Solicitors advises companies, directors, shareholders and creditors as well as receivers, liquidators and examiner-appointed insolvency practitioners. Litigator Gavin Simons is the main contact. His mandates included advising the examiner in a number of successful company restructurings, such as that of Mothercare Ireland.

Hayes Solicitors’ team impresses with its ‘strong client service' and ‘specialist skills in the restructuring and litigation areas’, which is reflected in its high number of contentious receivership instructions and its defence of acquirers of loan portfolios. Joe O’Malley is the new practice head following the departure of Alan O’Sullivan to Maples Group. Jeremy Erwin was promoted to partner in May 2018.

Lavelle Solicitors represented companies, creditors, liquidators and individuals in a range of contentious insolvency matters, including opposing a winding-up petition and the appointment of an examiner. In one particular example, name partner Michael Lavelle helped a company’s liquidator to secure a settlement with the former directors of a company and a substantial payment to the company as a result of alleged fraudulent and reckless trading. Ciarán Leavy is another key contact.

LK Shields Solicitors handled a mix of contentious insolvency mandates, including advising insolvency practitioners which were appointed as receivers - such as KPMG, EY and Deloitte - on various properties and companies. The team was also instructed in a number of receiverships, as well as several non-contentious restructurings. Jill Callanan and Ruairi Mulrean are the main contacts.

McDowell Purcell’s caseload included contentious receiverships, examinerships and liquidations. The team is also acting for the Official Assignee in Bankruptcy in a bankruptcy estate case with cross-border elements. ‘Experienced’ and ‘widely respected’ practice head Mark Woodcock is an ‘excellent negotiator’ with ‘strong interpersonal skills’.

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