Firm Profile > Beauchamps > Dublin, Ireland
SIR JOHN ROGERSONS QUAY
Beauchamps > The Legal 500 Rankings
Banking and finance Tier 2
Beauchamps' 'strong' practice is highly experienced in construction and property finance, with a client base of lenders and borrowers, including leading banks and housing developers. The team has advised on several large-scale office development projects in Dublin, and has also handled healthcare sector construction projects. Other areas of expertise include non-performing loan acquisitions and disposals, acquisition finance, debt restructuring and project finance. The 'exceptional' Daniel Cashman leads the practice, while Niall O’Brien has been very active in advising on the financing of social housing developments, Leonard Lavelle has expertise in renewable energy financing, and Pat Nyhan has extensive experience advising on loan sale transactions.
‘Partners take ownership of deals and make themselves available to discuss a case at any stage.’
‘Daniel Cashman is solution focused, and delivers on time and accurately.’
‘Beauchamps have a very strong multi-disciplinary practice. They provide an exceptional service and are a highly responsive and diligent firm in our experience.‘
‘Daniel Cashman is an exceptional solicitor whose legal expertise and wider market knowledge are invaluable to our business.‘
‘Direct partner engagement across all deals, rather than oversight over more junior colleagues.‘
‘Daniel Cashman has been a trusted adviser to our business for a number of years.‘
‘Responsive, friendly and understand the important legal aspects to focus on each transaction. Able to commercially understand their clients and focus on the key commercial points. Highly capable of negotiating with any calibre of lawyer.‘
‘Patrick Nyhan is experienced, articulate and practical. He responds in a timely manner and is willing to go the extra mile to ensure his clients are fully informed. Patrick is a seasoned banking partner who knows what is important to his clients and how to get there without undue effort.‘
‘Leonard Lavelle is very responsive and courteous, and keeps the momentum going on deals.‘
‘Access to partners, who get very much involved in the transaction. Guidance and direction is clear, straightforward and made easy to understand.‘
‘We value Daniel Cashman and Leonard Lavelle’s support, guidance and direction and find that they are easily contactable, commercial, and keep things simple.‘
‘The banking and finance team is extremely stands out. It stands out as it is willing to go the extra distance in order to get transactions closed while at the same time always seeking to protect our interests. In addition, the members of the team are very personable, professional and easy to deal with.‘
‘Daniel Cashman is very experienced and this experience really shows in efficiently dealing with any issues that tend to crop up in transactions. It is very rare that an issue arises which Daniel has not come across before.‘
‘Pat Nyhan is also experienced and always puts our interests to the fore.‘
‘All members of the banking and finance team are extremely diligent and really go the extra distance in seeking to protect our interests.‘
KBC Bank Ireland
BDO Development Capital Fund
ABO Wind Ireland
Home For Life
Beauchamps' 'very strong team' is particularly active in private mid-market transactions, with clients including leading Irish and international companies, as well as large family and owner-managed businesses. The team is noted for its niche expertise in equity financing, and also advises on M&A, private equity deals, management buyouts, corporate restructurings, joint ventures and corporate governance. Another area of strength is seed and venture capital funding, where Máire Cunningham is highly active. 'Extremely commercial' practice head Shaun O’Shea has extensive experience in M&A and corporate restructurings, particularly in the technology, healthcare and life sciences, retail and hospitality sectors. The team, which also includes the 'highly technical, commercial and practical' Emer Moriarty Crowley, was bolstered by the arrival of three new partners in 2018.
‘The firm enjoys a wide range of professionals in a variety of fields. It was extremely useful and fruitful to use the team’s expertise in a cross-border transaction.‘
‘Máire Cunningham represented our company in a very skilful, devoted and professional manner. She controlled all the different aspects of the transaction, knew all the small details, and brought the transaction to a successful closing.‘
‘They have a very diverse team and are very professional.‘
‘Personal attention from the lead partners, speed of response, quality of service.‘
‘Shaun O’Shea is very thorough.‘
‘Very strong team with access to numerous specialists within the wider firm.‘
‘Shaun O’Shea is extremely commercial and understands how to distill the issues so one can fully understand the significance of each decision. He takes time to really understand the business and the issues that matter. He is always accessible and delivers a quality service in a timely manner.‘
‘Beauchamps are a standout Irish legal firm and have vast experience working on implementing complex tax and commercial-driven structures. They provide cost-efficient, practical advice which is easy to navigate. Their lawyers are technical but all have grounded, approachable personas.‘
‘Emer Moriarty Crowley is highly technical but balances this with a commercial and practical approach.’
‘Very professional, with a level of agility which works for us. They have depth in all the right areas.’
‘Shaun O’Shea is our go-to partner. He is exceptional, available, committed, and understands our business. The team around him are very committed professionals.‘
AIB Development Capital
BGF (Business Growth Fund)
Building Envelope Technology
CRS Cold Storage
Equinor (previously known as Statoil)
Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA)
House & Gardens
Innogy Renewables Ireland
iNua Hospitality Group plc
Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU)
UDG Healthcare plc
Western Development Commission
Beauchamps has particular strength in advising public sector bodies on data protection issues, including GDPR compliance and training, data subject access requests and the crossover between data protection and freedom of information law. The team also advises on interactions with the Data Protection Commission such as data protection audits and responding to data breaches. Maureen Daly leads the practice and acts for public and private sector clients across a range of areas, including arts and entertainment, housing, healthcare, education, sports, technology and local government.
Dispute resolution Tier 2
Beauchamps counts a number of domestic household names among its clients, and is noted for its strength in acting for public and regulatory bodies. The team is also active in large-scale financial services litigation, and handles disputes in the healthcare, insurance, technology and professional services sectors. The practice is led by Emma Keegan, who has a strong reputation for handling significant regulatory investigations and also acts in professional negligence claims. The 'exceptional' Thomas O’Dwyer has experience acting for international clients and is active in litigation across a range of areas, including security enforcement and property disputes, and Barry Cahir specialises in contentious insolvency and restructuring.
‘Pragmatic advice and fast response times.’
‘Beauchamps provides direct partner access with credibility and strong support.‘
‘Thomas O’Dwyer was exceptional. The dispute resolution case we recently entered was successfully negotiated by Thomas with constant updates and concise advice prior to decisions.‘
KBC Bank Ireland Plc
Ulster Bank Ireland DAC
Allied Irish Banks Plc
Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement (ODCE)
Health Information & Quality Authority (HIQA)
Law Society of Ireland
Dublin Port Company
Dublin City Council
Energy and natural resources Tier 2
Beauchamps specialises in renewable energy matters, particularly in the wind farm sector, where it acts for wind energy developers and lenders on financings and sales. E.ON Climate and Renewables and Harmony Solar are new clients. The 'very experienced' Ainsley Heffernan combines 'legal knowledge with a highly commercial and solutions-focused approach', leading the team in acting for C6 CTE Ireland on acquiring, developing and financing the Derryclure waste-to-energy Project.
‘Strong energy sector experience. Practical hands on advice. Ainsley Heffernan is very knowledgeable and user friendly.’
‘The depth of knowledge from the Beauchamps energy team is very impressive. They have expertise across a number of areas including property, planning law, construction and project finance. The difference is they are able to draw upon this expertise from within the energy team, rather than having to pull in lawyers from other departments across the firm. In my view this leads to a more seamless service. I worked mostly with team head, Ainsley Heffernan. Ainsley has that rare and valuable ability to combine his legal knowledge with a highly commercial and solutions-focused approach. The result is a level of service and advice which is second to none in the Irish legal market.’
‘The team is extremely well organised and well integrated with other departments across the firm. Ainsley Heffernan, along with his team, has a unique and in-depth understanding of both the corporate as well as renewable sectors. He manages work flows in an extremely efficient and transparent manner.’
‘Ainsley and his team has successfully brought us through two wind farm financings over the past two years and have consistently shown a great ability to overcome tricky issues that arise during the due diligence period. What sets them apart from other firms we have dealt with in the past is the efficiency of the solutions provided; issues are closed out in a concise, commercial and effective way with no unnecessary fuss. Ainsley Heffernan is a very commercially minded individual meaning that his proposed solutions consider what our overall objectives for a project are and are never narrowly focused. Ainsley is a very experienced solicitor in the renewable energy industry in Ireland and has a great personal interest and curiosity for planning law. This experience together with a very proactive approach often provide us with an ability to “look around the corner” when it comes to our preparations on planning applications and project financing. Ainsley has been an excellent “partner” in our recent successes in the Irish market. John Sweeney is our principal contact on the conveyancing side. John is an excellent practitioner and I have not dealt with another solicitor in the industry that has his ability to deal with this, often undervalued but critical, aspect of the development/financing of wind projects. John’s attention to detail is second to none.’
Grange Backup Power
E.ON Climate & Renewables
C6 WTE Ireland
ART Generation Limited
Hamburg Commercial Bank AG (previously HSH Nordbank)
Naturgy (previously Vayu)
EU and competition Tier 2
Known for its significant public sector client base, Beauchamps also assists clients in the property, banking, transport, agrifood, pharmaceutical and media sectors with competition matters. The team is particularly active in advising on merger control, procurement and state aid, as well as on competition investigations and litigation. Dual-qualified practice head Dorit McCann is noted for her 'broad range of competition experience' and expertise in advising clients with cross-border operations on merger control.
‘Dorit McCann has a very broad range of competition experience. Given that she has practised in Ireland and the UK she has an excellent cross-jurisdictional perspective.‘
‘I found Dorit McCann easy to work with. She was responsive and commercial, and her advice was clear and practical.‘
Central Statistics Office
South Dublin County Council
Institutional Property Ireland
National Library of Ireland
Information technology Tier 2
Beauchamps has a strong reputation for advising not-for-profit and public sector clients, and also acts for companies from the technology, food and beverage, pharmaceutical and retail sectors. The team advises on outsourcing, licensing and commercial agreements, compliance with data protection and consumer legislation, and technology-related disputes. The practice is led by Maureen Daly, who handles outsourcing and software development agreements and IP issues, and was bolstered by the arrival of Damian Maloney from an in-house role at Element Fleet Technology.
Western Digital UK Limited
Waterford Institute of Technology
Ordnance Survey Ireland
AIB Development Capital
Led by practice head Barry Cahir, Beauchamps handles a variety of restructurings and insolvencies across a range of sectors, acting for both creditors and debtors. In one highlight, the team advised Colony Capital on its Project Tolka portfolio of secured loans, which includes acting for Dengrove in a dispute relating to the enforcement of security over Burlington Plaza, which is valued at €250m. It remains at the forefront in the management and disposal of large property portfolios taken on by financial institutions in the wake of the recession. Additionally, it took on several retail matters, including the liquidation of Carphone Warehouse Ireland.
Bradley’s Pharmacy Group
Real estate Tier 2
Beauchamps' real estate practice has a diverse client base, which includes Irish and international investors, financial institutions, developers, asset managers, public bodies, local authorities and companies from across a range of sectors. The team is jointly led by head of commercial real estate Aidan Marsh, retail expert Imelda Reynolds and senior partner Maitiú Ó Dónaill. The practice also has a specialised housing team, which acts for developers, public bodies and approved housing bodies on projects relating to the construction, design and financing of residential housing and developments for all purposes. Jacinta Niland is also noted.
‘They cut to the main issues of commercial relevance. Any time they come to us with an issue they come with a proposed solution.‘
‘They offer an extremely efficient reliable service providing first class commercially relevant advice. They are very consistent in terms of quality of advice and service.‘
‘I don’t believe we could get a better quality of service from another firm.‘
‘We find Beauchamps excellent to deal with. They are very responsive and client focused. The quality of their work is excellent.‘
‘Beauchamps provide an engaged, hands-on legal service which was essential for us as a “foreign” investor.‘
‘They are very commercial and pragmatic, respect timelines and are always accessible and contactable.‘
‘Laura Brophy is an associate on Imelda Reynolds team who is efficient, knowledgeable and easy to deal with.‘
‘Aidan Marsh – he is a pleasure to deal with – he is hard working, considered and we enjoy working with him.‘
‘Jacinta Niland – she is fantastic – she is extremely hard working and dedicated. We enjoy working with Jacinta.‘
‘Anne Doyle (Partner) is detailed, attentive and approachable. She was instrumental in advising us and giving us the confidence to make our first investment in Ireland.‘
‘Tony O’Sullivan the conveyancing partner in Beauchamps has a depth and wealth of knowledge in the property transaction that it makes dealing through him a far less stressful experience than I have found to be the case elsewhere.‘
Dublin Port Company
South Dublin County Council
Respond Housing Association
Allied Irish Banks
Cairn Homes plc
Linders Property Group
Employment Tier 3
Beauchamps' employment practice is now led by Sandra Masterson Power, an experienced employment lawyer and qualified mediator, who has 'superb technical employment law expertise'. The team handles matters including restructurings, dismissals, and advisory work for both the private and public sector. It is valued by clients for its 'strong technical expertise'. A particular highlight was its work advising the Arts Council on the compatibility of a grant scheme with Irish equality law.
‘The level of responsiveness is excellent and the lawyers have a very good understanding of our business.’
‘We use Beauchamps across a number of sectors, primarily property and employment law. The expertise and knowledge available across these disciplines is of the highest quality. In particular Beauchamps consistently ensure that the appropriate core professionals are available to us and consequently have built up a knowledge base and understanding of our business that ensures a practical approach to the commercial realities that pertain while supporting this with the appropriate legal expertise.’
‘This team has strong technical expertise and is led by a strong partner, Sandra Masterson Power, who is professional, efficient, and technically very strong.’
‘The team is dedicated to provide a quick and early response at all times. The advice from the Employment team has been authoritative, easy to understand and therefore disseminate. The case management has always been top-notch with no detail overlooked. Keeping us regularly and fully updated has avoided any surprises or misunderstanding as we have occasionally experienced elsewhere.’
‘The team at Beauchamps is wonderful to work with. They make you feel like you are their only client and concern when you know they have many clients they are working with. They treat your employment inquiries or concerns with the upmost confidentiality and explain processes, procedures and Irish law in easy to understand steps. For our company not being located in Ireland, they would take the time to have phone calls and follow-up with neat outlines notes and templates we may need for our own processes. They are extremely cordial and pleasure to work with.’
‘Always available to offer professional expert advice. The company is exceptionally thorough and dedicated to their clients.’
‘In my opinion, an exceptional Solicitor is one that can make a complex situation, simple, and one that provides advice that is at all times commensurate to the facts of the case. Sandra Masterson Power fulfils this. A truly exceptional Solicitor.’
‘Triona Cody is especially professional and dedicated to delivering all of the above. I also found her easy to work with and likeable.’
Dublin Port Company
Institute of Technology Tallaght
Insurance Tier 3
Beauchamps is particularly active in professional indemnity cases, where it acts for clients including Miller Insurance and Randall & Quillter. The practice is headed by experienced litigator Emma Keegan and also includes associate Ciara Murphy.
Randal & Quillter Investment Holdings
Intellectual property Tier 3The technology and intellectual property team at Beauchamps, which manages IP portfolios for Irish and international companies, is 'responsive, knowledgeable, and friendly'. In addition to its advisory work, the firm acts for large multinationals in copyright infringement proceedings. The team is led by Maureen Daly, who is 'intelligent, articulate and thorough' and advises on all aspects of intellectual property. Daly is also a former chair of the Intellectual Property and Data Protection Law Committee of the Law Society of Ireland.
‘Very competent IP professionals. Responsive, knowledgeable and friendly.’
‘I’ve found that working with Beauchamps is easy. The solicitors I’ve worked with have made themselves available when needed, turned things around quickly and delivered excellent work. They are fully dedicated, working long hours and pulling out the stops when needed.’
‘Maureen Daly goes above and beyond and is very diligent, pragmatic and helpful.’
‘I’ve worked with Maureen Daly for years now. Maureen is intelligent, articulate and thorough in her work, she is extremely dedicated and doesn’t miss a beat.’
AIB Development Capital
Ordnance Survey Ireland
Vanguard Healthcare Solutions
Public sector Tier 3
Beauchamps is noted for its strength in acting for regulatory bodies in a range of areas, including the health and social care, professional services and corporate sectors, while other clients include local authorities, universities, sports organisations, social housing associations and hospitals. The team acts for public bodies in litigation, including judicial review proceedings and inquiries, and handles professional regulatory hearings. Stephen McLoughlin, who joined the firm from Fieldfisher, leads the practice jointly with the 'responsive and efficient' Imelda Reynolds. Dorit McCann specialises in procurement and state aid matters.
‘They provide reliable advice in a timely manner without fail.‘
‘They are accessible and responsive. We know we can pick up the phone to them when we need to.‘
‘Rich mix of extensive expertise and speedy response to queries‘
‘Mark Pery-Knox-Gore has the ability to tease out all aspects in an easy-to-understand fashion, to identify the implications of various approaches and to conclude with an advised direction. His responses are detailed and very considered.‘
‘Associate Edward Lyons is very prompt and responsive. Good attention to detail. Pleasant manner.‘
‘The team is responsive and solution focused.‘
‘Partner-led full-service offering with all queries promptly responded to.‘
‘The firm have an excellent understanding of the legal issues and challenges which can arise in a public sector context and provide practical, commercial legal solutions in resolving them.‘
‘Imelda Reynolds is very responsive, efficient and provides effective, solution-oriented advice.‘
Athlone Institute of Technology
Central Statistics Office
Choice Housing Ireland Limited
Circle Voluntary Housing Association
Commission for Communications Regulations (ComReg)
Design and Crafts Council of Ireland
Dublin Airport Authority plc
Dublin City Council
Dublin Institute of Technology
Dublin Port Company plc
Dublin Dental University Hospital
Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology
Dundalk Institute of Technology
Education & Training Boards Ireland
Fingal County Council
Galway City Council
Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology
Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA)
Housing and Sustainable Communities Agency
Institute of Technology, Blanchardstown
Institute of Technology, Carlow
Institute of Technology, Sligo
Institute of Technology, Tallaght
Irish Auditing and Accounting Supervisory Authority
Irish Greyhound Board
Kilkenny County Council
Law Society of Ireland
Letterkenny Institute of Technology
Limerick Institute of Technology
Mater Misericordiae University Hospital
National Council for Special Education
National Sports Campus Development Authority (now Sport Ireland)
Nursing & Midwifery Board of Ireland
Office of Public Works
Office of Director of Corporate Enforcement
Ordnance Survey Ireland
Respond! Housing Association
Shannon Airport Authority plc
Society of St. Vincent de Paul
South Dublin County Council
Trinity College Dublin
Waterford Institute of Technology
Western Development Commission
Workplace Relations Commission
Beauchamps > Firm Profile
Beauchamps is one of Ireland’s top full service commercial law firms and has been at the centre of Irish business for over 200 years, since its foundation in 1803. We are proud of this rare longevity, founded on our long-held reputation for quality, accessibility, and value for money, attributes that are fundamental to everything we do at Beauchamps.
We value our diverse domestic and international client base and are the trusted legal advisor to some of the largest businesses in Ireland. We ensure the best commercial outcome for our clients through a down-to-earth, accessible and bespoke approach to client service, working side by side with our clients to understand their needs and ambitions. With 200 staff at our Dublin headquarters, the depth and breadth of our specialist practice teams reflects our ability to adapt swiftly to the changing legal market place, as well as our clients’ needs, anticipating future market trends to ensure we remain at the cutting edge of the legal profession.
Areas of practice
- Corporate: The corporate and commercial team is one of the leading practices of its kind in Ireland. It delivers a comprehensive and experienced service to domestic and international clients across a wide range of sectors.
- Banking & Finance: The highly experienced banking and finance group represents a mix of domestic and international lenders and borrowers, including major banks, senior lenders, mezzanine lenders, hedge funds and developers, on a range of financing matters.
- Litigation & Dispute Resolution: Beauchamps’ litigation and dispute resolution practice works with domestic and international clients across all industry sectors to resolve disputes through litigation, negotiation and settlement, arbitration or alternative dispute resolution.
- Real Estate: Beauchamps’ commercial property practice is one of the largest in Ireland and has been at the forefront of ground breaking and market shaping property developments in Ireland for more than 20 years. This includes our award winning housing team, who have become the market-leader in the nationally important social housing sector.
- Energy & Natural Resources: Over the past two decades, Beauchamps has established a reputation as one of the leading Irish law firms advising on renewable energy projects, particularly wind farm developments.
- IP/Technology: Beauchamps’ award-winning technology and intellectual property team works with some of the world’s biggest domestic and global brands, as well as with SMEs, start-ups, not-for-profit organisations and public sector bodies.
- Employment & Benefits: Beauchamps’ employment and benefits team works with domestic, international and multinational companies – including businesses setting up in Ireland for the first time, start-ups, financial institutions, hospitals, charities and public sector bodies.
- Insolvency & Corporate Restructuring: The insolvency and corporate restructuring group comprises highly experienced, multi-disciplinary lawyers who work with and support financial institutions, creditors, businesses, directors and shareholders, insolvency practitioners and public sector bodies, on a wide range of restructuring, corporate recovery and insolvency situations.
- EU, Competition & Procurement: The EU, competition and procurement team provides both contentious and non-contentious advice to clients on all aspects of competition law, procurement law and other areas of EU law. The team advises a wide range of public authorities, utilities and private sector entities.
- Construction: The construction team advises on all stages of construction projects and PPPs from inception, planning, procurement and construction through to completion. The team works closely with developers, funding institutions, project stakeholders, contractors and consultants as part of the multi-disciplinary team on any project.
|Corporate/M&A||John Whiteemail@example.com||+353 (0) 1 4180600|
|Real Estate||Imelda Reynoldsfirstname.lastname@example.org||+353 (0) 1 4180600|
|Banking and Finance||Daniel Cashmanemail@example.com||+353 (0) 1 4180600|
|Real Estate||Aidan Marshfirstname.lastname@example.org||+353 (0) 1 4180600|
|Corporate/M&A||Shaun O'Sheaemail@example.com||+353 (0) 1 4180600|
|IP and Technology||Maureen Dalyfirstname.lastname@example.org||+353 (0) 1 4180600|
|EU, Competition, Procurement||Dorit McCannemail@example.com||+353 (0) 1 4180600|
|Corporate Restructuring and Insolvency||Barry Cahirfirstname.lastname@example.org||+353 (0) 1 4180600|
|Litigation & Dispute Resolution; Insurance and professional indemnity||Emma Keeganemail@example.com||+353 (0) 1 4180600|
|Energy and Natural Resources||Ainsley Heffernanfirstname.lastname@example.org||+353 (0) 1 4180600|
|Employment & Benefits||Sandra Masterson Poweremail@example.com||+353 (0) 1 4180600|
|Construction & Projects||Richard Stowefirstname.lastname@example.org||+353 (0) 1 4180600|
|Public & Regulatory||Stephen McLoughlinemail@example.com||+353 (0) 1 4180600|
|Crisis Management; White Collar Crime||Thomas O'Dwyerfirstname.lastname@example.org||+353 (0) 1 4180600|
|Housing||Fidelma McManusemail@example.com||+353 (0) 1 4180600|
|Mr Maitiú Ó Dónaill||View Profile|
|Joe Bowe||View Profile|
|Barry Cahir||View Profile|
|Ms Claire Callanan||View Profile|
|Mr Daniel Cashman||View Profile|
|Ms Máire Cunningham||View Profile|
|Ms Maureen Daly||View Profile|
|Ms Anne Doyle||View Profile|
|Mr Edward Evans||View Profile|
|Mr Gerry Gallen||View Profile|
|Mr Ainsley Heffernan||View Profile|
|Mr Malachy Kearney||View Profile|
|Ms Emma Keegan||View Profile|
|Mr Leonard Lavelle||View Profile|
|Ms Pauline Louth||View Profile|
|Mr Damian Maloney||View Profile|
|Mr Aidan Marsh||View Profile|
|Ms Sandra Masterson Power||View Profile|
|Dorit McCann||View Profile|
|Mr Stephen McLoughlin||View Profile|
|Ms Fidelma McManus||View Profile|
|Ms Emer Moriarty Crowley||View Profile|
|Ms Jacinta Niland||View Profile|
|Mr Pat Nyhan||View Profile|
|Mr Niall O’Brien||View Profile|
|Mr Thomas O’Dwyer||View Profile|
|Mr Colm O’Keefe||View Profile|
|Mr Shaun O’Shea||View Profile|
|Mr Tony O’Sullivan||View Profile|
|Mr Mark Pery-Knox-Gore||View Profile|
|Ms Imelda Reynolds||View Profile|
|Mr John White||View Profile|
Staff FiguresLawyers : 100 Staff : 200
LanguagesGerman English French Italian Irish Polish Russian Spanish
MembershipsLaw Society of Ireland International Bar Association (IBA)
Doing Business In
Beauchamps has been at the heart of business in Ireland for over 200 years and, as one of Ireland’s top law firms, we are well placed to advise on the practical realities of doing business in this jurisdiction. Whether considering establishing in Ireland for the first time, expanding into Europe, or if you already have an established European presence and are looking to future expansion, we hope this article serves as a helpful resource. This is, however, an edited and shortened version of a more detailed pamphlet we have produced, “Doing Business in Ireland“. There is, of course, a huge amount to be taken into account when considering operating in a new territory, but as a full service law firm with around 200 staff, Beauchamps has the resources and know-how to advise businesses of all sizes and across all sectors when making this decision.
As one of the world’s most open economies, Ireland continues to be one of the favoured global locations for investment. There were 206 foreign direct investments in Ireland in 2018, up by 135 on the previous year. Total employment at overseas companies now stands at over 200,000 people, the highest level on record.
There are over 1200 overseas companies with internationally focused operations in Ireland, many of these are the top technology, pharmaceutical and financial services companies in the world.
Our pro-business environment, low corporate tax rates and the availability of a young, well-educated and skilled work force have helped us attract hundreds of foreign companies to locate here. In addition, costs in property, rents, services and labour have fallen over the last five years, significantly increasing our cost competitiveness.
Ireland has a common law legal system which is also influenced by our written Constitution, legislation and our membership of the European Union. It is similar to the UK and US legal regime. While the President is the constitutional Head of State, the office is mainly ceremonial. The Government controls the legislative and political processes.
Until 2008 the Irish economy enjoyed rapid expansion and was hailed internationally as an economic success story, epitomised by reference to the “Celtic Tiger”. The bursting of the property bubble and the international recession and banking crises at the end of the last decade had a dramatic impact on the economy and the public finances. More recently Ireland has been hailed as an example of a country successfully addressing its problems. It exited the lending programme previously agreed with the IMF / EU / ECB in December 2013, allowing Ireland to restore full market access and provided a reputational boost internationally. The Irish economy grew by 6.7% in 2018 – the fastest growing economy in the Euro zone.
Ireland is a parliamentary republic and has a written constitution. The president has limited powers and executive authority is exercised by the prime minister (Taoiseach) and a cabinet of ministers. The president is directly elected every seven years and the last presidential election took place in November 2018.
The national parliament (Oireachtas) is divided into two houses known as the Dáil (House of Representatives) and the Seanad (Senate). Elections to the 158 member Dáil is by popular vote where candidates are elected from multi- seat constituencies using the electoral system of proportional representation based on the single transferable vote. The second or upper house known as the Seanad is composed of 60 members elected from different bodies and institutions including the universities and vocational panels. Seanad elections are held within 90 days of the election to the Dáil. Elections must be held at least every five years. The most recent election was in February 2016.
Since the 2016 UK referendum on exiting the European Union, uncertainty has surrounded European member states’ relationships with the UK. Nowhere has this been felt more acutely than in Ireland, largely due to Ireland sharing the only UK/EU member state land border, the importance of the all-island economy in certain sectors such as agriculture, and the significant longstanding economic relationship between the two nations.
As such Brexit, and specifically the threat of a no-deal Brexit, has been the single biggest driver of Ireland’s economy through 2019 and while there is uncertainty as to the future UK/EU relationship, that will continue to be the case. However, economic predictions in the second half of 2019 suggested that even in the worst case scenario of a no-deal Brexit, the Irish economy would avoid falling in to recession.
Despite the uncertainty surrounding Brexit, the 52% FDI increase in 2018 demonstrates the counteracting opportunity presented, with a large amount of this FDI coming from Britain. As the first stage of Brexit concludes and the process moves on to the future trade deal, any future opportunities for the Irish economy, as the only remaining English-speaking gateway to the Single Market, will become clearer.
Ireland’s track record:
- Ireland is first in the world for inward investment by quality and value. Ireland is the fifth most attractive country in the world for foreign investment. This is a jump of two places and Dublin has been named the number one large city in the world for foreign direct investment (BDO and Global Cities of the Future 2019)
- Home to 9 of the top 10 global software companies and 9 of the World’s top 10 pharma companies and 15 of the World’s top 25 financial services companies
- A workforce that is: young, capable, English speaking, highly adaptable, educated, flexible, productive, innovative and committed to achievement
- Globally experienced senior management
- Ireland has one of the most educated workforces in the World: according to the OECD 52% of 25-34 year olds have a third level qualification – 10% higher than the OECD average
- Strong and diverse multilingual skills – 12.2% of Ireland’s population is international and over half a million (612,018 people) Irish residents speak a foreign language fluently,
- One of the highest percentage proportion of graduates in math, science, engineering and computing in the EU
- 12.5% corporate tax rate, attractive R&D credits, beneficial holding company location
- Attractive intellectual property regime, extensive double tax treaty network
- double tax treaty network
Ease of Doing Business:
- Consistently ranked as one of the best countries in the world to do business in (Forbes, 2018)
- Gateway to Europe and beyond
- Free movement of goods and services within EU and its 500 million plus consumers
- English speaking and member of EU / Eurozone
- Large number of cities and towns with proven ability to attract FDI Innovation
- Some of the world’s most cutting-edge companies have invested in Ireland – 5 of the top 10 companies on Forbes’ list of The World’s Most Innovative Companies have Irish operations
- Ireland is one of the world’s leading Research, Development and Innovation (RDI) locations
- Ireland ranked 10th out of 126 countries in the 2018 Global Innovation Index
Establishing a legal entity in Ireland
Irish law caters for several types of company structures which are easy to establish. Non-Irish nationals or non-Irish residents may hold shares in an Irish company. There are, for the most part, no minimum share capital requirements. Incorporation can typically be achieved within five days.
Branches: A foreign limited company, and a foreign unlimited company which is a subsidiary of a limited company, which carries on business in Ireland can establish a branch in Ireland without incorporating an Irish company subject to filing certain information in the Irish Companies Registration Office, including copies of the company’s constitutional documents, accounts, details of its directors and company secretary, and the name of the person resident in Ireland authorised to accept service of process on behalf of the company.
Representative offices: A foreign company may establish a representative office in Ireland, but they should be passive and not sell or engage in business.
To incorporate an Irish company, the following documents have to be filed with the Irish Companies Registration Office (CRO):
- the company’s constitutional documents
- a Form A1
A new private limited company can be incorporated at a minimal cost within approximately five days.
The minimum capital requirement for an Irish private company is nominal and shares can be denominated in any currency.
Every Irish incorporated company is required to have one EEA resident director unless it holds a surety bond to the value of approx. €25,000 or the Irish Revenue Commissioners have certified it has a real and continuous link with one or more economic activities in Ireland. A corporation is not eligible to be a director but may be the company secretary.
Ireland has a favourable tax regime which includes a low corporate tax rate of 12.5% for trading income, generous tax depreciation allowances for capital expenditure and an extensive tax treaty network.
Residence: The scope and remit of Irish corporation tax is largely dependent on the residential status of a company. Broadly speaking, a company that is tax resident in Ireland is subject to Irish corporation tax on its worldwide income and gains although specific exemptions do exist for certain income such as distributions from other Irish resident companies and patent income. Non-resident companies operating in Ireland through a branch are subject to Irish tax on the profits of that branch and on disposals of assets used in that branch.
Rates: The rates of corporation tax are 12.5% and 25%. In general, the trading profits of a company are liable to the 12.5% rate. Non-trading or passive profits earned by a company are taxed at a rate of 25%. There is no actual definition of what constitutes trading to be found in Irish tax statute although dealing in or developing land, working minerals and petroleum activities are expressly excluded. Guidance published by the Irish Revenue Commissioners expressly includes development and exploitation of intellectual property, investment management activities, activities relating to R&D and corporate treasury functions as constituting trading.
A rate of 12.5% also applies to foreign dividends repatriated from foreign traded income where certain conditions are satisfied. Credit for foreign tax suffered is also available.
Assistance in tax matters: Relief for foreign taxes suffered on the dividend may be available to reduce any Irish tax payable and this is usually given by way of credit. Under foreign tax credit pooling rules, an excess tax credit arising in respect of a foreign dividend may be offset against the corporation tax arising on other foreign dividend income. Excess tax credits arising in an accounting period may be carried forward indefinitely for offset against corporation tax on foreign dividends in later periods.
Tax treaty network: Ireland has concluded tax treaties with 74countries, of which 73 are in effect. Different rates of withholding tax can apply to interest, dividends and royalties, depending on the terms of the particular treaty. It has concluded Tax Information Exchange Agreements with 26 countries, 5 of which are in force.
Payroll: A company which engages employees must register with the Irish Revenue and follow the procedures for the deduction at source of employees’ income tax, known as Pay As You Earn (PAYE), Universal Social Charge (USC) and Social Insurance (PRSI) contributions. Companies are required to operate this on both cash payments and benefits in kind and it applies whether the employment is an Irish employment or a foreign employment. Since 1 January 2011, certain equity-based compensation has also to be processed through the PAYE system.
Income tax: Individuals resident, ordinarily resident and domiciled in Ireland are liable to Irish income tax on their worldwide income.
An Irish resident and domiciled but not ordinarily resident individual is also liable to Irish income tax on their worldwide income.
Non-Irish domiciled individuals who are resident in Ireland are liable to Irish income tax on Irish source income, foreign employment income to the extent that the duties are exercised in Ireland and foreign income to the extent it is remitted to Ireland.
- A person will be deemed to be tax resident in Ireland if they spend:
- a total of 183 days (any part of a day) in Ireland in any tax year or
- a combined total of 280 days (any part of a day) over two consecutive tax years (assuming a minimum of 30 days in each tax year)
If a person is resident in Ireland for three consecutive years, they will become ordinarily resident for tax purposes.
A person’s domicile is, initially at least, their domicile of origin but you can prove you have abandoned your domicile of origin and acquired a new domicile known as a domicile of choice.
The Irish income tax system is progressive and there are two rates. The current standard rate of income tax is 20% and the higher or marginal rate is 40%. The 20% rate is available in respect of the first €35,300of income of a single person. Higher bands are available for married couples, but the actual bands are determined by whether one spouse or both spouses are earning income. These taxes are either deducted by employers under the PAYE system or collected via a self-assessment System.
In addition to income tax, employees are also obliged to pay PRSI and USC.
Capital gains tax: Irish resident individuals are liable to capital gains tax of 33% on their worldwide gains.
There are a number of notable exceptions and reliefs available including an individual’s principal private residence, tangible moveable assets with a life of less than 50 years and retirement relief.
Persons who are not resident in Ireland are liable to Irish capital gains tax on the disposal of certain specified assets such as Irish land or buildings, Irish mineral or exploration rights, assets used for a branch activity conducted in Ireland, or unquoted shares which derive their value or a greater part of their value from Irish land or buildings or exploration/exploitation rights.
In general, capital losses can be offset against capital gains arising in the same year or carried forward.
Pay Related Social Insurance (PRSI) and Universal Social Charge (USI): PRSI is a payroll tax, based on earnings, which funds various State benefits including unemployment assistance, retirement pensions, and certain medical benefits.
Both employees and employers are obliged to make PRSI contributions. Employees pay 4% of total earnings in the form of this social security contribution. </p.
An employer is obliged to pay 10. 95% of each employee’s remuneration.
There is also a USC which is payable on income at the following rates:
- The first €12,012 – 0.5%
- The next €7,862 – 2%
- The next €50,170 – 4.5%
- The remainder – 8%
USC at a rate of 11% is payable on non-PAYE income in excess of €100,000.
Holding Company Regime: Irish tax legislation provides that:
- a participation exemption whereby capital gains which are made by a company (the “investor company”) on the qualifying disposal of a substantial shareholding in a subsidiary (the “investee company”) are exempt from tax
- a 12.5% corporation tax rate on foreign dividends repatriated from foreign traded income where certain conditions are satisfied
- no relevant thin capitalisation
- onshore pooling of tax credits for certain foreign interest, branch profits and dividends; effectively this means that it will be usually possible to eliminate any Irish tax cost on the repatriation of profits to Ireland and
- extensive treaty network
Intellectual Property (IP) regime: Ireland’s IP regime combined with the tax incentives already outlined make Ireland an attractive location for establishing an IP holding company to effectively manage and exploit IP.
Research and Development tax credits: In addition to allowing a tax deduction in computing trading income, Ireland also provides a tax credit of 25% of capital and revenue expenditure (including, to a certain extent, sub-contracted R&D spend) on qualifying research and development expenditure. Consequently, the effective value of the tax deduction and tax credit is 37.5%. The credit may be used in a variety of ways, including to reward key employees by effectively giving them the benefit of credit.,/p>
R&D tax credit claims must be made within 12 months of the end of the accounting period in which the expenditure is incurred.
Knowledge development box: From 1 January 2016, Irish registered companies that generate profits as a result of qualifying research and development activities on certain intellectual property assets including copyrighted software and patented inventions qualify for an effective corporation tax rate of 6.25% which is half the usual rate.
Executives coming to Ireland – Special Assignee Relief Programme (SARP): The SARP targets the assignment of key foreign based individuals to their Irish based operations. The relief operates by exempting from income tax 30% of qualifying employment income in excess of €75,000. It should be noted:
- This relief applies to employees assigned to work in Ireland for a minimum period of 12 months and can be availed of for a maximum period of five years
- Assignees arriving in 2012 to 2020 are eligible
- New hires are not eligible – the employee must have been a full-time employee of a company incorporated and resident in a Double Tax Treaty
- Country and must have exercised the duties for that employer outside Ireland for the 6 months prior to arrival in Ireland. In addition, the individual must not have been tax resident in Ireland for the 5 tax years preceding the year of arrival (Irish domiciles/citizens are not excluded)
Generous fiscal incentives are available to foreign companies looking to invest in Ireland.
These packages are flexible and vary from project to project. A summary of the primary grant aids available is as follows:
- capital grants contributing towards the cost of fixed assets, including: site purchase and development, buildings and new plant and equipment
- where a factory building is rented, a grant towards the reduction of the annual rental payments may be available instead
- employment grants to companies which will create jobs. Normally, one half is paid on certification that the job has been created and the balance one year later, provided the job still exists
- training grants to cover the full cost of certain training initiatives. Covered costs include trainees’ wages, travel and subsistence expenses and engagement of instructors, consultants to train
- research and development grants in respect of approved research and development work, including product and process development, feasibility studies and technology acquisitions
In addition, Enterprise Ireland has a significant support packages for entrepreneurs and start-ups.
The Central Bank of Ireland is responsible for banking and financial regulation. As Ireland is a member of the euro zone, some central bank functions are shared with other members of the European System of Central Banks.
The two main Irish banks are Allied Irish Banks plc and Bank of Ireland. RBS / Ulster Bank, HSBC, KBC and Barclays also have a retail and / or business presence in Ireland.
Copyright, trade marks, patents, designs and ancillary rights such as confidential information are all capable of being protected in Ireland.
The Copyright and Related Rights Act 2000 transposed certain EU directives into Irish law and provides protection for specific works such as computer programs and original databases as well as literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works during the lifetime of the author and for 70 years thereafter. A new Copyright Act 2019 was enacted earlier this year. This Act (which has not yet been implemented) aims to make better provision for copyright and other intellectual property protection in the digital era.
Trade marks are protected under common law by way of action for passing off and also under statute by the Trade Marks Act 1996 (as amended), which implements European legislation aimed at harmonising trade mark law throughout the EU. It is possible to register a trade mark which would only have effect in Ireland. Trade marks which are granted are registered for ten years and are renewable indefinitely for successive periods of ten years subject to the applicable legislation.
The Irish patent system is governed by the Patents Act 1992 (as amended) and there are two types of patent protection available:
- a full-term patent
- a short-term patent
The full-term patent lasts for 20 years from the date of filing, provided that annual renewal fees are paid and the patent is not revoked at any stage. The term of a patent can be extended via a supplementary protection certificate for a maximum of five years where the patent is for a medicinal product for human or animal use or for plant production. The short-term patent lasts for ten years and as with full-term patents supplementary protection certificates may be obtained.
The Industrial Designs Act 2001 is the main legislation in Ireland governing design rights. The Act provides that a design must be new and have individual character to be registrable and a registered design is capable of being protected for a maximum period of up to 25 years.
Ireland has implemented the Electronic Commerce Directive which applies to almost all organisations who offer commercial services to customers online. The legislation addresses and legitimises electronic contracts and signatures. It provides that certain information must be provided by an online service provider in a manner which is easily, directly and permanently accessible to recipients of a service.
There is a range of legislation that provides protection to consumers when concluding contacts online. For example, the European Union (Consumer Information, Cancellation and Other Rights) Regulations 2013 (SI 484 of 2013) provides that before a binding contract for distance selling can be entered into, a trader must supply certain information to a consumer (including the price of the goods, taxes and delivery costs). It also gives consumers the right to cancel a distance contract.
Data protection in Ireland is governed by the EU General Data Protection Regulation (EU 679/2016) (GDPR) and the Data Protection Acts 1988 – 2018 (the Acts). The GDPR came into force on 25 May 2018 and standardised data protection laws across the European Union.
Businesses must adhere to data protection principles specified in the legislation and must show that the processing of the data is necessary for a particular reason(s), known as a “lawful basis”, eg to perform a contract with the data subject or to comply with another legal obligation. The GDPR increased standards and sanctions as well as introducing the principles of accountability (eg business must be able to demonstrate compliance with the GDPR) and transparency (eg any information / communication provided by businesses relating to the processing of personal data must be easily accessible, easy to understand and be in clear and plain language).
There are restrictions on the transfer of personal data to a country outside of the European Economic Area. Such a transfer may not take place unless that particular country or territory ensures an adequate level of protection for the privacy of its data subjects in relation to the processing of personal data. It is possible to transfer data to an “unapproved” state provided binding corporate rules or an EU approved model contract is put in place. The GDPR has extra-territorial effect, applying to controllers and processors based outside the EU.
Employment law in Ireland is largely based on EU law.
The Basics – What are the Obligations of Employers in Ireland?
From March 2019 employees must be provided with a statement of 5 core terms of employment within 5 days of starting employment. These terms include hours of work, manner of calculating pay etc. The remaining terms must be furnished within 2 months.
The national minimum wage rate for an experienced adult is €9.80 per hour. Since 4 March 2019, wage rates are based solely on age: 70% of adult rate for under 18s; 80% of adult rate for 18 year olds and 90% of adult rate for 19 year olds.
Employers are not legally obliged to pay sick leave.
Employers should establish certain policies and procedures – including disciplinary, grievance and dignity at work (including bullying and harassment,) data protection, absenteeism policies.
In order to work in Ireland a non-EEA National, unless they are exempted, must hold a valid employment permit. In 2016, the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation launched the employment permits online system with the aim of establishing faster turn-around times and facilitating easier online submission of supporting documents. The Department has published a very helpful user guide on its website.
The main forms of permit are still the same – namely the Critical Skills Permit, the Intra-Company Transfer Employment Permit, the General Employment Permit and the Contract for Services Permit.
There are also other forms of permit for specific situations. Applying for the most appropriate form of permit should be carefully reviewed at the outset to reduce the risk of refusal and time delays.
Property ownership in Ireland is broadly divided into two categories – freehold (where a property is owned outright) and leasehold (where a tenant holds the property subject to the terms of a lease). A lease may be a long lease, for example for 999 years, or alternatively a shorter “occupational lease”, typically for a term between ten and 25 years.
In general, there are no restrictions on non-Irish or non-EU persons or companies acquiring or leasing commercial property in Ireland. When buying, selling or leasing property in Ireland, it is prudent to consult a solicitor as early in the process as possible. It is also prudent for purchasers and tenants of property to have the property surveyed to determine its physical and structural condition. This is because the principle of Caveat Emptor (“let the buyer beware”) applies in Ireland so that a purchaser or tenant takes property in its actual condition with no requirement on the seller or landlord to ensure that it is free from defects.