Maples Group > Dublin, Ireland > Firm Profile

Maples Group

Ireland > Banking and finance Tier 1

Maples Group continues to be a frequent counsel to lenders and borrowers, with a notable upswing in pandemic-related engagements from the retail and hospitality industries. Real estate investment, development and acquisition finance grew for the firm towards the end of 2020 and into 2021, along with Covid-19 Guarantee Scheme mandates. Fund financing remains a key forte for the firm in Dublin with the firm representing a series of major fund borrowers. It has also maintained solid connections to Ireland’s pillar banks. Elizabeth Bradley is an established name in the market, frequently advising on a wide range of financing products and loan portfolio sales. Sarah Francis continues to cement her standing in new money lending, restructurings and loan portfolio transactions, while Alma O’Sullivan is another emerging talent. Vanessa Lawlor and Nichola O’Reilly were promoted to of counsel in 2021 and 2022, respectively.

Practice head(s):

Alma O’Sullivan; Elizabeth Bradley; Sarah Francis

Other key lawyers:

Vanessa Lawlor; Nichola O’Reilly

Key clients

Allied Irish Bank, plc.

The Governor and Company of the Bank of Ireland

Ulster Bank Ireland DAC

Real Estate Loan Management

Madison International Realty

Marathon Asset Management, LP

Goldman Sachs International

Urban Volt Limited


Fortress Investment Corp LLC

Tristan Capital Partners LLP

Nuritas Limited

Lloyds Bank plc

HSBC Bank plc

Bain Capital Credit

Barclays Bank PLC

Legal & General Assurance Society

New Fortress Energy

National Westminster Bank Plc

Teamwork Holdings Limited

Santander UK plc

Ireland > Investment funds Tier 1

Maples Group is a global titan in the investment funds arena and through its substantial Dublin presence it has become a recognised leader in the Irish market. The funds and investment management group features 17 partners and some over 50 investment funds specialists. It is at the forefront of key industry trends such as ESG and sustainable finance, and the revised Irish Investment Limited Partnership (ILP) structure. The firm is a leader in private equity and private credit funds, and advised Bain Capital Credit on the authorisation of Bain Capital Special Situations Europe II ILP by the Central Bank of Ireland, the first ILP authorised by the Central Bank under the new Investment ILP Act. Peter Stapleton leads the Dublin team, which includes senior names Stephen Carty and John Gallagher, who are noted for regulatory matters, along with Eimear O’Dwyer and ESG funds expert Ian Conlon.

Practice head(s):

Peter Stapleton

Other key lawyers:

Stephen Carty; Adam Donohue; Ian Conlon; Eimear O’Dwyer; John Gallagher; Deirdre McIlvenna; Philip Keegan; Lorna Smith; Aaron Mulcahy; Ronan Cremin; Niamh O’Shea


‘To me, what sets Maples apart is their strength in depth and their dedication to understanding our business. They are the outstanding market leader in Irish investment funds.’

‘Peter Stapleton is unquestionably a market leader in Irish investment funds. He is widely regarded as the best funds and investment management lawyer in Ireland and is trusted and respected by industry peers, the Central Bank and Irish Government.’

‘John Gallagher has a deep knowledge about the Irish funds and the regulatory environment. John provides us with excellent insights on a consistent basis.’

‘Stephen Carty, the head of Financial Services Regulatory, is very knowledgeable on the technical aspects of MiFID and navigating the PRISM regime. Lorna Smith has recently joined the team and brings a wealth of experience on the insurance and credit servicing side.’

‘Ian Conlon is exceptional, he has incredible knowledge of the ESG and sustainable investment space.’

‘Eimear O’Dwyer is excellent, extremely practical and thoroughly focussed on delivering for our business.’

‘Adam Donoghue is very strong on the private equity side. He led the team on the first ILP launched earlier this year.’

‘The Maples partners are all extremely knowledgeable and experienced investment funds and regulatory lawyers. They are supported by an exceptional group of bright, commercially focussed associates. I would see them as being quite a progressive firm, there is always a good blend of gender diversity amongst their teams and they are the only Irish law firm to have scale overseas with dedicated Irish funds teams based in North America, UK and Asian markets. I am also very impressed with the Maples technology offering, they seem ahead of their peers on that front and increasingly think of a “full service” offering to their funds clients.’

Key clients


Russell Investments

Neuberger Berman

HarbourVest Partners

Sagard Holdings

TPG Global

Brilliance Asset Management

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co (“KKR”)

Blantyre Capital

8F Aquaculture ICAV

Kontiki Capital Management

Bain Capital Credit

Marshall Wace

Blackstone Group

Man Group

CVC Capital Partners

Starz Real Estate

Domain Capital Group

Marathon Asset Management

Artisan Partners

Deutsche Bank

Insight Investment

Tudor Capital

Nippon Value Investors

BennBridge Capital


Credit Suisse

Morgan Stanley

Goldman Sachs

Banco Santander International

IPM Informed Portfolio Management AB

Arctic Fund Management

Earnest Partners

AXA Investment Managers Paris

SMT Capital



Guggenheim Partners

Portolan Capital Management

StepStone Global

Marcho Partners

Qube Research & Technologies

IAM Investments

Waterfall Asset Management

Troy Asset Management


Northern Trust Asset Management

Coronation Fund Managers

Selwood Asset Management LLP

Winton Capital

Sanderson Asset Management LLP

Nomura Investment Solutions plc

Innocap Investment Management Inc.

Sanlam Investment Management Holdings

Sector Asset Management

Avestus Capital Partners

Kepos Capital

Cardinal Capital Group

36 South Capital Advisors

Lansdowne Partners

Invest AD



AKO Capital

Emso Asset Management

Metlife Investment Management

AllianceBernstein LP

Troy Asset Management

Greencoat Capital

BC Partners

Algebris Investments

Shenkman Capital

Eminence Capital

Work highlights

  • Acted as lead counsel for the SFDR implementation project for the Neuberger Berman Group, across both their retail and private equity business.
  • Advised Bain on the first ILP authorised by the Central Bank of Ireland under the new Investment Limited Partnership (Amendment) Act 2020.
  • Advised Amundi, Europe’s largest asset manager, on a significant regulatory conversion to restructure its Irish investment management business as a ‘super-ManCo’.

Ireland > Asset finance Tier 2

Maples Group brings an additional international dimension to the aviation finance segment in Ireland, thanks to its strong asset finance expertise in London, Singapore and other key centres. The firm has an impressive client base of airlines, lenders, lessors and investors. Mary O’Neill is an experienced professional in asset–backed securitisations, portfolio asset sales and purchases, and operating and finance lease structures. She frequently works alongside London partner Donna Ager , who brings further international and Irish law expertise to the Dublin practice.

Practice head(s):

Donna Ager; James Kinsley

Other key lawyers:

Mary O’Neill


‘The team is responsive and “knows its topic”.’

‘Mary O’Neill is very approachable and is very responsive on matters of Irish Law.’

‘The Maples Ireland team are very responsive. We work with them for many clients on aviation finance, leasing and trading transactions.’

‘Donna Ager – heads the team, very commercial and straight talking. Experienced in Aviation Finance.’

Mary O Neill – also excellent, very personable and well liked by clients. Runs an efficient team.’

Key clients



ABL Aviation



Air Asia

Bain Capital

Cross Ocean Partners

Deucalion (MLFG)

Deutsche Bank



Airbus Financial Services

Avolon Aerospace

Novus Aviation

DVB Bank


Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE) Ltd.

Investec Bank

Infinity Transportation

Elix Aviation Capital

JP Morgan

China Exlm

Santander Bank SA

SMBC Aviation Capital

Societe Generale

Sky Leasing



Flight Lease

Waterfall Asset Management


Work highlights

  • Advised Avolon and the issuer group on all Irish and Cayman law aspects of a $620m asset-backed securitisation.
  • Advised Bain Capital Credit, in partnership with Windward Aircraft Management Company Limited as asset manager, on the acquisition of a portfolio of four aircraft, on lease to four different operating lessees.
  • Acted as Irish counsel and Cayman counsel to Sky Leasing on a newly formed aircraft finance and leasing structure for the initial acquisition and leasing 11 new and used aircraft.

Ireland > Capital markets Tier 2

Maples Group is a notable player in the CLO market, recognised for its role as regular counsel to collateral manager clients. The Dublin team is also able to rely on the support and expertise within the wider firm, particularly in understanding both US and European CLO markets. In the repackaging sphere, the firm advises a number of global banks in connection with Irish products. It is also acknowledged for its expertise in combining DCM and investment fund technologies for global asset and specialist investment managers to create specialist Irish SPV issuer platforms. The ECM team is best known for cross-border transactions, including SPAC IPOs. Stephen McLoughlin has become a prominent figure in the Irish structured finance market, including in CLO, RMBS and other securitisation structures. Callaghan Kennedy is another key partner in CLOs and other asset-backed securitisations, while Patrick Quinlan is a senior practitioner in the ECM field. Structured finance expert Nichola O’Reilly made of counsel in 2022.

Practice head(s):

Stephen McLoughlin


‘The team is deep and has a longstanding experience in all areas of capital markets including particularly European CLOs. They have a great US CLO practice out of Cayman and their Dublin office complements this well for the European CLO practice. Outside of CLOs, where they are pre-eminent, they have an excellent general structured finance and financing practice.’

‘We work with Stephen McLoughlin and Cal Kennedy. Both are excellent, extremely responsive and know both the technical law and their markets extremely well. They are great fun to deal with and don’t take silly points, having an excellent judgement as to what is important on a deal that comes from seeing such a large swathe of their market.’

Key clients

Liberty Global

Carlson Travel

Cabot Financial UK

Goldman Sachs International


Barclays Capital

Mizuho International

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Morgan Stanley

HPS Investment Partners LLC

Fair Oaks Capital Limited

TwentyFour Asset Management LLP

Cabot Financial UK

BlueBay Asset Management LLP

Spire Partners

North Wall Capital

Capital Four Management

Nomura International plc

Guggenheim Partners Europe Limited

Goldentree Loan Management LP


Invesco Senior Secured Management Inc

Angelo Gordon

Palmer Square Capital

Natwest Markets plc

Voya Investment Management

Neuberger Berman

Draper Esprit Plc

J&E Davy



Elliott Management


Work highlights

  • Advised on the tap issuance of $90m senior secured notes due 2027, providing finance to Liberty Communications PR Holdings effected by way of a private placement with specific investors, and a new issuance of $820m secured notes due 2029 by LCPR Senior Secured Financing.
  • Acted as Irish counsel to both Splitit Treasury Europe Designated Activity Company and Goldman Sachs Bank USA on a $150m receivables funding facility for Splitit Payments Limited.
  • Advised Palmer Square Capital Management in relation to the issue of €356m tranched CLO notes which were listed on the Global Exchange Market of the Euronext Dublin by Palmer Square European CLO 2021-2 Designated Activity Company.

Ireland > Commercial, corporate and M&A Tier 2

Maples Group has an outstanding record in domestic and cross-border M&A, most notably in the healthcare and technology sectors. The firm is also a burgeoning force in private equity and venture capital investments. Colm Rafferty co-heads the Dublin corporate group, with a notably strong record in technology deals, including private equity and venture capital investments. Head of the equity capital markets team, Patrick Quinlan is another leading practitioner in the team, noted for both public and private M&A, and the practice’s senior ranks were strengthened in March 2022 with the promotions of Morgan Pierse to partner and William Darmody to of counsel. Former Dublin-based global head of the corporate group Edward Miller has retired from the firm.

Practice head(s):

Colm Rafferty


‘Specialised in fundraising and M&A activity. Deep knowledge and provide practical and commercial advice.’

Key clients

Access Control Real Estate

Advanced Manufacturing Control Systems

Air Transat


Altify (previously called The Target Account Selling Group)





Argos Soditic

Arista Networks


Assa Abloy


Beats Medical


Bio-Medical Research (t/a Slendertone)



Buymie Technologies




Cantor Fitzgerald

Carav Holdings

Cardinal Carlyle

Carroll’s Meats

Cashel Fund plc




Clavis Insight

Clean Communications Limited

Conrad Hotel

Core Computer Consultants Limited


Credit Suisse



Digital Marketing Institute


Draper Esprit

Emerald Airlines

Equity Zen


Fieldaware Group Limited


First Analysis




Gael Form Limited

GC Aesthetics

Greenfield Global

Greyhound Waste + Recycling

GW Plastics

Gym Plus Coffee

Harkness Screens

Home Store + More

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

iHeed Health Training Limited

Innovative Interfaces

Integrity 360

Irish Relocation Services

J&E Davy



Linked P2P

Lioncourt Capital

Marathon Asset Management

MBK Partners


MML Growth Capital Partners


Myntum Limited

National Treasury Management Agency/Ireland Strategic Fund

Nektr Technologies


Nimbus Investments

Northwell health,inc.





Paradice Investment Management LLC


PMD Solutions

PQ Bypass


Prodigy Learning

ProTek Medical Limited

Quest Software

Quinn industrial holdings


Revelate Capital

Rockall Technologies


Safefood 360

Scandinavian Tobacco Group A/S

Scopely , inc.


Shaw Academy

Shenzhen Wongtee International Enterprise Corporation

Sky Aviation Leasing

Smith and Williamson


Space Property Investment Holdings Limited

Starboard Value

ST Engineering

Strategic Capital Investment fund plc

Susquehanna Growth Equity

Synova Capital




Techno-path Manufacturing Limited

The Websummit


Upland Software

Urban Volt

Vela Games

Version 1

Waterfall Asset Management



Wia Technologies

Wychwood Capital Partners

Your Smile Direct

Spotlight Orla Care

Work highlights

  • Advised Taxamo on its acquisition by US company Vertex.
  • Advised Boxever on the Irish corporate legal aspects of its sale to Sitecore.
  • Advised Oaktree Capital on a transaction relating to the acquisition of 80% of NAMA’s interest in the Irish Glass Bottle Plant site in Poolbeg, Dublin 4 by way of a subscription for shares in the ultimate holding company of the site by an Oaktree vehicle.

Ireland > Construction Tier 2

The construction team at Maples Group advises the full range of parties in the construction sector on both contentious and non-contentious work. The team is active in the rapidly growing private rental and logistics infrastructure sectors, and is also involved in major mixed-use developments. In addition to handling the negotiation and drafting of construction documents, the team represents developers, contractors and suppliers in high-profile adjudication and litigation, including acting in High Court cases. Practice head Mary Dunne leads the team’s advisory work; Kevin Harnett has now left the firm.

Practice head(s):

Mary Dunne

Key clients

Abestos Capital Partners

Allied Irish Banks

AMP Capital Investors UK Limited

Apollo Management International LLP

Ardmac Limited

Ashurst LLP


BAM Contracting Limited

Bank of Ireland

Caffe Nero Ireland Limited

Cairn Homes Plc

Cardinal Capital Group Limited

CareChoice Group Limited

Chandos Investments Plc

Clúid Housing Association

Collen Construction Limited

Construction Industry Federation

Deutsche Bank

Deutsche Borse AG

Deutsche Hypothekenbank

Duggan Brothers (Contractors) Limited

Durkan New Homes Unlimited Company

Eagle Horizons Limited

Earlsfort Centre Hotel Proprietors Limited

EGIS Lagan Services Limited No

Ennis Property Finance DAC

Ferrovial Agroman (Ireland) Limited

G. & T. Crampton

Gas Networks Ireland

Goldman Sachs

Grant Thornton Limited

Green Reit PLC

Greenfield Global Limited

Grid Network Services Ireland

GW Plastics Limited


Irish Asphalt Limited

Irish Water

JJ Rhatigan

John Paul Construction Limited

John Sisk (Holdings) Limited

JSL Group (Stewart Construction)

K&J Townmore Construction Limited

Kane Group Building Services Limited

Kerrigan Sheanon Newman

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.

Lagan Clare Joint Venture

Lagan Holdings

Laing O’Rourke Ireland Limited

Lugus Capital Advisors


Marathon Asset Management

Marchford Limited


McKeon Group

Michael Slattery & Associates

Midland Construction & Engineering Limited

MMD Construction Limited

Multi Ireland

Murphy International Limited

Mythen Construction

New Century Engineering Limited

Newmarket RVAM No 2 Limited

Oaktree Capital Management Limited

Obrascon Huarte Lain SA

Passage Healthcare

PJ Hegarty & Sons

Precision Construction Limited

Regan Civil Engineering Limited

Sisk Steconfer JV

Somague Engenharia SA

St Stephen’s Green Funds ICAV

Tifco Limited

Townlink Construction Limited

Transdev Ireland

Transport Infrastructure Ireland

Tristan Capital Partners LLP

Ulster Bank

Vision Contracting Limited

Walls Construction Limited

Wills Bros Civil Engineering Limited

Zhol Sapa LLP

BCP Asset Management

Dublin Aerospace Limited

Hogan Lovells (Paris) Limited

Revelate Capital Limited

Sanigest International

TJ O’Connor & Associates

Twin Point Capital

Muckle LLP

Quinn Industrial Holdings DAC

Palm Capital Partners

Rhatigan OHL Limited

Alucraft Limited

Henderson Park

Work highlights

  • Advised Tristan Capital Partners on the acquisition and development of multiple high-profile private rental sector apartment schemes.
  • Advised Avestus on the acquisition of numerous apartment schemes spread across Co Dublin.
  • Advised Oaktree Capital in relation to the acquisition of Nama’s interest in the Irish Glass Bottle plant site in Poolbeg, Dublin.

Ireland > Dispute resolution Tier 2

Maples Group has evolved its practice to centre on financial services and banking disputes, commercial real estate litigation, and regulatory investigations and enforcement. In the financial services segment, the firm is noted for cross-border tax disputes. Brian Clarke is a senior disputes practitioner with an impressive record in Commercial Court cases and arbitrations. Alan O’Sullivan is an experienced figure in banking litigation, commercial litigation, lending enforcement and contentious insolvency. Eugene McCormick, who is also experienced in insolvency matters, was promoted to partner in March 2022.

Practice head(s):

Robin McDonnell

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Michael McAteer & Paul McCann of Grant Thornton, Joint Administrators of Quinn Insurance Limited (“QIL”)

The joint liquidators (Paul McCann and Michael McAteer of Grant Thornton) of the Treasury Holdings Group

KC Capital Property Group DAC

Belfry Investment Funds

Energoinvest Reach Active Limited (“ERA”)

Pepper Finance Corporation (Ireland) DAC

The Caffé Nero Group

Everyday Finance DAC

RediResi Isen Limited

LRC Group

Ireland > Insolvency and corporate restructuring Tier 2

Maples Group has a broad-based practice with a fine reputation in representing receivers and liquidators in headline insolvencies and in advising private equity firms in relation to the acquisitions of distressed loans. It also frequently advises a number of major lenders and creditors in this area. Robin McDonnell leads the dispute resolution and insolvency team and has extensive experience in compulsory and voluntary liquidations, examinerships, receiverships, schemes of arrangement and bankruptcies. Recently promoted partner Karole Cuddihy is a restructuring and insolvency specialist.

Practice head(s):

Robin McDonnell

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Michael McAteer and Paul McCann of Grant Thornton, in their capacity as the Joint Official Liquidators of Treasury Holdings and 15 related companies

Pepper Asset Servicing

Myles Kirby

Freddie White of Grant Thornton, in his capacity as the Liquidator of Enterprise Insurance Company

Allied Irish Banks, p.l.c.

Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of Mallinckrodt plc

Ireland > Real estate Tier 2

In the real estate space, Maples Group is highly rated for its work acting for investment funds and asset managers. In addition to advising on acquisitions and disposals, including handling the financing of deals, the team provides assistance with landlord and tenant matters. The practice is active across a range of asset classes, including greenfield development sites, commercial units, residential apartments and office space. Diarmuid Mawe leads the team. Other key contacts include Craig Kenny, who specialises in the commercial property sector.

Practice head(s):

Diarmuid Mawe

Other key lawyers:


‘Maples have a great international platform and range of services.’

‘Craig Kenny is a very good mix of legal detail and commerciality. He is personable and engaged, and prices work competively.’

‘Speed and attention to detail.’

‘Diarmuid Mawe is easy to work with and the service we get is 100%.’

‘Excellent response times and quality of advice.’

‘Diarmuid Mawe is top class.’

‘First class on real estate – highly responsive, excellent, commercially orientated advice, sensible on fees.’

‘Diarmuid Mawe is a top-quality real estate lawyer in all respects.’

Key clients

Marathon Asset Management LLP

Glenveagh Properties plc

Tristian Capital Partners


Aviva Ireland

Archer Hotel Group

Signature Capital

Irish Life Assurance plc

Green Property

Falcon Asset Management

Orange Capital Partners

Quadoro Investment GmbH

Grafton Group

BNP Paribas REIM

Lioncor Developments

Deutsche Borse


Avestus Capital Partners

Henderson Park

Goldman Sachs

Marlet Property Group

Savills Investment Management

Work highlights

  • Advising Goldman Sachs on all landlord and tenant matters at the Blanchardstown Centre, Blanchardstown, Dublin, Ireland’s largest shopping centre and retail park development, including negotiating significant new leases.
  • Advising BNP Paribas REIM on the acquisition, development and leasing of a new state-of-the-art logistics facility at Kingswood Business Park, Dublin.
  • Advised Allied Irish Banks plc in relation to the refinancing of the O’Flynn Group’s significant Irish real estate portfolio, which involved the re-taking of security across the entire portfolio.

Ireland > Tax Tier 2

Maples Group is particularly well known for its expertise in funds and CLO-related tax matters, along with its steady flow of corporate tax engagements. It is also a growing force in tax controversy and litigation, and continues to offer a compelling cross-border and multi-jurisdictional service. Department head Andrew Quinn has an established record in the CLO and broader financing segment and William Fogarty is active in real estate and debt structuring, while Lynn Cramer provides additional senior-level experience, particularly in the investment funds and private equity fields.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Quinn

Other key lawyers:

William Fogarty; Lynn Cramer; Grainne O’ Loughlin


‘The quality of its people. They are extremely professional and apart from their obvious technical knowledge they are capable of exercising a high degree of judgement as circumstances require’

The Maples team in Ireland is knowledgeable, responsive and engaging; it is a privilege and a pleasure to work with them. They combine technical excellence with commercial acumen.

‘They provide a high level of client service , always ensuring that client deadlines can be met regardless of the inconvenience to themselves The stand out individuals are William Fogarty and Grainne O’ Loughlin.’

‘Will Fogarty and Lynn Cramer are both outstanding. They have helped out in complex areas for sophisticated clients. They are unafraid of technical challenges while also being pragmatic and commercial. The whole team is of a similar calibre.’

‘Will Fogarty is the complete package. Smart, practical, knowledgeable, responsive, and experienced.’

Key clients

HPS Partners

Apollo Global Management


Morgan Stanley

Marathon Asset Management

Allied Irish Bank plc

Bain Capital

Avestus Capital Partners

Waterfall Asset Management

Oaktree Capital

Guggenheim Investment Partners

Cardinal Capital Group

Official Committee of Creditors of Mallinckrodt plc

Erisbeg Partners

Quadoro Doric

CVC Credit Partners



Goldman Sachs International

Mizuho International plc

Jefferies International Limited

ING Bank N.V.

Liberty Global

BlueBay Asset Management LLP

Spire Partners

Carlson Travel

Capital Four Management

Nomura International plc

Goldentree Loan Management LP


Invesco Senior Secured Management Inc

Angelo Gordon

Palmer Square Capital

Natwest Markets plc

Voya Investment Management

Neuberger Berman

Sixth Street Partners


Falko Regional Aircraft Limited

Arena Partners

Work highlights

  • Advised Oaktree Capital LP on the acquisition of a significant Irish real estate opportunity, Poolbeg Strategic Development Zone, as part of a joint venture with the National Asset Management Agency and the Ronan Group.
  • Advised Susquehanna International Group in recent tax litigation cases stated to the High Court, in particular, successfully advised on a motion for the Group Relief Case to be entered into the Irish Commercial Court.
  • Acted as Irish tax and legal counsel to both Splitit Treasury Europe Designated Activity Company and Goldman Sachs Bank USA on a $150m receivables funding facility for Splitit Payments Limited, a global payment solutions provider.

Ireland > Projects and PPP Tier 3

Maples Group leverages its expertise in the banking and funds space to advise on the financing of projects, particularly those developed under a PPP model. The team also assists funds and developers with the planning, design and construction of care homes, residential properties and commercial developments. Practice head Mary Dunne has more than 25 years’ experience in this area, specialising in finance and PPP work.

Practice head(s):

Mary Dunne

Key clients

Allied Irish Banks plc

AMP Capital Investors UK Limited



Bain Capital


BNP Paribas Real Estate Investment Management


Cardinal Capital Group

Eagle Horizons



Gas Networks Ireland


Irish Water

JB Barry and Partners Limited


Korea Development Bank

Korea Development Bank

Macquarie No Marlet

Palm Capital Partners

Passage Healthcare

Rhatigan/OHL consortium

Royal Haskoning of the Netherlands (RHDHV S.A.R.L)

Sanigest Internacional



TJ O’Connor and Associates


Tristan Capital Partners

Twin Point Capital


Version 1 Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising Twin Point Capital, as one of the sponsors, on the rollout of broadband throughout Ireland, one of the country’s largest infrastructure projects to date.
  • Advising Macquarie and its funders on social housing PPP projects and the Community Nursing Units PPP project currently in procurement.
  • Advising Fortress on the development of Ireland’s first LNG terminal.

Ireland > Employment Tier 4

Maples Group has extensive experience in advising domestic and international clients on all aspects of Irish employment law including high-stakes contentious matters, benefits, incentives and immigration. It represents clients in high-value corporate transactions, complex High Court proceedings, WRC claims, business-critical workplace investigations and financial services regulatory matters. The team is led by Karen Killalea, who has established a reputation for handling contractual matters, sensitive investigations, TUPE, restructuring and senior executive dismissals. Ciara Ni Longaigh provides additional support at the associate level.

Practice head(s):


‘Very strong subject knowledge, very responsive when we have a query.’

‘Easy to deal with, translate legal matters into easy to understand business (and everyday) language. Very competent with the subject matter. Provide a balanced view on options when the issue being considered is not straightforward.’

Key clients

Cardinal Capital Group

Remitly Europe Limited

Taoglas Limited

Colas Contracting Limited

Falcon AM Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Cardinal Capital Group on the employment aspects of a share purchase transaction whereby Cardinal Capital acquired Mowlam Healthcare.
  • Advised Colas Contracting Limited on agency worker and contractor models in Ireland, the current SEO structures, health and safety matters.

Ireland > Information technology

Since Claire Morrissey joined the firm in October 2020 from A&L Goodbody LLP, Maples Group has developed a practice advising clients on corporate, commercial and data protection matters in the IT space.

The Maples Group, through its a leading international law firm Maples and Calder, advises global financial, institutional, business and private clients on the laws of the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Ireland, Jersey and Luxembourg. With offices in key jurisdictions around the world, the Maples Group has specific strengths in areas of corporate commercial, finance, investment funds, litigation and trusts. Maintaining relationships with leading legal counsel, the Group leverages this local expertise to deliver an integrated service offering for global business initiatives.

Managing Partner Peter 1 6192024
Head of Employment Karen 1 619 2037
Asset finance/aviation Donna 20 74661712
Asset finance/aviation Mary O'Neillmary.o' 1 619 2105
Head of Dispute Resolution & Insolvency Robin 1 6192726
Commercial Litigation & Dispute resolution Alan O'Sullivanalan.o' 1 619
Dispute resolution Brian 1 619 2042
Commercial litigation/dispute resolution Kevin 1 619 2036
Projects & Construction Mary 1 619 2021
Corporate Patrick 1 619 2028
Corporate Colm 1 619 2058
Head of Finance Stephen 1 619 2736
Structured Finance / Debt Capital Markets Callaghan 1 619 2716
Banking and Finance Sarah 1 619 2753
Banking and Finance Elizabeth 1 619 2737
Banking and Finance Alma O'Sullivanalma.o' 1 619 2055
Tax Lynn 1 619 20 66
Financial Services Regulatory Stephen 1 619 2023
Financial Services Regulatory Lorna 1 619 2125
Investment Funds Deidre 1 619 2064
Co-Head Investment Funds Adam 30 7466 1711
Co-Head Investment Funds Eimear O'Dwyereimear.o' 1 619 2065
Investment Funds Ian 1 619 2714
Investment Funds John 1 619 2073
Listing services Ciaran 1 619 2033
Property Diarmuid 1 619 2050
Property Craig 1 619 2765
Tax Andrew 1 619 2038
Tax William 1 619 2730
Tax Lynn 1 619 2066
Tax David 1 619 2779
Investment Funds Aaron 1 619 2104
Investment Funds Philip 1 619 2122
Investment Funds Niamh O'Sheaniamh.o' 1 619 2722
Investment Funds Ronan 1 619 2756
Data, Commercial & Technology Claire 1 619 2113
Donna Ager photoMs Donna AgerDonna is head of Maples and Calder’s European Aviation team and is…
Elizabeth Bradley photoMs Elizabeth BradleyElizabeth is a partner of Maples and Calder’s Banking and Finance team…
Stephen Carty photoMr Stephen CartyStephen is a partner of Maples and Calder’s Funds & Investment Management team in…
Brian Clarke photoMr Brian ClarkeBrian is a partner of Maples and Calder’s Dispute Resolution & Insolvency…
Ian Conlon photoMr Ian ConlonIan is a partner of Maples and Calder’s Funds & Investment Management team…
Lynn Cramer photo Lynn CramerLynn is a partner of Maples and Calder’s Tax team in the…
Karole Cuddihy photo Karole CuddihyKarole is a partner of Maples and Calder’s Dispute Resolution & Insolvency…
William Darmody photoMr William DarmodyWilliam is of counsel in Maples and Calder’s Corporate team in the…
Adam Donoghue photoMr Adam DonoghueAdam is a partner of Maples and Calder’s Funds & Investment Management…
Mary Dunne photoMs Mary DunneMary is a partner in Maples and Calder’s Projects & Construction team…
William Fogarty photoMr William FogartyWilliam is a partner of Maples and Calder’s Tax team in the…
Sarah Francis photoMs Sarah FrancisSarah is a partner of Maples and Calder’s Banking team in the…
John Gallagher photoMr John GallagherJohn is a partner of Maples and Calder’s Funds & Investment Management team…
Callaghan Kennedy photoMr Callaghan KennedyCallaghan is a partner of Maples and Calder’s Finance team in the…
Craig Kenny photoMr Craig KennyPartner
Karen Killalea photoMr Karen KillaleaKaren is head of Maples and Calder’s Employment team in the Maples…
Vanessa Lawlor photo Vanessa LawlorVanessa is of counsel of Maples and Calder’s Banking and Finance team…
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Finance Law in Ireland and the Outlook for 2022

2021 was a year of optimism for lawyers and other financial professionals, with Covid-19 and Brexit somewhat ‘in the rear view mirror’. There was a collective sense of enthusiasm as the country returned to ‘business as usual’ and looked towards the future.

That is not to say that 2021 was all plain sailing, as two of Ireland’s most well-known banks, Ulster Bank Ireland DAC (“Ulster“) and KBC Bank Ireland (“KBC“), announced their exit from the Irish market further narrowing the choice of lenders in this jurisdiction, leaving just Allied Irish Banks, p.l.c. (“AIB“), Bank of Ireland (“BOI“), Permanent TSB (“PTSB“) and Barclays Bank Ireland plc as the main players.

Moreover, Russia’s surprise invasion of the Ukraine has cast a long shadow over 2022 and with such resultant uncertainly, has already had a substantial impact on global markets and life more generally.

Given the current backdrop what follows is an overview of the banking and finance market in Ireland and the outlook for 2022.

Irish Economic Outlook

In February 2021, Ulster announced that they were to cease all operations after 186 years of business in Ireland. The following July, PTSB announced that they had entered into a non-binding agreement that would see them acquire €6.8 billion of Ulster’s loans (mostly personal mortgages and small business loans) and 25 of its branches. This agreement became binding in December 2021 subject to final approval by Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (“CPCC“) which is still awaited. Approval of the Minister for Finance is also required for a merger or acquisition involving a credit institution where the transaction is necessary to maintain the stability of the financial system in the state.

In June 2021, AIB agreed to purchase €4.2 billion of corporate and commercial loans from Ulster which received clearance from the CPCC a year later in April 2022. In June 2022, AIB entered into a binding agreement to purchase Ulster’s €6b tracker mortgage portfolio which at the time of publication still awaits CPCC clearance. Like the PTSB acquisition, the AIB acquisition awaits ministerial approval with there being no indication of when this will occur.

In April 2021, KBC signalled that they too were leaving the Irish market after over 40 years on the island, with CarVal Investors, acquiring its €1.1b non-performing loan book. On 22 October 2021, KBC entered into a legally binding agreement with BOI to acquire its performing loan assets (including mortgages, commercial and consumer loans), deposits and a small number of non-performing mortgages to the tune of €8.8b. This binding agreement received approval from the CPCC on 23 May 2022, though remains subject to ministerial approval.

Ulster’s parent NatWest cited an inability to generate sustainable long-term returns as the deciding factor for exiting the Irish market while KBC referenced the challenging operational context for European banks for its departure. These reasons have not put off new entrants however, with the likes of Dutch neobank ‘Bunq’ launching its new Irish lending platform following its acquisition of alternative lender Capitalfow in late 2021 with plans to plans to advance over €1.2b in new lending to Irish SMEs and property investors over the next three years.

Alternate Lenders

The Central Bank of Ireland’s (“CBI“) latest Financial Stability Note shows that Ireland, in line with global trends, is seeing non-bank lenders (“NBLs“) play an increasing role in lending markets of all types. NBLs are spread across all sectors and are filling gaps, creating niches and offering a tempting alternative to the incumbents. NBLs operating in Ireland include investment firms such as Bain, Earlsfort, Garrison and Activate.

NBLs play a vital role in driving competition in the market as they are not subject to the same stringent capital requirements of retail banks and have a greater risk appetite driven by increasing returns for their investors. It is a double edged sword as NBLs are more exposed to global financial conditions given they do not have a stable deposit base, but since the 2008 financial crisis, when traditional lenders were unable or unwilling to lend, NBLs have been very successful in increasing their market share in this jurisdiction.

The Deloitte Alternative Lender Deal Tracker Spring 20221 shows that despite concerns over the economic recovery in Ireland post Covid-19 and the prospect of interest rate hikes in 2022, 2021 was a stellar year for lending in all sectors by NBLs, boosted by deployment of ‘dry powder’ amassed by venture capital and private equity firms in 2020 and 2021. This increase in NBL lending reflected the trend seen across the wider EU.

Undoubtedly borrowers, both consumer and commercial, are benefiting from this diversification and given the reduction in the number of retail banks it will be interesting to see if alternative lenders can further consolidate the gains they’ve been making over the last number of years.

Russia Ukraine Conflict

Russia’s surprise invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 led to a period of huge uncertainty as governments, professionals and consumers distanced themselves from Russia, its regime and its businesses. This uncertainty still persists as Russia continues to show its complete disregard for the rule of law and eschews international norms of expected behaviour.

Though Ireland’s exposure to the conflict is relatively minor compared to some of our EU neighbours, we have seen direct and tangible examples of the impact it has had in this jurisdiction. Ireland’s primary exposures relate to aircraft leasing and pharmaceutical products and imports of petroleum and fertilisers.

As aircraft leasing firms severed ties with Russia, the Kremlin passed a law allowing foreign aircrafts to be added to the Russian registers ignoring the European Parliament’s demand that these aircraft be returned to lessors, leaving up to 513 aircraft worth circa $10b leased from non-Russian lessors stranded in Russia.

The long-term effects of the war in Ukraine and its upward pressure on the price of commodities, fuel and raw materials generally will have unwelcomed trickle-down consequences that will leave no sector of the economy unaffected. This negative sentiment is borne out by the CBI who have signalled that there is “considerable uncertainty” for the Irish economy going forward as a result of the Ukrainian conflict.

An a result, the CBI put on hold its plans to gradually reinstate its counter-cyclical capital buffer (“CCyB“) which was reduced to 0% in March 2020 to counteract the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. The CCyB aims to promote the sustainable provision of credit by increasing capital requirements of banks in the upward phase of a given cycle and decreasing them during a downturn and is a key tool used by the CBI to address risk in the Irish market.

Nevertheless, in June 2022, the CBI announced the gradual reintroduction of the CCyB to 0.5% with a plan to move to 1.5% over the following 12 months signalling the CBI’s view of an improving economy but with the consequence that this will eat into bank profits with the potential knock on effect of reducing the amount which banks are willing to lend.


The largest state-backed loan guarantee scheme in the history of the Irish state, the Covid-19 Credit Guarantee Scheme (the “Scheme“), which offers an 80% guarantee to facilitate up to €2 billion in lending to participating small and medium sized enterprises will finally conclude on 30 June 2022, having been extended on multiple occasions since its inception in September 2020.

To the end of April 2022, three retails banks, six non-bank lenders and 19 credit unions made 9,274 loans totalling €636,305,657 to SMEs and have been responsible for maintaining 75,123 Irish jobs in the process. Though this represents less than half of the Scheme’s €2b limit, figures show that the Scheme and other similar supports have had the desired effect of keeping business failure rates to a record low not seen since 2005/2006. By way of example, there were 401 corporate insolvencies in 2021, a decrease of over 30% from 2020.

However, as the Scheme and other pandemic related supports such as the Revenue debt warehousing scheme (“Warehousing Scheme“) are phased out, the expectation is that there will be a wave of corporate insolvencies in the Irish market. Approximately €3b is tied up in the Warehousing Scheme which will become payable from 1 January 2023, subject to any individual arrangements that Revenue reach with participants. This coupled with the planned ECB interest rate hikes and the rising energy costs faced by business as a result of the Russia/Ukraine conflict could see 2022 reversing the trend and breaking new records for all the wrong reasons. Indeed the number of business failures in Q1 2022 is some 19% higher than the same period in 2021.


Britain’s losses continue to be Ireland’s gains as the country moves forward and looks to consolidate gains achieved in the post-Brexit shake up. A recent report published by the Baking and Payments Federation of Ireland in conjunction with the Federation of International Banks Ireland (“FIBI“) has shown that large international banks operating in Ireland including AIB, BOI, Barclays, Bank of America, Citibank and others have boosted their balance sheets by as much as €200b since the Brexit referendum, second only to Germany in terms of the value of assets that were moved from UK to EU banks post-Brexit.

This increase has led to Ireland being the eight largest international banking sector in the EU and the 17th largest worldwide in 2020, up from ninth and 19th in the previous year, with Ireland ranking as the fifth largest exporter of financial services in Europe and the eighth largest worldwide.

The FIBI report suggests that this growth can be attributed in part to major growth of significant financial institutions (those supervised directly by the ECB) that use Ireland as their base to service the EU and global financial markets.

Sustainable Finance

As 2021 drew to a close, sustainable finance was high on the agenda at the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) being touted as a crucial and necessary part of the global strategy to counteract climate change. In the weeks before the conference, Sustainable Finance Ireland (“SFI“), a public-private partnership, published its National Sustainable Finance Roadmap (“Roadmap“) and set out its plans to make Ireland a leading sustainable finance centre by 2025. The Maples Group was part of the oversight committee for the development of the Roadmap.

With nearly €160b sustainable-related assets managed or listed in Ireland, Ireland already has strong green sustainable credentials but the Roadmap sets out a plan to build on this reputation. Key to this is the establishment of an international sustainable finance centre of excellence in partnership with which is among 18 actions contained in the Roadmap.

In tandem with the development of the Roadmap, Ireland’s finance industry has been getting to grips with the implementation of the EU’s Sustainable Finance Action Plan (the “Action Plan“), which includes the EU Regulation on the Establishment of a Framework to Facilitate Sustainable Investment2 (more commonly known as the Taxonomy Regulation (“TR“)) and the Sustainable Finance Disclosures Regulation (“SDFR“)3, both adopted in June 2020.

The TR sets out an EU-wide classification system and provides a common method for investors to identify environmentally sustainable economic activities and encourage private investment in those activities. The SFDR requires financial market participants to publish information on how, and to what extent, their activities align with those considered environmentally sustainable in the TR, with a core objective to mitigate ‘greenwashing’.

In order for an economic activity to qualify as environmentally sustainable, it has to substantively contribute to at least one of the six environmental objectives set out in the TR. The majority of the Level 1 measures under SFDR have applied from 10 March 2021 and the first two of the objectives under the TR, “climate change mitigation” and “climate change adaptation” have applied since January 2022. The remaining four objectives under the TR and the implementation of the Level 2 measures under SDFR will apply from 1 January 2023.

The continuing rise in green bonds was another feature of 2021 with, AIB, BOI and the Irish Electricity Supply Board (“ESB“) making green bond announcements. The ESB launched its second green bond offering of €500m to raise funds for green energy projects including renewable energy generation and green infrastructure. AIB and BOI both launched their green bond frameworks following on from inaugural €1b and €750m bond issuances in 2020 and 2021 respectively. AIB has gone on to raise a further € 750m in its second green bond issuance in 2021 and €1b from its first social bond in 2022.

It’s not only corporates who are following this trend. Since its launch in 2018, the National Treasury Management Agency has raised €6b through its Irish sovereign green bond with all issuances oversubscribed highlighting the demand in the financial market for green bonds.

Furthermore Euronext Dublin has become a leading stock exchange for green bonds and a centre of excellence for debt listings with 420 ESG bonds listed from 150 issuers globally, including government-backed entities, financial institutions and corporates.

Given the EUs strong leadership role in the continuing development and promotion of sustainable finance the future is bright for Ireland’s finance sector as we are undoubtedly well positioned to help businesses and customer’s transition to a low carbon economy. When it comes to sustainable finance, Ireland is practicing what it preaches to ensure it meets it climate targets and that there can be no accusations of ‘greenwashing’ on the Emerald Isle.

Funds Financing

The Irish funds industry has proven very adept at managing the shift toward sustainable finance and has been a key driver in promoting the sustainable finance agenda in Ireland. Figures from an Irish Funds survey of its members showed that, as of August 2021, approximately 17% of all Irish domiciled funds could be classified as either Light Green, i.e. within scope of Article 8 of SDFR and promoting environmental or social characteristics or Dark Green, within scope of Article 9 of SDFR that is, funds with a sustainable investment objective.

In last years ‘Focus On’ piece we discussed the introduction of the Investment Limited Partnership (Amendment) Act, 2020 (the “2020 Act“) which aligned the Irish investment limited partnership (“ILP”) more closely with the well-established limited partnership structures in other international funds domiciles such as the Cayman Islands and Luxembourg.

As we predicted, the numbers of new ILPs did not explode overnight and to date the total number of ILPs registered in Ireland to date is 18. Though not a seismic shift, this nonetheless represents a 200% increase on the pre-2020 Act numbers.

This slow start was in part as a result of the spot-checking of applications by the CBI, which raised uncertainties about certain standard features of partnership funds and delayed the industry promoting the new ILP structure while that uncertainty persisted. Thankfully, these teething issues seem to have been ironed out.

Given Ireland’s experienced network of service providers, law firms and other finance professionals, the ILP has the potential to become the Irish fund vehicle of choice. The creation of more ILPs in this jurisdiction will act as a proof of concept for new entrants into the Irish funds market and will force global fund managers to stop and consider Ireland and the ILP as a viable alternative to the traditional fund vehicle options.

We are seeing this shift first hand at the Maples Group having just recently launched our second ILP and with more ILPs already in the pipeline for remainder of 2022.

Outlook for 2022 and Beyond

If the last three years have taught us anything, it’s that nobody knows what is around the corner. How 2022 will unfold is anybody’s guess, but all the signs look positive. What is certain is that Ireland, and the Maples Group, are well placed to capitalise as markets improve and adapt as necessary to whatever lies ahead.


2. Regulation (EU) 2020/852 on the establishment of a framework to facilitate sustainable investment, and amending Regulation
(EU) 2019/2088
3. Regulation (EU) 2019/2088 on Sustainability‐Related Disclosures in the Financial Services Sector