15 June 2023

Dentons in Dublin: ‘An overnight commercial success story’

How does the world’s largest law firm succeed in one of the world’s hottest legal markets? Dominic Carman met with Eavan Saunders to find out

Last November, Dentons announced that ‘more than fifty law firms have done due diligence on, and decided to join, Dentons, making it the world’s largest global law firm by total headcount, number of offices and number of countries.’ But that has not been the case with Ireland – at least not yet. Instead, Dentons Dublin opened in 2020 as a greenfield operation that would be built from the ground up.

“I launched this office in the middle of lockdown working from my kitchen table,” says Eavan Saunders, managing partner of Dentons Ireland, who joined the firm from William Fry where she was a private equity partner. An elite team was swiftly assembled including Peter O’Brien, Head of Finance (ex-Matheson), Gareth Steen, Head of Restructuring (ex-MHC), and Shane O’Donnell, Head of Corporate (ex-William Fry). Another William Fry partner, Andrew Muckian, also joined as Head of Real Estate. “If I had not been resolute about quality, none of us would be here,” says Saunders. “I was pretty sure if I could bring together enough quality, committed clever professionals, then we would attract work and that’s proved to be correct. We have attracted big names with a proven track record and a high personal profile.”


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