Putting on the Green Jersey
Placing the national interest first served Ireland well in the financial crisis and during the pandemic, but what happens when Irish law firms face intense competition for talent?
Dublin is a village and Ireland is a village – different maybe to other jurisdictions,” according to Ogier Leman’s managing partner, John Hogan. “Many lawyers in Ireland trained together and spent time together, so friendships endure for decades.” The data supports his argument. According to Ireland’s Central Statistics Office (CSO), net inward migration of more than 190,000 over the past six years has helped to push Ireland’s population to 5.12m in 2022 – up 7.6 per cent from the 2016 Census and the highest since its pre-famine peak of 1841.
But to service the country’s international business community just 11,483 practising certificates were issued by the Irish Law Society last year – insufficient to meet demand. For the next generation of lawyers, guaranteed collegiality is matched by tremendous career prospects, according to Declan Black, managing partner of Mason Hayes & Curran. “It’s a great time to be a young lawyer: the world’s your oyster and you get paid really well,” he says. “You’ll work hard in Dublin but you’re not chained to your desk, and you’re not expected to be doing 2,400 billables. We target 1,500 hours.”
In promoting Ireland’s myriad benefits, managing partners habitually default to an element of justifiable patriotism, exemplified by the phrase ‘putting on the green jersey’. As advocates for their jurisdiction and its commercial, legal, tax and technological advantages, they are certainly without equal: combining optimism, pragmatism, creativity and charm, they sell Ireland passionately and persuasively on its merits.