Solving the Irish Puzzle
A flood of international firms in Dublin has put pressure on the local legal recruitment market. Dominic Carman asks whether more competition might force leading Irish firms to consider an alliance or a merger
One measure of status for any legal market is the number of foreign law firms which advise international clients on local law. That certainly applies in Frankfurt or Paris, for example. In the world’s two biggest legal markets, the 100 or so US law firms in London compete much more effectively than the 20+ UK law firms operating in New York. Carving out a significant share of top end work, the leading trio of Kirkland & Ellis, Latham & Watkins and White & Case bill nearly $1.5bn between them in London, whereas Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Linklaters collectively bill only a small fraction of that figure in New York.
Until recently, international competition in Ireland was limited to a small handful of firms. But, in recent years, more international players have decided to plant an Irish flag: the Brexit vote was a key catalyst. Between 2016 and 2020, nine of them opened a Dublin office; since last September, a further seven firms – including Linklaters and Hogan Lovells – have announced their arrival. As the trickle becomes a flood, what does this mean for Dublin’s elite?
June 2022 News
Law Commission proposals on corporate criminal liability
On 10 June 2022, the Law Commission published an options paper for the Government on how it can improve the law to ensure that corporations are effectively held to account for committing serious crimes. Tom McNeill and John Binns of the Financial Crime team at BCL Solicitors analyse the key points.