16 May 2019

US Senator George Mitchell on flying visit

Chairman emeritus of global US law firm DLA Piper, Senator George Mitchell, flies into Dublin to mark opening of new office.

By Dr David Cowan

DLA Piper

Chairman emeritus of DLA Piper Senator George Mitchell has officially launched the Irish office of the firm. The opening happened only days after Clyde & Co opened their Dublin office, suggesting growing vibrancy for the Irish legal market with Brexit looming.

Following the lead?

Senator Mitchell met with minister for justice and equality, Charlie Flanagan TD, to discuss Ireland’s potential as a global centre for legal services post-Brexit. Commenting on the official launch, Senator Mitchell said “Ireland’s position in the global market has become increasingly important given the internationalisation of the economy.” He added, “there is a real opportunity to establish Ireland as a global centre for legal services, which is why we are building a team, headed by managing partner David Carthy, with the strength and depth to deliver on this ambition. We have spent a number of months putting the right foundations in place here in Ireland.” Mr Flanagan commented, “The UK’s decision to leave the EU presents many threats to Ireland but we have worked hard to identify opportunities - and international legal services offers great potential. DLA Piper’s decision to open an Irish office is a vote of confidence in Ireland’s legal talent pool and its future as an English-speaking Common Law jurisdiction and EU Member State of international repute. My Department is working with the Chief Justice, the Bar Council and the Law Society to promote Ireland as a venue for international legal services. I have no doubt many firms will follow the lead of DLA Piper in the months and years ahead.”

Thriving legal sector

The Irish office of DLA Piper has already made a number of significant partner hires and will continue to boost the practice to a team of up to 100 lawyers and business professionals over the coming years. DLA Piper said it had set up a Dublin office in response to demand for globally benchmarked legal and tax advice from domestic and multinational companies operating in, expanding into or exporting from Ireland. The firm’s initial focus in Ireland will be on the life sciences, technology and financial services sectors. Simon Levine, global co-ceo at DLA Piper added, ""We have spent a number of months putting the right foundations in place here in Ireland, building a practice of ambitious, talented lawyers and tax advisers to provide globally benchmarked advice to clients." Martin Shanahan, ceo of IDA Ireland, said “Ireland has developed a thriving legal sector, and today’s announcement by DLA Piper further endorses this.” Mr Carthy added, “The internationalisation of the Irish economy is driving change in the Irish legal sector, changing how we do business and requiring greater innovation and diversity of thought. How firms adapt to meet and exceed client demand is the key factor in this evolution.”

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