Dentons continues to build in Dublin with hire of William Fry’s debt capital markets head

Matthew Cahill is the second banking and finance lawyer to join from William Fry this month

Dentons has hired banking and finance partner Matthew Cahill from William Fry as it continues to build up the Dublin office it launched in 2020.

Cahill joins as a partner, bringing with him more than three decades of financial services advisory experience. His practice focuses on structured finance, securitisation, capital markets and derivative transactions, as well as general banking matters.

He spent two-and-a-half years at William Fry, where he was head of structured finance and debt capital markets. Last year, he led the project to launch William Fry Connect, a pioneering service for senior lawyers to work for the firm on a fully flexible basis.

He also previously had spells at gunnercooke and Sidley Austin, having previously spent more than 20 years at Clifford Chance.

Eavan Saunders, Dentons’ Ireland managing partner and a former colleague of Cahill's at William Fry, said: “Matthew will add high-quality capital markets and structured finance expertise to a busy team that expects to see further growth in the securitisation and structured products market in Ireland.”

Cahill is the second partner to join the firm’s Irish banking and finance team this month following the arrival of William Fry colleague Siobhan Carlin – a general banking lawyer with a specialism in real estate investment, development finance and project finance.

In August, the firm hired veteran disputes lawyer Karyn Harty from McCann FitzGerald to head up its Irish litigation department and it currently.

Paul Jarvis, CEO of Dentons for UK, Ireland and the Middle East, said: “After a successful first two years we are continuing to grow in Dublin and Matthew’s arrival is consistent with our vision of building a high calibre senior team. As an Irish and English dual qualified lawyer who will spend time in London as well as Dublin, Matthew’s expertise will also enhance the strength of the broader regional structured finance practice.”

Dentons has been busy building its Dublin team since it announced its Ireland launch in 2020 with the hire of Saunders, a corporate specialist, alongside co-founder and chair Peter O'Brien, a project finance specialist who joined from Matheson.

Dentons departed from its modus operandi for expansion by opting to build a practice organically rather than combining with a local firm. That suggested top firms in the tight-knit legal market had resisted its approaches.

Since then, however, the market has continued to develop rapidly with a host of London-based firms setting up offices, at least partly to facilitate access to the EU in the wake of Brexit. 

Notably, in February, top 25 UK law firm Addleshaw Goddard announced it was merging with well-established Dublin firm Eugene F Collins, which saw the latter’s business, people and all 25 partners become part of Addleshaws. Then in March offshore giant Ogier announced it was set to combine with eight-partner Dublin firm Leman in a major – and rare – foray into an onshore market.

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