K&L Gates secures senior funds trio from rival firms for Dublin debut

Partners join from Pinsent Masons, Dillon Eustace and Maples & Calder to launch US firm’s ninth European office
A photo of Grattan Bridge across the River Liffey

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Top 40 US law firm K&L Gates has hired a trio of senior asset management and investment funds (AMIF) lawyers from rival firms to launch its ninth European office, in Dublin.

Gayle Bowen has joined from Pinsent Masons, where she was a founding partner and head of the Dublin office, while Shane Geraghty has moved over from local rival Dillon Eustace and Michele Lloyd has joined from offshore specialist firm Maples & Calder. 

The trio will serve as the new office’s founding partners, with K&L Gates saying it plans to add more lawyers and practice capabilities in Dublin in the future. 

“As the only major AMIF market in which K&L Gates did not already have an office, Dublin represents the most logical of steps for our firm”, said Michael Caccese, K&L Gates chairman and co-leader of the firm’s AMIF practice. “We have seen our AMIF practice grow steadily over the course of the pandemic and through the past year, and the addition of these partners and a Dublin office will allow us to serve our clients in the AMIF and other practices more fully and effectively in coming years.”

Bowen led Pinsent Masons’ Irish AMIF team before joining K&L Gates and brings extensive experience advising asset managers on licensing options post-Brexit. K&L Gates also pointed to her experience in establishing Irish regulated Undertakings for the Collective Investment in Transferable Securities (UCITS) and Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD)-compliant alternative products, and in relation to the global distribution and marketing of Irish funds. 

Bowen maintains a high profile in the Irish funds industry and currently serves as chair of the Irish Funds ILP implementation working group, where she works directly with the Central Bank to represent the views of the industry. She was also previously a member of the Irish Funds Brexit Steering Group and is the outgoing chair of the Irish Funds Legal & Regulatory Committee, which liaises with the Central Bank, the Irish government and European bodies to represent the interests of the Irish funds industry.

Geraghty has joined after 16 years as a partner at Dillon Eustace. He regularly advises domestic and international asset managers in relation to the structuring, authorisation and operation of Irish fund vehicles and has particular focus on alternative asset investment strategies and private markets. He has advised on the establishment of UCITS Management Companies and Alternative Investment Fund Managers in Ireland and on the structuring of Cayman Islands fund products, having previously worked as an attorney-at-law in the Cayman Islands.

Meantime, Lloyd has recently returned to Ireland after a decade heading the European team in Maples & Calder’s Hong Kong office. She focuses her practice on advising asset managers on the structuring, establishment, and operation of a broad spectrum of UCITS and AIFs (including hedge, mutual, and private equity funds, managed account platforms, and master-feeder structures) and the governance and distribution of such entities. She is an active industry participant and served as a representative for the Irish Funds Industry Association in Hong Kong for ten years.

K&L Gates’ AMIF practice houses more than 150 lawyers globally and is led by Mark Amorosi and Ndenisarya Bregasi from Washington DC alongside Boston-based Caccese. The investment fund formation and management offering is noted by The Legal 500 as being ‘particularly adept in the transactional and regulatory spheres’, while key clients for the team include Federated Hermes and John Hancock Investment Management. 

K&L Gates’ Dublin launch continues a sustained period of investment in Ireland's legal market by international law firms in the wake of the UK’s 2016 Brexit vote, thanks to its status as a hub for business in Europe and an English-speaking jurisdiction within the EU. 

Last November US rival Squire Patton Boggs added Dennis Agnew, another founding partner of Pinsent Masons’ Dublin office, to launch its own base in the city, while earlier last year UK firm Addleshaw Goddard merged with local firm Eugene F Collins and offshore law firm Ogier merged with Leman Solicitors

Other prominent law firms to launch there since the start of last year include Dentons, Ashurst, Hogan Lovells, Bird & Bird and Simmons & Simmons. 

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