02 Aug 2021

Lewis Silkin absorbs Belfast’s Jones Cassidy Brett to gain Northern Ireland presence

Deal hands Lewis Silkin its second office on the island of Ireland following Dublin launch in 2018

Portrait photographs of Richard Miskella and Ciara Fulton

Richard Miskella and Ciara Fulton

Lewis Silkin has combined with Belfast-based employment law specialists Jones Cassidy Brett (JCB) as the London-headquartered firm seeks to expand in Northern Ireland.

The deal secures the firm’s second office on the island of Ireland following its Dublin launch three years ago. JCB’s six-strong team will be absorbed into Lewis Silkin, with Adam Brett and Ciara Fulton joining as partners and Fiona Cassidy joining as a consultant. Fulton will take on the role as head of the firm’s Belfast office. The combination will give Lewis Silkin access to JCB’s employment law expertise and additional workplace, people and HR services.

Richard Miskella, Lewis Silkin’s joint managing partner, said: “JCB’s knowledge of and reputation within the Northern Irish employment law market is second to none, and we have known and collaborated with the firm for some time. Since establishing our presence in Ireland in 2018, we have seen a growing need and client demand for a seamless, market-leading employment offering across the whole island of Ireland.”

Miskella added that the firm will explore the potential for further expansion in Northern Ireland over the longer term in line with client demand.

The JCB team will be joined by Lewis Silkin managing associate Stephen O’Flaherty, who will be leading a business immigration team based out of Belfast. The deal also expands the coverage of employment law alliance Ius Laboris into Northern Ireland through its existing partnership with Lewis Silkin, which is the alliance’s member firm for the UK, Ireland and Hong Kong.

Fulton said: “Becoming part of Lewis Silkin represents a truly exciting milestone in the history of our firm, which was established by Fiona Cassidy and Beverley Jones in 1992 and we’re proud to say has become one of Northern Ireland’s most respected specialist employment firms. It will enable us to continue to provide clients with market-leading local advice whilst offering an added depth of expertise to clients, including an expanded range of services such as business immigration, employee incentives, data protection and health and safety law.”

Lewis Silkin is not the first firm to go shopping for specialist law firms in Northern Ireland as a route for expansion. Last year, listed UK firm Gateley acquired Belfast-based reputation management and media law boutique Paul Tweed.

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