Offshore giant Ogier unveils merger with eight-partner Dublin firm

String of Ireland launches by international firms continues with deal to create Ogier Leman
Headshots of Edward Mackereth and John Hogan

Edward Mackereth (l) and John Hogan Images courtesy of Ogier and Leman Solicitors

Offshore giant Ogier is to merge with eight-partner Dublin firm Leman in a major – and rare – foray into an onshore market. 

The transaction between Ogier and Leman closed on 22 March and the two firms will combine to form the Ireland-registered LLP Ogier Leman in June.

The deal makes Ogier the latest of a procession of international law firms to launch in Ireland and follows on from Addleshaw Goddard's merger with 25-partner Dublin firm Eugene F Collins, which was announced in February.

Leman’s 52-strong team, led by eight partners, will team up with Ogier’s roughly 850 employees and 90 partners based across a network of offices in Europe, the Caribbean and Asia. 

The combined firm will offer legal services to the Irish market including corporate, real estate, dispute resolution and employment, alongside an international network providing banking, corporate and funds services. 

Ogier Leman ‘will continue to develop its offering in Ireland with a growth plan that will deepen its domestic capabilities and extend its services to meet international and domestic client demand', Ogier said in a statement, adding that all posts at the firm would be retained. 

The merger with Leman follows Ogier last month becoming the first offshore law firm to open an office in Beijing, having set up shop in Singapore six months ago. The firm advises on BVI, Cayman Islands, Guernsey, Jersey, and Luxembourg law, with Ireland now added as a result of the merger, and offers services covering banking and finance, corporate, dispute resolution, investment funds, private wealth, restructuring and bankruptcy and tax. 

“No other firm offers the combination of laws, jurisdictions and services that we do and the addition of a well-established and growing practice in Ireland extends Ogier's ability to deliver stronger service line and sector-led advice across the range of domestic and international commercial law," said Ogier’s global managing partner Edward Mackereth.  

Mackereth described Ireland as “a thriving domestic market and a significant and growing centre for financial services excellence that we believe is a great fit for our next home jurisdiction”, adding that there was “an obvious strategic and cultural fit” between the Ogier and Leman in terms of talent and development potential, tied with “ambitious plans and the mindset to make this both successful and fun along the way". 

Leman was established in 2007 by partners John Hogan and Larry Fenelon, with Hogan currently serving as managing partner. It focuses on corporate, real estate, employment, financial services, dispute resolution and restructuring for Ireland-based clients.

Hogan said the merger “starts a new phase of investment and growth that will create opportunities for our people to develop with the business”, adding that the firm is looking to strengthen its existing teams to “compete in the new legal environment and to look towards the new markets that Ogier specialises in across the world's international finance centres".   

"Our ambition now is to keep investing in our practices and our people and to grow the business to anticipate client demand as it evolves both in Ireland and internationally," he said.  

Ogier's arrival in Dublin will follow hard on the heels of Addleshaws' merger, which went live earlier this month. Addleshaws said at the time that the addition of a well-established firm like Eugene F Collins alongside its offices in Germany and France would extend its influence throughout the main business centres in Europe. 

Other firms to have launched in Ireland recently include Burges Salmon, Ashurst, Hogan Lovells and Bird & Bird. The trend has been driven in part by post-Brexit restrictions on UK-based lawyers practising EU law from Ireland without having a physical presence in the country, though even before Brexit the city was proving an attractive destination for a number of UK firms, including Kennedys, DAC Beachcroft, DLA Piper, Pinsent Masons, Simmons & Simmons and Fieldfisher.

Meanwhile, GLP reported today that a British Virgin Islands (BVI) judge had refused to allow Ogier to stop representing sanctioned Russian bank VTB in an ongoing case, asserting that ‘even pariahs have rights’.

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