Simmons & Simmons expands in Ireland with banking partner hire from DLA Piper

Kate Curneen will join the firm’s financial markets team in Dublin

Simmons & Simmons has been in Dublin since 2018 Shutterstock

Simmons & Simmons has hired banking lawyer Kate Curneen from DLA Piper to bolster its financial markets team in Ireland.

Curneen joins as a partner in Dublin, where it originally launched back in 2018. She brings with her extensive experience across a range of financing matters, including real estate and development, acquisitions, fund finance and asset-based lending transactions. Those deals span syndicated and club lending, as well as handling distressed and non-performing loan portfolios in restructuring and refinancing scenarios. 

She regularly acts for domestic and international financial institutions, non-bank lenders, asset managers, investment funds, corporates and family offices.

Rachel Stanton, Simmons & Simmons Ireland head, said: “Kate’s expertise and relationships in the domestic and international market will play a pivotal role in the next stage of our growth in Ireland.”

Curneen arrives after just over four years at DLA Piper, which she joined from local firm Dillon Eustace Solicitors, where she spent more than seven years, three of them as a partner. Prior to that she trained and worked at McCann FitzGerald, including secondments at Irish bank AIB and financial services firm Certus.

She said: “I am excited to join Simmons & Simmons, a firm known for its excellent client service, impressive sector expertise and collaborative cross-border approach. I look forward to contributing to the firm’s ongoing success and to working with the international Simmons & Simmons team in providing the best possible advice for our clients.”

Simmons & Simmons is the seventh-largest international firm in Ireland by lawyer headcount, according to Pirical (see table, below). 

Last August, the London-based firm signed a lease to relocate to Molesworth Street, near Leinster House in central Dublin, from its current home in Grand Canal Dock. The 13,100sq ft office space has the potential to accommodate 120 staff, The Irish Times reported. The lease runs until 2038 and the move is scheduled to take place in May.

A number of international firms have been stepping up their Irish footprints in the wake of the UK’s exit from the European Union. In November, Pinsent Masons expanded its Dublin IP practice with the arrival of data specialist Maureen Daly from Beauchamps as part of a plan to build out its European tech and science sector offering.

Back in August, US firm Clark Hill combined with Dublin’s HBMO Solicitors to step up its Irish presence, with the tie-up adding 10 lawyers to the US firm’s Dublin office in what was its third local combination since 2019.

That followed a move by London IP firm Powell Gilbert to open a Dublin office in June to coincide with the launch of the EU’s new Unified Patent Court.

Global 200 Law Firms in Ireland by Number of Lawyers*

Eversheds Sutherland (82)
Addleshaw Goddard (74)
Fieldfisher (61)
DLA Piper (54)
DAC Beachcroft (46)
Dentons (38)
Simmons & Simmons (34)
Kennedys (33)
Clark Hill (32)
Pinsent Masons (24)

*Source Pirical

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