US firm Clark Hill combines with Dublin’s HBMO Solicitors to bolster Irish presence

Deal adds 10 lawyers to Clark Hill’s Dublin office, its third local tie-up since 2019
Grattan Bridge in Dublin, Ireland on the evening .This historic bridge spans the River Liffey in Dublin, Ireland.

Clark Hill has been steadily expanding in Ireland since opening its Dublin office in 2018 SAKhanPhotography: Shutterstock

US firm Clark Hill is further expanding in Ireland through a merger with Dublin-based HBMO Solicitors, its third such combination since 2019.

The deal adds 10 new solicitors to Clark Hill’s Dublin ranks, which now numbers 31 in total. HBMO – which was formerly known as Noel Smyth and Partners – specialises in commercial property, litigation, corporate, M&A, banking and private client services.

Kirby Tarrant, member in charge of Clark Hill’s Dublin office, said: “This combination enhances our ability to deliver exceptional legal services in Ireland and beyond. It is an important step in our expansion plans and presents new opportunities for young solicitors to advance their careers within a growing international law firm.”

The incoming HBMO team includes its managing partner Colman Bermingham and partners Hugh O’Neill and Ronan Hannigan. Bermingham and O’Neill are both noted for their commercial property expertise, having advised on major property deals in the country, including shopping centres and office developments. Hannigan, meantime, is an experienced commercial litigator and corporate M&A advisor.

Hannigan said: “Being part of an international law firm in an increasingly amalgamated global economy has incredible benefit to our client. Access to transatlantic legal resources will add significant value to the support we provide.”

Detroit-headquartered Clark Hill has been growing its footprint in Ireland since opening its Dublin office in 2018 as part of a broader goal to support US clients on European matters and vice-versa. Last year it combined with four-lawyer Irish boutique Eames Solicitors, having also merged with O’Gradys Solicitors in 2019.

John Hensien, CEO of Clark Hill, said: “Expanding the Clark Hill presence in Ireland continues to be one of our strategic goals. Ireland’s significance as a strategic location for international business, and its position in terms of two-way transatlantic economic investment, continues to reinforce the importance of our Irish presence, and our ability to provide seamless, full-service legal support on both sides of the Atlantic.”

He added: “This presence within the EU is an important and differentiating element of our offering.”

Elsewhere in Ireland, Fieldfisher this month added former Meta lawyer Ciara Burke as a partner in its Dublin data protection and privacy team.

Meantime, London intellectual property powerhouse Powell Gilbert in June announced plans to open in Dublin following the launch of the European Union’s Unified Patent Court. 

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