Deal agreed

Addleshaw Goddard in merger with Irish firm

Addleshaw Goddard is said to be keen on a move into Ireland

Addleshaw Goddard and Dublin-based Eugene F Collins have agreed to merge their respective legal practices which will provide the UK firm with a post-Brexit foothold in Ireland.

The business, people and all 25 Eugene F Collins partners will become part of the Addleshaw Goddard group by 1 March, accelerating each firm’s strategic focus on providing a client-shaped service in growing markets around the world.

The addition of a well-established, full-service, Top 15 Ireland practice alongside offices in Germany and France extends AG’s influence throughout the main business centres in Europe.

AG moved into Scotland in 2017 when it merged with Scottish firm HBJ. Since then the firm has also opened international offices in Germany and France, and this latest move brings the total number of AG offices outside of the UK to 10.

Eugene F Collins, founded in 1893, and AG will together deliver stronger client and sector offerings in a comprehensive range of areas, especially financial services, real estate, retail and consumer, technology and life sciences. The business has ambitious growth targets for the region and plans to double in size by 2025.

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In a joint statement, John Joyce, managing partner of Addleshaw Goddard, and Mark Walsh, Managing Partner of Eugene F Collins, said: “This is an exciting moment for both firms, driven by the recognition that there is great chemistry between us and a shared commitment to finding the smartest ways of delivering the biggest business impact to clients of all sizes in Ireland, Europe and beyond.”

Mr Joyce added a presence in Dublin for AG unlocks opportunities with more UK and international businesses doing business in Ireland: “Ireland is a really key jurisdiction. It is a global hub for world-leading, fast-growing businesses in a range of sectors including FS, tech and life sciences and establishing a presence here fulfils a need we’ve been looking at for some time.

“The obvious strategic and cultural fit between AG and Eugene F Collins makes this a logical and very attractive proposition for both firms. They are a terrific business and we look forward to sharing the benefits with new and existing clients.”

Mark Walsh, who becomes head of Ireland, added that the combination with AG brings immediate scale and depth of expertise to Irish-based clients.

“Our firms have known each other for several years and as talks progressed, we have been struck by the business synergies as well as the compatibility of our cultures and vision,” he said.

“The ability to operate on a global platform in markets which are important to our clients, makes good sense for all staff and clients of Eugene F Collins. Combining forces on innovation and legal tech will also enhance our national practice and position the new business very well for further growth.”

Eugene F Collins acts for blue chip clients, many with Irish HQs or roots, together with a range of businesses active across the UK and internationally. While the two firms have some clients in common particularly in the financial services, R&C and real estate sectors, their client portfolios are largely complementary.

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