KPMG recruits Francis Hackett to lead legal services division

Accounting firm hires six additional lawyers as it builds legal services capability

Lawyer Francis Hackett has joined Big Four accounting group KPMG to head up a legal services division that will advise the firm's clients on various corporate and commercial issues.

Mr Hackett joined KPMG last month as chairman of this division. The firm also hired another six lawyers recently as associate directors, as it seeks to build its legal services capability.

The new appointments include Michael Moore from Beauchamps, John O'Shea from McCann Fitzgerald (who spent time on secondment to the National Asset Management Agency), Aoife Newton from Ibec and Orla Cullen, who was with Bank of Ireland.

Tax advice KPMG has one of the leading tax practices in Ireland and much of the legal services division’s work will revolve around the tax treatment of transactions and corporate structures.


The firm will also provide company secretarial services to clients in Ireland and internationally. KPMG is positioning itself to benefit from the expected advent of multidisciplinary partnerships, or one-stop shops, between accountants and lawyers which has been proposed by the Government in its legal services Bill which dates back to 2011.

At present, accountants and lawyers are prohibited from sharing profits or control in firms.

However, a number of accounting firms in Ireland have recruited lawyers as employees to provide specialist advice to clients on tax and other issues.

Mr Hackett joined KPMG in Dublin last month having most recently worked in London with smartphone producer BlackBerry as general counsel for its Europe, Middle East and Africa division.

He spent 10 years with law firm Eversheds in Ireland – when it was known as O'Donnell Sweeney – including six as its managing partner.

In February Mr Hackett stepped down as a non-executive director of Aer Lingus, where he served seven years on the board as a government representative.

Ciarán Hancock

Ciarán Hancock

Ciarán Hancock is Business Editor of The Irish Times