Law firm Mason Hayes & Curran grew revenue by 8% last year to €82m

Dublin-based firm returned to growth and warns Brexit is major risk for Irish economy

Mason Hayes & Curran managing partner Declan Black. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

Mason Hayes & Curran managing partner Declan Black. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

 

Irish law firm Mason Hayes & Curran returned to growth in 2018, with revenue increasing by 8 per cent to €82 million, following growth across all of its practice areas.

In 2017, the firm recorded a 1.2 per cent drop in turnover to €76 million, the first time in two decades its revenue had declined in a given year.

The Dublin-based law firm said growth last year was “broadly based” with transactional services such as corporate and real estate being “particularly busy”.

In addition, demand was strong in technology, energy and financial services, and for litigation services. The firm appointed 12 new partners during the year, bringing the total to 87.

Managing partner Declan Black said the revenue increase represented “solid and sustainable growth” for the firm. However, he cautioned that Brexit represents a major risk factor for the Irish economy. “Obviously external conditions always impact on outcomes and in 2018 they were largely positive, although the Brexit risk looms large. But we can only control what we do.

“Brexit continues to be a very significant risk but it does also create some opportunities for Ireland. The migration of financial services and other jobs is an obvious one. The increased competitiveness of Ireland as a foreign direct investment location relative to the UK is another.

“More recently, it is good to see the Government recognise that promoting and investing in the efficiency of the courts service is not just good for society as a whole. It is also a factor in attracting and anchoring both bricks and mortar, and transactional business to Ireland with the corresponding economic benefit.”

Mr Black said the firm sent additional staff to its San Francisco office in 2018 to “support international clients who benefit from the availability of lawyers advising on Irish legal issues”.

Technology

In its technology practice, the introduction of the GDPR data privacy regime in the EU last year was a “significant area of activity”. The firm has also represented Facebook in actions over the referral to the Court of Justice of the EU of key issues relating to EU-US data transfers. This litigation is currently before the Supreme Court, awaiting a ruling.

The firm also advised the communications regulator on its 5G spectrum award, and is advising the Department of Communications on all aspects of the National Broadband Plan. “We are continuing to advise a range of UK broadcasters seeking to relocate to Ireland due to Brexit,” Mr Black added.

In terms of dispute resolution, Mason Hayes & Curran acted for Aer Lingus in a Commercial Court action against the DAA, arising from the “failed implementation of an upgrade to the system used in verifying, tracking and the location of baggage”.

Mason Hayes & Curran also had a busy year in real estate. It advised build-to-rent investment group Ires Reit on the acquisition of apartments being developed by the Dalata hotel chain at the former Tara Towers site in Dublin.

It also acted for the Irish Rugby Football Union in the sale of lands at Newlands Cross to Hibernia Reit, which involves additional payments for the IRFU if the lands are re-zoned from agricultural use.