Law firm Mason Hayes & Curran posts 23% surge in fee income to €98m

Irish firm worked with AIB, Facebook and LetsGetChecked among others last year

  Mason Hayes & Curran’s managing partner Declan Black: ‘We were the classic V-shaped recovery.’ Photograph:  Eric Luke

Mason Hayes & Curran’s managing partner Declan Black: ‘We were the classic V-shaped recovery.’ Photograph: Eric Luke

 

Leading Irish law firm Mason Hayes & Curran posted a strong rebound in revenues last year, with a 23 per cent surge in fee income to €98 million. This was driven by strong growth across all of its service lines as the Irish economy performed strongly in 2021 in spite of continuing Covid-19 lockdown restrictions.

This rebound followed a difficult 2020 when revenues declined by €6 million to €80 million, reflecting the “challenging” impact of the initial pandemic restrictions on the economy here.

The firm’s managing partner Declan Black told The Irish Times that the growth last year was broadly based, with particularly strong contributions from transactional work in corporate, real estate and financial services.

“The external circumstances were good for professionals services last year and we capitalised on that,” he said. “If you took Covid out of the picture, we had been at €86 million in 2019, so you would have expected us to go to maybe €92 million and then €98 million or something like that. But as it happened, we went €86 million, €80 million and €98 million. We were the classic V-shaped recovery.

“This has returned us to a pre-pandemic growth trajectory, so if external conditions stay favourable we hope to grow considerably again in 2022,” he added.

Lawyer numbers grew by 7 per cent last year with six new partners joining from other firms. It employed 540 people at the year end.

In technology, Mason Hayes acted for LetsGetChecked in a $150 million (€132 million) Series D funding round. The round confirmed LetsGetChecked as a tech unicorn with a valuation exceeding $1 billion (€880 million).

In media, it acted for Bauer Media Audio Holding in the acquisition of the Communicorp Group from Denis O’Brien, which included Irish radio stations such as Newstalk and 98FM.

Represented

It also represented Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp on high-profile statutory inquiries opened by the Data Protection Commission (DPC) following the complaints made by None of Your Business, the not-for-profit run by Max Schrems. It acted for WhatsApp in the case with the DPC that resulted in a record fine of €225 million by the Irish regulator. This fine was for transparency infringements mostly relating to WhatsApp’s privacy policy.

In financial services, its work included a role in a €400 million loan portfolio sale for AIB, and a €400 million loan portfolio sale for Permanent TSB. It also acted for AIB on its participation in the Brexit Impact Loan Scheme. And it was an adviser to Aer Lingus and its parent company IAG on a $1.8 billion (€1.6 billion) revolving credit facility with a syndicate of banks.

In real estate, it acted for Killeen Properties on the development of Glencar House, a new six-storey double basement office development on a premium site in Ballsbridge. And it was involved as an adviser on the sale of the 157-bed Moxy Dublin City, the first such hotel sale in the pandemic.

The firm also increased its programme of charitable donations including doubling its investment in the Engage & Educate Fund to €1.2 million, and becoming a lead member of Unicef’s Corporate Vaccine Alliance.

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