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Law firm Mason Hayes & Curran’s turnover up 7% to €77m

Company ‘positioned to advise on reorganisations that may flow’ from Brexit or Trump

Declan Black, managing partner at Mason Hayes & Curran: “would be very content with modest growth” in 2017. Photograph: Eric Luke

Leading Irish law firm Mason Hayes & Curran recorded turnover of €77 million last year, an increase of 7 per cent on 2015.

This growth was driven by strong levels of business across a number of areas, notably in dispute resolution, real estate work and corporate advisory services.

The Dublin-based firm also continued its international expansion, opening in San Francisco last month, where technology lawyer Oisin Tobin leads the practice.

In addition, MHC appointed corporate partners Graeme Bell and David Mangan as heads of the London and New York offices respectively.

Commenting on the results, MHC’s managing partner Declan Black said: “The firm experienced record growth levels in 2014 and 2015 so we are pleased that the firm has continued to grow in the more challenging trading conditions experienced in 2016.”

Mr Black acknowledged that this year was likely to bring “considerable economic uncertainty” for Ireland due to Brexit and policies pursued by the Trump administration in the US.

“We are positioned to advise clients on reorganisations, which may flow from fundamental changes caused by Trump or Brexit, whether they involve establishments or disestablishments in Ireland or enhanced opportunities with other EU countries like Germany and France,” he said.

In terms of projected revenues for MHC this year, Mr Black said: “I would be very content with modest growth. Modest growth is single-digit growth. If the economy can stay broadly on the growth trajectory [of recent years] in spite of Brexit and Trump that will be some achievement.”

Mergers

In terms of corporate work, the firm acted on a number of significant mergers and acquisitions. These included representing Activision Blizzard in its $5.9 billion acquisition of King Digital Entertainment plc, and acting for Virgin Media on its acquisition of UTV Ireland.

It also represented McKesson Corporation on its acquisition of the pharmaceutical distribution business of UDG Healthcare Plc.

In terms of financial services, its asset financing team, led by Christine O’Donovan, saw an increase in commercial debt to the aviation sector as well as corporate reorganisations and consolidation among a number of niche aircraft lessors.

MHC’s project finance team has acted as legal advisors on some of the largest renewable energy financing transactions in 2016, including advising Brookfield Renewable Ireland in relation to its deal to supply renewable electricity to Facebook to power its Irish data centres.

It was also a busy year for the firms’s dispute resolution practice – MHC has more litigation lawyers than any other firm in Ireland.

High-profile cases included acting for Facebook Ireland Ltd in the legal proceedings commenced by the Irish Data Protection Commissioner following complaints by privacy activist Max Schrems.

It also acted for SPV OSUS Ltd in proceedings against HSBC bank and other service providers relating to losses suffered by Optimal Strategic US Equity Ltd following the collapse of the Madoff Ponzi scheme with an overall claim value of $3 billion.

MHC’s real estate team was involved in completing Twitter’s move to a new European headquarters here and advised Lonestar on the purchase of Project Clear loans from Ulster Bank for about €500 million.

In addition, it advised Hines and King Street on the disposal of a portion of its residential development site in Cherrywood Business Park to Cairn Homes.

MHC’s technology team was involved in a number of key projects in 2016, including its role as the sole legal advisors appointed by the Department of Communications on all aspects of the National Broadband Plan.