International law firm Pinsent Masons has instructed a Dublin commercial property agent to find a 10,000sq ft office space for it in the wake of Brexit, according to a report.
The firm, which already has a presence in Belfast, is one of a number of UK-based law firms believed to be considering a Dublin base following Britain's decision to leave the European Union.
The move comes as a record number of UK solicitors were admitted to practice in the Republic in the first six months of 2016 due to concerns over Brexit. Recent Law Society figures show 186 solicitors were admitted to practice here from January to June, compared to fewer than 50 for the same period last year.
Some of the UK's biggest law firms, including Freshfields, Hogan Lovells, Slaughter and May and Allen & Overy, have all reportedly registered solicitors locally.
The Law Society has said it has been receiving about 30 initial queries a day from UK solicitors since the result of the EU vote in late June.
Pinsent is believed to have referral relationships with a number of law firms based in Dublin and Legal Business recently reported that several Irish firms had approached it with a view to doing a tie-up in the Republic.
A spokesman for Pinsent Mason, which ranks among the top 100 law firms globally by turnover, refused to confirm or deny a report in The Lawyer claiming it had instructed an agent earlier this week to find it office space in Dublin.
“We have a market-leading Northern Ireland presence which naturally lends itself to elements of cross-border work and a number of important relationships in the Republic of Ireland,” the spokesman said.
“It is true that Dublin is an important legal market and will continue to be so, and that we never rule out any strategic proposition that could materially enhance our ability to service clients in the global sectors in which we operate,” he added.
Pinsent Masons has 21 offices across Europe, Asia Pacific and the Middle East. The firm employs more than 2,900 people, including more than 1,500 lawyers. It recently announced full-year revenues of £382 million, up 5.5 per cent on the prior year.
The group opened an office in Belfast in 2012, and the practice has worked on some of the biggest deals in the North in recent times including IT firm Kainos’s £161 million London flotation in July 2015.