Lisney taps into global network with acquisition of Sotheby’s franchise

Clients of Sotheby’s International Realty’s Irish office include Chris de Burgh

Estate agency Lisney has acquired the Sotheby’s International Realty franchise for Ireland, opening the residential arm of the Irish company to a global network of international buyers and expats.

David Byrne, managing director of Lisney, says the deal, in the works for two years, is “an opportunity to enhance the residential brand as part of an extensive, strategic review of the overall business”.

David Ashmore, Sotheby’s International Realty’s representative in Ireland since 2016, will become director of country homes and estates and will relocate to the Upper Leeson Street branch of Lisney, which will be known as Lisney Sotheby’s International Realty from Monday.

According to Mr Byrne, who says he approached Mr Ashmore with the idea of taking on the franchise, all of Mr Ashmore’s existing clients will move with him. These include Chris de Burgh, whose Georgian mansion Bushey Park, on 27 acres just outside Enniskerry, Co Wicklow, is on the market for €9.85 million. Other Irish properties on Sotheby’s books are the €8.5 million Sopwell Hall estate in Co Tipperary, with Colliers as joint agent, and Grange Manor, a restored Georgian on 25 acres in Ballyragget, Co Kilkenny, for €1.95 million.



In 2021, Mr Ashmore also negotiated the sale, also with Colliers, of the Abbey Leix estate to Stripe's John Collison for €20 million.

“Luxury isn’t a price point; it’s an experience,” Mr Byrne said, adding that the collaboration is about bringing Lisney’s “first-class customer service” to clients in all sections of the residential market, as well as giving the Irish firm access to the global reputation, perspective and business-development heft of Sotheby’s International Realty, with 1,000 branches in 78 countries.

Mr Byrne says the franchise will be equitable, bringing “maximum exposure at all times through all levels of the market . . . whether acting for a person returning home to Ireland to take up a new job in a multinational company, or selling a high-end property to an international buyer, many of whom have an Irish connection.”


Lisney has expanded its network in the capital over the past three years, opening branches in Blackrock, Ranelagh and Dalkey. It has an office in Belfast, and will open its second Cork branch also on Monday.

Mr Byrne says Mr Ashmore’s country homes division will “tap into Lisney’s wider residential business” and expects it to expand “with opportunities for highly regarded agents to join this ambitious new phase of its residential business”.

Sotheby’s fine art auction house on Molesworth Street in Dublin remains a separate company, unconnected with this arrangement.

The rebranding incorporates Sotheby’s white-on-dark-blue livery, while the distinctive Lisney red will disappear from its signage and shopfronts, but will remain on its wholly Irish-owned commercial property division.

Joyce Hickey

Joyce Hickey

Joyce Hickey is an Irish Times journalist