McCann FitzGerald law firm to open US office
Move comes on foot of growing demand for Irish corporate law presence in US, says firm
McCann FitzGerald’s managing partner Barry Devereux and corporate partner Gary McSharry: Mr McSharry will head the law firm’s New York office. Photograph: Picasa
Irish law firm McCann FitzGerald is to open an office in New York this month.
The law firm, which has offices in Dublin, London and Brussels, is expanding to the United States with the opening of a permanent office in Manhattan.
The office will be headed by McCann FitzGerald corporate partner Gary McSharry.
He said there is a growing demand for an Irish corporate law presence in the US, evidence of which is that many of the largest US corporate and merger and acquisition (M&A) transactions in the past 24 months involved Irish companies.
“These deals required significant input from Irish corporate lawyers as well as US lawyers. The natural next step is for McCann FitzGerald to open an office to satisfy both Irish and US client demand.”
McCann FitzGerald managing partner Barry Devereux said Ireland and the US have a unique connection that has translated into significant economic activity and cross-border transactions between the two countries.
He said US companies have invested more than $270 billion (€248 billion) in Ireland and more than 140,000 Irish people work for US companies in Ireland. On the flipside, Irish investment in the US is in excess of $26 billion, and these businesses generate a $62 billion in annual sales.
He said the decision to open an office in the US comes in response to clear client demand.
“Significant economic recovery in both the US and Irish markets has driven increased demand for legal services, particularly in the areas of M&A, asset management, venture capital/private equity, and foreign direct investment. Opening a full working office in New York allows us to grow the services we offer clients and increase our focus on this important market.”
Mr Devereux said the law firm has recently acted on some major US-Ireland transactions including Horizon Pharma’s $660 million acquisition of Vidara Therapeutics and its $1.1 billion acquisition of Hyperion Therapeutics; Chiquita Brands International’s proposed $1.07 billion combination with Fyffes; and Aer Cap/ILFC’s $7.6 billion acquisition of ILFC from AIG, which is the largest M&A deal in the aviation industry to date.
The firm, which employs more than 500 people including 350 lawyers, also acted for Weichert Enterprise/Mayo Power Limited on the planning, development and financing of €180 million investment in a new biomass-fuelled, combined heat and power generating station in Co Mayo.
He said the firm previously had an office in New York in the 90s, concentrated on FDI, but it closed down in the late 90s due to a petering of demand.
“There has been a lot of Irish-American corporate transactions and M&A deals in the last two years. We think we need to be on the ground in the US, with a presence in New York. We’ll be offering corporate M&A services, as well as FDI.”