DLA Piper confirms Dublin launch plan with corporate partner hire

DLA Piper is set to open an office in Dublin with the hire of corporate partner David Carthy from Irish firm William Fry.

The move, which has been in the works for at least 18 months, will see the firm launch a new base in the Irish capital that will initially focus on the financial services, technology and life sciences sectors.

Global co-CEO Simon Levine said: “We have been evaluating Dublin for some time and through consultation with our clients (a number of whom currently operate in Ireland or are looking to) and our partners, have decided now is the right time for DLA Piper to enter the Irish market.”

Carthy, who heads up William Fry’s foreign direct investment and life sciences and healthcare groups, has acted on major corporate deals including advising King Digital Entertainment on its $5.9bn acquisition by Activision Blizzard in 2016.

The office does not yet have a specific launch date, with Carthy set to work out his notice at William Fry.

A string of law firms have sought to create a presence in Ireland ahead of the UK’s exit from the European Union next year.

Simmons & Simmons opened for business in Dublin earlier this month after recruiting asset management and investment funds partners Niamh Ryan and Elaine Keane from Irish firm A&L Goodbody, while Pinsent Masons and US firm Covington & Burling have also launched in the city.

Levine added: “Dublin is an important legal market and a key global hub for the financial services and technology sectors, in addition to being well located to support our global tax practice, and will continue to be so, particularly in the context of Brexit, as we expect more institutions to have or develop a presence in the country.”

The news comes after DLA Piper recently lost more than 20 partners to McDermott Will & Emery, as well as the co-chair of the firm’s US private equity practice, Steven Napolitano, who is set to join Kirkland & Ellis alongside Chicago co-managing partner Brendan Head.