Please enter a maximum of 5 recipients. Use ; to separate more than one email address.
Maples and Calder
Cayman Islands based firm Maples and Calder made waves when it entered the Irish market in 2006. It had ambition and resources, and recruited leading individuals from some of the country's top firms. With experienced partners on board it settled very quickly and although it is yet to make tier 1 in any of the tables, it has built some strong practices. A good year for the firm sees it promoted across two tables while consolidating in other rankings.
Coming from an offshore jurisdiction it's no surprise the firm is strongly focussed on investment funds. Internationally it's regarded as a leader in the field, and in Ireland it's not far off the top. Practice head Barry McGrath remains the team's stalwart partner, with his experience and knowledge seen as his key attributes. "There's not much Barry hasn't seen, he knows the industry very well," says one client.
McGrath's practice was augmented with the hire of A&L Goodbody partner Carol Widger, who joined with four associates, in 2012, but Elaine Keane, who occupied the same position at Maples, moved the other way in 2013. Widger is the more experienced of the two, with plenty of UCITS (Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities) and non UCITS experience. It's not just the headcount in the funds practice which is growing, the firm moved up from seventh to second in Monterey Insight's rankings for the number of funds advised by Irish law firms.
Debt capital markets, including structured products, is another strength of the firm in Ireland. The well regarded David Maughan often leads on the firm's notable deals.
The firm joins the equity capital markets rankings after demonstrating its capabilities on Fleetmatics $152 million IPO on the NYSE, where Edward Miller led the team acting as Irish council.
Capital markets is overseen by finance head Nollaig Murphy, who is known for his good technical knowledge, which was clear when he advised Boost on the establishment of its collateralised ETP securities programme recently.
Murphy's finance group also handles banking work, and it encompasses a good asset finance practice. After an impressive year of working on some large refinancing deals and several aircraft lease transactions, the firm joins tier 3 in banking. Its biggest deal saw Maughan advising KDB as arranger and facility and security agent on a €2 billion refinancing by the Doosan Group.
Murphy also works on insolvency matters, advising alongside insolvency partner Robin McDonnell, Paul Dobbyn and litigator Dudley Solan. Clients say it's a very good, well-balanced team and it moves up to tier 2.
Murphy, clients say, is good on technical issues in an insolvency situation. "Insolvencies in Ireland at the moment have got more sophisticated; there's a lot more restructuring solutions. Nollaig is very good with that coming from a banking and corporate finance background. He's very comfortable with those conversations, especially if it involves reorganising group structures, transferring trade assets and liabilities, with all that stuff a kick down the door insolvency lawyer wouldn't be as comfortable," explains one. Ex Eugene F Collins lawyer McDonnell handles the more traditional insolvency questions, such as the retention of titles, stock, and landlord leases. "He's a nice guy and he does nothing but insolvency, which means he's seeing things everyday and improving." Dobbyn brings knowledge and experience: "He's a smart guy, he's very good on case law: how judges or courts will interpret things, the chances of success in terms of any types of litigation in insolvency," says a client, summarising: "Between the three of them they have everything covered." Solan's specialism is construction, which is particularly handy given how many of the cases in Ireland are tied to this area.
The firm's recent high profile deals include the insolvency of Treasury Holdings and its 15 subsidiaries, where Maples is acting for Michael McAteer and Paul McCann, the liquidators. Solan and McDonnell are leading on what is one of the largest compulsory liquidations in Irish history.
© Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC