09 April 2021

Taylor Wessing becomes latest UK firm to plan Ireland expansion following EU exit

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Firm plans to open in Dublin with a focus on tech and healthcare

Taylor Wessing is planning to open a Dublin office, the latest UK firm to seek to expand in Ireland as the profession adjusts to the post-Brexit trading environment.

The firm said the move – which is subject to regulatory approval – would focus on two of its core sectors, tech and life sciences. Corporate partner and executive board member James Goold and the firm’s international co-head of life sciences and healthcare Alison Dennis will initially divide their time between London and Dublin to help set up the new office. The firm added that it was 'currently in discussions with legal experts in the market, with further updates to be provided'.

Shane Gleghorn, Taylor Wessing’s managing partner, said: “Our strategy is focused on representing our clients in the major technology and life-science hubs and, therefore, it is a natural step for us to expand into Ireland with that focus in mind.”

Goold has been a partner at Taylor Wessing since 2012, joining from Jones Day in London, which he became part of when his previous employer and former city firm Gouldens was acquired by the US firm in 2003. Dennis, meantime, is a relatively new recruit having joined Taylor Wessing last May from Fieldfisher, where she spent almost 12 years – roughly a decade of which as head of life sciences and healthcare. She was also previously at Reed Smith.

Goold said: “Dublin is a thriving, dynamic city and the surrounding areas of Cork and Galway continue to be recognised as amongst the leading tech and innovation hubs in the world. Our strategic growth plans offer opportunities for us to support international technology and life sciences sector organisations with leading advice that will deliver continued success for their businesses.”

A number of British and international firms are setting up offices in Dublin in the wake of the UK’s divorce from the EU, including Hogan Lovells and Ashurst, which both announced plans last month. Restrictions on practising EU law outside of the EU mean that firms that had previously served EU clients from London have had to set up new offices in the 27-nation bloc.

Dublin is not the only location that has attracted firms to set up EU outposts either. Also last month, Wall Street firm Simpson Thacher & Bartlett unveiled plans to open in Brussels later this year to help it adjust to the impact of Brexit.

In January, Taylor Wessing secured a team of 11 London-based private client lawyers from Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner.

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