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Monday, 15th April 2024
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Firms expand as ‘equity’ fees loom Back  
Mason Hayes and Curran Solicitors, one of Dublin's fastest-growing mid-sized legal firms, is actively researching the possibility of taking equity in lieu of fees for professional services given to start up technology companies.

Tony Burke, partner in charge of the firm's commercial department, says that such arrangements are currently 'gaining a fair amount of credence in England', where blue chip firms such as Clifford Chance and Linklaters are considering them. Burke says that start up costs, including legal fees, are often one of the biggest difficulties for new technology companies, and an 'equity in lieu' deal might therefore suit both parties, particularly if the company went on to succeed in the mode of, for example, Baltimore Technologies.

A focus group within Mason Hayes and Curran's commercial department has been established to look at this area more closely, and will recruit two more lawyers in the near future.

Burke says that another area of potential future growth for Mason Hayes and Curran is biotechnology. The firm has recruited Raymond O'Rourke, the author of the only book on EU Food Law, to help expand this side of the business.

Also expanding is O'Donnell Sweeney, Solicitors. The firm has just relocated to the former A&L Goodbody offices in Earlsfort Terrace and is starting on an intensive recruitment drive over three main practice areas: construction and project finance, IT and financial services. David Beattie, partner with the firm, says that eight or nine new lawyers will be hired in coming months. He admits that expansion has been somewhat hampered in recent months by the search for new headquarters, but says that new business has still been arriving at O'Donnell Sweeney's door.

In financial services, Beattie says that the firm has seen significant interest from IFSC companies, particularly in the banking and funds sectors. On the project finance side, the firm has been involved in many projects, according to Beattie, with one of the most interesting being in renewable energy.

Meanwhile, Arthur Cox has recruited Rachel Hussey as the firm's first ever communications director. Hussey was formerly a litigation solicitor with McCann FitzGerald.

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