Fieldfisher gears up for Brexit with Irish merger

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By Thomas Connelly on

As Burges Salmon launches in Scotland


International outfit Fieldfisher is set to merge with Dublin-based player McDowell Purcell, as it looks to strengthen its footing in the EU legal market post-Brexit.

The deal, formally agreed this week, sees Fieldfisher join a growing list of law firms to establish Dublin outposts following 2016 referendum including DLA Piper, Pinsent Masons, Lewis Silkin and Simmons & Simmons.

McDowell Purcell is the smaller of the two firms, with just 16 partners and 50 lawyers. The single-office-outfit specialises in, among other things, corporate & commercial, banking & finance and employment. By way of comparison, Fieldfisher has 24 offices in 11 countries and around 700 lawyers.

Michael Chissick, managing partner at Fieldfisher, described the move as the “last piece” in its international growth strategy. He said:

“Ireland is also one of the most successful economies in the EU… Its corporate tax rate is the second lowest in the EU which, together with a young workforce, good infrastructure and English speaking population, makes it an excellent investment for us. And of course with Brexit on the horizon, it will also help us to continue to deliver services to our European clients.”

McDowell Purcell managing partner, JP McDowell, added:

“We have worked collaboratively with Fieldfisher for a number of years now, and as a result of the strong relationship that has developed between the two firms, this merger is a natural fit for us.”

Meanwhile, Bristol-headquartered Burges Salmon has announced the launch of its first Scottish office in Edinburgh. The new outpost opens next month and will initially be home to eight lawyers. There is, however, still no word on whether the firm will offer training contracts north of the border.

On Burges’ expansion, managing partner Roger Bull said: “The launch of our Edinburgh office is exciting and will enable us to support the firm’s growing client-base and long-standing Scottish practice.”

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