International law firm Bird & Bird to open in Dublin

International law firm Bird & Bird is to open an office in Dublin this summer – its first in Ireland.

he company has 30 offices around the world, employing more than 1,400 lawyers.

It primarily supports client organisations that are being impacted by digital innovation, or which are spearheading changes in the field.

Bird & Bird said that opening an office in Dublin is a “natural step” for the firm due to the number of international technology and life sciences companies that have European headquarters or a major presence in the capital.

It added that the Dublin office will initially focus on areas including privacy and data protection, technology, life sciences, intellectual property and corporate law.

Bird & Bird partners Roger Bickerstaff, of its technology and communications section, and Sally Shorthose of its life sciences & healthcare group, will initially head the Dublin office as it scales up and brings on board a new team.

“Our firm has always grown strategically and in line with our clients’ needs, so opening  an office in Dublin – a vibrant market which is playing an increasingly significant international role across many industries – is a natural next step for us,” said Bird & Bird chief executive David Kerr.

Among the clients the law firm has worked with are German software giant SAP, the European Commission and Digital Europe.

Separately, Irish law firm Eugene F Collins has confirmed that it’s merging with international law firm Addleshaw Goddard.

The merger will see the long-established Eugene F Collins name disappear. The firm was established almost 130 years ago. It has 25 partners and employs more than 100 legal professionals.

The enlarged firm aims to double the size of its business in Ireland over the next three to five years.

Mark Walsh, the managing partner of Eugene F Collins, said the merger with Addleshaw Goddard affords the firm an “exciting opportunity” to grow its business and better serve its clients.

“Over time we have built up a strong working relationship with Addleshaw Goddard, working side by side, allowing us to gain a better understanding of our respective business, culture, and people which has helped form this merger,” he said.

Mr Walsh will continue to lead the combined firm in Ireland for a three-year period and will become head of Ireland for the merged business.

John Joyce, the managing partner of Addleshaw Goddard, said that the merger “fulfils a need” the firm has had for some time to establish a presence in Dublin. It has 15 offices in Europe, Asia and the Middle East.