UK law firm Lewis Silkin expands into Ireland
UK-headquartered law firm Lewis Silkin has opened its first office in Dublin.
The office, which will focus on the provision of Irish and international employment law services, as well as supporting clients with business immigration needs, has hired Irish employment law specialists Siobhra Rush, who joins as partner, and Linda Hynes, who joins as managing associate.
The two will be supported by London-based colleagues Sean Dempsey, Catherine Hayes and David Hopper.
In addition, the company will offer data protection compliance services, particularly in respect of GDPR which comes into affect on May 25. The EU-wide regime updates and overhauls European data protection law, and all companies that process the data of EU residents are obliged to comply with the new requirements.
Speaking to Independent.ie, Sean Dempsey, Employment Parter at Lewis Silkin, said that the Dublin office was being opened in response to client demand, and that Brexit was a factor in this.
"A lot of clients are looking at a Brexit strategy, whether to move, where to move," Mr Dempsey said. They might not proceed, but they want to know the employment industry in Ireland, he continued.
The opening of the Dublin office also co-insides with the expansion of the company's role within leading employment law practice Ius Laboris.
"The opening of our new office in Dublin is a significant step in our evolution as a firm as we continue to grow and invest to meet increasing client demand for our market-leading international employment law offering," Ian Jeffery, chief executive of Lewis Silkin, said.
"The new Dublin office is a natural and complementary addition to our existing offering, and further enhances our ability to deliver for clients with operations in Ireland, the wider EU and globally."
Going forward Mr Jeffery said that the company, which has offices in London, Cardif, and Hong Kong, would continue to review avenues for expansion in Ireland in line with its core specialisms and evolving client requirements.
The announcement was welcomed by IDA Ireland CEO Martin Shanahan, who described the move as another reference point for the IDA.
"The company's rationale for locating in Ireland centres around the strong talent pool this country has on offer. It is the number one factor which companies cite when they make investment decisions in favour of Ireland," Mr Shanahan said.
The decision by Lewis Silkin comes as the top-end recruitment sector in Ireland becomes increasingly competitive.
Last month Korn Ferry, one of the world's largest headhunting firms, poached staff from the executive ranks of Dublin-based Merc Partners.
In the past few weeks, two of Merc's employees have defected to Korn Ferry, bolstering the US-listed behemoth's rapidly expanding Irish division.