Corporate / M&A

Corporate and M&A have always been the bedrock of our practice at William Fry.

Our team has excellent credentials, a wealth of experience and an impressive depth of expertise.  We consistently have a central role in the most sophisticated and complex corporate transactions and advisory work in Ireland, as well as in large cross-border deals with an Irish aspect.

Our clients include leading Irish and international companies and institutions, public and private, as well as state and public sector bodies.  We are also proud to have acted for many of Ireland’s most successful entrepreneurs.

We are consistently ranked in the top tier of Irish advisers for Corporate and M&A work by leading directories including Chambers Global and Legal 500.  Most recently we have been:

  • The only Irish Law firm to be ranked in the top three for Irish M&A activity for the last five year;
  • Advised on over 60% of all reported Venture Capital deals in Ireland (IVCA VenturePulse Report 2016), more than any other Irish Law firm;
  • We are consistently ranked in the top three of Irish advisers for Corporate/M&A work by leading M&A league table houses and directories including mergermarket, Thomas Reuters, Chambers Global and Legal 500;
  • Awarded ‘European Corporate Deal of the Year’ at The Lawyer European Awards 2016 for our role as lead advisor to International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (IAG) on its acquisition of Aer Lingus Group plc (Aer Lingus) for €1.46bn, and
  • Advised on the M&A Deal of the Year Capital Markets (Finance Dublin Magazine's Deal of Year 2016).

Our Corporate team is centrally involved in the Firm’s sectoral groups, including our Banking & Finance, Healthcare & Life Sciences, Inward Investment/FDI, Private Equity and Technology groups, and is supported by our other Departments to ensure effective and efficient delivery of solutions focused advice.

Recent work includes advising:

  • Innocoll Holdings plc, the NASDAQ-listed specialty pharmaceutical company, on the recommended offer by Gurnet Point Capital to acquire it by scheme of arrangement under Ireland's Companies Act 2014 
  • The institutional investors in Neuravi, an Irish medical device company focused on stroke treatment, on its sale to Codman Neuro (part of the Johnson & Johnson group), reported as the largest exit of a venture-backed European medtech company since 2009
  • King Digital Entertainment on its $5.9bn acquisition by Activision Blizzard, one of the largest deals in the history of the interactive entertainment industry
  • International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG) in relating to its €1.4bn takeover offer for Aer Lingus. This is the biggest ever aviation transaction relating to an Irish airline and the largest involving a European carrier in the last decade
  • The Irish Government in relation to its restructuring and proposed IPO of AIB
  • Hammerson-Allianz joint venture on all Irish law aspects on its purchase of a EUR2.6bn portfolio of loans on Irish shopping malls – this was the largest real estate related transaction in the history of the Irish State
  • Patron Capital and Fitzpatrick Lifestyle Hotels on the €150m disposal of the Dublin Lifestyle Collection hotel portfolio (comprising The Spencer, The Morgan and The Beacon hotels) to Lalco
  • AA plc on the €156.6m sale of AA Ireland
  • Selfridges Group on its acquisition of sole control of the Arnotts Group following several loan purchase transactions, a debt-for-equity restructuring and a property spin-out
  • Camelot Group and Premier on the acquisition of the Irish National Lottery Licence for a 20 year period
  • UTV Television on its GDP£100m acquisition by ITV Plc

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Department

  • Clients appreciate that the lawyers "made an effort to get to know us, were practical, commercial, strong in negotiations and could explain Irish law in a clear way to US buyers."
    "It has always been a pleasure to work with them", say clients. "The drafting is first class, they are good negotiators and their manner is conducive to getting the deal done." 
    Chambers Global, 2017 
  • William Fry has a "proactive and resourceful team’ with "outstanding legal strategists" and "tremendous dealmakers". Legal 500,EMEA 2017
    "All the people there are exceptional - whoever you work with can take you through the whole process and you will be in excellent hands. There is remarkable strength in depth throughout the team."
  •  "Provides constructive and focused solutions. A strong firm that I'd happily work with again." Chambers Global, 2016
  • William Fry is "an exceptional firm". Legal 500 EMEA, 2016
  • "The legal advice is always given in a digestible, user-friendly format, and the team understands market practices well, not just in Ireland but internationally. It is sophisticated in what it does."
    "The team is good at cutting through to the key issues and comprehensive in terms of identifying risks. The team is responsive, the level of care and attention is strong and
    the advice is clear to understand."
    Chambers Global, 2015 
  • William Fry’s team has ‘tremendous industry knowledge and experience’. Legal 500 EMEA, 2015 
  • "We use William Fry because it has such a broad base. When you are doing a deal and it spans a number of sectors you get someone co-ordinating matters." "It is very much solution-oriented and presents us with a spectrum of outcomes which really helps with the decision-making process." Chambers Europe, 2014
  • William Fry is "a very professional firm with a great breadth of legal and business acumen".  Legal 500 EMEA, 2014
  • Sources say: “If you are looking for exceptional work from smart, responsive people William Fry is the place to go.” “We get a Rolls-Royce service. The team can tackle any problem and I am treated like an individual not just a faceless client.” Chambers Global, 2013 
  • William Fry will "stay at the table for as long as it takes to close the deal’ and its lawyers are ‘very strong negotiators'. Legal 500 EMEA, 2013
  • Sources say: 'William Fry is fabulous. It understands the issues clients face and ensures transactions progress smoothly.' Chambers Europe, 2012
  • William Fry’s 'first-class' team is capable of 'devising and delivering a solution' that clients are happy with. Legal 500 EMEA, 2012

Team

  • Bryan Bourke

    • Clients admire his "ability to tackle complex issues, including extremely difficult negotiations with other parties. He is an extremely strong character with a huge reputation." Chambers Global 2016
    • Extemely shrewd and extremely trustworthy," Bryan Bourke always has his clients' interest in mind. Now managing partner, he remains an active member of the corporate team.  Chambers Global 2015
    • Practice head Bryan Bourke is ‘a brilliant lawyer who delivers in full and on time’.  Legal 500 EMEA, 2015
    • Clients describe Bryan Bourke as "an excellent quarterback. He can translate stuff from the Irish context and knows all the details without losing the bigger picture. His team was extremely thorough." Chambers Global 2014
    • Bryan Bourke is ‘technically brilliant'. Legal 500 EMEA, 2014
    • Bryan Bourke is "a great thinker with a fantastic ability to absorb information and use it practically." Chambers Global 2013
    • Bryan Bourke is a "very commonsense, switched-on lawyer". Legal 500 EMEA, 2012
    • Bryan Bourke wins enthusiastic praise from clients, who say: "He is shrewd, strategic and understands our business. He always makes sure we avoid pitfalls and that all eventualities are covered." Chambers Global 2012
  • Shane O'Donnell

    • Amongst extensive praise from interviewees, one client states: "Shane embodies this firm's brilliance. He executes our objectives to the letter and he is able to anticipate our goals and boundaries very accurately, which frees us up to be more productive as an organisation." Chambers Global 2016 
    • Shane O'Donnell is praised by clients for his practical approach; "in addition to legal skills, he also brings a commercial dimension," comments one source. Chambers Global 2015
    • Shane O’Donnell is  ‘knowledgeable’. Legal 500 EMEA, 2015
    • Shane O'Donnell is praised by clients for his top-rate negotiation and management skills. Chambers Global 2014
    • Shane O’Donnell is 'recommended.' Legal 500 EMEA, 2014
    • Corporate finance specialist Shane O'Donnell is a valued adviser to his clients. He is “hugely commercial. He identifies the real business issue and helps me deal with that.” Chambers Global 2013
  • Myra Garrett

    • Myra Garrett is a market-leading ECM lawyer, whose "experience is highly impressive". Clients describe M yra as "a very smart lawyer with good commercial focus."  Chambers Global, 2016
    • "Highly skilled practitioner Myra Garrett is well regarded by peers and clients for her expertise in the corporate/M&A field, with particular strengths in the technology sector."  Chambers Global 2015
    • Myra Garrett is ‘commercially savvy’. Legal 500 EMEA, 2015
    • Myra Garrett is known in the market as a "formidable operator" with particular expertise in the technology sector. Clients add that "she is very good at pulling together the broader resources. We are very impressed with her personality, capability and strength of knowledge."  Chambers Global 2014
    • Myra Garrett is 'recommended'. Legal 500 EMEA, 2014
    • Myra Garrett is commended by clients as an “outstanding commercial adviser. She is excellent at applying the legal side to our business needs and getting us the result we need.” Chambers Global 2013
    • Myra Garrett "has a commercial acumen and pragmatism that is unusual to find in a lawyer." Chambers Global 2012
  • Stephen Keogh

    • "He has the highest integrity, and is bright, commercial, solution-focused and always gets results."  Chambers Global 2016
    • "Head of the London office Stephen Keogh has experience in dealing with cross-border mandates for multinational clients. He also has expertise in handling private equity transactions."  Chambers Global 2015 
    • Stephen Keogh is an ‘exceptional professional’. Legal 500 EMEA, 2015
    • Stephen Keogh heads the London office and has notable strength in technology. According to clients, he "always impresses everybody, is very pragmatic and cuts to the core of things with his commercial mind." Chambers Global 2014 
    • "Stephen Keogh is regarded as an accomplished transactional lawyer with notable expertise in private equity and venture capital work." Chambers Global 2013 
    • The 'very thorough' Stephen Keogh is recommended. Legal 500 EMEA, 2012 
  • Brendan Cahill

    • "Brendan Cahill is a recognised M&A practitioner with experience in handling cross-border transactions, particularly in the USA." Chambers Global 2015
    • Brendan Cahill is recognised by sources as an "excellent practitioner."  Chambers Global 2014
    • “Sharp and clever,” Brendan Cahill is praised as an outstanding technical lawyer. Chambers Global 2013 
  • Alvin Price

    • "Chairman Alvin Price is a renowned expert in the field of corporate/M&A, assisting clients with critical issues arising out of complex transactions. He has a profound understanding of Irish takeover law." Chambers Global 2015 
    • Senior Statesman Alvin Price is known for his ability to "close the deal with a great level of engagement. He pulls the team together and comes in and tops and tails it." One client appreciated the personal service provided: "It feels like there is a lot of communication and interaction in the background. He was almost like your account manager and saves you money because you don't have to repeat yourself." Chambers Global 2014
    • Alvin Price is highlighted as “an absolutely brilliant corporate lawyer.” Chambers Global 2013 

Key Contacts

Bryan Bourke Managing Partner

Shane O'Donnell Partner

Myra Garrett Partner

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