Asset Management & Investment Funds

The Asset Management and Investment Funds Department at William Fry is recognised for delivering the highest quality work with an exceptionally strong service mentality.  Our leading position reflects our strength and depth of expertise, the experience of our team at all levels, as well as the calibre of our clients and the transactions on which we advise. William Fry continues to be the firm of choice for significant and complex fund transactions in Ireland.

About William Fry’s Asset Management & Investment Funds team

  • We are one of the largest dedicated asset management and investment  funds teams in Ireland with nine Partners, led by Dan Morrissey, who has served as both Chairman and elected member to the Council of Irish Funds, the Irish funds industry association group.
  • As at 30 June 2019, our team represents 457 Irish domiciled funds with AUM in excess of US$460bn (Monterey Insights 2019), maintaining our long-standing ranking among the top legal advisors to Irish domiciled funds. The average assets under management of each fund we advise is $1bn, by some distance the largest average fund size in the Irish market.
  • We are known for our 'Blue Chip' client base, advising 2 of the top 6 promoters of Irish domiciled funds by AUM (including the largest), as well as a number of the most significant global fund service providers.
  • We offer unrivalled expertise at all fee earner levels in structuring, establishing and advising ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds). We advise approx. 40% of all Irish domiciled ETFs representing some US$293bn (or approx. 75%) of the total AUM within Irish-domiciled ETFs (Monterey Insights 2019).
  • We are at the forefront of legal/regulatory, solutions-focused innovation, leading the way in the provision of cutting-edge legal advice within the Irish Funds sector, having advised on:
    • the creation of the single settlement model permitting settlement of ETFs within the international central securities depositary (ICSD) system for the first time and the conversion of the first ETFs to use this new settlement model
    • the establishment of the first proprietary AP dealing platform for all primary market trading owned and operated by the ETF provider, outside of the Administrator’s network
    • the establishment of the first Irish-domiciled money market fund
    • the first conversion of a fund from plc to ICAV status
    • as well as other innovations, including being the legal firm that was first to the Irish market with a property ICAV, a life settlement fund, a loan origination fund, pooling and various share class structures.
  • All of our team's practitioners work exclusively on funds matters and our Partners are all recognised industry leaders in their field. We currently serve on nine separate Irish Funds working groups responsible for raising and developing Ireland’s profile as a leading fund domicile, including:
    • Legal
    • ESG Sustainability
    • Asset Management Regulation
    • Depositary
    • UCITS Regulation & Innovation
    • Distribution Groups (covering LatAm, Brazil & China, Europe and various other jurisdictions).
  • We pride ourselves on maintaining strong and trusted bonds with clients over the longer-term, evidencing consistent satisfaction with the quality of legal service delivery. 

Additional Offerings

In addition to having one of the largest legal teams dedicated to asset management and investment funds-related matters, William Fry is also known for providing perhaps the most rounded of all relevant offerings within the Dublin market with our Asset Management and Investment Funds Department also including:

  • a dedicated Funds Company Secretarial team (consisting of 7 full-time professionals, including some of the most senior Funds Company Secretaries available in the Dublin market);
  • a sophisticated Funds Global Registration & Listings service (led by Marion Mellett); and
  • our Irish Stock Exchange Listing Sponsor team.

London Office 

Lorena DunneBased in our London office Lorena Dunne advises international clients on establishing and managing funds in Ireland.





Recent significant deals include advising:

  • BlackRock on the acquisition of the €87bn Bank of America money market fund business
  • iShares on the establishment of a range of ESG/SRI-focused ETFs
  • ETF Securities on the sale of Europe's largest independent ETF provider Canvas to Legal & General Investment Management
  • Legal & General Investment Management on the establishment of a suite of core equity ETFs
  • Architas Multi-Manager Europe Limited, an AXA Group Company, on the migration of a significant asset management business from the UK to Ireland
  • The National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) in relation to the investment by ISIF (Irish sovereign wealth fund) in an ICAV alongside private equity investment giant Starwood Capital, the ultimate goal being the development a €1 billion build-to-rent platform
  • Quadrant Real Estate Advisers on the establishment of a tailored new fund of an ICAV to invest in loans secured on Irish office developments
  • SQN, a specialist asset finance and alternative credit manager, on the formation and launch of a loan originating QIAIF platform.
  • Atlantic Bridge LP on formation under the Irish Limited Partnerships Act 1907 and fundraising work
  • The NTMA and Irish Department of Finance on the contractual arrangements relating to the recovery and holding of the amount which the European Commission considered to be State Aid to Apple, pending the outcome of legal proceedings by both Ireland and Apple
  • Barclays Bank plc on a cross-border UCITS merger BNY Mellon on the complex technical steps, both operational and legal in nature, required for BNY Mellon to transition their suite of money market funds to the new fund types set out in the EU MMF Regulation
  • Temporis Capital on formation and fundraising for a sustainability focused infrastructure fund structured as a limited partnership
  • a European real estate boutique on redomiciling its pan-European open ended real estate private fund as an Irish limited partnership
  • Harrington Cooper LLP on the establishment of a UCITS management company and UCITS ICAV platform in Ireland
  • Lazard Asset Management on the regulatory process to passport the services of their Irish based UCITS management company to Italy, Spain, Belgium, Portugal and Luxembourg
  • a range of major UK-based asset managers on Brexit-contingency planning assessments including: advices on ETF marketing and distribution post Brexit and ancillary permissions; advices on the status and continued operation of CREST as a central securities depositary; advices on the FCA Temporary Permissions Regime; advices on tied agency queries and secondee arrangements
  • Invesco on all Irish aspects of its acquisition of Source, the exchange traded fund provider and on the establishment of the first Irish ETF to track multiple indices
  • ETF Securities on the launch of three innovative global ETFs providing targeted exposure to technologies in the healthcare, energy storage and commerce industries
  • a promoter based in the Middle East on the launch of its first open-ended ICAV authorised by the Central Bank of Ireland as an umbrella UCITS
  • Sands Capital, with $40bn under management, on the establishment in their Irish platform of a global leaders strategy fund, adding to their existing emerging market, US equity and global equity strategies
  • an Irish authorised MiFID firm acting as investment manager to a self-managed UCITS on the re-structuring of its delegate arrangements so as to have two group companies that previously carried out non-discretionary advisory functions within the investment management delegate chain to manage fund assets on a discretionary basis


Shareholders' Rights Directive II Becomes Irish Law

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ESMA Lowers Reporting Threshold For Short Positions In Response to Covid-19 Pandemic

ESMA has issued a statement outlining its decision, effective immediately, to temporarily lower the reporting threshold of net short positions in EU traded shares from 0.2% to 0.1% of the issued share capital of the relevant company.

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ESMA Recommends UCITS Managers & AIFMS in-scope for MiFID Requirements

ESMA has recommended that the European Commission extend the scope of ESMA's (and national regulators') power under MiFID to restrict or prohibit the sale, marketing or distribution of financial instruments by MiFID firms to include UCITS managers and AIFMs.

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  • In the opinion of one interviewee, "they are extremely capable, pragmatic, practical and very responsive." Another client reports: "William Fry has a very wide-reaching level of expertise and in-depth knowledge, and another strength is the consistently high quality of the staff." Chambers Global 2019
  • "William Fry are solid and trusted partners that have advised on our Dublin umbrella for many years. The team has deep experience and knowledge of the Irish funds industry." Another client commented: "The William Fry team are extremely responsive and skilled at focusing on the material issues at hand. They provide excellent service in a timely fashion that facilitates us to move projects forward easily and effectively. The team always provide a first class service." IFLR 1000, 2019 
  • Clients enthuse that it is "a top-class law firm" and highlight the team's "attention to client needs and understanding of the inner workings of an asset manager." Another client praises the team's "first-class service, ability to put client needs first and availability." Clients appreciate that the team "is driven by client needs; achieving the client's objectives is the number one priority." Chambers Global 2018  
  • According to one client, "William Fry are very approachable, respond very quickly to queries and turn documents around promptly, often outside normal hours and at weekends. The depth and breadth of knowledge in the team is high, but the lawyers also have a good commercial sense and understanding." Other Sources advise that "the lawyers are very personable to work with and provide clear and prompt advice." Clients identify "many positives in the team's commercial positioning; they have a strong brand and market influence." Chambers Global, 2017
  • William Fry has ‘a broad range of expertise’. Legal 500 EMEA, 2017
  • Sources say "The firm looks for solutions and takes a commercial approach. The advice always puts the law into practical terms and helps us to overcome hurdles, or find another route to what we want to achieve. The client service is top drawer."  Clients state: "The firm puts the interests of its clients first, providing pragmatic, solution-driven advice in a refreshing way, which is clear, commercial and free from the legal jargon often associated with law firms." Chambers Global, 2016
  • "The team is responsive and the quality of advice is good, backed up by knowledge of the industry as well as the law.
    Chambers Europe, 2015
  • William Fry ‘balances legal guidance with commercial requirements’. Legal 500 EMEA, 2015
  • A highly regarded group, advising leading investment managers, administrators, custodians and global service providers on the gamut of funds work. Offers standout expertise in Dublin's ETF market.  "We really appreciate the breadth of this practice." "The team has great connections with the regulators and was excellent to work with."  Chambers Europe, 2014


Dan Morrissey

  • Interviewees "have a high regard" for team co-head Dan Morrissey. Chambers Global, 2017 
  • Dan Morrissey is an extremely experienced senior partner who has served as a non-executive director for a number of leading fund management platforms. Sources describe him as "a very learned all-rounder in the funds industry, and a leading light with extremely useful knowledge." Chambers Europe, 2016
  • Dan Morrissey has ‘great knowledge.' Legal 500 EMEA, 2015
  • Department head Dan Morrissey is unanimously recognised as a high-profile figure in Ireland's funds market. Chambers Europe, 2014
  • As former chair of the Irish Funds Industry Association, Daniel Morrissey has huge experience and expertise in the area. Chambers Europe, 2013 

Patricia Taylor

  • Patricia is well regarded for advising custodians and service providers on regulatory matters. She has specialist knowledge of QIFs and changes related to UCITS V. Chambers Global, 2017
  • Sources describe her as an "absolutely expert adviser, who has a real wealth of knowledge." Chambers Global, 2016 
  • Patricia Taylor is ‘a top choice for regulatory advice’Legal 500 EMEA, 2015
  • Patricia Taylor is described by one source as "very technically strong and a regulatory expert." Chambers Europe, 2014
  • Patricia Taylor is ‘an innovative and strategic thinker’. Legal 500 EMEA, 2014

Vincent Coyne

  • Clients say that Vincent is "very good at coming up with alternative ways of approaching problems." Chambers Global 2018 
  • According to clients, Vincent Coyne is "great at managing clients' expectations. He is detailed and prompt in his responses, and is also commercially minded in his advice and suggested solutions." Chambers Global 2017
  • Vincent Coyne "can always be relied on" Legal 500 EMEA 2017

James Phelan

  • James Phelan has ‘a keen eye for detail’. Legal 500 EMEA 2017

Lorena Dunne 

Lorena Dunne is well-regarded and "extremely responsive"Legal 500 EMEA 2018

Key Contacts

Dan Morrissey Partner

Vincent Coyne Partner

James Phelan Partner

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