Asset Management & Investment Funds

William Fry continues to be the Firm of choice for significant and complex funds work in Ireland, consolidating our work with large global players and increasing the number of large asset manager clients.  Our leading position is emphasized both by our client list and through the number of leading expert lawyers at William Fry.  Our leading position reflects our strength and depth of expertise, the experience of our team, as well as the calibre of our clients and the transactions on which we advise.

The Best Funds Lawyer 2015 Award was given to William Fry in recognition of its Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) team’s prominence in the European market and their involvement in nearly every significant ETF deal in recent times. 

William Fry’s Investment Funds team:

  • Is one of the largest dedicated funds teams in Dublin with 9 Partners.   
  • As at 30 June 2016 William Fry advised 526 Irish domiciled funds with in excess of US$329bn of assets under management; 
  • Was the only Irish law firm to grow its market share in Irish funds with a 23% increase in 2014 (Monterey Insights 2014) and developed this further with another 10% increase in 2015.  We saw continued growth in 2016;
  • Has a Blue Chip client base, we advise:
    • 3 of the top 6 ranked promoters/investment managers of Irish domiciled funds by assets;
    • 5 of the 10 largest administrators of Irish domiciled funds by assets;
    • 6 of the 10 largest custodians of Irish domiciled funds by assets;
  • Has unrivalled expertise in the fastest growing investment fund sector (“Exchange Traded Funds”) ETFs;
  • Advises over 80% of all Irish domiciled ETFs with over US$60bn assets under management advising 3 of the top 5 global ETF providers;
  • Is at the forefront of innovation and cutting edge developments: 
    • creating the first Europe wide clearing system for ETFs;
    • the first conversion of an Irish Plc to an ICAV
    • advising on the establishment of an equity fund investing directly in mainland China;
    • advising hedge fund managers on launching some of the first products on Independent AIFM Platforms; 
    • developing passively hedged share class structures in a number of ETFs.
  • Our Partners are all recognised industry leaders in their fields:
  • Tara O’Reilly and Dan Morrissey have served as elected members to the Council of the Irish Funds (“IF”), the fund’s industry association group and Tara was an invited member of the EFAMA ETF working group; and
  • We also serve on 10 separate IF working groups including Legal, Hedge Funds, Private Equity, International Tax, Capital Markets Union and Events, responsible for raising and developing Ireland’s profile as a leading fund domicile.

Recent significant deals include advising:

  • The creation of an entirely new settlement model for ETFs. This was the first structure of its kind and has been adopted by other ETF providers since. 
  • Establised the ICAV and QIAIF investment vehicles for Hammerson and Allianz Real Estate, the successful purchaser on the largest real estate related transaction in the history of the Irish state, Project Jewel, a loan portfolio with a par value of EUR€2.6bn
  • BlackRock Inc on the acquisition of Credit Suisse’s ETF business in Ireland, Luxembourg and Switzerland to include Credit Suisse’s existing Irish UCITS management company, Credit Suisse Fund Management Company (Ireland) Limited. 
  • Hines GREIT II Ireland Fund Plc on its conversion for a Plc entity, this was the first time that this new legislation was used to effect a conversion of a plc to an ICAV.
  • Citibank Plc on all aspects of converting their custody business to compliance with the AIFMD Depositary Rules
  • Invesco PowerShares on the establishment of a new “Global Buyback Fund” within their PowerShares ETF range.
  • Otus Capital Management Limited on the process of establishing a UCITS umbrella fund in Ireland, the first occasion on which Otus established a UCITS
  • Protégé Partners on their establishment of a sub-fund within a third party AIFM Platform
  • Wisdom Tree on the launch of their first European domiciled funds
  • Barclays Bank plc. on the proposed cross-border merger of a number of its French and Luxembourg UCITS with Barclays Irish domiciled UCITS Multi-Manager platform.
  • Lazard on the establishment of two new funds within their $5.6bn Irish domiciled UCITS platform. 
  • Sands Capital, with $35bn under management, on the establishment in their Irish platform of an emerging markets equity strategy fund, adding to their existing US equity and global equity strategies.  
  • the Irish Minister for Communication, Energy and Natural Resources on the Irish Government’s investment in a newly established, Irish domiciled, Energy Efficiency Fund.
  • US Bancorp the Minneapolis, Minnesota based diversified financial services group (and parent company of U.S. Bank National Association, the fifth largest bank in the US) in relation to the acquisition of Quintillion Limited, the Ireland based alternative fund administration company with USD 18bn in hedge fund assets under administration, for an undisclosed consideration.
  • Kennedy Wilson on the establishment of three property fund platforms through which approximately €750m of Irish property assets and related loans will be acquired
  • Green Property REIT Ventures Limited, the manager of the first REIT established in Ireland, whose shares began trading on the Irish Stock Exchange on 18 July 2013 and raised approximately €310m. The advice related to various  regulatory, stock exchange and commercial matters and was particularly notable for the ground-breaking nature of the transaction, being the first such complex product to launch in Ireland.

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  • 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
  • Sources say: “The team helps us to navigate processes successfully. The advice is seamless and the lawyers have a great approach to client service.”  Chambers Europe, 2013


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 

Tara O'Reilly

  • Tara is praised by one client as being an "ETF expert." Another source agrees that she is "one of the most knowledgeable lawyers in ETFs," and goes on to describe her as "extremely pragmatic" and "solution-focused."  Chambers Global, 2017
  • Tara O'Reilly "can always be relied on". Legal 500 EMEA, 2017
  • Clients say: "She always treats every client like they are her biggest client. When we ask for advice she gives it with a clear, definitive view, articulated simply, so you always know where you are and what you need to do." Chambers Europe, 2016
  • Tara O’Reilly is ‘an outstanding practitioner’. Legal 500 EMEA, 2016
  • Tara O’Reilly is ‘an expert in ETF-related issues’. Legal 500 EMEA, 2015
  • Tara O'Reilly is described by one source as "highly technical and personable – the complete package." Commentators agree she has "cornered" the ETF market.  Chambers Europe, 2014
  • Tara O’Reilly, has ‘considerable expertise in ETF-related work’ and is ‘at the top of her game in the Irish funds space’. Legal 500 EMEA, 2014
  • Tara O’Reilly has ‘unrivalled expertise’ in exchange traded funds (ETF), and brings ‘both a legal and strategic aspect to her advice’. Legal 500 EMEA, 2013

Cormac Commins

  • According to clients, the "very approachable" Cormac Commins' "knowledge is exceptional in terms of UCITS, and Irish UCITS in particular." He is well known and highly regarded for assisting promoters with open-ended and liquid funds. Chambers Global, 2017
  • Sources report that "he makes everything seamless. He is a very calm and collected individual who gives sound, practical advice, and takes the time to understand your issues to the same extent an in-house lawyer would." Chambers Global, 2016
  • Cormac Commins is ‘technically excellent.' Legal 500, 2015
  • Cormac receives praise from sources as a "very personable, down-to-earth and pragmatic lawyer, who understands the law and can explain it to clients." Chambers Europe, 2015
  • Cormac Commins is 'exceptional'. Legal 500 EMEA, 2014
  • Cormac Commins is praised as "a safe pair of hands." Chambers Europe, 2014
  • Cormac Commins is ‘exceptional’. Legal 500, 2013

Ian Dillon

  • Ian Dillon receives plaudits for his knowledge and expertise of alternative investment fund launches, as well as regulatory and governance issues concerning hedge funds. One client says: "He has a real understanding of the industry, and how managers and funds need the information to be delivered." Chambers Global, 2017
  • Ian Dillon is an excellent and very experienced lawyer - he understands the industry better than any funds lawyer I have worked with because he has worked in house and as external counsel and has worked in, and is qualified in, multiple jurisdictions.”  IFLR 1000, 2017
  • Clients appreciate him as "someone who comes from the industry, and therefore has great knowledge and understanding," adding: "I have asked him some impossibly difficult questions at late notice and he came back with answers. Really impressed." Chambers Europe, 2016

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

Key Contacts

Dan Morrissey Partner

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