International firm Fieldfisher is to join the growing list of firms to open offices in Ireland, citing it as a ‘business friendly’ EU jurisdiction. The firm announced today that it will merge with top-20 Irish firm McDowell Purcell from 1 May. It follows Pinsent Masons, Simmons & Simmons and Lewis Silkin in announcing the opening of Irish offices.

The 120-year-old McDowell Purcell has 16 partners and 50 lawyers. It specialises in corporate and commercial, renewable energy, banking & finance, litigation and dispute resolution and has a regulatory practice.

Michael Chissick, managing partner at Fieldfisher, said Ireland was the ’last piece’ in the firm’s international growth strategy. ‘Ireland is also one of the most successful economies in the EU. Of course, with Brexit on the horizon, it will also help us to continue to deliver services to our European clients. Our US clients, and tech companies in particular, regard Ireland as a business-friendly EU jurisdiction,’ he added.

McDowell Purcell managing partner JP McDowell added: ‘We have worked collaboratively with Fieldfisher for a number of years now, and as a result of the strong relationship that has developed between the two firms, this merger is a natural fit for us.’ He added that the merger will allow it to compete with global firms that are now establishing a foothold in the Irish legal market.

The addition of McDowell Purcell brings the number of Fieldfisher offices to 25 including in Amsterdam, Brussels, Frankfurt, Madrid, Paris and Rome. The firm also has offices in Beijing and Shanghai and Silicon Valley, US.