International firm Dentons has announced plans to expand rapidly in Ireland, citing Dublin's abundance of technology and aviation finance companies.

Dentons’ Dublin office will be fully operational from April and the firm intends to ‘grow the office quickly’. Irish lawyer Eavan Saunders, formerly a partner at Ashurst and William Fry, will be managing partner, while Peter O’Brien, a partner at Irish firm Matheson, will be chair. The firm has yet to announce how many other solicitors will be joining the Dublin office, which will focus on the financial services, real estate, energy, infrastructure and technology sectors.

Global CEO Elliott Portnoy said Ireland is a ‘priority market’ for many of Dentons’ clients. ‘Dublin is a leading offshore funds centre, a global centre of aviation finance and nine out of 10 of the world’s largest tech companies have their European headquarters in the city. Dentons’ strategy is to be in all of the places our clients do business, providing them with high quality lawyers who are also established leaders in their markets… Ireland is a priority market for many of our clients.’

He added that the firm favoured organic growth over a merger because ‘many of the strongest firms in Ireland rely on referrals from firms outside of London’.

Managing partner Eavan Saunders said: ‘Dentons can offer Irish companies with international ambitions the scale, quality and in depth sector specialisation that no other law firm in Dublin can match.’

The Irish Law Society Gazette reported last year that 80% of Ireland’s top 20 firms have been approached by UK practices about mergers since the Brexit referendum. In April 2019, Fieldfisher announced a merger with Dublin-based McDowell Purcell, while Pinsent Masons, Simmons & Simmons and Lewis Silken have all opened Irish offices.