Kennedys is set to double its office space in Dublin following a report that suggested some British businesses would look to leave the UK following Brexit.
The firm will move from its base in Ulysses House in the Dublin 1 district to a new 13,300sq ft office at Bloodstone Building on Sir John Rogerson’s Quay, Dublin 2. It will move to the new office in November.
Kennedys opened its doors in Ireland in 2011 when it merged with long-standing associated firm O’Hare O’Connor Walshe. The office is led by partner Philip O’Connor and has around 50 lawyers and staff, including nine partners.
The decision to expand the office followed news a number of insurers had signalled their interest in relocating out of the UK in the event they lose passporting rights following Brexit. Insurers QBE, Admiral and Beazley are all considering Dublin as a potential hub for their European businesses.
Kennedys also commissioned its own report before the EU referendum that predicted businesses would begin to relocate from the UK within two years of an ‘out’ vote.
Kennedys Dublin head Phillip O’Connor said that at this pace, the firm’s Irish base “could double in size again”.
“The fact that we are growing in size is probably the first indication in the economy about the Brexit implications,” he said.
“Kennedys in Ireland has got a lot busier in the insurance practice, which has been fed considerably by our UK insurer clients and Brexit has accelerated some of those concerns.
“Running in tandem we have gotten really busy in transactions. A lot of investors want to have a base in the EU.”
Senior partner Nick Thomas said: “Our growth is always predicated on client need and with insurers looking to Dublin in the wake of Brexit, it makes perfect sense for us to ensure we’re equipped to work with them wherever in the world they need our help. We’ll be looking to expand our Dublin office further over the coming months with senior hires.”
Last month it was revealed that BLM is also set to boost its Dublin office space by 60 per cent as part of an increased focus on the region. The firm currently occupies 3,500sq ft but is considering increasing its office space to 5,500sq ft when its lease comes to an end.
Pinsent Masons has also instructed a commercial property agent in Dublin to find it 10,000sq ft of office space in the city. An office of that size could potentially house between 50 to 100 people but should the firm decide to enter the Republic of Ireland it has been suggested the firm would launch with around 20 lawyers.