Reception at The Shard

Event Date: 05 October 2016

Many thanks for registering to attend our Reception at The Shard on Wednesday 5 October 2016.  If you were able to attend, we hope you enjoyed the glorious views and chatting with our partners.

We have captured some images from the evening and also a brief synopsis of the speech by our Managing Partner, Declan Black. 

If you would like to hear and read more about our view on Brexit please visit our hub by clicking here, or if you want more general information about doing business in Ireland you can visit our Invest Ireland content here.

Once again thank you for taking the time to meet with us and we hope to see you again in the near future. 

Declan Black, Managing Partner, Speech Highlights:

Like most Irish people, we were firm ‘remainers’ for a variety of political, economic, social and cultural reasons. But the referendum was lost and now the response needs to be more substantive than mere regret.


The risks to Ireland posed by Brexit are acute. As our closest neighbour and trading partner, the economic risks caused by the negative impact on trade between Ireland and Britain are very unlikely to be outweighed by the potential for a few thousand additional jobs in financial services. The political risk to hard-won stability in Northern Ireland is also very real. Without free movement of persons into Britain, a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland seems to be a technical inevitability.

But, while the politics may change, geography cannot. So Ireland and Britain need to work even harder together to find mutually beneficial solutions for trade and to preserve the gains made by the peace process in Northern Ireland.  

For our part, we are redoubling our commitment to the UK. We have a new, and British, Head of London, Graeme Bell. Our focus on UK financial services continues through our London banking head, Louis Burke. Irrespective of the impending changes, the UK will remain our most important market.


There are three things to remember about the EU Commission's decision that Ireland granted unlawful state aid to Apple.

1. The decision does not and cannot affect Ireland's corporate tax policy. This is expressly acknowledged by the EU Commission. Ireland's 12.5% corporate tax rate enjoys cross-party support and is a remarkably consistent feature of Ireland’s industrial policy. It will remain so.

2. The decision is based on an allegation that Ireland's tax laws were selectively applied. It turns on two revenue rulings, one dating to the early 1990s and the other from the mid-2000s. It is alleged that Irish tax law was selectively applied so that Apple benefitted in a way not available to other companies. The issue, therefore, is one of historical fact and not future policy.

3. The factual allegations are hotly contested and the decision is being appealed not only by Apple, but also by Ireland. The appeal will be a full rehearing.

For these reasons, we do not see the Apple decision as having any lasting implications for Ireland, irrespective of the outcome of the appeal.


The US is Ireland's second most important trading partner after the UK. Therefore anything that is bad for the US is bad for Ireland. The US president has limited domestic powers, but considerable autonomy regarding trade and foreign policy. Any volatility in the US's approach to trade and foreign policy is unlikely to help Ireland. A Clinton presidency is likely to be more stable in its approach to these issues and, therefore, would be the more desirable and welcomed outcome from an Irish perspective.


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