We have released details of our turnover for 2023, with increased growth of 7% to €114 million. This was driven by robust demand across each of our core industry sectors.
Work supporting the technology sector was particularly buoyant, driven by new legislation including the Digital Services Act, the Digital Markets Act and the highly anticipated EU Artificial Intelligence Act. We continued to advise clients such as Meta, Etsy, WhatsApp and LetsGetChecked across their advisory, regulatory and transactional needs.
The financial services sector saw strong growth, with legal frameworks evolving to keep pace with technological advancements in areas such as digital currency regulation, cybersecurity, and online data privacy. The sector was impacted by key legislation including the Central Bank Individual Accountability Framework and the Markets in Crypto-Assets Regulation (MiCA), which comes into force this year.
The growth in life sciences and healthcare work continued, with the firm advising clients including Quest Diagnostics, the HSE and LetsGetChecked. Key regulatory changes included the enactment of the long-awaited Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act, and the extension of transition timelines for the EU’s Medical Devices Regulation (MDR). This provides manufacturers with more time to certify their devices as MDR-compliant.
Legal activity in the energy sector remained robust. 2023 saw continued focus on renewables, driven by the complex challenges posed by Ireland’s energy transition. There was an emphasis on offshore wind, with the launch of Ireland’s first offshore wind renewable electricity auctions (ORESS 1 and 2), and we are advising on a number of offshore wind projects in development. We continue to advise funders, investors and developers across a broad range of projects and transactions, with clients including SSE, Meta and Elgin Energy.
In the built environment sector, while some sectors of commercial real estate experienced a plateau, the residential segment remained consistently active. Social and Critical Infrastructure development continues, driven by the Government’s National Development Plan. The proposed reforms to planning law generated strong work as developers shape future projects around it, with the new Planning and Development Bill expected to become law in 2024. Advising on the impact of ESG considerations for real estate development was also a key driver of activity.
Our international activities continue to grow, prompting the relocation of our London and New York offices. These moves cater to expanding teams in these locations and are strategic in bolstering the firm’s growing international client base. In Dublin, office space options remain under active review, ranging from supplementing our existing three office premises in the city to potentially establishing a new, centralised headquarters.
In 2023, we continued and increased our investment in emerging and growing practice areas, including ESG, Artificial Intelligence and Fintech, reflecting the growing client demand in these areas. We also invested significantly in our tax practice, which saw continued demand from both international and domestic clients.
During the year, 11 new partners were promoted, and 7 new partners joined from other domestic and international firms. Overall staff numbers increased by 4% in 2023.
"The continuing increase in the volume and complexity of national and European legal regulation meant that we worked closer than ever with our clients to navigate those challenges."
Commitment to corporate social responsibility remains a cornerstone of the firm’s ethos, with a target of investing up to 1% of our annual turnover across out CSR activities. This includes ongoing support for UNICEF and the €1.2m Engage and Educate Fund. Pro bono activity includes work with the Kids in Need of Defence (KIND) Project and Free Legal Advice Centres (FLAC).
Managing Partner Will Carmody commented: “The last 12 months were challenging for businesses and our clients. The continuing increase in the volume and complexity of national and European legal regulation meant that we worked closer than ever with our clients to navigate those challenges. We are keenly aware of the competitive pressures these changes may impose on our clients and we will continue to work hard to support them in growing their businesses in these circumstances.
Looking ahead to 2024, the ever-present geopolitical uncertainties will continue to weigh on global trade and economic activity. We hope that a levelling off of interest rates in the EU, North America and the UK may allow investors to seek out renewed value in the market. As always, our goal remains to be proactive to our clients’ needs, alerting them in a timely manner to legal developments and delivering bespoke, innovative solutions to their business-critical legal issues. This approach is pivotal in helping our clients achieve success amidst the complexities of the current business environment – which will enable us to continue to grow our own business.”