14 May 2020 | 07.20 am
Interview: Gayle Bowen, Pinsent Masons
'As a new entrant into the market, our lawyers are hungry and ambitious'
14 May 2020 | 07.20 am
Pinsent Masons Managing Partner Gayle Bowen (pictured) explains that her firm has become full service practice
What aspects of your firm’s growth over the last 12 months stand out?
Seeing the number of staff increase from 11 to almost 60 in such a short space of time has been very exciting and has changed the dynamic of our office. It has also seen us become a full service offering to our clients, which helps us in all the areas that we practice.
Which areas of the firm are currently a focus for you?
Initially, our focus was to expand the practice areas that we offer to cover our five global sectors in the Irish market: real estate, energy, infrastructure, financial services, and advanced manufacturing and technology. Now that we have completed that phase, we are looking to deepen the bench strength of our existing teams as well as expand into new areas where we see opportunities, not just in Ireland, but globally.
The following areas are a key focus to us as they form part of our key global strategic priorities: IP and life sciences; litigation and regulatory; big data, technology and cyber; financial services; and energy, infrastructure and property. We have also seen a lot of activity in the corporate M&A space, particularly in the hospitality and energy sectors.
The main reasons we have targeted these areas is that they are key growth areas in the Irish market and, secondly, they are aligned to our global key strategic priorities. Our key contacts are often general or regional counsel for our clients’ EMEA business and they are not interested in the local position in one market in isolation from their European or global business.
Similarly in terms of litigation, whether it is international patent litigation or cross-border commercial litigation, clients see huge benefits in being able to conduct their litigation strategy through one firm.
We can provide these services across our global network of offices in a seamless manner, as we are a very integrated firm. That sets us apart from other international law firms. Ireland plays a crucial role in this international offering, with over 50 of our key global clients being based here.
What trends are you seeing in salary demands and charge-out fees?
There has been an upward pressure on salaries due to more competition in the market, however, we find that most lawyers are not solely focused on wages and do not move solely for pay increases.
Offering our staff agile working conditions and a positive, inclusive working environment also makes a difference. While there can be downward pressure on fees, as the competition increases, we are serving our clients not just in Ireland but across their European and global businesses, and this can bring natural efficiencies. We also look to use innovation where possible to make savings for our clients.
What would you identify as your firm’s competitive edge?
As a new entrant into the market, our lawyers are hungry and ambitious. We understand our clients’ needs and demands when setting up a new business and are very responsive and commercial in our approach to finding workable solutions.
We have also been very successful in hiring high-profile candidates across our specialist areas. Finally, our global sectoral approach sets us apart from other firms and is very important to our clients, because it means that we have a deep knowledge and understanding of the environment within which their business operates.