07 May 2020 | 03.00 pm
Interview: Geoff Moore, Arthur Cox
‘There are challenges we can’t even begin to imagine’
07 May 2020 | 03.00 pm
Geoff Moore, Managing Partner of Arthur Cox, assumed the role in November 2019
What has the experience of being Managing Partner of Arthur Cox been like so far?
It was a great honour to be appointed Managing Partner and I took up my role on November 1 last year. The transition to the role has been very interesting and I have learned a huge amount. I am fortunate to have a great team around me — heads of department, our management committee and executive group.
I had been involved in the management of the firm in various ways over the years so I haven’t had too many surprises yet. While not surprised about the firm, it goes without saying that none of us was expecting the current crisis and our response to that has been a steep learning curve for everyone.
What will be your overall focus for the firm in the months and years ahead?
Covid-19 and its aftermath will change the business landscape as well as so much more in our society, and is likely to give rise to challenges that we can’t even anticipate. Before the crisis, we were very focused on our digital transformation strategy and I believe that will continue to be a key focus for the next few years.
Additionally, there are practice areas that are likely to require investment in the short term that we may not have thought would do so. We are a nimble firm and we will respond to the challenges, and indeed opportunities, that lie ahead.
In what way will the arrival of new law firms to Ireland affect the market?
The arrival of law firms from abroad is not a new development. A number of international law firms have established here over the years, generally in niche areas such as funds and insurance. In more recent times, a small number of international business law firms have opened offices in Dublin.
I think it is too early to say if the new arrivals will be a competitive threat. While we are not at all complacent, experience in other jurisdictions shows that there is always room for large independent indigenous firms as well as some international players.
Which recent client deal would you single out?
The deal I would single out is advising Allergan plc on its pending $63 billion merger with AbbVie. This deal is notable for its size, not just in an Irish context but globally.
What lateral hires has Arthur Cox made in the past year?
We hired a number of new partners and senior executives in 2018 and early 2019. The time since then has been spent consolidating our position and building out those new teams.
Orla O’Connor was appointed Chair of the firm with effect from May 2019 year and we were very pleased to announce three new partners at the firm in January – Imelda Shiels and Brendan Wallace in finance and Ryan Ferry in litigation and disputes.
Last summer, we also appointed our first pro bono associate, Carolann Minnock. Carolann works closely with our CSR Advisory Board to co-ordinate the firm’s pro bono activity. Our pro bono work is a key aspect of the firm conducting business responsibly and we are delighted with the progress that has been made since Carolann’s appointment.