A&L Goodbody becomes first Irish firm with 300 practising solicitors

A&L Goodbody becomes first Irish firm with 300 practising solicitors

Julian Yarr

A&L Goodbody has become the first law firm in Ireland with more than 300 practising solicitors, according to new figures.

The firm, led by managing partner Julian Yarr, employed 313 solicitors with practising certificates (PCs) at the end of December 2019, according to yearly figures published by the Law Society of Ireland.

It was narrowly trailed by Arthur Cox, which had 299 PCs, followed by Matheson with 285, McCann FitzGerald with 266, and Mason Hayes & Curran with 239.

Writing in the Law Society Gazette, Law Society director general Ken Murphy said: “A&L Goodbody’s return to the top of the table is achieved with an outstanding overall increase of 21 PCs to become – with 313 PCs – the first ever Irish firm to break the ‘300 barrier’.

“A&L Goodbody’s PC number increased by an impressive 7.2 per cent, while last year’s top-of-the-table firm Arthur Cox increased by 1.7 per cent to 299. As has occurred frequently in the past, A&L Goodbody and Arthur Cox again this year alternate the first and second spots on the table.”

Some of the most dramatic increases were at Beauchamps, which saw its PC number rise by nearly eight per cent to 92; Hayes Solicitors, which rose by nearly 11 per cent to 61; and Walkers Ireland, which rose by nearly 23 per cent to 65.

The overall number of solicitors with practising certificates rose by nine per cent in 2019, driven both by newly-qualified solicitors and by international law firms taking out practising certificates because of Brexit fears.

Mr Murphy said: “The Law Society is budgeting on the conservative basis that fewer solicitors based outside this jurisdiction will take out Irish PCs in 2020. The level of general uncertainty in relation to Brexit has somewhat reduced.

“In addition, the Society’s guidance, published in May 2019, entitled Practising Certificates: Solicitors Outside the Irish Jurisdiction, has clarified what an Irish practising certificate entitles the holder to do.”

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