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Irish firm Dillon Eustace has become the first onshore firm to open an office in the Cayman Islands.
The firm has hired funds lawyer Matt Mulry from an in-house role at Prosperity Capital Management as a partner to kick-start the office. Mulry formerly worked at offshore firm Ogier.
Irish-qualified commercial litigation specialist John Fox also joins Dillon Eustace in Cayman from local firm Stenning & Associates, with the aim of building a dispute resolution practice.
Dillon Eustace said the opening was in response to client demand for Cayman-domiciled products, despite the anticipated impact of the EU’s alternative investment fund managers directive.
Managing partner Mark Thorne said: “The continued strengthening of Cayman’s regulatory regime and its focus on good corporate governance is bringing the jurisdiction more in line with established onshore practices.”
The move follows the decision by offshore firms Maples and Calder and Walkers to open Dublin offices in 2006 and 2010 respectively. While offshore firms have established a number of offices, predominantly representative, in traditionally onshore jurisdictions in recent years, Withers has been the only onshore firm to move offshore with a British Virgin Islands launch (30 April 2009).
Dillon Eustace’s Cayman office will provide advice in commercial and securities litigation, funds establishment, insurance and banking law as well as compliance and regulation. The firm is also planning the launch of a corporate services business, which, subject to Cayman Islands Monetary Authority approval, will open in the third quarter of the year.
The firm also has offices in Hong Kong, New York and Tokyo as well as its Dublin headquarters.