Dublin firm A&L Good-body has won a mandate from the Irish government to create a single regulatory authority for financial services.
The firm was one of four invited to tender for the project. The Ministry of Finance said it was chosen on the basis of cost and "the level and depth of experience and comprehensiveness of the proposed team". The government asked several leading Irish firms to bid, but not all were comfortable that the work was compatible with advising existing clients. Matheson Ormsby Prentice was asked to tender, but decided not to bid. Partner James Scanlon said: "We felt we were better placed to maintain an independent voice. We weren't satisfied that the work would sit well with advising our existing blue chip financial services clients." However, there are obvious advantages for Goodbodys, which will help draft legislation to establish the regulator. It will benefit in terms of prestige and an insider's understanding of the new regulator. Managing partner Paul Carroll said: "We regard this assignment as significant and important and we welcome the opportunity to assist the finance department." The team, led by senior partner Frank O'Riordan, has seven partners and 20 associates working on the draft legislation. The multidisciplinary team will work on the legislation up until enactment early next year. The firm has also won a bid to advise the Finance Ministry on the privatisation of ACC Bank.