Mathesons scores life sciences in-houser from Elan

Dublin firm Matheson Ormsby Prentice has bolstered its life sciences group with the hire of Tom Mahr, vice-president of legal affairs at pharmaceutical giant Elan.

Mahr, who was a lawyer at Mathesons’ Dublin rival A&L Goodbody prior to his seven-year stint at Elan, will head the firm’s life sciences group.

Ireland’s top firms rarely recruit in-house partner laterals and Mahr is certainly the first major hire from the pharmaceutical sector.

The hire is something of a coup, as Mahr is a heavyweight corporate lawyer who has guided Elan through several large M&A deals. Elan recently sold off its European sales business to Madeus for $120m (£63.4m).

Mathesons’ key pharmaceutical sector clients include Galen, Yamanouchi and Pfizer. Elan has already instructed the firm on smaller matters, but its main corporate adviser until now has been A&L Goodbody.

Life sciences are crucial for Irish firms, with 17 out of 20 of the world’s healthcare groups holding operations in Ireland, mainly due to the country’s advantageous tax regime.