Simmons & Simmons is scoping the Irish market as part of extensive scenario planning for its funds practice.
The proposed EU Directive on Alternative Investment Fund Managers, which could cause hedge funds to relocate offshore, is causing Simmons to look at Ireland among a number of other jurisdictions.
Managing partner at Simmons Mark Dawkins said: “It’s scenario planning, depending upon the impact of the directive. We’re just really looking at possibilities.”
If a Dublin launch went ahead Simmons would be one of the few UK-headquartered firms to have an Irish base. Beachcroft is among them.
One corporate partner at a prominent Irish firm said: “What UK firms say about Ireland is like what Freshfields [Bruckhaus Deringer] said about Australia – ’It’s a sophisticated, small market and why would we bother?’”