To be shore

Irish funds specialist Dillon Eustace turns the tide, moving into offshore territory

As this week’s offshore feature (see page 30) reports, all the talk in the sector recently has been of firms moving onshore. Both Maples and Calder and Walkers have found success in Dublin in recent years.

But last week saw an onshore firm throw down the gauntlet to the offshore market by moving in on its territory. Irish firm Dillon Eustace, which specialises in the funds market, announced it is moving into the Cayman Islands.

Dillon Eustace is only the second onshore firm to make a foray offshore. In 2009 Withers opened what remains a small British Virgin Islands (BVI) office that focuses on international litigation.

The Irish firm will also do some litigation, with the hire of lawyer John Fox, but its lead Cayman partner is former Ogier lawyer Matt Mulry. Mulry joins Dillon Eustace from funds management company Prosperity Capital Management, where he was general counsel, and brings Dillon Eustace several years of Cayman funds experience.

The focus on funds will be backed up by a corporate services firm – a similar model to that employed successfully by the majority of offshore firms, which have found the complementary nature of legal and fiduciary services immensely profitable, both from a financial and business development angle.

It’s a brave move by Dillon Eustace which, with a small launch team, is taking on the biggest offshore firms in one of their top jurisdictions. Maples and Walkers have proved that there is cross-jurisdictional demand in the funds sector, but the market will be watching the Irish entrant closely.
Joanne Harris