Simmons mulls Ireland launch after EU directive

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?’”