The luck of the Irish

St Patrick’s Day is still two weeks away, but there was already one happy Irishman in New York last night.

Declan Moylan, current managing partner of Mason Hayes & Curran, is one month away from relinquishing his nine-year hold on the job. At the end of March, Moylan becomes the firm’s chairman. By the sound of things when we met for dinner last night (Thursday 28 February), Moylan will not miss the job.

“I think nine years is enough,” says Moylan.

But don’t go making the foolish mistake that the Irish market has seen the back of the man. Or indeed the markets in the US, Russia, the Far East… If anything, Moylan’s new role will allow him to rack up even more air miles than he did as managing partner on his apparent non-stop roadshow.

With Ireland continuing to be a prime source of inward investment, and the US in the sights of Irish real estate developers in return, there’s plenty of work for a firm like Mason Hayes to pick up. That was underscored in 2006, when the firm scored a plum role on Riverdeep’s $1.75bn acquisition US publisher, Houghton Mifflin.

Now Mason Hayes is looking to spread its wings and its roving ambassador will be Moylan. Yesterday, the charm offensive was focused on Washington, with banks, US law firms and the Irish Development Agency in his sights.

Later this year it will be the US west coast. Moylan confirmed yesterday that he expects Mason Hayes to open an outpost in sunnier climes by the end of this year. Expect the firm’s new chairman to be closely involved.

It was not all smiles last night, though. Moylan admitted to being “despondent” that Hillary Clinton looked to be losing out in the presidential race.

“She opened our office in New York in 2004”, said Moylan. “I thought I was set to have a friend in the White House.”

You might still, Declan, you might still.

Kevin Perry goes large

You can always tell when you’re lunching with a Brit in Manhattan; the restaurant’s empty when you get to dessert.
Long lunches are not the done thing here. There is money to be made, even in a downturn.

So yes, I admit there was wine. This is not yet a crime in New York. But let me clear one thing up immediately. Although comparatively lengthy (ie longer than an hour), and accompanied by a spot of Pinot G, this hardly qualified as a London-style, liquid lunch.

The visiting Brit was Kendall Freeman founder and now Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge partner, Kevin Perry. And Perry had a few misconceptions of his own to clear up:
“I am not now, nor ever have been, nor ever will be involved in insurance.”

Perry, on his first trip to the US since his firm formally merged with Boston-based US firm Edwards Angell last month, made this unequivocal announcement to his new partners this week. Why? To remind them that their new London outpost was more than a one-trick pony.

According to Perry, Edwards Angell might be best known in London for insurance and reinsurance but the US firm also has a pretty nifty corporate client base too (weirdly they’re mostly based in Rhode Island). Clients that, from time to time, need litigators outside of the US.

Kendall Freeman’s role on the Buncefield oil depot litigation (note to US lawyers: an oil depot blew up just outside London) is evidence of the firm’s commercial litigation credentials.

Perry may be over here partly on client matters but he’s also looking to maximise the opportunities that, even in these early days, are apparently already cropping up. Now all he needs to do is find a way out of New York’s restaurants.

To read more Byrne in the USA blogs, click here.