Arthur Cox leads the ranks as first Irish figures are published

Arthur Cox leads the first financial ranking of Ireland’s leading law firms.

For the first time, the fee income generated by the five largest firms in Ireland can be revealed. Research by The Lawyer shows that the leading pack are likely contenders for places in the top 100 European firms by revenue.

The group – Arthur Cox, A&L Goodbody, Matheson Ormsby Prentice, McCann Fitzgerald and William Fry – generate a combined fee income of €250m (£170.7m). The largest firm by revenue is Arthur Cox, with a turnover of €66.5m (£45.4m). The average equity partner remuneration at all five firms is in excess
of €500,000 (£341,000).

Partners at Ireland’s leading firms are notoriously tight-lipped about the revenues and profits their firms generate. However, last year, one managing partner – Declan Moylan of mid-sized Mason Hayes & Curran – broke ranks and published his firm’s turnover in an article in The Irish Times. The Lawyer’s research into the Irish legal market, which can be seen in full on page 27, will put additional pressure on the leading firms to follow suit.

Gavin O’Reilly, director of Dublin-based Solv Legal Recruitment, said that the business environment in Dublin was changing and that the top firms were having to behave more like businesses. “The negative effect of keeping the financial information a secret is one of perception,” he said. “Yes, by law, firms don’t have to disclose their figures, but when clients see Mason Hayes do it they will wonder why the others aren’t.”

Figures produced by The Lawyer are estimates based on interviews with a wide range of current and former partners and consultants.

Revenues of Dublin’s big five
Rank Firm Turnover €m (£m) Total partners Total equity partners Total (qualified) fee-earners
1 Arthur Cox 66.5 (45.4) 70 46 195
2 McCann Fitzgerald 60.8 (41.5) 64 64 193
3 A&L Goodbody 58.9 (40.2) 62 45 186
4 Mathesons 50.3 (34.3) 53 32 177
5 William Fry 47.5 (32.4) 50 28 133

  Source: The Lawyer