Some merger approaches are planned carefully; others are more opportunistic. And so it was with Isle of Man firm Dougherty Quinn.
Legacy firms James Quinn & Co and Dougherty & Associates merged after a chance comment over lunch between former colleagues. Four years on, managing partner Tom Maher says the merger was the catalyst for the firm to grow and become distinctly more international in its outlook.
“For the first year or two after we were created the bulk of our clients were local corporates,” he recalls. “In the past two years we’ve seen a real shift. We’ve increased our profile in the City and internationally, and we’re getting more instructions from City firms.”
Dougherty Quinn picks up a lot of work from UK law firms working on deals involving offshore structures. Recent examples include 2010’s £160m sale of Manx Telecom to Hg Capital by Spanish telecoms giant Telefónica, on which the firm was instructed for Telefónica by Simmons & Simmons.
But international work can also be found on the island. Maher is particularly proud of Dougherty Quinn’s advice to mining company Geodrill, which listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange in February 2011. The work was picked up through a Manx fiduciary company.
Geodrill was the first Isle of Man company to list in Toronto. Dougherty Quinn’s work included getting the jurisdiction approved for listing in Toronto, as well as gaining Manx legislative approval for Toronto’s electronic trading system.
Maher believes Dougherty Quinn, which has more than doubled in size since its merger, has a chance to establish itself as a credible alternative to bigger Isle of Man firms.
“Just in terms of the speed and quality of service we feel we can match them,” he adds.
Managing partner: Tom Maher
Number of partners: Five
Number of equity partners: Four
Number of lawyers: 14
Number of fee-earners: 22
Number of staff: 36
Number of offices: One
Location: Douglas, Isle of Man
Main practice areas: Corporate, litigation, property
Key clients: Lloyds Banking Group, RBS, Canada Life, RSM Tenon, Isle of Man government