Walkers expands practice reach with hires from Mayer Brown, Proskauer

Offshore firm Walkers is strengthening its Dublin office with the launch of insolvency and derivatives teams led by hires from the London offices of Mayer Brown and Proskauer Rose.

Mayer Brown senior associate Aaron McGarry has joined the firm, also as a senior associate, to develop a niche derivatives practice in Dublin. McGarry will sit within the wider asset finance group headed by Ken Rush.

Irish-qualified John O’Driscoll will initially join Walkers’ Cayman office as senior counsel before relocating back to London to focus on insolvency law, working closely with the Dublin team. Currently Walkers has no insolvency lawyers in Ireland.

O’Driscoll joined Proskauer in May as a senior associate from Dewey & LeBoeuf, having been recruited to the now-defunct US firm from Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe a year ago as part of a team led by partner Mark Fennessy (21 September 2011). He moved to Proskauer with Fennessy in May (18 May 2012).

Walkers Dublin was launched two years ago when the firm picked up three partners from local firm Matheson Ormsby Prentice (6 September 2010) and has since grown to around 30 lawyers. Earlier this year the firm hired A&L Goodbody partner Dominic Conlon to launch a corporate team in Ireland.

Structured products and capital markets head Garry Ferguson said the firm planned to consolidate its existing practice areas over the next 15 months and was expecting to further increase its headcount by about 25 per cent.