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Sectors

Foreign Direct Investment


Ireland has been the fastest growing economy in Europe for two years running and is on track to retain this position for the third year in a row. At Philip Lee, we have an established group of experts dedicated to meeting the needs of companies looking to locate in Ireland and scale business internationally from Ireland.

quotes Head of department Andreas McConnell ...is highly praised for his focus on foreign direct investment and the start-up sector. Clients consider him "extremely well informed of the vagaries of setting up shop in Ireland, and always up to date on state-of-the-art legal strategies that we could deploy."Chambers Global, 2016

Our FDI lawyers are specialists in all areas of law which are core to international expansion, including corporate, commercial contracts, export controls, IP, technology, tax, data protection, employment, real estate, EU, competition, regulatory and procurement.

 

We have the ability to meet your FDI requirements in Ireland from our Dublin office, in the US from our San Francisco office, in Europe from our Brussels office and internationally through the Multilaw network.

 

With 8000 lawyers in 70 countries and a combined turnover of $1.5bn, Multilaw is ranked by Chambers Global as an ‘Elite’ international network of law firms. Philip Lee is the only Irish member. By working closely with our Multilaw partners, we provide all Irish law legal services to assist clients locate into Ireland. We also assist them to expand from Ireland by procuring and managing solutions to non-Irish law legal issues on a one-stop-shop basis. This leaves our clients free to focus on core business issues without the distraction of having to find and hire foreign counsel across multiple jurisdictions – this is a core service of ours which sets us apart from other law firms in Ireland.

 

Our FDI team has assisted a very wide variety of companies from pre-revenue early stage ventures through to established multinational heavyweights across multiple sectors including bio-pharmaceutical, medical technology, ICT, cloud computing, software, internet, cleantech, engineering, financial services and business services.

 

We have excellent relationships with a network of trusted professional service providers in Ireland who can assist you in sourcing talent, premises, establishing banking operations, managing payroll and accounting services.

 

We routinely work closely with the IDA and other government agencies focused on enterprise and innovation.

 

In short, while you focus on scaling your international business, we will seamlessly manage your international legal requirements.

Array ( [0] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 6544 [post_author] => 9 [post_date] => 2018-01-15 11:12:08 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-01-15 11:12:08 [post_content] => Philip Lee consultant, Chris Collenette interviewed by the Independent, 14th January 2018.A century and a half ago, a band of Fenians conducted raids on Canada in an attempt to strike a blow against British rule in Ireland. Needless to say, the effort was a failure. John O’Neill — a key leader of the Fenian band — wanted to make it clear however that he had no quarrel with the Canadians. “We come among you as the foes of British rule in Ireland,” he said. “We are here as the Irish army of liberation.”Today that spirit of Irish-Canadian camaraderie endures as Ireland becomes something of a hotbed for Canadian business. In a speech to mark the visit of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to Ireland last summer, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said trade between the two countries was worth €2.75bn. Canadian investment in Ireland was valued at €10bn, he said. Perhaps the most high-profile component of that investment is insurer and pensions provider Irish Life — bought off the State by Winnipeg-based Great West Lifeco. The deal saw Irish Life combined with Great West’s Canada Life business — which has had a presence in Ireland in 1903. There was, said the then Great West boss Allen Loney, a “good culture fit”.And culture is the word that keeps coming up when you speak to Canadian businesses operating here. “A lot has been written about American multinationals in Ireland – that’s been ongoing for 50-60 years,” John Riordan, director of support for Ireland at Canadian ecommerce business Shopify. “But there are a lot of similarities between the Canadian culture and the Irish culture. In my experience the two countries seem to gel. From a business culture perspective, they’re very similar in nature. In the same way that we’ve always been the scrappy kid brother to the UK, Canada has been the scrappy kid brother to the US. And there’s a similar mindset as a result of that.”Shopify’s operation in Ireland is primarily focused on customer support. It’s an area that has been growing in Ireland in recent years, despite the perception that these jobs are all being outsourced to low-cost countries in Asia. Part of the reason, says Riordan, is that Irish people are perceived as being empathetic — they are good listeners. Shopify has more than 200 people based in Ireland but has no office — every single person works remotely. “We handle customer queries from all countries around the world — we’ve been in Ireland almost three years. We looked at a couple of different places outside of Canada. Ireland was one of the more attractive places because of the talent pool that was available.”Another Canadian business getting involved in the customer support business is Telus, which bought a majority stake in Dan and Linda Kiely’s Voxpro in one of the most high-profile Irish deals of the year. Telus CEO Jeffrey Puritt said his Toronto-based company and the Kielys’ Cork operation were “like-minded organisations”.“Together, we provide a truly differentiated offering in the marketplace designed to meet our fast-growing partner demands for more locations, flexible and agile support structures, and highly engaged multilingual team members committed to customer service excellence,” he said.Chris Collenette is a Canadian consultant working at the Irish law firm Philip Lee. He works to increase the firm’s Canadian business and encourages Canadian companies to come and locate in Ireland, in tandem with Irish and Canadian government agencies. Previously an adviser to former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien. He has a good handle on how to persuade a Canadian company to locate here. “There are a number of things we would highlight. There’s geography. Ireland is the closest geographical country in Europe to Canada and there are now weekly direct flights from Dublin to Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. Two, the linguistic similarities. Three, the legal systems are quite similar. Four, there are shared values – 14pc of the Canadian population claim themselves as having Irish background,” Collenette says.“Talent is a big part too. There’s a huge hub of international companies in Ireland, and if you want to scale into Europe, you are going to need a talented workforce to do so. Companies might have a great idea or a great product, but they also need people to drive the business forward.“We would also talk about tax advantages such as the competitive corporate tax rate and the Knowledge Development Box, but we would lead with the similarities in language, the legal system, geography and of course talent.” Another person who’s been impressed by Irish talent is Alan Fullerton. His company Teknicor, based in Toronto and a specialist in data centre architecture, has just embarked on a recruitment campaign here. His aim is to employ 70 to 100 engineers in Ireland within the next three years. “It’s a very accommodating environment for business. We’ve been impressed by the skillsets that are there,” Fullerton told the Sunday Independent.“We’re finding it a very educated, experienced workforce to draw from for what we do. The culture is very similar to a Canadian culture in a way and we’re pretty excited to get the team on board to start speaking to our customers globally.” Fullerton’s business operates in a number of other countries and he singles out the IDA as a strong promoter of what this country has to offer. “There’s a massive difference between what Ireland does to attract business versus the other geographies that we operate in.“The IDA are very interested in bringing investment to Ireland and in my opinion the approach works. There’s a spectacular hub of technology businesses in Ireland, they’ve been there a long time. “There’s a great group of support services, whether it’s the IDA or others, that make it a lot easier for us to come over and get going.” Canadian capital is also flowing into Ireland in a manner that perhaps you wouldn’t expect. The country is a major hub for the minerals exploration industry, and with the price of zinc booming there’s been a significant upsurge in activity in zinc exploration in Ireland. Leading the charge is Group Eleven Resources, run by Canadian Bart Jaworski. That company has been on a fundraising spree and has just completed a stock market flotation in Toronto as it seeks to develop its prospects. Among the company’s backers is MAG Silver, another Toronto-listed business that has had success exploring for silver in Mexico. Some of Group Eleven’s biggest prospects were bought from Teck, a Canadian mining giant that has been active here.Other Canadian-linked companies active in the sector here include Hannan Metals, which has been doing some drilling at a prospect at Kilbricken in Co Clare.Elsewhere in exploration, the oil and gas explorer Nexen — Canadian in heritage but recently bought by the Chinese state national oil company — took a stake in a prospect located near the Corrib field last year in a deal that industry sources regarded as perhaps the best farm-in deal in the Irish offshore of 2017. And speaking of the Corrib field, one of its new owners is Vermilion Energy, headquartered in Canada. Canadian businesses are involved in the oil business here, right the way through from exploration to putting petrol in your car. The Whitegate refinery in Cork is owned by Canada’s Irving Oil, while petrol station business Topaz was sold by Digicel chairman Denis O’Brien to the Quebecois business Couche Tard in 2016.When Trudeau came to visit Ireland last year, a lot of the focus was on the telegenic Ottawa native’s choice of socks. His colourful choices in that regard have become something of a branding point, and of course Leo Varadkar tried to get in on the trend too with a pair of maple leaf socks. “The economic ties between Canada and Ireland are strong ... we worked hard together with our other European partners to create good jobs for our citizens by ratifying [EU-Canada trade deal] Ceta,” Trudeau said in a speech during the visit. “Throughout the lengthy negotiation process Ireland was a steadfast supporter of this historic trade deal, and I know that all of us are looking forward to the good jobs and the greater opportunities it will afford both our countries,” he added.With the deal now provisionally in force, there’ll be more scope for Canadian businesses to come and operate here. That’s what the IDA is hoping anyway. The State agency is planning to establish an office in Canada, citing Ceta as well as the Nafta renegotiations, Brexit and the introduction of the GDPR. The IDA’s stats say there are 35 Canadian companies approved in Ireland, with an employment base in excess of 3,790 people. That’s an increase of more than a third since 2014. “The IDA has adopted a highly diversified cross-sectoral approach in the development of new business across the Canadian market. Our strong performance demonstrates the resilience of the Irish offering,” an IDA spokesperson said. But for Trudeau, the most important connection between Ireland and Canada was a shared set of values. And judging by what the Canadian businesses operating here have to say, it’s the cultural links, the values relating to people, that will have the most important part to play in securing future Canadian investment. This time around, there’ll be no invasions required. [post_title] => The Canadian invasion: Ireland has become a hotbed for Canadian business [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => the-canadian-invasion-ireland-has-become-a-hotbed-for-canadian-business [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-01-15 11:15:15 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-01-15 11:15:15 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.philiplee.ie/?p=6544 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ))

Philip Lee consultant, Chris Collenette interviewed by the Independent, 14th...

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Philip Lee FDI Partner, Andreas McConnell, discusses strategy to mitigate against Brexit....

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Array ( [0] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 6398 [post_author] => 4 [post_date] => 2017-11-20 15:10:56 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-11-20 15:10:56 [post_content] => Leading global law firm network Multilaw, of which Philip Lee is the sole Irish member, has launched the “Brexposure” online self-assessment tool for businesses to be able to instantly evaluate their level of risk associated with Brexit.The tool is primarily aimed at owner managed businesses and SMEs with operations in the UK or EU 27 countries. It is designed to help businesses identify the potential areas of risk in the key areas of employment, immigration, financial, trading, intellectual property and data.“The tool is designed to give businesses an instant real-time evaluation of their Brexit risk from the information they provide about their organisation. Whilst the tool is not intended to provide legal advice, it sets out the key areas of risk by urgency level ensuring that businesses know the practical actions that need to be taken now as a matter of priority. We believe we are first legal network in the world to provide an online tool that provides this information instantly to clients”, Adam Cooke, Multilaw Executive Director.The innovation is part of a wider initiative from Multilaw to provide a network wide response to assist clients in dealing with the uncertainties of Brexit. Multilaw has formed a dedicated Brexit Response Team to provide commercial and practical solutions in planning and implementing an effective Brexit strategy wherever the client is based. The core team is comprised of experts from member firms in the UK, Ireland and Germany and in addition to the core team, there are also dedicated Brexit contacts from 29 member firms across Europe.Andreas McConnell of Irish member firm Philip Lee is the Multilaw board member responsible for business development and is part of the Multilaw Brexit Response Team. He commented, “At Philip Lee, we are receiving daily queries from clients relating to Brexit, from Irish, UK and international businesses. Regardless of their origin, they all have one common theme - how does my business hedge against the impact of Brexit? The Brexposure tool manages to break down the enormity of Brexit to enable any business to identify specific legal areas that they may need to look at further in order to strategically set about planning for Brexit. This is a great example of Multilaw in action - harnessing international legal expertise to provide clients with practical solutions”
Multilaw Brexit Resources
Brexposure Tool & Resources Page
Multilaw Brexit Response Team
Gemma Davis, Penningtons Manches LLP, UK Adam McGiveron, Shakespeare Martineau, UK Andreas McConnell, Philip Lee, Ireland Sven Hoffmann, Heussen, Germany Gregor Wedell, Schalast, Germany [post_title] => Multilaw launches Brexit online self-assessment risk tool [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => multilaw-launches-brexit-online-self-assessment-risk-tool [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-11-21 08:49:43 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-11-21 08:49:43 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.philiplee.ie/?p=6398 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ))

Leading global law firm network Multilaw, of which Philip...

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Array ( [0] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 2660 [post_author] => 3 [post_date] => 2015-07-23 17:19:20 [post_date_gmt] => 2015-07-23 17:19:20 [post_content] => FDI has been a massive success story in Ireland throughout the recession and now into the recovery. Ireland can lay claim to having world class financial, technology, pharmaceutical and medical device clusters which are disproportionate to our population, but is it all good news? There are nagging (and unjustified) doubts in some quarters that this is all tax driven. In others, there is a belief that setting up is an expensive and complex exercise which is the preserve of large global companies and not for those that are early stage or pre-revenue. This article aims to focus on the latter of these doubts. Europe is not a place to dip your toe into – if you want to enter, you need to plan carefully before taking the plunge. Below are five points to assist you in that planning process:
  1. Business plan
The first point is to look at is your own business and to work out your business plan for the next three to five years. The single most important factor is to have clarity regarding your plan. This does not need to be a huge tome pulled together by expensive consultants – rather it needs to be a concise statement prepared by management identifying what the company is planning to do in Europe and in which part(s) of Europe it intends to undertake that activity. It remains remarkable how many companies set up in Europe without having a core plan (and it is no coincidence that these companies routinely have to go through costly restructuring plans when it emerges that their structure is unfit for purpose). The business plan should also look at the proposed structure for the exit of the business – a robust EU structure will add value to your exit.
  1. Intellectual property
If your expansion into Europe involves the usage of intellectual property already developed by your company, then a key consideration will be to understand precisely what intellectual property will be required, where it is held and what the European side of the business will be permitted to do with it. Whether that intellectual property is ultimately acquired by the European business by way of assignment or licence (or similar) is irrelevant for initial purposes, the point to consider is that a value will need to be placed on that intellectual property. Generally speaking the earlier that this is addressed the lower the value. Following the tightening up of anti-inversion laws in the US, we are seeing some US companies electing to set up new ventures in Ireland to avoid having to address complex and costly transfer pricing issues with developed intellectual property.
  1. Team and costs
Once the initial plan is prepared, then the next step is to engage the right team – initially this means your local accounting and legal team. It is important that your local team has international structuring and tax experience to correctly deal with this specialist work. You will also need a legal and accounting team with a comparable skill mix in the country of your initial entry into Europe. We recommend that you engage with your US and European team on an initial conference call to scope out the work and from there to provide you with both a step plan identifying all of the steps required to undertake the entry into Europe and fixed price fee quotes. Though this work is specialist, it is capable of being broken down into costed core components – if your team cannot do this, then you may not have the right team in place.
  1. Be flexible
Embrace the differences in legal systems and in particular avoid trying to simply repeat the structure which is used in the jurisdiction you are from. Looking at this from an Irish perspective, common errors made include by way of example only – assuming that shares in Irish companies can simply be “cancelled”, that contractors must be hired as it is impossible to fire employees and that intellectual property is reserved automatically in favour of the company in services rendered by independent contractors. None of these are true. So in Ireland, if you plan to provide options or shares to employees, you need to provide contractual mechanisms to revoke unvested options or legally mandate a buy back of shares. You can terminate contracts of employment without cause within one year of commencement of service (so you need to plan to carefully monitor those employees to ensure that they are meeting your requirements from the outset) and you need to think about protecting intellectual property every time you engage a contractor. So to simply “Irishise” contractual structures which you developed in your home state may be to the detriment of your Irish/European business.
  1. Carefully plan your launch
Setting up legal structures in most European countries is quite a straight forward process. It is even easier to unwittingly establish a permanent establishment, regulatory or tax nexus in a European country if your entry into Europe is not planned. We have many examples of companies entering into binding contracts in various EU countries (hiring of local employees in various jurisdictions, entry of agency agreements) which have triggered local law rights, tax registrations and regulatory compliance obligations. These can be costly and complex to unwind when a more considered and defined EU structure is rolled out.From our experience, companies that have enjoyed smooth and straightforward entry into the EU have complied with this approach and there is no reason why this needs to be regarded as a complex or expensive exercise. [post_title] => How to navigate Europe [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => how-to-navigate-europe [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2015-07-23 17:19:20 [post_modified_gmt] => 2015-07-23 17:19:20 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.philiplee.ie/?p=2660 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ))

FDI has been a massive success story in Ireland throughout the recession...

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Andreas McConnell
PARTNER

Eoghan Doyle
PARTNER

Chris Collenette
CONSULTANT

Mattan Lass
CONSULTANT

Andrew Tzialli
PARTNER

Amanda-Jayne Comyn
PARTNER

Eoin Brereton
PARTNER

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