The Law Society of Ireland reports this week that there were 10,972 solicitors with practising certificates (PCs) on 31 December 2018 – an increase of 511 (or 4.8%) over the 10,461 PC holders on the same date in 2017. This 4.8% year-on-year increase in the total number of PC figures contrasted favourably with the increase of 3.5% in PC numbers in the previous year.
What impact on this growing, but stable, picture will result from the arrival, for the first time, of international law firms establishing in Dublin? One of the world’s largest firms, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, is already on this list in 13th place ( size of firm based on numbers holding a practising certificate). However, this is somewhat
misleading, as the PC holders remain based in their offices in London and Brussels. The firm has no office in Ireland nor, it has said publicly, any plan to open one here. Pinsent Masons has established in Dublin in the wake of the Brexit vote, but the challenge to the firms on this list is likely to come in more powerful form from the declared ‘disruptor’ – the world’s fourth largest law firm, DLA Piper.