Introduction from Executive Director - Anthony Kirwan
International Legal networks are formed in different circumstances. Ours was founded on the side of a snowy mountain in a little ski resort high in the Austrian Alps where annual law conferences were held every January. Those present became close friends linked in mutual trust. The final outcome was sixteen law firms from 16 countries linked together to found the Law Firm Network (LFN) in 1989. I was the international corporate law partner in a Dublin firm which was one of the initial members. I stopped practicing law in 1991 and was asked to take over the day to day running of the LFN in 1994.
Most international law networks are formed with a hard-nosed focus on members who will provide an anticipated regular flow of good client referrals for each other. While LFN is no different on this front, we have developed the philosophy that, from our origins of being close trusting friends first, and business professionals second, that any new member would have trusted, word of mouth recommendations to bring to the Network. It is especially valuable if the client of an existing member of the Law Firm Network reports that a firm in another country has looked after their needs, just as well and as consistently, as that of the existing member. This is naturally far and away the best form of recommendation.
Since the global financial crash of 2008, international corporations no longer automatically use huge global law firms; they pick and choose. They look for particular strengths in the lawyer more than the law firm. Hence mid-sized corporate law firms get international work they did not get prior to 2008 and these firms need good “global reach” so being in a reliable global network of similar law firms to themselves is appealing. Consequently, since that time, the number of countries represented within the LFN has doubled. We are genuinely global.
The Law Firm Network also is becoming more dynamic and pro-active in its range of services. There is a vast under-served market, in the range of €10 million to €250 million transaction size. Every mid-sized corporate law firm is in that market and can share opportunities with their fellow law firms and their corporate or investor clients. The Law Firm Network is developing excellent mechanisms to help corporations find suitable acquisitions, joint venture partners and financial funding.
As Executive Director, I can help you, your company or corporation find reasonable and reliable legal and other professional services, in about 140 countries and, in keeping with the broader dynamic, the Law Firm Network seeks to support you in a variety of ways in any new ventures.
Anthony (Tony) Kirwan
Executive Director, The Law Firm Network
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