Mark Walsh has been reappointed as managing partner to full-service law firm Eugene F Collins for a further three-year term from January 2021.
Mr Walsh led the firm through a period of stable growth prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, that placed Eugene F Collins in a strong position amongst Irish law firms. He has also been in charge as the firm successfully adapted to the challenging environment created by the pandemic.
Speaking on his reappointment Mr. Walsh said: “We have adapted to the changing environment created by Covid-19. The strength of the investment in our IT platform has successfully supported all 62 of our lawyers to work remotely since March, and our platform will enable them to continue to do so for however long this pandemic endures.
“In addition, we have provided a series of important client briefings online. These included issues such as landlord and tenant disputes, force majeure clauses in contracts, finance for social housing projects, Brexit, and issues relating to immigration law. Most of our clients are working remotely and have appreciated how we have kept them up to date during this time. Focusing on the main business concerns that our clients are dealing with, we have kept close to them so that we can understand how to support them in the best possible way. This allows us to add value, foster our client relationships, and to grow as a business.”
Mr Walsh commented that residential property has remained robust. With negative interest rates and pent-up demand for new houses, he sees this area remaining vibrant into 2021 and beyond. Construction projects are busy with the firm’s lawyers largely advising on social housing projects and new developments. The firm’s Corporate department has remained involved in some significant transactions, including acting for Paschal Naylor and the management team of Arkphire in the sale of the Arkphire group to the American Company, Presidio.
Focusing on contract law and issues that are coming up for the Dispute Resolution team in Eugene F Collins, Mr. Walsh added that with many organisations prevented from carrying out their business due to Covid-19, the lawyers are advising clients on how best to manage these issues.
“If you have a force majeure clause in your contract and its triggered by Covid-19 then you may be temporarily excused from performing that contract but this will depend on how the contract was drafted and other surrounding circumstances. The doctrine of frustration may also apply if the contract is impossible to perform or where Covid-19 has rendered the obligations so fundamentally different that you couldn’t possibly complete the contract. However, all alternatives must be examined.”
Walsh also noted that legal and other professional services firms had to adapt and change at record pace during 2020.
He highlighted the fact that firms require strong supports in IT, financial services, HR, and training to continue to operate, and the firm has successfully executed this. It is critical for organisations to engage with highly reliable business partners that are responsive and agile to get transactions over the line efficiently.
“I am immensely proud of how our business has responded to the challenges in 2020. With more than 120 years of tradition, our partners and staff exhibited an enormous amount of trust, patience and cooperation as we navigated through this pandemic. I admire the resilience that our firm has demonstrated in adapting new ways to best support our clients this year.
“We want to work with our clients to come out of this crisis stronger and better together and I see many opportunities for Eugene F Collins in the next three years. There will be challenges with Brexit and much work to be done in the aftermath of the pandemic as normality returns. Our aim is to be there at the coalface supporting our clients just as we have done for the last 120 years.”