Approaching a quarter of a century since the establishment of the practice in 1996, it has been a year of significant milestones for Arthur Cox in Belfast.
Coinciding with the 100th anniversary of the leading law firm’s foundation in Dublin, while marking its strong heritage, it is also looking to a bright future with a number of key promotions including Stuart Mansfield’s appointment as head of the banking and finance team.
Stuart, who has been with the firm since 2005, is among the most highly respected and sought-after practitioners in his field, and leads a team assembled to include progressive and strategic advisers representing the very best operating locally.
“It is a tremendous privilege to have taken up the position as head of the finance department this year, and I am honoured to be surrounded by such a strong group of lawyers that has resulted in the sterling reputation the practice and the wider Arthur Cox firm enjoys,” he said.
“As we approach the end of 2020, it certainly has been one to remember for us all and for a number of reasons at Arthur Cox.
“It was always going to be important as we celebrated the centenary of the firm’s foundation.
“Our founder set up office on Dublin’s St Stephen’s Green in 1920 with an ethos of progression that endures to this day.
“It is that mindset of ‘100 years of looking forward’, that permeates all that we do ensuring we are continually looking ahead and remaining at the very edge of legal developments.”
Stuart’s appointment is the culmination of a 15-year career that has seen him gain experience in jurisdictions across Britain and Ireland, and further afield.
“I started my career in London, very much the heart of the global financial centre, where I gained invaluable insight into the operations of many of the world’s best-known financial institutions,” he said.
“Still in the very early part of my legal practice, it provided a strong beginning, enabling the establishment of relationships that have endured throughout my career.”
Stuart, who has considerable experience advising traditional and emerging financial institutions and corporate borrowers arrived at Arthur Cox in Belfast via its Dublin office where he spent two years, thereby gaining working knowledge across multiple jurisdictions.
His team is noted for its prowess in advising on domestic and international deals, regularly instructed by local banks and retained by global household names, attracted by Arthur Cox’s worldwide presence with offices as far afield as London, New York, and San Francisco.
With a large number of mandates from domestic banks, the practice is particularly noted for its expertise in handling syndicated loans, debt restructuring, and distressed debt deals.
“Much of this experience has been gained against what has been an immensely challenging backdrop for the financial world,” Stuart said.
“The global financial crash of 2008 continued to have ramifications for many years, and even today, the memory of the collapse of some of the world’s best-known institutions still remains fresh.
“It was a time of immense change and as a result, we have amassed significant experience in the distressed loan space. However, throughout the intervening years, we have also provided advice to local banks and corporate borrowers as investors continue to seek the many sound opportunities that exist in the Northern Ireland market.”
The strength of the finance team, which is made up of senior lawyers including partner Colm McElroy supported by a group of associates that are among the most dynamic and commercially-minded locally, is reflected in the wider Arthur Cox offering.
“As finance lawyers, we do not act in isolation, but rather work in collaboration with experts across the entire Arthur Cox group in support of our international client base,” Stuart said.
“The breadth of talent in our corporate and commercial, dispute resolution, and commercial property teams for example, ensure we are continually sought out to provide advice on some of the most complex legal matters and transactions.
“The world has changed immeasurably in the 100 years since Arthur Cox was founded and even in the past 15 years, the legal landscape has evolved considerably.
“In finance, much of this has been spurred by the economic crash and subsequent fall out, but even without that, commercial realities are constantly changing.
“We are changing with them, committed as we are to harnessing our breadth of experience to guide clients through the years ahead, while remaining at the very forefront of legal developments on their behalf.”
Arthur Cox is one of the pre-eminent corporate law practices in Northern Ireland, providing a full-service offering from its Belfast office to meet the requirements of a local and international client portfolio.
The finance team at Arthur Cox is well positioned to advise businesses on the impact of emerging trends in the sector and on any aspect of banking and finance law in Northern Ireland. Call +44 28 9023 0007 for further information from Stuart, or your regular Arthur Cox contact.