This marks the fifth year of A&L Goodbody’s sponsorship of the Ulster Business Top 100 – a partnership of which we are immensely proud and continue to value greatly.
Reflecting back over the past five years of our association with this particular edition, it struck me that this foreword has always been drafted in the context of some sort of political or economic adversity.
In 2016, we found ourselves in the immediate wake of the EU Referendum, followed by three years of crippling uncertainty about the future for the UK post-Brexit. This challenge was only further compounded in 2018 and 2019 by the lack of a functioning Northern Ireland Assembly. And now, here we find ourselves in 2020 – slowly beginning to emerge out of what has been described as the worst crisis since the Second World War and anticipating what this means next for our businesses and our economy.
Yet despite what might be deemed as ‘chaos’– the major challenges, the crises, the political stalemates – there has been one undisputed constant: our Top 100 Companies.
While each year has seen some movement up or down within the rankings, together with new additions or companies slipping off the list, this strong and steadfast cohort of firms have continued to play a key role in driving the Northern Ireland economy.
Despite such chaos, they have continued to create hundreds of new jobs and underpin many thousands more. They have remained at the forefront of innovation and the latest cutting-edge developments in technology, engineering and manufacturing. They have continued to dominate their markets both at home and, driven by a strong focus on exporting, abroad.
As an international law firm with offices in Belfast, Dublin, London and the US, we have been working closely with many of these Top 100 Companies in recent months, advising on both domestic and international matters impacted by Covid-19. We have been inspired not only by their drive and agility but, most of all, their resilience and determination to overcome adversity yet again.
On behalf of all at A&L Goodbody, congratulations to each of this year’s Ulster Business Top 100 Companies. We wish you every success in the coming year as you embark upon your respective journeys to recovery post Covid-19.