by Ken Casey December-12-2018 in Commercial & Business, Corporate, Brexit

Many of the views reflected below were published in The Sunday Business Post recently and can be viewed here.

Ken Casey, Head of our Corporate Department, sees echoes of the fortunes of Irish rugby in 2018 in his own team’s performance over the year.

“The first quarter was full of hope, we got some early points on the board and then, after a couple of really interesting wins for us, the second half of the year has been just tremendous,” says Ken.

Having joined Hayes as Partner and Head of Corporate in January, Ken is in a very good position to judge team performance in a year when Hayes added new talent and he set out to build-up an already strong transaction services offering.

“The focus has been on building out the M&A team to develop and release its potential – a lot of work we were doing in those first two quarters was about strengthening and developing relationships,” says Ken.

“This really started to tell for us over the summer and as the second half of the year progressed, the combination of a very strong domestic economy and increased international investment, as people looked past Brexit and tariffs and just got on with business, meant we could see strong dividends from the work that everybody has put in”.

A lot of the comment in the Corporate Transactions sphere has been about international interest in Ireland from the UK and US in particular. But Ken Casey says the domestic market has been at its strongest in years.

“It’s very clear that our clients and other Irish businesses have shown significant ambition, they’ve continued to grow and look for opportunities. It’s a very strong sign of the continued health and potential of the Irish economy”.

On Brexit, Ken’s perspective is that it will pay to take the long-term, pragmatic and nuanced view of a potentially seismic event that will bring opportunities as well as risks.

“Brexit matters, of course it does, particularly given the recent potential increased risk of a harder Brexit. But we are seeing continuing positivity and confidence in our domestic economy which will hopefully help us to buffer the impact as we adjust our trading relationship with the UK, our largest trading partner,” he says.

“Looking at the funding availability that is here, both from domestic suppliers of debt and equity but also from a growing range of international sources, we have the environment for continued growth”.

The Central Bank of Ireland’s fourth quarter 2018 Bulletin notes strong Irish economic growth underpinned by robust and broad-based growth in employment, which is driving an increase in incomes and supporting the growth of consumer spending.  The Bulletin notes growth in some key components of domestic spending as having picked up strongly but also that material domestic and external risks persist to the Central Bank’s forecast that underlying economic activity will grow at a relatively strong pace in 2018, with some moderation in 2019 and 2020.

Hopefully, the Irish domestic economy will continue on its strong performance in recent years and the anticipation of stronger headline and underlying investment in the economy will be delivered.

At Hayes, Ken says we have built a team that includes “very experienced and expert practitioners who understand how business works and are networked into a very broad range of sectors”.

It’s been a busy year “on the pitch” for the Hayes Corporate team with new faces coming into the squad – 2019 will see them looking to kick on.

For further information please contact Ken Casey at Hayes solicitors.

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