Ireland’s A&L Goodbody Opens A Office Down In Silicon Valley
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A&L Goodbody, who is an Irish law firm that helps out U.S. companies reduce their tax liabilities in the country by shifting profits to the Emerald Isle, is setting up shop out in Palo Alto.

The 350-lawyer firms hopes that in establishing a Silicon Valley presence will help to rides out the recession in its home country by piggybacking on the wave of U.S.-based companies-many of them who are of the high-tech variety-that have been setting up regional outposts out in Dublin. In some of the instances, the Dublin headquarters of top Irish law firms double as the local offices of the leading U.S. pharmaceutical and technology companies. A&L Goodbody sees that its foray into the U.S. technology hub’s home turf as a way of building on that trend.


”Our latest office opening significantly positions us to further highlight the opportunities that Ireland offers the international business community,” managing partner Julian Yarr said on Thursday in a statement.

In a controversial practice that has drawn interest from the U.S. regulators and lawmakers, a large amount of the American companies have found it financially advantageous to move a portion of their earnings into separate corporations based in Ireland that are beyond the reach of the IRS.

Apple, Google, Microsoft, Abbot Laboratories, Pfizer, and-just a few months ahead of an IPO that raised $1 billion-social media game developer Zynga are among those that have established operations in Ireland. Twitter has also announced in September that it would open an international headquarters in Dublin.

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A&L Goodbody has not yet advised all of those companies-the firm has done some work for Abbott Labs and Pfizer-but says it has worked with more than 500 U.S. corporations. The firm’s tech sector clients are Juniper Networks, Maxim Integrated Products, McAfee, Netgear, QLogic, SanDisk, and ValueClick.
A&L Goodbody promotes its specialized experience with the brochures that are on the Website that describes the investment opportunities, primarily in the form of different tax breaks, available to the companies that open outposts out in Ireland.

”All corporate trading profits benefit from an E.U-approved low corporations tax rate of 12.5, which compares extremely favorably with regimes elsewhere,” states one of the overview for potential clients. ”There are no restrictions on repatriation of earnings, capital, royalties, or interest and there are no restrictions on the import of capital to Ireland.”

A&L Goodbody is now going to go directly where that capital is being generated as a way of catering to current clients while begging for new ones. The corporate partner and the IP and technology group head, who is John Whelan, and his tax partner, who is Paul Fahy, has both been chosen to lead the Irish firm’s new operations that are going on down in Palo Alto, which will open up on January 1. Whelan and Fahy will divide their time between the operations in Palo Alto and in Dublin.

The Silicon Valley move means that while the bulk of A&L Goodbody’s lawyers are based over in Europe-its headquarters are set in Dublin and it will also maintain offices in Belfast, and London-almost half of the firm’s real estate in set in the United States.


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