Law firm Shoosmiths has expanded into Northern Ireland following a merger with Belfast firm McManus Kearney.

Founded in 1987, McManus Kearney has historically focussed on debt and insolvency matters in Northern Ireland. It will now be known as ‘Shoosmiths’, however it’s two partners and 14 staff, as well as the firms office, will remain.

Stephen Dawson, who leads Shoosmiths’ Financial Services advisory team, will also lend his support to the development of the new office, with the firm noting he already lives in Northern Ireland. 

Claire Rowe, Shoosmiths’ chief executive, said: ‘Our opening in Northern Ireland is symbolic of our commitment to our clients across the UK and ensuring our award-winning commercial and recoveries services are the very best on offer. The move was motivated by client demand and by our wish to have a commercial presence in Northern Ireland as a result of the complex work we undertake in recoveries and commercial financial services. It is a pleasure to bring Shoosmiths to Northern Ireland, through a well-known, trusted and successful business such as McManus Kearney.’

Waine Mannix, Shoosmiths’ head of recoveries services, said: ‘McManus Kearney has an excellent, longstanding reputation in the Northern Ireland and UK market for financial services recoveries, personal insolvency, commercial contracts and HNW private client work. The Shoosmiths recoveries services group has worked with McManus Kearney for a number of years, sharing places on clients’ panels and through instructing the firm. Each time the firm has demonstrated we share the same values – the pinnacle being our commitment to providing exceptional client service.’

New Leeds office

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Shoosmiths has also opened a new office in Leeds. The office was originally announced back in the summer

The firm has recruited David Farnell to the new Leeds office as a partner in the recoveries services group (RSG).

Farnell joined from Addleshaw Goddard, and has over 20 years’ experience as a finance litigator. Historically, he has worked in asset finance and banking disputes, with a particular focus on consumer credit, corporate recovery, enforcement of securities and fraud.

Roger Potgieter, a partner in the asset finance team at Shoosmiths, commented: 'We are pleased to welcome David into the asset finance team in Leeds as part of the strategic development of the team nationally. David brings a wealth of experience and knowledge in asset finance and banking litigation that will serve to grow key relationships nationally and in the Leeds market as well as supporting the asset finance team's ambitions in the North of England.'