London-based Keystone Law merges with Belfast's McMahon McKay

From left to right, Danny McKay, James Knight and John McMahon
Andrew Madden

BELFAST law firm McMahon McKay has signed off on a commercial merger with London-based practice Keystone Law.

The new venture will see the two firms come together under that name Keystone Law (NI) Limited, with the Belfast practices founding partners John McMahon and Danny McKay retaining control of the firm.

Keystone Law NI will be supported by the firm's London office, which will provide finance banking, marketing, IT and general administrative assistance.

It will operate the same model as other Keystone offices and have access to all the firm's resources, including Keystone's existing 230 senior lawyers.

The merger comes at the end of a successful year for McMahon McKay, which saw them conclude deals to the value of £400 million between last April and December.

The partnership was subsequently nominated for Corporate Law Firm of the Year and Deal of the Year (above £10m) at the Northern Ireland Dealmakers Awards.

John McMahon said 2016 exceeded their expectations and the deal will see them continue to grow.

"This merger will enable us to respond more readily to the increasing client demand and simultaneously grow the business," he said.

"The legal market in Northern Ireland is ready for Keystone and the timing is perfect."

James Knight, managing partner at Keystone, said deal marked a two-year quest to find an appropriate partner in Ireland.

"The dynamic performance and impressive growth displayed by McMahon McKay caught our attention last year and our discussions have proceeded reassuringly quickly to where they are today," he added.

"John and Danny are great lawyers but they also have real entrepreneurial flair and share our ambitions too which is just as important. I believe we can achieve a great deal in Ireland as a result of this merger."


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