International firms hail Cork growth in tech and pharma

International law firm William Fry has opened an office in Cork because of continued growth in its Munster business, including tech and life sciences, it said.

The Dublin-based firm, which also has offices in London, New York, Silicon Valley and San Francisco, said it is currently working with clients in a wide range of industries in Munster, such as banking and finance, technology, food and healthcare and life sciences.

Cork's burgeoning tech industry, along with its traditional reputation as a base for some of the world's biggest pharma and life science firms, was a factor in William Fry's decision, it said.

The Cork office will be led by Brian O'Callaghan, a partner in the firm's real estate department, and Laura Houlihan, one of its senior people in its banking and finance department.

Ms Houlihan specialises in acquisitions and regularly acts as lead counsel in multi-jurisdictional transactions, William Fry said.

Mr O'Callaghan said: "The growth of tech and life science firms in the Cork and Munster region was a big factor in our decision to open a new office in Cork as was the Cork economy generally.”

Meanwhile, a US firm specialising in engineering protective equipment for organisations including Nasa officially opened its new manufacturing facility in Blarney.

ILC Dover, known for producing astronaut space suits and complex safety devices for major firms, said late last year that it would expand its Irish production in Blarney with 70 new jobs.

The firm's chief executive and president Fran DiNuzzo, who was on hand in Cork for the opening, said Cork's proximity to the world's leading pharmaceutical giants, as well as its talent pool, were major factors in its expansion.

The company is responsible for the protective space suits worn by Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong for the moon landings, and is the only firm in the world to have made spacesuits for moon missions.

Clients also include government agencies.

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