The firm was established in 1965, bringing together smaller predecessor firms with roots back to the 1820s. Partners in the firm or these earlier firms served as presidents of the Law Society of Ireland, the representative and regulatory body of the profession, in both the 19th and 20th centuries, and its clients over the decades have included leading organisations in the corporate, financial and business sectors as well as government entities and many state bodies.
From the 1960s the firm has operated through departments that it established to focus on specific areas of law, developing expertise and evolving as the legal framework for business, banking and institutional clients has become increasingly complex. It was the first Irish law firm to open a branch office in Brussels (in 1974) and in London (in 1986). In 1991 McCann FitzGerald was the first major law firm to locate its offices in the then newly established financial services centre in Dublin. The firm moved to its current offices in 2006.
Alexis FitzGerald, one of the founding partners, and senior partner until his death in 1985, was a member of the Senate between 1969 and 1981, and in 1981-82 was appointed special adviser to the government.
For decades, McCann FitzGerald has been at the forefront of legal practice in Ireland, for domestic and international clients, in commercial, regulatory and competition law, mergers & acquisitions and banking & financial services including aircraft financing. It has equal expertise in real estate, construction, private client, employment and dispute resolution & litigation.