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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In Europe, Middle East and Africa, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for seven consecutive years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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Ireland > Employment > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


Index of tables

  1. Employment
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Hall of Fame

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Next generation lawyers

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Who Represents Who

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A&L Goodbody impresses with its ‘concise and detailed’ advice and its ‘ability to support businesses with a global presence’. The team’s wide-ranging caseload included a number of significant industrial disputes, including practice head Duncan Inverarity acting for the Construction Industry Federation in a pay dispute with the crane drivers’ union. Ciara McLoughlin is ‘legally incisive’ and Karen Killalea is also noted, while at associate level Ailbhe Dennehy is ‘highly responsive and knowledgeable’, Michael Doyle, who joined from Arthur Cox, is ‘absolutely excellent’, and Johanne Duignan is ‘attentive and pragmatic’.

Arthur Cox wins praise for its ‘in-depth industry sector knowledge’ and the team was active in a range of unfair dismissal, discrimination and TUPE claims in areas such as IT, education and insurance. ‘Standout’ name Séamus Given is advising the Olympic Council of Ireland on employment issues arising from the alleged illegal sale in Brazil of OCI tickets for the Rio Olympics. Other key figures are Cian Beecher, Kevin Langford and newly promoted partner Louise O’Byrne.


Anne O'Connell Solicitors

Anne O’Connell Solicitors is a boutique firm specialising in employment law, also known as AOC Solicitors. It was set up on 1 February 2017 and is currently made up of one solicitor, one trainee and two legal executives. Only a year after the firm’s establishment Anne O’Connell has been awarded exclusive winner of the ‘Client Choice Award 2018’ – Employment & Benefits category for Ireland. Anne O’Connell has specialised in employment law for over 17 years after training in one of the top employment law practices in Ireland.

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At ‘leading employment firmByrneWallace,. practice head Michael Kennedy has ‘unparalleled experience of industrial disputes’; Kennedy’s recent caseload includes industrial disputes arising in the education and construction sectors. Michelle Ní Longáin and Emmet Whelan provide ‘balanced, clear and well-presented advice’ and in one work example assisted the Department of Justice and Equality with the application of the Protected Disclosures Act 2014. Newly promoted partner Loughlin Deegan has ‘strong technical knowledge’.

Mason Hayes & Curranresolves conflicts in a way that balances business needs, legal requirements, and perceptions of fairness’. The team handled a number of significant restructurings in the technology sector and also defended Ulster Bank Ireland in a High Court unfair dismissal claim. The ‘excellentMelanie Crowley is now leading the practice, though former team head Ian O’Herlihy remains a key figure. Ronnie Neville has ‘an infectious enthusiasm’ and senior associate Orla O’Leary also impresses.

Matheson consolidated its status as the ‘leading firm in the Irish market in the technology and international employer space’, with the ‘highly intelligentNiall Pelly acting for HP on a large scale redundancy at its Irish campus in Kildare. Pelly also represented AlienVault in the first full Workplace Relations Commission hearing regarding whistleblowing. Highly regarded practice head Bryan Dunneunderstands the needs and commercial imperatives of US clients’, while newly promoted partner Russell Rochford is ‘proactive’. The practice has some ‘excellent associates'. Geraldine Carr was promoted to the partnership in January 2019.

William Fryhas a first-rate client focus and a strong bench of talent’. Recent highlights include ‘excellent’ practice head Boyce Shubotham defending Kilsaran Concrete against an appeal by the Director of Public Prosecutions regarding a fine for a workplace fatality, and the ‘extremely innovativeAlicia Compton advising Solas on the restructuring of statutory apprenticeship procedures nationwide. Maura Roe is ‘highly knowledgeable in the area of TUPE’, Catherine O’Flynn is ‘incredibly effective’ and associate Louise Harrison has ‘a sharp legal mind’.

Eversheds Sutherland provides ‘speedy and pragmatic advice’ to an impressive array of international companies including major operators in the technology sector. The team’s wide ranging non-contentious work included ‘reassuringly calm’ practice head Joanne Hyde advising Independent News & Media on the employment aspects of its acquisition of Celtic Media Group. In the contentious space the ‘solution-focusedAnna Broderick is defending Adara Media in a cross-border unfair dismissal claim. Margaret Gorman leads on work in the education sector.

McCann FitzGerald is highly active on public sector mandates, with ‘experienced’ practice head Terence McCrann and the ‘knowledgeableMary Brassil advising Transport Infrastructure Ireland on employment issues following the merger of the National Roads Authority with the Railway Procurement Agency. McCrann is also noted for his considerable litigation expertise, where recent clients have included NUI Maynooth and CHC Helicopters. Senior associate Stephen Holst provides ‘excellent technical advice’.

Ronan Daly Jermyn has ‘extensive knowledge across all type of industry’. As well as advising on a large number of High Court injunctions, the team was highly active in the non-contentious space, with Cork-based Deirdre Malone acting for Office Depot Ireland on its collective redundancy process. Also in Cork, practice head Jennifer Cashman is praised for her ‘practical, business-focussed advice’, while in Galway David McCarroll is singled out for his industrial relations expertise.

Eugene F. Collins’ ‘calm and knowledgeable’ team was active on a number of transactional mandates, including advising Clear Channel Ireland on TUPE issues arising from the transfer of a services contract. ‘First-rate’ practice head Maura Connolly, immigration specialist David Cantrell and senior associate Tríona Sugrue are the main contacts.

Hayes Solicitors’ ‘very responsive’ practice expanded with the hire of consultant Gill Woods from Arthur Cox. Other key figures are practice head Breda O’Malley, who ‘provides high-value guidance’ to the likes of Primark and DHL, and Anne Lyne, whose recent caseload included redundancy and industrial relations matters.

LK Shields Solicitors’ ‘very efficient team’ handles a strong contentious caseload, with recent work including practice head Aoife Bradley representing Fiat Chrysler Group in a complex dismissal claim. Other key lawyers are Susan Battye, who provides ‘excellent advice and guidance’, and TUPE specialist Jennifer O’Neill.

McDowell Purcellpunches well above its weight’, with ‘superb’ practice head Barry Walsh able to ‘explain the salient issues succinctly and accurately’. The team’s broad caseload included advising LogMeIn on the employment aspects of its acquisition of Citrix. Julie Austin made partner.

Beauchamps provides ‘detailed and prompt advice’ on a range of transactional mandates, including assisting Arachas with the employment aspects of its management buyout. Practice head Dermot Casserly is ‘professional and knowledgeable’, while at the junior end Alison Martin, Triona Cody and Laura Reid are all recommended.

Employment boutique CC Solicitors provides strategic HR and litigation support to trade unions, insurers and partnerships. Dual-qualified (UK/Ireland) name partner Colleen Cleary and senior associate Regan O’Driscoll are ‘adept and savvy litigators’.

At DAC Beachcroft Dublin, the ‘helpful and knowledgeableBarry Reynolds handles a mix of contentious and non-contentious work for insurers and major corporates.

Philip Lee provides ‘timely and astute advice’ on a number of significant public sector mandates. Practice head Patrick Walsheachieves commercial solutions’.

Whitney Moore’s ‘very competent and experienced team’ is led by ‘excellent communicatorJohn Lynch, who has a strong reputation for senior executive contract negotiation and severance arrangements. Newly promoted partner Emma Richmond was active in the corporate immigration space.

At ‘growing and innovative’ new boutique Anne O'Connell Solicitors, name partner Anne O’Connell has ‘meticulous attention to detail and a client-centred approach’ and acts for employers and employees.

At Lavelle Solicitors, the ‘highly practicalMarc Fitzgibbon handles a range of work for clients such as Dublin City Council and Aramark Ireland.

At Maples and Calder, associate James Scanlon assists multi-national corporates with contentious and non-contentious mandates; he recently advised Avolon on the employment aspects of its purchase of CIT Group.

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Legal Developments in Ireland for Employment

  • Equality before the Law

    Employment Equality legislation in Ireland is to be found in the Employment Equality Act 1998 as amended by the Equality Act 2004. This legislation is extremely detailed but in effect makes it unlawful for employers to discriminate against a person on the basis of gender, marital status, family status, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, race, and membership of the traveller community. These are referred to as the “discriminatory grounds”.
    - Dillon Eustace

Legal Developments in Ireland

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
  • LANDWELL Bulletin: Managing in a Downturn

    As we are all well aware this is the most turbulent climate for business both nationally and internationally, that any of us have experienced. We have therefore focused this bulletin on areas where we believe we can help you take decisive steps to manage the issues that are required to get through the downturn and be properly prepared for the future.
  • The Companies (Amendment) Act 2009

    The Companies (Amendment) Act, 2009 (the “Act”) was signed into law on 12 July 2009. The Act provides for signifi cant changes to company law compliance and enforcement. It gives increased powers of search and seizure to the Offi ce of the Director of Corporate Enforcement (“ODCE”) and expands disclosure obligations with regard to transactions between a company and its directors (including specifi c changes for licensed banks). The Act also relaxes the requirement that at least one director of an Irish company must be resident in the State.
  • New Rules for Acquiring Transactions in the Financial Sector

    In line with EU-mandated requirements, Ireland has introduced new rules governing acquisitions, in whole or in part, of certain regulated financial institutions.
  • Irish Merger Control: Review of Key Developments in 2008

    A 47% Year-on-Year Drop in the Number of Deals Notified: Reflecting the global decline in merger activity, the number of deals notified to the Competition Authority fell to 38 in 2008, a 47% decrease from 2007, when 72 deals were notified, and a more than 60% decrease from the 2006 peak of 98 notified deals.
  • European Communities (Takeover Bids (Directive 2004/25/EC)) Regulations 2006

    The EU Takeovers Directive (2004/25/EC) (the “Takeovers Directive”) has been transposed into Irish law by the European Communities (Takeover Bids (Directive 2004/25/EC)) Regulations, 2006 (S. I. No. 255 of 2006) (the “Takeovers Regulations”). The stated aim of the Takeovers Directive is to strengthen the Single Market in financial services by facilitating cross-border restructuring and enhancing minority shareholder protection. Many of the provisions of the Directive are already contained in the existing Irish regime for the supervision of takeovers set out in the Irish Takeover Panel Act, 1997 (the “Act”), the Takeover Rules, 2001 (the “Rules”) and the Companies Acts 1963 – 2005, which will continue to apply. The Takeovers Regulations cater for those areas not already dealt with in the existing regime or areas of the regime that needed to be adjusted as a result of the requirements of the Takeovers Directive.
  • Establishing a Retail Fund in Ireland for sale in Japan Fund Structures and Features

    The issuing of securities of offshore funds for public sale into Japan is governed by a combination of the Securities and Exchange Law of Japan (the "SEL") which is enforced by the Japanese Ministry of Finance ("MOF"), the Law Concerning Investment Trust and Investment Company of Japan (the "Investment Funds Law") which is enforced by the Financial Services Agency of Japan ("FSA").Establishing a Retail Fund in Ireland for sale in Japan Fund Structures and Features
  • Equality before the Law

    Employment Equality legislation in Ireland is to be found in the Employment Equality Act 1998 as amended by the Equality Act 2004. This legislation is extremely detailed but in effect makes it unlawful for employers to discriminate against a person on the basis of gender, marital status, family status, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, race, and membership of the traveller community. These are referred to as the “discriminatory grounds”.
  • Enforcement of Foreign Judgments in Ireland

    The enforcement of judgments between the EU member states is regulated by the Brussels I Regulation (44/2001, OJL 12/1, 16 January 2001) (“the Regulation”). On the 22nd December 2000, the European Council agreed the Regulation to replace the Brussels Convention on Jurisdiction and Enforcement of Judgments 1968 (“the Brussels Convention”). The purpose of the Regulation was to bring the law contained in the Brussels Convention into the main body of EC Law. The Regulation was implemented in Ireland by Statutory Instrument 52 of 2002, European Communities (Civil and Commercial Judgments) Regulations 2002, which came into force on the 1st March 2002.
  • E-Discovery

    Unlike the United States, which is leading the way in relation to e-discovery and where the disclosure of electronic data has become standard procedure, as of yet there is no standard protocol or practice direction issued in relation to e-discovery in Ireland. Despite this fact, Irish lawyers are beginning to appreciate the invaluable nature of electronic data which can be retrieved and used in commercial litigation.
  • Disclosure Requirements with respect to Company Particulars

    Directive 2003/58/EC amending Directive 68/151/EEC (the “First Disclosure Directive”) became effective on 1st April, 2007 having been transposed into Irish law by the European Communities (Companies) (Amendment) Regulations 2007 (S.I. No. 49 of 2007) (the “Regulations”).

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