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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 > Public sector > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


Index of tables

  1. Public sector
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next Generation Partners

Leading individuals

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Next Generation Partners

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Who Represents Who

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The team at A&L Goodbody¬†advises on state aid, restructuring and sale of state assets, and data protection, and is particularly strong on public procurement matters. Anna-Marie Curran¬†is acting for Limerick City and County Council on the tender process for the N/M20 Cork to Limerick road improvement scheme;¬†Kevin Feeney¬†is advising a developer on a¬†‚ā¨40m housing development scheme in Dublin as part of a PPP project; and Eamonn Conlon¬†is assisting BAM Building with the construction contract for the New Children's Hospital. Mark Rasdale¬†is also a key contact.

Arthur Cox specialises in regulatory law, with extensive experience advising regulatory bodies on statutory investigations. The team is particularly active in the healthcare sector; Gavin Woods is representing the Mental Health Commission in a number of ongoing judicial review proceedings, and Joanelle O’Cleirigh is advising the Irish Blood Transfusion Service on issues arising from defects in a device used before blood donations. Aaron Boyle is also assisting the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board with procurement matters concerning the building of a new children's hospital. Danielle Conaghan and Alex McLean handle environmental and energy-related matters.

The 'approachable' and 'highly responsive' team at Mason Hayes & Curran advises public bodies on their statutory duties, handles judicial review proceedings, disciplinary procedures and contentious public procurement matters, and advises on data protection and freedom of information law. Catherine Allen is representing the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland in relation to fitness to practise matters; the 'meticulous and practical' Lisa Joyce acted for the Central Bank of Ireland in proceedings relating to a statutory administrative sanctions inquiry; and Niall Michel acted for TransCore in a challenge to a decision of the Irish National Roads Authority. Edward Gleeson heads the practice.

McCann FitzGerald advises public sector clients across a range of areas, including justice, infrastructure, transport, energy, health and education. Sean Barton is advising the Courts Service on various matters including GDPR compliance and an ongoing project to consolidate and reform criminal procedure in the District Court. Eamonn O’Hanrahan and Jenny Mellerick are assisting Transport Infrastructure Ireland with the outsourcing of the operation of free-flow tolling on the M50, among other issues. Michelle Doyle, who advises on the regulatory framework for major infrastructure projects, and regulated markets specialist Rosaleen Byrne are also noted.

William Fry  has 'unrivalled experience dealing with the public sector', according to one client, and is active in the financial services, employment, telecoms, infrastructure and healthcare sectors. Claire Waterson, Shane Kelleher and Eavan Saunders advised a government department on a high-profile state aid case; Waterson and 'most trusted adviser' Alicia Compton are assisting a state agency with apprenticeship procedures; and Jarleth Heneghan advised the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board on the development of a new children's hospital.

Byrne Wallace stands out for the 'flexibility of the team and the depth and range of its knowledge': it advises public bodies in a range of sectors, including social care, agriculture, education, tourism and local government, with particular strengths in healthcare and employment. Group head Michelle Ní Longáin is advising the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform on the implementation of new HR policies. Sinead Kearney specialises in health and social care matters; Jon Legorburu and Séan O’Donnell handle litigation; Martin Cooney, who joined from Smyth & Son, advises on construction issues; and Joanne Finn advises on EU and competition law.

Gary Rice heads the 'enthusiastic, thorough and approachable team' at DAC Beachcroft Dublin, which is commended for its 'palpable passion for the work it does'. Recent highlights include advising a state agency for sport on anti-doping investigations and prosecutions; acting for the Medical Council in relation to fitness to practise inquiries; and representing a regulatory body in a dispute with a laboratory services provider. Senior associates Aidan Healy and Brian Ormond and associate Niall Sexton are key members of the team. Consultant Aideen Ryan, who joined from McDowell Purcell, is 'thorough and pragmatic in her approach' and has 'a wealth of expertise in regulatory law'. Dublin office head Lisa Broderick is 'exceptionally practical', provides 'excellent, well-thought out advice' and 'will get the job done always'.

Eversheds Sutherland's practice is noted for its advice in the healthcare, infrastructure projects, education and financial services sectors; the 'partners' procurement knowledge and expertise in this area' is also a key strength. Peter Curran and Angelyn Rowan are advising the Grangegorman Development Agency on the procurement of major contracts for the development of student accommodation on the Dublin Institute of Technology campus, and Pamela O’Neill is assisting the Residential Tenancies Board with a new procedure for issuing its determination orders. Norman Fitzgerald heads the team.

Matheson's practice counts a number of public bodies among its clients, and advises on state aid, public inquiries and statutory investigations, freedom of information law, energy and infrastructure projects, and environmental and planning issues, among other matters. Michael Byrne¬†is acting for the Adoption Authority of Ireland in a rare "leap-frog" appeal to the Supreme Court in a case concerning the recognition of foreign adoptions; Helen Kelly¬†is advising a state-owned organisation on the state aid aspects of its receipt of a¬†‚ā¨30m government loan; and Garret Farrelly¬†is advising EirGrid and Soni on the new wholesale electricity market arrangement for Ireland and Northern Ireland. Nicola Dunleavy¬†is also noted.

Beauchamps advises clients including the Charities Regulator, the National Disability Authority and the Health Information Quality Authority on public and regulatory law at national, EU and international level. EU, competition and procurement specialist Dorit McCann and Mark Pery-Knox-Gore, who counts a number of charities and not-for-profit organisations among his clients, are the key contacts.

McDowell Purcell is 'unique in the level of experience it has in the area of professional regulation'; the team's expertise covers the health and social care, education, charities and professional services sectors. Managing partner and department head JP McDowell acted for the Law Society of Ireland in a case involving a claims harvesting website; Eimear Burke represented a regulatory body in a high-profile fitness to practise inquiry; and the 'calm and measured' Barry Fagan acted for the Teaching Council in relation to the first-ever fitness to teach inquiry. Sinéad Taaffe is noted for her 'commercially focused and clear advice'. The team has recently expanded its client base to include the Charities Regulator.

Philip Lee represents public sector bodies including local authorities, state agencies and some government departments, covering the healthcare, finance, IT, transport, waste and energy sectors. Alice Whittaker, Anne Bateman, Patrick Walshe and Rachel Minch make up the team.

Hayes Solicitors' public sector practice is particularly strong in relation to healthcare matters; Joe O’Malley is acting for the State Claims Agency (SCA) in a series of proceedings brought by thalidomide survivors, and Mary Hough, Caroline Crowley and Louise O’Rourke are also noted for their expertise in the defence of medical negligence claims. O'Malley is also representing the SCA in a group of linked public liability cases relating to allegations of historic child sexual abuse. Jackie Buckley advises a number of state agencies on their property requirements.

Holmes O'Malley Sexton advises a number of education institutions, including the Galway Mayo Institute of Technology, as well as other public sector bodies such as the Private Security Authority and the Irish Greyhound Board. Limerick and Dublin-based managing partner Harry Fehily and senior associate Pat McInerney are acting for the Legal Aid Board, a new client, as notice party to two judicial review proceedings brought against An Bord Pleanála and the Attorney General regarding a decision to grant planning permission for the development of housing units in County Dublin.

Ronan Daly Jermyn specialises in advising on statutory obligations, public procurement, data protection, complex medical negligence claims and data protection. In Cork, Finola McCarthy assists with public procurement and administrative law issues, and Diarmaid Gavin advises on EU competition and state aid matters. In Galway, Padraic Brennan and Imelda Tierney focus on the defence of medical negligence actions. Clients include Cork County Council and the State Claims Agency.

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Legal Developments in Ireland for Public sector

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