Construction in Ireland
Heralded as ‘the best construction practice in Ireland’, A&L Goodbody provides ‘quick and sound advice’ on commercial and residential developments, public infrastructure projects and power plants. Eamonn Conlon’s work highlights included advising a construction joint venture on its contract for the campus site at Grangegorman PPP project, while ‘commercial and responsive’ practice head Kevin Feeney drafted and negotiated the development and construction contracts for the employer for the redevelopment of a landmark property in Dublin city centre. Eamonn Gill is ‘outstanding’ and associate Robert Rooney is also recommended. New partner Conor Owens joined from Maples Group. Killian Dorney, formerly an associate with the firm, joined Beale & Co as a partner in 2020.
Arthur Cox was very busy providing non-contentious advice on residential, commercial and mixed-use developments, as well as infrastructure and energy projects. ‘Adopting primarily a non-confrontational approach’, practice head Niav O’Higgins, who ‘has excellent knowledge and experience’, advised new client Spear Street Capital on the construction aspects of the acquisition and development of Cherrywood Business Park. Karen Killoran ‘offers advice in a timely manner’, and advised on a number of wind farm projects, including successfully acting for developer Seahound Wind Developments on several high-value construction contracts.
Maples Group has a strong presence in the contentious sphere, where Kevin Harnett’s caseload included defending Spencer Dock Development Company in High Court proceedings arising out of alleged defects in the cladding, windows and fire prevention systems. Harnett is also defending two construction material suppliers in about 500 ongoing claims arising out of alleged building damage caused by using material containing pyrite. Enda O’Keeffe is the other name to note when it comes to construction disputes. Responsible for handling advisory matters, practice head Mary Dunne advised Tifco on development finance and construction contracts for five significant developments in Dublin, Cork and Galway. Dudley Solan retired.
Mason Hayes & Curran ‘delivers decisive and clear advice’ and handles a steady stream of high-profile instructions. ‘Very able’ practice head Rory Kirrane, who is also an ‘excellent advocate’, leads the team on both contentious and non-contentious matters. Eoin Cassidy is the firm’s specialist for construction matters in the energy sector. Susan Bryson ‘is a top-class negotiator’; her clients know ‘they are in safe hands and well represented’. Bryson and associate Padraig Godfrey ‘demonstrated in-depth knowledge and experience in all areas of construction litigation’ when they acted for SDR Property Owners Management Company in High Court proceedings relating to defects and fire safety issues in the design and construction of a major mixed-use development in the centre of Dublin. Shane Dolan is also ‘excellent’.
Known for its 'excellent service', McCann FitzGerald's team advises on an impressive range of developments, infrastructure and energy projects. ‘Solutions-orientated’ practice head Kevin Kelly showcased ‘his expert knowledge of construction law’ and public procurement expertise when he and Jenny Mellerick advised an electricity company on the construction and procurement aspects of its new landmark headquarters building. The ‘quick to understand’ Stephen Proctor advised Transport Infrastructure Ireland on a number of large-scale road construction projects, while Barrett Chapman has been very active for Hudson Advisors. Timothy Bouchier-Hayes retired from the partnership and is now a consultant.
The team at William Fry is involved in various noteworthy development projects, with practice head Liam McCabe acting for Nama-appointed receiver Savills on the redevelopment and financing of an approximately 400,000-square-foot mixed-use office, retail and residential space. Bryanna Ryan advised on the development of a new office park at Dublin Airport, while Jarleth Heneghan is advising a pre-eminent medical institution on the procurement and construction of its 30,000-square-foot Education and Research Centre on the Beaumont Hospital campus site.
Led by ‘excellent communicator’ Martin Cooney, the team at Byrne Wallace demonstrates ‘expertise and knowledge of construction of a very high standard’ with ‘capabilities in all areas of construction-related activities from purchases through to contract litigation’. The team regularly advises public bodies, but also acts for private sector clients, where one of ‘practical and capable’ Cooney’s instructions included advising Ireland West Airport Knock on procurement issues, consultant appointments and the construction contract for the upgrade and resurfacing of a runaway. Senior associate Deirdre Hennessy specialises in contentious work, and has ‘a wealth of knowledge and business acumen’.
Eversheds Sutherland impresses with major instructions in the contentious and non-contentious space. Dermot McEvoy’s varied caseload included defending Earlsfort Centre Developments in breach of contract proceedings over an alleged failure to make a top-up payment relating to an agreement entered into following the acquisition of a residential development site in Raheny, County Dublin. Angelyn Rowan is acting for Ardale Property Group on several residential and commercial developments, and is also advising Nama-appointed receiver Duff & Phelps on work being carried out on an existing large apartment complex.
The ‘extremely strong’ team at Matheson is ‘quick, responsive and well able to engage with clients’. The team also receives praise for its ability to combine ‘a keen analysis of the relevant risk (both contractual and business) with insight on current market practices’. Practice head Rhona Henry ‘is one of the go-to construction lawyers with an in-depth knowledge of the sector’. Henry advised a well-known international developer extensively on the Dublin Landings mixed-use development. Contentious partner Nicola Dunleavy ‘brings calmness and understanding’. Senior associate Kimberley Masuda also provides ‘excellent service’.
Construction boutique Hussey Fraser is well known for its dispute resolution work involving contractors and sub-contractors. Non-contentious work also forms part of the caseload, including activities such as contract drafting and review. Name partners Anthony Hussey and Simon Fraser are the key contacts.
Philip Lee is rated for its ‘personal touch and desire to understand the clients’ needs and requirements’. The team handles a good spread of non-contentious private and public sector work, with Kerri Crossen advising Westmeath County Council on development options for land at Lissywollen, Athlone, and acting for BAM Building. Damien Young heads the contentious side of the practice; ‘personable’ Clare Cashin represented plaintiff Port of Cork in proceedings against BAM Civil concerning a mistake in the tender for the new Ringaskiddy port.
Ronan Daly Jermyn’s ‘responsive’ and ‘available’ team has ‘good industry experience’ and provides ‘clear and knowledgeable advice in a timely manner’ for developers on non-contentious matters. Recommended practice head Finola McCarthy is advising Kilkenny Abbey Quarter on the redevelopment of a 16-acre brewery site in Kilkenny town centre. Ronan Geary handles the firm’s contentious caseload.
The ‘very approachable’ team at Beale & Co has ‘a thorough knowledge of the Irish construction industry and the legal environment in which it operates’. The firm is very strong in the contentious sphere, defending prominent architectural and engineering firms in a large number of professional negligence claims, particularly water ingress cases. Tara Cosgrove ‘is a rock of common sense’, while Sarah Conroy ‘is very competent and pragmatic' and senior associate Mary Smith ‘very thorough and efficient’. Niamh Loughran is another key contact. Killian Dorney joined from A&L Goodbody as a partner in January 2020.
Beauchamps is regularly engaged in non-contentious public and private sector work, and advises on the construction aspects of development, energy and infrastructure projects. Arriving from RJ Stowe & Associates in Australia, Richard Stowe has taken over as head of construction from Fiona O’Neill, who is now a consultant.
Eugene F. Collins puts forward a ‘very knowledgeable’ team led by Margaret Austin. Austin and associate Finola Igoe, who are both ‘very well informed in terms of construction contracts and development agreements as well as any applicable general legal issues’, were active for a number of approved housing bodies.
LK Shields Solicitors has been involved in a range of construction mandates including commercial, mixed-use and healthcare developments and energy projects. In one work highlight, practice head Richard Curran drafted and negotiated a construction contract for a student accommodation development in South Dublin.