Firms in the Spotlight Employment
Anne O'Connell Solicitors
Anne O’Connell Solicitors, also known as AOC Solicitors, is a leading specialist Employment Law firm. It was set up on 1 February 2017 and continues to grow and expand. The Firm was ranked for Employment Law in Ireland by Legal500 within its first year and elevated in the Legal500 rankings with every passing year.View Profile...
Employment in Ireland
With the 'strength in depth to work effectively for any size of client and transaction', A&L Goodbody's employment team handles a variety of complex contentious and non-contentious matters. Its ability to handle complex cross-border matters is evidenced by its advice to KN Network Group on the sale of KN Network Services Holdings, an Irish firm with operations in seven jurisdictions. The practice is headed by Duncan Inverarity. Other team members include Michael Doyle, a 'trusted employment law adviser' who is valued by clients for the 'quality and clarity of the advice he gives' and associate Tríona Sugrue, who joined from Eugene F. Collins in October 2019. Ailbhe Dennehy is now with William Fry.
‘An excellent employment team. I have dealt with a couple of partners on the team and always responsive, technically sound, and very commercially-focused.’
‘They have the strength in depth to work effectively for any size of client and transaction.’
‘I have worked with this firm of solicitors for almost 4 decades and without doubt it is one of the most professional firms I have ever worked with.’
‘I have no hesitation in recommending A&L Goodbody. I have always found them to be very knowledgeable and professional. I have primarily worked with A&L on employment matters, but on occasion I have needed advice on other areas of the law, in particular health and safety and data protection. I have complete confidence in the advice they provide and in how they have represented the Company with third parties. There are two things that make A&L stand out to me when compared to other firms I have used in the past. Firstly, their ability to grasp the key points of a case and retain that information so that when it is revisited in the future they can pick up from where we left off. The second thing is their responsiveness. They respond to issues very quickly even after hours or when the individual is out of the office. So much so that, I on occasion decided not to e-mail them after hours because I know they would respond late into the evening, when the next day would have been perfectly acceptable.’
‘Michael Doyle is a trusted employment law adviser. He is responsive, practical and technically expert.’
‘Much of what makes A&L Goodbody stand out is down to the individuals that work in the organisation. The stand out individual that I have dealt with is Michael Doyle, Partner in the Employment Team. The quality and clarity of the advice he gives, the speed with which he responds even out of hours, the professional and friendly way he engages on issues makes all the difference. Occasionally, I may be particularly concerned about a case, but the calm way Michael breaks down a case into its constituent parts and identifies the key issues so that they can be addressed is very reassuring. You know that you are in the hands of someone who is really committed to your case and qualified and experienced enough to make sure that you are getting the best advice possible. Michael has always represented the company with great expertise with third parties.’
‘We value them for their responsiveness, commercially practical advice and depth of knowledge about recent legal developments. Michael Doyle and Aisling Muldowney stand out.’
Football Association of Ireland
Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Permanent TSB Group Holdings Plc
Allianz Worldwide Partners
- Advised the board of the Football Association of Ireland on a variety of employment-related issues concerning an ongoing issue involving its former CEO.
- Assisted KN Networks Group with its sale of KN Network Services Holdings, an Irish-headquartered business with operations over seven jurisdictions, providing advice on employment-related aspects.
- Acted for 888 plc on its acquisition of Betbright, including advising on the application of TUPE and the transfer of 100+ employees.
The 'exceptionally experienced' team at Arthur Cox's employer-side practice handles the full spectrum of work in the space, including advising on mergers and acquisitions, trade union disputes, disciplinary action, and sexual harassment cases. The team is led by Séamus Given, whose 'knowledge and experience of the sector is second to none'. Other lawyers to note include Louise O’Byrne, who 'combines a superb legal brain with commercial and practical focus', and Kevin Langford, who is 'always very considered in his advice'. Cían Beecher acted for the Irish Blood Transfusion Service in high-profile litigation and is 'a lawyer that you want in your corner for major issues'.
‘The employment team is excellent, they provide clear and concise advise in a timely fashion.’
‘The team is exceptionally experienced in all elements of employment law, and offers practical, on-point advice from a holistic perspective.’
‘Louise O’Byrne combines a superb legal brain with commercial and practical focus. Highly responsive to client needs. I would recommend Louise without reservation.’
‘The team led by Seamus Given is exceptional. The knowledge and experience Seamus has of the sector is second to none.’
‘Kevin Langford is the partner who I deal with most. Kevin is always very considered in his advice. Kevin and I will discuss issues through, reflecting on all the angles before arriving at a final decision. In that process, I am always confident that the legal advice aspect is solid. I also deal with Rachel Barry, who has demonstrated an excellent command of Brexit legal issues in particular.’
‘Seamus Given is always available to address issues in an assured and effective manner.’
‘I would highly recommend Cian Beecher. His commercial and strategic acumen proved invaluable in dealing with a highly complex and challenging matter. He is a lawyer that you want in your corner for major issues.’
Premier Lotteries Ireland
Ervia/Gas Networks Ireland/Irish Water/Bord Gáis Energy/Centrica/Brookfield
Bank of Ireland
- Advised AIB on the employment aspects of its joint venture with First Data to purchase 95.9% of fintech payments group Payzone.
- Acted for the Irish Blood Transfusion Service (IBTS) in the successful defence of High Court judicial review proceedings seeking to overturn an investigation and related disciplinary process and dismissal (Hughes v IBTS).
- Represented Michael Smurfit and the K Club in the successful defence of a highly contentious six-week High Court trial and subsequent application for leave to appeal in proceedings taken by a former employee.
Byrne Wallace's employment team advises employers, employees, trade unions, and the Irish state on a range of employment law issues, both contentious and non-contentious. Recent work includes advising the Irish state on employment issues as well as representing clients before the High Court. The practice is headed by the 'outstanding' Michael Kennedy, and also includes Emmet Whelan, the 'technically razor sharp' Loughlin Deegan, and Deirdre Lynch, whose 'follow up is second to none and the quality of her advice and legal copy is excellent'. Michelle Ní Longáin is valued by clients for her 'wealth of experience, her patience and her attention to detail'.
‘I think what is unique is the way in which Byrne Wallace communicate. The team want to address your employment issues but from a human perspective. Immediately you are put at ease and you feel quickly like you have an expert adviser as part of your team. BW have helped us navigate some very tricky employment cases and gave us the confidence we needed to get through. Unlike other firms there is no jargon, no hiding behind legalese which makes the advice harder to follow. Just straightforward, quality advice.’
‘Their work is consistently to the very highest standard. The firm has a strong customer service ethic. They are very aware of the particular commercial context in which our business operates and they provide strong value for money relative to their peers. From a technical perspective, they are unrivalled.’
‘I work closely with Michelle Ni Longain and her wealth of experience, her patience and her attention to detail are all stand out qualities.’
‘Michael Kennedy is outstanding. He speaks with absolute authority and you immediately trust his view. He is methodical and forensic in his approach but his real value is telling you how it is.’
‘We have partnered with Loughlin Deegan, who is technically razor sharp, for many years. He is a stand out legal professional with an exceptional ability to grasp our business needs and tailor employment law solutions in an efficient manner.’
‘Michael Kennedy strives to get our company the best deal possible every time. He goes the extra mile and is easy to talk to, he adapts extremely well to adversity.’
‘ByrneWallace’s employment practice has long been recognized as market leading. The team we deal with offers us a unique combination of features: long-standing experience, a deep knowledge of employment law and practice, a pragmatic approach to problem solving and an appreciation of the challenges in the HR/IR aspect of our business.’
‘Straight speaking and direct, the team can balance legal advice with commercial realities which is not easy. Each of the team members has their own style but clearly they are bound by the same positive culture of customer service, responsiveness and high levels of expertise. Michael Kennedy is outstanding. He speaks with absolute authority and you immediately trust his view. He is methodical and forensic in his approach but his real value is telling you how it is – “This is the issue, these are your options”. But he coaches you through it helping you come to the conclusions. This is unique. Deirdre Lynch has been our primary contact throughout. She is so easy to engage with, feels immediately like part of the team and has worked incredibly hard for us over the last year on both Irish and cross-jurisdictional issues where she worked as a coordinator and manager for a redundancy issues. Deirdre’s follow up is second to none and the quality of her advice and legal copy is excellent. I wouldn’t hesitate to call Deirdre if a serious employment issue came up- I know the company would be in safe hands’
Department of Public Expenditure and Reform
The Irish Times
Association of Secondary Teachers in Ireland
Central Bank of Ireland
Irish Prison Service
- Advised the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform on proposed amendments to the Irish Civil Service Regulation Acts.
- Assisted the Irish Civil Service with proposed new probation guidelines.
- Advised the University of Limerick on its new disciplinary statute.
Offering clients a ‘no-nonsense, plain-speaking approach’, Mason Hayes & Curran's employment team has recently handled a wide variety of contentious and non-contentious matters. A particular highlight was its work for the International Transport Workers' Federation in cases involving exploited immigrant fishers on Irish boats; Melanie Crowley, who is valued by employers for her 'expert advice and accessibility', led the advice. The team, which was recently strengthened at partner level by Paul Rochford's promotion, also includes Ronnie Neville and senior associate Orla O’Leary.
‘What makes this practice unique is their no nonsense, plain speaking approach to client interaction. There is simply no lawyer jargon, they understand our business and their advice is expressly tailored to the needs of our multi-faceted and complex business model.’
‘I dealt with Paul Rochford. He was excellent, professional yet approachable.’
‘The employment team are the “go-to” experts on employment law in Ireland. They’re tuned into what’s going on locally, and especially adept at advising US-based tech clients.’
‘Melanie Crowley is a real gamechanger. She is one of the most knowledgeable and practical outside counsel I work with in any country.’
‘I would have to call out Melanie Crowley and her team for her depth of knowledge, speedy turnaround of any request I have ever made of her, her expert advice and accessibility. Her approach has always been to work with me in partnership.’
‘Melanie has been a daily touch point for me and my closest team member for our Irish operations. Always willing to talk despite time zone challenges! And on top of that she is a kind and fun person to spend time with – I could not run my organization without her.’
International Transport Workers’ Federation
Irish Hotels Federation
National Museum of Ireland
- Acted for the Interational Transport Workers’ Union, which represents fishermen, to advise them on the exploitation of non-EEA fishers working on Irish vessels.
- Advising the National Museum of Ireland on its investigation into allegations of inappropriate sexual harassment by an employee.
- Acted for a member hotel on the instructions of the Irish Hotels Federation in March 2018 in a High Court appeal of a Labour Court decision which found against the member in a claim under the Organisation of Working Time Act 1997 for Sunday premium.
Matheson's employment team advises on all aspects of employment law. As well as advising on the employment aspects of matters while working alongside the corporate team, it also handles stand-alone cases, where it acts for employers on issues including industrial action, harassment, and discrimination. Practice head Bryan Dunne is 'outstanding', while Russell Rochford is 'very good at cutting through the legal verbiage' and recently promoted partner Geraldine Carr is 'first class'. Niall Pelly, an experienced litigator, is another name to note.
‘The level of professionalism that we have observed with Matheson has been exceptional. Their competence in all areas of Human Resource Law has been so useful. They have advised us through some very difficult situations.’
‘Very approachable and exceptionally easy to work with. They take a sensible, commercial approach to legal issues.’
‘One of the things that has really surprised me in working with Matheson is the strength of their team as a whole. The Matheson team consistently exceeds my expectations. Their advice is well-informed and responsive, but also practical and business-oriented.’
‘Russell Rochford is very good at cutting through the legal verbiage and telling us what we actually need to know.’
‘We have always found Bryan Dunne outstanding. Understands the issues in play quickly and his advice is not just legally sound but pragmatic and rooted in business realities. We also find Russell Rochford and Geraldine Carr first class.’
‘We recently engaged Russell Rochford and the Matheson team for an extensive and complex business engagement in Dublin Ireland. This engagement included Irish employment law consultation and application, tax advisory services, risk mitigation, and the unique and impactful role of the Matheson team engaging as the on-site human resource representative for us. Matheson services were highly professional, timely and thorough. This engagement was months in duration and include multiple deliverables to achieve the goals successfully. The project was a success through the partnership of Matheson. The services provided by Matheson were above expectations and come with my highest personal recommendation.’
‘Russell has been our dedicated employment lawyer for the past 3 or so years although the relationship with Matheson’s goes back much further. Russell is an excellent lawyer and I couldn’t recommend him highly enough. In terms of advice, Russell seeks to understand the business perspective and understands our complex reporting lines, roles and responsibilities here in our Dublin office. This knowledge has led him to be able to speak to our US leaders regarding employment issues in a knowledgeable and business friendly approach.’
Huawai Technologies (Ireland)
- Advised Hewlett Packard Enterprise on its European Works Council and the redesignation of its representative from the UK to Ireland as a result of Brexit.
- Represented Atos IT Solutions and Services Limited in claims before the Labour Court under the Industrial Relations Act 1969.
- Represented Callsign Inc in its defence of an application for injunctive relief an employee whose contract was terminated, a C-Suite executive who claimed that he was dismissed because he was a whistleblower.
McCann FitzGerald handles matters related to all aspects of the Irish employment market, including cross-border work. The firm has been increasingly active in anti-discrimination and whistleblowing cases and recently merged its employment and pensions and incentives teams due to the increasing overlap between the practice areas. The team is led by Terence McCrann, while other key names include Mary Brassil, the 'extremely experienced' Donal Hamilton and Stephen Holst, who has a 'wide range of expertise'.
‘Not only does this practice have an in-depth knowledge of employment laws, they also have a deep understanding of how these laws are applied in application. This deep understanding helps their clients make informed and pragmatic decisions.’
‘Donal Hamilton is pragmatic and extremely experienced. He gives excellent practical advice that saves his clients time and money while minimizing risks.’
‘My main contact is Stephen Holst. I view Stephen as a key partner to me in my role. I can literally call him at any time and he will always respond, and he always has sound advice. He gets our business context which means he understands the practicalities within which we work, this is invaluable. Stephen knows his stuff, his wide range of expertise across the whole minefield that is employment law means I always come off a phone call with the level of comfort that I need to enable me to make an informed decision.’
‘Aoife Clarke is focused, pragmatic and clearly one to watch.’
‘Superb partners, offering support in a practical sense. All of our contacts in the firm are knowledgeable and professional.’
‘They are commercial, genuinely understand our business and take the time to understand the personalities so advice will land appropriately. They never over-engineer amendments. They are problem-solvers, not problem-finders!‘
Independent News & Media
Enva Ireland Ltd
Mota-Engil Engenharia E Construcao S.A.
Road Safety Authority
- Advised Enva Group, a waste management company, on the employment law aspects of its cross-border acquisition of Rilta Enviromental and Clearcirle.
- Advising Independent News & Media plc on issues arising from a whistleblower report.
- Acting for Mota-Engil Engenharia E Construcao, an engineering and construction firm, in High Court litigation concerning a senior executive’s assertion of employment status in joint venture entities.
William Fry's 'very commercial' employment team handles both contentious and non-contentious matters, with the majority of its work being stand-alone cases. It also advises on cross-border matters, including acting for the French company Circet on its merger with Irish telecoms provider KN Group. Practice head Catherine O’Flynn is a 'stand-out employment lawyer', while Alicia Compton's work included a significant case in the Labour Court regarding the Organisation of Working Time Act. The team has significantly expanded in the past year, with Ailbhe Dennehy joining in January 2020 from A&L Goodbody. Louise Harrison and Jeffrey Greene are also names to note.
‘The team is resourced with top quality individuals who are on top of their game in terms of legal skills and knowledge. They understand the needs of the client and work hard to ensure that the client experience in sometimes difficult matters is as good as it can be. They interact with the client in a way that makes it easy for the client to understand the pertinent issues and come to decisions based on the best advice.’
‘William Fry’s employment team are very commercial in their outlook – and focused on helping clients achieve their preferred objectives. I have found them very approachable and straightforward in their advice.’
‘They have technical expertise, excellent availability and their advice is totally practical, not academic or theoretical. Good value for money.’
‘Practice head, Catherine O’Flynn, is a stand-out employment lawyer. In contentious matters she identifies and efficiently resolves the core issues. In advisory issues she is known for her commercial approach. She has the full range of expertise and maintains a high profile with indigenous and international corporates.’
‘William Fry represents major corporates and has an expanding team of senior lawyers and experts in the field and now recently under the stewardship of Catherine O’Flynn. Its reputation and profile has grown and they are one of Ireland’s leading employment teams.’
‘I work principally with Alicia Compton. She is outstanding. Her key attributes are that she is outcome focused, pragmatic, crystal clear in her thinking and advice, exudes calm, and will tackle any problem. She also leads a strong team very well.’
‘Catherine O’Flynn is an excellent and experienced advisor, providing pragmatic guidance on issues of Irish employment law. She would always be my first port of call as trusted counsel in Ireland, on anything complex or strategic.’
‘The individuals I have worked with include Alicia Compton, Nuala Clayton and Boyce Shubotham. Alicia is one of Ireland’s top employment lawyers. She is always on top of her brief and her down to earth practical approach to problem solving is worth gold. Nuala is her excellent associate and is definitely one to watch for the future. They are always client focused and nothing it seems is too much to ask. They are available to help and guide at all times. They are more like one of your team than your lawyers.’
The Irish Times
Boots Retail (Ireland)
Glanbia Co-Operative Society
Irish Credit Bureau
- Represented Boots in an appeal to the Labour Court regarding a compliance notice issued pursuant to the Organisation of Working Time Act.
- Advised 21st Century Fox on employment law aspects of certain parts of its business to the Walt Disney Corporation.
- Successfully defended Merck Milipore in the High Court against injunction proceedings brought by a former senior executive employee.
Eugene F. Collins' employment practice acts for employers and senior executives on both contentious and advisory matters. The firm works on issues at the cutting edge of employment law, including representing Karshan Midlands in a case related to the status of workers in the "gig economy"; advising Tifco Group on zero-hours contracts; and representing PwC in a legal action brought under the Data Protection Act. The practice is headed by the 'extremely effective' Maura Connolly. David Cantrell heads the immigration group. Tríona Sugrue is now with A&L Goodbody.
Maura Connolly; David Cantrell
‘The employment law team in Eugene F. Collins offers highly practical and effective advice to its clients and there is no doubt but that its clients are receiving a very high-quality service. Eugene F. Collins is clearly very knowledgeable of all the legal complexities in respect to employment law but is also very adept at advising on the difficult correspondence which in my opinion is an area in which solicitors firms can often struggle.’
‘I find that the team have a very practical and organised approach to employment matters. The team work with a very solid understanding of both employment law in theory and the practical application of these principles.’
‘The two individuals I would recommend are Maura Connolly and Kate Field. Maura Connolly is extremely effective in dealing with large and sometimes difficult clients by, at the same time, keeping them happy whilst also ensuring that they pursue the best course of action available to them. Kate Field is highly astute, pragmatic, knowledgeable and is able to communicate extremely well with clients. She exercises excellent judgement and is a very accomplished employment lawyer who gives her clients a very well rounded and effective service.’
‘The Employment law department is very well-organised and administered. For counsel, it provides excellent client-centred instructions and supports. Briefs well-organised and issues well identified. The employment team has a wide range of expertise and knowledge and works really well together. This department is second-to none to work with in litigation and advice.’
Marks & Spencer
Johnson & Johnson
- Acting for Karshan Midlands Ltd in a High Court case appealing a decision of the Appeals Commissioner of the Tax Appeals Commission, related to the employment status of “gig economy” workers.
- Representing Susquehanna International Group Ltd in two proceedings related to the theft of confidential data.
- Acting for PricewaterhouseCoopers in an ongoing legal action under the Data Protection Act, related to the complainant’s access to the court file in previous legal proceedings.
Led by the 'outstanding' Joanne Hyde, Eversheds Sutherland handles both contentious and non-contentious work. Its clients include multinationals such as PayPal, Microsoft, and Intel. Its recent work includes advising on sexual harassment matters and the use of contract workers. The firm is valued by clients for its 'consistently exceptional standard of service'. Margaret Gorman specialises in advising educational institutions on employment matters.
‘The team at the Dublin office of Eversheds Sutherland are very professional but also personable; they have a wealth of knowledge and direct you to the right area of expertise. What makes the practice unique is the consistent exceptional standard of service they provide.’
‘The Eversheds team including support staff are always very welcoming whenever I have been on their premises. Queries are always acknowledged and responded to in a timely fashion. Expert advice is provided in a form that is easily understood.’
‘They are accessible and approachable. There is always someone available to address your queries and get straight to the point.’
‘They have been professional, timely and efficient in all of their dealings with us.’
‘I have worked with Joanne Hyde now for quite some time; she is a very effective communicator, providing excellent employment law support, she explains processes, putting across information in a clear and practical way. Joanne has a very good attention to detail and has built up a strong knowledge of how the business is structured, to provide the right support. I have not found that other competitors have the same breadth and depth of knowledge and expertise in the employment law field.’
‘Joanne Hyde is commercial in her thinking. Pragmatic in all of her dealings and a consummate professional in her work ethic. She is a pleasure to work with and also has a good sense of humour. Emma Lavin her colleague has also been a great help with advice and follow up.’
‘Joanne Hyde is outstanding. I value her thoroughness, advice and honesty when assessing situations and dealing with queries.’
‘Joanne feels more like a colleague than an external counsel. She understands our business, and hence our context and my perspective on specific situations, which is very important when discussing issues and potential solutions. She can quickly get to potential pragmatic outcomes without focusing heavily on the purely legalistic side.’
Legal & General
- Published a report on the engagement of contract workers in RTÉ, Ireland’s state broadcaster.
- Advised Musgrave on the employment aspects of two separate acquisitions of prominent stores in the Dublin area.
- Devised and delivered training on bullying and sexual harassment for all Irish publicly-funded arts bodies in light of #MeToo.
'A dedicated team with extensive expertise in a range of areas', Hayes Solicitors advises companies on both contentious and non-contentious matters, and has argued cases before the High Court and the European Court of Justice. Practice head Breda O’Malley is valued by clients for her 'straightforward and practical approach'. Anne Lyne is a 'trusted partner' who is particularly experienced in advising educational institutions, and consultant Gill Woods led on a number of matters including the employment implications of restructurings.
‘Irrespective of the nature of the support required, they consistently present quality subject matter experts who guide us through the process in the most compliant manner ensuring that we achieve our objectives. Hayes have a good understanding of the culture of our organisations and the logistics business in general.’
‘For me what makes this practice unique is the way in which their lawyers appear to become invested in their clients. I have had many matters where Hayes felt as invested in them as my company did.’
‘Hayes provide us with excellent advice and support in relation to employee relations matters. Their knowledge in employment law is extensive. They disseminate this knowledge in a clear and practical matter which is relevant to the individual organisation.’
‘Hayes are extremely responsive and have a good commercial approach. They provide the right balance between being thorough and practical. The teams at Hayes are also quick to propose solutions whenever a problem arises.’
‘A dedicated team with extensive expertise in a range of areas. The team’s client-focussed approach ensures that they respond efficiently, expediently and effectively. Anne Lyne grasps complex employment law matters particularly in the education sphere and presents it in a clear, crisp and concise manner to clients.’
‘Anne Lyne has been the partner we have worked with on projects both simple and highly complex. Through her professionalism and sound advice we consider her a trusted partner in these matters. She has earned our trust.’
‘I have personally dealt with Breda O’Malley, Anne Lyne, Niamh Cassidy and James Kelly. Their technical knowledge is second-to-none and their engagement at a personal level is very easy. They are approachable and become very invested in their clients.’
‘I would mainly deal with Breda O’Malley. Breda has outstanding knowledge of our organisation and applies this to her employment law knowledge. Breda can disseminate complex matters very clearly and applies a practical approach in doing so. This is so important in the nature of our work when dealing with complex employee relations issues. She is highly responsive and this again is important to us as often times we have very little turnaround time on employee relations matters and we need to act fast. Breda’s straightforward and practical approach also ‘puts you at ease’ when dealing with complex matters. I would highly recommend Breda.’
- Representing Kaplan in High Court litigation related to alleged whistleblowing.
- Advising Primark on the restructuring of its retail business, including changing roles and redundancies.
- Assisted Virtue Integrated Elderly Care with the closure of a nursing home, the opening of a new home, and staff transfer and redundancy.
LK Shields Solicitors handles the full range of employment matters for a number of clients, including large multinationals such as Alexion Pharmaceuticals and Hertz Europe. The firm also acted in a number of stand-alone employment matters, representing both employers and employees in cases involving breach of contract, whistleblowing, bullying and harassment. The practice is led by Aoife Bradley, a 'very knowledgeable' practitioner experienced in advising clients on sensitive investigations. The team also includes Ciara O’Kennedy, who led on advising Digital Marketing Institute on the departure of a senior executive, consultant Jennifer O’Neill who specialises in TUPE law, and senior associate Elizabeth Mara.
‘I particularly appreciate and respect their ability to be tough with clients (who are not experts) but at the same time sensitive to needs and individual and groups pressures in our own organisation. There is no chance the team will be swayed by ill-informed client demands in return for a quiet life and short term favour – the team always has the long term benefit of the client, not themselves, as the goal.’
‘They hold a strong insight to our business and culture. They understand our risk appetite.’
‘Aoife Bradley is very knowledgeable in all areas of Irish employment law and provides good and responsive advice.’
‘Sincerity, openness, reliability and appropriate acceptance are great qualities of the team and these virtues are all great builders of trust – which is completely essential when dealing in complex environments and situations with potentially very damaging outcomes. Aoife Bradley embodies all of the above. Easily the most thorough, thoughtful and no-nonsense lawyer I have dealt with in over 30 years of working internationally. She combines it also with humility and the huge ability to get close to clients and allay their fears when they find themselves in unchartered waters. She is able to do this because she has the innate ability to fully align her team with the right, not just desired, outcome.’
Alexion Pharma International Operations
Hertz Europe Service Centre
Universal Music Ireland
Bemis Healthcare Packaging
- Advising Hertz Europe on contentious and non-contentious employment law matters on an ongoing basis.
- Defended a client, Edward Coughlan, in High Court proceedings in which he was sued by his former employers for, inter alia, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, unjust enrichment and conspiracy following his resignation from their employment to commence a new business venture.
- Advised Bemis Healthcare Packaging on a restructuring at group level.
Ronan Daly Jermyn's offices in Cork, Galway and Dublin allows it to advise clients across Ireland, including those in Cork's pharmaceutical hub and Galway's med-tech hub. The firm is currently advising Ireland's largest local authority on the employment implications of the boundary alteration programme. Additionally, the firm has strong links to the education sector and advised several universities on both contentious and non-contentious employment issues. The practice is led by the 'stand-out' Jennifer Cashman, and other practitioners include 'highly-skilled professional' Deirdre Malone and David McCarroll. The 'very professional, efficient and knowledgeable' Antoinette Vahey was recently made partner.
‘The employment law team provide an excellent service. Critically, the response time to queries is very fast. A key strength is their up to the minute knowledge and experience, coupled with their methodical teasing through of issues and dispensing well thought out advice.’
My dealings with RDJ can best be described as excellent! The advice I have received on behalf of my company has been appropriate, professional and always delivered in a timely and efficient way. I would highly recommend RDJ to any organisation who require the services of a highly skilled, experienced and knowledgeable team of professionals.’
‘Certainly both Jennifer Cashman and Deirdre Malone are stand-out partners in the firm. Both display an excellent level of knowledge and ability, underpinned by examples from WRC and other cases, delivered in a manner that provides the Council utmost confidence in the actions we take. Their assistance was crucial to the resolution of several significant HR issues that arose.’
‘I would like to commend and highly recommend Ms Deirdre Malone. Since working with Deirdre over the last two years I have found her to be a very highly skilled professional with a range and depth of knowledge that has already benefited my company.’
‘Jennifer Cashman has been outstanding in her dealings with us – her expertise in the area of employment legislation is very evident and she has guided us expertly through difficult issues. She is readily available to us which is very reassuring when serious issues arise. We have also worked with Antoinette Vahey who again has been very professional, efficient and knowledgeable in her dealings with us. Ciara Ni Longaigh also assisted us with a case recently and was very helpful and approachable. One characteristic that sets all of the above apart is that you feel that they really care about your organisation and getting the best result possible for you.’
‘We have always found Ronan Daly Jermyn’s legal team to be of the utmost level of professionalism and extremely knowledgeable and experienced in the various areas of expertise upon which they have supported us with legal advice and representation. They are very responsive and thorough in their advice. Regarding the employment practice area in particular, we have been extremely satisfied with their handling of matters and with their ability to bring in other members of their team as required with other areas of legal expertise as required from time to time.’
‘We have worked primarily with David McCarroll. David has always provided us with the level of knowledge and expertise we have required and has proven himself and his support team to be head and shoulders above those with whom he has come up against on our behalf. I would not hesitate in the slightest to recommend David as an employment specialist lawyer. His analyses are thorough, his presentation of options clear, and recommendations have always been right on the mark.’
‘I deal regularly with Deirdre Malone. Deirdre is extremely conscientious and always takes the time to listen and advise at short notice. Deirdre has a nice style and has the ability to mix legal advice with a little light heartedness. Tough when required – high emotional intelligence.’
National University of Ireland Galway
Munster Branch of the IRFU
Nursing Homes Ireland
University College Cork
Cork County Council
- Acted for University College Cork in its successful appeal to the High Court against the Office of the Information Commissioner, in which the IC’s decision directing UCC to produce loan documentation regarding its €100m loan from the European Investment Bank to RTE was overturned.
- Acted for the National University of Ireland, Galway, in respect of a series of novel equal status claims taken by four related students all claiming discriminatory treatment against staff on the grounds of religious belief.
- Advising Ireland’s largest local authority on the boundary alteration programme, which involves the transfer of part of the administrative area of the local authority to another local authority.
Established in 2017 as a boutique employment law firm, Anne O'Connell Solicitors has grown in the last year with the addition of Laura Reid from Beauchamps. Led by the 'outstanding' Anne O'Connell, it has handled a number of cases at the cutting edge of employment law. In one highlight, the firm represented Sonoma Valley at the High Court and in securing injunctive relief to enforce a restrictive covenant. It also has handled high-profile and complex cases involving inappropriate behaviour in universities and workplaces, a growing area of employment law.
‘We have found the quality of service and expertise in this field to be of the highest standard at all times. No problem is too small or too big for this firm, they give every query and issue equal time and dedication which is very important to us. The level of advice is always practical and geared towards helping us to resolve any issue that arises in an efficient and helpful way. Importantly for us, having a service that is always available even in non office hours is very reassuring should we need advice urgently. This firm offers this to us. This service which might only be a quick phone call is always there, something I have never received from any other firm.’
‘Anne and her team are extremely proficient in employment matters. They have met all our management team and take measures to understand our company’s ethos, procedures & policies whilst at the same time guiding us in best practice. They understand the 24 hour world we live in and are always available for best guidance.’
‘Anne O’Connell Solicitor is a trusted expert in her field. I have referred a number of my Clients for specialist advice to her. One of my Clients rang to thank me after they were referred to her, and said she was excellent and they were delighted we had referred them to her . They commented on her excellent work, her consistent good advice through what was a very stressful event for the Client, her diligence and persistence. They also said that they were very pleased with the excellent outcome which Anne O’Connell managed to achieve.’
‘Anne and associates’ commitment and attention to detail to clients, coupled with easy to follow instructions and advice is second to none. I can genuinely say that Anne has been the most approachable and knowledgeable solicitor I have ever dealt with. Anne is always available to answer any queries at short notice and I know that the advice I receive will be clear, precise and correct. I would highly recommend Anne and associates to colleagues, family and friends. I am highly critical of recommendations to anyone, however with regard to Anne and associates I cannot give enough praise.’
‘All members of the Anne O’Connell Solicitors team share the same drive and passion for achieving the best for their clients. The team’s combined energy provides their clients with an unrivalled commitment to ensuring the highest standard of advice and best possible outcome. I have found that compared to other firms, the individual members of the Anne O’Connell Solicitors team take a particularly keen interest in their clients’ needs and the team’s success is primarily measured by the success of their clients.’
‘Anne O’Connell Solicitors have been working with us on employment law issues for some time. We have found the quality of service and expertise in this field to be of the highest standard at all times. No problem is too small or too big for this firm, they give every query and issue equal time and dedication which is very important to us. The level of advice is always practical and geared towards helping us to resolve any issue that arises in an efficient and helpful way. Importantly for us, having a service that is always available even in non-office hours is very reassuring should we need advice urgently. This firm offers this to us. This service which might only be a quick phone call is always there, something I have never received from any other firm.’
‘Anne O’Connell is our contact and advisor in all matters that arise. We find her advice to be of the highest standard at all times. Anne will go through matters in a very pragmatic and logical way, giving us her opinions on how many variations can arise and how to deal with them. This is very important to us, as we need to get all the different scenarios that can arise as we deal with an issue. I always feel very confident when receiving advice from Anne, as she has a very good knowledge of employment law and is very important to us. She keeps me up to date at all time on new legislation and her newsletter is excellent.’
‘I have worked with Anne O’Connell on a number of occasions. I find that Anne brings an elite set of skills in that she is compassionate while being intelligent, knowledgeable and well-informed in the area of employment law. I am aware that Anne makes a point of keeping up-to-date with the law and is therefore always in a position to assist her clients with first-class advice. Although compassionate, Anne is strong on negotiating with her counterparts in the best interests of her clients and is a forward-thinker such that she gives excellent and well-thought out strategic advice. I would have no hesitation in recommending Anne and would encourage my contacts to use her skillset if or when required.’
Doyle Shipping Group
Dundalk FC Town
Northdoc Medical Services
McNally Handy & Partners
- Represented Sonoma Valley (trading as GSLS), a cash-in-transit company, at the High Court to enforce a restrictive covenant against a former employee, securing injunctive relief.
- Advised the ESB Group’s in-house employment law solicitor head of legal.
- Represented Lifeng Han against Dublin City University in a high-profile case; Han was excluded from his PhD course following allegations of inappropriate behaviour, putting him at risk of deportation. The firm successfully resolved the matter, allowing Han to return to his course.
Beauchamps' employment practice is now led by Sandra Masterson Power, an experienced employment lawyer and qualified mediator, who has 'superb technical employment law expertise'. The team handles matters including restructurings, dismissals, and advisory work for both the private and public sector. It is valued by clients for its 'strong technical expertise'. A particular highlight was its work advising the Arts Council on the compatibility of a grant scheme with Irish equality law.
Sandra Masterson Power
‘The level of responsiveness is excellent and the lawyers have a very good understanding of our business.’
‘We use Beauchamps across a number of sectors, primarily property and employment law. The expertise and knowledge available across these disciplines is of the highest quality. In particular Beauchamps consistently ensure that the appropriate core professionals are available to us and consequently have built up a knowledge base and understanding of our business that ensures a practical approach to the commercial realities that pertain while supporting this with the appropriate legal expertise.’
‘This team has strong technical expertise and is led by a strong partner, Sandra Masterson Power, who is professional, efficient, and technically very strong.’
‘The team is dedicated to provide a quick and early response at all times. The advice from the Employment team has been authoritative, easy to understand and therefore disseminate. The case management has always been top-notch with no detail overlooked. Keeping us regularly and fully updated has avoided any surprises or misunderstanding as we have occasionally experienced elsewhere.’
‘The team at Beauchamps is wonderful to work with. They make you feel like you are their only client and concern when you know they have many clients they are working with. They treat your employment inquiries or concerns with the upmost confidentiality and explain processes, procedures and Irish law in easy to understand steps. For our company not being located in Ireland, they would take the time to have phone calls and follow-up with neat outlines notes and templates we may need for our own processes. They are extremely cordial and pleasure to work with.’
‘Always available to offer professional expert advice. The company is exceptionally thorough and dedicated to their clients.’
‘In my opinion, an exceptional Solicitor is one that can make a complex situation, simple, and one that provides advice that is at all times commensurate to the facts of the case. Sandra Masterson Power fulfils this. A truly exceptional Solicitor.’
‘Triona Cody is especially professional and dedicated to delivering all of the above. I also found her easy to work with and likeable.’
Dublin Port Company
Institute of Technology Tallaght
- Provided guidance to ReliaQuest, a computer security company, to ensure that its job advertisements complied with Irish employment equality legislation.
CC Solicitors is a specialist employment firm led by practice head Colleen Cleary. The firm acts for employers and employees in contentious and non-contentious matters. Regan O’Driscoll is another key contact.
DAC Beachcroft Dublin
DAC Beachcroft Dublin's employment team utilises its links to Beachcroft's international network to advise clients on cross-border matters. In 2019 the team, led by practice head Barry Reynolds, advised a large fast-food chain on its cross-border reorganisation between the UK and Ireland. It also worked on contentious cases and advised firms on data subject access requests, among other aspects of employment law. Reynolds is a 'stand-out partner' with 'expertise in employment law', while associate Jenny Wakely is valued for her 'excellent' advice and written submissions.
‘The team at Beachcroft is very responsive and commercial in its approach. They are willing to consider creative and innovative ways of assisting their clients. Their strengths lie in their practical approach to employment law issues.’
‘Barry Reynolds is a stand out partner in the employment field. Barry has a very approachable manner but is also an excellent negotiator who will go the extra mile to ensure the right outcome for his client. Barry is also skilled at carrying out workplace investigations.’
‘We appreciate the quality of their staff, customer service, & professionalism.’
‘Barry Reynolds has expertise in employment law coupled with the ability to understand the complexity of individual cases and realize that the “One Size Fits All” approach doesn’t work, and that advice needs to be specific to the variables. He has great availability and responsiveness. He works in a very busy firm, but his ability to respond either by telephone or email having reviewed documents with suggested amendments etc is amazing. He also has a practical down to earth approach and sense of humour which facilitates a comfortable client/customer relationship. We have never met, and yet I have 100% confidence in him and his advice and would recommend him to anyone requiring advice in this area.’
‘Jenny Wakely has also assisted us in certain cases and the quality of her advice is excellent as are her written submissions.’
- Advised a global fast food restaurant chain on a restructuring, including assisting with employment-related aspects.
- Advising a major healthcare provider on allegations made against senior management, including matters involving the Workplace Relations Commission and the High Court.
- Represented a global pharmaceutical company in Workplace Relations Commission complaints related to absent management.
Fieldfisher launched its Dublin office in May 2019 through a merger with McDowell Purcell. The team, which acts for a number of international clients, recently advised KPMG on data protection matters for its employees. The firm also handles employment matters for domestic organisations including Eirgrid and Bank of Ireland. Practice head Barry Walsh is 'clear in his approach and recommendations' and works with clients including AIG and EY. Julie Austin is another name to note.
‘Our contact at Fieldfisher is someone I know I can reach out to and get a quick reply/update. Often when we get in touch the information is required ASAP and Barry – even if he is busy/in court- will respond as soon as he can and makes himself available as soon as possible. He understands our business and will always identify any risks and red flags. He is clear in his approach and recommendations.’
Bank of Ireland
- Advising Eirgrid on a variety on matters in employment law.
- Assisting AIG with all employment law aspects of its Irish businesses.
- Aided LCC Group on the purchase of Gortmullen Wind Farm, assisting on TUPE, the review of due diligence materials and the drafting of appropriate warranties and indemnities.
Philip Lee's 'commercially astute' employment practice handles contentious and non-contentious cases for both private and public sector clients. The team is led by Patrick Walshe, who 'consistently delivers the desired result'; other key practitioners include Damien Young and Murrough McMahon, a specialist in contentious work.
‘The team are always commercially astute, focused on helping to achieve the desired outcome rather than getting bogged down in legal rhetoric.’
‘The employment team led by Patrick Walshe is very capable and attentive. My experience with them has been excellent. They quickly assessed the options and accurately predicted outcomes which gave me confidence about their ability to secure a good result.’
‘The team that worked me included Patrick Walshe, Elizabeth Halpenney and Maria Gallagher. All three worked seamlessly together and always appeared fully briefed and up to speed with an evolving situation. They performed in a thoroughly professional manner and did not over promise whilst doing all in their power to achieve the best outcome.’
‘Patrick Walshe continues to be the stand-out star for me – he gets under the skin of the issues very quickly and consistently produces the desired result’
Broadcasting Authority of Ireland
Health Service Executive
Whitney Moore is very active in corporate litigation, and also advises clients on non-contentious matters such as restructurings and relocations. In addition to working with employers, the practice also represents senior executives in contentious matters. The practice is led by the 'very experienced, practical and collaborative' John Lynch, who particularly specialises in senior executive severance negotiations. Other members of the team include Emma Richmond, who focuses on immigration and executive relocation, and Marie Claire Scullion, who is 'dedicated, tenacious, hard-working and resourceful'.
‘Our experience of Whitney Moore is one of professionalism, approachable and are very practical. They understand the needs of their clients and work with you to get achieve the desired results.’
‘The employment law team in Whitney Moore have high levels of expertise and experience in what is a challenging practice area. They are very up to date in this fast moving area. They bring a “can do” common sense approach within a solution driven focus.’
‘We work with Managing Partner John Lynch and Marie Claire Scullion and both are exceptional in their areas of expertise. No question is too silly, attention to detail is superb and the fact that they will ensure you understand everything is greatly appreciated.’
‘John Lynch is very experienced, practical and collaborative. Marie Claire Scullion is dedicated, tenacious, hard-working and resourceful.’
Glen Dimplex Group
Life Insurance Association
Xylem Water Solutions
Sovy Trust Solutions
IM European Motors
Independent Vetcare Ireland
Public Relations Institute of Ireland
- Advised IM European Motors on the relocation of its corporate headquarters in Ireland and related employment issues.
Led by practice head Marc Fitzgibbon, Lavelle Partners handles a range of matters including TUPE cases, redundancies, and equality/discrimination work. A particular highlight is its contentious work relating to dismissals.
Providing a 'high standard of advice', Leman Solicitors has significantly grown its employment practice in the last year, sparked by the arrival of Blathnaid Evans as practice head from Matheson; Evans has 'excellent knowledge of employment law'. The firm has advised employers on a number of complex matters, including work on sexual harassment, restrictive covenants, and TUPE cases.
‘We are absolutely satisfied with their services. The advice we receive is always thorough, conscientious, diligent and effective. We are happy with their services also in terms of proactivity, efficiency and responsiveness. We have used other foreign law firms and lawyers as well. In comparison with these firms, Leman is one of the best by reason of the strengths listed above.’
‘We instruct them for the high standard of their advice and the very professional way it is communicated. They provide solutions for our problems.’
‘I find Blathnaid Evans very responsive with an excellent knowledge of employment law. Her advice is also very commercial and practical.’
‘The key strength would be that Leman fitted with our way of working. As we have a relatively high degree of legal competence (our in-house legal team), we typically look to focus on the areas where the most value can be obtained and Leman’s support and advice nailed this, meeting our needs entirely. We are very happy with the service provided.’
‘Blathnaid Evans is very competent and experienced, with deep expertise in employment disputes. Blathnaid took the lead for us, guiding us through the process. Proactively drove the agenda and delivered a good outcome. Provided the style of service that companies with competent in-house legal teams desire.’
‘A responsive team with good quality service at a competitive price.’
‘Bláthnaid Evans is our main point of contact. She is an experienced employment lawyer, who always responds to our queries professionally, conscientiously and effectively. Mark Roberts is also a confident and reliable lawyer with a practical approach who works quickly and tends to find smart solutions to our problems.’
Maples Group's 'very strong' employment team works alongside its corporate and tax practices to handle employment matters for large corporations. The firm is particularly active in the financial sector, where it advised HarbourVest on the employment aspects of the establishment of its Irish subsidiary. The team is also sought out by tech companies and advised Scopely on the employment implications of its acquisition of Digit Games. The practice is led by the 'very highly regarded' Karen Killalea, who joined the firm from A&L Goodbody in March 2019, and also includes senior associate James Scanlon.
‘The team is very strong with great practical leadership from Karen Killalea.’
‘Karen Killalea who heads up the employment practice is a very talented lawyer. A number of her clients followed her to Maples from her previous firm. She’s very highly regarded in the market and will no doubt build out a good team in time.’
‘Karen Killalea is calm, pragmatic and very client focused.’
Avolon Aerospace Leasing
Gavin de Becker & Associates
Fidante Partners Asset Management
- Advised HarbourVest on employment issues related to the establishment of its Ireland-based subsidiary.
- Assisted Scopely on the employment law aspects of its purchase of Digit Games.
- Acted for GSJ Maintenance in a class action brought by 29 employees related to the applicability of the Construction Sectoral Employment Order.
Pinsent Masons LLP
Pinsent Masons LLP is able to advise on domestic law, while also able to tap into the firm's network to assist with matters outside of Ireland. Led by Paul Gillen, who is qualified in England & Wales, Northern Ireland, and the Republic of Ireland, the firm's cross-border work is demonstrated in its advice to Waterland Private Equity on its investment in Textile Recycling International, a matter that involved employees in Scotland, England and Ireland. Senior associate Ciara Ruane is another name to note.
Paul Gillen; Linda Jones
William Grant & Sons
- Advised Decotek on the employment aspects of its acquisition from C&F Group, including handling TUPE issues.
- Assisted Huntsworth plc with the employment aspects of its acquisition of 85% of Kyne Communications llc and Kyne Communications Ltd.
- Advised Waterland Private Equity on its investment in Textile Recycling International by Waterland Private Equity.
Walkers' employment practice was established in 2019 following the arrival of Susan Battye as practice head from LK Shields Solicitors. The employment team complements the wider firms' existing financial services offering, advising clients on the employment-related aspects of acquisitions as well as handling the resolution of disputes. Battye is praised as a 'delight to deal with' and a 'superb adviser', while the team overall is valued for its 'commercial approach'.
‘We are a young company with a small number of high energy/high capability employees. We don’t yet have a fully staffed HR function and have experienced some employee performance management issues which we needed help with. Walkers brought a more personal approach to teasing through how to practically manage the problem instead of quoting employment law to us at length, which is what I have experienced with other firms.’
‘Ambitious team of dedicated lawyers with clear focus on achieving the best outcomes for the client. Whilst not as large as some of the big firms in Dublin, they have attracted talent from other firms across Dublin and are showing great growth in the Irish legal sector.’
‘They have a commercial approach and focus on a pragmatic solution-driven approach while ensuring we remain within the law.’
‘Susan Battye has been a superb adviser for us on any and all employment matters. She takes a pragmatic, rational and reasoned approach which means we can assess a situation from all perspectives before we make a decision on how we move forward.’
‘Susan Battye was an amazing resource for our company. She assisted us through our due diligence process as we acquired our first entity in Ireland and then assisted us to work through local issues as we integrated the team. Her practical approach and ability to explain the situation and course the situation may take was helpful as we learned the nuances of the local laws and practices. She was thorough in her approach and knew how to provide effective guidance we can use. She was thinking 3 steps ahead for us and answering questions we did not know to ask. As a company, we have acquired in new countries many times and the quality of the legal advisers is always key to an easy transition. The experience with Susan was exceptional!’
‘Susan Battye is a delight to deal with – her calm focused demeanour is exactly what is required for highly charged employment matters. Excellent knowledge of the sector and very responsive.’
‘Susan Battye has been highly responsive, helpful and insightful. She can digest large amounts of information very quickly and her advice is always commercially focused and sensible.’
‘We have instructed Susan Battye in her former firm and found her to be great to deal with – responsive and very commercial in her approach.’
- Acted as Irish counsel to Apex Group on the acquisition of a business.
Comyn Kelleher Tobin's employment practice frequently acts for the Health Service Executive in contentious matters; recent highlights in this space include successfully settling an employment injunction matter. The firm also acts for University College Cork and several private business. The practice is headed by Diarmuid Cunningham and grew significantly in 2019, with the promotion of Emily Sexton to the partnership.
- Acted for the Health Service Executive in the successful negotiation of an employment injunction matter.