EU and competition in Ireland

A&L Goodbody LLP

A&L Goodbody LLP has a three-partner team spanning EU, competition, procurement, state aid and regulatory matters.  It has achieved further prominence in foreign investment control and foreign subsidies, and continues to make an impression in investigations by the European Commission and the Irish Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC). The hugely experienced Vincent Power leads the team, which includes prominent merger control specialist Alan McCarthy and procurement expert Anna-Marie Curran.

Practice head(s):

Vincent Power

Other key lawyers:

Alan McCarthy; Anna-Marie Curran; Lorna McLoughlin


‘Very responsive and competent. The advice provided is both legally sound and commercially viable.’

Depth of experience and expertise sets them apart. Highly responsive and engaging.

‘Anna-Marie Curran is excellent, she provides practical advice and communicates in a way that can be forwarded to the business in a very understandable and clear manner. She is also excellent at negotiating a position with regulators on behalf of her clients.’

‘Alan McCarthy is very user friendly and knowledgeable.’

‘Alan McCarthy is a trusted and valued advisor on competition matters.’

Key clients

Eircom (UK) Limited / eir

MAN SE and MAN Truck & Bus Deutschland GmbH (ultimately part of the VW Group)

NatWest / Ulster Bank

ICON plc

Electricity Supply Board (ESB)

Irish Ferries (part of Irish Continental Group plc listed on the London and Dublin Stock Exchanges)


Timisoara International Airport – Romania

Smart Dublin

Pernod Ricard (owner of Irish Distillers)


Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII)

Eircom Limited (Eir)



Allied Irish Banks Plc

Bank of America

CVC Credit

Bank of Ireland

Greencoat Capital

Work highlights

  • Acted for eircom (UK) Limited, in relation to Ofcom’s investigation into BT’s conduct during a tender process for a high-value contract in Northern Ireland for the provision of telecoms services to public sector organisations.
  • Acted for the Irish-based company, ICON plc in its $12bn acquisition of PRA Health Sciences.
  • Advised NatWest on the sale of Ulster Bank Ireland’s $4.2bn commercial lending business to AIB.

Arthur Cox

Arthur Cox has a fully rounded practice with an especially strong record in investigations, state aid and competition litigation. The firm remains at the forefront of merger control matters, including deals driven by private equity buyers. The firm has landed engagements in the vast majority of Ireland’s major competition investigations. Richard Ryan is head of competition and regulated markets at the firm, and has an outstanding reputation in state aid and competition investigations. He leads a team that represents an array of top domestic and international corporates. Patrick Horan is an emerging talent, as is senior associate Simon Breen.

Practice head(s):

Richard Ryan

Other key lawyers:

Patrick Horan; Simon Breen


‘Arthur Cox are a top class firm that delivers excellent business oriented advice.’

‘Vast amount of experience, the go-to practice for EU and competition law in Ireland. High level of collaboration with other practice areas that may impact on advices.’

‘The team has deep experience in Irish and EU competition practice and you know they have seen most things before, giving me comfort that they will navigate us through the issues seamlessly.’

‘Very user friendly team with commercial results focused attitude.’

‘Patrick Horan has immense technical knowledge in the area of Competition law and he is an absolute pleasure to work with.’

‘Richard Ryan is thoughtful, a clear communicator, and practical in his advice. Great to deal with.’

‘Richard Ryan – excellent lawyer, very personable, exudes decency. Very responsive and engaging relationship partner. The best in the country for competition law advice, extremely knowledgeable and always contextualises his advice appropriately. Very high level of service, worth the money.

‘Simon Breen – excellent, analytical, personable, one to watch.’

Key clients

Kerry Group plc

KBC Group N.V.

Verizon Communications, Inc.

Frasers Group

Caldic B.V.

The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.

Allianz plc

AstraZeneca plc

Procter & Gamble


Gilead Sciences


Land Development Agency




Greencore Group plc

Bunzl plc

Greenergy International

CRH plc

Irish Cement Limited

Roadstone Limited

Flutter Entertainment plc

LN-Gaiety Holdings

Allied Irish Banks plc

Department of Finance

National Treasury Management Agency

Mediahuis N.V. and Mediahuis Ireland

Insurance Ireland

Applegreen plc


Cognizant Technology Solutions Corporation

MCD Productions

Volvo and Renault Trucks

Glanbia plc


Total Produce plc

Green REIT plc

National Broadband Ireland

Bank of Ireland

Ulster Bank

Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company

Johnson Controls International plc

Kennedy Wilson

Work highlights

  • Advised KBC on the contemplated sale of substantially all of the performing loan assets and liabilities of KBC Bank Ireland plc to Bank of Ireland.
  • Represented Ryanair in various sets of High Court proceedings issued against Skyscanner,,, Flightbox and in relating to screen scraping activities concerning Ryanair’s website, which involve competition law counter-claims.
  • Advised Insurance Ireland on the ongoing European Commission investigation concerning Insurance Ireland’s database, InsuranceLink.

Mason Hayes & Curran LLP

Mason Hayes & Curran LLP continues to be at the forefront of merger control matters, most notably in media sector mergers and private equity transactions. Technology and energy are also key sectors for the wider practice. The firm is also active in competition enforcement cases, including recent ticketing and motor insurance investigations. In the competition litigation sphere, the team is recognised for its roles in headline matters such as the trucks follow-on damages action. The team includes economist Michael Madden who is rated for sector regulation and state aid. Tara Kelly has extensive international experience, particularly in private equity merger control. Niall Collins left the firm.

Other key lawyers:

Tara Kelly; Michael Madden; Liam Heylin; Laura Durning


‘We use MHC for state aid advice. We find they are the most knowledgeable practice we have dealt with in Ireland on this topic. They are always up to date on current practice in this very technical area and they manage to condense their advice into understandable English. All advice is given on the basis of agreed quotations and there is full transparency on all billing related to such quotations.’

‘We get outstanding attention from our contact partner Michael Madden and his senior associate Liam Heylin. They are always available to us at a drop of a hat and their response times to ad hoc queries are always prompt. We have built up an excellent relationship at a personal level.’

Key clients

BC Partners LLP

The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.

Bauer Media Group

Cubico Sustainable Investments

The Blackstone Group Inc.

CNH Industrial / Iveco

FBD Insurance plc

Ticketmaster / Live Nation

The Carlyle Group

CapVest Partners LLP

Work highlights

  • Acted for Bauer Media on its high-profile purchase of commercial radio group Communicorp.
  • Acted for Live Nation / Ticketmaster in the investigation by the CCPC into suspected anti-competitive practices in the provision of tickets and ticketing services on the island of Ireland.
  • Acted for CNH Industrial, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Iveco Magirus and Iveco in their defence of proceedings issued against them for follow-on damages for alleged breach of EU competition law.

Matheson LLP

Matheson LLP remains a market leader in merger control matters with notable recent activity in the banking and financial services, and healthcare sectors; the firm has a major market share of CCPC filings. It is also at the forefront of competition investigations in Ireland and substantial competition litigation, including before the European courts. State aid matters, particularly during the Covid-19 crisis, have been a feature of the practice. The team continues to benefit from a steady flow of referrals from firms in London and elsewhere. Niall Collins was a new arrival as practice head in June 2022. Kate McKenna  is also noted. Since research concluded, Helen Kelly and Ronan Scanlan left the firm.

Practice head(s):

Niall Collins

Other key lawyers:

Calum Warren; Simon Shinkwin; Kate McKenna


‘A diverse team of commercially astute individuals delivering pragmatic advice relevant for the client’s business.’

‘Wide knowledge of specific industry sector (postal) and the particular regulatory environment within which it operates. Good understanding of specific challenges encountered when operating within the sector and always willing to offer practical advice on overcoming these challenges.’

‘Matheson’s EU and competition team provide excellent client service at all times. They are very knowledgeable on all aspects of competition law. They are also able to come up with straightforward and clever solutions to any significant issues that may arise.’

‘The EU and competition team have supported our business on a number of large and complex transactions and have proven that they have the knowledge and the resources to deliver quality results on time and to a high standard in time critical situations.’ 

‘Calum Warren provides excellent client service and is very knowledgeable.

‘Kate McKenna has an excellent understanding of the local market and challenges faced by innovative pharmaceutical companies.’

‘Kate McKenna is an excellent lawyer and relationship partner. She is reliable and always responsive. She approaches all queries in a pragmatic and commercially focused manner.’

‘Simon Shinkwin is also excellent and one to watch. He has shown very strong technical ability and in-depth knowledge of the law and of the telecom industry. He is approachable and a safe pair of hands even in the most complex matters.’

Key clients


AMP Capital

Bank of Ireland

Three Ireland (and its parent CK Hutchison)

Link Group

Parma Investments Limited, and its parent Goodman Group

Daily Mail / DMGT plc


Enterprise Ireland

ASL Aviation

Brokers Ireland

Orpea S.A


Speed Fibre Group (enet, Airspeed and Magnet) and its parent AMP Capital


Irish Distillers and its parent, Pernod Ricard


An Post




Bord Na Mona


College Proteins

Commercial Mushrooms Producers Co-Operative Society (CMP)

Carr Communications

Chapel Gate



Department for Energy

daa plc




Irving Oil

JPI Media plc


Monument Re

Monaghan Mushrooms


Nicholl (Fuel Oils) Ltd

Nomad Foods



Post Office Limited

Saint Gobain

Sky Ireland

Sport Ireland



Work highlights

  • Represented ASL before the European Courts in its action for over €200m in damages against the European Commission for losses suffered as a result of the Commission’s flawed 2013 decision to prohibit the blockbuster TNT/UPS merger.
  • Advised Bank of Ireland on its proposed acquisition of the assets of KBC Bank Ireland plc, which was notified to the CCPC.
  • Advised Link Group on the Phase 2 merger control case arising from Link Group’s proposed acquisition of Pepper, its rival.

McCann FitzGerald LLP

McCann FitzGerald LLP is another Dublin firm with an estimable record in merger control, obtaining CCPC clearance in a number of complex engagements, including those in the banking and insurance sectors. Cartels and private enforcement are also fortes for the firm, along with competition litigation where it notably represented DAF Trucks in the headline follow-on damages claim resulting from a European Commission competition infringement decision. Philip Andrews has immense experience and leads the team, which includes Laura Treacy, an experienced figure in state aid, merger control and cartels. The litigation expertise of Rosaleen Byrne and Catherine Derrig provide the team with additional heft in state aid disputes and follow-on damages claims.

Practice head(s):

Philip Andrews

Other key lawyers:

Laura Treacy; Rosaleen Byrne; Catherine Derrig; Seán O’Dea


‘Deep competition authority understanding and relationships with the CCPC. Ability to schedule meetings and calls with the CCPC. Fee flexibility to align phasing of merger authority process with client spend. Available at short notice. Innovative approach to messaging in a competition authority objection.’

‘Very professional. Always available. Sound advice. Great service.’

‘Catherine Derrig and Rosaleen Byrne are market leaders in the area of EU and competition law. Rosaleen is a brilliant litigator and second-to-none in the Irish market in terms of her competition law knowledge – she should be the first port of call for any client. Catherine Derrig excels in the most complex competition law disputes and can formulate strategy with the benefit of a combination of legal knowledge and commercial nous.’

‘Sean O’Dea gave very high quality detailed competition law advices to us. He was a pleasure to deal with, giving very knowledgeable and thorough advices in a timely manner.’

‘Philip Andrews is a go-to in this area. Technically excellent whilst being pragmatic and focused on client business needs.’

‘Philip Andrews has shown thoroughness, precision and utter competence in responding to our needs on competition law and EU State aid rules.’

‘Laura Treacy – great partner with a great manner.’

‘Laura Treacy is excellent at distilling complex EU legal issues in an understandable way.’

Key clients



DAF Trucks

Bord na Móna





Dublin Airport Authority

Irish Life Group AIB

Work highlights

  • Advised Coillte on renewable energy transactions including a renewable energy joint venture with ESB which was cleared by the CCPC subject to commitments following a Phase 2 investigation.
  • Represented Dublin Airport Authority in its defence of allegations of abuse of a dominant position under the Competition Act, 2002 made by Easirent.
  • Acted for DAF Trucks in follow-on damages claims in Ireland arising from a Commission decision of infringement of competition law rules.

William Fry

William Fry has maintained a sizeable share of major merger control engagements, along with key roles in the CCPC’s motor insurance investigation and headline follow-on damages claims. The firm is also noted for state aid, regulatory and procurement expertise. Cormac Little SC is one of only two competition specialists to hold senior counsel status in Ireland, thanks to his esteemed record in merger control and the broader competition sphere. Claire Waterson  and Sheila Tormey  are also outstanding practitioners in sectoral regulation and merger control respectively; Waterson was recently appointed by the Department of Environment, Climate and Communications to advise on the roll-out of the National Broadband Plan.

Practice head(s):

Cormac Little SC

Other key lawyers:

Claire Waterson; Sheila Tormey; Sarah Lynam; Eoin Ó Cuilleanáin


‘William Fry are a fantastically responsive, pragmatic and knowledgeable team. Highly recommended – they are our go to firm for Irish competition matters.’

William Fry have provided an array of multi-disciplinary legal services to our organisation over the last 6 years. Across the board, we have found their service to be excellent.

‘Claire Waterson is a real pleasure to deal with. Very clear, collaborative and great with clients.’

‘The team led by Cormac Little has strength and depth.’

‘Cormac Little is an exceptional competition law practitioner and and also a pleasure to deal with.’

‘We have used Sheila Tormey at William Fry on a variety of EU public procurement and state aid matters. We have found Sheila to be extremely professional and diligent in her role. Her knowledge of EU competition matters is excellent, thus her advice is very clear, well considered and thoughtful. Sheila’s responsiveness to our requirements is excellent, she can take complex situations and process them into practical working solutions.’

‘I have worked mainly with Sheila Tormey, a partner in the competition practice. Sheila stands out for her excellent knowledge of CCPC decisional practice in the area of financial services, for her availability, and for being very pragmatic. The work product is always flawless.’

Key clients

Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications


DCC Energy/Emo Oil

A truck manufacturer

Uniphar plc

Davies Group

Department of Finance

Horse Racing Ireland

Phoenix Group Holdings

TL Mussels Limited


Enterprise Ireland


Work highlights

  • Advised the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications on the rollout of the National Broadband Plan.
  • Advised Davy on competition law aspects of the sale of its businesses, including advising throughout the competitive bid process and advising on the CCPC notification in relation to the agreed sale to Bank of Ireland.
  • Advised DCC Energy/Emo Oil on the Irish merger control aspects of its acquisition of another fuel supplier, Campus Oil Limited.

LK Shields Solicitors LLP

LK Shields Solicitors LLP has a well established EU and competition practice with a caseload including follow-on damages actions, and Irish phase 2 merger reviews and transactions notified to the EU Commission. Team leader Marco Hickey has immense experience, having practised in Brussels, London and Dublin, and is a prominent name in the market for advisory, transactional and contentious matters; he is heading the team representing Scania in the headline follow-on damages action linked to the European Commission’s investigation into the truck sector.

Practice head(s):

Marco Hickey

Other key lawyers:

Muireann Granville


‘Each time I have used this practice I have been really impressed with the team’s proactivity and general commercial awareness. The speed of response is always fantastic and makes working alongside them very easy. I have worked alongside and with a number of other Irish law firms but Marco Hickey and the team from LK Shields compares very favourably to them. They are very collaborative and easy to deal with.’

‘What makes the individuals in the team stand out is their general proactivity, commercial awareness and real desire to get the piece of work done correctly and proportionately. I have particular experience of Marco Hickey who is very impressive.’

‘This is a particularly dynamic, pragmatic and straightforward team that puts its outstanding experience to good use in the client’s interest.’

‘Key strength is in relation to handling mergers. Marco Hickey is methodical, enjoys a good working relationship with the CCPC, and is highly responsive.’

‘Our contact is Marco Hickey, who is probably Ireland’s most knowledgeable merger expert and one of the most knowledgeable in any jurisdiction that I ever met. To boot, he has outstanding tactical skills, which benefit our clients from the very first day of a planned transaction.’

‘Marco HIckey is aware that competition challenges are hard to overcome easily and so proactively engages with the client to look at developing strategies that will offer optimum solutions.’

‘Muireann Granville is very nice to work with: reliable, pragmatic and responsive.’

‘Marco Hickey’s commerciality is notable. He has an excellent understanding of overall deal dynamics. That is unusual among competition lawyers in Dublin.’

Key clients

Apex Group


Denis O’Brien/Communicorp

Fane Valley Co-operative Society

Gowan Group Limited


Millstreet Equestrian Services

Scania AB


Stobart Group

Reach Plc

The Gardiner Group


Viagogo AG

Work highlights

  • Represented Scania in its Irish legal proceedings that followed-on from the Commission’s finding of infringement against MAN, Volvo/Renault, Daimler, Iveco and DAF, as well as the subsequent, and more recent, finding against Scania AB.
  • Advised Fane Valley on the EU and UK merger control implication of the disposal by Fane Valley of a 50% interest in Linden Foods Limited and Slaney Foods International to the ABP Food Group.
  • Advised Denis O’Brien on the sale of his portfolio of radio stations and related assets through the disposal of the Communicorp group to Bauer Media Group.

Philip Lee LLP

Philip Lee has an impressive mix of competition, state aid and procurement engagements. It has led the market in public sector procurement for decades and continues to advise a range of public sector entities along with big-name domestic and international corporates. In recent years, the team has experienced considerable growth in state aid work, advising a number of state entities. With the growth of the firm's corporate team, it has also achieved higher levels of activity in merger control instructions. Ronan Dunne is a recognised EU and competition specialist, while Philip Lee is a leader in procurement matters with additional support from senior name Kerri Crossen.

Practice head(s):

Ronan Dunne; Kerri Crossen

Other key lawyers:

Philip Lee; Angelyn Rowan


‘The team at Philip Lee have been exceptional while guiding us through some difficult situations in our industry as it was not clearly regulated so we needed the expertise of Philip Lee’s legal and legislative team in order to help us navigate our own industry. We simply could not praise them enough for their attention to detail and even an out of hours service was made available to us when needed. We really did feel that Philip Lee went the extra mile while advising us in a very tricky regulatory industry that we are in and felt supported by them during this time.’

‘Philip Lee is different to other legal firms that we have dealt with in the past as previously mentioned the attention to detail and extra backup services where 2nd to none. The people who really stood out to us was Philip himself who originally attended the meetings and then Ronan Dunne who was the main lead for all regulatory issues. We have always recommended Philip Lee as a legal service to anybody in the industry and will continue to do so because of the professionalism of this firm.’

‘Strong knowledgeable team, detailed and considered responses and advise, very proactive and responsive.’

‘Angelyn Rowan, experienced and knowledgeable. Very proactive and response on matters’

Key clients

Health Service Executive

Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland

Broadcasting Authority of Ireland

Roche Pharmaceuticals

Volkswagen Group Ireland Limited

Randridge Group

Celtic Wind

PEI Surgical


Tourism Ireland

Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications

Lucozade Suntory Ribena

Life Style Sports

Corrib Oil

Stafford Fuels

Audio Technica Corporation

Industrial Development Authority


Work highlights

  • Provide regular and ongoing state aid advice to the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland to ensure that a wide range of projects in the energy sector remain within the scope of state aid rules.
  • Advising the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications on the state aid aspects of the Just Transition Fund, particularly in respect to the 11 GBER articles.
  • Advising the Health Service Executive on an ongoing basis in relation to a wide range of competition, procurement and regulatory related matters.

Beauchamps LLP

Beauchamps LLP has an emphasis on competition and procurement, with a sizeable client base of public sector entities alongside an array of corporates, most notably in the real estate sector. The firm has experienced a further increase in procurement engagements, driven by the Covid-19 pandemic. Dorit McCann has practised in Ireland, Northern Ireland and England, and is also a native German speaker, making her especially suited to cross-border and EU-wide matters.

Practice head(s):

Dorit McCann


‘Very responsive and well informed.’

‘Very proactive & solution focused.’

‘Really understand our needs.’

‘The team is very strong and knowledgeable in this area – and provide practical solution focused advice.’

‘Dorit McCann is an excellent advisor, fully trusted and sought after by non-legal in-house colleagues.’

‘Dorit McCann is very knowledgeable in her field and provides excellent, succinct & effective advice when needed.’

Key clients

IDA Ireland

Commission for Communications Regulation


Central Statistics Office

Colony Capital

Ordnance Survey Ireland

Arts Council

Respond Housing Association

Leitrim County Council

National Disability Authority

Nursing & Midwifery Board of Ireland

Health Information and Quality Authority

Hooper Dolan Group

Work highlights

  • Advised the Hooper Dolan Group on the €60m sale of its business to Arachas Insurance, requiring a merger notification to the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission.
  • Advised IDA Ireland on the procurement of an estate management agreement which is responsible for the management of all of IDA’s industry parks in Ireland.
  • Advised OSI in relation to the procurement of national coverage orthophotography to fulfil their statutory obligations.

Eversheds Sutherland

Eversheds Sutherland has carved out a prominent standing in the market, especially in Ireland and EU merger notifications, state aid and dawn raids assistance. It has developed an impressive client base of high-profile corporates and financial investors, and has advised on a series of merger notifications in the financial services sector. Sean Ryan is an experienced EU and competition specialist, noted for his dawn raids and post-Brexit tariffs expertise.

Practice head(s):

Sean Ryan

Key clients

STAR Capital Partnership LLP

TIIC Advisor S.A.S and 3i Group plc

Arachas Corporate Brokers Limited

MML Growth Capital Partners

National Treasury Management Agency

Capita PLC

Euronet PLC

Banking and Payments Federation of Ireland

Shareholders of Goodbody Stockbrokers

Work highlights

  • Advised BPFI on all competition law elements relating to the high-profile proposed joint venture between Allied Irish Banks, Bank of Ireland, Permanent TSB and KBC to develop an instant payments application.
  • Advised the shareholders of Goodbody Stockbrokers on the merger control elements of their sale of Goodbody Stockbrokers to AIB which included the filing of a merger notification with the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission.
  • Advised Euronet PLC on all competition law elements relating to the proposed acquisition by it of the non-branch ATM fleet from Bank of Ireland including advice on the merger control elements and the managing of a RFI process with the client and the CCPC.


RDJ LLP's Cork-based team has an emphasis on EU, competition and procurement matters. The firm has a long track record in media merger notifications, state aid matters and dawn raid support. Diarmaid Gavin practised in Brussels and London with Allen & Overy LLP before joining the firm, and has become an established figure in dawn raids response and state aid. Finola McCarthy is an experienced procurement specialist and represents a variety of local authorities and other public sector entities.

Practice head(s):

Diarmaid Gavin; Finola McCarthy


‘Highly experienced team who have successfully managed complex mergers notifications. They often deal with ‘cutting edge’ competition notifications and engage with the CCPC for the first time on a new sector merger notification. Excellent understanding of the approach of the CCPC so bring a depth of understanding which is really valued by clients.’

‘Deep knowledge and capability.’

‘Diarmaid Gavin is excellent and I trust his judgement. He his very knowledgeable and experienced. Sean O’Reilly is an outstanding M&A lawyer but he works closely with Diarmaid on transactions and his inputs are also invaluable.’

‘Diarmaid Gavin – knows the terrain very well and saves clients material time as a result.’

Key clients

Cork City Council

University College Dublin

Landmark Digital/Irish Examiner Group

Donegal County Council

Bon Secours Health System

Bakchysari Ireland Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Cork City Council on legal arrangements for the proposed new events centre at the site of the old Beamish and Crawford brewery in Cork City, including state aid advice in relation to additional government funding being made available to complete the project.
  • Advised UCD on the application of EU state aid rules and how UCD could structure industry access rights to intellectual property rights.
  • Acted for Landmark Digital Limited on the sale of Benchwarmers to UK-based Rocketsports Limited; this constituted a media merger and required notification to both the CCPC and the Department for Communications.