Planning and environment in Ireland

A&L Goodbody LLP

A&L Goodbody LLP is active across the planning and environmental space, advising on planning applications, representing clients in planning injunctions and judicial reviews, and assisting with investigations into alleged breaches of regulations. Consultant Alison Fanagan SC handles contentious and non-contentious matters relating to projects, including advising on compliance with environmental regulations and representing clients in challenges to planning decisions. Alan Roberts has a similarly broad practice, with particular experience in the transport and energy sectors. Jason Milne is another name to note.

Practice head(s):

Alan Roberts; Alison Fanagan SC

Other key lawyers:

Jason Milne; Brendan Curran

Testimonials

‘Excellent knowledge of their subject area and very responsive compared to other teams. Well resourced and commercially minded.’

‘Alison Fanagan is absolutely outstanding in her commercially minded solutions, responsiveness, understanding of the business and quality of advice generally.’

‘A very strong team with consistently high standards. The A-team in planning in Dublin.’

‘Jason Milne is superb. He is responsive, available and sticks to timelines, with top-quality advice.’

‘Alan Roberts’ understanding of Ireland’s planning law is detailed and his knowledge on the topic extensive. I found his attention to detail and ability to adequately evaluate the big picture to be particularly helpful. Alan was a pleasure to work with, as was Brendan Curran; I found them to be professional at all times and I would have no hesitation in working with them both again.’

‘Very strong technical expertise, sound commercial awareness and a high level of partner engagement. Very easy to communicate with and get along with.’

‘Alison Fanagan has an unparalleled knowledge of the planning and environmental sector and a great ability to apply the relevant rules to the commercial issues facing a client.’

Key clients

ABN AMRO Bank NV

Airbnb Ireland ULC

Aircraft Noise Competent Authority (Fingal County Council)

Allied Irish Banks, p.l.c.

Asper Investment Management Limited/ Luricawne

Ashgrove Plant Limited

Ballycumber Wind Farm

Barclay Chemical Manufacturing Limited

Bewleys Limited

Blackrock Investment Management (UK) Ltd

BOC Gases Ireland Limited

Brookfield Renewable Ireland Holdings Limited

BVK Highstreet Retail Liffey Property Limited

Cloncaragh Investments Limited

Canview Limited

Cavan County Council

Codling Wind Park Limited

Doyle Shipping Group

DWS/Deutsche Asset Management

Energia

Engie Renewables Ltd

Enva Ireland Limited

Ervia

ESB Network

Galway Harbour Company

Gas Networks Ireland

Glenveagh Properties PLC

Green Energy Supply Ltd

Greencoat Capital LLP

Greystone Managed Investments Inc

Heineken Ireland Limited

Huntstown Bioenergy Limited

IPUT Plc

Irish Distillers Limited

Irish Waste Management Association

Irish Water

Jazz Pharmaceuticals Inc.

John Paul Construction

Kennedy Wilson Europe Limited

Kerry Co-Operative Creameries Ltd

Knocknagoum Windfarm Limited

KPMG

Lagan Asphalt Ltd

Lagan Operation and Maintenance Limited

Lismore Estates

M7 Real Estate Limited

Marlet Property Group

Minch Malt Limited

Noonan Services Limited

Nord L/B

Onyx Ireland 2020 Propco 1 Limited

Orsted Onshore A/S

Parkwind N.V.

Patrizia Immobilien AG

Pembroke Beach DAC

Pembroke Partnership Limited

Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation/ Moy Park

PSA Sugrue Limited

Revington Land Limited

Ronan Group Real Estate

RPS Group

Spencer Place Development Company Limited

SSE Generation Ireland Limited

St Clare’s GP 3 Limited

Statkraft Ireland Limited

Takeda

Tesco Ireland

Transport Infrastructure Ireland

Ulster Bank Ireland DAC

UPS

Vodafone Group PLC

Volkswagen Group Ireland Limited

Waterside Block 9 Developments Limited

Whitemountain Quarries Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising Transport Infrastructure Ireland on the development of Dublin’s 19km-long metro system, which will link various locations including Dublin Airport with Dublin city centre, with a currently estimated capital expenditure budget of in excess of €3.5bn.
  • Advising ParkWind on one of the first proposed offshore wind farms with a proposed exporting capacity in excess of 370MW off the east coast of Ireland.
  • Advising Pembroke Beach in relation to the development of the 34ha Poolbeg West Strategic Development Zone (the Glass Bottle site).

Arthur Cox

Arthur Cox is highly active in contentious planning work, acting for developers and companies in judicial review proceedings across the energy, heavy industry and residential housing sectors. The team also handles judicial review cases in the environmental sector, including challenges to the granting of industrial emissions licences. Another area of focus for the team is advising public bodies in these sectors on the regulatory issues surrounding developments. Danielle Conaghan leads the team, which also includes consultant Yvonne Scannell, a specialist in environmental law, senior partner Deborah Spence, who handles both planning and environmental disputes, senior associate Jacinta Conway and Laura Rafferty, who was promoted to of counsel in June 2021.

Practice head(s):

Danielle Conaghan

Other key lawyers:

Yvonne Scannell; Deborah Spence; Jacinta Conway; Jeanie Kelly; Laura Rafferty

Testimonials

‘The team truly understand their discipline. They offer me a perspective that I do not have and make me consider the advice I am receiving in a well-understood legal context. They make the client and others feel part of the wider team and at no stage do they make you feel you cannot ask any question, no matter how insignificant it may appear to you. They have dealt with us professionally and in a responsive manner, ensuring we stay in control of the situation. The team reflects diversity; there is a strong lead from women and a feeling of equality in the team.’

‘This is a very strong team with the very particular, highly sought-after skill of being strategists for litigation avoidance in this highly litigious area. From our experience, there are a large number of highly skilled practitioners in this area but the ability of this team to anticipate and manage the potential risks of a challenge and to develop comprehensive strategies to avoid litigation puts them way ahead of other practitioners in this field. This team has very strong depth as we never have had to wait for any question or issue to be addressed, which is key when you are dealing with international construction projects.’

‘Danielle Conaghan is a clear star in this area and her continued ability to navigate through complicated scenarios for international clients, who are not familiar with the Irish system or the likely challenges that it can result in, makes her a leader in this area. I would also highly recommend Jeanie Kelly and Jacinta Conway. Jeanie, in particular, has demonstrated very strong leadership through her calm and solution-orientated approach, dealing with very emotional and stressed clients who have project deadlines which Jeanie understands and meets. Trying to explain this complicated area of the law to non-experts and develop strategies to address it is not an easy task but this team have consistently demonstrated their ability to do this.’

‘Laura Rafferty’s advice has been concise and effective. Laura has used her experience and knowledge of recent similar cases to our benefit and has also advised us of other cases with which we will be involved but had not yet been notified of. Laura has demonstrated an interest in our business goals and has worked hard to ensure that key deadlines have been met.’

‘A unique attribute of this team is the depth of knowledge within it. Our business encounters a wide and diverse array of issues on an ongoing basis and we are involved in a most contentious industry. The Arthur Cox planning and environmental team rise to and above the challenge on a consistent basis. Meetings are always facilitated and the necessary people are always available and present. If external parties are required, they are sourced and are present also. There is never a limit on capacity. Collaboration with others is never a problem and is in fact supported, when required or deemed beneficial. However, the Arthur Cox team are the nub of the solution. Access to excellent legal counsel is another unique attribute to the team.’

‘Every person I interact with in Arthur Cox is a pleasure to work with. Some of the issues we deal with can be heavy and sessions can be time consuming, therefore being comfortable in the presence of these people is very important. Each individual has a great depth of knowledge, underscored with a seemingly natural expertise in law itself. Their professionalism is taken for granted at this stage but it is worth mentioning as it is something which should be very much valued. Deborah Spence demonstrates all of the above and her positive influence on the team is very evident. Jacinta Conway is an extremely significant asset to the Arthur Cox team. Jacinta has demonstrated a knowledge capable of dealing with all and any issue presented to her, a really strong professionalism and a willingness to go the extra mile for her clients. Jacinta is also a pleasure to work with.’

‘Laura Rafferty has earned a reputation as the go-to in her field. Her background as a former barrister gives her an extra edge when it comes to managing the increasing amount of planning cases currently in the High Court. But it is her approach to clients that is most exceptional – she understands our business needs, is a clear and comprehensive communicator and develops trusted relationships. Laura is very passionate about achieving the best outcome, and this is evident in the value she brings and successes she delivers.’

‘Deborah Spence is thorough, a great communicator and a true problem solver. Yvonne Scannell is exceptional, an original thinker and with experience that is second to none. Danielle Conaghan is a star – articulate, knowledgeable and highly motivated.’

Key clients

AMC Environmental Ltd

Ballynagran Landfill Limited

Bradán Beo Teoranta

Cellnex

Celtix Connect Limited

Coillte Teoranta

Covanta/Dublin Waste to Energy

CRH/Roadstone

Dairygold

Department of Housing, Local Government & Heritage

Energia Renewables

GIG Macquarie

Glanbia

Highfield Solar Limited

Hines Real Estate Ireland (and related ICAVs)

Intel Ireland Ltd

Irish Cement Limited

Irish Solar Farmers Limited

Irish Water

Kilkenny Cheese Limited

Kilsaran International/Kilsaran Concrete Unlimited Company

Knockharley Landfill Limited

Land Development Agency

Malone O’Regan Limited

Marlet Property Group Limited (and subsidiaries)

National Broadband Ireland

Office of Public Works

Seven Hills Wind Farm Limited

Westland Horticulture Limited, Cavan Peat Limited and Westmeath Peat Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting for Intel Ireland in defending a complex judicial review challenge to its proposed $8bn expansion of its Leixlip campus.
  • Acting for Marlet Property Group in eight separate cases challenging over 1,300 housing units, and in successfully defending the first of only two strategic housing developments to have ever withstood legal challenge.
  • Advising Irish Water on the €1.3bn Water Supply Project, the largest water project in Ireland, to serve approximately 1.5 million people, including on project planning, environmental assessment and consenting.

Mason Hayes & Curran LLP

Mason Hayes & Curran LLP provides planning and environmental advice on some of Ireland’s largest projects, including onshore and offshore wind farms, grid infrastructure and residential developments. The team also represents clients in challenging planning decisions, acting for developers as well as other parties in these disputes. In addition to project development, the team provides input on corporate transactions involving energy assets. Deirdre Nagle leads the team.

Practice head(s):

Deirdre Nagle

Testimonials

‘The team has excellent knowledge of planning and environmental law, including the Strategic Infrastructure Act and the EU’s Project of Common Interest regulations. They can provide exceptional support to developers of large infrastructure projects by helping them navigate through the planning process, from preparation of the planning application documentation, through oral hearings convened by An Bord Pleanála and any judicial reviews before the High Court, Supreme Court and CJEU.’

‘My experience of working with MHC has been very positive. The team is very capable and possesses in-depth knowledge of environmental law. A key strength from my experience is the flexibility and responsiveness MHC have shown in engaging and providing timely advice on specific issues as they have arisen on projects. MHC also adapted very well to the challenges raised by lockdown over the past 18 months and did not allow this to impact their responsiveness or ability to collaborate on projects in my experience.’

‘What makes the individuals I have worked with from MHC stand out is their clear experience in dealing with the topics in question. Any advice has been provided in a direct and unambiguous fashion. The knowledge of key case law and historical planning decisions is also exemplary.’

‘I have found Deirdre Nagle to be excellent in terms of responsiveness and breadth of knowledge. Having been involved in numerous discussions involving a number of clients from a wide range of backgrounds, Deirdre is gifted at breaking potential issues down and clearly setting out any issues in a straightforward manner. Deirdre is also very good at re-framing documentation in order to avoid future challenges. This approach is always set out in a real-world, straightforward and robust manner.’

‘The individuals at MHC, particularly Deirdre Nagle, have excellent sectoral knowledge. They are always willing and open to engage throughout the various stages of our projects. The advice provided is always clear and easy to understand.’

‘The team have an excellent personal and professional approach to all dealings I have had with them. Their experience of dealing with multiple and varied issues has developed extensive and detailed expertise, which gives them the ability to advise on all planning and environmental issues we have come across. They stay informed on the latest court proceedings and I find them very knowledgeable, practical and innovative when advising us on project risks and possible actions to take to manage those risks. Their prompt replies to queries help to add value to all projects they support us on and mean you can count on their experienced team to deliver when called upon.’

‘Deirdre Nagle’s confident, forthright approach of communication and engagement on issues on the project is a breath of fresh air, allowing us to be fully informed when deciding a course of action for the project. The advice she provides is backed by years of practical professional experience and it is clear we are getting the best advice available. She is always willing to help support the project and is always flexible in her dealings with us.’

‘In all of our dealings we have found Deirdre Nagle to be extremely professional and efficient in the delivery of legal advice. Our instructions to Deirdre have always been dealt with in a timely manner and Deirdre has always made herself available to us by return of call or emails. We find Deirdre very approachable and courteous to deal with. We would have no hesitation in recommending Deirdre and Mason Hayes & Curran to others.’

Key clients

EirGrid

SSE

Orsted

RWE Renewable/Innogy

PJ Hegartys

Statkraft

Irish Water

Neoen

NTR plc

Coillte

Pioneer Point Partners

Matheson LLP

Matheson LLP is highly active in the planning and environmental space, handling contentious and non-contentious matters for prominent clients in the energy, real estate and industrial sectors. The team handles planning applications for complex projects including data centres and offshore wind farms, and also represents clients in judicial review proceedings brought by groups such as residents and environmentalist groups. The team is led by highly regarded litigator Nicola Dunleavy SC. Senior associate Ruadhán Kenny is also praised by clients for his work in disputes across this space.

Practice head(s):

Nicola Dunleavy SC

Other key lawyers:

Ruadhán Kenny

Testimonials

‘I found Matheson to be very professional, knowledgeable and easy to work with. Ruadhán Kenny and his team are excellent and I would recommend them to everyone.’

‘Ruadhán Kenny is one of the best lawyers I have worked with for matters relating to the AIE Regulations. His understanding of the regulations and professional conduct is something to admire.’

‘Our matter involved points of law that were complex in nature and required a nuanced approach. This was explained thoroughly and effectively by Nicola Dunleavy and Ruadhán Kenny in order that agreement could be reached on the best approach to adopt.’

‘Matheson provide a very professional service in the areas of environmental and planning law. The team are responsive and knowledgeable, giving clients confidence in the advice received.’

‘Nicola Dunleavey and Ruadhán Kenny stand out as being very responsive to the client’s needs. The speed and quality of engagement is impressive with both very tuned into our particular requirements in the area of environmental law.’

‘They are familiar with our business and the regulatory framework in which we operate. This is quite unique and specialised and would take considerable learning by legal practitioners new to our industry. We have a good and professional relationship.’

‘Ruadhán Kenny is very reliable and timely in his responses and has acquired good knowledge of our business and regulatory framework. Nicola Dunleavy comes across as a person of very high integrity and this makes her a pleasure to interact with.’

‘Nicola Dunleavy is probably the leader in the field in this jurisdiction. She is an excellent lawyer with brilliant judgement and is wholly committed to delivering for her clients. Ruadhán Kenny is one of the best and is always looking to find a way to meet his clients’ needs.’

McCann FitzGerald LLP

McCann FitzGerald LLP handles the planning and environmental issues surrounding high-profile, complex developments, advising on planning proposals and representing clients in challenges to projects, including appearing in the High Court. The team is highly active in the energy sector, where it advises on developments involving both renewable energy and conventional energy, and in the transport sector, acting for public bodies and local governments in the development of substantial infrastructure projects. Brendan Slattery is currently advising a number of major developers on large-scale residential developments, while Michelle Doyle is noted for her expertise in avoiding challenges to planning proposals. Senior associate Sinéad Martyn stands out for complex offshore energy matters.

Practice head(s):

Brendan Slattery; Michelle Doyle

Other key lawyers:

Sinéad Martyn

Testimonials

‘Brendan Slattery is excellent.’

‘Experts in the area of planning and environmental law. Informed and up-to-date and willing to share their expertise and know-how.’

‘Available on request, informative and easy to work with. They stick to time lines when coming back with advice.’

‘The breath of knowledge and experience within MCF is outstanding. Their ability to draw on multiple disciplines within their organisation makes for a highly efficient engagement which is good for our business.’

‘Go the extra mile, fantastic service, always available, extremely accommodating.’

‘Brendan Slattery has excellent experience and gives good, clear and helpful advice, combined with strong input on key documents. He is well supported in his team.’

Key clients

Greenlink Interconnector

Bord na Móna plc

Energia Group

New Fortress Energy

Galway County Council

National Transport Authority

Wicklow County Council

Ardstone Homes

Bartra Capital

Park Developments

Hines

Lioncor

Marlet

Ballymore

Hammerson

Panda Waste

AIB

Rabobank

Statkraft

ESB

Greencoat

Apollo Global Management

Brookfield

Roche Ireland Ltd

PSE Kinsale Energy

Work highlights

  • Advising Ardstone on a range of matters including planning applications and litigation.
  • Providing legal support to Galway County Council on its application to develop the N6 Galway City Ring Road.
  • Providing legal support to Greenlink on its application to develop a 500MW electricity transmission line between Ireland and Wales.

Philip Lee LLP

Philip Lee stands out in the market for its work representing An Bord Pleanála in judicial review proceedings, including appearing before the High Court, Supreme Court and Court of Justice of the European Union. The team also acts for other public bodies in planning and environmental matters; for example, it is currently advising the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine on conducting a review of the forestry licensing system. Elsewhere, the practice acts alongside the firm’s projects and construction team to advise on project development, with a focus on the renewable energy sector. Alice Whittaker and Rachel Minch SC jointly lead the practice.

Practice head(s):

Alice Whittaker; Rachel Minch SC

Testimonials

‘Rachel Minch not only has professional knowledge in her specific field but will also always offer solutions in other disciplines.’

‘The firm has excellent experience in this area.’

‘Alice Whittaker would be my go-to person for wind project planning work – her experience in this area means that she can advise not only on the legal aspects, but also on the wording nuances that will help an application to succeed. I have absolute confidence in Alice’s advice, and find her to be responsive and proactive and her work to be transparently and fairly priced.’

‘Philip Lee have been keeping me informed with what is going on with the case behind the scenes and have involved me with all the correspondence going back and forth. They have arranged meetings with experts on the subject for us to discuss how to move forward and been open and friendly.’

‘A very strong, specialised team, providing clear, practical advice.’

‘Alice Whittaker is an expert in her field. Very knowledgeable, efficient and responsive.’

‘Philip Lee have a comprehensive understanding of planning and environmental law. They effectively inform our risk management processes as a trusted adviser.’

‘Alice Whittaker has a comprehensive understanding of planning and environmental law.’

Key clients

An Bord Pleanála

Aqua Comms

RWE Renewables Ireland Limited

Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland

ScottishPower Renewables/Iberdrola

Mainstream Renewable Power

Commissioner for Environmental Information

Emerging Markets Power (EM Power)

Department of Agriculture Food and Marine

The Marine Institute No Commissioners for Irish Lights

Microsoft Corporation

Colas Group

Aquaculture Licences Appeals Board

Temporis Capital

Work highlights

  • Acting as lead legal advisers to An Bord Pleanála, the Irish Planning Appeals Board, representing the board in over 200 planning judicial review cases and handling related advisory work.
  • Representing the Commissioner for Environmental Information in landmark cases concerning the operation of the access to environmental information regime, including hearings before the Court of Appeal, Supreme Court and the Court of Justice of the European Union.
  • Engaged by RWE Renewables Ireland to advise on all aspects of the Dublin Array offshore wind project, which has the potential for 1GW of renewable energy.

William Fry

William Fry is frequently instructed to provide advice on planning and environmental issues related to project development, particularly in the energy sector. The practice also advises clients on operating energy and industrial plants in compliance with Irish environmental regulations. In the planning space, the team represents clients in the judicial review of planning board decisions. Conor Linehan SC leads the team, handling both contentious and non-contentious work, with senior associate Michelle Martin also highly active in this space.

Practice head(s):

Conor Linehan SC

Other key lawyers:

Michelle Martin

Testimonials

‘Conor Linehan will look at the issue from all sides and is relentless in his pursuit of a positive outcome for his client or in providing alternative approaches. His deliberations on issues are masterpieces of legal analysis.’

‘The team have been excellent in providing urgent, complex advice across multiple novel matters.’

‘Conor Linehan has provided invaluable support as planning and environment partner across a number of complex matters. His detailed and considered advice has been instrumental in identifying solutions to multifaceted legal issues. Michelle Martin has provided clear and pragmatic advice.’

‘They have strong commercial knowledge.’

‘Conor Linehan and Michelle Martin are excellent in terms of technical knowledge and responsiveness.’

‘Conor Linehan’s guidance was invaluable.’

‘Conor Linehan is extremely approachable and available. He explains the process and changes in the process clearly and concisely. Michelle Martin is similarly helpful and knowledgeable.’

‘They offer in-depth environmental knowledge and experience.’

Key clients

Green Biofuels Ireland Ltd

SIRO Ltd

Fingal County Council

Aughinish Alumina Limited

Brookfield Renewable Energy

Diageo

Hines / King Street Capital

Tesco Ireland Limited

Biocore Environmental Limited

Poundland Limited t/a Dealz

Digital Realty Trust

Dulux Paints Ireland

U+I Group plc

Value Retail

XL Group/QBE

EirGrid Plc

EngineNode/SDC Capital Management Limited

Cooley Distillery/Beam Suntory

Progressive Asset Holdings

Work highlights

  • Acting as environmental law adviser to Green Biofuels’ Wexford plant, Ireland’s most advanced biodiesel facility, and advising on Brexit-related changes to its waste management contracts with its UK counter-parties.
  • Representing Biocore in the planning and environmental consenting processes for a large bioenergy park at Castlerea, Co Roscommon.
  • Advising Hines/King Street Capital on all the planning law aspects of the development of Cherrywood, a major new residential and commercial suburb in South Dublin.

Eversheds Sutherland

Eversheds Sutherland is highly experienced in planning-related litigation, acting for developers and other parties in challenging planning decisions as well as defending against challenges to proposed developments. Practice head Stephen Barry is particularly active in this area, handling cases alongside litigation partners including Norman Fitzgerald and Neil O’Mahony. In the environmental space, the team assists clients with the environmental aspects of developments and transactions; construction and planning partner Mark Varian focuses on this work and is noted for his experience in energy projects.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Barry

Other key lawyers:

Norman Fitzgerald; Neil O’Mahony; Mark Varian

Testimonials

‘Eversheds’ planning and environmental team are extremely pragmatic, diligence and first class.’

‘Stephen Barry is outstanding. He is extremely knowledgeable and has great insight into the entire planning system. He can lead a client seamlessly through the judicial review process.’

Key clients

Three Trees Wind Project Limited

Hibernia Reit Plc

Raragh/Mainstream Renewables

Siemens Plc

Kingspan Holdings (Ireland) Limited

CyrusOne Inc

Dublin Port Company

Element Power

Specsavers

Nokia/ Alcatel-Lucent Ireland Limited

Lackan Wind Energy Limited

Cara Environmental Technology Limited

ADT Fire & Security Limited

Kitara Limited

Ashbourne Meats

Ronan Group Real Estate

Ballynagran Landfill Limited

Knockharley Landfill Limited

Enercon

National Development Finance Agency

Rilta Group

Edwards Life Sciences

Black Lough Wind Farm Limited

Enros Wind Farm Limited

Allied Irish Banks, p.l.c.

The Beauparc Group

Hines

Orsted

Work highlights

  • Representing Spencer Place Development Company in a High Court judicial review challenge to Dublin City Council’s interpretation of the Ministerial Planning Guidelines of December 2018, in relation to a planning application made by the client to add two floors to Salesforce Tower in Dublin.
  • Acting for Spencer Place Development Company in the defence of High Court proceedings involving allegations of materials containing hazardous waste being taken from the client’s property at Spencer Place into a waste facility at Hollywood, Co Dublin.
  • Acting for Burkeway Homes as notice party in judicial review proceedings relating to planning permission granted by An Bord Pleanála in respect of a 162-unit development in Bearna, Co Galway.

Fieldfisher

Fieldfisher focuses on acting for regulators in environmental and planning disputes. The practice represents An Bord Pleanála in judicial reviews of its decisions up to the High Court level and is also frequently instructed by the Environmental Protection Agency in enforcement proceedings against companies, such as those alleging breaches of waste licences and industrial emission licences. The team is jointly led by JP McDowell, who also serves as head of the firm's public and regulatory department, and Zoe Richardson, who handles most of the firm’s work for the EPA.

Practice head(s):

JP McDowell; Zoe Richardson

Testimonials

‘Fieldfisher have good expertise in environmental and planning legislation and case law. They are well tuned in to the Irish court system and can give feedback on relevant cases other than those we are a party to.’

‘Zoe Richardson provides an excellent service to us. I really value her advice, which is timely, clear and well thought through.’

‘The team work well together and each individual can take over a matter and deal with it at short notice. On the management side, the team are open to suggestions and where necessary to introducing alternative ways of doing business.’

‘The individuals we work with are always available, sometimes at very short notice out of hours. The service and attention to detail offered by all individuals at this firm is exceptional.’

Key clients

An Bord Pleanála

Environmental Protection Agency

Office of Planning Regulator

Inland Fisheries Ireland

Work highlights

  • Acted for An Bord Pleanála in the successful defence of a judicial review challenge to its decision to grant planning permission for the development of the Kerry Greenway.
  • Advised the EPA on the successful prosecution of Cork County Council in respect of various breaches of its waste licence at the Raffeen waste facility arising from an incident causing discharges into Cork Harbour.
  • Acted for An Bord Pleanála in the defence of a judicial review challenge brought by Cork Harbour Alliance for a Safe Environment.

Addleshaw Goddard (Ireland) LLP

Addleshaw Goddard entered the market in 2022 following its merger with Eugene F. Collins. The team handles both contentious and non-contentious matters in the planning and environment space, advising on planning applications and compliance with regulations as well as representing clients in disputes with An Bord Pleanála and the Environmental Protection Agency. The team is led by Margaret Austin, who serves as head of the firm’s construction, planning and environment group.

Practice head(s):

Margaret Austin

Testimonials

‘Margaret Austin is exceptional. Her attention to detail, deep knowledge of the sector and personal touch is what sets her apart from peers. I could not recommend her highly enough.’

‘Excel at combining partner expertise across different areas of law, which offers the client wraparound advice covering multiple angles. There is a seamless overlap in the approach to client advice.’

‘There is a depth and breadth of knowledge in the team. Margaret Austin is an exceptional practitioner with superb expertise and invaluable experience.’

‘Very capable lawyers who give clients individual attention and are able to devote themselves to each particular case. They have a good knowledge of the law and are very practical and good managers.’

‘Margaret Austin is low-key in her approach but no less effective for it.’

‘Solid and thorough.’

‘Margaret Austin is thorough and capable of developing a strong working relationship with the other side on a case.’

Beauchamps LLP

Beauchamps LLP is highly active in the renewable energy space, advising on the planning and environmental aspects of onshore and offshore wind farm developments. The practice also advises clients on changes to Irish planning regulations, and represents developers in judicial reviews of decisions taken by the planning board. Ainsley Heffernan leads the team with senior associate Stuart Conaty.

Practice head(s):

Ainsley Heffernan; Stuart Conaty

Testimonials

‘The team are heavily involved in developing planning policies in Ireland and seem to be fully briefed and aware of all the latest developments, which supports appropriate and useful advice. The team are very approachable and turn work around very quickly.’

‘I work closely with Stuart Conaty. Stuart is very approachable and has a problem-solving approach to providing advice. He takes time to understand the issues that need to be addressed and then provides very clear advice. The fact that Stuart is also heavily involved in discussions in industry groups such as Wind Energy Ireland, who seek to address the latest issues and topics in the industry, supports the provision of up-to-date advice that can usefully be incorporated into decision making and project delivery strategies.’

‘The Beauchamps team have a diverse range and great depth of experience in planning matters relating to renewable energy developments.’

‘I have found Stuart Conaty and Ainsley Heffernan to be very approachable, helpful and extremely pragmatic in their approach. They can both draw on a huge range of experience they have gathered in the renewable energy industry in Ireland over the years. They have provided me with very robust and comprehensive opinions on planning matters, which contain references to relevant examples and cases.’

Key clients

Codling Wind Park

Údarás na Gaeltachta

Simply Blue Energy Kinsale

Wind Energy Ireland

Donegal County Council

EDF Renewables

Work highlights

  • Advising Codling Wind Park (a joint venture between EDF Renewables and the Fred Olsen Group) on its development of a proposed €2bn offshore wind farm off the east coast of Ireland, including detailed advice and support in relation to planning and environmental consenting.
  • Advising Údarás na Gaeltachta on all planning and environmental issues associated with a proposed Marine Innovation Park in Galway (Páirc na Mara).
  • Engaged by Wind Energy Ireland, Ireland’s leading wind energy industry representative body, to review and prepare a detailed analysis of the Maritime Area Planning Bill.

RDJ LLP

RDJ LLP’s planning and environment team handles matters ranging from planning applications to defending clients against prosecutions for breaches of environmental law. The practice advises clients from the pharmaceutical, agricultural and real estate sectors. Finola McCarthy leads the team and handles both environmental and planning issues, and head of commercial litigation Ronan Geary is also noted for his work in disputes in this space.

Practice head(s):

Finola McCarthy

Other key lawyers:

Ronan Geary

Testimonials

‘A diverse team with detailed knowledge.’

 

Key clients

MWB Two Limited

Oracle

Screebe Estates

Byrne Looby

Donegal County Council

AWN Consulting

Trinity College Dublin

Work highlights

  • Advising MWB Two in relation to a strategic housing development within the Planning and Development Acts at Bessboro, Cork, on the site of a former Mother and Baby home, which involved an oral hearing with An Bord Pleanála due to the level of objections from special interest groups.
  • Acted for AWN Consulting in High Court injunction proceedings issued by a property developer, Shorevale Investments (part of the Allied Real Estate Group) in relation to an alleged conflict of interest pertaining to AWN’s work on a mixed-use property development in Dublin valued at circa €650m.
  • Acted for Trinity College Dublin in judicial review proceedings relating to a strategic infrastructure development brought by an environmental challenger against planning permission obtained by TCD from An Bord Pleanála for a large student accommodation development in Dublin.