Public sector in Ireland

A&L Goodbody LLP

A&L Goodbody LLP is highly active in the development of public infrastructure, providing advice to public sector bodies on procurement, planning and the drafting of construction contracts. The team has broad expertise in this area, acting on energy, transport, education and utilites projects, including PPP developments. In addition to representing public sector clients, the team advises lenders and contractors on these projects. Beyond infrastructure, the team is engaged by the State Claims Agency to defend healthcare clients against clinical negligence claims. Procurement specialist Anna-Marie Curran and construction partner Kevin Feeney jointly lead the team.

Practice head(s):

Anna-Marie Curran; Kevin Feeney

Testimonials

‘By a country mile, the number-one team to go to for procurement law advice in the public sector. While other firms know the law, this team’s practical and common-sense approach is valuable in running tenders and dealing with procurement law issues in the public sector.’

‘Anna-Marie Curran is extraordinary! She is the master of procurement law in Ireland. I wouldn’t use anyone else. She has an extensive knowledge of the law and can easily refer to case law at the drop of a hat. She is a rock of common sense and can tell you things about your business that even you don’t know. She gives very practical and strategic advice. I would be lost without her.’

Key clients

Department of Finance

Department of Public Expenditure and Reform

Department of Defence

National Assets Management Agency (NAMA)

National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA)

Housing Agency

Cluid Housing

Coillte

TG4

Tallaght University Hospital

The Heritage Council

Belfast Harbour Commissioners

Office of Public Works

Ervia (formerly Bord Gais Eireann)

Irish Water

Gas Networks Ireland

Irish Rail

Electricity Supply Board

Bord na Móna

University College Dublin

University College Cork

National University of Ireland

Special liquidators to the IBRC

Irish Airlines Pensions Limited

State Claims Agency

Irish Aviation Authority

St. James Hospital

Coombe Hospital

CIE

National University of Ireland Maynooth

The Pensions Authority

Irish Central Statistics Office

Technological University Dublin

Bus Eireann

Transport Infrastructure Ireland

Local authorities including Cavan County Council, Cork County Council, Cork City Council, Galway County Council, Kerry County Council, Kildare County Council, Leitrim County Council, Limerick City and County Council, Louth County Council, Mayo County Council, Monaghan County Council, Roscommon County Council, Sligo County Council and Wicklow County Council

Smart Dublin

AIB

Bank of Ireland

Ptsb

Athlone Institute of Technology

Trinity College Dublin

Work highlights

  • Advising Transport Infrastructure Ireland on all consenting and environmental law, procurement law and contract law issues associated with the Dublin MetroLink project.
  • Advising ESB on all aspects of its proposed joint venture with Coillte (the Irish forestry commission) in relation to the development of a wind farm project.
  • Advising Irish Water on the Greater Dublin Drainage project, which comprises a new waste water treatment plant, pumping station, orbital sewer, outfall tunnel and regional biosolids storage facility.

Arthur Cox

Arthur Cox’s broad public sector practice covers the full range of matters in this space, both contentious and non-contentious. The team particularly stands out for its advice on the establishment of state-sponsored bodies, with Maura McLaughlin leading on this work; her recent activity in this space has included advising on the establishment of organisations in response to the pandemic, as well as providing ongoing advice to these bodies. The practice also assists a number of regulatory bodies with their operations, including representing these clients in judicial review proceedings. Practice head Joanelle O’Cleirigh specialises in contentious matters, such as investigations and judicial reviews; elsewhere, Alex McLean and Aaron Boyle advise on the procurement of infrastructure projects, with McLean focused on the energy sector. Senior associate Kate O’Donohoe advises regulators on corporate governance as well as disciplinary proceedings.

Practice head(s):

Joanelle O’Cleirigh

Other key lawyers:

Maura McLaughlin; Alex McLean; Aaron Boyle; Niamh McGovern; Kate O’Donohoe

Testimonials

‘The team is extremely knowledgeable and experienced and very available to clients.’

‘Great client service, expertise and experience. Make you feel confident and secure in their advice.’

‘The Arthur Cox team was very, very professional and competent in bringing the case forward.’

‘Joanelle O’Cleirigh demonstrated huge commitment and determination in progressing the case. It was a case that required not just a high level of legal skills, but also considerable time commitments over a period of time. This was always forthcoming, and huge credit must go to Joanelle for the positive outcome in this case that benefitted not just the client directly concerned, but others as well.’

‘Good knowledge of the public sector.’

‘The team’s strength lies in the broad spectrum of expertise available from those at the top of their field. This is turns facilitates their key capability of drawing from a pool of exceptional lawyers across various practice areas. Vast experience with public sector clients, particularly at the start-up phase. The public procurement law practice is exceptional.’

‘Aaron Boyle is the milkman: he always delivers. Very solution-focused and commercially aware. Very responsive and clear in his advice.’

Key clients

Minister for Finance

Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage

National Treasury Management Agency

EirGrid

ESB

Coillte

daa Plc

Bord na Móna

Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland

Land Development Agency

Child & Family Agency (Tusla)

Irish Blood Transfusion Service

Cork County Council

Bord Iascaigh Mhara

Central Bank of Ireland

Ervia

Office of Public Works

Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland

Mental Health Commission

Dental Council

Home Building Finance Ireland

Trinity College Dublin

Irish Rail

An Post

Work highlights

  • Advising the Pandemic Stabilisation and Recovery Fund, providing legal advice on the structuring and documentation of its investments.
  • Providing full legal management services to Tusla and assisting with managing the services of operational law firms nationally, in addition to representing the client before the Tribunal of Inquiry into Protected Disclosures made under the Protected Disclosures Act 2014.
  • Advised the Department of Finance and the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage on the establishment of the Land Development Agency and its proposed statutory framework.

ByrneWallace LLP

The public sector practice at ByrneWallace LLP is notable for its breadth, providing comprehensive advice to public bodies on their operations. Practice head Michelle Ní Longáin specialises in employment law, and is particularly active in advising public sector clients on protected disclosure law. The team also represents clients in litigation, including judicial review proceedings, with Jon Legorburu a key figure in contentious work. Health and social care is a particular sector of focus for the practice; Sinéad Kearney and Olive Doyle specialise in this area. Litigator Sean O’Donnell handles regulatory enforcement proceedings and is also engaged by clients to advice on the response to cyberattacks.

Practice head(s):

Michelle Ní Longáin

Other key lawyers:

Jon Legorburu; Sinéad Kearney; Olive Doyle; Sean O’Donnell; Mark O’Shaughnessy; Valerie Hourigan; Martin Cooney; Fergal Ruane

Testimonials

‘This practice has a thorough knowledge of local authority legal practice. This firm has provided excellent advice on procurement and contract law. There is a speedy turnaround on complex legal queries.’

‘ByrneWallace has exceptional knowledge and experience in advising the public sector. It seems like every problematic legal circumstance that we have encountered since engaging BW was a circumstance they had previously encountered with another public body and so they were able to draw on their experience in solving our predicament.’

‘I would highly recommend Martin Cooney. He immediately understands and appreciates the tight line public bodies have to tread in their legal affairs. Martin will present a number of potential courses of action to remedy a legal problem, which allows clients to explore more than one possible scenario. However, in doing so, Martin will never equivocate when advising his client on the optimal legal solution as he sees it, which greatly eases the burden on the client. On more than one occasion, Martin has provided novel solutions to legal problems where others had failed. He is also extremely cordial and personable and excellent at building and maintaining relationships over an extended period.’

‘Seán O’Donnell is a safe pair of hands on all matters. Fergal Ruane is a go-to person for procurement.’

‘Overall ByrneWallace provide an excellent service across many diverse areas. Together with responsiveness, this is their main strength. The different teams collaborate seamlessly and provide well-rounded, actionable advice.’

‘The team  were very accessible and had an excellent work ethic.’

‘The team are very experienced in various areas of public sector law, and knowledgeable and detailed in their advice.’

‘Good-quality team, available and experienced. Provide practical solutions to legal matters.’

Key clients

Association of Secondary Teachers of Ireland (ASTI)

Broadcasting Authority of Ireland

Bord na Mona

Cavan County Council

CIE

Competition & Consumer Protection Commission

Courts Service

Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications

Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport

Digital Hub Development Agency

Dublin & Dun Laoghaire Education and Training Board

Dublin City Council

Education and Training Boards Ireland

Ervia

European Parliament

Health Products Regulatory Authority

Horse Racing Ireland

Inland Fisheries Ireland

InterTrade Ireland

Kerry County Council

Kildare County Council

Kilkenny County Council

Land Development Agency

Local Government Operational Procurement Centre (LGOPC)

Medical Council

National Library of Ireland

North Dublin Citizens Information Service

Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions

Office of Government Procurement

Rotunda Hospital (Operational)

Sea Fisheries Protection Authority

South Dublin County Council

South Munster Citizens Information Service

Teagasc

The Marine Institute

Trinity College Dublin

Udaras Na Gaeltachta

Western Development Commission

Work highlights

  • Advised senior management across the Irish Civil Service on remote working and drafted guidance and policy documentation in the context of the Irish Government’s post-pandemic remote working strategy.
  • Advised multiple state agencies and government departments on a number of high-profile protected disclosures.

Mason Hayes & Curran LLP

Mason Hayes & Curran LLP has a broad practice in the public law space, advising public bodies on their statutory remit as well as providing assistance on matters such as procurement. The team has a particular focus on the healthcare sector and has been active in advising clients on Covid-related matters, including the implementation of emergency regulations. In addition, the practice represents public sector clients in contentious matters such as judicial reviews, and acts for regulators in professional disciplinary hearings. Catherine Allen now leads the team, taking over from Edward Gleeson. Niall Michel advises regulators on their duties and represents them in challenges to their decisions; Lisa Joyce also acts for regulators, as well as assisting public bodies with compliance with regulations. Senior associate Laura Rattigan represents clients in judicial reviews, investigations and fitness to practise proceedings.

Practice head(s):

Catherine Allen

Other key lawyers:

Edward Gleeson; Niall Michel; Lisa Joyce; Laura Rattigan; Finnian O’Neill

Testimonials

‘I would like to highlight Lisa Joyce. Lisa is highly experienced and knowledgeable about the law, and has an exceptional ability to quickly grasp our requirements and communicate related complex legislation in the most simple form for our work teams, and thereafter find and provide real, pragmatic solutions as part of her legal advice. She is excellent at leading and co-ordinating the discussion to find the best solution, even when our team is made up of more than one internal working team. Lisa is a real specialist in finding pragmatic solutions for the client that are innovative and forward looking, as part of sound and sensible legal advice. She is also very practical in her approach when dealing with any of our requirements, with a real capacity to adapt if different situations arise, and I have found her personable and very easy to deal with. Lisa is our go-to person on any complex legal matters that require sensible legal advice.’

‘What makes Mason Hayes and Curran unique is that they partner with our business in providing advice and opinion. They always take the time to understand our issue or problem and how it relates to and cross-cuts our business; this add significant value to the services they provide to us. The responsiveness from MHC is first class; I often need to call on MHC during unsocial hours and the call is always answered and prioritised. I would describe MHC as my most important advisers and it’s of huge help to me to know I have the team at MHC in my corner.’

‘The individual team members I have dealt with have always been extremely pleasant to work with, demonstrating high levels of skill and expertise and also providing practical solutions to complex legal issues. Catherine Allen is, in my view, outstanding and I would also particularly like to mention Finnian O’Neill.’

‘MHC build up a very personal relationship with their clients. They are always efficient and have quick delivery, but their approach is always very collaborative and they listen to our concerns or opinions before giving advice.’

‘I’m struck by the integrity of the team members, their interest in progressing their client’s goals and how they apply their learnings from other cases to their work with us.’

‘I am impressed that the team members challenge our thinking rather than simply obliging our requests. There is a strong sense that we are working together in partnership to progress our goals rather than with an agency that is simply trying to monopolise and monetise their work with us. Catherine Allen is committed to progressing the goals of my organisation and she is readily available when needed. She provides prudent guidance and advice and I enjoy our partnership as we work together.’

‘Lisa Joyce has a deep understanding of the law and has taken the time to develop a deep understanding of our business; this provides us with the very best advice that is tailored specifically to our business. Lisa is a highly trusted adviser and is hugely professional; she goes the extra mile in providing the highest levels of service. I always feel Lisa’s primary interest is service provision and fees are a secondary concern. Lisa regularly looks to offer us more with talks and updates on emerging issues. As our lead partner, Lisa ensures that we receive full-service support to the highest level across MHC.’

‘The team have an excellent knowledge of legislation in the public sector and the background to it. They are able to understand very clearly what is being asked of them. They are very timely in the provision of their advice, which is always concise and to the point and which will always highlight issues for further consideration. They always demonstrate good insight and understanding of the market dynamics of the industry in which we operate.’

Key clients

Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland

Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland

Arthropharm (Europe) Limited

Health Insurance Authority

Health and Safety Authority

Environmental Protection Agency

EirGrid

Commission for Communications Regulation

Commission for the Regulation of Utilities

Commission for Aviation Regulation

Regulator of the National Lottery

Child and Family Agency

Housing Agency Ireland

Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal

Tearfund Ireland Limited

Department of Communications Climate Action and Environment

National Museum of Ireland

Electricity Supply Board

Medical Council

Veterinary Council of Ireland

Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal

Childrens Health Ireland

Coillte

Judicial Council

National Asset Management Agency

Work highlights

  • Advised the Health and Safety Authority extensively over the past 12 months on various emergency powers granted to it and other organisations to deal with the Covid-19 global pandemic.
  • Acting as standing counsel for ComReg in a number of areas of telecoms law, including radio spectrum management, consumer protection and product safety, and advising on the design and implementation of its next multi-band mobile spectrum auction.
  • Advising EirGrid on the proposed 700MW subsea electricity interconnector of approximately 500km in length linking the power markets in Ireland and France.

Matheson LLP

Matheson LLP is highly active in the public sector, advising a range of public sector bodies on both contentious and non-contentious matters. The practice is particularly focused on the energy sector, where Garret Farrelly advises public sector clients on the procurement of energy projects. Elsewhere, Helen Kelly and Kate McKenna advise on compliance with competition and state aid laws, while Nicola Dunleavy SC defends clients in judicial review proceedings. Michael Byrne handles litigation and also advises clients on their powers and the impact of new legislation on their operations. Senior associate Aoiffe Moran is another name to note, advising on investigations, statutory interpretation and freedom of information law.

Practice head(s):

Michael Byrne; Nicola Dunleavy SC; Garret Farrelly; Helen Kelly

Other key lawyers:

Kate McKenna; Aoiffe Moran

Key clients

Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment

Allied Irish Banks, p.l.c.

Drogheda Port Company

Laois County Council

Enterprise Ireland

Bord Na Móna

Central Applications Office

Work highlights

  • Advised Bord Na Móna on all legal aspects of its proposed development of a 75MW wind farm in Co Offaly.
  • Advised the Central Applications Office in relation to multiple complaints received from Leaving Certificate students regarding admissions to university undergraduate courses following the changes in the 2020 Leaving Certificate as a result of Covid-19.
  • Advised the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications on the fundamental design and implementation of the first renewable electricity support scheme, including the drafting of the governing terms and conditions.

McCann FitzGerald LLP

McCann FitzGerald LLP leverages its expertise across a range of areas of law to provide a comprehensive service to public sector clients. The team is highly active in advising on the procurement of services and projects, ensuring that clients comply with competition and state aid regulations. The practice is also frequently engaged by regulators to advise on investigations and enforcement, as well as judicial review proceedings. Eamonn O’Hanrahan is a key name in the public transport space, particularly in project finance and development. Michelle Doyle is also engaged in projects-related work, with a specialism in assisting clients with avoiding judicial reviews of their decisions, while Rosaleen Byrne and Catherine Derrig focus on contentious matters. Consultant Seán Barton advises a number of public bodies on their functions and the exercise of their powers.

Practice head(s):

Eamonn O’Hanrahan

Other key lawyers:

Michelle Doyle; Seán Barton; Rosaleen Byrne; Catherine Derrig; Brendan Slattery; Orlaith Sheehy

Testimonials

‘Excellent advice – very strategic, timely and well informed.’

‘Rosaleen Byrne has significant experience. She is strategic and effective. Catherine Derrig is a trusted and sought-after adviser for our non-legal in-house colleagues.’

‘Excellent, thorough understanding of public sector organisations. Practical and comprehensive advice taking into account the wider concerns of the organisation.’

‘Eamonn O’Hanrahan provides excellent advice, seeing around corners for potential future problems.’

‘I would consider the team to have a particularly diverse skillset and given the broad and varied advice we require, they are a perfect fit to help us as an organisation to deliver key strategic projects. Specific to the public procurement sector, innovations such as a monthly newsletter updating us on relevant recent case law has proved particularly beneficial and allowed us to seek further specific advice in relevant areas.’

‘They have provided essential and highly valuable advice on some particularly complex and high-value public transport infrastructure projects. Such advice has proved to be a very worthwhile investment.’

‘Excellent understanding of the role of public services client and how that might impact on litigation strategy when compared to representing a private business.’

‘Catherine Derrig is a very astute tactician. She is practical, but always very strong in standing up for her client.’

Key clients

An Post

Bord na Móna plc

Central Bank of Ireland

Charities Regulator

CIE/Irish Rail

Coillte Teoranta (the Forestry Board)

Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg)

Commission for the Regulation of Utilities (CRU)

Courts Service

Dublin Airport Authority

Electricity Supply Board

Ervia

Government Departments, including Department of Finance and Department of Justice and Equality

Home Building Finance Ireland (HBFI)

Housing Finance Agency (HFA)

Housing Infrastructure Services Company (HisCo)

Institute of Bankers

Institute of Directors

Insolvency Service of Ireland

Irish Takeover Panel

Local authorities, including Galway County Council, Kildare County Council, Laois County Council, Dublin City Council and others

Maynooth University

National Accreditation Board

National Asset Management Agency

National Development Finance Agency

National Transport Authority

National Treasury Management Agency

Office of Public Works

Road Safety Authority

Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority

Shannon Airport Authority

State Claims Agency

Transport Infrastructure Ireland

Trinity College Dublin

United States Government

University College Dublin

Voluntary Health Insurance Board (Vhi)

Work highlights

  • Serving as ongoing adviser to Transport Infrastructure Ireland, providing advice on procurement, regulatory matters and contracts.
  • Providing ongoing advice to the Courts Service of Ireland, in particular providing a full drafting service for the committees responsible for establishing and modernising rules of procedure for the conduct of civil and criminal proceedings in all of the Irish courts.
  • Acting as legal adviser to the Sea Fisheries Protection Authority in respect of the Sea Fisheries Control Regulation and a large number of complaints and proceedings raised by members of the industry in relation to the execution of the SFPA’s control functions.

Beauchamps LLP

The varied public law practice at Beauchamps LLP advises on transactions, employment issues, data protection compliance and procurement. The team is active in the high-profile area of social housing, acting for local authorities, approved housing bodies and Home Building Finance Ireland; it also advises clients in the education, healthcare and arts sectors. Imelda Reynolds leads the team; Reynolds has practised in this area for more than 30 years and has deep relationships with a number of public sector clients. Stephen McLoughlin moved to Addleshaw Goddard

Practice head(s):

Imelda Reynolds

Testimonials

‘The team are keenly aware of the issues and needs of public sector clients, so their advice reflects this by being solution focused and effective.’

‘Imelda Reynolds is very approachable and responsive, and advises across a broad range of legal areas in an effective manner.’

‘The ease of access to partners is a key strength of this practice.’

‘A combination of sound legal and practical advice. Imelda Reynolds is a standout partner.’

‘Beauchamps have taken the time to learn and understand what we do and the framework within which we do it. They anticipate issues that may arise and provide practical solutions. Their advice is quick, pragmatic and solution focused.’

Key clients

Law Society of Ireland

Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland

Health Information and Quality Authority

House Building Finance Ireland (HBFI)

Tusla

Dublin Port company

IDA

Arts Council

Ordnance Survey Ireland

Daa plc

Cluid

Respond

The Housing Agency

Housing Alliance

Cricket Ireland

Dublin City Council

South Dublin County Council

Fingal County Council

Kildare County Council

Donegal County Council

Enterprise Ireland

Pobal

Central Statistics Office

ComReg

NAMA

National Disability Authority

SOLAS

Bord na Mona

Technological University Dublin (TU Dublin)

Broadcasting Authority of Ireland

Education & Training Boards Ireland

Work highlights

  • Advised Home Building Finance Ireland on the provision of senior development facilities to Greenacres 3 Limited Partnership in connection with the development of a site in Dublin and the construction of over 250 apartments.
  • Acted on behalf of the Chief Inspector of Social Services in an emergency application under the Health Act 2007 to cancel the registration of a nursing home provider.
  • Advised Respond on the development and delivery of several turn-key housing developments.

DAC Beachcroft Dublin

The public sector team at DAC Beachcroft Dublin is frequently instructed by regulators and professional representative bodies, particularly in the healthcare sector. The team represents clients in professional disciplinary proceedings, and also provides advice on the exercise of powers and the development of procedures and internal structures. The practice also acts for regulators in the sports sector, advising them on matters such as anti-doping policies. Gary Rice leads the team and has more than 30 years’ experience in this space; he is supported by consultant Aideen Ryan and legal director Aidan Healy.

Practice head(s):

Gary Rice

Other key lawyers:

Aideen Ryan; Aidan Healy

Key clients

Medical Council

Law Society of Ireland – Independent Adjudicator of the Law Society

Veterinary Council of Ireland

Competition and Consumer Protection Commission

Sport Ireland

Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board (formerly the Turf Club)

Allied Irish Bank

Housing and Sustainable Communities Agency

State Claims Agency

RTÉ

Broadcasting Authority of Ireland

Irish Pharmacy Union

Irish Dental Union

Federation of Ophthalmic and Dispensing Opticians

Curragh Racecourse Limited

Fórsa (formerly Impact)

Horse Sport Ireland

Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI)

Work highlights

  • Providing specialist legal advice and expert representation to the Medical Council across all of its key functions and operations, including fitness to practise Inquiries, emergency suspension applications, litigation, strategic advice and projects.
  • Defended Horse Sport Ireland in a challenge to the selection decisions for one of the teams being sent to compete in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
  • Advising the Veterinary Council of Ireland on particular, specialist issues relating to is functions, powers and operations.

Eversheds Sutherland

Eversheds Sutherland’s wide-ranging public law practice provides advice to regulators and public sector bodies on the exercise of their powers, as well as representing them in statutory appeals and judicial reviews. The team is highly active in the PPP space, advising public bodies on the development of education and housing projects, with Peter Curran leading on this work as well as other non-contentious public law matters. Pamela O’Neill serves as head of dispute resolution and leads on contentious cases as well as advising on statutory powers and functions. Aisling Gannon specialises in healthcare-related public law.

Practice head(s):

Pamela O’Neill; Peter Curran

Other key lawyers:

Aisling Gannon; Eoin Mac Aodha; Ciara Geraghty

Testimonials

‘Approachable, straightforward, practical, reliable and wise. Continuity is also good. We have gotten to know the individuals and they have retained involvement in our service.’

‘The team at Eversheds are very responsive to the needs of the client and apply the necessary resources to give their client a distinct advantage in litigation, as reflected by a high success rate.’

‘The team members wear their extensive knowledge lightly and convey advice on difficult matters in a manner that brings clients along.’

‘Eversheds Sutherland have an extremely strong public sector team in Ireland. The team draws on a wealth of experience, having represented a range of public bodies for many years. The team’s legal knowledge is second to none and their commitment to achieving the optimal outcome for their clients is 100%.’

‘Eoin MacAodha goes above and beyond for his clients and is superb. Pamela O’Neill is an extremely experienced litigator who combines legal knowledge with practical common sense and is strongly recommended. Ciara Geraghty is exceptionally talented.’

‘The team at Eversheds Sutherland understands how the public sector works, which is essential for advising a public body. They provide clear and concise advice and always respond promptly, even at short notice.’

‘Pamela O’Neill and Ciara Geraghty are very professional, approachable and engaging. I have confidence in their problem-solving ability and trust their advice.’

‘The public sector team understand the political and public accountability of every decision relating to our work. They understood the multi-faceted issues in our case. They were also cost conscious and kept me informed of the budget.’

‘Eversheds care about their clients and the result. I did not feel part of the sausage machine. I felt they protected me and wanted the best result for my organisation.’

Key clients

Residential Tenancies Board

EirGrid

National Development Finance Agency

National Asset Management Agency

Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg)

Dublin Port Company

Irish Water

Gas Networks Ireland

Health Service Executive

Trinity College Dublin

RTÉ

National Paediatric Hospital Development Board

CIE (Irish Rail)

Various Education and Training Boards

Insolvency Service of Ireland

National Standards Authority of Ireland

Department of Housing, Community and Local Government

Education Research Council

Department of Communications

Solas

National Treasury Management Agency

Dublin Airport Authority

Derry & Strabane District Council

Coillte (Irish Forestry Service)

Work highlights

  • Advising the Residential Tenancies Board on regulatory matters, enforcement, legislative amendments, general litigation, corporate governance, statutory appeal and judicial review proceedings, public procurement and real estate matters.
  • Acting as lead legal adviser on the joint procurement by EirGrid and its French counterpart, Réseau de Transport d’Électricité, of a 600km electricity interconnector between Ireland and France.
  • Advising the National Development Finance Agency on various major PPP projects in the education and social housing sectors.

Fieldfisher

Fieldfisher is frequently instructed by public bodies in professional discipline cases, representing these clients in fitness to practise proceedings as well as judicial reviews of these decisions. The team also advises clients on the implementation of legislation and the drafting of statutory instruments and regulations. Healthcare, education and professional services are all areas in which the practice is active. JP McDowell leads the team and is deeply experienced in representing clients in regulatory hearings as well as High Court and Supreme Court proceedings. Other key partners in the sizeable team include Zoe Richardson, Barry Fagan, Sinéad Taaffe and Eimear Burke.

Practice head(s):

JP McDowell

Other key lawyers:

Eimear Burke; Zoe Richardson; Sinéad Taaffe; Barry Fagan

Testimonials

‘The firm has an in-depth knowledge of the work that we do, including the specific cases that we are dealing with at any given time. This in-depth knowledge coupled with the team’s broader knowledge of the regulatory landscape gives us confidence that the advice we are receiving is tailored to the work we do and also takes account of broader regulatory developments. The team are friendly, engaged and very easy to deal with. There is excellent partner engagement and we feel we can openly give any feedback.’

‘Barry Fagan has become a trusted adviser to the team. His collaborative work with our team and our stakeholders mean that Barry is fully appraised of the challenges that we face and tailors his advice accordingly. As well as providing solid legal advice, he has assisted us in delivering bespoke training and developing internal materials and know-how which are tailored to take account of challenges we have encountered as well as any legal developments. He has contributed to keeping our processes and procedures accessible, up-to-date and streamlined. He is unflappable, knowledgeable and very easy to deal with.’

‘Eimear Burke is one of the most experienced lawyers in healthcare regulation in Ireland. She is very professional and knowledgable and I value her advice.

‘The team engage in knowledge transfer and share learnings with their clients, something which is particularly useful for regulator clients who wish to keep abreast of sectoral developments. The team communicate well internally, and are able to draw on each other’s experience to offer a broad service to clients.’

‘Zoe Richardson is responsive, pragmatic and a considered thinker. Eimear Burke is highly experienced, well respected and a good technical lawyer.’

‘What stands out is the ability to go to one contact point who is very well versed in our sector and organisation, who will then brief an appropriate specialist if they are not dealing with the matter personally. We essentially have the backing and support of an entire legal team with specialists in every area relevant to our operations.’

‘JP McDowell and Zoe Richardson have repeatedly demonstrated an intimate and detailed understanding of our organisation and the arena in which we operate.’

‘Fieldfisher possess extensive regulatory knowledge and practice through representing and advising regulatory bodies. This direct experience has ensured we are well advised on legal matters arising from other sectors and how the courts have interpreted legal statutory provisions. Fieldfisher have provided us with experienced lawyers who engage professionally and effectively and go the extra mile to ensure we are well briefed and advised on matters of concern, while always advising on a course of action to ensure our best interests and outcomes are achieved. They have provided first-class services through prompt engagement, including extensively outside of office hours where legal cases were ongoing and advice was required. Fieldfisher’s use of modern technology has enabled strong continuity prior to and during the pandemic, ensuring seamless engagement and delivery of services.’

Key clients

Teaching Council

Property Services Regulatory Authority

Medical Council of Ireland

Central Bank of Ireland

Office of the Planning Regulator

Teaching Regulation Agency (UK)

CORU

Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI)

Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland

Mental Health Commission

Judicial Council

Register of Irish Sign Language Interpreters (RISLI)

Bar Council of Ireland

Charities Regulator

Dental Council

Engineers Ireland

Financial Services & Pensions Ombudsman

Law Society of Ireland

Mental Health (Criminal Law) Review Board

Osteopathic Council of Ireland

Psychological Society of Ireland

Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland

Veterinary Council

ComReg

Irish Aviation Authority

Work highlights

  • Acted on behalf of the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland in the context of an application to the High Court for an order pursuant to section 45 of the Pharmacy Act 2007 to temporarily suspend the registration of a pharmacist who was the subject of a complaint.
  • Advised the CEO of the Medical Council in relation to the preparation and presentation of an inquiry before the Fitness to Practise Committee that proceeded in public.
  • Advised the Teaching Council on drafting registration regulations in the form of a statutory instrument (S.I. No 269 of 2020) to increase teacher supply during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Hayes Solicitors LLP

At Hayes Solicitors LLP, the public law team is instructed to represent a broad range of public sector bodies in litigation. The practice has a specialism in healthcare; it is currently engaged by the Department of Health in several high-profile lawsuits relating to the H1N1 and HPV vaccines and thalidomide, and also acts in the defence of medical negligence claims. The team is jointly led by Joe O’MalleyMary Hough, Jackie Buckley and Breda O’Malley. Hough specialises in healthcare-related claims, while Buckley advises public sector bodies on property transactions. Joe O’Malley also serves as head of the firm’s commercial litigation department.

Practice head(s):

Joe O’Malley; Mary Hough; Jackie Buckley; Breda O’Malley

Testimonials

‘Very client focused, responsive and knowledgeable.’

‘Jackie Buckley is very experienced and commercially aware. Very knowledgeable and responsive.’

‘Hayes Solicitors offer a highly skilled and expert team who can advise on a wide range of matters in the public sector area.’

‘Hayes have a team of outstanding solicitors who are experts in their field. They are personable and approachable while also being efficient and professional at all times.’

‘The team are incredibly organised and have a unique system of communication between team members.’

‘Attention to detail and organisation.’

Key clients

State Claims Agency

Royal Institute of Architects in Ireland (RIAI)

Work highlights

  • Acting for the Department of Health and other defendants in the defence of a series of proceedings relating to the H1N1 swine flu and HPV vaccines and thalidomide exposure.

William Fry

William Fry is highly active in advising on the development of public infrastructure, acting for government departments, state-owned and semi-state companies, and local councils. The team has a broad practice in this space, handling financing, procurement and construction documents. Elsewhere, practice head Claire Waterson is well regarded for her work advising Irish government bodies on regulatory matters, with a particular focus on EU state aid regulations. Jarleth Heneghan leads on projects-related matters, with consultant Cassandra Byrne also praised by clients for her work in this space.

Practice head(s):

Claire Waterson

Other key lawyers:

Jarleth Heneghan; Garrett Breen; Alicia Compton; Laura Scott

Testimonials

‘The team’s expert knowledge of public sector construction with respect to contracts and by association their strategic approach in the context of challenging scenarios has provided us with an excellent specialist service. The ability to get to the heart of an issue quickly, fully understand it and set out a clear pathway to an effective outcome is also a key strength.’

‘Jarlath Heneghan always provides a clear pathway to overcome significant issues and does so with notable effectiveness. This is a combination of unique ability, experience and highly focused determination to achieve the optimal outcome for his clients as part of a high-quality service. Cassandra Byrne is highly responsive to clients’ needs; her contractual knowledge and ability has given us as the client great confidence in her approach, which has ultimately delivered the results and outcomes that we sought. We can recommend both Jarlath and Cassandra without reservation.’

‘The strength of the team lies in their comprehensive subject matter knowledge and their ability to apply this to our organisation’s requirements in a highly effective and timely manner.’

‘Claire Waterson provides timely, thought-through, consistently relevant and smart advice on all areas under her remit.’

Key clients

European Investment Bank

Department of Finance

Central Bank of Ireland

ComReg

Eirgrid plc

National Asset Management Agency (NAMA)

National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA)

Revenue Commissioners

State Claims Agency

Irish Stock Exchange

National Dairy Council

SOLAS

UCD

Horse Racing Ireland

DCU

DIT

ESB

Bord Gáis

Eirgrid

The Special Liquidators of Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (formerly Anglo Irish Bank)

Bord Iascaigh Mhara

Dublin City Council

Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council

South Dublin County Council

Laois County Council

Offaly Council

Westmeath County Council

Louth County Council

Fingal County Council

The Pensions Authority

The Arts Council

DECC

Enterprise Ireland

Dublin Airport Authority plc (daa plc)

British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)

Work highlights

  • Advising the Department of Finance on a range of high-profile matters of national and international importance, including the state aid and EU law aspects of the recovery of alleged state aid from Apple and the sale of the department’s remaining shareholdings in the Irish banking sector.
  • Acting as principal legal adviser to Solas, the state further education and training authority, following a competitive tendering process.
  • Advising the Department of Environment, Climate and Communications on the rollout of the National Broadband Plan.

Addleshaw Goddard

Addleshaw Goddard entered the market in 2022 following its merger with Eugene F. Collins. The group is engaged on a range of matters across the public law space. The team is highly active in the social housing sector, where Margaret Austin counts a number of approved housing bodies among her clients. It also advises several regulators on carrying out their duties and represents clients in judicial review proceedings. Ronan O’Neill leads the team, with Maura Connolly another name to note in this area. Stephen McLoughlin joined from Beauchamps LLP.

Practice head(s):

Ronan O’Neill

Other key lawyers:

Margaret Austin; Maura Connolly; David Hackett; Deborah Kelly

Testimonials

‘The team are strongly public sector-focused and understand the diverse needs of their public sector clients while providing effective, solution-focused advice. A very knowledgeable team.’

‘They provide urgent advice when needed that is very specific to us. Very responsive to client needs and willing to put the time in when needed. Excellent, knowledgeable and approachable.’

‘Our case was a very labour intensive and highly specialised piece of work and the team guided us through this with the utmost professionalism. Their work and good guidance was excellent and I would have no hesitation in working with them again.’

‘Deborah Kelly could not have been more helpful. We had complete trust in her advice at all stages and we felt she represented us extremely well. At times she was needed to bring back discussions to a common-sense approach and did so very well.’

Key clients

IDA

Health Products Regulatory Authority

Allied Irish Banks

Bank of Ireland

Fold Housing Association Ireland Limited, CLG

Túath Housing Association

Sophia Housing Association

National Asset Management Agency

Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland

Work highlights

  • Advised the Health Products Regulatory Authority on proceedings relating to the development of narcolepsy in individuals allegedly as a result of the administration of a vaccine provided at the time of the swine flu epidemic in Ireland in 2009/2010.
  • Advised Fold Housing Association on the development and acquisition of a block of 22 residential apartment units at The Mews, Citywest, Dublin, which was financed by European Investment Bank funds.
  • Advised Gael Linn, a non-profit organisation which promotes the Irish language and the arts, on a number of intellectual property matters, including ownership of its catalogue of musical works and sound recordings and related licensing arrangements.

Holmes O'Malley Sexton

Holmes O’Malley Sexton acts for public bodies in judicial review proceedings and prosecutions, including handling matters related to procurement. The team also assists these clients in ensuring that they comply with data protection regulations. The Limerick-based team is led by Harry Fehily, Pat McInerney and Donal Creaton. Fehily is a highly experienced litigator, while McInerney leads on much of the team’s procurement-related work.

Practice head(s):

Harry Fehily; Pat McInerney; Donal Creaton

Testimonials

‘Pat McInerney responds expeditiously to my communications and provides sound advice and excellent representation.’

‘I work closely with one individual but am aware of the various expertise that other members of the team possess and have been passed seamlessly from one expert to another as and when required. All offer an excellent service level.’

‘The standout partner from my perspective is Pat McInerney. He is extremely well informed of the law and uses it to support practical and common-sense solutions. He is extremely innovative and I have complete faith in any advice he might provide.’

Key clients

University of Limerick

Private Security Authority

Greyhound Racing Ireland

Revenue Commissioners

Galway Mayo Institute of Technology

Legal Aid Board

Coillte

Limerick 2030 DAC

Tax Appeal Commission

Commission for Railway Regulation

National Gallery of Ireland

Sligo Institute of Technology

Technological University of Dublin

Educational Research Centre

Work highlights

  • Assisted the Private Security Authority in securing a conviction against a security company which had provided unlicensed security services during a controversial eviction in Roscommon in December 2017.
  • Acting for BioAtlantis Aquamarine in the defence of both judicial review and related injunctive proceedings instituted by an environmental activist, relating to the client’s proposed commencement of kelp harvesting in Bantry Bay, Co Cork.
  • Acted for a state institution in a landmark Commercial Court procurement matter.

RDJ LLP

The public sector team at RDJ LLP is particularly focused on advising local authorities and universities on project development, assisting clients with financing, land acquisition, procurement, contract drafting and disputes with contractors. The practice also frequently acts for the State Claims Agency, and is especially involved in medical negligence claims. Imelda Tierney leads on much of this work, while Finola McCarthy is an expert in public procurement and construction. Diarmaid Gavin has close relationships with several leading Irish universities and regularly provides advice on research collaboration agreements.

Practice head(s):

Finola McCarthy; Gillian Keating; Padraic Brennan

Other key lawyers:

Imelda Tierney; Diarmaid Gavin

Testimonials

‘Knowledgeable in the area of academic-industry collaboration.’

‘Diarmaid Gavin is knowledgeable and approachable. Provides realistic advice grounded in solid experience.’

‘RDJ are an excellent firm in the public sector area. They have a longstanding, in-depth knowledge of the sector, having attained extensive experience over many years. They take a practical, solution-focused and client-focused approach to supporting us with our legal issues.’

‘Capacity to simplify complex legal issues and clearly set out options for consideration. Highly experienced in procurement, tendering and contract documents. Abilty to identify solution to various issues as identified.’

‘Prompt responses and availability.’

‘They are a very strong outfit and provide a very good all-round service at reasonable rates.’

‘Finola McCarthy is a very experienced construction lawyer who will get the best results for her clients. Diarmuid Gavin is a leading practitioner in his area who will give you well-informed, objective advice.’

Key clients

Cork City Council

Cork County Council

Kerry County Council

Westmeath County Council

Donegal County Council

Waterford County Council

Dublin Airport Authority (daa)

State Claims Agency

Teagasc – Agricultural and Food Development Authority

Irish Cattle Breeding Federation

Knowledge Transfer Ireland

National Cancer Registry Ireland

Charities Regulatory Authority

Work highlights

  • Advising 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.
  • Advised University College Dublin on all aspects of its €350m financing with the European Investment Bank, including the negotiation of bespoke security arrangements.