Telecoms in Ireland
Mason Hayes & Curran LLP advises national and international clients on a range of contentious and non-contentious telecoms matters, including regulatory enforcement, compliance with EU and Irish telecoms regulations, joint ventures and the establishment of new operators, and the procurement and rollout of major telecoms projects. The practice is led by Michael Madden, who specialises in telecoms regulation, while Edel Hartog has expertise in the regulatory, commercial and corporate aspects of telecoms projects, including commercial contracts. The team was strengthened by the arrival of senior associate Gráinne Morrissey, who focuses on communications regulation, from Squire Patton Boggs in London.
Commission for Communications Regulation
Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment
- Advising ComReg on the design of its next big multi-band spectrum auction involving the 700 MHz band and other valuable spectrum bands.
- Advising the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment on all aspects of the National Broadband Plan.
- Advising ComReg on a number of ongoing compliance investigations against both telecoms operators and premium rate service providers operating in Ireland.
The 'knowledgeable, responsive and efficient' team at Matheson counts leading companies in the fixed, mobile and broadcasting telecoms markets among its clients. The team advises on corporate transactions in the sector, including mergers and disposals; consumer law issues; large-scale telecoms projects; litigation, including defending clients in regulatory enforcement actions and regulatory investigations; and competition matters such as merger control. The 'practical, hardworking, thoughtful and strategic' Helen Kelly leads the practice and has extensive experience advising on mergers and acquisitions, competition, and EU and Irish telecoms regulation. Kate McKenna is noted for her regulatory expertise.
‘Matheson are very experienced in dealing with the regulator in Ireland and know their way around the applicable legislation. They have a very practical approach, and you always feel that they add value through strategic and tactical advice.‘
‘Helen Kelly is excellent – very practical, hardworking, thoughtful and strategic.‘
‘Associate Simon Shinkwin knows the sector and its legislation very well, and is also a strategic adviser in this area.‘
‘Knowledgeable, responsive and efficient‘
‘Helen Kelly and her team take exceptional care and attention to understand our business.‘
‘Helen Kelly is an incredibly effective communicator, simplifying complex issues for non-lawyers and quickly getting to the heart of any matter. Helen is also a formidable negotiator. You really want her in your corner in a dispute.‘
‘The team are very adaptive and good at anticipating issues ahead of time.‘
‘Helen Kelly has energy in spades and thinks strategically and holistically about a client’s needs. She is ably assisted by Kate McKenna and associates Simon Shinkwin and Ronan Scanlan.‘
Sky UK/Sky plc/Sky Ireland
National Broadband Ireland
Hewlett Packard Enterprise
- Advising Sky Ireland on various matters, including ongoing litigation against ComReg in relation to pricing and access decisions as part of ComReg’s review of the Irish broadband market.
- Advising Three on the impact of the new EU telecoms frameworks.
- Advising Enet on a number of complex competition, state aid and merger control issues regarding its telecoms businesses.
Noted for its 'depth of knowledge and expertise', McCann FitzGerald has a broad client base including fixed line and mobile network operators, as well as innovative over-the-top, internet of things and cloud-based service providers. The team advises on network provision, procurement and rollout; EU and Irish regulatory and licensing requirements; infrastructure agreements; competition and state aid; and corporate transactions such as M&A, joint ventures and private equity investments. It is also active in contentious telecoms matters. Philip Andrews advises on regulatory matters, David Lydon specialises in corporate transactions in the telecoms sector and Rosaleen Byrne has extensive experience in telecoms disputes.
Philip Andrews; David Lydon; Rosaleen Byrne
‘Depth of knowledge and expertise‘
Electricity Supply Board
- Representing ComReg in a Commercial Court statutory appeal brought by Eircom in respect of five decisions by ComReg to refuse universal service funding applications made by Eir for its financial years 2010/11 – 2014/15.
- Advising Vodafone on both contentious and non-contentious matters relating to its rights and obligations under the EU telecoms code and related litigation.
- Advising the Electricity Supply Board (ESB) on its fibre-to-the-home joint venture with Vodafone, Siro, and the implications of the National Broadband Plan for both ESB and Siro.
William Fry has been particularly active in telecoms-related litigation, including regulatory enforcement actions. The team also advises on the interface between telecoms and new technologies, regulatory compliance, and corporate matters, including investments into Irish telecoms companies. Practice head Claire Waterson, who stands out for her 'keen attention to detail', specialises in regulatory and competition matters in the sector, including state aid, merger control and restrictive practices, while 'pragmatic decision maker' Garrett Breen and Laura Scott, who is noted for her 'technical know-how', handle telecoms litigation. Senior associate Sarah Lynam advises on regulatory and competition law issues and enforcement actions.
‘The team’s breadth and depth of technical, practical and litigation experience makes it unique. It has strength in advising both private clients and the Commission for Communications Regulation. It is in the top tier for telecoms advice and litigation.‘
‘Garrett Breen is pragmatic decision-maker and canny litigator who can calm troubled waters.‘
‘Laura Scott stands out for her technical know-how and is an excellent drafter.‘
‘Claire Waterson is clever and shows keen attention to detail – she makes complex ideas appear simple.‘
Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg)
- Advised Digicel on the digitisation of its telecoms network.
- Advising ComReg on the future regulation of the broadband market in Ireland.
- Advised ComReg on a significant enforcement case against the incumbent telecoms operator in the state.
A&L Goodbody has advised on several recent telecoms regulatory cases before the Irish Commercial Court, as well as providing regulatory advice to telecoms providers regarding their operations in Ireland. The team also has experience advising on corporate transactions such as M&A in the telecoms sector, commercial agreements, network sharing and outsourcing. Practice head John Whelan and newly promoted partner Andrea Lawler have expertise in regulatory and contentious matters.
Ezetop Unlimited Company t/a Ding
- Advising eir as notice party to proceedings issued by Sky against ComReg’s decisions on pricing and market renewal.
- Advising eir on its appeal against ComReg’s decision relating to eir’s 2010 -2015 universal service fund application.
- Advised Ding on GDPR compliance.
Arthur Cox recently advised on several significant M&A transactions in the telecoms sector in Ireland, and has expertise in other transactional work, including network sharing arrangements and joint ventures and financing and restructuring deals. The team also advises on major telecoms infrastructure projects; competition matters in the sector, such as merger control and state aid; and compliance issues and appeals against decisions by the regulator. Practice head Patrick Horan advises on competition and regulatory matters, Connor Manning specialises in corporate transactions in the telecoms sector and Aaron Boyle has extensive expertise in infrastructure projects. Florence Loric departed for an in-house role at ComReg.
National Broadband Ireland
Brookfield Asset Management Inc.
- Advised National Broadband Ireland on its winning bid for, and implementation of, the National Broadband Plan.
- Advised Brookfield Asset Management on its acquisition of a majority stake in Imagine Communications Group.
- Advised Granahan McCourt on the two-stage sale of the Enet and Airspeed businesses to the Irish Infrastructure Fund.
Noted for its 'strategic insight and industry knowledge', the team at Eversheds Sutherland acts for domestic and international telecoms operators, regulatory bodies and infrastructure providers. Recent highlights include advising on a major telecoms project, the rollout of telecoms infrastructure and several disputes and regulatory investigations. Practice head Peter Curran specialises in procurement and has experience in regulatory, commercial and contractual matters in the telecoms sector.
‘The team bring strategic insight and industry knowledge and are keen to tailor their services to their client’s needs.‘
‘The individuals are amenable and approachable. They create a good team dynamic with their client and are capable of reacting and adjusting to their client’s needs.‘
Independent News & Media
Competition and Consumer Protection Commission
Persona Digital Telephony
- Advised Enet on the tender process for the National Broadband Plan.
- Advised ComReg on two separate investigations of undertakings providing services in the retail sector.
- Advised PiPiper Infrastructure on a major project to establish a national fibre infrastructure ring connecting many of Ireland’s major cities.