Comyn Kelleher Tobin LLP > Cork, Ireland > Firm Profile

Comyn Kelleher Tobin LLP
2 George's Quay

Ireland > Healthcare and life sciences Tier 2

Comyn Kelleher Tobin LLP is a major player in healthcare litigation, especially clinical and professional negligence, along with product liability cases. The firm has defended the Health Service Executive (HSE) for decades, along with the State Claims Agency since 2004. The firm is also noted for insurance coverage disputes, data protection matters and GDPR claims. Eamon Harrington is head of litigation and has an outstanding reputation in medical negligence. Patrice O’Keeffe, Katharine Kelleher and Hilda O’Keeffe are also key partners, along with Alison Kelleher and Yvonne Joyce.

Practice head(s):

Eamon Harrington

Other key lawyers:

Patrice O’Keeffe; Hilda O’Keeffe; Alison Kelleher; Yvonne Joyce; Katherine Kelleher; Lebeau Jonker; Emily Sexton; Grace Toher


‘The entire team are very experienced. They know how the solicitors and barristers for plaintiffs operate and negotiate and they tailor their approach to get the best results. Eamon Harrington is widely known and respected by his peers and his ability to effectively act as the lead negotiator is very helpful. Patrice O’Keeffe, Hilda O’Keeffe and Yvonne Joyce are all very well known for being pragmatic litigators with the ability to bring reluctant participants to the negotiating table. Grace Toher is at the earlier stage of her career but is extremely diligent, with great attention to detail and is being mentored by Eamon. Overall, they are a super team.’

‘Most of my dealings are with Eamon Harrington, who remains for me the exemplar of a litigation manager. He has the overview on everything, appreciates how things fit together and anticipates things in a way that makes him seem to see around corners. Then, when an issue arises, he drills into the detail and seeks to find solutions, not problems. He encourages cooperation and compromise and reaches out directly and is a brilliant direct communicator. He is trustworthy, very trustworthy, and in litigation that is a big asset for your client because your opponent will obviously be far more willing to engage or to take a risk to find a solution to a problem.’

‘CKT are honest with their clients about the pros and cons of their cases, so the clients can make good decisions. There is sometimes a temptation to tell clients what they want to hear. However, I think that clients appreciate CKT’s clear and pragmatic advice and clients know that CKT will be upfront with them, and they can trust and rely on CKT’s advice. In my experience CKT are never outworked by the other side. CKT investigate every aspect of each case and know that complete preparation is the key to providing sound advice. CKT deal with legal issues sensibly and realistically and in a way that is based on practical rather than theoretical considerations.’

‘The CKT healthcare team are quite simply the best! CKT engage really well with their clients and our insured doctors. They are extremely proactive and responsive, have the required skillset necessary for a highly specialised area of law, are commercially pragmatic and have an excellent understanding of the medico legal challenges of the healthcare industry. CKT’s strength lies in the depth of their resources and breadth of their experience. They stand out from others in how genuine they are and demonstrate a culture of excellence in all they do.’

‘Eamon Harrington leads the healthcare team superbly. Eamon has unrivalled experience and is well liked by everyone he deals with. He has excellent judgment and insights into the medico legal challenges facing patients, doctors and indemnifiers alike. He would be our first choice for complex and large value claims. He is pragmatic and affable. His advice is always clear – he is calm, professional, responsive and client-friendly. Patrice O’Keeffe is incredibly thorough and exceptionally well regarded by clients and peers alike. She provides excellent clear and concise advice with deep knowledge and attention to detail. Yvonne Joyce is a powerhouse with an impressive growing reputation. She is particularly strong on GDPR in the healthcare industry. She is proactive, with a good sense of what needs to be prioritised and is solution driven. You can rely on her as she is knowledgeable and effective. Alison Kelleher is another excellent lawyer from the CKT healthcare team who is known for her considered judgment and wise counsel. Emily Sexton is very responsive and a strong negotiator. She takes a practical but thorough approach to her work and provides excellent pragmatic advice.’

‘Eamon Harrington in particular has an ability to take the most complex medical case and break it down a single sheet presentation without loss of any value. He has top class litigation instincts. The whole team are simply top-class medical litigators handling the most complex litigation.’

‘Eamon Harrington has rare insight and wisdom. It is a fortunate client that finds him as an adviser. Patrice O’Keeffe is intelligent, hard-working and sympathetic. Her preparation is first class. Yvonne Joyce – I have rarely seen a solicitor who puts so much into preparing a case. Every avenue is explored, every issue investigated.’

‘The CKT team is very strong and one of the leading general and clinical litigation firms in the country. CKT always designate a supervising partner to the client’s litigation and the partners have a depth of skills, knowledge and strategic thinking that places them in the leading category of solicitor practices, on the defence side, in the country. CKT are very skilled at alternative dispute resolution strategies and have excellent client-handling communication skills.’

Key clients

State Claims Agency

Health Service Executive (HSE)


Allianz Insurance

Irish Public Bodies Insurance


Tusla – the Child and Family Agency

Work highlights

  • Advised HSE on a number of disability cases over the past number of years, including a recent set of leading cases on the Disability Act 2005 and the Assessment of Needs (AON) process in Ireland.

Ireland > Insurance Tier 3

Comyn Kelleher Tobin LLP has an immense record in defending clients against personal injury and professional negligence claims. This includes public, employers' and occupiers’ liability matters, along with major clinical negligence claims. The firm acts for the Health Service Executive, State Claims Agency and a range of insurers and reinsurers. In Cork, Eamon Harrington is rated for medical negligence and personal injury claims, and managing partner Deborah Moore is another leader in clinical negligence. Daniel McLoughlin and Nicola Kiely are also key partners.

Practice head(s):

Eamon Harrington; Daniel McLoughlin; Deborah Moore

Other key lawyers:

Diarmuid Cunningham; Nicola Kiely


‘This firm is unique in that the partners themselves deal with cases at all levels, from minor to serious cases and this brings a level of experience which ensures results are optimised.’

‘Eamonn Harrington runs a good operation with experienced and professional people positioned in relevant areas.’

‘A notable aspect of this firm is its unwavering attention to detail when following through on its commitments. Clients are guaranteed total commitment to their cause and the provision of speedy, easily digestible, and comprehensive legal advices and strategies.’

‘Ease of communication is a huge plus when dealing with CKT. The client can always feel they have a connection straight through to the partner handling their work, as well as the comfort of knowing that staff within the firm are highly experienced in their relevant fields.’

‘Daniel McLoughlin is one of the most diligent solicitors practising today. He brings a wealth of experience to each case and a level of common sense that is often lacking in other firms. Nicola Kiely, who has become a partner in the last year, has an unrivalled work ethic that results in the best possible outcomes for her clients.’

‘This is a professional and progressive firm of lawyers who always have their client needs at the forefront. They are efficient and tenacious in all that they do.’

‘The team’s strength is second to none and I would like to reference Daniel McLoughlin in particular, who I have worked with for many years, and I would say that he is one of the best defence solicitors that I have worked with over the years – his attention to detail, forensic investigation and overall results are second to none.’

‘All of the associates and partners that I deal with are focused and well-prepared individuals who concentrate on detail and preparation. All paperwork is relevant, detailed and focused. An excellent service is provided to clients.’

Key clients

Health Service Executive

State Claims Agency

Allianz insurance

Munich RE

Lloyds Syndicates

KennCo Underwriting Ltd

Transport Infrastructure Ireland

Cork County Council

Work highlights

  • Negotiated a strong Circuit Court settlement for Lloyds Syndicate, which was later reneged on by the Plaintiff.
  • Successfully defeated a personal injury claim by relying upon SLA between Council and Irish Water and relying upon the immunity provided for pursuant to Section 29(1)(a) of the Water Services Act 2009, obtaining an Order for costs in favour of our client, Irish Water.

Ireland > Employment Tier 5

Comyn Kelleher Tobin LLP's team is particularly active in the healthcare sector, displaying broad expertise in trade union agreements, redundancies, discrimination issues, and unfair dismissal claims. Emily Sexton heads the group, advising on workplace stress claims and employer’s liability claims, in addition to handling liability claims for government bodies and insurers. Litigator Eamon Harrington has vast experience representing employees and employers in termination of employment and disciplinary matters.

Practice head(s):

Emily Sexton

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Health Service Executive

University College Cork

National Ambulance Service

Tusla (Child and Family Agency)

Work highlights

  • Represented Health Service Executive in a constructive dismissal case taken by an Occupational Therapist before the WRC.
  • Represented Health Service Executive in a claim under the Unfair Dismissals Act 1977 by an individual who entered into a contract for services with the HSE.
  • Represented HSE in two separate complaints by a doctor employeed by it pursuant to the employment equality acts.

The firm:  With a team of more than 81 professionals, Comyn Kelleher Tobin LLP (CKT) is ranked in the top 25 law firms in Ireland. Established in 1982, CKT has offices in Cork and Dublin, and is internationally recognised as a full-service law firm handling work of a quality and scale that places it among the leading firms in the insurance market, employment and healthcare sectors. CKT’s dynamic team of lawyers have a strong reputation of providing strategic legal advice and superb service in litigation and dispute resolution, healthcare and medical law, insurance, commercial, employment, residential and commercial property, and child and family law.

Main areas of practice
Dispute resolution – healthcare litigation: CKT has one of Ireland’s largest healthcare teams and an unsurpassed reputation in the provision of top-class legal services to healthcare clients including the HSE and Tusla – The Child and Family Agency, hospitals, doctors, nurses, midwives, allied health professionals, clinics and their indemnifiers. CKT also represents healthcare indemnity organisations, as well as the State Claims Agency. We have a deep understanding of all the legal issues that arise for healthcare clients, as well as a complete knowledge of the real challenges faced by healthcare providers, hospitals, and clinicians. The team actively pursue all avenues of dispute resolution available and advise clients on choosing the method most appropriate to them and the particular matter. Resolving disputes quickly and effectively is central to how we approach any matter. The dispute resolution partners are all CEDR Accredited Mediators.

Insurance/insurance – dispute resolution: CKT provides legal services to insurance and reinsurance companies in the Irish and UK markets. The firm represents leading domestic Irish insurers and intermediaries, for whom the firm undertakes both contentious and non-contentious work. CKT has a proven track record of finding solutions using alternative dispute mechanisms such as mediation, conciliation and arbitration where appropriate. The firm assists and supports clients in the investigation of circumstances which are likely to lead to claims and provide and/or advise on coverage options. The firm ensures no case proceeds to trial or hearing without having first considered alternative methods to resolve even the most contentious of disputes. The firm’s mediators are one of the most sought-after in the country for contentious disputes.

Employment: CKT is a recognised leader in employment law in Ireland. The firm prides itself on the ability to listen and understand its clients’ requirements, and to deliver that service in a timely and cost-effective way. As advisors to state bodies, schools, universities, large corporations and small companies, the firm ensures advice is tailor-made to each individual business’ requirements. While most clients are employers, the firm also represents high-level employees and offers an understanding that allows it to see both sides of every situation. CKT’s employment law team are involved in advising at all stages, from recruitment of employees through to termination. Clients appreciate that the team’s in-depth working knowledge of their business and advice in non-contentious work significantly limits client’s exposure to contentious issues in the workplace. Each member of the employment team is a CEDR Accredited Mediator, and strives to find a practical solution to the most complex of workplace issues. The firm is a regular contributor to Legal Island, a multi-award winning workplace compliance company, frequently providing expert analysis of topical and landmark Judgments.

Child and family law: CKT’s child and family law team, headed by Denise Kirwan, has specialised knowledge in the area of child care and family law. With one of the largest child care legal teams in Ireland, the team comprises of highly experienced solicitor advocates who advise and represent several public bodies on all matters relating to child care, juvenile justice, wardship, mental health issues, capacity and statutory duties and responsibilities. The team advises on regulatory issues, risk management, Codes of Conduct and bring prosecutions on behalf of TUSLA – The Child and Family Agency, and others. The team appears in courts nationwide including District Court, Circuit Court and High Court dealing with complex and sensitive child care cases. The team also delivers extensive client training to TUSLA – The Child and Family Agency and has delivered lectures to the Law Society of Ireland, social workers, Bessborough family support service, Arbour House Addiction Services, HSE and other national counselling services.

Real estate/property: CKT’s property and commercial conveyancing team, headed by Deborah Moore, offers clients the innovation, experience, technical expertise, clarity of advice and commitment to get their deals done efficiently and effectively. The team handle transactions for leading builders, developers, banks, investors, landlords, tenants and businesses. CKT is ideally placed to advise on a range of complex transactions with specialist property capability and excellent skills in finance. The firm advises on development and planning, projects and construction, large loans, mezzanine, loan workouts, distressed debt acquisition (including loan-to-own strategies), investment, corporate occupation, tax, finance, securitisation, structuring and joint ventures, and complex real estate mergers and acquisitions.

Commercial: CKT’s commercial law team works in partnership with business, to ensure the team has a thorough understanding of the client organisation and its objectives. Through this understanding and service promise the team has developed long term working relationships with a broad and diverse client base including the Health Service Executive. The team focus on understanding the importance of cost certainty and providing value. The commercial team combine exceptional transactional skills with specialist expertise including employment and benefits, environmental and intellectual property. This enables the team to handle the numerous issues that can arise in a single corporate transaction.

Department Name Email Telephone
Alternate Dispute Resolution and Commercial Litigation, Defence Litigation, Healthcare and Life Sciences, Insurance Eamon Harrington +353 21 4626900
Alternate Dispute Resolution and Commercial Litigation, Defence Litigation, Healthcare and Life Sciences, Insurance, Banking and Finance, Real Estate Debbie Moore +353 21 4626900
Employment and Pensions, Alternate Dispute Resolution and Commercial Litigation, Data Protection, Maritime, Debt Recovery, Healthcare Diarmuid Cunningham +353 21 4626900
Alternate Dispute Resolution and Commercial Litigation, Healthcare and Life Sciences, Employment and Pensions, Data Protection Patrice O'Keeffe +353 21 4626900
Alternate Dispute Resolution and Commercial Litigation, Healthcare and Life Sciences, Commercial and Corporate, Real Estate Hilda O'Keeffe +353 21 4626900
Real Estate, Private Client, Commercial and Corporate, Banking and Finance Emma Comyn +353 21 4626900
Alternate Dispute Resolution and Commercial Litigation, Defence Litigation, Healthcare and Life Sciences, Data Protection Alison Kelleher +353 21 4626900
Child Protection, Family, Alternate Dispute Resolution, Healthcare Denise Kirwan +353 21 4626900
Child and Adult Protection, Family, Alternate Dispute Resolution, Healthcare Katharine Kelleher +353 21 4626900
Alternate Dispute Resolution and Commercial Litigation, Insurance Daniel McLoughlin +3531 8745929
Commercial Litigation, Child Protection, Family Sinead Fitzgerald +353 21 4626900
Alternate Dispute Resolution and Commercial Litigation, Defence Litigation, Healthcare and Life Sciences, Data Protection Yvonne Joyce +353 21 4626900
Real Estate, Private Client, Commercial and Corporate, Banking and Finance Tom Tobin +353 21 4626900
Real Estate, Private Client, Commercial and Corporate Louise Duggan +353 21 4626900
Child Protection, Family, Alternate Dispute Resolution and Commercial Litigation, Healthcare Michelle Cronin +353 21 4626900
Employment and Pensions, Alternate Dispute Resolution and Commercial Litigation, Data Protection Emily Sexton +353 21 4626900
Alternate Dispute Resolution and Commercial Litigation, Defence Litigation, Insurance. Nicola Kiely +3531 8745929
Insurance, Debt recovery, Alternate Dispute Resolution Barry Kelleher +353 21 4626900
Alternate Dispute Resolution and Commercial Litigation, Defence Litigation, Healthcare and Life Sciences Cliona Kenny +353 21 4626900
Child and Adult Protection, Family, Healthcare Lebeau Jonker +3531 8745929
Child Protection, Family Karen Tobin +353 21 4626900
Real Estate, Banking and Finance Colette Neville +353 21 4626900
Child Protection, Family David Taylor +353 21 4626900
Alternate Dispute Resolution and Commercial Litigation, Defence Litigation, Healthcare and Life Sciences Grace Toher +353 21 4626900
Alternate Dispute Resolution and Commercial Litigation, Defence Litigation, Healthcare and Life Sciences Kevin Healy +353 21 4626900
Alternate Dispute Resolution and Commercial Litigation, Healthcare and Life Sciences Deirdre Ryan +353 21 4626900
Employment and Pensions, Alternate Dispute Resolution and Commercial Litigation, Data Protection Conor White +353 21 4626900
Real Estate, Private Client, Commercial and Corporate, Banking and Finance Kate Russell +353 21 4626900
Commercial Cian Duane +353 21 4626900
Litigation and Healthcare Clíona O'Brien +353 21 4626900
Healthcare, Litigation and Childcare Law James Burke +3531 8745929
Photo Name Position Profile
James Burke photo James Burke Solicitor in the Healthcare, Litigation and Childcare Law departments.
Emma Comyn photo Emma Comyn Partner in the Property and Probate Departments
Michelle Cronin photo Michelle Cronin Solicitor in the Healthcare and Child Law departments
Diarmuid Cunningham photo Diarmuid Cunningham Partner in the Dispute Resolution and Employment Departments.
Cian Duane photo Cian Duane Partner in our Commercial Department.
Louise Duggan photo Louise Duggan Partner in the firms Property and Real Estate Departments.
Chantal Feeney photo Chantal Feeney Solicitor in the Litigation Department
Sinead Fitzgerald photo Sinead Fitzgerald Sinead is a Partner in the firm’s Family and Child Law departments
Eamon Harrington photo Eamon Harrington Partner in Dispute Resolution group with focus on: Healthcare, Professional indemnity, Mediation,…
Kevin Healy photo Kevin Healy Solicitor in the Litigation and Dispute Resolution Department
Lebeau Jonker photo Lebeau Jonker Lebeau is a Partner in Comyn Kelleher Tobin’s Health and Medical Law…
Yvonne Joyce photo Yvonne Joyce Partner in the Healthcare Department
Barry Kelleher photo Barry Kelleher Senior Associate in Healthcare & Litigation Departments
Katharine Kelleher photo Katharine Kelleher Partner in Healthcare, Childcare and Mental Health Departmnents
Alison Kelleher photo Alison Kelleher Partner in Litigation & Dispute Resolution Departments
Cliona Kenny photo Cliona Kenny Solicitor in the Litigation and Healthcare departments
Nicola Kiely photo Nicola Kiely Partner in the Litigation & Alternative Dispute Resolution Departments
Denise Kirwan photo Denise Kirwan Partner-in-Charge – Child Care Department
Daniel McLoughlin photo Daniel McLoughlin Partner in the Litigation & Alternative Dispute Resolution Departments
Amy McNicholas photo Amy McNicholas Solicitor in our Employment Law Department
Deborah Moore photo Deborah Moore Managing Partner Alternative Dispute Resolution, Litigation (Clinical Negligence and Personal Injuries Defence),…
Colette Neville photo Colette Neville Solicitor in our Property Department
Clíona  O'Brien photo Clíona O'Brien Solicitor in our Litigation and Healthcare departments.
Hilda O'Keeffe photo Hilda O'Keeffe Partner in the Healthcare & Litigation Departments
Patrice O'Keeffe photo Patrice O'Keeffe Partner in the Healthcare and Litigation Departments
Kate Russell photo Kate Russell Solicitor
Deirdre Ryan photo Deirdre Ryan Solicitor in our Healthcare Department
Emily Sexton photo Emily Sexton Partner in the firm’s Litigation and Employment Departments
David Taylor photo David Taylor Solicitor in the firm’s Family Law & Child Law Departments
Tom Tobin photo Tom Tobin Consultant in the firm’s Commercial & Property Departments
Karen Tobin photo Karen Tobin Solicitor in our Family Law Departments
Grace Toher photo Grace Toher Solicitor
Conor White photo Conor White Conor is a Senior Associate in CKT’s Employment Law Department.
Number of lawyers : 32
Total employees : 81
Law Society of Ireland
Law Society of Ireland Employment Law Committee
Law Society of England and Wales
Other offices : Dublin