Firm Profile > Fieldfisher > Dublin, Ireland


Planning and environment Tier 2

Following the merger of the two firms in November 2018, Barry Doyle & Co Solicitors’ former managing partner Alan Doyle leads the department at McDowell Purcell, which provides practical and strategic advice on the full gambit of planning and environmental law. The team is particularly adept at defending public bodies in judicial review proceedings concerning planning decisions, development plans and emissions licences. Maeve Larkin is the other name to note.

Employment Tier 3

McDowell Purcell’s ‘well-organised’ team is ‘very efficient and most importantly responsive’. The ‘easy to communicate withBarry Walsh is valued for his ‘subject knowledge’, and his recent caseload included TUPE work and acting for Maynooth University on a number of non-contentious and contentious employment law matters such as recruitment and promotion claims. Julie Austin is also a key contact.

Energy and natural resources Tier 3

McDowell Purcell’s focus lies on the renewable sector, particularly wind energy, where the team acts for developers, financiers and operators of wind farms. Department head Feilim O’Caoimh has been highly active on the project financing side of a number of wind farm and single wind turbine projects. In one work highlight, O’Caoimh advised a developer on the project finance and construction of a 20.3MW wind farm.

Insolvency and corporate restructuring Tier 3

McDowell Purcell’s caseload included contentious receiverships, examinerships and liquidations. The team is also acting for the Official Assignee in Bankruptcy in a bankruptcy estate case with cross-border elements. ‘Experienced’ and ‘widely respected’ practice head Mark Woodcock is an ‘excellent negotiator’ with ‘strong interpersonal skills’.

Insurance Tier 3

McDowell Purcell provides ‘very commercially focused insurance defence work’ across the board, covering professional negligence, public liability, employer’s liability, D&O insurance and personal injury claims. ‘Standout’ practice head Killian O’Reilly and associate Mark Kelly are ‘excellent’; they are ‘knowledgeable and competent and their advice is very clear and helpful’.

Public sector Tier 3

McDowell Purcell is 'unique in the level of experience it has in the area of professional regulation'; the team's expertise covers the health and social care, education, charities and professional services sectors. Managing partner and department head JP McDowell acted for the Law Society of Ireland in a case involving a claims harvesting website; Eimear Burke represented a regulatory body in a high-profile fitness to practise inquiry; and the 'calm and measured' Barry Fagan acted for the Teaching Council in relation to the first-ever fitness to teach inquiry. Sinéad Taaffe is noted for her 'commercially focused and clear advice'. The team has recently expanded its client base to include the Charities Regulator.

Real estate Tier 3

The ‘experienced’ team at McDowell Purcell is able to work ‘effectively and efficiently to tight timelines’ for a variety of clients, including banks, funds, developers and investors. Apart from providing advice on residential, mixed-use and commercial developments, the team around ‘pragmatic’ and ‘knowledgeable’ name partner Breen Purcell and Thomas O’Malley has been very active in the social housing sector, acting for local authorities and housing bodies.

Banking and finance Tier 4

McDowell Purcell is noted for its 'knowledge, attention to key issues and prompt responses'. The team is active in real estate and development finance, project finance, and corporate lending, and has particular expertise in the renewable energy sector. Recent highlights include Feilim O’Caoimh acting for Galetech Group on the €36m project financing of a wind farm in Co Cavan. Breen Purcell and Thomas O’Malley are also recommended.

Commercial, corporate and M&A Tier 4

McDowell Purcell's practice specialises in the food and drink, retail, energy and real estate sectors, among others. The team advised Galetech Energy Developments on a wind farm project in Carrickallen, Co Cavan, and a food company on shareholders' agreements and management incentive schemes. Feilim O’Caoimh leads the team.

Dispute resolution Tier 4

Killian O’Reilly heads the team at McDowell Purcell, which is particularly active in financial services and insolvency litigation, as well as acting for several clients in relation to highly sensitive cyber breaches. Susie Higgins and Mark Woodcock are the other key team members.

Department Name Email Telephone
Banking and finance Breen Purcell
Banking and finance Thomas O'Malley
Corporate and commercial Feilim O'Caoimh
Data protection and freedom of information Julie Austin
Dispute resolution and litigation Killian O'Reilly
Dispute resolution and litigation Susie Higgins
Employment Barry Walsh
Insolvency and restructuring Mark Woodcock
Planning and environmental Thomas O'Malley
Private client Breen Purcell
Public and regulatory JP McDowell
Public and regulatory Eimear Burke
Public and regulatory Barry Fagan
Public and regulatory Sinead Taaffe
Real estate Thomas O'Malley
Real estate Breen Purcell
Renewable energy Feilim O'Caoimh
Renewable energy Thomas O'Malley
Employment Julie Austin
Number of lawyers : 50

McDowell Purcell’s Corporate Social Responsibility Programme: McDowell Purcell is committed to creating an environment in which our staff can achieve their full potential. Our people are our most important asset and the firm recognises that in order for us to succeed we need to both attract and retain talented people who enjoy their work and wholeheartedly adopt our friendly, professional, results-driven culture. The firm has adopted a number of initiatives within the workplace in relation to our employees:

  • Staff Development and Training: We provide internal and external training and learning support to each individual.
  • Staff involvement at all levels: Staff are involved in the improvement of services within the firm whether it be through, for example, the development of our IT services or the expansion of our knowledge base.
  • An open plan layout: Everyone sits in open plan, including the Partners. This provides an inclusive environment and encourages open communication throughout the firm.

Diversity and inclusion are a critical component of our larger corporate responsibility strategy. McDowell Purcell is committed to creating an inclusive workplace where everyone can succeed in achieving his or her personal and professional goals. We believe the varied backgrounds and the combined talent of each of our employees fully enriches our business. We recruit and reward all our staff, both legal and administrative, based on capability and performance, regardless of age, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, religion, or physical ability.

Pro Bono: We consider our pro bono activities to be a key part of our professional responsibility.
McDowell Purcell works in partnership with the Public Interest Law Alliance (PILA), a professional referral scheme, which matches our legal skills to specific legal assistance requirements from non-governmental organisations, law centres and community organisations.

A number of our trainee solicitors also participate in Street Law, an initiative run by the Law Society of Ireland, designed to teach students from disadvantaged schools about law in a practical way, while developing the skills of our trainee solicitors.

The firm has also recently provided pro bono advice to the Bar Council Scheme and Value Added in Africa.
Our Solicitors also participate in the Free Legal Advice Centres (FLAC), an independent human rights organisation dedicated to the realisation of equal access to justice for all.

Fundraising: McDowell Purcell is committed to making a positive contribution to the Dublin Community. Our employees are making a difference by volunteering and supporting a large number of charities throughout the year, and some of our most recent fundraising activities include:

  • Focus Ireland: Our staff took part in a series of fundraising activities in September 2017 raising €7,500 of vital funds for Focus Ireland.
  • The Calcutta Run: Through our ongoing sponsorship and participation in the event on an annual basis, vital funds have been raised for the Peter McVerry Trust, the Hope Foundation and Goal.

Annually the Firm undertakes a number of fundraising coffee mornings, bake sales and collections on behalf of the Cancer Society, St. Vincent de Paul and Ba