Firm Profile > Byrne Wallace > Dublin, Ireland

Byrne Wallace
88 Harcourt Street
Saint Kevin's
DO2 DK18

Employment Tier 1

Byrne Wallace's employment team advises employers, employees, trade unions, and the Irish state on a range of employment law issues, both contentious and non-contentious. Recent work includes advising the Irish state on employment issues as well as representing clients before the High Court. The practice is headed by the 'outstanding' Michael Kennedy, and also includes Emmet Whelan, the 'technically razor sharp' Loughlin Deegan,  and Deirdre Lynch, whose 'follow up is second to none and the quality of her advice and legal copy is excellent'. Michelle Ní Longáin is valued by clients for her 'wealth of experience, her patience and her attention to detail'.


‘I think what is unique is the way in which Byrne Wallace communicate. The team want to address your employment issues but from a human perspective. Immediately you are put at ease and you feel quickly like you have an expert adviser as part of your team. BW have helped us navigate some very tricky employment cases and gave us the confidence we needed to get through. Unlike other firms there is no jargon, no hiding behind legalese which makes the advice harder to follow. Just straightforward, quality advice.’

‘Their work is consistently to the very highest standard. The firm has a strong customer service ethic. They are very aware of the particular commercial context in which our business operates and they provide strong value for money relative to their peers. From a technical perspective, they are unrivalled.’

‘I work closely with Michelle Ni Longain and her wealth of experience, her patience and her attention to detail are all stand out qualities.’

‘Michael Kennedy is outstanding. He speaks with absolute authority and you immediately trust his view. He is methodical and forensic in his approach but his real value is telling you how it is.’

‘We have partnered with Loughlin Deegan, who is technically razor sharp, for many years. He is a stand out legal professional with an exceptional ability to grasp our business needs and tailor employment law solutions in an efficient manner.’

‘Michael Kennedy strives to get our company the best deal possible every time. He goes the extra mile and is easy to talk to, he adapts extremely well to adversity.’

‘ByrneWallace’s employment practice has long been recognized as market leading. The team we deal with offers us a unique combination of features: long-standing experience, a deep knowledge of employment law and practice, a pragmatic approach to problem solving and an appreciation of the challenges in the HR/IR aspect of our business.’

‘Straight speaking and direct, the team can balance legal advice with commercial realities which is not easy. Each of the team members has their own style but clearly they are bound by the same positive culture of customer service, responsiveness and high levels of expertise. Michael Kennedy is outstanding. He speaks with absolute authority and you immediately trust his view. He is methodical and forensic in his approach but his real value is telling you how it is – “This is the issue, these are your options”. But he coaches you through it helping you come to the conclusions. This is unique. Deirdre Lynch has been our primary contact throughout. She is so easy to engage with, feels immediately like part of the team and has worked incredibly hard for us over the last year on both Irish and cross-jurisdictional issues where she worked as a coordinator and manager for a redundancy issues. Deirdre’s follow up is second to none and the quality of her advice and legal copy is excellent. I wouldn’t hesitate to call Deirdre if a serious employment issue came up- I know the company would be in safe hands’

Key clients

Department of Public Expenditure and Reform


The Irish Times

Nissan Ireland


Association of Secondary Teachers in Ireland

Central Bank of Ireland

Irish Prison Service

Healthcare and life sciences Tier 1

Byrne Wallace counts domestic and international biotechnology, pharmaceutical and medical device companies among its clients, as well as an increasing number of companies in the foreign direct investment space. The practice handles M&A and corporate financing deals, IPOs, and licensing and commercial agreements. Healthcare law is also a key area of expertise: the team advises on corporate finance and governance, litigation, and inquiries and investigations. Colin Sainsbury, who has 'fantastic experience' in the life sciences sector, leads the practice jointly with Sinéad Kearney; the 'impressiveOlive Doyle specialises in mental health law and healthcare litigation; the newly promoted Catherine Dowling has expertise in corporate transactions and clinical trial agreements; and senior associate Laura Greene is particularly experienced in advising international clients on Irish regulatory matters.


The Byrne Wallace team have a deep understanding of the legal context, legislation and precedents.

They have a meticulous attention to detail and a depth of wisdom in advice.

The team are highly skilled, knowledgeable and experienced in the healthcare and life sciences area. Their immediate grasp of the issues and challenges are invaluable, save time and effort and give me confidence in their advice and guidance.

Colin Sainsbury is without compare when it comes to knowledge and skill set in the life science arena.

A very specialised service with an experienced team of lawyers.

A problem-solving approach is followed and is always reflected in the advice provided.

Sinéad Kearney is particularly impressive.

Byrne Wallace is to be extremely helpful. The quality and speed of advice has been impressive.

Senior associate Laura Greene is extremely helpful and timely in her response.

The team have many decades of experience in the area of healthcare law at a regional and national level. They offer sound legal advice across a broad range of areas.

The solicitors at Byrne Wallace act as part of a cohesive team under the experienced guidance of Olive Doyle and Sinéad Kearney. They handle the pressure of work extremely well.

Olive Doyle has an ability to see the wider picture and to avoid unnecessary side issues when time is limited.

The integration of transactional, corporate, and tax advice has been instrumental in driving the highest performance for our company.

Colin Sainsbury has been invaluable in providing corporate guidance as well as transactional advice given his broad experience in the life sciences field.

Great quality work done by a team that is easy and pleasant to work with

Colin Sainsbury is a particularly noteworthy attorney. He very responsive and ensures that the work provided is in line with our requests and needs.

Very strong real-world experience in pharmaceuticals

Colin Sainsbury has fantastic experience.

All members of the team are high-calibre professionals – clearly very intelligent, well versed in their practice area, communicative, engaged with client needs, and affable.

The team at Byrne Wallace has a huge breadth of experience and expertise, with a detailed knowledge of both the legal and administrative rules and practical aspects of this area of practice.

Sinéad Kearney combines a huge breadth of experience and legal knowledge with an extremely practical and personal approach.

Olive Doyle and Patrick McClean have a very impressive insight into health care, mental health and wardship matters.

High level of expertise in healthcare law, and particularly within the specialist areas of law relating to capacity and the interface between physical and mental health.

Olive Doyle is a particularly impressive individual, demonstrating a broad range of exceptional skills.

Key clients

Tusla – The Child and Family Agency

Nua Healthcare

Brindley Healthcare

Nuvo Pharmaceuticals Inc

Inflazome Limited

Healthbeacon Limited

Phibro Animal Health Corporation

Neuromod Devices Limited

Artugen Therapeutics Limited

Q3 Medical Devices Limited

Latch Medical Limited

Pensions and employee benefits Tier 1

Byrne Wallace hired Liam Connellan as its practice head from William Fry in September 2018.  Connellan is 'hugely experienced, knowledgeable and approachable'. Recent work for the team includes advising on the administration and winding-up of pension plans.The team acts in conjunction with the firm's corporate, employment, and tax practices, and has 'excellent knowledge of all aspects of pensions law'. Corporate lawyer Neil Keenan also advises on pension and employee benefit matters; he advises Mainstream Renewable Power on its employee and executive share option plan.


‘The key differentiator is their experience – in virtually every technical issue I have presented to them, they have been able to guide me based on actual experiences with other clients. In a pensions world where discretionary rules prevail, this is hugely valuable.’

‘Liam Connellan is a hugely experienced, knowledgeable and approachable resource. It is his appetite to challenge the norm and adopt creative solutions to complex issues that we value most.’

‘The pensions team at ByrneWallace has excellent knowledge of all aspects of pensions law and advise on same with a consistently clear and concise approach. The personnel are very accessible ensuring matters are dealt with efficiently. They regularly assist us with complex matters across all types of pension schemes (defined benefit, defined contribution and small self-administered schemes) bringing in members of the wider ByrneWallace team as appropriate. This collaborative approach allows the client to feel confident that all relevant matters have been covered off.’

‘Liam Connellan’s knowledge of pension legislation and associated matters is exemplary. His ability to discuss this legislation in a manner that allows the non-pensions expert to understand such a complex area is refreshing. He is very responsive and provides practical advice at all times.’

Key clients

FCR Media

Mainstream Renewable Power

Public sector Tier 1

Byrne Wallace's 'completely knowledgeable' team acts for public bodies across a range of areas, including healthcare, education, tourism, transport, energy and the justice system. The team has extensive experience in public inquiries and investigations; public procurement; construction projects, particularly for social housing; and litigation and regulatory hearings. The team also provides advice on data protection and employment issues. Michelle Ní Longáin has particular expertise in public sector employment matters, including protected disclosures; Jon Legorburu has been active in large-scale investigations in the healthcare, insurance and financial services sectors; and Sinéad Kearney specialises in social care, including child protection cases.


The team stand out for their overall knowledge pool and expertise. The team are very strong on following the brief and keeping the client informed.

They are attentive and responsive, and not caught up in jargon.

The team are interested in understanding what is important to us as an organisation and the values and decision-making considerations we have. They provide advice tailored to us.

The team act immediately when we raise any issues and ensure that any solution they put in place works for us as a client.

The team are experts in their field, understand our sector and can provide us with insight and knowledge based on a breath of experience. They provide us with information that is very accessible at all levels in our organisation, and they demonstrate a strong appreciation for the work we do and are supportive in assisting us to execute our role.

The team in Byrne Wallace are responsive and approachable. They demonstrate expertise in a wide variety of related areas and inspire confidence in their ability to deliver.

Response times are excellent. It is a pleasure working with Byrne Wallace.

Strong communication, client-centred, strong teamwork

They are good at listening, with key analytical skills that are helpful in solving problems.

Seamless service, whether dealing with partners or junior associates.

Completely knowledgeable and demonstrate a complete understanding of the highly complex legal environment in which the client operates.

Key clients

Trinity College Dublin

University of Limerick


Department of Public Expenditure and Reform

Department of Communications, Climate Action and Reform

Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection

Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport


Irish Prison Service

Courts Service

Central Bank of Ireland

Beaumont Hospital



Irish Auditing and Accounting Supervisory Authority

Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government

Dublin Airport Authority

An Post


Technological University Dublin

Dublin City Council

Failte Ireland

Galway County Council

Irish Blood Transfusion Service Board

Kildare County Council

Longford County Council

National Library of Ireland

NUI Galway


Rotunda Hospital

Local Government Management Agency


National Council for Curriculum and Assessment

Office of the Revenue Commissioners


Teaching Council

Tourism Ireland

Westmeath County Council

Waterways Ireland

Coras Iompair Eireann

Environmental Protection Agency

Mental Health Commission

Commission for Regulation of Utilities (COU)

Real estate Tier 1

Considered by one client to be 'firmly established among the top real estate legal advisers in Dublin', Byrne Wallace has one of the largest property groups in Ireland. The team is particularly active in the private residential sector and has handled a number of headline matters. The practice is led by the 'diligent, attentive and committed' Michael Walsh. Other key names include and transactions and leasing expert Alison O’Sullivan and Michelle McVeigh, who acts on acquisitions, disposals and leasing matters.


Excellent turn around times without compromising quality of work.

The Byrne Wallace team show a diligence to getting work completed well and always provide insightful advice.

Key determination to get the job done and ensure the client’s needs are met.

We consider them to be firmly established among the top real estate legal advisors in Dublin.

‘Very responsive and commercial in their approach.’

Alison O’Sullivan and Martin Cooney in particular deserve mention here. Both are approachable and available solution oriented subject matter experts who provide commercially minded advice.

Michael Walsh, Michelle McVeigh and Bryan O’Gorman for being able to guide the client through some very detailed and complex deals. They drew on their experience to provide excellent legal advice with an understanding of the commercial needs for the deal to succeed.

Michael Walsh is diligent, attentive and committed.

Alison O’Sullivan has been a pleasure to deal with. She is very strong on all real estate matters and very reliable.

Key clients

Lidl Ireland

PATRIZIA Immoblien

Union Investments

Jaguar Land Rover

Glenveagh Properties Plc

Dwyer Nolan

Exeter Properties

LRC Group

GL Ireland ICAV (Avenue Capital)

Kennedy Wilson

Circle Housing VHA

Tuath Housing

Oaklee Housing

Castlethorn Construction

Chartered Land

Allied Irish Banks plc

European Parliament


Quanta Capital




Brindley Healthcare



Teagasc (the Agriculture and Food Development Authority)

Irish Water

Dubray Books


Banking and finance Tier 2

'Responsive and solution-focused', the team at Byrne Wallace has a particular specialism in property and development finance, including advising approved housing bodies on the acquisition and financing of social housing projects. The practice also advises on securitisation, financing by alternative lenders such as investment funds, loan portfolio sales and debt restructuring. It is particularly active in the healthcare, life sciences, technology and renewable energy sectors. Practice head Mark Kavanagh focuses on acting for alternative lenders; Eileen Prendergast specialises in finance in the renewable energy sector; and Deirdre McBennett has extensive experience in  social housing finance.


The firm stands out for the strength and depth of knowledge within the team alongside always having senior resources available where required. Strengths include consistency of timely and accurate responses.

Deirdre McBennett is very commercial and technically very strong.

Very responsive and solution focused, willing to work quickly and to clearly define what the client needs to be successful in the transaction, fought hard for what we wanted.

Very experienced and knowledgeable with an array of expertise behind them to supplement their experience, if needed.

A very hands-on personal approach and solution driven

Eileen Prendergast is very client focused and delivers clear solutions at all times.

Key clients

Allied Irish Banks

LRC Real Estate

Exeter Property Group

Garrison Earlsfort Capital

Oaklee Housing

Pepper Finance Corporation t/a Pepper Asset Servicing

Circle Voluntary Housing Association

MML Growth Capital Partners Ireland

Nuvo Pharmaceuticals

ING Bank

Clúid Housing Association

Cullaun Capital


Chartered Land

Zeno Capital

Commercial, corporate and M&A Tier 2

Byrne Wallace's 'approachable and responsive' team stands out for its strength in the life sciences and healthcare, energy and technology sectors. The team is highly active in private equity investments and venture capital deals, and also advises on M&A, corporate reorganisations, shareholder and joint venture agreements, and corporate governance. In addition to its strong domestic client base, which includes a number of public sector bodies, the team acts for a growing number of international companies. Neil Keenan, who is described as 'an excellent lawyer all round', leads the practice. The 'extremely experienced' Gerry Beausang specialises in the energy sector, and Colin Sainsbury in life sciences. Sharon McCaffrey departed for DAC Beachcroft Dublin.


A great one-stop shop.

Colin Sainsbury did an excellent job managing the project.

Knowledge of business and legal frameworks, approachability, responsiveness.

Depth of bench and significant investment in systems and documents means the quality of the product is consistently excellent.

Gerry Beausang is extremely experienced, easy to deal with and takes a very pragmatic approach to deals. He does not engage in point scoring which can often get in the way of getting the job done and is a very straight shooter. You know where you stand at all times and there are no surprises.

Neil Keenan is an excellent lawyer all round, with little ego and a very calm approach to work. He has vast and deep experience across a number of sectors. This makes him a “go-to guy” in my book.

The firm is not so big that they don’t take it personally, but big enough to have the resources to deal with time-critical, multidisciplinary engagements.

Gerry Beausang is very experienced and provides plenty of direct partner involvement.

The team at Byrne Wallace have a complete offering and so can offer a wide range of support and advice.

Neil Keenan has always been very supportive of our business needs and I couldn’t recommend him enough.

They provide very clear and concise advice in an efficient manner without any fuss.

Gerry Beausang is a trusted adviser to my company. He has a great knowledge of all matters he has worked on for us and can be relied on for clear, concise and timeous advice.

Key clients

Iberdrola (ScottishPower)

Nuvo Pharmaceuticals (Ireland) DAC

Phibro Animal Health Corporation

Aminex Plc

Mainstream Renewable Power

Amryt Pharmaceuticals Plc

Q3 Medical Devices

Brindley Healthcare

Fexco ULC

Staycity Limited

HealthBeacon Limited

Ocuco Limited

Inflazome Limited

UBiqube (Ireland) Limited

Jensen Hughes

Fastway Couriers

Travel Department

Irish Multiplex Cinemas

Callan Bacon Company

SIAC Construction Limited

Construction Tier 2

Byrne Wallace has particular expertise in the private rented and public sectors, including acting for a number of local authorities, but also handles matters in the retail, real estate, pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors. The team has experience in advising on government and public contracts, development finance and construction contracts, while the arrival of Fergal Ruane, who heads the projects and infrastructure team, from an in-house role has bolstered the practice's procurement expertise. The team also handles contentious matters, particularly adjudications. Martin Cooney, whose knowledge of construction disputes is 'second to none', heads the practice.


‘Byrne Wallace adopt a commercially common-sense approach to all matters. Their approach considers all legal issues and positions through careful analysis and detailed understanding of construction disputes.’ 

‘There are a large number of law firms practising construction law in Ireland, however, Byrne Wallace is one of a handful that actually does have the in-house expertise to provide a service of the highest standard in the construction industry.’

‘Martin Cooney and his team keep their focus entirely on the potential commercial outcome and tailor their services to suit. Martin’s knowledge of construction disputes and the appropriate tactics to pursue whether in adjudication, arbitration or litigation is second to none in the Irish market.’

‘Martin Cooney and senior associate Deirdre Hennessy are excellent and provide thorough explanations. They made themselves available as and when required and were a constant source of support when responses were required on pending issues.’

Key clients


Park Developments


Dublin City Council

Lidl Ireland GmbH

Phibro Animal Health Care

Mazars Receivers/NAMA

Chartered Land

Red Rock Gloucester Street Limited

Construgomes & Carlos Gomes SA

South Dublin County Council

Terra Solar II Limited

Beneavin Contractors Limited

Tower Financial Holdings

Mercury Engineering

Citywest Homes Development Limited

Bartra Property (NH) Limited

Cullaun Capital Limited

SIAC Roofing and Cladding Limited

Local Government Operational Procurement Centre

Park Developments (Dublin) Limited

Fingal County Council

Viscount Securities

Creagh Medical

Dispute resolution Tier 2

Byrne Wallace is particularly strong in public sector litigation and acts for a number of public and semi-state bodies. The team is also highly active in regulatory investigations, with a particular focus on the healthcare, education, financial services and insurance sectors. Jon Legorburu specialises in large-scale regulatory investigations and has a niche expertise in acting for credit unions. Olive Doyle focuses on healthcare litigation, Mona Costelloe on contentious property matters and Seán O’Donnell on data protection. The team's partnership ranks were bolstered by the promotion of property and planning litigation expert Helen Gibbons and the arrival of Mark O’Shaughnessy, who leads the firm's reputation management offering, from A&L Goodbody.


Pragmatic and client-focused approach.

Work ethic and attention to detail.

They have a wide range of expertise and experience. Always available and a pleasure to work with.

Key clients

Association of Secondary Teachers in Ireland (ASTI)

Bray Capital Limited & Stanton Fisher Limited

Courts Service of Ireland

Curve Devco Limited

Rentokil Initial PLC

Marsh Finance

Ballymore Group and Ballymore Residential Limited

Energy and natural resources Tier 2

Byrne Wallace has 'very good industry knowledge' and 'strong corporate expertise'. The group receives a steady stream of referrals relating to solar and wind farm projects, handling transactions, project finance and developments. The practice often cooperates with the corporate team on energy M&A projects, including recent advice to BHSL on its acquisition of a majority shareholding in a waste processing company. The practice is led by the commercial and resourceful' Gavin Blake, who specialises in wind energy; he acted for Iberdrola on its entry into the domestic energy market and ING Bank in its finance of Corvin Wind Farm. Fergal Ruane heads the projects and infrastructure group and Neil Keenan is also noted.


‘Strong industry knowledge and contacts, good availability of partners, commercial. Gavin Blake has a good knowledge of industry and experience of issues. He is commercial and resourceful when navigating the same. He is always available if i need to discuss something.’

‘Very good legal advice with excellent business perspective. Very good at understanding key commercial elements. Neil Keenan is an excellent practical solicitor who brings an excellent business perspective to issues.’

‘Very good industry knowledge and experience underpinned with strong corporate expertise. Very commercial and practical. Gavin Blake – very responsive and good industry knowledge. Neil Keenan – very strong corporate expertise.’

‘The team comprehensively provides the full spectrum of legal requirements required for the renewable energy sector. Extremely easy to deal with. Provides sound advice in layman’s terms.’

‘Good practice for contract law and energy in Ireland. Gavin Blake is an excellent lawyer with a great understanding of commercial issues in the energy space.’

‘In-depth knowledge of the subject matter with a can-do attitude to take projects forward to a satisfactory conclusion.’

‘ByrneWallace is a genuine alternative to the traditional Irish energy powerhouses, with some canny hires including Gavin Blake to head up the energy practice and blue-chip clients including Mainstream Renewable Energy. The renewable energy sector lends itself well to nimbler firms with more flexible pricing models for smaller, distributed generation projects, and the renewable energy revolution has shaken up the old guard of energy lawyers. ByrneWallace look well-placed to benefit from that in the Irish market. Gavin Blake is a recognised renewables specialist, with a depth of local knowledge and insight. He is both shrewd and user-friendly and can be relied on for a clear, commercial view. Neil Keenan is a corporate energy heavyweight with some rock-solid institutional relationships with key energy players.’

‘Very strong team with excellent depth and expertise in the areas we have required. A flexible approach has also been appreciated. In our experience, all members of the team have delivered as promised. Specifically, we have been very happy with how Gavin Blake has managed a complex and protracted process on our behalf. He has driven the process on when required and shown patience at other times. At all times we have felt very well represented.’

Key clients

Mainstream Renewable Power

ING Bank


Low Carbon

Wexford Solar


BHSL Hydro

Island Renewables



Petroneft Resources

PrePay Power

BNRG Renewables

Terra Solar

Obton A/S

CES Energy Holdings

Windmark Developments

Carbon Sole


Insolvency and corporate restructuring Tier 2

In addition to continuing to work on distressed loans from the last recession, Byrne Wallace handles a number of other restructurings and liquidations. In one highlight, the firm advised liquidator Martin Ferris on a cross-border liquidation, where the firm brought a s. 608 fraudulent disposition claim against pension assets for the first time. Practice head John Fitzgerald is 'a practical lawyer', who is valued by clients for his 'responsiveness and commercial approach'. Sean Neville was recently promoted to senior associate, and is 'approachable, very responsive, pro-active and proves extremely easy to work with'.


‘Excellent team who are equally impressive on their responsiveness and pro-active work. Particular credit to Sean Neville who has provided excellent advice, options and resolutions.’

‘I deal a lot with the Insolvency property team (both in terms of conveyance & litigation) and find them to be very responsive and commercial based.’

‘There is a clear understanding about the different approaches needed to different files, e.g. tackling liquidations differently from the outset on the basis of whether they are likely to be solvent or insolvent liquidation. They can not only handle the process of examinership receivership etc, but engage meaningfully early on to advise in advance as to the pros and cons of different routes open to the client. Their understanding of cross-border issues gives added depth where needed. From a barrister’s point of view, briefs are comprehensive and instructions exceptionally clear. If I ever need anything to advise more fully, e.g. a folio or CRO report, it will be provided promptly. These seem like small things but they make all the difference in supporting me to carry out my role in the process. It is all too common to find with other firms that papers are incomplete and requests for additional documents are left for days or weeks, causing the file to “drift” into a slow lane. By contrast with ByrneWallace they utilise their resources to make sure we can all get on with our work as efficiently as possible.’

‘ByrneWallace solicitors are very available. Calls are returned promptly. Often, a 10 minute conference call may be used to sort out issues efficiently rather than writing lengthy emails back and forth. I would particularly mention Sean Neville as a rising star on the front line of insolvency and related litigation as well as John Fitzgerald, whose depth of knowledge combined with common sense make him someone you want in your corner.’

‘Sean Neville is exceptional in negotiating contentious cases to a satisfactory conclusion. Sean is approachable, very responsive, pro-active and proves extremely easy to work with, providing a confidence in protecting our position.’

‘John Fitzgerald’s responsiveness and commercial approach to complex issues stands him out from the competition.’

‘John Fitzgerald is a really careful and practical lawyer. He listens to clients and understands what they need. He thinks about problems and rather than jump to a conclusion he looks at it from all angles. John often comes up with very clever perspectives and just slightly tweaks a strategy to achieve an even better outcome. He is a great lawyer.’

‘They are approachable and always willing to take that extra step for you.

White-collar crime Tier 2

Byrne Wallace has experience of regulatory investigations and high-profile public inquiries, and has both prosecuted and defended criminal and regulatory enforcement actions. Clients include companies, directors and private individuals, and state agencies. The practice is jointly led by Jon Legorburu, who specialises in regulatory disputes and investigations and project-based investigations in the financial services, healthcare and insurance sectors, and the 'hands-on and knowledgeable' Séan O’Donnell, who has expertise in regulatory enforcement and investigations, litigation and data-related matters.


This firm is impressive since they openly discuss differences of opinion they have with you and involve you in the thought processes and conclusions they come to. They bring with them the right people required to facilitate this work and are direct and informative.

They talk to you as an equal and present their knowledge and experience in a fair and balanced way that makes them credible.

This practice is attentive to its clients from the outset and does its work in a clinical and efficient manner. The team are calm and conscientious in their approach.

Seán O’Donnell has extensive experience of advising and representing clients in white-collar crime situations and related areas.

The team navigate the various regulatory issues and statutory obligations that arise in this arena in an efficient and careful manner. This ensures that clients are provided with the highest quality service where situations of risk are managed calmly, expeditiously and correctly. The ability to see problems in advance and resolve them is a key skill possessed by the team, as is their knowledge of the state regulators.

Quality of service, accessibility of partners, speed of turnaround, breadth of practice areas

We regard Seán O’Donnell as a leading figure in the area of white-collar crime. His practical advice cuts to the chase in what can be complex regulatory areas.

Very much partner led with easy access to principals and quick turnaround times.

Seán O’Donnell is a very hands-on and knowledgeable lawyer who provides clear and unambiguous advice.

Capital markets Tier 3

Byrne Wallace is noted for its niche expertise in the energy and life sciences sector, where the ECM team advises on fundraisings (and secondary transactions), flotations, public offers and capital reductions. Gerry Beausang has extensive experience acting for listed clients in the energy sector (particularly oil and gas companies). Joseph Gavin leads the DCM team, advising on debt restructuring, listed loan notes programmes and bond transactions. Head of tax Anthony Smyth is noted as 'a recognised leader in international tax structuring for loan note issuers'.


Joseph Gavin is particularly well networked within the broader EC regulatory framework. As a result he has an excellent perspective on what can be achieved in the different jurisdictions.

Anthony Smyth is a recognised leader in international tax structuring for loan note issuers comprising US fund managers, with particular expertise in structuring tax-efficient loan note programmes for US institutional investors.

Joe Gavin is known for regulatory expertise in structuring transactions to address regulatory issues.

Responsive and commercial advice. Magic circle service.

Provide concise advice which is also commercial

Key clients

Aminex plc

PetroNeft Resources plc

Amryt Pharma plc

Q3 Medical Devices Limited

UBiqube (Ireland) Limited

Mainstream Renewable Power Limited

Global Investment Strategy plc

Green Oak Investments DAC

Nuvo Pharmaceuticals (Ireland) DAC

Zeno Investment Funds plc

Data privacy and data protection Tier 3

Public sector bodies form the core of Byrne Wallace's client base, but the 'experienced' team also acts for banks, financial institutions and companies in the technology and healthcare sectors, among others. The practice advises on GDPR compliance, data subject access requests, managing data breaches and reporting to the regulator, and appeals against decisions of the Data Protection Commission. The 'proficient, engaged and highly responsive' Séan O’Donnell jointly leads the practice with Brendan Gavin, who advises on data protection-related contractual matters such as data processing, sharing and transfer arrangements.


The team provide an excellent service. They are easy to work with and quick to identify and resolve issues raised.

I found the individuals very helpful and enjoyable to work with. Associate Sarah Reavey provided excellent advice to guide our practice.

Practical, smart and value for money

Seán O’Donnell is client and delivery focused.

The team are highly competent across all levels.

Seán O’Donnell is proficient, engaged and highly responsive. He is also an unusually good listener and an excellent strategist. I couldn’t rate him more highly.

The Byrne Wallace team was very experienced in data protection and they provided experts in different areas such as HR and procurement and contract management as needs required. The team were firm and were certain of their expertise in the area, which in turn provided confidence to the organisation.

Sarah Reavey had a very practical approach and provided us with an end-to-end service, far exceeding our expectations.

Information technology Tier 3

Byrne Wallace has experience advising technology sector clients on M&A transactions and fundraisings, but also assists with software development and licensing agreements, systems integration and cloud-computing arrangements. The team is also increasingly active in the fintech space and in advising on data protection. Clients include a number of public bodies, as well as companies from the technology, healthcare and financial services sectors. Practice head Darren Daly advises on corporate transactions, e-commerce and online trading, and fintech and blockchain issues.

Key clients





Wachsman PR Limited

Phonovation Limited

Consortium of Investors

Induction Manager

MJ Flood Technology

Insurance Tier 3

Byrne Wallace acts for clients including insurers and the Financial Services Ombudsman in cases involving professional and commercial indemnity. The firm also represented an international retail client against its insurance broker, alleging negligence. The practice is headed by Jon Legorburu, who specialises in contentious matters, and also includes senior associate Paul Fisher, who advised insurers on a number of complex matters.

Key clients

FBD Insurance Group

ARB Underwriting

Financial Services Ombudsman

Intellectual property Tier 3

Byrne Wallace handles contentious and non-contentious IP issues, offering 'a very good spread of capabilities'. The practice is particularly active for clients in the public sector, with its recent highlights including representing a national public health body in a high-profile case involving the misuse of copyrights in pregnancy counselling services. The firm also handles significant life sciences work, where Colin Sainsbury, who has 'excellent life sciences knowledge and experience', is the key name. Sainsbury, Darren Daly and experienced litigator Jon Legorburu are the practice heads.


‘They have a very good spread of capabilities. A “one stop shop” for all of our legal requirements.’

‘Relaxed manner combined with professionalism. Willing to go the extra mile.’

‘They are simply fantastic to work with. There is never a fuss. The work is completed efficiently and without delay.’

‘Neil Keenan is a consummate professional who gets the job done, with a minimum of fuss. Always there when you need him. Associate Catherine Dowling has a fantastic ability with an excellent “can do” manner. Nothing too much trouble. A rising star. Colin Sainsbury is considered and effective.’

‘Colin Sainsbury has excellent sectoral (life sciences) knowledge and experience. Creative and thorough in finding solutions.’

‘Darren Daly, Jon Legorboru and Colin Sainsbury are simply at the top of the league in IP in Dublin.’

Key clients

Latch Medical


Q3 Medical Devices

National Library of Ireland


Projects and PPP Tier 3

Byrne Wallace's projects and PPP team has 'depth across a number of industries' and is led by Fergal Ruane, who joined in 2018 from Maples and Calder and was previously Head of Legal at Transport Infrastructure Ireland. The practice works with a number of public sector bodies, where it handles procurement matters. In addition, it is also assisting with private sector projects and is advising the main electrical contractors on Intel's Leixlip facility


‘Their procurement experience is exceptionally strong. Reliable advice on negotiation and contracts. Good communication breaking down complex issues. Meticulous work in conveyancing.’

‘A well balanced team with depth across a number of industries.’

‘Gavin Blake is an excellent relationship builder and communicator.’

Key clients


Fingal County Council

Waterways Ireland

Irish Water/Ervia

About ByrneWallace

Managing Partner: Feargal Brennan
Number of partners: 48
Number of lawyers: 140

As one of Ireland’s largest law firms, ByrneWallace is dedicated to the protection and promotion of its clients’ interests through the provision of excellent service and expert legal advice. This expertise is borne out of a 40 year heritage, high professional standards and a commitment to develop the most talented lawyers.

A forward thinking firm, the firm has been awarded both nationally and internationally for its commitment to delivering excellence, and is recognised as the only top ten Irish law firm certified with Lexcel, the quality mark of excellence in practice management, and was one of the first large Irish law firms to obtain ISO 27001, the international standard for information security management.

ByrneWallace provides specialist advice on Irish law to domestic and international clients, with niche expertise in banking and finance, employment, property, litigation, corporate, recovery, intellectual property, data protection, tax, technology, life sciences, financial services, public sector, energy and natural resources, healthcare and retail.


Department Name Email Telephone
Managing Partner Feargal Brennan
Asset management and investment funds Joe Gavin
Banking and finance Mark Kavanagh
Capital markets - Debt Joe Gavin
Capital markets - Equity Gerry Beausang
Construction Martin Cooney
Commercial, corporate and M&A Neil Keenan
Data protection Darren Daly
Employment Law Michael Kennedy
Energy and natural resources Gavin Blake
Financial services regulation Joseph Gavin
Health & Social Care/ Healthcare Sinéad Kearney
Insolvency and restructuring John Fitzgerald
Intellectual property Darren Daly
Life sciences and pharma Colin Sainsbury
Litigation & Dispute Resolution Jon Legorburu
Pensions Law Liam Connellan
Procurement Martin Cooney
Property / Real Estate Michael Walsh
Public Sector Michelle Ni Longain
Tax Anthony Smyth
Technology Darren Daly
Venture capital Neil Keenan
Photo Name Position Profile
Mr Feargal Brennan  photo Mr Feargal Brennan
Ms Lisa Cawley  photo Ms Lisa Cawley
Ms Mona Costello  photo Ms Mona Costello
Mr Darren Daly  photo Mr Darren Daly
Ms Catherine Dowling  photo Ms Catherine Dowling
Ms Olive Doyle  photo Ms Olive Doyle
Mr Ronan Egan  photo Mr Ronan Egan
Ms Ciara Farrell  photo Ms Ciara Farrell
Mr John Fitzgerald  photo Mr John Fitzgerald
Mr Diego Gallagher  photo Mr Diego Gallagher
Ms Louise Holmes  photo Ms Louise Holmes
Ms Valerie Hourigan  photo Ms Valerie Hourigan
Mr Mark Kavanagh  photo Mr Mark Kavanagh
Ms Sinead Kearney  photo Ms Sinead Kearney
Ms Elaine Kelly  photo Ms Elaine Kelly
Mr Michael Kennedy  photo Mr Michael Kennedy
Mr Jon Legorburu  photo Mr Jon Legorburu
Ms Deirdre McBennett  photo Ms Deirdre McBennett
Ms Patrick McClean  photo Ms Patrick McClean
Ms Michelle Ní Longáin  photo Ms Michelle Ní Longáin
Mr Sean O’Donnell  photo Mr Sean O’Donnell
Mr Gillian O’Shaughnessy  photo Mr Gillian O’Shaughnessy
Ms Alison O’Sullivan  photo Ms Alison O’Sullivan
Ms Eileen Prendergast  photo Ms Eileen Prendergast
Ms Elizabeth Ryan  photo Ms Elizabeth Ryan
Mr Colin Sainsbury  photo Mr Colin Sainsbury
Ms Lorraine Smyth  photo Ms Lorraine Smyth
Mr Eoghan Wallace  photo Mr Eoghan Wallace
Mr Michael Walsh  photo Mr Michael Walsh
Mr Emmet Whelan  photo Mr Emmet Whelan
Number of lawyers : 140
Number of Partners : 48
IBA (International Bar Association)
Law Society of Ireland
Contact : Feargal Brennan (managing partner)
Other offices : New York