Dispute Resolution: Ireland
THE FIRM The dispute resolution practice at this leading Irish firm receives unanimous praise from peers. The group offers clients a comprehensive service that includes expertise in healthcare, white-collar crime, insurance, mediation and arbitration. A highlight for the team was its advice to BAT on the defence of enforcement proceedings under the Public Health (Tobacco) Act.
Sources say: “The hallmark of A&L Goodbody is superb, practical advice.”
KEY INDIVIDUALS Eileen Roberts is hailed as an “absolutely fantastic lawyer. She is highly proficient and a sound and sensible litigator.” Her practice is focused on commercial and insurance disputes. Liam Kennedy heads the department and has a broad practice, ranging from commercial and regulatory litigation to product liability and public procurement claims. Clients say he is “fabulous and responsive, technically superb, totally on top of the case and focused on fulfilling our needs.” Peter Law recently represented ACC on a number of debt recovery actions, and is the legal adviser to the Law Society of Ireland and the Standards in Public Office Commission. Credited as an “incredibly commercial, practical and proactive lawyer,” Alison Fanagan focuses on environmental and regulatory litigation and judicial review. Joe Kelly is a “practical and polished practitioner,” with extensive experience in mediation and arbitration. Cliona Christle has a broad healthcare practice and is held in high regard for her expertise in obstetrics and gynaecology. Kenan Furlong continues to develop a strong dispute resolution practice, concentrating on media, white-collar crime and insurance litigation.
THE FIRM This full-service department boasts a market-leading financial services litigation practice. The firm's leading role in the recapitalisation of the banking sector has included notable mandates on NAMA and NTMA litigation. The four-partner healthcare team handles both defence and advisory work, and was recently selected by the Health Service Executive to manage over 25 other law firms in delivering services to the HSE.
Sources say: “Arthur Cox is a first-class firm – its culture is marked by integrity and work ethic.” “It really is so consistent – all its lawyers have fantastic knowledge and experience and offer excellent solution-orientated advice.”
KEY INDIVIDUALS Isabel Foley has been active on NAMA-related litigation, and is valued by her clients for the way in which “she ensured that she identified any adverse contingencies and was anticipating any possible downfalls.” Conor McDonnell takes the lead on many of the department's standout mandates and is praised as “experienced, authoritative and client-focused. He brings a measured and calm approach to problem solving.” Head of department David O'Donohoe enjoys a leading reputation amongst both peers and clients. He has a broad practice encompassing commercial, insurance, IP and financial services litigation. Eve Mulconry specialises in product liability, competition and judicial review, and was instructed by Anglo Irish Bank on the recovery of loans. Donogh Crowley leads the healthcare team and is also active in professional indemnity and insurance. Gregory Glynn focuses on advising directors on fraud, money laundering and search warrants, and has particular expertise in advising US clients. Andrew Lenny has a strong financial services focus, and “brings passion and commitment to the job. He always keeps a clear head and maintains objectivity - he's an excellent person to have on your side,” sources enthuse.
THE FIRM Financial services litigation continues to be a key stream of work for this practice, which is taking a leading role on the Madoff litigation being conducted in Ireland. The team has a wide range of expertise in other areas of dispute resolution, and an enviable client list, which includes Google, Danone and the Irish Music Rights Organisation. Interviewees are keen to highlight the depth of knowledge of the group, and the resources it has at its disposal.
Sources say: “It is an exceptionally solution-oriented team that is fantastic at cutting through all the mess and getting to the bottom line.” “The team is great at following up points after the heat has been taken out of a situation, to make sure there are no loose ends that could come back to haunt us.”
KEY INDIVIDUALS Bríd Munnelly heads the regulatory and investigations team and represents HSBC in the Madoff litigation. Clients say: “She brought a lot of calmness and perspective to a tense situation. She also has a fantastic tactical mind.” Sharon Daly jointly heads the dispute resolution team. She is roundly praised by market sources and is particularly specialised in insurance litigation. Tom Hayes heads the healthcare team and advises insurers and indemnity bodies on the defence of medical malpractice claims and professional disciplinary proceedings. Stuart Margetson's practice encompasses professional negligence, product liability and life sciences. He is currently representing Philip Morris in a challenge to the sale display ban on tobacco products. Carina Lawlor recently became a partner in the regulatory team, and sources highlight her ability to “set out the layman's view of the situation - she is very personable and easy to deal with.”
THE FIRM This outstanding practice has a wide focus with particular prowess in financial services litigation. The team continues to advise Anglo Irish Bank on long-running regulatory investigations arising out of the nationalisation of the bank. A more recent highlight was its representation of Boliden Tara Mines in a claim for rectification of its pension scheme, a case that made its way to the Supreme Court. The group also has an active healthcare practice, representing the Medical Defence Union and VHI.
Sources say: “McCann FitzGerald offers an excellent and assured service.” “The team is helpful in avoiding any pitfalls and negotiating between parties, and is strong without being aggressive when dealing with the opposition.”
KEY INDIVIDUALS As one of the team's leading litigators, Roddy Bourke has a diverse and active practice. He is described as “personable, discreet, trustworthy and entertaining when appropriate.” Helen Kilroy heads the department and advises on commercial, corporate, insurance and property disputes, as well as being a respected mediator. Geraldine Hickey specialises in medical negligence, recently defending the Medical Defence Union in actions by the Irish state and in negligence claims against consultants. Rosaleen Byrne is highly respected by market sources. She has an extremely broad practice encompassing IP as well as competition and regulatory disputes. Karyn Harty is recognised for her ability to “gauge the appropriate response to the situation and balance the needs of the various stakeholders.” David Clarke continues to be active on the Madoff litigation and is credited as a “superb strategist who can see the bigger picture and deal with changes in the market.”
THE FIRM Involvement on high-profile recent cases and enthusiastic praise from clients combine to elevate this firm into the top tier. A particular highlight was advising on Thema International Fund's attempted recovery of USD1.1 billion from HSBC in Madoff-related litigation. Other cases of note include representing Boots in the defence of a High Court action and acting for the Commission for Aviation on opposing an application by Ryanair to judicially review a price cap on airport charges.
Sources say: “William Fry always delivers, and will always exceed our expectations.”
KEY INDIVIDUALS Department head Owen O'Sullivan has overseen the recent growth of the department and is particularly strong in banking and financial services litigation. He is acknowledged as an “exceptionally good litigator, and hugely commercial.” Carol Plunkett complements her reputation as one of the leading IP litigators in the market with a substantial regulatory practice, and comes highly recommended by her clients. Fiona Barry specialises in healthcare litigation, acting for the Medical Protection Society on the defence of negligence claims. Commercial litigator Barry Cahir has a particular focus on contentious insolvency and corporate recovery issues.
THE FIRM This firm has expanded its litigation offering significantly in recent times, with the addition of a market-leading healthcare practice. The team tackles mandates across the full spectrum of dispute resolution including financial services, insurance, professional indemnity and construction. A notable case for the group was its advice to the Bank of Ireland in proceedings against the Sandymount Consortium.
Sources say: “Eversheds has an outstanding all-round practice. It knows when it is sensible to settle and is both pragmatic and cost-focused in its approach.” “I am conscious that I am dealing with experts in the area who really bring added value to their clients.”
KEY INDIVIDUALS Aisling Gannon is recognised as a leading healthcare practitioner. She offers clients a one-stop service, handling negligence, consultancy and advisory work, and is commended for “focusing on the endgame and not getting caught up in the minutiae. She is logical, succinct and has great empathy with the medical profession.” The hugely experienced Norman Fitzgerald heads the department. His practice covers insurance and professional indemnity, insolvency and financial services litigation. Dermot McEvoy is highly recommended for his property and construction litigation practice. He is credited as a “client-focused and commercial lawyer who is always thinking ahead.” Jim Trueick continues to develop his strong commercial litigation practice, and was recently instructed by Superquinn in a claim over a keep-open provision in a lease. Fiona Ward is appreciated by clients for her “understanding of the workings of our office. She knows how we operate and our overall aims, and always represents us appropriately.”
THE FIRM This litigation group has been particularly active in professional indemnity work of late as well as a wide variety of other cross-border and domestic disputes. In a case demonstrating its international credentials, the team advised Trumpet, the Irish subsidiary of Rosneft, on its defence of UK and Irish freezing and disclosure orders. The team has also taken a key role in the ongoing Madoff litigation.
Sources say: “Mason Hayes & Curran has a professional and approachable team which always takes into account the business needs of the company.”
KEY INDIVIDUALS Practice head Declan Black comes highly recommended by sources. His recent case highlights include representing the Moriarty Tribunal in proceedings brought against it by Dermot Desmond. John Gleeson leads the healthcare litigation team, representing the State Claims Agency in relation to medical malpractice claims. Managing partner Emer Gilvarry is a commercial litigator with particular expertise in contentious employment and partnership issues. Ailbhe Gilvarry is “absolutely fantastic. She is extremely commercial and always takes a common-sense approach,” clients enthuse. Niall Michel specialises in administrative litigation, representing the Commissioner for Environmental Information in the defence of a judicial review and statutory appeal proceedings. “Enthusiastic, contentious, bright and commercial” are just some of the words interviewees used to describe Eimear Collins. She is a recent addition to the team and focuses on professional indemnity litigation.
THE FIRM ByrneWallace handles all disputes across the commercial sphere including IP, pharma and construction. A significant case for the group was acting for Philip Lynch and his family in a dispute over a EUR25 million loan. The firm has an active healthcare practice, with six partners devoted to the area. It has represented the HSE in a number of High Court actions including an application to detain a person in hospital. Clients praised the group's ability to handle complex, cross-border mandates.
Sources say: “ByrneWallace has a great ability to step back and look at the work itself, rather than getting caught up in any unnecessary issues.” “The team had a good grasp of the technical issues – it is astute and able to handle any technical information thrown at it.”
KEY INDIVIDUALS Gerard Butler is an active presence in the Commercial Court, recently representing Menolly Homes against a supplier in one of the largest claims to come before the court. He is credited as being “excellent at dealing with the difficult issues that arise. He gives people confidence and has an aura of authority.”
THE FIRM This five-partner team is heavily focused on financial services litigation. A standout mandate for the team was its representation of Bloxham Stockbrokers in a claim against Morgan Stanley for breach of contract. The firm has also been involved with NAMA litigation, representing Patrick McKillen in a judicial review against the State and state bodies. Clients were quick to emphasise the excellent service they received from the team.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Terry Leggett is hugely experienced in commercial litigation and insolvency. Market sources pointed out: “If you want a case handled well, Terry should be high on your list. He is organised, approachable and attentive.” Department head Ronan O'Neill handles IP, administrative law, aviation and healthcare.
THE FIRM This seven-partner team has been particularly busy in enforcement litigation for banks and financial services firms. Professional indemnity work is another important source of work for the team, which counts a number of key insurers and indemnity bodies amongst its clients. Other clients include Fiat, Davy Stockbrokers and News International.
Sources say: “LK Shields is a fantastically well-run firm and provides the highest standard of service at all levels.”
KEY INDIVIDUALS Department head Edmund Butler is an expert in professional indemnity. He represents Quinn Insurance in the defence of professional negligence claims made against solicitors. Also central to the practice is Michael Kavanagh, who heads the firm's employment and pensions department. He is credited as “an excellent sounding board, capable of providing business-oriented solutions in an efficient and cost-effective manner.” Managing partner Hugh Garvey has particular experience representing tribunals of inquiry. Eoin Cunneen is a “thorough, effective and pragmatic litigator,” whose recent cases include representing Davy Stockbrokers in both property and banking litigation.
THE FIRM This litigation practice has a broad focus, handling a range of contentious work including media disputes, product liability and shareholder disputes. The department has seen growth on the professional indemnity side, representing both domestic and international insurers in a range of matters. Clients come from a wide range of sectors and include Kentech Group, Thomas Crosbie Holdings and Liberty International Underwriters.
Sources say: “Ronan Daly Jermyn grasps the topic in its entirety and sees straight through to the nub of the matter.” “The team is supportive, responsive and a pleasure to work with.”
KEY INDIVIDUALS Richard Martin heads the department and is credited as a “fantastic, practical litigator. Where there is a deal to make, he will make it.” His practice covers administrative litigation, planning and development disputes, professional indemnity and media disputes, for which he is particularly highly regarded. Darryl Broderick is widely seen as a rising star. He is developing an excellent defamation practice, and recently acted for a radio station on one of the first breach of privacy cases to be heard in Ireland.
THE FIRM Beauchamps covers the full range of commercial litigation and has expertise in handling disputes ranging from competition and employment to e-commerce and franchising. Clients include insurers, pharmaceutical companies and state agencies. Interviewees are keen to emphasise the excellent service levels on offer at the firm.
Sources say: “It is a progressive firm that is helpful, approachable and has a great range of services.”
KEY INDIVIDUALS Claire Callanan heads the litigation team and has specialist expertise in contentious employment law. She receives generous praise from her peers. Gabriel Daly has an extremely broad focus, with his practice encompassing competition, contract, employment, financial, planning and environmental litigation. He is applauded for his “incisive and sound advice.”
THE FIRM The majority of this firm's litigation work is connected to its investment funds practice, but it also undertakes work in insurance, product liability, aviation and healthcare. The team's clients are drawn from a range of sectors and include insurers, airlines, public companies and financial institutions.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Litigation is led by Kieran Cowhey, whose practice is dedicated to commercial and financial litigation. He is warmly praised by his peers as “a true gentleman and a fantastic operator.”
THE FIRM This Dublin firm is renowned for its prowess in both healthcare litigation and defamation. Other areas of focus include landlord and tenant, banking and regulatory work. The firm has built an impressive client base that includes the Irish Times, Primark and Dental Protection.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Ciaran O'Rorke is a highly respected litigator and an acknowledged expert in healthcare litigation. He is regularly instructed to defend members of the Medical Protection Society. Firm chairman Andrew O'Rorke enjoys a strong market reputation and is particularly specialised in defamation work. Head of department Joseph O'Malley is an accomplished mediator as well as advising clients, including the US SEC, on regulatory matters.
THE FIRM Maples and Calder has continued to expand its litigation practice, and has developed a strong team with the capacity to handle a diverse range of disputes. Significant instructions of late have included representing Hygeia Chemicals in a successful appeal to the Supreme Court to overturn a decision by the Irish Medicines Board, and Galway City Council in a successful Supreme Court action to set aside an arbitration award.
Sources say: “Maples and Calder is a top-class firm that offers a fantastic, consistent service across the litigation team.” “I found it to be excellent at explaining the whole litigation process.”
KEY INDIVIDUALS According to sources, Dudley Solan is “so clever it frightens me! He has outstanding legal knowledge but is also commercially minded and an excellent strategist. He is more than just a legal adviser to us.” He is renowned for his construction litigation practice, but handles a wide range of disputes.
THE FIRM This team has maintained a steady presence in the litigation market. It is most notable for its niche aviation practice, with the group counting high-profile airlines among its clients. Recent cases include acting for Allianz on a High Court appeal against a decision of the financial services ombudsman and Medinol in a patent infringement claim against Abbott Laboratories.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Gerry Carroll is the firm's key litigation contact. He has a general commercial litigation practice with notable experience in aviation. Clients say he is “user-friendly, affable and quick to gauge the response needed. He is also extremely commercial and understands the bigger picture.”
Market commentators highlight the strong reputation of Lisa Broderick
at DAC Beachcroft Dublin. She has expertise in general commercial litigation and cross-border disputes, and is an active member of the firm's professional negligence team. Deirdre Courtney
of Ivor Fitzpatrick & Co has a diverse practice, including commercial litigation, arbitration, defamation and banking law. At Philip Lee Solicitors, Anne Bateman
wins praise from peers for her ability to handle big-ticket litigation. She divides her practice between large-scale regulatory litigation and IP matters. Noreen Howard
of DAC Beachcroft Dublin continues to develop her strong professional negligence practice.
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