Regulatory Enforcement

The Regulatory Enforcement Group is a team of lawyers focused on providing a rapid response to clients in regulatory enforcement situations.  The team includes lawyers specialising in all areas of financial services, including banking, asset management and investment funds, insurance and pensions.  Lawyers practising in company law, competition law, litigation and data protection also support the Group’s work.

Our clients include State Authorities and Regulators, fund managers, investment funds, financial institutions, insurers and reinsurers, public companies and other businesses.  We advise on the full range of regulatory, compliance and enforcement issues.

We have unrivalled experience in advising clients on enforcement actions involving State Authorities including the Financial Regulator, the Director of Corporate Enforcement, the Financial Services Ombudsman, Data Protection Commissioner,  An Garda Síochána, the Takeover Panel and the Competition Authority.


We have a proven track record of supporting our clients in relation to:

  • inspections by the Financial Regulator under MIFID and the UCITS legislation and compliance with post-inspection reports
  • breaches of strategic and required solvency margin requirements by insurers and reinsurers
  • on-site inspections by the Financial Regulator
  • obligations of listed companies and brokers under the Market Abuse Legislation
  • inspections by the Director of Corporate Enforcement
  • compliance obligations of listed companies under the Transparency Regulations and Listing Rules
  • enforcement steps in relation to breaches of consumer credit legislation
  • investigations of public companies by the Takeover Panel
  • audits and actions by the Data Protection Commissioner
  • examinations and inquiries by the Financial Regulator
  • the Financial Regulator’s administrative sanctions procedure
  • breaches of notification to the Financial Regulator in respect of changes in qualifying holdings
  • investigations by the Competition Authority and European Commission

2015 - A Busy Year for Financial Regulatory Enforcement

Four settlement agreements entered into with the Central Bank in December alone

View all

Our team comprises experienced practitioners with complementary skills and specialisations, and a track record of providing a rapid response in helping clients through enforcement situations.


John Larkin

  • John Larkin remains a market-leading practitioner in non-contentious insurance matters. Sources praise his outstanding reputation, with one client opining: "He is probably the standout figure in the industry." Chambers Europe 2017
  • Practice co-head John Larkin is "widely known as a leader in the market," offering "excellent experience, particularly in the context of anticipating regulatory involvement," according to interviewees. Chambers Europe 2016 
  • "There is nothing about insurance that he doesn't know. He is a great guy to go to when you have a problem because he will always give you time and make sure you get support and attention." Chambers Europe, 2015 - Insurance
  • John Larkin "provides practical solutions". Legal 500 EMEA, 2015 - Insurance
    "He is focused, solution-driven and commercially minded. He has great industry knowledge," enthuse clients. Chambers & Partners 2014 - Insurance
  • John Larkin's 'knowledge of insurance law is second to none. He understands the marketplace and really combines that with his pragmatism. He is easy to deal with and not a time waster.'  Chambers Europe, 2013 - Insurance

Garrett Breen

  • The "excellent" Garrett Breen handles a range of disputes, and is noted by sources for his knowledge of the technology and telecommunications sectors. Clients say he provides a "no-nonsense approach and sound insight." Chambers Global 2017
  • Garrett is described as a ‘very practical adviser’. Legal 500 EMEA 2017
  • Garrett is well positioned for major litigation cases, as he is "a good organiser of large litigation teams and well equipped for the logistics of the largest, most complex litigation." His broad experience includes prominent cases in the IP, competition, banking and regulatory spheres. Chambers Europe 2016
  • Garrett "is a determined, smart guy, who is absolutely dedicated to his clients." Chambers Global, 2015 - Dispute Resolution
  • Garrett Breen is ‘first-class’. Legal 500 EMEA, 2015 
  • Garrett Breen is hailed as a "fierce litigator" and clients agree they "trust him to always deliver" and in the 2013 edition, as a "creative lawyer who looks at all the different angles and is able to help us build a superb case".  Chambers Global, 2014 
  • In Legal 500 2014 Garrett is lauded as being ‘a phenomenal strategic mind’. In the 2013 edition he was stated to be "determined and focused".

Cormac Commins

  • According to clients, the "very approachable" Cormac Commins' "knowledge is exceptional in terms of UCITS, and Irish UCITS in particular." He is well known and highly regarded for assisting promoters with open-ended and liquid funds. Chambers Global 2017
  • Sources report that "he makes everything seamless. He is a very calm and collected individual who gives sound, practical advice, and takes the time to understand your issues to the same extent an in-house lawyer would." Chambers Global 2016 
  • Cormac receives praise from sources as a "very personable, down-to-earth and pragmatic lawyer, who understands the law and can explain it to clients." He recently advised Sands Capital on the establishment of an emerging markets equity strategy in Ireland.  Chambers Global, 2015 
  • Cormac Commins is ‘technically excellent’. Legal 500 EMEA, 2015 
  • Cormac is ‘exceptional’. Legal 500 EMEA, 2014
  • Cormac Commins “views himself as a long-term partner of our firm, and is knowledgeable, accessible and responsive.”  Chambers Europe, 2013 
  • Cormac is ‘exceptional’. Legal 500 EMEA, 2013 

Key Contacts

Shane Kelleher Partner

Garrett Breen Partner