Construction & Engineering

The Construction & Engineering Group at William Fry is the leading construction practice in Ireland.  We combine unrivalled legal expertise with extensive commercial experience of the projects and construction sector both in the domestic market and overseas.

Our legal expertise, in-depth industry knowledge and commercial approach gives our clients the confidence that the legal and contractual risks relevant to their project will be identified, evaluated and managed in a timely and cost effective manner.

Our experience, acting for both public and private clients, extends across all sectors, including:

  • National/Local Government
  • Healthcare
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Utilities -Energy/Water/Communications
  • Infrastructure -Rail/Ports/Roads
  • Prison/Accommodation
  • Education
  • Waste Management
  • Retail
  • Hotel/Leisure/Sports
  • Commercial Office
  • Industry & Refining

We have significant experience in advising and working with procuring authorities, sponsors, developers, operators and funders where projects are structured as Public Private Partnerships (PPP). 

Our construction expertise and experience covers both construction (non-contentious) and dispute resolution (contentious construction) activities.

Our experience includes advising / acting for:

  • St Mel’s Cathedral Trust on the restoration of St Mel’s Cathedral, Longford. This project won key awards from LAMA: 'Best Public Building' and 'Best Civil Engineering project', and was chosen by the public as Ireland’s favourite building of 2015 at the RIAI awards in June 2015. The project was also awarded:
    • Best Conservation/Restoration
    • Best Universal Design Award
    • Highly Commended in the ‘Best Research Project
  • A landlord in a high value industrial lease termination dispute
  • The employer in a complex engineering processing facility
  • A local authority on a dispute on the terms of a development agreement
  • Chartered Land on Dublin Central Development, mixed use commercial property regeneration, anticipated capital development cost €1 billion – one of Europe’s largest developments.
  • A multi-national commercial client in a final account/quantum construction dispute under the IEI Works Contract.
  • Public Sector Client on procurement of state of the art new build public facilities
  • Ramford on development of Daniel Libeskind designed office led development and theatre at Grand Canal Square - ‘Development of the Year 2008’
  • A contractor in a series of arbitrations with employer and sub-contractors for a hotel, retail and leisure centre under the RIAI Building Agreement
  • University College Dublin on Gateway development – largest single capital project in higher education sector - international star-architect design competition and construction procurement using a PPP concession model.
  • Tesco Ireland on construction aspects of its Irish portfolio.

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  • "The construction team that we work with in William Fry are a trusted partner and have an intimate knowledge of construction on every level. They understand our requirements as a client extremely well and adopt a commercial and practical approach to all matters, whether complex or not." notes one client, which another adds that the teams "key strengths were their detailed knowledge of not only the contract documentation, legislation and regulations, but also of the industry and the commercial market, coupled with clear, sound advice on the legal implications of the commercial arrangement to be agreed and implemented." Legal 500 2020
  • One clients commends the team's dedication and awareness of business perspectives, saying: "They provide really excellent strategic advice that is commercial and always couched in the requirements of the business, and they understand and engage and get to grips with being part of our team; they've gone above what you expect an external counsel to do." Chambers Europe 2020
  • Clients say: "They have a really strong ability to look around corners and get the right answers." ..."They are very plugged in to the market", remarks another source, who says: "They really add value to the deal." Chambers Europe, 2018
  • One source states: "I think the service is excellent. The team is proactive, knowledgeable, capable and attentive." Chambers Europe, 2017
  • "The lawyers at this firm really know what they are talking about and always seem to have solutions. The complicated project we were working on only came together due to their expertise and ability to be commercial. They demonstrated a huge amount of knowledge - they know all the obscure details." Chambers Europe, 2016
  • "The team is very knowledgeable of the construction industry and takes a practical and pragmatic approach to negotiating terms, which is important when nearing deadlines." Chambers Europe, 2016
  • "The team is very responsive and provides good, commercially focused advice which is prompt, efficient and succinct." Chambers Europe, 2016


Liam McCabe

  • One source describes him as "very commercial and thorough," and goes on to explain: "As a client I feel protected and well prepared in complex negotiations, and he has the ability to build consensus among parties and get a reasonable solution." ​​Chambers Europe 2019
  • Market sources say he is "technically brilliant, an excellent negotiator and always available."  Praised for his "superb technical knowledge and remarkable commercial awareness." Sources also note that he is "exceptionally effective in negotiations on the client's behalf." Chambers Europe 2018
  • Practice head Liam McCabe is "a superb negotiator when it comes to fine detail".Legal 500 EMEA 2018
  • In Chambers Europe 2017 Liam is described as ‘professional and personable’ and ‘excellent’.
  • According to sources in Chambers Europe 2016, impressed clients say Liam is an "excellent practitioner who knows something about everything - he understands banking, finance, property, probate and so many areas of law that he brings an amazing mind to the table and pierces through any issues to find an easy solution." Market commentators say: "He is knowledgeable and hard-working, and has the ability to pull in the experts required for each aspect of the project, co-ordinating things well."

Fergus Devine

  • Legal 500 2020 have ranked Fergus in the 'Hall of Fame'. One client said Fergus has "a particularly in-depth level of knowledge on the workings of the transmission and distribution network and the complex regulatory framework that comprises that SEM in Ireland. We found his advice to be timely, pragmatic and commercial."Another client added that they work with Fergus on a daily basis: "He is our go-to lawyer for all our important transactions and projects. We leverage his extensive legal knowledge of the energy and natural resources market to drive real value for our business. He continues to provide the best legal advice when we need it and is not afraid to give a view. He has a real affinity for this sector."
  • "Excellent. Can't think of any weakness affecting the given energy advice." IFLR1000 2020
  • One source admires Fergus's "ability to make very complex regulations and legislation simple. He is very knowledgeable and commercially aware, whilst also ensuring that everyone involved is fully conversant with the issues at hand."Chambers Europe 2020
  • According to Legal 500 2020 Fergus was "available round the clock during the transaction" and "excellent at minimising the stress that accompanies a large scale PPP transaction working to a tight timeline."
  • Fergus Devine has two decades of experience, advising clients on a wide range of energy projects. "I have great respect for Devine," remarks one admiring market source, adding that "he's a brilliant energy lawyer." Chambers Europe 2019
  • "Strengths are numerous but outstanding leadership from Fergus Devine stands out the most." IFLR 1000 2019
  • Department head Fergus Devine is "very responsive, exceptionally pleasant and has a broad and in-depth knowledge of the energy sector," according to interviewees. Chambers Europe 2018
  • The "business-focused" Fergus Devine is highly active in the energy sector and is a "clear communicator". Legal 500 EMEA 2018
  • In Chambers Europe 2017, Fergus is praised for his "huge depth of knowledge and dynamism." According to Legal 500 EMEA 2017, Fergus "does not shirk the difficult messages."
  • In Chambers Europe 2016 Fergus draws plaudits from interviewees for being "able to understand complex, technical issues" and "grasping the mechanics of the energy markets".

Jarleth Heneghan

  • According to one client, Jarleth has a "great technical knowledge and excellent tracking of issues requiring close-out. The pairing of Jarleth Heneghan and Cassandra Byrne makes them a real pleasure to work with," adding that they are"clear, concise and straight to the point." Legal 500 2020
  • "His attention to detail, responsiveness and ability to change strategy due to the issues thrown at us was remarkable. He doesn’t quit or take the easy route, but he continues to fight for what’s right for the client" quotes another source in Legal 500 2020, adding his "depth of knowledge, commercial outlook and ability to look round corners have been invaluable to us over the years and will continue to be so into to the future," "his level of service delivery is top class."
  • Jarleth was listed in Best Lawyers 2019 under 'The Best Lawyers in Ireland' for work in Construction Law.
  • Described by clients as "attentive and knowledgeable," Jarleth  is known for his work on both advisory and contentious construction cases. He maintains a particular specialism in liability quantum and time disputes. Chambers Europe 2018
  • The "meticulous" Jarleth Heneghan provides "very practical advice on the public procurement process". Legal 500 EMEA 2018 
  • In Chambers Europe 2017, Jarleth is described as having a broad practice covering construction advisory matters and dispute resolution. He has particular expertise in liability, quantum and time disputes. One client lauds his "hands-on and solution-focused" approach. In Legal 500 EMEA 2017, Jarleth is described as ‘professional and personable’ and ‘excellent’. 

Bryanna Ryan

  • According to Chambers Europe 2020, one client notes that "Ryan brings a lot of energy and is very intuitive and capable."  They add that "she’s very well organised and brings a lot of approachability, acting well as part of a team."
  • Bryanna Ryan has ‘expert knowledge’. Legal 500 EMEA 2018

Key Contacts

Liam McCabe Partner

Bryanna Ryan Partner

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