The liberalisation of the Irish electricity market, including the commencement of the Integrated Single Electricity Market in October 2018, have introduced fundamental market reform, additional wide-ranging regulation, and heavily revised industry codes and licensing.  We have been to the fore in advising existing and prospective market participants on Ireland’s evolving energy sector.  We provide specialist advice in all areas of regulation and compliance including policy developments and legislative reforms emerging at EU level, from the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment ("DCCAE") and from the Commission for Regulation of Utilities ("CRU").  We also advise on the extensive on the impact of the Clean Energy Package on the Irish electricity market and market participants.

We specialise in advising on the acquisition, procurement, development, financing, construction and operation of generation plant, and have acted on projects to deliver and operate distillate fired OCGT plant, gas fired CCGT plant and large-scale CHP plants, wind farms (both on and offshore), solar farms and waste-to-energy installations.  

We have advised on various aspects of the grid code and the I-SEM electricity market and capacity market, including unit registration, licensing, bidding strategies, physical and financial power purchase agreements; connecting to the transmission and distribution system, including on contestability; priority dispatch; and end user supply contracts.

We actively monitor and participate in the many market consultations.

EirGrid in connection with the development and financing of the proposed 700MW HVDC Celtic Interconnector between Ireland and France, capital cost in excess of €1bn.

ESB on the acquisition of Northern Ireland Electricity plc (NIE), the Northern Ireland electricity transmission and distribution business of the Viridian Group.

Green Investment Group (GIG) in relation to its investment in and subsequent sale of a portion of its interest in the Dublin Waste to Energy Facility located in Poolbeg, Dublin Port.

Brookfield Renewables on its development and financing of the Slieve Callan wind farm project in South West Ireland (which included a 25km 110KV contestable grid connection).

European Investment Bank in its financing of the Oweninny Wind Farm in County Mayo. 

Parkwind NV, one of Europe’s leading offshore Wind Farm developers, in its strategic investment in the Oriel Wind Farm – a 330MW offshore wind farm project proposed in the Irish Sea.

EirGrid on numerous regulatory matters including in respect of the capacity market. 

Aughinish Alumina Limited in relation to all its activities undertaken in Ireland, including: the procurement, construction and creation of its 160MW CHP plant; its significant gas supply arrangements; its participation in I-SEM; its carbon hedging and trading arrangements; on its extension to its Bauxite Residue Storage Facility at its alumina refinery; and in relation to one of the largest global energy and commodities transactions where Rusal acquired the alumina assets of Glencore International.

Keelings in relation to its CHP plant with associated carbon capture facilities.

ConocoPhillips on providing a serviced site to Bord Gáis on which to construct a 440MW gas fired CCGT plant at Whitegate, Co. Cork.

ESB Novusmodus on its investment in Wind Energy Direct, an 'on-site' wind energy developer.

RWE Ireland in relation to its O&M contract with a 380MW gas fired CCGT plant and its gas supply and tolling agreement.

Co-gen in respect of its proposals to roll out small/medium sized CHP generators to industrial demand sites.

Pratt & Whitney
 on entering into a proposed turnkey contract for the design, supply, installation, testing and commissioning of two oil fired gas turbine generators sets.

RWE Ireland in relation to its O&M contract with a 380MW gas fired CCGT plant and its gas supply and tolling agreement.

RWE Gmbhin relation to the disposal of its Irish gas supply division.

E.ON on operational and regulatory issues in relation to its 130MW Edenderry peat burning power plant and its subsequent disposal of that plant to Bord na Mona.

JP Morgan Venture Energy Corp on its successful takeover of EcoSecurities Group plc.

Enercon GmbH and Aloys Wobben in relation to a patent dispute concerning turbine supplier, Vestas.

ConocoPhillips on providing a serviced site to Bord gais on which to construct a 440MW gas fired CCGT plant at Whitegate, Co. Cork.

Atlantic Fuel Supply Company, on the design, build and financing of a major oil terminal facility at Foynes Port County Limerick.

Bioverda in relation to the purchase of the waste to energy assets of Irish Power Systems including landfill gas generation assets with a generating capacity of 38MW.

Gazprom in relation to supply arrangements for the Irish I&C sector.

Flogas Natural Gas in relation to its gas procurement and trading arrangements and its downstream domestic gas supply business.

Co-gen in respect of its proposals to roll out small/medium sized CHP generators to industrial demand sites.

We advise numerous clients on wind farm projects in relation to Renewable Supports/REFIT and banking and equity funding for such projects.

COVID-19: Adapting the Planning and Building Control Systems

The Government's second Covid-19-related Bill, published on 24 March 2020, is the Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (COVID-19) Bill 2020 (Bill). In it, the Planning and Development system is listed as one of several 'vital public service functions' deemed to have real potential to be seriously compromised by the impacts of COVID-19.

Emergency Measures to Halt the Spread of Covid-19

Government passes emergency COVID-19 Legislation

Wipe Away Green-Washing in Your Business

As part of the transition to financing a more sustainable economy, the Central Bank of Ireland has advised of its role in tackling climate change. This article considers what you can do to improve your business's green practices in a changing regulatory environment.

First Concrete Steps Taken To Implement EU Sustainable Finance Action Plan

On 9 December 2019, the first of the legislative measures in the EU's Sustainable Finance Action Plan were published.

The Future of Irish Funds is Greener: European Union Action Plan on Sustainable Finance & Asset Management

The EU Action Plan on Sustainable Finance: What UCITS ManCos, AIFMs and MiFID-authorised investment firms need to know.

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  • One client notes that "William Fry have been our-go to lawyers for over 20 years and are an integral part of our team. We demand a lot from our legal advisers and the team at William Fry consistently deliver. They really understand the complexities of our business and have an in-depth legal and commercial understanding of the Irish energy sector." Another source notes that "William Fry has represented the largest global energy players active in the Irish market, They have experience advising all players in the market" Legal 500 2020
  • A client describes the firm’s performance as “very impressive,” noting in particular that the team’s “client service and commercial awareness are both excellent.” Chambers Europe, 2020
  • "William Fry’s broad practice advises domestic and international clients such as utilities, lenders and developers in the gas, water and commodities space, as well as the renewable energy sector." Legal 500, 2019
  • ‘Business acumen is excellent’ at William Fry, where the team’s growing client base includes oil, gas and manufacturing companies, utilities, independent project developers and commercial banks. Legal 500, 2018
  • The firm's "depth and versatility to provide the entire range of legal requirements" is often praised, with clients saying: "It is invaluable to have it all under one roof." 
    Sources also remark that the team is "very responsive and knows the sector well." Chambers Europe, 2017
  • William Fry excels at electricity and gas work, where its advice is ‘always focused on the key issues’Legal 500, 2017


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".


Key Contacts

Fergus Devine Partner