Contentious Healthcare

William Fry’s Contentious Healthcare Department offers its healthcare clients unique and tailored expertise and insightful advice.  We advise healthcare professionals, institutions and indemnifiers on all aspects of their work in the public and private sectors.  Our dedicated team of lawyers has vast experience in defending clinical negligence claims.

We specialise in advising healthcare clients, including representing doctors in respect of complaints to the Medical Council Fitness to Practice Inquiries.  We represent healthcare professionals at Coroner’s Inquests. 

We are experienced in effectively availing of alternative dispute resolution mechanisms such as mediation and strive to ensure all dispute resolution issues for healthcare clients are dealt with professionally, promptly and confidentially.  Reputation management is a key part of our expertise.  Our lawyers bring years of media law experience to the healthcare sector, proactively dealing with reputational issues and engaging with the media on behalf of our clients when necessary. 

We understand the needs and requirements of healthcare professionals and institutions and the regulatory framework in which they operate.  Our broad client base includes world leaders in indemnifying medical, dental and veterinary claims.  We advise doctors, dentists, hospitals, nurses, veterinarians, pharmacies and government agencies. 

Our areas of expertise include:

  • Defending negligence claims against doctors, hospitals, dentists and veterinarians
  • Coroner’s Inquests
  • Medical and Dental Council complaints
  • Fitness to Practice Inquiries
  • Reputation Management
  • Privacy and Confidentiality
  • Clinical Risk Management
  • Freedom of Information and Data Protection
  • Product Liability claims within the healthcare sector
  • Mental health, Capacity and Wardship
  • Asbestos Claims
  • HSE Inquiries
  • Regulatory Issues
  • Clinical Trials

Our unique and dedicated experience in this sector promotes innovative solutions in a cost effective and client focussed manner.  In advising our clients, we aim in our dedicated approach to ensure effective resolution.


Our experience includes advising:

  • The Medical Protection Society on negligence claims, clinical risk management, regulatory and medical ethics issues, attendances at Coroner’s Inquests and Medical Council Inquiries
  • The State Claims Agency in defending a cohort of clinical negligence claims in the Circuit and High Court jurisdictions
  • The Dental Protection Society in respect of dental negligence claims in the civil Courts
  • The Veterinary Defence Society Limited in respect of veterinary negligence claims
  • Companies in the private healthcare sector, on regulatory issues, clinical risk management and medical ethics issues.


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The Medical Practitioners (Amendment) Act 2017 introduces a mandatory legal requirement for medical practitioners to have in place a "minimum level" of indemnity cover.

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"William Fry was instrumental in guiding us through all aspects of the complex transaction and due diligence. The expertise include Irish law, government contracting, tax, property, bank restructurings, real estate/leasing as well as general advice on the Irish business culture….Overall, the service provided by William Fry was excellent. At all times they approached matters with professionalism and with UPMC’s best interest……Our business objective was successfully completed. It would have been impossible without the counsel of William Fry. It was well worth the investment spend…..Excellent advisor to contracting matters with the Irish government.”

David Farner, Senior Vice President and Chief of Staff, UPMC


  • Sources laud the team's "strategic thinking" in complex cross-border disputes, going on to say: "The firm is very efficient and has a lot of depth of talent." Another client adds that "the lawyers find practical solutions to complex and sensitive legal problems." Chambers Europe 2020
  • One client describes the lawyers as "incredibly responsive" and "very easy to deal with" adding that they provide "succinct and well-delivered advice". Chambers Europe 2019
  • One client admires the "width and depth of expertise within the firm" and lauds the department as a "strong practice that understands the minutiae of the life sciences sector." Sources appreciate the "first-rate access and availability" of the team and describe its advice as "considered, pragmatic and clear." Chambers Europe, 2017


Carol Plunkett

  • Clients describe Carol as a "brilliant lawyer" and "leading practitioner."  Chambers Europe 2020
  • Carol is "rated highly in terms of competence, experience, knowledge and judgement". One client notes that they have worked with Carol "on a number of cases in the last 12 months ranging from SPC validity proceedings to copyright." They add that they "are awaiting judgment in one case where I expected we would lose at the proofs stage but now believe that we will likely win because of the work put in by the team. On the IP side I would rate Fry as the leading firm in Ireland." Legal 500 2020
  • Carol is lauded as "an intellectual property law giant,"and is reputed for her long-standing experience in the market. Sources highlight her "well-deserved reputation for handling commercial litigation before the Irish courts, based on years of experience." Chambers Europe 2019
  • Carol Plunkett receives plaudits from a range of sources for her expert IP litigation practice. Market sources label her as "terrific" and "one of the best IP litigators" in the market, with one highlighting the "depth of knowledge" she offers. Chambers Europe 2018
  • Carol is an "excellent IP litigation strategist". Legal 500 EMEA 2018 
  • Carol enjoys strong feedback for her expertise and prowess in contentious IP cases, as well as litigious proceedings involving the technology sector. One interviewee calls her "a real heavyweight" and "one of the most senior litigators in Ireland," adding: "Nothing fazes her, so that is reassuring for the client." Chambers Europe 2017
  • Carol  has ‘an amazing IP knowledge base’. Legal 500 EMEA 2017
  • Carol, who heads the firm's contentious IP practice, is highlighted by market commentators as an "extremely accomplished lawyer" and "a leader in IP litigation."  Chambers Europe 2016

Laura Scott

  • Laura has been described as an "expert in all areas of IP." One client reports they have worked with Laura "on a number of cases in the last 12 months ranging from SPC validity proceedings to copyright. We are awaiting judgment in one case where I expected we would lose at the proofs stage but now believe that we will likely win because of the work put in by the team. On the IP side I would rate Fry as the leading firm in Ireland." Another client adds that Laura "stands out for her technical know-how and is an excellent drafter." Legal 500 2020
  • Laura has been ranked in IP Stars 2019 as one of the Top 250 Women in IPglobally.  
  • Laura Scott  is a highly respected IP practitioner with significant expertise in patent litigation. Sources praise her client-oriented approach, highlighting her "commitment and attention to detail" and adding that "she's a pleasure to deal with." Chambers Europe 2019
  • "Outstanding and a real pleasure to work with...Laura is a highly experienced litigator with intimate knowledge of all areas of intellectual property."  WTR1000 2019
  • “She is calm under pressure and has a depth of knowledge and experience which inspires confidence in her clients,” observes one source. Chambers Europe 2018
  • Laura is "on top of the technical detail...strategic and practical" and is praised for her "attention to detail and drafting skills". Legal 500 EMEA 2018 
  • Laura Scott receives plaudits for her trade mark and patent litigation practice, with particular knowledge of the pharmaceutical and life sciences sectors. Clients say: "She is very hard-working, responsive and dedicated to leaving no stone unturned in considering and communicating all available options. She is also extremely pleasant to work with." Chambers Europe 2017
  • Laura Scott has the ‘Midas touch with clients’. Legal 500 EMEA 2017

Fiona Barry

  • According to Chambers Europe 2020, clients appreciate that Fiona Barry is "very careful and thorough," while market commentators highlight her ability to "efficiently find her way to the core of the case." Another clients add that Fiona is "very timely and clear in her advice."
  • Sources say Fiona Barry is "knowledgeable, practical, clear, concise and not afraid to express an opinion." She is widely esteemed for her contentious experience, including acting on defamation suits. One source says: "She is excellent: confident, careful and easy to get on with."  Chambers Europe 2019
  • Fiona is particularly noted for her work on matters related to medical negligence and for acting for insurance companies on personal injury claims and is well regarded by market commentators for her media expertise. Chambers Europe 2018 
  • Fiona Barry is "straightforward and clear". Legal 500 EMEA 2018
  • According to Chambers Global 2017, Fiona holds a commanding position in the medical negligence and healthcare litigation sphere, including regulatory and insurance matters where clients praise her as being "responsive, knowledgeable and pleasant." 
  • Fiona Barry is ‘responsive, calm and considered’. Legal 500 EMEA 2016

Key Contacts

Fiona Barry Partner

Margaret Muldowney Consultant

Sinead Keavey Partner