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.


Long Awaited Periodic Payment Orders Legislation Now Commenced

Periodic Payment Orders for Catastrophic Injuries Now Commenced

New Coroners (Amendment) Bill 2018 Aims to Modernise the Law

The new Coroners (Amendment) Bill 2018 aims to clarify and modernise the law relating to the reporting of deaths to coroners allowing for a wider scope of inquiry.

Medical Practitioners Now Required by law to Hold Indemnity Insurance

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

The Court of Appeal – A New Approach to Damages

Court of Appeal displays trend for reducing level of damages awarded by High Court

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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


  • 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
  • William Fry is a  'top-class' groupThe multidisciplinary team performs strongly in M&A, medical negligence, IP and regulatory work, acting for clients such as Boston Scientific, Forest Laboratories and the Medical Protection Society. Legal 500, 2015
  • "The team's outlook is always innovative and modern. The team is always very responsive and keeps us in the loop so we know where they are and what they are doing." Chambers Europe, 2014
  • William Fry ‘consistently delivers in-depth and accurate legal advice with speed and cost-effectiveness’. Legal 500 EMEA, 2014
  • William Fry is ‘top class’. Legal 500 EMEA, 2013


  • Carol Plunkett
    • 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
    • Carol  is unanimously regarded as a "powerhouse of IP" with "a wealth of experience" in the field. Chambers Europe, 2015
    • Carol Plunkett has ‘great instincts’. Legal 500 EMEA, 2015
    • Clients feel Carol "has a very good grasp of the brief and the workings of our business. She gives practical, straightforward advice."  Chambers Europe, 2014
    • You can’t mention patent litigation in Ireland without mentioning Carol Plunkett”, regarded by many as the country’s top IP lawyer.  IAM Patent 1000, 2014  
  • Laura Scott
    • 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 
    • "Her commitment to clients, astute strategy, technical strength and attention to detail are second to none." Legal 500 EMEA, 2015
    • Clients describe Laura Scott as "absolutely superb. She is very thorough; her work underpins our company." Chambers Europe, 2014
    • Laura Scott has the ‘Midas touch with clients’Legal 500 EMEA 2017
  • Fiona Barry
    • Clients praise her as being "responsive, knowledgeable and pleasant."Chambers Global 2017
    • Fiona Barry is ‘responsive, calm and considered’. Legal 500 EMEA 2016
    • Fiona Barry is 'excellent’. Legal 500 EMEA 2015
    • Fiona Barry's practice encompasses commercial litigation, medical negligence and defamation. Clients value her input, praising her as being “receptive to our needs. She supports and assists our clients.” Chambers Europe 2013

Key Contacts

Fiona Barry Partner

Margaret Muldowney Consultant

Sinead Keavey Partner