The William Fry Healthcare Services team works on a cross departmental basis, enabling us to provide specialist advices on a wide variety of issues to our diverse client base.  Our clients include healthcare providers, health insurers, pharmacies, professionals and government agencies.


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 availing effectively 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 for 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
  • Clinical Risk Management
  • Mental health, Capacity and Wardship
  • HSE Inquiries

Our experience includes advising:

  • BioMarin Pharmaceuticals Inc on its agreement to buy a bulk biologics manufacturing plant from Pfizer for US$48.5m
  • The Sodexo Group on the purchase of a majority interest in Zehnacker Ireland Holdings Limited which will trade as Sodexo Zehnecker Healthcare
  • Helix Health Group Limited on the €5m investment by the Diageo Ulster Bank Equity Fund Limited Partnership, and in relation to on-going commercial and intellectual property issues
  • BiancaMed on its sale to ResMed, and on an on-going basis,  in the commercial exploitation of its patents with strategic partners including negotiating agreements with Omron Healthcare, a Japanese leader in healthcare solutions, Dorel Inc., one of the leading providers of healthcare solutions in the United States and iRhythm a leading international player in the cardiac rhythm monitoring sector
  • University of Pittsburgh Medical Centre (UPMC) in relation to its investment in the Beacon Hospital which involved a complex corporate restructuring, liaising with Goodbody Stockbrokers to obtain the consent of tax investors to various aspects of the transaction, tax advices, renegotiation of the Group’s banking facilities, rebranding of the hospital and property and construction advices
  • UPMC in relation to its acquisition of a minority shareholding in various entities that have contracted with the HSE and the Board of Beaumont Hospital in relation to potential co-location hospitals at Cork, Limerick and Beaumont
  • UPMC in respect of its investment in and operation of the Whitfield Clinic in Waterford and its day to day operations at the Beacon Hospital
  • The State Claims Agency, the Health Insurance Authority and the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board
  • Barchester Healthcare on the recently opened Knightsbrook Village retirement community and primary care centre in Trim, County Meath, Stewarts Hospital and other private healthcare providers
  • International Investment and Underwriting (IIU) and Hibernian Health (formerly VIVAS)Management on the recent sale of their majority stake in the health insurer VIVAS to Hibernian Group
  • Pharmacies in the Irish pharmacy sector including Boots Retails (Ireland) Limited andUniphar plc, on protection of their trade mark portfolios and other matters

Court of Appeal Gives Stark Warning to Legal Practitioners and Expert Witnesses

A recent decision from the Court of Appeal has considered the role of expert witnesses, with Collins J describing the case as "disturbing" and expressing the hope "that its like will not be seen again". The leading judgment was delivered by Noonan J, with Collins J delivering a separate concurring judgment. Collins J also issued a word of warning to legal practitioners in relation to costs where they fail to comply with their duties concerning expert evidence.

Product Liability in the Era of New and Emerging Technology: Changes on the Horizon

Changes to the Product Liability Directive are on the horizon in response to AI and emerging technologies.

A Stricter Regime is Beckoning for Manufacturers of Popular Beauty Devices

The European Commission has proposed reclassifying certain beauty and brain stimulation devices without an intended medical purpose under the Medical Devices Regulation.

Is Change on the Horizon for the Disclosure Regime Under Order 39, Rule 46 RSC?

In a recent decision, the Court of Appeal (CoA) considered the interpretation and application of Order 39, Rule 46 of the Rules of the Superior Courts (RSC). Order 39, Rule 46 sets out the disclosure rules in High Court personal injury claims, regarding the exchange of expert reports. The decision suggests a novel roadmap to resolve the impasse between the parties in the case.

Death, Time Barred Claims and the Equitable Doctrine of Unconscionability

High Court dismisses claim against deceased doctor's estate as statute barred pursuant to s. 9(2)(b) of the Civil Liability Act, 1961.

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  • Mary Cooney
    • "Fiona Barry and Mary Cooney were excellent in accepting instructions in a sensitive and high value case. Their results, under significant time pressures, were first rate." Legal 500 EMEA 2022
    • Mary is recognised by the IFLR Rising Stars Awards EMEA 2021 for her work in Product Liability. The Rising Stars Awards aims to recognise the outstanding work being done by the region's emerging leaders.
  • Fiona Barry 
    • Fiona is described by clients as “thoughtful, responsive and provides pragmatic advice”.  Media Law International 2021
    • According to Chambers Europe 2020, clients appreciate that Fiona  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 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 Barry "frequently acts for well-known clients on healthcare and medical negligence matters. She is experienced in advising institutional and private clients on regulatory issues and insurance disputes. She assisted the Medical Protection Society with the defence of a EUR1 million medical negligence claim against a consultant gynaecologist regarding a total abdominal hysterectomy". Chambers Europe 2018
    • Fiona Barry holds a commanding position in the medical negligence and healthcare litigation sphere, including regulatory and insurance matters. Clients praise her as being "responsive, knowledgeable and pleasant.Chambers Global 2017
  • Margaret Muldowney 
    • Interviewees describe Margaret  as a "heavy hitter and a very tough adversary.Chambers Europe 2021
    • One source says that Margaret is "calm under pressure," while another describes her as "personable and great at client care." Chambers Europe 2020
    • Margaret Muldowney "advises on regulatory and disciplinary cases in the healthcare sector. Her mandates often pertain to issues such as product liability, psychiatric injury and catastrophic injury claims". Chambers Europe 2019 
    • Margaret Muldowney routinely assists institutions and individual medical practitioners with the defence of fitness to practise inquiries and clinical claims. Sources note that she is "very experienced." Chambers Europe 2018
    • Consultant Margaret Muldowney is recognised by interviewees for her expertise in product liability and malpractice litigation in the medical and healthcare sectors. Chambers Global 2017

Key Contacts

Mary Cooney Partner

Margaret Muldowney Consultant

Fiona Barry Partner