Retail & Leisure

Our Retail & Leisure Group acts for a large number of the leading international retailers and leisure brands with operations in Ireland and for specialist Irish providers. The Group is comprised of experts from a number of our practice areas such as Corporate and M&A, Intellectual Property, Employment & Benefits, Licensing, Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Property and Tax. Our lawyers offer an in-depth understanding of the specific requirements of retail operators.

Areas of expertise include:

  • Advertising & marketing arrangements
  • Competition & Regulation
  • Copyright Protection
  • Distribution Agreements
  • Establishing branches in Ireland
  • Employment law issues
  • Franchising
  • Landlord & Tenant matters
  • Licensing Agreements
  • Management of Trade Mark Portfolios
  • Merchandising /Franchising /Agency /Distribution Agreements
  • Passing Off Actions & Trade Mark Disputes
  • Pension Scheme structuring
  • Property Acquisition

The knowledge and experience, and the relationships we have built up over years of commitment to retail enable us to offer highly strategic and commercial advice to clients doing business in Ireland or looking to take their brand or product into international markets.

Our experience includes acting for/advising:

HMV on its acquisition of five Zavvi music stores in Ireland from the provisional liquidator who agreed to operate these shops pending mergers approval.

Tesco on the roll out of its Tesco Express stores in Ireland, 7 of which were opend in the last 12 months.

Dunnes Stores in the successful Supreme Court appeal of Berber v Dunnes Stores.  The Supreme Court overturned the judgment of the High Court granting damages for wrongful dismissal and in respect of personal injury.  

Gap on the opening of its first stand alone flagship stores in Dundrum Town Centre and Opera Avenue, Cork

IKEA International on the procurement of its new 30,000 sq metre store in Ballymun, Dublin IKEA’s first store in the Republic of Ireland.

Jacob Fruitfield Foods Limited in search and seizure orders in respect of alleged infringement of trade-marked groceries.

Debenhams on the acquisition of the Roches Stores department store.

Keelings, one of Europe’s largest fruit and vegetable distributors, on the proceedings relating to the Plant Breeders’ Regulations.

Omniplex Cinemas Limited in proceedings with the Irish Musical Rights Organisation (IMRO) concerning royalty payments by cinema operators.

Red Bull on the protection of its brand identity against new competitors in the market.

Boots in High Court proceedings against the Minister for Health and Children and others arising from amendments to the Advanced Payment Scheme.

The Future of Commercial Leasing is ‘Green’

The introduction of the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development (Amendment) Act 2021, which places Ireland's climate action commitments on a statutory footing, has resulted in an increase in the inclusion of 'green' clauses in commercial leases.

Retail Re-opens – What's Open and What are Retailers Obligations

On 8 June 2020 street retailers were permitted to open, we examine the types permitted to open and the obligations on those reopening.

COVID-19 & E-Commerce: Top 10 Legal Issues for Online Retailers

In this article, William Fry specialists identify ten important legal issues that apply to online retailers and offer some practical guidance on how to ensure online businesses comply with applicable consumer, data protection and distance selling regulations.

Government Recommends that all Non-Essential Retail Outlets will Close to Members of the Public

The National Public Health Emergency Team (the NPHET) published an indicative list of what are considered essential retail outlets which are to remain open and implement social distancing measures.

COVID 19 – Practical Considerations for both Landlords and Tenants

There are challenging times ahead for landlords and tenants of commercial property. What are the challenges and does a commercial lease provide any answers?

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  • The team have been described as "committed, hard working, commercial, responsive" as well as having a "great set of values and good positive culture." Another client adds that they are "excellent to deal with. They have a strong team in all sectors. They are hard working and provide really good advice." Legal 500 2020
  • A client says "incredible. They have a great understanding of our business and will go the extra mile to assist us. They have always shown an impressive understanding of our requirements". Another client states:  "their ability to think commercially and practically while maintaining legal rigour". ​Chamber Europe 2019
  • Clients enthuse that the team is "extremely commercial, practical, good at identifying the pitfalls and extremely responsive." Interviewees comment that the lawyers "fight hard for the client and do everything for the best interest of the client." Chambers Europe 2017
  • "The team's level of attention to detail is second to none, and the commercial acumen is really impressive." "The lawyers really know what they are talking about. These complicated deals only came together due to their expertise and ability to be commercial." Chambers Europe 2016 


Edward Spain

  • According to Chambers Europe 2020, clients say Edward "is pragmatic, responsive, obviously has a lot of experience and understands the market and its challenges."
  • Edward Spain is a respected practitioner providing advice to developers and investors on their structured investments, joint ventures and portfolio acquisitions. Clients are very happy with his responsiveness and transparency, with one source reporting: "We get on well and understand him. I trust him." ​​Chambers Europe 2019 
  • Edward  is noted by interviewees as having "broad technical expertise and vast market experience." Chambers Europe 2018
  • According to Chambers Europe 2017, clients say that Edward is "really commercial and finds the main point to focus on." 
  • In Chambers Europe 2016, clients praise him for being "absolutely superb at handling complex issues," adding: "the level of work he did in a short timeframe was phenomenal." 

Andrew Muckian

  • "He is excellent and extremely professional with dogged determination and great experience. He is very commercial when needed and never loses his cool. He is always supportive and humble."  IFLR 1000 2020
  • One enthused client highlights "his ability to break down complex topics into very readable, layman-friendly commercial decisions." Chambers Europe 2020
  • "He is incredibly experienced, commercially savvy and able to understand all of the clients requirements above and beyond the parameters of the legal issues. He has excellent judgement which we value very highly," says one interviewee in ​Chambers Europe 2019 ​where he is ranked in Band 1. 
  • "He is excellent and extremely professional with dogged determination and great experience. He is very commercial when needed and never loses his cool. He is always supportive and humble." IFLR 1000 2019
  • In Chambers Europe 2018, Andrew is singled out as leading some of the firm's most high-profile real estate acquisitions and construction mandates.
  • Andrew has been recognised by the Legal 500 as an elite leading lawyer. Legal 500 EMEA Hall of Fame.
  • According to Chambers Europe 2017, Andrew stands out for development and property investment matters. Clients highlight that he is "very thorough and good at identifying solutions." Legal 500 EMEA 2017 describe the ‘savvy’ Andrew Muckian advising on the Hammerson and Allianz Real Estate acquisition of the Project Jewel loan portfolio from NAMA.
  • Interviewees say: "He proved extremely efficient, commercial and practical with a good legal brain. He was able to bring commercial focus to an extremely tight transaction." Chambers Europe 2016 

David Cullen

  • According to Chambers Europe 2020, David has been described by clients as "pragmatic and has a strong technology interest, which aids immensely in his understanding and his advice." 
  • One interviewee attests that he is "always available, responsive, timely and very well-versed." Chambers Europe 2019 
  • David Cullen is revered for his commercial prowess in intellectual property mandates. Chambers Europe 2018 
  • Practice head David Cullen "distils salient facts from complicated business scenarios"Legal 500 EMEA 2018 
  • David Cullen impresses clients with his commercial IP practice, one of whom praises his "absolute excellence in IP law, coupled with his strong technology and business acumen." Chambers Europe 2017
  • Esteemed practitioner David Cullen "has really incredible experience in the area of technology and IP, and is cool, calm and pragmatic," say sources. Chambers Europe 2016


Key Contacts

Edward Spain Partner

David Cullen Partner

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