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.

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?

Gimme the Loot: Will Purchases in Video Games be Exempt from Gambling Law Overhaul?

With a number of jurisdictions increasing regulatory scrutiny of in-game purchases, the Irish Department of Justice has indicated that the planned changes to Irish gambling legislation will not include regulating video game transactions such as loot boxes.

You Can Have Any Colour You Want, As Long As It's The Same: EU Court Examines Limitations on the Repair Clause Exemption for Sales of Spare Parts

The ECJ has issued a preliminary ruling limiting the scope of the 'Repair Clause' set out in Article 110 of the Community Design Regulation.

Supermarket Wars Reach the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court has granted leave to Aldi to appeal a decision of the Court of Appeal which found an advertising campaign undertaken by Dunnes Stores to constitute lawful comparative advertising. Introduction

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  • 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 
  • "This team is dedicated and solution driven, really going the extra mile to get the what the client wants. The lawyers are also approachable and humble. I think the firm is a fantastic service provider."  Chambers Europe, 2015 - Real Estate
  • William Fry’s ‘proactive and practical’ team advised the Bank of Ireland on selling The Capital Collection property portfolio. ‘Stand-out lawyer’ Andrew Muckian heads the team, which includes, the 'technically strong' Karen Sheil and the ‘vastly experienced’ Patricia Kenny.  Legal 500 EMEA, 2015 - Real Estate
  • "The team has the legal knowledge, but doesn't focus on being academic; rather they look at what the client requires and advise accordingly." "The lawyers are very commercial, they will explain legal matters and the implications they have in our situation; we have confidence in the advice they give us." Chambers Europe, 2014 - Real Estate
  • “The firm is a go-to for big questions. The team has great expertise, and reflects on what the problem really is: they don't just think like lawyers.”  Chambers Europe, 2013 - Real Estate 


  • Edward Spain

  • Clients say that Edward Spain is "really commercial and finds the main point to focus on."  Chambers Europe 2017
  • Clients praise Edward for being "absolutely superb at handling complex issues," adding: "The level of work he did in a short timeframe was phenomenal." Chambers Europe 2016 
  • Edward is "highly regarded and meticulous".  Chambers Europe, 2015
  • Edward Spain is a 'deal-closer’.  Legal 500 EMEA, 2015
  • Edward Spain represented Friends First in the EUR20 million sale of St Martin's House. Peers recognise him as a "fine practitioner" and particularly note his involvement with NAMA-related transactions.  Chambers Europe, 2014 
  • Edward Spain is considered “excellent. You can shoot a query at him and he will get back quickly.”  Chambers Europe, 2013 
  • Edward Spain is ‘very good at plotting a road map’Legal 500 EMEA, 2013 


  • Andrew Muckian

    • 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 
    • Andrew remains "very highly rated".  Chambers Europe, 2015 
    • Andrew Muckian is a 'stand out lawyer'.  Legal 500 EMEA, 2015 
    • Andrew Muckian is described as "unflappable and practical, and will highlight risks without labouring the point." Chambers Europe, 2013
    • David Cullen

      • 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." Tech specialist David Cullen has a broad practice that includes outsourcing, big data, cloud computing and intellectual property. Clients feel he is "deeply knowledgeable in the areas of privacy and technology." 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, "He has really incredible experience internationally and is cool and calm, with an extremely good understanding of the technology industry," say clients.
        Chambers Europe 2016 
      • "An absolute expert and key leader," David Cullen "understands not only where our business is, but what our plans are, how we want to grow and what the consequences are," enthuse clients. Chambers Europe, 2014 
      • David Cullen is a firm favourite with clients and is described as “calm and considered, with a wealth of knowledge about the area.”  Chambers Europe, 2013
      • David Cullen is ‘one of the best in the business’. Legal 500 EMEA, 2013

    Key Contacts

    Andrew Muckian Partner

    Edward Spain Partner

    David Cullen Partner

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