Health & Safety

Health & Safety Law is one of the fastest advancing areas of the law in Ireland.  In line with William Fry’s commitment to meeting our clients’ needs, we are one of the few law firms in Ireland to have a dedicated Health & Safety Unit. This Unit draws together the Firm’s experience and expertise on all aspects of health and safety compliance.

William Fry’s Health & Safety lawyers pride themselves on being available to their clients immediately when a health and safety related incident or accident occurs, in what can often be difficult circumstances both for an employer and its employees.

Our lawyers have experience of advising on health and safety issues across a broad range of sectors, including construction, transport, waste disposal, healthcare, energy, information technology and manufacturing.  We also advise public sector employees. 

Our areas of expertise include:

  • Compliance with Health & Safety legislation
  • Advising on contractual documentation and policies to reflect Health & Safety requirements
  • Advising on corporate governance and personal liability of directors and managers
  • Advising on accidents and incidents, ranging from fatal accidents to minor incidents
  • Representing individuals called for interview before the Health and Safety Authority (“HSA”)
  • Appearing on behalf of corporate and individual clients before the Courts in prosecutions for health and safety breaches
  • Undertaking due diligence exercises for both purchasers and vendors in corporate acquisitions
  • Bespoke training sessions at board, senior management and general employee level

Our experience includes:

  • Advising SOLAS and B&Q on an on-going basis on health and safety issues.
  • Representing a client before the Courts in a prosecution under the Fire Services Act 1981 (as amended).
  • Defending an explosives company before the Courts in a prosecution instituted by the HSA.
  • Advising preferred bidders in transactions on the due diligence process including reviewing health and safety documents and advising on warranties and indemnities.
  • Defending bullying and harassment personal injuries claims before the Courts.
  • Representing clients before Rights Commissioners and the Employment Appeals Tribunal in respect of penalisation claims pursuant to the health and safety legislation.

Fair Dismissal Resulting From Failed Intoxicant Test

The dismissal of an employee who failed an intoxicant test at an induction training session in a safety critical workplace has been upheld by the WRC


Former Manager awarded €160,000 for safety-related dismissal

An office manager who was described as the "employee from hell" by her former employer has been awarded €159,705 by the Workplace Relations Commission ("WRC") after she was dismissed for raising a grievance in respect of health and safety in the workplace. The award is one of the highest made to date by the WRC.


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Department

  • A client notes: "Their work in my experience has always been of the highest quality. The advice is practical and relevant and always geared towards the best interests of the client," adding: "They have an in-depth knowledge of our business which guarantees that the advice provided is always relevant." Another client says: "Not only are they extremely knowledgeable, innovative in their advice and commercially minded, they are also a down-to-earth, unassuming and approachable team of solicitors." Chambers Europe, 2018 
  • Interviewees say the group is "very capable, pragmatic and customer-focused. They bring a wealth of experience to employment and pensions law issues and provide responsive, practical and effective solutions to critical issues." Other clients refer to a "top-class service" from the department, advising: "It is a very collegial team that is very careful and considered about its advice and always on point. It is particularly good in complex or sensitive scenarios." Sources explain that the "partners are receptive, responsive, experienced and provide added value, as well as very good legal advice. There is a good breadth and depth in terms of back-up resources, and all cross-border work is handled expertly." Chambers Europe 2017
  • "The firm's advice is of the highest quality and based on solid research and case studies. It is also highly tailored and relevant. Working with this firm is an educational experience." Chambers Europe, 2016
  • "I would rate William Fry's performance very highly. Apart from mastery of the technical aspects of the work, I find the firm pragmatic and commercial when it comes to pension-related matters and it acts as a partner to us in delivering optimal solutions." Chambers Europe, 2016
  • The team at William Fry takes ‘a highly professional, informed and engaging approach.’ Legal 500 EMEA 2016
  • "This team asks the right questions to get to the heart of the issue. The lawyers are technically excellent and bring pragmatic solutions to our clients." 
  • "Great breadth of experience, and a high level of responsiveness."  Chambers Europe, 2015 
  •  William Fry’s ‘responsive and reliable’ team is headed by the ‘astute and commercial’ Boyce Shubotham and includes the ‘practical and incisive’ Alicia Compton, Maura Roe and ‘trusted adviser’ Catherine O’Flynn. Legal 500 EMEA, 2015 
  • "The team explained the process at each stage in layman's terms. I was impressed with the lawyers' advice; they gave me their opinion and asked whether I wanted to pursue something. I wasn't being pushed."  Chambers Europe, 2014
  • "The team has a very in-depth knowledge of the law and a clear understanding of our agenda - I have never had occasion to regret our choice.Chambers Europe, 2014
  • William Fry’s ‘service cannot be faulted’. Alicia Compton ‘has proven herself to be one of Ireland’s foremost employment lawyers’. Legal 500 EMEA, 2014
  • Sources say: “A well-connected practice that really tries to understand its clients. I have yet to give the lawyers a scenario which has stumped them – you can always find an expert in your area.” Chambers Europe, 2013
  • Sources say: "Everyone we deal with is just superb. We value the team's judgement and view them as colleagues.Chambers Europe, 2012 
  • William Fry advises in "a clear and pragmatic way."  Legal 500 EMEA, 2012 

Team

  • Boyce Shubotham
    • Clients confirm that the market-leading Boyce Shubotham has "excellent technical knowledge," and is "responsive and commercially aware." He possesses significant experience in contentious employment proceedings, acting for both employers and senior executives. Chambers Europe 2017 
    • Boyce "has great, savvy experience of how things will pan out. I liked his measured, personable approach." Chambers 2016
    • Boyce Shubotham is ‘astute and commercial’. Legal 500 EMEA, 2015
    • Sources say Boyce Shubotham is "very strategic and astute, and demonstrates that the law is one thing, but the tactics behind it are the key." Chambers Europe, 2014 
    • Boyce Shubotham is considered “one of the top employment guys in the city.” Chambers Europe, 2013 
    • Practice head Boyce Shubotham is ‘tactically astute in all his dealings’. Legal 500 EMEA, 2013
    • Boyce Shubotham is lauded as 'experienced and practical. He always lays out options and his advice has avoided a lot of litigation.'  Chambers Europe, 2012
    • Boyce Shubotham is ‘just amazing’Legal 500 EMEA, 2012 
  • Maura Roe
    • Maura Roe, whom one client calls ‘the foremost expert in Ireland on shares and share options’Chambers Europe 2017 
    • Maura Roe "gives very sound and practical advice," report interviewees.  Chambers Europe, 2014
    • Maura Roe ‘remains calm and focused’. Legal 500 EMEA, 2013 
  • Alicia Compton
    • Alicia Compton is ‘one of Ireland’s leading practitioners’. Chambers Europe 2017 
    • Clients comment that Alicia has "intricate knowledge of our business and backs us proactively at every turn. It's almost like she is a part of our company, rather than an external provider. Fantastic!"Chambers Europe 2016
    • Alicia's  "keen legal brain and common sense result in excellent outcomes". Legal 500 EMEA 2016 
    • Alicia is described as "highly knowledgeable, and consistently willing to consider a variety of viewpoints to ensure that her advice is fit for the particular circumstances."  Chambers Europe, 2015
    • Alicia Compton is ‘practical and incisive’Legal 500 EMEA, 2015
    • Alicia Compton "knows her law backwards, is very considered in everything she does, and thinks things through from start to finish," say clients.Chambers Europe, 2014
    • Alicia Compton is "a valuable adviser who understands the context in which we operate. She can head problems off.”  Chambers Europe, 2013
    • Alicia Compton is ‘excellent’. Legal 500 EMEA, 2013
  • Catherine O'Flynn
    • Sources describe her as "very astute, direct and diplomatic." Chambers Europe 2017 
    • Sources say "She has an ability to ask the right questions and provide clarity on the key elements and possible courses of action." Chambers Europe 2016 
    • Catherine is described as a "superior solicitor working for a top-class firm. She always guides and supports clients through the all the issues." Chambers Europe, 2015
    • Catherine O’Flynn is a 'trusted adviser’.  Legal 500 EMEA, 2015
  • Michael Wolfe
    • Sources state: "He has great knowledge of the industry in Ireland and comes up with creative solutions for difficult problems." Chambers Europe, 2016
    • Michael Wolfe is known for his "fantastic experience and good client manner."Chambers Europe, 2015
    • Michael Wolfe is praised by clients as one of the best pensions lawyers in Ireland: "He understands the whole project; he looks at all the elements and takes them into consideration and is very commercial in the advice he gives."  Chambers Europe, 2014
    • According to an impressed client, “he thinks outside the box and comes up with usable solutions." Another adds: "He has the ability to resolve division and conflict between parties.”  Chambers Europe, 2013
    • Michael Wolfe is praised for 'his independence of mind and ability to resolve divisions between trustees'. Legal 500 EMEA, 2013
    • Michael Wolfe is ‘an excellent pensions lawyer’. Legal 500 EMEA, 2012
  • Liam Connellan
    • According to clients Liam is "highly knowledgeable and consistently willing to consider a variety of viewpoints to ensure that the advice is fit for purpose." Chambers Europe, 2016
    • Liam Connellan is a pensions expert with "a very pragmatic approach to resolving pension issues for our clients' businesses. He has been a real benefit to us on occasions when we might be dealing with a prospect and need to sense-check a particular point." Chambers Europe, 2015
    • Liam Connellan is commended by peers as a "safe pair of hands."  Chambers Europe, 2014 

Key Contacts

Boyce Shubotham Consultant

Nuala Clayton Associate

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