Litigation & Dispute Resolution

Our Litigation & Dispute Resolution Department has a reputation as a market leader focused on delivering results for clients. We represent our clients at all levels of the Courts and dispute resolution whether by way of conciliation, mediation or arbitration, is a particular strength of the Department. In particular we are known for our expertise in domestic and international commercial disputes.

Our key practice areas are:-

  • Administrative & Public Law
  • Corporate Disputes
  • Defamation & Privacy
  • Financial Services
  • Intellectual Property
  • Insolvency & Corporate Recovery
  • Insurance
  • Commercial Property 
  • Projects & Construction
  • Healthcare
  • Product Regulation & Liability

As a full-service law firm we are able to draw on the expertise of our colleagues in Tax, Corporate, and Competition & Regulation as well as industry sector specialists to create multi-disciplinary teams to support you to achieve the best outcome. We pride ourselves on delivering innovative solutions for clients.   

Our experience includes acting for/advising:

  • Asics UK Limited in a case before the High Court Competition list in which Heatons Limited (an Irish department store with 42 outlets) was alleging that Asics, the famous sport footwear company had a dominant position in the relevant market and, by refusing to supply Heatons, was significantly adversely affecting the business of Heatons and was in breach of Competition law.
  • ICDL GCC Foundation and ICDL Saudi Arabia in Commercial Court proceedings taken against the European Computer Driving Licence Foundation for breach of contract arising from its unlawful termination of our clients’ licence agreement. 
  • Davy, Ireland's largest stockbroking firm, on a number of actions by various Credit Unions, and individual investors, relating to the recommendation and sale of perpetual bonds and other investment products.
  • 'Monaghan Mushrooms' Danbywiske and the Wilson Limited Partnership 1 in an action taken by our clients to enforce an option granted to them by the Defendant to purchase 5% of the Defendant’s shareholding in the business.
  • Topaz in the defence of Commercial Court proceedings brought by Investec Bank PLC (‘Investec’).  The proceedings related to the termination by Topaz of a contract with Investec which had been retained to advise Topaz on the sale of its loan portfolio by IBRC (In Special Liquidation).
  • in the defence of judicial review proceedings against the RCSI following its decision not to accredit a live plastic surgery event being arranged by RAS Medical Limited
  • Defending Horizon and other Defendants in Rory McIlroy’s Commercial Court claim seeking to set aside his agency/representation agreement.  Horizon and the other Defendants counterclaimed for millions of euro in unpaid commission entitlements on foot of sponsorship agreements obtained for Rory McIlroy including his US$100 million dollar sponsorship agreement with Nike.
  • Tesco Ireland Limited in relation to its Commercial Litigation needs including landlord and tenant matters
  • Keelings, one of Europe’s largest fruit and vegetable distributors, in relation to all its Commercial Litigation requirements.
  • Commission for Aviation Regulation in relation to proceedings against Budget Travel Limited concerning its license to operate as a Tour Operator and Travel Agent.
  • Commission for Communications Regulation in Commercial Court Proceedings involving enforcement action against electronic communications company.
  • AA (Alternative Advantage) plc in proceedings against HSBC being conducted in the Commercial Court seeking the recovery of in excess of US$100 million entrusted by Alternative Advantage investors to HSBC as custodian and which HSBC in turn sub-custodied to Bernard Madoff.
  • Jacobs Fruitfield Foods in proceedings concerning the protection of its Trade Marks and the goodwill attaching to its brand.
  • Medical Protection Society in continuing advices in both the defence of medical negligence actions and in regulatory matters.
  • Nortel Networks Ireland Limited in acting for the joint administrators for major restructuring of this Group on a global scale.
  • Bula Limited in acting for the Receiver in longest running receivership in the State.  The final phase of litigation was heard in the Supreme Court in January 2009 concluding extremely complex Commercial Litigation spanning 25 years.

The End of the Road for Setanta - Supreme Court Finds the Insurance Compensation Fund Liable

All insurers writing motor insurance in Ireland will be impacted by this successful appeal by the Motor Insurers' Bureau of Ireland.

Key steps in Dealing with "Dawn-Raids" by Irish and EU Competition Regulators and/or Central Bank

Key steps in Dealing with "Dawn-Raids" or on-site inspections by Irish Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, the European Commission and/or Central Bank

Ireland and the European Medicines Agency Prepare for Brexit

Ireland has set its sights on ensuring uninterrupted supply of medicines and assuming a greater role in EU regulatory activities post-Brexit.

High Court Refuses To Stay Proceedings In Favour Of Arbitration

High Court confirms there is no obligation to refer where agreement provides for court determination of discreet aspect of dispute pending arbitration

Payment on Account of Costs Pending Taxation

In the wake of President Kelly's Practice Direction of 28 March 2017 concerning the payment of costs on account, recent judgments further illuminate the Court's approach to the interim payment of costs.

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  • "The firm is extremely responsive, really works with us well and gets to know us. The team is completely reliable and has lots of experts to deal with everything you need."
    "The advice is commercial as well as purely legal, and the lawyers are accessible and always in a position to respond as quickly as we require. We have a real sense that we get value for money." 
    Chambers Europe 2016
  • William Fry has a ‘first-class and proactive’ team. Legal 500 2016.
  • William Fry has been judged to be Ireland’s most innovative law firm and the sixth best innovative European law firm (non-UK) by the Financial Times Innovative Lawyers Report.The high ranking was awarded to William Fry in recognition of case studies which drew praise from the judges.  William Fry showed exemplary innovation in Dispute Resolution by convincing the Irish courts to consider sharia law.  Financial Times Innovative Lawyers Report 2015
  • "The team understands the process and issues, and can simplify any complexities. The lawyers are extremely responsive and go above and beyond what is expected of them." "This firm offers individuals with expertise and determination, who are easy to work with." Chambers Europe, 2015 - Dispute Resolution
  • "Elite dispute resolution firm." Legal 500 EMEA, 2015 - Dispute Resolution
  • "Martin Phelan's controversy practice is at the forefront of domestic contentious tax work and boasts an enviable client list." Who's Who Legal - Corporate Tax 2015
  • Impressive client list and broad expertise including banking and financial services, IP and regulatory matters. Active in the field of professional discipline, covering a broad range of sectors including financial services and medical defence. "The lawyers can pull in all the firm's resources, and are commercially minded and responsive."  Chambers Europe, 2014 - Dispute Resolution
  • William Fry remains a popular choice with clients; ‘the strength of the team is of the highest order’. Legal 500 EMEA, 2014 - Dispute Resolution
  • Sources say: “One hell of a practice. It got to grips with the practicalities and was a great sounding board for bouncing ideas off.” “I always feel as if I am the centre of attention and that I am a valued client.” Chambers Europe, 2013 - Dispute Resolution
  • William Fry is ‘top class’. Legal 500 EMEA, 2013 - Dispute Resolution
  • Sources say: 'William Fry always delivers, and will always exceed our expectations.' Chambers Europe, 2012 - Dispute Resolution  
  • William Fry provides "a practical yet innovative approach". Legal 500 EMEA, 2012 - Dispute Resolution


  • Owen O'Sullivan

    • Owen O'Sullivan is a litigator and dispute resolution specialist with an exceptional reputation, including sound knowledge and experience of insurance disputes who is "quickly able to make decisions on how to handle certain situations, taking into account all stakeholders that may be affected." Interviewees praise him as a "very astute guy with really reliable intuition in court."  Chambers Europe 2016
    • Owen O'Sullivan is "a superb lawyer - he's patient, doesn't lose his cool or display any signs of stress, and always seems to have our interests at the fore." Chambers Europe, 2015
    • Owen O’Sullivan provides ‘direct and definitive advice’Legal 500 EMEA, 2015
    • Department head Owen O'Sullivan is "very pragmatic and has a value-for-money approach," according to one client. Chambers Europe, 2014 
    • 'Very bright’ practice head Owen O’Sullivan is ‘an insightful strategic thinker’. Legal 500 EMEA, 2013 - Dispute Resolution
    • Owen O'Sullivan "really knows his stuff, is always well briefed, and is efficient and easy to deal with.” Chambers Global 2013
    • Owen O’Sullivan is "understated, calm and a good strategic thinker". Legal 500 EMEA, 2012
    • Department head Owen O'Sullivan is acknowledged as an “exceptionally good litigator, and hugely commercial.” Chambers Global, 2012
  • Carol Plunkett

    • Carol Plunkett is widely admired for her strength in IP and regulatory disputes and is highlighted by market commentators as an "extremely accomplished lawyer" and "a leader in IP litigation." Chambers Europe 2016
    • Sources are effusive in their praise of outstanding contentious lawyer Carol Plunkett, with one saying: "She's one of the most experienced litigators in Dublin. Having dealt with cases across a huge spectrum, nothing will phase her at this stage." Another comments: "She is practical and knowledgeable, and understands commerciality. She manoeuvres around the issues very smoothly." Chambers Global 2015
    • Carol Plunkett is a ‘seasoned litigator’ with 'great instincts'. Legal 500 EMEA, 2015
    • Carol Plunkett is described by clients as "hands-on and accessible, with excellent communication. She instils this culture in all her team and keeps everyone up to speed."  Chambers Global 2014
    • Carol Plunkett is widely acclaimed as “just brilliant. She has fantastic expertise in both intellectual property and commercial litigation.”  Chambers Global 2013
  • Garrett Breen

    • Garrett Breen is well positioned for major litigation cases, as he is "a good organiser of large litigation teams and well equipped for the logistics of the largest, most complex litigation." His broad experience includes prominent cases in the IP, competition, banking and regulatory spheres. Chambers Global 2016
    • According to interviewees, Garrett Breen "is a determined, smart guy, who is absolutely dedicated to his clients." Chambers Global 2015
      Garrett Breen is ‘first-class’. Legal 500 EMEA, 2015
    • Garrett Breen is a "fierce litigator" according to one source and clients agree they "trust him to always deliver." He handles commercial and regulatory litigation.  Chambers Global 2014 - Dispute Resolution
    • Garrett Breen, who has ‘a phenomenal strategic mind’. Legal 500 EMEA, 2014
    • The "determined and focused" Garrett Breen. Legal 500 EMEA, 2013
    • Garrett Breen is hailed as a "creative lawyer who looks at all the different angles and is able to help us build a superb case."  Chambers Global 2013 
  • Barry Cahir

    • Clients describe Barry Cahir as "meticulous and very focused on the academic points of law. He will help keep the technical details and the distinct legal points on track." Chambers Global 2016
    • Barry Cahir represented governmental banking client NAMA in judicial review proceedings brought by real estate giant Treasury Holdings, regarding enforcement action taken by NAMA following the unlawful transfer of assets. He offers clients experience of insolvency and corporate recovery disputes.  Chambers Global 2015
    • Barry Cahir ‘quickly sums up complex matters’ and is a 'seasoned litigator’. Legal 500 EMEA, 2015
    • Barry Cahir is described by sources as "a smart guy and very good at listening, a very helpful and unusual strength. He will reflect on things and come back to you when needed." He is particularly active on NAMA-related litigation. Chambers Global 2014 - Dispute Resolution
    • Barry Cahir, who brings ‘tact and judgement to the table’. Legal 500 EMEA, 2014
    • Barry Cahir has a reputation amongst market sources as a skilled and solid commercial litigator.  Chambers Global 2013 
  • Fiona Barry 

    • Fiona Barry is ‘responsive, calm and considered’. Chambers Global 2016
    • Fiona Barry is 'excellent’. Legal 500 EMEA, 2015
    • Clients value Fiona's input, praising her as being “receptive to our needs. She supports and assists our clients.” Chambers Europe, 2013 
  • Margaret Muldowney 

    • Margaret is "well known as an extremely safe pair of hands," according to sources. Chambers Global 2016
    • Margaret Muldowney is well liked by her clients, who comment: “We are incredibly impressed with her. She is bright, switched-on and receptive.”  Chambers Europe, 2013
  • Lisa Carty

    • Clients admire Lisa Carty for her "keen commercial sense, while at the same time being technically very proficient, instilling confidence. Her advice is decisive and well informed." Chambers Global 2016
    • Lisa Carty "She has a good understanding of the issues involved in our business, she is astute in identifying problems before they happen, she has a clear mind, and she's very good at distilling complex, technical issues." Chambers Global 2015 
    • Lisa Carty, who ‘distils complex issues into digestible pieces’. Legal 500 EMEA, 2015
    • Lisa Carty can ‘distil complex issues to the core points’. Legal 500 EMEA, 2014
  • Paul Convery

    • Clients appreciate his "incredible patience and attention to detail." Chambers Global 2016

Key Contacts

Owen O'Sullivan Partner

Carol Plunkett Partner

Garrett Breen Partner

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