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:

  • Ballantyne Re plc on an Irish law scheme of arrangement to restructure US$1.6bn of New York law governed notes. 
  • 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.
  • Hammerson Plc in its successful "Moore Street Battlefield Site" appeal overturning a High Court judgment ruling a significant portion of its land was a National Monument.
  • 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. 
  • Medical Protection Society in continuing advices in both the defence of medical negligence actions and in regulatory matters.
  • Jacobs Fruitfield Foods in proceedings concerning the protection of its Trade Marks and the goodwill attaching to its brand.
  • Nortel Networks Ireland Limited in acting for the joint administrators for major restructuring of this Group on a global scale.
  • 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 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.

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Department

  • "outstanding" a client describes. IFLR 1000 2019 
  • Interviewees appreciate "their keen insight into litigation strategy with the goal of achieving the client's business objectives as promptly as possible". Sources say "the firm has an outstanding reputation amongst clients, practitioners and the judiciary alike".  Interviewees single out the firm for its pragmatism, citing a "very commercial approach and strong focus on business needs". Another interviewee echoes a similar sentiment: "we were very impressed by their responsiveness and their ability to grasp the commercial reality of their client's situation". Chambers Europe 2019 
  • Market commentators say: "William Fry have a strong bench across all disciplines. They have the resources to meet all challenges that arise in litigation." Another source adds that there is a "very high standard of service, because they're so well resourced you can pull on different expertise from different levels of their business." Sources describe the firm as "a pleasure to work with as they are intellectually very strong, yet decent, easy-going personalities." Chambers Global, 2018
  • An interviewee states: "They have excellent litigation instincts and analytical abilities," adding: "They are very effective at taking complex issues and boiling them down to essential elements, and because of that, they are good at developing an overall litigation strategy. It really has been a pleasure because they are very smart and produce a first-class work product; they are first-rate".Another client appreciates the fact that they "always get a proactive, practical and commercial viewpoint." Another source agrees: "I am impressed with the practical, commercial focus of the department and the understanding of the commercial realities facing its clients." Another commentator enthuses: "We find the litigation team at William Fry excellent. In addition to the quality of their legal advice, we continue to be impressed by their client focus. They know the type and level of information and input that we require and tailor their advice accordingly."  Chambers Global 2017
  • William Fry has broad-ranging expertise, notably including retail, financial services, healthcare and media. Recent highlights include practice head Owen O’Sullivan successfully obtaining an injunction against RTÉ regarding publication of Denis O’Brien’s banking arrangements, and ‘very practical adviser’ Garrett Breen defending Egis Lagan Services and Lagan Construction Group Holdings in procurement litigation over the N20 road. Legal 500 EMEA 2017 
  • "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

Team

  • Owen O'Sullivan
    • Sources describe him as "an excellent litigator" and a "very polished operator." Chambers Europe 2019 
    • Market commentators describe Owen O'Sullivan as "deadly efficient, thorough, cool and analytical" in his approach to commercial litigation. Chambers Global 2018
    • Owen O’Sullivan is ‘an excellent legal thinker’. Legal 500 2018
    • Owen O'Sullivan receives plaudits from a range of market commentators, describing him as an "excellent corporate litigator" and "a very astute operator" who has "very tactical and good commercial judgement." Chambers Global 2017
    • 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
  • Carol Plunkett
    • Sources highlight her "well-deserved reputation for handling commercial litigation before the Irish courts, based on years of experience." Chambers Europe 2019 
    • Carol Plunkett is an "excellent IP litigation strategist". Legal 500 2018 
    • A client says "Carol Plunkett is best known for assisting pharmaceutical and technology companies with intellectual property and regulatory disputes. She advised GlaxoSmithKline on its trade mark infringement and passing-off action against Rowex Pharmaceuticals". Chambers Global 2018 
    • Esteemed litigator Carol Plunkett  is widely acclaimed for her unrivalled practice handling IP disputes. One source explains: "She brings a whole wealth of experience to the table and is a doyenne of Irish IP law." Carol  has ‘an amazing IP knowledge base.’ Chambers Global 2017
    • 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
  • Garrett Breen
    • A client states "Garrett has an outstanding reputation working on cases involving regulated markets. He has particular experience acting on telecoms and financial services mandates. He acted for ComReg on multiple enforcement actions against eir". Chambers Europe 2019 
    • Garrett Breen is "well placed to advise companies and institutions on cross-border litigation and investigations. He has particular expertise in cases involving the TMT, banking and competition sectors". Chambers Global 2018 
    • The "excellent" Garrett Breen handles a range of disputes, and is noted by sources for his knowledge of the technology and telecommunications sectors. Clients say he provides a "no-nonsense approach and sound insight." Chambers Global 2017
    • Garrett Breen is described as a ‘very practical adviser’. Legal 500 EMEA 2017
    • 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
    • Garrett Breen, who has ‘a phenomenal strategic mind’. Legal 500 EMEA, 2014
  • Fiona Barry 
    • Fiona Barry is head of the firm's healthcare team and advises on a range of complex medical mandates, including cerebral palsy and neurological cases. 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
    • Fiona Barry is ‘responsive, calm and considered’. Chambers Global 2016
    • Fiona Barry is 'excellent’. Legal 500 EMEA, 2015
  • Margaret Muldowney 
    • 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
    • Margaret is "well known as an extremely safe pair of hands," according to sources. Chambers Global 2016
  • Lisa Carty
    • Clients describe her as "a very calm person who is practical in trying to find a resolution." Chambers Europe 2019 
    • One source says: "She is very approachable, strong in litigation and very practical. She's always very well prepared and her advice is well able to tailor specific needs of the client." Chambers Global 2018
    • William Fry’s expertise in commercial disputes was once again in evidence with the ‘knowledgeable and insightful’. Legal 500 2018
    • According to one client, Lisa Carty "is a very commercially aware lawyer: her advice is not just legally sound but also mindful of the practical impact for her client's business. She is insightful, knowledgeable, accessible, decisive and a pleasure to deal with." Chambers Global 2017
    • 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
    • One client highlights his "razor-sharp mind," while another source describes him as "client-oriented." Chambers Europe 2019 
    • Market commentators describe him as "extremely responsive, very thorough and analytical in his approach, with a great ability to see key issues." Chambers Global 2018
    • One client describes Paul Convery as "excellent" and "an up-and-coming lawyer," adding: "He is a very patient individual and has the virtue of being experienced while being young." Chambers Global 2017
    • Clients appreciate his "incredible patience and attention to detail." Chambers Global 2016
  • Sinead Keavey 
    • Interviewees say that Sinéad Keavey's "strengths include complex healthcare inquiries and investigations, and she demonstrates considerable knowledge and expertise in this area." Chambers Europe 2019
    • Sinead Keavey is a growing presence in healthcare litigation and is widely praised for her "attention to detail, determination, delivery of results within the timeframe and communication with clients." She acted for the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland on judicial proceedings brought against the college over its decision not to accredit a live plastic surgery event. ​Chambers Europe 2018
       

       

Key Contacts

Owen O'Sullivan Partner

Fergus Doorly Partner

Garrett Breen Partner

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