Financial Services Disputes

Our Litigation & Dispute Resolution team has unrivalled experience in this sector. These disputes require particular expertise in discreet areas of financial services law, be it investment funds, insurance, capital markets or banking. Clients who operate in a regulated framework know that they can call upon our experienced litigators and expert knowledge from our specialist departments to support them.

Our approach is commercial and pragmatic.

We are particularly known for our understanding of highly complex asset management and investment funds disputes, as well as insurance and re-insurance products and the regulatory issues that arise in relation to them.

Our expertise includes:

  • managing complex Commercial Court disputes arising from large-scale investment losses,
  • managing multi-plaintiff actions on behalf of regulated defendants,
  • advising on Financial Services Ombudsman complaints and appeals.

We are assertive and solution-oriented in our clients’ interests, and we are experienced in alternative dispute resolution strategies such as mediations and arbitrations. 

 

Our recent experience includes acting for/advising:

  • Sir David and Sir Frederick Barclay in Commercial Court proceedings relating to the purchase of loans from the Special Liquidators of Irish Bank Resolution Corporation.
  • A leading MiFID investment firm on the defence of a multi plaintiff action arsing from a failed property investment.
  • Thema International Fund plc in its Commercial Court action against HSBC Bank seeking the recovery of over $1 Billion following the Madoff fraud.
  • The National Asset Management Agency (NAMA) on the enforcement of security for €1.7bn worth of loans against Treasury Holdings and the successful defence of a challenge to the enforcement.
  • Alternative Advantage plc in Commercial Court proceedings for the return of over €100m sub-custodied to Bernard Madoff.
  • A leading Irish Bank in Commercial Court proceedings where judgment was obtained against a debtor for sums in excess of €48 million
  • A leading stockbroker in defending mis-selling claims.
  • A former non executive board member of a collapsed credit institution in defending a multi-billion euro claim for damages arising from alleged negligence.

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High Court Clarifies Bank to Have Actual Notice of Winding-up to Avoid Repayment of Transfers Made Subsequent to Winding-up

In a decision likely to please account banks, the High Court held that a third party must have actual notice of the winding-up of a company before it can be liable for any disposition of that company's property subsequent to its winding-up


Are Interview Notes of An Investigation Protected by Legal Advice Privilege?

The English High Court sheds light on legal advice privilege in the context of financial investigations


2015 - A Busy Year for Financial Regulatory Enforcement

Four settlement agreements entered into with the Central Bank in December alone


High Court Rules Receivers Not Validly Appointed

Appointment not made in accordance with precise terms of mortgage


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Department

  • 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
  • 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

Team

Owen O'Sullivan

  • 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
  • 'Very bright’ practice head Owen O’Sullivan is ‘an insightful strategic thinker’.Legal 500 EMEA, 2013
  • Owen O'Sullivan "really knows his stuff, is always well briefed, and is efficient and easy to deal with.” Chambers Global 2013

Carol Plunkett

  • 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
  • Carol Plunkett is widely acclaimed as “just brilliant. She has fantastic expertise in both intellectual property and commercial litigation.”  Chambers Global 2013

Garrett Breen

  • 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
  • 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 

Fiona Barry 

  • 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
  • Clients value Fiona's input, praising her as being “receptive to our needs. She supports and assists our clients.” Chambers Europe, 2013 

Margaret Muldowney 

  • 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
  • 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

  • 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 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

Key Contacts

Michael Quinn Partner

Owen O'Sullivan Partner

Garrett Breen Partner