White Collar Crime

White Collar Crime, Reputation Management, Regulatory Investigations and Corporate Offences

 In recent years regulators and government agencies have continued to pay increased attention to the activities of financial institutions and corporations. There is a greater responsibility on companies and individuals to comply with regulations and increased pressure on the regulators to detect and prosecute possible regulatory breaches and criminal offences. Similarly more emphasis is now being placed on the responsibilities of companies to ensure that their employees are acting in compliance with all legal and regulatory requirements.

The consequences for individuals and companies can be severe, including the risk of imprisonment, financial penalties and reputational damage. We have the experience to advise clients on how to avoid the risk of intervention by regulators and government agencies and to guide them through the difficult tactical and commercial decisions that arise in the event of an investigation.

Our Litigation & Dispute Resolution Department has unrivalled experience in the area of White Collar Crime, Reputation Management, Regulatory Investigations and Corporate Offences and our team has represented multinational companies, state bodies and high net worth individuals in some of the most high profile cases and investigations in recent years.

Our clients include large corporates, financial institutions and public bodies and we have extensive experience in advising clients involved in regulatory investigations brought by the Director of Corporate Enforcement, the Data Protection Commissioner, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Central Bank and the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (formerly the Competition Authority).

As a full service firm we can draw on the expertise of colleagues in all departments including Competition & Regulation, Data Protection and Banking & Finance.  We also have established relationships with international firms and independent experts in forensics and other related fields in order to ensure that our clients receive the best service, whatever is required.  We recognise that prompt and effective action is fundamental to our clients business and their relationships with regulators and prosecuting authorities.

Our corporate crime team also advises on anti money laundering and counter terrorist financing and a number of our team have qualifications in Corporate & White Collar Crime. 

Recent work includes

  • Advising both private and public sector clients involved in Statutory Inquiries including the Mahon Tribunal, Moriarty Tribunal, the Oireachtas Banking Inquiry and the IBRC Commission of Investigation. We have also advised clients involved in High Court Inspectorships under the Irish Companies Acts and have advised Directors involved in insider dealing investigations.
  • Acting for a large Irish public company in the first civil insider dealing case to come before the Irish Courts which was subsequently appealed to the Supreme Court.
    Advising clients requested to give testimony in prosecution of statutory offences under the Irish Companies Acts.
  • Advising Financial Service Providers and persons concerned in their management in relation to investigations by the Central Bank pursuant to its administrative sanctions procedures.
  • Advising clients subject to regulatory investigation and in dealing with subsequent enforcement actions taken by regulatory authorities.
    Advising a number of stockbroking firms in relation to alleged mis-selling of investment products.
  • Advising Directors and corporations in relation to the handling of allegations of conspiracy to defraud and of embezzlement.
  • Advising clients in relation to unannounced visits/dawn raids by regulatory authorities including visits from the Revenue Commissioners, An Garda Siochana and the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission.
  • Advising clients on issues of corporate and professional reputational matters.
    Acted for a large professional services firm who suffered substantial financial loss as a result of the fraudulent activities of an employee of a firm engaged by our client to provide property services.
  • Acting for 2 Irish investment funds in relation to separate complex Commercial Court proceedings in the Irish Courts seeking the recovery of over $1billion entrusted to HSBC as fund custodian and which HSBC had sub-custodied to Bernard Madoff.

A New Era – Corruption Legislation Passes Through the Irish Parliament

The much anticipated and hugely significant Criminal Justice (Corruption Offences) Bill has been sent to the President for consideration and signing.


One to Watch: Positive Reporting Obligation Declared Unconstitutional

An offence of failing to comply with a positive obligation to report information that could lead to the prosecution of an individual for a serious offence has been declared unconstitutional. What does this mean for persons involved in the management of regulated financial service providers who have obligations to report wrongdoing under s.19 of the Criminal Justice Act 2011?


Global Guide to Tax Litigation – Irish Chapter

Brian Duffy, Fergus Doorly and Sonya Manzor have authored the Irish chapter of the Global Guide to Tax Litigation.


High Court Confirms Legal Privilege Attaches to Documents Created in Regulatory Investigations

High Court confirms that documents sought by Director of Corporate Enforcement were covered by legal privilege


New Bill Proposes to Modernise and Consolidate Irish Anti-Corruption and Bribery Laws

The Criminal Justice (Corruption Offences) Bill 2017, published on 2 November 2017, seeks to modernise and consolidate anti-corruption and bribery laws in this jurisdiction.


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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

Owen O'Sullivan Partner

Garrett Breen Partner

Laura Murdock Consultant

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