Practices

Administrative and Public Law

We offer unparalleled experience in advising State and semi-State bodies, Government departments, local authorities, other public bodies and those who deal with them on the full range of legal issues that arise from the exercise of their powers.

Our expertise:

We advise on critical public and administrative law issues arising from the exercise of public powers in the Constitutional and statutory environment in which public bodies operate. We advise government departments and other bodies on the need for legislation and have drafted primary and secondary legislation on their instructions. We also prepare rules of procedure, risk reduction policies, codes of conduct and related guidelines and advise on their implementation.

Key areas:

We help clients to deal with critical public law issues by: 

  • Determining the scope of statutory functions and the extent and proper exercise of statutory powers, in the context of initiatives, developments and potential legal challenges
  • Minimising the legal risks attached to the exercise of statutory powers, including challenges by way of statutory appeals and judicial review
  • Managing change and effectively implementing policies that affect external stakeholders
  • Responding to claims grounded on fundamental rights guaranteed by or derived from the Constitution, European Convention on Human Rights and EU Charter of Fundamental Rights
  • Setting terms of reference and establishing procedures for generic or bespoke investigations by or within public bodies
  • Advising those managing investigations on the nature of the rights at stake in these processes and the steps to be taken to ensure that fair procedures are applied
  • Providing guidance on how to assess investigation information and express findings
  • Advising on the responses to criminal, regulatory and other forms of investigation and inquiry
  • Advising on the investigation of suspected criminal offences, the assembly and preservation of evidence and the conduct of summary prosecutions
  • Advising private sector operators on engagements with public law processes


We also advise statutory bodies and their staff and private operators dealing with them on obligations under special public sector legislation, codes and guidelines, including:

  • Ethics and standards legislation
  • Conflict of interest and confidentiality rules
  • Lobbying legislation
  • Freedom of information legislation
  • Language rights legislation
  • Disability and equality legislation
  • Prompt payments legislation


Key highlights include advising:

  • Central Bank of Ireland for over 20 years on legal aspects of the exercise of their statutory obligations and functions and working with it on a range of important assignments, many contentious and of national importance, including our role in relation to the high profile Tracker Mortgage investigations
  • Courts Service providing a full drafting service for the committees responsible for establishing and modernising rules of procedure for the conduct of civil and criminal proceedings in all Irish courts
  • Road Safety Authority, Transport Infrastructure Ireland and the National Transport Authority on all aspects of their functions and on all legal and regulatory issues within their remit
  • Irish National Accreditation Board on a range of legal issues surrounding the operation of the national accreditation arrangements, on the conduct of procedures for the assessment of accredited bodies, on procedures for the suspension of accredited bodies and for the conduct of procedures on complaints by or against accredited bodies
  • Ervia on a wide range of issues affecting its operations including corporate, contract and regulatory matters (encompassing energy regulation under domestic and EU law), issues arising from the statutory functions and powers of Ervia and its subsidiaries Gas Networks Ireland and Irish Water
  • Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg) in several Commercial Court matters, most recently on regulatory issues arising in relation to their decision-making process regarding Universal Service Funding and on a resulting challenge to the decision made
  • The Charities Regulator on a range of public law matters

Key contacts

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