“Unrivalled knowledge and experience in relation to professional regulatory and disciplinary matters”.

LEGAL 500 EMEA 2018

Public & Regulatory

Fieldfisher are specialists in the field of public and regulatory law. For over 30 years, our Public & Regulatory Department has been providing legal advice and representation to the CEOs, Boards and Councils of public bodies.

With a team of twenty-two specialist solicitors, we are one of Ireland’s largest legal service providers in this area. The department has expert knowledge of all of the major regulatory sectors including health and social care, education, charities, finance and professional services. The department advises its diverse range of clients on all aspects of their functions and duties to include advising in relation to policy; governance and statutory interpretation; bringing and defending legal challenges, including judicial reviews and statutory appeals; and conducting investigations and inquiries.

In recognition of the increasingly complex statutory frameworks within which public bodies operate, and the pressure on these bodies to reduce legal risk and costs, we have established a dedicated a Public and Regulatory Projects and Advisory team, with expertise in:

  • Scoping and delivering projects to drive process improvement and implement change across key regulatory functions.
  • Carrying out audits of statutory bodies’ decision making, processes and procedures, including identifying key areas of risk together with possible solutions.
  • Delivering training programmes specifically designed for statutory bodies and their employees to support them in carrying out their statutory functions.

As a mark of the Public & Regulatory Department’s extensive expertise in this area of law, two of the partners JP McDowell and Eimear Burke co-authored the first Irish legal textbook on professional regulatory law. The textbook is entitled “Disciplinary Procedures in the Statutory Professions” (Bloomsbury, 2011).

Sharing knowledge with our clients is at the forefront of our practice. We regularly provides legal updates and hosts seminars for clients and persons with an interest in public and regulatory Law.

  • Management of risk and compliance
  • Complaints processes and procedures
  • Process improvement
  • Preparation of Professional Conduct/Fitness to Practise Inquiries
  • Prosecution of regulatory offences
  • Inspections
  • Sanction hearings
  • Emergency suspension applications to the High Court
  • High Court Appeals and Judicial Review proceedings
  • Oral Hearings
  • Auditing and training
  • Competence Assurance
  • Statutory Interpretation
  • Drafting rules, guidelines, bye-laws and codes of conduct
  • Registration
  • Education
  • Competence Assurance
  • Data Protection
  • Freedom of Information
  • Governance
  • Enforcement
    Sources praise the breadth of expertise within the firm: “They have an extensive knowledge base across a range of related departments.” Clients also note: “They are helpful and respond quickly to queries. They are approachable and have the ability to speak plainly not just in legal jargon.”

    “The team have a niche in terms of regulatory matters in the healthcare sector and have a huge amount of experience that no one else has.” “They are specialists in the area of professional regulation in Ireland, and have the only specialised department wholly devoted to professional regulation and indemnity matters.” JP McDowell is “unrivalled” and “the leading lawyer in Ireland when it comes to handling professional discipline matters.” Eimear Burke is “cognisant of the sensitivities and of the various competing interests, giving holistic advice.”

  • LEGAL 500 EMEA 2018
    McDowell Purcell (now Fieldfisher Ireland) is noted for its ‘unrivalled knowledge and experience in relation to professional regulatory and disciplinary matters’; name partner JP McDowell and partner Eimear Burke provide ‘reassuring professionalism and attention to detail”.

  • LEGAL 500 EMEA 2017
    McDowell Purcell (now Fieldfisher Ireland) has an arguably ‘unparalleled’ specialism in professional regulatory and disciplinary matters.

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