Public and Regulatory | Fieldfisher
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Public and Regulatory

The Public and Regulatory Department provides legal advice and representation to the CEOs, Boards and Councils of public bodies and has expert knowledge of all of the major regulatory sectors including health and social care, education, charities, finance and professional services.

Areas of Practice:

  • 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

Recent activity

Owing to an increase in the number of complaints being made to statutory regulators, as well as an increase in the number of professions and industries becoming regulated by way of statute, the practice area of public and regulatory law continues to expand as a market for legal services. The department has experienced a corresponding increase in activity as the first Fitness to Teach inquiries commenced this year. In addition, the first Fitness to Practise Inquiries in respect of health and social care professionals were conducted, with the department providing advice to the Teaching Council and CORU in respect of these inquiries and preparation for them.

The statutory framework within which public bodies operate continues to become increasingly sophisticated and complex as effective regulation becomes a recurrent and ever more relevant feature of modern Irish life. As an example, the coming into force of the General Data Protection Regulation (EU) 2016/679 has provided an opportunity for the department to develop and expand a niche in advising existing regulatory clients in relation to their data protection requirements.

The department also continues to develop outside the area of professional regulation, for which it already has the foremost reputation in the country, through its appointment as a legal advisor to the Charities Regulator. We have also recently been engaged to provide advice to the Irish Aviation Authority. Both of these are examples of the depth and breadth of our expertise and practise.