Why choose our Public and Regulatory solicitors?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
In addition to providing general legal advice we have supported regulators to clear backlogs and we have undertaken reviews, audits and case reviews of enforcement and supervision processes. Our team includes legal specialists and organisational consultants who regularly carry out audits of statutory bodies’ decision making, processes and procedures, including identifying key areas of risk together with possible solutions. As a result, we are uniquely qualified to provide independent audit, investigation and review services to Boards and Senior Executive Teams in relation to complaints handling, disciplinary processes and governance.
Online Safety Legislation
Our Public and Regulatory unit includes expert regulation lawyers, who are dedicated to helping clients navigate the complex legal and regulatory challenges in this fast-paced digital era. The enactment of the Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 and the establishment of Comisiún na Meán, together with the implementation of the Digital Services Act are just some of the recent developments with which Irish based technology companies will need to become familiar. Our in-depth knowledge of both Irish and EU technology laws, means we are equipped to assist clients in understanding and complying with ever changing legal requirements, mitigating risks and ensuring the responsible and ethical use of their 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
- 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
- Competence Assurance
- Data Protection
- Freedom of Information
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.