Profile

Professional Qualifications (Legal):

  • Solicitor of the Supreme Court of England and Wales - 1984.
  • Solicitor of the High Court of Ireland - 1991.
  • Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Northern Ireland - 2000.
  • Solicitor of the High Court of Scotland - 2008.

Professional Qualifications (Other):

  • Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.
  • CEDR Accredited Mediator.
  • Notary Public, Commissioner for Oaths.

Academic:

  • BA Law (Honours), Liverpool John Moores University, 1980.
  • Diploma in International Comparative Law of Human Rights, Strasbourg, France, 1980.
  • LLM (Honours), class 2:1, University College Cork, 2002.
  • Certificate in Advanced Advocacy for Solicitors, Law Society of Ireland.
  • Diploma in Notarial Practice, University of Cambridge, 2005.
  • Diploma in Trust and Estate Planning 2005, Law Society of Ireland.
  • Diploma in International and Commercial Arbitration (awarded by the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators following study at Keble College, Oxford), 2008.

Membership:

  • Law Society of Ireland
  • Law Society of Northern Ireland
  • Law Society of England and Wales
  • Law Society of Scotland
  • American Association for Justice (formerly the Association of Trial Lawyers of America)
  • American Bar Association
  • Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners
  • Centre for International Legal Studies
  • International Bar Association
  • Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (Irish Branch)
  • Faculty of Notaries Public in Ireland
  • Scottish Law Agents Society
  • Irish Commercial Mediation Association
  • Free Legal Advice Centre

Experience (Legal):

  • Solicitor - Sole practitioner since June 1992 at 3 O’Rahilly Row, Fermoy,
    Co. Cork.

Experience (Academic):

  • Law Society of Ireland tutor in Civil Litigation from 2003 - 2010 and member of the Associate Faculty of the Law Society Professional Practice course.
  • Tutor on Law Society courses, including advocacy course at the Law Society Law School, Washington Street, Cork and the Law Society, Blackhall Place, Dublin.
  • Speaker at the UCC Environmental Law Conference on 9th April 2003, during which I gave a talk on “The role of oral hearing procedure and the planning/EPA licensing regimes”.


Experience (Arbitration)

  • Admitted as an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators on 7th March 2002.
  • Admitted as a Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators on 7th November 2002.
  • Admitted as a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators on 5th June 2006 (after examination).
  • Attended the Diploma Course in International Commercial Arbitration from 8th to 16th September 2007 at Keble College, Oxford.
  • Awarded a Diploma in International Commercial Arbitration on 21st January 2008.
  • Appointed by the President of the Law Society of Ireland as an Arbitrator in a substantial dispute regarding a building contract, which was ultimately settled following a hearing in Cork in 2009.
  • Appointed as an Arbitrator by the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators in several arbitration matters under the Society of Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) scheme.
  • Retained as an Arbitrator in two arbitration matters referred to me by the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.
  • Represented a client in an arbitration hearing in which a full award was made in favour of the client.  The matter was subsequently appealed to the High Court and after a full hearing, judgment was given in favour of my client.  Judgment given December 2015.

Awards / Prizes

  • President’s Prize from the President of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators for achieving the highest mark in the award writing examination, 2005.
  • Lord Mayor of Dublin June 2007 Unsung Heroes Award in recognition of service as FLAC (Free Legal Advice Centre) volunteer (pro bono).

Local Government

  • I stood as a candidate for election to Fermoy Urban District Council in June 1994 and was elected and served a term of five years from 1994 to 1999.
  • I stood as a candidate for election to Fermoy Town Council and was elected and served as a Councillor on Fermoy Town Council for the term 1999 to 2004.
  • Elected first Mayor of Fermoy Town Council in 2001.

 

Particulars of Professional Experience

District Court

Criminal

  • Substantial District Court experience representing clients in various District Courts in Cork City, County Cork, County Tipperary, County Waterford and County Kerry.
  • Representing clients accused of various offences to be either heard in the District Court or appearing for the first time in the District Court to be heard in the Circuit Criminal Court.  Such offences include general public order offences, drink driving offences, assault, possession of drugs, having drugs with intent to supply, criminal damage and other general District Court matters.
  • I have represented clients in the District Court on more serious criminal matters, namely dangerous driving causing death, having possession of drugs with intent to supply exceeding a value of €10,000.00 and unlawful sex with a female minor under the age of 15. 
  • I represented a client in the District Court in respect of a matter where he was found not guilty on drink driving offences and the matter was then referred to the High Court by way of case stated.
  • Substantial District Court experience in criminal matters and acting as an advocate in the District Court.
  • As at 2016, representing 3 clients in Cork Circuit Criminal Court in connection with charges relating to assault causing serious harm, possession of drugs and sexual assault.

Civil

I represented clients in the District Court in Fermoy, Waterford and Cork City in respect of civil matters for recovery of moneys.  I have also acted for either the creditor or debtor and general contract disputes and small claim matters.

Family Law

I have appeared in the District Court in County Cork and County Waterford in respect of Family Law proceedings for maintenance, access, barring and protection orders.

Juvenile

I have represented juvenile persons in the Juvenile District Court, such persons were charged with criminal offences, in particular theft, assault, public order and other juvenile criminal matters.


Circuit Court

Extensive Circuit Court experience in civil, criminal, family law and licensing matters as set out below :

Civil

  • I have acted for a substantial number of clients in connection with personal injuries actions pursued in the Circuit Court and also for Defendants defending themselves against Plaintiffs who have issued proceedings in respect of personal injury matters. 
  • I have dealt with all matters relating to Circuit Court proceedings including interim motions, ex parte applications, attending hearings and enforcing judgments by way of registering the judgment and seeking an enforcement order through the Sheriff.
  • I have appeared for clients in connection with cases in Cork, Waterford, Kerry, Galway, Cavan and Wexford.

Family

  • Issuing proceedings in the Circuit Court on behalf of clients seeking judicial separation, divorce and nullity and partition proceedings and representing clients defending such proceedings.
  • Extensive experience in the Cork Circuit Family Law Court and Waterford Circuit Family Law Court, including attending hearings, attending interim motions, applications, ex parte proceedings and attending upon Junior and Senior Counsel in the hearing of such matters.
  • I have also appeared in the Circuit Family Law Courts in Galway, Wexford and Wicklow in connection with divorce and judicial separation proceedings.
  • I successfully sued the Courts Service, on behalf of a client, regarding the failure of the Courts Service to properly manage my client’s family law case. As a result of the mis-management of the case by the Courts Service, my client incurred further substantial legal costs. The case was settled prior to full hearing. 

Criminal
Representing clients charged with serious criminal offences in the Cork Circuit Criminal Court and attending upon Junior and Senior Counsel in respect of those matters, in particular the following :

  • Client charged with dangerous driving causing death, who pleaded not guilty to the charge and following a full hearing at Cork Circuit Criminal Court was found not guilty by the jury.
  • Representing a client charged with importing drugs into Ireland for sale and supply which exceeded the figure of €10,000.  The client pleaded guilty to the charge and was sentenced at Cork Circuit Criminal Court.
  • Representing a client charged with having unlawful sex with a female person under the age of 15 for which the maximum sentence is life imprisonment.  The client pleaded not guilty and the matter was heard at Cork Circuit Criminal Court in 2009.  Following a full hearing the accused was found not guilty.

Licensing
Representing a client who appealed her refusal of application for a licence to Cork Circuit Court and upon hearing the matter the Circuit Court judge decided to grant the licence.

High Court

  • I have represented approximately 60 clients who were either soldiers or former soldiers who sued the State in respect of “army deafness” claims.  I pursued the matter through the High Court and either settled such cases with the State, or the matters went to a full hearing and the clients were awarded damages.
  • Representing clients in connection with child abuse matters and issuing High Court proceedings against the State, government departments and residential institutions and the matters either going to a full hearing or being settled, or such proceedings being discontinued because of clients pursing the matter with the Residential Institutions Redress Board.
  • Debt collection matters issued out of the High Court, pursuing the matters on behalf of creditors to recover moneys.
  • Substantial land dispute proceedings issued out of the High Court and representing the plaintiff in such proceedings.
  • Representing plaintiffs in numerous personal injuries actions in the High Court heard either in Dublin or on Circuit in Cork.
  • High Court appeal – representing the respondent in proceedings issued by an appellant against the decision of the Circuit Court in equity proceedings and representing the client with Junior and Senior Counsel at the High Court in Cork.
  • In December 2015, represented a client in a commercial case in the High Court, in which we succeeded in defeating an appeal against an arbitration award.  Matter in the High Court for 3 days.
  • As at August 2016, numerous current High Court actions involving personal injuries, one property dispute and a substantial dispute regarding a deceased’s estate involving lands worth in excess of €3 million.
  • I have applied to the High Court Cloverhill, Dublin in respect of two applications for clients to be released on bail.

Supreme Court

  • Representing a client in High Court proceedings arising out of sexual abuse suffered by him at school.  Pursuing the matter in the High Court, attending upon Junior and Senior Counsel for the full hearing of this matter.  In particular an application by the defence to strike out the proceedings.  An order made against the client for such proceedings to be struck out and appealing the matter to the Supreme Court.  Following further advices from Senior Counsel making an application to withdraw the appeal to the Supreme Court.
  • Appearing at the Supreme Court on 13th March 2006 before the Chief Justice on my appointment as a Notary Public for the City and County of Cork.
  • In November 2015, I succeeded in an appeal to the Supreme Court from the High Court in respect of a client who sued the State arising out of an error made in criminal prosecution.
  • Appeared in the Supreme Court in July 2015 and July 2016 and obtained orders in favour of my client in a major action against the State.  The Supreme Court also ordered legal costs in favour of my client.

 

Judicial Review

  • I successfully initiated 3 sets of judicial review proceedings against the decisions of District Court judges in Fermoy and Cork City resulting in my clients’ convictions being quashed and the matters being remitted to the District Court for re-hearing.
  • I successfully initiated judicial review proceedings, against the Southern Health Board, on behalf of a client who was suffering from attention deficit disorder, resulting in him receiving a substantial amount of educational and other support from specialist institutions in England.

 

Wills, Probate and Trusts

  • I have substantial experience of dealing with contentious and non-contentious probate matters, including handling estates where the gross value of the estate exceeded €17 million. 
  • I have issued proceedings in the Circuit Court on behalf of clients under Section 117 of the Succession Act, 1965 and also defended such proceedings on behalf of the Executors.
  • Additional applications to the High Court in respect of probate matters, particularly where the Executor has failed to act in the administration of the estate.

 

Conveyancing, Landlord / Tenant

  • I have acted in a substantial number of conveyancing transactions since I established my practice in 1992, acting for both vendors and purchasers of residential and commercial premises in Fermoy, County Cork and beyond.  The consideration of such properties has ranged from values below €100,000 to in excess of €2 million.
  • I have acted for tenants of rented properties and also landlords renting out property and have prepared letting agreements, commercial and residential leases and advised clients regarding registration of their tenancies at the Private Residential Tenancies Board.
  • I have advised clients in respect of compulsory purchase orders regarding the acquisition of their lands by a local authority and also the National Roads Authority. 
  • I have represented clients in connection with property matters which have resulted in litigation, in particular an ongoing substantial property dispute where the value of the claim exceeds €27 million.

 

Debt Collection

I have issued proceedings in the District, Circuit and High Courts on behalf of clients in respect of debt collection matters and issued enforcement proceedings to enforce judgment.

 

Taxation


As a member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners and holder of a diploma in Trust and Estate Planning from the Law Society of Ireland, I have advised clients in connection with taxation matters related to property transactions and estate administration.  In particular, advice regarding property taxes, Capital Gains Tax, Inheritance Tax, Stamp Duty and VAT.  I have also represented clients in connection with claims before the Revenue Commissioners to reduce tax liabilities.

 

Tribunal Experience

I was appointed by An Garda Síochána to chair a disciplinary Tribunal, hearing a disciplinary matter against a serving Garda.  I sat with 2 other members of the Tribunal.

Employment Law

  • I have appeared before a Rights Commissioner in connection with a number of Employment Law cases.
  • I have also appeared before the Employment Appeals Tribunal and conducted a number of cases before the Tribunal based upon unfair dismissal and other related Employment Law matters.

 

Notarial

  • I was appointed as a Notary Public for the City and County of Cork in March 2006.
  • In September 2007, I was appointed by the Chief Justice in the Supreme Court as a Notary Public for the adjoining counties of Kerry, Limerick, Waterford and Tipperary.
  • I have an extensive notarial practice.

 

Publications / Articles

  • I was profiled on the front cover of the Irish Law Society Gazette in September 1991, being the first solicitor from England and Wales to be admitted in Ireland under reciprocal practising rules.
  • I was profiled by the Free Legal Advice Centre in their 2013 Annual Report which focused on the background of the voluntary Legal Advisors who support the Free Legal Advice Centres work in Cork.
  • In the book “Lawyers Professional Negligence and Insurance” by Bill Holohan and David Curran, Roundhall 2009, there is a two page report on a High Court case, in which I was the Defendant, Heffernan v. Hussey 2012 [IEHC245]. In that case the Plaintiff failed in his application in Cork Circuit Court to condemn a Will of which I was appointed as Executor and which I had also drafted. He further failed in a High Court action against me alleging professional negligence.       

 

Legal Aid Experience

Criminal

  • During my 24 years of practice, as a Solicitor in Fermoy, I have appeared for clients as a Legal Aid Solicitor in various District Courts in Cork and Waterford.
  • I have also represented Legal Aid clients at trials in Cork Circuit Criminal Court.
  • In addition, I have represented two Legal Aid clients who applied for bail in the High Court, Cloverhill, Dublin.  One of the clients received Legal Aid under the Legal Aid Custody Issues Scheme.
  • I have attended clients at Garda Stations in Fermoy, Mitchelstown and Gurranabraher, Cork under the Garda Station Legal Advice Scheme.  I was the first Solicitor in Fermoy to sit in on a Garda Station interview, with a suspect following the Supreme Court decision in the case of DPP v. Gormley; DPP v. White [2014] IESC17 in which the Supreme Court decided that the Solicitor could attend on a client at a Garda Station while he was being questioned.  This theme was central to my thesis, which I wrote for my LLM degree at UCC.  The thesis is entitled “The Constitutional Right of Access to a Solicitor for the Accused Person in Custody in Theory and Practice.
  • I have also advised clients in custody on the telephone under the Garda Station Legal Advice Scheme.
  • I have visited clients in custody in Cork Prison, Limerick Prison, Cloverhill Prison, St. Patrick’s Institution, Dublin and the Central Mental Hospital, Dublin and received payment under the relevant Legal Aid Scheme. 

Civil (Family Law)

  • I have appeared in the District Court and Circuit Court Family Law representing clients under the Legal Aid Practitioners Scheme.