- Direct Professional Access:
Chris has a practice focusing on civil, commercial and administrative law, and has appeared in the High Court, including the Commercial, Chancery, Non-Jury and Judicial Review, and Commercial Planning and Environment Lists of the High Court. He regularly undertakes advisory work for clients, including for national and international insurers, and the State.
After completing degrees from Trinity College Dublin (LLB – first class honours), Oxford University (BCL – distinction), and the King’s Inns (BL – merit), Chris spent a number of years working for the Central Bank of Ireland in financial regulation and resolution, and for the European Banking Authority in London on resolution and Brexit-related issues. Joining the Bar in 2018, Chris devilled for Caren Geoghegan BL (Civil/Commercial), and then Stephen Dowling SC (Civil/Commercial) and Patricia Brazil BL (Judicial Review/Immigration & Asylum/Human Rights).
Chris is instructed by solicitors and in-house counsel on a wide number of court and non-court matters. Recent work has included:
Financial Services and Insurance:
- FBD business interruption litigation: Acting as part of the counsel team for FBD Insurance Plc in various matters relating to business interruption insurance in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, including Commercial Court test cases Hyper Trust Ltd v. FBD Insurance Plc (four reserved judgments:  IEHC 78;  IEHC 279;  IEHC 39; and  IEHC 455), arbitrations, Financial Services and Pensions Ombudsman (“FSPO”) appeals, a judicial review of an FSPO decision, and various regulatory issues.
- Chubb European Group SE v. FSPO  IEHC 74: Acting, together with Senior Counsel, for an international insurer in a statutory appeal of a decision of the FSPO concerning a complaint related to business interruption insurance in the context of Covid-19.
- Premier Dale Ltd t/a The Devlin Hotel v. RSA Insurance Ireland DAC  IEHC 178: Advice and assistance to the legal team acting for RSA Insurance Ireland DAC.
- Acting, together with Senior Counsel, for a high net worth client suing a large domestic stockbroker and financial advisor in relation to negligent financial advice.
- Part of the Irish counsel team acting for various aircraft lessors in relation to significant insurance claims arising from the loss of their aircraft following the invasion of Ukraine by Russia.
- Jointly advising a number of domestic and international insurers in relation to business interruption insurance issues in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic.
- Advising a market-leading domestic insurer on the interpretation and application of the Consumer Insurance Contracts Act 2019.
- Jointly advising an international insurer on subrogation issues related to a potential claim arising from a significant fire in a manufacturing facility.
- Acting, together with Senior Council, for an insurer in an arbitration under the ARIAS Arbitration Rules relating to claims arising from alleged damage to a windfarm.
General Commercial Litigation:
- Avoncore Ltd t/a Douglas Shopping Centre v. Leeson Motors Ltd: Acting as part of the counsel team for the owners of a shopping centre, suing car manufacturers who are alleged to have caused a significant fire in the shopping centre carpark. Involved in two of the reserved judgments delivered to date, related to discovery ( IEHC 34;  IEHC 185).
- Mediation, together with Senior Counsel, for a domestic charity to resolve an employment dispute and disciplinary issues involving a senior employee.
- Acting, together with Senior Counsel, for a County Council in a dispute with a property developer over an alleged breach of the terms of a compulsory purchase order.
- Acting for an architect defending professional negligence proceedings.
Administrative and Planning Litigation:
- Toole v. Minister for Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage: Acting, together with Senior Counsel, for the State in defence of a foreshore licence for site survey works for an offshore windfarm, including defence of a stay application and EU law issues. Junior counsel in respect of three of the four judgments delivered to date ( IEHC 263;  IEHC 317; and  IEHC 378).
- Acting for the State in a consultative case stated related to the Fines (Payment and Recovery) Act 2014.
- Part of the counsel team acting for WhatsApp Ireland Limited in its challenges (judicial review, statutory appeal and annulment action) before the Irish and EU courts to a €225 million fine by the Data Protection Commission for alleged breaches of the GDPR.
Advisory Work and Legislative Drafting:
- Advisory work for the State on various matters, occasionally involving input into draft legislation.
- Advising and drafting for the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment on the Companies (Rescue Process for Small and Micro Companies) Act 2021, and the transposition of the Preventative Restructuring Directive into Irish law.
- Assisting Remy Farrell SC with an investigation into alleged conflicts of interest at An Bord Pleanála on behalf of the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage.
- Jointly advising a shipping group on the implications of Brexit for their Northern Irish business.
- Jointly advising a public authority on payment issues arising from the Covid-19 pandemic.
Chris is a signatory to the Public Interest Law Alliance Pro-bono pledge, since 2020. In addition, he is a panel-barrister to The Bar of Ireland’s Voluntary Assistance Scheme, which provides legal assistance to NGOs, Civil Society Groups and their members. Recent pro bono activity has included:
- Pro bono advice and assistance as part of the counsel team working on behalf of a client challenging the wardship system and statutory marriage ban for wards of court.
- Jointly advising the Free Legal Advice Centre’s Traveller Legal Service on the constitutionality of various amendments needed to planning legislation to facilitate the construction of accommodation for Travellers.
Chris is a founding member of the Bar of Ireland’s Climate Bar Association, and acted as its Secretary for a number of years. He is also a member of the EU Bar Association, the Irish Centre for European Law, and the Commercial Litigation Association of Ireland. He is a board member of Capital Credit Union.
He has a half-Blue from Oxford for fencing, and is a former member of the Irish fencing team.