- Bar of Northern Ireland
- Other Languages:
- French (Fluent)
- Direct Professional Access:
Claire has a mixed civil law practice.
She has a particular focus on regulatory and public law.
She regularly conducts litigation and provides advice in the area of data protection law. She frequently appears in GDPR compensation cases.
She is on the Central Bank of Ireland’s legal panel and is currently a member of the legal practitioner team for the Regulatory Decisions Unit in two ongoing Inquiries.
Claire is also on the panel of the Office of the Ombudsman, and conducts litigation for the Information Commissioner and the Commissioner for Environmental Information.
Claire has acted for the State in several domestic environmental law cases, including several cases relating to the Aarhus Convention.
She also conducts commercial and personal injuries litigation.
Selected Cases Include:
Data Protection, Freedom of Information/Environmental Information
- Kaminski v Ballymaguire Foods Ltd  IECC 5: acted for the Plaintiff in this matter and obtained the first written decision from an Irish court awarding the Plaintiff compensation for the GDPR concept of “non-material damage” arising from breaches of his data protection rights.
- HSE Cyber-attack litigation: acting for the HSE in this litigation, successfully obtained a stay of one Plaintiff action, decision of Judge O’Connor, 15 May 2023
- Commissioner for Environmental Information v Coillte Teoranta and People Over Wind  IEHC 227 (decision of Hyland J, 28 April 2023), acted for the Commissioner, who referred a question of law arising in an appeal to the High Court for determination, under article 12(9)(a) of the AIE Regulations. The Commissioner sought the assistance of the High Court on the interplay between the AIE Regulations and the Freedom of Information Act 2014.
- Bord na Móna plc v Commissioner for Environmental Information  IEHC 57 (decision of Hyland J, 7 February 2023) acted for the Commissioner in this appeal by Bord na Móna plc from a decision that Bord na Móna Biomass Ltd held information for Bord na Móna.
- M50 Skip Hire & Recycling Ltd v Commissioner for Environmental Information  IEHC 430 (decision of Heslin J, 2 September 2020): acted for the Commissioner for Environmental Information in this appeal by a waste company from a decision that Fingal County Council should disclose its waste destination data
- Electricity Supply Board v Commissioner for Environmental Information  IEHC 190 (decision of O’Regan J, 3 April 2020): acted for the Commissioner for Environmental Information in this appeal by ESB from decision concerning a transcript of a property compensation hearing
- The Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection v the Data Protection Commission: acted for the Minister in the appeal (compromised) from the Data Protection Commission’s Investigation Report and Enforcement Notice concerning the Public Services Card (PSC). Currently acting for the State in two related GDPR Inquiries (concerning PSC biometric processing, MyGovID and the Single Customer View). Also acting in associated PSC compensation claims.
European, Environmental and Equality
- C-826/18 LB, 14 January 2021, Stichting Varkens (the “Distressed Pigs” case): acted for the State in this Article 267 TFEU Reference case which had an oral hearing in the CJEU, and which concerned the interpretation of Articles 9(2)&9(3) of the Aarhus Convention (concerning access to justice and specifically standing rights in environmental litigation.
- Southwood Park Residents Association v an Bord Pleanála  IEHC 504: acted for the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and the Attorney General in this High Court case concerning the validity of permission for strategic housing development.
- Fitzpatrick v An Bord Pleanála  3 IR 617: acted for the amici curiae: the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, Ireland and the Attorney General in this Supreme Court case concerning EIAs in the context of a proposed Apple data centre in Galway.
- Friends of the Irish Environment CLG v The Legal Aid Board  IEHC 454: acted for the Attorney General in this case which concerned whether environmental NGOs can qualify for legal aid. High Court decision delivered 15 September 2020, and Court of Appeal decision delivered 3 February 2023.
- Eager v The Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, ADJ-00028241: 14 June 2021: acted for the Minister in this case – a claim of age discrimination concerning the Pandemic Unemployment Payment.
Commercial, Personal Injuries Litigation
- Vodafone Ireland Ltd v Trustees of the Vodafone Ireland Pension Plan : acting for Vodafone in this Commercial Court pensions law case.
- Masterson and others v CIÉ : acting for CIÉ in this Commercial Court pensions law dispute, heard in May 2022.
- Tathony Holdings Limited v Amhola James Street Limited : acted for the Plaintiff in this Commercial Court case concerning the effect on the Plaintiff’s right to light of plans to develop a €25 million hotel in Dublin’s James Street.
- McC v McC  IEHC 104: acted for the Defendant (AXA), in this case in which Simons J delivered a reserved decision on the discovery of extensive pre and post-accident medical records.
- An Investment Manager v A Property Development Company, ADJ-00005561, 20 February 2019: acted for the Complainant in this case concerning unfair dismissal.
Selected Speeches and Lectures:
Access To Information On The Environment: Recent Trends And Developments, Planning, Environmental and Local Government Bar Association Conference, 27 April 2021
Data Protection Claims: Law and Practice, Employment Bar Association’s Annual Conference, 25 November 2020
Data Protection in Schools, Irish Centre for European Law Privacy and Data Protection Law Conference, 23 May 2019
Freedom of Information requests in the Healthcare Sector, CMG Data Protection in Healthcare Services Conference, 24 October 2018
The Values and Functions of a Referral Advocate, Word Bar Conference in Queenstown, New Zealand, 6 September 2014
Chair of the Media Internet and Data Protection Association (MIDBA)
Member of Valuation Tribunal (2015-present)
Member of the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (2015-present)
Former Member of the Bar Council of Ireland (2015-2019)
Called to the Bar of Northern Ireland (2018)
Claire holds a Ph.D. in Constitutional Law from Trinity College Dublin.
She is the co-director of, and lecturer on, the Advanced Diploma in Law and Education in the Honorable Society of King’s Inns.
She has previously lectured in Constitutional Law in the Law Society, and Administrative Law in the Institute of Public Administration.
John Brooke Scholarship from the Honorable Society of King’s Inns (graduated 1st in class)
Government of Ireland Scholarship for Ph.D. research.
Scholarship from Cambridge University European Trust
Elected Scholar of Trinity College Dublin