- Bar of England & Wales
- Other Memberships:
- Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
- Direct Professional Access:
Darren Lehane is a Senior Counsel practicing in Commercial and Public Law.
He was called to the Bar in 2004 and became an SC in 2020. He was called to the Bar of England and Wales in 2015.
Darren has a broad maritime practice with an emphasis on shipping and commodities, international trade, energy, banking and insurance. Within these fields his work covers the full range of disputes dealing with charterparties, shipbuilding, ship finance, fisheries, submarine pipelines, arbitrations (ICC, LCIA and Ad Hoc), collisions and ship arrest.
He also specialises in constitutional and inquiry law and has represented parties before, or in connection with, the Moriarty Tribunal of Inquiry, the Planning Tribunal of Inquiry, the Smithwick Tribunal of Inquiry, and the Disclosures Tribunal of Inquiry. He was Junior Counsel to the Ryan Commission of Inquiry.
He also specialises in Defamation and Privacy law.
Darren is a member, and former Honorary Secretary, of the Irish Maritime Law Association. He is a member of the International Working Group on Limitation of Liability of the Comité Maritime International. He is a member of the Council of the Bar of Ireland and a former member of the Council of the Honourable Society of the King’s Inns. He is a former Chair of the Arbitration and ADR Committee of the Council of the Bar of Ireland, a former member of the Irish National Committee of the ICC, and a former Director of the Dublin Dispute Resolution Centre.
Recent Notable Cases
Kellett v RCL Cruises Ltd & Ors  1 Lloyd’s Rep. 213
(Court of Appeal) (Negligence – Package holiday)
Spamat S.R.L. v The owners and all persons claiming an interest in the M.V Alimirante Storni  IECA 58
(Court of Appeal) (Maritime Claim – The 1952 Arrest Convention)
O’Brien v Dáil Éireann  1 I.L.R.M. 385
(Supreme Court) – Constitutional Law – Justiciability – Utterances in Dáil Éireann – Separation of powers – Parliamentary privilege – Abuse of privilege
O’Sullivan v Sea Fisheries Protection Authority & Ors  1 ILRM 245 &  3 IR 751
(Supreme Court) (Constitutional Law – EU Law – Common Fisheries Policy)
Persona Digital Telephony Ltd v Minister for Public Enterprise, Ireland  IESC 27
(Supreme Court) – Third Party Litigation Funding – Torts – Maintenance – Champerty
Richardson -v- Mahon & Ors (extempore decision of the Court of Appeal 29 January 2018)
(Successful challenge to tribunal findings)
Muintir Skibbereen Credit Union Ltd v Crowley  2 IR 665
(Court of Appeal) – Real property — Judgment mortgage — Co-ownership — Enforcement — Family home
Shipping and Admiralty
Acting for the Master of a Cargo Ship which ran aground off the Irish Coast in a prosecution by the Minister for Transport, Tourism;
Acting for German Classification Society in a successful jurisdictional challenge to Irish proceedings under the Brussels I Regulation – J. Gaffney Limited -v- Germanischer Lloyd SE & Ors  IEHC 721
Acting for French Bank in successful opposition to a jurisdictional challenge to Irish proceedings – (S.G.B. Finance S.A. -v- The Owners and all Persons Claiming an Interest in the M.V. “Connoisseur”  IEHC 699)
Acting for the Owners in a strike out application Roy Brophy v The Minister for Defence, Ireland and Others  IEHC 791 and on appeal
Acting for Owners in the High Court and Court of Appeal in successful defence to an admiralty claim Spamat S.R.L. v The Owners and All Persons Claiming an Interest in the M.V. Alimirnte Storni  IECA 58
Acting for a Cruise line in the High Court and Court of Appeal in a successful defence to a package holiday claim based on a failure to plead local standards Kellett v RCL Cruises Limited, Panther Associates Limited T/A Cruise Holidays and Panther Associates T/A Tour America [2019} IEHC 408 and  IECA 138
Acting for Owners in a Collision between a tanker and a fishing vessel (ongoing);
Acting for the owner of a major sub-sea fibre optic cable in a dispute with the Irish national energy and gas utilities over a crossing agreement;
Acting for the Owners of a Yacht in a Collision (ongoing);
Acting for Owners in a major grounding claim (ongoing).
Acting for the Master of the then largest fishing trawler in the world in criminal proceedings for IIU Fishing;
Acting for the Owner and Master of a fishing trawler in the first ever oral appeal under the European Union (Common Fisheries Policy) (Point System) Regulations 2014;
Acting for the Owner and Master of a fishing trawler in a successful constitutional challenge to the European Union (Common Fisheries Policy) (Point System) Regulations 2014 – O’Sullivan v Sea Fisheries Protection Authority  3 IR 751 &  1 ILRM 245;
Acting for Holder of Aquaculture Licence in successful dispute with the Irish State – Murphy’s Irish Seafood Limited -v- Minister for Agriculture Food and the Marine  IEHC 353;
Acting for the Irish State in the High Court (Fitzpatrick & Anor -v- Minister for Agriculture, Food and The Marine & Anor  IEHC 772 &  IEHC 77) and Supreme Court (leapfrog appeal – ongoing) in a challenge to the allocation of quota for Prawns;
Acting for the Irish State in the High Court and Supreme Court in a challenge to the allocation of quota for mackerel;
Acting for a group of fishermen in a dispute with the owners of a major sub-sea fibre optic cable;
Public Inquiry Law
Darren was the Principal Legal Researcher on the Law Reform Commission Consultation Paper (2003) and Report (2005) on Public Inquiries.
Acting as Junior Counsel (working to Ryan J (as he then was) to the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse (“The Ryan Commission”);
Acting for a number of parties before the Tribunal of Inquiry into Payments to Politicians and Related Matters and in related litigation (“The Moriarty Tribunal”);
Acting for a number of parties ( in connection with the Tribunal of Inquiry into Certain Planning Matters and Payments and in related litigation (“The Planning Tribunal”);
Acting as Counsel for a party before the Tribunal of Inquiry into whether Members of An Garda Siochana (The Irish Police Force) or other Irish Officials colluded in the Shooting Dead of two RUC Officers on 20 March 1989 and in related litigation (High Court) (“The Smithwick Tribunal”);
Acting as Counsel for the former Chairperson of the Public Accounts Committee of Dáil Eireann (Lower House of Parliament) and the former editor of a major newspaper in two separate modules before the Tribunal of Inquiry into protected disclosures made under the Protected Disclosures Act 2014 and certain other matters following Resolutions (“The Disclosures Tribunal”);
Defamation and Privacy Law
Acting for a successful plaintiff in obtaining an emergency interlocutory injunction against a major Sunday newspaper;
Acting for a successful plaintiff in obtaining an emergency interlocutory injunction against a major national broadcaster;
Acting for a successful plaintiff in defamation proceedings involving the first trial involving the defence of Honest Opinion under the Defamation Act 2009;
Acting for a defendant broadcaster in defamation proceedings arising out of an election debate broadcast during the Irish Presidential Election;
Contributor, Interim Measures in International Arbitration 2014 Juris Press (with Michael M Collins SC, Nael G Bunni, and Barry Mansfield BL)
- Panellist, Dubai International Financial Centre, “Using Arbitration for Collision, Grounding or Port Damage Disputes: The Ever Given and Recent and Future Maritime Trends,” Dubai, 28 June 2021
- “Interim Measures in Arbitration: The Role of the Court,” Paper delivered to Arbitration Ireland, Dublin, 4 May 2021
- Panellist, The Society of Construction Law, “Third Party Funding in Construction Law,” London, 2 December 2020
- “Liability Regimes, Court Competence and Jurisdiction, and pleading a Cargo Claim,” Paper delivered to the Irish Maritime Law Association Seminar, Dublin, 11 October, 2019
- Panellist, “Which Seat to Choose? Debate on the Merits of Arbitration in England, France, Ireland, Scotland and Switzerland” Scottish Branch of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators & the Franco British Lawyers Society, Edinburgh, 11 June 2019
- Chair, Asia-Pacific Forum for International Arbitration, “The New Silk Road: Belt and Road disputes: a view from Hong Kong,” Dublin, 30 April 2019
- “Enforcing the Common Fisheries Policy in Ireland,” Paper delivered to the 2018 Law and the Environment Conference, University College Cork, 26 April 2018