- Direct Professional Access:
David has extensive experience in advising upon, and litigating, complex and high value commercial disputes. He regularly appears in matters relating to company law, corporate insolvency and restructuring, procurement, construction law, administrative law, judicial review and employment law.
David also has wide ranging experience in alternative dispute resolution, including arbitration and mediation.
David is called to the Bar of Northern Ireland.
Recent Cases & Legal Work
David is instructed by solicitors and in-house counsel in a wide range of court and non-court matters. Some examples of recent cases include:
- Association of Plumbing and Heating Contractors of Ireland & Anor -v- The Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment & Ors 2023/240 JR
High Court – Judicial Review
Counsel for Applicants – APHCI (which represents 3,200 plumbing and heating contractors) seeking order of certiorari quashing S.I. 59/2018 – Sectoral Employment Order (Mechanical Engineering Building Services Contractor Sector) 2018 which governs the minimum terms and conditions of employment for plumbers in Ireland.
- Náisiúnta Leictreach Contraitheoir Eireann v The Labour Court & Ors  IESC 36;  2 I.L.R.M. 1;  33 E.L.R. 1
Supreme Court – Constitutional challenge / Article 15.2.1 – Judicial Review
Counsel for Respondent to Appeal – State appellants appealed the order of the High Court (Simons J.) dated 31 July 2020 quashing the Sectoral Employment Order (Electrical Contracting Sector) 2019 (S.I. No. 251 of 2019) on grounds that it was made ultra vires the Industrial Relations (Amendment) Act 2015 and in breach of fair procedures, and further appealed the High Court’s declaration that the provision made for sectoral employment orders under Chapter 3 of the Industrial Relations (Amendment) Act 2015 was invalid having regard to the provisions of Article 15.2.1° of the Constitution. The judgment was described in the Irish Supreme Court Review (2022, Vol. 4) as representing “the most important treatment of Article 15 since Cityview”.
- Gravity Construction Ltd v Total Highway Maintenance Ltd  IEHC 19
High Court – Construction Law
Counsel for Respondent – Much publicised decision of Simons J. in Ireland’s first High Court enforcement proceedings relating to a statutory adjudication award made pursuant to the Construction Contracts Act, 2013.
- Killaree Lighting Services Ltd -v- Mayo County Council 2020/829 JR
Commercial Division of High Court – Procurement – Judicial Review
Counsel for Applicant – Judicial review application seeking inter alia Ireland’s first declaration of ineffectiveness pursuant to Remedies Regulations (on public lighting services tender worth approx. € 6 m).
- Náisiúnta Leictreach Contraitheoir Eireann v The Labour Court, Minister for Business, Enterprise & Innovation and the Attorney General  IEHC 303 and 342;  31 E.L.R. 233;  2 I.R.L.M. 183
High Court – Constitutional challenge / Article 15.2.1 – Judicial Review
Counsel for Applicant – Highly significant decision which affected the minimum terms and conditions, including minimum pay and pension rates, for the construction industry, electrical contracting sector and mechanical engineering building services contracting sector. The High Court (Simons J.) declared that Chapter 3 of the Industrial Relations (Amendment) Act 2015 (which governs the promulgation of sectoral employment orders in Ireland) was invalid having regard to the provisions of Article 15.2.1° of the Constitution. Simons J. further and separately quashed Sectoral Employment Order (Electrical Contracting Sector) 2019 (S.I. No. 251 of 2019) on the grounds that it was made ultra vires the Industrial Relations (Amendment) Act 2015 and in breach of fair procedures.
As part of the case, the Applicant successfully obtained interlocutory injunctive relief in respect of the application of live, secondary legislation whereby the High Court (Meenan J.) stayed implementation of so much of the Sectoral Employment Order (Electrical Contracting Sector) 2019 (S.I. No. 251/2019) as required employers to enter their workers into a pension scheme as identified therein pending the determination of the proceedings.
- Wentworth Properties Ltd & Ors v Havbell DAC 2022/305P
Commercial Division of High Court – Specific Performance – Estoppel
Counsel for Plaintiffs – complex specific performance / estoppel action regarding terms of forbearance agreements.
- Blazejewicz -v- Commissioner of An Garda Síochána 2022/380 JR
High Court – Judicial Review
Counsel for Applicant – successful Norwich Pharmacal application against the State in the context of a data protection claim.
- Dully -v- Athlone Town Stadium Limited  IECA 337
Court of Appeal – ‘Moorview order’ – Breach of fair procedures
Counsel for Third Appellant – successful appeal of award made against director / minority shareholder on ‘Moorview’ grounds.
- Carolan & Ors -v- Sutcliffe & Ors 2020/367 COS
Commercial Division of High Court – Company law – Section 212 CA2014 oppression and disregard of members’ interests – Companies’ valuation
Counsel for Applicants – High value and complex oppression / disregard of members’ interests dispute, necessitating extensive expert analysis and argument on corporate shareholding valuation.
- Bergin -v- McGuinness  IEHC 151
High Court – Probate – Application to dismiss for want of prosecution
Counsel for Plaintiff – High Court refused Defendant’s application to dismiss probate claim for want of prosecution.
- Second NECI case – Náisiúnta Leictreach Contraitheoir Eireann v The Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment 2022/206 JR
High Court – Judicial Review
Counsel for Applicant – NECI’s second successful application resulting in the quashing of a Sectoral Employment Order in the Electrical Contracting Sector. S.I. 703/2021 Sectoral Employment Order (Electrical Contracting Sector) 2021 was struck down by the High Court.
S.I. 703/2021 had been introduced after its predecessor, S.I. 251/2019 Sectoral Employment Order (Electrical Contracting Sector) 2019, had been previously struck down in earlier proceedings advanced by the NECI on the grounds that it was ultra vires the provisions of the Industrial Relations (Amendment) Act 2015.
David also regularly advises in non-contentious commercial law, company law and procurement law matters.
David recently acted as lead counsel to the Irish co-party in a multinational Joint Venture Agreement created to perform a domestic public procurement contract valued at €50 million.
- 01-817 7757
- 087-654 3069
- Law Library Building 158-159 Church Street Dublin 7
- @David O'Brien