- Direct Professional Access:
Alex White is a Senior Counsel and a mediator. He advises and represents individual, public, and corporate clients. He has a general civil law practice, specialising in employment law (statutory bodies, High Court appeals and judicial review) as well as in personal injuries (employer liability), data protection and commercial litigation. He regularly acts as a CECR-accredited mediator in employment disputes. In 2012 he took leave of absence from legal practice to serve for four years as a government minister.
The Bar of Ireland, 1994 to 2012 and 2016 to date.
Wide civil practice including advice and representation in cases heard before the statutory employment bodies and all the civil courts in disputes relating inter alia to dismissal, discrimination, equal pay, workplace accidents, bullying and harassment, working time, data protection and fixed-term contracts. Practice includes arbitration and mediation on behalf of parties, and frequently as arbitrator or mediator. Called to the Inner Bar in 2010.
Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, 2014-2016
Role included responsibility for telecommunications policy (including EU digital market), broadcasting, the postal service, launching ‘eircode’ (Ireland’s digital postcode system), and taking the National Broadband Plan to pre-procurement. Authored and published the White Paper ‘Ireland’s Transition to a Low Carbon Economy’. Also over-saw policy on oil and gas exploration, including final consent to Corrib gas signed in December 2015.
Minister of State for Primary Care, 2012-2014
Included responsibility, amongst other initiatives, for devising and launching Free GP Care for younger children, as well as the continued roll-out of primary care centres. Responsible for the National Drugs Strategy and drafting the Heads of Public Health (Alcohol) Bill.
Chair, Oireachtas Committee Finance, Public Expenditure & Reform, 2011-2012
Leading parliamentary scrutiny of banking and banking reform during a critical period in Ireland’s financial crisis.
TD – Teachta Dála (member of parliament) for Dublin South, 2011-2016
Senator – member of Seanad Éireann (upper house of parliament), 2007-2011
Has been a member of South Dublin and Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Councils
RTE – Radio Teilifís Eireann (national broadcaster)
Radio producer, current affairs, 1984-1990
Series producer, The Gay Byrne Show, 1990-1994
SIPTU – Services, Industrial, Professional and Technical Union elected positions as: chair of RTE section committee; vice-chair of Dublin Public Sector 1990-1994.
Development Officer, Union of Students in Ireland, 1982-83
President, Students Union, Trinity College Dublin, 1981-82
Lecturing & Training:
Extensive experience lecturing in law and legal-related subjects, including on the Advanced Diploma in Applied Employment Law at the Kings’ Inns (current), Griffith College CPD for lawyers in practice, and papers to the Employment Bar Association.
Previously taught employment law at the National College of Industrial Relations and was for several years Course Director in Media Studies and principal trainer in broadcast production at Kairos Communications, Maynooth, Co. Kildare.
- Honorable Society of the Kings Inns, Barrister-at-law, 1987
- Trinity College Dublin, BA (Mod) Economic & Social Studies, 1981
- Chanel College, Coolock, Leaving Certificate 1976
Wide knowledge and appreciation of public policy decision-making processes, including detailed knowledge of the legislative process and the regulatory environment.
Proven ability to grasp and to mediate complex and sensitive disputes honed over many years’ experience in the employment disputes arena, industrial relations, government, and as a media professional.
Appreciation of the varied and competing forces at work in the economy, gained through practical experience interacting with labour market actors (employers, employees and their representative bodies) both as a lawyer and public representative and government Minister.
Excellent communication skills, and ability to convey information and analysis in a clear and accessible manner. Good writing, IT and analytical skills, together with strong organisational and administrative ability.
- Chair, Employment Bar Association
- Member, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
- Member, Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution
- Board Member, Irish Cancer Society
- Board Member, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Drug and Alcohol Task Force
- Chair, Energy Group, Institute of International and European Affairs.
Recent Cases & Legal Work
Current (as of July 2021)
Mediation of employment disputes in the health sector, the civil service, and third level institutions
– the employee in Judicial Review proceedings against public sector employer
– the employee in (several) High Court injunction proceedings challenging lawfulness of dismissal
– a secondary school in High Court point of law appeal where matter remitted to Labour Court for further hearing
– State defendants in High Court point-of-law appeal from the Labour Court
– Chief Social Welfare Appeals Officer in Judicial Review application against an employment status decision
– a major State agency on complex data protection matter
– an affected body in education sector on legal implications of impending legislation
Sample Recent & Past Matters
– the State in claims brought by army personnel concerning the application of the Working Time Directive
– a medical consultant in one of the ten “lead cases” challenging lawfulness of failure to honour 2008 contract
– multiple applicants in their claims to Hepatitits C Compensation tribunal
OVER TWENTY YEARS EXPERIENCE IN CASES BEFORE THE EMPLOYMENT TRIBUNALS AND THE COURTS
- “Work laws need to be re-examined for the digital age” – comment piece in the Business Post, 15 March 2021 https://www.businesspost.ie/legal/comment-work-laws-need-to-be-re-examined-for-the-digital-age-1b315a18
- “Covid-19 Redundancies and Employer Liability for Unfair Selection for Redundancy” – briefing paper to Employment Bar Association, April 2020.
- “It goes beyond bullying” – briefing paper on McCarthy v ISS Ireland trading as ISS Facility Services and Another  IECA 287, Employment Bar Association, 14 November 2018
- “Who is my employer?” – paper on employment rights in the gig economy in the published proceedings of Employment Bar Association Annual Conference, 10 November 2017
- “From Ryanair to Freshways – collective bargaining and the Industrial Relations (Amendment) Act 2015” – published briefing to Employment Bar Association, 2 November 2016.
- “A Broad Agenda Of Reform For The Constitutional Convention” – published address to MacGill Summer School, Glenties, Co. Donegal, 24 July 2012.
- “Damages for Defamation: Independent News and Media and Independent Newspapers Ireland Limited v Ireland” – in Irish Human Rights Law Review 2010
- “A Guide to Good Employment Practice in the Community & Voluntary Sector”, Combat Poverty Agency (2002 update as well as 1995 edition)
- “Employment Law for Primary Schools” chapter in ‘Primary Education Management Manual’, Thompson Round Hall, 2002
- Contributions to ‘The Business Administration Service’ and ‘Irish Education Manual’ Round Hall Professional Publishing, 2001 and 2000
Speeches & Lectures
- “Introduction to the Irish employment legal system” – annual lecture to the Advanced Diploma in Employment Law, Kings Inns
- “Regulated, civil service and public sector employment & Judicial Review” – annual lecture to the Advanced Diploma in Employment Law, Kings Inns.
- “Ministerial bias and the case of the Killybegs harbour master: the Supreme Court judgment in Kelly v Minister for Agriculture” – CPD talk to the Cork Bar, 16 April 2021.
- “Unincorporated bodies and vicarious liability” – analysis of Hickey v McGowan and Others  IESC: address to Employment Law Updates Forum, Griffith College, 15 March 2017
- “New technologies, new services: what are your rights in the new digital world and how can they be enforced?” – address to session convened by the Communications Law Committee, International Bar Association Annual Conference, Washington DC,
21 September 2016
Pro-bono & Voluntary
- Chairperson, Employment Bar Association
- Board member, Irish Cancer Society
- Board member, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Drug & Alcohol Task Force
- Chair, Energy Group, Institute of International & European Affairs
- 01-817 2852
- 087-220 8533
- Law Library, Four Courts, Dublin 7.
- @Alexander White