David Byrnes BL

  • Junior Counsel: 2019

Dip in Legal Studies (Kings Inns), Advanced Dip in Planning & Environmental Law (Kings Inns)

Areas of Practice:
  • Administrative Law
  • Commercial/Chancery
  • Criminal
  • Family Law
  • General Practice
  • Judicial Review
  • Tort & Personal Injury Law
David  Byrnes BL

Other Memberships:
Criminal Bar Association
Employment Bar Association
Family Law Association
Planning, Environmental & Local Government Bar Association
Probate Bar Association
Sports Law Bar Association of Ireland
Direct Professional Access:

Generally based in Dublin, David has a mixed practice of civil and criminal law. Solicitors instruct him to advise clients on contentious and non-contentious matters and to also appear on their behalf in the lower and Superior Courts as well as in statutory tribunals.

Civil Law

David has practiced in a range of matters including:

  • Advising or appearing on behalf of private and pubic sector employees to include executive and non-executive civilian and sworn members of An Garda Síochána concerning employment matters.
  • Workplace disputes such as workplace grievances, dignity at work, disciplinary proceedings and wrongful dismissal to include interim and interlocutory injunction applications.
  • Statutory claims made to the Workplace Relations Commission and appeals to the Labour Court under the unfair dismissals  and employment equality framework.
  • Defending members of regulated professions against complaints made to their regulatory body to include the PPC / FPC of the Medical Council.
  • Contentious and non-contentious company matters to include formation, M&A, shareholder agreements, share sale and purchase agreements, shareholder or director disputes or oppression as well as court or voluntary liquidation.
  • Contentious and non-contentious commercial matters to include plenary and summary proceedings.
  • Licencing and regulatory matters to include aviation and firearms dealers.
  • Revenue and Tax Appeals Commission matters.
  • Land and conveyance to include right of way and easements.
  • Owner Management Company disputes under the Multi-Unit Development Act.

Protected Disclosures

David is a member of the Employment Bar Association. He specialises in the area of protected disclosures and disciplinary matters. He has advised or appeared for clients in Superior Court proceedings to include the seeking of interim protections, as well as in the Workplace Relations Commission, for whistleblower actions against unlawful detriment. He has advised or appeared on behalf of senior management in An Garda Síochána to include at the Protected Disclosures Tribunal of Inquiry held at Dublin Castle.

Planning & Environment

David holds an Advanced Diploma in Planning and Environmental Law from the Honourable Society of Kings Inns. He is a member of the Planning, Environmental & Local Government Bar Association and has advised clients on planning matters before Local Planning Authorities or An Bord Pleanála to include planning applications, appeals, referrals under Section 5 and he has appeared at oral hearings. He has advised or appeared in planning enforcement and injunctions and Judicial Review proceedings.

Criminal Law

David is a member of the Irish Criminal Bar Association. He has appeared in the lower and Superior Courts in trials or appeals and has advised adult, juvenile and vulnerable clients who have been accused or convicted of criminal offences to include public order, domestic violence, theft and fraud, non-fatal, misuse of drugs, criminal damage, rape and regulatory offences.

In addition to making applications for bail in the lower and Superior Courts, David has advised or appeared for clients in Judicial Review proceedings including Article 40 inquiries and in cases stated to the High Court on a point of law.

Family Law, Child Care & Probate

David is a member of the Family Lawyers Association. He has advised or appeared for clients in the lower and superior family law courts in divorce and separation proceedings to include guardianship, access and custody of dependent children and international relocation. He has advised or appeared for applicants and respondents in domestic violence proceedings and for parents in child care cases involving Tusla.

David is a member of the Probate Bar Association and has advised or appeared for clients on matters concerning probate.

Experience outside of the Bar

Prior to his practice of law at the Bar, David had accumulated over 20 years experience (15 years in business ownership) in the areas of IT Systems Management & Software Development | Business Management & Development | HRM  | Property Investment | Civil Aviation Operations & Management | Regulatory Compliance. He has also been retained as an expert witness on behalf of the State in Superior Court litigation.

David is a licenced pilot and he represented Ireland at the World Air Games in 2001 as captain of the Irish Skydiving Team. He is a member of Sports Law Bar Association.

  • Barrett v Commissioner of An Garda Síochána and Minister for Justice [2022] IEHC 86 and [2022] IEHC 309: These are the first published decisions of the High Court in the context of an injunction and discovery pursuant to s.13 of the Protected Disclosure Act, 2014. (An appeal of the injunction matter is pending before the Court of Appeal)
  • Nash v Director of Public Prosecutions [2021] IEHC 522: This case decided that an accused person is entitled to be furnished with a copy of the Digital Audio Recording of third party (but related) criminal proceedings in order for the accused to properly challenge the evidence intended to be offered against him by witnesses that are mutual to both proceedings.
  • A v B (1) [2021] IEHC 96 and A v B (2) [2021] IEHC 119: These cases decided that in weighing the balance of competing public interests, namely, the paramount interest of the child (Article 42A of the Constitution and Part V of the Guardianship of Infants Act 1964) versus the public interest in the prosecution of offences, the assertion of investigative privilege on the part of An Garda Síochána was defeated. (An appeal is pending before the Court of Appeal)

  • The Ingredients of Whistleblower Protections (2022) 19(2) 49-59 I.E.L.J.
  • I’m Spartacus: when is a disclosure actually protected? (2022) (Jan/Feb) Law Society Gazette (Cover Article)
  • Costs and the “entirely successful” test (2020), 25(6), 167-169 Bar Review (Cover Article)


David is a volunteer with the Free Legal Advice Clinic (FLAC). He has advised or represented clients on a pro bono basis in several matters, including child care legal proceedings against the Child and Family Agency (Tusla). David is an advocate for animal rights and welfare.

Contact Form

This form is made available to solicitors & in-house counsel for professional purposes only, and to members of Approved Bodies for the purposes of Direct Professional Access


087-755 6014
Law Library Four Courts Dublin 7
@David Byrnes

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