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Catherine specialises in a number of Chambers’ practice areas, including EU Law, Public Law, Human Rights and Commercial Law and appears before both the national courts and tribunals and the Court of Justice of the European Union.
Catherine combines her practice with a number of appointments and with her academic position as Associate Professor and Fellow of Trinity College, Dublin and her position as Chair of the Irish Society for European Law and Member of the Incorporated Council of Law Reporting for Ireland.
Catherine has appeared in a number of cases involving EU law before the Court of Justice of the European Union, the courts of England and Wales and the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court of Ireland.
Recent cases before the Court of Justice include:
Catherine acts in cases involving public procurement law, competition law, state aid law, data protection, access to environmental information and planning in accordance with the requirements of EU law.
Catherine has also advised and acted for a variety of public authorities and private clients on EU law matters, including the Office of Communications Regulation in Ireland, the Office of Corporate Enforcement, the Medical Council of Ireland, the Commission for Communications Regulation, the Information Commissioner, the Health Information and Quality Authority, the Data Protection Commissioner, the Office of the Revenue Commissioners, the Irish Aviation Authority, IDA Ireland, An Post, Ireland West Airport Knock, Irish Waterways, An Taisce, various local authorities and the National Bus and Railworkers’ Union.
Catherine has represented clients in a number of matters in the Competition List in Dublin, including, in particular, proceedings involving a claim of refusal to supply (Heatons v ASICS UK Limited (Cooke J) 1 November 2013).
Catherine is acting for Ireland in its challenge to the Apple State aid decision.
Catherine has been listed in the International Who’s Who of Public Procurement lawyers in 2012-2015. She also advises both potential claimants and contracting authorities in this field and has advised a number of contracting authorities on the conduct of their procurement processes. Recent cases have included:
In the state aid context, as well as advising frequently in this area, Catherine appeared in the case of Dellway v National Asset Management Agency  IEHC 364;  4 IR 1, which involved a challenge to the acquisition by Ireland’s National Asset Management Agency of certain loans; the case raised a range of public law and EU law questions, including a number of state aid issues.
Catherine has acted in and worked on telecommunications cases (e.g. R (on the application of ICO Satellite Ltd) v Ofcom  EWCA Civ 1121) and CAT appeals. She is also currently representing a consortium in its challenge to alleged corruption and breach of national and Union law in the award of a mobile phone licence in Ireland, Comcast International Holdings v The Minister of Public Enterprise  IEHC 18. She has also acted for the Commission for Communications Regulation in a number of matters.
Catherine frequently provides advice on data protection questions, to both public and private sector clients.
Catherine is currently acting in a series of actions involving assertions of mis-selling of products, misrepresentation, breach of contract, and professional negligence. She has represented clients in a large number of cases in the Commercial Court in Ireland, and many of the procurement cases listed above were conducted in the Commercial Court.
Catherine acted for the claimant in a 104-day trial in the Commercial Court in a negligence and nuisance claim against the Electricity Supply Board for flooding of Cork City in 2009: University College Cork v Electricity Supply Board  IEHC 135 and  IEHC 598. She is also acting in a number of shareholder dispute cases and currently represents PriceWaterhouseCoopers in an auditor negligence claim: Quinn Insurance Limited (Under Administration) v PriceWaterhouseCoopers  IEHC 303.
Catherine has acted in intellectual property claims, including urgent injunction applications in the context of passing off (e.g. Dublin Bus v Citibus).
Since commencing practice, Catherine has experienced a broad range of public law work, in both the regulatory and telecommunications field and in judicial review cases involving human rights.
She has represented both claimants and defendants in judicial review and human rights proceedings before the Courts of England and Wales, including in the Court of Appeal, before the Courts of Ireland, the European Court of Human Rights (including Donohue v Ireland, 12 December 2013) and in cases before the European Social Committee.
She has acted for the General Medical Council, the Office of Communications Regulation in Ireland, the Information Commissioner (Westwood Club v Information Commissioner  IEHC 375), the Health Information and Quality Authority, the Office of Revenue Commissioners, the Irish Aviation Authority (including in McMahon v Irish Aviation Authority  IEHC 431), IDA Ireland and various local authorities.
She is currently acting for the Public Accounts Committee of the Irish Parliament in judicial review proceedings raising issues of legality, fair procedure and misfeasance in public office: Kerins v McGuinness  IEHC 293 and  IECA 267.
She also represented the Irish Referendum Commission in its resistance to a challenge to the 2015 Marriage Equality Referendum in Ireland (Walshe v Ireland, The Attorney General, The Referendum Returning Officer and The Referendum Commission  IESCDET 37).
She has represented Ireland in a number of cases (including: Donohue v Ireland; Pringle v Ireland (High Court and Supreme Court); Byas v County Registrar for the County of Dublin Ireland and Attorney General; O’Driscoll and McCarthy v Limerick City Council, Ireland and Attorney General  IEHC 594; Fitzsimons v County Registrar for the County of Meath, Ireland and the Attorney General; and Heffernan v County Registrar for the County of Dublin, Ireland and the Attorney General).
On the claimant side, Catherine appeared in the High Court and Supreme Court in a case involving a constitutional challenge to a referendum held in Ireland on the basis that the Government had breached constitutional requirements not to expend public moneys advocating a particular outcome in the referendum and relying on the Venice Commission Code for Good Practice on Referendums: Jordan v Minister for Children and Youth Affairs  IEHC 458,  IEHC 625,  IEHC 327, and  IESC 33. She also appeared in Barlow v Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine  IEHC 471 (Supreme Court ruling pending), involving a constitutional challenge to management of mussel seed resource.
She has acted for the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission, including advising the Commission on its recommendations for a Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland in 2008. The work involved advising on all areas of European and international human rights law, administrative law and constitutional law relating to both the content and the implementation of the Commission’s recommendations, and drafting those sections of the Commission’s final advice. The work also entailed advising on precise formulations and wordings of the particular rights.
More generally, Catherine advises and represents both public and private sector clients, including NGOs – such as the National Secular Society, the Transgender Equality Network Ireland, Free Legal Advice Centre, the Committee on the Administration of Justice, An Taisce, and the Northern Ireland Council of Ethnic Minorities, the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission – on a variety of public law and human rights issues, including the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, the ECHR, the Irish Constitution, the public sector equality duty, and the Hong Kong Bill of Rights.
Catherine is also one of the editors of De Smith’s Judicial Review (2007, 2009, 2013, 2014 and 2015).
A large part of the advisory work Catherine does in Northern Ireland involves international law, and she has advised on the interpretation of various conventions and treaties, and most particularly, international human rights instruments. In 2007-2008, Catherine was appointed to advise the Northern Ireland Bill of Rights Forum, (to which she was a Legal Advisor from September 2007 to March 2008) on matters of international law. She also regularly advises the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission and NGOs in Northern Ireland on difficult questions of interpretation of the Good Friday/Belfast Agreement and other Anglo-Irish Agreements and treaties. Catherine also acted in the case of Barlow v Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, which involved questions of the Law of the Sea.
Catherine has experienced a number of trials in the Employment Tribunal, as well as before Equality Officers and the Labour Court in Ireland. She has appeared in cases involving constructive dismissal, unfair dismissal, wrongful dismissal, discrimination on grounds of sex and race, TUPE, and whistleblowing. She has also advised on domestic and European employment law obligations. She has also appeared in the High Court of Ireland in cases involving urgent injunctions in the employment context for both claimants and defendants.
LLB (Trinity College, Dublin); BCL (Oxon); LLM (Harvard); DPhil (Oxon)
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