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Matheson Panel Discussion: Recent Developments in Fair Procedures at Disciplinary Investigations

AUTHOR(S): Bryan Dunne, Niall Pelly
PRACTICE AREA GROUP: Commercial Litigation and Dispute Resolution, Employment, Pensions and Benefits
DATE: 13.09.2017

Just What is Fair Enough?

The Matheson Employment, Pensions and Benefits Group would like to extend an invitation to an upcoming panel discussion on recent developments in fair procedures at disciplinary investigations.  The panel will cover the legal and practical implications for employers in some of the developing trends in the area (cross examination of witnesses and legal representation at internal hearings).

This panel follows the recent High Court decision in Lyons v Westmeath and Longford Education and Training Board (2017), which has caused significant controversy among Irish employment lawyers and HR practitioners. The ruling that an employee is entitled to cross examine witnesses and be legally represented at the preliminary investigation stage of an internal process has very far reaching implications for employers in managing internal disciplinary and grievance issues. Since this decision, two further High Court decisions have ruled that an employee is not in fact entitled to the full range of fair procedures entitlements until the formal disciplinary hearing stage. However, neither of these later decisions refers specifically to the Lyons decision, leaving the question out there as to the extent of fair procedures to be applied in preliminary investigations.

Bryan Dunne, Partner and Head of the Matheson Employment, Pensions and Benefits Group will moderate the discussion and will be joined by Cathy O’Grady, International HR Director, Groupon, Tom Mallon BL, Des Ryan BL and Niall Pelly, Partner, Matheson.

The event will be held on Thursday, 21 September from 4:30 pm, at the Matheson Dublin office. To register, please email Bryan Dunne or the Matheson Events team. If you are interested in the discussion but are unable to attend, we will also be providing dial-in details.

We look forward to you joining us for this discussion

Moderator and Speakers:
Bryan Dunne, Partner and Head of the Employment, Pensions and Benefits Group, Matheson - Moderator

Bryan advises on a variety of aspects of employment law, both contentious and non-contentious. This work includes senior executive termination and exits, overseas secondment arrangements for international employers, defence work in contentious employment litigation matters and advising on all employment aspects of commercial transactions. He also regularly advises employers on internal grievance and disciplinary processes, with particular focus on senior executive level employees and High Court employment injunctions.

Cathy O’Grady, International Senior HR Director, Groupon
Cathy O'Grady has significant experience in HR, across all areas, with particular strengths in HR change and transformation, linking HR and business strategy, organisational design and total rewards. Cathy is a qualified business coach, and enjoys working with people and organisations to understand how to improve personal employee performance in order to drive business performance.

Tom Mallon BL
Tom Mallon BL has practiced as a barrister for thirty years, specialising in employment law. Tom has appeared in many leading employment cases in the High and Supreme Courts and regularly appears before specialised employment fora such as the Employment Appeals Tribunal, Labour Court, Workplace Relations Commission and Equality Tribunal and has also appeared in the European Court of Justice. Prior to practicing in law, Tom worked for a number of years in the field of industrial relations, and held a number of human resource and management positions. Tom was a founding member and the first Chair of the Employment Bar Association of Ireland and is an accredited CEDR Mediator. He was elected a Bencher of the Kings Inn in 2015.

Desmond Ryan BL
Desmond Ryan BL is a practising barrister specialising in employment law. He appears regularly before the Workplace Relations Commission, the Labour Court and the Superior Courts. He lectures in employment law at Trinity College Dublin and has recently been a visiting researcher at the Centre for Employment Law and Labour Relations, Melbourne Law School, Australia, as well as a Visiting Fellow at Oxford University. He is the author of the new edition of Redmond on Dismissal (Bloomsbury Publishing, forthcoming) and has published widely in the area of employment law.

Niall Pelly, Partner, Employment, Pensions and Benefits Group, Matheson
Niall has substantial employment litigation and corporate transaction experience. He works with a variety of large national and multinational clients in many different sectors including technology, pharmaceuticals and financial services. Niall has advised many leading employers in all matters arising out of the employment relationship from appointment to termination, internal investigations and disciplinary hearings, change management and redundancy processes. Having practiced in the UK for a number of years, he has market leading experience in defending and managing whistleblowing claims. Niall is qualified in Ireland, the UK and New York.

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