Employment, Pensions and Benefits

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"I look to them as trusted advisers for general employment advisory work as well as our more complex employment litigation and contentious matters."
Employment: Chambers Europe 2019

"They are absolutely excellent across the board."
Chambers Europe

Our Employment Pensions and Benefits Group was established more than ten years ago in recognition of the increasing complexity and development of the law in the employment, equality and pensions areas, and the demands from clients for specialist advice. We provide legal advice on all aspects of the employment relationship, including pension schemes and employee benefits. We advise on all Irish and European legislation relating to or affecting the employment relationship and pensions/benefits entitlements and our employments and pensions practice has developed into one of the leading such groups in any law firm in Ireland.

We advise on pensions law from a consultative and compliance point of view, and also advise on contentious legal issues. We have considerable experience in the establishment of occupational pension schemes, both defined contribution and defined benefit and are involved in the provision of all necessary trust documentation. We also deal with legal issues arising from an employer and trustee perspective. We have been engaged in developing a significant number of innovative share schemes for clients. We have extensive experience in relation to Revenue approved employee share ownership plans (ESOPs) and have established a number of ESOPs for State or former State companies.

We work closely with the firm's Corporate and Commercial Group and have advised on a number of the leading merger and acquisition transactions in recent years.

Employment Permits

We advise companies (both in Ireland and outside Ireland) in relation to obtaining employment permits for their employees. We have the experience and resources to ensure that our clients receive a world class service in obtaining employment permits.  Our team has substantial experience preparing applications for employment permits and liaising with the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation in relation to applications. Through this experience we have built up a wealth of knowledge on what the DJEI requires in order to grant an employment permit.

The four main categories of employment permit are:

  • Critical Skills Employment Permit
  • General Employment Permit
  • Intra-company Transfer Permit, and
  • Dependent / Partner / Spouse Employment Permit

We also advise on the Atypical Working Scheme, which allows for short-term employment without requiring a formal employment permit.

In addition, we advise on the Trusted Partner Scheme, and have successfully obtained Trusted Partner Status for many of our clients. This scheme provides a fast track method for frequent users of the employment permits system to obtain employment permits. Contact Bryan Dunne and Niall Pelly for more detail.

Experience Highlights

The Group offers an experienced team of specialist lawyers who are well positioned to provide top-tier legal advice on all employment and pension law matters, including the following:

  • employment law and equality law
  • preparing, drafting and negotiating contracts such as employment contracts (from basic statements of terms and conditions of employment to complex service agreements), consultancy agreements and severance agreements
  • employment equality
  • gender pay gap audits, reporting obligations and gender pay gap analysis
  • health and safety in the workplace and employer’s liability
  • work permits
  • bullying and harassment claims
  • stress at work
  • education
  • compliance with working time models
  • internal disciplinary and grievance procedures and investigations
  • redundancy and workforce restructuring
  • post-termination restrictive covenants
  • industrial relations
  • transfer of undertakings
  • contentious matters before the courts and tribunals
  • mediation and other dispute resolution mechanisms
  • Pensions Law
  • reconstruction/merger of pension arrangements
  • establishment of schemes
  • revenue approval
  • small self-administered schemes
  • pension aspects of mergers and acquisitions
  • winding up of schemes
  • trusteeship
  • fiduciary responsibilities
  • employment matters
  • investment management agreements
  • AMRFs/ARFs
  • regulatory compliance
  • employee share ownership plans
  • approved profit-sharing schemes


Matheson is considered “go-to for anything which could reach the High Court because it has the depth, experience and resource to look after these types of claims”.
European Legal 500 2019

Matheson are “very strong in advisory and litigation matters”.
European Legal 500 2019

"I would mention the quality of the advice and understanding of the perspective of all the actors in pensions, the holistic approach – not just legal industry perspective, they can bring it all."
Chambers Europe 2019

Matheson’s employment practice is “going from strength to strength”.
European Legal 500 2019

Matheson is a "law firm of choice for clients who need Irish legal advice. The depth of their international employment law knowledge is far greater than any other firm in the Irish market".
Chambers Europe 2019

Matheson's Employment team are "trusted business advisers for any advisory Irish employment law advice that is needed".
Chambers Europe 2019


Matheson have developed "a depth of knowledge on Brexit employment issues, including EWCs, data protection issues and citizens’ rights, which I am not sure any other Irish law firm can match".
Chambers Europe 2019

"They are exceptional – my favourite firm to work with globally."
Chambers Europe 2018

Matheson consolidated its status as the "leading firm in the Irish market in the technology and international employer space".
European Legal 500 2018

Matheson provides "thorough and technically effective" advice.
European Legal 500 2018

The practice has some "excellent associates".
European Legal 500 2018

"Our gold standard for foreign employment counsel."
Chambers Europe 2018

"Very effective".
European Legal 500 2017

"Depth of resources and cross-border capabilities."
Chambers Europe 2017

“They understand our business and our employees, and their podcasts are super.”
Chambers Europe 2016

They are really good at standing in the shoes of the business.
Chambers Europe 2016

They are clear in their advice, and they convey this advice in a way that makes it completely understandable to trustees.
Chambers Europe 2016

The group that is “unmatched” in the pensions field.
Chambers Europe 2016

"We have built huge trust in the firm and the knowledge it has, and we were really impressed. The team doesn't just go by the letter of the law, but looks for the best way forward and the best result for us."
Chambers Europe 2016

"Extremely professional in the whole area of pension law. The firm is clear in its advice, conveying it in a way which makes it completely understandable to trustees."
Chambers Europe 2016

Bryan Dunne’s team is "knowledgeable, responsive and user-friendly".
European Legal 500 2016

"This team understands our business and provides a service in line with our needs. The pace at which the lawyers work and the commitment they undertake when working with us are outstanding."
Chambers Europe 2015

"Great depth of knowledge in pension law, and clear communication. The team always delivers work in good time."
Chambers Europe 2015

Matheson has a strong record in pensions litigation.
European Legal 500 2015

"The team gives advice that is practical, grounded and informed by experience."
Chambers Europe 2014

"The team’s advice is very well thought through and gets us where we need to go."
Chambers Europe 2014

This sterling group is recognised as a leading force in employment. Its broad expertise enables it to handle the most complex mandates, and the firm's international experience makes it a particularly strong choice for overseas clients.
Chambers Europe 2013

"The team is open and responsive to our requests."
Chambers Europe 2013

"The lawyers give practical, strategic advice and know the right angle to take."
Chambers Europe 2013

Matheson is "fantastic on the detail and at protecting its client".
European Legal 500 2013

Matheson is in demand for its fitness and probity expertise following new regulations from Ireland’s Central Bank.
European Legal 500 2013