Nicola Dunleavy



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Nicola Dunleavy is "not only a skilled lawyer but also has strong emotional intelligence".

Chambers Global & Europe


Nicola Dunleavy is a partner in Matheson’s Commercial Litigation and Dispute Resolution Department, with a broad commercial litigation, investigations and arbitration practice.  Nicola is regularly appointed to represent clients in complex, multi-jurisdictional commercial disputes, including arising from mergers and acquisitions and EU law, and in constitutional litigation.  Sectors include technology and telecommunications, pharmaceutical, chemicals, food and drink, waste, water, energy, mining, and transport.  Nicola represents clients in investigations by the EU Commission, ComReg, and other regulators and in defending criminal prosecutions.  Nicola has very significant experience in major development, energy and real estate disputes, including planning environmental and safety judicial review and disputes.

Nicola is a member of the Court of the London Court of International Arbitration and leads Matheson’s arbitration team. Nicola is an advocate in alternative dispute resolution, such as expert determination, adjudication and mediation. Nicola is Vice President of Arbitration Ireland, a Chartered Tax Advisor and an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.

Experience Highlights

Representative matters include:

  • Representing a client in a broadband licensing dispute in ICC arbitration against a State body
  • Acting for Royalty Pharma in litigation related to its $6.5 billion bid for Elan
  • Representing a US oil and gas company in a judicial review of a decision of the Commission for Energy Regulation in the Commercial Court
  • Defending regulatory investigations and criminal prosecutions for regulatory (pricing, tax), safety and environmental offences
  • Defending a UK telecommunications company in Commercial Court proceedings regarding a disputed break clause in a lease
  • Leading a Commercial Court dispute between Gibraltar and US shareholders regarding ownership of shares in a Irish biotech company, and related intellectual property
  • Successfully representing Russian companies in two Commercial Court challenges to arbitral awards
  • Representing a major European utility (French-headquartered) in respect of two successful court challenges to government procurement procedures
  • Acting for a multinational energy client in a dispute under a gas tolling agreement, governed by ICC arbitration rules

Nicola Dunleavy is "great at listening to and understanding our requirements"
Commercial Litigation and Dispute Resolution: Chambers Global 2020

Nicola Dunleavy "brings calmness and understanding" and her "knowledge is excellent".
European Legal 500 2019

Nicola Dunleavy is named a leading individual.
European Legal 500 2019

Nicola Dunleavy is "adept at adapting to dynamic situations".
European Legal 500 2018

Nicola Dunleavy is "clear and effective communicator" and an "original thinker".
European Legal 500 2018

Nicola Dunleavy is "very good at co-ordinating”.
Chambers Global & Europe 2018

Lawyer of the year (Ireland) for Environmental Law
Best Lawyers Ireland 2018 edition

Nicola Dunleavy is named a leading individual.
European Legal 500 2017

Nicola Dunleavy has "excellent industry knowledge on infrastructure".
European Legal 500 2017

Nicola Dunleavy is named a leading individual.
European Legal 500 2016

According to interviewees Nicola Dunleavy is "bright, sensible, tactical and strategic".
Chambers Global 2016

Nicola Dunleavy "takes a strong ownership of projects".
European Legal 500 2015

Nicola Dunleavy is named a leading individual.
European Legal 500 2015

Nicola Dunleavy is recommended.
European Legal 500 2015

Environment expert
Who’s Who Legal 100 2014

Nicola Dunleavy has "a rare ability to listen to clients and bring clarity".
European Legal 500 2014

Nicola "knows her stuff and understands the human side to disputes". She is "not only a skilled lawyer but also has strong emotional intelligence".
Chambers Global & Europe 2014

Nicola Dunleavy is "totally on top of her brief" and shows "mastery of the complexity of legislation".
European Legal 500 2013

Nicola is recognised as a leading lawyer by international legal directories Chambers EuropeEuropean Legal 500 and Best Lawyers.


European University Institute, Italy, LLM in International, European and Comparative Law
Chartered Tax Advisor, Irish Taxation Institute, 1996
Solicitor, Law Society of Ireland, 1995
Trinity College Dublin, LLB - Winner of Exhibition Award

Related Practice Areas

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