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.

Nicola has a broad commercial litigation and arbitration practice. Much of her work crosses borders, representing international companies doing business in and from Ireland.

Nicola represents clients in commercial disputes including mergers and acquisitions, regulatory disputes, EU and competition litigation, and constitutional litigation. Her clients are active in the technology and telecommunications, pharmaceutical, chemicals, food and drink, waste, water, energy, mining, and transport sectors. Her practice includes advising in regulatory investigations and defending criminal prosecutions. Nicola has significant experience in major development and property disputes, including environmental and safety disputes.

Nicola leads Matheson’s arbitration team. Her expertise includes advocacy in alternative dispute resolution, encompassing expert determination, adjudication and mediation.

Nicola is Vice President of Arbitration Ireland, and an Associate of the Irish Taxation Institute, an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.

She is a frequent speaker at conferences and workshops on regulatory enforcement and on commercial arbitration and litigation. She has authored contributions to a number of publications including The International Comparative Legal Guide to International Arbitration 2011 - 2015.

Experience Highlights

Nicola has advised:

  • Royalty Pharma in litigation related to its $6.5 billion bid for Elan
  • a US oil and gas company regarding the judicial review of a decision of the Commission for Energy Regulation in Commercial Court
  • multinational clients in the chemicals and food and drink sectors in defending criminal prosecutions for regulatory, safety and environmental offences
  • a UK telecommunications company in Commercial Court proceedings regarding a disputed break clause in a lease
  • on a Commercial Court dispute between Gibraltar and US shareholders regarding shares in a Irish biotech company
  • a Russian company in a Commercial Court challenge to jurisdiction to enforce an arbitral award
  • a multinational pharmaceutical company on environmental aspects of an asset acquisition, including interacting with the EPA and advising on financial guarantees and bonds
  • major European utility in respect of two successful court challenges to government procurement procedures
  • multinational energy client in a dispute under a gas tolling agreement, governed by ICC arbitration rules
  • international and domestic banks and receivers on potential environmental liability and on planning enforcement

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

Recognised for Environment Law
Best Lawyers Ireland 2019 edition

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, awarded a scholarship by the Irish Government)
Taxation Consultant, Irish Taxation Institute (A.I.T.I.)
Trinity College Dublin (LLB, Winner of Exhibition Award)

Related Practice Areas

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