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Deirdre Crowley is a Partner in our Commercial Litigation Group, specialising in emerging technology law. Deirdre’s practice is focused on the digital economy, with a particular emphasis on Data Protection, Cyber and Artificial Intelligence.

Deirdre is current holder of the prestigious EMEA WIB Data Protection and Privacy Lawyer of the Year 2023 award and is shortlisted for this award once again in 2024. She is a leading authority on GDPR and represents many clients in their dealings with the Data Protection Commission, including in relation to regulatory investigations resulting from cyber incidents, data subject access complaints and own volition inquiries.

Deirdre’s practice is primarily focused on technological innovation and digitalisation related advices. She acts for many of the world’s highest profile companies, spanning across sectors ranging from social media platforms, technology, pharma, medical devices manufacturing multinational companies to government departments and regulatory bodies.

Deirdre’s practise includes contentious and non-contentious work, making her a trusted advisor of many in respect of their compliance, governance and related contentious defence litigation work.

Deirdre is also a partner in Matheson’s Digital Economy Group and together with specialists from our financial institutions group, competition and regulation group and our technology and innovation group, Deirdre is working with clients to deal with the wave of new regulatory compliance obligations coming from Europe in the Digital Markets, Cyber and Artificial Intelligence space.

A highly sought after conference speaker, Deirdre is frequently invited to speak at key industry and academic events.

Deirdre is a guest lecturer on UCC’s LLM course in Tech and Elaw and the Law Society of Ireland’s Data Protection courses. Deirdre is a voluntary member of the Crawford Art Gallery’s Law and Finance Committee. 

Experience Highlights

Recent areas of experience highlights include:

  • Advising many of the world’s largest technology companies headquartered in Ireland in respect of their GDPR, Cyber-Security and Artificial intelligence governance programmes.
  • Representing global online platform and technology companies in regulatory inquiries, including Data Protection Inquiries.
  • Representing clients in high stakes litigation, including procuring urgent High Court injunctive relief in cases involving the theft of commercial data and court relief for multinational companies in the context of emerging technology law.
  • Leading and coordinating high profile cyber incident response teams, dealing with parallel reporting obligations, third party vendor management and engaging with the Data Protection Commission, An Garda Siochana, the National Cyber Security Centre, Interpol and Europol.
  • Advising on post cyber incident commercial disputes and large-scale contentious and non-contentious data subject access complaints.  
  • Advising many leading online platforms and hosting providers in relation to their obligations under the Digital Services Act, the Online Media and Regulation Act and emerging laws governing Artificial Intelligence, ethics, compliance and governance. This includes advising on content moderation rules, content take down obligations, law enforcement response procedures, compliance, audit functions and adtech regulation.
  • Advising on the drafting of legislation in the data protection context, including drafting legislation relevant to government departments, regulatory bodies and government authorities.
  • Advising organisations on Data Subject Access Request complaints, particularly in the context of employment litigation, Data Protection Commission Inquiries and GDPR litigation. 
  • Advices on how to continue transferring personal data to the UK in light of Brexit and to the US in light of Schrems II.
  • Complex and contentions data subject access requests in the employment litigation, technology and retail customer context to include supporting companies dealing with regulatory inspections and criminal proceedings resulting from data compliance breaches.
  • The appropriate use of technology in the workplace including CCTV and other body worn monitoring devices, associated data subject access requests and investigations by the Data Protection Commission.
  • Workplace reorganisations including redundancies (singular and collective), changes in terms of employment to include role and location and the employment implications of Covid generally from a restructuring and compliance point of view.
  • Termination of employment issues for senior executives, post termination restrictions, restraint of trade, non-solicit and related injunction and breach of contract litigation.
  • Acting in a Circuit Court contentious discrimination and equality claim for a leading financial services company.

Other Relevant Experience

Data Protection and Privacy

Deirdre advises EEA and non-EEA based controllers and processors in relation to the full spectrum of data protection and privacy compliance issues.  Deirdre’s day to day work includes advices on data security breaches, data subject access requests, the drafting of data processing agreements, international transfer of data agreements and commercial agreements designed to best protect clients when they engage in the business of processing personal and / or special category data.

Deirdre has specific experience in advising businesses that have a high risk data processing rating in relation to complex and urgent data breach scenarios.  A particular focus of Deirdre’s practice in the last 24 months is on advising clients on how best to approach dealing with regulatory investigations on behalf of the Data Protection Commission in the aftermath of a reportable data security breach. 

On the data subject access request side, Deirdre works with our Digital Services Group headed by Kyle Gribben to assist businesses to quickly, efficiently and cost effectively identify in scope data for the purposes of replying to data subject access requests.

Data audits for compliance and due diligence purposes are a routine part of Deirdre’s work.  Focused and practical know-how on the issues of processor / controller / joint controller capacity tests, data mapping, Privacy Officer versus Data Protection Officer considerations, policy and employee contract drafting, the use of CCTV and other monitoring devices in the workplace as well as drafting data protection impact assessments and privacy impact assessments are also frequent topics of advice in Deirdre’s practice.

E-Privacy and eCommerce for the retail, medical, technology and manufacturing sectors is a particular area of expertise and interest of Deirdre’s. 

Employment Law

Deirdre advises on all aspects of the employment relationship from recruitment and selection, through to termination of employment. 

Advices on dealing with complex conduct and performance issues in the context of investigations, disciplinary and appeal processes are a mainstay of Deirdre’s practice.

Equality and Equal Status

Deirdre advises on all aspects of Irish and European equality and discrimination law.

Recent Experience Highlights

Detailed advices on retirement issues and their interplay with ageism and pension risk issues.

Industrial Relations

A robust and experienced advocate, Deirdre frequently appears before the Workplace Relations Commission Adjudicator Service and Labour Court on behalf of clients in respect of all employment, industrial relation and equality issues that fall within their respective jurisdiction.

Deirdre recently advised employers in relation to new sectoral employment orders (“SEO”) in the electrical services and private language colleges sectors and has over many years advised employers on their collective bargaining relationships with both recognised and non-recognised unions. 

Recent Experience Highlights

Recently advised employers in relation to new sectoral employment orders for the English Languages sector and the Electrical Services Sector.

Workplace Relations Commission (“WRC”) Inspections

WRC inspections are creating a lot of work for public and private sector clients.  Deirdre works with clients to deal swiftly with inspections and where possible to implement compliance solutions to bring inspections to a close. 

Where inspections become contentious, Deidre has advised many companies on how best to deal with compliance notices, dawn raids, labour court hearings and any appeal cases required, with a constant focus on early resolution and cost effective disposal of the issues within the scope of clients legal obligations. 

  • Admitted as a solicitor in Ireland, 2003
  • Diploma in Employment Law, University College Dublin, 2004
  • CIPPA, Privacy and Data Protection, International Association of Privacy Practitioners, 2017