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

Chambers Global & Europe 

Expertise

Nicola Dunleavy is Senior Counsel/SC and 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 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.
  • 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.
  • Advising Macquarie Asset Management in relation to its agreement to acquire the Beacon Hospital in Dublin, subject to customary regulatory approvals. 
    Accolades
    “Nicola Dunleavy has been a key person for us for many years. Her engagement and high knowledge and smart thinking is very valuable."
    Dispute Resolution: The Legal 500 2023
     
    “Nicola Dunleavy and Ruadhán Kenny have strong engagement and high knowledge."
    Construction: The Legal 500 2023

    "Nicola Dunleavy SC runs an outstanding team at Matheson and is fully engaged in all cases. Her knowledge and understanding of planning and environmental law are exceptional. She is very much focused on solutions and advising the client on what it needs to do to secure planning permission/environmental consent."
    Planning and Environment: European Legal 500 2023

    "Nicola Dunleavy SC is the best in the business. Knowledgeable and practical and works tirelessly for her clients and her team"
    Planning and Environment: European Legal 500 2023

    "Nicola Dunleavy is exceptional, really brilliant, has a good depth of experience and can put herself in her client's shoes."
    Dispute Resolution: Chambers Global 2023

    "She is very polished and exudes confidence in her approach with clients."
    Dispute Resolution: Chambers Global 2023

    "Nicola Dunleavy is probably the leader in the field in this jurisdiction. She is an excellent lawyer with brilliant judgement and is wholly committed to delivering for her clients."
    Planning and Environment: The Legal 500 2022

    “Nicola Dunleavy is an exceptional lawyer in this area.”
    The Legal 500 2022

    “Nicola Dunleavy & Ruadhán Kenny in particular are great to deal with, providing good, practical, commercially focused advice and are always at hand when needed.”
    The Legal 500 2022

    Nicola Dunleavy’s “expertise in the field stands out," and "she is highly responsive."
    Dispute Resolution: Chambers Global 2022

    "Nicola Dunleavy has assisted our company over an extended period of time and can be relied upon to always provide practical and forthright advice notwithstanding the difficult nature of matters requiring attention".
    The Legal 500 2021

    "Nicola Dunleavy is an outstanding litigator. She has a deep understanding of the litigation process and how issues might play out. She is able to deliver quality strategic advice and add value in all interactions".
    The Legal 500 2021

    "Nicola Dunleavy "is fantastic to deal with. Nicola really got to know and understand our business, she provides professional well thought out advice and also works through the advice as part of the broader team and understands the complex business we operate. Nicola is a superb professional advisor, with good business acumen, who deploys a common sense approach to problems".
    The Legal 500 2021

    "When she speaks she has a level of gravitas; you can just sense that she has been there before and knows exactly what she's talking about".
    Chambers Europe 2021

    Nicola Dunleavy "is personable, responsive and commercial".
    Chambers Europe 2021

    Nicola Dunleavy has been recognised by The Legal 500 as an elite leading lawyer.
    Planning and Environment: European Legal 500 Hall of Fame 2020

    “Nicola Dunleavey is amazing to work with, she is on the ball at all times and works very well with clients to deliver what they need.”
    Planning and Environment: European Legal 500 2020

    Nicola Dunleavy is truly exceptional, head and shoulders above her competitors. She is an excellent lawyer and offers hugely practical and informed advice to her clients. She is enormously hard working and gets the best out of a dedicated team who all do their best for her.”
    Planning and Environment: European Legal 500 2020

    "Nicola Dunleavy is an outstanding litigator. Her advice and support to our business has been fantastic.”
    Dispute Resolution: European Legal 500 2020

    Nicola Dunleavy is “great at listening to and understanding the clients requirements”
    Commercial Litigation and Dispute Resolution: Chambers Global and Europe 2020

    "She carefully considers complex issues and delivers well thought out, thorough and bespoke advice."
    Commercial Litigation and Dispute Resolution: Chambers Global 2020

    Nicola Dunleavy has been recognised by The Legal 500 as an elite leading lawyer.
    Dispute Resolution: Legal 500 EMEA Hall of Fame 2019

    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 is recognised as a leading lawyer by international legal directories Chambers Europe, European Legal 500 and Best Lawyers.

     

    Education

    Trinity College Dublin (LLB)

    Qualified as a solicitor in Ireland

    Chartered Tax Advisor, Irish Taxation Institute

    European University Institute, Florence, Italy (Masters in European, International and Comparative Law LLM)