I am a senior counsel, solicitor, arbitrator, accredited mediator and conciliator. Since 1987 I have specialised in dispute resolution and construction and infrastructure law.
I am a BCL and LLM graduate of University College Dublin and received the degree of Barrister-at-Law from Kings Inns. I’m a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, a CEDR accredited mediator, and a member of the Engineers Ireland panel of conciliators.
I was called to the Irish bar in 1983 and practised as a barrister for three years. In 1987 I was admitted in California, where I practised construction and government contract law until 1996. I acted in disputes arising from projects such as the Golden Gate Bridge deck replacement, urban railways, highways, water and wastewater treatment plants, airports, prisons, hospitals.
From 1996 to 2004 I practised construction and infrastructure law in a global law firm’s UK and Irish offices, where I was elected partner. In 2004 I joined one of Ireland’s biggest law firms as a partner, and continued to specialise in construction and infrastructure law, leading the construction practice group in its litigation department. I advised on most of Ireland’s major public infrastructure projects in the last 20 years, including these. I drafted the standard construction contracts used for almost all Irish public projects since 2007, and also the arbitration rules for public contract disputes. My practice also included commercial litigation, arbitration and mediation. And I was responsible for instituting and leading that firm’s pro bono practice, including initiatives to advise and represent people seeking asylum and international protection and people experiencing or at risk of homelessness. I acted for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees as amicus curiae (friend of the court) in three cases before the Irish courts.
Since 2020, I’ve been in sole practice, focusing on dispute resolution, construction and infrastructure, and human rights and business.
In 2020, I made history by being one of the first solicitors ever designated senior counsel by the Government of Ireland. Seventeen were selected for excellence as advocates or legal specialists.
Chambers, Legal 500 and Who’s Who in Construction Law ask clients and colleagues from other firms for comments, and rate lawyers based on those comments. They have all recommended me for longer than I can remember.
Chambers Europe has ranked me as Tier 1 for many years and in 2020 quotes me being described as: ‘an excellent lawyer‘ and ‘top class‘. In other years Chambers quoted, for example:
recognised as an outstanding lawyer and commands mountains of respect (2015)
hailed by clients as calm, pragmatic and scarily intelligent … His advice is always outstanding (2012)
Legal 500 2020 lists me as a Hall of Fame practitioner and quotes:
Eamonn Conlon is outstanding and the go-to lawyer for construction law. His knowledge is unrivalled and, combined with a pragmatic, results-driven approach, makes him a formidable operator.
I have these roles in professional and community organisations:
- Vice-chair, Law Society of Ireland alternative dispute resolution committee; chair, arbitration subcommittee
- Member, Engineers Ireland dispute resolution board
- Chair, Depaul Housing Association board of trustees
- Trustee, Community Law and Mediation
- Director, Lean Construction Ireland
SELECTED PUBLICATIONS, LECTURES, PRESENTATIONS
Civil Liability for Abuses of ILO Core Labour Rights in European Union Supply Chains: Ireland as a Case Study, in Public Procurement and Human Rights: Opportunities Risks and Dillemas for the State as Buyer (Olga Martin-Ortega and Claire Methven O’Brien, eds, Elgar 2019)
Vertical and Horizontal Effect of Directives: Recent Irish Cases (2018) 21(1) Ir J Eur Law 91
Intellectual Property and Building Information Modelling (jointly with Claire Morrissey), and Collaborative Models for Construction Contracting, Law Society Diploma in Construction Law, 2018, 2019, 2020
Europe’s Refugee ‘Crisis’ and Asylum ‘System’, Irish Centre for European Law 30th Anniversary Conference, 2018
Business and Human Rights: Hard and Soft Law, Law Society Certificate in Corporate Social Responsibility, 2020
I am a frequent speaker on construction and procurement law topics. I write the blog thinking about law, and life.
State (Kershaw) v Eastern Health Board  ILRM 235
Monterey Mechanical Co v Sacramento Regional County Sanitation District (1996) 44 Cal App 4th 1391
RPS Consulting Engineers Ltd v Kildare County Council  IEHC 113
BAM Building Ltd v UCD Property Development Co Ltd  IEHC 582
Homecare Medical Supplies v Health Service Executive  IEHC 55
Emovis Operations Ireland Ltd v National Roads Authority  IEHC 362
BD (Bhutan and Nepal) v Minister for Justice and Equality  IEHC 461
X v Minister for Justice and Equality  IESC 30