Expertise

Freedom Of Information

Our team is a leading adviser in Freedom of Information (FOI) and Access to Information on the Environment (AIE). We have been at the forefront of the development of FOI and AIE law since they were introduced.

We advise public bodies and requesters on all aspects of FOI and AIE compliance and implementation, including the proper application of grounds for non-disclosure. We also advise those impacted by FOI and AIE, including commercial entities engaging with public bodies. We frequently advise these entities on the implications of providing information to such bodies voluntarily or by agreement, and on their rights when consulted about disclosure of their information, or in appeals before the Information Commissioner or Commissioner for Environmental Information.  

We have also acted in over 50 appeals to the Courts from decisions of the Commissioners, and regularly speak, write, and provide bespoke training on, FOI and AIE. 

As a result, we have unrivalled FOI and AIE experience, and are ideally positioned to advise clients on these information-access regimes. 

We also advise on all other aspects of information law, including privacy, data protection, confidentiality, privilege and disclosure in litigation, investigations and inquiries.

Our Services

We advise on the following issues:

  • Making and processing FOI requests and applications, including internal reviews
  • Appeals to the Information Commissioner and the Courts
  • Information-related Policies and Governance, including management and retention of data
  • Compliance with the FOI Code of Practice
  • Preparation and maintenance of Publication Schemes 

Should you wish to find out more about how we can assist you and your business please contact one of the team members listed.

Recommendations

Legal 500, 2016

‘flexible and focused on the client’s needs’

Legal 500, 2015

‘well-tuned into public sector requirements’

Recent Work

  • Successfully argued before the Commissioner for Environmental Information that, unlike the Electricity Supply Board itself, a particular commercial subsidiary of the Board was not a “public authority” under the AIE Regulations.  Therefore, a request for environmental information held by the subsidiary did not need to be entertained.  The Commissioner’s decision is published here.
  • Submitted detailed representations on behalf of a major technology company to a Government Department advocating the non-release of more intrusive information under the Freedom of Information Act than that which had already been published under another statutory disclosure-requirement.
  • Advised an international organisation on voluntarily providing to an FOI body an audit report concerning complaints against its Irish branch. Also advised on a subsequent FOI request seeking access to that report, and successfully prevented its release in an appeal before the Information Commissioner.
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Edward Gleeson

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