Expertise

Freedom Of Information

Our team is a leading adviser in Freedom of Information law. We have been at the forefront of the development of all areas of FOI law and practice since the introduction of FOI in 1998.

Our FOI team advises a wide range of FOI bodies and users, as well as non-FOI bodies impacted by FOI, such as commercial entities engaging with FOI bodies. We advise extensively on all aspects FOI, including general compliance and implementation, and the proper application of grounds for non-disclosure. We have acted in over 50 appeals to the High and Supreme Courts from decisions of the Information Commissioner, and also regularly speak, write, and provide bespoke training on, FOI.  As a result, we have unrivalled FOI experience.

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

The Freedom of Information Act 2014 significantly extended the application of FOI, which now applies to all public bodies, unless specifically excluded in whole or in part.  Any person can now gain access to records held by over 700 “FOI bodies”, and also apply to have personal information corrected, as well as being able to seek the reasons and grounds for decisions in which they have an individual interest. 

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

  • Advising the Central Bank of Ireland as a newly-included body under the FOI Act 2014, in relation to FOI matters, including preparation for, and implementation of, FOI generally, and the processing of requests and applications.
  • Advising the Information Commissioner in defending High Court statutory appeal proceedings against the Commissioner’s decision that the public interest in granting a requester’s FOI requests for records relating to himself and his former step-daughter did not outweigh the public interest in protecting the privacy rights of the individuals (apart from the requester) to whom the information related.
  • Advising Gaslink Independent System Operator Limited / Gas Networks Ireland, a newly-included body under the FOI Act 2014, in relation to the scope and application of certain FOI exemptions, and also providing bespoke training on FOI for decision-makers and internal reviewers.
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Edward Gleeson

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