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Martin Cooney

Martin Cooney

Partner mcooney@byrnewallace.com +353 1 691 5260
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Martin is a partner and Head of the ByrneWallace LLP Construction Law team.

Martin advises on all aspects of construction law including both contentious and non-contentious matters. He has wide ranging experience advising on standard form contracts (including RIAI, Public Works, NEC and FIDIC) as well as negotiating and drafting bespoke contracts, professional appointments and ancillary contracts. A skilled litigator, Martin has expertise in various forms of dispute resolution having represented employers, consultants and contractors in mediations, conciliations, adjudications, expert determinations and arbitration. He is also experienced in traditional litigation having represented clients at all court levels, particularly in the Commercial Court.

Martin provides Health & Safety advice pertaining to construction and engineering projects, and has represented clients in the defence of HSA prosecutions. He is a member of the Health and Safety Lawyers Association of Ireland.

Prior to joining ByrneWallace LLP in 2017, Martin was partner with a boutique law firm specialising in property and construction law, and previously trained and worked as an Associate in the Construction and Engineering department of a large commercial law firm in Dublin. Martin also worked as an in-house solicitor with the National Asset Management Agency (“NAMA”) where he worked on the residential development and loan sales teams.

Martin lectures and tutors on the Law Society’s Diploma in Construction Law, on the European Law and Negotiation Skills modules on the Law Society’s Professional Practice Course, and is a member (former Chair) of the Law Society’s EU & International Affairs Committee. He is also a member of the Society of Construction Law’s Astra Committee in Ireland. He regularly lectures on various courses for the Defence Forces in the Military College, mainly through the United Nations Training School Ireland. 

Key experience

    • Advised a local authority on the public procurement process and development documentation for a residential development of approximately 800 residential units.
    • Advised an airport operator on the construction documentation, based on NEC forms, for runway renovation works.
    • Advised a pharmaceutical company on an EPCM contract and Construction contract for the renovation and extension of a pharmaceutical manufacturing facility.
    • Advised a major international retailer on the development and construction documentation for a new regional distribution centre, including all related civil engineering and infrastructure works.
    • Advised a hospital on the EPC and R&D contracts for a Neuro Interventional Radiology Service incorporating the supply and support of biplane angiographic imaging system equipment.
    • Advised a local authority on issues arising from a public procurement process for the construction of sporting facilities.
    • Acted for a public body in defence of two concurrent statutory adjudications under the Construction Contracts Act 2013.
    • Acting for a civil engineering sub-contractor in respect of the prosecution of claims in a statutory adjudication under the Construction Contracts Act, 2013.
    • Acted for a scaffolding sub-contractor in a number of adjudications in the UK under an NEC form of contract.
    • Acted for a major international retailer in an arbitration relating to defective premises.
    • Acted for a public body in a conciliation arising under a public works contract and related proceedings in the Commercial Court.


    • DEUE, European Law, Université Toulouse 1 Capitole, 2002
    • B.Corp Law (Corporate Law), NUI Galway, 2003
    • LL.B (Law), NUI Galway, 2004
    • M.Sc, Criminology and Criminal Justice, Oxford University, 2006
    • Higher Diploma in Employment Law, University College Dublin, 2008
    • Dip. Comm. Lit. (Commercial Litigation), 2009
    • Qualified as a Solicitor, Law Society of Ireland, 2009
    • Qualified as a Solicitor, Law Society of England and Wales, 2010
    • M.Sc., Construction Law and Dispute Resolution, Kings College London, 2015


      • Law Society of Ireland
      • Law Society of England and Wales
      • Chair of EU & International Affairs Committee, Law Society of Ireland
      • Dublin Solicitors Bar Association
      • Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (MCIArb)
      • Health and Safety Lawyers Association of Ireland
      • Society of Construction Law


        Martin Cooney is "good at problem-solving, responsive and gets the job done," according to clients. He handles building contracts, design team appointments and collateral warranties negotiations, with additional experience in construction disputes. "He is practical and commercial," a commentator says. - Chambers Europe, 2021

        Martin Cooney is a very good, commercial and pragmatic lawyer. - Chambers Europe, 2020

        Martin Cooney and his team keep their focus entirely on the potential commercial outcome and tailor their services to suit. Martin’s knowledge of construction disputes and the appropriate tactics to pursue whether in adjudication, arbitration or litigation is second to none in the Irish market. - Legal 500, 2020

        Martin Cooney and senior associate Deirdre Hennessy are excellent and provide thorough explanations. They made themselves available as and when required and were a constant source of support when responses were required on pending issues. - Legal 500, 2020

        Martin Cooney is ranked as a Up and Coming by Chambers Europe, 2020

        Described by Chambers & Partners  Europe as "Up and Coming" - Chambers Europe, 2019

        One client says: "He [Martin Cooney] is great: proactive, attentive and very personable," while another describes him as "an expert in construction disputes." - Chambers Europe, 2019

        Led by ‘excellent communicator’ Martin Cooney, the team at ByrneWallace demonstrates ‘expertise and knowledge of construction of a very high standard’ with ‘capabilities in all areas of construction-related activities from purchases through to contract litigation’. - Legal 500, 2019