Our Team

Michelle Ní Longáin
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Michelle is Head of Employment Law and of the firm’s Public Sector Group at ByrneWallace LLP and is our Compliance Partner. She has extensive experience in all areas of employment, equality and administrative law in three jurisdictions. Michelle qualified as a solicitor in Northern Ireland, practising there in employment and equality law from 1994, practising in England and Wales from 1996 to 1999 and returning to Ireland in 1999 when she joined the firm. Michelle advises public and private sector clients, primarily employers, on complex, novel and challenging areas of employment, equality and administrative law and provides strategic advice including on the resolution of intractable matters.

Michelle is the immediate past President of the Law Society of Ireland (2021- 2022) and has been a member of its Council since 2004. She has chaired many Law Society committees including Education, Finance, Audit subcommittee and Gender Equality Diversity and Inclusion Taskforce.  She was a member of the Council of the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland from 2007-2013. Michelle has an invaluable perspective in advising clients from her experience in professional and regulatory bodies and from almost three decades of experience in advising and representing clients in significant internal and external matters. Michelle designs and provides comprehensive training.

Key experience

  • Extensive experience in advising and representing employers in many sectors including health, universities, central and local government and large private sector organisations across all employment law, equality and administrative law issues.
  • Acting in major High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court litigation and representing in all employment and industrial relations fora.
  • Advising Boards in relation to employment matters at the most senior levels.
  • Advising Irish Plcs and multinationals in relation to major redundancy exercises and their handling of sensitive employment law disputes and litigation.
  • Advising public sector clients on freedom of information obligations and advising public and private sector clients on their data protection obligations.
  • Advising on equality implications of employee benefit packages including severance schemes and bonuses.
  • Advising and representing clients on all areas of equality law at all levels, including equal status matters. 
  • Leading the ByrneWallace team developing a new suite of HR policies for the Civil Service and protected disclosures guidance for public sector employees and prescribed persons.


  • LLB (Hons, Queens University Belfast)
  • Michelle is also co-author of the Law Society employment law manual, the Law Society's discrimination law manual and Tolley's employment law.


  • Law Society of Ireland
  • Council of Law Society of Ireland
  • Dublin Solicitors Bar Association


"Michelle is a superb solicitor to work with on complex matters." - Chambers Europe, 2024

“Michelle draws on her breadth and depth of knowledge and experience to inform pragmatic and solution-focused pathways.” - Chambers Europe, 2023

Michelle Ní Longáin maintains an excellent reputation in the Ireland employment market. She assists with protected disclosure issues, large-scale redeployment mandates and disciplinary procedures. - Chambers Europe, 2022

"Michelle Ní Longáin is a pre-eminent practitioner who is at the cutting edge of many aspects of employment law and is hugely knowledgeable about where the law is heading and what the key underlying policy drivers are." - Legal 500, 2021

Routinely called upon by state entities to advise on complex labour law topics, Michelle Ní Longáin maintains an excellent reputation in the Ireland employment market. She assists with protected disclosure issues, large-scale redeployment mandates and disciplinary procedures. Clients find her advice to be "legally sound and very helpful in bringing cases to a conclusion." - Chambers Europe, 2021

I find Michelle Ní Longáin extremely responsive, as well as extremely experienced and thorough in her work. She cares about your business. - Chambers Europe, 2020

I work closely with Michelle Ni Longain and her wealth of experience, her patience and her attention to detail are all stand out qualities. - Legal 500, 2020

Ranked by Chambers & Partners Europe 2019 as a Tier 1 Lawyer. - Chambers Europe, 2019

Michelle Ní Longáin, who ‘combines detailed employment law expertise with a wealth of practical experience of industrial relations’, is acting as lead counsel to the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform on the implementation of a set of new HR policies, which were drafted by the firm. - Legal 500, 2019

Michelle Ní Longáin assists high-profile clients with HR policies regarding disciplinary procedures, dismissals and performance management. One client describes her as "knowledgeable" and "very responsive." - Chambers Europe, 2019 

Michelle Ní Longáin is widely acclaimed, with one client describing her as an "expert on employment law issues and in particular employment equality legislation. She is very impressive in her experience and advice on this area of law. She is also very nice to deal with." - Chambers Europe, 2018

Michelle Ní Longáin provides ‘balanced, clear and well-presented advice’ - Legal 500, 2018

Employment specialist Michelle Ní Longáin heads the (Public Sector) team and has ‘excellent civil service knowledge’. - Legal 500, 2017

Michelle Ní Longáin assists public bodies and entities with highly sensitive labour and employment issues. Clients describe her as "a recognised expert" and "very authoritative and convincing in equality law." - Chambers Europe, 2017

Sources describe Michelle Ní Longáin as a "very good, high-level adviser" who offers specialised employment advice. Her top-end expertise covers public sector and equality cases, alongside complex work on high-value executive exit cases. - Chambers Europe, 2016

ByrneWallace is well regarded for its work representing public sector entities in litigation and in relation to legislative reforms, acting with ‘assured preparedness’...Practice head Michelle Ní Longáin specialises in employment and administrative matters. - Legal 500, 2016

The ‘excellent’ Michelle Ní Longáin heads ByrneWallace’s public sector practice - Legal 500, 2015

Equality expert and top-rated figure Michelle Ní Longáin "is constructive in her approach to the issues," according to impressed clients. She recently represented Dublin City Council in High Court proceedings brought by an employee alleging breaches of contractual and statutory obligations. - Chambers & Partners, 2015 

Michelle Ní Longáin is ‘effective’ Legal 500, 2015

Michelle Ní Longáin “does quality work”, according to interviewees. She was particularly commended for her expertise in equality-related matters. - Chambers and Partners.