Niamh O’Reilly

Call: 2007

Niamh specialises in professional liability matters with particular experience in claims against lawyers, surveyors, valuers and financial professionals. In addition, Niamh is regularly instructed to advise on policy coverage and general commercial matters. Niamh is a confident advocate with wide-ranging experience of representing clients in general commercial and common law disputes from the County Court to the Court of Appeal. She appeared for the successful defendant (with William Flenley QC) in the High Court case of Harding Homes v Bircham Dyson Bell [2015] EWHC 3329 (Ch D), a ten-day solicitors’ negligence claim focusing on causation and damages for loss of a chance.

Niamh has acted in litigation against all manner of professionals, including insurance brokers, estate agents, doctors, funeral directors, auditors and construction professionals. She has particular experience of claims against lawyers, surveyors/valuers and financial professionals.

Lawyers

Niamh has substantial experience in the field of solicitors’ and barristers’ negligence. She accordingly has specialist knowledge on issues including limitation (with a special interest in section 14A and section 32 of the Limitation Act), causation, duty of care, quantification of damages including loss of a chance and claims for contribution from third parties. She has acted in disputes involving allegations of negligence, breach of fiduciary duty and breach of trust against lawyers in virtually every conceivable area of legal practice. She has a special interest in claims relating to negligence in the preparation of wills.

Surveyors & valuers

Niamh is frequently instructed in claims against surveyors/valuers and is currently instructed in several claims by lenders alleging overvaluation of property portfolios.

Financial professionals

Niamh is regularly instructed in claims against IFAs, and is currently involved in several cases involving allegations of unsuitable investment advice and mismanagement of investments.

Niamh is regularly instructed to advise on matters of policy coverage and contractual disputes. She has advised and represented clients in disputes relating to arbitration, conflicts of law, registration of foreign judgments and general contract law. She has advised and prepared submissions in her own right for the appeal of a multi-million dollar arbitral award. She has also acted in High Court and Court of Appeal proceedings under sections 67 and 72 of the Arbitration Act 1996 (with Vernon Flynn QC).

Niamh is very experienced in professional disciplinary proceedings, having represented over 100 nurses before the Nursing and Midwifery Council in respect of all manner of allegations. Her focus is now on the defence of solicitors before the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal, work which she particularly enjoys.

Re Sherlock Holmes International Society [2016] EWHC 1392 (Ch); [2016] 4 W.L.R. 173; [2016] P.N.L.R. 31 (successful defence of solicitors in claim for breach of warranty of authority)

Turner v Bromets Jackson [2016] Heath LLP (Leeds County Court, HHJ Behrens) (successful defence of solicitors accused of negligence in respect of a declaration of trust between co-habitees)

Harding Homes v Bircham Dyson Bell [2015] EWHC 3329 (Ch) (ten-day trial resulting in successful defence of solicitors despite admitted breach of duty (with William Flenley QC))

“She’s brilliant, my go-to for higher-value solicitor negligence cases below the silk level.” “She’s an exceptionally good barrister, she gets the judge on side – just incredibly good, a real rising star.” “Extremely hard-working, gets into the detail, and very supportive to solicitors on the black-letter advice but also the whole perspective. She is able to give very authoritative advice in very complex areas.” Chambers UK, 2022

“Niamh combines extreme intelligence and an approachable personality. She excels in explaining the most complex legal issues to clients and the court.” Legal 500, 2022

“She has a no-nonsense approach to advocacy and is excellent on her feet. I have every confidence that she will achieve what she sets out to achieve.” Legal 500, 2021

“Great technical knowledge” Legal 500, 2020 

“Gets to grips with novel subject matters very quickly” Legal 500, 2019 

“She is extremely bright, gives pithy advice and is a tenacious advocate.” Legal 500, 2017

Awards

  • 2010 Scholarship to the Federal Court of Australia, Melbourne (The Pegasus Trust)
  • 2009 Scholarship to attend Florida Bar Trial Advocacy Programme for Civil Practitioners (South-Eastern Circuit)
  • 2007 Baron Dr Ver Heyden de Lancey Prize for best performance by a Middle Temple student in the Bar examinations (Middle Temple)
  • 2007 Everard ver Heyden Foundation Prize (Inns of Court School of Law)
  • 2004 Prize for First Class result in Part I of LL.B. examinations (Trinity College Dublin)
  • 2001-2007 Scholar of Department of Education in Ireland, having placed first in Ireland in Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics and Irish in A-level equivalent examinations
  • 1995-2001 Full academic scholar of Rathdown School, Dublin

Education

  • 2006-2007 BVC (Inns of Court School of Law): Outstanding
  • 2005-2006 BCL (University College, Oxford)
  • 2001-2005 LL.B. (Trinity College Dublin (Exhibitioner)): First Class

ICO Data protection registration number: Z1653764

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