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Fergal Dowling



Fergal is the national head of the Employment & Pensions Group.

He has considerable experience across all aspects of employment law and human resources, but has a particular focus on contentious matters.  He also advises on non-contentious matters, including advising on TUPE, re-organisations, contracts of employment, directors’ service agreement agreements. His forte is delivering strategic advice at board level.

He also heads the 'Centre of Excellence' for volume employment tribunal work, based in Birmingham. His team handles over 1,000 Tribunal instructions annually, delivering volume based contentious employment advice to agreed Service Level Agreements, using case management processes to drive efficiency, whilst maintaining high standards of quality service.

Recent highlights:

  • Leading product development for the national employment group and being responsible for driving relationships with affinity partners to include insurers, brokers and other professional service organisations.
  • The lead relationship Partner for a number of the firm’s key employment clients.
  • Helping to manage the firm’s innovative employment law retainer service, IMhrplus.
  • Speaking regularly at seminars as a key note speaker and covers a variety of employment law and HR topics.

Market view:

"Fergal Dowling of Irwin Mitchell demonstrates experience across the full range of employment law matters." - Chambers & Partners 2016

"A good operator." - Chambers & Partners, 2014

"Particularly recommended for contentious matters." - Legal 500, 2013

Fergal qualified as a solicitor in 1994.

Read My Comments On The Latest News

  • 14/05/2018
    Irwin Mitchell Hires Three Partners To London Employment Team

    “We’re delighted to announce the appointment of three new employment partners to our London office. “These latest additions demonstrate once again our commitment to investing in our employment team and ensuring that we continue to provide the very best advice and services to our clients. “Shah, Shazia and Emilie are all extremely well-regarded employment lawyers, with formidable track-records. They will complement our existing team perfectly. Their extensive professional discipline expertise builds on our range of employment services, and offers further growth opportunities for the firm both in London and further afield.”

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  • 27/07/2017
    AoC Appoints Irwin Mitchell To Deliver Employment Helpline To Members

    "Irwin Mitchell has considerable education sector knowledge and expertise and we are delighted to have this opportunity to extend our partnership with the AoC, whilst also being able to build closer relationships with member colleges."

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  • 28/04/2016
    New Holiday Pay Ruling To Add Pressure On UK Businesses

    “This latest ruling is significant and potentially very costly for businesses and gives a very real steer on the fact that Tribunals are becoming less concerned with the ‘label’ attached to the overtime arrangement. Instead, if overtime is worked regularly, then it is likely to be counted. “We still don’t know how often overtime has to be worked to be considered ‘regular’ and more guidance is needed to help businesses decide whether or not to include these payments. “This case suggests that the Tribunals in England and Wales are changing tack. Many cases were stayed pending the outcome of Lock v British Gas in the Employment Appeal Tribunal. However, there does not appear to be an appetite to continue to adopt the same approach despite the continuing uncertainly posed by the on-going appeal in that case."

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  • 12/04/2016
    B&Q Removes Advert Asking Workers to Attend Unpaid Induction

    “Whilst it is positive to see that B&Q has quickly removed the advert, it was certainly ill-advised and has caused the company reputational damage. “Generally, the law requires that, all workers are entitled to be paid at least the national minimum wage rate for any work they complete. This will usually include time spent being inducted into their new role. “Individuals who join organisations as volunteers or to gain work experience are the only category of workers who are not entitled to be paid for the work they undertake, although many do receive expenses, such as travel expenses. “With the company already under pressure due to changes to current workers’ contracts, this advert will have done little to improve people’s perception of the company and may have affected the morale of current workers. “It also reiterates the importance of employees carefully reading their contract or offer letter before signing it, so they know exactly what they’re entitled to and there are no surprises when their job begins.”

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