Clíodhna Kelleher

Call: 2020

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    BCL (UCD); LLM (Harvard); BPTC

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    Clíodhna joined Monckton as a tenant in October 2021. She is developing a busy practice in Chambers’ core areas, including administrative and public law, competition law, and procurement and State aid.

    She is a graduate of University College Dublin and of Harvard Law School, where she specialised in public and comparative constitutional law. Prior to qualifying as a barrister Clíodhna worked as a legal fellow at a non-profit organisation and as a paralegal at a leading full-service Irish law firm. She was the recipient of Lincolns Inn’s top scholarship for Bar school.

    • News
    • Administrative & public

      Recent instructions include:

      • Acting for the Independent Monitoring Authority for the Citizens’ Rights Agreements in a challenge to the lawfulness of the European Union Settlement Scheme (with Robert Palmer QC).
      • Acting for the claimant in a challenge to a local authority’s failure to ensure the provision of suitable education to a child under the Education Act 1996 and A2P1 ECHR (with Ian Wise QC).
      • Acting for the claimant in a challenge to the lawfulness of a local authority’s housing allocation scheme involving claims under the Housing Act 1996 and gender discrimination under the Equality Act 2010 (as sole counsel).
      • Acting for the claimant in a judicial review of a coronial decision to discontinue an investigation into a death induced by medical intervention (as sole counsel).
      • Acting for the claimant in a challenge to a local authority’s conduct of its housing allocation scheme involving claims under the Housing Act 1996, the Children Acts 1989 and 2004 and disability discrimination under the Equality Act 2010.

      As a pupil, Clíodhna assisted on a range of public law claims challenging broad social welfare policy and local authority decisions on housing and community care, including:

      • T v United Kingdom, a challenge to the exclusion of the children of lone parent carers and domestic abuse victims from the Government’s “30 hours of free childcare” policy (assisting Ian Wise QC and Michael Armitage).
      • A challenge to the Home Office’s interpretation of its obligations under section 95 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999.
      • A challenge under the Equality Act to the Government’s differential treatment of children whose parents have NRPF status in the provision of certain welfare supports.
      • A challenge under the Human Rights Act and Children Act 1989 and 2004 to a local authority’s failure to provide the claimants with sufficient financial support in breach of their rights under Articles 3/8 ECHR.

      Prior to joining the bar, Clíodhna worked as a legal fellow in the public affairs department of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS), a charity which provides and advocates for reproductive healthcare, during which time she assisted with the organisation’s JR proceedings against the Department of Health’s re-interpretation of the time limits for lawful abortion in England and Wales (R (BPAS) v Secretary of State for Health and Social Care [2019] EWHC 1397 (Admin) and [2020] EWCA Civ 355).

      She is a trustee of Feed UK, a charity which advocates for the food needs of infants and of their families.


    • Commercial and tax


      During pupillage Clíodhna assisted on a wide range of commercial and tax matters, including:

      • Dr Reddy’s and Ranbaxy v Warner-Lambert [2021] EWHC 2182: a preliminary issue hearing in the “pregabalin” patent damages litigation to determine the appropriate counterfactual assumptions upon which to determine damages payable to the inquiry claimants and whether findings of fact should be binding between different parties in the proceedings (assisting Ligia Osepciu).
      • Optis Cellular Technology v Apple Retail Ltd: whether Apple’s refusal to commit to concluding a licence on whatever terms the court determines to be fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (“FRAND”) prior to knowing the FRAND terms disentitled Apple to enforce Optis’ undertaking to licence its portfolio of SEPs on FRAND terms (assisting Ligia Osepciu).
      • Advising on a commercial entity’s capacity to recover a retained rebate of overpaid tax from a former supplier under the law of trusts.
      • Advising on the impact of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU on the interpretation of the VATA 1994.
    • Competition law and State aid


      Recent instructions include:

      • R (Good Law Project) v Secretary of State for Health and Social Care and Abingdon Health Ltd: acting for the Interested Party in a procurement and State aid challenge to the grant of certain contracts arising out of the Covid-19 pandemic (with Ligia Osepciu)
      • Sportradar AG v Football DataCo Limited and Others: acting for the claimant in a standalone damages claim alleging breach of Chapters I and II of the Competition Act 1998 arising from the grant by Football DataCo to Betgenius of a long-term exclusive right to collect and collate data from football stadia (with Ronit Kreisberger QC, Alistair Lindsay and Ciar McAndrew, and Antonia Fitzpatrick).
      • Justin Gutmann v London & South Eastern Railway Limited: acting for a defendant in the proposed standalone “Boundary Fares” claims brought by Mr Justin Gutmann against the operators of the South Eastern and Southwestern rail franchises (with Paul Harris QC, Anneliese Blackwood and Michael Armitage).
      • Vermeer and Boyle v Govia Thameslink Railway Limited, the Go-Ahead Group Plc and Keolis (UK) Ltd: acting for the defendant in a proposed standalone collective action against the operators of the London-Brighton mainline in the fares set for the Southern, Thameslink and Gatwick Express brands (with Paul Harris QC, Anneliese Blackwood and Michael Armitage).
      • Royal Mail and BT v DAF Trucks Limited: acting for Royal Mail and BT in its damages claim against DAF arising from the European Commission’s 2016 “Trucks” infringement decision (with Tim Ward QC, Ben Lask, Anneliese Blackwood).
    • European and retained EU law


      Recent instructions include:

      • Testbiotech eV v EU Commission: acting for Testbiotech in European judicial review proceedings under the Aarhus Regulation to the European Commission’s decision to grant market authorisation to Monsanto to import genetically engineered maize and soybeans into the internal market (with Kassie Smith QC and Will Perry).

      As a pupil, Clíodhna assisted in a range of matters involving questions of interpretation of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 and of retained EU law, including the effect of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 on accrued rights of action; the effect of post-IP completion date CJEU case-law on the interpretation of retained EU law and the capacity of the Supreme Court to depart from CJEU case-law.

    • Public procurement


      During pupillage, Clíodhna assisted on a range of procurement matters, including:

      • Neology UK Limited v Newcastle CC [2020] EWHC 2958 (TCC): an application for summary judgment and resisting the lifting of the automatic suspension in a challenge to Newcastle’s award of a contract to provide and maintain a system for automatic number plate recognition in the Tyneside area (assisting Azeem Suterwalla).
      • Advising on the application of procurement rules to various institutions including government departments, educational institutions, media organisations, and public-private joint ventures.
      • Advising claimants and defendants on the merits of proposed scoring challenges to concluded procurement exercises.
      • Advising on post-Brexit arrangements and the effect of the EU-UK TCA for contracting authorities located in Northern Ireland.
    • Education
      • BPTC, City Law School, 2019 – 20.
      • LLM, Harvard Law School, 2017 – 18.
      • BCL (Law with Philosophy), University College Dublin, 2012 – 16 (first class).

      Scholarships and Prizes


        • Lord Mansfield scholarship (top scholarship, Lincoln’s Inn).
        • City Law School scholarship.

      Harvard Law School:

        • Dean’s Scholar Prize in Comparative Constitutional Law.
        • Irving R. Kaufman Public Interest Fellowship upon graduation to fund one year’s salary to work at the British Pregnancy Advisory Service.
        • Student Fellow, Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law, Bioethics and Biotechnology at HLS.

      University College Dublin:

        • University Scholarship, 2016.
        • Stage 4 Law Degree Programmes Scholarship, 2016.
        • President’s Award for Excellence in Student Activities, 2016.
        • Gold Medal for Oratory, 2015.
        • UCD Law Contribution to University Life Award, 2014.
        • Academic Entrance Scholar, 2012.

      At university, Clíodhna was a champion competitive debater, winning the John Smith Memorial Mace (formerly the Observer Mace), the Irish Mace, the Irish Times Debate Championship and over 10 other intervarsity competitions in Ireland and the UK, Europe, and the USA.

    • Languages
      • Irish (fluent)
      • German (conversational)
    • Publications
      • “The Constitutional Personality of the ‘Unborn’, 1973 2018” Irish Jurist 2021, 65(1), 119 – 137.
      • “Adolescent Abortion under the Eighth Amendment and the Post-Repeal Legal Landscape” 8 KILR [I] [2019], 88.