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Deirdre Crowley is a partner in the Technology and Innovation, and Employment Groups in Matheson.

Deirdre advises public and private sector clients on a host of privacy, data protection, employment, equality and industrial relations matters. 

A regular conference speaker invitee, Deirdre has recently spoken at the Legal Island Annual Reviews of Employment Law, the Irish Institute of European Laws Annual Data Protection Day and is invited by organisations such as the Law Society of Ireland and the International Association of Privacy Practitioners as well as Legal Island for keynote conferences in 2020. 

In addition to her day to day work and public speaking engagements, Deirdre frequently writes articles on employment, privacy and data protection issues on behalf of Legal Island.

Experience Highlights

Data Protection and Privacy

Deirdre advises EEA and non-EEA based controllers and processors in relation to the full spectrum of data protection and privacy compliance issues.  Deirdre’s day to day work includes advices on data security breaches, data subject access requests, the drafting of data processing agreements, international transfer of data agreements and commercial agreements designed to best protect clients when they engage in the business of processing personal and / or special category data.

Deirdre has specific experience in advising businesses that have a high risk data processing rating in relation to complex and urgent data breach scenarios.  A particular focus of Deirdre’s practice in the last 24 months is on advising clients on how best to approach dealing with regulatory investigations on behalf of the Data Protection Commission in the aftermath of a reportable data security breach. 

On the data subject access request side, Deirdre works with our Digital Services Group headed by Tom Connor to assist businesses to quickly, efficiently and cost effectively identify in scope data for the purposes of replying to data subject access requests.

Data audits for compliance and due diligence purposes are a routine part of Deirdre’s work.  Focused and practical know-how on the issues of processor / controller / joint controller capacity tests, data mapping, Privacy Officer versus Data Protection Officer considerations, policy and employee contract drafting, the use of CCTV and other monitoring devices in the workplace as well as drafting data protection impact assessments and privacy impact assessments are also frequent topics of advice in Deirdre’s practice.

E-Privacy and eCommerce for the retail, medical, technology and manufacturing sectors is a particular area of expertise and interest of Deirdre’s. 

Employment Law

Deirdre advises on all aspects of the employment relationship from recruitment and selection, through to termination of employment. 

In November 2019, Deirdre delivered a paper on “Investigations, Disciplinary Processes and Fair Procedure:  Where exactly are we now?”  

Advices on dealing with complex conduct and performance issues in the context of investigations, disciplinary and appeal processes are a mainstay of Deirdre’s practice.

Recent areas of experience highlights include:

  • the appropriate use of technology in the workplace including CCTV and other monitoring devices, associated data subject access requests and investigations by the Data Protection Commission;
  • advices on the areas of age and gender discrimination to include sexual harassment;
  • harassment simpliciter and bullying and harassment;
  • protective leave, work-life balance issues;
  • gender pay gap issues.

Industrial Relations

A robust and experienced advocate, Deirdre frequently appears before the Workplace Relations Commission Adjudicator Service and Labour Court on behalf of clients in respect of all employment, industrial relation and equality issues that fall within their respective jurisdiction.

Deirdre recently advised employers in relation to new sectoral employment orders (“SEO”) in the electrical services and private language colleges sectors and has over many years advised employers on their collective bargaining relationships with both recognised and non-recognised unions. 

Workplace Relations Commission (“WRC”) Inspections

WRC inspections are creating a lot of work for public and private sector clients.  Deirdre works with clients to deal swiftly with inspections and where possible to implement compliance solutions to bring inspections to a close. 

Where inspections become contentious, Deidre has advised many companies on how best to deal with compliance notices, dawn raids, labour court hearings and any appeal cases required, with a constant focus on early resolution and cost effective disposal of the issues within the scope of clients legal obligations.

Equality and Equal Status

Deirdre advises on all aspects of Irish and European discrimination law and where relevant equal status law.