Propelling courtroom disputes into mediation new GEMME Ireland event on 3rd July

GEMME Ireland and the specialist Bar ADR Committee are organising a new event entitled "Propelling courtroom disputes into mediation" which will take place on Wednesday 3 July at 4:30pm. This is a hybrid event with attendees having the option to attend in-person or join virtually. Please register on the links below.

Practical information on the event is included below.

  • Event Date: Wednesday 3rd July 2024
  • Time: 4.30pm - 6.15pm (4.15pm - tea/coffee)
  • Venue: Gaffney Room, Bar Council of Ireland, Dublin 8
  • Event Chairperson: Ms Justice Marguerite Bolger
  • Speakers:
    • Cathy Smith, SC: Overview of developments in the UK after Churchill and the difference in the Irish constitutional position.
    • Niall Buckley, SC: The Judiciary and Mediation – Chancery
    • Aoife Farrelly, BL: The Judiciary and Mediation – Personal Injuries
  • Panel: Mr Justice Paul Coffey (PI list head) and Mr Justice Mark Sanfey (Chancery list Head).

Registration is required in advance.
Please register at this link:


Biographical note on speakers and panel members


Niall Buckley SC
Niall Buckley is a Senior Counsel practising in commercial, public, media and property law, with a keen interest in access to justice, legal education and alternative dispute resolution.
He is a CEDR accredited mediator, and regularly acts as party representative and mediator in mediations and is current chair of the Bar Council’s Advanced Negotiation Committee.
Niall is a committee member of the Irish National Committee of the International Chamber of Commerce, and the Commercial Litigation Association of Ireland, and Treasurer of the Irish Branch of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, and a member of the International Bar Association.
He is also a member of the Bar Council Education and Training Committee and the Arbitration and Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee. He is admitted to the Bar of Northern Ireland and the Bar of England and Wales, and is a co-author of Specific Performance in Ireland (Bloomsbury 2012).

Aoife Farrelly BL
Aoife is junior counsel practising on the Eastern Circuit and in Dublin, specialising in adoption, defence litigation, sports law.
She is an accredited mediator and member of the Mediators' Institute of Ireland.
She is Chair of the Sports Law Bar Association and previous Chair of Equality and Resilience Committee of the Bar of Ireland, having been elected to the Council from 2020-2023.
Aoife is a committee member of ADR and Arbitration Committee of the Bar of Ireland.
Through both her defence litigation practice, and her sports law practice, Aoife has had been involved increasingly in mediation as a means of effective and appropriate dispute resolution.

Cathy Smith SC
Senior Counsel and Member of the Inner Bar of Ireland
Specialism: Employment and Commercial Law.
Vice Chair of the Council of the Bar of Ireland
Chair of the ADR and Arbitration Committee of the Bar of Ireland
CEDR Accredited Mediator
Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
Member of the Executive Committee of Arbitration Ireland
Member of the ICC National Committee for Ireland
Member of the Steering Committee for Dublin International Disputes Week 2024
Director - Dublin Disputes Resolution Centre
Member of the Company Law Review Group
Chairperson and Independent Arbitrator – Central Bank Appeals Panel
Member of the Determination Panel pursuant to the European Union (Common Fisheries Policy) (Points System) Regulations 2020.
Former Vice Chairperson Irish Women Lawyers Association
Committee Member of the Employment Bar Association,
Member of the EU Bar Association and the Employment Lawyers Association of Ireland


Mr Justice Paul Coffey
Mr Justice Paul Coffey was called to Bar 1984 and took silk in 2002. He conducted a broad general practice. He was appointed to High Court 2016 and spent a year in Judicial Review, 3 years hearing criminal trials and for the past 3 years has sat in the personal injuries lists, and has been in charge of that list since 2021.


Mr Justice Mark Sanfey
Mr Justice Mark Sanfey was called to the Bar in 1987, and to the Inner Bar in 2004, practising in the areas of commercial law, chancery, insolvency and construction arbitrations. He was appointed to the High Court in December 2019. He has presided in the Chancery and Commercial divisions of the High Court, and has also been in charge of the Personal Insolvency, Arbitration and Bankruptcy Lists. He is currently the judge in charge of the Chancery List.


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