Deborah Spence


Deborah is a Partner in the Litigation Department where she heads up the Environment and Planning Group. She also co-heads the Food & Drink Group. She specialises in all aspects of waste disposal and management liability as well as corporate regulatory compliance, environmental liability for contaminated sites, M&A environmental issues and all aspects of permitting and licensing issues and environmental impact assessment.


Deborah has advised on all aspects of data centres, including early stage proposed developments at the initial opening up of the market, would-be developers seeking the necessary land use planning permission, and most recently, Facebook’s successful simultaneous bi-application before an Bord Pleanála and Meath County Council.

Notable experience:

  • A successful challenge to An Bord Pleanála (the national planning appeals board) decision to refuse permission to a data centre developer despite all objectors having withdrawn their objections.
  • Ongoing advisory work on data centres relating to the environmental emissions position of the Irish Environmental Protection Agency and data centre establishment in Ireland.
  • Complex applications, such as advising on the content and correct regulatory requirements of seeking two separate land use permits for a single data centre, where each application involves the same singular Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).
  • Formative-stage engagement in planning team strategy in advance of attending with the client at the formal Strategic Infrastructural Development pre-application meetings with An Bord Pleanála.