Alex is the Head of Sustainability and ESG and a member of the Arthur Cox Sustainable Business Committee, with particular responsibility for the firm’s Pro Bono practice.

Alex has a broad based infrastructure and utilities practice, with particular expertise in renewables, energy and natural resources law. Alex has almost twenty five years energy regulatory, transactional and major projects experience in Ireland and Australia and has been centrally involved in the liberalisation of the energy markets in both jurisdictions. He has extensive experience acting for government, regulators, financiers, market participants and customers, both on the island of Ireland and internationally, and combines broad industry expertise with a strong background in energy regulation and reform. He leads our cross-departmental ESG Group, which assists clients with the identification and integration of ESG priorities at all levels of their business.

Relevant Experience

  • Renewable Power: Advised sponsors and lenders on over 1GW of installed renewable power projects on the island of Ireland, including the €500 million Dublin Waste to Energy PPP; over 900MW of onshore wind projects, multiple CHP projects and advising the State in relation to the consenting of all offshore wind projects in Ireland
  • Conventional Power: Advised the sponsors on almost all large IPPs in Ireland including the 343MW CCGT Huntstown Phase I Power Project (first IPP in Ireland); the 401.5MW CCGT Huntstown Phase II Power Project; the 445MW CCGT Whitegate Power Project; and the 431MW CCGT Great Island Power Project
  • Interconnectors: Advised Mutual Energy on the operation and funding of the 500MW HVDC Moyle Interconnector; and EirGrid on the €150 million Phase 1 and €600 million Phase 2 funding of the 500MW HVDC East West Interconnector
  • Upstream Gas: Advised the State in connection with the consenting and regulation of upstream petroleum including all offshore consents for the Corrib Gas Field and the CRU on development and implementation of the Petroleum Safety Framework
  • Downstream Gas: Advised on the Islandmagee Gas Storage Project; the Scotland to Northern Ireland Gas Pipeline; and the CRU in relation to downstream gas regulation including defence of landmark judicial review proceedings in relation to gas tariffing arrangements, establishment of an all-island system operator; implementation of Entry/Exit; development of the Unified Code of Operations and licensing of gas storage
  • Regulation: Advised government, regulators and market participants in relation to the implementation of I-SEM (Ireland and NI), the Common Arrangements for Gas (Ireland and NI); the Single Electricity Market (Ireland and NI); MAE (Ireland); BETTA (GB); the National Electricity Market (Australia); Gas Entry/Exit (Ireland); NTS Exit Reforms (GB); and Gas Retail Market Implementation (Australia)
  • Mergers & Acquisitions: Advised on more than €4 billion in energy sector M&A, including Arcapita in respect of its disposal of Viridian Group to I-Squared Capital, Gas Natural Fenosa on its acquisition of Vayu and Centrica in respect of its acquisition of Bord Gais Energy
  • Project Finance: Advised borrowers and lenders on more than €4 billion of energy sector project financing, including the Dublin Waste to Energy PPP Project, the 500MW HVDC East West Interconnector, the 343MW Huntstown Phase I CCGT, the Seven Heads Gas Field and a number of Ireland’s largest windfarms including the 95MW Meedandreen Extension and 89MW Oweninny Phase one.


“Alex McLean stands out as one of the most astute and knowledgeable lawyers I have ever worked with. He knows the energy and infrastructure sectors better than anyone else, has real depth of sector knowledge (particularly in energy), and provides top-class commercial advice, while also having a balanced understanding of all sides of the debate.”

The Legal 500: Europe, Middle East & Africa, 2022

“Alex McLean is the leading energy lawyer in Ireland: he is both pragmatic and highly effective as a lawyer, but also highly commercial and knowledgeable on energy-specific issues.”

The Legal 500: Europe, Middle East & Africa, 2022

“Alex McLean boasts unparalleled authority and expertise across the full gamut of energy matters, offering expert advice on transactions, development projects and regulatory matters. One client describes him as “really strong commercially,” and also highlights his “deep energy sector knowledge and experience.”

Chambers Europe: Europe’s Leading Lawyers for Business, 2022

Alex McLean maintains a stellar reputation in the energy sphere and is described by one client as “the industry leading expert on all legal matters associated with renewable energy and power markets.”

Chambers Europe: Europe’s Leading Lawyers for Business, 2021

Education & Qualifications

  • Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice, 1995, University of Technology Sydney
  • BComm, LL.B, 1993, University of New South Wales
  • Admitted as a solicitor in Northern Ireland, 2004
  • Admitted as a solicitor in Ireland, 2003
  • Admitted as a barrister and solicitor in New Zealand (non-practising), 2002
  • Admitted as a legal practitioner in New South Wales (non-practising), 1995
  • Non-resident Fellow of the Payne Institute, an energy and environmental institute at the Colorado School of Mines
  • Member of the Executive Committee of the Energy Law Group, an association of leading independent energy law firms in Europe, the Middle East and Africa