Laura is Of Counsel in the Environment & Planning Group.  Laura is a former Senior Associate and Barrister whose practice and experience covers all areas of environmental, planning, infrastructure, and health and safety law.

Laura has extensive experience across the full spectrum of Planning, Environmental and Health & Safety law and has played a key role in advising on some of the most complex and significant transactions and litigation over the last five years.  She has a special focus on risk assessing major infrastructural, housing and energy projects. Laura regularly advises on contentious and non-contentious matters arising out of the pre-planning, planning, development and funding of projects with a regular focus on housing and renewables. She also has a particular specialism in the adversarial areas of planning judicial review, injunctive relief and criminal enforcement proceedings.

Relevant Experience

  • Advising and representing Intel in a judicial review challenge brought by Thomas Reid against the proposed €3.6 billion expansion of its Leixlip campus
  • Advising Hines Real Estate Ireland and Marlet on Strategic Housing Developments, including acting in the defence of judicial review challenges to the proposed Bailey Gibson SHD, St Paul’s SHD, Rennie Place SHD, and Claremount SHD (the only SHD to date to have withstood challenge)
  • Advising Energia on all planning and environmental aspects of the acquisition and financing of Derrysallagh Wind Farm (32MW) and the Export-Import Bank of Korea on all planning and environmental aspects of the financing of the Lumcloon Battery Energy Storage Systems Projects (200MW)
  • Advising Edenderry Power Limited on all pre-planning aspects of its proposed planning application for a 299MWte biomass power plant
  • Advising Coillte Teoranta and ESB Wind Development Limited before the High Court, Supreme Court, and Court of Justice of the European Union in a judicial review challenge to a proposed wind farm on novel European law grounds
  • Advising the (then) Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources on the final consents needed to operate the Corrib Gas Pipeline
  • Advising clients, including Bord Iascaigh Mhara, daa, Celtic Roads Group, and IPB Insurance DAC on matters relating to Access to Information on the Environment
  • Strategically reviewing Environmental Impact Statements, Environmental Impact Assessment Reports, Natura Impact Statements, and Appropriate Assessment Screening Statements for a range of infrastructural and energy projects at both the pre-planning and further information stages of the planning process and the EPA licensing process, including Bord na Mona’s Derrinlough Wind Farm, Bord na Mona’s Timahoe Solar Farm, Bord na Mona’s Cloncreen Wind Farm, Coillte’s Cullenagh Wind Farm, BMS Cruiserath campus, Edenderry Power Plant and Meta’s (Facebook) Clonee Data Centre and Data Centre Extension
  • Advising and defending Brádan Beo Teoranta in judicial review proceedings challenging its planning permission for the abstraction of water on Water Framework and other environmental grounds at its fish farm at Cill Chiaráin Bay, Co.Galway
  • Advising Irish Water on the pre-planning aspects of its €1.2 billion Water Supply Project


“Laura Rafferty is a pragmatic problem solver, rather than solely a legal advisor.”

The Legal 500: Europe, Middle East & Africa, 2021

Education & Qualifications

  • BCL (European), 2007, University College Dublin
  • Barrister-at-Law degree, 2008, The Honourable Society of King’s Inn
  • Called to the Bar of Ireland, 2008
  • Called to the Bar of Northern Ireland, 2012
  • Admitted as a solicitor in Ireland, 2015
  • Member of the Law Society of Ireland
  • Member of Irish Environmental Law Association
  • Member of Health and Safety Lawyers of Ireland

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