Fergal McGoldrick - Associate

Fergal  McGoldrick

Key Practice Areas

Litigation and Dispute Resolution, Media and Defamation, Privacy Law, Public and Administrative Law

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Fergal is an associate solicitor in the Media and Defamation Team at Carson McDowell LLP. Fergal trained and practised with another Belfast law firm before joining Carson McDowell in December 2015.

Fergal practises primarily in publishing, media and defamation and regularly acts for the largest regional and local news organisations defending defamation and privacy actions, challenging the imposition of reporting restrictions, resisting injunction proceedings and opposing PSNI PACE applications. Fergal also advises on IPSO Regulatory complaints and investigations, social media issues and advertising and marketing matters. Outside media litigation, Fergal works with the Public and Administrative Law Team on matters of judicial review for public bodies, and broader commercial litigation matters.

Fergal has been ranked in the Chambers UK Legal Guide for the past three consecutive years as an “Associate to Watch”, with the 2017 version commenting that he is “an experienced media and defamation lawyer, much relied upon by national and regional publications. Clients say: "His advice always proves invaluable."

Recently he acted for a leading Sunday tabloid in successfully resisting an emergency interim injunction application to prohibit publication on privacy grounds, and secured an Order for costs against the applicant (Adele Best v Independent News and Media). More recently, he acted for a prominent local newspaper in defending a libel action taken by a local council, and was successful in having the matter struck out, with an Order for costs against the Plaintiff (Newry, Mourne and Down District Council v Newry Reporter).

In addition to his litigation experience, he has previously delivered lectures and seminars to journalists, NCTJ student journalists and digital marketing specialists on various topics including privacy, defamation, advertising and contempt.

Fergal graduated with an LL.B. (Hons.) Degree in Law and Marketing in 2007 where he was awarded the Sweet and Maxwell University Law Prize, before completing an LL.M in International Human Rights Law and a Masters Degree in Business Studies. He qualified as a solicitor in June 2013 from the Institute of Professional Legal Studies and was awarded the Mills Selig Prize in that year.