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 in the Media/Commercial Litigation Team specialising in media, defamation and privacy, commercial litigation, and public and administrative law.

He regularly acts for leading national, regional, and local news groups in the defence of libel claims, privacy and data actions, and pre-publication injunction applications. He also acts for various corporates, business figures and professionals in protecting reputations and effecting reputational rights.

Outside defamation and privacy, he maintains a significant public law practice, acting for, amongst others, a large non-departmental public body charged with producing numerous sensitive decisions annually. He has also assisted in the preparation of various CEOs, senior civil servants, academics, and lawyers for appearances before statutory hearings and inquiries.

Fergal has been ranked in the Chambers UK Legal Guide for the past four 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."

In addition to his litigation experience, he regularly delivers guest lectures in Media Law to students on the MA in Journalism at Ulster University, was consulted on the Northern Ireland chapter of McNae’s Essential Law for Journalists, (24th Ed., June 2018) and has provided commentary to the media on media law matters.

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 Master’s Degree in Business Studies. He subsequently qualified as a solicitor from the Institute of Professional Legal Studies (Queen’s University) with commendation, and was awarded the Mills Selig Prize on qualification.

Recent cases in which he was instructed in include:

  • Aaron Hyland v Independent News and MediaSuccessfully resisted emergency pre-publication injunction application advanced on Art. 2, Art. 3, & Art. 8 grounds, with costs to the publisher;
  • Newry, Mourne & Down District Council & Others v Newry Reporter­ – Multiple libel claims struck out/discontinued, with costs to the publisher;
  • Aaron Sterritt v Telegraph Media Group, News Group Newspapers & Others – Successful challenge of reporting restrictions;
  • Adele Best v Independent News and Media – Unsuccessful emergency pre-publication injunction application advanced on Art. 8 grounds, with costs to the publisher;
  • In the matter of an application by CK – Judicial review application concerning the powers of a tribunal to call its own witnesses;
  • Edgar’s (Conor) Application – Judicial review application on the lawful exercise of the power to recall persons to custody;