top of page
Rossa Fanning SC

Rossa Fanning SC

Attorney General, Ireland

Rossa Fanning was appointed as Attorney General of Ireland on 17 December 2022.

Prior to his appointment as Attorney General, he was a Senior Counsel in private practice at the Irish Bar with a varied caseload spanning commercial law, public law and judicial review, professional negligence, product liability, defamation and privacy law.

In the public law sphere, he defended the Minister for Health in judicial review proceedings challenging the criminalisation of cannabidiol and frequently advised and acted for the Minister for Finance in litigation concerning the constitutionality of taxation legislation.

He frequently represented semi-state bodies in complex disputes, including CIÉ, the IDA and the HPRA. He appeared on behalf of Fórsa, Ireland’s largest public sector union in landmark litigation against Ryanair.

He acted in major corporate insolvency cases such as Norwegian Airlines, Debenhams, Eir, IBRC, and Treasury Holdings, and in privacy, defamation and data protection litigation for international newspaper and media groups and technology companies such as Google, Facebook and Twitter.

He has acted for some of Ireland’s most prominent businessmen including Michael Smurfit, Larry Goodman, Denis O’Brien, Martin Naughton and Dermot Desmond. He acted for MCD in an action against Prince for the cancellation of a concert in Croke Park and for golfer Rory McIlroy in Commercial Court proceedings against his former agent.

He also acted in complex insurance litigation arising out of the invasion of the Ukraine and the Covid pandemic.

He previously appeared on behalf of clients at the Disclosures Tribunal, Moriarty Tribunal, Barr Tribunal and acted as counsel to the Commission of Inquiry into the Dublin-Monaghan Bombings.

Whilst in private practice, he appeared by invitation as a legal expert before the Oireachtas Select Committee on Jobs, Social Protection & Education, the Oireachtas Joint Committee on the Constitution and the Convention on the Constitution.

He attended University College Dublin where he served as Auditor of the UCD Law Society. He graduated with a First Class Honours BCL degree in 1997 and was awarded the Swift McNeill Memorial Prize, finishing in first place.

He was awarded a Postgraduate Research Scholarship by UCD, completing a thesis in the field of civil procedure for which he was awarded an LL.M with First Class Honours.

He was called to the Irish Bar in 1999 after graduating from King’s Inns in first place as the John Brooke Scholar. He was awarded the Christina Murphy Memorial Trophy as the individual winner of The Irish Times Debate in the same year.

He was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship and a University Fellowship to pursue an LL.M at the University of Michigan where he graduated from in 2000.

He was a college lecturer at the Sutherland School of Law in UCD between 2001 and 2009, lecturing in the fields of Constitutional law and Company law.

A CEDR Accredited Mediator, he became a Senior Counsel in 2016 and was admitted to Bar of Northern Ireland in 2019.

He is a bencher and ex officio Council Member of the Honorable Society of King’s Inns, a Member of the General Council of the Bar of Ireland and a Vice-President of the Irish Centre for European Law.

bottom of page