Elaine Kelly - Partner

Elaine Kelly 2010



+353 (0)1 691 5661
+353 (0)1 691 5010
Download our Vcard

Elaine is a Partner in the Employment Group. She has over 10 years experience advising on all aspects of the employment relationship and is the firm's leader on “atypical” working.

Elaine lead’s the firm's offering on “atypical” working covering the law as it relates to part-time work, fixed-term work, agency work, job sharing, flexible working arrangements and e-working. In that context, she routinely advises on employment issues that arise in the context of part-time employees, fixed-term employees and agency workers.

She routinely advises on equality law to include direct and indirect discrimination in employment, recruitment, promotion, terms and conditions of employment, disability issues, equal opportunities, bullying, harassment and sexual harassment in the workplace.

Elaine regularly provides employment advice in the context of business acquisitions and outsourcing. She is a regular speaker on “Transfer of Undertakings" on the Law Society Diploma in Employment Law. She represents the Appellants in the Supreme Court appeal of the leading High Court case on redundancy and outsourcing -Symantec Limited v Leddy and Lyons reported at 2010 ILRM 112.

Elaine has presented on employment law issues to Public Affairs Ireland, Legal Island Chartered Institute of Accountants and provides specialist employment law training.

Key Experience

While Elaine routinely advises on both contentious and non contentious equality issues and atypical working, most recently, Elaine has represented clients in a number of significant cases under the Fixed-Term Work Act, Part Time Work Act and Employment Equality Acts including:

  • the leading High Court case on objective justification HSE v Ali Umar reported at 2011 22 ELR 229;
  • the much analysed High Court case of Catholic University School v Dooley reported at 2010 IEHC 496 which concerned discrimination in relation to terms and conditions of part time teachers.
  • the High Court appeal of the Labour Court determination in Browne v Blackrock College PTD 127 which involved an entirely novel issue concerning the jurisdiction of the Labour Court.
  • the employment equality case of A Worker v A Company in which the Equality Tribunal made it’s highest ever award giving rise to extensive media coverage.

Elaine has recently supported public sector clients in change management against the backdrop of the Croke Park Agreement advising on diverse and varied employment law issues to include the introduction of performance management policies, outsourcing, redeployment, secondment and effecting changes to terms and conditions of employment.
Elaine has recently assisted a number of corporate clients through redundancy and restructuring programmes providing advice on the whole range of employment law and industrial relations issues that arise in that context to include negotiation of severance packages, collective redundancies, equality issues and the development of selection matrix.


  • Mediation and Negotiation Skills, the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR)
  • LLB (Hons) Trinity College Dublin
  • Diploma in Business Studies, Michael Smurfit Business School, University College Dublin



  • Dublin Solicitors Bar Association
  • Law Society of Ireland



 Elaine Kelly attracts high praise from clients. - Legal 500, 2014

"The superb Elaine Kelly" makes up part of the Employment Department's ‘formidable team’ is ‘extremely responsive, commercially clued-in and technically outstanding in all respects’.  - Legal 500, 2013

Clients consider Elaine Kelly to be “at the top of her game. She is sharp, exceptionally competent and easy to work with". - Chamber & Partners 2012

She is a crystal-clear thinker, and with her extensive knowledge is able to answer queries on the spot.” Sources also praise her responsiveness, and her focus on the business needs of her clients. - Chamber & Partners Europe 2010


Elaine is co-author of the Law Society’s Employment Law Manual published by Oxford University Press 2011.