Karen Killalea, Partner - A&L Goodbody

Karen Killalea

Karen Killalea is an experienced employment law specialist and litigator. She advises employers on employment litigation as well as non-contentious employment law and industrial relations matters. She regularly advises on re-structuring, business transfers, change management, the protection of goodwill and confidential information, employment contracts, HR policies, harmonization programmes and risk avoidance practices generally.


Karen has represented employers in high profile and high value employment disputes before the Superior Courts as well as handling a high volume of cases before the Employment Appeals Tribunal, Labour Court and the Rights Commissioners on matters spanning a broad range of employment rights issues including re-structuring, fitness and probity, dismissals, grievances, occupational stress claims, industrial relations matters and other employment related disputes. Given the depth of her experience, Karen handles the advocacy in many of her employment tribunal cases. Karen has a wealth of experience in advising on contentious industrial relations issues in a variety of sectors including the retail sector, financial services, insurance, hospitality industry, healthcare and construction. Karen has advised employers in relation to recognition campaigns by trade unions, industrial action and proceedings on a range of matters under the Industrial Relations Acts. Karen has advised and supported clients in crisis situations involving strikes and other industrial action.

Market Recommendations

  • "Karen has a can-do attitude and an exceptional level of service." (Chambers Europe 2017) and "Recommended Lawyer." (Legal 500 2017)
  • "Strong experience across employment law issues, including sensitive employment litigation and transactional work. Very practical and responsive, and really knowledgeable of the employment sector." (Chambers Europe 2016)
  • "An experienced employment law specialist and litigator, described as 'clear, pragmatic and well prepared." (Chambers Europe 2015)
  • "Provides trustworthy advice and direction." (Legal 500 2014) 


  • Solicitor, Law Society of England & Wales, 2001
  • Solicitor, Law Society of Ireland, 1999
  • LL.M, University of Edinburgh, 1996
  • University of Poitiers, France, 1993
  • LL.B, Trinity College Dublin, 1994

Professional Activities

Karen tutors and lectures in the Law Society of Ireland on employment law on the Employment Law Diploma course and also on the Professional Practice Course. She is a member of the Employment Law Association of Ireland and speaks at conferences, contributes to publications and provides training to clients on various aspects of employment law. Karen is a member of the International Bar Association, Employment and Equality Section and a member of the European Employment Lawyers Association. Karen is a fluent Italian speaker.

Karen Killalea

T: +353 1 649 2118

Email: Karen Killalea

Vcard: Karen Killalea

An experienced employment law specialist and litigator, described as 'clear, pragmatic and well prepared'

(Chambers Europe 2015)