Dawn raids

A&L Goodbody's EU, Competition & Procurement team is the most experienced dawn raid team in Ireland having undertaken and challenged dawn raids since the mid-1990s. Our Dublin and Belfast offices provide clients with all-island coverage in the event of a dawn raid by regulators such as the Environmental Protection Agency, the Food Safety Authority of Ireland and the Health Products Regulatory Authority, in addition to all three types of competition dawn raids in Ireland having dealt with dawn raids by:

  • the European Commission
  • the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) and, historically, the Competition Authority dating back to the mid-1990s
  • the Irish competition agency working with another EU Member State competition agency in Ireland under Article 22 of Regulation 1/2003

Our routines and procedures are well-established for dealing with single and multi-day raids, as well as multi-jurisdictional dawn raids.


A&L Goodbody offers a full range of dawn raid readiness and response services including:

  • On site response team – We will arrive at your premises and guide your business and employees through the regulators inspection (for multiple days if necessary).
  • Dawn raid response plans and guidance – We can provide your business with comprehensive and bespoke dawn raid response plans and  guidance so your business will always be prepared.
  • Regular dawn raid training – Our experienced team conducts regular bespoke dawn raid training to businesses across all industries.
  • Practical  dawn raid readiness – Test your business' readiness and dawn raid procedures in operation, and receive detailed, actionable feedback to help your business mitigate the impact for when a dawn raid occurs 



  • A dawn raid is an unannounced inspection by regulators.


  • Dawn raids usually occur at business premises but may happen at any place where activity in connection with the business is conducted (e.g. directors’/employees’ homes and vehicles).

Both the European Commission and Ireland’s Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) regularly dawn-raids businesses, professional bodies, trade associations and homes. Everyone in business in Ireland needs to be briefed on how to deal with such unannounced visits.

For our quick look pdf guide click here.

For further information click here.

Even with regular dawn raid training, little attention is paid to the mistakes which businesses make and what not to do during a dawn raid.

For practical advice and tips for general counsel in relation to dealing with dawn raids in Ireland, click here.

Mobile phones are often a flash point in dawn raids. Competition dawn raid inspectors are usually very keen to get access to the mobile phones of employees on the premises being dawn raided.

For practical advice on how to deal with staff mobile phones during dawn raids, click here.

When being dawn raided by the European Commission or the Irish Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC), businesses need to protect their privacy rights and the privacy rights of their employees. Make sure your business is familiar with the CCPC's Privacy Protocol. In particular, businesses should bear in mind the 14-day time-period within which to raise issues with the CCPC.

For further information click here.

There are indications from the European Commission that there has been a backlog of dawn raids built up over the Lockdown era so we could see an increase in dawn raids around Europe as restrictions ease.

For further information click here.

One of the unforeseen consequences of Brexit is that Irish businesses could be subject to more competition dawn raids by the European Commission as the option of conducting these unannounced inspections in the UK is blocked off by the UK leaving the European Union.

For further information click here and here.


Regulators are generally permitted to:

  • Enter the premises (obstruction by the business could result in financial penalties).
  • Search the premises and seize data and hard copy documents.
  • Question employees.
  • Seize mobile phones.
  • Shut down employees email accounts.


*All of these regulators may be assisted by An Garda Síochána

Competition And Consumer  Protection Commission (CCPC) EU Commission Director Of Corporate Enforcement
Central Bank Of Ireland (CBI) Data Protection Commissioner (DPC) Environmental Protection Agency
Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) Health & Safety Authority (HSA) Revenue Commissioners
Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg) Health Products Regulatory 
Health Information And Quality Authority (HIQA) Food Safety Authority Of Ireland (FSAI) Workplace Relations Commission (WRC)