The Work of the CSSO

The Chief State Solicitor's Office provides litigation, advisory and conveyancing services to Government clients. It has five Legal Divisions, each headed by an Assistant Chief State Solicitor and organised by area of law, and a Corporate Services Division. Legal Divisions are further organised into Sections dealing with specific types of legal matters. The Corporate Services Division provides organisational and management services which support the legal work of the Office.

Administrative Law | Commercial & Employment Law | Constitutional & State Litigation
Justice | State Property | Corporate Services


Administrative Law Division

Immigration & Asylum Section

The Immigration & Asylum Section represents the State and State authorities in judicial review proceedings in matters of immigration, nationality and citizenship, and international protection law. The Section also has responsibility for habeas corpus applications, where these arise in an immigration or international protection context. The primary client of the Section is the Minister for Justice and Equality, and the Section also acts for the International Protection Appeals Tribunal.

Judicial Review Section

The Judicial Review Section represents the State and State authorities in all non-immigration or asylum related judicial review proceedings. The Section also deals with habeas corpus applications under Article 40 of the Constitution, cases stated, letters of request from foreign tribunals, transfer of sentenced persons, and Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee cases.


Commercial & Employment Law Division

Commercial Law Section

The Commercial Law section offers comprehensive legal advice and support across various commercial law areas. It specialises in contractual law, competition, and regulatory matters, with a focus on State aid compliance for grant aid measures. Additionally, it provides expert guidance on data protection, privacy law, company law, ICT law, grant/funding agreement drafting, intellectual property (copyright and licensing), research and development agreements, technology licensing, patent ownership, and Energy Law, including energy regulation and advice on all aspects of renewable energy infrastructure projects. Furthermore, it provides advice on Planning and Environmental Law, particularly concerning Access to Environmental Information requests.

Employment Law Section

The Employment Law Section represents Government departments and offices before the Superior Courts and Circuit and District Courts on employment matters, including constitutional challenges, interlocutory injunctions, cases brought before the European Courts and also employment hearings before the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) and on appeal to the Labour Court and higher courts. The Section deals with all areas of employment litigation and advices apart from judicial review.

Public Procurement Law Section

The Public Procurement Law Section provides specialist advice to Government Departments and Offices on public procurement issues and contractual negotiations and drafting arising from same. It handles contractual and procurement related work in a wide range of areas including information technology, digital communications, inward migration, transport, and infrastructure projects. This Section provides a full Solicitor service to the Office of Government Procurement (OGP) where its work includes advising on Frameworks, Mini Competitions, Bespoke Projects and providing policy advice to OGP and Government Departments on EU Procurement Directives. It is also involved in advising on pre-litigation correspondence following the announcement of the award of frameworks and contracts.


Constitutional & State Litigation Division

Commercial & Constitutional Section

The Commercial & Constitutional Section is responsible for the defence of a wide range of civil actions against the State and State authorities in all courts. Issues of law dealt with include commercial, constitutional, administrative, employment, family status, environmental and intellectual property.

European Union Law Section

The EU Law Section handles European Union litigation, including legal proceedings before the Court of Justice, General Court, European Free Trade Association (EFTA) Court and Aarhus Convention applications. The cases involve participating in preliminary references from Ireland and other Member States, intervening in direct actions concerning EU institutions, and defending infringement proceedings brought against Ireland.

General Litigation Section

The General Litigation Section deals with claims in tort where the plaintiffs are primarily seeking damages for negligence, breach of duty (including statutory duty), breach of constitutional rights, personal injury and breach of Convention rights. This includes claims in respect of: defamation, breaches of GDPR, unlawful detention, trespass, assault by prison officers, defective product, non-delegated personal injury (excluding Garda claims), non-party discovery, and appeals to the High Court by persons infected with Hepatitis C or HIV through contaminated blood products.

Counsels Fees Unit

The Counsels Fees Unit handles payments of legal fees to Counsel.


Justice Division

Criminal Assets Section

The Criminal Assets Section provides an in-house, independent solicitor service to the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) whose operational mandate is to carry out investigations into the suspected proceeds of criminal conduct. In addition to conveyancing services, CAS provides litigation and advisory services on a wide range of legal matters including: proceeds of crime proceedings before the High Court, tax appeals before the Tax Appeal Commission, Revenue debt recovery and social welfare overpayments proceedings, applications under the Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) Act before the District Court, applications under Police Property legislation, contracts and settlement agreements, judicial review proceedings, plenary proceedings and advisory matters.

Garda Litigation Section

The Garda Litigation Section deals with civil actions against An Garda Síochána. Its work includes claims for damages for assault, wrongful arrest, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution, miscarriage of justice, deceit and defamation. It also handles non-party discovery applications seeking disclosure of documentation.

Justice & Crime Section

The Justice & Crime Section deals with extradition and European Arrest Warrant applications in the High Court and Supreme Court on behalf of the Attorney General and the Minister for Justice & Equality, and with mutual assistance applications in the District Court, Circuit Court and High Court. It also provides solicitor services to An Garda Síochána and client departments in matters such as inquests, licensing applications, Police Property Act applications and transfer of sentenced persons applications.

Legal Services Section

The Legal Services Section deals with Ministerial Prosecutions in the District Court, company restorations, civil proceedings on behalf of the Minister for Social Protection to recover monies fraudulently obtained, and represents the Commissioner of Valuation in appeals before the Valuation Tribunal. It is also responsible for costs recovery.

Costs Accounting Unit

The Costs Accounting Unit handles all costs orders against the State and costs where the State is a creditor.


State Property Division

State Securities Section

The State Securities Section advises a number of Government departments on property and transactional conveyancing matters pertaining to the registration of charges under the Capital Funding Programmes for Sports, Arts and Culture and Education, the granting of discharges of loans registered under the Housing (Gaeltacht) Acts 1929-2001, the devolution of real and personal property of dissolved companies to the State under Section 28 State Property Act 1954, the disclaimer of properties by an Official Assignee in bankruptcy in another jurisdiction, the processing of escheated estates under Section 73 of the Succession Act 1965 where the State is the ultimate intestate successor, and representing the State in claims for compensation under Sections 19 and 120 of the Registration of Title Acts 1964-2006 and Section 21 of the Minerals Development Act 1940.

State Sales and Purchases Section

The State Sales & Purchases Section deals with transactional conveyancing and related property advices on behalf of a wide range of Government departments. Transactions include purchase, sales and exchanges of State property. The Section provides advice in relation to various programmes including the Schools Rapid Build Programme, the purchase of bogs and turbary rights, the Redress Indemnity Scheme and the Rationalisation and Reform Programme for the Office of Public Works (OPW). The type of properties include schools, Garda stations, heritage property and other significant commercial property.

State Leases Section

The State Leases Section deals with all leasing and licensing of State lands for Government departments and the Office of Public Works (OPW). This includes the procurement of all office accommodation by way of lease on behalf of the OPW. The Section also grants leases and licenses for foreshore and Fishery Harbour Centres. The Section deals with telecommunication licences where broadband has been put in place for all Government departments and offices, and mobile network operators can provide 4G and fibre from State owned properties.



Corporate Services Division

Finance & Accounts Section

The Finance & Accounts Section manages the CSSO's finances and ensures that effective financial controls are in place. Payroll and travel & subsistence are managed by the Department of Finance's Payroll Shared Services Centre.

Human Resources Section / Learning & Development Unit
The Human Resources Section is responsible for the development and implementation of progressive HR practice in the CSSO. The Learning & Development Unit supports the continuing professional development of CSSO staff, through the provision of external education and training opportunities and in-house legal CPD events.

Information & Communications Technology Unit

The ICT Unit is responsible for the management, development and maintenance of the CSSO's hardware and software systems, including its case management, office productivity and communications systems.

Knowledge & Information Service

The Knowledge & Information Service provides library, information and knowledge services to CSSO staff. The Service provides legal staff with desktop access to a wide range of online legal information resources, delivers information and knowledge skills training, and manages the CSSO's intranet and website.

Records & Registry Unit

The Records & Registry Unit is responsible for the management of the CSSO's paper and electronic files and for records management policy and compliance.

Office Services Section

The Office Services Section is responsible for the management of premises and facilities, health and safety, and also provides a range of support services to CSSO staff.


Chief State Solicitor's Office, Osmond House, Little Ship Street, Dublin D08 V8C5, Ireland
Telephone: (+353 1) 417 6100
Fax: (+353 1) 417 6299

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