18 Michelle Ryan 1195x730

Michelle Ryan

Partner, Cork Office

Michelle is a Partner within the firm’s Employment team. She has wide ranging experience advising on all aspects of employment law. Michelle also has built specialist expertise in Data Protection and Privacy issues and is a member of the Firm’s Cyber and Data Protection Team.

Michelle's daily work involves providing strategic HR and employment law advice and support to her clients in the technology, pharmaceutical, charity/not for profit, healthcare and hospitality sectors, on issues including drafting contracts and policies and procedures; termination of employment, including redundancies; the conduct of internal investigations; performance management; transfer of undertakings; equality; work permits and intra-company transfers; issues associated with contingent workers; whistleblowing issues; organisation of working time; industrial relations; protective leave; severance agreements; sexual harassment and bullying and harassment.

Michelle provides ongoing advice to multi-national and indigenous companies on their Data Protection obligations under the current legislative framework (including codes of practice and guidance from the Data Protection Commissioner) and identifying gaps against the new General Data Protection Regulation. Michelle is working with many clients to put in place remediation plans to achieve GDPR compliance, including reviewing existing privacy notices, data privacy policies and data transfer agreements. Michelle also provides commercially focused advices to her clients on data privacy matters such as data breaches, liaising with the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner, trans-border data flows, subject access requests and pre-employment screening and litigation arising from data privacy issues.

Michelle is also recognised for having considerable experience in contentious matters and regularly represents clients before the courts, Workplace Relations Commission and Labour Court. She also provides in-house training and information sessions for clients on areas such as grievance and disciplinary procedures, performance management, whistleblowing and GDPR.


University College Cork (BA Hons)
Dublin Institute of Technology (Post Graduate Diploma in Law)
Trinity College Dublin (LLM)
Law Society of Ireland (Diploma in Employment Law)


Admitted as a solicitor in Ireland
Qualified Data Protection Practitioner (PDP - Practitioner Certificate in Data Protection)

Michelle Ryan’s assistance and advice plays a crucial part in certain tricky or unprecedented employment situations.
– The Legal 500 (2023)
RDJ fields a very strong team with knowledge spread across the many diverse areas of employment law.
– Chambers Europe (2024)
The availability of the team is a key one, as the nature of employment issues can need vital legal advice on an urgent basis, and the team is always ready to help.
– The Legal 500 (2023)