Kieran Laird

Kieran Laird specialises in assisting clients interpret and apply public law concepts and complex regulatory frameworks. In doing so he helps clients to identify and manage their public law and regulatory issues quickly and commercially. He is also the Head of Constitutional Affairs for the Gowling WLG Brexit Unit and a major contributor to the firm's Brexit content.

Kieran works for a wide range of public bodies and the private companies who deal with them. His practice includes both contentious and non-contentious work and encompasses domestic and EU law across a range of sectors including energy, health, qualifications, transport and elections and referendums. He has also assisted with the development of regulatory regimes in Africa and the Middle East.

Kieran assists public bodies, including regulators, in understanding and using their statutory powers, taking enforcement action and in defending decisions when challenged. He has also assisted with the development of regulatory frameworks and enjoys working closely with in-house advisers and policy teams to ensure that the development of strategy and policy progresses with the benefit of high quality practical legal advice.

He also provides private companies with commercially focused advice in relation to dealings with public bodies and understanding and complying with regulatory obligations, including mounting challenges where necessary.

Kieran understands that litigation can be a potentially stressful experience for a client. Whether he's is advising a claimant or defendant in litigation he makes sure that the client is fully involved as the case progresses. He ensures that all of the relevant points are identified and dealt with as compellingly as possible and that the costs of litigation are managed efficiently.

Kieran is also a regular contributor to Gowling WLG's Public Law & Regulation blog, providing short updates and insights on current issues in UK public law and regulation across the various areas in which he works.


Assisting the Northern Ireland Authority for Utility Regulation in relation to the reference of a price control to the Competition Commission.

Assisting a Clinical Commissioning Group in relation to its public engagement duties during a large- scale procurement of health services.

Assisting a unitary authority in regard to a challenge by an international environmental group to the development of a mass burn incinerator. The development of the incinerator formed an integral part of a contract which the authority had signed with a third party and which has been granted substantial PFI funding from central government.

Career & Recognition

Filter timeline:
  • 2019

    • Career
      May 2019
      Gowling WLG (UK) LLP, Partner
  • 2017

    • Career
      Gowling WLG (UK) LLP, Director
  • 2016

    • Career
      Gowling WLG (UK) LLP, Principal Associate
  • 2014

    • Career
      Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co, Principal Associate
  • 2011

    • Career
      Wragge & Co, Associate
  • 2010

    • Career
      Coventry Law Centre, public law supervisor
  • 2009

    • Qualifications (Year of Call/Admission, etc.)
      Qualified, Solicitor of England & Wales
  • 2007

    • Career
      Coventry Law Centre
  • 2006

    • Career
      Public interest Lawyers
  • 2005

    • Education
      College of Law, LPC
  • 2003

    • Education
      Queen's University Belfast, PhD
  • 2000

    • Education
      Queen's University Belfast, MA Political theory and social criticism
  • 1999

    • Education
      Queen's University Belfast, LLB Joint honours Law with Politics