Richard Grogan, the solicitor and well-known expert on employment law, has died after a short illness.
He was a member of the Council of the Law Society, which said in an early statement that it was “deeply saddened” to learn of his passing.
“Richard was a tireless advocate, both in proceedings and in the public arena. We will miss his energy, humour, and deep commitment to the profession,” the Society said in a tweet.
Tributes have also been paid by colleagues, with solicitor Stuart Gilhooly SC tweeting: “His work in making employment law accessible to the consumer, and in the most simple terms, will never be forgotten.”
Lawyer of the Year
Only last month, he had been named 'Lawyer of the Year' at the 2022 Dye & Durham Irish Law Awards.
He was principal and head of employment and dispute resolution at Richard Grogan & Associates, a firm he had set up in 2009 to focus on employment law and personal-injury matters.
The solicitor had recently gained a substantial following on social media , posting videos on the TikTok and Instagram platforms, where he explained workplace issues in a straight-talking, jargon-free way.
He often signed off with what became his catchphrase: "That's the law, and that's a fact."
Earlier this year, Grogan told Breakingnews.ie that he had initially believed he was too old for TikTok.
"I was asked to do a course in the Law Society on the use of social media in the legal profession, and somebody put their hand up and told me I should use TikTok," he told the website.
After posting his first video in December 2021, he gained around 250,000 followers on the platform.
The employment lawyer had already become a familiar face and voice over the period of the pandemic, as media outlets sought expert views on the employment-law issues raised by remote working.
Solicitor 'fell into law'
In a piece for the Law Society's ' Career Spotlight ' series, he wrote that he "fell into law", having studied the subject at UCD.
"In my third year, I worked out the difference between a solicitor and a barrister," he said.
Grogan qualified as a solicitor in 1979, and later qualified as an associate of the Taxation Institute of Ireland.
He worked with PwC, O'Flynn Exhams, and PC Moore & Co, before setting up his own firm.
An accredited mediator, he was also a founding member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners in Ireland.
Passing on his advice to future lawyers, he had said: "Understand your strengths. Admit your weaknesses. Work to your strengths. Respect your colleagues. Help colleagues where you can. Find an area of law which suits you. Do the best you can. You cannot do any more."
Outpouring of support
His work colleague Caoimhe McConnell told Gazette.ie: "On behalf of the firm of Richard Grogan and Associates, we would like to express our sincere gratitude for the outpouring of kindness and support on the sad and untimely passing of our dear colleague and friend Richard Grogan.
"Richard was renowned for his deep passion for, and knowledge of, employment law. He had the remarkable ability to quote section and subsection of any employment law act, and that's what crowned him 'the king of employment law' in the office," Caoimhe said.
"Opponents feared him, but colleagues and clients alike adored him. It is not surprising that Richard has won many accolades over the course of his career, most notably in employment law, and more recently, he won 'Lawyer of the Year 2022'.
"In addition to all of the above," she continued, "he was a valued member of the Council of the Law Society and a tireless advocate for educating the people of Ireland on their employment-law rights through his social-media platforms. His legal tips were short, snappy, and to the point. He spoke to the public in plain English, with no legal jargon.
"He truly appreciated all the support that you, the public, have given him. We, his colleagues, would like to extend our heartfelt condolences to Richard's family, colleagues in the legal profession, friends, and many followers.
She concluded: "Richard, we thank you for everything. May you rest in eternal peace."