Susan Ahern


Susan is an Irish qualified practising barrister specialising in arbitration, regulation and sports law.  She is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and an arbitrator at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). Susan was recently appointed by the Irish Government to the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) Panel of Conciliators.

Susan has over 20 years’ experience in sports law practice, sports administration and regulation leadership roles, including representing clients and sitting as an independent decision maker in disciplinary, conduct and commercial cases before national and international tribunals.

Susan has served as Arbitrator in cases involving sport, commercial and insurance matters, conducting both institutional and ad hoc arbitrations.

In England and Wales, Susan is an arbitrator and provides arbitration services.

Arbitration & Mediation

Susan was appointed by Sports Resolutions UK to the Ad Hoc Independent Tribunal for the International Tennis Federation Davis Cup Finals in Madrid (2019).

As an arbitrator with the Court of Arbitration for Sport, she has had several Party and CAS appointments including as Panel President and Sole Arbitrator.

Susan is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, a Member of the CIArb Approved Faculty List for Ireland and a panel member of the Irish chapter of the European Court of Arbitration.

She is also a member of the Arbitration & ADR Committee of the Bar of Ireland and an Executive Committee Member of Arbitration Ireland.


Susan is an active member of several arbitration panels:

 Susan has several appointments where she sits in a statutory judicial capacity:

Susan is an independent member of the Professional Conduct Committees of a number of Irish regulatory bodies including the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland and the Health & Social Care Professionals Council (CORU), which regulates 15 separate health related professions.


Lead Drafter on the 2020 World Anti-Doping Agency International Standard for Testing & Investigations

Member of the World Athletics Legal Commission and involved in various working groups dealing with technical issues

Head of Legal and Legislative Affairs at World Rugby / General Counsel Rugby World Cup Limited for 7 years.

Responsible for the legal and regulatory aspects of Rugby World Cup 2011 (New Zealand) and Rugby World Cup 2015 (England), including delivery and oversight of the legal aspects of the commercial and anti-infringement programmes.

Disciplinary Officer at World Rugby responsible, for the drafting and enforcement of global regulations including on field and off field discipline, anti-doping, eligibility, anti-corruption & integrity.

Established the World Rugby Integrity unit and the first Anti-Corruption Programme for Rugby World Cup.

Education and Training

The Honorable Society of King’s Inns, Dublin. Advanced Diploma in Medical Law (2019)

Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. Fellow (FCIArb) (2017)

Call to the Irish Bar (1998)

The Honorable Society of King’s Inns, Dublin.  Barrister-at-Law Degree (BL) (1998)

Queen’s University Belfast.  Master of Laws Degree (LLM): Computers & Law (1996)

University of Dublin, Trinity College.  Bachelor of Laws Degree (LLB) (1994)


‘Breaking the Rules – Discipline & Governance’ – Panel Chair – SLBAI Conference (December 2019)

'Judicial Review & Arbitration' – Panel Chair - Irish Chapter of European Court of Arbitration Seminar (October 2019)

Four Nations Jurisdiction Conference, Edinburgh – Speaker (May 2019)

Arbitrating Sports Disputes’ – Speaker at Sports Dispute Solution Ireland Seminar to National Sports Federations, Campus Ireland (May 2019)

Changes to the sporting betting industry and the impact of the Independent Tennis Integrity Report’ – Panel Speaker - SLBAI/Law In Sport Conference, Dublin (February 2019)

Rules Based Decision Makers – What Sport Can Teach Us’ – Panel Chair - Dublin International Arbitration Day 2018

Sports, Betting & Data” Panel Debate - Law In Sport Conference, London (August 2018)

 ‘Defamation Nation’Speaker - Bar of Ireland Conference, Malaga (May 2018)

 ‘Interim measures: Emergency Arbitrators versus the Court’ - Panel Chair - Dublin International Arbitration Day 2017


Sports Arbitration in the Gulf” – co-authored with Arran Dowling-Hussey. The MENA Business Law Review – Q1 2019 & Lexis® Middle East Law 

Trade Mark Protection – A New Approach?” Sports Law Administration & Practice - October 2017 Vol.24 No.5

International Rugby Justice: A Précis of the Judicial System of the International Rugby Board”. International and Comparative Sports Justice, European Sports Law & Policy Bulletin 1-2013.


The Bar of Ireland Arbitration & ADR Committee

Arbitration Ireland – Executive Committee Member

Sports Law Bar Association of Ireland – Vice-Chair

Bar Review – Editorial Board Member

Chartered Institute of Arbitrators