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Neil Coogan

Neil Coogan

Supervisor: Dr Joe McGrath

Areas of Research: White-collar crime, company law, banking law, worker safety law, competition law and regulation.

Thesis Title: The Regulation of White-collar Crime in Ireland.


Neil’s PhD research examines the regulation of white-collar crime in Ireland across the areas of company law, banking law, competition law and worker safety law. Using doctrinal, socio-legal and jurisprudential research methodologies, Neil’s work compares how the State regulated white-collar crime during the 20th century to how it currently regulates this form of criminality.

Neil argues that the Irish State now has a strong preference for persuasion-based mechanisms of crime control which typically seek to increase compliance with the law rather than punish wrongdoers for actual or potential white-collar crimes. His work shows that while the number and severity of white-collar criminal offences have increased in recent years, these laws are generally not enforced using the criminal law itself.

Rather, Neil’s research shows that a new non-criminal crime-fighting toolkit now represents the vast majority of regulatory responses to actual or potential white-collar crimes in Ireland. These non-criminal means of crime control are made up of a mix of informal, formal, statutory, non-statutory, civil and/or administrative interventions.

Neil’s research shows that the criminal law is now only reserved for egregious and/or repeated white-collar criminality across his four areas of research, and he argues that this new approach can be broadly mapped over to the theories of responsive and risk-based regulation.  


Neil holds a Bachelor of Civil Law (B.C.L.) from the Sutherland School of Law, University College Dublin. He graduated with first-class honours and was amongst the top-ranked students in his class. Neil was a finalist in the national Irish Law Awards, Law Student of the Year category in 2018 and holds various other qualifications, including a Diploma Supplement in Learning, Corporate Law and Finance and a post-graduate qualification in Business Innovation from University College Dublin.

Neil was awarded the Sutherland School of Law Doctoral Scholarship in 2018, and he is currently undertaking advanced research into the regulation of white-collar crime in Ireland. Neil’s research is being carried out under the primary supervision of Dr Joe McGrath. Professor Colin Scott, Dr Deirdre Healy and Dr Joe McGrath make up Neil’s Doctorial Research Studies Panel and are each leaders in their respective fields of regulation, criminology and white-collar crime research.   

Neil tutors in Criminal Liability, Criminal Offences & Defences and Mooting & Legal Advocacy and co-lectured the Law School’s Introduction to Law in Ireland module.

In addition to pursuing his research in the Sutherland School of Law, Neil is an advanced Employee Relations and Industrial Relations practitioner; Neil is an expert in employment and industrial relations law and regularly attends the Workplace Relations Commission and other related fora in a professional capacity. On an ongoing basis, Neil manages a large number of legal and industrial relations cases, leads complex workplace investigations and advises on workplace policies and strategic change programmes.   

UCD Sutherland School of Law

University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.