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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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United Kingdom > Northern Ireland > Projects, energy and natural resources > Energy > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

  1. Energy
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals: Hall of Fame

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Leading individuals

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Next generation lawyers

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Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Energy clients in Northern Ireland using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


A&L Goodbody’s highly regarded energy practice has notable expertise in handling project financings, energy-related M&A, project management matters and contentious energy-related instructions. In a high-profile example of the practice’s contentious work, litigation partner Micaela Diver is leading advice to Action Renewables on the establishment of a special interest group, the Renewable Heat Association, to represent the owners of non-domestic biomass boilers who took part in the highly publicised RHI scheme in Northern Ireland; the group has represented the client in three judicial reviews relating to the scheme’s closure and the retrospective change to the published tariffs. On the non-contentious side, wind-related mandates have been particularly prominent in the team’s workload; in 2017, Mark Thompson led the team advising Brookfield Renewables on the acquisition of a 16MW wind farm, which was purchased pre-construction with the intention of completing the acquisition once the project was finished. Thompson is also assisting the same client with a similar transaction for a 23MW wind farm. Thompson jointly heads the team with banking partner Ciaran McAlinney, who has expertise in project finance matters relating to the energy sector. Associate Mark Stockdale, who has experience in electricity, gas and renewables-related regulatory issues, is a name to note.

Carson McDowell’s ‘excellent’ energy practice is very well known for handling a broad spectrum of energy-related matters for a number of Northern Ireland’s leading energy players. The group is noted for its expertise in mandates relating to renewable energy, electricity and gas, and represents clients in acquisitions, transactions and the developmental aspects of energy projects. In recent highlights, the ‘very responsive’ team acted for AES UK & Ireland in the sale of Cloghan Point Oil Terminal to energy company LCC Group, and assisted Air Core with refinancing nine separate wind turbine sites. In a different matter, the practice advised Vinci Energies on its acquisition of electrical engineering company Meldrum, which supplies electricity to nuclear sites. SONI is another key client for the firm. M&A and financing expert Neasa Quigley leads the team, which includes the ‘commercially astute’ energy planning expert Gary McGhee and Dawson McConkey, who uses his ‘vast and detailed knowledge of Northern Ireland land law’ to handle the real estate aspects of renewable energy projects.

With an established reputation for its expertise in energy matters, Pinsent Masons Belfast LLP represents a wide spectrum of energy clients in high-profile and high-value transactions and projects in Northern Ireland. The team advises on, among other areas, financings and M&A deals, and is adept at handling regulatory matters in the renewables sector. Wind farm projects remain a core area of activity for the group, which also handles matters related to solar, gas and anaerobic digestion. In a standout transaction for the region, the group advised Mutual Energy on the construction and financing of a £250m infrastructure project to bring natural gas to Counties Tyrone, Londonderry and Fermanagh. In another matter, the firm assisted the Renewable Infrastructure Group (TRIG) with a €72m acquisition of a portfolio of onshore wind projects in the Republic of Ireland. In a different matter, practice head Richard Murphy led advice to BayWa r.e. UK on power purchase arrangements for a 78ha solar farm in Northern Ireland, the largest solar farm developed in the region. Other clients include CES Energy and NTR. Associate Laura Donnelly is also recommended.

Arthur Cox Belfast’s energy practice represents energy clients in transactions and financings across Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. The group is adept at handling mandates covering both the traditional and renewable energy sectors, with gas-related instructions a notable area of strength. Dublin-based Alex McLean heads up the group and led advice to the Energia Group on the development and financing of five wind farms in Northern Ireland; the transaction was successful. In another highlight, Belfast-based Alan Taylor led advice to Mutual Energy on the development of the new single NI Network Gas Transmission Code, and is assisting Premier Transmission with amendments to an existing tripartite agreement with National Grid and Gas Networks Ireland regarding arrangements at the interconnection point between their gas pipelines in Scotland to ensure gas continues to be delivered to Northern Ireland from the UK following changes to Northern Ireland’s gas industry.

Cleaver Fulton Rankin’s energy practice attracts praise for its ‘comprehensive and focused’ advice and ‘excellent and efficient service’. The group assists a client base of banks, investment funds, regulatory bodies and renewable energy developers with financings, acquisitions and regulatory matters involving wind, solar and electricity projects. Practice head Stephen Cross, who is ‘excellent and pragmatic’, led the advice to BlackRock Real Assets, as shareholder in solar energy company Lightsource Renewable Energy, regarding the construction of a 50MW Northern Irish solar farm project by the latter. Other clients include Wirsol, First Trust Bank, Gaelectric and BlackBee Investments. Karen Blair and Joe Marley are the key names for planning and property-related mandates.

Andrew Ryan leads TLT’s energy practice, which assists a client base of banks and energy companies in relation to site acquisitions, project development, the financing aspects of large-scale energy projects, as well as contentious energy mandates. Recent highlights included advising ABO Wind on the implications of the closure of the Northern Ireland Renewables Obligation for its ongoing large-scale wind projects. On the finance side, the team acted for Ecotricity in refinancing 19 of its operational wind and solar energy sites to accelerate the development of its renewables projects. Other clients in 2017 included Albion Community Power. Sarah Ewing was recently promoted to legal director.

Tughans has a solid track record in handling renewable and non-renewable energy mandates, with notable expertise in advising clients on wind farm acquisitions. The group advises Granville Ecopark on supplying pressurised natural gas generated via its anaerobic digestion plant in Dungannon to landfill gas sites based around Northern Ireland. Other clients include Aircore and Northern Ireland Water. Corporate head John-George Willis leads the group.

Millar McCall Wylie LLP’s energy practice handles a range of energy mandates, with a prominent focus on matters relating to renewable energy and anaerobic digestion. Banking and finance head Christopher Neill acted for First Trust Bank in providing debt facilities to a local generator for operating an anaerobic digestion generation facility in Northern Ireland. Other key clients in 2017 included Scottish Power Renewables and Bank of Ireland. Andrew Kerr heads up the energy practice.

Wind farm-related mandates dominate Mills Selig’s energy practice, with the group advising on the acquisition, financing and disposal of the wind farms. Solar projects are a growing area of activity for the firm. Recent highlights for the team included advising Walkabout Resources on the acquisition of platinum miner Lonmin’s Northern Ireland’s exploration portfolio. In another matter, the group is assisting Downing Fund LLP with its rooftop residential solar leases portfolio. Property lawyer Anna-Marie McAlinden leads the team, in which solicitor Glenn Watterson is recommended.

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