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Commercial property

Index of tables

  1. Commercial property
  2. Leading individuals

The ‘highly regardedMark Blair leads the team at A&L Goodbody, which advises on high-profile and high-value commercial property sales and their related refinancings for a mix of purchasers and vendors. Its sector expertise covers retail, residential and energy, and clients include Invest Northern Ireland, McGinnis Group and Gaelectric Developments. Recent highlights include advising investment management firm ICG Longbow on the refinancing of a high-value commercial property backed loan portfolio.

Noted for its cross-border expertise, Arthur Cox Belfast regularly advises on high-end residential development acquisitions and disposals for investment and development firms, most recently advising Neptune Group on the purchase of land in Ballyclare. Lettings and property management is another key area for the group, which provides ongoing advice to Marathon Asset Management on Cityside Retail Park, the Obel Tower and Shane Retail Park. Alastair Todd leads the team. Rowan White is another key name.

Carson McDowell LLP’s ‘market-leading’ practice advises on a broad range of commercial property, including hotels and office space. It also has an extensive track record in large-scale residential and student developments. The team acted for Rockspring Capital on the £46m purchase of Fairhill Shopping Centre and associated properties, and is advising Belfast Harbour Commissioners on a £107m energy-to-waste project. The ‘highly regardedRosemary Carson heads the team, which includes Jeremy Hill and Dawson McConkey, who is particularly adept at renewables-related real estate issues.

The ‘first-rate’ practice at Cleaver Fulton Rankin stands out for its ‘excellent response times, business acumen and value for money’. The practice, which is active across a broad range of sectors including hotels and energy, is advising on the development of the new Titanic Quarter development in Belfast’s city centre. In addition to advising on property acquisitions, the practice also handles commercial leases. Kathryn Collie heads the practice, which includes Jim Houston.

Andrea McIlroy-Rose heads the commercial property team at Pinsent Masons Belfast LLP, which has a strong retail capability; in 2015, it acted for Tristan Capital Partners and Ellandi on their joint acquisitions of shopping centres. Other clients include several REITs and Queen’s University Belfast. Joanna Robinson is also recommended.

The ‘highly regardedPhyllis Agnew leads the property group at Tughans. The team acts on the full range of commercial property acquisitions and related financings, with recent work focusing on the retail sector; in 2015 it advised Obroc Limited Partnership on its £45m sale of Fairhill Shopping Centre. In another highlight the practice acted for investment firm Curlew Capital on the purchase of a former Belfast Metropolitan College building. Other clients include Marks & Spencer, Tesco and Apple Inc. John Mills is also recommended. Tracey Schofield joined A&L Goodbody in May 2016.

An excellent property firm’, C & H Jefferson is active across a range of asset types, including shopping centres, retail parks, offices and industrial estates. It handles commercial acquisitions, construction, development and planning, as well as leases and property management. Mark Tinman is the key name.

Clients of the ‘excellentElliott Duffy Garrett regularly highlight the firm’s ‘very quick response times and detailed advice’. Christine Hamilton heads the team, which is ‘very thorough in its approach’ and regularly acts for major property investment companies on commercial property acquisitions and disposals. The firm also acts for major retailers and landlords on lease agreements.

Recent highlights for Millar McCall Wylie LLP include advising the fixed charge receivers on the high-value sale of three multi-tenanted investment buildings in Belfast; and acting for key client McAleer and Rushe on its acquisition of Norwich Union House. Peter McCall leads the team, which includes Simon Fleming, who is ‘very personable and a pleasure to deal with’, and Andrew Kerr.

Gerard Small heads the real estate practice at John McKee Solicitors, which is noted for its reputation for providing ‘truly exceptional service’. It is particularly active in acquisitions and disposals in the context of administrations, and recently advised Lauderdale Properties on the £6.5m sale of Windsor House. The group also advises on office leases.

Anne Skeggs leads the team at Mills Selig. Anne Marie McAlinden recently advised Northwood investors on the sale of Kilroot Business Park, a part of a high value property portfolio. The team also acted for the vendor on the sale of the Holiday Inn development in Belfast city centre.

TLT advised Kremlin Associates on its acquisition of a multi-occupancy building in central Belfast. Kathryn Forde leads the group.


Index of tables

  1. Construction
  2. Leading individuals

A&L Goodbody’s construction practice attracts praise for its ‘excellent service and prompt responses’. Its coverage spans key sectors including education, energy, retail and social housing, and the practice’s clients include the Northern Ireland Housing Executive and construction companies such as The McAvoy Group. Key figures include Brendan Fox and associate John Dugdale, who leads on construction litigation.

Arthur Cox Belfast advises a wide array of clients including universities, government departments on construction projects including universities, government departments, housing associations and energy companies. Recently the group advised Craigavon Borough Council on the construction of a new £30m leisure centre. Alan Taylor is the key partner.

The ‘first-classStuart Murphy heads up the ‘highly competent’ team at Carson McDowell LLP, which acts for a number of developers and construction companies on a range of matters, including issues relating to energy, social housing and ports. The group continues to advise the Belfast Harbour Commissioners on the construction of the City Quays development. Other clients include McAleer and Rushe, John Graham Construction and Helm Housing Association. It also acts on contentious construction matters.

Cleaver Fulton Rankin’s ‘outstanding’ team has a solid reputation for contentious matters, advising both public and private sector clients including Northern Ireland Housing Executive, Ivywood Colleges and H&J Martin. Patrick Fleming leads the team, which includes Lisa Boyd, Jonathan Forrester and Aaron Moore, who is well known for his contentious construction expertise.

Following his promotion to partner in April 2015, Ed Kelly also took on the role of team head of Pinsent Masons Belfast LLP’s construction practice. It acts for a mixed client base of contractors and developers, including Mutual Energy, Apex Housing Association and Ards & North Down Borough Council. The team recently acted for Queen’s University Belfast on the development of new student accommodation worth £70m.

Highlights for the construction practice at Tughans included advising Apple Inc on the development of a new data centre in the Republic of Ireland. Other clients include Ulster Council Gaelic Athletic Association, SQN Capital Management and Northstone. They have also acted on construction negligence claims and energy developments. Tim Kinney has a solid reputation for the non-contentious work and Michael McCord is well known for his contentious expertise.

Planning and environment

Index of tables

  1. Planning and environment
  2. Leading individuals

Carson McDowell LLP’s ‘top-notch practice’ ‘provides clear and consistent advice’ to a client base that includes the Lagan Group, Northstone and Elgin Energy. The practice covers the full range of planning and environmental matters, including enforcement notices and planning applications and their related judicial reviews for major residential, office, energy and shopping centre developments. Highlights included advising Elgin Energy on the planning law aspects of a 50MW solar farm. Gary McGhee leads the team.

For many clients the ‘highly professional team’ at Cleaver Fulton Rankin is ‘in the top echelon for planning and environmental law’. The team advises on the full range of planning applications, judicial reviews, and environmental issues, and is currently advising Gaelectirc on the proposal for a novel air energy storage scheme. It is also assisting Dalradian Gold on its Northern Ireland projects. Practice head Karen Blair is at the ‘very top of the profession’.

Recent highlights for Arthur Cox Belfast’s planning practice include assisting the department of Culture, Arts & Leisure with the planning aspects of the redevelopment of Northern Ireland’s three main stadiums. Other clients include universities, energy companies, housing associations and developers in the region. Alastair Todd leads the team.

Tughans advised Translink on the planning aspects of its redevelopment of a 20-acre site on Great Victoria Street. The practice also advises on retail planning matters for Obroc. Maria O’Loan is they key contact.

Mark Blair heads the practice at A&L Goodbody, which has a strong profile acting for local authorities including Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough council and Lisburn & Castlereagh city council. Energy is another key sector for the firm; highlights have included advising on planning matters relating to waste-to-energy plants.

Pinsent Masons Belfast LLP’s contentious planning practice recently represented energy companies in judicial reviews concerning planning matters. David Kirkpatrick is the key name.

TLT acted for Renewable Energy Systems in amending its planning position to increase the size of turbines at Ora Moor. Andrew Ryan has ‘excellent technical knowledge and sound judgement’.

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