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Arthur Cox Belfast

VICTORIA HOUSE, GLOUCESTER STREET, BELFAST, BT1 4LS, NORTHERN IRELAND
Tel:
Work 028 9023 0007
Fax:
Fax 028 9023 3464
DX:
2012 NR BELFAST-2
Email:
Web:
www.arthurcox.com
Belfast, Dublin, London, Mountain View, New York

Northern Ireland

Dispute resolution
Dispute resolution - ranked: tier 1

Arthur Cox Belfast

The disputes team at Arthur Cox Belfast  handles a wide spectrum of cases, with particular strength in banking, insolvency, professional negligence and construction disputes. Managing partner Catriona Gibson (‘strategic in her thinking and measured in her approach’) leads the practice; she is leading the team representing Ulster Bank in proceedings brought against property developers Michael and John Taggart; the case will be reviewed by the Bankruptcy Master in late 2018. Professional indemnity expert Chris Ritchie defended Hiscox Insurance against a claim of alleged dishonesty and breach of duty; the claim was withdrawn. Matthew Howse is a key name for banking and insolvency disputes.

Leading individuals

Catriona Gibson - Arthur Cox Belfast

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Northern Ireland: Corporate and commercial

Corporate and M&A
Corporate and M&A - ranked: tier 1

Arthur Cox Belfast

Arthur Cox Belfast ’s ‘very responsive’ corporate team attracts praise for its ability to provide ‘technically superb’ advice to international and local clients from the agri-food, technology, energy, retail and pharmaceutical sectors. Agri-food-sector highlights included advising Northern Ireland-based food producer Dunbia on its high-profile merger and joint venture with meat producer Dawn Meats, which involved competition issues across international jurisdictions, and representing US-based poultry producer Pilgrim’s Pride in its $1bn acquisition of Northern Ireland-based poultry producer Moy Park. Tech-sector highlights included acting for Ulster University in a joint venture project with BT, which involved the construction of the BT Ireland Innovation Centre. Alan Taylor heads the practice, which includes key partners Paul McBride and the ‘very commercial’ Lynsey Mallon.

Leading individuals

Alan Taylor - Arthur Cox Belfast

Paul McBride - Arthur Cox Belfast

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Northern Ireland: Finance

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 1

Arthur Cox Belfast

Arthur Cox Belfast’s team attracts praise for its ‘broad knowledge across the banking and finance sector’. The group has a solid track record representing financial institutions, including banks, as well as investment fund clients and private equity firms such as Cerberus and Marathon Asset Management; distressed debt purchases and refinancings are notable areas of strength. 2017 saw the firm act for Marathon Asset Management on the refinancing of its property assets in Northern Ireland, namely Cityside Retail Park, Shane Retail Park and the Obel Tower. The group also assisted Davidson Kempner refinance its debt with the Titanic Group. The very experienced Kieran McGarrigle leads the team, which also includes associate Colm McElroy.

Leading individuals

Kieran McGarrigle - Arthur Cox Belfast

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Insolvency and corporate recovery
Insolvency and corporate recovery - ranked: tier 1

Arthur Cox Belfast

Property, construction and agri-food remain key areas of instruction for Arthur Cox Belfast’s insolvency team, which continues to advise administrators, insolvency practitioners and distressed companies on administrations, liquidations and insolvency litigation. Practice head and insolvency expert Kieran McGarrigle is advising the joint supervisors of the insolvent Presbyterian Mutual Society Limited, which is under a scheme of arrangement, on matters involving compliance with the arrangement and enforcement proceedings. In another high-profile matter, the firm defended Ernst & Young as administrator of the Curran Court Hotel against challenges made by the owners concerning the administration and sale of the property. Other key clients for the group include KPMG and PwC.

Leading individuals

Kieran McGarrigle - Arthur Cox Belfast

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Northern Ireland: Human resources

Employment
Employment - ranked: tier 1

Arthur Cox Belfast

Arthur Cox Belfast’s ‘highly professional, competent and reliable’ employment practice handles contentious and non-contentious employment matters for employers. Recent mandates for the team include advising Coca-Cola HBC NI in a number of disciplinary investigations into alleged breaches of conduct in the Republic of Ireland; acting for key client Bunzl, a distribution company, in a contentious matter pertaining to a redundancy exercise within its senior management team; and advising manufacturer Thompson Aero Seating on acquiring sponsorship licences to permit individuals from outside the jurisdiction to travel and work for the company. Litigation expert Rosemary Lundy  leads the team and is ‘always responsive and commercial in her advice; she understands the key issues very quickly’. In 2017, Lundy defended Firmus Energy before the Industrial Tribunal against allegations of sex discrimination. Emma-Jane Flannery is noted for her expertise in contentious matters and garners praise for her ‘excellent judgement coupled with strong analytical skills’. Other clients include Aer Lingus, which the firm advises on a range of employment issues, from industrial action to restructuring matters.

Next generation lawyers

Emma-Jane Flannery - Arthur Cox Belfast

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Northern Ireland: Insurance

Personal injury and clinical negligence: defendant
Personal injury and clinical negligence: defendant - ranked: tier 2

Arthur Cox Belfast

Arthur Cox Belfast’s core strength lies in handling employers’ and public liability cases, particularly for corporates and insurers; recent work includes defending industrial paint company AkzoNobel in a number of legacy asbestos claims. The firm has also been acting for AXA in a number of legacy deafness claims and is representing medical devices companies in product liability claims. Key clients include Zurich, Chubb Insurance and Zimmer Bioment. Chris Ritchie leads the team.

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Northern Ireland: Private client

Personal tax, trusts and probate
Personal tax, trusts and probate - ranked: tier 2

Arthur Cox Belfast

Arthur Cox Belfast assists high-profile individuals with a range of private client matters, including the administration of estates, the creation of trusts, succession planning and substantial probate matters, with many cases involving cross-jurisdictional assets. Corporate lawyers Alan Taylor and Lynsey Mallon are the key names in the team, and corporate associate Richard Armstrong is also recommended.

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Northern Ireland: Projects, energy and natural resources

Energy
Energy - ranked: tier 2

Arthur Cox Belfast

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.

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Project finance and PFI
Project finance and PFI - ranked: tier 1

Arthur Cox Belfast

Arthur Cox Belfast provides ‘a very effective, thoroughgoing and timely service’ to a client base of public bodies and government departments, with a particular focus on the infrastructure, energy and real estate spaces. Highlights included advising the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service on a joint procurement with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service for a new command and control IT system for monitoring emergency calls, dispatch and co-ordinating responses to incidents; and representing Ulster University in the ongoing development of a new campus in the centre of Belfast as part of the Greater Belfast Development programme. The firm is also assisting the Department for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs with the procurement aspects of implementing a new IT system to record and track the movements and health of food animals in Northern Ireland. The ‘exceptionally helpful’ practice head William Curry is widely recognised for his expertise in procurement matters. Associate James Flanagan is also recommended.

Leading individuals

William Curry - Arthur Cox Belfast

Next generation lawyers

James Flanagan - Arthur Cox Belfast

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Northern Ireland: Real estate

Commercial property
Commercial property - ranked: tier 2

Arthur Cox Belfast

Recent work for Arthur Cox Belfast’s property team includes advising developers and investors in the retail, residential and student housing sectors on a range of matters, as well as handling insolvency-related property sales and disposals. In a highlight for the team, practice head Alastair Todd advised Coca-Cola HBC NI on disposing part of its holding in Tullynacross to investment company Unicorn Asset Management; Todd also led the advice to the St Francis Group on the acquisition of a 24-acre site formerly occupied by the Hilden Mill complex. Other clients include Neptune Group, Four Seasons Healthcare, Marathon Asset Management and Tullett Prebon. Rowan White is another name to note. Gareth Planck moved to Eversheds Sutherland  in June 2017.

Leading individuals

Rowan White - Arthur Cox Belfast

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Construction
Construction - ranked: tier 2

Arthur Cox Belfast

Arthur Cox Belfast’s ‘excellent’ practice assists employers and contractors with front-end construction work alongside contentious matters. Recent work for the team includes campus developments, housing developments and infrastructure disputes. Highlights included Dublin-based practice head Niav O'Higgins  advising Ulster University on its ongoing multimillion-pound project to build a new campus and acting for Orona regarding the £28m construction of the Titanic Hotel. In another matter, William Curry is assisting Ards and North Down Borough Council with the planned development of a £30m leisure centre; the project was subject to a public procurement competition open to all construction firms in Northern Ireland. Senior associate Cahal Carvill , who has ‘a good commercial brain and is good with the clients’, is also recommended.

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Northern Ireland: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

IT and telecoms
IT and telecoms - ranked: tier 1

Arthur Cox Belfast

Arthur Cox Belfast’s team is singled out for its ‘responsiveness and attention to detail’; the group advises private and public sector clients on IT transactions and compliance matters. A key strength of the practice is assisting clients with high-profile public-sector IT procurement mandates. The team is assisting the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs with implementing its £8.7m IT system to track the health of food animals in the country after representing the client in the successful procurement of the contract, and advising Land and Property Services on its LPS Nova Programme, involving a number of procurement projects in order to digitally transform the functions and services of LPS. Other key clients include the Northern Ireland Housing Executive. William Curry leads the team, in which Paul McBride is also a key name.

Leading individuals

Paul McBride - Arthur Cox Belfast

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Intellectual property
Intellectual property - ranked: tier 1

Arthur Cox Belfast

Arthur Cox Belfast handles the gamut of contentious and non-contentious IP matters, from patents and trade secrets to copyright and trade mark issues. The team’s clients include universities, pharmaceutical companies, food producers, and technology manufacturers. The firm acts as Northern Ireland counsel to Getty Images UK and assists the client with copyright protection issues and policing unauthorised image use. Other clients include Probiotec Pharma, which the firm advises on all its UK brand and celebrity endorsement agreements, and Coca-Cola, which the firm assists with IP provisions pertaining to trading agreements. Corporate partner Alan Taylor leads the team, in which Lynsey Mallon is also a key name. Paul McBride joined from Pinsent Masons Belfast LLP in 2017.

Leading individuals

Alan Taylor - Arthur Cox Belfast

Paul McBride - Arthur Cox Belfast

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