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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

Arthur Cox Belfast has a ‘pre-eminent disputes practice’ that attracts praise for its ‘excellent client service and reliable, practical advice’. The team has wide-ranging expertise covering professional negligence, insolvency, banking and construction disputes. Recent mandates include defending Irish Bank Resolution Corporation Limited in a high-profile, multi-million pound claim for damages brought by a well-known local property developer alleging misrepresentation and negligence, amongst other claims, in relation to the Odyssey complex. Matthew Howse is leading on that matter and has particular expertise in banking and insolvency disputes; his other highlights included acting for the liquidator of Meteor Controls Limited in highly-contested court applications, including at Court of Appeal level. Managing partner Catriona Gibson, who heads the department and is praised for being a ‘safe pair of hands, with experience across multiple jurisdictions and excellent knowledge of banking litigation’, is leading the team representing Ulster Bank in proceedings brought against property developers Michael and John Taggart. In an illustration of his professional indemnity expertise, Chris Ritchie is leading the advice to Allianz in relation to a number of professional indemnity claims against a firm of surveyors.

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

An excellent firm in the region’, Arthur Cox Belfast attracts praise for its ‘extremely knowledgeable corporate team’ and for its ability to provide ‘a personal and dedicated service’ to international and local clients including corporates from China, France and the Republic of Ireland. In an illustration of its reputation in the agri-food sector, the firm advised Northern Ireland-based food producer, Dunbia, on the high-profile £18m sale of its pork processing business to UK-based food producer, Cranswick. Other active sectors include tech, retail and energy; retail-sector highlights included advising on the Northern Ireland aspects of Home Retail Group’s sale of Homebase to Wesfarmers. The practice is headed by Alan Taylor, who was recently appointed chairman of the firm. The ‘very responsive and commercially orientatedLynsey Mallon is another key partner in the group. Paul McBride was a new arrival in 2017 from Pinsent Masons Belfast LLP.

Leading individuals

Alan Taylor - Arthur Cox Belfast

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Northern Ireland: Finance

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 1

Arthur Cox Belfast

The ‘highly competent’ finance team at Arthur Cox Belfast attracts praise for its ability to provide a full service and for its ‘high standard of professionalism and excellent response times’. The team acts for traditional lenders such as Danske Bank, as well as investment funds and private equity firms such as Cerberus European servicing, making it a natural choice for distressed debt purchases and refinancings. In a highlight matter for 2016, the firm acted for Promontoria Eagle, a special purpose vehicle established by Cerberus, on a high-value debt restructuring connected to the acquisition of loans from NAMA. Real estate continues to be an active area; highlights included advising Danske Bank on the multimillion-pound financing of Starplan Limited’s acquisition of retail units in Belfast. The group also acted for Nationwide Building Society on a syndicated loan provided to Forest Commercial Limited for the financing of a hotel, office and residential project. The highly regarded Kieran McGarrigle leads the team, which 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

Construction, agri-food and property continue to be active areas for Arthur Cox Belfast’s insolvency team, which is continuing to advise insolvency practitioners and distressed companies in administrations and insolvency litigation. Practice head Kieran McGarrigle has an established reputation as an insolvency expert and has an extenstive track record of advice for the major accountancy firms, including KPMG, PwC and Ernst & Young. McGarrigle led the team advising the joint administrators of Adelie (Ireland) Limited on pre-and-post-administration matters, including challenges made by the landlord of property owned by Adelie concerning the ownership of company assets. In another high-profile matter, the firm advised the trustee in bankruptcy of Derek George Harrison on an ownership dispute concerning an Olympic gold medal winning dressage horse, which concluded in a favourable outcome for the bankruptcy estate.

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 ‘excellent’ employment practice handles contentious and non-contentious employment matters for employers. Key clients include distribution company Bunzl, which the team advises on a range of contentious and non-contentious matters, including internal investigations, disability issues and capability dismissals; most recently the firm advised the client on the employment aspects of its acquisition of Kingsbury Packaging (Limavady) through a subsidiary. Rosemary Lundy leads the team and is best known for her litigation expertise; Lundy is currently leading the team representing global catering company Sodexo before the Industrial Tribunal in a number of issues, including one involving allegations of race discrimination. Another key figure for contentious matters is Emma-Jane Flannery who was promoted to partner in April 2016 and attracts praise for her ‘professional approach, experience and competence; she is particularly adept at building trust and confidence in her clients’. Other clients include Firmus Energy, which the firm assisted with the review of its directors’ contracts and on directors’ duties; and global pharmaceutical company Actavis, which the firm advises on a range of employment issues, from general advisory matters to complex employment claims.

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 attracts praise for its ‘very strong knowledge of its jurisdiction and great value for money’. The group is best known for handling employers’ and public liability cases; recent work includes representing UK-based manufacturer Courtaulds in a number of legacy deafness claims. The firm has also been acting for longstanding client Zurich on cases concerning fraudulent personal injury claims, and is leveraging its strength in medical negligence to represent medical devices companies in product liability claims and hospitals in insurance coverage disputes. Chris Ritchie leads the team and is highly regarded for his strategic approach.

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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 handles private client matters for high-profile individuals, including advising on the administration of estates and the creation of trusts. Many cases involve assets in numerous jurisdictions, as well as considerable probate matters. Corporate lawyers Alan Taylor and Lynsey Mallon are the key names to note.

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Northern Ireland: Projects, energy and natural resources

Energy
Energy - ranked: tier 2

Arthur Cox Belfast

Arthur Cox Belfast’s ‘diligent and pragmatic’ practice advises energy clients on transactions and financings across Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, and deftly straddles the traditional and renewable energy sectors, with a particular focus on gas. Dublin-based Alex McLean led the advice to Viridian Group on its sale to I-Squared Capital, a £1bn transaction giving the private equity manager a foothold in the all-Ireland renewable energy market. In another highlight the firm advised Gas Natural Fenosa on the acquisition of UK and Ireland electricity and gas supplier, Vayu. Other renewables clients include Energia group, which McLean and the team advised on the development and financing of five windfarms in Northern Ireland. Belfast-based Alan Taylor is also recommended.

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

Arthur Cox Belfast

Arthur Cox Belfast’s projects team acts across the infrastructure, energy and real estate spaces, and has been particularly busy acting for public bodies and government departments in procurement matters. Highlights included advising Arc21, which comprises six district councils in the eastern region of Northern Ireland, on the procurement of waste contracts, including the £1bn residual waste PPP; and advising Ulster University on the development of a new campus in the centre of Belfast as part of the Greater Belfast Development programme. The firm is also advising the Department for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs on all aspects of the procurement of a new IT system to record and track the movements and health of food animals in Northern Ireland, and is advising the Northern Ireland Housing Executive on a project to replace its current IT systems with new and up-to-date systems. William Curry leads the team and is an established practitioner in the field of procurement.

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Northern Ireland: Real estate

Commercial property
Commercial property - ranked: tier 2

Arthur Cox Belfast

Arthur Cox Belfast’s property team provides ‘an excellent service, with prompt responses and pragmatic and commercial advice’. The team, which primarily works with developers, has been active in the residential, retail and student housing sectors throughout 2016, and also handled a number of insolvency-related property sales and disposals. In a highlight for the team, solicitor Gareth Planck led the advice to Domus, a UK development firm back by a US investment fund, on £20m-worth of acquisitions of student housing developments across Northern Ireland and Great Britain. Practice head Alastair Todd is also advising Damolly Developments on the acquisition of a five-acre site formerly occupied by HMRC in Newry. Other clients include Four Seasons Healthcare, which the team advised on the sale of several premises in its Northern Irish property portfolio; Deloitte, which the firm advised on the sale of a regional shopping centre in Londonderry; and Marathon Asset Management, which the firm assisted with its property management and lettings strategy concerning two Belfast retail parks. Rowan White is another name to note.

Leading individuals

Rowan White - Arthur Cox Belfast

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Construction
Construction - ranked: tier 1

Arthur Cox Belfast

Arthur Cox Belfast’s ‘impressive’ practice ‘leaves no stone unturned’. The handles front-end construction work for employers and contractors, as well as assisting with contentious matters. Student accommodation and campus developments have been key areas of activity, as have infrastructure disputes, shopping centre extensions and housing developments. Education-related highlights included Niav O’Higgins’ advice to Ulster University on a £132m project to build a new campus, which has involved a range of challenges including the administration of the contractor and the construction of a linked car park. O’Higgins heads the practice, which includes William Curry. Adrian Kerr left to join Mills Selig in August 2016.

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Planning and environment
Planning and environment - ranked: tier 3

Arthur Cox Belfast

Arthur Cox Belfast regularly handles planning-related judicial reviews and major infrastructure and entertainment projects. It also acts for universities in applications to extend campuses. Real estate partner Alastair Todd is best known for his representation of housing associations, hotels and energy facilities in planning applications. Catriona Gibson is a highly regarded litigator with an extensive track record in judicial review proceedings.

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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 attracts praise for its ‘excellent service and impressive array of experience’. The group handles a wide range of IT, media and entertainment, telecoms and broadcasting matters for public and private sector clients. The firm has been particularly active in public-sector IT procurement mandates; highlights included advising the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs on its procurement of a new £8.7m IT system to track the health of food animals in the country, and acting for the Fire and Rescue Authorities on a new command and control IT system for monitoring emergency calls. Other key clients include Power NI and the Northern Ireland Housing executive. Practice head William Curry attracts praise for his ability to ‘clearly articulate his advice’. Paul McBride was a new arrival in 2017 from Pinsent Masons Belfast LLP .

Leading individuals

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Intellectual property
Intellectual property - ranked: tier 1

Arthur Cox Belfast

Arthur Cox Belfast’s IP team is highly regarded for handling the full range of IP matters, from copyright and trade mark law to patents and trade secrets. The team’s clients include creative companies, food producers, technology manufactures and universities, for which it handles contentious and non-contentious matters. The firm was recently appointed as Northern Ireland counsel for Getty Images UK, assisting it with the protection of its copyrights and policing the unauthorised use of its images. Other clients include Coca-Cola, which the firm recently advised on IP provisions within their trading agreements, and a Northern Ireland university, which the team advises on a range of technology matters. Corporate partners Alan Taylor and Lynsey Mallon are names to note.

Leading individuals

Alan Taylor - Arthur Cox Belfast

Paul McBride - Arthur Cox Belfast

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