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Pinsent Masons Belfast LLP

Work 028 9089 4800
Fax 028 9089 4801

Northern Ireland

Dispute resolution
Dispute resolution - ranked: tier 1

Pinsent Masons Belfast LLP

Pinsent Masons Belfast LLP is experienced across a broad range of matters, including but not limited to professional negligence, judicial reviews, property litigation, and construction and contractor disputes. The highly regarded David Kirkpatrick heads the practice and is leading the team representing oil and gas company Tamboran Resources UK in high-profile judicial reviews against decisions made by government bodies preventing the company from carrying out fracking activities in Northern Ireland. Laura Gillespie is a key name for regulatory disputes. Other clients include Belfast Harbour Commissioners and Queen’s University Belfast.

Leading individuals

David Kirkpatrick - Pinsent Masons Belfast LLP

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Northern Ireland: Corporate and commercial

Corporate and M&A
Corporate and M&A - ranked: tier 2

Pinsent Masons Belfast LLP

Pinsent Masons Belfast LLP ’s corporate team provides an ‘excellent level of service’ and is highly regarded for energy transactions, for which Richard Murphy is the key name. The firm has seen a recent uptick in instructions relating to dental business acquisitions; practice head Kevin Devanny led the team advising dental supplier BF Mulholland on the sale of the business to dental dealer Dental Directory in Northern Ireland and the UK. Devanny also assisted Portman Healthcare with its acquisition of four dental practices in Northern Ireland, and the group advised Bupa Dental Care on its ongoing acquisition of four dental practices and two dental laboratories in Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and the UK. Associate Lisa Early is also recommended.

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Northern Ireland: Finance

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 2

Pinsent Masons Belfast LLP

The finance practice at Pinsent Masons Belfast LLP has a solid track record in lender-side representations but recently has been particularly active on behalf of borrowers. Recent highlights include assisting Apex Housing Association with a £130m facility from the European Investment Bank for the purpose of developing social housing properties, and acting as Northern Ireland counsel to Phoenix Natural Gas in a multimillion-pound syndicated facility agreement with Commonwealth Bank of Australia, National Australia Bank and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation. Other clients include Danske Bank, BP Oil and the Royal Bank of Scotland. Director Caroline MacLaughlin leads the team.

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Northern Ireland: Human resources

Employment - ranked: tier 2

Pinsent Masons Belfast LLP

Pinsent Masons Belfast LLP’s employment team provides ‘an excellent service’ to private-sector employers in unfair dismissal claims, discrimination cases, TUPE issues and non-contentious restructuring matters. In a key mandate, the group advised Queen’s University Belfast on partial performance strike action, which included advising on how employers can validly deduct pay from employees in such a strike. In another highlight, the firm successfully defended Primark in a claim brought by a former employee of unfair dismissal and discrimination on the basis of disability, sex and political opinion. Paul Gillen, a ‘leader in his field,’ heads the practice, which also includes associate Leeanne Armstrong.

Leading individuals

Paul Gillen - Pinsent Masons Belfast LLP

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Northern Ireland: Projects, energy and natural resources

Energy - ranked: tier 1

Pinsent Masons Belfast LLP

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.

Leading individuals

Richard Murphy - Pinsent Masons Belfast LLP

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

Pinsent Masons Belfast LLP

Pinsent Masons Belfast LLP has an established reputation for its infrastructure expertise and acts for bidders and government departments in procurement issues. London-based partner Adrian Eakin, who is well known for his experience in project work, is leading the advice to the Education Authority of Northern Ireland on all operational matters pertaining to the £500m Belfast School Strategic Partnership Project, being the first PFI project to use the strategic partnership scheme. Amber Infrastructure is another key client for the firm. Director Ciara Seymour is well known for her expertise in PPP work and represents clients across the range of private and public sectors.

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Northern Ireland: Real estate

Commercial property
Commercial property - ranked: tier 1

Pinsent Masons Belfast LLP

Pinsent Masons Belfast LLP’s ‘excellent’ property team is best known for representing developers and property funds in sales and disposals across Northern Ireland. Retail mandates are a core area of expertise for the firm, with healthcare, student accommodation and housing other main areas of instruction. Practice head and retail expert Andrea McIlroy-Rose led the team assisting Asda with its acquisition of a new site in Newtownabbey and the redevelopment of superstores in Belfast and Downpatrick. In another matter, the group advised investment trust company AEW UK REIT on its £11m acquisition and subsequent redevelopment of Valley Retail Park in Newtownabbey. Other key clients include Queen’s University Belfast, MedicX Fund and Aurora Prime Retail Fund. Newly promoted partner Joanna Robinson is another key name.

Leading individuals

Andrea McIlroy-Rose - Pinsent Masons Belfast LLP

Next generation lawyers

Joanne Robinson - Pinsent Masons Belfast LLP

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Construction - ranked: tier 3

Pinsent Masons Belfast LLP

Pinsent Masons Belfast LLP’s construction team is well known for assisting employers and contractors with front-end construction work and construction arbitration. Property partner Andrea McIlroy-Rose  is advising key client Queen’s University Belfast on the construction of two multimillion-pound educational facilities, and is assisting Allstate Northern Ireland with the construction of its new headquarters in Belfast, which is a £30m project. Senior associate Ciaran McNamara is also recommended. Ed Kelly moved to the firm’s Melbourne office in August 2017.

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Northern Ireland: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

IT and telecoms
IT and telecoms - ranked: tier 2

Pinsent Masons Belfast LLP

Pinsent Masons Belfast LLP’s IT practice is well known for assisting public bodies and technology companies. Representative work includes representing clients in e-commerce and delivery service agreements in relation to major M&A matters and advising medical technology companies on licensing and exploitation of software. Adrian Eakin is the key name.

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Intellectual property
Intellectual property - ranked: tier 2

Pinsent Masons Belfast LLP

Pinsent Masons Belfast LLP’s IP practice assists academic institutes and corporates with M&A-related IP mandates. On the education side, the team advises key client Queen’s University Belfast on technology licensing matters and is currently assisting the university with revising its intellectual property policies. In another highlight, the firm acted for plastics company Brett Martin in a copyright infringement dispute over the use of photographs of its products on a competitor's website without permission. Leeds-based director Louise Fullwood and senior associate James Griffiths  jointly head the team.

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