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With offices in Belfast and Newtownards, this well-established firm provides corporate and commercial services, as well as employment and litigation advice for business clients, together with private client services including family law, wills and probate, estate planning, medical negligence, and contract and consumer disputes.

The firm: Originally based in Newtownards, Worthingtons was joined in 2006 by a significant workforce who had previously practised with another firm. As part of this expansion a second office was opened in Belfast in the dynamic Cathedral Quarter, which has experienced significant regeneration in recent years and is now a focus of arts and culture, as well as many of Northern Ireland√ʬĬôs creative digital businesses, start-up companies, and software and technology firms.

Through continuous investment in business development, IT and personnel, Worthingtons is setting new standards of quality and speed of response in the Northern Ireland legal market. It adopts a practical and commercial approach based on a high degree of competence in its areas of expertise, combined with an approachable manner and a desire to deliver value for money. It is known as being innovative and effective, while not √ʬĬėover-engineering√ʬĬô its solutions. The client base includes a number of substantial companies, including Dixons Carphone, AP WIP International Holdings LLC, Telefonica/O2, H3G (3), Hotel Chocolat and Vodafone, as well as many local councils, private local companies, and smaller businesses and start-ups.

Recent developments include: employment team advising nine local councils in Northern Ireland in relation to the mergers of councils following the review of public administration; winning Dixons Carphone property work in Northern Ireland; acting for Extern in the assumption of the FASA Harm Reduction Service contracts; winning a place on Northern Ireland Electricity√ʬĬôs legal panel for property work; and acting for Boux Avenue on its first store opening in Northern Ireland.

Types of work undertaken: Corporate and commercial services include company formation, company acquisitions and disposals, charity law, and bank and securities work. Landlord and tenant issues are a specialism and commercial property expertise includes services for investment and retail clients and property developers. The firm acts for a US investment firm focused on strategic acquisition of wireless telecoms assets in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Employment law is a notable specialism, as the firm has one of the largest employment teams in Belfast, working closely with employers across the public, private and charity/voluntary sectors in Northern Ireland. It provides practical advice and assistance in respect of the application of internal procedures to individual employee cases, and further provides advice and representation in respect of the defence of all categories of employment claims before the Industrial and Fair Employment Tribunals, and the civil courts. It regularly advises on restructuring issues including individual and collective redundancies, and the application and implications of TUPE. The team is advising nine of the eleven new councils in Northern Ireland on the implementation of local government reform under the Local Government Act (NI) 2014 as part of the review of public administration including redeployment, severance and restructuring arrangements to meet service needs and deliver the agreed vision for local government. Ongoing advice includes the application of TUPE and the Acquired Rights Directive, the filling of posts within the new structures, drafting of new policies including pay protection arrangements and negotiation with recognised trade unions.

Commercial litigation experience ranges from building and shareholder disputes to professional negligence and defence of HSE prosecutions, as well as firearms licensing, education and judicial reviews. The firm handled the successful challenge to the Province√ʬĬôs health minister√ʬĬôs ban on gay men donating blood.

Private client services include advising high-net-worth clients in estate planning and trusts. Wills and probate are handled, and all aspects of family law are dealt with, including child care matters. Education law is a specialism. Medical negligence is a notable area of expertise, including the recent settlement of a case of catastrophic brain injury for circa √ā¬£4.7m over the lifetime of the client.

All types of contract and consumer dispute are dealt with, and residential property sales and purchases are handled.

Worthingtons is in a period of growth in its areas of specialism and expects this to continue, driven by the enthusiasm and ability of its leadership.

Other offices: Newtownards


  • Number of UK partners: 9
  • Number of other UK fee-earners: 21
  • Breakdown of work %
  • ‚Ä©
  • Employment: 30
  • Litigation: 20
  • Commercial/property: 30
  • Private client: 20


Above material supplied by Worthingtons.

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