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Dawn McKnight

Work 028 9024 4951
Carson McDowell

Work Department

Corporate finance.


Dawn is a partner in the corporate and commercial team at Carson McDowell. She has extensive experience in advising on a wide range of company law and commercial law issues for clients operating in a variety of sectors, including mergers and acquisitions, management buy-outs and buy-ins, private equity transactions, company reorganisations and spin-out projects. Dawn has particular expertise in the fields of both partnership law and non-contentious intellectual property. As a result she works extensively for clients in the Technology Sector, advising regularly in connection with spinouts, new business ventures, technology licences and collaborative development projects. Dawn heads the firms Commercial Contracts Team. Her extensive experience in commercial work helps her deliver effective contractual arrangements for her clients. She is adept at focusing in on the commercial needs of clients so as to deliver a bespoke, cost effective and insightful service which is not only addresses immediate needs, but also anticipates issues and areas that will need to be addressed going forward.


Trained Carson McDowell; qualified 2001; joined corporate finance team; associate May 2007; partner February 2010 to date. Worked as an IFA for four years before deciding to pursue a career in law.


Association of Partnership Practitioners; Institute of Directors; Law Society of Northern Ireland; Northern Ireland Corporate and Commercial Lawyers Group; Northern Ireland Intellectual Property Association.


Antrim Grammar School; Queens University Belfast (1992 Combined Honours Bachelor of Social Science (BSSc) (Business Economics and Information Management) 2(1), 1999 LLB 2(1), 2001 Certificate of Professional Legal Studies).


Running and hill walking.

Northern Ireland: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

IT and telecoms

Within: Leading individuals

Dawn McKnight - Carson McDowell

Within: IT and telecoms

Carson McDowell has a solid track record assisting technology companies, public sector bodies, retail companies and telecoms providers with regulatory matters, transactions and disputes, and has seen an uptick in instructions from start-ups. The group is advising Innovation Ulster, the technology company owned by Ulster University, on its investment in NeuroCONCISE Medical’s brain computer interface invention, a wearable neurotechnology that interprets brainwaves and translates them into control signals so the wearer can interact with computers without moving; the invention is aimed at helping people with brain injuries. Other clients include Go Testify and AMMI Systems. The ‘approachable and knowledgeableDawn McKnight leads the team and is well known for her expertise in tech-related mandates. Peter Guzhar made partner in May 2017.

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Intellectual property

Within: Intellectual property

Carson McDowell’s IP expertise ranges from M&A-related IP work to patent agreements, infringements, licensing rights, software protection and ownership management. The group’s client base includes IT and technology companies, healthcare entities, educational bodies, energy companies, infrastructure providers and retailers. The team is advising Independent News and Media on expanding its trade mark portfolio by registering new marks to protect its existing brands as part of its IP activities in Northern Ireland. Other highlights included assisting biopharmaceutical company SiSaf with entering into a patent and know-how licence agreement with another biopharmaceutical entity for developing plaque psoriasis treatment drugs through using SiSaf’s IPR. The firm also acts for US technology company Xilinx, the University of Ulster, and Firmus Energy. Dawn McKnight  leads the team, which also includes Declan Magee and Peter Guzhar, who are well known for acting on contentious IP mandates. Consultant Eileen Moughan left the firm in December 2017.

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