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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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United Kingdom > Northern Ireland > Dispute resolution > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

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Index of tables

  1. Dispute resolution
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next Generation Partners
  5. Rising stars

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1

Rising stars

  1. 1

A&L Goodbody represents a number of household names, from international financial institutions to local public sector bodies, and has recently acted on several high-profile cases. The team's expertise spans a wide range of sectors: practice head Brendan Fox specialises in engineering and construction disputes; managing partner Michael Neill is particularly active in financial services litigation; Micaela Diver handles public and regulatory litigation; and Barbara Creed's expertise includes corporate and commercial contract matters.

Practice head(s):Brendan Fox

Other key lawyers:Michael Neill; Micaela Diver; Barbara Creed

Testimonials

'The team has strong expertise and always goes above and beyond.'

'Micaela Diver is extremely thorough and pragmatic.'

'Barbara Creed is an excellent lawyer and manages a significant caseload.'

'Standout individuals are Micaela Diver and Ciaran O'Shiel.'

'The team has a superior understanding of public law and judicial review.'

'Micaela Diver is tireless, persistent and personable.'

'A&L Goodbody has strong expertise and always goes above and beyond. It is a very important firm for our in-house team and has strong relationships with the business.'

Key Clients

Volkswagen

Belfast Waterfront and Ulster Hall

Cerberus LLP

BDO LLP

Foresight Group

KFC

Roma Corp

Bank of Ireland (UK)

Northern Ireland Water

Northern Ireland Housing Executive

Work highlights

  • Acting for Volkswagen on the Northern Ireland element of the international product liability matter regarding emissions allegations
  • Defending SGN in High Court proceedings brought by three landowners in connection with the "Gas to the West" gas pipeline project
  • Advising the Northern Ireland Housing Executive in relation to the termination of a consultant for a repudiatory breach of contract
  • Acting for Peninsula Securities, the landlord of a district shopping centre in Derry, in a challenge to the validity of a covenant in a lease on the grounds that it is void as being in restraint of trade
  • Acting for a global pharmaceutical company in a £32m claim arising out of failings in the design and manufacture of plant and machinery intended for the production of biochips for innovative machinery

Arthur Cox Belfast has acted on some of Northern Ireland's most high-profile commercial, financial and constitutional litigation over the past year; the team's client base includes major domestic businesses as well as a number of multinational corporates. The team is 'capably led' by managing partner and 'exceptional litigator' Catriona Gibson; Chris Ritchie specialises in insurance-related litigation and is also active in public sector matters; and associate David Black acts on commercial disputes. Matthew Howse moved to Eversheds Sutherland.

Practice head(s):Catriona Gibson

Other key lawyers:Chris Ritchie; David Black

Testimonials

'Arthur Cox in Belfast is akin to a London Magic Circle firm. The team has the strength, depth and expertise of those firms. In my view, no other firm in Northern Ireland is as good.'

'Catriona Gibson brings a commercially focused and user-friendly attitude.'

'Arthur Cox's dispute resolution and litigation team understands the commercial risks and challenges that businesses face and focuses its advice on the practical and commercial steps to be taken. The team is responsive and able to talk directly to non-lawyers without the need for a filter or interpreter.'

'Catriona Gibson is very talented in terms of providing specialised, technical litigation advice as well as the more practical, commercial business guidance that can often change the way a dispute is approached.'

'Associate Carley Chapman is thorough, solid, conscientious, diligent, dependable and highly professional.

'Katrina Gibson and Carley Chapman's responsiveness is superb. They know their jurisdiction and are excellent.'

'Carley Chapman is highly experienced in the management of litigation and keeps it moving in the right direction.'

Key Clients

Coca-Cola

Sky

Aer Lingus

Northern Ireland Public Sector Ombudsman

PricewaterhouseCoopers

Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council

Ulster Bank

Bank of Ireland

Ocaso

IBRC (in Special Liquidation)

Work highlights

  • Acted on behalf of Ulster Bank and Ulster Bank Ireland in two successful sets of proceedings brought against Michael Taggart and John Taggart in relation to personal guarantees in the sum of £5m and €4.3m, the longest-running court action in Northern Ireland
  • Defended the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC) against a claim brought by a well-known local property developer for, among other things, misrepresentation, negligence, fraud and shadow directorship in relation to Northern Ireland’s landmark Millennium project, the Odyssey
  • Advised the Northern Ireland Public Sector Ombudsman in her capacity as Local Government Commissioner for Standards in respect of a statutory appeal brought against the Commissioner
  • Advised and represented arc21 (an incorporated joint committee of six Northern Ireland councils) concerning the first-instance decision and then an appeal to the Northern Ireland Court of Appeal regarding the construction of a £240m energy for waste scheme, a landmark decision on the constitutional status of Northern Ireland
  • Advising the Northern Ireland Housing Executive in relation to a procurement challenge

The 'professional and friendly' team at Carson McDowell has a 'wide range of expertise with great depth of experience'; it has been particularly active in the media and public sectors, but has also handled contract and company, IP, procurement and competition litigation. The 'responsive and approachable' Declan Magee leads the team alongside healthcare head Roger McMillan. Hugh McGrattan heads the professional indemnity and insurance defence side of the practice, which was strengthened by the firm's recent merger with Francis J Irvine Solicitors.

Practice head(s):Declan Magee; Roger McMillan

Other key lawyers:Hugh McGrattan

Testimonials

'Carson McDowell is the market leader in Northern Ireland and the "go to" firm when it comes to dispute resolution. The team is prompt to respond to issues, always keeping the client fully informed of any developments and seeking to adopt a commercial and pragmatic approach to dispute resolution.'

'Hugh McGrattan is considered the pre-eminent solicitor in the dispute resolution arena, always delivering an excellent service and desirable outcome.'

'Carson McDowell's team produces consistent excellent advice promptly. The team is very experienced.'

'Hugh McGrattan and associates Shauna McAuley and Timothy Cockram give good, prompt, consistent advice, covering all aspects of claims.'

'Carson McDowell has one of the largest teams in Belfast. The multi-service practice is capable of dealing with any size of dispute, and is particularly able to resource high-value, complex or document-heavy cases.'

'Declan Magee is one of the market leaders in dispute resolution and prepared to fight his corner very hard. He is also good in leading his team, which includes a range of solicitors covering all areas of dispute resolution from insolvency to intellectual property and procurement.'

'Carson McDowell is very professional and thorough. The team is proactive and communication is consistently of a high standard. They are a great support to our office.'

'Associate Fergal McGoldrick always has a good handle on cases. He is good at listening to what you want rather than what he thinks you want.'

'Declan Magee has great depth of understanding on issues and the knowledge to address them.'

'Carson McDowell provides an excellent level of service. It has a strong in-depth team with commitment to fast response times and offers straightforward advice, avoiding wasted time and effort on futile arguments.'

'Shauna McAuley and Gillian Greenfield are both excellent associates who respond quickly, which is of course invaluable to clients. They work proactively and offer clear, no-nonsense advice in their jurisdiction.'

'The team led by Hugh McGrattan is very proactive and efficient.'

'The firm is very commercial and has the ability, strength and resources to stand out from other competitors.'

'Hugh McGrattan always makes himself available and will listen to and talk through alternative solutions. His knowledge and expertise in his practice area is second to none and he is very much respected by others.'

'Shauna McAuley is one to watch as a future leader in her field.'

'Declan Magee is approachable and empathetic. He looks beyond the obvious in pursuing the efficient resolution of commercial disputes.'

'Associates Lucy Clarke and Niamh McGuckin are strong team players who deliver to demanding timescales.'

Key Clients

Sunday Life (Independent News & Media NI)

Parole Commissioners for Northern Ireland

Alpha News Group

Work highlights

  • Represented the Parole Commissioners for Northern Ireland (PCNI) in the Court of Appeal in Hegarty’s Application, a judicial review which considered the legality of the prisoner licence revocation process
  • Defended Independent News and Media against a libel action brought by Brian Gillen, regarding an article in which it was alleged that the plaintiff was a senior member of the IRA
  • Defended Alpha News Group against a libel action arising from the publication of a police appeal for information relating to the alleged theft of goods from a supermarket
  • Represented the PCNI in the Court of Appeal in Toal’s Application, a judicial review which considered the client's powers to call witnesses of its own motion
  • Represented Telegraph Media Group, News UK and Associated Newspapers in an action taken by one of the hackers convicted in relation to the TalkTalk hacking scandal

Patrick Fleming leads the team at Cleaver Fulton Rankin, which counts construction and commercial disputes as particular strengths, although it is also active in energy-related, insolvency, procurement and public sector litigation. In addition, the team has developed niche practices in a number of areas: managing director Jonathan Forrester specialises in probate and trust litigation; Aaron Moore has a growing product liability practice; and Michael King handles IP litigation. Clients include major financial institutions, plcs and public bodies.

Practice head(s):Patrick Fleming

Other key lawyers:Jonathan Forrester; Aaron Moore; Michael King

Testimonials

'The team is very client focused. Within Belfast I do not think there is anyone to beat them on commercial dispute resolution.'

'The outstanding feature of Jonathan Forrester is that he sets out the position and options in terms that clients can understand and shows great patience and understanding when explaining the situation.'

'Solicitor Rachel Gamble is most helpful and obviously very clued up on the case.'

'Cleaver Fulton Rankin provides a market-leading service in construction, procurement and commercial dispute resolution. The firm combines a strong traditional client base with a modern and efficient approach to litigation. It is in the top tier of Northern Irish law firms in these fields.'

'Jonathan Forrester is a strong team leader who has taken the practice forward.'

'Michael King stands out for his calmness under pressure.'

Key Clients

HSBC Bank

B&Q

Ulster Bank

Debenhams Properties

Sainsbury’s Supermarkets

BMW (UK)

Invest Northern Ireland

Fossil UK

General Motors (UK)

Work highlights

  • Representing an individual purchaser in a professional negligence claim against the solicitor responsible for acting on the acquisition of a property
  • Acting for the Northern Ireland Housing Executive in a dispute raised by a contractor in respect of an asbestos surveying services contract
  • Acting on behalf of the BAM McCann joint venture in a procurement dispute against the Department for Infrastructure relating to a major road scheme in Northern Ireland
  • Acting for AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals in respect of the retrieval of clinical study files held by a company in administration
  • Acting for HSBC Bank in a professional negligence action against a solicitors' firm relating to property over which the bank has security

Elliott Duffy Garrett handles litigation across a range of sectors, including commercial, defamation, procurement, financial, housing and regulatory disputes. The team acts for public and private sector clients, including a number of housing associations. 'Excellent litigator' Brian Deeny leads the practice and is noted for his defamation expertise; Marie-Louise Lowry specialises in contentious procurement and energy matters, as well as licensing disputes; and Christopher Duffy focuses on insolvency and debt recovery and enforcement.

Practice head(s):Brian Deeny

Other key lawyers:Marie-Louise Lowry; Christopher Duffy

Testimonials

'The team at Elliott Duffy Garrett is hugely competent and is particularly strong for private clients and SMEs. Its attention to detail is second to none and it is extremely client centric and very focused on the commercial outcome.'

'Christopher Duffy has a fantastic work ethic. He is very focused on the detail and particularly strong on insolvency matters.'

'Marie-Louise Lowry has a very strong procurement expertise and is extremely competent.'

'Brian Deeny has vast reserves of experience and his legal knowledge is second to none.'

'The team is personable and commercial minded and the ethos of the firm is notably client focused.'

'Elliott Duffy Garrett is strongly client focused with excellent commercial sense. The approach to commercial litigation is meticulous, yet tempered with the necessary pragmatism, so as to ensure the most effective result for the client.'

'Christopher Duffy is a dedicated, client-focused lawyer, who covers all the bases; his clients can be very confident that he will tenaciously represent their interests.'

'Marie-Louise Lowry is a determined and thorough lawyer, with an impressive record of getting results for her clients.'

'Elliott Duffy Garrett is unique in being a small firm with big capabilities both as regards general litigation and specialist dispute settlement. Its strengths are a broad public law practice for both public bodies and private commercial challengers, and its sector-specific know-how.'

'Marie-Louise Lowry is commercially savvy, down-to-earth, indefatigable, personable and always looking for a creative and cost-effective solution for clients. She is very easy to work with and leads a team without laying it on thick.'

'Michael Wilson, the former managing partner and now consultant, is a very steady hand and a wise head. He has very sound judgment, clients love him, and he is a real elder statesmen on the Belfast commercial dispute settlement scene.'

'Elliott Duffy Garret provides a professional and broad range of legal services that are second to none.'

'Marie-Louise Lowry is highly regarded by her peers and clients alike for her professional, courteous and humane approach to any dispute.'

'Brian Deeny is very responsive, helpful and flexible.'

Key Clients

Connswater Homes

Northern Bank trading as Danske

Premium Credit

PricewaterhouseCoopers

Choice Housing Ireland

Trinity Mirror

Tennent’s (NI)

Budget Energy

Andras House Group

Department of Enterprise, Trade & Investment

Work highlights

  • Represented a lender and receiver appointed pursuant to security documents in a multi-party High Court action regarding a challenge to the client's appointment and breach of contract claims
  • Acted on behalf of Keenan Corporate Finance as the trustee in bankruptcy in the contentious realisation of assets
  • Defended a housing association in High Court commercial and construction litigation brought by a construction firm for breach of contract
  • Represented MACAAE, a company trading as a bar, in opposing (along with five other independent bars) an application by Wetherspoons plc for a new bar in Belfast city centre
  • Represented Omagh Minerals in an appeal against an aggregate levy tax assessment performed by HMRC

Pinsent Masons Belfast LLP has experience handling large-scale, cross-border litigation, and is particularly strong in the energy and financial services sectors. Clients include many of Northern Ireland's leading businesses. Practice head David Kirkpatrick has acted on several high-profile judicial reviews; his areas of expertise also include professional negligence. Laura Gillespie specialises in regulatory matters.

Practice head(s):David Kirkpatrick

Other key lawyers:Laura Gillespie; James Griffiths; Deirdre Cormican

Testimonials

'A first-class, experienced and respected team.'

'David Kirkpatrick, Laura Gillespie, solicitor Meghan Kirk and James Griffiths are responsive, proactive, commercial and practical.'

'Pinsent Masons offers an unrivalled level of expertise in dispute resolution in Northern Ireland. The fact that the firm is known to prepare its cases assiduously means that all attempts at dispute resolution are in a context where opponents recognise that if the case proceeds then Pinsent Masons are truly formidable opponents. They have excellent, well-trained, commercial lawyers.'

'Laura Gillespie and David Kilpatrick are excellent team leaders bringing great legal insight and superb personal skills to their cases. Both are hugely respected in commercial law circles.'

'James Griffiths is an outstanding lawyer with a great ability to analyse the important issues in cases and to present an attractive argument.'

'The team is simply brilliant. They have depth and breadth all the way up the range from junior associates to head of litigation David Kirkpatrick. They have unrivalled commercial litigation experience in Belfast, and know the courts inside out and really can get the inside track.'

'Complementary skills from other departments such as planning and energy add value to the litigators.'

'The team has mediation experience in commercial matters at a very high level.'

'David Kirkpatrick leads from the front. He gets the client's trust and keeps it, and is very good on litigation strategy and delivering the product.'

'Legal director Deirdre Cormican delivers like a partner. She is an excellent litigation specialist and a good drafter, has an eye on detail and can see round corners for the client.'

'Up-and-coming solicitor Meghan Kirk works round the clock to get the documents filed at court and in apple pie order. Only the best will do for Megan as regards a result for her clients. She is wise beyond her years, has excellent technical knowledge and can spot the good points in a case.'

'Associate Catherine Mallon has exceptional client and team handling skills. She is commercially savvy, picks files up very quickly and can seamlessly come on board a case, always adding value.'

'David Kirkpatrick is first class at achieving the best possible outcome for his clients by matching detailed knowledge in this area with sharp practical acumen and excellent people skills.'

'Deirdre Cormican is an excellent coordinator.'

Key Clients

Queen's University

Belfast Harbour Commissioners

Chartered Accountants Ireland

Gilbert-Ash

BA Kitchen Components

Tamboran Resources

Work highlights

  • Advising on all aspects of a £2m claim against a contractor and consultant designer in respect of the negligent design and installation of the heating system at Queen's University's main halls of residence
  • Acting for Tamboran in relation to a series of judicial review matters involving ministerial decisions which prevent the client from carrying out fracking activities in Northern Ireland
  • Advised Belfast Harbour Commissioners (BHC) in a £12m dispute with a co-developer regarding the redevelopment of one of the largest Waterfront sites in Western Europe.

Tughans acts for a number of high-profile domestic and international clients, and has wide-ranging expertise in property litigation, professional negligence, insurance disputes and defamation. Commercial and corporate litigation, including partnership and shareholder disputes, are also areas of strength. Practice head Michael McCord is 'the leading construction lawyer in Northern Ireland', while managing partner Patrick Brown specialises in procurement challenges and Toby McMurray in contentious insolvency.

Practice head(s):Michael McCord; Patrick Brown; Toby McMurray

Testimonials

'Michael McCord is a very strong, logical thinker. He is commercial, experienced and pragmatic.'

'Michael McCord and associate Grainne Lee perform their work professionally and efficiently and quickly understand the nuances of the industry and the client's position in the dispute case.'

'The team is led by a strong partner in Michael McCord, who quickly assesses the important issues and is not afraid to point out the strengths and weaknesses of the client's position.'

'Tughans is very highly regarded and covers the full service of commercial litigation, insolvency, construction, intellectual property and procurement, to name but a few. The team is large enough to cover the biggest cases and is the market leader in Northern Ireland.'

'Toby McMurray is the leading insolvency solicitor in Belfast with a wide range of commercial litigation cases. He is hugely experienced and able to cover the full gambit of disputes. He is known for his commercial savvy and is very personable, and he has one of the sharpest minds of any solicitor in Northern Ireland, which means he is the "go to" guy for banks and insolvency practitioners in particular.'

'Toby McMurray is known for his ability to resolve cases quickly and efficiently and has a hugely loyal client base. He is supported by an extremely able team of associates within Tughans.'

'Tughans has the strongest team of associates and the best-regarded commercial litigators in Belfast.'

'Tughans has the ability to see the bigger picture and offer solid strategic advice.'

'Michael McCord is a clear thinker with a quick grasp of the principal points and a strong communicator.'

'Patrick Brown has huge experience and is always willing to provide expert support and advice.'

Key Clients

Zara

British Telecom

BAM McCann

Invest NI

Bank of Ireland

NI Water

McGrath Bros Engineering Group

KPMG

Dale Farm

Randox Laboratories

Work highlights

  • Acting for WYG in relation to a dispute with the landlord of a WYG subsidiary company which occupied premises in Dublin prior to the subsidiary entering liquidation
  • Acted for RPS in High Court proceedings commenced against it by McLaughlin & Harvey, which is alleging professional negligence
  • Advising the clothes retailer Zara in relation to its obligation to pay rent for the occupation of its Belfast city centre store in circumstances where it has been unable to occupy its premises due to a catastrophic fire in neighbouring premises
  • Defended Northern Ireland Water against a procurement challenge brought by an unsuccessful tenderer to a capital works framework with an aggregate value of £1.6bn
  • Acting for the BAM McCann joint venture in adjudication proceedings and a professional negligence claim in relation to a dispute with the design and build engineers for a roads project in Northern Ireland

'A brilliant defence firm', DWF specialises in commercial, professional negligence and insurance litigation. 'Real good operator' and 'excellent litigation practitioner' Gareth Jones leads the practice.

Practice head(s):Gareth Jones

Kenny Chambers leads the practice at Johnsons Solicitors, which covers a wide range of areas including product liability, professional negligence, commercial and property litigation. David Craig specialises in defamation, and Gareth Liddy is also a key contact.

Practice head(s):Kenny Chambers

Other key lawyers:David Craig; Gareth Liddy

Litigation and dispute resolution specialist Kennedys has a strong client base of leading insurers, and also acts for major companies in the healthcare, retail, transport and real estate sectors, among others. The team's caseload covers a wide range of areas, including commercial litigation, defamation, procurement disputes and construction claims. Practice head Amanda Wylie has recently been active in a number of product liability cases; the team also includes Raymond Gilmore.

Practice head(s):Amanda Wylie

Other key lawyers:Raymond Gilmore

Testimonials

'A very well-resourced, competent and professional outfit. One of the leading firms in Belfast with a great reputation before the courts.'

'Raymond Gilmore is absolutely tenacious. He understands the construction market better than any other solicitor in Belfast and is accordingly exceptionally strong in construction disputes.'

'Solicitor Darren Thompson is extremely diligent. He is also unflappable in court.'

'Kennedys has an excellent client base mainly focused on defence insurance work and is well supported and resourced by a large UK mainland insurance-based practice. As a result, it has excellent experience and visibility in this area.'

'Amanda Wylie is a well respected and commercially astute operator and is excellently supported by associates Frances Thompson and Megan Boyd, who are always fantastically prepared, completely on top of their cases and calm under pressure.'

Work highlights

  • Acting for a number of insurers in claims relating to alleged negligent over-valuations in the “boom”
  • Advising a US-owned company on a potential injunctive relief and damages against an ex-employee on a restrictive covenant and breach of confidentiality action.
  • Acting for an international mobile phone manufacturer in relation to a subrogated claim for recovery of monies in relation to a fire at premises and separately in relation to personal injury claims.
  • Defended a German retail company against four claims of racial discrimination arising out of alleged discrimination against members of the travelling community.
  • Acting for a large manufacturer in response to Industrial Tribunal proceedings issued by five claimants asserting that they were employees as opposed to self-employed contractors throughout their engagement with the business.

Unusually for Northern Ireland, Millar McCall Wylie LLP regularly acts for both plaintiffs and defendants. The team is particularly active in the real estate sector, with clients including major construction and property development companies, and also handles procurement challenges, director and shareholder disputes, and insurance indemnity claims. The 'outstanding' Caroline Prunty leads the team, which is based in the firm's East Belfast office.

Practice head(s):Caroline Prunty

Other key lawyers:William McSorley

Testimonials

'Millar McCall Wylie provides a very professional service. The team is very efficient and has a wealth of knowledge in all areas: it is streets ahead of any other company that I have dealt with.'

'The firm has a competent and skilful approach to the preparation of and dealing with personal injury litigation.'

'Caroline Prunty's most valued quality is her focus on proper preparation of the case, identifying the issues and ensuring the required evidence is identified.'

'The team at Millar McCall Wylie has scale and a fantastic range of services but is still firmly rooted in the local business community.'

'Caroline Prunty gives straight-talking advice and is always focused on finding practical and effective solutions.'

'Caroline Prunty is proactive in taking forward difficult and challenging cases.'

'This firm has a team of experienced commercial lawyers and is one of Northern Ireland's strongest practices in dispute resolution. They make the points strongly for their clients but they have the confidence and perception to know when and where to compromise. Preparation is always thorough and the standard of their written and oral advocacy is very high.'

'Caroline Prunty is hugely respected by her peers. She is able to master huge volumes of materials in complex commercial cases and present her client's case in a concise, attractive way. Caroline works closely with her clients, getting their respect by the example of her diligence and ability, but always maintains the correct level of detachment to allow for careful analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of her client's case. She is a first-class lawyer.'

'Miller McCall Wylie is an exceptional firm of solicitors who have their own individual expertise. In terms of dispute resolution, the team provides a comprehensive service to their clients, the advice offered is delivered in a clear and concise manner, and the client is guided through the process in a manner which ensures that they are fully informed at each stage. The firm can deal with the large volume of work in an efficient but client-friendly way.'

'Caroline Prunty is an outstanding head of department. She has a wealth of knowledge in litigation, both commercial and personal injury. Her delivery of advice ensures that the client is fully aware of all aspects of the case. The difference between Caroline and other solicitors is that she makes each client feel that she has given the best possible advice.'

'Millar Mc Call Wylie provides excellent legal expertise and advice, balanced with sound commercial awareness.'

'Caroline Prunty is a first-rate solicitor. She always grasps the key points early and provides sound legal advice.'

'William McSorley is always approachable, helpful and thorough in his representation. He is a very experienced and knowledgeable solicitor in his field.'

'Caroline Prunty and her team have developed a reputation for distilling complex commercial disputes into a number of key issues with the ability to concede extraneous issues which have little or no bearing on the final outcome.'

'Caroline Prunty provides her own views on matters in a robust and concise fashion. Rather than just setting out the facts she explains why approach A or B will not work, thus narrowing the focus.'

'Caroline Prunty is a formidable commercial lawyer who has litigated highly complex cases over many years in Northern Ireland.'

'Caroline Prunty has very good communication skills.'

'The team is accessible, responsive, keen to understand the brief and deliver on it, and genuinely partner led by the charming and engaging Caroline Prunty.  As slick as a big multi-jurisdictional practice, but with all the personality and benefits of a smaller firm.'

'Caroline Prunty is exceptionally hard working and thorough; she plans strategically and is full of good ideas to get to the place where success is assured. She is a gifted negotiator and retains the ability to keep the client fully informed and make sure they remain centre stage in the process.  Despite Caroline’s success, she remains very grounded and accessible to her clients.'

'Caroline Prunty deals with disputes efficiently and strategically, achieving results often avoiding lengthy litigation. Caroline has an ability to work out the best options and focus hard on getting there. She is exceptionally busy yet very personable in her approach, but never fails to plan her strategy and thought processes.'

Key Clients

McAleer & RusheGroup of Companies

Ehealth Alliance

Scottish Power Renewables

JMC Mechanical & Construction

ASD

James Boyd & Son (Carnmoney)

Bridge Commercials

CBRE Global Investors

Raptic

Work highlights

  • Acting for McAleer & Rushe in negotiating the recovery of monies owed to the client following three large construction projects in England
  • Acted for the director of eHealth Alliance Ltd in respect of a procurement challenge.
  • Acting for Scottish Power and Scottish Power Renewables in relation to  renewable energy and planning issues in Northern Ireland.
  • Defending JMC Mechanical and Construction, which was a successful tenderer and had won substantial contracts of £3m for planned maintenance work with the Northern Ireland Housing Executive, against proceedings issued by five unsuccessful tenderers to challenge the award of contract.
  • Acted for ASD in serving a notice to terminate its lease in Belfast and enter into negotiations in relation to the schedule of dilapidations after the terms of the client's sub-lease were breached.

Mills Selig acts for large local and international clients, including one of Northern Ireland's few plcs, in commercial litigation, and is also strong in the real estate and construction sectors, acting for retail landlords, property developers and social housing providers. The team has developed niche specialisms in claims relating to regulatory, charity and media law (particularly social media). The 'outstanding' Emma Hunt leads the team.

Practice head(s):Emma Hunt

Other key lawyers:Maeve Fisher; Kirsten Magee

Testimonials

'A boutique commercial firm which has an excellent reputation in dispute resolution and licensing.'

'Emma Hunt is an extremely capable practitioner and an excellent communicator, practical and pragmatic when necessary.'

'Maeve Fisher is very strong on licensing issues.'

'The team at Mills Selig are renowned in this jurisdiction for the consistently high standard of their work as commercial lawyers. Diligent preparation of cases, excellent client care and outstanding ability as lawyers have enabled them to be among the leaders in commercial work and especially in dispute resolution.'

'Emma Hunt is an outstanding partner. She is hugely respected by her peers, a very good advocate and has the confidence to know when to compromise.'

'Senior associate Richard Craig is an excellent lawyer with a great ability to distill large volumes of material into core items and to present a case in a compelling, concise manner.'

'Solicitor Rachel Kelly is a very promising addition to the team who has already demonstrated an ability to deal effectively with complex legal issues.'

Key Clients

First Derivatives

Bank of Ireland

Total Produce

Warrenpoint Harbour Authority

Murdock Property Group

3T Power Group

Channel 4

Ducales Capital

ITV Group

Work highlights

  • Represented Kane Group Building Services in a complex, multi-party dispute arising out of the installation of a faulty heating system in 48 apartments at the Ormeau Bakery development in Belfast.
  • Acting for Warrenpoint Harbour Authority (the second biggest harbour in Northern Ireland) in an ongoing land dispute with Crown Estate Commissioners.
  • Acting for 3T Power Limited in a contractual dispute relating to a power purchase agreement with Budget Energy Limited which involved making a mandatory injunction application.
  • Defending the insurers of Delaval Limited, a Swedish manufacturer of large-scale milking equipment, against a product liability claim by a farmer.
  • Acting for Kevin Watson Construction Limited in a dispute with Corbo/Obroc in respect of works carried out to a retail park owned by the plaintiff in Omagh.

TLT is noted for its expertise in banking litigation, counting a number of major financial institutions among its clients, and is growing its practice in a range of other areas, including insolvency, property litigation, defamation and commercial disputes. The 'very engaging and proactive' Katharine Kimber leads the team; Andrew Ryan specialises in contentious planning and environmental matters; and Fergal Maguire, who joined from Cleaver Fulton Rankin, has particular expertise in professional negligence and partnership disputes.

Practice head(s):Katharine Kimber

Other key lawyers:Andrew Ryan; Fergal Maguire

Testimonials

'The firm has an efficient structure which allows it to handle a high volume of cases.'

'The team is knowledgeable and very responsive; it is able to identify alternative solutions and is action based and achieves results.'

'Solicitors Brendan Logue and Ciaran McCorry are both proactive and understand the client's business and risk appetite.'

'The team is very experienced and has access to a range of expertise with its connection to its UK office. There is a wide range of different skills within the team covering chancery, intellectual property and general litigation. They have particular experience within financial services.'

'Brendan Logue is relatively junior but is clearly a very industrious and careful solicitor. He stands out as being a force to be reckoned with in the future.'

'Associate Eoin Devlin is a strong litigator who is very efficient and client focused.'

'The team is experienced and provides consistent responses and advice in a timely manner. They have a clear strategy and provide support and time to us; as clients they understand our objectives and values. They stand out from their peers and we believe in their honesty. They connect and engage with us and also honour our opinion.'

'The environment, teams and individuals are relaxed but remain professional. They are able to provide sound legal strategies, are assertive when required, analytical, logical and adept at problem solving. They will always persevere. These characteristics make the individuals stand out from the rest.'

'Eoin Devlin is an outstanding lawyer with great ability to analyse the legal issues and retain a common-sense and proportionate outlook in his cases. His knowledge and ability in personal injury and clinical negligence work is recognised by his peers and he is very popular with clients.'

'Fergal Maguire has an excellent and deserved reputation.'

Key Clients

RBS and Ulster Bank

UK Asset Resolution Limited

BT Group plc

Enterprise

The Northview Group Limited

Santander

Danske Bank

First Transformation Limited

Evergreen Biomass

Work highlights

  • Acted for the fixed charge receivers of Pinpoint Property in an application to prevent a well-known and obstructive McKenzie Friend from assisting the defendant in court
  • Advised a community group on high-profile judicial review proceedings relating to the grant of planning permission by the Department for Infrastructure for a 200,000 tonne Arc 21 'Energy From Waste' plant in North Belfast.
  • Advised a number of local residents on objections to a major and controversial gold mine and ore processing facility proposal in Omagh in an ecologically sensitive area and also an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
  • Advised a group of resident objectors on judicial review proceedings relating to a residential development on the shores of Strangford Lough – an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
  • Advising Green Belt NI (a manufacturer of woodchip for use in biomass energy plants) on judicial review proceedings relating to the refusal of accreditation for its NI facility under the highly controversial Renewable Heat Incentive subsidy scheme.

Senior partner Leonard Edgar and managing partner Chris Ross lead the team at John McKee Solicitors, which has extensive experience acting for insurers. The team handles construction disputes, professional negligence claims, and commercial and banking litigation, among other matters.

Practice head(s):Leonard Edgar; Chris Ross

Napier Solicitors handles commercial, personal injury and public sector litigation. Clients include telecoms, insurance and construction companies, as well as public authorities, charities and educational institutions. Joseph Napier has a strong track record of acting for clients in sensitive historical inquiries.

Practice head(s):Joseph Napier

Other key lawyers:Maria McCloskey

Worthingtons has a strong commercial litigation practice, including acting in shareholder and partnership disputes, and is also noted for its public law and judicial review expertise. Clients include local and multinational companies such as major retailers and legal expenses insurers, and a number of charities. Ciaran McConnell heads the practice along with clinical negligence partners Nikki McConnell and Claire McDaid.

Practice head(s):Ciaran McConnell; Nikki McConnell; Claire McDaid

Other key lawyers:Brian Moss

Testimonials

'The team is outstanding in terms of client care and case management, particularly regarding more complex cases involving sensitive issues. The members of the team have superb interpersonal skills and are highly effective communicators. They are professional, yet approachable and accessible. They are reliable and consistent in providing a high-quality service.'

'We have been particularly impressed by Brian Moss and solicitor Emily Paisley, who have shown great skill, professionalism and flexibility in working with a wide range of clients. They are able to maintain a highly professional approach while showing empathy and respect to clients and colleagues.'

Key Clients

AA McGuckian Ltd

Kinetic Insurance Brokers Ltd

AB1 and AB2 (minors)

Bradley Thallon Properties Ltd

HM1 (a minor)

Advantage Finance Ltd

MJ2 (a minor)

White Park Capital Partners Ltd

Work highlights

  • Representing livestock company AA McGuckian in a judicial review of the highly publicised Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme after being denied accreditation to the scheme for its large-scale combined heat and power plant (CHP).
  • Defending Kinetic Insurance Brokers Ltd/Richard Long & Co in High Court proceedings relating to the operation of a performance and guarantee bond for a significant construction project.
  • Acting for two minors in an important immigration case regarding the rights of ‘extended’ family members of EU nationals and their right to live and work in the UK.
  • Acting for Bradley Thallon Properties Ltd in an ongoing dispute concerning an agreement to modify and improve an access route on a large industrial estate.
  • Acting for a minor in an important and wide-ranging challenge against the Education Authority concerning the role and operation of the classroom assistance panel system for determining the level of classroom assistance provision to be made for children with statements of special educational needs.

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Legal Developments in Northern Ireland for Dispute resolution

Legal Developments in the UK

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
  • Court of Justice rules on source of income for Derivative Residence applications

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    In applications for entry clearance where the applicant has a negative immigration history in the UK, the application may be refused under the general grounds for refusal, which are found in part 9 of the Immigration Rules. Where an applicant has ¬†‚Äėpreviously contrived in a significant way to frustrate the intentions of the Immigration Rules‚Äô,¬† the application could be refused under paragraph 320(11). In this post we look at five frequently asked questions about paragraph 320(11).¬†
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  • Rights of appeal after the Immigration Act 2014

    The Immigration Act 2014 (‚Äúthe 2014 Act‚ÄĚ) reduced the circumstances in which the refusal of an immigration application will give rise to a right of appeal.¬†The¬† explanatory notes ¬†to the 2014 Act state that the Act was intended to restructure rights of appeal to the Immigration Tribunal. Previously, a right of appeal to the Immigration Tribunal existed against any of the 14 different immigration decisions listed in s.82 of the¬† Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 ¬†(‚Äúthe 2002 Act‚ÄĚ). As explained below, whether or not the refusal of an immigration application currently generates a right of appeal depends on the subject matter of the application rather than its categorisation.

Press Releases in the UK

The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to