Firms To Watch: Commercial property

Gateley Legal NI, led by Alison Reid, saw continued growth in 2023 with the hire of Ruth Downie from Herbert Smith Freehills LLP.

Commercial property in Northern Ireland

A&L Goodbody Northern Ireland LLP

A&L Goodbody Northern Ireland LLP is a leading name for high value transactions and large-scale developments in the Northern Irish market, with an extensive client list of prestige domestic and international institutions. Team lead Tracey Schofield has over 20 years’ experience in the real estate sector, and is praised by clients for her ‘expert knowledge on all property related matters.’ Gregory Martin has expertise in international property transactions, while John Tougher, who made partner in 2022, is noted for his work in the retail sector. Highly experienced consultant James Pringle has a broad real estate practice. Associate Niamh Laverty is a key name.

Practice head(s):

Tracey Schofield

Other key lawyers:

Gregory Martin; James Pringle; John Tougher; Niamh Laverty; John Palmer


‘Flexible and responsive.’

‘Tracey Schofield has expert knowledge on all property related matters.’

‘John Tougher is a very proactive and responsive lawyer with a commanding knowledge of property law matters. He is a reassuring sounding board for any property related issue and always delivers results.’

Key clients

Castlebrooke Developments Ltd

HIG Capital LLC

SBM Offshore Limited

M&G Trustee Company Limited, Aviva Investors, IA Financial Group and Pension Insurance Corp Plc

Vita Group

Gardrum Developments Ltd


Oakland Holdings Limited

Lotus Property (LDS Devco Limited)

McCloskey International Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting for Castlebrooke Developments as the sole Northern Irish law firm advising on the real estate aspects of the ‘Tribeca Belfast’ redevelopment project.
  • Acting for Lottomatica SPA on the proposed acquisition of Boylesports Group.
  • Acting for this Netherlands based energy company on the development of the first ever off-shore wind farm in Northern Ireland.

Carson McDowell

Carson McDowell‘s large team of real estate specialists covers a diverse range of sectors, including retail, education, manufacturing, and leisure. The group acts for prominent national and international clients, in addition to private clients and local companies. Team lead Dawson McConkey has expertise in acquisitions, disposals, and lettings, and is a leading name in the renewable energy market. Emma Cooper is dual qualified in Northern Ireland and England and Wales, and advises public and private sector landowners and funds in all real estate matters. Richard Dickson is a key contact for site acquisitions, landlord and tenant matters, and project finance. Chris Phillips and Mary-Kim Doherty are core team members.

Practice head(s):

Dawson McConkey

Other key lawyers:

Emma Cooper; Richard Dickson; Mary-Kim Doherty; Chris Phillips


‘Outstanding people with a huge range of skills, experience and knowledge.’

‘Great quality service with sector leading response times.’

‘Dawson McConkey provides an excellent service and has a thorough knowledge of the NI property sector demonstrated in his ability to navigate negotiates and provide robust solutions, to often complex cases.’

‘Partner-led service. Very strong in renewables. Friendly and approachable. High quality. Collaborate well with business.’

‘Dawson McConkey – commercial, pragmatic, approachable, diligent.’

‘My experience with Carson McDowell is that I have always found them to be helpful, knowledgeable, and willing to help, sometimes to very tight timescales. I do think that billings are fair and reasonable.’

‘We have dealt specifically with Mary-Kim Doherty for the past 10 years, and she has always provided an exceptional level of service and technical ability, introducing other disciplines in the firm when the need arises. They to have been very efficient and knowledgeable on their subject matter.’

Key clients

The Belfast Harbour Commissioners

Queen’s University of Belfast

Belfast International Airport

Ulster University

McAleer & Rushe

Heitman (London)

Newpark Developments

South Bank Square

Renewable Energy Systems

Forestside Acquisitions Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised on the purchase of two Belfast properties as part of Project Lough, an Ireland-wide, corporate-led project in relation to the acquisition of an Irish self-storage business by Heitman for in excess of €100m.
  • Advised McAleer & Rushe’s SPV ES Little Vic Street Limited on its multi-million pound disposal of a site benefitting from a planning consent for a 15-storey purpose built student accommodation building.
  • Advised both Ulster University and the Belfast Harbour Commissioners in respect of a Development Agreement for Lease for the construction and fit-out of ‘Studio Ulster’, the first Virtual Production Studio in Northern Ireland.

Cleaver Fulton Rankin

Cleaver Fulton Rankin‘s ‘superb’ team works as part of the firm’s full-service offering, and offers clients expertise in a broad swathe of sectors, including retail, energy, and residential. Team lead Joe Marley, ‘a recognised leader in this field’, is particularly active in the retail and leisure, energy and renewables, and telecommunications sectors. Core team members include Kathryn Collie, who is experienced in complex disposal and acquisition transactions, and Patrick O’Hanlon, whose practice includes real estate finance, development acquisitions, and retail lettings. O’Hanlan joined the team in September 2022 from TLT. Alan McAlister handles landlord and tenant issues, and is experienced in construction issues.

Practice head(s):

Joe Marley

Other key lawyers:

Kathryn Collie; Patrick O’Hanlon; Alan McAlister; Shane Conlan


‘Cleaver Fulton Rankin’s real estate offering is in my view the best in Northern Ireland. They are superb, from the directors, right down to the junior lawyers. They have resourced the team with very smart people. They are just operating at a different level to their competitors.’

‘Joe Marley is a recognised leader in this field. He is exceptional and is the guy I would turn to before any other. He heads up the department and has led Cleaver Fulton Rankin’s commercial real estate team from strength to strength. Patrick O’Hanlon has just joined, which just adds to the team’s profile and offering.’

The real estate team at Cleaver Fulton Rankin is second to none. In our view, they are the best out there. They have a large team but are well represented at all levels. There is talent evident throughout the team, from their partners to junior solicitors. They clearly only recruit and retain the very best talent.’

‘Alan McAlister: Extremely personable, very experienced, having been working in the field for many years. Very well respected. We know Kathryn Collie because of her excellent reputation. Patrick O’Hanlon has recently joined and by all accounts he is an excellent lawyer, who really knows his stuff, with particular expertise in landlord and tenant issues.’

‘We have found dealing with CFR a pleasure, due to the strength and depth of the team, their quick response time in situations when time was at the essence.’

‘Joe Marley, Partner, attended to all our needs in a prompt manner and provided excellent advice as and when required, pre-empting issues arising.’

Key clients

Clanmil Social Housing Association

Invest Northern Ireland

SCPI Pierval Santé / Euryale Asset Management

Arbour Housing Association

Dalradian Gold Limited

Ulster University

TJ Morris Limited T/A Home Bargains

Ballyardle Business Park Limited

Lisburn & Castlereagh Borough Council

Catalyst Inc

Work highlights

  • Advising Clanmil Housing Association on borrowing £200m to access housing development grants from the Department for Communities to invest in new homes.
  • Advised property investment fund SCPI Pierval Santé, who acquired Hillcrest Care Home in April 2022, with a lease put in place to a local operating company.
  • Advising Arbour Housing Association on the refinancing of existing housing stock to raise finance for new developments all over Northern Ireland.


Tughans works across the island of Ireland and Great Britain on a wide range of real estate matters, including investment and development schemes, commercial lettings, real estate finance, and acquisitions and disposals. The department is led by David Jones, whose specialities include development, investment, and large-scale landlord and tenant work. Rebecca Moffett has expertise in the retail and office sectors, and Joe Moore is a key contact for development projects and contentious landlord/tenant matters. Chris Milligan, praised for his ‘clear, concise and practical‘ advice, focuses on energy, natural resources and infrastructure. Associate solicitor James Mulligan, who joined the firm in 2021 from Arthur Cox, is a name to note.

Practice head(s):

David Jones

Other key lawyers:

Rebecca Moffett; Joe Moore; Chris Milligan; Gavin Robinson; Sinead Creighan; James Mulligan


‘Joe Moore has an ability to listen, understand and grasp the situation quickly, and then offer what is both sound commercial and legal advice.’

‘Pleasant to deal with. Our work was completed professionally.’

‘Very supportive and able to provide direct, succinct advice.’

‘Tughans was more accessible than any firm I have dealt with previously. They were professional and efficient, but most of all communicated brilliantly.’

‘The commercial property department have a wide range of expertise over the entire commercial property practice area.’

‘The stand-out individual within the team for me is Chris Milligan.  He is pragmatic and provides clear, concise and practical advice for my organisation. He always goes above and beyond to meet our needs and will make himself available when required.’

‘Diligent, informed, and knowledgeable.’

‘The team is incredibly diverse. It can draw on skills and expertise from a number of different people in a number of different specialist areas in a commercial property context.’

Key clients



Cooperative Rabobank UA



Associated British Foods plc

Corbo Ltd


Legal & General

Work highlights

  • Advising Randox on a wide range of real estate matters, including a real estate restructuring matter.
  • Advising Beaumont Care Homes/ Knights plc with all property matters relating to the purchase of the business and assets of the Four Seasons Healthcare Group.
  • Advising Corbo ltd on the sale of Boucher Retail Park to Frasers Group.

Arthur Cox Belfast

Arthur Cox Belfast fields a team with expertise in the energy, leisure, and retail sectors, which has a record of acting for prominent national and international clients. Team lead Alastair Todd, ‘a good man to have in your corner’, handles both contentious and non-contentious property matters. Todd is supported by consultant Rowan White, who was formerly the department head, and Mark Jameson, who specialises in commercial property development, investment, and management.

Practice head(s):

Alastair Todd

Other key lawyers:

Rowan White; Mark Jameson; Kathryn Forde


‘Excellent knowledge of the local market.’

‘Alastair Todd is excellent. Always gives prompt, clear & concise advice.’

‘Alastair Todd is a good man to have in your corner.’

Key clients

Troja (UK) Restaurants Limited

Four Seasons Healthcare Group (FSHC)


HHT Management Limited

Endeavour Investments

Marathon Asset Management

Hastings Hotel Group Limited

Matagorda2 Ltd

ASAP Cargo

Bank of Ireland

Work highlights

  • Advised Troja in relation to the proposed opening of a new ‘Ivy Collection’ brand restaurant in Belfast city centre (the first Ivy restaurant to be opened in Northern Ireland).
  • Advised on the disposal of the residue of Four Seasons Healthcare Group’s Northern Irish business, comprising 29 care homes.
  • Instructed by Instavolt Ltd, a leading EV charging network provider, in relation to the rollout of EV rapid charging equipment at McDonald’s Drive Thru Restaurants across Northern Ireland.

Davidson McDonnell Solicitors

Davidson McDonnell Solicitors‘s team works within the firm’s full-service offering, and is active across Northern Ireland and England and Wales. Areas of expertise for the team include sales and purchases of commercial property, lease transactions, and build to rent projects. Name partners Ross Davidson and David McDonnell lead the department. Davidson has expertise in acquisitions and disposals, lettings, and joint venture arrangements, while McDonnell is particularly strong in property finance transactions. Senior solicitor Michaela Kilpatrick has experience in the acquisition, development, and disposal of assets.

Practice head(s):

Ross Davidson; David McDonnell

Other key lawyers:

Michaela Kilpatrick


‘Davidson McDonnell are a firm that fully understand their client’s needs and reach the desired end goal with speed and attention to detail. The company appears to be very well-structured with staff that are both knowledgeable and approachable. We engaged the right team and hope to continue working with them in the future.’

‘Michaela at all times kept us informed of every step of the process, and we felt very supported – it was beyond anything we have ever received before. Michaela has actually changed our views on solicitors with the way she has conducted herself in this transaction. I would have no hesitation in recommending herself and the Davidson McDonnell team to anyone.’

‘Expertise delivered in a friendly and palatable manner to our team means we understand and can apply their advice easily.’

Key clients

Wirefox Group

Travis Perkins Plc


Lacuna Developments

Neptune Group

Abbey Bond Lovis

Dunluce Healthcare

Errigal Contracts Group

Watkin Jones Plc

Work highlights

  • Advised Wirefox Group on all aspects of their acquisition of The Bushmills Inn
  • Acted for Wirefox Group on the acquisition of a prime retail and office development in Belfast known as 35DP.
  • Acting for Lacuna Developments – Watkin Jones plc in respect of a build to rent scheme for the development of circa 800 apartments at Titanic Quarter, Belfast.


DWF‘s team works with a range of private and institutional clients on transactions and developments across the jurisdiction. Team lead and Belfast office managing partner Julie Galbraith specialises in acting for commercial occupiers, and has experience in managing large portfolio projects. Kirsty Mairs handles residential and commercial conveyancing, while Mark Tinman has expertise in negotiating development agreements, and regularly acts for high profile retailers. Mark Blair joined the group from Shoosmiths LLP in 2022.

Practice head(s):

Julie Galbraith

Other key lawyers:

Kirsty Mairs; Mark Tinman; Mark Blair


‘Great practice, proactive people focused on solutions.’

‘Large practice capability but due to the nature of the team there is a small practice feel in terms of a good quality service with easy access.’

‘Breadth of experience separates DWF Belfast from their competitors. Their proactive and innovative approach to CPD and seminar delivery is extremely helpful to us as a business, and as a business we welcome the access we have to their significant knowledge base, particularly in Belfast.’

Key clients

Herbert Group

Titanic Properties/Quarter

Lidl Northern Ireland Limited

Marks & Spencer


BT Plc

Mobile Broadband Network Limited (MBNL)


David Samuels Properties

PWD Developments

Work highlights

Eversheds Sutherland

Eversheds Sutherland acts for a client list of both local companies and prominent global businesses in all real estate matters, including investment, development, and leasing transactions. Gareth Planck, who is experienced working in both Northern Ireland and England, acts for institutional fund, developer, tenant, and finance clients. Core to the team are senior associate Hannah Boyd, whose focus is landlord and tenant work in the retail sector, and senior associate Corrina Cassidy, whose practice includes property development, asset management, and acquisitions and disposals.

Practice head(s):

Gareth Planck

Other key lawyers:

Corrina Cassidy; Hannah Boyd


‘Undisputed property knowledge and client service with commercial and professional delivery every time.’

Key clients

Frasers Group plc

Wolseley UK

Sweaty Betty

Hollandale Projects

Park Street Projects

Choice Housing Ireland

Domino’s Pizza UK and Ireland

Kildare Projects

Sports Direct International

Tim Hortons

Work highlights

  • Instructed by Frasers Group Plc in the acquisition of Boucher Retail Park in South Belfast for GBP 40m from a well known Northern Irish investor.
  • Advised Martin Property Group, a Londonderry-based property development company, on the acquisition of the Tillie and Henderson site. Upon receiving planning permission for a residential led regeneration of the site, our client sold the property to Ark Housing under a design and build contract.
  • Advised Choice Housing Ireland on the acquisition and development of a number of high value sites across Northern Ireland that would ensure the client delivered on their Govt. set social housing targets.

Millar McCall Wylie LLP

Millar McCall Wylie LLP‘s growing team is active on a range of investment, property finance, landlord and tenant, and energy work for domestic and international clients. The practice demonstrated particular strength over 2022 in the acquisition of large retail and industrial schemes. Name partner Peter McCall leads the department, and has expertise in the acquisition of investment portfolios. Simon Fleming is noted for his work in the retail sector, and acts for investors, landlords, and developers. Neil McCreadie and Michael Wilson, both of whom made associate director in 2022, are prominent names.

Practice head(s):

Peter McCall

Other key lawyers:

Simon Fleming; Michael Wilson; Neil McCreadie; Patricia Arrell; Conor Wylie


‘The firm’s partners, solicitors and admin staff have always treated me with a level of professional courtesy I have not witnessed, to the same degree, elsewhere. Such is their attention to detail that they make me feel as if I am their only client.’

‘When dealing with Millar McCall Wylie you are made to feel as if you are a part of their team rather than just a fee paying client – something I have not witnessed elsewhere in the industry.’

‘In my experience, MMW are a well established dynamic practice with extensive local knowledge of the sectors they operate in. They have a diverse skill set and at all times have a market leading solicitor in the sector of consultancy advice they offer.’

‘1. Peter McCall. Driven, focussed and client orientated solicitor with excellent people skill. 2. Simon Fleming. Technically very competent solicitor giving property advice second to none.’

‘I would say without hesitation that Millar McCall Wylie is a safe pair of hands. You can place your trust in MMW and be confident you are receiving sage advice and direction with excellent communication throughout the process. MMW will not let you down.’

‘The team are consistent in their proactive approach to clients and have an immediate grasp of the issues at hand. The individuals I deal with are always at hand when you make contact and have an accurate, up-to-date position on each case.’

‘Simon Fleming – his communication, attention to detail, professionalism and understanding of the workings of the sector stood out during a recent transaction. Would highly recommend Simon and his expertise!’

‘Millar McCall Wylie provide exceptional client service and as a medium-sized local practice, provide a broad range of legal services to meet clients diverse legal needs. MMW can react quickly and efficiently and will do whatever it takes to meet deadlines without compromise.’

Key clients

MRP/McAleer and Rushe Group of Companies

Fairfield Real Estate Finance

Killahoey Limited (owner of Rushmere SC and RP)

Consolidated Property Group (CPG Wallop)

DRC Capital

LCC Group of Companies

NFU Mutual

South Bank Square Limited


MJM Group of Companies

Peacocks/Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group of Companies

Card Factory

Hays Travel

Tata Steel

Warren James Jewellers




Scottish Power

Portman Healthcare

Cleary Construction Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Killahoey Limited, a JV Company in the acquisition of Rushmere Shopping Centre and Retail Park.
  • Advised LCC Group of Companies in the restructure of its facilities with Bank of Ireland.
  • Advised Connswater RP Limited on the acquisition of Connswater Retail Park, Belfast.

Mills Selig

Mills Selig acts for a broad range of clients including landowners, funders, institutional lenders and developers, and is particularly active in the energy sector. Team lead Anne Skeggs specialises in property finance, distressed property, and securitisation. Anna-Marie McAlinden, who is qualified in Northern Ireland, England and Wales, and the Republic of Ireland, handles acquisitions, lettings, and disposals. McAlinden has expertise in the energy sector, and leads the firm’s climate and energy department.

Practice head(s):

Anne Skeggs

Other key lawyers:

Anna-Marie McAlinden; Nick Nolan


‘While Mills Selig is not the largest firm in Northern Ireland by head count, they undoubtedly punch above their weight when it comes to commercial property/real estate. In my experience, they are a top ten Belfast law practice.’

‘Anne Skeggs, partner in the commercial property team, is acknowledged as an expert in her field, using the experienced gained with a top London firm and her excellent local knowledge of the Northern Ireland market to deliver the best outcomes for clients.’

Key clients

Ducales Capital

Alpha Real Renewables/Elm Solar Limited

Bamford Bus Company

Euro Garages

Hagan Homes

Glenmayne Group

Galliard Homes Limited

Total Produce Limited

Waterways Ireland

ITV Group plc

BSI Wind Limited

Natural World Products Limited

Dunmore Financial

Work highlights

  • Acting on the acquisition by share purchase of a portfolio of 27.45 MWp Wind Assets in England Wales and Scotland. This is a repeat instruction from London investment group Alpha Real Capital.
  • Refinancing two large 10MW wind farm sites with DLL Group Finance.
  • Acting on a number of large housing development sites for a Northern Irish Housing Association, including sites at Loft Lines Titanic Quarter, Evish Road Strabane, and Carrick Fergus.

Pinsent Masons Belfast LLP

Pinsent Masons Belfast LLP‘s large team works closely with the firm’s offices across the UK and internationally. The group is jointly led by Andrea McIlroy-Rose, who specialises in investment and development work, and Joanna Robinson, whose broad practice covers acquisitions and disposals, lettings, and development agreements. Highly experienced senior associate Leanne McKeown is dual qualified in Northern Ireland and England and Wales.

Practice head(s):

Andrea McIlroy-Rose; Joanna Robinson

Other key lawyers:

Leanne McKeown


‘An excellent, very capable team who provide timely and concise advice, quickly getting to the heart of the issues before their client.’

‘Andrea McIlroy-Rose leads a fantastic team by example. She is engaged and available, providing sensible and pragmatic solutions from a great breadth of experience.

Key clients

Saint Gobain

Scottish Widows

Nat West Bank


Dobbies Garden Centres


Commerz Real

Kennedy Wilson

Oxford Street Capital

Fairfield Real Estate Finance Limited

Larne Harbour Limited

Work highlights


TLT acts on numerous high value transactions and developments, with areas of expertise including the residential, energy, and retail sectors. Team lead Judith Hewitson advises high profile corporates, developers and investors on a range of matters, with particular expertise in investment transactions. Also key are Kevin Murphy, who specialises in energy and natural resources, and managing associate Mary-Jane Byrne.

Practice head(s):

Judith Hewitson

Other key lawyers:

Kevin Murphy; Mary-Jane Byrne


TLT LLP’s real estate team is highly regarded in the Belfast commercial property sector. They have an enviable list of property clients across all property types and assets.

‘Judith Hewitson heads up the real estate team in TLT Belfast. She is one of the most experienced and accomplished property lawyers in Northern Ireland. Judith is extremely diligent and always seeks to secure the best outcomes for clients.’

Key clients

David Samuel Properties

Al Bilad Capital

Braidwater Group

Signet Trading Limited

Allied Irish Bank

EP Kilroot

Deepbridge Renewable Energy

Alpha Real Capital

Bob & Berts

Island Stability Services Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for CBRE GI on the sale of Four Corners Hotel in Belfast City Centre.
  • Acting for SSE on all NI estate management matters in relation to their Northern Ireland onshore wind portfolio.
  • Advising Song Capital on the acquisition and disposal of Staycity Aparthotel, Dublin.

Elliott Duffy Garrett

Elliott Duffy Garrett acts for property developers, retailers, funders, and investors in a broad range of real estate transactions. The team is led by Pierre Boitel-Gill, whose practice covers sales and acquisitions of freehold and leasehold interests, as well as development agreements and construction documentation. Leo Brown handles acquisitions, developments, and property insolvency matters.

Practice head(s):

Pierre Boitel-Gill

Other key lawyers:

Leo Brown


‘The team has extensive knowledge in various aspects of conveyancing and social housing practice.’

‘Leo Brown – partner. Extensive experience of land, design & build contracts.’

Key clients

John H Lunn Limited

McGinnis Group

Eglinton Developments Limited

The Baird Group Limited

Jenkins Shipping Company Limited

Ebrington Leisure Holding Limited

Oasis Group

Sam Hagan Leisure (UK) Limited

Work highlights


Domestic full-service firm MKB Law provides a range of real estate and commercial property services, including lease transactions and developments. Maria Conway and Gordon McElroy lead the team. Coway has experience in acquisitions, disposals, and leasing property management, while McElroy is a key name for site assembly and development schemes.

Practice head(s):

Maria Conway; Gordon McElroy

Key clients

Cathedral Leisure

Lagan Homes

Windsor Developments Limited

Elgin Energy

Andras House Limited

Larne Chemists Limited

Rock Developments Limited

Dunlop Homes

Ebony Developments Ltd/Jets Properties Limited

Williams Homes

Eastwood Property

Lisburn Square No 2 Ltd

JH Turkington & Son

Zen Restaurants Limited

ICW Insurance Services

Titan Containers

Furlong Construction

Lorcan Homes Limited

Triquetra Hospitality Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting on behalf of Lagan Homes in completion of a development agreement linked to the completion of a residential development site in Newtownards with full planning permission for 413 units in July 2022.

Shoosmiths LLP

Shoosmiths LLP is particularly active in the residential and retail sectors. Team lead Sarah Ewing, praised by clients for her ability to go ‘above and beyond’, acts for local developers and investors in a range of matters.

Practice head(s):

Sarah Ewing


‘The team at Shoosmiths are extremely competent and have excellent knowledge regarding all aspects of commercial property law. When faced with a problem, they will exhaust all avenues in trying to resolve the issue whilst keeping the client informed of the options available and the costs.’

‘We deal mainly with Sarah Ewing, who always goes above and beyond to provide a service that is unlike any solicitor we have worked with before.’

Key clients

Braidwater Limited

The McGinnis Group

Triangle Housing Association

Choice Housing Ireland Limited

Northern Ireland Housing Executive

AIB Group (UK) Limited

Belfast Harbour Commissioners

The Restaurant Group (UK) Limited


Paddy McKillen

Cosy Roof Developments Limited

Subway Realty Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Braidwater Limited in the purchase of lands for the purpose of a large residential housing development and in the post-acquisition funding of the site to Danske Bank.
  • Advised AIB in the letting of approximately 27,200 ft of office space at its newly refurbished headquarters in Ann Street, Belfast.
  • Advised Magell Properties in the acquisition of a retail park last year, we have continued to act on the management of the park and on several substantial lettings.|

Wilson Nesbitt

Wilson Nesbitt acts for major real estate developers and financiers, and is a prominent name in the residential sector. Team lead Drew Nesbitt specialises in mixed-use regeneration schemes. Senior partner Gilbert Nesbitt handles large-scale residential and social housing schemes, while Max Nesbitt has expertise in development transactions. Senior solicitor Izabela Treacy is a prominent name.

Practice head(s):

Drew Nesbitt

Other key lawyers:

Gilbert Nesbitt; Max Nesbitt; Izabela Treacy


‘Advice was clear, pragmatic and no nonsense throughout. Excellent.’

‘Drew Nesbitt is excellent. Very commercial and also very efficient.’

‘With Wilson Nesbitt, each client gets the corporate knowledge but the small family firm service, something that many larger firms lack. The team’s communication is second to none.’

‘Each person has a fantastic knowledge of their field, and I am more than happy to recommend them to any clients. They have all went above and beyond the call of duty and have always given, straight talking, honest advice with the element of common sense applied.’

Key clients

Tealstone Developments

Radius Housing

Law Society of Northern Ireland

Castlebawn Newtownards Limited

Hillview Centre Belfast Limited

NB Housing Association

Triangle Housing Association

Artemis Technologies

Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors

Round Tree Developments Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Tealstone Development on the redevelopment of the old Cabin Hill School, a 7.7-acre prime residential development site.
  • Advised Radius Housing Association on its participation in the Gasworks Northern Fringe regeneration project.
  • Advised Artemis Technologies on its leasing of 10,000 sq. ft. of office accommodation for its new Belfast HQ at Concourse II, Harbour Estate, Belfast.


Worthingtons has key strength in landlord and tenant matters, and acts for numerous prominent retailers in the jurisdiction. ‘Exceptionally conscientious’ team lead Graham Pierce has over 30 years’ experience in all areas of commercial real estate. England and Wales and Northern Ireland qualified associate Victoria Roberts joined the team from Shoosmiths LLP in 2022.

Practice head(s):

Graham Pierce

Other key lawyers:

Victoria Roberts


‘They are always on hand to help with upfront advice when negotiating deals to help shape a transaction. They are well-connected in their marketplace and work collaboratively with our agents and have great contacts across their markets.’

‘All too often we see work pushed down to the lowest levels, but not with Worthingtons. We get senior level advice & work. Graham Pierce undertakes all of our work and I would thoroughly recommend him.’

‘I have worked closely with Graham Pierce for many years, and I enjoy his attention to detail and understanding of the issues surrounding property transactions. He is exceptionally conscientious in his approach and always sees matters through to their conclusion.’

Key clients

Golf Holdings Group

Currys plc

Virgin Media O2

Whistl UK

The Recruitment Co

SABA Investments

Derevoya Holdings Limited

AIB Group (UK) plc

Quiz Clothing (Zandra Retail Limited)

Extern Northern Ireland

Hotel Chocolat

Boux Avenue (Theo Paphitis Retail Group)

JRL Group

Work highlights

  • Acting for Currys in relation to all its Northern Ireland property law requirements.
  • Acting for the Golf Holdings group in relation to its portfolio of pubs, venues, off-licenses and convenience stores.
  • Acting for Virgin Media / O2 in relation to its Northern Ireland retail store portfolio.