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Construction in Northern Ireland

A&L Goodbody

A&L Goodbody attracts praise for its 'excellent knowledge of procurement law' and 'very practical approach to contractual disputes'. Practice head Brendan Fox is a key name in the market for construction disputes, with expertise in both litigation and ADR. Procurement specialist Micaela Diver is also highly recommended.

Practice head(s):

Brendan Fox

Other key lawyers:

Micaela Diver


‘Excellent knowledge of procurement law and very practical approach to contractual disputes. ‘

‘Very knowledgable, professional and personable. Provide clear advice and great support.’

Key clients

Northern Ireland Housing Executive

LIV Belfast Partners

The Old Bushmills Distillery Company Limited

O’Hare & McGovern

The McAvoy Group

Todd Architects

Oakland (FRO)

NewRiver Retail

Mid Ulster District Council

Triangle Housing Association

Work highlights

  • Advised LIV Belfast Partners in connection with a student accommodation project that will provide 717 units over 14 floors.
  • Acted for the Northern Ireland’s strategic housing authority and a landlord to approximately 87,000 dwellings – in successful High Court proceedings that saw an adjudicator’s decision overturned.
  • Acted for Seaview in a number of adjudications and enforcement action against Williams Homes Ltd in relation to the construction of a number of apartments in Donaghadee, Co Down.

Carson McDowell

Carson McDowell has worked on key construction projects in the region, particularly in relation to the redevelopment of Belfast Harbour.  Practice head Stuart Murphy has been leading on these mandates and is also active in advising local developers such as John Graham Construction on developments across the UK and Ireland. The team has also been strengthened with the arrival of construction contracts specialist John Dugdale from A&L Goodbody.

Practice head(s):

Stuart Murphy

Other key lawyers:

John Dugdale

Key clients

John Graham Construction Ltd

Belfast Harbour Commissioners

McAleer & Rushe

Soventix GmbH


Seagate Technology LLC

Choice Housing Association

Ulster University

O’Hare & McGovern Ltd

Southern Regional College

Work highlights

  • Advised Belfast Harbour Commissioners on the £250m City Quays development of four blocks of high grade office accommodation, a hotel and multi-storey car park.
  • Represented Soventix in ongoing high value High Court proceedings in relation to the supply of solar panels.
  • Advising McAleer & Rushe on the construction of a new 17 storey mixed use office development known as the Ewart Building.

Cleaver Fulton Rankin

Cleaver Fulton Rankin runs the gamut of contentious and non-contentious construction work, but is particularly known for representing public bodies including regional colleges and the Northern Ireland Housing Executive. Patrick Fleming is described as'the best construction lawyer in NI' whose 'knowledge of construction contracts is unsurpassed'. Lisa Boyd adds another dimension to the practice with her joint expertise in both construction and procurement matters. Aaron Moore is particularly strong in professional negligence disputes, most notably in dilapidation claims.


‘The quality and speed of the professional advice is second to none.’

‘Always available to answer and provide advice to the client promptly.’

‘Steady, assured approach. Good perspectives on legal arguments. Solid and dependable. Excellent organisation and management of activities. You will not find another real estate practice in NI which has the same wealth of experience and knowledge.’

‘Patrick Fleming is simply the best construction lawyer in NI. His knowledge of construction contracts is unsurpassed. When you’re a client in a busy organisation you want to be able to send your lawyer a complex instruction and ask them to provide clarify and address all areas of risk.’

Key clients

Northern Regional Colleges

North West Regional College

Northern Ireland Housing Executive


Belfast Central Mission

Baker Tilly Mooney Moore

Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors


Work highlights

  • Adviser to the Northern Regional College in the provision of procurement and construction advice for a £25m further education campus in Coleraine.
  • Acted in respect of a complex dilapidations claim at one of the sub-campus centres for North West Regional College.
  • Advised the Northern Ireland Housing Executive on 13 contracts relating to a planned maintenance construction scheme worth £2bn.


With expertise in both disputes and transactions, Tughans is a key name in the local market as well as in Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland, as exemplified by its recent mandate advising Apple on its new data centre facility in Galway. Senior partner Michael McCord has extensive experience in construction disputes, with expertise spanning litigation, arbitration and mediation. For non-contentious work, Tim Kinney is an important figure and has advised on high-scale commercial and public development projects.

Practice head(s):

Michael McCord; Tim Kinney


‘In-depth knowledge of construction law with plenty of experience. ‘

‘The ability to think about problems in a holistic fashion and deliver tailored advice to clients. They will not cut corners and will consider every option.’

‘Tim Kinney is able to bring his considerable knowledge of construction law to bear on every problem. He combines this with his industry experience to provide holistic and practical advice. He originally qualified as an architect so he has a good understanding of the commercial reality of construction projects and can quickly get to grips with complex technical issues.’

‘Tughans have negotiated construction contracts for me on several projects. They have protected our interests in a manner that has been mutually acceptable to our clients. They operate in a timely fashion and are easily accessible and contactable.’

‘Tim Kinney is a true legal professional who instils confidence as soon as you meet him. He quickly understands our remit on complex construction projects and advises appropriately. He operates at a professional level that, from my experience, surpasses our client’s legal teams mostly out of large practices in London.’

Key clients

Deloitte LLP

BAM/F.P. McCann Limited (Joint Venture)

Indaver NV

Lagan Construction Limited

McAleer & Rushe

Obelisk Power Systems Limited

Apple Inc.

Adcrete Limited

Hinch Distillery Limited (Terry Cross CBE)

Henry Brothers (Magherafelt) Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Deloitte as the anchor tenant on a major commercial office development, at Bedford Street Belfast.
  • Acting for BAM McCann in relation to a roads project in Northern Ireland where which their client has a professional negligence claim against the design engineers.
  • Acted for Apple Inc in respect of its planned landmark state-of-the-art data centre facility in Athenry, Co. Galway.

Arthur Cox Belfast

Arthur Cox Belfast has recently shaken up the leadership of its team, with Cahal Carvill promoted to partner and now jointly leading the practice alongside William Curry. Carvill has expertise in both contentious and non-contentious construction matters, representing contractors, developers and financiers of major projects. Curry works primarily on non-contentious matters, focusing on procurement, corporate and commercial matters.

Practice head(s):

Cahal Carvill; William Curry


‘The team is technically exceptional and keep us up to date on developments in the sector. ‘

‘They are always commercially minded and have our best interests at the forefront of every decision. ‘

‘We appreciate their tactical nuance and ability to direct and deliver upon a legal strategy. ‘

‘This has allowed our business to grow and adapt in an ever changing market place. Cahal Carvill is top of the market – sharp, focused and always available day or night. His knowledge, attention to detail and energy have been central to the growth and development of our business’

‘Cahal Carvill knows how to spot and manage risks lurking just around the corner and we see him as very much part of the team. He’s our go-to lawyer for all construction and real estate issues.’

Key clients

Apex Housing Association

Ulster University

Ards and North Down Borough Council

Department for Communities

Thompson Aerospace

McGinnis Developments

Garrison Earlsfort Partners Limited / GEI Newry Limited

Matagorda2 Limited

Ellandi LLP


Work highlights

  • Appointed as the lead advisers to the Department for Communities on the Stadia Funding project which includes the Casement Park Stadium Project.
  • Continue to advise the Ulster University as part of the Greater Belfast Development programme.
  • Advising Thompson Aerospace on a research and development industrial facility.

Mills Selig

Mills Selig is a well-established name for representing housing associations on their construction matters. Adrian Kerr leads the practice and, in addition to housing associations, acts for funders, developers, pension funds and universities on both contentious and non-contentious matters, with the added advantage of also being qualified in England and Wales.

Practice head(s):

Adrian Kerr

Key clients

Clanmil Housing Association

Radius Housing Association

Choice Housing Association

Habinteg Housing Association

BSG Civil Engineering

AES Kilroot and Ballylumford Power Stations

Warrenpoint Harbour Authority

Lotus Homes

GEDA Construction

CAF Bank

Work highlights

  • Advising Clanmil Housing Association in relation to all construction-related aspects of its Joymount project, the first residential modular housing project in Northern Ireland.
  • Advising Choice Housing Association in relation to its extensive, ongoing construction project portfolio.
  • Providing construction advice in relation to the £35m+ Visteon Regeneration Project, a scheme for the construction of 244 homes in West Belfast.

Pinsent Masons Belfast LLP

The team at Pinsent Masons Belfast LLP, which is part of the wider firm's expansive construction offering, is particularly active in on infrastructure and energy developments, with key clients including Queen's University and Grainger. Legal director Ciaran McNamara leads the team and has expertise in both contentious and non-contentious matters.

Practice head(s):

Ciaran McNamara


‘Ciaran McNamara is a great lawyer. Always available. Deeply knowledgeable in this area of law.’

‘They have a depth of experience and expertise in property law.’

‘Helpful and able to explain complex matters in an understandable way.’

Key clients

Grainger Plc

Queen’s University Belfast

Lagan College Education Partnership

Allstate (Northern Ireland) Ltd

DuPont (UK) Limited

Sacyr – Wills – Somague Joint Venture – A6 Dualling Project

Capital Dynamics Limited


Sacyr – Somague SA

Gilbert-Ash Ltd

Kennedy Wilson

Work highlights

  • Advising on various issues flowing out of the University of Ulster’s Greater Belfast Campus Development following the insolvency of Lagan Construction Group.
  • Advised Queen’s University on landmark projects and specialist services in relation to high value, cutting edge construction projects.
  • Advising in a series of claims arising out of the Allstate HQ development in Belfast.