Construction in Northern Ireland

A&L Goodbody

A&L Goodbody acts for funders, employers and contractors in a wide range of contentious and non-contentious construction matters, with a specialism in the energy and social housing sectors. The team regularly advises on major local developments, including student accommodation, retail, office and residential projects. Practice head Brendan Fox has a strong reputation for construction litigation and arbitration; Micaela Diver advises on procurement matters; and associate John Dugdale acts on non-contentious matters.

Practice head(s):

Brendan Fox

Other key lawyers:

Micaela Diver; John Dugdale


The combination of expertise and experience together with the level of responsiveness makes the firm invaluable in the resolution of construction-related disputes.

Brendan Fox is always available, provides considered advice and experience, and has commercial as well as technical knowledge and experience.

The construction department is results and outcome driven with satisfaction for the client being the number one priority. The client is spoken to in plain, non-legalistic language as far as possible and the merits and risks associated with the case are clearly and concisely explained.

Brendan Fox impresses with the ease with which he grasps the issues in a dispute. He has supreme people-handling skills and he can talk knowledgeably and with respect to anyone involved in the dispute. When Brendan says he is going to do something for you he does exactly that and it is clear that he also has a very able team of solicitors to ensure that a quality and timely professional service is delivered.

Key clients

Viridian Group

Ulster Bank

First Trust Bank

Taranto Limited

Northern Ireland Housing Executive

Todd Architects Limited

Construction Employers Federation

NewRiver Retail

The McAvoy Group Limited

Foresight Group

Work highlights

  • Advising York Street (No 1) on a large-scale student accommodation project.
  • Advising Northern Ireland Housing Executive on various matters connected to the insolvency of Carillion.
  • Advising Foresight, as owner and developer, on the construction of a £3m waste-to-energy facility.
  • Advising a design and build contractor in connection with a £6.2m social housing scheme.
  • Advising Northern Ireland Transport Holding Company on the development of the Belfast Transport Hub.

Carson McDowell

Carson McDowell is particularly active in advising on large construction projects in the social housing, energy, education and ports sectors. In addition to local work, the team has acted on significant developments in Great Britain, including university and office projects. Clients include a number of housing associations, as well as leading Northern Irish contractors. Practice head Stuart Murphy handles both contentious and non-contentious matters, while Kerry Teahan leads the firm's procurement offering.

Practice head(s):

Stuart Murphy

Other key lawyers:

Kerry Teahan; Gavin Kerr


Carson McDowell is a well-established practice that has grown significantly in the past number of years. We have enjoyed an excellent service from a number of the specialisms with the firm, particularly construction and real estate.

Gavin Kerr is a highly diligent solicitor who applies a common-sense approach to negotiations in the best interests of his clients. Gavin has excellent experience and a thorough understanding of the complexities of the construction contracts and how this relates to the challenges of the real estate market.

Key clients

John Graham Construction Ltd

Southern Regional College

Belfast Harbour Commissioners

McAleer & Rushe


Actavo (NI)

Choice Housing Association

Causeway Coast & Glens Borough Council

Ulster University

J.H. Turkington & Sons Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advised Belfast Harbour Commissioners (BHC) on the £250m City Quays development at Belfast Harbour.
  • Advised BHC on the redevelopment of the Victoria Terminal 2 (VT2), a major new ferry terminal.
  • Advised Southern Regional College on the development of three new campuses in Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon.
  • Advising JH Turkington & Sons on the refurbishment and extension of a former B&Q store in Craigavon to create a number of new retail units.
  • Representing Radius in High Court proceedings in relation to defects in a major social housing development in Newtownards.

Cleaver Fulton Rankin

Cleaver Fulton Rankin has expanded its non-contentious construction practice, advising on major local hotel, leisure and education sector projects. The team is also noted for its strength in advising public sector clients and charitable organisations. On the contentious side, the firm has a strong track record of handling high-value disputes. Practice head Patrick Fleming regularly advises local authorities on large projects; Lisa Boyd has expertise in procurement-related construction disputes; and Aaron Moore specialises in dilapidation disputes. Julie-Ann McCaffrey-Flynn moved to an in-house role.

Practice head(s):

Patrick Fleming

Other key lawyers:

Lisa Boyd; Aaron Moore


The construction team at Cleaver Fulton Rankin is always a pleasure to deal with. It is the leading team of its kind in Northern Ireland. The expertise and efficiency of the team knows no bounds; it has a wealth of knowledge and experience in this and other fields.

Lisa Boyd is an exceptional lawyer with vast experience in construction matters. No task or request is too great for her. Lisa is always willing to go the extra mile and provides clear, concise and accurate advice in a timely manner.

Solicitor Marc Kelly is an up-and-coming member of the team. His work ethic is insatiable and his ability to advise on an ad hoc basis very impressive.

Cleaver Fulton Rankin’s construction team gets to grips with the important issues efficiently and accurately. It always offers considered solutions to difficult issues, whether in adjudication or arbitration.

Aaron Moore’s pragmatic approach delivers sound advice, quality submissions and clarity at all stages of a dispute. He quickly determines the critical issues to be addressed and evidenced and develops those issues in great detail. He is a formidable person to be on your side of a case.

Aaron Moore and Lisa Boyd stand out in terms of service provision. They are prepared to give strong early advice to clients so that informed decisions are made at an early stage of a dispute.

Key clients

Northern Ireland Housing Executive

Northern Regional Colleges

Armagh Banbridge & Craigavon Borough Council

The Charles Sheils Charity

Work highlights

  • Advised the Northern Ireland Housing Executive on a planned maintenance scheme for its stock of around 89,000 dwellings.
  • Advised Northern Regional College on the procurement and construction of two further colleges.
  • Advising Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council on the procurement and construction documents for a large leisure facility.
  • Advising the Northern Ireland Housing Executive on the building contract for a major adaption to its housing stock.
  • Representing the Northern Ireland Housing Executive in a dispute raised by a contractor in respect of an asbestos surveying services contract.


Tughans is noted for its multi-jurisdictional advice; the team acts on high-profile developments across the UK and the island of Ireland, and is particularly active in relation to energy and infrastructure projects. Clients include major local contractors and employers, as well as funders and developers. The team also has a strong reputation on the contentious side; 'exceptionally clever litigator' Michael McCord, who heads the practice jointly with Tim Kinney, handles construction litigation and arbitration. Kinney has particular strength in project procurement.

Practice head(s):

Michael McCord; Tim Kinney


The team has the ability to see the bigger picture and offers solid strategic advice.’

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

This is the strongest and best team in Belfast in this field. They can deal with any case and are very capable and extremely well regarded.’

Michael McCord is the undoubted market leader in Belfast. He is technically brilliant with an eye for detail and a work ethic which is unsurpassed. He is very focused on getting the best outcome for his client and is forensic in his ability to determine what really matters.

Tughans is a one-stop shop; the service is professional and the team is always available to deal with issues.

Key clients

Indaver NV

Northstone (NI) Limited

Adston Construction

Henry Brothers (Magherafelt) Limited

McAleer & Rushe

Apple Inc.

RPS Group plc

Mercury Engineering

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

Lagan Construction Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Urban Pulse Warwick on a project involving the procurement of a student accommodation village near Warwick University.
  • Acted for RPS in High Court proceedings commenced against it by McLaughlin & Harvey, alleging professional negligence.
  • Advising Apple in respect of its planned state-of-the-art data centre facility in Athenry, County Galway.
  • Acting for BAM McCann (a joint venture between BAM Civil Limited and FP McCann Limited for a roads project in Northern Ireland) in relation to a dispute with design and build engineers.
  • Advising McAleer & Rushe as the design and build contractor for the procurement of a mixed-use development at the existing Tara Towers site in Dublin.

Arthur Cox Belfast

Arthur Cox Belfast handles contentious and non-contentious construction matters, with expertise in providing cross-border advice. The team acts for employers, contractors and funders, and counts a number of public sector bodies, such as local housing associations and local authorities, among its clients. It has advised on a range of major construction projects in Northern Ireland, including student accommodation and residential developments, as well as significant disputes in the sector. Procurement specialist William Curry leads the team jointly with Dublin-based Niav O’Higgins.

Practice head(s):

William Curry; Niav O’Higgins

Key clients

Apex Housing Association

Ulster University

Ards and North Down Borough Council

Breedon Group plc

Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council

Recipharm (formerly Fisons Limited (trading as Sanofi))

Garrison Earlsfort Partners Limited / GEI Newry Limited

GEI Crystal Limited

Promotoria (Aran) Limited

Jurys Inn DAC

Work highlights

  • Advising Apex Housing Association on revisions to its design and build procurement documentation and structure.
  • Advising Ulster University on the contract for the construction of a car park as part of the Greater Belfast Development.
  • Advising Ards and North Down Borough Council on the development of a new leisure centre at the Dairy Hall playing fields in Newtownards.
  • Advising Breedon Group on the acquisition of Lagan Group (Holdings) Limited and its subsidiaries.
  • Advising a developer on a new student accommodation scheme to facilitate Ulster University’s new campus in the centre of Belfast.

Mills Selig

Mills Selig is known for its strength in the social housing sector, advising local housing associations on major residential developments, as well as representing them in construction disputes. The team also advises funders, developers and contractors on office, retail and other commercial developments, and has been highly active in the energy sector, advising on anaerobic digestion and wind farm projects. Practice head Adrian Kerr has expertise in contentious and non-contentious matters.

Practice head(s):

Adrian Kerr

Key clients

Clanmil Housing Association

Radius HousingAssociation

Warrenpoint Harbour Authority

Privilege Finance

AES Kilroot and Ballylumford Power Stations

Graham Construction

BSG Civil Engineering

CAF Bank

Lotus Homes

GEDA Construction

Work highlights

  • Advising Clanmil Housing Association on a range of construction projects.
  • Advising Radius Housing Association as the developer on the £40m Hope Street mixed-use development project.
  • Advising Radius Housing Association on the £35m Visteon development, a scheme for the construction of 244 homes in West Belfast.
  • Acting for BSG Civil Engineering in a high-value dispute relating to the construction of two anaerobic digestion plants.
  • Advising Armagh House on the redevelopment of The Weaving Works office and retail project in Belfast city centre.

Pinsent Masons Belfast LLP

Pinsent Masons Belfast LLP advises on a wide range of high-profile construction developments, including infrastructure, education sector and office projects. Clients include local and international employers, developers and contractors. The practice is led by Belfast office managing partner Andrea McIlroy-Rose; London-based Adrian Eakin; and 'always available and deeply knowledgeable' legal director Ciaran McNamara, whose expertise includes advising on procurement matters and handling construction disputes.

Practice head(s):

Adrian Eakin; Andrea McIlroy-Rose; Ciaran McNamara


Pinsent Masons is responsive to the client’s ongoing needs and works hard to meet both their short and longer-term objectives.

Ciaran McNamara provides advice at key stages on a range of construction matters from inception to project completion. He is very knowledgeable on all forms of contract and brings a very practical insight to matters at hand.

Senior associate James Griffiths is particularly effective on the tactical use of mediation.

Key clients

Queen’s University Belfast

Education Authority

Lagan College Education Partnership

Allstate / Allstate (NI)

Kerry Group Plc


Hall McKnight Architects

Gilbert Ash

Work highlights

  • Advised the Belfast Region Education Authority on new design and build projects at Elmgrove Primary School, Bunscoil Mhic Reachtain, Our Lady’s Primary School and Strandtown Primary School.
  • Advising Queen’s University Belfast on the extension to the existing McClay Library and David Bates Building, and the £30m new-build project for a Student’s Union Centre.
  • Advising Lagan College Education Partnership on the construction of a new sixth form study in Lagan College.
  • Advising Allstate on an adjudication concerning its new office development in Belfast.
  • Advising a subsidiary of Kerry Group Plc in relation to the latest phase of the development of its food-processing facility in Omagh, County Tyrone, as well as a major extension to the existing facility in Coleraine, County Antrim.