Next Generation Partners

Intellectual property in Northern Ireland

A&L Goodbody Northern Ireland LLP

A&L Goodbody Northern Ireland LLP is active on high-profile contentious and non-contentious work, with experience working across the UK and internationally. Ciaran O’Shiel leads the contentious team within the group, and has expertise in trade mark infringement, copyright, patent litigation, and breach of confidence claims. The non-contentious practice is led by Mark Thompson, who covers all aspects of IP protection, transfer, and commercialisation. Former team lead Brendan Fox remains active in contentious matters. Associate Ronan Marlow, who joined from Lewis Silkin in 2021, has experience advising multinational and local brand owners in a range of IP matters.

Practice head(s):

Ciaran O’Shiel; Mark Thompson

Other key lawyers:

Brendan Fox; Ronan Marlow


‘Strong capabilities and expertise in the IP space in Northern Ireland.’

‘Ciaran O’Shiel – very diligent and knowledgeable; goes the extra mile for clients.’

‘Great team.’

‘Ronan was the master of detail, and there was not a single point that passed him by. He was terrier like with the facts and matters.’

Key clients

Screwfix Direct Limited

News Group

Crash Services Limited & Granite Financial Limited

Granite Financial Limited

Council for Catholic Maintained Schools (CCMS)

Halo Technologies

Selazar Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for Screwfix in defending high court proceedings brought against it in relation to alleged claims of passing off and trade mark infringement.
  • Acting for News Group Newspapers in the defence of proceedings brought in the Northern Ireland High Court by a firm of solicitors for copyright infringement (and claims of defamation and misuse of private information).
  • Instructed by Crash Services Ltd & Granite Financial Ltd to initiate trade mark infringement and passing off proceedings in the High Court of Northern Ireland against an English-based company.

Carson McDowell

Carson McDowell has expertise in both contentious and non-contentious IP matters, and is highly active across UK jurisdictions and internationally. Declan Magee and Dawn McKnight co-lead the department. Magee leads on IP disputes, and has particular expertise in the electronics and engineering sectors, while McKnight heads the non-contentious group, and specialises in the manufacturing, technology, and life sciences industries. Peter Guzhar is a key name for contentious IP matters, with experience in the prosecution and defence of trademark and patent infringement proceedings. Senior associate Helen Cosgrove is a name to note.

Practice head(s):

Declan Magee; Dawn McKnight

Other key lawyers:

Peter Guzhar; Helen Cosgrove


‘The service that was provided was personal and tailored precisely to our needs, and so we were very pleased with the outcome.’

‘The team is agile and willing to support our business as the work comes in.’

‘Dawn is methodical, approachable and clear. If there are any terms or nuances we don’t understand, she is there to explain to our level of thought. She is wonderful to work with.’

‘From my initial contact with the team at Carson McDowell, their response was speedy and empathetic. They proved capable of very quickly and accurately assessing our particular difficulties and promptly issued a clear action plan to deal with same. The plan was meticulously followed and executed just as swiftly.’

‘In my dealings with both Peter and Helen, I was left in no doubt that the knowledge and expertise they had in this field coupled with their operational efficiency and responsiveness meant that I was in extremely good hands. It doesn’t get any better!’

‘Carson McDowell are very attentive and commercially minded. They just understand what we want as a business from our IP portfolio.’

‘Carson McDowell are a pragmatic, customer focussed firm with expertise in all disciplines.’

‘Peter Guzhar is an expert in his discipline who puts the client first. His expert guidance has smoothed many a potentially bumpy road.’

Key clients

Prestige Insurance Holdings Limited

Angel Eyes NI Services

Ulster University

Options Technology Limited

Kilwaughter Minerals Limited

Royal Portrush Golf Club

AquaQ Analytics Limited

Education Authority

Aiguille Investments Limited

BSG Civil Engineering Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising the Education Authority on its procurement of strategic partner services and school management system solution for the Education Information Solutions Programme (to replace C2K).
  • Advising Ulster University on the commercialisation of its IP portfolio whether via academic/commercial collaborations, technology transfers or spin-out/spin-in companies.
  • Advising the Prestige Insurance Group on its trademark Portfolio.

Arthur Cox Belfast

Arthur Cox Belfast advises clients on the full range of IP matters, including copyright law, trade mark law, and patents law. The group acts for prominent clients in a diverse set of industries, such as agritech, medtech, and education. Team lead Alan Taylor is experienced in IP matters at the global scale, and advises on the exploitation and maintenance of intellectual property generally. Lynsey Mallon is particularly prominent in the technology, retail and public sectors, while Richard Armstrong is a key name for pharmaceutical and medtech clients. Associate Erin Carruthers is a core team member.

Practice head(s):

Alan Taylor

Other key lawyers:

Lynsey Mallon; Richard Armstrong; Erin Carruthers

Key clients

Musgrave Retail Partners NI Limited

Re-Vana Therapeutics Ltd

Sonrai Analytics Ltd

Sunrise Medical Holdings Limited

Americold Group

Invest Northern Ireland

Tourism NI

Heron Bros. Holdings Limited

[PlayFit Ltd]

Norbrook Laboratories Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising Musgrave on an ongoing basis in relation to its use and licensing of the intellectual property rights contained within its marquee retail brands (SuperValu, Centra and Mace).
  • Acted for Sunrise Medical in its acquisition of the entire issued share capital of The Helping Hand Company (Ledbury) Limited.
  • Advising Americold Group on an ongoing basis in relation to its intellectual property matters and branding.

Millar McCall Wylie LLP

Millar McCall Wylie LLP‘s IP team has particular strength in the film and media sector. The group is also active on behalf of clients in the technology and software industries, with experience advising on both domestic and international matters. Damian McParland leads the team, and specialises in advising on intellectual property rights issues relating to investments and acquisitions. Media specialist Abbie Long covers IP ownership and licensing.

Practice head(s):

Damian McParland

Other key lawyers:

Abbie Long

Key clients

Learning Pool Limited

Cirdan Imaging Limited

Causeway Sensors Limited

Kanisi Limited

Keystone Group

iGame Media

Stormharvester Ltd

Makematic Limited

Northern Ireland Screen

Humain Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Cirdan Imaging Limited on all aspects of the consortium agreement, including all issues regarding access and licensing of each party’s current IPR and a new IPR created during the project.
  • Acted for Arty Pictures in relation to production of a feature film provisionally entitled “The Last Rifleman” starring Pierce Brosnan and Clemence Poesy and with several high profile pre-sales.
  • Acted for Learning Pool in putting together a new master services agreement in relation to use of their services including online platform, e-learning, module creation tools and more.

Mills Selig

Mills Selig advises clients in relation to a diverse set of intellectual property matters, including copyright, trademarks, and patents, in addition to protection of IP through non-disclosure agreements and employment contracts. Commercial litigator Emma Hunt co-leads the department alongside Kirsten Magee, who has experience advising private and public sector clients. Corporate partner Glenn Watterson is a key name for non-contentious matters, and focuses on advising technology and start-up companies.

Practice head(s):

Emma Hunt; Kirsten Magee

Other key lawyers:

Glenn Watterson


‘The practice is full of really talented people. Any of our dealings with Mills Selig have felt competent, organised and confidence inspiring.’

‘Despite the fact that the work was difficult and very detailed, Glenn handled it with great care and expertise and walked us through a difficult point in a very calm and organised way.’

Key clients

Valsoft Corporation, Inc

FD Technologies PLC

Work highlights

  • Instructed by a Northern Ireland based manufacturing company in patent infringement proceedings threatened by their competitor.
  • Instructed by Northern Ireland’s two leading taxi operators, Value Cabs and FonaCab, in respect of a joint passing off and trademark infringement dispute against recently registered company FondaValue and 7 Seater Taxi Limited.
  • Acting for Hannaway CA Limited, who received cease and desist correspondence from solicitors acting for the Institute of Chartered Accountants Scotland.


Tughans' team of specialist IP practitioners is highly active in the Northern Irish start-up space, and is a popular choice for innovative businesses in the technology, software, and medical industries. Adrian O’Connell leads the department, and advises on the protection and exploitation of intellectual property assets. 'Exceptional' partner Andrew Kirke heads the trademark practice within the group.

Practice head(s):

Adrian O’Connell

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Kirke


‘Adrian O’Connell excels in his field. His attention to details and commercial assertiveness ensure he is always ahead of the market.’

‘Extremely friendly and relatable. Work ethic and efficiency speed and rapid response is superb.’

‘Andrew Kirke was exceptional with his advice, guidance and pragmatic manner, while meeting extremely challenging deadlines. This ensured that a mutually agreeable solution was reached, with all parties content with the outcome.’

Key clients

Randox Group

Fusion Antibodies PLC

B-Secur Limited

EOS Group

Dale Farm

Overwatch Research Limited


Hughes Insurance

Blk Box

W&R Barnett

Work highlights

  • Advising Nelipak, a global leader in healthcare packaging, on all aspects of its ongoing IP contracting.
  • Advising Fusion Antibodies, a global specialist contract research organisation (one of only three listed companies in Northern Ireland) on all aspects of its intellectual property requirements.
  • Advising various entities in the EOS group across a range of intellectual property matters.

Cleaver Fulton Rankin

Cleaver Fulton Rankin‘s IP department includes dedicated teams for contentious and non-contentious matters, and is particularly active on behalf of early stage tech companies. Contentious IP specialist Michael King co-leads the department alongside Paul McBride, who joined from Davidson McDonnell Solicitors in 2022, and has expertise in non-contentious matters.

Practice head(s):

Michael King; Paul McBride

Other key lawyers:

Stuart Sproule; Rachael Gamble


‘The team had the right mix of being super approachable and professional. They were able to explain things in layman’s terms with ease, were always available at short notice, and protected my company massively.’

‘Approachable, friendly and so professional. My direct point of contact was exceptional. He explained things very well, and I never felt like a burden or that I was asking silly questions. I would recommend any new start up to this firm.’

Key clients

Mates Dates Ltd

Slurrykat Limited

Catalyst Inc

National Museums Northern Ireland

Work highlights

  • Instructed by Mates Dates Ltd to draft and negotiate an application development agreement governing the appointment of an application developer to develop the bespoke software necessary to facilitate the technology require for the application.


DWF‘s rapidly growing group has attracted a client list of prominent domestic and international clients. The team is led by Olivia O’Kane, who joined from Meta Platforms in October 2022. Other additions over the course of 2022 include Scott Kennedy, who moved from Millar McCall Wylie LLP, and director James Griffiths, formerly of Pinsent Masons Belfast LLP.

Practice head(s):

Olivia O’Kane

Other key lawyers:

Scott Kennedy; James Griffiths; Caroline McNally

Key clients

BT Sport


Humain Limited

StormHarvester Limited

Markel Insurance

Ronan Films


Work highlights

  • Advised BT Sport in relation to all aspects of its copyright infringement and enforcement action relating to its broadcast of Premier League football.
  • Advised Humain on IPR assignment and licensing terms relating to its services agreements with its key customers.
  • Provided content clearance advice including intellectual property legal clearance to Ronan Films, in regard to a documentary that included footage owned by other broadcasters and rights holders.

Lewis Silkin

Lewis Silkin, formerly Forde Campbell LLC, advises clients from the UK, EU, and US on a range of high profile IP matters. Litigator Matthew Forde, who leads the team, has significant experience in trade secret, copyright, and trademarks. Katey Dixon is a key contact for technology clients, and advises on the licensing of IP.

Practice head(s):

Mathew Forde

Other key lawyers:

Katey Dixon


‘Mathew had an excellent grasp of the details of the case and also a keen eye for strategy.’

‘Lewis Silkin are quick to respond and are efficient with their advice.’

‘The individuals grasped the issues quickly which saved time and fees.’

Key clients

Texthelp Limited

Lynn’s Country Foods t/a Finnebrogue

Luke Irwin Rugs Limited

Glens of Antrim Potatoes Limited

Trimedika Limited

Scriptbloxian Studios

Sensoteq Limited

Sixteen South Ltd

Paper Owl Ltd

Sky UK Limited

Work highlights

  • Advise Texthelp, a leading software developer, on intellectual property strategy and on the management and protection of product brands on a global basis.
  • Advise Finnebrogue, a pioneering and innovative Northern Irish food producer, on brand, reputation management and IP ownership.
  • Advising Scriptbloxian Studios, a successful developer and publisher of online games on intellectual property strategy and on the management and protection of copyright and brands on a global basis. The advice has also provided a sharp focus on the combat of online copyright infringement on a multijurisdictional basis.