Next Generation Partners

IT and telecoms in Northern Ireland

Arthur Cox Belfast

Arthur Cox Belfast acts for private and public sector clients on the full range of IT law, with a focus on contracts and procurement law. Firm chairman Alan Taylor leads the team and is highly experienced in data protection legislation. Lynsey Mallon leads on corporate IT matters,  including transactions, complex IT agreements, and due diligence exercises. William Curry acts as lead partner for some of the most significant IT projects in Northern Ireland, working for major governmental clients such as The Department of Finance and Tourism NI.

Practice head(s):

Alan Taylor

Other key lawyers:

Lynsey Mallon; William Curry


‘Professional expertise in public sector procurement, contracting and contract management.’

‘Professionalism, knowledge of the sector, experience in negotiating.’

‘Excellent knowledge and advice.’

‘They go the extra mile. And always respond.’

Key clients

Musgrave Retail Partners NI Limited

Enterprise Ventures Limited

Department of Finance (LPS)

Peloton Interactive Inc

Hastings Hotels Group Limited

Department for Infrastructure (“DfI”)

Belfast Metropolitan College

Tiger Global Internet Fund VII Pte Ltd *

Tourism NI

Paddypaw Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advised Enterprise Ventures Limited (part of the Mercia group) in connection with its investment in 3DEO NI Limited, a technology company incorporated in Northern Ireland with an office in Newcastle.
  • Acting for Musgrave in respect of a commercial IT contract for the hire of broadband, till and IT support services which is to be entered into by each retailer across the Musgrave brand.
  • Advising Land and Property Services (LPS) on all aspects of its Revenue and Benefits Procurement.

Carson McDowell

Carson McDowell field a cross-disciplinary team that is active for start-ups and global companies, as well as for major domestic clients, including Ulster University and Ubloquity Limited. The team is led by Dawn McKnight. McKnight is a specialist in cyber security, with a strong reputation for delivering IT due diligence on corporate transactions. Peter Guzhar  leads on contentious matters, with a focus on copyright infringement and licensing disputes related to software matters. Associate solicitor Aisling O’Hare is a key name for non-contentious work.

Practice head(s):

Dawn McKnight

Other key lawyers:

Peter Guzhar; Aisling O’Hare


‘Overall the team has a strong understanding of our business – which is relatively unique. They have built strong relationships with several key personnel across the business, which enables our work with them to be more collaborative than most.’

Key clients

STATSports Group Limited

Fibrus Networks Limited

Belfast Harbour Commissioners

Ubloquity Limited


Ulster University and Innovation Ulster Limited

Queens University Belfast

AquaQ Analytics Limited

Xilinx, Inc

Interlink Online Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising STATSports in relation to its technology, the software it uses, the contracts it enters into with  customers and the high-profile investments made in the company by high-profile athletes.
  • Advised the shareholders of Neueda Limited, a global digital solutions consultancy and training company, on the sale of the company to Version 1 Software Limited, an IT service provider.
  • Advised Ulster University on an agreement for the provision of an online, web-based branded networking platform whereby students can upload profiles and ancillary documentation such as CVs to be viewed by prospective employers.


Tughans provides a complete service for tech companies and is well versed in domestic and internationally matters. The team has strong connections to the Northern Irish start-up sector. Practice head Adrian O’Connell specialises in data protection, contract agreements, and information technology. O’Connell is supported by Andrew Kirke, an expert in commercial contracts and commercialisation matters. Associate Paul Eastwood is a name to watch.

Practice head(s):

Adrian O’Connell

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Kirke; Paul Eastwood


‘Adrian was excellent. He was highly responsive and excellent value for money. His expertise gave us the comfort that we were protected from a plethora of possible risk scenarios.’

‘The team is very helpful and knowledgeable in investment and technology contracts.’

‘Helpfulness and attention to detail.’

‘Highly skilled and knowledgeable staff. Strong attention to detail and fast turnaround. Having used other firms Tughans produced a much higher standard of work.’

‘Highly diligent. Excellent communication and most importantly can lead the process through to a result.’

Key clients

Invest Northern Ireland

Techstart Ventures LLP

Business Growth Fund (BGF)

Kernel Capital

Randox Group

Fusion Antibodies plc

OCO Global Limited


B-Secur Limited

Titan IC Systems


Clockwise Group

Overwatch Research

First Derivatives PLC




Work highlights

  • Advised the shareholders of T.S.I. (Ireland) Limited in respect of the sale of telecoms services provider Rainbow Communications.
  • Assisted cybersecurity company MetaCompliance in respect of the significant investment by private equity investor Tenzing, enabling a significant scale-up.
  • Advised Fourds Limited on its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, assisting with spinning out its specialist e-commerce-focused Bloc Labs offering.  

A&L Goodbody

A&L Goodbody ‘s team works closely with the Dublin office to field an all-Ireland offering that is frequently active in pan-European matters and matters involving the US. The department advises technology clients on licensing arrangements and corporate matters, with clients including start-ups and global organisations. Corporate partner Mark Thompson and litigator Brendan Fox head the practice, with Thompson covering software development agreements, data protection and software licensing, and Fox specialising in contentious IT matters.

Practice head(s):

Brendan Fox; Mark Thompson

Key clients



Cumulus Neuroscience

Axial 3D

Energia Group

Halo Technologies Europe




Riot Games

ICC Belfast

Energia Group

Work highlights

  • Advised Cumulus Neuroscience Limited in drafting bespoke software licenses.
  • Advised Etex New Ways NV in the purchase of a majority stake in Evolusion Offsite Limited
  • Advised Intapp Inc. on the acquisition of the entire share capital of Repstor Limited.

Cleaver Fulton Rankin

Cleaver Fulton Rankin‘s multidisciplinary team is particularly known for its work in the telecoms sector, but also acts for high-profile fintech and cybersecurity companies. Team head Joe Marley also leads the firm’s commercial property team, putting his expertise to use when advising tech companies on real estate elements of investment and infrastructure projects. Paul McBride joined the firm from Davidson McDonnell Solicitors in January 2022, and brings his extensive technology M&A track record to the table. Aaron Moore is also noted.

Practice head(s):

Joe Marley

Other key lawyers:

Paul McBride; Aaron Moore; Shane Conlan


‘In my dealings with the telecoms team I’ve found them prompt, polite and highly knowledgeable and experienced across the legal aspects of the various matters on which I have sought their assistance.’

‘I’ve dealt mainly with Joe Marley and Shane Conlan and have found them both to be knowledgeable and experienced in the relevant legal aspects, but also with a firm understanding of the commercial and telecoms factors affecting negotiations.’

‘With CFR it feels like working with individuals rather than a faceless organisation, even during lockdown.’

‘Flexibility, on hand if something urgent arises, detailed legal knowledge of the sector, helpfulness.

‘Joe Marley is vastly experienced in the telecommunications sector. He has acted in the acquisition and management of countless telecommunications sites throughout Northern Ireland.’

Key clients

BT Plc

Vodafone Limited

Cornerstone Telecommunications Infrastructure Limited (“CTIL”)


Invest Northern Ireland

Urban Innovation Company (UIC) limited

Vox Financial Ltd

IRP Commerce Limited

Logicearth Learning Services

JC Deceaux

Atos IT Services


Work highlights

  • Advising a joint venture company made up of Vodafone and Telefonica (O2) on all aspects of its telecommunications sites throughout Northern Ireland.
  • Acting as counsel for all real estate issues for BT’s NI portfolio.
  • Acting for DailyPay in relation to its setting up of operations in Northern Ireland.

Lewis Silkin

Lewis Silkin , which merged with Forde Campbell LLC in early 2022, advises technology, software, and media companies on a range of contentious and non-contentious matters. Former name partners Mathew Forde and Rory Campbell remain with the department, with Forde now leading the practice. The team also benefits from Katey Dixon, who focuses on the creative and design sector, and has expertise in data protection law.

Practice head(s):

Mathew Forde

Other key lawyers:

Rory Campbell; Katey Dixon; Mary Traynor

Key clients

Telefonica Tech Limited

Acuris Risk Intelligence

EVP Group Limited

In Your Element Limited

Velocity Worldwide

EventMap Solutions

Onesource Virtual (UK) Limited

Analytics Engines

Fluent Technology Limited


Kinsetsu Limited

Support to Perform

Automated Intelligence

Work highlights

  • Advising Texthelp on intellectual property strategy and on the management and protection of product brands.
  • Advising Finnebrogue on brand, reputation management and IP ownership and licensing issues intergroup.
  • Advising rug design company Luke Irwin on design and brand protection and licensing issues.

Millar McCall Wylie LLP

Millar McCall Wylie LLP advises a wide range of technology start-ups on contractual and corporate matters and is developing a reputation in media and TV production work. Corporate partner Damian McParland and Abbie Long are other key contacts.

Other key lawyers:

Damian McParland; Abbie Long

Key clients

Learning Pool Ltd

Kanisi Ltd t/as Rotor Videos

Retinize Limited

Causeway Sensors Ltd

Humain Ltd

StormHarvester Ltd

Makematic Ltd


iGame Media Ltd

Cirdan Imaging Ltd

Work highlights