IT and telecoms in Northern Ireland

Arthur Cox Belfast

Arthur Cox Belfast has been advising numerous public bodies on commercial IT contracts and digital transformation projects, as well as acting for private and semi-private entities in the retail, higher education and energy sectors. The team also advises medtech and fintech companies. Firm chairman Alan Taylor is a key name and is an expert in technology transfers and licensing agreements, as well as data protection matters. Corporate partner Lynsey Mallon has been advising on medtech and fintech matters and has also advised on AI and automation mandates. William Curry is the key name for large IT projects.

Practice head(s):

Alan Taylor

Other key lawyers:

Lynsey Mallon; William Curry


‘Transparent, clarity and openness. Always there to offer a solution to the issue at hand.’

‘Always call me back if they aren’t available, able to think out of the box. Approachable, honest and hard working.’

Key clients

Musgrave Retail Partners NI Limited

Funds Axis Limited

Department of Finance (LPS)

Sonrai Analytics Limited

Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs

Department for Infrastructure

Belfast Metropolitan College

Northern Ireland Housing Executive

Tourism NI


Work highlights

  • Acted for Musgrave in connection with a commercial IT contract with PayPoint Network Limited for the supply of certain IT till systems to Musgrave’s stores across Northern Ireland.
  • Advising Land and Property Services on all aspects of its Revenue and Benefits Procurement processes.
  • Advising the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs on its implementation of a new large-scale IT system for recording and tracking the movements and health of food animals in Northern Ireland.

Carson McDowell

Carson McDowell is a key name in the market for advising on IT infrastructure agreements, most recently assisting Fibrus with Project Stratum, a public initiative to develop broadband across rural areas. The team has also been advising Statsport, which has attracted investment from footballer Raheem Sterling. Dawn McKnight leads the team and excels in IT contracts and software development agreements. The team also has a contentious offering, with Peter Guzhar focusing on copyright infringement and licensing disputes. Associate Aisling O’Hare is a key name for non-contentious work.

Practice head(s):

Dawn McKnight

Other key lawyers:

Peter Guzhar; Aisling O’Hare


‘The team is extremely flexible and never fails to go the extra mile when working to deadlines.’

‘The practice is very quick to identify appropriately qualified and experienced individuals who make themselves readily available to discuss issues and to volunteer solutions to even the most complex and confusing situations.’

‘Team members are very personable and patient when it comes to explaining the law and teasing out relevant legal issues, uncertainties and potential solutions.’

‘They strive to ensure that they fully understand the brief and will present options in a concise fashion that encourages further discussion to crystallise the optimum course of action in even the most uncertain of circumstances.’

‘The firm was able to flex to provide a speedy response on a contractual issue where time was of the essence.’

Key clients

STATSports Group Limited

Probit Consulting Limited

ISDM Solutions Limited

Go Testify Limited

Evermore Group

MOF Technologies Limited

Interlink Online Limited

Fibrus Limited


Xilinx, Inc

Work highlights

  • Advised Fibrus Limited in respect of its successful bid for Project Stratum, a £350m investment project which aims to radically transform broadband connectivity across Northern Ireland.
  • Advised Neutron Bidco in respect of its acquisition of the entire issued share capital of Metacompliance Limited, a Northern Ireland based business with substantial expertise in cyber security and data protection.
  • Advising STATSports in relation to the technology it develops and how to protect it, the software it uses, the contracts it enters into with customers and the high profile investments made in the company by footballers Raheem Sterling and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.


Tughans’ practice head Adrian O’Connell specialises in contractual issues and procurement mandates; the team’s wider workload has involved software licensing work, corporate transactions, licensing mandates and technology transfers. O’Connell is supported by Andrew Kirke, who is highly skilled in handling technology-related commercial contracts.

Practice head(s):

Adrian O’Connell

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Kirke

Key clients

Invest Northern Ireland

Techstart Ventures LLP

Business Growth Fund

Kernel Capital

Randox Group

Fusion Antibodies plc

OCO Global Limited


B-Secur Limited

Titan IC Systems



Clockwise Group

Overwatch Research

Gofyt Limited




Work highlights

  • Advised Fibrus on the delivery of a gigabit capable fibre optic network across Northern Ireland.
  • Advised Titan IC on its licensing deals and corporate transactions.
  • Advised TechStart Ventures on its deals across NI and Scotland.

A&L Goodbody

A&L Goodbody’s recent workload has included advising traditional companies on digital transformation projects as well as assisting niche start-ups in the medtech and agritech spaces. Corporate partner Mark Thompson has a strong emphasis on the technology sector and is highly skilled in handling software licensing and development agreements as well as data protection work. Renowned litigator Brendan Fox handles disputes in the IT sector, and senior associate Jonathan Hacking, who focuses on IT agreements and data protection issues, is a promising junior name.

Practice head(s):

Mark Thompson

Other key lawyers:

Brendan Fox; Jonathan Hacking

Key clients

Belfast Waterfront and Ulster Hall Limited

Farmvet Systems Ltd

W&R Barnett

Progressive Building Society

Proximo Spirits Limited

Halo Technologies Europe Limited

BrainWaveBank Ltd (Cumulus NeuroScience)

Neurovalens Limited

Axial Medical Printing Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Belfast Waterfront and Ulster Hall on the IT solutions for its ticketing services.
  • Advised Farmvet Systems on a new app for veterinary management.
  • Advised Halo Technologies Europe on data protection issues surrounding its body camera technology.

Cleaver Fulton Rankin

Cleaver Fulton Rankin is particularly prominent in the telecoms sector in Northern Ireland and counts Vodafone, BT and Telefonica among an impressive roster of clients. Recent work of note has covered a range of real estate projects, transactional matters and contractual advice. The firm's telecoms practice is led by 'vastly experienced' director Joe Marley, who also leads the commercial property team. He works alongside corporate and commercial head Hilary Griffith.

Practice head(s):

Joe Marley

Other key lawyers:

Hilary Griffith; Aaron Moore; Shane Conlan


‘Joe Marley is vastly experienced in the telecommunications sector. He has acted in the acquisition and management of countless telecommunications sites throughout Northern Ireland. He is very experienced, very knowledgeable. Very few lawyers in Northern Ireland have the level of experience that Joe has in this space. He is skilled at navigating complex property cases involving telecoms.’

‘Shane Conlan is a rising star in this area. He has an impressive property management portfolio for very prominent telecoms companies.’

‘Aaron Moore is a skilled litigator of telecommunications cases. He is assured and knowledgeable and understands the complexities.’

‘I have dealt with Joe Marley for many years – there is no one I have worked with over the years who would have the depth and breath of knowledge has Joe. One of Joe’s strengths is his ability to expedite transactions. Joe can effectively can create solutions to any issues which may arise that always make both the landlord and tenant respectively feel that they got the better deal!, and that’s not an easy task.’

‘Cleaver Fulton Rankin’s team have acted in the telecommunications space for longer than any other firm in Northern Ireland. They have been consistently at the forefront of the roll-out and development of mobile technology in this jurisdiction. Their knowledge is unrivalled in this sector. They are the ‘go-to’ firm.’

‘The telecoms team whom I have dealt with for nearly 15 years have a collective wealth of knowledge both from the landlord and tenant perspectives which easily enables the resolution of any issues that arise.’

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.
  • Advising Urban Innovation Company Limited on the acquisition and leasing of various sites for Pulse Smart Hubs around Belfast to help provide better telecommunications coverage.
  • Advised on acquisition of e-learning company Logicearth Learning Services by international communications group, The Creative Engagement Group.

Lewis Silkin LLP

In early 2022 Lewis Silkin (N.I.) LLP completed the acquisition of Belfast firm Forde Campbell LLC, a niche firm in the market which specialises in IT, media and IP mandates. The team includes founding partner Rory Campbell, who advises public bodies, IT and tech start-ups, Katey Dixon, who focuses on privacy and data protection law, and legal director Mary Traynor , who focuses on ICT transactional and advisory work.

Practice head(s):

Rory Campbell; Katey Dixon

Other key lawyers:

Mary Traynor


‘Fantastic team, very knowledgeable and easy to help navigate through amends of contracts in a timely manner – the team understand and react to our commercial needs quickly.’

‘Rory Campbell – on the ball and manages to articulate legal jargon in a way that makes complete sense. A joy to work with.’

‘The team is small but this is what makes it special. They know our business and industry sector very well which means they have a deep understanding of the legal challenges we face or could face. They recognise that start-ups often need advice particularly around investment and heads of terms.’

‘Rory Campbell (one of the partners) is exceptional. Although he is very busy he makes time for his clients. He will have a coffee and give off the clock advice – he will then do what he says he will do in a very professional way. Katey Dixon is very clued in when it comes to investment. She is very astute and provides great clarity when looking at heads of terms and potential pitfalls.’

‘We have found them to be excellent. I do not believe there is a firm in Belfast or NI that knows or executes on this area of law as well as they do. We have been delighted with their expertise and insight.’

‘We worked extensively with Mary Traynor. Mary is brilliant. She knows what she is doing, is a pleasure to work with and always has our back. She (and by extension, the wider firm) is extremely detailed and thorough.’

‘We chose this practice because it seemed like a good fit for us, not one of the big guys, but full of people who’d worked for the big guys, and that mirrored our story as a fast growing software scale up. We like their culture and tone and willingness to get the job done in a timeline that works for both organisations.’

‘Our key contact is Mary Traynor and what we like most about Mary is that she 100% gets us, we don’t have to explain everything, she practically knows the question as its still forming in our mind. She provides practical advice and guidance and gets the job done with zero drama and good humour.’

Millar McCall Wylie LLP

Millar McCall Wylie LLP has a significant presence in the private equity space, and has advised a number of technology-based start-ups and early development companies in the interactive gaming, VoIP and SaaS technology sectors. Practice head Scott Kennedy has extensive experience in advising tech-centred companies on corporate and commercial arrangements. Managing partner Damian McParland, who has a strong presence in digital media, is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Scott Kennedy

Other key lawyers:

Damian McParland

Key clients

Learning Pool Ltd

Kanisi Ltd t/as Rotor Videos

Hamilton Internet Services Ltd t/as

Nexus Point Ltd

Humain Ltd

Voxbit Ltd

Makematic Ltd


Thrive CSR Ltd

Cirdan Imaging Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advised Rotor Videos on  commercial contracts involving video creation and YouTube channel management agreements.
  • Advised Humain on services and licensing contracts.
  • Advised Voxbit on its suite of reseller licensing agreements.

Mills Selig

Mills Selig regularly advises on commercial contracts and licensing mandates involving software, particularly in relation to fintech, e-commerce and agriculture issues. Corporate partner Glenn Watterson leads the team, and counts major financial software company First Derivatives as a key client.

Practice head(s):

Glenn Watterson

Key clients

First Derivatives

Sugar Rush Creative

Girona Energy Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised First Derivatives PLC in relation to the licensing of key FD technology to investee companies.