Firm Profile > DQ > Douglas, Isle Of Man

Isle Of Man

Employment Tier 1

DQ’s employment practice regularly acts for both employees and employers from sectors including financial services, gambling and public services on disputes concerning unfair dismissal, misconduct and breach of contract claims. The non-contentious offering includes providing advice on employment and immigration issues arising from corporate transactions, Equality Act compliance and the drafting of compromise agreements and general employment contracts. Leanne McKeown and Tara Cubbon, who both handle the full range of matters, are the main points of contact.


‘We instruct DQ to support us with employment matters on the Isle of Man, including settlement agreements and terminations – the team is responsive and commercial.’

‘Leanne McKeown is very helpful.’

‘They are prepared to buy in to our approach;  I would use them again. They are our first port of call.’

Key clients

Manx Industrial Relations Service

British Medical Association

Private client, trusts and tax Tier 1

The team at DQ handles regular instructions concerning trust restructuring and terminations, succession planning, right-to-information requests, and philanthropic matters. International tax investigations and tax information exchange agreement matters are further strong points for the practice, with Annemarie Hughes being a leader in this field. The firm has a solid contentious trust offering with Hughes and Tara Cubbon often receiving referrals from UK firms to represent trustees in complex cross-border trust disputes.


‘Quick service, knowledgeable on topics.’

‘The team have a wide knowledge and are able to provide all-round advice to cover all aspects of a matter.’

‘The team are also very approachable and easy to deal with. They are eager to assist and assist in providing the best solutions for clients.’

‘The team are friendly and approachable and are happy to take calls and provide guidance when required. This willingness to assist often leads to engagement for full advice.’

‘Annemarie Hughes has a pragmatic view and provides solid, practical advice and guidance. She assists on finding the most effective solution to issues that have been raised.’

Shipping, aviation and space Tier 1

At DQ, Mark Dougherty handles various ship finance mandates. Donna Matthews, an associate, also plays a lead role on significant work. Stephen Dougherty is now at FinLaw.

Banking and finance Tier 2

DQ handles a diverse range of work in the finance space, including financial services transactions, insolvency work, debt capital markets matters and Manx-listed funds. Mark Dougherty is a key contact in the team, which has asset finance expertise and also strong relationships with Irish law firms. Adam Killip, a new senior associate promotion, is a key name below partner level. Former senior associate Hazel Dawson left to join Keystone Law in early 2019. Stephen Dougherty is now at FinLaw, a new player in the Douglas market.

Dispute resolution Tier 2

DQ advises a strong client list of financial services entities, company directors, trustees and public bodies. The team enjoys a steady flow of mandates concerning insolvency (of which Stephen Dougherty has particular expertise), trust disputes and professional negligence. The practice also has a depth of expertise in liquidator-instructed schemes of arrangement applications. Leanne McKeown leads on contentious employment and high-value personal injury claims, and senior associate Tara Cubbon acts on corporate and commercial litigation matters including high-stakes bankruptcy injunction orders.


‘The team is well balanced in terms of expertise. Their responses are timely and efficient.’

‘They work well as a team and any response bears the balance that the team brings. They listen to their client, yet also will suggest what they feel is the best.’

‘Giles Hill and Tara Cubbon both have really good knowledge and are practical in their approach. They deal with issues directly and to the point and champion their clients above all. Their experience mean that they give efficient and achievable advice that is aggressive only when needed, yet and decisive and strong in approach.’

‘The practice combines extensive cross-border experience coupled with a clear focus on its Isle of Man market. It can justifiably emphasise its independence, not being tied to a wider network.’

‘Giles Hill displays considerable commercial and strategic acumen and offers practical advice in real-time. He is ably supported by the intelligent and proactive Tara Cubbon.’

Key clients


Lloyds Bank

Turnstone (Isle of Man)


Manx Industrial Relations Service



Zenfold Properties

Trustee of the Marr Trust

Sean Connick

British Medical Association

David Humbles

Guy Wiltcher

Oakmayne Properties

Michael Riddell

Heather Scott as personal representative of the estate of the late Christopher Scott

Insurance and pensions Tier 2

DQ's pensions offering is spearheaded by Annemarie Hughes, who advises premier Isle of Man pension administrators on all legal and regulatory requirements. Of particular note is the practice’s expertise in drafting the island’s first occupational pensions schemes to gain approval under the newly introduced pension freedoms legislation. The team also has experience with defending pension trustees against Isle of Man Pensions Ombudsman claims.


‘The team understand our industry and will approach an issue from a commercial as well as a legal or regulatory point of view.’

‘All individuals we have had contact with are professional and honest when appraising a situation and all are willing to share experience and knowledge.’

Corporate and commercial Tier 3

DQ handles investment funds and M&A work, acting for private individuals in local deals, including management buyouts and commercial contracting work. The firm has a number of clients in the gambling industry. Stephen Dougherty is now at FinLaw - Andrew Harding joined the team in September 2016, returning to the island from Appleby in Guernsey.

DQ is a leading Isle of Man-based law firm with international reach, particularly known for its expertise in regulatory and compliance, international tax investigations, cross-border insolvencies, banking and finance, trust and private client, employment and shipping work.

The firm: DQ offers a full range of legal, regulatory and compliance services to its local and global clients. DQ has cemented its position as a “go to” commercial firm for many City and international firms and is seen as a clear alternative to the two big traditional firms on the Isle of Man.

Partners and other lawyers at the firm have practised at some of the leading law firms in the Isle of Man, Cayman, Bermuda and Guernsey. DQ provides a highly responsive, bespoke service at competitive rates and is regarded by clients and competitors alike for its pragmatic and commercial ‘can-do’ approach to clients’ requirements and quick turnaround times.

Types of work undertaken: DQ has a leading regulatory and compliance team in the Isle of Man, with significant experience advising on all aspects of regulatory and compliance matters, including establishing financial services businesses, data protection, regulatory enforcement and international tax and securities investigations. Three members of the team are accredited data protection practitioners. In addition the team engages regularly with the island’s regulators and is at the forefront of lobbying for pragmatism in any changes to the island’s regulatory and AML regime.

DQ has expertise in an extensive range of corporate and commercial matters involving the Isle of Man. Clients include local and multinational corporations, insurance companies, banks, public bodies, entrepreneurs and HNWIs. DQ also has established relationships with City, European and US law firms. Areas of expertise include mergers and acquisitions, banking and finance, insurance, listings, directors’ duties and corporate governance, partnerships/limited partnerships, investment funds, employment and pensions. The team was the sole Isle of Man legal adviser to one of the largest e-gaming/e-business acquisitions of 2016 (with a deal value of around £1.2bn) when GVC Holdings plc successfully bid for, and acquired, Digital Entertainment and in 2018 in the GVC Group’s takeover of Ladbrokes Coral, the UK’s biggest high street bookmaker, with a deal value of around £3.9bn.

DQ leads the way in shipping on the island. The top-ranked shipping practice works with some of the biggest names in the ship industry . The team has extensive experience of advising on the finance of new builds, purchases and the preparation, registration and enforcement of related security documents.

Dispute resolution expertise includes asset recovery, banking and insolvency, contractual matters, corporate disputes, estate and trust disputes, judicial review, professional negligence, personal injury and property litigation. The top-ranked employment team advises trust and corporate services providers, banks, charities and both private and public sector employers on issues ranging from day-to-day HR queries through to complex corporate restructuring and litigation.

The specialist trusts, pensions and private client team provides a complete, integrated service to local and international clients. The team also provides specialist advice on establishing and administering Isle of Man foundations and Isle of Man hybrid companies. Clients include banks, corporate trustees and other leading institutions both on and off the Isle of Man as well as individuals who are non-UK domiciled and wish to use an Isle of Man structure.

DQ’s strategic aim is to maintain excellence in its core sectors and to continue to provide clients with creative, innovative and commercial solutions.

Department Name Email Telephone
Corporate and commercial Mark Dougherty
Corporate and commercial Andrew Harding
Dispute Resolution and Employment Leanne McKeown
Regulatory and compliance Sinead O'Connor
Shipping Mark Dougherty
Trust and private client Annemarie Hughes
Shipping Donna Matthews
Photo Name Position Profile
 Mark Dougherty  photo Mark Dougherty
 Andrew Harding  photo Andrew Harding
 Annemarie Hughes  photo Annemarie Hughes
 Leanne McKeown  photo Leanne McKeown
Number of Isle of Man partners : 4
Number of other Isle of Man fee-earners : 10
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