Firm Profile > DQ > Douglas, Isle Of Man

Isle Of Man

Employment Tier 1

DQ's employment practice is led by Leanne McKeown who, for some, 'is fast forging a reputation as the go-to employment practitioner on the Island'. She has represented employers and high-value employees in cases before both the tribunals and the courts, with extensive experience in advising on dismissals and settlement agreements. She is regularly supported by associate Jessica McManus on these major mandates. The team has recently been enhanced with the arrival of senior associate Mark Emery from Appleby, who focuses on employment litigation.

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‘DQ were very accessible, easy to deal with, quick to respond, excellent communicators and also responsive to changes in circumstances.’

‘Leanne McKeown is fast forging a relationship as the “go to” employment practitioner on the Island. She is extremely hard working, diligent and responsive.’

‘I would say it is the best level of service I have experienced from a professional services company.’

‘The key attributes are personable, accessibility and responsiveness. A responsive and commercial undertaking which is utterly committed to securing the best possible outcome for their clients.’

‘Litigation is conducted in a thorough yet proportionate manner. She is relentless and tigerish in pursuing the best interests of her clients.’

Key clients

Manx Industrial Relations Service

Standard Bank Isle of Man Limited

Fortress Management Services Limited

Association of School and College Leaders


British Airline Pilots Association

Dixcart Management (IOM) Limited

Private client, trusts and tax Tier 1

DQ's practice in this space is jointly led by the 'highly reputableAnnemarie Hughes who is 'knowledgeable, personableempathetic' and 'puts her clients needs at the forefront of everything she does'. She advises on contentious and non-contentious trusts, private wealth and pensions, and is particularly skilled in cross-border structures. Other key figures are associate director Donna Matthews, who is an expert in advisory issues in relations to trusts and is a qualified Notary Public.


‘ A friendly and approachable law firm. Responsive and sensitive in times of pressure. You feel confident that they have got your back.’

‘Annemarie Hughes is a highly reputable advocate in her field. She is knowledgeable, personable, empathetic and puts her clients needs at the forefront of everything she does. ‘

‘Very responsive and pragmatic. They have a wide range of skills and are therefore able to deal with most queries that we have on various issues.’

‘Annemarie Hughes stands out for me as she is very knowledgeable in her subject and quick to respond. She provide very good guidance on matters.’

‘No matter the issue in hand they will have someone who will be the leading specialist who can assist.’

Banking, finance and capital markets Tier 2

DQ has strengthened its team with the arrival of its new practice head Andrew Harding, who returned to the island from Appleby in Guernsey and is particularly strong in secured financing. Former practice head and current firm managing partner Mark Dougherty continues to advise on asset and ship financing transactions. Another key name is senior associate Adam Killip, who is very active in advising on the island's fintech and blockchain sectors.

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‘Andrew Harding is responsive, commercial and very bright. He is a trusted corporate adviser and has a strong expertise in investment funds.’

‘Adam Killip is very easy to deal with, extremely knowledgeable and always under-promises and over-delivers.’

Key clients

Lloyds Bank Corporate Markets

Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank

Santander Corporate & Commercial Banking

GVC Holdings plc

Deutsche Bank

Aktiengesellschaft Filiale Deutschlandgeschäft

Norddeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale

Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank Limited

HSH Nordbank AG

Societe Generale


Nomura International

Bank of Ireland

Irish Permanent International


DNB Bank ASA 10

Citibank N.A., London Branch


Credit Suisse


UniCredit Bank AG

Ulster Bank

Union Bancaire Privée,


Floreat Group

Dandara Group

Together Commercial


Castlehaven Property

Finance Ireland

Oakmount Property Group

Commercial property Tier 2

DQ advises property owners, banks and retailers on their commercial property issues on the island. Managing partner Mark Dougherty and associate Libby Gordon together handle the bulk of these matters, which primarily involves leasing agreements, loan facilities and tenancy agreements.

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‘DQ is a practice which exudes modern, vibrant, energetic and youthful yet experienced qualities. Many legal practices give the impression that they’ve not moved with the times and have not remained relevant – this is far from the case with DQ, with whom we had a stress-free experience.’

‘Libby Gordon was always extremely positive, pleasant and professional to work with. She’s very communicative and quick to reply to queries. In the fast-paced society that we all now live in, knowing that your query was being addressed and would be responded to efficiently was comforting. The transaction we were involved in was particularly complicated and Libby demonstrated great energy and perseverance in focussing on the deadline.’

‘Mark Dougherty is an inspirational director of DQ. His vision for how DQ will excel as an employer of choice and leading law firm is astounding.’

Insurance and pensions Tier 2

For some, 'the knowledge of Manx pension legislation is second to none' at DQ. Pensions specialist Annemarie Hughes leads the team and has been advising on pension scheme establishments, compliance and disputes. She is also highly experienced in pensions-adjacent areas such as trust and private client law.

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‘We always receive a prompt, well considered, response to any contact with the practice.’

‘The internal communication is excellent. Cases will be discussed and input provided by the most appropriate source

‘Knowledge and understanding of our industry and issues faced is excellent. Advice is clear and easy to understand.’

‘The knowledge of IOM pension legislation is second to none. They also show exemplary knowledge of Trust legislation. They are proactive and can work to tight deadlines. ‘

‘They go above and beyond. Annemarie Hughes is exceptionally easy to work with. Her knowledge is exceptional and she works meticulously, methodically and can expedite where required. She is client friendly and very obviously cares about what she does.’

‘Anne-Marie Hughes is well-respected in the field of trusts and pensions and for good reason. Easy to deal with and able to present sometimes complex legal concepts with clarity and purpose.’

Corporate and commercial Tier 3

DQ has revamped its corporate team with the arrival of new practice head Andrew Harding, who returned to the island from Appleby's Guernsey office. He is particularly strong in restructuring, corporate governance and private investment structures. Managing partner Mark Dougherty shares leadership of the team, handling a range of corporate and commercial mandates. Senior associate Adam Killip, who has worked on corporate issues concerning property , trusts and fintech, and Donna Matthews who advises on the commercial aspects of trusts and shipping, are also recommended.

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‘The DQ team are friendly, responsive and approachable. Their knowledge basis is extensive and there is always someone on hand to assist. Their data protection knowledge is second to none. ‘

‘They are super responsive to queries and give detailed assistance as and when required. Their friendliness and willingness to achieve sometimes short deadlines make them stand head and shoulders above some other competitors. ‘

‘Their combination of legal and regulatory expertise is particularly useful given the services typically required for clients operating in the jurisdiction.’

‘Andrew Harding is responsive, commercial and very bright. He is a trusted corporate adviser and has a strong expertise in investment funds.’

‘Adam Killip is very easy to deal with, extremely knowledgeable and always under promises and over delivers. Hos services are offered at a good market price and we completely trust Adam to do a great job for us. ‘

‘Adam always completes his work for us in. timely manner and we can always trust in his advice. Adam has built up a great reputation in the sector and is always our “go to” advocate for all nature of work.’

Key clients

GVC Group

H/2 Capital Partners

Cavendish Trust Company Limited

The Montreux Healthcare Fund plc

National Asset Management Agency

Nomura Securities International

Montreux Capital Management


TLC Consolidated ULC

Addleshaw Goddard

SMP Partners Limited

Equiom (Isle Of Man) Limited

Cavendish Trust Company Limited

Turnstone (Isle of Man) Limited

Dohle Corporate and Trust Services Limited

Geodrill Limited

Baker Tilly

Dispute resolution Tier 3

Leanne McKeown leads the practice at DQ and is particularly known for acting on breach of duties cases. She is also highly skilled in acting on employment and clinical negligence cases. However, the team has recently added Mark Emery, who joined from Appleby, has a strong background in the insolvency arena. Stephen Dougherty joined FinLaw in June 2019 while Tara Cubbon is now at Cains.

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‘Leanne McKeown is just outstanding – a real firecracker of a litigator. She fights like a tiger.’

‘The fee-earners impress as being prepared to go the extra yard – they are accessible and inspire confidence. Leanne McKeown particularly stands out as a wise head on young shoulders, very likely to become a lead practitioner.’

‘DQ has a great reputation both in the Isle of Man and in the UK as the go to-firm on the island. As a firm they are incredibly easy to work with and very user friendly.’

‘The litigation team is relatively young – they are enthusiastic and diligent and confident in their abilities. There is clearly a teamwork ethos and they are not fazed by the more established litigation outfits on Island against whom they have enjoyed some notable successes.’

Key clients

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLC

Lloyds Bank International Ltd

Turnstone (Isle of Man) Ltd

Fulcrum Ltd

Manx Industrial Relations Service

Zenfold Properties Limited

Marr Limited as trustee of the Marr Trust

Fortress Management Services Limited

Heather Scott as PR of the Estate of the late Christopher


SMP Partners Limited

DQ is a leading Isle of Man-based law firm with an international reach, offering a full range of legal, regulatory and tax services to a local and global client base.

The firm: We are accessible, responsive and commercial with client-oriented strategies and goals. Our specialist lawyers are recommended by industry leaders in numerous reputable guides including Chambers and Partners and The Legal 500.

Our thriving and dynamic practice has seen phenomenal growth in recent years and is capitalising on a simple formula – to provide a quality of service that cannot be exceeded in the Isle of Man, as efficiently as possible.

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, gambling, 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 fraud and asset recovery, restructuring and insolvency, contractual matters, commercial disputes, estate and trust disputes, judicial review, insurance and medical negligence, relationship disputes, public and administrative law, data protection disputes 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 tier one ranked specialist private client, trusts and pensions 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.

Our Directors serve on various governmental and private sector steering groups, tribunals and committees.

DQ is also the sole Isle of Man member of TAGLaw, an international alliance of high-quality, independent law firms.

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
Dispute Resolution Mark Emery
Photo Name Position Profile
 Alexander Armstrong  photo Alexander Armstrong Associate. Alexander qualified as a Manx Advocate in 2017. He has a…
 Mark Dougherty  photo Mark Dougherty Managing Director. Mark has extensive experience in the Isle of Man in…
 Mark Emery  photo Mark Emery Associate Director. Since qualifying as a Manx Advocate in 2012 Mark has…
 Libby Gordon  photo Libby Gordon Associate. Libby acts in a broad range of corporate and commercial work,…
 Andrew Harding  photo Andrew Harding Director. Andrew has significant experience in relation to a broad range of…
 Annemarie Hughes  photo Annemarie Hughes Director and Head of Private Client, Trusts & Pensions. Annemarie has significant…
 Dawn Jones  photo Dawn Jones Consultant. Dawn specialises in all aspects of criminal law and also has…
 Greg Jones  photo Greg Jones Consultant. Greg has experience in all areas of UK and Isle of…
 Adam Killip photo Adam Killip Senior Associate. Adam’s practice encompasses a broad range of corporate, commercial and…
 Rose Kinrade  photo Rose Kinrade Associate. Rose undertakes work in all areas of litigation, but in particular…
 Donna Matthews photo Donna Matthews Associate Director. Donna advises a wide range of international and local institutional…
 Leanne McKeown  photo Leanne McKeown Director/Head of Dispute Resolution/Head of Employment. Leanne specialises in commercial disputes, company,…
 Jessica McManus  photo Jessica McManus Associate. Jessica is able to assist and advise clients in a number…
 Dash Pather  photo Dash Pather Associate. Dash’s practice encompasses all general corporate related matters. Dash’s experience includes…
 Barry Smith  photo Barry Smith Consultant. Barry’s specialist areas of practice are mergers and acquisitions, secured lending;…
 Chris Walton  photo Chris Walton Associate. Chris is an associate in the Dispute Resolution department. He advises…
Number of Isle of Man partners : 4
Number of other Isle of Man fee-earners : 10
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