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MARLBOROUGH HOUSE, 30 VICTORIA STREET, BELFAST, BT1 3GG, NORTHERN IRELAND
Tel:
Work 028 9055 3300
Fax:
Fax 028 9055 0096
DX:
433 NR BELFAST 1
Email:
Web:
www.tughans.com

Northern Ireland

Dispute resolution
Dispute resolution - ranked: tier 1

Tughans

Tughans acts for a number of high-profile domestic and international clients, and has wide-ranging expertise in property litigation, professional negligence, insurance disputes and defamation. Commercial and corporate litigation, including partnership and shareholder disputes, are also areas of strength. Practice head Michael McCord is 'the leading construction lawyer in Northern Ireland', while managing partner Patrick Brown specialises in procurement challenges and Toby McMurray in contentious insolvency.

Practice head(s):Michael McCord; Patrick Brown; Toby McMurray

Testimonials

'Michael McCord is a very strong, logical thinker. He is commercial, experienced and pragmatic.'

'Michael McCord and associate Grainne Lee perform their work professionally and efficiently and quickly understand the nuances of the industry and the client's position in the dispute case.'

'The team is led by a strong partner in Michael McCord, who quickly assesses the important issues and is not afraid to point out the strengths and weaknesses of the client's position.'

'Tughans is very highly regarded and covers the full service of commercial litigation, insolvency, construction, intellectual property and procurement, to name but a few. The team is large enough to cover the biggest cases and is the market leader in Northern Ireland.'

'Toby McMurray is the leading insolvency solicitor in Belfast with a wide range of commercial litigation cases. He is hugely experienced and able to cover the full gambit of disputes. He is known for his commercial savvy and is very personable, and he has one of the sharpest minds of any solicitor in Northern Ireland, which means he is the "go to" guy for banks and insolvency practitioners in particular.'

'Toby McMurray is known for his ability to resolve cases quickly and efficiently and has a hugely loyal client base. He is supported by an extremely able team of associates within Tughans.'

'Tughans has the strongest team of associates and the best-regarded commercial litigators in Belfast.'

'Tughans has the ability to see the bigger picture and offer solid strategic advice.'

'Michael McCord is a clear thinker with a quick grasp of the principal points and a strong communicator.'

'Patrick Brown has huge experience and is always willing to provide expert support and advice.'

Key Clients

Zara

British Telecom

BAM McCann

Invest NI

Bank of Ireland

NI Water

McGrath Bros Engineering Group

KPMG

Dale Farm

Randox Laboratories

Work highlights

  • Acting for WYG in relation to a dispute with the landlord of a WYG subsidiary company which occupied premises in Dublin prior to the subsidiary entering liquidation
  • Acted for RPS in High Court proceedings commenced against it by McLaughlin & Harvey, which is alleging professional negligence
  • Advising the clothes retailer Zara in relation to its obligation to pay rent for the occupation of its Belfast city centre store in circumstances where it has been unable to occupy its premises due to a catastrophic fire in neighbouring premises
  • Defended Northern Ireland Water against a procurement challenge brought by an unsuccessful tenderer to a capital works framework with an aggregate value of £1.6bn
  • Acting for the BAM McCann joint venture in adjudication proceedings and a professional negligence claim in relation to a dispute with the design and build engineers for a roads project in Northern Ireland
Leading individuals

Michael McCord - Tughans

Patrick Brown - Tughans

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Northern Ireland: Corporate and commercial

Corporate and M&A
Corporate and M&A - ranked: tier 1

Tughans

Private equity transactions are a particular area of strength for Tughans, which has a high-profile client base including a number of investment funds and investee companies. The team also advises on M&A, corporate finance, joint ventures and corporate restructuring, with a focus on the technology, food and drinks, engineering and energy sectors. The 'excellent' John-George Willis and James Donnelly lead the team, which also includes 'very capable' private equity practice head John McGuckian and the 'personable and practical' Ciara Lagan.

Practice head(s):John-George Willis; James Donnelly

Other key lawyers:John McGuckian; Ciara Lagan

Testimonials

'Tughans has a depth of knowledge both in team and individuals. They put themselves in front and drive and solve whatever the problem. I feel that they are the best in their field.'

'Tughans gets things done! The partners in the team are exceptional and work together in such a way that complex deals can be achieved through their combined expertise. They don't just advise and then leave the problem of final decisions at the feet of their client. They work until the right path is clear and then accompany their client to the end of the journey.'

'James Donnelly is a leader who can guide clients through the demands of a purchaser at exactly the right level. James' key ability is an appropriately pragmatic approach that balances in favour of his client where to mitigate risks and where to accept risks.'

'Tughans offers a diverse professional service.'

'Associate Brendan Donnelly is excellent.'

'Ciara Lagan is very efficient and pragmatic.'

'Director Paul O'Brien is very knowledgeable, both with respect to the law and with respect to the client's business. He is pragmatic and is easy to work with.'

'Tughans has a very strong team all round. It is experienced and technically highly competent, with good strength in depth.'

'John McGuckian and Paul O'Brien provide dedication and commitment to every transaction. They are technically strong and take a commercial view. They provide good advice and hold their line when required without becoming entrenched.'

'John McGuckian is an exceptional local lawyer.'

Key Clients

Foyle Foods

Pentech Ventures

Kernel Capital

Monaghan Mushrooms Group

Randox Laboratories

Invest Northern Ireland

FP McCann Group

Cordovan Capital

Business Growth Fund (BGF)

Bedeck

Henderson Group

Work highlights

  • Acted for the shareholders of Vita Liberata Limited on the exit of the private equity shareholder Broadlake Capital and the roll-over investment of management when it was acquired by Crown Laboratories
  • Acted for Elite Electronics in respect of the large private equity investment by Lonsdale Capital
  • Advised the shareholders of William J.M. Fraser & Co. on the sale of the company to Gardrum Holdings, part of the Northern Irish-owned EuroAuctions group
  • Advised on the purchase by Staffline of the Irish business of Grafton Recruitment
  • Acted for Invest NI on its investment into the £30m NI Growth Finance Fund, alongside British Business Bank and a private investor
Leading individuals

John-George Willis - Tughans

Next Generation Partners

Ciara Lagan - Tughans

John McGuckian - Tughans

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Northern Ireland: Finance

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 1

Tughans

Tughans regularly advises on the Northern Irish aspects of international transactions. The practice covers energy project finance, secured and unsecured lending for borrowers and financial institutions, business and debt restructuring, and acquisition and property finance. Fearghal O’Loan heads the team. Former practice co-head David McAleese left the firm.

Practice head(s):Fearghal O'Loan

Other key lawyers:Douglas Anderson

Leading individuals

Fearghal O'Loan - Tughans

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Insolvency and corporate recovery
Insolvency and corporate recovery - ranked: tier 2

Tughans

Tughans has experience acting on complex and high-profile insolvency and restructuring mandates, particularly those with a multi-jurisdictional element. The practice advises on a range of matters, from corporate restructurings and the use of schemes of arrangement and voluntary arrangements, to corporate insolvencies. Toby McMurray leads the team.

Practice head(s):Toby McMurray

Other key lawyers:Nadine Brennan

Key Clients

KPMG

Bank of Ireland

KPMG

Grant Thornton

Keenan Corporate Finance

Bank of Scotland

Bank of Ireland (UK) Plc

Upstream Working Capital

Westland Horticulture

Work highlights

  • Advising KPMG on all aspects of the administrations of four Lagan Construction Group companies.
  • Acting for Bank of Ireland Dublin in relation to a high-value case against property developer Anson Logue.
  • Acted for KPMG in relation to its appointment as administrator of Waste Systems Limited, a Northern Ireland-based company involved in the production and supply of a large-scale waste-processing plant.
  • Advising Grant Thornton in its capacity as receiver of Tir Eoghain Limited.
  • Acting for Keenan Corporate Finance as administrator of flooring specialist Acheson & Glover Precast Limited.
Leading individuals

Toby McMurray - Tughans

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Northern Ireland: Human resources

Employment
Employment - ranked: tier 1

Tughans

Tughans advises on corporate employment law, such as the employment aspects of large-scale M&A transactions, as well as representing clients in contentious disputes, including tribunal claims, class actions and injunctive applications. The team acts for local clients, as well as those in England and Wales and the Republic of Ireland, in a range of sectors, including public sector bodies. Practice head Anna Beggan specialises in complex class actions and TUPE issues. Patricia Rooney was promoted to partner.

Practice head(s):Anna Beggan

Other key lawyers:Patricia Rooney; Rachel Richardson

Testimonials

'The team provides a very professional, competent service.'

'Rachel Richardson and Anna Beggan are excellent in terms of their knowledge and professionalism and provide very practical advice.'

'Tughans has a very experienced and proactive team.'

'Anna Beggan knows her subject well.'

Key Clients

Monaghan Mushrooms Group

FP McCann Group

Work highlights

  • Advising the shareholders of Vita Liberata Limited on the employment aspects of the exit of private equity shareholder Broadlake Capital and the roll-over investment of management when Vita Liberata was acquired by Crown Laboratories.
  • Advising Elite Electronics on the employment aspects of of the large private equity investment by Lonsdale Capital.
  • Advising the selling shareholders of William J.M. Fraser & Co. Limited on the employment aspects of the sale of the company to Gardrum Holdings Ltd.
  • Assisting Staffline Group plc with the employment issues relating to its purchase of the Irish business of Grafton Recruitment.
  • Advising Westland Horticulture Limited on employment aspects of the acquisition of the business and assets of Gardman Limited (in administration).
Leading individuals

Anna Beggan - Tughans

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Northern Ireland: Insurance

Personal injury and clinical negligence: defendant
Personal injury and clinical negligence: defendant - ranked: tier 1

Tughans

'One of the leading medical defence firms in Northern Ireland', Tughans counts a large number of insurance companies and government bodies among its clients, while the 'highly regarded' clinical negligence team acts for leading medical defence organisations. Areas of expertise include catastrophic personal injury cases and occupation disease claims. Kathy McGillie heads the practice alongside Andrew Anthony; he focuses on clinical negligence cases, as does Alistair Wilson. Neil Smyth specialises in claims involving accidents abroad.

Practice head(s):Kathy McGillie; Andrew Anthony

Other key lawyers:Alistair Wilson; Neil Smyth

Testimonials

'Tughans has strength in depth and can handle large and high-profile cases with considerable skill.'

'Andrew Anthony is a first-class lawyer. He has a good intellect as well as good judgement, and his contribution to cases is very sound.'

'Alastair Wilson has strong interpersonal skills; he prepares his work well and is excellent with clients.'

'Nicola Dooher is a first-class associate with excellent attention to detail.'

'Tughans has an enviable reputation in defence litigation and provides a very efficient, cost-effective and professional service.'

'Kathy McGillie is the market leader in defence litigation. She is very client focused and extremely commercial. She is well known for being able to quickly assess those cases to be contested and then preparing them with efficiency and skill and ferociously contesting them, whereas she is also quick to realise those cases to be settled and to do so with great efficiency. A master tactician and highly regarded litigator.'

'Tughans' expertise in the local market is second to none. The firm has huge experience of the jurisdiction, which shows in terms of its expert advice and guidance.'

'Kathy McGillie is always available, provides expert advice and is fully supportive.'

'Neil Smyth involves the client in the decision-making process, and is pleasant, extremely professional and knowledgeable on the subject matter. Neil goes that extra bit further to ensure due diligence is completed on all cases, and is open and transparent in all dealings with the client. Overall, he provides a professional service at the highest level.'

'Associate Nicola Dooher is efficient, hardworking and returns all emails quickly. Her instructions are clear and concise.'

Leading individuals

Alistair Wilson - Tughans

Andrew Anthony - Tughans

Kathy McGillie - Tughans

Next Generation Partners

Neil Smyth - Tughans

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Northern Ireland: Projects, energy and natural resources

Energy
Energy - ranked: tier 3

Tughans

Tughans' 'friendly and capable' team has a wide-ranging client base which includes banks, utilities, developers, transmission system operators and public bodies. The team advises on energy sector M&A, with particular strength in cross-border transactions, and also assists with the financing of major energy projects. John-George Willis leads the practice, while Andrew Kirke, who was recently promoted to director, has expertise in the regulatory and contractual aspects of energy transactions.

Practice head(s):John-George Willis

Other key lawyers:Andrew Kirke

Key Clients

SONI Ltd

Rockfire Capital

Adman Civil Engineering

First Trust

Budget Energy

B9 Energy

Northern Ireland Water

Granville Ecopark

Lissan Coal Company

Consumer Council

Work highlights

  • Acting for the Consumer Council for Northern Ireland, an independent non-departmental public body, in developing new terms and conditions for suppliers.
  • Advising the B9 Energy group on a number of ongoing energy-related matters, including contracts with technology suppliers.
  • Acting for ND Berry & Sons in connection with the development on the client's farm of an AD plant by Isle of Man company United Renewables Ltd.
  • Advising SONI, the sole operator of the high-voltage electricity transmission network in Ireland, on the negotiation of a contract with AES Kilroot Power Limited to allow its plant at Kilroot Power Station to remain open for a further year to provide system support services to the Northern Ireland grid.
  • Advising Adman Civil Projects Limited on a number of wind farm projects both in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

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Northern Ireland: Real estate

Commercial property
Commercial property - ranked: tier 1

Tughans

Tughans has particular expertise in advising UK and international funds on investment and development schemes, including major student accommodation, hotel, commercial and residential projects. The team also advises on real estate finance and property portfolio management. 'Very proactive' practice head David Jones is noted for his experience in advising clients locally, throughout the UK, and in the Republic of Ireland; the team also includes consultant Phyllis Agnew; the 'capable and competent' James Pringle; Joe Moore, who delivers 'prudent commercial advice concisely'; and retail specialist Rebecca Moffett.

Practice head(s):David Jones

Other key lawyers:James Pringle; Joe Moore; Phyllis Agnew; Rebecca Moffett

Testimonials

'The practice has real strength and depth in terms of expertise and ability. If you are going to do commercial property business in Northern Ireland, have Tughans on your side.'

'Tughans is a multidisciplinary practice, which allows it to give a broad range of advice on different subjects.'

'Rebecca Moffett has a strong legal background, good attention to detail, takes a commercial approach and is very personable.'

'Tughans offers a very professional service in a very personable manner. The partners draw upon a great depth of experience and are able to offer very sound commercial advice.'

Key Clients

Diageo

Tesco Stores Limited

British Land

Grant Thornton

Apple Inc.

Deloitte

Associated British Foods

London Metric

Randox

Kilmona Investments

Work highlights

  • Acted for developer Urban Pulse Warwick in the acquisition and forward funding of a large student accommodation development project, known as Warwick UniVillage, in Canley, Coventry.
  • Advising Curlew Capital on the disposal of John Bell House as an investment, following the successful forward funding of its development.
  • Advising Mansford Real Estate on the sale of Strabane Retail Park to Lidl NI Gmbh.
  • Advising NGD Holdings on the acquisition of Timber Quay, Derry, and associated car park with the reversion in the neighbouring Atlantic Quay, College View, Clipper Quay and Aparthotel complex incorporating both commercial and residential blocks.
  • Advising Michael Roden and Merion Property Group on the purchase of Down Royal Racecourse.
Leading individuals

Phyllis Agnew - Tughans

Next Generation Partners

Rebecca Moffett - Tughans

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Construction
Construction - ranked: tier 1

Tughans

Tughans is noted for its multi-jurisdictional advice; the team acts on high-profile developments across the UK and the island of Ireland, and is particularly active in relation to energy and infrastructure projects. Clients include major local contractors and employers, as well as funders and developers. The team also has a strong reputation on the contentious side; 'exceptionally clever litigator' Michael McCord, who heads the practice jointly with Tim Kinney, handles construction litigation and arbitration. Kinney has particular strength in project procurement.

Practice head(s):Michael McCord; Tim Kinney

Testimonials

'The team has the ability to see the bigger picture and offers solid strategic advice.'

'Michael McCord is a clear thinker with quick grasp of principal points and a strong communicator.'

'This is the strongest and best team in Belfast in this field. They can deal with any case and are very capable and extremely well regarded.'

'Michael McCord is the undoubted market leader in Belfast. He is technically brilliant with an eye for detail and a work ethic which is unsurpassed. He is very focused on getting the best outcome for his client and is forensic in his ability to determine what really matters.'

'Tughans is a one-stop shop; the service is professional and the team is always available to deal with issues.'

Key Clients

Indaver NV

Northstone (NI) Limited

Adston Construction

Henry Brothers (Magherafelt) Limited

McAleer & Rushe

Apple Inc.

RPS Group plc

Mercury Engineering

BAM/F.P. McCann Limited (Joint Venture)

Lagan Construction Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Urban Pulse Warwick on a project involving the procurement of a student accommodation village near Warwick University.
  • Acted for RPS in High Court proceedings commenced against it by McLaughlin & Harvey, alleging professional negligence.
  • Advising Apple in respect of its planned state-of-the-art data centre facility in Athenry, County Galway.
  • Acting for BAM McCann (a joint venture between BAM Civil Limited and FP McCann Limited for a roads project in Northern Ireland) in relation to a dispute with design and build engineers.
  • Advising McAleer & Rushe as the design and build contractor for the procurement of a mixed-use development at the existing Tara Towers site in Dublin.
Leading individuals

Michael McCord - Tughans

Tim Kinney - Tughans

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Planning and environment
Planning and environment - ranked: tier 2

Tughans

Tughans advises on planning applications for major developments, including infrastructure, residential and student accommodation projects, as well as high-profile judicial review proceedings. The team is also active in the energy sector. The firm's wide-ranging client base includes utilities, public sector bodies and private developers and investors. The practice is led by consultant Maria O’Loan, who specialises in judicial review matters and is praised for her 'experience and dynamism'.

Practice head(s):Maria O'Loan

Testimonials

'Maria O'Loan has tremendous attention to detail with clear advice. Her client care and responsiveness are superb.'

Key Clients

Vanden Recycling

Ulster Council GAA

Systems Operator of Northern Ireland

Invest Northern Ireland

Translink

Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council

Northern Ireland Water Limited

Apple Distribution International

Car Park Services Limited / Slaney Developments

Work highlights

  • Advising Translink in respect of the planning and environmental aspects of the redevelopment of a major city centre brownfield site to deliver an integrated transport hub for Belfast.
  • Acting for Apple as a notice party to judicial review proceedings brought in respect of planning permission granted for the development of Apple’s EMEA data centre in Athenry, Co. Galway.
  • Advising the UCGAA in respect of the planning and environmental aspects of the redevelopment of the Casement Park Stadium.
  • Advising Slaney Developments in respect of its application for planning permission of a purpose-built student accommodation block in Library Street, Belfast.
  • Advising Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council in relation to a judicial review challenging the design of a major public works scheme to regenerate Lisburn city centre.
Leading individuals

Maria O'Loan - Tughans

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Northern Ireland: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

IT and telecoms
IT and telecoms - ranked: tier 2

Tughans

Tughans counts a number of major Northern Irish companies and public sector bodies among its clients, and is particularly active advising local and international technology companies. The team advises on early-stage investment, M&A, outsourcing and infrastructure projects, and has particular expertise in procurement. Adrian O’Connell, who specialises in data protection and contract agreements, and Patrick Brown head the non-contentious and contentious sides of the practice, respectively. Ciara Lagan and John McGuckian advise on corporate transactions in the technology and telecoms spheres.

Practice head(s):Adrian O’Connell; Patrick Brown

Other key lawyers:Ciara Lagan; John McGuckian

Testimonials

'Tughans is professional and responsive and its advice is very good.'

'Ciara Lagan and director Paul O'Brien provide sound advice, respond on a timely basis and are completely professional in their approach.'

Key Clients

Invest Northern Ireland

Business Growth Fund (BGF)

Kernel Capital

Fusion Antibodies plc

Auditcomply

B-Secur Limited

Titan IC Systems

Export Technologies

Monaghan Mushrooms

OCO Global

Camlin Technologies

PropertyPal.com Limited

LimeGreenTangerine Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising a large Northern Irish food and grocery distribution business on the procurement and implementation of a group-wide HR system
  • Advising a large local animal feed manufacturer on its enterprise-wide deployment of EPR and CRM software
  • Advising technology company Titan IC Systems on the negotiation of IP licensing deals with a number of companies for the implementation of the client's technology into their next generation networks and cloud offerings
  • Advising Trax Trader on preparing a whole suite of documentation in respect of its new online platform for the sale of used machinery and plant across the UK and Ireland
  • Advising property listing platform PropertyPal.com Ltd on a series of updates to its suite of contractual documentation, including drafting new GDPR-compliant privacy policies and developing new terms for website hosting services
Leading individuals

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Intellectual property
Intellectual property - ranked: tier 1

Tughans

Tughans advises on the protection and exploitation of IP assets in a variety of IP-rich sectors, but historically the firm has had a particular focus on the technology sector, with clients including start-up and established Northern Irish companies and household-name international companies. As a result of this specialism, key areas of expertise include advising on collaboration, consultancy, franchising, joint venture, licensing and supply, and technology transfer agreements. Adrian O’Connell  leads the practice.

Practice head(s):Adrian O’Connell

Key Clients

Invest NI

Titan IC Systems

Dale Farm

Camlin Technologies

Randox Laboratories

Export Technologies

Tobermore Concrete

Monaghan Mushrooms

Fusion Antibodies

OCO Global

Trucorp Limited

Zero Waste Anaerobic Digestion Limited

David Lynas Consulting Limited

SABSA Education Services Limited

LimeGreenTangerine Limited

TraxTrader Limited

Enviroform Insulation Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising a large Northern Irish food and grocery distribution business on the procurement and implementation of SAGE’s SAP SuccessFactors software as its group-wide HR system. This involved negotiating with SAGE on licensing and other issues.
  • Advising a large local animal feed manufacturer on its enterprise-wide deployment of Microsoft Dynamics, which involved negotiating with the implementation partner on licensing and other issues.
  • Advising Titan IC Systems on negotiating and settling IP licensing deals with several companies for the implementation of the client's technology into their next generation networks and cloud offerings.
  • Advising Fourds (t/a Bloc Blinds) on the licensing of its IP, including negotiating a US licensing deal and successfully upholding the client's US patents in the face of the citation of prior art.
  • Assisting Fusion Antibodies with the IP aspects of its initial listing on the AIM stock exchange, including undertaking due diligence of the client's IP portfolio and registering a portfolio of international trade marks.
Leading individuals

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