Tughans > Belfast, Northern Ireland > Firm Profile

Northern Ireland

Corporate and commercial > Corporate and M&A Tier 1

Tughans boasts long-term client relationships with many major domestic clients, as well as a strong reputation in the start-up space, working with high-profile investment funds to encourage technology and innovation in Northern Ireland. James Donnelly leads the department, and acts across the engineering, technology, and construction sectors. John McGuckian is highly active as a transactional lawyer, and has particular experience in advising private equity firms and investee companies. Paul O’Brien was promoted to partner in 2020, and has since been building a reputation as an advisor for venture capital transactions. Former senior partner John-George Willis continues to work as a consultant to the firm.

Practice head(s):

James Donnelly

Other key lawyers:

John McGuckian; Paul O’Brien


‘Tughans were absolutely superb in the way they managed our sale. They were particularly good at adapting to the Covid situation and facilitating remote ways of doing the transaction.’

‘James Donnelly was there to advise us at every step of the process, he is superbly professional and was very helpful during the process.’

Key clients

Foresight Group

MML Growth Capital

Business Growth Fund

Mattioli Woods Plc


Re: Sure Intelligence

Bloc Blinds



Rainbow Communications

Tenants Fine Chemicals

Work highlights

  • Advised Foresight in connection with its investment into Hospital Services Limited.
  • Acted for B-Secur in respect of two funding rounds by a series of institutional investors (Kernel Capital, ADV, Wharton Asset Management, Invest Northern Ireland and First Capital Ventures (a US-based fund)), numerous private individuals and the Future Fund.
  • Advised Re:Sure Intelligence in relation to the sale of its entire issued share capital to Fortus Group.

Northern Ireland > Dispute resolution Tier 1

The ‘hardworking and extremely thoroughTughans team has experience in a broad range of civil litigation matters, including company shareholder disputes, contractual disputes, professional negligence, and property litigation. Senior partner and construction sector expert Michael Mccord leads the team. Managing partner Patrick Brown leads on contentious procurement cases and is advising on the £120m redevelopment of Casement Park Stadium in Belfast. Contentious insolvencies are covered by Toby McMurray, who also acts on high-profile shareholder disputes.

Practice head(s):

Michael McCord

Other key lawyers:

Patrick Brown; Toby McMurray


‘Available, approachable and easy to work and discuss with.’

‘They have always responded to any queries or questions expeditiously and often to extremely onerous timescales, and assisted greatly in identifying and appointing expert witnesses to assist in dispute resolution.’

‘I have found all of Tughans staff to be extremely approachable and with an ability to discuss complex legal, and contractual, queries in a way which is easily understood and digestible for a legal layman.’

‘Patrick Brown is incisive and reads a confrontational situation intuitively. Without doubt a priceless ally on your team. Backed up by some great industrious talent in his team.’

‘The team knows no bounds in its zeal for industry. Hardworking and extremely thorough with a strong capacity for delivery under pressure.’

‘Patrick Brown is stellar in the field of dispute resolution. Immense technical analysis combined with shrewd commercial acumen makes for excellent strategic and tactical advice.’

‘Tughans has the stand-out and one of the most experienced and strongest teams in litigation. They are market leaders.’

‘Toby McMurray is one of the strongest insolvency specialists in Northern Ireland. He is approachable, but has a very deep knowledge base.’

Key clients

FP McCann Limited

BAM McCann (Joint Venture)

Farrans Construction


Northern Ireland Water Limited

OCS Group UK Limited

Ulster Council of the Gaelic Athletic Association

Randox Laboratories Limited

Farrans Construction Limited

Bank of Ireland (UK) plc

Work highlights

  • Acted for FP McCann in the defence of adjudication proceedings commenced by a party who claimed to have had its sub-contract wrongly terminated in respect of a project for the construction of new accommodation blocks at Leicester University.
  • Acting for BAM McCann which is a joint venture between BAM Civil Limited and FP McCann Limited in relation to two separate roads projects in Northern Ireland.
  • Advising Farrans in respect of three separate claims against a sub-contractor based in the Netherlands.

Northern Ireland > Employment Tier 1

The ‘second to none’  Tughans practice works across the full spectrum of contentious and non-contentious employment issues, with experience before tribunals, the County Court, High Court, and the Court of Appeal. The department works closely with the firm’s corporate team to advise on the employment aspects of high-profile M&A transactions. Practice head Anna Begganis instructed by public sector bodies and employers across all sectors, and has experience in recruitment, service agreements, and equality and discrimination legislation. Patricia Rooney, dual-qualified for both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, is another major figure in the team. She specialises in outsourcing matters, and regularly advises on redundancy and TUPE obligations. Associate Rachel Richardson is a name to note.

Practice head(s):

Anna Beggan


‘Tughans provides a consistently high-quality service in all areas of employment law.’

‘Anna Beggan is excellent, she consistently provides sound guidance.’

‘The service offering provided by Tughans’ employment team has been second to none. The experience base of the team we interact with is exceptional.’

‘We have interacted during the past period with Anna Beggan and Patricia Rooney, and have found both to be extremely knowledgeable and to have provided an extremely high level of service to our business when we have had to call on their services.’

‘Tughans provides expert advice of the highest quality. Of particular note is the speed and efficiency of the responses provided by Tughans.’

‘The employment team is second to none in terms of their experience, responsiveness and pragmatism. They never lose sight of the ‘big picture’ and remain very focused on the best commercial outcome for the client.’

‘Anna Beggan is widely considered to be one of Northern Ireland’s leading employment lawyers. She combines an unparalleled eye for detail with a strategic overview of how to achieve the optimum result for the client.’

‘I worked with Rachel Richardson who guided and advised on all matters and was always available to discuss issues and for us to be able to respond in the right way.’

Key clients

Northern Ireland Water Limited

Agri Food and Biosciences Institute

Westland Horticulture Limited

Monaghan Mushrooms Group

Business Growth Fund PLC

MetaCompliance Limited

Invest Northern Ireland

Work highlights

  • Advised Foresight in connection with its investment into Hospital Services Limited.
  • Acted for MML Growth Capital in its high-profile, growth capital investment of £20m into Natural World Products Limited.
  • Advised on all employment and pensions aspects of the sale of the entire issued share capital of Tennants Fine Chemicals to Eternis UK Limited.

Finance > Banking and finance Tier 1

Tughans covers a broad range of secured and unsecured lending for borrowers and financial institutions in addition to working on reviews and updates of standard documentation for banking clients. Advising on Northern Irish elements of securitisation transactions is another area of strength. The team includes members additionally qualified to work across England and Wales and the Republic of Ireland, allowing cross-border support. Fearghal O’Loan is department head and has a broad practice focused on debt structuring and financing. O’Loan is supported by Douglas Anderson, who specialises in syndicated lending, acquisition finance, and general corporate lending. Julie Huddleston was a new addition in early 2022, joining from DWF, where she was head of the banking team.

Practice head(s):

Fearghal O’Loan

Other key lawyers:


‘Great banking team that is professional, experienced and a pleasure to deal with.’

‘Tughans is the go-to for securitisation work in Northern Ireland.’

‘Fearghal O’Loan is excellent.’

‘Excellent level of service.’

‘This is a reliable, innovative and thoughtful practice that simply gets the job done.’

‘The entire team in Tughans is skilled and fun to deal with. Professional and efficient, but also a joy to work with.’

‘The Tughans team can handle any type of financing instruction in Northern Ireland. They are versatile and deliver results in short time periods.’

‘Fearghal O’Loan is fantastic at stepping up in high-pressure situations and meeting client demands. He also has an in-depth understanding of the Northern Irish business and legal markets and provides valuable insights.’

Key clients

118118 Money

Diageo Northern Ireland Limited

Ulster Bank

RMS Cash Solutions Limited trading as Pivotal

Marlin Equity Partners

HSBC Bank Plc

Citibank NA London Branch

Atom Bank Plc

Santander UK PLC

Upstream Working Capital

Work highlights

  • Acting as Northern Irish law counsel on three connected transactions for 118118 in respect of warehouse financing structures for its credit card and personal loan receivables.
  • Acted for Diageo Northern Ireland Limited on several lending transactions whereby facilities are provided on the basis that the borrower trades with Diageo for a fixed period of time.
  • Acting for Ulster Bank in the advance of term loan facilities to Triangle Housing Association to include drafting and negotiating an LMA facilities agreement.

Insurance > Personal injury and clinical negligence: defendant Tier 1

Tughans‘ ‘knowledgable, reliable and totally trustworthy‘ team has a diverse work profile, and continues to gain in profile in the market, developing its practice for corporate entities and insurers. Kathy McGillie co-heads the team, and focuses on personal injury cases – particularly catastrophic injury, industrial disease, and accident-at-work claims. Co-head Andrew Anthony leads on clinical negligence, and has a strong reputation which makes him a popular choice for uninsured medical professionals, as well as major national level clients. Neil Smyth is another key name, specialising in employer’s and public liability claims. Alistair Wilson acts on high-value medical negligence work.

Practice head(s):

Kathy McGillie; Andrew Anthony

Other key lawyers:

Neil Smyth; Alistair Wilson; Francesca Glynn


‘Ms Kathy Mc Gillie is the lead partner. She has a detailed legal knowledge specialising in industrial disease. She leads by example and is very industrious.’

‘The team at Tughans treat each client as an individual, they take time in detail to discuss each case, the options and best way forward.’

‘An excellent firm providing a first class service for the MDU in NI.’

‘Anthony heads the department ably assisted by Alistair. They all have an in-depth knowledge of the sector. Anthony and Alistair have first-class judgment and are very sound tacticians. Francesca shows good attention to detail.’

‘I have found them very helpful, always available and clear in what they need and expect. They are easily contactable, something that is not always found in some firms.

I would highly recommend Alistair and the firm to anyone’

‘The practice has an excellent reputation, built up over many years of expertise and knowledge in this sector, both in the general business community and in particular with insurers and brokers.’

‘Kathy McGillie and her team in Tughans are knowledgable, reliable and totally trustworthy.’

Work highlights

    Real estate > Commercial property Tier 1

    Tughans is active on high-value acquisitions, developments, and regeneration schemes, working across the UK and internationally. Team leader David Jones works across all areas of commercial real estate, with a focus on development, investment and large-scale landlord and tenant work. Rebecca Moffett is particularly active in the retail sector, while Joe Moore has expertise in development projects and business tenancies. Chris Milligan is another key team member, and works exclusively on energy, natural resources and infrastructure projects. Associate directors Amanda Byrnes and Gavin Robinson are other names to note.

    Practice head(s):

    David Jones

    Other key lawyers:

    Rebecca Moffett; Joe Moore; Chris Milligan; Amanda Byrnes; Gavin Robinson; Eamonn Ward; Graham Ord


    ‘The firm employs a number of individuals who are experts in their particular fields. The team is very commercial and understands the market.’

    ‘Chris Milligan has a wide experience of dealing with both small and large developments. Chris has taken a very commercial approach to our project and is mindful of our development targets.’

    ‘The breadth of knowledge amongst the team and ability to think outside the box makes this practice unique and stand out from others.’

    ‘The stand-out individual within the commercial property team has to be Chris Milligan. He is client-focused, a great communicator and quick to respond to any queries. He offers solutions to problems rather than barriers.’

    Key clients


    Tesco Stores Ltd

    CA Student Living

    Urban Pulse

    Apple Inc


    Associated British Foods plc

    Corbo Ltd


    McKinney Group


    Tilney Smith & Williamson


    Bryson Charitable Group

    Brookfield/Student Roost

    Beaumont Care Homes

    Work highlights

    • Advised the developer on the complex bespoke, high-value agreement with Peel for the acquisition of a large, strategically significant development site next to the Trafford Centre in Manchester.
    • Acted for medical diagnostics business Randox on the full range of commercial legal services.
    • Acted on the acquisition of the former Thornhill College school site in Londonderry from the Catholic Church, following a lengthy 7 year process to obtain planning consent for a new, large-scale senior living village.

    Real estate > Construction Tier 1

    Tughans is active across Northern Ireland, Ireland, and England and Wales. The ‘non-pretentious, friendly, knowledgeable and easy to deal with’ team acts on matters from a diverse range of sectors, including energy, infrastructure, manufacturing, and telecommunications. Michael McCord and Tim Kinney co-lead the team, with McCord regarded as a market leader for construction disputes and experience in working for private and public governmental clients, and Kinney offering experience in construction, engineering, and procurement.

    Practice head(s):

    Michael McCord; Tim Kinney


    ‘Prompt with replies and action and well-resourced. Good collaborative approach is part of the culture.’

    ‘Non-pretentious, friendly, knowledgeable and easy to deal with. I value their approachability and affability.’

    ‘Tughans has the leading team in Belfast in construction litigation.’

    ‘Michael McCord is the “go-to” person in construction disputes. He is prepared to roll up his sleeves and get stuck into every case and is tenacious in seeking the best outcome for his clients.’

    ‘Tughans’ construction practice matches and surpasses the ability of all the London law firms I have encountered in the past.’

    ‘I have always found Tim to be available when needed, to understand our business and to negotiate a contract in a pragmatic manner whilst always delivering a solution that protects our interests.’

    ‘Very relevant long term experience.’

    Key clients

    Indaver NV

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

    Fibrus Networks Limited

    FP McCann

    Ardagh Metal Beverage UK Limited (part of the Ardagh Group)


    Student Roost/Brookfield Asset Management

    Department for Infrastructure

    Apple Inc.

    Reeflive Limited

    Work highlights

    • Advised Indaver NV in respect of the overall procurement pathway being adopted for the development of a waste-to-energy facility in Rivenhall, Essex.
    • Acting for DFI in the defence of a £40m adjudication claim brought by a roads contractor on a major roads project in NI where the contractor alleged it is entitled to extra time and extra money as a result of the Covid 19 pandemic having allegedly delayed the works.
    • Advising AML on procurement options in respect of a new state-of-the-art beverage can plant in Northern Ireland.

    TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > IT and telecoms Tier 1

    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:


    ‘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.  

    Private client > Personal tax, trusts and probate Tier 2

    Tughans focuses on estate planning and acts in matters involving complex elements such as cross-border assets and inter-generational issues. Practice head Fiona Kirkpatrick is experienced in advisory and contentious matters.

    Practice head(s):

    Fiona Kirkpatrick


    ‘Fiona listens carefully, takes in all the relevant information, analyses it and has a plan of action. She has a keen eye for detail, is organised and thorough.’

    ‘Fiona is second to none as someone who is hardworking, confident and totally positive.’

    ‘I have found the practice to have a broad spectrum of expertise which is very helpful when dealing with complex legal and financial matters.’

    ‘My main dealings have been with Fiona Kirkpatrick who is a Director at Tughans. I have found her to be friendly, knowledgeable, flexible, highly responsive and professional.’

    ‘Fiona is developing a team at Tughans and is a fantastic ambassador for the firm. She is knowledgeable, skilled and really great with clients. She makes people feel at ease and is an asset to the firm.’

    ‘Fiona always goes the extra mile for clients and is always available to help. She is very knowledgeable in her field and I would highly recommend her services.’

    ‘The private client team at Tughans is insightful, responsive and practical when it comes to complex matters of estate planning.’

    ‘Fiona was extremely responsive and knowledgable, able to work with family members as well as external partners in Northern Ireland and Ireland.’

    Work highlights

      Projects, energy and natural resources > Energy, project finance and PFI Tier 2

      Tughans acts on high-value energy and infrastructure projects, with a strong presence in the waste and anaerobic digestion space. The firm has a strong relationship with electricity network operator SONI. Co-head Andrew Kirke specialises in the regulatory and contractual aspects of energy transactions. Co-head Chris Milligan has extensive experience in property matters.

      Practice head(s):

      Andrew Kirke; Chris Milligan


      ‘We always find that they quickly engage in the project as a whole and we consider them to be much more than just our legal advisers, but our strategic partners.’

      ‘Stand-out individuals include Chris Milligan, who is the lead adviser on many of our projects and has a very strong background in the energy sector.’

      ‘They make an effort to engage with you and return calls and emails promptly even on smaller projects, all opinions are clear concise and helpful.’

      ‘They have a great knowledge of the sector and understand the needs and legal responsibilities for developing businesses such as ours.’

      Key clients

      Indaver NV

      SONI Limited

      SSE Plc

      ESB Group

      Adman Civil Projects Limited

      Northern Ireland Transport Holding Company (t/a Translink)

      Londonderry Port and Harbour Commissioners

      Greencoat Capital

      ERG S.p.A.

      Natural World Products

      Northern Ireland Water

      Granville Ecopark

      Lissan Coal Company (LCC) T/A Go Power

      Work highlights

      • Provided advice in respect of the engineer, procure and construct contract and overall procurement pathway being adopted for the development of a waste-to-energy facility in Rivenhall, Essex.
      • Secondment from Tughans to SONI (the sole operator of the high voltage electricity transmission network in Ireland) on a part-time basis as their sole in-house legal counsel in Northern Ireland.
      • Advised Adman on a number of wind farm projects both in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

      Real estate > Planning and environment Tier 2

      Tughans‘ team has a primary focus on the energy, utilities, and waste sectors, and services both public and private clients. Consultant Maria O’Loan leads the team and advises on judicial reviews and public enquiries. Her recent work included advising the Ulster Council of the Gaelic Athletic Association (UCGAA) on the planning and procurement elements of the £120m Casement Park Stadium redevelopment. Associate solicitor Jonathan Ross provides key support.

      Practice head(s):

      Maria O’Loan

      Other key lawyers:


      ‘The key strength is Maria O’Loan. Her experience in planning and environmental law are exceptional, as is her commitment and client care.’

      ‘Tughans delivers an exceptional level of service, expertise and most importantly client care.’

      ‘Maria O’Loan delivers an exceptional standard of service and advice to my organisation in what has been an incredibly complicated matter.’

      ‘Maria O’Loan has managed to distill complex environmental legal principles down to deliver understandable and relatable advice – this is crucial for my organisational needs.’

      ‘Maria O’Loan is extremely knowledgeable in environmental law and highlights other cases to help explain possible outcomes and the legal process.’

      ‘Overall I am very happy with Maria O’Loan and the service she has provided and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend her.’

      ‘Maria O’Loan stands out as an excellent practitioner who provides sound advice & direction providing quiet reassurance to planning & environment teams grappling with complex and challenging legal matters.’

      Key clients

      Ulster Council of the Gaelic Athletic Association

      Northern Ireland Water

      Apple Inc


      System Operator of Northern Ireland (SONI)

      Londonderry Port and Harbour Commissioners

      Natural World Products

      Heron Bros

      Vanden Recycling

      Bryson Recycling

      Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council

      Tenants Consolidated Limited

      Randox Laboratories

      Indaver Limited

      Westland Horticulture

      Work highlights

      • Advising Ulster Council of the Gaelic Athletic Association in respect of the planning, environmental and procurement aspects of the redevelopment of the Casement Park Stadium.
      • Advising the System Operator of Northern Ireland (SONI) in respect of a series of planning applications.
      • Advising Northern Ireland Water across a range of matters, including its role as a statutory consultee in planning applications and its powers and duties under the Water and Sewerage Services Order.

      TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > Intellectual property Tier 2

      Tughans fields an IP practice with a focus on technology, which primarily covers licensing and IP contracts. The firm receives instructions from global and domestic clients, including NI start-ups, and has been the lead IP advisor for the Randox Group in the UK. Team head Adrian O’Connell is active in multiple technology-adjacent sectors, including healthcare and retail. He is supported by Andrew Kirke, who brings experience in trade mark matters and licensing agreements.

      Practice head(s):

      Adrian O’Connell

      Other key lawyers:


      ‘Knowledgeable and trusted people.’

      ‘Friendly and approachable manner.’

      Key clients

      Randox Group

      Fusion Antibodies PLC

      B-Secur Limited

      EOS Group

      Dale Farm

      Overwatch Research Limited


      Hughes Insurance

      Westland Horticulture

      Tobermore Concrete Products

      Fourds t/a BLOC


      Blk Box

      Acre Platforms

      W&R Barnett

      RMS t/a Pivotal

      Work highlights

      • Acted for MOF Technologies Limited on several bespoke IP-related contracts, including assisting with the drafting of template materials transfer and testing agreements, collaboration agreements and supply contracts.
      • Advised Fourds Limited on its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and on its recent acquisition of FAST Technologies, an IP-heavy industrial-focused company.
      • Assisting new client SSE Airtricity as one of five Northern Irish utilities and taking part in a joint procurement exercise for a high value multi-lot framework agreement.

      Finance > Insolvency and corporate recovery Tier 3

      Tughans fields a cross-departmental team with a record of advising clients on high-value restructurings and the full range of corporate insolvencies. The department works across multiple jurisdictions, including the Republic of Ireland and England & Wales, and is retained by high-profile clients, including Deloitte, Bank of Ireland, and KPMG. Team leader Toby McMurray is widely recognised in the practice area and is active on the full range of corporate and personal insolvencies. Associates Ellen Forester and Nadine Brennan are other key team members, both experienced in debt recovery and enforcement.

      Practice head(s):

      Toby McMurray

      Other key lawyers:


      ‘Toby McMurray is probably the best insolvency lawyer in Belfast. He is very commercial and clients find him approachable and realistic in his advice. He has a deep technical knowledge and experience and is able to deal with and address even the largest and most complex insolvency cases.’

      ‘This is the leading insolvency team in Belfast.’

      Key clients


      ISL Waste Management Limited

      McGrath (Architectural Metalwork) Ltd

      Bank of Ireland (UK) plc

      FRP Advisory

      Eldufgar Construction Limited

      Bank of Scotland Plc

      Diageo Northern Ireland Limited



      Work highlights

      • Advised KPMG on all aspects of the administrations of 4 Lagan Construction Group companies.
      • Advise ISL Waste Management on a restructuring option which ultimately led to placing the company into administration during the national lockdown and completing a pre-pack sale of the business to Riverridge recycling Limited.
      • Advising the former directors of McGrath (Architectural Metalwork) Ltd in the defence of an action brought by HMRC under article 180-181 of the Insolvency (Northern Ireland) Order.

      Tughans, a leading Northern Ireland law firm, is widely recognised for its pragmatic and commercial approach to the law. The firm advises clients ranging from local entrepreneurs and established indigenous companies to international corporations doing business and those considering FDI in Northern Ireland. The firm has a formal association with leading Dublin law firm William Fry, and also works closely with international firms in Europe, the US and Asia to ensure a seamless multi-jurisdictional service.

      Awards: ranked No1: Experian Deal and Advisor League Table 2015 and 2016, Northern Ireland M&A Activity; Corporate Law Firm of the Year 2016 and 2017, Northern Ireland Dealmakers Awards; Young Dealmaker of the Year 2016 (John McGuckian), Northern Ireland Dealmakers Awards.

      Types of work undertaken
      the team advises financial institutions and corporate borrowers on secured and unsecured finance and lending, and on the structuring of finance and security options. The team has experience in the areas of asset finance, acquisition and leveraged finance, property finance, securitisation and general corporate lending.

      Construction and projects: members of the team provide specialist advice on non-contentious and contentious aspects of construction law. The team has acted in a number of high-profile construction projects, advising on such matters as building contracts, professional team appointments, collateral warranties and dispute resolution. The firm has advised on some of the largest PFI and PPP projects in Northern Ireland, principally in the healthcare, IT and infrastructure sectors.

      Corporate: the department’s principal activities include M&As, share issues, venture capital and inward investment, joint ventures, shareholder agreements and company reconstructions. The department has been involved in significant transactions across a range of business sectors, and continues to attract a high proportion of the multi-jurisdictional work among Northern Irish law firms.

      Dispute resolution: the department, which is the largest in Northern Ireland, concentrates on three specialist areas: commercial; insurance; and clinical negligence and professional disciplinary work. All solicitors in the department have expertise in methods of alternative dispute resolution. The team acts for a number of insurance companies and professionals in professional indemnity cases, and has acted in most significant commercial disputes in NI over the last number of years.

      Employment: the team acts for a number of Northern Ireland’s employers, advising on both contentious and non-contentious matters. The team also provides employment advice on mergers and acquisitions, outsourcing and TUPE.

      Energy: the team advises clients in the energy sector, principally in the energy-from-waste, electricity and renewable energy technologies markets, on issues relating to real estate, M&A, equity investment, regulatory, asset management and contentious issues.

      Environment and planning: the team advises on a range of environment and planning issues relating to real estate, M&A, regulatory issues and contentious matters. The team advises clients on brownfield development, planning applications, enforcement notices and appeals, waste management, permitting and licensing, environmental impact assessment and renewable energy development.

      Insolvency and restructuring: the team advises financial institutions, insolvency officeholders, corporates and directors. Having advised on many of the largest and most high-profile insolvencies in Northern Ireland, the team’s experience ensures that it can tackle the most complex restructuring projects and continually fulfil the needs of its clients.

      Intellectual property: the department specialises in the areas of IP, ICT, freedom of information and data protection, providing advice and assistance on all aspects of the protection and exploitation of IP assets in a diverse range of sectors. The team has wide exposure to the technology environment in Northern Ireland, and draws leading clients from both the private and public sectors.

      Procurement: the procurement team advises public authorities, utilities and economic operators on all aspects of procurement law. It has advised on the successful completion of a significant number of high-value and complex procurements across a range of sectors, and has been involved in many of the leading procurement cases in Northern Ireland in recent years.

      Healthcare: the team defends clinical negligence claims, covers professional regulation and provides commercial advice in relation to contracts.

      Real estate: the department, one of the largest commercial property practices in Northern Ireland, acts for a diverse range of clients, including private, institutional and public sector bodies and housing associations, in all property and landlord and tenant matters. It reinforces its outstanding reputation by providing strong technical expertise, practical advice and reliable delivery of service.

      Senior partner John-George Willis
      Managing partner Patrick Brown
      Banking and finance Fearghal O'Loan
      Banking and finance David McAleese
      Commercial litigation Michael McCord
      Commercial litigation Patrick Brown
      Commercial litigation Toby McMurray
      Construction Michael McCord
      Construction Tim Kinney
      Corporate and commercial John-George Willis
      Corporate and commercial James Donnelly
      Corporate and commercial John McGuckian
      Corporate and commercial Ciara Lagan
      Corporate and commercial Adrian O'Connell
      Employment Anna Beggan
      Energy John-George Willis
      Energy Maria O'Loan
      Environment and planning Maria O'Loan
      Insolvency and restructuring Toby McMurray
      Insurance litigation Kathy McGillie
      Insurance litigation Neil Cahill
      Insurance litigation Neil Smyth
      Intellectual property Adrian O'Connell
      Procurement Patrick Brown
      Professional discipline (healthcare) Andrew Anthony
      Professional discipline (healthcare) Alistair Wilson
      Projects, PFI/PPP John-George Willis
      Projects, PFI/PPP Tim Kinney
      Real estate Phyllis Agnew
      Real estate John Mills
      Real estate James Pringle
      Real estate David Jones
      Real estate Joe Moore
      Real estate Rebecca Moffett
      Number of UK partners : 23