Tughans > Belfast, Northern Ireland > Firm Profile

Northern Ireland

Corporate and commercial > Corporate and M&A Tier 1

Tughans has positioned itself as a leading name for private equity and venture capital transactions, with a client base including major institutional investors such as Techstart Ventures, Invest NI and Kernel Capital. Practice head James Donnelly is a leading name for this work, particularly in relation to advising tech startups and early stage companies. John McGuckian has a similar focus on private equity, as well as M&A transactions. Former senior partner John-George Willis is now a consultant to the firm.

Practice head(s):

James Donnelly

Other key lawyers:


‘We found Tughans to be hugely professional and competent. They approached our project with transparency, specialist expertise and commitment and delivered the key objectives. The corporate team drove the project forward and called on the depth of experience within the firm, notably banking/finance, property and employment to fulfil the goal.’

‘John McGuckian is fantastic to work with. His knowledge, perspective and commitment were admirable. In addition to a very pragmatic and measured approach, John has a wonderful ability to get the deal over the line. He is very personable and brings a great sense of calm and confidence to his clients. We found his attention to detail, availability, and communication outstanding.’

‘I have worked with a number of the Corporate and Commercial team in Tughans and every member of the team is exceptionally approachable, knowledgeable, responsive and professional. They efficiently ensure any issue is addressed promptly, clarifying any requirements upfront to ensure any terms of engagement accurately reflect your needs.’

Key clients

Techstart Ventures LLP

Kernel Capital

Business Growth Fund



Connect Total Communications

nTropy Data

Mattioli Woods Plc

Invest Northern Ireland

Tennants Consolidated

Work highlights

  • Advised Business Growth Fund on its £10m growth capital investment in Decora Blinds.
  • Advised Metacompliance Limited in relation to a significant investment made into it by private equity investor Tenzing.
  • Advised Tennants Consolidated Limited on the sale of Tennants Fine Chemicals Limited (and its subsidiaries in China and Singapore) to the Eternis Group (based in India).

Northern Ireland > Dispute resolution Tier 1

With 'an enviable track record in dispute resolution in Northern Ireland', Tughans is a particularly popular choice for construction, insolvency and procurement litigation, with additional expertise in shareholder disputes, breach of contract cases and professional negligence claims. Senior partner Michael McCord is one of three practice heads and is 'a market leader' for construction disputes, as well as handling related professional negligence and insolvency cases. 'Hugely respected' managing partner Patrick Brown leads on the procurement side and has extensive experience in acting for contracting authorities and unsuccessful tenderers. Also leading the team is 'standout performerToby McMurray, who handles insolvency cases and is highly skilled in obtaining freezing injunctions.

Practice head(s):

Michael McCord; Patrick Brown; Toby McMurray


‘Very strong relevant experience.’

‘Tughans bring a deep knowledge and insight of Northern Irish commercial practice, which ensures their clients get to put their best foot forward in any dispute process.’

‘This is the strongest litigation team in Belfast. The firm is particularly known for its ability to take on and run the largest litigation cases. They tend to be retained in all of the most complex and difficult litigation before the Commercial Court in Belfast. They are market leaders in this field.’

‘Toby McMurray is a standout performer, particularly in insolvency-related litigation. Michael McCord is the market leader in construction litigation. He is second to none, particularly known for getting stuck into cases and being over the detail. Patrick Brown would be a market leader in procurement.’

‘Tughans have an enviable track record in dispute resolution in Northern Ireland, most especially in commercial law. Their team are experienced, commercially astute and pragmatic. These qualities are key in guiding their clients’ interests and facilitating mutually agreeable settlements and agreements.’

‘Patrick Brown leads from the front and is the driving force behind the success of the firm as managing partner. Patrick is hugely respected in the business and legal circles in Northern Ireland and has extensive experience in both litigation and dispute resolution, which is of huge benefit to the firm’s clients.’

Key clients

FP McCann Limited

BAM McCann (Joint Venture)

Old Channel Property Limited


Northern Ireland Water Limited

CPD Powerline

Ulster Council of the Gaelic Athletic Association

Randox Laboratories Limited

Telecoms Management Limited


Work highlights

  • Defended FP McCann in adjudication proceedings commenced by a party which claims to have had its sub-contract wrongly terminated.
  • Advised KPMG on seeking an order as to the validity of the termination of the construction contract for the flagship University of Ulster campus construction.
  • Acting for Northern Ireland Water in the defence of three separate procurement challenges brought by unsuccessful tenderers to a capital works framework with an aggregate value of £1.6bn.

Northern Ireland > Employment Tier 1

With a 'heavyweight reputation', the team at Tughans runs the gamut of employment law work and has been highly active in advising on major redundancies, unfair dismissals and discrimination claims. The team also acts alongside the corporate department to advise on the employment aspects of M&A and reorganisations. Anna Beggan , who is highlighted for her 'good experience and knowledge of the market', oversees the team; she has acted before employment tribunals and the High Court, and is also an accredited mediator. Patricia Rooney, who is well versed in TUPE regulations, is another important figure in the team and is able to assist all-Ireland clients with her qualifications in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Practice head(s):

Anna Beggan

Other key lawyers:


‘Very professional and knowledgeable in the subject areas.’

‘Anna Beggan is personable and easy to work with.’

‘The individuals I’ve interacted with within this practice very much have a can do attitude and have gone out of their way to assist in identifying, and fighting for, the right solution for us as a business. Their focus is on timely problem resolution, rather than ongoing engagement and enhancement of billing hours, as is the case with some other practices I’ve worked with previously.’

‘The attention to detail, knowledge base, partner availability (at all times of the day and evening) and determination to act in the best interests of their clients clearly uniquely identifies the individuals I’ve dealt with at Tughans as standouts. In particular, Anna Beggan expressed such qualities during my interaction with her.’

‘The team are responsive and always willing to give advice tailored to our business needs.’

‘The employment team is corporate and sophisticated, and usefully part of a larger organisation which works with business and industry.’

‘Anna Began is a safe pair of hands. A busy in-house lawyer can be confident that Anna will take on and run a process and provide sound advice to assist with decision making. Good experience and knowledge of the market means that Anna can provide a well tuned-in opinion.’

‘The employment team is very professional and comes with a real heavyweight reputation, yet the team are all very approachable and great to work with.’

Key clients

Northern Ireland Water Limited

Agri Food and Biosciences Institute

Westland Horticulture Limited

Monaghan Mushrooms Group

Business Growth Fund PLC

MetaCompliance Limited

Mattioli Woods PLC

The Mole Clinic

Invest Northern Ireland

Work highlights

  • Advised Business Growth Fund on the employment issues relating to its £10m growth capital investment into Decora Blinds.
  • Advised MetaCompliance Limited on all employment aspects of a significant investment by private equity investor Tenzing.
  • Advised Connect Total Communications on all the employment aspects of the sale of the business and assets to Radius Payment Solutions.

Finance > Banking and finance Tier 1

Tughans provides a comprehensive range of services to lenders and borrowers in relation to their most complex and strategic financing issues. Its team has extensive experience of handlng transactions involving acquisition finance and property finance, asset-based lending and debt refinancing. The practice is led by Fearghal O’Loan, who has experience of advising on local deals, as well as mandates covering England and Wales and the Republic of Ireland. Corporate lending is a core area of focus for Douglas Anderson who brings a unique perspective having previously worked in-house at both RBS and Ulster Bank. He undertakes a wide range of transactional work, with notable expertise in renewables finance and social housing finance.

Practice head(s):

Fearghal O’Loan

Other key lawyers:

Douglas Anderson; Sarah Sharkey


‘I think Tughans’ strengths very much revolve around their staff in terms of the range of services that they offer and the experience that they can demonstrate. They are very client focused; responding quickly to enquiries and providing advice that is always practical.’

‘They had a very sound grasp of what we, as a public body, required and they demonstrated innovative thinking to deal with and resolve a number of issues.’

‘Excellent level of service. Very good experience in all the major streams of the firm (and it is the depth of experience and the delivery of this to clients that sets them apart. I would also say Tughans are far more proactive than a lot of firms out there, and proactively find solutions rather than problems, which is something that is really just something that other firms say, but Tughans actually do.’

‘Tughans is our “go-to” law firm for Northern Irish banking deals. The team consistently delivers high quality legal advice, often on tight timelines.’

‘Fearghal O’Loan is a very experienced and very responsive point of contact for us on Northern Irish deals. He knows the market very well, quotes reasonably and leads a team of excellent associates.’

‘The relationship with Tughans feels more like a partnership than a client/lawyer relationship. We feel valued and we have access to a partner as and when needed .The team are attentive, efficient and knowledgeable and I have utmost faith in their advice and support.’

Key clients

Foyle Food Group Limited

Genesis Health Solutions Limited

Upstream Trade Finance Limited

Work highlights

  • Assisted Foyle Food Group Limited with an amendment to, and an amendment and restatement of, its current facilities with PNC Business Credit.
  • Advising Upstream Trade Finance as funder on a number of trade finance deals.
  • Advised Genesis Health Solutions Limited in connection with its acquisition of McNeill Pharmacys Limited and the refinance of Solas Pharmaceuticals Ltd from Bank of Ireland to Allied Irish Banks.

Insurance > Personal injury and clinical negligence: defendant Tier 1

Tughans is ‘a first-class defendant firm in Belfast’ and is particularly known for its expertise in advising medical defence organisations. Andrew Anthony  focuses on this line of work and has extensive experience in defending healthcare professionals against clinical negligence claims. Kathy McGillie leads on the personal injury side and focuses on occupational disease and catastrophic injury claims. Other partners of note include Neil Smyth, whose strength is in employer and public liability claims, and Alistair Wilson, who specialises in clinical negligence work.

Practice head(s):

Kathy McGillie; Andrew Anthony

Other key lawyers:


‘The team within Tughans are extremely knowledgeable and always go the extra mile to ensure best value for their clients. All cases are progressed in a timely manner and the client kept informed at all times of any changes or relevant information – as a client we feel part of the process and are consulted at every stage.’

‘The personal touch with their clients, bringing the clients into and part of the process. Tughans’ staff go out of their way to involve all at all times and after a case is closed they host a review of all claims to ensure we understand the actions taken and why etc. In addition to regular reviews with cases we sit down every 6 months and review all cases collectively.’

‘A first-class defendant firm in Belfast, one of the two leading firms acting for medical defence organisations with strength in depth, handling both claims, regulatory and inquiry work.’

‘Andrew Anthony is Head of Department and an outstanding defence solicitor with excellent judgment and knowledge of the sector. He is highly-regarded and trusted.’

‘Always helpful and pleasant.’

‘As a client, I have been very satisfied regarding the service offered to me. All emails are answered promptly and I have received regular updates on any developments in my case.’

Real estate > Commercial property Tier 1

Tughans' real estate team is adept in high-level mandates, including flagship investment transactions, residential and commercial development projects, and regeneration schemes. It also handles lettings of offices, and industrial and commercial premises, as well as real estate finance work. With Chris Milligan joining from Arthur Cox Belfast in 2020, the firm has grown its portfolio of work in the energy and infrastructure arenas, particularly in relation to renewables and transport. In addition, practice head David Jones has been instrumental in increasing the firm's involvement in build-to-rent and co-living residential schemes. He undertakes a mix of development, investment and landlord and tenant work. Also notable is that his practice is split evenly between Northern Ireland and England and Wales matters. The team also features Joe Moore, whose expertise includes development projects and business tenancies. Rebecca Moffett  is another key individual.

Practice head(s):

David Jones

Other key lawyers:

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


‘Very commercially-minded people that deliver their legal advice in a straight forward but personable way.’

‘Worked with Joe Moore as partner on a number of things and find that the advice is sound, and is delivered in a straight forward understandable way. I can be confident that if he says its going to be done, it will be done.’

‘Hands-on approach, thorough review and pushed the matter through to completion. Took the burden off in-house counsel and delivered on time. Joe Moore is a lawyer that every in-house legal team needs to work with to get your work done and on time!’

Key clients


Tesco Stores Limited

CA Student Living

Urban Pulse

Apple Inc.


Associated British Foods plc

Corbo Limited


Kilmona Investments Limited




Bryson Charitable Group

Work highlights

  • Advising McKinney Estates (Manchester) Limited as the developer of a new £60m “Wavegarden” surfing facility next to the Trafford Centre in Manchester.
  • Advising Ulster Council GAA on the £120m redevelopment of the Casement Park Stadium
  • Advised CA Student Living on an equity and development funding deal to unlock the Botanic Link student accommodation project in Belfast.

Real estate > Construction Tier 1

Tughans has particular strengths in cross-border projects involving the UK and Ireland. It often advises non-local companies on projects in Northern Ireland, as well as assisting local construction companies with projects in England and the Republic of Ireland. Michael Mccord is a key name for contentious construction issues, focusing primarily on contractual issues and professional negligence. Tim Kinney is also skilled in disputes, and he is also a key name for non-contentious matters, such as construction contracts and procurement. The team's work covers a multitude of industries, such as energy, retail, transport, hospitality and healthcare.

Practice head(s):

Tim Kinney; Michael McCord


‘Accessible, strategic and strong legal advice.’

‘Tim Kinney – Detailed legal advice with a strategic edge.’

‘Tughans have a leading construction team. They have strength in depth and experience of all sectors. They act for both developers and contractors and are familiar with all the main forms of construction litigation. They handle many adjudications, arbitrations and commercial litigation.’

‘Michael McCord is simply the market leader in construction claims in Belfast.’

‘Excellent industry knowledge and experience, which is leveraged to provide better value for money on new instructions.’

‘Tim Kinney has extensive knowledge of construction law with particular expertise in non-contentious matters. He is responsive, considered and gives significant thought to any query put to him.’

‘During the pandemic, I found the process of working with Tughans seamless. They had a work from home policy which did not restrict my access to my contacts and the response times were not affected. An organisation of their size must be congratulated on being forced into a work from home policy without impact on their clients. To me this shows strong management, an in-house IT team that can react quickly and a staff that can embrace change.’

Key clients

Indaver NV

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

Fibrus Networks Limited

FP McCann

Adston Construction


KN Network Services Limited/KN Circet

Adcrete Limited

Apple Inc.

McAleer & Rushe Contracts UK Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Indaver on the development of a waste-to-energy facility in Rivenhall, Essex.
  • Advised BAM McCann on a roads project in Northern Ireland where professional negligence claim has been made against the design engineers.
  • Advised Fibrus Networks Limited on the provision of the digital infrastructure in Northern Ireland.

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

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:

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.

Finance > Insolvency and corporate recovery Tier 2

Toby McMurray leads Tughans' insolvency and restructuring team, which has extensive expertise in corporate restructurings and refinancings, voluntary arrangements, administrations, receiverships and liquidations, among other matters. Working with the corporate and commercial property departments, the group advises on the implications of bankruptcies and insolvencies for corporate transactions and property deals. On the contentious side, drivers of work include asset tracing investigations, directors disqualification proceedings and litigation to unwind fraudulent transactions. The practice's broad geographical footprint is reflected by its work for clients based across the island of Ireland and England and Wales. In one notable mandate, McMurray and director Nadine Brennan are acting for KPMG on the liquidation of The English Studio Limited.

Practice head(s):

Toby McMurray

Other key lawyers:

Nadine Brennan; Ellen Forester


‘Toby McMurray is one of the best insolvency lawyers in Northern Ireland. He is technically brilliant and is well known by all of the main insolvency practitioners. Tughans can handle all aspects of the largest insolvencies and Toby is particularly skilled at getting commercial resolutions of the most intractable disputes.’

Key clients


ISL Waste Management Limited

McGrath (Architectural Metalwork) Ltd

Bank of Ireland (UK) plc

Horwood Neill Holmes

Eldufgar Construction Limited

Kilmona Property Limited

Bank of Scotland Plc

Deloitte LLP

Work highlights

  • Advised KPMG on all aspects of the administrations of 4 Lagan Construction Group companies.
  • Advised ISL Waste Management to on a restructuring option which ultimately led to placing the company into administration during the national lockdown.
  • Advising the former directors in the defence of an action brought by HMRC under article 180-181 of the Insolvency (Northern Ireland) Order relating to tax liabilities of McGrath Limited.

Private client > Personal tax, trusts and probate Tier 2

Tughans' presence in private client work has been significantly boosted following the arrival of director Fiona Kirkpatrick from Carson McDowell. Kirkpatrick is a qualified trust and estate practitioner and acts for a number of high-net-worth individuals and families, with expertise in advisory and contentious issues.

Practice head(s):

Fiona Kirkpatrick


‘Experience, client service and competence.’

‘Fiona Kirkpatrick – excellent legal expertise in the private client arena. Approachable and empathetic.’

‘I have worked with Fiona Kirkpatrick in a professional manner for a few years now. I have recently asked her to complete my own will and POA as I have great belief that she does a fantastic job for her clients. She is conscientious and very knowledgeable and a real pleasure to deal with.’

‘I believe Tughans Private Wealth Law team offers a very high standard of expertise in private client matters. In my opinion, their strongest points would be their knowledge in specialist private client areas eg trust work and high level of client service.’

‘I have worked with Fiona Kirkpatrick who is personable, compassionate, knowledgeable and diligent. She also reports back in a timely and efficient manner. Overall, a truly excellent solicitor!’

‘Fiona Kirkpatrick is highly responsive, excellent with clients and communicates in a clear and concise way. Fiona makes complex matters simple.’

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

Tughans’ energy practice has been significantly strengthened through the promotion of Andrew Kirke to partner and the arrival of Chris Milligan from Arthur Cox Belfast, who both now lead the practice. Kirke is an expert in the regulatory and contractual aspects of energy transactions. Milligan meanwhile is particularly skilled in advising on the property aspects of major energy and infrastructure projects.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Kirke; Chris Milligan


‘Andrew Kirke is technically excellent in terms of legal advice and knowledge and also has a strong commercial and practical outlook which is hugely helpful in terms of reaching solutions which are legally compliant as well as business focused. Andrew has excellent client management and communication skills, particularly in terms of his responsiveness and his ability to communicate legal advice to people with non-legal backgrounds.’

‘Chris Milligan brings experience and knowledge to the team, he’s very approachable, diligent.’

‘I have worked with Chris Milligan during the delivery of a national infrastructure project, the project had a unique and sometimes complex structure. Chris brought a depth of knowledge in a particular from the perspective of land and financier requirements.’

‘Good knowledge of Northern Ireland property related matters.’

Key clients


Greencoat Capital

Adman Civil Engineering

First Trust


Natural World Products

Northern Ireland Water

Granville Ecopark

Lissan Coal Company

Bryson Recycling

Work highlights

  • Acting as sole in-house legal counsel to SONI.
  • Advised Greencoat Capital on its bid to acquire Gruig Wind Farm in Northern Ireland.
  • Advised Santander (as lead arranger) in relation to NI-specific matters during the refinancing of NTR’s onshore wind portfolio across the UK and Ireland.

Real estate > Planning and environment Tier 2

At Tughans, consultant Maria O’Loan heads up the practice, which is focused on the energy, waste and utilities sectors. She has particular strengths in advising on judicial reviews and public inquiries. In one mandate, O'Loan is advising Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council on a planning appeal against the refusal of an application for a 96-acre cemetery. Another notable individual is associate director Emma-Rose Rooney, who is adept at advising on planning appeals involving the recycling sector.

Practice head(s):

Maria O’Loan

Other key lawyers:


‘My experience with Tughans is very positive, with Maria O’Loan showing genuine enthusiasm for the campaign and she appreciates the knowledge and input from the community.’

‘I have only worked with Maria O’Loan, with the phrase “worked with” giving a hint as to how great she is.’

‘The team are well organised, diligent, professionals with specialisms in all the appropriate areas. There is a complementary mix of lawyers who assist in providing an effective, efficient and quality service to me and my organisation.’

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

Work highlights

  • Advising the Ulster Council of the Gaelic Athletic Association on the planning, environmental and procurement aspects of the redevelopment of the Casement Park Stadium.
  • Advising Northern Ireland Water on a planning application near to a waste water treatment works.
  • Advising Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council on a planning appeal against the refusal of an application for a 96-acre cemetery.

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

Tughans’ IP team has a distinctive focus on the technology sector, predominantly advising on licensing and IP agreements. Adrian O’Connell  leads the teams and advises on IP portfolio management work as well as major commercial agreements. He is supported by newly promoted partner Andrew Kirke who is experienced in software licensing agreements, data protection work and trade mark law.

Practice head(s):

Adrian O’Connell

Other key lawyers:


‘Personal service. Friendly and approachable. Work like an extension of our own business. Really care about our business. Expertise in all areas.’

‘Personal attention. Great attitude and always timely with activities.’

‘The team were exceptionally efficient and knowledgeable, ensuring the issue was fully understood and researched thoroughly. Your input (as the client) is listened to, considered and valued, and it feels like you are working as part of the team. My knowledge and understanding of this area was much improved and I learned a significant amount from liaising with the team at Tughans.’

‘Andrew Kirke provided exceptional advice and service. He is extremely responsive, summarising the issues and articulating potential responses in a clear, concise and ‘user-friendly’ way. The options were considered and most importantly he advised on how best to proceed alongside the pros and cons of the proposed course of action.’

‘The partner we work with is Andrew Kirke – Andrew is very knowledgeable, transparent, personable, and has been pivotal to major deals we have secured over the last year. ’

‘Highly versatile business that can facilitate all of my business needs within one group. Knowledge on all fronts and have helped us to agree successful terms on many contracts and trade mark issues.’

‘Overall a very friendly bunch and make the whole process painless for me, the customer. Knowledge in each given area is fantastic and I trust all the info that they provide me with. Honest and willing to go over and above to ensure our best interests are at the heart of their operation.’

Key clients

Randox Group

Fusion Antibodies PLC

B-Secur Limited

EOS Group

Dale Farm

Sabsa Education Services


Hughes Insurance

Westland Horticulture

Tobermore Concrete Products

Fourds t/a BLOC


Blk Box

Acre Platforms

W&R Barnett

RMS t/a Pivotal

Work highlights

  • Assisting Fusion Antibodies on an ongoing basis  with its IP portfolio (including all trade marks) and in developing its technology licensing and consultancy contracts.
  • Advised Fourds Limitedn on the BLOC FaceShield product.
  • Assisting various entities in the EOS group across a range of intellectual property matters.

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
David Jones photo David JonesPartner and Head of Department
Number of UK partners : 23