Firm Profile > Carson McDowell > Belfast, Northern Ireland

Carson McDowell
Northern Ireland

Banking and finance Tier 1

Carson McDowell has experience acting on the lender and borrower side of domestic and multi-jurisdictional transactions, with a particular focus on energy and real estate finance. The team is also active in advising leading financial institutions on lending to SMEs. Highly regarded practice head Sinead McGrath advises leading banks, peer-to-peer lenders, corporates and energy suppliers, among others.

Practice head(s):

Sinead McGrath

Other key lawyers:

Claire McCloskey


Claire McCloskey is hard working and delivers results for clients.’

Sinead McGrath must be the calmest lawyer I have ever worked with. She is unflappable while keeping all parties working together and focused on what needs to be delivered, despite competing priorities and conflicting opinions. A complete star.

Sinead McGrath is one of the top banking lawyers in Northern Ireland. She is highly experienced, commercial and easy to deal with, and has a good negotiation style – personable but firm. She inspires confidence and delivers on everything that is asked from her.

Key clients

Northern Ireland Investment Fund

The Governor and Company of the Bank of Ireland/Bank of Ireland (UK) plc

Ulster Bank Limited and Ulster Bank Ireland Designated Activity Company

Allied Irish Banks plc/AIB Group (UK) p.l.c.

Barclays Bank plc

Deutsche Bank

JP Morgan Chase

BNP Paribas

Northern Bank Limited trading as Danske Bank

Assetz Finance

Commercial property Tier 1

Carson McDowell has 'comprehensive knowledge' and a 'client-friendly approach'. The team advises on local and international investments and major developments in the region, and is noted for its extensive experience in the retail sector, acting for a significant number of retail tenants as well as the landlords of shopping centres and retail parks. Dawson McConkey took over as head of the practice in 2018, following Rosemary Carson's move to a consultancy role; both he and Emma Cooper have particular expertise in the energy sector.

Practice head(s):

Dawson McConkey

Other key lawyers:


The team has outstanding knowledge of commercial property law.

They offer very professional, down-to-earth advice.

Key clients

Belfast Harbour Commissioners

Belfast International Airport

McAleer & Rushe Group


Bywater Group

Northern Ireland Investment Fund

Royal Mail Group

RES Group

Sports Direct Group

Turkington Group

Construction Tier 1

Carson McDowell is particularly active in advising on large construction projects in the social housing, energy, education and ports sectors. In addition to local work, the team has acted on significant developments in Great Britain, including university and office projects. Clients include a number of housing associations, as well as leading Northern Irish contractors. Practice head Stuart Murphy handles both contentious and non-contentious matters, while Kerry Teahan leads the firm's procurement offering.

Practice head(s):

Stuart Murphy

Other key lawyers:

Kerry Teahan; Gavin Kerr


Carson McDowell is a well-established practice that has grown significantly in the past number of years. We have enjoyed an excellent service from a number of the specialisms with the firm, particularly construction and real estate.

Gavin Kerr is a highly diligent solicitor who applies a common-sense approach to negotiations in the best interests of his clients. Gavin has excellent experience and a thorough understanding of the complexities of the construction contracts and how this relates to the challenges of the real estate market.

Key clients

John Graham Construction Ltd

Southern Regional College

Belfast Harbour Commissioners

McAleer & Rushe


Actavo (NI)

Choice Housing Association

Causeway Coast & Glens Borough Council

Ulster University

J.H. Turkington & Sons Ltd

Corporate and M&A Tier 1

Carson McDowell has particular strength in traditional Northern Irish industries such as construction, real estate and manufacturing, as well as growing sector expertise in energy and technology and cybersecurity. The team acts for leading Northern Irish and international businesses. The 'very goodNeasa Quigley, who specialises in energy and the knowledge economy, heads the team along with M&A and finance expert Richard Gray. Gerard Armstrong and managing partner Michael Johnston are also key contacts.

Practice head(s):

Neasa Quigley; Richard Gray


Carson McDowell consistently provides excellence service and advice in multiple areas of corporate law in a very prompt and effective way.’

Neasa Quigley is our “go to” senior attorney. She provides expert assistance in many areas of corporate law and general counselling.’

Carson McDowell is, in a word, exceptional. The team is always available for advice, responsive in meeting tight deadlines, and focused on the detail whilst never losing sight of the bigger picture.

The difference between Carson McDowell and its competitors is that you always feel that you are Carson McDowell’s most important client.

Richard Gray and dispute resolution partner Declan Magee both offer exceptional service and are highly effective in obtaining results that the clients prioritise.’

Carson McDowell’s partners understand their disciplines fully rather than pretending to and the junior staff are the equal of partner level in many larger firms in terms of ability.

Richard Gray and Neasa Quigley both excel in their disciplines, exude professionalism, create client confidence in their abilities and manage their own in-house teams with the minimum of fuss.

Key clients

SHS Group

Lagan Group Holdings


Statsport Group

Fane Valley Co-Operative Society

Wrightbus International

Eakin Healthcare Group

RiverRidge Recycling

Dalradian Resources

Dispute resolution Tier 1

The 'professional and friendly' team at Carson McDowell has a 'wide range of expertise with great depth of experience'; it has been particularly active in the media and public sectors, but has also handled contract and company, IP, procurement and competition litigation. The 'responsive and approachable' Declan Magee leads the team alongside healthcare head Roger McMillan. Hugh McGrattan heads the professional indemnity and insurance defence side of the practice, which was strengthened by the firm's recent merger with Francis J Irvine Solicitors.

Practice head(s):

Declan Magee; Roger McMillan

Other key lawyers:


Carson McDowell is the market leader in Northern Ireland and the “go to” firm when it comes to dispute resolution. The team is prompt to respond to issues, always keeping the client fully informed of any developments and seeking to adopt a commercial and pragmatic approach to dispute resolution.

Hugh McGrattan is considered the pre-eminent solicitor in the dispute resolution arena, always delivering an excellent service and desirable outcome.

Carson McDowell’s team produces consistent excellent advice promptly. The team is very experienced.

Hugh McGrattan and associates Shauna McAuley and Timothy Cockram give good, prompt, consistent advice, covering all aspects of claims.

Carson McDowell has one of the largest teams in Belfast. The multi-service practice is capable of dealing with any size of dispute, and is particularly able to resource high-value, complex or document-heavy cases.

Declan Magee is one of the market leaders in dispute resolution and prepared to fight his corner very hard. He is also good in leading his team, which includes a range of solicitors covering all areas of dispute resolution from insolvency to intellectual property and procurement.’

Carson McDowell is very professional and thorough. The team is proactive and communication is consistently of a high standard. They are a great support to our office.

Associate Fergal McGoldrick always has a good handle on cases. He is good at listening to what you want rather than what he thinks you want.

Declan Magee has great depth of understanding on issues and the knowledge to address them.

Carson McDowell provides an excellent level of service. It has a strong in-depth team with commitment to fast response times and offers straightforward advice, avoiding wasted time and effort on futile arguments.

Shauna McAuley and Gillian Greenfield are both excellent associates who respond quickly, which is of course invaluable to clients. They work proactively and offer clear, no-nonsense advice in their jurisdiction.

The team led by Hugh McGrattan is very proactive and efficient.

The firm is very commercial and has the ability, strength and resources to stand out from other competitors.

Hugh McGrattan always makes himself available and will listen to and talk through alternative solutions. His knowledge and expertise in his practice area is second to none and he is very much respected by others.

Shauna McAuley is one to watch as a future leader in her field.

Declan Magee is approachable and empathetic. He looks beyond the obvious in pursuing the efficient resolution of commercial disputes.

Associates Lucy Clarke and Niamh McGuckin are strong team players who deliver to demanding timescales.

Key clients

Sunday Life (Independent News & Media NI)

Parole Commissioners for Northern Ireland

Alpha News Group

Employment Tier 1

Carson McDowell's 'excellent' team is noted for its 'knowledge and availability'. It acts for leading local, UK-wide and Republic of Ireland companies, advising on a wide range of contentious employment matters, as well as non-contentious and corporate employment law. 'Outstanding' practice head Orlagh O'Neill specialises in contentious employment, with particular expertise in grievance and whistleblowing investigations, while Rachel Penny's areas of strength include TUPE and restructuring matters.

Practice head(s):

Orlagh O’Neill

Other key lawyers:

Rachel Penny; Sarah Cochrane; Leona Rankin


There is an exceptional depth and breadth of relevant experience across the team, in terms of both partners and associates.

Rachel Penny is simply outstanding: highly commercial, highly practical, and very attentive to the nuances of specific cases. She is great to deal with and a real people person.

Leona Rankin is very attentive, with very keen eye for detail, highly responsive and exceptionally professional.

The team provides sound, pragmatic advice and solutions in a timely manner, even in some complex scenarios.

Orlagh O’Neill consistently and speedily provides sound advice and assistance which is both practical and solution focused. It is always a pleasure to work with her.

Key clients

Royal Mail Group


Belfast Harbour Commissioners

Santander UK Plc

Statsport Group Limited

Ulster Orchestra

Ulster University

Tayto Group Limited

Hewlett Packard

Invest NI

Energy Tier 1

Carson McDowell has advised on a range of significant regional energy projects, including the construction of gas distribution networks and power stations, and the sale, acquisition and project financing of wind turbine and AD projects. The team has recently expanded its client base to include a number of energy sector businesses and utilities companies. Practice head Neasa Quigley specialises in M&A and equity funding in the sector. Gary McGhee and Emma Cooper advise on the planning and property aspects of energy projects.

Practice head(s):

Neasa Quigley

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Simple Power Limited

Northern Ireland Networks Limited

Evermore Energy

Firmus Energy

System Operator for Northern Ireland

Renewable Energy Systems Limited

Scotia Gas Networks Limited

Elgin Energy

Click Energy

Connective Energy

Intellectual property Tier 1

Carson McDowell advises on the full range of IP rights, including copyright, patents, trade marks, know-how and commercially sensitive information. In addition, the firm handles IP litigation, particularly patent and copyright infringement proceedings. The team has been highly active advising foreign clients with R&D facilities in Northern Ireland, and has growing expertise in software licensing, ICT managed services and technology transfer issues. Declan Magee and Dawn McKnight head the contentious and non-contentious sides of the practice, respectively, and Peter Guzhar is highly recommended for IP litigation, particularly patent infringement.

Practice head(s):

Declan Magee; Dawn McKnight

Other key lawyers:


We were impressed by the speed with which Peter Guzhar responded and identified the core technical issues.’

Key clients

University of Ulster

Eakin Healthcare Group

Denman International

Vuelos Baratos


Ansec IA

Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment



Blue Clarity Consultancy

IT and telecoms Tier 1

Carson McDowell advises on contentious and non-contentious IT matters, including the negotiation of software licensing agreements and ICT managed services contracts, the development of bespoke software solutions, and the implications of GDPR. The team's clients include foreign companies with IT support operations in the region, large IT operators and local IT sector start-ups, and it also has a growing cyber security client base. The highly regarded Dawn McKnight co-leads the team with joint corporate head Neasa Quigley.

Practice head(s):

Dawn McKnight; Neasa Quigley

Key clients

Atto Partners

ISDM Solutions Limited

Ansec IA

Xilinx Inc

Modern Democracy Limited

Raptor Photonics


Nihon Cyber

Acidy Ltd

Personal injury and clinical negligence: defendant Tier 1

Carson McDowell has strengthened its insurer client base following its merger with niche defence firm Francis J Irvine; it also acts for a range of large employers, public bodies, healthcare professionals and medical defence organisations. 'The market leader in Belfast in clinical negligence', the team also has extensive experience in industrial disease, marine personal injury and fatal accident claims. Roger McMillan heads the healthcare team, while Jacqueline McAleese leads the clinical negligence claims team. Claire Harmer, who heads the defence litigation department, is noted for her inquest expertise.

Practice head(s):

Roger McMillan; Claire Harmer

Other key lawyers:


The ultimate one-stop shop for medical practitioners seeking legal assistance in Northern Ireland. The team has a unique and unrivalled strength in depth in every facet of medical law, be it clinical negligence or regulatory. They are unique in their absolute commitment to the client’s cause, leaving no stone unturned in defending breach or causation.

Roger McMillan is the top clinical negligence defence lawyer in Northern Ireland. He stands out for his absolute unwavering dedication to client care. He brings a dogged determination to the defence of his clients which is unrivalled not only in Northern Ireland but across the UK. He is totally on top of the law, with a razor-sharp intellect and superb analytical and tactical skills which achieve outstanding results for clients.

Jacqueline McAleese is superb with clients and extremely thorough.

The team is very well-organised, commercially minded and provides high-quality in-depth legal analysis with clear recommendations.

Jacqueline McAleese is an excellent lawyer who is always willing to go the extra mile to secure great results for her clients.

There is no doubt that this is the strongest clinical negligence team in Belfast.

Roger McMillan is one of the best practitioners in Belfast in clinical negligence.

Associate Laura Menary has very strong technical expertise and is particularly good at clinical negligence defence litigation.

Jacqueline McAleese is highly experienced in clinical negligence. She is very competent and has huge technical knowledge.

The team has a clear understanding of insurer clients’ needs and the insurance market and cycles, with a focus on indemnity spend and ultimate costs.

The team has expertise in marine personal injury and industrial disease claims, and is quick to respond, friendly and easy to work with.

Claire Harmer and associate Cathal O’Neill know their stuff, will always respond quickly and take into account commercial as well as legal issues.

It is a team of very capable lawyers offering a broad range of expertise within the field of employers’ liability and public liability defence litigation. What makes them stand out, however, is their ability to assess each matter both as a standalone claim, but also in the context of any wider impact such claims may have on their client company.

The team stands out for its provision of expert legal advice covering a wide range of circumstances; clear desire to understand the environment within which its client company operates; and availability and willingness to talk through individual issues on an ad-hoc basis.

The team has sound and detailed technical knowledge of all aspects of litigation, fast response times, and is prepared to go the extra mile.

Claire Harmer is technically very knowledgeable: she does not need to constantly rely on counsel and engenders confidence in her decision-making ability. Claire is very personable and approachable, building strong relationships with large corporate clients. She is able to grasp the issues and relay them succinctly, in layman’s terms.

The team is professional, reliable, approachable and knowledgeable in its field.

The whole team is technically strong and gives clear and sensible advice. They are commercially aware and I trust and value their views.

Jacqueline McAleese is an exceptional lawyer. Her advice and tactical awareness cannot be faulted.

Key clients

Belfast Harbour Commissioners

Chain Reaction Cycles

Axis Capital Insurance

Enstar Insurance

Willis Towers Watson

Sedgwick (formerly Cunningham Lindsey)

Faraday Insurance

Riverstone Insurance

Davies Casualty/Garwyn

TT Club/Thomas Millar Claims Management

Crawford & Co Loss Adjusters/Broadspire

Northern Ireland Electricity Networks Ltd

Beale & Co

McLarens Loss Adjusters

Travelers Insurance

Stena Line

IF P&C Insurance

DW Sports

London P&I Club

Terex GB Ltd


Medical Protection Society

Medical and Dental Defence Union of Scotland

Dental Protection

National Pharmaceutical Association

Association of Optometrists

Beazley Group

Personal tax, trusts and probate Tier 1

Carson McDowell's 'highly efficient, compassionate and highly motivated team' has particular strength in advising on high-value, complex estate planning and administration, and also handles contentious probate matters. In addition to high-net-worth individuals, the team acts for the trustees of several high-value trusts and regularly advises clients with assets in the Republic of Ireland and further abroad. Practice head Neil Bleakley and associate Fiona Kirkpatrick, who has expertise in trust administrations, are 'leaders in their field'.

Practice head(s):

Neil Bleakley

Other key lawyers:

Fiona Kirkpatrick; Oliver Tighe


The team has a considered approach plus attention to detail. They deliver work in a timely and efficient way and are proactive in easing the burden of personal estate administration. They have good client relationships.

The firm is uniquely placed due to the size and variety of its offering. Not only is there a very credible private client team, but private clients can also avail themselves of a wide variety of legal offerings in house.

Neil Bleakley and Fiona Kirkpatrick are first class in terms of their attention to probate files. All is dealt with extremely efficiently and in a timely manner.

Carson McDowell is a well-respected local firm. Both Neil Bleakley and Fiona Kirkpatrick are methodical, diligent and conscientious and clients are impressed with their approachable and professional manner.

Neil Bleakley surrounds himself with a quality team of high-calibre individuals. He is very knowledgeable and keeps the language simple when dealing with clients, who can typically be bombarded with jargon that means very little.

Carson McDowell offers an excellent service and can be relied upon to address matters in a timely fashion. The individual strengths of the firm’s staff include a proactive approach with a style that is professional but approachable.

Planning and environment Tier 1

Carson McDowell advises on a range of high-profile planning and environment matters, including planning applications for large developments, judicial reviews of planning decisions, and public inquiries. The team is highly active advising major Northern Irish companies in relation to projects in the energy and infrastructure sectors, as well as residential and commercial developments. Gary McGhee leads an experienced team, which includes Grant McBurney and associate Sarah Dunlop. The practice was strengthened by the arrival of associate Kate McCusker from Cleaver Fulton Rankin.

Practice head(s):

Gary McGhee


Carson McDowell is the leading practice in Northern Ireland. The team offers timely, informed advice, supported by its extensive knowledge and experience. Advice is not just given, but is delivered in a transparent, concise fashion. The team clearly take a pride in their work and seek at all times to deliver the best for their clients.

What makes the staff stand out is their passion for the work at hand and desire to deliver. In particular, Gary McGhee leads the team with an assured manner and clarity of purpose that infuses the team and clients with confidence. His knowledge of the local market and relevant legislation and case law is exceptional.

Solicitor Faye Phillips also exudes confidence that matches her knowledge and capabilities. Faye co-ordinates clients and experts with a clear focus on the delivery of quality product and results.

Key clients

Belfast Harbour Commissioners

Belfast International Airport

Northern Ireland Electricity / SONI


Ards & North Down Council

Elgin Energy

Southern Regional College

John Hogg Operational Limited

Lough Neagh Sand Traders

Swinford (Sirocco) Limited


Insolvency and corporate recovery Tier 2

The team at Carson McDowell stands out for 'the breadth of experience, the commitment of individual lawyers and the expertise across sectors'. It advises major banks, insolvency practitioners and corporates on contentious and non-contentious matters, and has experience handling cross-jurisdictional insolvencies and personal insolvencies. 'Strong insolvency practitionerDarren Toombs leads the team jointly with the 'technically very strongSinead McGrath. The team was bolstered by the appointment of two new associates.

Practice head(s):

Darren Toombs; Sinead McGrath

Other key lawyers:

Shane McVeigh; Oliver Tighe


Carson McDowell has a very strong team. It is well regarded and one of the few firms to be able to deal with the most complex, difficult and high-value cases.

The team is technically astute with a strong commercial approach to every assignment.

Darren Toombs is a calm pair of hands for difficult circumstances with a very commercial approach – he is a trusted adviser.

Darren Toombs is very approachable and willing to think laterally to offer solutions.

The team is responsive and knowledgeable, provides sensible practical advice, and doesn’t sit on the fence.

The team is very friendly, with competitive prices, value for money and very easy to work with.

Darren Toombs is very commercial while retaining the legal position. He works in partnership with his client, and does not just provide the legal advice but provides overall strategic advice.

Key clients


Grant Thornton

Keenan Corporate Finance

The HNH Group

Brodies LLP

Sports Direct

Herbert Smith

Browne Jacobson

VW Financial Services

BMW Financial Services

Project finance and PFI Tier 2

Carson McDowell regularly acts for funders on significant projects in Northern Ireland and throughout the UK, as well as in the Republic of Ireland. The team has been active in the energy sector, and has also advised on a range of infrastructure, education and healthcare sector transactions. Practice head Gerard Armstrong is noted for his expertise in large-scale infrastructure and PFI/PPP projects, while Neasa Quigley specialises in energy.

Practice head(s):

Gerard Armstrong

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

O’Hare & McGovern Limited

Belfast Metropolitan College

Amey Roads

Dalradian Resources

Heron Bros

Valero Energy

Northern Ireland Networks Limited

Firmus Energy

System Operator for Northern Ireland

Belfast Educational Services

Ireland > Insurance Tier 3

With offices in Belfast and Dublin, Carson McDowell is 'an up-and-coming player in the defence healthcare market'; it has expanded its operations in the Republic of Ireland recently with a number of new arrivals at associate level. The firm represents insurers in cases involving product liability, injury, and employer liability. The practice is led by Roger McMillan, who is also heads the healthcare group; Jacqueline McAleese, who specialises in clinical claims; and Claire Harmer, who acts in a wide range of claims.

Practice head(s):

Roger McMillan; Jacqueline McAleese; Claire Harmer


‘The team is excellent. Very user-friendly and give clear, well considered advice.’

‘Technical knowledge in civil litigation matters is a given for all practising solicitors, but this is matched at Carson McDowell by their commercial understanding and sensitivities of our insurer client’s needs and dynamics of the market. Their service is tailored to our individual client needs with cross jurisdiction experience which is essential in Ireland for cross-border trade and with Brexit looming. We first encountered them on a client’s set panel and have since recommended them to other clients.’

‘A relative newcomer to the market, Carson McDowell are making their mark. Quick turnaround and accurate advice are making them an up and coming player in the defence healthcare market in the Republic of Ireland.’

‘Jacqueline McAleese is exceptional. I trust her advice on merits and strategy. She has an excellent eye for detail, is a skilled negotiator and stands firm when needed.’

‘The quality and consistency of the advice we receive and outcomes achieved from the Civil litigation Team led by Claire Harmer are excellent. Claire is always accessible and there is a reliability that instills a trust and confidence. They have assembled a highly experienced team; we would deal with Catherine Carton, Niall Skelton, Cathal O’Neill and John McCloskey. Communication is always measured, appropriate and timely. With their experience comes appreciation of insurers needs, particularly around quantum opinions, recommended financial reserves and they maintain a pragmatic approach.’

‘They are very experienced and technically sound in all aspects of Civil litigation, consistently providing a very high level of service. They place the client first with a swift response to any technical queries. A pleasant and engaging manner.’

‘The recent new addition of Karl Redmond to the Carson McDowell team is an excellent addition to the team. Karl’s knowledge of the industry and litigation landscape is overwhelming and is resulting in prudent and accurate decisions on cases saving time and money for clients.’

‘Karl Redmond is an exceptional medicolegal professional with vast knowledge of the sector.’

Key clients

Medical Protection Society

Association of Optometrists

Faraday Underwriting

Enstar Group

Axis Capital Insurance

Irish Ferries

Thomas Miller Claims Management

London P&I Club


Stena Line

Riverstone Insurance

The firm: Carson McDowell LLP is Northern Ireland’s largest commercial law firm with 27 partners and over 150 staff. The firm is one of the few genuinely full-service commercial legal practices in Northern Ireland, and has a considerable reputation built upon its experience and expertise across corporate, banking, mergers and acquisitions, commercial litigation, real estate, energy, renewables, regulation, planning, environment, employment, projects and procurement. The firm continues to be the favoured Northern Ireland counsel to a number of leading law firms in the City of London and internationally. It also has a strategic relationship with Dublin-based law firm, Mason Hayes & Curran, ensuring it can offer an all-island legal solution when required and is uniquely placed to advise on cross-border matters.

Types of work undertaken: Banking and finance: the firm has one of the leading specialist banking and finance teams in NI. The team has built sound relationships with financial institutions locally and across the UK and is regularly instructed by leading London law practices. It has extensive experience in project and asset finance, secured, unsecured, senior, mezzanine and subordinated lending, funds, derivatives and insurance.

Construction: Carson McDowell advises a significant number of the larger Northern Ireland contractors both locally and in relation to their projects throughout the UK and has a long history of providing specialised construction law advice to clients, offering expert advice to contractors, developers, design teams and funders.

Corporate: the firm’s experience and reputation speaks volumes and it is widely recognised as one of the leading corporate and M&A legal practices in NI. The partner-led team has over 100 years combined experience, delivering a results-driven, problem-solving approach.

Dispute resolution: this team is distinguished by the number of specialist areas covered and has unrivalled experience in insurance, product liability, personal injury, defamation, planning, environmental and intellectual property. The firm handles commercial litigation work such as contractual claims, employment disputes, contentious corporate insolvency and recovery actions. The firm has considerable judicial review and public law expertise.

Employment: this dedicated employment team is one of the busiest in Northern Ireland, acting on both contentious and non-contentious matters. It has vast experience acting for respondent companies in the industrial and fair employment tribunals as well as in the civil court system. The firm is a leading adviser on TUPE, senior executive departures, complex disciplinary and grievance issues and drafting and advising on employment contracts and policies.

Energy: this leading multi-disciplinary team advises on, among other things, project development, finance issues, power purchase agreements, renewables, energy trading and dispute resolution. The team also provides advice on energy regulation, procurement, EU and competition law, environmental law and planning law.

Intellectual property: the intellectual property team advises on both contentious and non-contentious matters and team members have significant expertise across a number of sectors

Planning and environmental: this is the largest dedicated planning and environmental teams in Northern Ireland. The firm acts on behalf of a diverse range of clients and is involved in most of the leading planning and environmental judicial reviews currently taking place in NI. Clients are drawn from every sector including: retail, transport, energy, renewables, manufacturing, mining and quarrying.

Private client: the firm is one of only a small number in NI having a specialist and dedicated private client team. The team advises across a broad range of private client issues, but has particular experience in high-value, complex estate administration and estate planning matters.

Procurement and competition: Carson McDowell is a leading NI procurement law firm, with a team of five lawyers working across both contentious and non-contentious procurement issues. The team has a wealth of experience advising both public and private sector clients on procurement law, competition and merger control issues.

Professional negligence: the firm has the largest number of lawyers working in this area in NI and has become a major defence firm in the area of medical negligence, acting for indemnifiers in this field. The firm also acts on behalf of solicitors, architects, engineers and other non-medical professionals.

Project finance and PFI: this team is highly regarded by peers and clients alike, continuing to advise clients involved in PPP, NPD and large-scale infrastructure projects throughout the UK and Ireland.

Real estate: this team, incorporating specialist licensing and property litigation sub-teams, is the largest in NI. Core strengths include site assembly and development, investment acquisitions and disposals, and it has an unrivalled stable of retail clients.

Department Name Email Telephone
Michael Johnston
Banking and finance Sinead McGrath
Banking and finance Richard Gray
Commercial Dawn McKnight
Commercial Gerard Armstrong
Commercial Richard Gray
Construction Stuart Murphy
Construction Declan Magee
Senior Partner Neasa Quigley
Corporate Richard Gray
Corporate Gerard Armstrong
Dispute resolution Declan Magee
Dispute resolution Roger McMillan
Dispute resolution Leigh Linton
Dispute resolution Darren Toombs
Dispute resolution Hugh McGrattan
Dispute resolution Claire Harmer
Dispute resolution Jacqueline McAleese
Dispute resolution Peter Guzhar
Dispute resolution Olivia O'Kane
Employment Orlagh O'Neill
Employment Rachel Penny
Energy Neasa Quigley
Energy Dawson McConkey
Intellectual Property Dawn McKnight
Intellectual Property Peter Guzhar
Intellectual Property Declan Magee
Planning and environmental Gary McGhee
Planning and environmental Dawson McConkey
Planning and environmental Grant McBurney
Private client Neil Bleakley
Procurement and competition Kerry Teahan
Procurement and competition Declan Magee
Professional negligence Roger McMillan
Professional negligence Hugh McGrattan
Professional negligence Declan Magee
Project finance and PFI Gerard Armstrong
Project finance and PFI Michael Johnston
Real estate Rosemary Carson
Real estate Emma Cooper
Real estate Dawson McConkey
Real estate Cathy Colton
Real estate Mary-Kim Doherty
Photo Name Position Profile
 Gerard Armstrong  photo Gerard Armstrong
 Clare Bates  photo Clare Bates
 Ashleigh Birkett  photo Ashleigh Birkett
 Neil Bleakley  photo Neil Bleakley
 Deborah Boyd  photo Deborah Boyd
 Olivia Carroll  photo Olivia Carroll
 Rosemary Carson  photo Rosemary Carson
 Catherine Carton  photo Catherine Carton
 Sarah Cochrane  photo Sarah Cochrane
 Timothy Cockram  photo Timothy Cockram
 Emma Cooper  photo Emma Cooper
 Mary-Kim Doherty  photo Mary-Kim Doherty
 Sarah Dunlop photo Sarah Dunlop
 Richard Gray  photo Richard Gray
 Peter Guzhar  photo Peter Guzhar
 Niall Hargan  photo Niall Hargan
 Claire Harmer  photo Claire Harmer
 Michael Johnston  photo Michael Johnston
 Fiona Kirkpatrick  photo Fiona Kirkpatrick
 Leigh Linton  photo Leigh Linton
 Francesca Lowry  photo Francesca Lowry
 Declan Magee  photo Declan Magee
 Rachael McAdorey  photo Rachael McAdorey
 Jacqueline McAleese  photo Jacqueline McAleese
 Shauna McAuley  photo Shauna McAuley
Mr Grant McBurney  photo Mr Grant McBurney
 Dawson McConkey  photo Dawson McConkey
 Gary McGhee  photo Gary McGhee
 Sinead McGrath  photo Sinead McGrath
 Hugh McGrattan  photo Hugh McGrattan
 Dawn McKnight  photo Dawn McKnight
 Roger McMillan  photo Roger McMillan
 Laura Menary  photo Laura Menary
 Stuart Murphy  photo Stuart Murphy
 Stuart Nelson  photo Stuart Nelson
 Orlagh O’Neill  photo Orlagh O’Neill
 Victoria O’Hara  photo Victoria O’Hara
 Olivia O’Kane  photo Olivia O’Kane
 Rachel Penny  photo Rachel Penny
 Neasa Quigley  photo Neasa Quigley
 Niall Skelton  photo Niall Skelton
 Darren Toombs  photo Darren Toombs
Number of UK partners : 26
Number of other UK fee-earners : 74