Gary McGhee > Carson McDowell > Belfast, Northern Ireland > Lawyer Profile

Carson McDowell
Northern Ireland

Work Department

Commercial property.


Partner with specialist areas of practice in planning and environmental law. Types of work undertaken include: the co-ordination of major planning applications for commercial clients; representation of clients at planning and enforcement appeals; instigation/defence of judicial reviews of planning decisions. Mr McGhee is currently involved in a series of judicial reviews on behalf of commercial clients, challenging and defending decisions of the Department of the Environment. His clients include Tesco Stores plc, the Port of Belfast, Belfast International Airport, Northern Ireland Electricity and House of Fraser.


Trained Carson McDowell; qualified 1996; assistant solicitor 1996-2001; associate solicitor 2001-04; partner 2004 to date.


Environmental and Planning Law Association of Northern Ireland; UK Environmental Law Association; and Associate of the Royal Town Planning Institute.


Queens University, Belfast (1994 LLB Law).

Lawyer Rankings

Northern Ireland > Projects, energy and natural resources > Energy, project finance and PFI

The practice at Carson McDowell runs the gamut of corporate, commercial and finance work relating to energy projects, and also draws on the support of planning and environment specialist Gary McGhee. Neasa Quigley, who leads the team, is an expert in energy-related corporate transactions. Project finance work is primarily handled by Sinead McGrath, while property work is Emma Cooper‘s core area of expertise. Gerard Armstrong has extensive experience in PFI/PPP work.

Northern Ireland > Real estate > Planning and environment

(Hall of Fame)

Gary McGheeCarson McDowell

Carson McDowell has ‘unrivalled strength in providing planning and environment advice in NI’, and the team is described as having ‘set itself apart in the planning litigation sphere’. Practice head Gary McGhee has a primary focus on planning and environmental law, with extensive experience in planning applications, appeals and inquiries. Grant McBurney is another key name and is particularly strong in on waste and contaminated land matters. Associate Sarah Dunlop is also highly recommended.