Declan Magee > Carson McDowell > Belfast, > Lawyer Profile

Carson McDowell

Work Department



Declan is a partner and jointly heads the dispute resolution team. The team has enjoyed continuous growth during his tenure and is widely recognised within the legal sphere as being at the forefront of the niche practice areas it covers. Declan specialises in commercial disputes including procurement disputes, judicial review, intellectual property, professional negligence defence work, fraud, regulatory matters and defamation. He has a strong client base both in the public and private sectors. Declan is regularly involved in high value, high profile matters. His breadth of expertise extends to matters at an appellate level before the Northern Irish Court of Appeal to a successful challenge before the House of Lords which has set a new test on judicial review discovery obligations. He has successfully represented a private company in a challenge to the awarding of a significant public sector contract which also set a leading authority on the issue of award criteria for contract procurement. Defending a challenge to a release decision of the Parole Commissioner for Northern Ireland will see Declan again before the Supreme Court, as will the defence of a challenge to a public sector pension provider. Declan’s ability to provide prompt advice, to present solutions and to relate complex legal issues into real terms readily understood by clients greatly enhances and secures his footing as one of Northern Ireland’s forefront litigators.


Trained Carson McDowell; qualified 1996; associate in commercial litigation department 2003; partner 2005.


Panel member Law Society’s mediation service; ICTA.


St Louis Grammar School, Ballymena; Queen’s University, Belfast (1994 LLB); Institute of Professional Legal Studies, Queen’s University, Belfast (1996).

Lawyer Rankings

Northern Ireland > Dispute resolution

(Hall of Fame)

Declan MageeCarson McDowell

Carson McDowell‘s sizable litigation team works across a number of disciplines, providing comprehensive dispute resolution expertise. The group is active in high level and complex matters both within Northern Ireland and internationally, with experience acting in the High Court, the Court of Appeal, and the Supreme Court. Declan Magee is department head, while Stuart Murphy leads on construction matters, Darren Toombs is head of debt recovery, and Hugh McGrattan heads insurance. Peter Guzhar covers a range of commercial disputes, and has particular specialism in contentious intellectual property matters. John Dugdale is a key name for construction and real estate litigation. Senior associate Lucy Clarke, who is dual qualified in Northern Ireland and England and Wales, leads the English litigation team.

Northern Ireland > TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > Intellectual property

Carson McDowell has expertise in both contentious and non-contentious IP matters, and is highly active across UK jurisdictions and internationally. Declan Magee and Dawn McKnight co-lead the department. Magee leads on IP disputes, and has particular expertise in the electronics and engineering sectors, while McKnight heads the non-contentious group, and specialises in the manufacturing, technology, and life sciences industries. Peter Guzhar is a key name for contentious IP matters, with experience in the prosecution and defence of trademark and patent infringement proceedings. Senior associate Helen Cosgrove is a name to note.

Northern Ireland > TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > IT and telecoms

Carson McDowell‘s cross-disciplinary team acts for prominent clients in a range of contentious and non-contentious matters. The department has particular strength in the area of cybersecurity, and provides thought leadership in this area. Litigator Declan Magee co-leads alongside Dawn McKnight, who is a cybersecurity expert with experience in the negotiation of ICT contracts and software development agreements. Peter Guzhar is a key contact for contentious commercial, corporate, and IT matters. Senior associate Helen Cosgrove specialises in contractual telecommunications disputes.