Northern Ireland's top legal experts earn listing in global law directory

Dozens of Northern Ireland solicitors are included in latest Legal 500 directory, which lists the region's top legal eagles
Dozens of Northern Ireland solicitors are included in latest Legal 500 directory, which lists the region's top legal eagles Dozens of Northern Ireland solicitors are included in latest Legal 500 directory, which lists the region's top legal eagles

MORE than 80 solicitors from across the north, drawn from 20-plus "stand-out" practices, have been included in the latest edition of the Legal 500 directory, widely regarded as the world’s largest legal referral guide.

Some four million users visit The Legal 500 website each year, where firms and individuals are recommended purely on merit.

Published annually, the rankings are based on the independent opinions of clients and in-depth research carried out by an experienced team of editors.

Belfast-based Carson McDowell, Northern Ireland’s largest independent law firm, was recognised as a top tier firm in 11 of the 14 practice areas reviewed in the Legal 500 series for 2016, which ranked it in more categories than any other practice from the north.

The report referred to Carson McDowell as a "stand-out firms" alongside others including include Tughans and Cleaver Fulton Rankin, while "key players" named include A&L Goodbody and Arthur Cox Belfast, both of which have historical origins in Dublin, and Pinsent Masons Belfast, which benefits from the firm's footprint across the UK and globally.

Michael Johnston, managing partner at Carson McDowell, who was individually named as a leading individual in the corporate and commercial field, said: “The Legal 500 is an important series for us and we have consistently achieved top tier status for the last eight years. This year we saw an increase in the number of our lawyers who have been listed in the elite Leading Lawyers list, which is testament to our continued efforts to recruit and retain the best talent.

“Northern Ireland is quickly developing itself as a global hub for the digital community and we are proud to be able to work with indigenous companies and foreign direct investors as they set up here.

“We have also noticed an increase in M&A activity in the first half of this year and the firm has been instructed to work on some of the largest deals taking place in Northern Ireland, including advising Chain Reaction in its deal with Wiggle and Abbey Insurance in its acquisition of Open + Direct.”

The full list of leading individuals in Northern Ireland as ranked by the Legal 500 are:

:: BANKING AND FINANCE - Tom Adair (Carson McDowell), Judith Brown (A&L Goodbody), Stephen Cross (Cleaver Fulton Rankin), Avril McCammon (John McKee Solicitors), Kieran McGarrigle (Arthur Cox Belfast), Sinead McGrath (Carson McDowell), Kevin McVeigh (Elliott Duffy Garrett), Fearghal O’Loan (Tughans).

:: CORPORATE AND M&A - Richard Gray (Carson McDowell), Michael Johnston (Carson McDowell), Paul McBride (Pinsent Masons), Kevin McVeigh (Elliott Duffy Garrett), Neasa Quigley (Carson McDowell), Peter Stafford (A&L Goodbody), Alan Taylor (Arthur Cox), Mark Thompson (A&L Goodbody), John-George Willis (Tughans).

:: COMMERCIAL PROPERTY - Phyllis Agnew (Tughans), Rosemary Carson (Carson McDowell), Kathryn Collie (Cleaver Fulton Rankin), Jeremy Hill (Carson McDowell), Jim Houston (Cleaver Fulton Rankin), Peter McCall Millar (McCall Wylie), John Mills (Tughans), Tracey Schofield (Tughans), Mark Tinman (C&H Jefferson), Rowan White (Arthur Cox).

:: CONSTRUCTION - Michael McCord (Tughans), Andrea McIlroy-Rose (Pinsent Masons).

:: DISPUTE RESOLUTION - Brendan Fox (A&L Goodbody), Catriona Gibson (Arthur Cox), Gareth Jones (C&H Jefferson), David Kirkpatrick (Pinsent Masons), Declan Magee (Carson McDowell), Michael McCord (Tughans), Paul Spring (Mills Selig), Amanda Wylie (Kennedys).

:: EMPLOYMENT - Anna Beggan (Tughans), Adam Brett (Jones Cassidy Brett), Rosemary Connolly (Rosemary Connolly Solicitors), Beverley Jones (Jones Cassidy Brett Solicitors), Orlagh O'Neill (Carson McDowell).

:: ENERGY - Stephen Cross (Cleaver Fulton Rankin), Richard Murphy (Pinsent Masons), Andrew Ryan (TLT), Mark Thompson (A&L Goodbody).

:: IT AND TELECOMS - Paul McBride (Pinsent Masons), Adrian O’Connell (Tughans).

:: INSOLVENCY AND CORPORATE RECOVERY - Jeanette Donohoe (Cleaver Fulton Rankin), John Gordon (Napier & Sons), John Kearns (Mills Selig), Kieran McGarrigle (Arthur Cox), Toby McMurray (Tughans), Michael Neill (A&L Goodbody).

:: INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY - Paul McBride (Pinsent Masons), Paul Spring (Mills Selig), Alan Taylor (Arthur Cox).

:: PERSONAL INJURY (CLAIMANT) - Oonagh McClure (Thompsons NI), Ernie Telford (McCartan Turkington Breen)

:: PERSONAL INJURY (DEFENDANT) - Peter Campbell (BLM), Hugh McGrattan (Carson McDowell), Roger McMillan (Carson McDowell), Amanda Wylie (Kennedys).

:: PERSONAL TAX, TRUSTS AND PROBATE - Neil Bleakley (Carson McDowell), Michael Graham (Cleaver Fulton Rankin), Stewart Nash (Elliott Duffy Garrett).

:: PLANNING AND ENVIRONMENT - Karen Blair (Cleaver Fulton Rankin), Gary McGhee (Carson McDowell).

:: PROJECT FINANCE AND PFI - Gerard Armstrong (Carson McDowell), Adrian Eakin (Pinsent Masons), Mark Thompson (A&L Goodbody).