Litigation and Dispute Resolution

Our highly experienced Commercial Litigation Team strives to help clients avoid litigation where possible. We have been at the forefront of the movement towards alternative forms of dispute resolution in Northern Ireland and regularly represent clients in mediation, arbitration and adjudication settings. Where litigation cannot be avoided we guide clients through what can be a difficult process and provide commercially focused, strategic advice to deliver the best possible outcome.

Key Contacts

The team forms part of a wider Litigation Department which is the largest in Northern Ireland and comprises 16 lawyers, each offering specific specialist expertise:

Declan Magee, Partner, Head of Commercial Litigation

Stuart Murphy, Partner, Head of Construction Team

Darren Toombs, Partner, Head of Debt Recovery Team

Hugh McGrattan, Partner, Head of Insurance

Kirsten Magee, Associate, Commercial Litigation

Olivia O’Kane, Associate, Commercial Litigation

Peter Guzhar, Associate, Commercial Litigation

Shauna McAuley, Associate, Commercial Litigation

What We Do

We regularly act in County Court, High Court with experience also in the Supreme Court and European Court of Justice.

Below is a selection of the type of matters we can assist with:

  • General commercial disputes including breach of contract and negligence
  • Contentious Corporate matters including Shareholder Disputes and SPA Disputes
  • Judicial Review
  • IP Litigation to include Patent, Trademark and Copyright Disputes
  • IT Disputes including issues surrounding procurement of IT Solution and Website Development
  • Civil Fraud cases (including dawn raids)
  • Banking & Financial Services Litigation
  • Insurance Disputes including coverage issues, material non-disclosure etc
  • Procurement challenges
  • Partnership Disputes
  • Media & Broadcasting/Reputation Management
  • Product Liability
  • Property litigation
  • Debt Recovery
  • Insolvency

At Carson McDowell LLP, ‘friendly and approachable’ joint head of disputes Declan Magee, undertakes judicial reviews, public procurement challenges and contentious intellectual property cases. Fellow co-head Roger McMillan handles professional negligence and clinical negligence matters. Magee represented Belfast International Airport in a high-profile contractual dispute against Aer Lingus. Also recommended is Darren Toombs.

What Others Say About Us

Chambers and Partners UK 2016 (Band 1)

What the team is known for

Outstanding litigation practice with a strong track record of County Court, High Court, Supreme Court and ECJ cases. Advises private and public sector clients on a range of matters, with particular expertise in pensions.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"From day one, we were very impressed."

"The firm is extremely special in its manner of dealing with things. You can pick up the phone to them and you will always get somebody. They return your calls very promptly."

Work highlights

Represented Northern Ireland Local Government Occupational Pension Scheme on a Supreme Court case concerning the pension entitlements of unmarried beneficiaries.

Advised F P McCann on a damages claim relating to the awarding of a road project contract. The dispute raised the issue of bid assessments in the event of abnormally low bids for a contract.

Notable practitioners

Head of commercial litigation Declan Magee is praised as "very commercially aware"and able to "bring things down to layman's terms." He advises on both commercial litigation and procurement challenges.

The Legal 500 UK 2016 (Tier 1)

What the team is known for

Outstanding litigation practice with a strong track record of County Court, High Court, Supreme Court and ECJ cases. Advises private and public sector clients on a range of matters, with particular expertise in pensions.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"From day one, we were very impressed."

"The firm is extremely special in its manner of dealing with things. You can pick up the phone to them and you will always get somebody. They return your calls very promptly."

Work highlights

Represented Northern Ireland Local Government Occupational Pension Scheme on a Supreme Court case concerning the pension entitlements of unmarried beneficiaries.

Advised F P McCann on a damages claim relating to the awarding of a road project contract. The dispute raised the issue of bid assessments in the event of abnormally low bids for a contract.

Notable practitioners

Head of commercial litigation Declan Magee is praised as "very commercially aware"and able to "bring things down to layman's terms." He advises on both commercial litigation and procurement challenges.

Darren Toombs is "a very tenacious lawyer, who thinks outside the box," according to clients. He heads the firm's debt recovery team.


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