Real Estate

Carson McDowell’s Real Estate Team is ranked Band 1 in Chambers and Partners UK and is recognised as a leader in the Northern Ireland market place providing advice to clients on all aspects of property law. In an ever changing market and challenging economic climate, the Real Estate Team advises many specialist sectors and is constantly adapting to meet the demands of its clients. The great breadth and quality of expertise of the team ensures that all issues that clients face are met with innovative and commercial solutions. With a high profile in the retail sector, the team successfully manages the balance in acting on behalf of both landlords and tenants. The team has also developed a strong reputation for development work and has been involved in major infrastructure, education, leisure and entertainment projects. The team also has a particularly strong presence in the energy sector having advised clients on energy related property issues for over ten years.

Our team understands the issues concerning our clients, whether they are landlords, tenants, investors, developers or corporate-end users and, in particular need for speedy, effective and commercial advice. In an uncertain market, we have an unrivalled ability to add value to our clients by sharing our market knowledge, providing a proactive and dedicated team to meet client demands. The team increasingly works as part of a larger multi disciplinary team on complex transactions, drawing advice from other specialisms across the firm such as the corporate, environmental, construction, dispute resolution and regulatory teams to ensure that our clients enjoy a full and seamless service at all times.

Key Contacts

The team is the largest property team in NI and comprises nine lawyers specialising exclusively in the fields of property law:

Rosemary Carson, Partner, Head of Real Estate Team

Jeremy Hill, Partner, Real Estate

Emma Cooper, Partner, Real Estate

Dawson McConkey, Partner, Real Estate

Victoria O’Hara, Associate, Real Estate

Mary-Kim Doherty, Associate, Real Estate

Chris Phillips, Associate, Real Estate

What We Do

  • Advising landlords and tenants with respect to all issues pertaining to the leasing of property
  • Advising with respect to the acquisition and disposal of property
  • Advising with respect to site assembly for residential and commercial projects
  • Advising with respect to commercial and residential site development
  • Energy projects including wind, off shore and bio mass
  • Energy from waste projects including landfill
  • Infrastructure and project development
  • Portfolio management
  • Advising with respect to Compulsory Purchase and blight
  • Property due diligence
  • PFI/PPP
  • Title defect rectification

What Others Say About Us

Chambers and Partners UK 2016 (Band 1)

What the team is known for

Large team with highly specialised expertise in transport, utilities and renewables. Also advises retailers and investors on big-ticket acquisitions and disposals.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"Their advice is always very clear, commercial and they know how to distinguish between the things that matter and those that don't."

"They have very good attention to detail, client service and response time."

Work highlights

Acted for Abbey Centre and Foyleside on the disposal of their £735 million shopping centre assets.

Advised CBRE Global Investors on its £24.74 million acquisition of a Tesco superstore in Belfast and subsequent leaseback to Tesco.

Notable practitioners

Head of the real estate team Rosemary Carson concentrates mainly on large acquisitions and disposals for retail clients and investors. Clients say: "She is extremely thorough and commercially minded."

Clients describe Emma Cooper as "thorough and very easy to deal with," adding: "She is always keen to help and find solutions." She has substantial expertise in renewable energy projects, and advises large estate owners on complex property management issues.

Jeremy Hill advises developers on high-value projects and is particularly expert on the transport sector. Sources say he is "very strategic" and speak highly of his abilities as a deal maker.

Dawson McConkey is celebrated for his accomplished handling of large-scale renewable energy projects. He is the firm's lead adviser to RES Group with regard to its growing portfolio of wind farms throughout Northern Ireland.

Significant clients The Belfast Harbour Commissioner, Royal Mail Group, RBS, Belfast International Airport, Development Securities.

The Legal 500 2016 (First Tier)

What the team is known for Outstanding team representing an impressive number of blue-chip clients and advising on the full gamut of property transactions. Regularly offers expert advice to clients in the energy, transport, retail and leisure sectors.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They are an impressive outfit. A fantastic firm doing great work."

"They are always good. There are good lawyers in that firm."

Work highlights Advised Rockspring Property Investment Managers on its £46 million acquisition of Fairhill Shopping Centre.

Acted for The Belfast Harbour Commissioners on the development and letting of a site for Northern Ireland's first waste-to-energy plant.

Notable practitioners

The "fantastic" Rosemary Carson is a "practical lawyer with no fuss, who gets the job done," according to a client. Her highly regarded practice includes acquisition and disposal work as well as site assembly matters. She counts a number of well-known retailers and investors among her clients.

Emma Cooper is noted for her wind farm expertise in particular. Her real estate practice extends beyond renewable energy to include property management and investment acquisitions and disposals.

Jeremy Hill represents clients from a number of sectors in matters ranging from property and estate management advice to high-value investment transactions. His recent work includes advising SDI (Belfast) on its £15.8 million acquisition of Donegall Arcade Shopping Centre.

Dawson McConkey maintains a good reputation in the market. His practice spans a broad array of topics, from energy to investment-related advice. He recently acted for Fane Valley Co-operative Society on the property aspects of the client's part merger with Lakeland Dairies.

Significant clients Belfast International Airport, Greggs, RES Group, Wrightbus, Lookers.

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