Commercial Law

The commercial team at Carson McDowell delivers on all contractual areas to help private and public sector clients achieve their objectives. Our dedicated team of commercial lawyers provide practical, innovative and well-documented solutions for our clients.

We offer substantial expertise across a diverse range of specialisms such as commercial contracts, technology & innovation, data protection, confidentiality and Intellectual Property. Carson McDowell are a trusted adviser to clients across a broad range of industry sectors such as manufacturing, education, information technology, energy and renewables, retail, transport, agri-food, and waste.

As a team, we are well known for having a real understanding of our clients’ businesses, taking a pragmatic and cost-conscious approach to develop strong working relationships with our clients.

Commercial Contracts

Our flexible approach to the provision of our services means that we advise on a broad spectrum of contractual matters. We can lead the negotiation of contracts or support clients who choose to negotiate themselves. We also assist clients with bespoke template agreements and appropriate training for their personnel in using those documents. We regularly advise on outsourcing contracts, concession agreements, standard terms of business, partnership agreements, franchise agreements, logistics contracts (distribution, warehousing, consignment and transportation), manufacturing agreements, supply of goods and services, agency arrangements, protection of trade secrets and software licensing.

"This is the kind of legal help that impresses me!" - Feedback from a US-based client

Key Contacts: Dawn McKnight, Shannon Gawley

Data Protection

The management and governance of information is becoming increasingly important to our clients and the team provides advice and assistance in this complex area of law. We regularly advise clients on policy formulation, compliance issues and provide training to businesses, particularly following the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation.

"I just wanted to say a big thank you for pulling the stops out to get legal terms in place for the deadline ... the last few weeks haven't been without their stresses and I appreciate your input and advise very much." - Feedback from a financial services client.

"[we] are very satisfied with the work undertaken ... in demanding circumstances and ... the commitment and professionalism of your solicitors ..." - Feedback from a public sector client.

Key Contacts: Aisling O'Hare, Peter Lamont

Technology & Innovation

The technology sector is a broad sector. Given the support we provide to Ulster University in its technology transfer work and its spin-out activities, and given our close relationship with Catalyst Inc. and the other funds which support businesses in this sector, we operate across a number of tech sub-sectors and have expertise in advising on technology projects in the areas of life sciences, pharma, fintech, agritech, healthtech and cleantech. Our work for technology dependent clients often involves a combined approach which draws on various of the other skills provided within our commercial team, most commonly IP protection, commercialisation and exploitation.

Key Contacts: Dawn McKnight, Aisling O’Hare

Intellectual Property

Advising on the protection, exploitation, commercialisation and enforcement of intellectual property rights of all kinds including, knowhow, copyright, trademarks, patents, design rights and including advice on the intellectual property aspects of commercial contracts of various kinds.

Key Contacts: Dawn McKnight, Aaron Roddy

Partnership Law

As a firm we have a long history as a medico-legal practice and have particular expertise advising medical and ancillary practice partnerships, such as doctors, dentists, pharmacists and veterinary surgeons. This continues to be a growing area of our practice and we also have expertise in: the management of partnership disputes; practice mergers; the formation of professional partnerships, such as architects, accountants and solicitors; property related partnerships for construction type projects; limited partnerships, mostly in the context of succession planning and as investment vehicles; limited liability partnerships across a number of sectors.

Key Contacts: Aisling O'Hare, Peter Lamont

What Others Say About Us

Chambers UK 2021

What the team is known for

Particularly adept at advising medical and dental practice partnerships and continues to act as sole provider of legal services to the BMA in Northern Ireland. Provides advice to partnerships on a broad spectrum of non-contentious matters, as well as contentious issues including partner expulsion and breach of partnership obligations. Notable expertise in property matters relating to partner exits and partnership dissolution. Also advises educational institutions on partnering agreements.


A client lauds the team's "dedication and full engagement in our business."

One interviewee praises the team as "well functioning, with a good mix of skills," and adds that its "responses are very timely."

Work highlights

Advised the University of Ulster on the formation of a limited partnership for the establishment of a new investment fund.

Notable practitioners

Dawn McKnight

Peter Guzhar