Construction Law

Carson McDowell has one of the very few truly specialist and dedicated construction teams in Northern Ireland. The team has been established for many years and has a genuine capacity for and expertise in both contentious and non-contentious construction and engineering work and can advise on the full spectrum of construction activities. Members of the team have experience in advising clients on projects as far afield as South-East Asia, Southern and Central Africa, Eastern and Western Europe, as well as closer to home in England, the Republic of Ireland and of course, all parts of Northern Ireland. The team regularly acts for employers, main contractors, sub-contractors, consultants, insurers and funders.

We have a comprehensive knowledge of Northern Ireland’s construction and engineering industry and have been involved in most of the major construction projects in Northern Ireland in recent years.

What We Do

  • Procurement procedures, compliance and challenges
  • Tender analysis
  • Risk assessment
  • Drafting and negotiating construction contracts based on all of the major standard forms (e.g. NEC, JCT, ICC, GC/Works, FIDIC, RIBA, ACE etc.)
  • Performance bonds and guarantees
  • Framework agreements
  • Consultant appointments
  • Collateral warranties
  • Project advice
  • Adjudication
  • Mediation and other forms of Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Arbitration under the rules of all the major arbitral institutions, as well as under "ad hoc" procedures
  • Northern Ireland High Court & County Court litigation

What Others Say About Us

Chambers and Partners UK 2020

What the team is known for

Expert construction department noted for its handling of matters across Northern Ireland. Areas of particular strength include construction projects in the energy, ports and social housing sectors. Recently involved in a number of key matters relating to the hotel industry and the field of education.

Work highlights

Advised Belfast Harbour Commissioners on the redevelopment of Victoria Terminal 2, including assisting with the contracts for the civil engineering works.

Notable practitioners

Stuart Murphy is regularly called upon for his advice on non-contentious matters and construction disputes. He offers expertise in transport, student accommodation and mixed-use development projects, among others. An impressed client remarks: "He has worked with us long enough to know our business almost as well as we do."

The Legal 500 2020

What the team is known for

Carson McDowell is particularly active in advising on large construction projects in the social housing, energy, education and ports sectors. In addition to local work, the team has acted on significant developments in Great Britain, including university and office projects. Clients include a number of housing associations, as well as leading Northern Irish contractors.

Notable practitioners

Practice head Stuart Murphy handles both contentious and non-contentious matters, while Kerry Teahan leads the firm's procurement offering.

Work highlights

Advised Belfast Harbour Commissioners (BHC) on the £250m City Quays development at Belfast Harbour.

Advised BHC on the redevelopment of the Victoria Terminal 2 (VT2), a major new ferry terminal.

Advised Southern Regional College on the development of three new campuses in Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon.

Advising JH Turkington & Sons on the refurbishment and extension of a former B&Q store in Craigavon to create a number of new retail units.

Representing Radius in High Court proceedings in relation to defects in a major social housing development in Newtownards.

Significant clients

John Graham Construction Ltd, Southern Regional College, Belfast Harbour Commissioners, McAleer & Rushe, Almac, Actavo (NI), Choice Housing Association, Causeway Coast & Glens Borough Council, Ulster University, J.H. Turkington & Sons Ltd.