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 UK 2021

What the team is known for

Expert construction department noted for its handling of transactional matters across Northern Ireland. Areas of particular strength include construction projects for office, energy and social housing developments. Adept at assisting with the drafting and negotiating of various construction documents, including building contracts, collateral warranties and consultant appointments. Possesses additional capabilities in contentious matters and regularly represents clients in arbitrations, adjudications and court proceedings.


Clients say: "It's a very good team that gets to grips with the core issues."

Work highlights

Assisted McAleer and Rushe with the drafting and negotiating of the building contracts and collateral warranties for the redevelopment of the Ewart Building and the construction of a new 17-storey mixed-use office development in Belfast.

Notable practitioners

Stuart Murphy

John Dugdale

The Legal 500 2021

Carson McDowell has worked on key construction projects in the region, particularly in relation to the redevelopment of Belfast Harbour. Practice head Stuart Murphy has been leading on these mandates and is also active in advising local developers such as John Graham Construction on developments across the UK and Ireland. The team has also been strengthened with the arrival of construction contracts specialist John Dugdale.

Key clients

  • John Graham Construction Ltd
  • Belfast Harbour Commissioners
  • McAleer & Rushe
  • Soventix GmbH
  • Actavo
  • Seagate Technology LLC
  • Choice Housing Association
  • Ulster University
  • O’Hare & McGovern Ltd
  • Southern Regional College