Corporate - M&A

The corporate team at Carson McDowell advises leading local and international companies doing business in Northern Ireland, across a broad range of sectors. We are involved in providing specialist legal advice on all aspects of corporate transactions and matters.

For decades, our lawyers have advised on the most significant M&A and corporate transactions in Northern Ireland. Our experience and reputation speaks volumes, which is why we are widely recognised as one of the leading corporate and M&A legal practices in the country.

What we do

  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Private equity and venture capital
  • Reorganisations and restructuring
  • Shareholder agreements, joint ventures and partnerships
  • Advice on corporate governance and company law issues such as director duties, payment of dividends and returns of capital

What Others Say About Us

Chambers and Partners UK 2020

What the team is known for

Prominent Northern Ireland firm which advises on matters ranging from acquisitions and disposals to corporate governance. Noted for its specialist knowledge of the manufacturing and construction sectors and its strength in complementary disciplines such as competition, environmental and planning law. Well equipped to oversee deals spanning multiple jurisdictions.


Clients cite the group's ability to "provide excellent service and advice in multiple areas of corporate law in a very prompt and effective way" as a key strength.

Sources add: "They always give you the attention and advice you need when you need it and can converse at all levels both locally and internationally."

Commentators report: "They offer excellent service, advice and grasp of commercial realities."

Work highlights

Advised the shareholders of Lagan Group on the £400 million sale of its entire interest in its building materials division to Breedon Group.

Notable practitioners

Clients describe Gerard Armstrong as "a superb corporate lawyer," who is "very client-focused and extremely diligent." He is particularly well versed in handling transactions in the energy, construction and agrifood sectors.

Michael Johnston comes highly recommended as a "standout" expert in transactional matters, with clients benefiting from his depth of experience in complex corporate deals and wider commercial issues. He currently serves as the firm's managing partner.

Neasa Quigley has considerable presence in the energy space and demonstrates strong capabilities in private equity work and broader M&A deals for corporate clients. Clients report that she is a "superbly calm partner."

Richard Gray takes a leading role in significant corporate transactions, with strengths in structuring and executing high-value deals across a range of industry sectors. Clients describe him as "excellent in all respects," adding that he "exudes the quiet confidence of a lawyer who really knows his stuff."

The Legal 500 2020

What the team is known for

Carson McDowell has particular strength in traditional Northern Irish industries such as construction, real estate and manufacturing, as well as growing sector expertise in energy and technology and cybersecurity. The team acts for leading Northern Irish and international businesses.

Work Highlights

Represented the shareholders of the Lagan Group in the sale of their entire shareholding to Breedon Group for over £400m.

Advised the shareholders of Lowe Rental on the exit of MML Capital and £60m equity investment by Perwyn.

Acted for the shareholders of Prestige Insurance Holdings in relation to the sale of their majority shareholding in the company.

Advised SHS Group on its acquisition of 3V Natural Foods.

Advised Valero Energy on its acquisition of a petroleum storage facility business.

Notable practitioners

The 'very good' Neasa Quigley, who specialises in energy and the knowledge economy, heads the team along with M&A and finance expert Richard Gray. Gerard Armstrong and Michael Johnston are also key contacts.

Significant clients

SHS Group, Lagan Group Holdings, Valero, Statsport Group, Fane Valley Co-Operative Society, Wrightbus International, Eakin Healthcare Group, RiverRidge Recycling, Dalradian Resource.