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 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.

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
  • Title defect rectification

What Others Say About Us

Chambers and Partners UK 2019

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. Possesses considerable expertise in relation to acquisitions and sales, as well as site assembly and licensing matters. Regularly offers expert advice to clients in the energy, transport, retail and leisure sectors. Frequently acts for vendors, purchasers and funders in real estate transactions.


An impressed client commented: "The quality is incredible. I couldn't recommend them highly enough due to their professional nature and the quality of the work."

"They are brilliant; they can do it all for us and really are a one-stop shop."

Work highlights

Acted for Tarmac on lease and licence arrangements in respect of the Game of Thrones filming with HBO at Magheramorne Quarry, as well as the subsequent sale of the quarry.

Notable practitioners

Rosemary Carson is the head of the real estate department at the firm and is held in high regard for her work on acquisitions, investments and site assembly matters, most notably in the retail sector. One client says: "I really appreciate her experience. If anything comes up she's usually already dealt with something similar and so can offer personal insight and judgements on what are really challenging matters."

Dawson McConkey possesses significant experience in relation to renewable energy developments and often advises clients on commercial property acquisitions and lettings. Clients say: "He's very astute and wants to get a transaction done."

Emma Cooper regularly advises developers, investors and funders on transactions involving leases, licences and site assembly issues. She has recently handled a number of significant transactions in the entertainment sector. Clients say: "She's a reassuring presence on the team. She solves problems rather than just identifying them."

The Legal 500 2018

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.


Clients have quoted: "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.

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, and Lookers.