Carson McDowell has unrivalled experience in the retail sector acting for some of the largest shopping centre developers and investors in Northern Ireland and a whole host of household brand name tenants including Tesco, Top Shop, Burtons, Bhs, Fat Face, Jack Wills, Waterstones, Ikea and Argos.

We provide a full service package for new developments from site assembly, planning and environmental advices, development agreements, construction and regulatory advice and commercial leasing. Once retail developments are up and running we offer asset management assistance, property litigation support and a full debt collection service. In the current, volatile economic climate, our insolvency team has proven invaluable by providing sensible advice for both insolvent tenant clients and their landlords. In addition, retail clients often need support from other specialised departments within the firm such as the employment or corporate teams.

The team works closely with many of the leading retail surveying and consultancy practices in Northern Ireland and beyond, often hosting joint briefings, and the team is also actively involved in many retail organisations such as the British Council of Shopping Centres. The depth and breadth of our retail experience and our profile within the sector, helps us appreciate the unique pressures and issues faced by retail clients and assists us to find the best and most cost effective solutions.

Key Contacts

Rosemary Carson, Partner, Real Estate, Head of Retail Team

Emma Cooper, Partner, Real Estate

Orlagh O’Neill, Partner, Head of Employment Team

Dawn McKnight, Partner, Corporate and Commercial

Stuart Murphy, Partner, Construction

Gary McGhee, Partner, Planning and Environmental Law

Darren Toombs, Partner, Real Estate Litigation

Victoria O’Hara, Associate, Real Estate

Mary-Kim Doherty, Associate, Real Estate

Grant McBurney, Associate, Planning and Environmental Law

Neil Allsopp, Associate, Construction

What We Do

  • Site Assembly for retail developments
  • Planning and Environmetal Law advices for retail developments including the instigation and defence of judicial reviews of retail planning decisions
  • Development Agreements
  • Construction Contracts/Warranties
  • Commercial Leasing
  • Employment Advice
  • Debt Collection
  • Insolvency Advice
  • Asset Management Support

What Others Say About Us

Chambers and Partners UK 2015

Rosemary Carson, Real Estate (Band 1)

Rosemary Carson heads the retail team and is noted for her expertise and lectures in the education sector. Sources praise her "technical expertise and commercial desire to get the deal done."

Gary McGhee, Planning (Band 1)

Gary McGhee maintains an undisputed position as a leading figure in the sector, acting across the spectrum of complex, high-profile planning work. Sources call him "a master tactician," "forensic, responsive and client-focused,"and "without doubt a planning lawyer through and through."

Stuart Murphy, Construction (Band 1)

Stuart Murphy's skills are recognised by market commentators. He heads the department and has more than 20 years' experience of construction matters. One client comments:"We go to him for advice on which course of action would get the best result. He knows his subject matter inside out."

Orlagh O’Neill, Employment

Head of department and "exemplary lawyer" Orlagh O'Neill handles a variety of employment-related cases, with a focus on contentious matters. Variously described by clients as "practical, pragmatic and knowledgeable," and "down to earth and sensible," she is praised as "one of the best client-focused lawyers in Belfast."