Celebrating 150 years in practice


For 150 years we have been providing professional legal services to our clients. Rather than trying to cover all areas of legal practice, we concentrate on and specialise in certain areas of law to provide bespoke legal services. We aim to build long-term relationships so our clients can rely on our expertise, discretion and integrity.

Our solicitors work with professional advisers in other fields to give our clients an integrated, comprehensive and effective service.

Henry Mahaffy
Charles William Neill

Our History

The firm was founded by Dubliner James Ussher, at a premises on William Street, Lurgan. Retrievable records indicate this to be 1871, but we believe there are links with an earlier practice in the town. Mr Ussher was joined in the practice by Mr Henry Mahaffy and, upon his retirement, by Mr Hugh Watson. At this time, the firm was known as Ussher & Watson.

Mr Charles William (CW) Neill became an articled apprentice to Mr James Ussher and was admitted as a solicitor in 1896. Following Mr Ussher’s retirement, Mr Neill entered into partnership with Mr Watson and the firm became known as Watson & Neill. After Mr Watson died, Mr CW Neill became Principal.

The firm expanded considerably in CW Neill’s period and he acted for some notable clients, including Lord Lurgan, the Great Northern Railway Company (Ireland) and Lurgan Borough Council.

CW Neill articled his nephew James Neill as an apprentice who, after studying Law at Queen’s University, Belfast, entered the employment of Watson & Neill in 1938, qualifying as a solicitor in 1942. During the War years, Mr James Neill gave assistance in the firms of Charles A McKenzie & Co., Belfast and W J Irwin & Son, Dungannon, to provide cover for solicitors who were overseas with the 
armed forces.

After the death of CW Neill in 1945, Mr James Neill purchased the business in 1946, returning to the firm that year. He was appointed solicitor for Lord Lurgan in 1948, later as solicitor for Lurgan Borough Council and, subsequently, Craigavon Borough Council. He was also a member of the Law Society Council. During most of his years in practice he was assisted by his wife Emma Neill as a Legal Executive, and Mr James Hobbs as Senior Law Clerk, who had also been with the firm since the time of CW Neill.

Mr James Neill retired in 1989 and the practice continued under the partnership of John Neill and Annabel Neill. The partnership incorporated on the 1st April 2015.

James Ussher
James Ussher
James Neill