Celebrating 150 years in practice


Our specialist legal services are backed by years of experience and dedication to our practice. With all of our services, we aim to build strong, long-term relationships with our clients so they can trust in our expertise, discretion and integrity.

Elder Client Services

Annabel Neill, solicitor and director in our company, is one of only a few solicitors in Northern Ireland who is a fully accredited member of Solicitors for the Elderly. She was also the first solicitor in Northern Ireland to be accredited with the Older Client Care in Practice (OCCP) Award through Solicitors for the Elderly

All SFE Full Accredited Members are specialists in the field of older client law. Not only have they gained significant experience in this field, but they have undergone training for a unique qualification which focuses on client care skills. This enables them to appropriately advise and support older and
vulnerable people.

We offer legal and practical advice and assistance to meet the individual needs and concerns of older clients, including the following:

  • Preserving the family home
  • Trusts for children and grandchildren
  • Care home funding
  • Issues of mental capacity and confusion
  • Enduring powers of attorney and appointment of controllers
  • Making a will
  • Statutory wills
  • Living wills or advanced medical directives
  • Estate and inheritance tax planning
  • Management of financial affairs

To talk to us about our professional elderly client services, contact our dedicated lawyers today.

Wills and Estates

Drafting of Wills is one of our main areas of work, and we have considerable experience and training in this field of law. John Neill, solicitor and director, is a full member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners. STEP is a worldwide organisation comprised of the most experienced and senior practitioners in the field of Wills, trusts and estates. Only persons who achieve a certain standard in such matters may qualify as members of STEP.

In addition, solicitor and director Annabel Neill is one of only a few solicitors in Northern Ireland to become a fully accredited member of Solicitors for the Elderly. All SFE Fully Accredited Members are specialists in the field of elder client law.

Our senior partner is a member of the Mencap solicitor’s panel and has a particular interest in helping persons plan, in their wills, suitable provision for a dependant relative with learning disability. The firm is also a member of the National Autistic Society solicitor’s panel.

Talk to our dedicated lawyers today to discuss your legal requirements.


The absence of a Will is often the source of bitter and prolonged family disputes. If you die without making a Will, your assets will be distributed according to certain rules called the Rules of Intestacy and your possessions may be divided amongst wider family members in a way you did not want and with additional tax payable.

Wills require much care and preparation to minimise the work involved in the administration of the deceased’s estate and to avoid dispute, particularly now that many couples choose not to marry and with an increasing number of families from second or third marriages, and to ensure good Inheritance Tax planning.

Following death, we deal with all aspects of administration of the deceased’s estate, distributing assets and winding up affairs. This can include effecting a deed of variation where the beneficiaries decide to change the manner in which the deceased’s assets are distributed under the will often to reduce or eliminate Inheritance Tax liability.

We deal with assets in other countries if these are also part of your estate and liaise with the relevant authorities both in the UK and abroad. We can act as professional trustees and executors and will hold and manage assets on trust for children until they come of age to inherit.

We can also guide you on matters pertaining to inheritance tax and we often work in conjunction with a client’s accountant or financial adviser.

Our work covers a range of services including:

  • Administration of the deceased’s estate
  • Distribution of assets and winding up affairs
  • Dealing with assets in other countries
  • Effecting a deed of variation
  • Acting as professional trustees and executors
  • Management of assets on trust for children
  • Planning provision for a dependant relative
  • Guidance on matters pertaining to inheritance tax
  • Statutory wills

Conveyancing Services

We have provided specialist conveyancing services from our formation in 1871, and have a strong reputation and considerable expertise in this area of legal practice. Our services cover residential conveyancing, commercial property and
building developments.

We can help at all stages in buying and selling a house. This is not a ‘conveyor belt’ or ‘off the peg’ process; every title can have its own peculiarities and problems.

Unlike some larger firms, we don’t employ paralegals. Your conveyance will be dealt with by a qualified solicitor with relevant experience and training who has passed the Law Society Home Charter quality control assessment scheme, and regularly attends refresher training courses and seminars to keep up to date with the law and procedures involving property transactions.

We are panel solicitors for all the major banks and building societies. Our range of work in this area includes:

  • Residential property sales and purchases
  • Mortgages, re-mortgages, further advances and second mortgages
  • Equity release schemes
  • Inter-family property transfers
  • Northern Ireland Co-ownership Housing Association assisted purchases
  • Residential lettings
    Examination of title and correction of defective title

Business premises can include offices, shops, factories, warehouses, clinics, retail and industrial units. We offer a full range of services in commercial property transactions including:

  • Leasing of business premises
  • Purchase and sales of business premises
  • Licences to occupy and trade
  • Evictions

If you are a property developer, we can assist in the acquisition of land for development and subsequent sales of units from the land acquired. There can be many complexities in these processes and our work in solving these and achieving successful development ventures for developers has involved:

  • Environmental issues
  • Acquisition of building land
  • Joint ventures
  • Site fine agreements
  • Liaising with Planning, Roads and Water Services
  • Purchase and sale of development land
  • Licences with landowners to build and develop their land
  • Arranging title indemnity policies for problem or defective land titles

Talk to our dedicated lawyers today to discuss your legal requirements.


Notarial Services

We offer a full range of notarial services in most foreign jurisdictions. A notary public (or notary or public notary) in the common law world is a public officer who has authority to deal with legal matters outside Northern Ireland, such as foreign estates, deeds, powers-of-attorney and international business and
property transactions.

Our senior director is one of a number of senior solicitors in Northern Ireland who have been appointed to the office of Notary Public by the Lord Chief Justice, to facilitate the public in relation to the requirements of foreign legal systems to have documents notarised.

A Notary Public is empowered to:

  • Administer oaths
  • Witness signatures
  • Authenticate documents
  • Take sworn affidavits
  • Take affirmations and declarations
  • Issue notarial certificates in respect of documents and persons

Most of the work done by a Notary Public is for use in foreign jurisdictions under their legal systems However, it is not a function of a Notary Public in Northern Ireland to provide legal advice in relation to foreign jurisdictions.

An Apostille is a certificate issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin or the Foreign & Commonwealth Office in London, verifying the genuineness of the signature and/or seal of a public officer e.g. a Notary Public, on a public document and the capacity in which he or she has acted.

Certain countries will require an apostille fixed to the document as well as the notary’s signature and seal. In addition, some countries (e.g. China) will also require a document to be legalised at its embassy or consulate.

We can deal with all of these things for you through our notarial services. To find out more or instruct us on your behalf, contact our lawyers today.

Business Sales and Purchases

We deal with business purchases and sales, from the sole trader to larger businesses. We will instruct and act in conjunction with accountants and corporate consultants to give you a more professional and efficient service, including dealing with the business property and finance arrangements.

Our work includes formation, variation and dissolution of business partnerships including medical and dental practice partnerships. Talk to our lawyers today to find out more about our business sales and purchase legal services.

Family and Matrimonial Law

There is considerable trauma and distress associated with marital and partnership breakdown. We aim to deal with this situation in a sensitive and sensible way, not rushing into costly litigation if negotiation and discussion will give results.

Depending on the nature and complexity of your situation, we will work closely with others to ensure that you have a team of expert advisors who act on your behalf. These include family law barristers, accountants and independent financial advisors. We can give you guidelines as to likely overall costs at an early stage.

Our range of family law work includes the following:

  • Pre-nuptial and post-marital agreements
  • Separation agreements
  • Mediation
  • Divorce
  • Dissolution of civil partnership
  • Financial settlements including a ‘clean break’ settlement
  • Property division
  • Paternity disputes

Talk to our dedicated lawyers today to discuss your marital or family legal requirements.