Cleaver Fulton Rankin

Belfast Office

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Managing Partner: Jonathan Forrester
Directors: 18
Associates/Assistants: 27
Other fee-earners: 6

Administration & Public Law:
Karen Blair
Banking: Stephen Cross, Caroline MacLaughlin
Stephen Cross
Commercial Litigation: Patrick Fleming, Jonathan Forrester, Aaron Moore
Corporate & Commercial: Hilary Griffith
Construction: Patrick Fleming, Lisa Boyd, Aaron Moore
Corporate Finance: Hilary Griffith
Dispute Resolution:
Patrick Fleming, Jonathan Forrester, Aaron Moore
Employment & Immigration: Michael Black
Energy: Joe Marley, Stephen Cross, Karen Blair, Hilary Griffith
Family: Lorraine Keown
Insolvency/Business Restructuring: Jeanette Donohoe
Intellectual Property:
Hilary Griffith, Michael King
Planning/Environmental: Karen Blair
Projects: Patrick Fleming, Lisa Boyd
Property: Kathryn Collie, Alan McAlister, Joe Marley
Procurement: Patrick Fleming, Lisa Boyd
Private Client: Michael Graham

The Firm Cleaver Fulton Rankin is a leading commercial law firm in Northern Ireland, providing a full legal service to both commercial and individual private clients, including family businesses, SMEs, international and global companies, government bodies, public sector organisations, financial institutions and charities.

The firm’s primary areas of work are described below and comprise of commercial property, corporate and commercial, employment and immigration, dispute resolution, consultancy and private client, supplemented by niche units specialising in areas such as construction, planning & environmental law, procurement, and insolvency and business restructuring.

As a modern and progressive law firm with over 125 years’ heritage, Cleaver Fulton Rankin has a specialist team of multidisciplinary legal professionals who collaborate and innovative to provide expert legal advice to clients, to achieve all commercial objectives and the best possible results.

While the firm is an independent Northern Ireland owned and managed practice, it has an alliance with Matheson solicitors in the Republic of Ireland to provide an all-island service, and is a member of LawNet, an association of independent UK law firms. This network provides the firm’s lawyers with access to commercial law firms in over 70 countries across six continents, drawing on specialist knowledge.

Principal Areas of Work

Banking & Finance:
The banking and finance team has recognised expertise in acting on the full range of finance transactions, including corporate finance and project finance transactions, acquisition finance, commercial property finance, asset backed lending, invoice discounting, factoring, restructuring and specific services relating to the securitisation of Northern Irish assets. The firm also advises on applicable regulation, compliance and best practice.

Corporate & Commercial:
The corporate & commercial team has a long-standing reputation for providing sound practical advice to clients in both the private and public sectors, and across a wide range of industries on all types of commercial transactions including intellectual property, construction, energy, IT, banking and charity law.

Dispute Resolution:
The dispute resolution team has an impressive clientele in a variety of practice areas including general commercial litigation, construction, property, defamation, disputes about wills and trusts, corporate recovery, insurance, intellectual property and IT, personal injury, debt recovery, procurement and product liability. The team also specialise in alternative dispute resolution including adjudication, mediation and arbitration, with qualified mediators and adjudicators.

Employment & Immigration:
The employment team is widely acknowledged for its expertise both locally and nationally. It offers guidance to clients, many of whom are businesses and lawyers operating in other jurisdictions, on the differences in employment law which exist in Northern Ireland and practical advice on measures which should be taken in specific circumstances. The firm’s specialist Immigration team are experts in providing strategic advice to businesses and securing employment visas for highly skilled foreign talent to the UK, whilst also assisting private individuals to live, work or study in the UK.

Planning & Environmental:
The planning & environmental team, at the forefront of this specialised area of law, has a wealth of experience in providing practical legal advice throughout the planning application process, appeals and inquiries. The firm also provides environmental and planning due diligence for property transactions and company acquisitions.

Private Client:
The private client team is dedicated to providing high quality specialist advice on inheritance tax and estate planning, including the use of lifetime and testamentary trusts where appropriate. In addition, the team regularly advise on the administration of trusts and estates, enduring powers of attorney, nursing care issues and matters involving the Office of Care and Protection. The firm also has a flourishing family law practice which covers both matrimonial and children’s law and works alongside the private client department in this regard.

The property team has extensive experience in all aspects of non-contentious commercial and residential property matters with a broad client portfolio including developers, investment institutions, national retail chains, PFI projects and joint ventures. The team is well used to working seamlessly with other professionals to deliver on major projects for clients.

Cleaver Fulton Rankin has a wide and varied client base. Clients include those from the insurance, construction, energy, insolvency, financial banking, manufacturing, retail, charity and public sectors. The firm’s clients include HSBC, Danske Bank, Ulster Bank, Bank of Ireland, First Trust Bank, SSE Renewables, EirGrid, Invest NI, Titanic Quarter, George Best City Airport and the Alzheimer’s Society.