7 October 2021

Carson McDowell ranked as the best law firm for Planning and Environmental Law in The Legal 500 Directory for the third consecutive year

Carson McDowell’s Planning & Environmental team has maintained its position as the top law firm in Northern Ireland for planning and environmental law in the legal profession’s industry guide - The Legal 500.

The team, founded over 25 years ago and led by Partner Gary McGhee, is the only Northern Ireland Planning and Environmental legal team to receive the prestigious ‘Tier 1’ ranking in this practice area for the third consecutive year.

Gary McGhee, one of the few solicitors in N Ireland to specialise exclusively in the areas of planning, environmental, and energy law, also continues to be recognised as a "leading individual" and has maintained his position in The Legal 500 “Hall of Fame” for his continued excellence as an elite planning and environmental lawyer. In addition, his team members, Grant McBurney, Partner, who acts for clients such as Belfast International Airport and Belfast Harbour Commissioners, was recognised as a ‘Next Generation Partner’ and Sarah Dunlop, Senior Associate as a Rising Star.

The Legal 500 directory is an independent series widely regarded as the world’s most extensive legal referral guide. Each year over four million users visit The Legal 500 website, where firms and individuals are recommended purely on merit. Published annually, the rankings are based on the independent opinions of clients and in-depth research carried out by an experienced team of editors.

Clients, who were contacted by The Legal 500, said,

“The Planning team are the most formidable in NI. They have a wealth of experience and the largest team which other firms in NI simply can’t compete with”. And, “Gary McGhee is the partner you want on your side. He has an encyclopaedic knowledge of planning and environmental law. A great strategist on large complex cases but is also incredibly personable”.

Commenting on the teams continued strong performance, Gary McGhee, Head of the Planning and Environmental team, said, “I am delighted that Carson McDowell continues to be recognised as the best law firm in Northern Ireland for Planning and Environmental law in The Legal 500 guide. It is a huge privilege for my team to be recognised by both the Legal 500 and our clients in this way”.

The Legal 500 rankings for 2022 also demonstrated the excellence and expertise of the firm’s entire team of multidisciplinary legal professionals. As well as the excellent results achieved by the Planning and Environmental team, Carson McDowell achieved ‘Tier 1’ rankings in 11 practice areas, more than any other Northern Irish law firm. Furthermore, 28 of the firm’s lawyers have been recognised personally, including 9 entries to the ‘Hall of Fame’, 12 in the ‘Leading Individuals’ group, 5 ‘Next Generation Partners’ and 2 ‘Rising Stars.

Neasa Quigley, Senior Partner at Carson McDowell, added, “I would like to extend our thanks to our clients who continue to support Carson McDowell in being the highest-ranked Northern Irish law firm in The Legal 500 directory. I know our clients value the expertise our teams provide and the 2022 rankings for our practice areas and individuals echo this feedback”.

Meet the team

Find out more about our planning or environmental team and expertise.