Insolvency and Restructuring

Carson McDowell has rejuvenated its insolvency and restructuring practice and has strong links with the majority of lenders and insolvency practitioners in Belfast, together with the larger insolvency practices further afield. The team has worked with NAMA, Bank of Ireland, Bank of Scotland/Certus, JP Morgan Chase Bank, Credit Suisse, First Trust Bank, and Irish Bank Resolution Corporation Limited, together with insolvency practitioners from KPMG, PWC, Deloitte, Horwood Neill Holmes, RSM McClure Watters, BDO, Cavanagh Kelly and fixed charge receivers from BTW Shiells, Osborne King, and Morton Pinpoint.

We advise all the major domestic financial institutions in relation to options and strategies for enforcement of security or renegotiation and restructuring of distressed debt portfolios, together with advising administrators, receivers, liquidators and trustees in bankruptcy pre and post-appointment. The team has also advised several major borrowers in relation to restructuring of debt and advice on insolvency options.

Our specialist lawyers work with teams across the firm to provide comprehensive in-house support for clients managing distressed debt, including specific advice on distressed property matters which form the majority of the current appointments in Northern Ireland. The team draws from the vast array of specialisms within the firm to advise on specific issues facing insolvency practitioners and fixed charge receivers, including licensing matters, construction queries, planning and environmental concerns and employment matters. It is this wide array of specialist knowledge within the wider team that allows us to deal with any query, no matter how novel, arising during an enforcement scenario.

What we do

  • Security review and reporting
  • Advice on powers of receivers and insolvency practitioners
  • Appointment of IPs and receivers
  • Advice in relation to IVAs and CVAs
  • Debt restructuring and debt for equity swaps
  • Loan book acquisitions and restructuring
  • Incentivised exit strategies
  • Consideration and challenge of Centre of Main Interests (COMI) issues
  • Advising directors of insolvent companies
  • Disposal and realisation of assets by consent or enforcement
  • Advising on duties of IPs in office

What Others Say About Us

The Legal 500 2021

With expertise in contentious and non-contentious matters, Carson McDowell has represented key names in the financial services sector including EY, KPMG and Grant Thornton. Darren Toombs jointly leads the team and stands out for his insolvency litigation expertise, acting for trustees, liquidators and administrators. Fellow practice head Sinead McGrath is adept at advisory work and has a client base consisting of major banks, borrowers and financial institutions. At the junior end of the team, Shane McVeigh is singled out as "an excellent associate."


"Carson McDowell are a very proactive and dynamic team in the insolvency and corporate recovery space in NI."

"Excellent commercial approach from the entire team. Carson McDowell have the ability to deliver the largest assignments across a broad spectrum legal areas."

"They have clear direction and are very client focused."

Key clients

  • Wrightbus
  • Van Oord Offshore Wind GMBH
  • WDR & RT Taggart Limited
  • Keenan Corporate Finance
  • HNH Partners
  • Keenan Corporate Finance
  • Grant Thornton NI LLP
  • John Graham Limited
  • KPMG
  • EY Belfast