Real Estate

Carson McDowell’s real estate team is ranked band 1 in Chambers and Partners UK and is recognised as a leader in the Northern Ireland market place providing advice to clients on all aspects of property law. In an ever changing market and challenging economic climate, the real estate team advises many specialist sectors and is constantly adapting to meet the demands of its clients. The great breadth and quality of expertise of the team ensures that all issues that clients face are met with innovative and commercial solutions. With a high profile in the retail sector, the team successfully manages the balance in acting on behalf of both landlords and tenants. The team has also developed a strong reputation for development work and has been involved in major infrastructure, education, leisure, and entertainment projects. The team also has a particularly strong presence in the energy sector having advised clients on energy related property issues for over ten years.

Our team understands the issues concerning our clients, whether they are landlords, tenants, investors, developers or corporate-end users in particular need for speedy, effective and commercial advice. In an uncertain market, we have an unrivalled ability to add value to our clients by sharing our market knowledge, providing a proactive and dedicated team to meet client demands. The team increasingly works as part of a larger multi disciplinary team on complex transactions, drawing advice from other specialisms across the firm such as the corporate, environmental, construction, dispute resolution and regulatory teams to ensure that our clients enjoy a full and seamless service at all times.

What we do

  • Advising landlords and tenants with respect to all issues pertaining to the leasing of property
  • Advising with respect to the acquisition and disposal of property
  • Advising with respect to site assembly for residential and commercial projects
  • Advising with respect to commercial and residential site development
  • Energy projects including wind, off shore and bio mass
  • Energy from waste projects including landfill
  • Infrastructure and project development
  • Portfolio management
  • Advising with respect to Compulsory Purchase and blight
  • Property due diligence
  • Title defect rectification

What Others Say About Us

Chambers and Partners UK 2020

What the team is known for

Outstanding team representing an impressive number of blue-chip clients and advising on the full gamut of property transactions. Possesses considerable expertise in relation to acquisitions and sales, as well as site assembly and licensing matters. Regularly offers expert advice to clients in the energy, transport, retail and leisure sectors. Frequently acts for vendors, purchasers and funders on real estate transactions.


One client says: "Carson McDowell are a solid firm of solicitors with a huge amount of talent and a great reputation."

Another comments: "I find that the quality for the cost of service that they provide is second to none."

Interviewees remark: "They're very quick, direct and offer a first-class service."

Work highlights

Acted for Fattal Hotels in a joint venture with the Pandox Group on the acquisition of the Jurys Inn Hotel Group, valued at £800 million.

Notable practitioners

The "very well-regarded" Dawson McConkey is head of the firm's real estate team and possesses a broad commercial practice covering acquisitions, investments and lettings. Clients say: "He can obtain an understanding of an issue immediately and the advice he provides is clear, easy to understand and backed up with his rationale."

Emma Cooper regularly acts for investors and developers on significant acquisitions and site assembly matters. One client describes her as a "very able real estate lawyer who is tenacious and committed to her clients," while another adds that she is "extremely diligent and professional."

Rosemary Carson is "an expert in her field with a huge amount of knowledge and experience," according to impressed clients. She frequently assists those in the retail sector with development and site assembly matters.

The Legal 500 2020

What the team is known for

Carson McDowell has 'comprehensive knowledge' and a 'client-friendly approach'. The team advises on local and international investments and major developments in the region, and is noted for its extensive experience in the retail sector, acting for a significant number of retail tenants as well as the landlords of shopping centres and retail parks.

Notable practitioners

Dawson McConkey took over as head of the practice in 2018, following Rosemary Carson's move to a consultancy role; both he and Emma Cooper have particular expertise in the energy sector.

Work highlights

Advised the shareholders of the Lagan Group on the sale of the entire building materials group to Breedon Holdings (Jersey) Limited, a member of Breedon Group Plc.

Advising Belfast Harbour Commissioners on the acquisition of the Obel Office Block, one of the landmark buildings in Belfast, which was the year's largest standalone commercial property acquisition in Belfast city centre.

Advised Northern Ireland Investment Fund on the financing of the development of one of Belfast's largest city centre office blocks, the client's first loan into Northern Ireland.

Advised Valero Logistics UK on a significant multimillion-pound acquisition of a fuel terminal.

Acted for the Israeli-based Fattal Hotels Group in its £800m acquisition of a leading chain of hotels across the British Isles for £800m.

Significant clients

Belfast Harbour Commissioners, Belfast International Airport, McAleer & Rushe Group, Northstone, Bywater Group, Northern Ireland Investment Fund, Royal Mail Group, RES Group, Sports Direct Group, Turkington Group.