John graduated from Queen’s University Belfast in 1980; the Institute of Professional Legal Studies in 1981 and was admitted to the roll of Solicitors in Northern Ireland in 1982. He has been Managing Partner of the practice since 1985
A Licensed Insolvency Practitioner with wide experience in restructuring, rescue and Director Disqualification. John has represented some of the most high profile property developers in the last number of years. He also has responsibility for the Employment Law Department within the practice and has developed an unrivalled knowledge in the field of Education, Trusts and Charity law. As primary advisor to the Maintained schools sector in Northern Ireland and the Northern Ireland Commission for Catholic Education he has been at the cutting edge of developments in the field of Education reform.
John served as Treasurer of the Law Society in Northern Ireland for 14 years and recently stepped down as a Law Society Council member after 22 years service to the profession.
John is also a Trustee of the Solicitor Benevolent Association and the Ulster Historical Foundation as well as Treasurer of the Irish Legal History Society. He has been recommended in Chambers and Legal 500 each year in both Employment Law and Restructuring/Insolvency.
‘… the foremost personal insolvency expert in Northern Ireland. He has advised on some of the biggest insolvency cases in the province and is approachable and knowledgeable.’ Margaret Canning, Journalist
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Brigid joined the firm in 1986 after graduating in Law from Queen’s University, Belfast. She qualified as a Licensed Insolvency Practitioner in 1994, has been a Notary Public since 1998, and is the only Northern Ireland lawyer ranked for three consecutive years in Band One for Personal Insolvency in the UK by Chambers & Partners.
She currently advises on all aspects of Personal and Corporate Insolvency and is regularly appointed Trustee in Bankruptcy and Liquidator by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment (Insolvency Service). She also acts as liquidator in Members’ Voluntary Liquidations and Creditors’ Voluntary Liquidations and as a Fixed Charge Receiver.
Brigid regularly advises on alternatives to bankruptcy and liquidation for clients facing Personal or Corporate Insolvency; and on directors’ responsibilities, disqualification and personal liability.
She lectures on insolvency at the Institute of Professional Legal Studies, Belfast Solicitors’ Association and Northern Ireland Young Solicitors’ Association, and also provides in-house instruction and advice to accountants and estate agents.
Within the firm, Brigid also specialises in Commercial Litigation and oversees the Debt Recovery Department. She received the Best in Professional Services award from Women in Business in 2013, and was awarded Advanced Coaching status by the Institute of Leadership and Management.
Ranked in Band 1 for Insolvency Practitioners in the UK since 2013 by Chambers’ Guide to the Legal Profession, Brigid is described as ‘the doyenne of Personal Insolvency in Northern Ireland’.
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Denis graduated in Law from Queen’s University, Belfast in 1995 and qualified as a solicitor in 1997. He joined Napier & Sons in 1998 and became a Property Law Partner in 2007.
He represents clients in all aspects of property law – first-time buyers, downsizing retirees (and everything between), and commercial clients from small businesses to multi-nationals and major institutions.
Denis also acts for several charities, including independent schools and educational trusts, advising on matters such as grant funding. He advises the Catholic Diocese of Down and Connor and many parishes within the diocese on property matters generally.
He has been a lecturer and course tutor for the Northern Ireland Law Course run by the Institute of Auctioneers and Valuers in Ireland (IAVI) and has provided training in property law to staff of the Institute of Professional Legal Studies.
Denis is also responsible for ensuring the firm retains its ISO accreditation, key to our quality commitment. Outside the office, he is a member of the Board of Governors of St Killian’s College, Garron Tower.
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Joseph joined the firm as an apprentice solicitor in 1997 before qualifying in 1999. He was appointed as Litigation Partner in 2007.
Joseph offer clients extensive experience in employer liability, motor liability and public liability claims, together with commercial building and contractual insurance disputes. He acts for a number of large corporate clients as well as private individuals, and conducts claims for both plaintiff and defendant parties.
Joseph represents clients in the High Court, County Court, Magistrates’ Court, The Appeals Tribunal and at Inquests and Arbitration. He has provided in-house training to clients’ operational and claims managers on both practical and legal issues. His expertise in Dispute Resolution has been recognised by Legal 500.
Joseph holds a certificate in Advanced Advocacy. He is a member of the Board of Governors of St Patrick’s Grammar School, Downpatrick.
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Maria joined the firm in 2004 with a First Class Honours degree in Law from Queen’s University, Belfast. She is a highly accomplished member of our team which is clearly demonstrated by the range of exciting accolades which she has received throughout her career including the Lord Chief Justice’s Prize 2005, the Junior Solicitor of the Year Award 2009 and the NI Young Leader of the Year Award 2012.
Maria is regarded as a key advocate in the firm regularly representing our clients in the High Court. Her areas of expertise include Bankruptcy and Insolvency matters, enforcement of judgments, financial disputes, debt management and general litigation.
As a former Sub-Editor of the Bulletin of Northern Ireland Law, Maria has considerable experience in conducting legal research and has published several articles in legal journals as well as contributing to leading textbooks published by Sweet & Maxwell: ‘European Cross Border Insolvency’ & the 4th edition of ‘Personal Insolvency: A Practical Guide’.
In recognition of the importance of continual professional development, Maria assists in co-ordinating the Insolvency Course for trainee solicitors at Queen’s University, Belfast and the University of Ulster, Magee. She also liaises with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ireland in relation to its ‘Law for Accountants’ course and delivers lectures and seminars to a range of organisations including Advice NI and the Housing Rights Service.
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Andrew graduated in Law from Queen’s University, Belfast and qualified as a solicitor in 2002. Prior to joining Napier & Sons in 2014, he worked for nine years in a large commercial law firm, where he gained extensive experience in commercial and residential property law, representing multi-national companies, banks, developers and individuals.
Andrew advises on all areas of residential and commercial property law, including the acquisition, disposal and leasing of commercial property, the sale of property for receivers, administrators and banks, the acquisition of sites for developers and the subsequent disposal of residential units, and property matters on behalf of churches and schools.
Andrew regularly contributes articles for professional legal journals such as Folio Magazine in the area of property law in Northern Ireland.
‘Andrew provides clear, concise, technically excellent service and is always extremely approachable’.
Lagan Homes Limited
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Lisa studied Law and Accountancy at Queen’s University, Belfast, graduating in 1999. She then worked for the Electoral Office of Northern Ireland, becoming a graduate member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.
Lisa returned to Queen’s in 2004 to train as a solicitor and graduated in 2006 from the Institute of Professional Legal Studies.
Since joining Napier & Sons, she has worked primarily in the area of Employment Law, advising on all aspects of both contentious and non-contentious matters. She regularly represents clients at the Industrial Tribunal and Fair Employment Tribunal.
Lisa is a regular seminar presenter at employment law training and information companies Legal-Island and MBL and she also delivers in-house employment law training for clients. Lisa liaises with the Institute of Chartered Accountants Ireland in relation to its ‘Law for Accountants’ course and she works closely with Accounting Technicians Ireland on compiling its Law & Ethics course material.
Lisa’s first book, An Introduction to Business Law in Northern Ireland, was published in 2010, and is now a key text at both Queen’s University and the Ulster University. It is also the essential textbook used by accountancy students sitting the CAP I Law Exam.
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Maria graduated in Law and Politics from Queen’s University Belfast, where she was elected to the Executive Committee of the Students’ Union, first as Welfare Officer and then as President. She joined Napier & Sons in 2005. After graduating with Distinction from the Institute of Professional Legal Studies in 2007, she has been working alongside our Litigation Partner, Joseph Napier.
She provides advice and representation to a range of clients, from personal litigants, sole traders and small businesses to major corporations, notably BT and Royal Mail.
Her work involves investigating disputes, advising on liability and quantum, drafting legal documents, negotiating settlements and representing clients at the Small Claims Court, County Court and High Court. Typically the areas of her work include personal injury claims, motor claims, accidents at work, damage to property and disputed invoices.
Maria is a regular speaker at the annual Personal Injury Conference organised by the Solicitors’ Group. She was a committee member of the Northern Ireland Young Solicitors’ Association for several years, attending conferences both nationally and internationally and organising training and social events. Having received a Certificate in Advanced Advocacy from the Law Society of NI in 2014, Maria now sits on the Advocacy Working Party.
In recent years Maria has been taking part in charitable expeditions and, in 2013, spent three months in Mozambique with Young Africa, in partnership with the development and volunteering organisation SERVE, which Napier & Sons had as its annual charity in the same year. Maria is currently undertaking a Masters in Human Rights Law at QUB on a part time basis and, in October 2015, was appointed to the Board of the Centre for Global Education.
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Laura studied Law and Accountancy at University of Ulster, Magee, graduating in 2009. She then went on to obtain a Masters in International Legal Studies with a specialism in International Business Law from American University, Washington College of Law in Washington DC in 2011. Prior to joining Napier & Sons in 2015, Laura worked for a North Down firm for four years gaining experience in the areas of litigation, employment and family law and qualified as a solicitor in 2014.
Since joining Napier & Sons, Laura has been working in our Litigation and Employment Departments. In the course of her work in the Litigation Department, Laura advises a range of Clients from private individuals to large corporations on a variety of actions including Small Claims Proceedings, accidents at work, road traffic accidents and personal injury claims.
Laura also works alongside Lisa Sturgeon in our Employment Department. Her work involves advising Clients, both Claimants and Respondents to proceedings, advising on issues such as Unfair Dismissal, Redundancy and Discrimination based claims.
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