Gambling addict fraudster avoids jail

UTV News coverage of how solicitor advocate Paul Farrell represented the assistant manager of a jewellery shop who swindled more than £20,000 to feed his gambling addiction but walked free from court after receiving a 16 month suspended jail term. Speaking in court Paul Farrell outlined how:

Jones, who was filled with genuine remorse and shame, first became ensnared in a gambling addiction

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McKeown Application for leave to Apply for Judicial Review of the Department for Social Development

We have initiated Judicial Review Proceedings against the Department For Social Development in respect of their decision to remove our client’s Widowed Parents Allowance when her partner recently began to reside at her home.

In recent times, a decision was made to allow widowed spouses of Royal Ulster Constabulary Officers to retain their Widows Allowance should they commence a subsequent relationship. We have made the submission to the High Court that there should be no discrimination between ordinary widows and widows of Royal Ulster Constabulary Officers.

We are firmly of the view that the current policy of the Department For Social Development is at odds with the conventions of marriage and private life.

This is a case that involves far-reaching human rights issues and it is currently before the court.

X v Facebook Ireland Ltd.

The facts and circumstances of this case concern our client being identified and specially named on a Facebook page entitled ‘INLA Touts’ and the resulting threats on his life.

The Courts have previously demonstrated where there exists a breach of a person’s convention rights, that Facebook can be made the subject of injunctions to prevent further harm.

The possibility of actions against Facebook has been considered by the Court most recently in XY v. Facebook Ireland Limited [2012] NIQB 96 and CG v. Facebook Ireland Limited & McCloskey [2015] NIQB 11.

The following principles were established:

In XY McCloskey LJ held “The evidence…….demonstrates that there are those who are ill disposed to the Plaintiff and who are prepared to incite strong feelings of antagonism and hostility towards him with reckless disregard for the possible consequences.”

The Court ultimately granted interim relief in ordering Facebook to remove the offending page, concluding that this was “the only potentially efficacious remedy open to the Court in the present circumstances.”


Our case goes further than the standard set in XY and CG in that our client has had:

    1. Individuals visit him at home,
    2. Specifically reference the subject matter of the Facebook post,
    3. Made a conditional threat on his life; and
    4. Stated he would continue to be under surveillance.





This case is currently before the court and no further comment can be made at this time.

Facebook page about alleged Belfast paramilitary informers

A Belfast man has launched High Court proceedings in Belfast over featuring on a Facebook page about alleged paramilitary informers. McIvor Farrell Solicitors are seeking an order in Belfast High Court that Facebook must ensure the profile ‘INLA Touts’ does not reappear.

Paul Farrell of McIvor Farrell Solicitors Belfast said:

This is an important case in a developing area of law. It’s crucial that individuals rights are protected and that pages such as this are robustly dealt with by Facebook.

Mr Farrell added: “Our client is concerned for his safety and denies any wrongdoing whatsoever.”

Cannabis Seizure Case

McIvor Farrell Solicitors recently concluded a Proceeds of Crime case involving one of the largest seizures of cannabis in Northern Ireland. Following on from the conviction of the offender an application was made by The Prosecution for a Confiscation Order to cover the value of the drugs seized, namely £1.5million against the Defendant, with assets identified, including his home, to be seized.  Following on from nine months of robust and protracted negotiations and the retention of expert Forensic Accountants to prepare reports in relation to our clients financial circumstances we agreed a Settlement Figure of £1,500 with the State in full and final settlement.

TA flag rioter gets suspended jail term

A promising army career has been left in tatters after a part-time squaddie was handed a 15-month suspended jail term for rioting during a flag protest in east Belfast.
Solicitor advocate Paul Farrell said Lynn, who is a part-time Ranger in the 2nd Royal Irish had effectively been ostracised from his family who had themselves been members of the security forces, adding that Lynn had “expressed his deep deep shame and what he got himself involved in”.

He argued that for what was 12 seconds of involvement Lynn, who served a tour of the Helmand province where he encountered “horrific scenes,” would pay a heavy price indeed and urged the judge not to send him to prison.

On suspending the 15 month jail term for three years, Judge Kerr said whole everyone had the right to protest, no-one was entitled “to do so violently and not intentionally to try to cause damage and injury to the whole community”.

McIvor Farrell Negotiation Prize 2013

The McIvor Farrell Negotiation Prize for the most outstanding student at the QUB Institute of Professional Legal Studies for 2013 goes to Kirsty Linkin who shall be presented with her bursary at her Graduation on the 28th June 2013 at Queens University Belfast.

The McIvor Farrell Prize was established by McIvor Farrell, Solicitors in 2011.

The prize is awarded annually to the Solicitor trainee in the Institute of Professional Legal Studies who attains the highest standard in an assessed exercise on the Negotiation course.

At present the assessed exercise is based on the trainees conducting a negotiation, drafting terms of settlement and analysing the strengths and weaknesses of the settlement.

Belfast rioter gets suspended jail term

Solicitor advocate Paul Farrell told the court that the tourism degree student “literally took a wrong turn – a wrong turn on the way home and a wrong turn in his life”.

He said that when he came upon the rioting, Baker was “quite literally a moth attracted to a dangerous flame”.

The judge told the former Royal Belfast Academical Institution pupil he had let his family and himself down and that the message had repeatedly gone out that “people who get involved in riotous situations in this city can expect custodial sentences as an almost automatic consequence”.

Two men charged over murder of businessman

Mr Farrell put to him that Allen had given a “full account” during 20 interviews when initially arrested in 1996 and again since his arrest last Tuesday. The solicitor also put it to the detective sergeant that the accounts of both witnesses A and B were “replete with mistakes, inconsistencies, vagaries and ultimately confusion” but the officer refuted the suggestion.

Mr Farrell further suggested to the officer that with all the media attention and pressure associated with the case, the police were “embellishing the case … and are trying to get the evidence to fit the theory”, but again the officer denied that.

In refusing the bail application and remanding the pair into custody to appear in court again on Wednesday, District Judge Amanda Henderson said she would view any potential bail applications if there were suitable addresses outside Carrick.

Prison for woman who hid a stash of heroin in her bra

Judge Loughran said that despite the forceful defence plea of solicitor advocate Paul Farrell, which was deserving of the highest commendation, Hawkins’ offending had passed the threshold of an immediate custodial sentence.

Hawkins, whose descent into the drug culture came from an earlier hedonistic lifestyle, had made positive and valiant efforts to turn her life around and was genuinely remorseful, the court heard.