Northern Ireland Legal challenge against Brexit

Victims campaigner Raymond McCord has launched the first legal challenge in Northern Ireland to the UK leaving the European Union. Mr McCord, whose son Raymond Jr was murdered by the UVF in north Belfast in 1997, is believed to be the first person in Northern Ireland to issue proceedings over Brexit.

He is taking the case amid concerns that European peace money which goes towards victims of the Troubles may be discontinued. The challenge centres on the Government’s response to the June 23 referendum result.

Speaking about the case McIvor Farrell Solicitor Ciaran O’Hare stated the case is:

“an important constitutional case which engages the Northern Irish public interest in a way that no other case has or is likely to for many decades”.

Tanya Jennings to head Family & Matrimonial Department

tanya jenningsMs Tanya Jennings recently joined forces with McIvor Farrell Solicitors in April 2016 after working for almost five years in the Lurgan Portadown area. She now heads up the Matrimonial Practice at McIvor Farrell Solicitors and offers a wide range of legal services and advice on matters including Divorce, Separation, Financial Settlements, Domestic Violence and Children’s Law issues. She also continues to offer services and advice to people and clients in the Lurgan/Portadown area and to attend at their local courts in the Craigavon and Newry area.

Tanya graduated from Queen’s University Belfast in 1994 and was admitted to the Roll of Solicitors in 1996. Tanya has dedicated her career to the practice of Children’s and Family Law and deals sensitively and passionately with the client issues involved. She has extensive experience in all family matters including Private Law matters such as Divorce, Separation, Financial Settlement, Child Custody and Contact and Relocation and Abduction cases. Ms Jennings has also been involved with numerous Public Law cases and non-accidental injury cases when Social Services have become involved with the family.

Tanya has an excellent track record of successfully reuniting children with their parents and providing top quality advice and ensuring reunification within the family home. Tanya is a member of the Law Society of Northern Ireland Children’s Panel and also on the Children’s Panel for the Northern Ireland Guardian ad Litem Agency where she offers specialist advice to children through the Guardian ad Litem. Tanya also specialises in Domestic Violence cases and throughout her career has worked closely with Women’s Aid and has been an advisory member of their Management Committee. She has successfully secured Non-Molestation Orders and Occupation Orders to protect victims of domestic violence and to ensure criminal prosecution of the perpetrator. Tanya has represented a vast number of clients throughout her 20 year career in Divorces and Financial Settlements and secured an optimum settlement in favour of her clients.

Company Director Ciaran Maguire said:

“We’re delighted to have brought Tanya to McIvor Farrell. She has enormous experience and a proven track record in her field. Our offices are based in Belfast but we offer legal services throughout the jurisdiction and, being from Lurgan myself, we’re especially keen to serve clients in the Lurgan and Portadown area.”


Failures in Belfast Police Murder Investigation

Belfast Solicitors McIvor Farrell attended a high level meeting with senior police on the 16th June 2016, on behalf of the family of murder victim Christopher Meli who was brutally murdered on the 12th December 2015, to address concerns they had in relation to Police failures to keep them advised of developments in the investigation into their son’s murder. This was the second occasion that we had to attend meetings on behalf of the family due to their frustrations with regard to the progress and developments in relation to the investigation. Following on from the meeting Police made a fulsome apology to the family with an undertaking to keep them well informed in the future with regard to progress and developments.

Paralegal Aine McElwee who attended the meeting speaking afterwards noted that while the family could have made a formal complaint to the Police Ombudsman this was not necessary in this instance, since the family’s needs required immediate action and the informal resolution process we proposed was the most direct and expedient way to deal with the issues in hand. We are pleased to have brought this matter to a swift and successful conclusion avoiding a protracted complaints process.

Should you have any concerns in relation to the Police handling of your case or concerns about a defective prosecution please contact us immediately.

UK Top 100 Legal Services Companies

Expertly researched by business analysts using the latest information available the Plimsoll Analysis is the definitive guide to companies within the legal sector in the UK. The purpose of the analysis is to provide leaders of major companies within the UK Legal Services Industry a comprehensive and accurate probe into how well their company is performing within their niche industry. We are featured on page 1184 of the latest Plimsoll Analysis.


Whilst these are challenging times for the legal profession, McIvor Farrell Solicitors Ltd are delighted to have secured a place within the Top 100 fastest growing companies showing sustainability within a competitive market and continued profitability.

Company Director Paul Farrell commented  “These findings will give all existing clients and other interested parties confidence in knowing that when dealing with McIvor Farrell they are dealing with a well-run, long standing professional firm of Solicitors with whom they can have absolute confidence.”

Case v Chief Constable of PSNI

B. v Chief Constable of PSNI

This is a current Judicial Review case involving police powers of arrest in respect of breaches of Civil Injunction Orders made pursuant to Order 14, rule 6 of the County Court Rules and Articles 3 and 5 of the Protection from Harassment (Northern Ireland) Order 1997.

Injunctions obtained pursuant to Articles 3 and 5 of the Protection from Harassment (Northern Ireland) Order 1997 are relatively common within the jurisdiction of Northern Ireland. It is, therefore, perhaps surprising that there is no Northern Irish authority on the points raised by the Applicant. On that basis, this is undoubtedly a novel case. There is a significant public interest point in respect of this case, as it hoped that judicial guidance is given to aid current and future holders of such injunctions, as well as police officers generally.

McIvor Farrell Negotiation Prize 2016 Winner


We are delighted to announce the recipient of the McIvor Farrell Prize for the Best Performing Student in the Negotiation Category at the Northern Ireland Institute for Professional Legal Studies to be Ms Helen Smyth. We take great pride in our sponsorship of this prestigious award and look forward to the Awards Ceremony at Queens University Belfast on the 29th June 2016 when our Litigation Department Head, Mr Conor Woods, will present Ms Smyth with the award.

McIvor Farrell Solicitors Belfast Community Outreach

St Josephs Girls GlenavyMcIvor Farrell Solicitors Belfast are delighted, as part of our Community Outreach Initiative, to sponsor St Joseph’s Glenavy Girls Under 16s kit this season. The girls are pictured here with Daniel McCorry presenting the team with their sponsorship. Everyone at McIvor Farrell wish the girls every success in the year ahead.


Significant Supply of Cocaine Case

We recently represented a Defendant in a significant supply of cocaine case involving a kilo of the drug with a purity level of 70% before Craigavon Crown Court. The matter was dealt with by Solicitor Advocate Paul Farrell who identified matters of exceptionality concerning the case and with the support of relevant expert reports persuaded the Court to mark the sentence with a short period in custody (6months) with an extended period of post release license in the community. We are delighted to have secured this result for the Defendant and are pleased to have identified issues in his case that persuaded the Court to deal with his sentencing in such an exceptional manner.

Successful LEXEL Assessment

Once again Belfast Solicitors McIvor Farrell have passed the LEXEL assessment with flying colours.

LEXEL is a legal services competency standard confirming the highest standards of  service and practice management and we are delighted once again to have met the high standards required. LEXEL co-ordinator Mr Ciaran Maguire has praised all staff for their efforts and ongoing commitment to providing first class legal representation to our clients. LEXEL accreditation ensures that all those who deal with McIvor Farrell can expect to receive ongoing high level representation and engagement from our professional and support staff at all times.

McC v The Department of Justice for Northern Ireland

Active Court of Appeal Case

The Applicant was not afforded an oral hearing by the Legal Services Agency on foot of an emergency civil application. The crux of the Applicant’s case is that regulation 26 and regulation 10 of the Civil Legal Services (Appeal) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2015 are unlawful in that they restrict the discretion of the Appeal Panel in such a way that firstly seemed to serve no rational purpose and secondly in a way which undermined the independence of the Appeal Panel.

Article 3 of The Access to Justice (Northern Ireland) Order 2003 provides that the Department shall secure that “individuals have access to civil legal services that effectively meet their needs, and promoting the availability to individuals of such services;”.

This case raises complex and difficult legal issues. The Applicant contends that an oral hearing is an important safeguard which ensures procedural fairness. It is submitted that the outcome of these appeal proceedings could have a significant effect on Civil Legal Services. The Civil Legal Services Appeal Panel sits on a frequent basis to determine a variety of cases, many of which are of great public interest in their own right.