Lexcel Accrediation for Belfast Solicitors McIvor Farrell

On 29th April 2015 McIvor Farrell Solicitors Ltd underwent a full reassessment of our LEXCEL accreditation which was first obtained in 2012. The assessment involved an on-site audit by an independent assessor across all aLexcel Accredited Practicespects of our practice. At the conclusion of the 2 day assessment we were delighted to have succeeded once again in attaining the high standards required for our LEXCEL accreditation.

LEXCEL is the Law Society’s legal practice quality mark for excellence in legal practice management and client care. Not all Solicitors achieve accreditation and we are among the few who do in Northern Ireland. LEXEL provides a robust management framework to help legal practices develop consistent operational efficiencies and deliver client services at the highest level.

Our LEXCEL Coordinator, Ciaran Maguire, said “At McIvor Farrell we believe it is vital to manage the quality of our legal services effectively. A quality management system that is independently assessed demonstrates our commitment and ability to constantly deliver services that meet and exceed client expectations. We will continue to demonstrate the commitment required to achieve the LEXCEL standard going forward to 2016 and beyond”.

McIvor Farrell Prize for the Best Performing Student

Mc Ivor Farrell as part of their ongoing commitment to assisting in the development of the legal profession in Northern Ireland are pleased to announce that the recipient of the McIvor Farrell Prize for the Best Performing Student at the Institute of Professional Legal Studies in the Negotiation Category is Niamh Hargen.

Our Student Outreach Director Paul Farrell said “It’s a great honour for us to have an ongoing close association with the Institute of Professional Legal Studies and to be involved now for many years in the Annual Prize giving Ceremony. The McIvor Farrell Negotiation Prize recognises the most outstanding student in the area of complex negotiations and Niamh is a well deserving recipient. We wish her continued success as a solicitor in the years to come.”

Challenging Case of Sentencing Principles

McIvor Farrell recently defended an Accused of two Robberies where the Probation Board had assessed him as ‘Dangerous’ prior to sentencing meaning that he was likely to receive an Extended Custodial Sentence. We robustly challenged this assessment and Solicitor Advocate, Paul Farrell, made legal submissions to the Court and obtained expert Forensic Psychology Reports disputing the Probation Boards findings.

Following a fully disputed hearing the Court accepted the Legal Arguments and Medical Opinion advanced by the Defence and the Offender was not deemed to be Dangerous and received a Determinate Custodial Sentence of two and a half years custody and two and a half years on licence upon release.

Speaking outside court Mr Farrell said “This was a very challenging case involving a complex area of sentencing principles. We are delighted to have secured the outcome for the Defendant that we have done and believe the Court has come to the correct conclusion and sentence in the case.”

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

Read more here


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.