The Northern Ireland commercial property market is experiencing an increasing level of stability as a result of devolution, one of the province's leading legal firms said today.
Brian Henderson, senior partner and head of the property department at Belfast law practice L'Estrange & Brett, was commenting after it was confirmed that the company would be sponsoring the commercial property development of the year category in this year's Belfast Telegraph Northern Ireland Property Awards.
He said: "We are delighted to be able to sponsor the award for commercial property development of the year once again.
"In the light of the quality of the buildings we see being constructed around us, I am sure that this year will produce no less worthy a winner of this section than last year's winners, The Merchant Hotel in Belfast."
Mr Henderson said his firm, which boasts one of the largest commercial property departments in the province, was consistently ranked in the top echelon of law firms.
He said: "The firm is well placed to deal with the growing complexity of commercial property developments and, following its recent appointment of four new partners, has added another partner to its commercial property team.
"Our specialised projects (PFI/PPP) unit and its construction and banking units enable us to provide specialist advice in relation to the whole of the development process from tendering to funding and onward sale or letting.
"The depth and breadth of our experience has led to the firm being involved in a large number of the major commercial property transactions in Northern Ireland within the last year."
Mr Henderson said that as investors from Northern Ireland continued to look to other parts of the UK for opportunities, his firm also had the advantage of having a number of solicitors who were qualified and have practised in London City firms.
He said "We are often asked to advise clients from Northern Ireland in relation to their British property portfolios.
"It is always the aim of the department to bring commercial acumen to bear in relation to any transaction, a fact that has been recognised by Chambers UK Guide to the Legal Profession 2007 which has described this firm as 'the closest thing to a city firm in Northern Ireland'."
For further information on this year's awards, please contact JPR, Sylvan House, 232-240 Belmont Road, Belfast, BT4 2AW, tel 028 9076 0066 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Entry forms are available from JPR or can be downloaded from www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk.