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'Successful year' for Belfast law firm Carson McDowell as profits jump over £6m

By John Mulgrew

A Belfast law firm has increased its profits by more than a fifth in just one year, rising to over £6m, as it continues to expand.

Carson McDowell increased its turnover to £10.8m for the year to April 30.

In its members' report, the firm said that "following last year's 24% uplift in turnover, the continuing increase is most satisfactory and continues to reflect the firm's recruiting and growing of top quality talent".

It was involved in mergers and other deals valued at more than £300m during the course of 2015.

Its staff costs increased to just shy of £3m for the year, with employee numbers to almost 100.

But that number has increased further since the accounts were compiled.

Last year the firm said that it had added 33 new jobs to its workforce, with further plans to add another six employees.

The firm now employs 133 staff, of whom 78 are lawyers, in the city centre.

According to the latest set of accounts, profits for the year for the "largest entitlement to profit" was £625,555.

Michael Johnston, managing partner of Carson McDowell, said the company "enjoyed a successful year in 2015 as the firm continued to invest in growing its business with more than 30 new staff joining the practice.

"Our expansion this year comes as a direct response to the increase in demand from our clients.

"We are the law firm of choice for many of Northern Ireland's Top 100 companies as well as international companies doing business here, and as they grow and adapt so too do we.

"We have seen the demand for our services increase across all practice areas, with particularly strong activity relating to our expertise in corporate mergers and acquisitions, litigation, real estate, energy, banking and employment law."

He said the firm's recruitment drive at the end of 2015 "demonstrated our continued investment in the best legal minds in Northern Ireland".

In October, it was also revealed Carson McDowell had taken over defence litigation practice, McCloskeys Solicitors, adding five lawyers and six support staff.

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