Belfast Telegraph

Expertise and ability at competitive rates

Shean Dickson Merrick has been serving the business and licensing trade in Northern Ireland for more than a century (stock picture)
Shean Dickson Merrick has been serving the business and licensing trade in Northern Ireland for more than a century (stock picture)

Belfast city centre law firm, Shean Dickson Merrick has been serving the business and licensing trade in Northern Ireland for more than a century.

The business has expanded so much in recent years that it has out grown its current premises and is in the process of moving to larger modern offices in the heart of the Cathedral Quarter.

The firm acts on behalf a wide range of commercial clients including small family run businesses, property developers, entrepreneurs and SMEs, dealing with high value commercial transactions and complex litigation cases against banks and large financial institutions.

"While smaller than some other Belfast practices, we offer the same level of technical ability, experience and expertise to enable the provision of a comprehensive commercial service to clients, whether in commercial transactions or litigation against major financial institutions," said solicitor Bernadette McCloskey who has been an associate solicitor at the firm for five years. She graduated as first in her year from the Institute of Professional Legal Studies before being appointed to her role at SDM.

"Our litigation department, which is led by our senior partner Maura McKay, has made a real impact by being prepared to stand up to the banks and take them on. The firm has been involved in several of the most high profile banking litigation cases in NI recently and Maura has a reputation for providing a first class, quality service to clients."

Among SDMs other clients are a host of local pubs, restaurants, hotels, off licences and supermarkets that avail of its expertise in liquor licensing. It has been instrumental in legally supporting some of the established names in the social scene here as well as new businesses in the sector who have taken up residence in the Titanic Quarter.

"We are really seeing an improvement in confidence and availability of finance allowing many of our hospitality and retail clients to expand and grow. A growth area for the firm in recent years is the number of retail clients and Glenn Breen, head of our commercial department, continues to grow that side of the practice," said Ms McCloskey.

SDM is also the NI panel solicitors for a number of pension providers dealing with the transfer of commercial properties in and out of SIPP's and SSAS's. That along with providing private client services such as residential conveyancing, wills and probate is the responsibility of their private client partner, Alan Wilson.

"With our firm you are getting a professional service which is dealt with or overseen by an experienced partner without paying the higher fees charged by some of the larger firms. We pride ourselves on developing and maintaining personal relationships with clients and other professionals which has enabled us to maintain links with the same clients, businesses and other professional connections over the years," added Ms McCloskey.

With an address change on the horizon, the future for SDM is bright. It will continue to maintain its close connection with the NI commercial sector as well as looking to the NI business world post Brexit.

"We are aware that Brexit will have a huge impact on businesses and commercial clients here and we are taking steps to assist clients to pre-empt issues.

"Brexit could mean a big shift for law firms with potential amendments to existing legislation but change is exciting and we will be there to provide guidance, support and advice to our commercial clients," said Ms McCloskey.

Belfast Telegraph