Posted on Tuesday 7 August 2012 by Ulster Business

A&L

Peter Stafford; Ciaran McAlinney; Alastair Keith; Mark Blair and Mark Thompson

A&L Goodbody has announced five senior appointments at its Belfast office as part of ongoing plans for significant expansion in Northern Ireland in the coming years.

The leading international corporate law firm said that the appointments will strengthen its leadership team, equipping it for further growth as it marks the fifth anniversary of its Northern Ireland office.

Peter Stafford has been appointed Chairman of A&L Goodbody in Northern Ireland, while Mark Thompson will assume the role of Head of Belfast Office. Alastair Keith, meanwhile, will become a partner in the firm’s corporate practice and Mark Blair a partner in the commercial property practice, with Ciaran McAlinney becoming the third partner in its specialist banking and financial services practice.

Commenting on the appointments, Julian Yarr, Managing Partner of A&L Goodbody said: “These senior appointments, together with the appointment of three new associates at our Belfast office, reflect A&L Goodbody’s strong commitment to our practice in Northern Ireland, which has experienced significant success in the past five years.

“The quality of legal expertise and service that we provide to the Northern Ireland market is underpinned by the quality of the people right across the board in our Belfast office and, led by a group of now ten partners, I am confident that this will continue. We have already gained significant market share having been instructed on some of the most complex and challenging transactional, banking, restructuring and litigation matters. Our Belfast office is a full service corporate law firm, fully integrated in all aspects with our other A&L Goodbody offices. ”

Peter Stafford commented: “Our Belfast team has now grown to over 50 and we have significant plans in place to grow this further in the next five years. As Northern Ireland businesses continue to respond to the challenges of the current economic climate, we are committed to investing in high calibre legal experts to ensure that the evolving legal requirements of our clients are met.

“Our investment is not just internally within A&L Goodbody, however, but also in the local business community. The recent draft Programme for Northern Ireland calls for an export-led economy in order to build sustainable economic growth, and our support of the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce’s Export First initiative has been hugely successful to date. This programme equips aspiring exporters with the knowledge and skills to trade in new markets.

Mark Thompson continued: “We will continue this outward investment, playing an active role in supporting the local business community and contributing to economic growth here. The international expertise, network and reputation within A&L Goodbody differentiates us as we provide legal advice and service of the highest quality available in Northern Ireland and on an all island basis.

“I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate our new partners and three new associates – Micaela Diver, Richard Houliston and Kevin Murphy – on their well-deserved appointments. I look forward to working with them, as we continue our development and market impact in Northern Ireland over the next 5 years. ”

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