NI: Keystone Law makes two senior hires four months after Belfast expansion

NI: Keystone Law makes two senior hires four months after Belfast expansion

Keystone Law has announced two significant senior hires to its Belfast office, just four months after the UK firm expanded into Northern Ireland through its merger with McMahon McKay.

JP Irvine, formerly of Clifford Chance, will join the firm as director in the corporate/commercial department at the end of August.

Meanwhile, Jim Houston, formerly of Cleaver Fulton Rankin, has joined the firm as a senior commercial property solicitor.

Mr Houston acts for landlords and tenants in the negotiation of leases for retail, office, industrial and hotel accommodation, as well as advising on the management of such properties, including the negotiation of rent reviews and lease renewals.

He has also advised both GB and US funds on the proposed acquisition of Northern Ireland loan portfolios and has also been involved in leading due diligence exercises in relation to the financing of various major Northern Ireland property assets by GB and NI banks.

Mr Irvine will lead the growth of interconnected corporate, commercial, transactional, and regulatory legal service lines. He brings skills in data and cyber protection from his time as general counsel at Translink and years of experience as legal director in the NI Utility Regulator.

He has recently gained a reputation as a leading legal mind on the business impact of Brexit, having spoken at the Institute of Directors and Government Legal Service on the subject and was invited by the Taoiseach to participate in the recent All-island Civic Forum on Brexit

John McMahon, managing director of Keystone Law NI, said: “It is vital for us that we hire the best lawyers with impeccable service standards and the right cultural-fit to help us execute our vision. Jim and JP both excel on all these fronts - we look forward to reaching new heights with them on board.”

Mr Houston said: “I am delighted to have joined such a friendly and innovative practice. I am sure Keystone’s offering to clients will be warmly welcomed throughout the Northern Ireland legal market and exciting times lie ahead.”

Mr Irvine added: “Keystone’s vibrant vision for delivering modern legal services in a 21st century world matches perfectly with my brand of progressive, responsive, client-enabling legal solutions. I look forward to future success not only for Keystone but for all those clients who are already benefitting from coming with us on this exciting journey.”

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