Mason Hayes & Curran and Carson McDowell have won the first piece of cross-border work placed by the Northern Irish Assembly since the resumption of the peace process
The firms' cross-border alliance i-law has won the work from the Industrial Research and Technology Unit (IRTU) of the Department of Enterprise Trade and Investment, which is part of the Northern Irish Assembly. I-law was part of a bid by the Mason Communications consultancy to advise the Irish government on modernisation of the Northern Irish telecoms infrastructure. Following the Good Friday Agreement, six cross-border bodies, including the IRTU, were established to facilitate Ireland-wide developments, and this was a key driver for the establishment of cross-border Irish law firm alliances. As the peace process stalled, public procurement in this area dried up, but the political situation has since improved. A team led by Mason Hayes partners Tony Burke and John Kettle and Carson McDowell partners Michael Johnstone and Allen Taylor will advise on the tender process. Burke advised on EU law when the Republic of Ireland carried out a similar telecoms development in the 1990s, and i-law is already on the panels for the waterways and food safety cross-border agencies.