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Queen’s University Belfast is to appoint McGrigors as its sole legal adviser following a competitive tendering process.
The university has traditionally instructed several law firms and McGrigors began advising the university following the firm’s merger with L’Estrange & Brett in 2009. The appointment, which takes effect from 1 May 2012, will see the firm act as the university’s adviser on a range of legal work including commercial, property and employment law matters. The appointment is provisionally set for a three-year term.
Carson McDowell is among the other firms that have been instructed by Queen’s in the past, but failed to make the cut this time. In November 2011, the firm was ditched as long-standing adviser by the University of Ulster in favour of Irish firm Arthur Cox (21 November 2011).
A spokesperson for Queen’s said: “The university is pleased to appoint McGrigors as its sole legal adviser. As a leading national law firm, McGrigors will provide a full range of legal services from a local base that will effectively meet the university’s requirements.”
Richard Gray, a Belfast-based partner who led the McGrigors pitch team, said: “This appointment is the result of a lot of hard work carried out during a relationship that dates back over 100 years. Queen’s is a client which sits at the heart of the Northern Ireland community and we value our relationship with them immensely.
“We believe the university has seen first-hand the benefits of our being part of a wider UK network which is able to draw upon a broad pool of talent through its local lawyers. Post-merger, that capability can only be enhanced and we look forward to helping Queen’s capitalise on the opportunities that lie ahead.”
Both firms have strong track records of advising higher education institutions, with Pinsent Masons acting for more than 40 universities across the UK and McGrigors acting as a key adviser to the University of Aberdeen and Robert Gordon University.