C & J Black traces its origins back to Sir Samuel Black who commenced practice in Belfast in the 1850s.

Sir Samuel later became Town Clerk of Belfast City Council and played a major part in the planning and commissioning of the current City Hall in Donegall Square.

In 1881 his practice was taken over by his sons, Charles and James. From the outset the firm had a strong commercial and private law practice which has been sustained and developed by subsequent partners.

Roger Watts
Partner

Academic

  • St Catharine’s College, Cambridge University 1975 – 1978 – BA Honours Degree in Law 1978. MA Honours Degree in Law, 1981.
  • Vrije Universiteit, Brussels, Belgium 1986 – 1987 Ll.M. (Magna Cum Laude) International and Comparative Law, including EU Law.

Professional

  • Queen’s University of Belfast 1978 – 1979, Certificate of Professional Legal Studies; awarded Thomasina McKinney Prize, First Solicitor Pupil 1979.
  • Admitted as a Solicitor of the Court of Judicature of Northern Ireland, October 1979.
  • Admitted to the roll of Solicitors of the Court of Judicature of England and Wales, March 1990 (non-practising).

Career

C & J Black Solicitors, Belfast, Assistant Solicitor 1979 – 1982, admitted as a Partner 1983.

Areas of Practice

Principally business related fields and in particular company & commercial law, media law, commercial property, planning & environmental law and employment law.

Relevant Activities

  • Chairman of Belfast Solicitors’ Association 1989 – 1990.
  • Chairman of Industrial Tribunals 1994 – 1997 (part-time)
  • Former member of the Law Society’s Non-contentious Business Committee.
  • Member of the Northern Ireland Solicitors’ European Group.
  • Member of the Employment Lawyers Group of Northern Ireland.

Gareth Browne
Partner

Academic

  • Queen’s University of Belfast 1986-1990

Awards:

  • 1987 William Staunton Memorial Prize – (Proficiency in Criminal Law)
  • 1988 Larmor University Scholarship – (Best Student)
  • 1988 Undergraduate Foundation Scholarship – (Best Student)
  • 1989 McKane Medal and Scholarship – (Proficiency in Philosophy Law)
  • 1990 Lord Chief Justice’s Prize (Final Part II) – (Best Student)
  • 1990 Maxwell Law Prize – (Best Student)
  • 1990 Postgraduate Foundation Award – (Top Students)

Degree:

  • 1990 Bachelor of Laws (LLB) – First Class Honours

Professional

  • Institute of Professional Legal Studies, Queen’s University of Belfast 1990 – 1992: Certificate in Professional Legal Studies.
  • Admitted as a Solicitor of the Court of Judicature of Northern Ireland 1992.

Career

C & J Black Solicitors, Belfast: Apprentice 1990-1992, Assistant Solicitor 1992-1997, admitted as a Partner 1998.

Areas of Practice

Commercial, domestic conveyancing, employment.

Relevant Activities

  • Committee Member of Belfast Solicitors’ Association 1995-2002.
  • Member of the Employment Lawyers’ Group (NI).

Alex Kane
Assistant Solicitor

Academic

  • The University of Liverpool from 1988 – 1991
  • Bachelor of Laws – LL.B (Hons) – 1991

Professional

  • Institute of Professional Legal Studies, Queen’s University of Belfast 1991-1993: Certificate in Professional Legal Studies
  • Admitted as a Solicitor of the Court of Judicature of Northern Ireland – 1993

Career

  • Served apprenticeship with large Belfast defence litigation firm of solicitors.
  • Joined C & J Black in 1996.

Areas of Practice

Litigation, domestic conveyancing, registered clubs.

Emma Townsend
Assistant Solicitor

Academic

  • University of Sheffield 2000-2003
  • BA (Hons) Law and Criminology, Upper Second Class Honours

Professional

  • Institute of Professional Legal Studies, Queen’s University of Belfast 2004-2006
  • Certificate of Professional Legal Studies with Distinction

Career

  • Hunt & Company Solicitors. Apprentice 2004 – 2006, Assistant Solicitor 2006 – 2008
  • C & J Black – Joined as Assistant Solicitor on 28 January 2008.

Area of Practice

Probate, Wills, Estate Planning, Office of Care and Protection.