Northern Ireland is the smallest of the four main legal jurisdictions within the British Isles. With a population of 1.8million, it has its own court structure up to Court of Appeal level with further appeals or references in certain areas to the Supreme Court or the European Courts.

The High Court deals with most civil claims over £30,000.00 in value, judicial review and most applications for emergency civil relief.

The County Court deals with most civil claims up to £30,000.00 in value with fixed scales for legal costs.
The Small Claims Court deals with most civil claims up to £3,000.00 in value, excluding personal injury actions.

Employment and discrimination law cases involving employment are heard in the Industrial Tribunals or the Fair Employment Tribunal. Discrimination cases bearing on the provision of goods or services are heard in the County Court.

The law of Northern Ireland is common law based and so has a marked similarity to the law of England & Wales and the law of Ireland. There are however large areas where the law is distinct and others where there are broad similarities but significant differences on points of detail.

In contrast, European Union legislation and increasingly the impact of the Human Rights Act have exercised a harmonising effect across jurisdictions.

Also significant is the culture and spirit in which legal transactions and cases are conducted. The legal profession in Northern Ireland is relatively small and solicitors tend to know each other.

Whilst we work in a small jurisdiction, we are used to and welcome working with lawyers and clients in other jurisdictions. We have good informal links with a range of firms in other parts of the United Kingdom and Ireland which we use to our clients’ advantage.