As McConnell Kelly celebrates a quarter century of being one of Northern Ireland's leading criminal law firms, the company is looking forward to an exciting future, including the development of new services for its customers.

The firm commenced practising just over 25 years ago when the two founding partners, Fergus McConnell and Patrick Kelly, along with office manager Jennifer Graham, opened first floor offices at Comber Road, Dundonald.

Shortly afterwards, the Ballyhackamore office was opened. More recently an office was opened in Main Street, Bangor and just last year a fourth office, specialising in conveyancing, was opened also in Ballyhackamore, near to the existing office there. It has dedicated legal and secretarial staff who specialise in the key are of residential and commercial conveyancing.

The firm has flourished over the years. It now has more than 20 employees and two new partners, Darren Duncan and Jonathan Burke, appointed in 2006 and 2010 respectively.

Traditionally, most of the company's work emanated from the local communities in East Belfast and North Down but this is changing and the company now attracts work from across Northern Ireland.

Solicitors practise regularly across the Province and can be seen in courtrooms in Belfast, Dungannon, Coleraine, Derry-Londonderry and Omagh, to name but a few.


The firm initially gained a reputation in criminal defence work and litigation but now enjoys an enviable reputation in other areas including conveyancing, probate, family law, judicial reviews and human rights law.

A typical working day in the courts would see McConnell Kelly's legal staff handle up to 25-30 cases a day, or some 5,000 such events a year. The total cases handled by McConnell Kelly during its 25 years in existence is estimated to be more than 100,000.

The company's secret is to adopt an approachable, professional attitude to our work. Most clients are referred by word of mouth based on results achieved for our clients.

Said a McConnell Kelly spokesman: “Going forward, we are determined to represent our clients in East Belfast, North Down and throughout Northern Ireland to the highest professional standards despite difficult economic times and cuts to public funding.

“We are delighted to be able to help our local communities with legal advice and wish to thank all of our clients for their support over the years.

“Our motto is Local. Trusted. On Your Side – and these concepts will continue to be our guiding principles in years to come.”


Jonathan Burke, Patrick Kelly, Fergus McConnell and Darren Duncan, directors of McConnell Kelly
Jonathan Burke, Patrick Kelly, Fergus McConnell and Darren Duncan, directors of McConnell Kelly