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History

Henry Mahaffy
Henry Mahaffy

The firm was founded by  James Ussher, from Dublin, in premises at William Street, Lurgan. Records indicate this to be 1871 but we believe there are links with an earlier Practice in the town. Mr Ussher was joined in the Practice by Mr Henry Mahaffy and, upon his retirement, by Mr Hugh Watson. At this time, the firm was known as Ussher & Watson. 

James Ussher
James Ussher

CW Neill
William Neill

Mr Charles William (CW) Neill became an articled apprentice to Mr James Ussher and was admitted as a solicitor in 1896. Following Mr Ussher's retirement, Mr Neill entered into partnership with Mr Watson and the firm became known as Watson & Neill. After Mr Watson died Mr CW Neill became Principal.

Hugh Watson
Hugh Watson

The firm expanded considerably in CW Neill's period and he acted for some notable clients, including Lord Lurgan, the Great Northern Railway Company (Ireland) and Lurgan Borough Council.

CW Neill articled his nephew, James Neill, as an apprentice who, after studying Law at Queen's University, Belfast, entered the employment of Watson & Neill in 1938, qualifying as a solicitor in 1942. During the War years, Mr James Neill gave assistance in the firms of Charles A McKenzie & Co., Belfast and W J Irwin & Son, Dungannon, to provide cover for solicitors who were overseas with the armed forces.

James Neill
James Neill

After the death of CW Neill in 1945, Mr James Neill purchased the business in 1946, returning to the firm that year. He was appointed solicitor for Lord Lurgan in 1948 and later as solicitor for Lurgan Borough Council and, subsequently, Craigavon Borough Council. He was also a member of the Law Society Council and, during most of his years in practice, was assisted by his wife, Emma Neill, as a Legal Executive and Mr James Hobbs as Senior Law Clerk, who had also been with the firm since the time of CW Neill. 

Mr James Neill retired in 1989 and the practice continud under the partnership of John Neill and Annabel Neill. The partnership incorporated on the 1st April 2015. 

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