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Watson & Neill Solicitors

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John Neill - Senior Partner, is a graduate of Trinity College, Dublin, and obtained a postgraduate master’s degree from Queen's University, Belfast. He joined the firm in 1981, qualifying as a solicitor in 1984. He was appointed a Notary Public in 1991.

His family has a long association with the law now extending to four generations with eight past and present family members involved in legal careers.

John is a full member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners ( STEP is a worldwide organisation comprised of the most experienced and senior practitioners in the field of trusts and estates. Amongst its aims are to advance knowledge and learning in respect of trusts, estates and allied subjects.

He is member of the MENCAP panel of solicitors, giving talks, when requested to local MENCAP groups particularly on the need to make wills containing special trusts to ensure the welfare and maintenance of those with learning disability when their primary carers, usually the parents, are no longer there to do so.

John represents the interests of the Brownlow Estate (Lord Lurgan) in the Craigavon area. Email:

Other Languages: French – holder of Diplôme Approfondi de Langue Française (DALF).

Areas of Practice:

  • Wills, trusts and estate planning, including inheritance tax planning and lifetime giving, use of trusts to assist those with learning disability.
  • Charity law, including setting up charitable organisations, assisting in obtaining charitable status and advising established charities, advising and assisting churches and voluntary organisations.
  • Elderly client law, enduring powers of attorney, living wills
  • Property transactions, including domestic and commercial sales, purchases and leases
  • Specialist conveyancing problems, including unravelling and resolving ‘bad title’ and faulty conveyancing transactions.
  • Business and commercial sales, purchases, franchises, advice and disputes.
  • Property development and planning law including acquisition of development land and sales
  • Notarising of documents, including powers of attorney and obtaining apostille

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Annabel Neill - Partner, is a graduate of Trinity College, Dublin and studied law as a postgraduate student at Queen's University, Belfast. She obtained her professional qualification from the Institute of Professional Legal Studies, Belfast and joined the firm in 1988.

Annabel heads our probate and elderly client department providing specialist legal advice in dealing with the affairs of deceased persons and for older and vulnerable people, their families and carers and is a fully accredited member of Solicitors for the Elderly.

She is a qualified dispute resolution mediator being one of a group of specially trained solicitors and barristers who are accredited to act as mediators on behalf of the parties to disputes.

Other Languages: Fluent French

Areas of Practice:

  • Succession law.
  • Wills
  • Probate and administration of deceased person's estates.
  • Administering an estate where there is no will (intestacy).
  • Inheritance tax.
  • Trust administration.
  • Elderly client law
  • Managing the affairs of elderly clients.
  • Advising on financial responsibility and funding criteria for long term residential or nursing home care.
  • Enduring Powers of Attorney
  • Appointment of Controllers.
  • Inter-family property transaction.
  • Mediation and dispute resolution.

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Margaret Keown - Associate, graduated in Law from Manchester University. She obtained her professional qualification from the Institute of Professional Legal Studies at Queen's University, Belfast, and joined the firm in 1988.

Margaret heads our litigation and family law department. She has extensive experience in dealing with the court system and acts for major lending institutes and businesses in debt recovery and private individuals in accident claims and matrimonial disputes.

Other Languages: Fluent Italian

Areas of Practice:

  • Road traffic accidents
  • Personal injury claims
  • Medical and Dental negligence claims
  • Debt recovery
  • Property repossession
  • Divorce and separation
  • Pre-nuptial agreements
  • Negotiated matrimonial financial settlements
  • Custody and contact disputes
  • Employment and discrimination law
  • Representation at employment tribunals

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Kate Rawlings - Solicitor, graduated in Law in 1995 from the University of Exeter. She obtained her professional qualification from the Institute of Professional Legal Studies at Queen’s University, Belfast in 1997 and joined the firm in 2007.

Kate has additional accreditation in commercial property law from the Institute of Professional Legal Studies.

Areas of Practice:

  • House sales and purchases.
  • Commercial property sales and purchases.
  • Landlord and tenant law.
  • Business and domestic tenancies.
  • Re-mortgages and transfers of equity.
  • Probate and administration of estates
  • Enduring powers of attorney
  • Controllership applications and management of patient's affairs.

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