Strong recognition for DQ as ‘go-to firm’ in Isle of Man

A respected Island law firm has again been recognised as one of the best in the British Isles.DQ Advocates has been awarded no fewer than 13 commendations in the 2020 Legal 500 rankings.

The Douglas-based practice also retained ranked status in the newly-released Chambers and Partners Guide.

As well as securing major recognition as a company across key business areas, DQ’s advocates and associates were credited for their work providing the highest levels of expert service for clients.

In the Legal 500 directory– considered an important third-party reference guide to the legal sector across the country – DQ gained top tier placing in two key sectors (employment and private client trusts & tax).

In addition, three senior lawyers were named as ‘Leading Individuals’, two members of staff were ranked as ‘Next Generation’ partners, and four employees were classified as ‘Rising Stars’.

Managing Director Mark Dougherty, himself described in the guide as an ‘inspirational director’, praised the team for its success.

He explained: ‘To be ranked for excellence in so many areas of practice really is a ringing endorsement of DQ’s commitment to maintaining a high quality of service. The rankings are based on thorough and independent research, taking into account client experience and peer observation, so are a real testament to the professionalism of our team.

‘Our people are our greatest asset so to see them recognised as amongst the best by independent peers is fantastic. It really is a team effort.’

Director and Head of Private Client, Trusts & Pensions, Annemarie Hughes, retained her status in the Legal 500 Hall of Fame, which highlights those who have received constant praise by clients for continued excellence and are deemed to be at the pinnacle of the profession.

Described as ‘highly reputable’ and a professional who is ‘knowledgeable, personable, empathetic’ and ‘puts her clients’ needs at the forefront of everything she does’, her Private Client, Trusts and Tax team retained its place at the highest level, tier one. 

Meanwhile, her colleague, Associate Director Donna Matthews, an expert in advisory issues in relation to trusts, was named as a ‘Next Generation Partner’ for her work in that area.

Annemarie is also listed in the Hall of Fame for her work in insurance and pensions with the guide describing her knowledge of Manx pension legislation as ‘second to none’ and a professional who can ‘present sometimes complex legal concepts with clarity and purpose’ and is ‘proactive and able to work to tight deadlines.’

A further sector where DQ received top tier status was its employment practice, led by Leanne McKeown, a leading figure ‘fast forging a reputation as the go-to employment practitioner on the Island’ who is ‘relentless and tigerish in pursuing the best interests of her clients’.

Two of her team, Jessica McManus and Mark Emery, who focus on employment litigation, were ranked as ‘Rising Stars’ for their body of work in that division.

Another senior associate who has been regularly classed as a ‘Rising Star’ in recent years is Adam Killip and he was praised for his work in the Banking, Finance and Capital Markets section, particularly for advising the Island’s fintech and blockchain sectors.

Adam picked up the same Rising Star accolade, as did Associate Director Donna, for their corporate and commercial work, where MD Mark Dougherty was again named as a leading individual.

Also receiving a ringing endorsement was Mark Emery (Next Generation Partner) in dispute resolution and recognised for a strong background in the insolvency arena.

The firm also entered the rankings for the first time in tier two of the commercial property sector, where Associate Libby Gordon was praised for always being ‘extremely positive, pleasant and professional to work with’ and demonstrating ‘great energy and perseverance in focussing on the deadline’ in a ‘particularly complicated’ transaction.

The Legal 500 research of all law firms means it is trusted and used by fellow legal practitioners such as General Counsel (GC) of many of the top FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 companies, journalists, students and the wider business community.

Various testimonials praised the company for its ‘combination of legal and regulatory expertise’, a ‘practice which exudes modern, vibrant, energetic and youthful yet experienced qualities’ and the ‘go-to firm on the Island’.

DQ’s reputation was enhanced further by the Chambers and Partners Guide where it was named in band two for its Employment and Corporate & Finance departments. This comes on the back of a band two offshore: trusts ranking for Annemarie Hughes’ team in the Chambers High Net Worth Guide published in the summer, where she was ranked individually in band one.

Mark Dougherty and Leanne McKeown were again singled out by Chambers for their work, in addition to Adam Killip and Mark Emery as associates to watch.

Specific reference was made to the Employment team for its ‘agile and modern’ approach. Earlier this year, the team advised the British Airline Pilots Association in relation to the closure of Flybe’s base on the Isle of Man and the subsequent opening of the Stobart Air base.

Compiled by a team of editors who conduct extensive research among legal practitioners and clients, Chambers has been ranking lawyers and legal firms since 1990, covering more than 190 jurisdictions.

Mark Dougherty added: ‘To receive such glowing feedback in not one but two widely respected publications is excellent and highlights precisely why DQ is so well regarded.’