Asbestos claims solicitors

Boyd Rice Solicitors support calls for awareness of asbestos exposure

Our experience in handling cases for clients or indeed their families who have suffered as a result of exposure to asbestos leads us to whole heartedly concur that more needs to be done to highlight the serious risks posed by exposure to asbestos dust.

The BBC article published online today indicates that cases in which illnesses derived from exposure to asbestos dust leading to death are on the rise with 63 cases recorded in 2019 compared to 99 in 2020. This is a very serious issue.

If you or a member of your family have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, pleural plaques or another medical condition attributable to exposure to asbestos dust please contact us for a free initial consultation on 02891817715 or for further information please see our website


Selling a house conveyancing law solicitors

Mark Green joins Boyd Rice Solicitors’ Property team

We are delighted to report that Mark Green has joined our Firm as a Solicitor in the Property Department. Mark is an expert conveyancing Solicitor and brings a wealth of experience to the team. His addition will ensure that our Property team continue to provide legal advice and assistance of the highest standard to our clients.

Commenting upon Mark’s addition to the Firm, our Director Ben Wall who heads the Property Department said as follows

“The addition of Mark to our team is in keeping with continued growth in the Department over the past few years. Mark has an excellent reputation as a Solicitor in Belfast and has some experience working in Newtownards from earlier in his legal career. We will  strive to improve our service to our clients and to develop our already established relationships with local estate agents and contractors during 2022.”

Mark will be based in both our Newtownards Office and in our Belfast Office.  To contact Mark please phone the office on 02891817715 or email Mark directly

German Shepherd

Claim for cyclist bitten by dog settles for £8,750

Boyd Rice Solicitors were instructed to act on behalf of Mr Win in relation to his personal injury claim. On the date of the incident our client was out for a cycle on his pushbike. He was cycling past a house with a concealed pillar at the entrance. As he cycled past the property he heard a dog chasing him. The dog bit his left leg. He pedaled as fast as possible. The dog then ran into the property. When he got off his bike he realised that there was blood from multiple puncture wounds on his left calf. He contacted his General Practitioner and was given antibiotics. He did not require stitches. There was swelling around the puncture marks.

Our client instructed us to seek compensation from the dog owner for the injuries sustained. He had already reported the incident to the local Council and therefore the first step in the investigation process was to make a freedom of information request to the Council requesting details of the dog owner. Once those details were confirmed we issued a letter of the claim to the dog owner however they did not respond.

We arranged a medical examination with a Consultant Plastic Surgeon and upon receipt of the medical report had to decide how best to proceed in light of the fact that the dog owner did not even respond to the letter. We were given authority by our client to issue Court proceedings against the dog owner. We served the proceedings and to our surprise, did not hear from either the dog owner, their pet insurer or their home insurer.

We then instructed a process server to personally serve the Court proceedings on the dog owner as it appeared that they were determined to evade service of proceedings. The process server certainly earned every penny of their fee as he was able to advise that he was met by two intimidating dogs as he walked up the driveway to give the dog owner the Civil Bill!

Shortly thereafter, at long last, we received confirmation that a Solicitor had been appointed by the dog owner’s insurance company and we successfully argued that liability clearly rested with the dog owner for our client’s injuries. The case was settled out of Court in our client’s favour in the sum of £8,750 plus his legal costs.

Neil McGranaghan was instructed in this case. Our client was asked for his comments following successful conclusion of his case and commented as follows:

I contacted Boyd Rice immediately after sustaining a dog bite while riding my bicycle about a half mile from my home in April 2020. My case was passed to Neil McGranaghan who was promptly in contact to procure the details of the incident. After assessing the details Neil believed there was a strong case for compensation and I instructed him to act on my behalf. An independent medical assessment was organised and performed and Neil contacted all relevant parties for information. The case was not straightforward in that the incident occurred during the first covid-19 lockdown making normal procedures and communications with third parties extremely difficult. The situation was complicated further when the owner of the dog in question remained completely unresponsive to all communications from Boyd Rice. At each step of the process Neil kept me informed about exactly what each course of action was, how long each step might take and the time-frame to wait before proceeding to the next step in the plan. Neil was also completely transparent and kept me informed of the pro’s and con’s in pursuing a case against an owner who was determined to avoid responsibility and gave me his professional opinion at each stage on the likelihood of a favourable outcome. After many months of silence from the dog owner Neil and I made the decision to issue notice of formal court proceedings. Once again after a period of non-responsiveness by the dog owner, Neil decided to serve the notice of court proceedings via a formal process server. This strategy worked and the owner contacted their insurance company and appropriate parties were appointed to deal with the matter. Not long thereafter, the case was settled strongly in my favour, greatly exceeding expectations. I am very grateful to Neil and Boyd Rice, not just for taking on my case but for having the expertise and strategy to work through the difficulties encountered that ultimately led to a good outcome.

If you have been bitten by a dog you can pursue a claim for damages against the dog owner. Please contact us by phone on 02891 817715 or by email

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Job opportunity-Conveyancing Solicitor

Solicitor required to join our growing Practice in Newtownards.

Due to continued growth we wish to recruit a Solicitor to join our conveyancing team. You will work under the guidance of a Partner.

The ideal candidate will need excellent written and spoken communication skills and be able to work to deadlines in a busy office. You must be capable of working independently and as part of a team. Conveyancing experience is required We focus on developing our staff and have a very low staff turnover.

This opportunity would ideally suit a Solicitor with 2-3 years PQE. Salary will be commensurate with experience.

Please ensure your CV is accurate and up to date and email CV together with cover letter, in confidence, to


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Job opportunity- Legal Executive/ Paralegal

Legal executive required to join our growing Practice in Newtownards

We are currently accepting CVs with a cover letter from legal executives/ paralegals to join our busy and expanding litigation and conveyancing teams.

The successful applicant will be based in our office in Newtownards and will work closely with two Partners.

Experience in conveyancing or litigation is desirable but not essential.

The successful applicant can expect a competitive salary and potentially a training contract if commitment and aptitude is shown.

Please ensure your CV is accurate and up to date. The CV should include your full employment history inclusive of dates, all academic achievements and full personal contact details. Please send your CV and cover letter to

100+ Google Reviews

Top Rated

We are absolutely delighted that we now have over 100+ reviews and counting on our Google My Business listing. This is more Google reviews than any other law firm in the Ards or North Down area.

Thank you to all our clients who took the time to leave such positive reviews!

If you need any legal advice on;

Personal Injury Claims
Wills & Estates

Please get in touch with our team.

buying a home

A Guide for Executors

Boyd Rice Solicitors provide a full service for executors acting in the administration of estates. In the event of a death, we deal with the administration of a person’s estate, even if the will has been prepared by another firm.  Where there is no will the same general process is followed, and the person administering the estate is referred to as the administrator rather than executor.

Most people know that the executors of a will have responsibility to ensure that the wishes of the person who made that will are carried out following their death. In practice, what does that involve?

The administration process can be broken down into four main areas. The input of the executor in each area is important.

Step 1 – Identify the assets and liabilities of the estate

To administer the estate the executor must take all reasonable steps to:

  • Gather all documentation regarding the deceased’s assets. This will include all bank and/or saving account details, life insurance policies and details of any investments including premium bonds.
  • Obtain details of the deceased’s house, land or any other property that they owned, together with information regarding insurance.
  • Identify chattels having significant value other than ordinary household goods.
  • Obtain details of any gifts exceeding £3,000 per year made in the last seven years before the deceased died.
  • Identify any money that may be due to the estate.
  • Contact the Department of Communities on 0800 085 2463 to stop any state pension or benefit payments.
  • Gather all information relating to any outstanding debts. This may include credit cards, rates or utility bills and would also include the funeral account.

Step 2 – Applying for a Grant of Probate or Administration

A Grant of Probate or Administration (where there is no will) provides the executor’s title to deal with the deceased’s estate.  Financial institutions will require sight of it before closing accounts and paying the monies due to the estate and it is also required if any property is to be sold or transferred.

The main documents to be completed in order that application for a Grant can be made are an inheritance tax account (IHT) and an oath for executor or administrator.  Various time limits apply in relation to inheritance tax.  Most importantly if IHT is payable it must be paid within six months of the  end of the month of death and a return filed within twelve months of the end of the month of death.

Once all necessary documentation has been completed, signed and sworn we will then arrange for the Application for a Grant to be lodged with the Probate Office, an office within the High Court.

Step 3 – Gathering in the assets

Once the grant has issued the executors are in a position to gather in the assets of the estate.  This will usually involve:

  • the completion of forms to close bank accounts.
  • application for payment to the estate of monies payable under life policies or other policies.
  • the sale of shares or the encashment of investments.
  • the sale of a house or land or other property.

Step 4 – Distribution of the estate

It is important to be aware that the debts, funeral and testamentary expenses of the estate must be paid in full before any beneficiaries receive their interest under the will.

Once the estate is ready for final distribution, we will prepare the estate accounts. These accounts will show the assets and liabilities in the estate, and its distribution to beneficiaries.


Our Role

Throughout the process of administration we will provide guidance and advice,  draft all necessary documentation, deal with any correspondence and communicate with all parties involved.  In particular:

We will provide advice on:

  • The validity and interpretation of the will.
  • If the deceased died intestate, the entitlement to take a grant and the devolution of the estate.
  • The relevant law and Inheritance Tax.

We will also

  • Obtain details of the assets from the personal representatives and take appropriate steps to value these for IHT purposes.
  • Prepare IHT accounts, settle any IHT, prepare the oath and apply for a grant.
  • Pay debts and realise or transfer assets.
  • Prepare estate accounts and distribute the estate to the beneficiaries.


For further information please contact one of our Probate and Estates Team on 02891817715 or


buying a home

A step by step guide to making your will

Making a will is one of the most important things that any of us can do. It enables provisions to be made for those we care about and ensures that our wishes are carried out following death. It is also something that, although relatively straight forward in most cases, many of us put off doing.

Boyd Rice Solicitors will provide a full service for will writing and the administration of estates.

This short guide outlines the main things to consider when making a will.

Step 1

We will need the following information:

  • Your full name and address.
  • Your occupation.

Step 2

You will need to think about who you would like to act as your Executors.

  • Executors are the people who in conjunction with us deal with gathering in and distributing your estate after death.
  • Although we act in the administration of the estate the role of the Executor is nevertheless an important and responsible one, so consider the people you appoint carefully.
  • An Executor can be a beneficiary.

You may also need to think about appointing guardians. A guardian is appointed to look after any children who are under 18 who would otherwise be left without parents or guardians on your death.

Step 3

You then need to consider who you want to benefit under your will.  Think about:

  • In general terms, who you want to benefit from your estate.
  • The type of gifts you may wish to make. You may wish to make any or all of the following types of gift:
  • Specific gifts to particular people, for example particular items such as a piece or pieces of furniture, ornaments, jewellery, or collections.
  • Gifts of specified sums of money, for example a gift of £100.00 to a named person or charity.
  • Gifts of specified land or property to an individual or individuals.
  • Who is or who are to take the remainder of your estate after any of the gifts mentioned above have been made.  You may not need or want to make any of the types of gift mentioned above so that the estate as a whole is simply left to one person or to several individuals to be divided between them.
  • What you want to happen if any of your beneficiaries should die before you.

Step 4

Once you have thought how you wish your property to be distributed, we will be in a position to draft your will according to your wishes and have your will signed and witnessed.

We will always provide you with a copy of your will and we will store your original will safely and securely.

Step 5

Our team recommend that you should periodically review and update your will to ensure it is kept updated and reflects your current circumstances.

You should always review your will after significant life events such as:

  • Marriage or divorce.
  • The arrival of children or grandchildren.
  • Purchasing property.
  • Any financial changes.


For further information please contact us by phone 02891 817715 or by email

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Boyd Rice Solicitors announce two new Solicitor appointments

We are delighted to be in a position to bring some good news during these unprecedented and difficult times.

As part of our continued growth and in keeping with our commitment to offer the highest standard of legal representation to our clients, two Solicitors have joined our Team.

David McCormick joins our Conveyancing department and Wills & Estates department. He brings a wealth of experience across both practice areas having worked in both Belfast City Centre and market Towns in the past. At a time when the property market is buoyant, David’s experience in both residential and commercial conveyancing will ensure that we will remain in a position to accept instructions from new clients and existing clients alike.

Our Family and Matrimonial department has been extremely busy during the entirety of 2020 and, to enable us to continue to provide the best possible service to our growing client base in Newtownards, Bangor, Holywood and surrounding areas, Una Conway has joined the Firm. Una is a familiar face in the Family Courts throughout Northern Ireland and is held in high esteem by clients and other Family Law Practitioners.

Further information in respect of David and Una can be found on our website;

or on our updated brochure;

To contact David or Una please telephone 02891817715 or alternatively email;

David McCormick:

Una Conway:


Divorce settlement solicitors Newtownards

Grounds for Divorce in Northern Ireland

The Coronavirus pandemic has had a negative impact on various aspects of our lives. Many relationships have been affected. A recent BBC report ( suggests that we are likely to see a ‘divorce boom’ as the pandemic has intensified relationship difficulties. The prospect of initiating divorce proceedings may now be a consideration for many of us. As understanding of the grounds on which divorce may be granted is a helpful starting point.

Firstly, it is important to remember that in Northern Ireland you need to have been married for at least two years before you can petition for a divorce. Your marriage must have broken down irretrievably, and your petition must be made on one of the following grounds.


This ground can be used when your spouse has committed adultery during the time of your marriage. You must be able to prove that your spouse has committed adultery, which can be difficult to do in court if your spouse has not admitted to it. It is important to remember that if you continue to live with your spouse for more than six months after they have committed adultery, then you cannot use this as a ground for divorce.

Unreasonable behaviour

To be granted a divorce on the ground of unreasonable behaviour, you must be able to show that your spouse has behaved in such a way that you can no longer be reasonably expected to live with them. For example, if they have been verbally or physically abusive towards you, if they have alcohol or drug addictions which have made them difficult to live with, or if there is a lack of communication between you.


If your spouse has left you for at least two years without your consent and without cause and it is clear your spouse has no intention of returning, you may petition for divorce on the ground of desertion.  This ground is rarely used because it has been largely displaced by reliance on the fact of two years separation which is explained below.

Two years separation

You can be granted a divorce if you and your spouse have lived separately for two years, provided that your spouse consents to the divorce. You can still live in the same property as your spouse for up to six months, but you must live completely separate lives for example, cooking separately and not spending any time together.

Five years separation

If you and your spouse have lived separately for five years or more, you can ask the court for a divorce on this ground. You do not need your spouse’s consent and there is therefore no defence to this ground.

No fault divorces?

There has been some suggestion recently of introducing ‘no fault’ divorces, which would allow a couple to divorce simply because their marriage has irretrievably broken down.  Many support this idea as it could reduce conflict, remove blame and simplify the divorce process. Others, however, fear it could have a negative impact on the sanctity of marriage, by making divorce too easy.  While ‘no fault’ divorces may be something seen in the future, for now divorce in Northern Ireland remains possible only on the grounds described above.

If you would like advice in relation to divorce proceedings, or any other matrimonial issues please give us a call on 02891 817715 or contact our us by email at