Press Release | Spencer West opens new Northern Ireland operation alongside McMahon McKay

Simeon Spencer & Antoine West & John McMahon
23 February 2023

Leading alternative law firm Spencer West announces the continued expansion of its business by way of a collaborative association with leading Northern Ireland commercial law firm McMahon McKay. 

The founders of the Belfast-based firm, John McMahon and Danny McKay, lead a seven-strong team specialising in corporate, commercial, real estate, finance and leisure/hospitality licensing work. Partner John McMahon and Corporate and Finance Associate Lauren McGarry, who are both dual-qualified in Northern Ireland and England and Wales, have made the move to join the ranks of international consultant lawyers at Spencer West, operating from their existing Belfast offices as “McMahon McKay in association with Spencer West”. 

The move gives Spencer West – named as the fastest-growing alternative law firm (ALF) in 2022 – a strong physical presence in Northern Ireland, and enables the team at McMahon McKay, and their clients, to benefit from significant international reach, including a team of almost 200 lawyers based across the UK and internationally. 

The team joined forces with Spencer West as of the new year, citing the firm’s reputation for collaboration between its Partners and its entrepreneurial approach to law as key considerations in forming the alliance.  

Speaking on behalf of the team, John McMahon said: “This is a hugely exciting opportunity to develop the business we have built so far as part of an ambitious and respected Spencer West team which has already made its mark in the marketplace in a very short time. Our entire team in Belfast are available to assist Spencer West lawyers and clients with their legal requirements in Northern Ireland which post Brexit has a truly unique trading position within both GB and the EU. 

The culture at Spencer West means we can have a voice in how the firm develops and play a genuine part in its future. The focus on collaboration benefits our clients and lawyers and it’s great to be able to offer such a wide range of relevant services to our existing client base, and to work alongside Spencer West’s existing lawyers and clients across the UK and internationally. We are looking forward to being part of this special culture alongside so many talented new colleagues.” 

Spencer West co-founder Antoine West said: “This is a fantastic way to start 2023. The McMahon McKay team are a superb addition to our business, opening up new opportunities in Northern Ireland and bringing even more strength and depth to our business. 

The team looked at the way we operate and felt it was the ideal move for them, giving them the chance to work with some great lawyers in a genuinely collaborative way.” 

Antoine’s co-founder, Simeon Spencer added: “John and his colleagues at McMahon McKay are the latest team to look at our model and the way we operate and want to be part of the future of law. We’re not a traditional model so we don’t take a traditional view of law. They liked that and were delighted to come on board. 

“Our growth so far has been impressive, but we continue to speak to other, highly respected and experienced Partners in the UK and abroad who are attracted by the opportunity to operate as their own business, retain more of the fees they generate, and work with greater freedom. It’s a really exciting time.” 

McMahon brings 30 years’ experience as a corporate and commercial lawyer specialising in renewable energy, logistics, leisure and hospitality, residential care and aerospace. He is admitted on the roll as a Barrister and Attorney in Bermuda, where Spencer West has one of its eight offices outside the UK. 

Lauren McGarry, who specialises in M&A, restructuring, share planning and corporate finance, trained at McMahon McKay before qualifying in 2018. 



News of the Northern Ireland office was featured in the following media outlets:

The Global Legal Post

Law 360 (subscription required)

eprivateclient (subscription required)

New Law Journal

Legal Futures

Law News



Donna Black 

MD Communications 

On behalf of Spencer West LLP 

About Spencer West 

Spencer West is a leading full-service international law firm advising businesses and individuals across the UK and globally, with core values of collaboration, entrepreneurship, and excellence. 

The firm’s experienced lawyers are recognised experts in their fields from leading City, national and international law firms and senior in-house positions. 

Working in a modern and dynamic way with autonomy over where, when and how they work, Spencer West lawyers view issues from their clients’ perspective to deliver the best results. 

Spencer West’s international presence and global outlook enables them to advise on corporate, commercial, disputes, and private wealth matters across multiple jurisdictions. 

Simeon Spencer
Senior Partner – Co-Founder
Simeon Spencer is a Partner Solicitor at Spencer West. He specialises in commercial, corporate, employment (domestic and international), disputes and litigation.
Antoine West
Managing Partner - Co-Founder
Antoine West is a Partner Solicitor at Spencer West. He specialises corporate and commercial, construction claims, commercial dispute resolution & professional negligence.
John McMahon
Partner - Corporate, Commercial
John McMahon is a Partner Solicitor at Spencer West. He specialises in M&A, Corporate Finance, MBO/MBI, Rights issues, Start Ups, Shareholder Agreements, Finance and Security, Joint Ventures, Restructuring.