About us

Providing exemplary legal advice for 200 years

Since our formation in 1822, Maclaine & Co has provided an excellent standard of service, with professional and expert legal advice delivered to thousands of individual and commercial clients over the years.

As one of Northern Ireland’s oldest legal firms, we believe in a personal approach to our services. Our dedicated, hand-picked team of legal experts and support staff place all their focus on providing our clients with an exceptional level of service. For high-end, professional legal advice and care, make us your first choice.

We are so well known and trusted within our field that generations of clients return to us time and time again. We welcome long-term relationships with our clients and, through our unique history and established reputation, we are able to provide an outstanding level of service to our clients.

Meet our team


Sara Patterson

Qualified: 1995

Sara is a property law specialist who advises both commercial and individual clients. In addition to residential and commercial conveyancing, she also represents clients in matrimonial cases and advises on the areas of wills, administration of estates and trusts including niche areas such as mental capacity and contested estates.  Sara has tutored trainee solicitors for many years at the Institute of Professional Legal Studies.

  • Law Society of Northern Ireland
  • Belfast Solicitors’ Association
  • Elder Law Group

Gary Patterson

Qualified: 1999

As a commercial and business adviser, Gary works with leading local and national companies across various sectors to provide exceptional legal insight and advice in the areas of real estate, landlord and tenant, corporate finance and restructuring. He also has many years of experience of advising private individuals in relation to estates, trusts and family wealth protection.

  • Law Society of Northern Ireland
  • Belfast Solicitors’ Association
  • NI Commercial Property Lawyers’ Association
  • Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners

Oonagh Murdock

Qualified: 2015

Oonagh joined our team in October 2020 and specialises in residential conveyancing. With experience in acting for both individuals and lending institutions, she is well placed to provide expert advice on the sale, purchase and re-mortgaging of residential property. Oonagh also advises individual clients on wills and estate planning, mental capacity and the administration of estates and trusts.

  • Law Society of Northern Ireland
  • Belfast Solicitors’ Association
  • Elder Law Group

Amy Russell


Amy graduated from The Queen’s University of Belfast with a 2:1 LLB Honours Degree in Law with Politics. Following graduation, she commenced employment as a Paralegal in a provincial legal firm and gained a breadth of experience in general practice. Amy joined Maclaine & Co in September 2021 as a Trainee Solicitor and was admitted to the Roll of Solicitors in Northern Ireland in October 2023. Amy's areas of practice  include the administration of wills and trusts, estate planning and residential conveyancing. 

  • Law Society of Northern Ireland
  • Northern Ireland Young Solicitors Association
Why history is important to us

Steeped in local history

Maclaine & Co has been forged over decades of hard work and commitment to our clients. That is why it is crucial for us to honour and understand the lengthy and fascinating history that brought us to our modern-day reputation.

As one of Northern Ireland’s oldest legal firms, with client relationships spanning decades and generations, our history is still a huge part of who we are. Through the expertise and reputation of partners past and present, Maclaine & Co has grown to be the highly regarded and exclusive legal firm it is today.

Our origin

It may surprise you that the founding father of our legal company was not, in fact, a Maclaine himself. James Andrews, a Belfast-based solicitor, was the initial mind behind the solicitor business. However, it was his partnership years later with George L. Maclaine that led to the name Andrews, Son & Maclaine – later adjusted to Andrews & Maclaine, following the death of James’s son.

After the death of James Andrews, the name of the solicitors was again amended – this time to the more familiar Geo. L. Maclaine & Co. While the name of the firm would adjust and change slightly, the reputation and history attached to the Maclaine brand became a mark of quality for the legal advice and services provided.

Continuing the Maclaine name

While the Geo. L. Maclaine & Co legal firm moved outside the family following the death of George Maclaine in 1915, the name remained. Omar C. Nelson and his son, Wiliam H.N. Nelson, took over the business in turn, providing the excellent standard of legal advice and services the firm was now well known to provide. In 1919, Robert Victor Hamilton joined Geo. L. Maclaine & Co, working alongside the well-connected William Nelson to provide excellence in all legal areas. Robert was followed into the firm by his son, John Victor Hamilton, who made a significant contribution to the firm over many decades with his forward-thinking and progressive approach to business.

Through the diligent work of excellent legal minds and dedicated partners, the practice has withstood the test of time. It has evolved and adapted where necessary to align with the needs of its clients and to take account of socio-economic demographics.

In June 2019, Geo. L. Maclaine & Co rebranded and became Maclaine & Co. In January 2024, Maclaine & Co was incorporated. Maclaine & Co Solicitors has become the trading name of Maclaine & Co Ltd, a limited liability company.

The company continues to be a modern, forward-thinking legal practice which remains proud of its history. Our experience spanning decades ensures that we appreciate the value of long-term client relationships and allows us to deliver the rounded, high-calibre legal service that has become our trademark.

How can we help?

Send us your contact information and one of our team will be in touch to discuss your requirements.

Maclaine & Co Solicitors is the trading name of Maclaine & Co Ltd a limited liability company registered in Northern Ireland under number NI701564 whose registered office is stated above.

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