Karen Blair

Chairman & Director

Karen Blair

Chairman & Director

Karen is the firm’s Chairman and is head of the Planning & Environment, Public Law and Licensing teams. Her vast experience in these fields allows clients to obtain proactive, practical advice quickly and easily on even the most complex legal situations.

Karen has experience in acting for local public law bodies and national and international clients in various sectors including mining, aviation, tourism, retail, waste and energy. She has advised in respect of many key infrastructure projects throughout Northern Ireland.

Karen receives numerous commendation from clients and in legal directories which consistently recommend her as a leader in these fields.

Karen is a Legal Associate of the Royal Town Planning Institute and a member of the Executive Committee and Council of the UK Environmental Law Association (“UKELA”). She is also a Governor of the Linenhall Library in Belfast.

Karen Blair
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Our clients tell it best.

  • Karen Blair has a respected practice, regularly handling a wide variety of public and administrative matters. She is particularly adept at planning and local government judicial review. Sources describe her as “a superb lawyer, handling multi-faceted, complex issues in a really cool, calm and measured way.”

  • Karen Blair has an “exceptional knowledge of the planning industry,” and is described as “the best in the field in the planning area.” She routinely advises on major regeneration projects within Northern Ireland, with a particular focus on the energy and waste sectors. Clients say that “she is great to work with,” as “her input goes beyond her immediate area of expertise. She is a great team player – dedicated, hard-working and approachable.”

  • Karen Blair is “well thought of for her expertise in the area.” She is particularly prominent for handling public law disputes involving planning and environmental law. Her practice also encompasses regulatory and local authority law. Clients note, “she is very good at what she does and is a go-to for local councils. She is very efficient and very well organised.”

  • Karen Blair is considered a leading light in the industry, with an excellent track record in a wide array of environmental law work. She has a wealth of experience of waste and energy matters, as well as long-standing expertise in the environmental aspects of development and regeneration schemes. “She is very dedicated, prompt with replies and great on attention to detail.”

  • Karen Blair is a key figure in the development planning market in Northern Ireland and regularly leads on major planning applications. A client notes her “excellent knowledge of planning law,” while another market source describes her as “down-to-earth and approachable.”

  • Karen Blair is a “premier environmental and planning lawyer”. Clients note, “Karen Blair’s cool and calm nature soothes even the hardest of situations.”

  • Market commentators note that Karen Blair is “at the forefront of planning and administrative and public law.” Her broad practice includes advising applicants and respondents in planning challenges, judicial reviews and regulatory proceedings.

  • Karen Blair “really knows her stuff,” according to one source, while another notes: “She is absolutely exceptional.” She is noted for her extensive environmental experience and regularly deals with development projects for both public and private sector clients.

  • Karen Blair is held in high esteem by both clients and peers and is noted for her ability to handle complex matters. She advises on a variety of prominent planning cases, including airport-related issues. “She is always speedy and is very easy to work with,” comments a client, adding: “She always endeavours to get back to you and is always happy to take a call.”

  • Head of the Planning and Environmental Department, Karen Blair has been described by clients in The Legal 500 UK 2017 as “absolutely exceptional” and at the “very top of the profession.” Karen has also been recognised as a ‘Leading Individual’.