Our Team

Joe Rice BA, LL.M, MA

  • A First Class Honours Graduate in Legal Science/English from NUI Galway with two Masters degrees from Q.U.B.  He is a recognised Solicitor Advocate and Mediator and a Deputy District Judge (Magistrates’ Courts).
  • Active in public life, including the Law Society Committees, he is a past Chair of Belfast Solicitors’ Association, Law Society Council Member, Arts Council Board member,  and former Trustee of the National Museums (N. Ireland).
  • At present he is Co-Chair of Pro Bono Choir, Vice-Chair of Irish Football Association Disciplinary Appeals, and recently he was appointed as a Committee Member of Down Royal Racecourse.
  • His speciality legal areas include criminal defence work, family law, injunctions, alternative dispute resolution and sports law.
  • He is a committed supporter of Pro Bono and Personal Litigant Support schemes.

Contact Joe at JRice@jjrsols.com


Paul Dougan LL.B,LL.M

  • Paul joined the firm in 1997 and is now predominantly based in the Armagh office. A graduate of the Queen’s University Belfast he has underpinned his interest in human rights law with a Master’s degree in Human Rights and Discrimination. He has been a Solicitor Advocate since 2005 and is a visiting tutor on the Law Society Advanced Advocacy course which includes members of  the NITA faculty from America. He also tutors trainee solicitors at the Institute of Professional Legal Studies.
  • Past Chairman of the Belfast Solicitors’ Association and current Council Member of the Law Society.
  • Former Assistant Commissioner to the District Electoral Areas Commissioner and part of the 2013 review into the grouping of Local Government wards into District Electoral Areas in Northern Ireland.
  • His specialism can be found in criminal defence work, matrimonial and family cases, personal injury claims, inquest representation and judicial review.

Contact Paul at pdougan@jjrsols.com


Cathy Mulhern LL.B (Hons)
Cathy Mulhern1

  • Cathy is a Law Graduate from University of Ulster.  She completed the Legal Practice Course, at the College of Law, Chester in 2007.  She was admitted to the Roll of Solicitors in England and Wales in 2010.
  • She joined our firm in 2015 having previously worked Manchester, where she specialised in serious criminal defence work.  Whilst practising in England and Wales she obtained her Higher Court qualification and she regularly appeared in the Crown Court on behalf of her clients.   Her career high was appearing before the Court of Appeal, in London, as a solicitor advocate where she successfully had her client’s sentence reduced.
  • Cathy is now based in our Belfast office and specialises in Criminal Law, Family Law, Civil Litigation, Immigration Law and Judicial review.  She has a particular interest in prisoners’ rights and representing prisoners before the Parole Commission.

Contact Cathy at cmulhern@jjrsols.com



Shauna Benson BA (Hons) LL.M
 Shauna Benson1

  • Shauna is based in the Belfast office, having joined the firm in 2016 and with over 14 years’ experience working within other Belfast City Centre firms.
  • She studied law at the University of Ulster (Jordanstown) and achieved a Masters in Human Rights and Criminal Justice from Queens University Belfast.
  • Shauna practises in the law regarding children, domestic violence, divorce and separation, criminal defence work, judicial review and litigation
  • She was appointed to the Law Society for Northern Ireland Children Order Panel of Solicitors in 2006 and the Northern Ireland Guardian Ad Litem Panel of Solicitors in 2012.
  • Shauna has been a Solicitor advocate since 2008.

Contact Shauna at shauna@jjrsols.com


Damian Collins BA (Hons) LL.M
Damian Collins1

  • Damian graduated with a degree in Economics from the University of Stirling.
  • After working in the Land Registry for a number of years, Damian decided to pursue a career in Law and graduated with a degree in law and Government from the University of Ulster.
  • He qualified in 2010 having attended the Institute of Professional Legal Studies in Belfast.
  • Damian specialises in property law and has extensive experience in acting for individual purchasers and investors in domestic and commercial conveyancing matters.
  • He is the firm’s probate solicitor and has a wealth of experience in private client matters, advising on the administration of estates and trusts, the drafting of wills and Enduring Powers of Attorney and making applications to the Office of Care and Protection.
  •  Damian has recently completed the STEP Diploma in Trusts and Estates.

Contact Damian at damian@jjrsols.com

James Hanna LL.B (Hons)

      • James joined the firm in 2015 as an apprentice solicitor, after graduating from Queen’s University Belfast with a First-Class Honours degree in Law. He is primarily based in the Belfast office.
      • He qualified in 2017 and since then has represented clients in a wide range of matters from the Magistrates’ Court to the Court of Appeal. He has also gained extensive experience of representing clients in the police station.
      • James mainly works in the areas of civil litigation, criminal defence, judicial review and family law.

Contact James at james.hanna@jjrsols.com