Our Team

Hugh Ward

Hugh has worked since 1986 in credit management, debt collection and commercial areas of business and law. He qualified as a Solicitor in Ireland in 1986 and obtained his Juris Doctor Law Degree in the USA in 1991. He is admitted to practice law in Ireland, England, Wales and America and is a member of the bar in the States of New York and District of Columbia.  Read More >>

PS1 Law Society NI

Elaine Goggins
Chief Operations Officer

Elaine Goggins is the Chief Operations Officer of the Ward Group. Elaine has over 20 years’ experience in the debt collection industry. In 2012 she was appointed Operations Director for a multinational credit management business. Previously she had served in a number of other senior management roles with the business. Elaine was awarded Credit Manager of the year in 2011 by the Institute of Credit Managers (IICM) and she also holds AICDP certification in Credit Management. At the Ward Group she manages the full range of administrative, logistical and operational duties in a wide variety of areas including property management procurement, training and client relationship management.

Joe Lenihan
Sales Manager

Joe is an experienced B2B Sales and Relationship Manager with direct experience in Debt Management. He joined the Ward Group in 2014 previously working for one of the largest utilities in Ireland where he had been Head of Sales and Relationship Management for Central Government and Head of Credit Control. Joe is responsible for new customer acquisitions and customer relationship management.

Simon Attride 
Senior Solicitor

Simon has extensive experience in various civil litigation matters including managing cases from start to finish in the District, Circuit and High Courts and regularly appears before these courts. He has also acted for clients in purchasing and selling properties and all connected matters.

Simon diligently and efficiently manages a high volume of case load including repossessions, debt recovery, debt settlement, personal insolvency appeals and many other contentious civil litigation matters. He has a wide range of experience and understanding in assessing and advising clients in all aspects of insolvency, restructuring and associated litigation.

Simon also advises secured lenders and property owners in security enforcement actions including receiverships.

Simon has a wide range of experience and understanding in assessing and advising stakeholders involved in all aspects of insolvency, restructuring and examinership. Simon provides clear guidance and legal advice to achieve the best outcome and legal advice for clients by assessing their situation across a range of insolvency matters.


Cora Heagney

Cora is a highly capable lawyer with over 20 years’ experience of actively serving a range of financial institutions and private and corporate clients. Cora qualified as a solicitor in 2002. She has excellent management and team working skills, vital in implementing processes, objectives, plans and changes. Cora has significant project and organizational skills; repeatedly first point of client contact, with a proven capacity to deal with and lead complex property and financial based transactions. In addition she has a track record of problem solving; using judgment and initiative to ensure project completion and client satisfaction.

Cora’s experience includes the sale of multiple properties acting on behalf of receivers and mortgagee in possession or on voluntary surrender by a borrower. Successful completion and charging several thousand properties on behalf of a number of Lending Institutions.

In addition Cora has great experience in the Acquisition, Development and Sale of several partially completed and green field Housing Estates, development sites, partially licensed premises, retail units, commercial premises, development lands, offices, car parks, residential houses, and apartments. Completed remediation of title and reconstitution of title.

Experienced in negotiation and drafting of office leases, subleases, purchase agreements, and amendments.


Nicola Sweeney 

Nicola is a highly motivated Solicitor with extensive experience in commercial litigation. Over 14 years post qualification experience in commercial law firms. She is a diligent professional who has worked on a variety of complex and challenging cases, meeting client expectations and requirements under pressurised deadlines.

Nicola has provided litigation advise to both large corporate clients and private individuals. She has worked on a variation of commercial litigation matters including judicial reviews. Managing a large caseload for number of financial institutions including the main Irish Banks, on a broad variety of high value cases ranging from contractual disputes and security issues to obtaining injunctions, corporate debt recovery both secured and unsecured and enforcement of judgments. Has been involved in running a number of protracted cases in both the High Court and Commercial Court.

Experienced in appointing and advising receivers on bank security, company restorations and petitions to wind up. Also bringing injunctive proceedings for the protection and realisation of bank security and garnishee applications.

• Litigating on behalf of Banks for breach of Undertakings.

• Advising Bank Appointed Receivers in relation to licensed premises, applying for ad interim transfer and renewal of liquor licenses in the name of the Receiver.


Karen Dowdall
Legal Executive Manager

Karen has excellent experience in Debt Collection both pre legal and legal. She brings both creativity and rigour to the discipline of managing and initiating legal proceedings for our legal recovery caseload. Karen is expert in the management of the teams involved and uses KPI’s to measure and monitor progress on the caseload workflow.

She began her career with a large Debt Collection Company and spent several years managing a team of Collections Agents for a large number of high profile utility and banking clients.

Team Support

The team is made up of various support resources including: solicitors, solicitors trainees, legal executives, paralegals, support staff, cash application executives and legal finance and accounts staff. We also have a nationwide agency network of solicitors which allows us provide service throughout Ireland.