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.


Clodagh Buckley 

With over seven years’ experience acting for financial institutions in the Circuit Court, High Court and Court of Appeal dealing with a broad spectrum of Banking Litigation ranging for Circuit and High Court Repossessions, Injunctive proceedings, breach of undertakings by solicitors, well charging proceedings, judgment proceedings and Section 74 Applications. Experience in the enforcement of Orders for Possession dealing with the various sheriffs throughout the county. Acted for numerous financial institutions in respect to the appointment of a receivers.


Derval Markey  

Specialist expertise in conveyancing and commercial lending law.


  • Have experience In Landlord and Tenant law acting for both landlords in the granting of leases of various types of commercial units (retail/industrial/office) and acting for tenants in the taking of short and longer- term leases. Have experience drafting and negotiating Agreements for Lease, Occupational Leases, and Licences.
  • Commercial Property Sale and Purchase– Have acted for both vendors and purchasers of industrial and office units and greenfield sites. Have acted for developers in the sale of newly constructed residential units, have acted for purchasers of apartments and houses.
  • Insolvency Related Conveyancing (Distressed Asset Sales) – advising on the disposal of distressed assets to include commercial and residential properties by way of online auction or private treaty on behalf of borrowers (voluntary sales), receivers and mortgagees.


  • Worked on the NAMA Legal Due Diligence Team of one of the major Irish Banks.
  • Experience with major Irish Banks to review work on the Bank’s historic legal files. The role involved reviewing loan offers, security, and title documentation and advising the lending team.


Sarah Lysaght 

  • Worked successfully as part of the residential conveyancing team in advising Receiver, Mortgagee and private client sales and purchases involving the conveyance of both registered and unregistered title, including the defects on title, mortgage applications, drafting of contracts, special conditions, Undertakings, declarations, attending to registration in the Land Registry including First Registrations and preparation of apportionment accounts.
  • Advised on residential and commercial leases, disputes and licensing agreements.
  • Advised on all aspects of residential conveyancing including Vendor and Purchaser transactions, mortgages, voluntary transfers, unregistered title, first registrations, ground rent applications, landlord and tenant law and residential leasing.
  • Drafted Contracts, Deeds, Declarations, Terms of Settlement, Personal Injury Application Forms, District Court Forms, Wills,
  • Advised on Wills, Probate and CAT matters including succession planning.
  • Provided advice in debt collection matters including District and High Court practice and procedure.
  • Prepared Stamp Duty returns and Probate papers.


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.