About Us


Grand parade Ml Linehan


Our History


Michael Powell Snr, qualified as a Solicitor on the 30th of November 1927. He commenced practice as a sole practitioner at No. 50 Grand Parade (located over the archway into the present city car park).
In 1937 (approx) he purchased the practice of Maurice Healy at No. 48 Grand Parade and at that stage his practice moved into this premises.
It is notable that Mr. Healy retired from the legal profession at that time to go and work in the Ford Motor Works in Dagenham as employment was much more lucrative and certain in the motor trade in those days. This gives a strong indication of the difficulties encountered in the legal provision even at that time.
Michael Powell Snr was then joined by Mr Jack Sheehy who dealt almost exclusively with defence litigation work on behalf of the then Shield Insurance company.
Michael Powell Snr was subsequently appointed as City Sherriff a position he held until he resigned to allow his son Patrick C. Powell to step into his shoes as the City Sherriff.
Patrick (otherwise Pat) also joined the practice on qualifying and his area of law was mainly litigation, licensing and property. When he was appointed City Sherriff he continued to have a presence in the practice but as time went by he was obliged to give more and more time to the Sheriff’s office which became full time by the mid 80’s.
Michael C. Powell qualified as a Solicitor in 1973
In 1974 Maurice McGrath whose practice immediately adjoining 48 Grand Parade died suddenly and Michael Powell Snr and his firm took over the practice.
Following this the business changed into a partnership with Michael Snr, Michael C. Powell and Deirdre O’Mahony (present County Registrar).
Sean Durcan began his apprenticeship in the offices of 48 Grand Parade and qualified as a Solicitor in October 1981 and was admitted as a Partner in 1990 at which time Deirdre O’Mahony had become County Registrar and resigned as a Partner of the Firm.
When Michael Snr began his practice he was joined early on his career by Elma Crowley who continued to work in the Grand Parade offices into her 80’s. Ml Snr himself continued to practice on a part time basis into his early 80’s he subsequently retired completely and died at the age of 87 in 1990.
Elma Crowley passed away in 2011.
When Michael Powell commenced business there were no dictating machines, there was only 1 phone in the office so any calls to be taken was done so in the main office downstairs.
As technology improved extension telephones were installed in the upstairs section of the office.
Staff at that time had to be able to take short hand dictation until the arrival of the earliest dictation machines, while Elma Crowley typed all the work for Michael Powell, when Jack Sheehy began work in the office by and large he did his own typing as indeed did Patrick Powell.
When the firm acquired the practice of the late Maurice McGrath in 1974 a certain prominent building firm in Cork was also taken over as a client at that time. Because of the extensive building works been done and the level of documentation to be produced the firm was one of the first to obtain a word processors in mid 1975. These word processors were the forerunners of the modern day computers each had a separate printer and the word processors itself was in itself a desk the screen was a single line screen and at that time it was also common not to have a photocopier of ones one because the quality of copies was generally poor unless one was in a position to acquire a very large size commercial photocopier which would have taken over almost half a room.
In any event, there was a photocopying service on the Grand Parade so all copying was outsourced. In the late 70’s a photocopier was installed when the size became more manageable.


Ml Powell SNr


Michael Powell was very well known in Cork City both because of his practice and indeed from his role as the City Sheriff, at one point he was asked to stand in politics but declined and while he had his own views he did not actively participate in politics, he had a keen interest in sport playing hurling for Presentation College and subsequently played rugby with Sundays Well RFC. He was also a keen swimmer and water polo player.
He was president of the Munster branch and was also an Irish selector for the IRFU. He represented Sunday’ Well RFC on the Munster branch.
As a boy he was reared by his mother a young widow with a large family to support. His mother received great assistance and support from her brother Michael Collins.
Michael Powell always maintained a relationship with General Tom Barry who became a client of his despite being on the anti treaty side in the civil war.
Michael Powell retained a mills bomb (diffused) on his desk which was an old partner’s desk in 48 Grand Parade. All these memorabilia are still carefully stored and maintained by members of the family and his upstairs office on the first floor used by the late Michael Powell remains largely unchanged since the 1930’s although it now has a different use.
The firm moved to its present location at No. 5 Lapps Quay in Easter 2005 where it continues to grow with the most recent innovative strategy being that of bringing in non legal members to a management board for the firm.
The present firm consists of the two partners, Michael C. Powell, Sean Durcan, with assistant Solicitors Jenny Powell and Katherina White.


Quality Policy


It is the policy of Michael Powell Solicitors to provide a first class legal service to each and every client. The Firm’s Quality Management System has been developed in conjunction with the principles of ISO 9001:2008 quality management standard. The Partners and employees of the Firm are committed to the principles and practice of excellence and will strive to ensure the provision of the highest level of technical legal expertise in a cost effective manner.


The Firm is committed to:


  • Ensuring that the requirements of our clients are met in full, by endeavouring to enhance the overall service to our clients, in an effort to ensure that they are fully satisfied with the results.


  • Continual improvement in quality performance, objectives and targets which comply with relevant legislation and the Firm’s in-house Quality Management System.


  • Continuously improving the relationships with our clients to ensure they receive exceptional personal service which exceeds their expectations.


  • Reviewing its business practices and policies to ensure that they are both satisfactory and relevant to it, in view of market demands.


  • Planning and establishing measurable objectives based on its Quality Policy for the on-going development of the firm and its clients. These objectives are regularly reviewed and measured by the Partners of the Firm.




Acted for UK based purchasers of a major industrial group of companies for consideration in excess of €45 million.  This required our involvement in the negotiation of the original deal and the completion of extensive legal Due Diligence.  It also required on-going advice post –completion of the transaction surrounding the integration of the target company into the purchaser’s existing group structure.


Acted for vendors of a private limited company who sold out to an overseas based international investor for a sum in excess of €16 million.


Successfully prepared and pursued an application in the High Court claiming oppression of a minority shareholder in a private limited company leading ultimately to the appointment of a Liquidator and to the distribution of the companies’ assets, thereby ensuring the return of the minority shareholder’s investment.


Advised the management of a large multi-national corporation on the winding down of its Irish Operations.  In particular we advised on the drafting of a comprehensive phased closure and redundancy programme for staff and the negotiation of same with Trade Unions and employee representatives under the auspices of the Labour Court.


Successfully defended an application against a client company seeking its winding up by a creditor brought pursuant to Section 214 of the Companies Act 1963 for non-payment of an alleged debt following a hearing over two days in the High Court.

Advised a major industrial support company in the preparation and implementation of a staff reduction and redundancy programme involving in excess of 160 employees.  This required protracted negotiations with Trade Unions and employee representatives and the Labour Relations Commission.


Advised a major construction company in drafting its business plan for the National Assets Management Company (NAMA) and assisted it in negotiating the renewal of new working capital facilities.


Represented the partners of a leading accountancy practice in complex disciplinary proceedings brought against them by their regulatory body claiming a technical of their governing rules.  Many of the charges were dismissed and a nominal fine was imposed following a lengthy oral hearing.


Successfully represented a prominent businessman in the defence of High Court bankruptcy proceedings brought against him.  We secured the withdrawal of these proceedings consequent to our argument that his COMI or Centre of Main Interest had been successfully established in an overseas jurisdiction.




Michael Powell Solicitors is a leading law practice which thrives on achieving corporate excellence for our clients. Every client of Michael Powell Solicitors has a dedicated partner who is making every effort to improve the practice for the benefit of our clients.

Our vision is clear, that is to work with our clients through the vast array of legal challenges encountered by them in achieving their personal and business goals. We are also committed to being pro-active in advising clients on how to manage risk and develop their businesses.

We strive to be a leader in the legal services business by providing specialised teams with different talents and approaches and we are not satisfied until we have met the highest standards for our clients.   

We are proud to be the only legal firm in the country to have a dedicated Credit Union Department.  

Katherina White, Solicitor is currently advising a large number of Irish soldiers who claim that they experienced adverse side effects from the anti-malaria drug, Lariam, which was administered to them without proper consultation

We are determined to achieve the best possible results for our clients based on dedicated commitment, experience and tradition.


We are strategically located in Cork's Central Business District opposite City Hall and adjacent to the Clarion Hotel.  There is on street disc parking or the Clarion Hotel Car Park.

  Our Address: 
5 Lapps Quay
Cork DX 2104
        Hours of Operation:
Mon. to Fri. 9am to 5.30pm
Tel: 021 4270451 Fax 021 4270454