Defence Insurance Litigation

The litigation department at Carson McDowell includes a highly experienced defence insurance litigation team. Headed by partner, Claire Harmer the team includes two associates and two assistant solicitors. The team possesses a wealth of experience in handling a wide spectrum of contentious matters. We act on behalf of both insurers and self-insured companies.

What we do

  • Employers Liability
  • Public Liability
  • Industrial disease claims to include repetitive strain injuries, dermatitis, occupational asthma, asbestosis claims, pleural plaques, mesothelioma, carpal tunnel syndrome and vibration white finger. We are currently dealing with a high volume of industrial deafness claims
  • Road traffic accident claims – all types from alleged whiplash to catastrophic injuries/fatal claims
  • Personal injury and property damage caused by fire
  • Catastrophic accidents at work and to the public resulting in death or serious injury
  • Property damage claims
  • Marine related accidents

Our Defence Insurance Litigation Experience

Our team is dedicated to the timely management and cost effective administration of claims. When claims are litigated we deal with them robustly with the objective of pressing the action through to conclusion as quickly and efficiently as possible ensuring costs (even if the claim is prepared as a contest) are kept to a minimum.

The number of solicitors with a high level of experience in the defence of personal injury claims and other claims would afford a valuable resource in the event of any large scale or catastrophic occurrence which might require urgent attention on behalf of an insurer/insured.

We recognise that when dealing with insurance claims we have an obligation to insurers and the insured. We regularly advise on and deal with indemnity issues. If indemnity is refused we work with insurers to protect their interests and when possible recover sums paid on behalf of the insured.

The defence insurance litigation team is also skilled in providing an emergency crisis response service in relation to investigations by the Health and Safety Executive, local authorities and the Police. We recognise the importance of early investigations for both the insurer and insured following a serious injury or fatality. We have in-depth experience handling fatal and non-fatal investigations which includes PACE interviews, information requests from the Health & Safety Executive and the subsequent Crown Court prosecutions.

The defence insurance litigation team frequently attend inquests and appear in the Coroner’s Court. We recognise the devastating impact a fatal accident can have particularly in the workplace for management and the general work force. We assist companies and individuals to draft depositions, instruct experts, we attend preliminary hearings and provide representation at Inquest hearings (to include Inquests before a jury).

What Others Say About Us

Chambers and Partners UK 2019

What the team is known for

Respected practice acting for a range of insurers and self-insured clients. Acts on claims related to employers', occupiers' and public liability, as well as RTAs. Further assists clients with industrial disease claims, in addition to cross-border cases involving the Republic of Ireland.


Sources highlight the team's "full understanding of the insurance market and appreciation of commercial realities," adding that the lawyers take a "pragmatic approach" and are "excellent negotiators."

Notable practitioners

Claire Harmer is recognised for her "excellent technical knowledge and first-class client service." Her practice includes advising on a range of public, employers' and occupiers' liability claims, as well as assisting clients with cases arising from RTAs. Sources praise Harmer's "commercial and market awareness," adding that she is "client-focused, approachable, proactive and effective."

​Legal 500 2016

Carson McDowell's merger with defendant insurance defence firm McCloskeys Solicitors has considerably expanded the firm’s insurance team. Claire Harmer heads the personal injury practice, which acts for a number of large insurers on a range of disputes, including hearing loss, catastrophic injury, mesothelioma and road traffic accidents.