The healthcare sector in Northern Ireland is a core area of focus for Carson McDowell. Our multi-disciplinary team draws on commercial expertise across the firm to provide our public and private healthcare clients with clear and pragmatic advice and support. The team advises healthcare professionals, private clinics, health service bodies, residential and domiciliary care homes, third sector organisations, medical defence organisations, medical malpractice insurers.

What we do

  • PFI/PPP projects
  • Partnership agreements
  • Funding and shareholder arrangements
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • EU and competition queries
  • Real estate purchases
  • Transfers/restructures
  • Banking advice/security reviews
  • Defending clinical negligence/medical malpractice claims
  • Investigations and prosecutions by regulators, for example, the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority, the General Medical Council, General Dental Council and Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland
  • Data protection and confidentiality of patient information
  • Inquests
  • Planning issues
  • Contentious and non-contentious employment matters
  • Contentious and non-contentious construction matters
  • Fee recovery
  • Insurance
  • Dispute resolution
  • Training
  • Public Inquiries, including the Vale of Leven Hospital Inquiry (Scotland) and the Hyponatraemia Inquiry
  • Judicial review proceedings, including procurement challenges

What Others Say About Us

Chambers and Partners UK 2019

Clinical Negligence:

What the team is known for

Premier practice led by a well-resourced team, adept at defending high-value clinical negligence claims. Provides legal services to a vast range of clients in the healthcare sector, with particular strength in dental claims. Routinely represents prominent defence and protection organisations, as well as indemnity organisations.


Sources say: "It is a pre-eminent practice with a big department."

Notable practitioners

The "excellent" Roger McMillan is praised by market commentators for his "very approachable" nature. He frequently defends clients in failure of diagnosis cases as well as in surgical negligence claims.

Jacqueline McAleese is a well-regarded defence practitioner best known for her work in dental disputes and negligent surgery cases.

Claire Harmer is noted for her expertise in defending healthcare professionals in delayed diagnosis cases as well as matters involving birth injuries.

Professional Discipline:

What the team is known for

Experienced team of professional discipline specialists regularly representing clinicians involved in complex regulatory matters. Acts for the full range of healthcare professionals, including doctors, dentists, nurses and opticians. Accomplished in matters relating to claims of drug mishandling, hospice care and sexual misconduct.


One source says: "I sleep better at night having instructed Carson McDowell."

Another states: "They are a well-run and specialised team."

Notable practitioners

Roger McMillan is an exceptional practitioner who often represents medical professionals before the GMC. A client says: "Roger has an ability to use a wide-angled lens on a case at the same time as grasping all of the minutiae. He is forward-thinking. He commands confidence through his thoughtful approach."

Leigh Linton is sought after for her experience defending healthcare practitioners before bodies such as the GMC and GDC. Clients say: "She is a diligent lawyer who leaves no stone unturned. She is completely unflappable."

​The Legal 500 2018

What the team is known for

Industrial disease claims, catastrophic motor accidents and employer and public liability cases are key areas of instruction for Carson McDowell’s personal injury and healthcare practice, which is also adept at handling high-value healthcare claims.

Significant clients

Recent clients include Faraday Insurance and Riverstone Insurance.

Notable practitioners

Claire Harmer, who is highly recommended for her expertise in industrial disease and inquests, heads the personal injury practice; the group represents companies in catastrophic injury and related criminal investigations. Senior associate Catherine Carton has experience in defending clients in personal injury litigation resulting from motor claims and industrial disease cases, and senior associate Niall Skelton is well versed in representing the Motor Insurance Bureau in road traffic accident claims. On the healthcare side, Roger McMillan, who is singled out for his ‘superb client care’, heads the team, in which Jacqueline McAleese ("hardworking and a tough negotiator") is a key name for defending medical and dental practitioners and clinicians in litigation, and is well known for representing the Medical Protection Society.