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 UK 2021

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. Handles birth injury cases as well as negligence claims that include delay and failure in diagnosis.


Clients say that the lawyers "consistently deliver excellent service and are always willing to go the extra mile."

Sources praise the team's "sensible, pragmatic advice with good attention to detail and tactical awareness."

Notable practitioners

Jacqueline McAleese

Roger McMillan

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.


"They are real specialists in this area," one client remarks, adding that the lawyers are "incredibly down to earth and user-friendly."

Notable practitioners

Leigh Linton

Roger McMillan

​The Legal 500 2021

Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence: Defendant

The "excellent" Carson McDowell has "expertise in all areas of civil litigation, including industrial disease claims" and "experience in handling the defence of complex investigations." Managing partner Roger McMillan, who jointly leads the team, has extensive experience in handling clinical negligence claims. Fellow practice head Claire Harmer focuses on personal injury cases involving motor and work accidents, with expertise in examining employer's and public liability. Jacqueline McAleese splits her time between Belfast and Dublin and is an expert in clinical negligence claims. Newly promoted partner Catherine Carton is well regarded for public and employer liability claims.


"Excellent client-focused firm providing comprehensive advice."

"Strong technical knowledge in the litigation team. Very experienced solicitors. Expertise in all areas of civil litigation, including industrial disease claims."

"Experience in handling the defence of complex investigations."

"Readily approachable. Provide prompt and detailed advice. Always prepared to consider our views and that of our clients"

"There is real strength across the whole team. They communicate well and give pragmatic, well considered advice based on excellent attention to detail and analysis of the claim. They are tactically astute."

Key clients

  • Belfast Harbour Commissioners
  • Travelers Insurance
  • Axis Capital
  • Enstar
  • Sedgwick
  • Faraday Insurance
  • Chubb Insurance
  • Davies Casualty/Garwyn
  • TT Club/Thomas Miller Claims Management
  • Crawfords Specialist Liability
  • Services/Broadspire
  • Riverstone Insurance
  • Northern Ireland Electricity Networks Limited
  • Beale & Co
  • McLarens
  • Medical Protection Society
  • Medical and Dental Defence Union of Scotland
  • Dental Protection
  • National Pharmaceutical Association
  • Association of Optometrists
  • Beazley Group