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Claire Harmer

Work 028 9034 8844
Carson McDowell

Work Department



Specialises in defence litigation. Claire acts for a number of Medical Defence Organisations and Lloyd’s Underwriters and is a key member of a specialised unit with an exemplary track record dedicated to the specific management and cost effective administration of a wide range of mixed but primarily large loss claims. Clients include the Medical Protection Society (the largest worldwide Medical Defence Organisation (MDO)) and the Medical and Dental Defence Union of Scotland, another leading UK MDO. Regularly appears at all levels in the High Court before the Master and Queen’s Bench Judiciary. She has successfully represented two defendants in one of the longest running civil trials in Northern Ireland legal history involving allegations of clinical negligence. Claire has also represented a variety of healthcare professionals in a number of Article 2 compliant inquests. Although Claire primarily specialises in clinical negligence claims, she also continues to deal with EL, PL claims (including industrial disease) and marine claims to include passenger claims and cargo claims. Represents a number of the leading UK P & I clubs and has extensive experience in post accident/incident investigations including PACE interviews, MAIB/MCA investigations and the preparation for and conduct of inquests to fatal accidents at sea. In relation to land-based operations has also advised clients in relation to health and safety prosecution proceedings and investigations by the HSENI.


Trained Horwich Farrelly, Manchester; qualified 2001; assistant Johnsons Solicitors, Belfast 2001-08; assistant Carson McDowell 2009; associate 2009-14; partner 2014 to date.


Law Society of Northern Ireland; Law Society of Ireland.


Loreto College, Coleraine; University of Ulster (1996); Manchester University (1999 LPC).

Northern Ireland: Insurance

Personal injury and clinical negligence: defendant

Within: Next generation lawyers

Claire Harmer - Carson McDowell

Within: Personal injury and clinical negligence: defendant

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. 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. Recent clients include Faraday Insurance and Riverstone Insurance. 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.

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