Rising Stars

Personal injury and clinical negligence: defendant in Northern Ireland

Carson McDowell

Carson McDowell‘s dedicated personal injury and clinical negligence teams provide clients with ‘prompt and detailed service’, with experience acting in the full range of matters. The clinical negligence group is jointly led by managing partner Roger McMillan, who is active in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, and Jacqueline McAleese, who focuses on high-value birth injury, expedited cancer, and complex cervical cancer mandates. Catherine Carton and Cathal O’Neill lead the personal injury team, with Carton particularly active in the retail, engineering, education and social housing sectors, while O’Neill is noted for his expertise in industrial disease claims, including asbestos-related matters.

Practice head(s):

Roger McMillan; Jacqueline McAleese; Catherine Carton; Cathal O’Neill

Other key lawyers:

Anna Haines-Smith


‘A very prompt and detailed service is always provided.’

‘The team has a wide breadth of experience and there is excellent collaboration across the different teams within the firm. I find the team very approachable and quick to respond to any queries.’

‘The individuals I work with pay great attention to detail, with any advice being comprehensive yet easy to follow. I value how approachable the solicitors are, they are easily contactable and willing to discuss any issues.’

‘This team is particularly well recognised in clinical negligence, with a very broad and experienced team.’

‘Roger McMillan is very well regarded and one of the leading lawyers in this area of practice.’

‘The casualty/personal injury team have always provided comprehensive advice on legal liability, causation, quantum and tactics to achieve the best resolution for their clients at the earliest opportunity.’

‘Catherine Carton provides excellent guidance on personal injury claims in Northern Ireland and has very good interpersonal skills when dealing with both defendants and their insurers.’

Key clients

Belfast Harbour Commissioners

Travelers Insurance

Axis Capital



Faraday Insurance

Chubb Insurance

Riverstone Insurance

Davies Casualty/Garwyn

TT Club/Thomas Miller Claims Management

Crawford Loss Adjustors/Broadspire

Northern Ireland Electricity Networks Ltd

Beale & Co


Stena Line


Work highlights

  • Acted in defence of an employer’s liability claim on behalf of an insurer (Riverstone) which had declined policy indemnity in the case due to a failure to report the accident as per the terms of the insurance policy.
  • Defending a series of cases arising out of alleged carbon monoxide poisoning at domestic premises for NIE Networks Ltd.
  • Defending a public liability claim for Enstar where the claimant fell from a defective ladder provided by her building contractor, the claim having significant potential elements of fraud.

Clyde & Co LLP

Clyde & Co, formerly BLM, fields a team with expertise in a diverse range of catastrophic injury and large loss cases, and has particular strength in multi-jurisdictional matters due to the firm’s network of offices. Team lead Cormac Fitzpatrick has over 30 years’ experience in the practice area, and specialises in catastrophic injury and large loss property case work. Graeme Moore covers professional indemnity matters, in addition to employer’s liability and public liability claims, while Michelle McCullough is a key name for insurance litigation. Senior associate Naomi Campbell handles clinical negligence claims.

Practice head(s):

Cormac Fitzpatrick

Other key lawyers:

Graeme Moore; Michelle McCullough; Naomi Campbell


‘The team consistently provide a high level of service and professionalism. They take the time to understand each matter, our concerns and position, and have always represented us well at every stage.’

‘We have worked with the firm for many years and have a good working relationship with the individuals. They understand our business, how we operate with our clients, and know our key personnel.’

‘Providing the right amount of detail in reports. Prompt at their responses. Very professional and informative – they have gone above and beyond.’

DAC Beachcroft

DAC Beachcroft specialises in insurance defence litigation and regulatory matters, and the team works closely alongside the firm’s national claims group, providing a comprehensive service. Team lead Sean McGahan specialises in long and short tail disease claims, in addition to covering public and employers’ liability claims. Within the department, Aisling Mellon leads on motor casualty matters, Louise Butler handles casualty injury work, and Kevin O’Hagan covers personal injury claims with associated regulatory issues. The highly experienced Peter Campbell is well known for his expertise in large loss litigation, and Catriona McCorry is also active in the practice.

Practice head(s):

Sean McGahan

Other key lawyers:

Aisling Mellon; Peter Campbell; Catriona McCorry; Louise Butler; Kevin O’Hagan


‘The team are personal, professional and dedicated to supporting their clients no matter their size.’

‘Stand-out individuals include: Sean McGahan, Louise Butler, Aisling Mellon, Kevin O’Hagan.’

Key clients

Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance LTD

NFU Mutual Insurance UK

Northern Ireland Water Limited

Sabre Insurance Company Limited

Admiral Insurance

Riverstone International

Resolute Management

Med Pro


Amet insurance

Work highlights

  • Secured the dismiss at trial of a tripping case brought against a client in the High Court.
  • Achieved the successful deflection of a clinical risk claim against the client, an urgent care provider.


Kennedys‘ Belfast team has significant expertise in liability defence, and has strength in employers’ liability, public liability and motor claims. In clinical negligence matters, the department acts for private hospitals, insurers, and a diverse range of medical professionals, such as chiropractors, aestheticians and plastic surgeons. Team lead Amanda Wylie is well known in the market, and covers professional negligence, healthcare, personal injury, and transport and marine matters, while legal director Megan Boyd is particularly active in clinical negligence matters. Associates Ian Martindale and Gareth McKee specialise in personal injury defence work; Martindale has additional knowledge of health and safety prosecutions, while McKee handles product liability issues.

Practice head(s):

Amanda Wylie

Other key lawyers:

Megan Boyd; Ian Martindale; Gareth McKee


‘Kennedys is a long-established and highly respected presence in the Northern Irish personal injury market, well respected, well resourced and well renowned for robust representation.’

‘Senior partner Amanda Wylie is a highly respected practitioner with a wealth of experience and a reputation as a fierce advocate for her clients.’

‘Senior Associate Megan Boyd brings a combination of intellect, commerciality and coolness under pressure.’


Tughans‘ ‘highly knowledgeable and hardworking’ practice is noted for its particular expertise in industrial disease claims, with experience in the heavy industry, manufacturing and construction sectors. Kathy McGillie leads the personal injury team within the group, while Andrew Anthony spearheads clinical negligence matters. Other key individuals include Neil Smyth, who covers employer and public liability claims, and clinical negligence specialist Alistair Wilson. Associate director Francesca Glynn is also a key name to note.

Practice head(s):

Kathy McGillie; Andrew Anthony

Other key lawyers:

Neil Smyth; Alistair Wilson; Francesca Glynn


‘Any client should be reassured that they are in the hands of local experts who have a very significant degree of insight into Northern Irish practice together with a top-notch team who are all highly regarded or leading practitioners in their field.’

‘In clinical negligence, Andrew Anthony is well established as one of the very best practitioners in Northern Ireland. Alistair Wilson is also very highly regarded in healthcare litigation.’

‘Hardworking, responsive and always ready to go the extra mile to get things done.’

‘Everyone is highly knowledgeable and hardworking.’

‘This practice has staff of the highest standard within their line of work, always knowledgeable and helpful to clients and always going above the required standards.’

‘They have a long track record of providing a first class service across clinical negligence cases and associated inquests and inquiries.’

‘Andrew Anthony who is head of the department is an outstanding practitioner in the field with a commanding knowledge of his cases. He demonstrates an extraordinary attention to detail, but never loses sight of the wood for the trees.’

‘They stand out from others because of their skill set and modern approach. They are the market leaders. Andrew Anthony and Alistair Wilson are respected throughout the legal profession. They are known for their dynamic approach to all cases and for the results which they achieve.’

Work highlights

  • Advised a leading specialist motor insurer in relation to a catastrophic injuries case.
  • Advised a leading global energy services company in the defence of a High Court test case relating to asbestos.


DWF fields dedicated personal injury and clinical negligence teams, and has strong relationships with a broad range of clients, including local and national insurers, hospital trusts and medical professionals. Claire Wylie, who has experience acting in motor, public and employers’ liability cases, and who heads the industrial disease team, co-leads the department alongside Mark Johnston, who additionally covers product liability work. Director Laura Menary is experienced in clinical negligence matters.

Practice head(s):

Claire Wylie; Mark Johnston

Other key lawyers:

Laura Menary


‘A top level firm in this jurisdiction with a strong, well resourced insurance based practice with decades of experience.’

‘DWF have a range of strong lawyers.’

‘Strong team with a great breadth of knowledge and experience.’

Key clients








Gallagher Bassett




NFU Mutual

British Telecoms Plc






Enterprise Rentacar

XS Direct






Medical Protection Society

Dental Protection

NHS Resolution

Argo Group

Optical Express

Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority

Keoghs LLP

Keoghs LLP fields a large team of insurance specialists covering casualty, fraud, motor PI, credit hire, and disease claims. Victoria McLean, who leads the team, has more than 25 years’ experience in the practice area. Core team members include associates Megan McBrien, whose practice covers employers’ liability and public liability work, and Charlene Curry, who is dual qualified in Northern Ireland and England and Wales. Over the course of 2022, associate Edel McCullagh joined the team from Tughans, and associate Rachel Keenan moved from Clyde & Co.

Practice head(s):

Victoria McLean

Other key lawyers:

Rachel Keenan; Megan McBrien; Charlene Curry; Edel McCullagh


‘The information gathering and research is very comprehensive. They respond to any queries raised and requests in a timely and helpful manner.’

‘With a strong insurance based practice, Keoghs are undoubtedly a local market leader in this field, combining attention to detail, a client led focus, fearless representation and commercial astuteness with a relentless drive for outstanding performance and results.’

‘Senior partner Victoria McLean is a stellar performer in the local market with a sharp analytical mind, unrelenting attention to detail and an unsurpassed ability to combine robust representation with a constant drive to ensure that the commercial realities of litigation are never overlooked.’

Key clients



Arthur Cox Belfast

Arthur Cox Belfast represents insurers of corporate clients in relation to a broad range of personal injury matters, including employers’ liability, public liability, and occupiers’ liability claims. Team lead Chris Ritchie has more than 25 years of experience in personal injury matters, and has expertise in key areas such as hearing loss, asbestos-related illness, and product liability claims.

Practice head(s):

Chris Ritchie

Key clients


Northern Ireland Housing Executive

WYG plc (now Tetratech)

Courtaulds Textiles

UIA Insurance


Travelers Insurance

Education Authority of NI


RM Dungannon Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advised Braidwater Spinning Co on a settlement over allegations of alleged noise induced hearing loss as a result of the plaintiff’s employment over a period of 30 years.
  • Advised UIA Insurance on claims arising out of kerosene leakage that resulted in personal injury claims.
  • Advising the Northern Ireland Housing Executive on various claims of personal injury.

Napier Solicitors

Napier Solicitors specialises in the communications, public authority and religious sectors, and is well known in these areas. The department is co-led by managing partner Joseph Napier and senior solicitor Claire Wilson; Napier covers motor, public and employer liability work, and has expertise in the areas of vicarious liability for assault and legacy liability, while Wilson has experience in high-value personal injury cases.

Practice head(s):

Joseph Napier; Claire Wilson

Key clients

Royal Mail


Education Authority

Northern Ireland Housing Executive

Archdiocese of Armagh

Ards & North Down Borough Council

Council Catholic Maintained Schools

Irish Christian Brothers

Good Shepherd Sisters

De La Salle Order

Work highlights

  • Represented a defendant employer client in a claim for occupational stress/psychiatric injury with substantial loss of earnings and loss of opportunity arising out of school employment/merger/amalgamation processes.
  • Represented a defendant employer client in hundreds of claims for industrial noise induced hearing loss and tinnitus.
  • Advised in relation to a high-value claim for psychiatric injury by a former resident of a training school run by a client.