Hall Of Fame

Personal injury and clinical negligence: defendant in Northern Ireland

Carson McDowell

Carson McDowell‘s department works closely with the Dublin office to offer comprehensive service across Ireland. The practice is split into two distinct teams for clinical negligence and personal injury, offering great depth of experience in both areas. Managing partner Roger McMillan leads the healthcare team, for which he defends claims on behalf of medical organisations in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Jacqueline McAleese  supports McMillan on the clinical negligence side, specialising in birth injury, cervical cancer, and expedited cancer cases. The defence insurance litigation team is co-led by Catherine Carton, who deals with employer and public liability claims, and Cathal O’Neill, an expert in industrial disease claims.

Practice head(s):

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

Testimonials

‘Roger McMillen leads a very strong team who are the premier clinical negligence specialists in Northern Ireland.’

‘Roger McMillen is very well regarded and the doyen of clinical negligence in Belfast.’

‘Very knowledgeable team.’

‘Focused on achieving the best outcome.’

‘The legal expertise of Carson McDowell LLP is second to none. However, what really makes them stand out is their commercial awareness and their ability to tailor their advices to deal with the commercial realities of the matter on which they are advising.’

‘The individuals we work with at Carson McDowell have a clear understanding of both our industry and our requirements. They are ALWAYS on hand to provide advice when called upon.’

Key clients

Belfast Harbour Commissioners

Travelers Insurance

Axis Capital

Enstar

Sedgwick

Faraday Insurance

Chubb Insurance

Riverstone Insurance

Davies Casualty/Garwyn

TT Club/Thomas Miller Claims Management

Crawford Loss Adjusters/Broadspire

Northern Ireland Electricity Networks Limited

Beale & Co

McLarens

Stena Line

Work highlights

  • Instructed by Riverstone Insurance and Crawfords Specialist Liability Services to act on behalf of a client in relation to an employer’s liability claim for £750,000 that was settled for a heavily compromised figure of £150,000.
  • Instructed by Broadspire to act on behalf of a client in relation to an employer’s liability claim.
  • Instructed by Northern Ireland Electricity Networks Limited in relation to a dispute involving a subcontractor.

Clyde & Co LLP

Clyde & Co LLP, formerly Clyde & Co, is active in the full range of catastrophic injury and large loss cases, covering motor claims, employer liability, public liability, and more. The team has a client list of major insurers, including AXA, Aviva, Zurich, and MIB. Cormac Fitzpatrick leads on catastrophic injury and large loss cases, and has presented as a guest lecturer at Queen’s University Belfast. Patrick Connolly specialises in employer, public, and product liability, and worked as the department’s client relationship partner. Eileen Doherty, who completes the lead trio, has over 30 years experience in the practice area, and specialises in liability and motor cases in both High Court and County Court litigation.

Practice head(s):

Cormac Fitzpatrick; Eileen Doherty; Patrick Connolly

Other key lawyers:

Rachel Keenan

Key clients

QBE

Aviva

AXA insurance

Zurich

Ageas

DLG

Education Authority

Hastings

RSA

MIB

Work highlights

    DAC Beachcroft

    DAC Beachcroft is a recent entry into the Northern Irish market and caters exclusively to the insurance and clinical negligence sector. The firm acts for major insurers such as Ecclesiastical, NFUM, and Sabre, as well as public and professional bodies and self-insured entities. Sean McGahan leads the team and focuses on legacy disease claims, including asbestos litigation and noise-induced hearing loss. McGahan is supported by Aisling Mellon, who is a motor specialist and covers casualty claims across multiple sectors, and Peter Campbell, who focuses on catastrophic injury and large loss cases.

    Practice head(s):

    Sean McGahan

    Other key lawyers:

    Aisling Mellon; Peter Campbell; Catriona McCorry

    Testimonials

    ‘Personable, intelligent and kind solicitors. They keep us updated on claims and are available at short notice when we need advice.’

    ‘The practice is well-known as one of the industry heavyweights in Northern Ireland and in my view is the ‘go to’ firm for cases there.’

    ‘Sean McGahan is highly competent, personable, responsive and sensitive to the realities of the commercial world.’

    ‘DAC Beachcroft employs a team of professional, knowledgeable solicitors who provide the highest level of expertise and demonstrate creativity, innovation and diligence in handling employers, public and products liability claims.’

    ‘Strong leadership and diverse knowledge.’

    ‘Sean Mcgahan is very approachable and always keen to help and provide advice. His responses and consideration are methodical, well thought out and take into account the wider implications of proposed strategies.’

    ‘DAC’s team is sensible, straightforward and extremely driven.’

    ‘Aisling Mellon is a solicitor who is in high demand amongst clients across the insurance sector in Northern Ireland and is equally well respected by her peers.’

    Key clients

    Northern Ireland Water

    Corvelia Underwriting

    Sabre Insurance Company Limited

    ASDA Stores Limited

    Ecclesiastical

    Riverstone

    Resolute Management Limited

    Marks and Spencer

    NFUM

    Admiral

    Work highlights

    • Advised a major multi-line insurer on two related motor claims with fraudulent indicators resulting in withdrawal of one claim and strike out of the other.
    • Deflected a potentially high-value clinical negligence claim against a plastic surgery company on grounds of jurisdiction.
    • Secured a discontinuance of a legacy disease case by utilising historical knowledge of Northern Ireland’s industrial history to uncover compelling witness and physical evidence for the defence of the claim.

    Kennedys

    Kennedys fields a specialist clinical negligence team highly experienced in working for private hospitals, medical professionals, and MDOs. The team has a significant market share of healthcare facility insurers and has longstanding experience in acting on high-value cases. The ‘tireless and fearsomeAmanda Wylie leads the department, offering more than 25 years’ experience in clinical negligence, with expertise including motor accidents, workplace injury, and marine insurance. Wylie is supported by a team of associates, including legal director Megan Boyd, legal director Frances Thompson, and senior associate Ian Martindale.

    Practice head(s):

    Amanda Wylie

    Other key lawyers:

    Megan Boyd; Frances Thompson; Ian Martindale

    Testimonials

    ‘Kennedys brings a national approach and skillset to a regional legal environment. They are insurance-focused and always commercially aware in their approach to claims.’

    ‘Senior partner Amanda Wylie has a well-earned reputation as a tireless and fearsome advocate for her clients’ interests.’

    ‘A relatively small team, but staffed by excellent, hardworking solicitors.’

    ‘Amanda Wylie is brilliant; extremely hardworking and eminently sensible.’

    ‘Associates Frances Thompson and Megan Boyd bring an exceptional level of detail and legal analysis to their cases along with a costs- and risk-aware approach. They stand out in the local legal environment.’

    ‘Extremely good team; apparently seamless transition from two firms to one.’

    ‘The team as a whole are very responsive, queries are dealt with on a timely and efficient manner.’

    ‘Senior partner Victoria McLean is widely acknowledged to be on of the leading operators in her field with a wealth of insurance and litigation knowledge and experience, a determination to defend her clients interests and an acute commercial awareness. Truly at the top of her game.’

    Work highlights

      Tughans

      Tughans‘ ‘knowledgable, reliable and totally trustworthy‘ team has a diverse work profile, and continues to gain in profile in the market, developing its practice for corporate entities and insurers. Kathy McGillie co-heads the team, and focuses on personal injury cases – particularly catastrophic injury, industrial disease, and accident-at-work claims. Co-head Andrew Anthony leads on clinical negligence, and has a strong reputation which makes him a popular choice for uninsured medical professionals, as well as major national level clients. Neil Smyth is another key name, specialising in employer’s and public liability claims. Alistair Wilson acts on high-value medical negligence work.

      Practice head(s):

      Kathy McGillie; Andrew Anthony

      Other key lawyers:

      Neil Smyth; Alistair Wilson; Francesca Glynn

      Testimonials

      ‘Ms Kathy Mc Gillie is the lead partner. She has a detailed legal knowledge specialising in industrial disease. She leads by example and is very industrious.’

      ‘The team at Tughans treat each client as an individual, they take time in detail to discuss each case, the options and best way forward.’

      ‘An excellent firm providing a first class service for the MDU in NI.’

      ‘Anthony heads the department ably assisted by Alistair. They all have an in-depth knowledge of the sector. Anthony and Alistair have first-class judgment and are very sound tacticians. Francesca shows good attention to detail.’

      ‘I have found them very helpful, always available and clear in what they need and expect. They are easily contactable, something that is not always found in some firms.

      I would highly recommend Alistair and the firm to anyone’

      ‘The practice has an excellent reputation, built up over many years of expertise and knowledge in this sector, both in the general business community and in particular with insurers and brokers.’

      ‘Kathy McGillie and her team in Tughans are knowledgable, reliable and totally trustworthy.’

      Work highlights

        Arthur Cox Belfast

        Arthur Cox Belfast is active for insurers and large corporate clients and acts across the UK and internationally. Chris Ritchie leads the team, and impresses with his broad range of personal injury expertise, including employers, public, and occupier liability claims. Ritchie additionally has experience in key areas such as hearing loss, asbestos-related illness, and product liability issues. Associate Kristina Cunningham is another key team member.

        Practice head(s):

        Chris Ritchie

        Other key lawyers:

        Kristina Cunningham

        Testimonials

        ‘Services are transparent and I had never a request or issue with invoiced services.’

        ‘I always have the feeling that the team takes care of our company.’

        Key clients

        Stryker

        Northern Ireland Housing Executive

        WYG plc (now Tetratech)

        Courtaulds Textiles

        UIA Insurance

        ZimmerBiomet

        Travelers Insurance

        Education Authority of NI

        Medtronic

        RM Dungannon Ltd

        Work highlights

        • Advising Stryker Corporation, this year obtaining court orders in two separate cases confirming that the claims were struck out with no order as to costs.
        • Advised Tetratech in relation to a fatality occurring at a property in respect of which the client had designed certain remedial works.
        • Resolved a highly contentious personal injury claim for RM Dungannon.

        Keoghs LLP

        Keoghs LLP is a recent entry into the Northern Irish market, forming its new department through the acquisition of Caldwell Warner in 2019, and the Hool Law insurance team in 2020. The practice now covers a broad range of matters, but is particularly active in the motor sector. Scott McCarroll joined the firm in 2021 from DWF and now co-heads the practice with Victoria McLean, who specialises in complex and large loss litigation across numerous sectors. Associate Anthony Murphy provides key support.

        Practice head(s):

        Scott McCarroll; Victoria McLean

        Other key lawyers:

        Anthony Murphy

        Work highlights

          Napier Solicitors

          Napier Solicitors is best known for its work in the public authority and matters involving religious institutions, where the team is active on a range of safeguarding and abuse cases. Managing partner Joseph Napier co-leads the department alongside Claire Wilson. Napier has a history in motor, public liability and employer liability cases, and is recognised as an expert in the area of vicarious assault liability. Wilson primarily acts on personal injury defence litigation and represents both private and public clients.

          Practice head(s):

          Joseph Napier; Claire Wilson

          Key clients

          Royal Mail

          BT

          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 the Education Authority in claim for occupation stress induced PTSD with substantial loss of earnings and loss of opportunity.
          • Represented BT 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 De la Salle.

          Cleaver Fulton Rankin

          Cleaver Fulton Rankin is primarily active on liability cases, frequently representing clients before the High Court. Michael King leads the team and has notable experience in dealing with complex personal injury claims. His qualified in mediation and alternative dispute resolution is a further asset.

          Practice head(s):

          Michael King

          Testimonials

          ‘The CFR team has a great reach and use of technology making access to clients smooth, efficient and user-friendly. The team has a great depth of knowledge and is both friendly and accessible.’

          ‘Michael King is a very knowledgeable personal injury defence practitioner. He backs up his depth of knowledge with a real understanding of the issues at hand.’

          Key clients

          RSA Insurance

          AIG Insurance

          AON Claims Management

          Musgrave Retail Partners (NI) Limited

          Equine and Livestock Insurance Company

          Work highlights

          • Advising Aon and Musgrave Retail Partners (NI) Limited on a number of personal injury cases in both the County and High Courts.
          • Acting for RSA in the defence of personal injury claims.
          • Acting for a scientific non-public governmental body in defence of personal injury claims which occurred across its portfolio of facilities.