Roger McMillan > Carson McDowell > Belfast, Northern Ireland > Lawyer Profile

Carson McDowell
Northern Ireland

Work Department

Litigation (clinical negligence unit).


Managing partner of Carson McDowell and head of the healthcare team. Considerable experience dealing with mixed but primarily high-value clinical and dental negligence cases on behalf of Medical Protection Society (MPS), Dental Protection Limited (DPL), Medical and Dental Defence Union of Scotland (MDDUS), Association of Optometrists (AOP) and Lloyd’s Underwriters. Claims included failure to refer, failures to diagnose, delays in diagnosis, failures to treat, medication errors and intra-operative complications. Extensive experience in representing the interests of healthcare professionals at inquests, statutory inquiries, disciplinary hearings, matters before the Ombudsman and PSNI investigations. Many cases successfully defended and significantly reduced settlements negotiated on behalf of clients. Presentations given on all aspects of healthcare law. Considerable previous experience acting on behalf of many hospital trusts and the NHS Litigation Authority (NHSLA).


Trained McGrath & Co, Birmingham; qualified 1997; assistant Mills & Reeve, Birmingham 1998-2000; assistant Browne Jacobson, London 2000-01; assistant Carson McDowell 2001-02, associate 2002-05, partner 2005-19, managing partner 2019 – to date.


Law Society of Northern Ireland; Northern Ireland Medico-Legal Society; Association of Regulatory and Disciplinary Lawyers.


Coleraine Academical Institution; Brunel University (1994 LLB (Hons)); College of Law, Chester (1995).

Lawyer Rankings

Northern Ireland > Insurance > Personal injury and clinical negligence: defendant

(Leading individuals)

Roger McMillanCarson McDowell

Carson McDowell has strengthened its insurer client base following its merger with niche defence firm Francis J Irvine; it also acts for a range of large employers, public bodies, healthcare professionals and medical defence organisations. ‘The market leader in Belfast in clinical negligence‘, the team also has extensive experience in industrial disease, marine personal injury and fatal accident claims. Roger McMillan heads the healthcare team, while Jacqueline McAleese leads the clinical negligence claims team. Claire Harmer, who heads the defence litigation department, is noted for her inquest expertise.

Northern Ireland > Dispute resolution

The ‘professional and friendly‘ team at Carson McDowell has a ‘wide range of expertise with great depth of experience‘; it has been particularly active in the media and public sectors, but has also handled contract and company, IP, procurement and competition litigation. The ‘responsive and approachableDeclan Magee leads the team alongside healthcare head Roger McMillan. Hugh McGrattan heads the professional indemnity and insurance defence side of the practice, which was strengthened by the firm’s recent merger with Francis J Irvine Solicitors.

Ireland > Insurance

With offices in Belfast and Dublin, Carson McDowell is ‘an up-and-coming player in the defence healthcare market‘; it has expanded its operations in the Republic of Ireland recently with a number of new arrivals at associate level. The firm represents insurers in cases involving product liability, injury, and employer liability. The practice is led by Roger McMillan, who is also heads the healthcare group; Jacqueline McAleese, who specialises in clinical claims; and Claire Harmer, who acts in a wide range of claims.