Claire Harmer > Carson McDowell > Belfast, Northern Ireland > Lawyer Profile
Carson McDowell Offices
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Partner and 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).
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.
Belfast-headquartered Carson McDowell launched its practice in Ireland in 2016 and recently strengthened its team with the appointment of Sinéad Keavey, who joined from William Fry in November 2020, as head of the Dublin office. The team, which is led by Roger McMillan, Jacqueline McAleese and Claire Harmer, focuses on the defence of medical negligence and personal injury claims throughout the island of Ireland.
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