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John-Paul McCarthy

Call 2018

About Me

A native of Cork City in the Republic of Ireland, John-Paul successfully completed pupillage in Chambers between 2018 and 2019, and took up tenancy in October 2019. He practices in all areas of family law, especially public children, private children, financial remedies, Court of Protection work, and TOLATA claims. He has his hands full at the moment with the Children Act 1989 and the Family Law Act 1996.

Prior to commencing pupillage, John-Paul worked as an executive officer with the judicial review department in the Immigration and Asylum Division of the Home Office. Here he advised the Secretary of State on the merits of judicial review applications that were lodged in the Upper Tribunal of the Asylum and Immigration Chamber, and in the Administrative Court. He also wrote the formal legal instructions to the Government Legal Department. The majority of these applications turned on Article 8 ECHR, but he also dealt extensively with EU law, especially the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2016 (2016 No. 1052) as they applied to the attempted removal of convicted foreign-born nationals from the UK. He developed a particular interest in judicial review applications from those who claimed they would face religious persecution if returned to their homelands.

Before coming to the Bar, John-Paul had an academic career where he specialized in Victorian intellectual and political history. He also worked as a speech writer and research assistant for Senator Harris, who was appointed to the Upper House of the Irish Parliament, Seanad Éireann, under Article 18.3 of the Constitution of Ireland by Prime Minister Ahern in 2007.

Court of Protection


B.A. National University of Ireland (History and Philosophy. Joint Honours). First Class Honours. (Graduated first in class).

DPhil. University of Oxford. (Doctorate title: ‘W.E. Gladstone’s Irish questions: an historical approach, 1833-1886’).

Graduate Diploma in Law. Oxford Brookes University, UK. (Distinction).

BPTC. City Law School, London. (Very Competent).


Association of Lawyers for Children

The Honourable Society of the Middle Temple

Awards and scholarships

Government of Ireland Research Scholar in the Humanities and Social Sciences.

George J. Mitchell Peace Scholar, Department of Political Science, University of Maine, USA.

Research exchange scholar, Department of History, University of California, San Diego, USA.

Usher-Cunningham Doctoral Scholar in Modern History, Exeter College, University of Oxford.

Oxford Brookes University School of Law GDL Entrance Scholarship.

Diplock GDL Scholarship and Blackstone Exhibition, The Honourable Society of the Middle Temple.

The Queen Mother BPTC Scholarship, The Honourable Society of the Middle Temple.



Chambers Awards

Chambers UK Bar
Leading Set 2020

The Legal 500
Leading Set 2020

Family Law Awards
Shortlisted 2019 Awards

family law awards