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Deirdre Smythe

A dual-qualified barrister at the English and Irish Bar, Deirdre Smythe has extensive experience in family and criminal law, as well as other aspects of civil law.

With an empathetic approach, Deirdre speaks on behalf of those who may not be able to articulate themselves, including those with a disability and mental health issues. She fights on her client's behalf to get the best possible case outcome.



Deidre Smith (1)

Deirdre’s legal career began as a Child Protection Officer and a Children’s Rights Advocate. She visited a number of Disabled Children’s Homes to ensure their environment was safe and that proper education was provided. Deirdre has a background in social work, the Probation Service and the Ministry of Justice, whilst completing her law degree and post qualifications for the bar. She also has experience as a County Court Advocate.

As a result, Dee has a unique understanding of the social care system, legal system and prison service and adopts a holistic approach to helping her clients resolve their cases. Deirdre says, “As a Barrister, I listen to what my clients have to say. I act as I would want to be represented, with respect, warmth and sincerity.”

Deirdre accepts instructions from both solicitors and members of the public. She adopts a balanced approach, representing both claimants and respondents, victims and defendants. She regularly appears in the County Courts, Family Courts and Magistrates' Courts, as well as attending the High Court, Crown Court and Court of Appeal. Deirdre was part of the legal team at the first-ever televised hearing at the Supreme Court in Ireland in which they won their historic case by a majority ruling.

Passionate about access to justice, Derdre completes pro bono work for Justice for Women. She also works pro bono for bail for immigration detainees, representing individuals who are in detention centres.

Deirdre's Experience

Called in 2017

Public Access Accredited


Barristers in England and Wales are regulated by the Bar Standards Board

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Family Law

Prior to joining the Bar, Deirdre was a children’s rights advocate, obtaining Criminal Injuries Compensation for young people in care. She has a background in social work and child protection.

Deirdre's busy family law practice includes the following areas:

  • Children matters (Care, Adoption, Protection and Child Arrangement Orders)
  • All aspects of Local Authority proceedings
  • Injunctive proceedings before the family courts (contested non-molestation and occupation order applications)

Dee has experience of representing both parents and local authorities on child protection matters. Her background in local authority child protection work makes her an ideal condidate for instructions on cases featuring heavy social services involvement. In her current practice, she represents clients in all private law hearings, including domestic violence, harassment and children matters. She also represents clients in public law matters (care proceedings).

Criminal Law

Deirdre's experience spans:

  • Assault
  • Offences involving violence
  • Robbery (gang-related) 
  • Sexual abuse
  • Substance misuse
  • Terrorism 

She is able to take on Crown Court Defence claims.

Memberships & Advisory
  • West Midland Family Bar Association

  • Birmingham Law Society’s Family and Criminal Committees

  • Mental Health Lawyer’s Association

  • Criminal Bar Association.

  • Association of Lawyers for Children

  • Member of Midland Circuit and Justice.

Case Profile
  • Court of Appeal: Re S (A Child) 2016 EWCA Civ 495
  • Supreme Court of Ireland: Re J.G.H v Residential Institutions Review Committee and Anor 2017 IESC 69

Privacy Policy

1. This is a privacy notice that describes how, why and for how long I will process or keep your personal data in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (‘GDPR’).
2. The GDPR governs how an individual’s personal data is used, and your rights in relation to that data.
3.  I, Deirdre Smythe, have been instructed by you or your litigation friend (usually a parent), through your solicitor or agent, or via the Bar Pro Bono Unit.
4.  It is necessary for me to process your personal data in order for me to provide you with legal services, for example:

  • Advise on the prospects of litigation;
  • Advise on the value of your claim;
  • Representation at a court hearing;
  • Representation at trial;
  • Advise, review or comment on legal issues or evidence.

5. Processing means anything done to data such as: recording, organising, adapting, altering, copying, consulting, transmitting, combining, erasing or storing it.

6.The processing for the purposes listed above will take place in accordance with either Article 6(1)(a) GDPR or Article 6(1)(b) GDPR, depending on how you instructed me.

7. If you have instructed me on a direct access basis, or engaged a solicitor (or legal agent), to assist you in bringing or defending a claim then the processing is necessary to perform a contract to which you are a party (Article 6(1)(b) GDPR). To give effect to that contract (i.e. to bring a claim) it is necessary for me to process your personal data for litigation purposes.

8. If I am assisting you on a pro bono basis, it will be necessary for me to seek your consent to be able to represent you (Article 6(1)(a) GDPR). In this scenario, you will be sent a consent form.

Recipients of your data

9.  I may also be required to share your data with others, depending on the nature of your case. This may include:

(i)  Courts and other tribunals to whom documents are presented;

(ii) Your solicitors, or agent representing you, through whom I have been instructed;

(iii) Potential witnesses, experts and other persons involved in the case;

(iv) Solicitors, barristers, or other legal representatives;

(v) Ombudsman and regulatory authorities;

(vi) Education and examining bodies; and

(vii) Current, past or prospective employers.

Special Categories of Data

10.  In some cases I will have been given your personal data that is within the ‘special categories’ of data described in GDPR Article 9(1). For example, personal data that reveals your race, ethnicity, sexual preferences, political or religious beliefs, trade union membership or health. There are also restrictions for processing information regarding criminal convictions.

11. This type of personal data will only be processed where it is necessary in order to represent you in your legal claim, or advise on the prospects of a legal claim.


12. I will retain your personal data for no longer than is necessary, and where it is possible, I will anonymise your data.

13. How long your personal data is kept will depend on a number of factors. The retention period will be reviewed when the service I am providing you with is complete. However in general, I am obliged by the Bar Code of Conduct to retain records of my cases, and by HM Revenue and Customs to retain records for 6 years.

14. Once your case has concluded and fees have been paid, I shall retain only the personal data necessary for the following purposes:

(i) The legal and professional obligation to retain information relating to my cases;

(ii) To check for any potential conflict of interests that may arise in the future when I am instructed on other cases;

(iii) For use in the defence of potential complaints, legal proceedings or fee disputes;

(iv) To refer back to in future cases which raise similar legal, factual, or procedural issues.

15. The processing for the purposes listed in paragraph 14 (ii), (iii), and (iv) above, will take place in accordance with Article 6(1)(f) GDPR. That is, for the purposes of legitimate interests that are not outweighed by your interests or fundamental rights and freedoms.

16. The processing for the purposes listed in paragraph 14(i) above, will take place in accordance with Article 6(1)(c) GDPR. That is, the processing is necessary for me to comply with a legal obligation. 

Your Rights

17. Where processing of your personal data was based on your consent (see paragraphs 6 and 8) you have the right to withdraw that consent at any time. This does not affect the lawfulness of the processing based on consent before its withdrawal.

18. Withdrawal of your consent to process such data will most likely mean that I am no longer able to provide you with the legal services you seek.

19. You may request confirmation that your personal data is being processed by me and details about the personal data, the source, the processing, the purposes of the processing, the recipients and the retention period.

20. You may request a copy of your personal data that is being processed by me. You may also request rectification (i.e. correction) where there are inaccuracies in the personal data.

21. You have the right to object, on grounds relating to your particular situation, at any time, to processing of your personal data in paragraph 14 of this privacy notice. Should you object, the processing will only continue where there are compelling legitimate grounds for the processing which override your fundamental rights, freedoms and interests. 

22. Where the processing or retention of your data is necessary for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims, it will not be possible to object. 

23. You have the right to request that your personal data is erased where any of the following apply:

(i) The personal data are no longer necessary in relation to the purposes for which they were collected or otherwise processed;

(ii) You withdraw your consent where the basis of processing was based on consent and where there is no other ground for the processing;

(iii) Where your fundamental rights, freedoms and interests override the legitimate interests of processing in paragraph 14;

(iv) The personal data has been unlawfully processed; or

(v) The personal data have to be erased to comply with a legal obligation.

24. You have the right to request that your personal data is restricted from processing, so that it is simply stored, for the following reasons: as an alternative to deletion; so that it can be corrected; for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims; to verify if a legitimate ground exists (paragraph 14).

25. Where it is necessary to correct your personal data, or you have requested the restriction or erasure of your personal data, I shall endeavour to contact the recipients of the personal data, unless this involves disproportionate effort. 


26. I take appropriate physical and technical procedures to safeguard your personal data to prevent it from being accidentally lost, used or accessed in an unauthorised way. 

Complaints or Queries

27. If you have any questions regarding this privacy notice, or how I use your personal data please email me: mailto:, or my clerks: telephone 01823 247 247.

28. I shall aim to respond as soon as possible, and within 30 days.

29. You have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) if you believe I have not handled your request in an appropriate manner. For information on contacting the ICO please go to:

Deirdre's Testimonials

Deirde has simply been an amazing, honest, trustworthy, reliable and super intelligent barrister and advocate for us. Her knowledge and expertise in the family, probation and prison law space has been absolutely invaluable.

Her professionalism, patience and due diligence has been second to none and I have no doubt we would not have been able to get the result we did without her.


Lay client

Deirdre is very determined, very driven, she is without a doubt absolutely brilliant at what she does, putting in all her time and effort even out of hours to support me. The outcomes were all in my favour thanks to Deirdre.


Lay client

I have used Deirdre Smythe for several hearings in the Family courts and have always found her to be extremely knowledgeable and supportive, going above and beyond to ensure that we were both fully prepared.

The support Deirdre provides in this field is unique in that her honesty, passion and sincerity is unlike any representation I have had previously. Her eloquent and respectful approach in court provided me with confidence that allowed me to strongly advocate for my children and I am very grateful.


Lay client

I was self-representing when the other side managed to get legal aid, and I was then at a massive disadvantage with the hearing just around the corner. Dee and I spoke out of hours on several occasions which was incredibly helpful as I have very limited childcare. Dee advised me on areas where I had been poorly advised, and ultimately helped me achieve the right outcome with regard to a contested NMO. She was both grounding and inspirational, professional and determined, most of all a damn good barrister who was an absolute pleasure to work with. 


Lay client

Dee Smythe came in last minute to help on a complex family case, and her approach was both knowledgeable and professional. Dee was able to grasp the situation quickly and was tenacious in her provision in court, resulting in a positive outcome. I am very grateful to Stassi who organised everything quickly and with clarity, and for Dee’s invaluable ability to empower me as a client to tackle paperwork, which ensured me greater understanding of the whole legal process.


Lay client

I was put in touch with Dee Smythe, and straight from the first telephone call I trusted her. She today has gone above and beyond for my son, from being told that his case had been adjourned, she went all out to make it happen. I went home with my family today and I am so very grateful. If you ever find the need to get yourself a barrister, get yourself a great one and instruct Dee Smythe, her determination, professionalism, and knowledge is overwhelmingly reassuring. Thank you so very much Dee.


Lay client (Crown Court Defence)



Family Law Barristers (1)-1


Contact us about working with Deirdre

If you’d like to work with Deirdre Smythe or any of our other specialist TBG Family barristers, send us your details and we’ll get back to you.