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Paul O'Callaghan

Called to the bar at Gray's Inn in 2008, Paul is a specialist employment and civil barrister. He joined us in 2013, having previously practised as a solicitor-advocate with a national firm of solicitors.


Paul OCallaghan

An experienced and tenacious advocate, Paul is based in Cardiff but can attend court anywhere within England and Wales. He regularly provides drafting and advisory services to solicitors who routinely instruct him to attend hearings. Flexible and approachable, Paul is always willing to have an informal discussion about a case or query at any stage in proceedings.

Paul accepts instructions from the public on a direct access basis and has been granted full litigation privileges. He has received excellent feedback from both lay and professional clients and always welcomes feedback so that he can continue to improve upon the service that he provides. 

Paul's Experience

Called in 2008

Public Access Accredited

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

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Employment Law

As a specialist employment lawyer, Paul regularly appears at tribunals nationwide, but he prides himself on a conciliatory approach to employment disputes. The vast majority of cases that he deals with settle amicably without the need for a trial which ultimately saves time and costs.

Paul's employment work is generally split at 75% claimant and 25% respondent. He has successfully handled claims against major multi-national companies as well as public sector organisations.

Paul is regularly instructed by major insurers to provide legal opinions, and he also provides advice and assistance to employees and employers involved in disciplinary and grievance procedures. He recently acted in a group litigation case against an international bank represented by a Magic Circle law firm and Queen's Counsel. Paul was able to negotiate a settlement on behalf of the group in excess of £400,000.

Civil Law

Paul maintains a busy civil litigation practice which includes acting in property, contract and business disputes as well as personal Injury.

  • Employment Lawyers Association (ELA)
  • Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL)
  • Road Traffic Group
  • Personal Injury Group
  • Clinical Negligence Group
  • Motorcycle PI Group
  • Inquests Group
  • Industrial Disease Group
  • Fraud Group (Claimant) - RTA & PI Fraud Counsel
  • Credit Hire Group
  • Defendant Credit Hire Group
  • Costs Group
  • Employment Law Group
  • Contract Law Group
  • Consumer Credit Group
  • Sale of Goods Group
  • Landlord & Tenant Group
  • Insolvency & Bankruptcy
  • Public Access Accredited Group (also authorised to conduct litigation under Public Access rules)
Case profile

Whitbourn, Atherton, Neto -v- Key People Limited (1) Just Recruit Group Limited (2)

Paul represented three claimants on a direct access basis from day one through to a successful conclusion after a fully contested trial. The tribunal found that all three claimants were unfairly dismissed and Miss Whitbourn was discriminated against on the grounds of sex. The total award was in excess of £200,000, and the case was also reported in the national media. Both respondents were legally represented by expensive London solicitors who repeatedly threatened my clients with costs. 

Phillips -v- Pontcanna Pub Company Limited

Paul was instructed by local solicitors and represented a young female bartender who was violently choked by a colleague at a work Christmas party. The claimant complained to management, who turned a blind eye to the perpetrator’s conduct and sought to downplay the incident, even making jokes about it. The claimant resigned and brought a claim of constructive unfair dismissal. Her claim was successful following a trial where the respondent was represented by solicitors and counsel who threatened to make an application for costs if the claim was not successful. The case was widely reported in the media. 

Professor T Ahmed -v- United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust

The claimant instructed Paul directly and Paul represented him at a 10-day hearing before the Nottingham Employment Tribunal. The claimant’s claims of unfair dismissal, direct discrimination (race) and victimisation were upheld following a botched disciplinary hearing. The respondent NHS Trust fought the claim vigorously and sought to discredit the claimant’s evidence at trial, but the tribunal was highly critical of the respondent’s procedure in their judgment. The case was reported in the media, and a remedy hearing will be listed to determine compensation which is likely to be significant. 

Ahmed -v- Medexpress Limited

Paul represented the respondents on a direct access basis and successfully defended multiple claims, including constructive dismissal, discrimination on the grounds of race and sex as well as whistleblowing detriment during the course of a ten-day trial. The case was reported in the national media, and the judgment was circulated to the parties recently and is due to be published in the near future. 

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, Paul O'Callaghan, 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:, 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:



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