David Leonard BL

  • Junior Counsel: 2005


Areas of Practice:
  • Administrative Law
  • General Practice
  • Judicial Review
  • Tort & Personal Injury Law
  • Constitutional Law
David Leonard BL

Other Memberships:
Climate Bar Association
Employment Bar Association
EU Bar Association
Immigration, Asylum & Citizenship Bar Association
Professional Regulatory and Disciplinary Association
Direct Professional Access:

David has extensive experience and expertise in public law, administrative, regulatory, constitutional law, judicial review, and EU law. He has appeared in cases involving these areas of law, both alone and led by senior counsel, since early in his career. David has substantial advocacy experience before a wide range of courts and tribunals. He has appeared alone before the High Court, the Circuit Court, the Fitness to Practise Committee of the Medical Council, the District Court, the Employment Appeals Tribunal, the International Protection Appeals Tribunal, and the former Refugee Appeals Tribunal; and in the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal led by senior counsel.

For the past number of years, David has been regularly briefed in cases by a wide range of private solicitors’ firms, the State, and the Legal Aid Board. He has been on the Bar Council’s register of masters and has acted as a master to devils since 2012.

In 2018, David was appointed by the Bar Council to be a junior counsel mentor to a fellow under the Denham Fellowship.

Recent cases and legal work include:

  • Cooney v. Health Service Executive [2021] IEHC 754 (Unreported, High Court, Simons J., 20 December 2021) (infant ruling in medical-negligence case)
  • M.S., M.W., and G.S. v. Minister for Justice C-616/19, EU:C:2020:1010 (Case referred to European Court of Justice by the High Court; whether certain provisions of the International Protection Act 2015 were incompatible with Directive 2004/83/EC) (junior counsel for G.S.)
  • Roderick Jones v. Minister for Justice [2019] IECA 285 (whether Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956 required applicant for naturalisation to remain entirely in the State for the year preceding the naturalisation application) (junior counsel for the applicant)
  • C v. International Protection Appeals Tribunal [2019] IEHC 762 and B v. International Protection Appeals Tribunal [2019] IEHC 763 (adequacy of reasons) (junior counsel for applicants)
  • Drafted rules of procedure for the Charity Appeals Tribunal, which became the Charity Appeals Tribunal (Charities Act 2009) Rules 2018 (S.I. No. 209 of 2018)
  • J.G.H. v. Residential Institutions Review Committee [2017] IESC 69, [2018] 3 I.R. 68 (interpretation of scheme of financial compensation established by the Residential Institutions Redress Act 2002) (junior counsel for the applicant)
  • Sinnott v. Minister for the Environment [2017] IEHC 214, [2017] 2 I.R. 570, [2018] 1 I.L.R.M. 204 (voting arrangements for visually-impaired persons) (junior counsel for the State (all defendants))
  • International Transport Workers’ Federation v. Minister for Justice and Equality [2018] IEHC 695 (three-day interlocutory-injunction hearing) (junior counsel for Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission, amicus curiae)
  • A.P. (Albania) v. Refugee Appeals Tribunal [2014] IEHC 493 (administrative tribunal under a duty to act judicially in dealing with adjournment applications) (junior counsel for applicant)
  • P (practising as . . . Solicitors) v. Employment Appeals Tribunal (Unreported, High Court, Kearns P., 28 November 2014) (whether, following certiorari of a tribunal decision, an appeal reverts to being a live matter on which a decision is outstanding without any need for a Court order remitting the matter) (junior counsel for applicant)

  • David is the coordinator of the King’s Inns Advanced Diploma in Immigration & Asylum Law and he shared responsibility for establishing this course in 2014
  • Since the year 2008-09, David has been course coordinator of the Asylum & Immigration Law module on the King’s Inns Barrister-at-Law degree course and has taught that module since 2007

David is a founding signatory to the Pro Bono Pledge Ireland (coordinated by PILA (the Public Law Alliance, a project of FLAC).

David is a barrister member of a review committee established by the Legal Services Regulatory Authority under the Legal Services Regulatory Act 2015, having been nominated to the review committee by the Bar Council.

As a pilot of the Supreme Court, J.G.H. v. Residential Institutions Review Committee [2017] IESC 69, [2018] 3 I.R. 68, featured as the first ever judgment televised by RTÉ News and David was the first barrister featured in Court on RTÉ News, successfully applying for costs, available at: https://www.rte.ie/news/courts/2017/1024/914737-supreme-court-broadcast/

Contact Form

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01-817 7698
087-259 0037
Law Library Four Courts Dublin 7
01-872 0455
@David Leonard

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