Michael McCormack BL

  • Junior Counsel: 2010

BA (Mod) French & Mathematics, TCD; Postgraduate Diploma in Legal Studies, King's Inns; Barrister-at-Law Degree, King's Inns; AITI, Irish Tax Institute

Areas of Practice:
  • Administrative Law
  • Commercial/Chancery
  • Criminal
  • General Common Law
  • General Practice
  • Judicial Review
  • Tort & Personal Injury Law
  • Banking, Finance & Securities
  • Constitutional Law
  • Data Protection Law
  • Defamation
  • Equality Law
  • European Law
  • Human Rights
  • Labour & Employment Law
  • Personal Injury
  • Professional Negligence
  • Protected Disclosures Law
  • Public Inquiries
  • Regulatory Law
  • Road Traffic Law
  • Technology Media & Internet Law
  • Tribunals of Inquiry & Commissions of Investigation
Michael McCormack BL

South Western
Bar of England & Wales
Other Memberships:
Climate Bar Association
Employment Bar Association
Financial Services Bar Association
Irish Tax Institute
Professional, Regulatory and Disciplinary Bar Association of Ireland
The Media, Internet & Data Protection Bar Association
Other Languages:
French (Fluent)
Direct Professional Access:

Michael regularly appears in all Courts in Ireland and in other tribunals, including professional disciplinary / regulatory tribunals and statutory employment law tribunals.

Michael is in general practice, but has particular interest and experience in professional disciplinary and regulatory law, professional negligence law, public law (including administrative / investigative / regulatory matters, and including constitutional law), employment law, criminal law, defamation law, commercial / chancery law, data protection law, and personal injuries law.

He is a member of the Attorney General’s and the Central Bank of Ireland’s panels of counsel and has extensive experience of State work (both court and advisory) for other State bodies, including the State Claims Agency, the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission, and the Data Protection Commission.

He is a member of the Professional, Regulatory and Disciplinary Bar Association of Ireland, the Employment Bar Association, the Financial Services Bar Association, the Media, Internet & Data Protection Bar Association and the Climate Bar Association.

He has a particular interest in, and regularly undertake training in, courtroom advocacy (including litigation strategy) and witness handling, including the Keble Advanced International Advocacy Course in 2019 and regular Bar of Ireland Advanced Advocacy training.

Michael was called to the Bar in Michelmas Term 2010, having completed the King’s Inns Postgraduate Diploma in Legal Studies (he studied French and mathematics at undergraduate level) and the Barrister-at-Law Degree.

He was called to the Bar of England and Wales by The Honourable Society of the Middle Temple in 2018.

He is an Associate of the Irish Tax Institute (a qualified Chartered Tax Advisor).

Michael’s recent or significant cases and legal work include:

Professional disciplinary matters

AB and XY Financial Consulting (2022 to 2023): Sole counsel for the Respondent accountant and firm in complaints before the Disciplinary Tribunal, and Appeal Panel, of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Ireland (CPA Ireland). One complaint was dismissed at first instance and the remaining complaint was dismissed on appeal, leaving no complaints upheld against the clients.

Acting for solicitor clients before the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal.

Professional negligence matters

O’Neill & Anor v. Heffernan (High Court 2023 / 2620 P): Sole counsel for the plaintiffs in an action to enforce a solicitor’s compliance with an undertaking regarding property deeds, for the payment of compensation or damages, and related matters.

Guildea v. Murphy (High Court 2012 / 9843 P) and Murphy v. Murphy (High Court 2012 / 9844 P): Junior counsel for the plaintiffs in related actions arising from a solicitor’s failure to ensure certain steps were taken before completing a conveyance and related matters.

Geoghegan v. O’Donnell (High Court 2019 / 2622 P): Junior counsel for the plaintiff in an action arising from the loss of a property deed by a solicitor and related matters.

Public law / administrative / investigative / regulatory matters

Advising investigative and regulatory bodies, both in the context of litigation and in their statutory roles more generally.

Regularly advising and representing the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) in various matters, in particular discovery and disclosure applications by and against it, on its obligations regarding admissibility of complaints and communications with complainants and with garda members under investigation, and on its powers to obtain evidence in non-criminal investigations, on the exercise of its investigative powers, and on whether matters constitute an offence by a member of An Garda Síochána requiring referral to the DPP.

O’Farrell v. Garda Commissioner & Ors (High Court 2014 / 5116 P): Sole counsel for GSOC in an application for non-party discovery in a sensitive action by a bereaved family.

GSOC v. Tiernan (Eastern Circuit, County of Louth, 2018 / 00536): Sole counsel for GSOC in the successful, first ever, court application pursuant to section 96(8) of the Garda Síochána Act 2005.

Advising GSOC on the application of the Article 2 ECHR investigative obligation (i.e. the State’s obligation to investigate certain deaths) to a sensitive investigation involving the death of a member of An Garda Síochána.

Acting as sole counsel for GSOC in various non-party discovery matters, including:
Keegan v. Commissioner of An Garda Siochana & Ors (High Court 2020 / 7669 P)
Hazel McCormack v. Commissioner of An Garda Siochana & Anor (High Court 2021 / 1493 P)
Bogdan Surovs (suing by his mother and next friend Aleksandra Surova) v. Commissioner of An Garda Síochána and Anor (High Court 2019 / 7437)
Austin Waldron v. Commissioner of An Garda Síochána (High Court 2019 / 8081 P)
Paul Ryan v. Commissioner of An Garda Síochána & Ors (High Court 2015 / 8780 P)

Data Protection Commission inquiry into an online advertising service: Advising the Data Protection Commission (DPC) on a large inquiry into Europe-wide processing of personal data by a large online advertising provider and in particular on various interim / draft statements of fact and decisions in that inquiry, including a draft decision for review by European data protection authorities (which included decisions on substantial administrative fines and other sanctions).

Advising the DPC on its obligations and powers in cross-border enforcement in cooperation with other European regulators, in particular on the effect and adequacy of Irish statutory instruments implementing the relevant EU law.

Member of the Central Bank of Ireland’s panel of counsel for the provision of legal advices and legal representation and support in relation to the Bank’s enforcement responsibilities.

Advising the Department of Justice and Equality on time-critical discovery matters relating to the O’Higgins Commission and the Charleton Tribunal, specifically the Department’s response to the order of the Tribunal of Inquiry into protected disclosures made under the Protected Disclosures Act 2014 and certain other matters (Charleton J) dated 21st February 2017 and further related orders.

Documentary counsel to the O’Higgins Commission (Commission of Investigation into Certain Matters Relative to the Cavan/Monaghan Division of the Garda Síochána).

Employment matters

Karpicz v. Graham O’Sullivan Restaurants Limited (Dublin Circuit Court 2019 / 3175): Sole counsel for the successful Plaintiff in an action for pregnancy-related discrimination and dismissal pursuant to section 77(3) of the Employment Equality Act 1998 resulting in an award of over €50,000 plus costs (pending appeal).

Morgan v. Euronext (Labour Court ADE/19/59): Sole counsel for the respondent employer in securing the striking out of the complainant employee’s appeal (in an employment equality matter) for want of prosecution, pursuant to section 102 of the Employment Equality Act 1998.

Stella v. Atradius Reinsurance DAC (Workplace Relations Commission ADJ-00036473): Sole counsel for the respondent employer in securing the striking out of the complainant employee’s complaint of unfair dismissal on preliminary grounds.

El Kininy v. HSE (High Court 2017 / 11607 P): Junior counsel for an employee in a High Court challenge to a State body’s mandatory retirement age.

Acting for parties in various employment bullying and harassment claims in the form of personal injuries actions.

Judicial review

Advising GSOC in pre-litigation correspondence and other matters in threatened judicial reviews by complainants and members of An Garda Síochána.

Advising and representing clients in judicial reviews of statutory employment bodies, for example acting as sole counsel for the Notice Parties (complainant employees) in TA Hotels Limited v. The Labour Court (High Court 2018 / 808 JR).

Advising and representing respondents to judicial review, for example acting as sole counsel for the Respondent, a regulatory body, in Fogarty v. Register of Gas Installers of Ireland & Anor (High Court 2015 / 362 JR) in opposing an application for judicial review by a gas installer.

Human rights / constitutional matters

Advising a client regarding a possible action against the State arising from her previous imprisonment for contempt of court notwithstanding her lack of legal representation at the time.

Hayes v. Commissioner of An Garda Síochána & Ors (High Court 2019 / 1800 P) (and four related actions): Junior counsel for a woman and her family in substantial actions against the State for historic malicious prosecution and related wrongs (including challenges to historic findings of a Tribunal of Inquiry), which were ultimately settled with the State consenting to an order regarding the Tribunal’s findings.

Data protection matters

Walsh v. The Courts Service (High Court 2023 / 221 P): Junior counsel for the plaintiff in an action arising from a data breach by the Courts Service, including claims of breach of the in camera rule and of constitutional and Convention rights.

Commercial matters

Modulartech Ltd T/A Satworld v. Commissioner of An Garda Síochána & Ors (High Court 2020 / 6741 P): Sole counsel for a large television broadcaster (Sky Ireland Limited) in defending an action arising from the seizure of certain devices from another party by An Garda Síochána (which involved issues about the procedural and substantive legality of such seizure and other questions relating to State body’s powers), including an application to dismiss the claim as against the broadcaster for failing to disclose a reasonable cause of action and as being bound to fail (Stack J, unreported, 21st March 2022) and which ultimately resulted in the State defendants indemnifying the non-State defendants.

Defamation matters

Reilly v. Drunken Fish Limited (Dublin Circuit Court 4239 / 2020): Sole counsel for the successful defendant in a defamation action.

Criminal matters

DPP v. MOD (Bill Number CC0120/18): Junior counsel for accused in a historic sexual assault case in the Central Criminal Court, resulting in a nolle prosequi.

DPP v. DL (Bill Number CC0063/14): Junior counsel for accused in a historic sexual assault case in the Central Criminal Court, resulting in an acquittal.

Representing clients in various drink driving and road traffic cases in the District Court and on appeal.

Advising certain clients on matters involving or related to criminal law, for example advices to GSOC and other State bodies.

Personal injuries matters

Acting (with and without senior counsel) for plaintiff and defendants in various personal injuries matters, including employment bullying and harassment claims and other psychiatric injury claims.

Previously a member of the State Claims Agency’s panel of counsel, instructed (with and without senior counsel) in personal injuries matters in all courts on behalf of the Health Service Executive, An Garda Síochána, the Prisons Service (both conventional personal injuries matters and in-cell sanitation (“slopping-out”) matters involving constitutional and Convention rights), and various other government Departments / Ministers.

Bennett v. Minister for Health and Children & Ors (High Court 2012/12009 P) and Blackwell v. Minister for Health and Children & Ors (High Court 2017/9907 P): Documentary counsel for the HSE and Minister for Health in two related complex vaccine damage test cases in the High Court, involving several million documents.



(Please note that a barrister is prohibited from charging costs in the particular circumstances contained in section 149 of the Legal Services Regulation Act 2015.)

Maritime Institute of Ireland
Since 2020, Michael has been a charity trustee / director and member of Finance and Governance Committee of the Maritime Institute of Ireland, a registered charity which operates the National Maritime Museum of Ireland in Dun Laoghaire.

Council of the Honorable Society of King’s Inns
From 2018 to 2020 Michael was an elected member of the practising barristers’ panel of the Council of the Honorable Society of King’s Inns.

Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project
In 2014 Michael was a visiting lawyer / investigator with MAIP, a US organisation which investigates and litigates potential wrongful conviction cases in DC, Maryland and Virginia.


087-654 6098
Law Library Four Courts Dublin 7
@Michael McCormack

Download Profile

Find a Barrister, Mediator or Arbitrator

Advanced Search