Profile and practice

Called to Bar  1975
Appointed as silk 1996

Work areas
He practises in family law, public law and statutory law. His practice has evolved through many different areas of work but has focussed for a large number of years on (in alphabetical order):-

  • adoption
  • children (care proceedings and private law)
  • community care
  • Court of Protection
  • fostering services
  • health service functions
  • human rights
  • inherent jurisdiction
  • internal and international abduction
  • judicial review
  • local government functions
  • mental health
  • public and statutory law
  • social services
  • surrogacy
Many of these areas of work have provided invaluable information in relation to one another. This makes it easier to see the consequences of legal actions in different areas.

Advocacy experience
He has appeared in about 120 reported cases (please see Reported cases).

He has appeared as an advocate before a very wide range of courts and tribunals. He is used to all types of opposition all the way from litigants in person to 16 legal opponents in one trial [6 QCs and 10 juniors]. He is used to doing both small and big cases.

Advisory work
He has advised on litigious and non litigious work. He has advised on detailed terms of, and possible changes to, proposed legislation.

Working style
He enjoys cooperative and team work but is an experienced team leader. He is just as comfortable with informal clients as those who prefer to be formal. He opposes pomposity. He enjoys working with all ages and different types of people.


How he is seen by others
Quotes which include directory and judicial reports give examples which can be read”.

Judicial experience 
He has been authorised to sit as a Deputy High Court Judge of the Family Division since 2000 and as a Recorder (with civil, family and crime jurisdiction) since 1998. These years of judicial experience have provided him with a very valuable perspective on how to present cases before different courts. He has learnt a lot about “judge treatment”.

Work experience
(Non legal) His paid work experience started from the age of 15 while at school and continued until he was 24. He had by then worked in a wide range of environments (some testing and some enjoyable). His last full time job was as a management systems analyst. He then decided to commit to a legal career. He worked during every subsequent vacation (first of all as an advertising copywriter).After taking the Bar finals he returned to work for a while to earn the money to get through pupillage.

(Legal work)

In family work he is experienced at dealing with local authorities, guardians and with family clients under extreme stress (and has worked with a wide range of individual clients). He has extensive trial experience of complex interpersonal disagreements, difficult expert evidence (both medical and non-medical), disputed illness, fatalities and serious injuries, intergenerational disputes, education, conflicting cultures and divergent religious beliefs.

In public and statutory work he is experienced at working for claimants and defendants, applicants/appellants and respondents. He has extensive experience of working both for and against a wide range of public bodies.

He has lectured on a wide range of topics to BAPSCAN,CABs, care providers, Cloisters Chambers, Coram Chambers, Department of Health, family workers, foster parents, Home Office, Jordans Publishing, the Law Society ,local authorities, Local Government Group of Law Society ,National Annual Bar Conference, social workers , solicitors, Sussex FLBA, various other national conferences, various other public and voluntary bodies.

Recent Roger McCarthy articles

“The Human Rights Jurisdiction of Family Courts” Parts 1 and 2 (joint author Deirdre Fottrell) :- published in 2011 Family Law at pp. 1116 and 1211

“Family Division Judgments: What Are they For?”, Parts 1 and 2:- published in 2012 Family Law at pp.1089 and 1211

“The Modernisation and Improvement of Family Justice” :- published in 2012 Family Law at p. 826

“How Good Do Extempore Judgments Need To Be?”:- published in 2012 Family Law at p. 1361

“We are asked in this case to reconcile the irreconcilable”: Re A”:- published in 2013 Family Law at p. 158

“Same-Sex Marriage Developments and Turmoil Within the US Supreme Court”, Parts 1 and 2:- published in 2013 Family Law at pp. 1176 and 1311

“Married in the USA” “What does it mean?” published in 2015 Family Law at p 1227

“Transfer of Proceedings Abroad Re N” published in 2016 Family Law Vol 46

” Re M: 17 year olds in foster care and the inherent jurisdiction” published in October 2016 On line Family Law

Other experience
He was Head of Coram Chambers between 2000 and 2010.

He is married with two daughters. He is very interested in the world and experiences of teenagers and young people. He enjoys new experiences.