Maurice O'Carroll

  • Year of Call 2019

Introduction

Introduction

Maurice has over 20 years’ advocacy experience, having called to the Bar in Scotland 1995.  He has been dual qualified since March 2019 when he also called to the Bar of England and Wales.

His principal areas of practice are:

-          Employment Law

-          Regulatory

-          Town and Country Planning

-          Administrative Law and

-          Commercial Law

Maurice is ranked in the top 10 first tier of junior counsel for Employment Law in Scotland in the 2019 edition of the Legal 500.

He has appeared before the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) and the SSSC, which is the body regulating social workers in Scotland.

Maurice has been a Legal Associate of the Royal Town Planning Institute since 1998.  He has conducted planning inquires for developers, objectors and local authorities in relation to a number of high-profile applications.  He has appeared on many occasions in the Scottish equivalent of the High Court and the Scottish Court of Appeal in relation to judicial review actions against planning authorities.

In August 2018, Maurice was admitted as a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, having previously been a Member of that professional body, after passing the Fellowship Examination in Arbitral Practice and Procedure and Award Writing.

Maurice is a door tenant at 33 Bedford Row. 

Employment

Employment

Maurice has been recognised in recent editions of Legal 500 for his expertise in Employment Law: '[he is] well regarded for his expertise in handling a wide range of employment disputes' (Legal 500, 2016); as a leading junior 'very experienced in employment disputes' (Legal 500, 2017); and 'very well known for handling employment disputes' (Legal 500, 2019).  In the 2019 edition, Maurice was ranked in the top 10 junior counsel for Employment Law.

In 2010, Maurice founded the Scottish Bar Employment Law Group, which is a professional interest grouping aimed at promoting education and excellence in Employment Law in Scotland.  The Employment Law Group holds an annual conference each year which hosts prestigious speakers in the field of Employment.  The 2019 conference which Maurice organised had as its guest speakers the Judge of the Scottish Employment Appeal Tribunal and the Vice President of the Employment Tribunal in Scotland.

He appears for both claimants and respondents.  He has recently appeared on a number of occasions for union-backed claimants in the Employment Tribunal, obtaining reinstatement and compensatory awards for unfair dismissals.

He has also conducted cases involving disability discrimination, sex discrimination, maternity discrimination and sex discrimination under the Equalities Act 2010.

Planning & Environment

Planning & Environment

Maurice has extensive experience in Town and Country Planning.  He has conducted planning inquires for developers, objectors and local authorities in relation to a number of high-profile applications. Most notable among these are:

- Killean and Clachaig Glen double planning inquiry on behalf of Argyll and Bute Council in opposition to proposals to build two commercial wind farms on the Kintyre Peninsula (2019)
- Park of Keir planning inquiry on behalf of objectors to a proposal for a Tennis Academy and housing development in the Stirlingshire Green Belt promoted by Judy Murray (2016)
- Creggan and Blary Hill double planning inquiry on behalf of Argyll and Bute Council in opposition to proposals to build two commercial wind farms on the Kintyre Peninsula (2016)
- Princes Street Galleries public local inquiry where Maurice acted as junior counsel in opposition to a proposal to build a shopping mall underneath Edinburgh's historic Princes Street (1998)

Maurice has also appeared on many occasions in the Scottish equivalent of the Chancery and Queen's Bench divisions of the High Court and the Scottish Court of Appeal in relation to judicial review actions against planning authorities.  Most recently (in 2018), he was involved in a High Court and Court of Appeal action against East Ayrshire Council following enforcement action against a wind farm developer.

He is currently advising a major housing developer in relation to a disputed planning agreement in terms of the Scottish equivalent of section 106.  He is also currently instructed to appear in the Court of Appeal in Scotland in relation to the validity of enforcement action by a planning authority alleging an unlawful change of use from a dwelling house to a commercial short term letting business.

Regulatory

Regulatory

Maurice has recently represented clients before the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) and the SSSC, which is the body regulating social workers in Scotland.

Commercial

Commercial

Maurice has experience in advising clients in relation to commercial leases and agreements.  He has advised a local authority on its rights to recover property held on a commercial lease.  He is presently advising a major housing developer in relation to the validity of a planning obligation agreement.

Professional Negligence

Professional Negligence

Maurice has in the past acted as junior counsel in a four week civil trial for a Plaintiff against a professional insurance broker and obtained an award of damages in excess of £1m in the commercial court.

He has also previously advised in an action against a professional tax advisor which led to a substantial settlement.

Arbitration & Mediation

Arbitration & Mediation

Maurice is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (FCIArb) after passing the Fellowship Examination in Arbitral Practice and Procedure and Award Writing in 2018.  Prior to that he had been a Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators following a fast-track entry procedure in 2016.

In December 2015, he successfully completed the Scottish Community Mediation Centre's SCQF level 6 course in Mediation Skills.

He is a member of the Scottish Bar Alternative Dispute Resolution Service (FDRS) which is a panel of experts dedicated to Alternative Dispute Resolution at the Scottish Bar.

Qualifications

Qualifications

LLB (Hons) (2:1) University of Edinburgh 1988

Dip LP, University of Edinburgh 1989

Legal Associate of the Royal Town Planning Institute (LARTPI) 1998

Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (FCIArb) 2018

Appointments

Appointments

Standing Junior Counsel to the Scottish Government (equivalent to Treasury Counsel) 2003-2012

Legal Chair and Board Member of the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission (equivalent to LeO) 2011-2016

Legal Chair in the First-tier Tribunal for Scotland (Housing and Property Chamber) 2012 - present

Memberships

Memberships

Founder and Secretary of the Scottish Bar Employment Law Group

Vice-Chairman of the Scottish Bar Planning Group

Member of the Scottish Bar Alternative Dispute Resolution Service (FDRS) 

Languages

Languages

Fluent French speaker; Italian