Barrister Profile



Year of Call: 1976

KC: 2007

Main Areas of Practice

Criminal Law
Human Rights
Personal Injury
Public Inquiries


Charles Mckay QC is a senior counsel specialising in criminal law.

He was called to the Bar of Northern Ireland in 1976 and has worked continuously since then practicing primarily in the civil and criminal courts.

In his junior career he had a general practice working at both the Civil and Criminal Bar. He was regularly engaged on behalf of plaintiffs and defendants in civil proceedings receiving instructions from insurance companies, government departments and from solicitors in private practice. He later established a significant High Court practice and was a member of the Government Civil “A” Panel.

From an early stage he was instructed by the PPS in the Crown Court and developed a keen interest for criminal law. As a regular practitioner in the Crown Court he gained enormous experience advising ,drafting, directing proofs and appearing at trial etc. His experience has not been confined to the prosecution as he has been instructed by the defence in very many cases and later on appeal to the Court of Appeal.

He has taken this experience forward with him to the Senior Bar where he is a well established criminal practitioner. In recent years he has been instructed by the prosecution and defence in a wide range of high profile cases including murder, blackmail, robbery, sexual offences, child cruelty and supplying drugs. Appearing both at first instance and on appeal to the Court of Appeal.


1975; L.L.B. Graduated QUB

1976; Called to the Bar of Northern Ireland

2007; Appointed Queen’s Counsel

2007; Appointed PPS panel Senior Prosecutors


R v Louis Maguire [2015] NICA 71 - Appeal against conviction for murder and arson. Counsel withdrawing from the trial. Whether counsel had legitimate basis for allowing situation to develop to bring about release from the case, whether applicant manipulating trial process by his own actions in such a way as to exclude complaint of unfairness. Appeal dismissed. (Prosecution)

R v Leslie Ross (unreported) 18/1/16 - Defendant tried for the murder of his partner. Verdict, not guilty. ( Defence )

R v Leslie Ross (unreported ) 26/2/16 - Defendant charged with murder of his partner. Verdict, not guilty.

R v Dean McBride Antrim (unreported) CC 29/4/15 - Sexual offences involving children. Issue: Fitness to plead & Abuse of Process. Verdict, not guilty.

R v Doak (Unreported) NICA 21/12/15 - Appeal against conviction for fraud. Appeal allowed. (Defence)

R v Kelly (Unreported) NICA 21/12/15 - Appeal against conviction. Appeal allowed. (Defence)

R v Higgins (Unreported) NICA 18/2/15 - Appeal against conviction sexual offences. Appeal dismissed. (Prosecution)