Barrister Profile


Year of Call: 2013

Main Areas of Practice

Administrative Law or Judicial Review
Criminal Law
Human Rights
Personal Injury


Stephen Toal was called to the Bar in 2013 after practicing for 7 years as a solicitor advocate. During his career he has appeared in a large volume of serious criminal trials for murder, fraud, sexual offences and offences under the terrorism legislation. During this time Stephen has been instructed in a number of high profile cases, including appearing as Paddy Jackson’s barrister when the Irish international rugby player was acquitted of sexual offences. Stephen also represented Martin Rogan, former professional heavyweight boxing champion, when he was prosecuted for perverting the course of justice. In addition, Stephen also appears in many complex fraud cases and is presently instructed for the lead defendant in the largest ever fraud prosecution in the jurisdiction.

Stephen also has a successful appellate practice where he is regularly instructed to appear in the Court of Appeal, which often involves appeals against wrongful convictions for murder and other serious offences. As part of Stephen’s appellate practice he has appeared in a number of cases that have resulted in the convictions being overturned, including miscarriages of justice that occurred over 20 years ago.

As well as his work in criminal law matters, Stephen has practiced in many areas of the civil law, including human rights, prison law, inquests, and extradition. Stephen litigates public law matters and human rights violations by way of judicial review and in civil claims. In the context of judicial review proceedings, Stephen has successfully appeared at all levels in the jurisdiction. Stephen was instructed to represent Fine Point Films and journalist, Trevor Birney, in a judicial review challenge arising from the arrest of the high profile journalist in connection with the documentary ’No Stone Unturned’. Winning this case was a significant victory in terms of protecting the freedom of the press and it was publicly supported from many parts of the world.

In common with other barristers at the Bar, Stephen is instructed on the basis of a cab rank rule, in that he represents all members of the public, regardless of religious beliefs, political views or sexual orientation.


2003; LL.B with Politics, Queen’s University, Belfast