Cloisters Chambers

Declan O'Dempsey

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Practice Areas

Declan O’Dempsey specialises in difficult and sensitive employment and discrimination/whistleblowing cases, human rights, confidentiality, GDPR, public law, directors and injunctions. He accepts Public Access Scheme cases. It is said of him that he 'knows employment law like the back of his hand.', and is 'the Claimant’s Rottweiler'. He is on the Equality and Human Rights Commission's A Panel, co-drafting their statutory code on Goods and Services and Public Functions under the Equality Act 2010, its Age Supplement, and Guidance on the Public Sector Equality Duty. He has appeared in significant/controversial cases such as the first on age discrimination in the CJEU/UKSC (Age UK, Homer, Seldon); on associative discrimination (Coleman); on the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (J v KL, Anderson, Leeks, Sobhi). He appears in TUPE cases (Manchester College v Hazel), and administrative law cases (Betts v MOJ); religion and belief discrimination (Azmi - wearing face coverings). He co-authored a Report on Age Discrimination (European Commission). He has advised states on reform of discrimination law and cases.


Called 1987, EHRC's A Panel (2015 - ), PT FP Employment Judge (North East Region) (2013 - ) and PT FP Employment Judge (Scotland) (2018 -). Member of Training panel for Scottish EJs.

Professional Memberships

Bar Council's EDSM Committee; on EC of ILS; ELBA ELAAS, the BPBU.


Discrimination Law handbook (LAG, 2013). Age Discrimination Law Handbook (Legal Action 2006). During Lockdown he produced assistive online material for litigants in the employment tribunals and the administrative court.