Deirdre Smythe

Deirdre Smythe

Barrister
Membership Status: Barrister - Full Member Called in 2008 Public Access Accredited BSB Guidance for Public Access
Bar Standards Board - Regulating Barristers
Barristers in England and Wales are regulated by the Bar Standards Board

Profile

General Information

A dual-qualified Barrister at the English and Irish Bar, Dee Smyth has extensive experience in Family and Criminal Law, as well as other aspects of Civil Law.

With an empathetic approach, Dee speaks on behalf of those who may not be able to articulate themselves, including those with a disability and mental health issues. She fights on her clients’ behalf to get the best possible case outcome.

Dee’s legal career began as a Child Protection Officer and a Children’s Rights Advocate. She visited a number of  Disabled Children’s Homes to ensure their environment was safe and that proper education was provided. Dee has a background in Social Work, the Probation Service and Ministry of Justice ,whilst completing her law degree and post qualifications for the Bar. She also has experience as a County Court Advocate.

As a result, Dee has a unique understanding of the social care system, legal system and prison service and adopts a holistic approach to helping her clients resolve their case. Dee says “As a Barrister, I listen to what my clients have to say. I act as I would want to be represented, with respect, warmth and sincerity.”

Legal Expertise

Family and Child Law – including contested care proceedings and adoption, non molestation orders/ domestic abuse issues and matters concerning family and children disputes including contact agreements.

Criminal Law – including assault, offences involving  violence, robbery (gang-related), sexual abuse, substance misuse and terrorism cases

Asylum/Human Rights

Education Law/SEN issues.

Housing and Landlord/Tenant

Personal Injury/ Road Traffic Accidents

Prison Law

Solicitor instructed and Direct Access

Dee accepts instructions from both solicitors and members of the public. She adopts a balanced approach, representing both claimants and respondents, victims and defendants.

Court appearances

Dee regularly appears in the County Courts, Family Courts and Magistrates Courts, as well as attending the High Court, Crown Court and Court of Appeal. Dee was part of the legal team at the first-ever televised hearing at the Supreme Court in Ireland in which they won their historic case by a majority ruling.

Pro Bono work

Passionate about access to justice, Dee completes pro bono work for Justice for Women. She also works pro bono for Bail for Immigration Detainees, representing individuals who are in detention centres.

Professional qualifications

Barrister-at-Law degree; Kings Inns, Dublin

Certificate (Arbitration); Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, London

LLM Master of Law (International Human Rights); Birmingham City University

Post Graduate Diploma (Bar Vocational Course); Inns of Court School of Law, London

Masters degree (Law of the Built Environment); Birmingham City University

LLB Hons (Law); University of Wolverhampton

Beyond her interest in the Law, Dee enjoys martial arts and once represented Northern Ireland at the European Championships in Judo. Dee is a Director of a not-for-profit Community Housing Company. She also works with  serious risk offenders in Hostels , working with them on their sentence plans and  helping to  rehabilitate them back  into the community.

Testimonials

Testimonials

Areas of Law

Deirdre Smythe is happy to accept instructions as counsel who is:

  • Family Law
  • Public Access Accredited
  • Criminal Law
  • Education Law

Outside of these key areas of law, Deirdre Smythe is always willing to consider any enquiry requiring the experience or knowledge needed to help you or your client. Please call Deirdre direct or the support team on 01823 247 247 if you would like to discuss any aspect of this profile.

Fees and Feedback

Fees and Feedback

FEES:

Details regarding our approach to fees can be found at the following link:  http://www.clerksroom.com/content-html?cid=336

SERVICES:

Please see “profile” tab for a description of the legal services provided by this barrister.

We aim to complete and return all paperwork within 14 days (2 weeks) of receipt if no specific deadline is provided. We can work to much faster timescales if requested or we can agree a specific target date for each individual circumstance. We will always advise at the outset if counsel is unable to meet any deadline.

Each barrister has a standard hourly rate for their work. The individual hourly rate can be agreed when instructions are acknowledged if preferred. We welcome early discussion as to the suitability of a specific barrister for a specific case. The right barrister will have the relevant expertise to deal with the case but will not be too junior, or too senior depending on the complexities.

We aim to allocate all cases to the correct level of experience & seniority which we believe will prove most to be the most cost-effective solution for our clients.

If, due to urgency, we allocate paperwork to a more senior member of Clerksroom, we will charge the appropriate hourly rate for the work, not for the barrister. We welcome early discussion to ensure the correct fee is applied to the case at the outset.

REDRESS:

All our barristers are regulated by the Bar Standards Board (BSB) and hold a current practising certificate, details can be found at the following link Barristers’ Register

Complaints information

If you are not satisfied with the service provided, you can make a complaint to Chambers. Information on the chambers’ complaints procedure is available at the following link: http://www.clerksroom.com/content-html?cid=416

If you are not satisfied with the response you receive from my chambers, you can make a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman. You must contact the Legal Ombudsman either within 6 months following the conclusion of our handling your complaint, within 6 years from the date of the act/omission, or 3 years from the date that you should reasonably have known there were grounds for complaint (if the act/omission took place before the 6 October 2010 or was more than six years ago).

The Legal Ombudsman’s details are as follows:

Legal Ombudsman
PO Box 6806
Wolverhampton
WV1 9WJ
Tel: 0300 555 0333
Email: enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk
Web: www.legalombudsman.org.uk

Privacy Notice

Fees and Feedback

1.              This is a privacy notice that describes how, why and for how long I will process or keep your personal data in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (‘GDPR’).

2.              The GDPR governs how an individual’s personal data is used, and your rights in relation to that data.

3.              I, Deirdre Smythe, have been instructed by you or your litigation friend (usually a parent), through your solicitor or agent, or via the Bar Pro Bono Unit.

4.              It is necessary for me to process your personal data in order for me to provide you with legal services, for example:

·   Advise on the prospects of litigation;

·   Advise on the value of your claim;

·   Representation at a court hearing;

·   Representation at trial;

·   Advise, review or comment on legal issues or evidence.

5.              Processing means anything done to data such as: recording, organising, adapting, altering, copying, consulting, transmitting, combining, erasing or storing it.

6.              The processing for the purposes listed above will take place in accordance with either Article 6(1)(a) GDPR or Article 6(1)(b) GDPR, depending on how you instructed me.

7.              If you have instructed me on a direct access basis, or engaged a solicitor (or legal agent), to assist you in bringing or defending a claim then the processing is necessary to perform a contract to which you are a party (Article 6(1)(b) GDPR). To give effect to that contract (i.e. to bring a claim) it is necessary for me to process your personal data for litigation purposes.

8.              If I am assisting you on a pro bono basis, it will be necessary for me to seek your consent to be able to represent you (Article 6(1)(a) GDPR). In this scenario, you will be sent a consent form.

Recipients of your data

9.              I may also be required to share your data with others, depending on the nature of your case. This may include:

(i)                  Courts and other tribunals to whom documents are presented;

(ii)                Your solicitors, or agent representing you, through whom I have been instructed;

(iii)               Potential witnesses, experts and other persons involved in the case;

(iv)               Solicitors, barristers, or other legal representatives;

(v)                Ombudsman and regulatory authorities;

(vi)               Education and examining bodies; and

(vii)             Current, past or prospective employers.

Special Categories of Data

10.          In some cases I will have been given your personal data that is within the ‘special categories’ of data described in GDPR Article 9(1). For example, personal data that reveals your race, ethnicity, sexual preferences, political or religious beliefs, trade union membership or health. There are also restrictions for processing information regarding criminal convictions.

11.          This type of personal data will only be processed where it is necessary in order to represent you in your legal claim, or advise on the prospects of a legal claim.

Retention

12.          I will retain your personal data for no longer than is necessary, and where it is possible, I will anonymise your data.

13.          How long your personal data is kept will depend on a number of factors. The retention period will be reviewed when the service I am providing you with is complete. However in general, I am obliged by the Bar Code of Conduct to retain records of my cases, and by HM Revenue and Customs to retain records for 6 years.

14.          Once your case has concluded and fees have been paid, I shall retain only the personal data necessary for the following purposes:

(i)                  The legal and professional obligation to retain information relating to my cases;

(ii)                To check for any potential conflict of interests that may arise in the future when I am instructed on other cases;

(iii)               For use in the defence of potential complaints, legal proceedings or fee disputes;

(iv)               To refer back to in future cases which raise similar legal, factual, or procedural issues.

15.          The processing for the purposes listed in paragraph 14 (ii), (iii), and (iv) above, will take place in accordance with Article 6(1)(f) GDPR. That is, for the purposes of legitimate interests that are not outweighed by your interests or fundamental rights and freedoms.

16.          The processing for the purposes listed in paragraph 14(i) above, will take place in accordance with Article 6(1)(c) GDPR. That is, the processing is necessary for me to comply with a legal obligation. 

Your Rights

17.          Where processing of your personal data was based on your consent (see paragraphs 6 and 8) you have the right to withdraw that consent at any time. This does not affect the lawfulness of the processing based on consent before its withdrawal.

18.          Withdrawal of your consent to process such data will most likely mean that I am no longer able to provide you with the legal services you seek.

19.          You may request confirmation that your personal data is being processed by me and details about the personal data, the source, the processing, the purposes of the processing, the recipients and the retention period.

20.          You may request a copy of your personal data that is being processed by me. You may also request rectification (i.e. correction) where there are inaccuracies in the personal data.

21.          You have the right to object, on grounds relating to your particular situation, at any time, to processing of your personal data in paragraph 14 of this privacy notice. Should you object, the processing will only continue where there are compelling legitimate grounds for the processing which override your fundamental rights, freedoms and interests. 

22.          Where the processing or retention of your data is necessary for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims, it will not be possible to object. 

23.          You have the right to request that your personal data is erased where any of the following apply:

(i)                  The personal data are no longer necessary in relation to the purposes for which they were collected or otherwise processed;

(ii)                You withdraw your consent where the basis of processing was based on consent and where there is no other ground for the processing;

(iii)               Where your fundamental rights, freedoms and interests override the legitimate interests of processing in paragraph 14;

(iv)               The personal data has been unlawfully processed; or

(v)                The personal data have to be erased to comply with a legal obligation.

24.          You have the right to request that your personal data is restricted from processing, so that it is simply stored, for the following reasons: as an alternative to deletion; so that it can be corrected; for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims; to verify if a legitimate ground exists (paragraph 14).

25.          Where it is necessary to correct your personal data, or you have requested the restriction or erasure of your personal data, I shall endeavour to contact the recipients of the personal data, unless this involves disproportionate effort. 

Security

26.          I take appropriate physical and technical procedures to safeguard your personal data to prevent it from being accidentally lost, used or accessed in an unauthorised way. The I.T. systems used by Clerksroom are ISO27001 compliant.

Complaints or Queries

27.          If you have any questions regarding this privacy notice, or how I use your personal data please email me: Deirdre.Smythe@clerksroom.com, or my clerks: mail@clerksroom telephone 01823 247 247.

28.          I shall aim to respond as soon as possible, and within 30 days.

29.          You have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) if you believe I have not handled your request in an appropriate manner. For information on contacting the ICO please go to: https://ico.org.uk/global/contact-us/

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