The Counsel Team

Mark McEvoy

Mark McEvoy was called to the Bar of Northern Ireland in 2001 and the Bar of England and Wales (Inner Temple) in 2001, and the Bar of Ireland in 2007. He has practised extensively in the areas of employment, discrimination, administrative and professional regulatory law, specialising in healthcare and cases of police misconduct. He has appeared in numerous legacy and other high-profile inquests. He is currently a member of the Government Legal Services Junior ‘A’ Panel. He was a member of the Bar Council of Northern Ireland from 2004-2008 and from 2012-2016. Since 2014, he has been a Chair of Appeals Tribunals (Fee-Paid) dealing with cases involving social security and related benefits.

Denise Kiley

Denise Kiley KC was called to the Bar of Northern Ireland in 2008 and to the Inner Bar in 2024.  She has extensive experience of practice in public law.  She specialises in Judicial Review, particularly in the areas of education, planning, local government and constitutional law.   She has appeared in multiple Inquests, including legacy Inquests, on behalf of the Coroner. She has also appeared in public inquiries in respect of planning decisions.


Rachel Bergin


Rachel Bergin was called to the Bar of Northern Ireland in 2012.  She specialises in public law and civil litigation. She has extensive experience in public and administrative law matters and has previous public inquiry experience. She also has experience in a wide range of civil matters in the High Court and the County Court. She is a member of the Government Legal Service ‘A’ Panel and the Coroner’s Panel of Counsel. 

Shirley Tang

Shirley Tang came to the Bar of NI in 2019 after a long career as a Health Service Manager in both NI and Scotland.  Her main areas of practice at the Bar includes Public Law – Judicial Review, Human Rights, Public Inquiries and Civil Litigation. 

Sophie Briggs

Sophie Briggs was called to the Bar of Northern Ireland in 2017. She has a primarily civil law practice in the County Court and High Court of Northern Ireland, with particular interest and experience in the areas of personal injury, commercial disputes and chancery matters. Sophie also regularly represents Claimants and Respondents at the Employment Tribunal. Since being called to the Bar, Sophie has been appointed to the Government Legal Service for Northern Ireland Civil Panel of Counsel and the Coroners Service Panel of Counsel.

James Toal

James Toal BL was called to the Bar of Northern Ireland in 2015. He has an extensive practice in criminal law and related areas, including extradition and protection from harassment. Since his appointment to the Government Legal Service D Counsel Panel in 2017, he has also provided advices to government departments and public bodies in a range of areas including the law relating to education, data protection, public appointments, and the exercise of emergency powers in response to COVID-19. He has also been a member of the Coroner’s Panel of Counsel since 2020. He taught at the School of Law at Queen’s University Belfast between 2015 and 2021. He is a former chair of the Young Bar Association and has been a member of the Bar Council since 2018.