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Sara Phelan SC

Sara Phelan SC

Chair, The Bar of Ireland

Sara Phelan is a Senior Counsel with a broad breadth of practice areas, primarily in the Superior Courts.

Sara was called to the Bar in 1996, having previously qualified (TCD, 1988) and practised as a pharmacist for a number of years.  She took silk (became a Senior Counsel and Member of the Inner Bar) in 2013 and became a Bencher of the Honorable Society of King’s Inns in March 2023.  In March 2019, Sara was admitted to the Bar of England & Wales and is a member of Middle Temple.  Sara was admitted to the Bar of Northern Ireland in March 2023.

As Junior Counsel, Sara practised primarily on the South Eastern Circuit and, since taking silk in 2013, has a broad legal practice, including personal injury/medical negligence law, child/family law and judicial review/non-jury, with further interests in chancery, probate and mental health matters.  Sara is also a qualified Mediator (CEDR) and Arbitrator (FCIArb) – see ‘Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Expertise’ below.

  • Sara is an elected member of the Bar Council of Ireland (since 2019) and was elected Chair of the General Council of the Bar of Ireland on the 6th July 2022. Sara commenced her term of office as Chair on the 12th September 2022.

  • Sara was previously Chair of the Bar of Ireland Professional Practices Committee (2020/21 & 2021/22) and the Bar of Ireland Arbitration & ADR Committee (2019/20).

  • Sara also chaired the Law & Women Mentoring Programme (under the auspices of the Equality & Resilience Committee) from July 2019 to October 2022 and is a faculty member of the Bar of Ireland Advanced Advocacy Programme.  Sara is also a former Mental Health Tribunal Chairperson (November 2016 to October 2022).

From an extra-curricular perspective, Sara is a dog-lover, keen swimmer, fledgling white water kayaker, and self-professed foodie, in addition to being an avid reader and lover of music, theatre and all things travel-related!

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