Dr Mary-Teresa Deignan

Year of Call: 1991
Inn of Court: Middle Temple

Dr Mary-Teresa Deignan

Her arguments are succinct and pithy’ – Professional Discipline and Regulatory Law – Leading Juniors (Legal 500 – 2017)

Specialising in Professional Discipline, she is regularly involved in high profile and sensitive cases for the Nursing & Midwifery Council, Royal College of Nursing and is on the list of approved counsel for the General Dental Council. In all her work she is highly valued by those who instruct her for her initial case analysis & her ongoing review of the case. In addition, her lay client care skills are highly regarded.

Trained as an agricultural scientist obtaining a B.Sc. from the University of Aston in Birmingham and a Ph.D The Queen’s University of Belfast, she undertook postdoctoral work both at the Queen’s University of Belfast and the University of Cape Town specializing in agricultural plant research. She then went on to undertake a conversion course (Certificate of Academic Legal Studies) at the Queen’s University of Belfast where she was awarded the Butterworth’s First Year Law Prize. She was called to the bar in 1991 by Middle Temple who went on to award her the Benefactor’s Law scholarship and the Lady Margaret Templeman scholarship.


Reported Cases

  • Re C [2009] EWCA Civ 994 – a core case involving fact finding in private law children cases

Significant Cases

  • Re DJ [2011/2012] – Representing paternal grandmother and paternal aunt in public law proceedings. All three children placed with paternal grandmother and paternal aunt after the father killed the mother. Should the children remain placed with the paternal family or move to live with the maternal family. In the event the children remain with the paternal family how should their care be shared between the grandmother & aunt and what contact should they have with the maternal family.
  • Re D [2012] – Representing a father opposing an application by the mother for permission to remove their child temporarily from the jurisdiction where there is no clear plan to return; whether this is permanent removal from the jurisdiction by stealth.
  • Re B [2012] – Representing two children competent to instruct their own solicitor; whether one child aged 15 should be removed from his parents and placed in foster care separate from his other siblings, save the other competent child, on the grounds that his educational needs would be met even though his very strongly expressed wish is that he would run away from any foster placement.
  • Re B [2012] – Representing a father in protracted private law proceedings. Using s33 orders and then the inherent jurisdiction of the High Court to locate the mother and the child. Attempting to engage the mother in the proceedings, proceeding with applications in any event.
  • Re T [2012] – Representing the wife in ancillary relief and TOLATA proceedings. The husband had sustained serious injury in his youth and received substantial damages. Subsequently, property purchased by the husband, the wife and the husband’s father in part using the husband’s damages. Importance of the understanding at time of purchase of the property and the length of time since the award of damages.
  • Re P [2012] – Representing the husband in ancillary relief proceedings. How should inheritances received at different times during the marriage and an interest in a discretionary trust be treated.
  • B.Sc, University of Aston in Birmingham
  • Ph.D, The Queen’s University of Belfast
  • Certificate of Academic Legal Studies, The Queen’s University of Belfast
  • Butterworth’s First Year Law Prize, The Queen’s University of Belfast
  • Benefactor’s Law scholarship, Middle Temple
  • Lady Margaret Templeman scholarship, Middle Temple
  • Advocacy trainer for Middle Temple
  • Pupil Supervisor
  • Association of  Regulatory and Disciplinary Lawyers
  • Family Law Bar Association
  • Member ADR group
  • South Eastern Circuit

Areas of Specialism

Professional Discipline & Regulatory Law

Instructions from the Nursing & Midwifery Council have included a number of very high profile & sensitive cases including that of Professor Sir George Castledine, the three cases arising from the police investigation into care homes in Wales known as ‘Operation Jasmine’ & those involving the death of children.

Instructions from the Royal College of Nursing include fraudulent entry cases, advice on appeals and representing nurses at Coroner’s inquests where the practice of the nurse has been questioned.

She is on the list of approved counsel for the General Dental Council and has represented the General Chiropractic Council.

In Children Act cases she represents parents, carers & children in both private & public law proceedings, including adoption, SGO’s & applications for temporary or permanent removal to both Hague & non – Hague convention countries. Highly conflictual private law cases, particularly those involving medical evidence, are a particular strength.

In financial matters she accepts instructions in disputes arising from the breakdown of marriage, civil partnership or cohabitation, including cases involving contributions from third parties, trusts, inheritance or damages.


Other Details