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MEET:

Karon Monaghan QC

“She’s phenomenal – really impressive on her feet”

“She’s a fantastic advocate: she knows discrimination law inside-out and is always incredibly persuasive.”

“Superb for anything in equality law.”

Chambers & Partners 2021
Called: 1989 | Silk: 2008

Karon practises principally in the fields of equality and human rights law. She has a broad, largely claimant, practice, encompassing public law, employment law and civil actions. She also acts for NGOs and statutory bodies. Karon has an extensive advisory practice and in addition acts in, conducts, and advises on, statutory and non-statutory inquiries and investigations.

Karon has appeared in numerous cases at appellate level, including in the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal, and she has appeared in the CJEU. Karon has also appeared in the Hong Kong Court of Appeal and Court of Final Appeal.

Karon is an A Panel member of the Equality and Human Rights Commission Panel of Preferred Counsel.

“She’s phenomenal – really impressive on her feet” (Chambers & Partners 2021)

“She’s a fantastic advocate: she knows discrimination law inside-out and is always incredibly persuasive.” (Chambers & Partners 2021)

“Superb for anything in equality law.”(Chambers & Partners 2021). 

Karon’s recent cases include:

  • Wisbey v Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis [2021] EWCA Civ 650 Court of Appeal (compensation for indirect discrimination)
  • R (Maughan) v HM Senior Coroner for Oxfordshire [2020] UKSC 46 Supreme Court (standard of proof for determination of the result of an inquest where question is whether the deceased committed suicide.
  • Leung Chun Kwong v Secretary for the Civil Service and another [2019] HKCFA 19 Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal (same-sex marriage and discrimination)
  • Gilham v Ministry of Justice [2019] Supreme Court (worker status, whistleblowing and judges)
  • Pimlico Plumbers Ltd and another v Smith [2018] ICR 1511 Supreme Court (worker status and disability discrimination)

Please see here for more of Karon’s recent and notable cases.

Karon has acted for and advised individuals, regulatory and other bodies in public inquiries, other statutory inquiries and internal investigations. These include:

  • The Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust Public Inquiry
  • The Infected Blood Inquiry
  • The Grenfell Tower Inquiry

Further, Karon has conducted investigations, including:

  • Investigation into Sexual Harassment and the Management of Sexual Harassment Complaints within the GMB (2020)
  • Investigation into the Labour Party’s Handling of Sexual Harassment Complaints (2018)
  • Chair, Inquiry Panel ‘Formal Investigation into Fitness Standards: Maintaining Standards: Promoting Equality: Professional Regulation within Nursing, Teaching and Social Work and Disabled People’s Access to these Professions’(Disability Rights Commission): 2006-7.

Karon has also acted in a number of lengthy and complex Inquests:

  • Inquest into the Death of Seyni Lewis (restraint related death and state failings)
  • Inquest into the Death of Kingsley Burrell (restraint related death and state failings)
  • Inquest into the Death of Cassandra Hasanovic (domestic violence homicide and state failures)
  • Inquest into the Death of Sabina Akhtar (domestic violence homicide and state failures)
  • Inquest into the Death of Colette Lynch (domestic violence homicide and state failures)

She has also been appointed ad hoc Assistant Coroner to conduct a number of lengthy and complex Inquests (2010 – 2017).

Karon is a member of the International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations.

Karon is a visiting professor in the UCL Faculty of Laws.

Karon has in the past held a number of judicial positions:

  • Deputy High Court Judge (Administrative Court) (2010-March 2019)
  • Recorder (Crown Court) (2006-March 2019)
  • Fee-paid Employment Tribunal Judge (2000-2008)

Karon is a Matron of the charity FORWARD (Foundation for Women’s Health Research and Development).

She is also a Bencher of Inner Temple.

Her publications include:

Monaghan on Equality Law (OUP 2013)

The UK Supreme Court Yearbook 2017-8 (Appellate Press 2019) (chapter)

The UK Supreme Court Yearbook 2016-7 (Appellate Press 2018) (chapter)

ed. Hunter, McGlynn and Rackley, Feminist Judgments: From Theory to Practice(Hart 2010) (chapter)

Clayton & Tomlinson, The Law of Human Rights (OUP 2009) (co-authored chapter)

Blackstone’s Guide to the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (OUP 2005)

Religious Freedom and Equal Treatment: A UK Perspective (2014) Journal of Law and Policy 673

Karon is co-editor of the UK Labour Law blog.

Karon is committed to protecting and respecting your privacy. In order to provide legal services to her clients, including advice and representation services, Karon needs to collect and hold personal data. That may include personal data of my client and others who feature in the matter upon which she is instructed. To read Karon’s privacy notice in full, please see here.

Karon is regulated by the Bar Standards Board and accepts instructions under Standard Contractual Terms. To find out more information on this and the way we work at Matrix, including our fee transparency statement, please see our see our service standards.

DIRECTORY RECOMMENDATIONS

“She’s phenomenal – really impressive on her feet. I love the way she fights fearlessly for her clients and doesn’t take no for an answer – clients really value that.” “A really excellent speaker in court.” (Chambers & Partners 2021)

“She knows everything about discrimination law.” (Chambers & Partners 2021)

“She’s a fantastic advocate: she knows discrimination law inside-out and is always incredibly persuasive.” “Superb for anything in equality law.”(Chambers & Partners 2021)

“Brilliant, absolutely compelling and trustworthy in court.” (Legal 500 2021)

“Karon is one of a kind – a QC genuinely shaping the law for the greater good.” (Legal 500 2021)

“She is a leading light at the Bar.” (Legal 500 2021)

“Noted for her expertise in public and administrative law cases pursued on the grounds of equality and human rights law. She has considerable experience of challenging welfare reform on behalf of marginalised claimants. Other recent cases have concerned immigration, legal aid availability and Article 8 rights. ‘She’s a brilliant advocate on human rights and equality, and is brilliant to work with.’ ‘A doughty fighter who is client-friendly,’ and ‘a very effective and passionate advocate.’” (Chambers and Partners 2019)

“She is a fantastic advocate, who is calm in the face of complex legal arguments” (Legal 500 2019).

“A skilled practitioner with far-reaching expertise in human rights, discrimination and equality, employment and EU law. She regularly attracts instructions in high-profile, significant matters from a diverse range of clients, including charities, trade unions and private claimants.” (Chambers and Partners 2019)

“Widely regarded as the leading barrister for equality issues and discrimination claims. She represents individuals, charities, trade unions and NGOs, and receives instructions at all levels, including the Supreme Court. Incredible to work with and brilliant in court.” “A brilliant advocate.” (Chambers and Partners 2019)

“Simply breathtaking. She has a very high knowledge of discrimination law. Clear, precise, calm under pressure and an excellent advocate. Her passion for the pursuance of equality is apparent” (Chambers and Partners 2018)

“Fantastic on her feet and fights for what the clients want.” “She is an incredibly good and impressive advocate.” (Chambers and Partners 2018)

“She is admired for both her fierce advocacy and her emotional intelligence, which allows her to form solid relationships with clients and solicitors alike. Strengths: “She has the attention of the court; she is a commanding presence and an exceptional advocate. She is a really experienced discrimination barrister” (Chambers and Partners 2017)

“She is a fantastic advocate, who is calm in the face of complex legal arguments.” (Legal 500 2017)

“Strengths: Her ability to digest cases, work out the main arguments quickly and draft strong skeleton arguments is deeply impressive.”  “She is fearless, utterly user-friendly and down-to-earth but immensely clever.” “Good at demystifying the law for clients and very good at getting to the heart of issues. She is good on her feet, eloquent and really impresses clients.” (Chambers and Partners 2017)

"She's phenomenal - really impressive on her feet. I love the way she fights fearlessly for her clients and doesn't take no for an answer - clients really value that." "A really excellent speaker in court."

"She knows everything about discrimination law."

"She's a fantastic advocate: she knows discrimination law inside-out and is always incredibly persuasive." "Superb for anything in equality law."

Chambers & Partners 2021

"Brilliant, absolutely compelling and trustworthy in court."

"Karon is one of a kind - a QC genuinely shaping the law for the greater good."

"She is a leading light at the Bar."

"She’s a brilliant advocate on human rights and equality, and is brilliant to work with." "A doughty fighter who is client-friendly," "a very effective and passionate advocate."

Chambers and Partners 2019

"She is a fantastic advocate, who is calm in the face of complex legal arguments."

Legal 500 2019

"A skilled practitioner with far-reaching expertise in human rights, discrimination and equality, employment and EU law. She regularly attracts instructions in high-profile, significant matters from a diverse range of clients, including charities, trade unions and private claimants."

"Widely regarded as the leading barrister for equality issues and discrimination claims. She represents individuals, charities, trade unions and NGOs, and receives instructions at all levels, including the Supreme Court. Incredible to work with and brilliant in court.” “A brilliant advocate."

Chambers and Partners 2019

"Simply breathtaking. She has a very high knowledge of discrimination law. Clear, precise, calm under pressure and an excellent advocate. Her passion for the pursuance of equality is apparent."

Chambers and Partners 2018

"Fantastic on her feet and fights for what the clients want.” “She is an incredibly good and impressive advocate."

Chambers and Partners 2018

"She is admired for both her fierce advocacy and her emotional intelligence, which allows her to form solid relationships with clients and solicitors alike. Strengths: “She has the attention of the court; she is a commanding presence and an exceptional advocate. She is a really experienced discrimination barrister."

Chambers and Partners 2017

"She is a fantastic advocate, who is calm in the face of complex legal arguments."

Legal 500 2017

"Her ability to digest cases, work out the main arguments quickly and draft strong skeleton arguments is deeply impressive.” “She is fearless, utterly user-friendly and down-to-earth but immensely clever.” “Good at demystifying the law for clients and very good at getting to the heart of issues. She is good on her feet, eloquent and really impresses clients."

Chambers and Partners 2017
Matrix Chambers
24 HOUR ASSISTANCE
+44 (0)20 7404 3447
Called: 1989 | Silk: 2008

“She’s phenomenal – really impressive on her feet” “She’s a fantastic advocate: she knows discrimination law inside-out and is always incredibly persuasive.” “Superb for anything in equality law.”

Chambers & Partners 2021

MAIN AREAS OF PRACTICE

  • Discrimination and Equality
  • Employment Law
  • EU Law
  • Healthcare, Mental Health and Mental Capacity
  • Civil Liberties and Human Rights
  • Immigration, Asylum and Free Movement
  • Investigations
  • Police Law
  • Public Law
  • Extradition and Mutual Assistance
  • Commercial Public Law

Karon Monaghan QC

Contact Karon: karonmonaghan@matrixlaw.co.uk | +44 (0)20 7404 3447

Contact Karon's Practice Team (Team X): TeamX@matrixlaw.co.uk


Karon practises principally in the fields of equality and human rights law. She has a broad, largely claimant, practice, encompassing public law, employment law and civil actions. She also acts for NGOs and statutory bodies. Karon has an extensive advisory practice and in addition acts in, conducts, and advises on, statutory and non-statutory inquiries and investigations.

Karon has appeared in numerous cases at appellate level, including in the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal, and she has appeared in the CJEU. Karon has also appeared in the Hong Kong Court of Appeal and Court of Final Appeal.

Karon is an A Panel member of the Equality and Human Rights Commission Panel of Preferred Counsel.

“She’s phenomenal – really impressive on her feet” (Chambers & Partners 2021)

“She’s a fantastic advocate: she knows discrimination law inside-out and is always incredibly persuasive.” (Chambers & Partners 2021)

“Superb for anything in equality law.”(Chambers & Partners 2021). 

Notable cases

Karon’s recent cases include: Wisbey v Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis [2021] EWCA Civ 650 Court of Appeal (compensation for indirect discrimination) R (Maughan) v HM Senior Coroner for Oxfordshire [2020] UKSC 46 Supreme Court (standard of proof for determination of the result of an inquest where question is whether the deceased committed suicide. Leung Chun Kwong v Secretary for the Civil Service and another [2019] HKCFA 19 Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal (same-sex marriage and discrimination) Gilham v Ministry of Justice [2019] Supreme Court (worker status, whistleblowing and judges) Pimlico Plumbers Ltd and another v Smith [2018] ICR 1511 Supreme Court (worker status and disability discrimination) Please see here for more of Karon’s recent and notable cases.

Investigations/ Inquiries

Karon has acted for and advised individuals, regulatory and other bodies in public inquiries, other statutory inquiries and internal investigations. These include: The Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust Public Inquiry The Infected Blood Inquiry The Grenfell Tower Inquiry Further, Karon has conducted investigations, including: Investigation into Sexual Harassment and the Management of Sexual Harassment Complaints within the GMB (2020) Investigation into the Labour Party’s Handling of Sexual Harassment Complaints (2018) Chair, Inquiry Panel ‘Formal Investigation into Fitness Standards: Maintaining Standards: Promoting Equality: Professional Regulation within Nursing, Teaching and Social Work and Disabled People’s Access to these Professions’(Disability Rights Commission): 2006-7. Karon has also acted in a number of lengthy and complex Inquests: Inquest into the Death of Seyni Lewis (restraint related death and state failings) Inquest into the Death of Kingsley Burrell (restraint related death and state failings) Inquest into the Death of Cassandra Hasanovic (domestic violence homicide and state failures) Inquest into the Death of Sabina Akhtar (domestic violence homicide and state failures) Inquest into the Death of Colette Lynch (domestic violence homicide and state failures) She has also been appointed ad hoc Assistant Coroner to conduct a number of lengthy and complex Inquests (2010 – 2017).

Appointments

Karon is a member of the International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations. Karon is a visiting professor in the UCL Faculty of Laws. Karon has in the past held a number of judicial positions: Deputy High Court Judge (Administrative Court) (2010-March 2019) Recorder (Crown Court) (2006-March 2019) Fee-paid Employment Tribunal Judge (2000-2008) Karon is a Matron of the charity FORWARD (Foundation for Women’s Health Research and Development). She is also a Bencher of Inner Temple.

Publications

Her publications include: Monaghan on Equality Law (OUP 2013) The UK Supreme Court Yearbook 2017-8 (Appellate Press 2019) (chapter) The UK Supreme Court Yearbook 2016-7 (Appellate Press 2018) (chapter) ed. Hunter, McGlynn and Rackley, Feminist Judgments: From Theory to Practice(Hart 2010) (chapter) Clayton & Tomlinson, The Law of Human Rights (OUP 2009) (co-authored chapter) Blackstone’s Guide to the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (OUP 2005) Religious Freedom and Equal Treatment: A UK Perspective (2014) Journal of Law and Policy 673 Karon is co-editor of the UK Labour Law blog.
Karon's Privacy Notice

Karon is committed to protecting and respecting your privacy. In order to provide legal services to her clients, including advice and representation services, Karon needs to collect and hold personal data. That may include personal data of my client and others who feature in the matter upon which she is instructed. To read Karon’s privacy notice in full, please see here.


DIRECTORY RECOMMENDATIONS

“She’s phenomenal – really impressive on her feet. I love the way she fights fearlessly for her clients and doesn’t take no for an answer – clients really value that.” “A really excellent speaker in court.” (Chambers & Partners 2021)

“She knows everything about discrimination law.” (Chambers & Partners 2021)

“She’s a fantastic advocate: she knows discrimination law inside-out and is always incredibly persuasive.” “Superb for anything in equality law.”(Chambers & Partners 2021)

“Brilliant, absolutely compelling and trustworthy in court.” (Legal 500 2021)

“Karon is one of a kind – a QC genuinely shaping the law for the greater good.” (Legal 500 2021)

“She is a leading light at the Bar.” (Legal 500 2021)

“Noted for her expertise in public and administrative law cases pursued on the grounds of equality and human rights law. She has considerable experience of challenging welfare reform on behalf of marginalised claimants. Other recent cases have concerned immigration, legal aid availability and Article 8 rights. ‘She’s a brilliant advocate on human rights and equality, and is brilliant to work with.’ ‘A doughty fighter who is client-friendly,’ and ‘a very effective and passionate advocate.’” (Chambers and Partners 2019)

“She is a fantastic advocate, who is calm in the face of complex legal arguments” (Legal 500 2019).

“A skilled practitioner with far-reaching expertise in human rights, discrimination and equality, employment and EU law. She regularly attracts instructions in high-profile, significant matters from a diverse range of clients, including charities, trade unions and private claimants.” (Chambers and Partners 2019)

“Widely regarded as the leading barrister for equality issues and discrimination claims. She represents individuals, charities, trade unions and NGOs, and receives instructions at all levels, including the Supreme Court. Incredible to work with and brilliant in court.” “A brilliant advocate.” (Chambers and Partners 2019)

“Simply breathtaking. She has a very high knowledge of discrimination law. Clear, precise, calm under pressure and an excellent advocate. Her passion for the pursuance of equality is apparent” (Chambers and Partners 2018)

“Fantastic on her feet and fights for what the clients want.” “She is an incredibly good and impressive advocate.” (Chambers and Partners 2018)

“She is admired for both her fierce advocacy and her emotional intelligence, which allows her to form solid relationships with clients and solicitors alike. Strengths: “She has the attention of the court; she is a commanding presence and an exceptional advocate. She is a really experienced discrimination barrister” (Chambers and Partners 2017)

“She is a fantastic advocate, who is calm in the face of complex legal arguments.” (Legal 500 2017)

“Strengths: Her ability to digest cases, work out the main arguments quickly and draft strong skeleton arguments is deeply impressive.”  “She is fearless, utterly user-friendly and down-to-earth but immensely clever.” “Good at demystifying the law for clients and very good at getting to the heart of issues. She is good on her feet, eloquent and really impresses clients.” (Chambers and Partners 2017)

"She's phenomenal - really impressive on her feet. I love the way she fights fearlessly for her clients and doesn't take no for an answer - clients really value that." "A really excellent speaker in court."

"She knows everything about discrimination law."

"She's a fantastic advocate: she knows discrimination law inside-out and is always incredibly persuasive." "Superb for anything in equality law."

Chambers & Partners 2021

"Brilliant, absolutely compelling and trustworthy in court."

"Karon is one of a kind - a QC genuinely shaping the law for the greater good."

"She is a leading light at the Bar."

"She’s a brilliant advocate on human rights and equality, and is brilliant to work with." "A doughty fighter who is client-friendly," "a very effective and passionate advocate."

Chambers and Partners 2019

"She is a fantastic advocate, who is calm in the face of complex legal arguments."

Legal 500 2019

"A skilled practitioner with far-reaching expertise in human rights, discrimination and equality, employment and EU law. She regularly attracts instructions in high-profile, significant matters from a diverse range of clients, including charities, trade unions and private claimants."

"Widely regarded as the leading barrister for equality issues and discrimination claims. She represents individuals, charities, trade unions and NGOs, and receives instructions at all levels, including the Supreme Court. Incredible to work with and brilliant in court.” “A brilliant advocate."

Chambers and Partners 2019

"Simply breathtaking. She has a very high knowledge of discrimination law. Clear, precise, calm under pressure and an excellent advocate. Her passion for the pursuance of equality is apparent."

Chambers and Partners 2018

"Fantastic on her feet and fights for what the clients want.” “She is an incredibly good and impressive advocate."

Chambers and Partners 2018

"She is admired for both her fierce advocacy and her emotional intelligence, which allows her to form solid relationships with clients and solicitors alike. Strengths: “She has the attention of the court; she is a commanding presence and an exceptional advocate. She is a really experienced discrimination barrister."

Chambers and Partners 2017

"She is a fantastic advocate, who is calm in the face of complex legal arguments."

Legal 500 2017

"Her ability to digest cases, work out the main arguments quickly and draft strong skeleton arguments is deeply impressive.” “She is fearless, utterly user-friendly and down-to-earth but immensely clever.” “Good at demystifying the law for clients and very good at getting to the heart of issues. She is good on her feet, eloquent and really impresses clients."

Chambers and Partners 2017