Does One Of The New IMC Trio Have A Conflict Of Interest?

Ed Moloney raises questions about one of the new IMC trio. Ed Moloney blogs @ The Broken Elbow

This profile of Stephen Shaw QC, one of Cruella’s three nominees for IMC Mk II, speaks for itself really.

Never been in a criminal trial in his life, by the looks of it; never had a client from the grubby backstreets of Belfast or Derry. Represented mostly rich folk according to his official c.v. A paramilitary ingenue down to his bootstraps.

So it begs two questions: first, a nice guy, undoubtedly, but what on earth would he know about the Provos, except they may have robbed some of the banks that he represented?

The other is a twofold issue. Mr Shaw received(s) income from his work for the Assembly Speaker which he will/might lose if the GFA collapses; that gives him a dog in the fight. Secondly, which Speaker of the Assembly did he do work for? Was it the current Speaker, Mitchel McLaughlin, who doubles as a member of the SF leadership group?

Mitchel has at least one saving grace: he is the only Shinner telling the truth when he says he was never in the IRA. But isn’t there a possible conflict of interest there? He is an important cog in the SF machine, after all.

Barrister Profile

Year of Call: 1980

QC: 2001

Main Areas of Practice

Administrative Law or Judicial Review
Commercial Law
Company Law
Land Law

As Senior Counsel (QC) since December 2001 I have concentrated on commercial, chancery and public law. My work embraces strategic advice as well as litigation, arbitration and mediation. I have acted for banks, public companies (plc) and private business as well as the Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly and local and central government. I also undertake cases in the Lands Tribunal, rates appeals, rent reviews, arbitrations and planning appeals.

Outside of the law I am involved with charities active in the developing world.


LL.B Queen’s University Belfast

Barrister at Law

Queen’s Counsel

Lecturer in law at University of Ulster [part time until 1985]

Member of the Council of Law Reports Northern Ireland

Member Chancery Court Liaison Committee

Planning Appeals Commission [PAC]

Member of Independent Complaints Appeal Panel

Member of CARB, the all Ireland disciplinary body for accountants

1998; Called to the Bar of Ireland


My recent caseload includes work for • Facebook • High Street Banks, including: AIB, Bank of Ireland, Danske Bank, IRBC, NAMA, Ulster Bank and The Royal Bank of Scotland • Norbrook Laboratories Ltd • KPMG and insolvency practitioners • The Official Receiver for Northern Ireland • Local government including Lisburn City Council; the District Councils for Antrim, Ards and Castlereagh • Northern Ireland Water Limited (NIW) • NCP • The Northern Ireland Transport Holding Company • DOE Planning Service • Land and Property Services and the Commissioner of Valuation for Northern Ireland


I have published in the Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly (NILQ)

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