John Horan


John Horan is an award-winning barrister who supports people in cases of discrimination, especially around disability. He is the only barrister with a disability who also specialises in discrimination law – which surprises even him!

John was already a successful barrister when he suffered a stroke on the last day of 1999. When he returned to work in 2001 he was shocked to discover that disability discrimination applied to him as employer clients wouldn’t pay his usual fees.

John became a passionate advocate, specialising in claimant claims of discrimination in employment law goods and services and public functions.

He has taken cases against the State, the Army and the Church, as well as numerous companies and universities. He has also worked internationally, successfully challenging the state honour system in Trinidad on the grounds of religious discrimination. John’s expertise has led to him lecturing at the Academy of European Rights in Trier, Germany and he hosted the European Commission’s Monitoring Conference on the Rights of People with Disabilities in Brussels in 2015. 

One of John’s specialist subjects is judges’ discrimination and the need to modify the rules of the court to accommodate disabled people. He also now advises shadow ministers on what effective changes are needed in the legislation to help disabled people sue in court.

John appears regularly in both the national and legal press and on television as an advocate and expert. He has featured in the Guardian, the Independent and on the BBC. In 2003 John was recognised by the Bar Council with the Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year award. His work formed a significant part of his Chamber winning the same award in 2015.

This year John was nominated for the award for Chambers and Partners Magazine’s award for Outstanding Contribution to Equality and Diversity. He was an expert speaker at an event, organised by Shaw Trust and Unison at the House of Commons, about the impact of Brexit on disabled people.