Professor Jo Delahunty QC
Professor Jo Delahunty QC is one of the UK’s leading family barristers specialising in child protection law. She was called to the Bar in 1986, took silk in 2006 , appointed a Recorder in 2009 , made Gresham Professor of Law in 2016.
Jo has won multiple industry awards for her work in contentious cases involving complex scientific and medical evidence and catastrophic injuries to/ the death of a child, child sex abuse involving babies as young as a few months old, witchcraft/ ritualized abuse and ISIS radicalisation cases. Her clients range from adults and adolescents with mental health difficulties, learning disabilities to those with MENSA level intelligence . Jo has risen to prominence for her ability to cross examine medics who are experts in their own field: in any one case she is required to challenge practitioners as diverse and specialist as geneticists, paediatric pathologists, ophthalmologists, neuro pathologists to human bite mark analysists. Jo confronts child abuse at its most graphic and serious , including allegations of murder and ‘shaken baby’ insults. It was she who exposed the prevalence and significance of rickets and Vitamin D deficiency and conditions such as EDS as a possible benign explanation for injuries previously assessed by experts and the courts as being inflicted by abusive parents. Jo also acted for 77 families in the Hillsborough Inquests, her role being to establish that flawed medical response by those in charge at the scene led to avoidable loss of life: a task fulfilled by the Jury’s verdict.
She is Ranked as a Top Tier silk in the Industry Bibles. Colleagues say she ‘dominates’ every case she is in , ‘has a razor sharp mind with a phenomenal work rate’ ( Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners) ‘ a phenomenal cross examiner, who gets unbelievable results’ She has an extraordinary grasps of medical evidence ‘ ( Chambers and Partners 2020). She was awarded the Freedom of the City in 2019 for her work in the Legal Field and has already been identified as a ‘Woman of Distinction’ in the celebrations of the 100 years since women won the right to practice in Law. Jo is regularly sought out for comment by legal commentators and has featured in The Times, Telegraph and Radio 4 World in Action.