Hilary Lennox

Year of Call: 2008

Hilary specialises in international human rights and family law.

Our specialist clerks can be contacted by email on clerks@5sah.co.uk or phone on 020 7332 5400. To contact our Chambers Director directly in relation to a specific members’ practice, please email dscothern@5sah.co.uk


Hilary Lennox is a barrister called to the Bar in Ireland in 2008, Northern Ireland in 2013 and England & Wales in 2013. In addition she has worked in a law firm in New York and the Innocence Project in Wisconsin.

Hilary specialises in international human rights and family law. Hilary is instructed to bring cases on behalf of individuals before the European Court of Human Rights most recently against Ireland. She speaks French, Spanish and Irish.

Hilary is a highly experienced family practitioner across three jurisdictions. She covers all areas of family law. She is regularly instructed in international child abduction, child relocation and international jurisdictional issues (habitual residence) before the High Court most recently involving Syria, Libya, South Africa, India, Tanzania and Australia.

Hilary represents local authorities and provides advice involving care and placement proceedings, Article 15 Brussels II revised transfers of international families most recently in the Czech Republic, Germany, Poland and Ireland. She represents parents, guardians, intervenors and the Met Police involving children who have suffered long term neglect and sexual abuse.

Hilary acts for a wide range of matrimonial financial clients in particular high net-worth as well as modest clients with complex financial arrangements. Some cases involve large property portfolios in several countries including USA, Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Turkey, Portugal and India. She receives instructions and lectures in Schedule 1 Children Act maintenance applications for unmarried parents. 

Hilary successfully represented the family of a client (22) in the Court of Protection. He was seriously injured and left in a permanent vegetative state arising from an accident on a Russian Oligarch's yacht in the mediterranean. His family as well as solicitors were court appointed deputies in both financial and property affairs and personal welfare. She is also involved in the ongoing international personal injury claim. Media here.

Direct Public Access

  • Hilary accepts direct public access instructions in suitable cases.

Professional Memberships

  • Criminal Bar Association
  • Chatham House
  • International Bar Association Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI)
  • Bar Human Rights Committee
  • Liberty
  • Extradition Lawyers Association
  • Family Bar Association

Criminal Prosecutions

Hilary prosecutes and defends a wide range of criminal cases throughout the Crown Courts and Central Criminal Court in London involving fraud, violent and sexual crimes. She receives instructions from a variety of prosecution agencies, including the CPS, DWP, Probation Services, County Councils and Serco Monitoring. Serious Fraud Office, Disclosure Counsel on LIBOR (Yen) Tom Hayes prosecution and Private Prosecution DAS Disclosure Counsel.

Extradition & International


Hilary advises and represents requested persons at first instance and in appellate cases before the High Court under part 1 and part 2 of the Extradition Act 2003.

International Human Rights

Hilary has an in depth knowledge of human rights abuses in many countries. In her capacity as a Human Rights lawyer in Ireland Hilary represented clients in complex and extensive litigation relating to victims of child abuse in Irish Reformatory and Industrial Schools operated by the Catholic Church. She conducted cases before the High Court in Ireland representing men who were abused as children in the Institutions.

Most recently she was involved in the investigation and victim reporting of 500 women survivors resident in the Magdalen Laundries. She personally dealt with 20 women whom received compensation in the sum of €100,000 euros each. She is currently instructed in two cases where day pupils were subjected to child abuse in state schools and are now suing the Irish government.

European Court of Human Rights

Hilary is currently instructed to represent individuals before the European Court of Human Rights.

She was appointed as one of two Legal Advisors for Ireland for a European Commission study to strengthen procedural rights of suspects in each Member State so citizens who find themselves involved in criminal proceedings in another Member State will be treated on the basis of common EU minimum standards.

International Criminal Law

Courtroom 600, Nuremberg Trials. The Nuremberg Academy. Building a Summer Program in International Criminal Law

Hilary participated in consultations on the establishment of an International Criminal Law Program as a legacy to the Nuremberg trials and the concept of international law with several members of the International community including Patricia O’Brien, Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs and UN Legal Advisor, Luis Moreno Ocampo, former International Criminal Court Prosecutor and David Tolbert, President of Transitional Justice.

Hilary participated in the International Court of Justice Moot Advisory Opinion Hearing: On the Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons presided over by Geoffrey Robertson QC, Harold Koh, Legal Adviser of the US Department of State and Jennifer Martinez, Stanford Professor of International law.


Hilary has defended clients in the Special Criminal Court in Ireland in 2010 – She was part of a team representing two alleged members of the Irish Republican Army (2 week case).


On the broader international front Hilary has worked in a law firm in New York and also with the Innocence Project in Wisconsin.

Hilary was selected by the Bar Council of Ireland out of 80 applicants to work with the Innocence Project, USA led by Barry Scheck and Peter Neufeld. The Innocence Project is a non-profit legal organisation that is committed to exonerating wrongly convicted people primarily but not exclusively through the use of post conviction DNA testing. She worked on several cases including drafting a direct appeal to the State of Wisconsin Court of Appeals District IV and drafting post conviction motions in murder and arson cases. 

Family, Children & International Family

In Ireland Hilary has conducted over 250 family law divorces. Hilary regularly delivers CPD lectures to Barristers and Solicitors' firms and speaks at various conferences and seminars internationally. She delivered a family law course over 3 months to Shearman & Sterling LLP, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, Reed Smith, Ropes & Gray LLP, Travers Smith and Gibson Dunn. Family clinic here

Publications and Media

  • Article "Rape as a Tool of War" Solicitors Journal, July 2017
  • Lecture YResnational, Weightmans Manchester "Maintenance Unmarried parents" June 2017
  • Article, The Times, "Victims of Rape in Conflict Zones should not be stigmatised" June 2017
  • Webinar "New Divorce bill", February 2017
  • Seminar Target Jobs Law National Pupillage Fair. October 2016
  • Radio Interview - The Brief – Legal Affairs Show – Near FM 90.3FM – February 2014. Andrew Robinson BL and Patrick Leonard BL. on the European Court of Human Rights' Irish landmark case of Louise O'Keeffe. 
  • Article - The Bar Review (Roundhall) Journal of the Bar of Ireland – Volume 18 – Issue 6 - December 2012. “The Innocence Project Summer 2012”.
  • Article - The Irish Times - 26th November 2012. “When the Law is a matter of Life and Death” This was an interview by Pamela Newenham journalist of the Irish Times to discuss myself and 2 other barristers' experiences with the different Innocence Projects in the USA. 
  • Radio Interview - The Spin – Spin FM 103.8FM Radio - Novemeber 2012. “Lunchtime show with Jonathan and Clare” Radio on DNA evidence in criminal trials. 
  • Article - The Law Society of Ireland Gazette – Cover Story November 2012 edition. “Shaken Baby Syndrome Science or Myth?” The American Criminal Justice System has been using forensic science and techniques to successfully convict people, which has never been scientifically validated. Is Shaken Baby Syndrome a science or myth based on the triad of symptoms alone?
  • Radio interview - The Brief – Legal Affairs Show – Near FM 90.3FM – 29th November 2012. “The Brief with Andrew Robinson BL and Patrick Leonard BL” Radio DNA applications in US Courts. 
  • Article - The Law Society of Ireland Gazette – July 2011 edition. “Breaking up is hard to do” On 1st January 2011, the clock began to tick for cohabiting couples in Ireland to acquire rights from one another as a result of the commencement of the Civil Partnership and Cohabitants Act 2010.
  • Article - The Family Law Journal – Trinity edition 2011. “Grandparents' Rights in Ireland” This article focuses upon the legal issues surrounding grandparents rights in Ireland.