John Horan

Year of Call: 1993


Discrimination & Equality | Employment | Human Rights


Nominated for Outstanding Contribution to Diversity & Inclusion Award at the Chambers and Partners UK Bar Awards 2019. Listed by Power 100 (2016) as one of Britain’s most influential people with a disability. Awarded Bar Council "Pro Bono Lawyer for the Year" in 2003.


John Horan specialises in all kinds of anti-discrimination work and employment law.

On the day before the millennium John Horan had a stroke - it changed his life and made him a passionate discrimination lawyer. His extensive experience in battling for the rights of disabled people has led to expertise in employment, goods and services, education and public authorities.

John was the first barrister to receive guidance from the EAT about disabled people's rights before any court or tribunal. In 2016 John was listed by Power 100 as one of Britain's most influential people with a disability. In 2015 John hosted the European Commission's Monitoring Conference in Brussels on the Rights of People with Disabilities and the Courts.

John successfully challenged the state honour system in Trindad for fostering differences and not being in compliance with international law. He also successfully challenged the terms offered to part-time high court judges as discriminatory at Croydon Employment Tribunal.

His views have lead to him being regularly interviewed by BBC's Ouch! and the national media and press. He champions the rights of the disability community and was awarded Bar Council "Pro Bono Lawyer for the Year" in 2003.

John appears frequently for law centres, the FRU, ELAAS, Bar Pro Bono Unit and the Disability Law Association as well as well-known solicitors firms.


Power 100 'Top 100 Disabled People' 2020

Power 100 'Top 100 Disabled People' 2016

Bar Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year 2003


Bar Council's "Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year" Award in 2003

Trustee, Disability Law Association

Trustee, Different Strokes

The Employment Legal Advice Service


Discrimination Law Association

Free Representation Unit

Admitted to Commonwealth Bar (Trinidad and Tobago) 2005


John featured a piece in the disability section of IDS Brief - A Personal ViewPoint Nov 2015.

John contributes regularly to the national and professional press as well as to Disability Now. He has been asked to speak to the House of Commons and House of Lords. He lectures on discriminaton law and human rights to Government departments, the police federation and law centres.

John's 2011 lecture to the Academy of European law can be seen here.


BA hons in Philosophy, Cantab


Jonathan Rackham v Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (2015/2016): The first case that links the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) Article 13 (Access to justice and duties on judges), the ETB and common law. The clear impact on the client was allowing reasonable adjustment in the light of an expert report. This case is of fundamental importance as it gives guidance for judges in all cases (criminal, civil and family) about how they should deal with any case that has any disabled person before them.

Kumar v Bannatyne fitness Ltd (2014): John successfully acted for a disabled person in this important case where the disabled person was banned from going to his gym and all other gyms in this group owned by the defendant due to his disability (cerebral palsy) although he was a member.

Franklin v Wincanton Ltd (2014): John acted successfully for a black lorry loader who was systematically bullied and harassed by white line managers for four years. He achieved over £100K plus costs in the liability hearing.

Liang v Dragon Inn Rainum EAT (2014): John acted successfully for a non-English-speaking Chinese choux chef who was an immigrant and who worked in the kitchens of the defendants (a Chinese owned company) who was fired when he suffered a stroke. Although the claim for unfair dismissal and disability discrimination was lost, both the employment and immigration courts had to adjourn on several occasions to allow the process to run its course before they could make a decision.