Darren Finnegan

Call To The Bar: 2019

Darren is a specialist in all areas of road transport law. His practice has covered all aspects of transport issues including criminal, civil and regulatory. Owing to his knowledge and experience of dealing adroitly with such cases, his expertise has been sought in this jurisdiction from Northern Ireland where he also still practices.

Darren is known for his ability to quickly grasp any technical issues in a case and summarise them succulently and clearly. He is enthusiastic and instantly builds a good rapport with clients. This is most clearly demonstrated in both lay clients and professional clients insisting on instructing Darren again where he has previously acted for them.

Darren’s expertise in this area not only comes from his knowledge of the law but also from his previous career as a heavy haulage lorry driver.

However, Darren accepts instructions for, and has experience in, many other areas such as general crime and civil litigation of varying types.


Having had a purely land law and personal injury pupillage, Darren is keen to continue with his civil practice. He has experience in acting and advising on matters such as defective housing repairs, landlord and tenant disputes, rights of way and easement injunctions, civil claims against the police and the courts service for wrongful arrest and false imprisonment.

Darren also enjoys advising and acting in court on matters such as commercial debt recovery and the registration and enforcement of foreign judgments.

One line of work which has followed Darren into the bar from his previous volunteering experience with Citizens’ Advice is acting for clients in high-value benefit appeals such as recently securing £21,000 for a client who had been denied benefits and acting for a client who had unexpectedly received a £32,000 overpayment notice.


Darren has enjoyed a varied and busy criminal practice. Recent cases include assaults, criminal damage, obstruction animal welfare prosecutions alongside a road traffic caseload which includes drink driving, disqualified driving, dangerous driving and speeding.

Transport-related criminal matters are also very familiar to Darren which range from failures to download data to the fraudulent use of an operator’s licence and the making of false records. Darren has represented many different sizes and kinds of operators in these criminal matters, from one vehicle operators up to operators with 50+ vehicles. These operators tend to instruct Darren again if they are called to a public inquiry as a result, such is their confidence in his ability.


Darren has considerable experience in representing operators and transport managers at public inquiries which includes experience in dealing with appeals of these decisions to the Upper Tribunal. There are many reasons why an operator or transport manager can be called to a public inquiry such as previous convictions or penalties, drivers’ hours infringements, failings of compliance systems or the discovery of serious maintenance issues in the fleet. Darren is comfortable in advising on and dealing with all such issues. His real-world experience and broad knowledge of mechanical details permits Darren to tease out every detail of a case and explore every option available to an operator seeking to protect its operator’s licence.

Darren has represented the smallest of operators at public inquiry who are fighting to keep their livelihood, to much larger operators of almost 100 vehicles. Due to his familiarity with the compliance and mechanical documents, Darren likes to be instructed early in a case to assist with ensuring the documents are suitable and to provide directions in a case being prepared for public inquiry.

This line of work cuts across a number of different related areas such as insolvency, liquidation and general company law which Darren has comfortably dealt with when necessary.

A regular feature of operator licence public inquiries is a conjoined driver conduct hearing. Darren has represented HGV drivers who risk a revocation or suspension of their vocational driving entitlement due to issues over their conduct. Similarly, Darren has experience in representing drivers where the company gives evidence which is harmful to the driver; and likewise, he has represented companies where the driver’s evidence is harmful to the company.