People Detail | Setfords
Joseph McCaughley

Joseph McCaughley
Consultant Dispute Resolution Solicitor

Joseph is a broad dispute resolution solicitor with a varied background across a range of practice areas, including media law and professional negligence. Joseph joined Setfords from the UK's top-ranked boutique media law firm where he specialised in defamation and reputation management. 

Joseph is a troubleshooter and adept problem solver for his clients, often advising individuals and businesses on risk and strategy before disputes occur. In addition, he provides robust advice and assistance when disputes arise, and champions the use of Alternative Dispute Resolution (including mediation) to seek to resolve disputes quickly and cost effectively for his clients. But equally, Joseph is an expert litigator with trial experience on various complex and high-profile cases, meaning he is accomplished and well-versed with court proceedings when required.

Drawing upon his extensive experience acting for ultra-high-net-worth-individuals (UHNW) and global businesses to deliver added value, Joseph presently works primarily with individuals and small-medium size businesses (SME) to undertake broad dispute resolution work.

Practice Areas

Joseph undertakes work in the following practice areas: -

  • General Disputes: advising individuals and businesses on risk and strategy to avoid disputes; contract disputes; judicial review; professional discipline; and costs applications.
  • Professional Negligence: bringing and defending claims against professionals, including, doctors, solicitors, surveyors, architects, and accountants.
  • Media Law: defamation and privacy claims involving news and media outlets and social media. Including pre-publication and post-publication advice and engagement, as well as litigation. Removal of false and defamatory online content, including negative reviews.
  • Data Protection: data subject access requests (DSAR); removal of inaccurate and outdated data held by companies and compliance databases and right to be forgotten cases.
  • Debt Recovery: pre-court correspondence to recover debts; court proceedings; statutory demands and enforcement.

Sample Cases

Whilst most of Joseph’s cases are private for reasons of client confidentiality, a selection of cases which are in the public domain include: -

Duke of Sussex Judicial Review


  • Waterfield & 26 others v Dentality & others 8 WLUK 90: Joseph successfully represented a dentist and dental practice in a case brought by 27 claimants (with the potential for over 500 claimants to have joined the action) in which professional negligence was alleged against a hygienist. Joseph successfully resisted the claimants’ application for a Group Litigation Order (GLO) and the claim discontinued.
  • Robinson v Mercier [2023] EWHC 21 (KB): Joseph successfully overturned a third party wasted costs order against a medico-legal expert exceeding £50,000 due to expert evidence he gave at trial.
  • Shaw v Maguire [2023] EWHC 2155 (KB): Joseph represented the Defendant, a medical pathologist, in arguing that the claim was brought out of time.
  • Hall v Thomas, Hardwick and Everton Football Club [2014] EWHC 1625 (QB): Joseph was part of the team that represented the club doctor in a claim brought by a footballer who alleged the loss of chance of a professional football career.
  • Joseph represented a world-renowned Consultant Surgeon in a negligence claim brought by an ex-premier league and international footballer. A negotiated settlement was reached for less than 1/3 of the damages sought.
  • Joseph has represented two Consultant Psychiatrists in separate negligence claims brought against them, with both claims valued in excess of £20 million.


Joseph offers a premium and valuable service to clients at a fair price. He offers tailored pricing options to best suit his client’s needs, including:

  • Private hourly rates.
  • Fixed fees e.g. for discrete tasks and advice, including initial case screening.
  • Retainers e.g. on a monthly basis.
  • In-house Counsel Joseph was an in-house solicitor for a large global organisation. He can work alongside in-house teams or as sole counsel.
  • Insurance Joseph accepts work funded by insurers.


Joseph lives in Cambridgeshire and in his spare time enjoys rowing, running and reading. In addition to Joseph’s legal practice, he sits as a panel member on the British Psychoanalytic Council's Fitness to Practise Hearing Panel

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