Steve Cavanagh Bio

Steve was born and raised in Belfast, Northern Ireland. At 18 he moved to Dublin and studied Law, by mistake. Steve had a choice of degree courses at College, either Business & Marketing or Law.

He decided to enrol for Business & Marketing, but he got the course timetables mixed up and ended up registering for Law.

“Essentially, I became a lawyer because I joined the wrong queue that day. I suppose it was fate, if you believe in that kind of thing.”

After completing his degree in Dublin, he moved to Cardiff where he undertook a post-graduate studies in Law.
Around this time, when Steve was in his early twenties he began to write Screenplays, but after a short while he decided to give up writing completely and focus on his legal career. He then returned to Belfast where he landed a job as an investigator for a large law firm. During his time at the firm Steve worked on a wide range of cases – everything from road traffic collisions and accidents at work to catastrophic incidents.

He went on to qualify as a solicitor at the firm and gained valuable experience as a litigator representing some of the largest insurance companies in the world.

In 2002 Steve represented the Northern Ireland Law Society in the Louis M Brown Client Counselling Competition, in Durban, South Africa, competing against the finest young lawyers from 17 countries. He was a semi-finalist.

In 2009 he moved to a smaller law firm where he could practice in the field of civil rights law; representing ordinary members of the public. Steve has been involved in several high profile cases; in 2010 he represented a factory worker who suffered racial abuse in the workplace and won the largest award of damages for race discrimination in Northern Ireland legal history. He went on to win several ground breaking cases which set new law – including cases in the field of Social Care, Criminal Law and Disability Discrimination.

Steve currently practices in the fields of Discrimination Law, Employment Law, Personal Injury Law and Judicial Review. He holds a certificate in Advanced Advocacy jointly awarded by the Law Society of Northern Ireland and the National Institute of Trial Advocacy in Boulder, Colorado. In 2011 Steve was appointed to the Labour Relations Agency’s panel of Arbitrators and Independent Appeal Chairmen by the Northern Ireland Department of Employment and Learning. As well as practicing law, he often lectures on various legal subjects (but really he just likes to tell jokes).

In 2011 Steve’s mother passed away suddenly following a short illness. Later that year Steve decided that life was too short and after a break of 15 years, he began writing again in the hope of fulfilling a life-long ambition to publish a novel.

Steve worked at the book during the evenings, once the family had gone to bed and after a year, he finished the book that would become his debut novel, The Defence. Little did he know that the book would soon be the subject of an international bidding war amongst publishers.

“This was beyond my wildest dreams. I never expected this kind of reaction and I’m very honoured to be published by Orion and so thrilled that so many other countries believe in the book; I’m amazed at the reaction. To think that The Defence will be on sale all over the world is truly staggering.”

His debut novel, The Defence, is the first in a new, US-based legal thriller series featuring Eddie Flynn, former con-artist turned trial lawyer.

“Eddie Flynn is such an exciting character and I love writing about him. People have asked me if the character is based on me, I suppose there are some similarities but Eddie is better looking and has more hair.” Steve Cavanagh.

The Defence was published in the UK, Japan, Portugal, Italy, Germany and France in 2015. In 2016 it will be published in the US and the Netherlands. Steve was named as one of Amazon's Rising Stars for 2015 and was awarded the
Northern Ireland Arts Council's ACES award. The Defence was also nominated for a number of awards including the Ian Fleming Steel Dagger for Thriller of the year 2015.

Steve is married to Tracy, they live in Northern Ireland with their two young children and a rescue dog, called Lolly, who keeps Steve company during those long nights at the writing desk.